ASL17 Lost Opportunities
Ste.-Mere-Eglise, France, 6 June 1944. This time, I’m the German (Georgian) attacker, and have to control 5 buildings on board 1 at game end, while never having less than 9 non-broken squads.
This is my setup:
The support weapons are all with 2nd liners. The mortars are with two halfsquads on the hill in the back. The HMG and MMG are with a 8-1 in 2E5 behind the stone wall, and the last MMG is in 2E2, to support my flock of conscripts that will come through the woods there.
German turn 1:
I open up with my mortars. I hit the stack in 1H10, but activate the American sniper who pins my MMG in the bottom. I wanted to move those guys, they don’t have any targets back there!
I continue my mortar fire until the squad is eliminated and the leader is wounded, then switch to 1G9, but to no effect.
My Marder shoots at the MMG in the level 2 stone building. I get an acquire. I follow up with the HMG/MMG stack, and they manage to break those guys.
That was a very effective PFPh! To the MPh! My conscripts in the bottom assault move into the woods. Boring stuff, but has to be done. Then it gets interesting: I make two armored assaults with the Renaults and move forward with the remaining 2nd liners.
The rest of the turn is unremarkable.
American turn 1:
In the RPh, the American 9-1 succumbs to his wounds (a rolled 12), but the squad with the MMG rallies.
In the PFPh, the American AT gun in 1J0 gun opens fire on one of my Renaults and misses the first shot and the intensive fire. In the MPh, the Americans only shift a little bit. In DFPh, I break one of my mortars. Nothing of note happens for the rest of the turn.
German turn 2:
Until now, it was warming up. Now the real action begins!
In the RPh, I try to repair my broken mortar, but manage to destroy it. That’s it, no more rallies this turn.
The PFPh is also short: I only fire my remaining mortar at the AT gun, but achieve nothing.
In the MPh, my conscripts charge over open ground: Two break, one disruption, one broken leader, but I make ground.
I move my tanks around a little: The AT gun finally hits the Renault, but the HEAT round bounces off my turret! I didn’t expect those tanks to last this long. My Marder drives up to the front line where it belongs.
In DFPh, my tank in 1C4 survives fire from a bazooka and the AT gun!
American turn 2:
PFPh: Finally, the American AT gun takes out the Renault. The Americans pin my squad in 1C3. In DFPh, I eliminate two dummy stacks.
The Americans ambush my pinned squad and kill them all in CC, including my 9-1 leader. Since they barely hit when they shoot, it only makes sense to go into close combat.
German turn 3:
I’m a bit unhappy about the huge stacks I’m building, but with my number of units, the map gets crowded. The only things my AFVs are doing is providing +1 TEM, but that’s better than nothing. All in all, I like my position.
In the RPh, my broken 8-0 rolls Heat of Battle. I rejoice, until I take a look at the modification table: Per SSR, my Georgians count as Germans, except for HoB, where they count as Axis Minor, so it’s a +3 DRM (-1 for broken, +1 for elite cancels out). I just manage to roll an 8, so it’s battle hardening. Nice.
The PFPh is eventful: I manage to break the American squad that just was victorious in CC, and the squad with the MMG in 1G9.
In the MPh, I only move at the bottom. A few squads break or are pinned, but nothing serious. My sniper decimates the already broken squad in 1G9, and I finish them off in AFPh. The American sniper breaks another one of my squads. In the RtPh, I take an American squad prisoner.
American turn 3:
The only remarkable thing that happens is that the American sniper takes out my mortar halfsquad. That’s it, no more mortars for me.
German turn 4:
At this time, we stopped playing for the evening (or morning, in Joe’s case). I’m in a good position with four buildings under control and a lot of troops left
A week later, the game starts with a 12: We have gusts this turn!
I manage to rally one squad, and prep fire the squads in D1/D2 at the HS in F1, but nothing happens.
The MPh is fun! I start up the Renault, but instead of simply bypass freeze the dummy stack in E4, I pack out my old signature move: I drive INTO the building! Unfortunately, I roll 6,4 for the bog check: The tank drives down the cellar stairs, the door closes behind it and it is gone. Outch.
But I have still a AFV left: I start up the Marder, but an American MMG lands a critical hit, and it turns into a burning wreck. I’ll have to win this without mortars and without vehicles, it seems. My infantry slowly moves forward without any casualties. Only in DFPh does my squad in D2 break. In the APh, I can occupy a foxhole that the Americans conveniently placed in I10.
American turn 4:
I survive prep fire and kill the crew.
German turn 5:
A little bit of prep fire (no effect), a little bit of movement. In DPh, the Americans manage to break my two squads with HMG and LMG in D5: This means this building will be lost! I leave the HMG behind and rout away But since I still have enough squads, I take some risky advanced in the APh: I take the wooden building in H7 – adjacent to an American squad in a stone building, but it can’t be helped. And I advand out into the open in K9 and K10, hoping that the “?”s in K8 are dummies (spoiler: they aren’t).
American turn 5:
All in all, the situation is ok for me: I have six buildings under control. I will lose one, but five is enough to win. The American squad+MMG in H5 can’t move away from where it is, or else I get this big stone building, too. I might lose D2, too, but hope to conquer K8 (if there are only dummies) or M9 to compensate.
My squad in K9 breaks, disrupts and is captured by the adjacent squad (no dummy after all!), but in DFPh, I finally roll low and break the Americans in I7, and I take them prisoners, too. And this means that the building in I7 will be mine next turn.
German turn 6:
My last turn: I have five buildings, but I will take some more to make it impossible for the Americans to take them all back. I7 is mine, and I sacrifice a half squad to make the Americans in K8 to waste their fire, so I can move my conscripts+8-0 from I10 towards M9. It works, and I take this building, too, in the APh. I finally move into CC with the leader in G6, kill him, but he takes a half squad with him.
American turn 6:
Last turn. I started a list some turns ago, keeping track of the unbroken squad equivalents I still have left. According to this list, there are 12, and this makes my opponent false hopes. If I fall below 9, I lose! Breaking four of my squads is hard, but not impossible. It sure is easier than taking back 3 of my 7 buildings – more so since the one American squad in H5 still can’t leave, or I gain that building, too.
But, it’s false hope: It seems I crossed off squads that broke or were eliminated, but didn’t add all the squads I rallied, so I actually have 14 unbroken squads, not 12.
Long story short: My opponent breaks 2 squads and 2 half-squads in prep fire, I recount my unbroken squads, and he concedes defeat.
Again: This is a really great, tense scenario. I think the American has to go for the “sudden death” VC. If he manages to break enough squads early on, the German player has to play really careful, making his live that much harder. I also think that this makes the scenario more dependent on luck than others. One bad turn can ruin your game (or win it!), without the chance to even out the odds later on.