Wednesday, August 30, 2006

AAR: J106 - Marders not Martyrs

Tom Gillis

Well as some of you know I spent my Sunday playing ASL. Had a great time as usual too! Played two scenarios, both times as the Russians. Game one was Victor and I squaring off in "Marders not Martyrs" J106. This is a smallish, tourny sized 5.5 turner with defending Germans on bd V. Bd V is going to be in one of the starter kits I guess. It also comes in the new J7. Its a typical euro type bd with a few small lvl 1 hills and some buildings, woods and orchards, and lots of open ground. The German force has just 5 467s, 9-1, 7-0, an HMG, 2xLMGs, 8-1 ArLdr, and 2x(ROF2) Marders with 75Ls and only 1 for AF.

The Ivans have a decent force of 10x447s, 9-1, 8-0, MMG, 2xLMG, and a LtMtr at start. Both sides set up on bd, so no Boresighting for the defending Germans. On turn 1 the Russians get 4xKV tanks with red MPs of 11 and the standard early war 76 MA. Looking over the forces, both Vic and I thought the German force looked kind of brittle. OT AFVs vs. a LtMtr is always bad, and the Russians outnumber the krauts 2/1! Vic was a little nervous before the 1st die roll, looking at my huge force ready to pound him, but I never underestimate him, knowing he is a wily and effectice ASL'er.

I placed all my tanks to enter on the right hand side and spread the infantry pretty much in a line across the front row that I could start at. I (stupidly) placed my mortar in open hill terrain with opening shots on his back row Marders and placed the MMG with the 9-1 and a couple of squads in a building behind my start line. Vic placed most of his troops in some wooden buildings on my left hand side, with just a lone HS on my right behind some woods. Well I thought my Mtr with ROF 3 would start the game putting a hurt on the open topped AFVs. They had even managed to only get one hexside of HD in before game set up, (not that it would matter to indrect fire.) Note to players: Vic did not realize that LtMtrs do get to subtract from the IFT on the Indirect fire chart. So his Marders were not only -1 for being AF less than 4, but also -2 for open top. But it didn't matter...Not only did I not hit with said Mtr, I didn't get ROF. MMG shoots at Germans no effect. Movement phase, no major things, infantry moves into woods on either side of bd, and tanks move cautiously on behind orchards. Only effective DF is Vic shoots and gets a KIA on the manning Mtr squad with a 6-3. Ouch. Already lost the Mtr! No German prep/movement if I recall and no effective Russian DF. Turn 2: MMG shoots at Marders on lvl 1 hill, NE. Movement: I press the attack up the woods on each side but miss an LOS when I move the 8-0 and three squads thru another MMCs hex and overstack! Vic has a 4-1, shoots and of course they all break, with one of them elring to conscript. Good move! Not! Tanks try to move into sneaky firing positions but all I do is get one in ByP that Vic can see, but because of TCA restrictions I can't shoot back. Duh-ski! DF or his Prep see that tank go down, but luckily, the crew escapes. Moving along: there is little German manuveur as they are in good defensive terrain on lvl 1 hills, and wooden buildings. Some small infantry losses on the Russian side but by late turn three I still have three AFVs and 6 or 7 squads. The Marder ROF is murderous. Vic gets lots of ROFs, but I've been pretty lucky with a shocked tank coming back good, and lots of close calls. But suddenly in Turn 4 I lose another KV. My infantry is being broken and elr'd, I can't shoot back and things are looking grim. At one point Vic even suggested we start over as we'd been really playing fast. But this being ASL you never know what can happen. I say no lets play it out, its almost over. Well I get desparate. I really want to get one of those Marders. A 75L gun at this stage of the war is deadly. (Its late 1942.) I send one of my 2 remaining KVs right up to a Marder. Two hexes away so point blank. Vis had shot at him but missed. In AdF I need a three to hit. Not much chance I know.

But mid turn Vic's wife Melissa had brought me a cup of expresso. Now you guys who know me know I love coffee. I guess the energy of the expresso must have transferred into my dice because I roll and presto: a three! Next thing we have is a Marder wreck. Now I move the remaining KV. I really wanted to just get out of the LOS of the other Marder but its going to get at least one shot off before I can. Vic rolls and: boxcars! Vics cursed dice have caught up with him again. My infantry makes slow progress and advances closer to the exit row. His rally phase sees him roll to repair the Marder. If he rolls a 1 he's back in command. If he rolls 2 thru 5, he's hurt, but not out. If he rolls a 6 he's in big trouble. Well Vic rolls and its a 6! Disaster! Within 5 minutes he has gone from almost certain victory to very dire straights. I need 17 EVPs to win. But 3 of them have to be infantry. I'm close to the edge, Vic has no anti-infantry weapons left except CC or CCV. My tanks manuveur to make easy exits but leave their turrets pointed at the enemy. My infantry has to run a gauntlet of firelanes. I have a crew, the two ldrs and about three MMCs close to the exit line. One by one they try. The AFVs exit. There is the points right there except for the fact that three have to be infantry. The 8-0 easily makes it off as he had been able to get behind Vic before he pulled up the FL threat. The crew tries and Vic rolls low and it is eliminated. One of the squads tries and is pinned. Another squad tries the first FL and passes, goes thru the next FL and passes. Vic has to shoot his 9-1/HMG/467 guys. 8-3! He shoots and rolls a 5 or something. Russian Squad is pink mist _and_ Vic retains ROF on the Heavy! Last MMC tries and is broken! Yikes, its all down to the 9-1. With his modifier and his self he is worth exactly what I need in infantry to win. If Vic pins, breaks or KIAs him, thats it game over. Well first FL, he makes it, 2nd FL he makes it! Now Vic has to commit his last hope. HMG ldr directed 6-3. Remember in the early game this same bunch wiped out my Mtr squad on a 6 down three. What's it going to be? Vic rolls and its a '9.' So a 9 on the six column is a 1MC. Can Capt. Ivan pass it? Its been a wild game. At first it looked like a German slaughter. Then Ivan kicks back and luck helps put me back in it. End game Vic crawls back with good positioning of his remaining force. I roll. The dice clatter and land. Its a '5.' Capt Gillisov runs off, leaving his decimated but victorious company behind to join up with the 1st Sergeant and the remaining KVs!

Great game Vic. Neither of us ever gave up and it went down to the final roll. I do think this German force is brittle. If luck hadn't stole the MA from Vic's 2nd Marder it probably would have been a different outcome. We both said 7 (a recommend,) for ROAR. Thanks Vic!

Coming soon my AAR against Chris or Ivan II...


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