After a child free and therefore relatively good nights sleep, Friday dawned and I made the decision to NOT play in the actual tournament. I still didn’t feel confident with the rules and although I’m sure any games would still be fun I couldn’t really expect an opponent to give me the latitude and allowance for errors that would allow me a good game. Maybe I was being a little cautious but I knew there were a few people around NOT playing the tournament so finding a few friendly games wouldn’t be an issue.
So, first game Friday was against Ian Willey (custardpie on Gamesquad). We (he) picked FrF11 Rostov Redemption from Friendly Fire Pack 2. Again, I took the Germans. This saw a mainly infantry force plus a PzIIIH trying to dislodge a group of Russians from a large building – with the ever present threat of a 45LL to keep the German AFV a little cautious.
|Early stages of the game|
There were two blaze counters in place with mild wind providing Dispersed SMOKE. But gusts and some good rolling meant the fire spread like…well…wildfire!
|Germans prepare for the final assault|
As the Russians slowly fell back I kept the pressure up with a central thrust and then a large force to push round the Russian left flank. As I pushed forward on my right the Russian fell back before the fires cut them off. A lucky shot from the PzIII broke one retreating group and then an Intensive Fire shot took out a second. If the Germans could get in place before the fire blocked them off there was a chance of a win here.
As the SMOKE provided cover and the Russian HMG on the first floor was put out of action I was able to rush the AT gun on the ground floor forcing crew to fire, and then drove the PzIII in to the building to secure that corner and one of the stairwells. The VCs specified no unbroken or un-encircled Russians in the building so I only had to secure the other stairwell for victory.
|The building falls as the flames close in!|
The smoke provided the required cover and I managed to break the ground floor squads with my flamethrower. Victory was mine!
It was a great game and played in great humour. I’d happily play Ian again…
…Which I did!
He was waiting for Martin Baker to arrive so we played a small playtest scenario of his own design. Apparently I’m not allowed to reveal anything about it as it has been submitted for ‘judging’ but it was short, quick and fun! And came down to the last Close Combat dice roll! As I rushed the last building with all my available troops it was surrounded by a mass of red PIN markers as most filed to get in for the close combat. But those that did managed to Ambush the Russians…and failed their roll only to die and hence lose the game.
Good fun anyway and plenty of replay potential. But credit where credit’s due.. Ian was lucky! 🙂
As this was a short game and most people had finished their two tournament games I then launched in to a third game against Dave Ramsey – FrF44 Anhalt Pandemonium from Friendly Fire Pack 5. I have the first two of these packs but due to my lack of playing hadn’t picked up the last three. This scenario shows that they haven’t lost their touch!
This time I took the Germans but on the defence. The Russians advancing through a built up area with a 3 SU-122s with my having a couple of Panthers and a couple of ‘schrecks HIP to delay them along with a 10-2 and decent SS squads to hold the line. I’d picked what I thought were good HIP locations and tempted one of 122s along the road to my right. After Immobilising one, my Panther died and the other 122 rolled up adjacent.The HIP squad 2 hexes away managed to roll boxcars with the ‘schreck. Next turn they got another chance and with a Panzerfaust torched the Russian tank.
|Getting close to the endgame|
As the Russians needed to get to hex row R I gradually fell back hoping to draw the other SU-122 on to my other HIP squad as my other Panther broke it’s gun and retired to the main line. Things were looking Ok with a good line of strong squads and the 10-2 awaiting the Russian arrival.
Then, as ever in ASL, Fate took a hand and it all went wrong in the space of one move! The remaining 122 rolled forward to support the attack even without it’s MA. As it rolled round my left flank up popped my last HIP HS with the Psk, missed at two hexes, ate the backblast and rolled a 12 on the subsequent MC! The SU-122 rolled on trying to draw fire. As it went adjacent to my two 8ML SS squads and the 10-2 I went for the PFs! The leader didn’t have one! The first squad rolled a 6 and pinned and the second squad got one, torched the SU-122 but the subsequent MC saw the 10-2 roll a 12 and die! Luckily both squads just ended up pinned but it crippled the defence on that side and stopped me rallying the couple of extra squads I needed.
Next turn the Russians skulked and advanced and that was that as what little fire I had was ineffectual. A good fun game and a pleasure to play Dave again.
It was a long day and quite tiring playing three scenarios in a row but very good fun, helped by having great opponents.