Tuesday, August 17, 2010

AAR: PHD4 Counterattack

Ed Beekman

Germans: Jerry Simmons
Americans: Ed Beekman

We had a small gathering for some cardboard clashes at Jerry's ASL bunker this past weekend. We had one new face, Steve; Patrick Ireland, Jerry and I rounded out the group.

Patrick convinced Steve to try a little bit of Starter Kit, he'd played original Squad Leader years ago but nothing for a long time. They got a couple of turns of SK1 Taking Vierville (?) under their belts before Patrick
had to leave. Steve then watched the clash of titans.

Jerry and I played PHD4 Counterattack from Lone Canuck's Purple Heart Draw. The scenario takes place in the southwest corner of the beautiful Purple Heart Draw historical map with its dense bocage and orchard hexes. We diced for sides and Jerry got the Attacking Germans while I got the Defending Americans. I got a handful of first line squads a couple of second lines squads and elite HS. My leadership was normal along with a couple MMGs, Baz44's and a module of Bn MTRs. The Germans get a bevy of 2nd line troops along with some 8-3-8 engineers with DCs and a FT, a couple of StuGs, lots of leaders including a 9-2 and an AL but only a few of LMGs. The Americans are threatening to cut the St.Lo-Bayeaux road, the Germans are counter attacking to clear an intersecting road the Americans will use to move their main force to that road.

I set up a couple squads and a MMG on a wooded hill covering my right flank and threw a HS, 2nd Line squad, a dummy stack and my artillery observer along the hedgerows of my left flank. A MMG and Baz team covered the turn in the road and my last Baz squad and best leader I put HIP in the rear for my final Alamo.

Jerry pushed in from the middle through a large apple orchard, only drawing a little ineffective fire against his 9-2 leader/LMG kill stack. The German troops, who were still bunched up along a narrow front, breathed a little easier when my first OBA access draw was a red card. My first turn saw me gain battery access and place a spotting round only 1 hex away from the requested location, followed by skulking - but leaving enough dummies to keep Jerry guessing which non-moving stack had the Observer.

The second turn had Jerry's Jerries storming my left flank. One of his StuGs bogged coming over the hedgerow but my 2nd Liner's took cover rather than react to the beast while the observer remained hidden and successfully called in a spotting round on his own location. The turn ended with one of my squads running for their lives, a HS dead and the StuG immobilized by the Observer and his squad.

My second turn had me skulking and realigning my positions. My observer, stuck in melee with the immobilized StuG were nearly encircled and taking fire from all the hedgerows to their south. This included the only burst from the FT as it ran out of juice with a DR of 11. That's when we realized my troops must have been recent Russian emigres to the States. The OBA observer went Berserk from the first shots, and although the squad ELRd from the same shots they also went berserk. While my knot of defenders knocked out the StuG and regained their Good Order status, the Germans all around concealed themselves and took up positions to attack toward the turn in the road.

My MG crew took one shot and then was eliminated by the 9-2's return fire. I was able to frustrate attempts to place a DC at the point of the hill on my right but that American 6 morale isn't enough to stand a determined and numerically superior opponent. On my left, my observer was able to survive the prep fire and call in harassing fire on his own position. It was mainly a nuisance but did break a squad and stop the Germans from amassing along the road for a major push.

On my right flank, I had ANOTHER squad go berserk when he rallied. His charge denied the Germans the opportunity to keep another broken squad DM, but was finally eliminated by my own fire into the melee. After several rounds of melee, my observer, his field promoted successor and guards finally fell.

In the meantime, Jerry had worked some units through the dense hedgerows to my left to start a pincer back down the road while a leader ran about and found my HIP unit. My last dummy stack got blasted to the moon by a near critical hit (Rolled snakes but subsequent dr not low enough for ITT shot) from the other StuG. With a turn to go I had 4 Good Order MMCs in position to deny the German Victory. The last squad on the southern hill broke and I couldn't rally him and so he was out of the fight. A key self rally had a squad who broke early in the game return to action in my Alamo. On the last turn Jerry had three hexes to put out of Good Order. He encircled the bazooka team who missed their shot against the last StuG as it moved against another of my positions. This HS ended the game locked in melee.

The StuG came over the hedgerow where my former HIPsters were but died from an underbelly hit from my bazooka. I missed the burning wreck by one but Jerry made his crew survival and while I was preoccupied with this pesky crew he moved his 9-2 led stack Adjacent to my location. Jerry's job became a little harder when my leader became a 9-2 Hero during DF but the game ended with this stack also locked in Melee.

Finally I had a concealed squad and my 2nd line miracle self rally squad in a stone building. My unconcaled squad was able to pin an attacking squad and wound the leader with them but still had a HS and concealed German unit in position to jump them in melee. There was no ambush so I couldn't sneak away for the victory. Jerry elected to use everything to attack my concealed unit while my concealed unit refused combat and the unconcealed unit attacked. Jerry failed to get a result on my concealed unit and so the game ended on the last roll of the last CC phase of the last turn. Great game Jerry.

Steve, who had been watching since mid game seemed entranced and appreciated our explanations of the terrain and some of our tactics. Welcome to the world of ASL Steve, I know you'll love it as much as the rest of us!

1 comment:

Rick R said...

Thanks for the AAR, guys. It's always fun to hear what other people are playing.
I've passed on that Purple Heart Draw until now, but based on your comments, I'm
probably going to pick it up. I managed to get in some ASL action on Friday the
13th at the Register Academy of Theoretical Philosophy, but that didn't go so
well. We played AP59 Taking Heads and Bryan and I used the same dice in the hope
that we'd suffer equally from any triskaidekaphobia-induced jitters. Well, my
first unit on, a scouting HS, went to try and bump some dummies. It turned out
they were real, but my HS laughed off the ensuing 24-2 and managed to kill one
of Bryan's two AFVs in the CCPh. The luck got only more lopsided from there, and
we ended up calling it on turn three or four. My favorite part was Bryan's
remaining AFV blasting away as my Japanese scurried through the open. He
actually got several CHs, but none of the resulting 24-2s even striped a single
squad. Interesting scenario, but impossible to tell what it's really like when
we had such a huge disparity in luck.

Thanks again for the AAR and is anyone up for a game the next time Friday the
13th rolls around?