Sunday, July 7, 2024

Our Games - July 4th Weekend - OA16 Surrender or Die, FT20 !Viva La Republica!, OF17 Murai State Farm, and DB027 Misty Morning Melee

After returning from Texas, Dan Best and I went on an ASL rampage. Since Texas we have logged another 12 games and played fifteen in June. In fact, I would log 21 games in June, which is a record number for me in a single month. As in the past, Dan and I would try to get in a good number of games over the 4th of July holiday. This year we would log 4 games. And we will cover all four in this post. 

Our Wednesday game would be OA16 Surrender or Die. Designed by Evan Sherry, OA16 covers the disastrous fight of the US Rangers at Cisterna. Coming in at 4-1/2 turns, this is a very quick playing scenario with a small number of units. It was perfect for a game after a final day of work.

The Archive has it with 10 American and 9 German wins. Due to its small size, dice rolls can of course have a significant impact on the game. 

As the defending Americans, I would command elements of 3rd Ranger Battalion. My force would consist of 3 x 6-6-7's, and a 3-4-7 led by a 9-1 and 8-0 with a Hero and 2 x BAZ 43's.

As the attacking Germans, Dan would command mixed elements of the 26th Panzer Division and Fallschirm Division Hermann Goering. His force would consist of 2 x 4-6-8's and 4 x 4-6-7's, led by a 9-1 and 8-0 with an MMG, 2 x LMG's and 2 x MKIV's.

The Germans win at game end if there are no unbroken American MMC in building hexes on/between hexrows O-W.

Dan would Schwerpunkt up the middle with the MKIV's heading to head my right flank.

My boys were ready. The 8-0 was upfront with a Bazooka and supported by a 6-6-7.

My dice in the early stages of the game were hot. My 8-0 would hit and knockout the first MKIV and then he would knock out the other in the following turn.

Knocking out both MKIV's so early in the game, would handicap the remainder of Dan's attack. We both agreed that the Germans really need these tanks to achieve the scenario objectives.

Dan continued to move forward and managed to push me back on the east edge as he pushed forward down the middle.

I was very lax in my picture taking...and you will notice a lot fewer images over the course of this "lite" AAR. This is the final picture after the last desperate German assault had been repulsed. Dan hit all my boys with a final close combat. The Americans would win the CC's and the game.

Our Friday game would be set during the Spanish Civil War with FT20 !Viva La Republica. This scenario is an urban fight between the Nationalists and the Republicans.

Dan and I have played a couple Spanish Civil War scenarios - HAZMO designs if memory serves. This is a 6 turn scenario and the attacking Republicans have to clear the nationalists away from Hex L4.


As the defending Nationalists, Dan would command elements of the 4th Division (Barcelona). His force would consist of 8 x 4-4-7's and 2 x 2-2-8's led by an 8-1 and 8-0 with an HMG for support.

As the attacking Republicans, I would command a mixed bag made up of Asaltos de Barcelona, CNT/FAI Milicians, Anarchists Milicians and 19th Tercio of the Guardia Civil. My force would consist of 8 x 4-4-7s, 4 x 3-3-7s,  a 1-2-7, and 4 x 3-3-6's led by 2 x 8-1's, an 8-0 and 7-0 with 2 x MMGs and an LMG.

As you will note...I muffed the overlay in the center. Something so simple is so dang hard to get right sometimes. I circled it in yellow below. Fortunately, it never factored into the battle in any way.

I would attack form west and then mounted reinforcements would ride on from the east on Turn 3.

My initial assault was fairly conservative except for three squads of 3-3-6 Anarchists that I sent forward into Dan's sights. He would KIA 2-1/2 of the 3 squads as he rolled a 3, a 3 and a 4. My plan was to hit the main building from two sides. My plan would work to an extent.

The final picture that I took. I was pretty wrapped up with this scenario and just forgot to take the extra shots. Gotta admit it, this was an engaging scenario. But I was struggling to keep moving and do anything to Dan's boys in stone buildings. My Hero would lead the way and take out a half-squad and then a gun crew. But the CC with the gun crew would also see my Hero to his death. I managed to wrap around Dan and hit both sides of the main building. I would get into the building, but as we went into Turn 6, I knew I didn't have the force or the movement points to take out Dan's diehard defenders. Dan would do great work with his two guns and in a first he would shoot adjacent into a melee and get a critical hit. His squad would take the crit and vaporize with a 5 KIA result. My boys would survive...but then Dan's KIA rubbled the building and my boys died as well. Well played by Dan for a solid win.

Our Saturday game and third of the holiday weekend would take us to the early days of Operation Barbarossa. We would play OF17 Murai State Farm. This would be an interesting Lone Canuck scenario that would pit Russian 4-2-6's against a small German Panzer Force attempting to cross a deep stream.

This would be my first playing of a scenario from this pack. Long overdue!

As the defending Russians, I would command elements of the 48th Rifle Division. My force would consist of 20 x 4-2-6's 3 x 2-3-7's, and 2 x 2-2-8's led by a 9-1 and 8-0 (kind of difficult to rally 20 squads with just 2 officers. So don't expect your 4-2-6's to do much rallying) with 3 x MMG's and 2 x 76 ARTY's.

As the attacking Germans, Dan would command elements of Kampfgruppe Seckendorf, 6th Panzer Division. Dan's force would consist of 2 x 5-4-8's, and 3 x 4-6-7's led by a 9-1 and 8-1 with an MMG, 50 MTR, Flamethrower and 2 x DC's along with 4 x Panzer MKIII's and a 9-1 Armor Leader.

The Germans win immediately by exiting 17 VP off the south edge.

My excitement for this scenario was a bit dampened by the knowledge that my 4-2-6's were likely going to be cannon fodder for Dan's MKIII's. I had a gun covering each of the fords and my MMG ready to lay a fire lane. Lucky for me I had placed the MMG to cover the ford that Dan intended to cross. This would mission kill the other gun, but that happens.

Dan would feint towards the western ford with two tanks and the rest of his force would hit the east ford. His lead tank would cross over with the 9-1 and two 5-4-8's. My MMG would wound the 9-1, and KIA 1-1/2 of the two squads. Just like that Dan's infantry were minus 40% of his infantry. 

My MMG would be the hero of the game. It would stop the German infantry in their tracks.

Dan's 8-1 would lead the supporting fire together with the MTR and MMG. He would break a number of my 4-2-6's, but my boys were able to hang in there and hold the line. Dan's lead MKIII would MALF its CMG and Main Armament. 

I would send infantry form the west ford to help out the east ford force. I would also begin manhandling my other 76 ARTY to try and get it back into the fight. My other 76 ARTY would destroy the MALF'd MKIII which also had Dan's 9-1 Armor Leader. The crew would survive and go to pick up the flamethrower dropped by a KIA'd 5-4-8. This would leave Dan with only 15 VP in available armor that could exit the map. He would need at least one squad of infantry to exit as well.

Final picture of the game. Turn 4 - Dan's infantry were all broken except for the 2-4-7 with the mortar across the stream. Dan's remaining three MKIII's moved to prepare for the eventual board exit. I had nothing to stop them. But with his infantry force shattered, Dan decided to give the concession and my Russians would hang on for the victory.

Our Sunday game would be number four for the 4th of July weekend. This final game would be a small scenario with mostly just armor.

The final scenario would come from Vic Provost's excellent Dispatches from the Bunker #13. Scenario DB027 Misty Morning Melee (designed by Stephen Johns is an armor fight in 1944 France between American Shermans and German Panthers.

As the attacking Germans, Dan would command the lead elements of No. 1 Kompanie, Panzer Brigade 113. This force would consist of 6 x Panthers and a 9-1 Armor Leader.

As the defending Americans, I would command a platoon from Company C, 37th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division. My force would consist of a 1-4-9, 2 x 2-2-7's with 3 x BAZ 44's and 4 Shermans with a 9-2 Armor Leader.

The German Player wins immediately upon exiting 48 VP comprised of normal CVP and exit points for all tanks that exit off the west edge.

Well, this is one of those scenarios that at first glance seems like an easy German win...but then you get it setup and see that it won't be quite so easy. 

All my boys were HIP and situated to try for side and rear shots as Dan's Panther convoys went by. Heavy mist was also in effect and would add some pluses to our shots. I would hold my fire on Dan's Turn 1 movement. The picture above shows Turn 2 German movement phase. My first Sherman would fire at a Panther in the side in its bore sighted hex. How could I miss as the Panther trundled into the adjacent bore sighted hex?? Boxcars...yeah that'll do it. A miss and a MALF's MA on my first @#$%ing shot of the game. It's really great that I love this game more than I hate it.

With my Personal ELR already on empty, I would next fire my Bazooka...SNAKE EYES and a burning Panther! Ok...I'm back in the saddle. The next Panther would be knocked out by another Sherman. Then the third Panther would be immobilized by the 76L Sherman. The crew would bail but survive.

On my Turn 2 movement phase I moved to get fields of fire for the second German convoy on the hill. They would knock out my Sherman on the hill. 

My hero would try to eliminate the German crew from the immobilized Panther to keep them from getting back into their tank. 

Turn 3, the second German convoy makes a run for the border. The lead tank is hit in the side and knocked out by a Sherman. And with that it would be game over. Dan only had 34 points left to even try to exit and needed 48 for the win. So that game and an American victory.

That's a wrap on a pretty awesome holiday weekend of ASL!!! My thanks to Dan for some great games across many different publications. Great games one and all!

    YES, WE DO!!!

That's all for now!

Dan and I will return soon!!

We will see you then!!

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