Saturday Morning. The thought of ASL all day has me busting at the seams. I have breakfast with my wife and go down to the convention floor. Within 5 minutes Brent Morris (Boise, ID) is asking if I want a game. Um, duh.....
After some deliberation, I select one of the scenarios that he brought: LSSAH #7, "Just in Time". This one pits the British against the Germans for 7 turns. The Germans have to hold a one-lane bridge placed in 40Y2-Y3 and the British cross board 2 to try to either destroy it and win immediately, or capture and hold it until the end of the game.
This game started with me as the Germans making a setup snafu. The setup is anywhere on Board 40 or on Board 2 south of Hex row 8. I missed the "south of Hex row 8" part. So did my opponent. We didn't notice it until we were about 3 turns into the game. As written, I'm thinking that the scenario is at least 65-35 pro-British, maybe even 70-30. They have 3 mortars, enter first, and then are on the hill pissing down a whole lot of bad news on the Germans who can't do very much about it. As we played it, it's still probably at best 60-40 pro-British. The Germans are outgunned by about 3-1 and the Brits have a significant number more squads.
I set up my mortar on the hill with another squad supporting it. Both were in trenches. I knew I wasn't going to hold that hill but I had to delay them somehow. If they crossed Board 2 with impunity, that means that they were maybe 6 hexes from the VC with like 5 turns to do it. Totally unacceptable. So instead of taking the hill on turn 1, they did it on turn 2. My defense was reasonably flexible and able to reposition itself once I saw where the main thrust of the British advance was going to be. Unfortunately, I didn't have a whole lot of stopping power. My idea was to try to find the guys with the footballs (DC's) and kill them. The thought was to force them to take and hold the bridge rather than win instantly. Ultimately, I didn't really have the juice to do that either.
Not only that, but the only really good place for the lone AT gun that I had was behind the river on 40 (I put it in an orchard on Hex row Y giving it a good view of the bridge and a decent one of my right flank).
The hill team didn't do very well, although the mortar support squad did better than the mortar squad, holding out for 2.5 turns where I lost the mortar at the beginning of turn 2. I also had some guys on the right and left flanks with clear rally points and fallback lines. The left flank shifted right as the British thrust that way but my left flank forward positions were overrun.
Another issue with the SSR's in this scenario is that even though the British enter off board, there is no HIP for the gun, and the sunken road does not exist. The extra rout line would have been nice.
It also didn't help that my AFV recalled and my ATR needed snakes to hurt the front armor of the British BMG's
As it was, on turn five, Brent caught the bulk of my defenders in the middle trying to skulk with fire in a stack and I boxcar'd the result. Wounded leader, CR half squad, broken squad. That left 2 squads on the right flank, a leader in the middle, and the AT gun. My next turn I tried to rally and biffed on the rolls.
It was about then that I conceded.
I'm thinking that my rear positions may have been better served starting behind the river entrenched. The problem with setting up forward is that for the most part, the only "connected" cover is trees, and if the British take the hill, their mortars are firing air bursts all day. Bad news for the already beleaguered Germans. I just don't see how the Germans can get it done with the restrictions that they have. Not if the British have 7 turns. Maybe I'm wrong.
Through it all, Brent was a class act. Offering rules clarifications and helping me to sort through unfamiliar concepts with kindness. I'd play him again any time and would recommend him to anyone that has the opportunity to do so.
Game 3 to follow....