[This is a guest post by Ran Shiloah. Thanks Ran! Any square bracketed material is from me.]
Sunday of this week was the first official meeting of our newly formed Israel ASL club in Josh’s house. Ellis and Daniel played a Normandy scenario with Germans vs American paratroopers and lots of bocage, in the living room, while Josh and I played “The Meat Grinder”, an early war east front scenario, in the dining room.
[There’s a separate post about the Normandy scenario, here.]
Josh was the Russians (defending) and I was the Germans (attacking). Josh set up a solid front line defense, which consisted of most his infantry and a supporting KV2 heavy tank. Josh’s north flank was defended by an AA machine gun truck, and his south flank was defended by a small infantry force and a second KV2 tank. Josh also had a hidden heavy AA gun which was set up in the southern flank.
My initial plan was to engage Josh’s main force with 7 out of 10 infantry squads, led by a 9-2 leader, while sending 3 squads as riders on 3 Panzer IV E’s on a bold north flanking move, hoping to bypass the main defending force, reach the central village and take the greater part of the victory buildings which lay behind Josh’s defensive line. The 3 tanks transporting the flanking troops would be used to deal with Josh’s reinforcing tank platoon, while my reinforcing Panzer III platoon due on turn 2 would support the main force.
[I was so wrapped up in my own game, I did not take pictures of Ran’s. Next time!]
Then it all went wrong. I wasn’t careful enough and half of my flanking riders were cut down by Josh’s HMG that kept ROF. One of my PZ IV E’s broke its gun on the very first shot it took while trying to hit one of Josh’s reinforcing tanks. A turn later it broke its coaxial mg while firing at the AA truck. Another 12 was rolled and I lost a gun on one of my Panzer III reinforcements. I got a lucky 2 with another PZ III and inflicted a critical hit against a KV2, burning it, but immediately afterwards Josh rolled a 2 in a street-fighting attack and destroyed a third Panzer III.
My main infantry attack suffered a worse fate. A force of 2 squads and a MMG led by a 9-2 leader took an advancing fire shot at point blank range with no effect. They later advanced into close combat against 2 squads and didn’t manage to ambush them.(Josh expected close combat, and wisely refrained from defensive fire with one squad to keep it concealed). In the close combat phase itself, my 3-2 attack failed completely (despite the -2 leadership modifier), while Josh rolled a 2 on 1-1 attack, killing my 9-2 leader along with a squad.
At the end of the German player turn 2, I had 2 tanks with broken MA, one tank destroyed, I had lost 25% of my squads and my 9-2 leader, have some broken units, and an ongoing melee with bad prospects. Josh had lost one KV2, but had another left, and his defense remained solid. After losing my 9-2 leader in close combat, I failed a personal moral check and retired, conceding victory to Josh.
Despite the bitter taste of defeat I had a great time, and I’m looking forward to our next club meeting in October.