Monday, March 15, 2010

AAR: SP153 The Wrong Side of Victory (Response)

Chris Buehler

I’ll add a few comments to what Tom wrote about our playing of “The Wrong Side of Victory” (SP153 from Schwerpunkt 13). ROAR currently lists this scenario as fairly even 13 to 11 in favor of the Japanese. I don’t have the scenario card handy but IIRC, this 6.5 turn scenario features a reinforced company of Japanese (2 elite, 7 1st line, and 8 2nd line squads) attacking a company of the King’s African Rifles (12 2nd line squads) who had 2 Humbar armored car, 2 squad, LMG, and 9-2 reinforcement group arrive on turn 3. The scenario is set in 1945 Burma but PTO terrain is not in effect with the exception of kunai replacing the grain. Tom and I had been discussing playing a scenario over the last week. We recently finished the 17D scenario of our VotG CG2 where Tom has Germans and had been attacking my Russians. Anyway, Tom wanted to defend and I wanted to play some PTO since I haven’t played much PTO and it’s been years since I last played a PTO scenario (2 or 3 years ago I had the US Marines in “Sea of Tranquility” against Walter’s Japanese cavemen). On a side note, Tom will have plenty of opportunities to defend in the VotG CG2 17N Russian night counterattack.

Back to SP153, the VC were the side with more infantry VP within a given area which was roughly 20 hexes from the Japanese set-up area. The terrain (half boards 5, 32, 36, and 47) was a mix of woods, kunai, and open ground with some small hills. So while I had some cover to work with it comes at a cost of an expenditure of additional MF. Tom’s set up was more concentrated on the northern half of the map, clearly intending to deny the shortest route (in hexes) with the most cover. My assault was up the middle and along the Southern flank. Turn 1 featured my squads running through woods to forward positions where they would LOS to the enemy. During turns 2 and 3, Tom did a nice job of delaying my advance – some nice rolling helped. However, the tide slowly turned and I was able to close on, break, and eliminate some Africans for failure to route. Each of our last turns was a mad dash for the victory area with Tom able to win 14 VPs to 12. I’ll note that Tom was wise to keep his 9-2 near the victory area but he also KIA’d a Japanese 447 trying to scramble across the sunken road on my last turn that ended up being the difference. I was counting on those sons of Nippon to perhaps take a few casualties (red stripe) but move past Tom’s squad into the victory area. Another Japanese half squad came up one hex short.

I did have a few highlights. I was pretty effective with delivering smoke from my 3 knee mortars until all 3 ran out of both smoke and WP rounds. I had a successful bonzai charge through smoke to close and kill a half-squad in CC. I had a tank-hunter-hero that 6ed the ATMM roll but then snaked the CC roll for style points to turn one of Tom’s Humbars into a burning wreck. I dropped a DC on Tom’s broken 9-1 (Lt. Snow), MMG, and broken 447 before they could route away, killing the 447 and wounding Lt. Snow. While he was routing away and trying to block my path, I executed an infantry overrun on Lt. Snow to put him out of his misery.

Overall, it was a great scenario and one that I recommend. Tom played a great game and earned a hard fought win.