Joe and I finished this beastie off yesterday morning. I'll make most of my comments after the turn by turn breakdown. I had hoped to be playing ASL today but domestic duties and the imperative to get all my ducks in a row regarding future employment options are combining to make playing ASL an unlikely option today.
In other news, I've volunteeered my services to Chas Smith as a playtester if required. I'm pretty sure I've got some playtesting work lined up with the Cleavinator for Journal 10 as I enjoyed doing the Suicide Creek stuff, and have been enjoying working on some other stuff with Adam Lunney on one of his designs. Plus I have something from Ian Percy I think I am meant to be arranging a PT session to play soonish.
So as of my last AAR post it was effectively the end of Game Turn 4, and I was looking at driving home the advantage I had with the KV having no functioning AT capability. And so the game went on:
German Turn 5: At Start
German Turn 5: Movement and Defensive Fire
|German Turn 5 Movement and Defensive fire: The start of the end...|
With the 9-2 out of the picture, I had the platoon to his south advance in steps to draw the fire of the 447 in the 37O1 building and if they survived, the 9-2 would die Due to FTR. This would also allow me to bring up the FT in relative safety through baiting the D1F with the sqd and LMG. Meanwhile the flanking motorcyclists squeaked past a NMC and started taking control of the North West Village area, a requirement of the VC if I wanted to really force the issue.
The killer blow I think was the when Pz38T B fired his mgs with a point blank 8 up 2, and rolled snakes for a 2mc which broke and elred the 447 in 57T1. That sealed the fate of an entire platoon and allowed me to minimise further AFV exposure.
I drew the Kv into a first fire shot by driving Pz38T A down from the north and although the BFF shots were not successful, I had at least prepared the way. The Panzer II then skipped around the rear, forcing the KV to change TCA and IF. Result! MA malfed again. The initail BFF shot needed to be a HH, which it was, but I needed a 5 to immobilise, 4 to KO. I rolled and dice bot gave me a 6, damn! Possible shock. I duly rolled the NTC and Bam! Shock! The FT could now take the safer rioute to get into position for that all important AF TK roll.
Joe's Defensive Fire ATR shot bounced and that was pretty much it. Now all that mattered was the Advancing Fire and the upcoming CCs to clearout the last of the infantry from the 9-2's redoubt.
German Turn 5: Coup de Grace
Conclusion: A good scenario and a good solid game. I found a lot to like about the scenario although it is fiddly in PBeM because of the vehicle numbers. The initial entry for the Germans is pretty scripted as far as i can see, too much risk associated with entering on the central road as one firelane will stop any thought of the motorcyclists traversing to the west.
I feel I played a solid, patient game, particularly on Turns 3 and 4 which helped me set up for turn 5 nicely. I took some calculated risks in Turn 4 and 5, as opposed to a couple of airy fairy decisons on Turn 1 and 2. My timing and sequencing of actions improved, but I still got it wrong on occasions, leaving Joe some opportunities to cause damage which thankfully were not as severe. I completely misread the MOL usage rules and could have suffered accordingly.
I gather the scenario is seen as somewhat pro-German (which is interesting as ROAR has it as 28 to 39 in favour of the Soviets before this game. I wonder if the German players haven't kept discipline and stayed at 7+ hexes to maximise their TH advantage or used hidnrances as a good way of reducing the TH chances equally. Plus the Germans need to use their mobility as a form of defence.) but i feel it's pretty close to balanced.
It's a good contrast in armour usage and also a good training tool for armour as it's not about a Hit = Kill type AFV slugfest. Make sure the Soviet player knows how the T35 CAs work though as the T35 needs to be in the mid game and can scare the bejeesus out of the German landsers. The 9-2 and KV are the determinans in a Soviet defence so maximising their potential to do harm in the early and mid game (for the KV) is vital.