This is the third time I am playing this scenario. This is a great scenario that confers the heart pounding excitement of a PTO scenario without having to deal with PTO terrain. As far as China battles go, this is perhaps the most famous one (internationally) and hence also the most over covered by ASL designers!
There’s even a new movie on the battle “The Eight Hundred”!
The IJA are to control the building with 3 Fortified hexes on the bottom left of the map in 6.5 turns (GMT has the balance), a representation of the Sihang Warehouse no doubts. Clearing a large (fortified) building is a time consuming task! Hence I race my IJA forces down the board where I can. Being able to cut off retreating Chinese forces would be good too but so far I hadn’t been too successful. On the otherhand, I am not as keen as my earlier self in running Banzai’s through the map. As a matter of fact, I did none so far. IJA’s are great in their ability to go wherever they want to with striping. However one they get reduced, they don’t recover. So I want be very deliberate in any losses via striping. The “IJA HS strategy” of course hinges on having IJA leaders who behaves like Commissars. Unfortunately, they had been replacing units over half of my rallies so far.
We were almost all at the Sihang factory after 3 Movement phases. Not the quickest really. Let’s kill the gents in the rowhouse and figure out which hex is fortified! The IJA has unfortunately broke though the Chinese right flank and was last seen streaking down the length of the map. I, on the otherhand, should deploy more IJA to stop them from (unnecessarily) striping.
The IJA ran through the rowhouse and came in front of the warehouse itself! The massive firegroup broke the MMG stack in the fortified C6 hex (where you see an IJA 2-3-7). The IJA were now in the house! The platoon of IJA Banzai’d in from the right and fortunately broke the defenders in the “courtyard” and even trapped a defender at the wall (G8).
Oh and the GMT sniper drilled a hole through my 10-0’s forehead. His neighbours described him as nice, quiet and unassuming. He will be missed. Painful.
The GMT promptly counterattacked and took that MMG back. Unfortunately, an IJA Death Star assembled (2 x MMG + 1 x HMG) and broke the GMT MMG team! The IJA HS’s decided to do two Banzais into the factory, forcing GMT squads to FPF as much as they can. The other IJA squads came in the right and left nowhere for the GMT squads to rout.
November 2 1940, the Italians found themselves in Treni, Greece. They are to take at least 4 of the Stone Buildings and clear building 3M2 (large stone building on the bottom right) of all Good Order Greeks in 7.5. That sounds like ample time until you realize running low Morale Level troops around with even lower firepower is like herding cats.
The Italian radio blew up once we managed to get a spotting around on top of building 3M2! The right flank kept a steady push through the Woods and buildings on the bottom of the map. The left flank came down the hill more or less intact, but behind schedule. The middle group mounted an attack across the street (amoeba!!) and got blasted away by the Greeks! My center is gone. We have Move Phase to go and we are wonder if we can take any Stone Buildings at all.
The Greeks managed to break the lone Italian MMG team that’s protecting the hordes of broken Italians hiding the woods towards the upper part of the map! Very smartly a Greek leader dashed acrossed the street, hoping to grab the MMG that the routing MMG team would leave behind. That was executed brilliantly except that the Greek leader couldn’t recover the MMG! Two Italian leaders then rushed in (8-0 & 6+1) looking to CC him, MMA style. The Greek kungfu master killed off the Italian 8-0 but it’s too late, an Italian squad arrived. At the same time yours truly finally figured out how to do an amoeba attack properly and broke into the center fo the village from the top and the bottom.
Unfortunately there was only 1 turn to go and we had brokies strewn everywhere. We didn’t have enough time to take the rest of the stone buildings. We conceded.
This is 26 June 1944 St. Manvieu-Norrey (west of Caen), France. Kurt Meyer’s “Hitlerjugend” met up with the 6th Royal Scotts Fusiliers advancing behind a Creeping Barrage in the rain. The Scots need to take the multi hex buildings and kill the Panthers. The Germans need to have MMCs surviving within a big magic circle at the end of Turn 6.5 and blow the Scots’ CVP cap of 39. .
As the Scots, we get two Creeping Barrages, which I did NOT manage well. While I credit the left barrage for killing a Panther in the first turn, it crept way too slow, to the extent that it blocked our troops and hence protected the Germans! The right one worked out okay. You can plan for Creeping Barrages to go “forward” 2 hexes only in your player turn or on both your player turn and your opponent’s turn (Defensive Fire Phase). An attacker should really count out where he needs to go and how quickly the Creeping Barrage would allow him to get there. A slow barrage gives defenders a good pounding (or encourage them to leave). A fast barrage might run away from you and hop through the defending lines. I needed the left barrage to take out the little enclave on the German left, so I made it go slow. What I should have done is to plan for a lifting of the barrage post enclave so that my troops could hit the village.
The Churchills are great smoke machines. Unfortunately that thing is slow and I need to be careful about not getting it in places where it could get caught by a fast moving Panther! It can’t do anything to a Panther frontally (apart from DI shots) yet the Panther can flick a toothpick at a Churchill and it will go “Boom!”. I lost one of the Churchills that way. Good thing another Churchill fired off its Smoke Mortar quickly and went into motion! That barrage on the left was totally in my way on Turn 5, my folks had to walk around it.
The unexpected happened! Instead of walking away from the Panther, my infantry rushed it and the Panther malf’d it’s MA! So one of Churchills spun back around and slid right next to the Panther in bypass. It had to do an ESB for the extra 1 MP to stop the Churchill for the shot but since it’s a chance to bag the second Panther, we took it anyway. The Churchill rolled and immobilized. We then moved other assets in place around the Panther. The Panther wasn’t able to repair it’s Gun but what followed was shots after shots from 2 Churchills, a Piat and a couple of CC attempts. The Panther just won’t go down (DI or otherwise)! Plus on top of it, my Piat malf’d and my Churchill’s MA malf’d! Everything else went rapidly downhill towards the end of Turn 5. We were absolutely blocked by our own Creeping Barrage on the left and everyone’s either malf’d or broken or straight up vaporized on the right. The Germans must have rolled about 6 snakes. It’s tragic!
(A specific account on our attempt on the second Panther)
In the last German turn the Panzer fixed its gun!! It took out the immobilized Churchill sitting next to it and a shreck took out the other Churchill that was angling for a side shot. The Germans just hit the Scots’ CVP cap!
I obviously mismanaged my Creeping Barrage but I will definitely do it better next time. Apart from that this is quite the scenario! There were tons of action and while I am really “hampered” by the slow Churchills, it’s a ton of fun!
Next in Action Pack 14? AP138 Red Horse Recon!
AP137 Fear Naught Turn 3 of 6.5
- Panther G slid over into the view of my Churchill (where the 8-0 and “Motion” counter is) and stopped, spending only 2 MP in my LOS.
- Panther G TK23 vs Churchill’s front AF14
- Churchill crew woke up! Popped Smoke Mortar – got it. Rolled for Motion .. got that too!! Spun the tank around, ready to leave in my turn coming up.
- Moved a squad into the house next to the Panther, survived the vehicle MG shots.
- Ran the 457 to the front of the Panther, the Panther shot and malf’d its MA!!
- The panicking Churchill saw what happened, turned back around, went into bypass next to the Panther G. Rolled for ESB to stop (‘cause bogging will stop me anyway).
- The other Churchill in Q1 went into position up on Level 0.
My Advancing Fire
- Churchill in bypass shot and HIT! TK14 vs AF6. DUD!!!
- Churchill on Level 0 shot, NO HIT!
Advance & CC Phase
- Both squads passed PAATC.
- First one went in with a Streetfight bonus, NO KILL!!
- POW!! The German snooglewoofer got stuck!! We live!
- Second squad attacked, NO KILL!!
FOUR ATTEMPTS AND NO KILL!!
The dang Panther turned around.
- Churchill in bypass went for DI shot, need a 7, NO HIT!
- Churchill up top went for a DI shot, NO HIT!
- Piat went for a DI shot, NO HIT!
Meanwhile 2 German snakes + a 4 on a DC toss vaporized 3 British squads and a 9-1 …
… and it’s only the fourth day of the year ..
I am finally doing DTO!! Unfortunately for me, my first DTO scenario is also a Night scenario, something that I am not very well versed with. Then again hey : I have a GREAT opponent, so the best time is definitely now.
This scenario is an ASL classic. The Germans win by scoring 20 CVPs more than the Brits and by controlling the both Hillock summit. There’s a bombardment before the German turn but it really didn’t do much!
NVR’s 3, the Germans crept in…
My opponent conceded. Onto the next one!