Hungarian: Stephane Graciet
Russian: Nick Drinkwater
I was going to write a bigger AAR on this, but then I checked out the existing one on the Banzai Pipeline Blog from January 2007. That was an excellent and illustrated one, so I thought I'd just write a quick summary of how my latest dice-rolling disaster differed from that!
Unlike Zeb as the Russian in that write-up, I went in the opposite direction and stacked the Russians up high and heavy in the Board 20 Factory (the Grange) and only light defended in the three other victory houses with a 447 and a couple of scripts. I put all the big MGs at level 2 in the Grange to chew up as many Hungarians as I could in their approach routes and then put the on-board T34 hulldown behind the wall of the complex with a view to several of the Hungarian approach avenues. Ultimately the aim was to conduct the Stairwell fighting retreat in the Grange and hang on with the odd squad for the win...
Stephane comes on hard and fast with his infantry through the back streets of old Budapest and is soon placed to threaten my T34 at 2-hex range with a Shrek team, after having taken several long-range casualties from the MGs on the run in. Seeing that, in a nifty move, my brave T34 boys managed to find some Smoke Grenades and back out of trouble and move into a position where with my first tank shot of the game, I have a 5 To Hit BFF shot against a Zryinyi....
Roll the dice for the MA's first shot of the game.... 12.
OK. This is getting boring now.
Moving on, the T34 still has some tasty MGs and my OT34 is due to arrive on the next turn, so I'll back the tank up against the Grange and use it as an MG cupola for a while and not roll for repair just yet. In response and to get me out of this hole, on trundles the flaming monster of the OT34 - for its first shot of the game, it takes a DFF main gun shot vs an approaching Zrinyi.
Roll the dice for the OT34's first shot of the game.... 12. Again.
OK. This is getting really boring now.
But, I still have the Flamethower and so I will roast the now in-hex Zrinyi!
Roll the dice for the FT's first shot of the game.... 11. End of Flamethrower.
OK. I'm now past boredom and merrily on my way to the sixth level of hell.
Hungarian Hetzer rolls up behind the OT34 and shoots it from behind on a BFF shot of something like a 4. No problem for Stephane there in finding the required 4 and the OT34 is now immolated.
Now I HAVE to mend the surviving T34 tank-gun to stop the wave of VBM freeze that I know is coming my way. Without those two tanks, the Russians have virtually nothing to stop the Zrinyis apart from their bare hands and rude words and they will need an likely 4 in CC to do it even with them.
So, here's a must-roll repair die-roll if ever there was one....
First repair attempt of the game. Roll the dice. 6. Recall.
Now I'm onto the seventh level of hell....
The rest of the scenario was extremely predictable. Stephane executed a steady and well-planned attack on the stout defenders in the Grange. On the one critical shot I had after being upper-level encircled, I inflicted a 2MC on Stephane's FT guys and a 1MC on the two squads with them. Both the 1MC guys broke but of course the 2MC engineers survived! (Very typical...). In the final movement turn, my last 447 with 9-1 and HMG on Level 2 of the Grange were victim to the inevitable VBM freeze as two Zrinyi's came into the hex and then unbuttoned forcing me through good old target selection rules to shoot down two levels at the Zrinyi tank commanders giving them the finger, and of course at the same time are forced to completely ignore the monster 9-2, 447 FT, 344, 347 stack that had moved up adjacent to them with banners flying saying "we represent your imminent death but you can't do anything about it as you have to shoot at that bloke in the tin-can making rude gestures two levels below you!! HahahahHa - sucks to be you!!!".
So we come to the inevitable last roll of dice CC. I need to have a good order MMC in the building to win, and so I cannot be tied up in melee. No ambush, and no H2H CC, but facing a 3-1 (-2) vs a 1-3 (-1) shot back, only a 12 from Stephane or an 11 from him allied with a 2 from me can save me here.
I roll a 4, Stephane rolls a 10 and hence a solid win for the Hungarians.
Haunted by my dice rolling on my critical weapons yet again (see recent AARs on "To Take Back a Hill" and "Peningkibaru Push"), I look for a warm bath and some pills to numb the pain!
In an uninterrupted sequence, my last three Flamethrower rolls in ASL have been 12, 12, 11 and my last two tank shots have been 12, 12 and repair 6. Why do all dice hate me?