Saturday, January 7, 2017

Our Friday Game - the Conclusion of ASL Scenario J24 Smashing the Third

Friday night saw the first ASL action of the new year and finally brought conclusion to a game that had been in process since August. My regular STL opponent and I had been trying to complete this one for months. And honestly, my head and heart just were not into this scenario last night. A game can sit too long and this was one of those. So let's just say that I tried to be as helpful as possible in showing my opponent how he could come up with the 100 VP's to win immediately. 

Despite, the issues in bringing this game to a timely conclusion, it's overall a very good scenario. I drew the Russians and would be the defender with some wire, foxholes, 11 x 4-4-7's, an HMG, MMG, 3 x LMG's, 60 mtr, 76L Arty, and 5 x T-34/76's with 5 more T-34/76's arriving on Turn 4. All in all a pretty nice OOB for defending fairly open terrain. My boys would elements of the Soviet 3rd Tank Corps.

Facing me would be my opponents Hermann Goering Division. Despite the unfortunate name, this Division would prove itself in Tunisia, Sicily, and on the Polish Plains. They had high morale, good equipment and good leadership. My opponent would have 5 x 5-4-8's, 5 x 4-6-8's, and 5 x 4-6-7's with 10 x MKIV 75L Tanks. With a 9-2 in command, they would be tough to stop.

But, as I have noted from time to time, my regular STL opponent has a more cautious approach to the game, that has been learned over thirty years of playing this game and a habit, which can stall the best equipped attack force.

In our final playing of this scenario, I would offer up my suggestions for taking out my own positions. It was sort of fun...except when he was actually successful!!!

The Victory Conditions were pretty straightforward. The German Player would win immediately upon amassing 100 or more VP's. All buildings controlled by the Germans would be worth the number of hexes they occupied. The Germans would also get VP's for any units which exited the East Edge. 

Now, for this particular post, I won't be cropping or diagramming the battle pics. This AAR will be fast and furious and brief. I've got another game tonight and in tomorrow's blog post, I'll be back to normal form.

My defense was set up to interdict the open ground on Board 44 and to try and tie up my opponent in the denser terrain of Board 17. Overall, my plan worked fairly well...but again due to cautious play.

 My opponent divided his force into two mini-kampfgruppes and  swept across the entire front. His infantry would lag behind a bit, so for much of the early stages of the game, my boys remained concealed. I did not take long shots and kept my Arty hidden...waiting for the right moment to shoot.

Yuri even had some time to write a quick letter home to his sweetheart in Tambov.

 It was in the North that our forces made initial contact. We would trade fire with tanks primarily.

 Gun malfunctions would plague this game. BIG TIME!!! Considering that each turn is supposed to represent 2 minutes of combat with a total game time of 14 minutes...we broke a lot of stuff. Like...did everyone forget how to load their weapons!?!?

Actually...I do jam often...
 In the south, my opponent's Panzers would take up a Napoleonic firing stance and fight it out from there.

 My regular STL opponent always aims his camera at the board. I have no idea how high he hangs that camera to get the overhead shot.

 For much of the game, our forces would trade fire from these positions.

My opponent would move his 9-2 with the HMG into the first floor of the main building behind his panzer line. This would give him a commanding field of fire for the duration of the game.

His 9-2 was a man with a plan!
 Down in the south, my tanks were knocked out, but my infantry in X1 would hold out for much of the game.

In the north, my positions began to melt under the combined infantry and armor fire of the Germans.

 In the middle, my opponent sent two MKIV's into harm's way. My Arty barked out and took out one. It would its one and only kill for the game.

 Between Malf'd Panzers and destroyed Panzers, the Germans were left with five active tanks. 50% of their initial armor was out of play. By game end, 3 Panzer MKIV's would be recalled and one would be immobilized and malf'd. Only one MKIV would finish the game.

 In the north, the German infantry finally took some buildings, but overall were not making much forward progress.

Not in too much of a hurry...

My squad in the south would continue to hold out, but the end was near.

In the middle of our game, my STL opponent had a mishap and his camera went sailing and for a brief moment left me in a POV state of carsickness!!! 

 On turn 4 my reserve T-34/76's rushed into action. And yes...I'll admit...I send them on a death ride straight at the Germans. The scenario had to had to...
Something like that....

 As my death charge unfolded...two Panzer MKIV's headed for the exit off the east board edge up north. They would escape and add VP's to the German total.

In the center my tanks met with disaster (my plan was working perfectly!!!).

Hmmm...should I intensive Fire or not....YES Intensive Fire it shall be!!!
The escapees...

Just a leisurely drive on a summer day in Poland.

Game end. The Germans would amass 105 VP's and the longest scenario would finally be over...oh thank goodness. Yes, I lost...but finally...we could start a new scenario. The long night is over!!!

Congrats to my STL opponent on a solid win and looking forward to our next scenario .....Retribution...I believe it is called...muhahahaha!!!!

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