For our next scenario, Dan Best and I reached into the Schwerpunkt Library for a gem set in the Vercors region of southern France in the the fateful summer of 1944. The scenario is none other than Schwerpunkt Scenario SP44 - Sufferin' Sudfrankreich by Paul Kenny. Not to be confused with....
You know it was on your mind...now we have it out of the way...
The scenario is set in Vassieux, France in the region of southern France known as the Vercors. This region sits on a high plateau. The French Resistance had gathered in strength to proclaim a FFI Republic and await the arrival of Allied reinforcements set to land in Southern France as part of Operation Dragoon.
This concentration of FFI fighters also attracted the attention of the Germans, who created a strike force called "Streifkorps Sudfrankreich", which was made up of elite White Russian and Ukrainians trained for glider and airborne operations. These troops would be deployed on July 21st, 1944 to seize Vassieux and eliminate the FFI in the Vercors.
In the spring of 2007, I had the opportunity to travel through this part of France while on business. We spent a week in the city of Valence working with the engineering team of a French firm to design some new aircraft components. The area and the people were and are awesome. While, I did have some time to explore, I wasn't able to get outside of Valence and see some of the history related to the Second World War. Maybe on my next trip!
Group picture of the American and French teams. Great bunch of guys.
Alps on the horizon as seen from Valence.
Ok...the travelogue portion of today's AAR is now concluded...
Dan would draw the FFI and would therefore be the scenario defender. His troops would be comprised of the Vercors FFI Force. Dan would have 3 x 5-2-7's, 8 x 3-3-7's with 2 x LMG's and led by a 9-1 and 7-0.
Per SSR, Dan's forces would not be able to move until Turn2.
Dan would have to keep my Germans from controlling 7 or more Building locations on Board 10.
As the Germans, I would be the scenario attacker tasked with securing control of 7 or more buildings on board 10. My force would represent Kompanies 1 and 2 of the Streifkorps Sudfrankreich. I would have 9 x 5-4-8's, with an MMG, 2 x LMG's, led by a 9-2, 9-1, and 8-1. This force would enter on Turn 1 in 9 Gliders.
By SSR, my gliders would have set their Initial Land Hexes within one hex of the runway on board 14.
Dan and I began the game and my gliders came in without suffering any mishaps. Only one glider actually missed it's target hex, but only overshot it by one and without any other incident. So, I was pretty happy with the start of this game.
My force landed intact and was ready to move up into Vassieux.
Despite my gliders landing successfully...I don't think my landing hexes were optimal. Clearly landing on the runway was the way to go...Yeah...I took the road less traveled and it made all the difference..it's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
A look at the French defense. Dan focused his forces on board 10.
The intended routs of advance for my boys. Dan's HIP squad and 9-1 were waiting for me.
(Note...no animals were hurt in the making of this AAR.)
Going into Turn 2, both of Dan's LMG's were with broken squads.
My boys moved in the center and and along the north edge.
With the FFI 9-1 broken and both LMG's...things were looking good until I shot one too many times at the broken 9-1...and he rolled snakes and became Heroic...yeah that worked out...
Hey...watch me smoke that broken 9-1...ok here goes....
In my next moves...the Heroic leader would end up smoking one of my 5-4-8's....oouch that would hurt and add to my CVP cap.
My 9-2 finally got off the runway and would keep things moving on my left flank.
A look at Dan's defensive situation. He was very much in control as we hit the halfway mark.
Dan's 7-0 would turn in a good game. He would move back and forth rallying the FFI to stay in the fight.
Turn 4, I would move ahead full steam. A 2-4-8 would run across the FFI positions and act as total bullet magnet and survive!!! This epic run would open the way for other units to move up. Then Dan's LMG in U6 First Fire cowered and this would allow me to sprint around the flank and move into the backfield.
Things were looking up for my Germans. Turn 4 saw several building fall under German control.
But then once again...I pushed things too far. I sent my 8-1 with a 5-4-8 into Close Combat with Dan's wounded 9-1 Heroic Leader. Dan would win the ambush and then KIA the entire group. Oh did that hurt....
Just like that the momentum mojo was back with the FFI.
But ASL is a fickle mistress...and things went a little bizzaro!! The German sniper activated and KIA's the Heroic FFI 9-1. Just like that the momentum shifts again to the Germans!
Sniper might have saved the day for the Germans.
With the Heroic leader gone, my broken boys in the street can fall back to safety.
Things improved further for my boys, when a 2-4-8 in the X8 building went fanatic. Then Dan broke his last LMG and my boys streamed into the backfield to claim more building hexes.
Dan's final movement phase was on Turn 5. Dan's FFI pulled out all the stops and came at me hard.
The FFI sniper also made an appearance, but it was too late.
By the beginning of Turn 6, the Germans had or would be in position to take control of 10 building locations. Dan offered the concession and my Germans had won the day.
Dan and I found this scenario to play very fast. We finished the 5-1/2 turns in just over 3 hours. Definitely a good choice when you have limited time and are looking for a challenging scenario that plays quickly.
My thanks to Dan for another great Saturday evening of ASL. Our Saturday games are the highlight of my weeks!
Dan and I will taking a break from our regular Saturday game as we both head to St. Louis for the annual St. Louis ASL Tournament. Really looking forward to it!!!
Having lived in St. Louis for 20 years and the place where I first began playing ASL...it will be a bit of a homecoming!
Headed to the Gateway City!!!
See you again in 2 weeks!