After our game of ASL 87 Good Night Sweet Prince , Rick Carter and I set up J178 Old Friends to see if I would have better luck. Luck had nothing to do with it.
J178 pits a German force of first and second line infantry, two Panthers, a MKIV, StuG and an AA halftrack defending three small village areas of boards 10 and 59 against fifteen American elite and first line squads, eight tanks including a 105 Sherman, a pair of Wolverines and some 76mm Shermans and M24’s. Rick got the Americans and had to inflict 38 CVP or take 7 multihex stone buildings. He did have a CVP cap, if my Germans inflicted 37 CVP or more, game over. Fat chance.
I lost this game when I set up.
Rick had two board edges he could enter from. With 6.5 turns, I should have assumed he would have taken the shortest route to victory. I set up a small (very small) screen across the river, and stupidly sacrificed the MkIV for no apparent reason. I didn’t like getting caught on the far side of the river with a larger force, but the tank shouldn’t have been there. Easy points for Rick, and a valuable asset I got nothing for.
The Americans entered the fight with a wave of swirling moves, overwhelming my front line screen with no problem and knocked out the MkIV easily. Then eliminated my StuG without much of a fight. He then prepared to cross the creek.
So I’m thinking it’s not too bad, yep, lost a couple of valuable assets but I’ve got the left flank covered, and the bridge covered. My original plan was to lightly contest the buildings in the middle and fall back to the board 10 village, but he got through the first obstacle so fast I decided to try to make a stand in the middle. At least slow him down enough that he might run out of time.
I backed the north Panther up to contest the Wolverine that had crossed the river at the top of the map and prevent it from getting behind me. The AA halftrack went behind the buildings to get some point blank shots on the 24 table when the Amis got into the building. None of that worked. Rick smoked me in and cut off any attempt to retreat. The AA HT couldn’t get a result on the Wolverine and got knocked out from the rear. On the left, he pushed my tree line units back and flanked me that way.
And as you can tell from this picture, I am running out of people.
With 2.5 turns left, I am in shaky shape. I back up the north Panther and put a unit with a PSK in the hex. He’s going to have to come and get him. The southern Panther is in danger of being flanked so I back him up south of the southernmost victory building and covered him with a squad.
Didn’t matter, the American tornado swept in and crushed my feeble resistance and I surrendered when the writing was on the wall.
This scenario was bad for me. I really had no idea what to do and Rick put together an attack that I just had no answer to. I really blew it at setup. The MkIV was wasted, and I think perhaps I set up most of my units way too far back. I should have contested him at the river and tried to shut the assault down there. Waiting in the back just allowed him to eliminate me piecemeal and consolidate after each group of buildings.
I would really like to see another German player’s account of this scenario to show me where I went so wrong.
Thanks for reading.