Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Our Saturday-Sunday games! Blazin' Chariots and Lunch in Luga

As the ASL Oktoberfest was in full swing in Ohio, I was headed west to Kansas City to spend a weekend of ASL with my friends at the Kanas City ASL Club. The drive from Quincy, IL to KC is a nice straight shot across the top of Missouri. 4 hours and I found myself once again at the Hollis Renewal Center. Packed in my bags for the weekend was my just arrived copy of ASL Action Pack 13. By the end of the weekend, I would have played my first game from this excellent pack.

Upon arriving, Dan Best and I sat down to a game of ASL Scenario 35 Blazin' Chariots. Like many of the classic scenarios, it had been a long time since I had played this one. We rolled for sides and I would be the Germans of Panzer Regiment 5 with 2 x 75* MKIV's, 2 x MKIII H's, 3 x MKIII G's, and 2 x MKII F's with a 9-1 and an 8-1 armor leader. 

I would have 9 tanks to face off against Dan's 12 x Stuart 1(a)'s of the British 5th Battalion, Royal Tank Regiment. I liked my odds, but as the scenario progressed, I would come to respect the 37LL Gun of the Stuarts...especially after it made short work of my Panzers.

 Now, truth be told, I only took a couple pictures of this scenario. I had not actually expected to blog about this particular scenario. Hey...everybody needs a break...right... But there's nothing wrong with a mini-blog either. I set up my Germans in a nice line across the map. Dan had a schwerpunkt that ran up the left side of the map. I was initially very lucky and knocked out 5 of Dan's Stuarts in short order. 

As we went into Turn 2, I'll admit it, I was feeling a little bit cocky. I had a line on the left and I sent my Panzers on the right into motion to hit the remaining Stuarts in the flank. Oh what a nice little plan I had...too bad it didn't work.

The last shot I took shows that my line on the left had been eliminated and Dan's Stuarts had moved right into my right hook and by game end, every German Panzer was as smoldering hulk on the desert floor. I shook hands and congratulated Dan on a nice come back victory. He was master of the Sahara!

Following a Saturday evening play testing some new scenarios for the next March Madness Scenario Pack, Dan and I resumed our battle on Sunday morning. We decided to play a scenario from AP13 that used the new boards 78 and 79. ASL Scenario AP124 Lunch in Luga was the perfect choice.

Dan and I rolled for sides and I got the Russians and would be the scenario defender. Lunch in Luga is the first scenario I can remember playing with three river bridges. My Russians would consist of the 41st Rifle Corps with 3 x 5-2-7's, 9 x 4-4-7's, a 2-3-7 led by a 9-1, 8-1 and 7-0 with an HMG, MMG, 2 x LMG's and 2 x DC's for support. By SSR, my Russians could fortify up to 6 Building locations. I would choose to fortify the ground and first floor of three building across from the middle and northernmost bridge. I planned to DC the southernmost and middle bridge. I hoped to have to defend only one of the bridges.

As the scenario attacker, Dan would command elements of Battaillon III, Polizei-Schuetzen-Regiment 2, SS-Polizei-Division 4. He would have an 8-3-8, 4 x 5-4-8's, and 11 x 4-6-8's led by a 10-2, 9-1 and 2 x 8-0's with an HMG, 2 x MMG's, 3 x LMG's, a Flamethrower, and 2 x DC's for support.

Additionally, Dan would have 100mm OBA to rain death on my boys.

My plan as stated earlier, was to immediately blow two bridges and focus my defense on holding just one. Most of the victory location buildings were behind my side of the river. Dan needed to get into my backfield and start collecting buildings if he was going to have a chance at winning the scenario.

Dan's assaulting force would come in on the southeast corner and his support teams would scale the hill and get into position to cover his assaults on the bridges.

One of my early gaffs was forgetting that my Russians could set up already entrenched. So I rolled for it on Turn 1 and was able to get both units entrenched in my forward delaying line.  This little line of 2 x 4-4-7's and the 2-3-7 would prove to be a crucial element of my defense and contribute to the Russian win in a surprising way.

Dan's OBA would quickly come into play. Fortunately, my fortified buildings would protect me from harm for most of the scenario.

When my phase of Turn 1 came, I quickly set my DC on the northernmost bridge. I would be successful and destroy all four spans in an epic bridge destruction. My middle bridge attempt would not work out. I tried twice to set it...but ultimately failed and would therefore have to defend two bridges.

Dan's Landsers put a full court press on my delaying line. This line would inflict some casualties on Dan's boys, but would ultimately fall to the German assault. But in the process, Dan would turn to his flamethrower to burn my boys out of the stone building. He would roll snake eyes and set the building ablaze and would in turn lose the best location to support his planned assault across the bridge there. My broken 4-4-7 squad in the 1st level would be trapped by the flames and eventually succumb to them as the fire spread to their floor.

Meanwhile at the middle bridge, Dan's OBA ensured that my 5-2-7 there would not get another attempt to destroy the bridge.

As the game progressed, Dan's 10-2 began to move off the hill towards the center bridge. Unfortunately for Dan, my 9-1 with the HMG had a clear shot and managed to break the 10-2 and then fire from my MMG inflicted additional losses on the Dan's death star stack.

 Despite the various setbacks, Dan would acquire some VC by taking control of multi-hex buildings.

 Dan contemplates his next move.

Dan would make repeated attempts to cross the bridges, but my fortified positions managed to repel them. Dan's flamethrower would attract lots of attention and generally meant death for any German unit to acquire it.

As his attack on the southernmost bridge met strong resistance, Dan tried to move to the north to hit the center bridge. But my units across the river succeeded in inflicting casualties as Dan's men moved.

At this point, Dan switched his arty to smoke and hit the middle bridge. This was a great move, but I had to remind Dan to keep his hand clear of the incoming arty.

Dan's boys attacked both the southernmost and middle bridges. But Russian fire would prove too intense. However, one German Hero would cross the southernmost bridge and it would take nearly all of my Defensive Fire to take him down.

As Dan's assault on the southernmost bridge was repulsed, Dan made better progress on the middle bridge.

Dan's final assault on the middle bridge would be intense, but the Russian fire directed at both ends of the bridge managed to stagger the assault.

A last look at the battle, which wen the full 8 turns. Dan would offer the concession as his phase of Turn 8 came to an end. 

My Russians would have the win and I would enjoy one of my rare victories as the Russians. Lunch at Luga proved to be a great scenario.

So that's a wrap! Stay tuned for Grumble Jones Post #500, which will have the October Halloween Scenario!!!


  1. "This was a great move, but I had to remind Dan to keep his hand clear of the incoming arty."

    Is that how he hurt his arm? Reaching across the board while the arty was in full swing?

    1. Those are the risks you take in a "hands on" game like ASL!!!

  2. Amazing game....3 bridges looks extremely fun.