At last, back to some ASL action.
Ran and I played Eviction Notice, a scenario from Valor of the Guards, a Stalingrad centered historical campaign package. Fortunately, the scenario is a modest affair, so easily playable in a single session.
Ran took the German defenders, a mix of elite and first line infantry, a smattering of support weapons, and a puny 37L anti-tank gun. However, the door-knocker has the ability to fire special (deadly!) ammunition, so it is a fairly material consideration for the attacker to be aware of.
Attacker? That was me, trying to take control of some buildings just next to Ran’s defensive line. I also had a mix of elite and first line infantry, some support weapons, and a trio of tanks. Two were light (T50s, I think) and one was the pretty decent T34/76.
Generally, I like the ASL map art. However, the historical modules are even better and Valor of the Guards map is no exception. It definitely adds to the experience.
So far as play is concerned, my opening turn was awful. I am still making too many novice errors. For example, I needed to be more aggressive without being reckless. How to do that does not come easy, particularly as part of the solution involves taking your tanks and driving them into the teeth of the enemy defenses.
I was not helped by failing every single morale check that my troops had to take – I think up until turn three or four! – though this was somewhat ameliorated by poor Ran losing his machine gun to breakdown.
After the first turn, Ran gave me some practical advice. That helped a lot, and I began to exert some pressure.
My tanks became more aggressive, forcing the anti-tank gun to pop up and have a shot. Thankfully Ran ran out of special ammunition, so that threat faded away. Instead, Ran blew up one of my tanks with a demolition charge.
The other two tanks did sterling work in supporting my infantry as they began to take ground from the Germans.
The last turn of the game saw Ran with two stacks in the target victory point building hexes, and my assaulting forces stymied. One remaining tank failed the required task check to move. The other could not do enough on its own. Also, Ran had some forces in the two cellars, and they are especially difficult to winkle out.
However, it was a lot closer than it looked in the first turn, so I was reasonably happy. In summary, still losing, but learning. And having a great time. What a great game this is.