After the first two turns, I felt like I was in a good spot. My company was split into two groups. The first was to move on board and secure the first VPO location. The second was to move up the middle, take the multi-level building in the center of the map and turn right to take the other VPO hex.
As it turns out, I have some learning to do as SASL is not the same beast that standard ASL is. You never know what is going to turn up, or how many. You can’t look at the scenario card and figure out what is left to flush out. Depending on your dice, you can have a few enemy units or you can stumble into an enemy much larger than you can handle. Fortunately, SASL lets you get out of a sticky situation and fight another day albeit with the halo of shame hanging over your head from failure. Anyone who has played me in ASL knows I fail a lot.
Board 16 was a nice start for my German Kompanie. I fully expected Feldwebel Hofmann and Unteroffiziers Roth and Fischer to capably lead my troops to a nice wrap on this board and things were moving along nicely. Then I had to add a board and got the dreaded board 6. Things were going to get tougher.
BTW. I’m finding out that the command and control rule in SASL blows.
Let’s look at where we’re at:
I know that each situation is going to be different, but a few lessons I am learning fast. Keep your troops within command distance of your leaders. Don’t split your company, even if the VPO are on two different sides of the map, or you invite disaster. Count on unit panic at the worst time. And a general rule I should know from regular ASL: If you enter into close combat with a conscript and fail to ambush and eliminate him, you remove his morale handicap. I’m such a dumbass.
I managed to take the VPO rather easily. But a single Russian 426 conscript refused to break so I jumped him in CC. Over the course of the next three turns, he would tie up 2.5 squads, knocking out 2 half squads and he isn’t finished yet.
Yeah, that guy over there on the right. Complete pain in my ass. I have even fired into my own melee trying to break him with his 6 morale. No, not having it.
The center building started getting a bit stiffer with three squads and a leader and I made the mistake of breaking off two squads and an ATR crew to get in there and take it after the Kompanie heavy machine gun did a number on them but a combination of command panic and Russian rally kept me from getting it captured until the end of turn 5.
Turn 3 is where I think I made a decision that will cost me the scenario. Instead of taking what the scenario has given me and instead sticking to my original plan circumstances be damned, I split my forces, sending one group off to take the far VPO. As Roth continued to fail his command roll, the Landsers I sent with him continued to move forward and out of command range, then they all started to fail their command rolls.
The enemy has started to pop up way too regularly now. I haven’t had an activation fail since turn 3. My small group on the left, sent to capture the other VPO is going to have issues closing the deal there, the Russian activations will have a -2 modifier, 1 for adjacent to the VPO and 1 for another active unit within 2 hexes. So the only die roll that will result in no enemy unit is a six. Not promising.
One of my 467 squads by the center building battle hardens to a 468 on a morale check. I moved him forward one hex into the grain resulting in an activation on board 6. The resulting squad and anti-tank gun break him. The scenario has heavy winds so the vehicle smoke dispensers are useless, they will have to stay on the right side of the playing area, the Russian 45L will make short work of them.
So, the situation after 4.5 turns is questionable. My overall lack of ASL skills is showing. I think one of my problems with the game is I try to do too many things with not enough people to do them. I also think I will learn from this scenario and learn how SASL is different. Who knows, maybe it will force me to realize what I can and can’t do in regular ASL. Can an old dog learn new tricks after 25 years of bungling the game? Nah, probably not.
Here is the board after 4.5 turns. My Germans are in trouble, if things don’t change in the next couple of turns, I will have to retreat and fight the next sceanario.
Thanks for reading