The Red Wave

[The following is a guest post by Ran. My comments are in square brackets, just like this paragraph.]

Last week, we had another great meeting of the Israel ASL Club at Josh’s house. Josh and Daniel played Show of Force while Ellis and I played A107 The Red Wave.

We all played in the dining room on one extended dining table. It was quite comfortable, and Josh’s occasional cries, curses, and whines spiced up the atmosphere.

[Josh also engaged in the occasional bout of table thumping. Fortunately, Daniel seemed completely unperturbed. I guess he must be used to it.]

In our scenario, I played the Russians, and Ellis took the Germans. Ellis set up his small force along a wide front, not knowing where the attack would concentrate. I chose to attack on the right flank, mainly because the terrain on the left flank was harder to traverse and would make it harder to achieve the exit victory conditions.

Turn one started with some prep fire, that managed to pin a squad which would next be the target of a huge 15 squad human wave. The human wave resulted in a significant Russian advance, at a cost of 1 KIA squad and about 4 broken squads. One German squad was engaged in close combat which resulted in continuing melee with a dead Russian half-squad, while another one broke due to advancing fire and had to rout. Meanwhile, a 2 tank platoon entered the board and crossed board 32 along the road.

German turn one ended without much movement or events.

Russian turn 2 saw the Russians making some slow progress along the right flank, establishing themselves towards an attempt to cross an open road defended by a MMG position in a stone building on the other side of the road, and reinforcing the melee hexes. The tank platoon tried to break through the German defense around the main board 42 junction, losing a tank to an ATR in the process. Luckily, the other tank in the platoon passed its task check and was able to move away from the junction, while surviving a hit from a 75mm HE shell. The CC phase ended with 2 melees, resulting with some erosion to both sides.

On German turn 2 Ellis started to slowly move his right flank forces, using assault movement, to reinforce his left flank. The ATR took a shot at the rear facing of the surviving Russian tank but missed. Both melees ended with the Germans eliminated.

Turn 3 stated with the tank (after passing another TC) entering the MMG hex with VBM, while freezing the MMG and forcing it to lose concealment. A reaction fire attempt by the HS and 8-1 leader failed. Most of the Russian infantry units were designated as opportunity firers, which enabled the Russians to take a 36 +3 shot at the MMG position, breaking the MMG half squad and the leader and eliminating the MMG position which was the last barrier to a Russian breakthrough.

On German turn 3 Ellis tried to move his remaining forces to stop the Russian breakthrough, but he was one step behind he Russians. The ATR squad moved into position to take another rear shot at the tank, needed a 10 to hit, but rolled a 12! (Imagine what sounds Josh would have made in the face of such an event.)  [Outwardly, I was calm, cool, collected, and disappointed. Internally, I was screaming with rage at my bad luck.]

In Russian turn 4 the Russian infantry started exiting the board. The tank didn’t pass its TC and could not move. The exit was too hasty, and I didn’t leave enough forces to screen the open ground exit hexes on the northwest corner of board 42, which allowed Ellis to enter the woods next to the exit hexes on German turn 4 and almost have them covered by fire. It was thanks to luck alone that a Close Combat on German turn 4 in the woods ended in my favor despite German superiority, and prevented that threat from materializing.

In turn 5 I could exit enough infantry units to meet the victory conditions with no Germans in my way so the game ended.

Ellis had some terrible luck, especially with the ATR, and also with the last Close Combat. Had he started reinforcing his left flank earlier, and moved quicker to cover the Russian exit path, I think the Germans would have won.

[I did have some bad luck, but it was my mistakes that cost me the game. If I get a chance, I will post my thoughts on that aspect, separately.]

It was a good game, and at points very tense.Thank you Ellis. [I really enjoyed it. ASL is an unparalleled gaming experience. And Ran is patient, and a good guy to game with.]

Thanks to Josh and Sigal for the hosting and the great food. [+1]