After a week off from ASL, I found myself back in the saddle with another Saturday Game (75th game this year) with Dan Best. It was actually nice to have a full week down from ASL. I wasn't burned out, but I definitely needed a short break. Lots of family stuff, politics, and preparing for an ISO Audit have kept my mind occupied. It was my turn to pick a scenario and I picked a Le Franc Tireur scenario that caught my eye. And yes...it's got a funny name. Scenario LF229 A Push in the Bush would be my choice. I was looking for something light that could be played quickly. Normally, I spend the bulk of my Sunday blogging. With the impending ISO Audit next week. I've got to have time available to do some work Sunday. So this scenario was just the right size.
A Push in the Bush (designed by Phillipe Naud & Jean Devaux covers one of World War II's forgotten front...Somalia. No, we're not talking Blackhawk Down, no we're going back to East Africa 1941 when the Italians were losing their control over Ethiopia and Italian Somalia. With Colonial Troops, the British went on the offensive to take control of Italian Somali. As the 1st Gold Coast Regiment neared the Juba River, they found themselves confronted by an Italian force at Buro Erillo. After a sharp fight, the British Colonials would push back the Italians and continue their advance.
But isn't it nice to know how many great folks out there are embracing ASL these days...and who doesn't love a little embracing...
(Bucket list item: include a Porn Star in a blog post...check that box!!!":
Ok back to more serious ASL!!!
The war in East Africa has always intrigued me, but I'll be the first to admit that I don't know much about the campaigns in Ethiopia and Somalia. So this another reason that I selected this scenario. Now ROAR has this scenario with 1 British and 4 Italian wins. The ASL Archive has it with 1 British and 1 Italian. That's really not enough data to determine whether or not the scenario is Pro-Italian or Pro-British.
And now for Dan's Pre-Game Comments:
"The British must exit 12 VP off the north board edge. They enter in two groups of six squads, a leader and a support weapon. I will deploy a squad in each group. Will try to move forward under cover of the brush and get close enough to break the Italians and enter in CC. Hopefully the Italians infantry are eliminated and we can move past the armored cars without too much trouble."
Prior to game play, both sides set up 2 overlays each. These overlays represent brush, Steppe Terrain is in play everywhere else. The British Player wins by exiting 12 or more VP off the north edge.
What do you mean Steppe Terrain!?!
The Italians have a very narrow set up area. The circles are actual units. The others are dummys.
My LMG was best long range weapon...but a range of 5 hexes...oh c'mon....
Dan's Ghanaians would only have to cross a half board to reach the exit. I would have 6 squads to try and stop them.
Turn 1 - Dan sent two half-squads to draw fire. Most of my defensive fire would be ineffectual. My first rolls were boxcars...so I was doing nothing...leaving no resid and final firing myself. It was a very poor start. But in Final Defensive Fire, I would break the 4-4-7 with the LMG. They would be forced to surrender. My boys would reject the surrender and Dan would be down one squad.
In a game like this, rejecting Prisoners was the only rational choice for my 3-4-7 squad. Eliminating a 4-4-7 from Dan's force was very important and taking prisoners would have put the 3-4-7 at greater risk for the close combat that coming. Additionally, my Italians were treated as Partisans. So, prisoner rejection was the call.
Turn 1 British would end with a melee and a pretty good forward movement for Dan's boys overall. Also at this point in the game, Dan and I had already rolled 5 boxcars between us. For the game, Dan would roll 2 snake eyes and 2 boxcars. I would roll 2 snake eyes and 5 boxcars.
Italian Turn 1 would be fairly dull.
Heading into Turn 2, my MLR was still intact, but Dan would get another six squads on Turn 2.
Turn 2 - Dan would press ahead as his reinforcements joined the fight.
Dan would take down the first of my squads. 20% of my force gone...
In my part of Turn 2 - I would pull back in the center as my Armored cars moved into position. They would not move again.
I had to be careful with my armored cars. I successfully separated them from platoon movement and placed them in position and they would not move again. They represented my last line of defense. Dan's ATR was in range from the moment they entered the game.
Turn 3 - Dan would sweep both flanks.
In my part of Turn 3 I would send my recently rallied squad (snakes...and then Berserk...my favorite...) would charge to his death. I was now down to a single unbroken squad.
My 7-0 would stay behind with a broken squad, while my 3-4-7 with the LMG moved under the NE armored car.
Turn 4 - Dan would move into position after successfully stunning my CMG armored car. I was unable to stop the British swarm on the northwest edge. Dan's ATR had successfully hit my armored car a couple of times, but never penetrated...but his LMG would be successful.
Not a huge fan of the rules allowing machine guns the potential to kill armored vehicles.
Two big close combats would occur in the British part of Turn 4. One of his squads would destroy my armored car in close combat. In the northeast, my 7-0 would try to stop two half-squads.
It wouldn't end well for him...
My 7-0 would survive the first round and hold the two half-squads in Melee. But he would be KIA'd in the next round of Melee. My armored car would be destroyed.
Heading into the final Turn 5, a quick look at the points available to exit the game. The red circles show those British units, which would successfully exit the board.
Game end. Dan would be stopped in the northeast and I would manage to break a squad on the west edge. Dan would manage to exit 11 VP...one short of the victory. My Italians would win an improbable victory.
My last remaining 3-4-7 Squad could celebrate the win.
"The plan did not work. The Italian infantry delayed the British long enough to keep about half from exiting. Although CC eliminated two squads and the leader plus one stunned AC, the delay in movement meant fewer squads in position to exit. A break by the AC against one squad left the British with 11 exited VP. Well played by Grumble Jones! This scenario is short and sweet with much reply value due to each side getting to place the brush at game start. Recommend this a s good tournament scenario. Congrats to Grumble Jones on the win!"
That's all for A Push in the Bush.Dan and I will be back next Saturday for a playing of
ASL Scenario 97 A Desperate Affair...
that's right we are returning to Crete!!!
hmm....I hear something...sounds like our good friend Professor Rollwright...but who is he talking to????
"Ms. Jameson...I coudn't agree more with your assessment of this scenario. The British Colonials really have to make a strong move right up the middle. It's the only way to secure the win!"
"Oh that's right Professor...with only 5 movement phases...there is no time to waste...you just have to go for it straight away!"