Scenario: "Light Aid Detached" [J139]
Participants: Joe "YJ" C, Myself
Time: Monday, May 30th ~ 2.45PM - 8.00PM
The LAD begins the game set up within one hex of I4 (next to building G3). There are also two abandoned British AFV's, a Sherman V and Cromwell IV. The LAD consists of 2 447s, 3 436s and 2 226 HS as well as an 8-1 and a 8-0. The Belgian Partisans (4x 337s, 6+1 & German LMG) setup (HIP) on/between hexrows S and U. The Germans set up on board in a collection of AFV's, trucks and wagons. The Germans have a 8-1, 7-0 and 6+1 leaders; 3 548s, 2 447s 5 436s, a dm MMG, LMG and a PSK. The Germans have an interesting mix of vehicles including a Marder III(f), a SPW 251/9, 3.7cm FlaK LKW (truck), SPW 251/1, Opel Blitz and 6 Wagons. The German Personal much set up as Passengers with the vehicles in motion and CE.
The Germans win by having one GO non-crew MMC in building G3 at the end of the game. The LAD can remount the Sherman and Cromwell, if they do the Vehicles are straddled with all kinds of terrible penalties (RED MPs, Inexperienced Crews [akin to a 6+1 AL in the vehicle], Red TH #s and all weapons are treated as B11/X12). The Partisans (Armee Blanche) have MOL and may not form multi location FGs, nor may they enter any abandoned AFVs. The scenario is 6.5 turns long with the Germans going first.
|My Set Up|
We Diced for sides and I got the LAD and Partisans. There wasn't much to my set up given the restrictions in place. I spread out the Partisans to cover the roads, keeping the 6+1 separate with the hopes that he can prolong YJ's guessing on which units are squads. I placed a 226 on the Roof (the building, G3 is a factory by the way) to assist in stripping concealment, with the rest of my LAD on the ground.
|End of Turn 1|
YJ started off very rusty. We had to have some basic refresher courses in Vehicle identification (for example he had riders on the FLAK truck), so after we got that straightend out his turn 1 proved much less efficient then it could have been with some of his force dissenbarking sooner then he would have liked. He was able to roll up in the 251/1 and get into CC with one of my squads (who gacked the MOL attempt). My turn was spent spreading out the LAD to cover the approaches and remounting the two tanks. My 337 was able to survive CC throughout turn one into turn two, thus I at least slowed that ONE squad down.
|End of Turn 2|
I was able to figure out the MOL as YJ parked the 251/9 next to a still HIP 337. I destroyed the AFV without a flame (which is hard to do with a MOL). YJ got his infantry moving this turn and de-HIPed another 337, immediately jumping in CC with it as well. My 6+1 breaks HIP to cause concealment loss and YJ thinks its a squad at this point (my fiendish scheme is coming to fruition).
My half of the turn was quiet as I tweaked my LAD positioning and tried to escape with the concealed 6+1 and the MOL armed 337. YJ takes out both 337s in CC.
|End of Turn 3|
Turn 3 had YJ making a lot of progress towards the repair shop via the road that I had left uncovered. I am kicking myself for not parking the Cromwell in K9 to cover this road instead of parking it where I did (in J6). The still HIP 337 breaks a squad (548) and Leader and catches YJ off guard as he was thinking the concealed 6+1 was my 4th squad. This causes him to shift a squad or two over to deal with this unexpected event. I am not very happy with myself as had I had the road covered with one of my tanks along with the HIP squad he would have not made the kind of good progress he did on this turn. Still I am not that dissatisfied with how the situation looks at the end of this turn, he is down to 4 movement phases to get into the building and I have the entire LAD in concealment in stone buildings covering his approach.
|End of Turn 4|
Turn 4 sees the demise of my recently de-HIPed 337 and YJ making good progress in the center, closing the distance the the repair shop. YJ runs the Marder past the Cromwell to place the row houses under fire where I have a couple of squads covering the yard in front of the factory. This caught me off guard a bit, but doesn't have me too worried as the Marder only had HE7 and I am in a stone building. I am still feeling good about the scenario as its looking more and more like YJ is going to have to make a mad dash across open ground to get next to the factory.
|Start of British Turn 5|
YJ fails to get the Cromwell with a PF and suffers for it this turn (back blast and my return fire from the endangered Cromwell). I immobilize the FLAK truck as it rounds the corner with an BMG shot off the Cromwell as YJ tried to get me to take a MA shot at it to strip the -2 acquisition I have on the building across from me. I break a few of his squads as he tries to set up his final approach to the factory. The Marder runs out of HE as expected but the crew proves handy with AP and breaks the leader I have in the row houses, the squad however passes.
The Cromwell succumbs to the PF armed Infantry this turn. It really should have been knocked out last turn so I am not to shaken up by this. YJ is able to get a couple squads across the street using the now flaming Cromwell as cover, threatening my two squads in the row house. I had broken a couple squads last turn and they rallied in my turn this time around as I was unable to get DM causing fire on their location (M3). This has me worried as now he's got three MMC's on this side where I have the least coverage. The SPW 251/1 survives as well adding to my worries. The Marder repositions late in the turn after I had fired my Sherman at his encroaching infantry. A nice move on YJ's part. The Sherman survives through my turn, again I am getting lucky with YJs PF shots and the Bounding fire attempt by the Marder. I cap the Marder in my half of the turn, adding insult to YJ's injury as that Sherman should have been taken out by now.
|Start of German Turn 6|
YJ starts the turn by trying to take out the Sherman and again fails. Thus YJ goes into WTF mode on this side of the factory and I break my lone squad in the row house doing FPF. I do end up pinning the last MMC on this side of the map though, so its down the my side of the factory as YJ is unable to get any MMCs through in the center (due to the Sherman) and my pinning his last MMC in E4. YJ has all the ASL cob webs shaken off by this point though and is expertly using every trick (plenty of infantry by-pass movement) in the book to approach the factory while avoiding my residual FP.
|Start of German Turn 7|
YJ starts the assault on my side of the factory by running the 251/1 into VBM in I3. I debate long and hard here on whether I should reaction CC the HT or try and maintain concealment to aid in the upcoming CC phase. In the end I elect to stay hidden and hope for the best in CC. Watching YJ work through this phase of the game has me pretty certain that I'm not gonna pull it off. I am regretting not moving my 447 + 8-1 over to H2 in lieu of the concealed 236 I have there now. However, I was expecting (as was YJ) that the Sherman would go down in the prep fire phase. In the end it was a 436 that was able to survive my 226s first fire (4 -2) and advance into CC (in H2), eliminating the 226. YJ also had a squad and leader along with the 251/1 in I3 that was likely going to survive the CC phase as well.YJ did a great job setting up this turn and he certainly executed it very well when it came down to it.
|End of game...|
As I write this, I am thinking that I should have tried to move my defense of the factory out more. Given the VC's (he only needs ONE GO MMC in the building to win) I should have defended further out to give myself some depth at the end. That is what doomed me here, he had too many chances and too many resources at the end because I would TOO passive in my defense.
Still, I had a great time and it was nice to see YJ get the win as he certainly earned it with his excellent end game play. I have to also congratulate Ian Daglish on another fine scenario design. This one is really pretty interesting given the 2nd rate forces involved and the interesting historical situation. I would happily play this one again as either side (that means I think this is a very balanced scenario). I should also mention that Ian was interviewed by the highly esteemed ASL blogger Ian (yet another Ian) of the Wall Advantage ASL Blog. The interview is located here.