Germans: Ed Beekman
Russians: John Farris
I paid a visit to the Oklahoma City Club this past weekend with the idea of getting some face time to talk about the November Thunderbird ASL Tournament (hint, hint, put it on you calendar for Nov 12-14) and play some ASL. When I arrived Mike Cadieux and Greg Parker were setting up AP42 Frontiers and Pioneers while John Farris and I selected Lone Canuck's Panzer Aces #1 Battering Rams. I got the Germans with a handful of brittle 5-4-8 squads and two HIP JagdPanthers with a third reinforcing later. John got the Russians with mix of elite squads with the emphasis on the SMG type and five JS-2m's. The Russians have to exit 55 VP but this is reduced by 8 for every JagdPanther destroyed. The Russians enter from a woods into a cratered and rubbled no mans land then have to get through a low hilly area to exit. I set my HIPs on the left and center thinking it may lure John to cross my frontage to get to that "weak" flank. John attacked heavy on the left while I skulked. Acquisition by the Stalin's 122Ls had me backing away to a reverse slope defense on the first hill. I traded a squad for a squad in a melee with two 6-2-8s during the withdrawal. Meanwhile my HMG got only 1 shot on its boresighted hex, which broke a squad before malfunctioning and being X'd out within a turn.
I didn't reveal either JagdPanther until about halfway throught the game. The first I revealed when threatened to be overrun by the advancing Russian forces. I got a couple ineffective shots off then John got to retaliate. His to hit roll was snakes but that was what he needed to hit. The following roll wasn't a 1 and, being hull down behind a wall, I dodge a real big bullet. John charged in for the kill but I went into motion and was again saved by my hull down position. Since the Stalin tanks weren't getting the job done, the infantry took their shot. The first squad missed its attack and then broke when the Navertied....you know, the Snoogie Woogie, attacked. The second squad survived the Snoogie Woogie but also failed its CC attack. When I moved away the next turn, a turret hit was finally achieved against my TD (+5 TH mod, had to hit turret) just proving luck does not play favorites.
During this time one Stalin was lost to a gun malfunction, another was burning from a Panzerfaust shot and two of the remaining three were under low ammo status. My reinforcing hunting Panther took up an overwatch postion and started pounding away on the Stalins. Six consecutive hits on a Stalin with my 88LL just bounced, even a turret hit. My last vehicle broke cover to sortie into the Russian rear area but ended up stunned from an artillery shot but survived the coup de grace attempt by a Russian tank. At this point it was getting late and we looked over what it would take for John to exit what he needed. Most of his units had to move to their fullest the remaining turns with a few unable to make it. His tanks could exit but would have trouble knocking out my vehicles leaving them as threats for rear attacks. Although my infantry had been whittled down to some half squads and a couple of squads, they were well situated to place fire lines, faust vehicles and just plain get in the way. John conceded although if we had time he might have still been able to pull it off. All in all a fun late war heavy metal slugfest. C'mon, my 88LLs only bounced off the Russian armor! Good Times.
On a humorous note, during our breaks we stopped by to watch the Cadieux-Parker early war slugfest. We got the impression they were playing a WWI air battle. The tanks were circling each other for the rear shots. At lunch time Mike had his Czech tanks on the T35 and KV tanks' 6's. The T35 took a rear hit only to see the shot bounce when Mike rolled way too high. It was the KV's turn. Mike decided APCR (A4 in 41) was needed to have a chance against that monster. The result was a critical hit, turning a roll that would have only immobilized into a burning kill shot. Good times.
A final note, we discussed future cross Red River cultural exchanges. If anyone is interested in going up to OKC later this year, let me know. The guys offered to put us up for the night to reduce the wear and tear of driving up and back in the same day (-2 DRM on the PMC). I offered the same hospitality option to my hosts if they would ever like to visit us here in north Texas. It was an enjoyable excursion. Got to see players I normally only see at tournaments (e.g. Mike Laney stopped by for a while to chat) and play ASL with them. Good Times!