Thursday, April 01, 2010

AAR: J118 Elephants Unleashed

Jay Harms

Russians: Jay Harms
Germans: Doyle Motes

Played J118 Elephants unleashed from the latest annual. Played this one against Doyle at Marks get together last Saturday. I had the Russians and Doyle had the Germans. It is a fun little scenario that has toys for both sides. VCs are the Germans need to exit either 22 points off the board or take 6 of 7 building hexes. I set up with my speed bump force centered around the buildings and Doyle elected to go for the exit VC option early. This put my forces a bit out of place, but with 5 T34s and 2 SU152s entering on turn 1 and 2 respectively, I felt I could contain an end run. That was my first mistake……

Turn 1 I move my T34s into position, and tried for an ESB on one T34 that could just reach where I wanted in its first movement phase…. Rolled an 11 and so without a shot fired, I have one T34 immobilized in the village, not a bad spot, but still not good. (This was mistake #2) Another T34 tried for going HD in LOS of one of Doyles supporting PZIII tanks… no dice. The other 3 tanks are spread out to keep my options open as the German tanks continue to move slowly towards the exit. With a red MF of 8 for the 3 elephants, it was slow going…and I thought I had a decent initial defense...

German turn 2 and Doyle takes a shot at my T34 with a 75* gun after spinning the turret… it goes something like this…”I may as well take this shot to accuire you, I can’t hurt you unless I get a critical since my TK is 10 and your armor is 11…..(dice roll around in the dice cup…) … Critical hit! Scratch one T34…. This kill set the tone for the next 2 turns…. And at this point my defense started unraveling. Over the next 2 turns I lost two more tanks to critical hits, and only managed to deliberate immobilize one of the elephants. Doyle played an excellent game and protected his smaller tanks with the all but invulnerable elephants, while whittling away my tanks. Each turn he moved a bit closer to the exit, with the elephants covering the other tanks, and his infantry covering the Elephants. In the end I conceded as I had nothing left to stop his slow march to the exit. Good game Doyle! Looking back, with a good German opponent, I think the scenario is hard on the Russians given the Elephants have little to fear. Doyle played the attack masterfully and I botched several key decisions (split my tanks, ESB mistake, bad initial setup) which took a close game and made it into a “Jay gets slapped around” game….


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