Monday, March 14, 2011

ASL, "With Friends Like These..."

Thursday night was PAASL (Palatine Area ASL) night at Dave K.'s house and i matched up with Mike S. for a scenario from the Chicago tourney list coming up in April, "With Friends Like These" from OotA2.

This is an early war, Vichy French vs. American scenario where a combined arms American force has to capture or destroy 4 Vichy 105 artillery pieces.  The Americans have 10 2nd line squads backed by 4 Stuart tanks and a hero.  The Vichy get 6 first line squads with 2 MMG's to help defend the guns.  The main Vichy weakness is poor leadership as they have only a 8-0 and 7-0 leader.  I give Mike the choice of sides and he chooses the attacking Americans.

Set-up is pretty quick for me.  The guns have to set up close to the river.  I position to guns on my left in support of each other, with 1 gun in the back middle and 1 on my right.

My right side defense.  Note i have a HIP gun in the orchard behind the building and a HIP squad in the building in front of the grain.
 I put a half-squad/MMG on my right and left and split my infantry and leaders similarly.  I have a bunch of dummy counters that i spread out, including one up front in some brush which i hope will slow Mike's movement down.  It will play even a bigger role than that.

My basic strategy is to make this 3 seperate battles--left, right and center-- of which i only have to win one to win the scenario.  I will keep concealment with my infantry unless they get a really good shot, and use my left side guns to shoot from the beginning as they are manned by 8 morale troops with +2 TEM due to emplacement.  With only 5.5 turns, Mike can't afford to take too much time shooting.  His key units are going to be his Stuart tanks.

Mike enters strongly to my right and center, which isn't too surprising as my right has the most cover, but what is surprising is that he's armored assaulting in big stacks.   I take a 2 straight shot at his right side stack and get a NMC.  His 9-1 leader passes and a half-squad pins, but 2.5 squads break.

End of turn 1.
 His middle stack armored assaults on but i have no good shots.  During my final fire, i reveal my 2 105's on my left and they let loose at the middle Stuart but to no effect.  Mike has little advancing fire opportunities but decides to shoot at my upfront dummy stack that i mentioned earlier with his Stuart.  Here is the small mistakes that cause losses in ASL.  Mike knows it's a dummy stack, otherwise i would have shot at his adjacent stack of infantry.  Even if i'm playing coy with it, he can advance in with his infantry with a big CC advantage.  There's no reason to shoot at it, but he does.  And of course he rolls my sniper, which i get a "1" on.  The sniper goes to the same stack and random selection is the 8-0 leader who dies, and all 3 squads with him break on their LLMC.  Ouch.

During my turn one, my 105 zeroes in on the center Stuart and promptly burns it with a 3 on the TK roll.  Double ouch for Mike.  Everyone else skulks.

Blazing Stuart. 
During Mike's turn 2, he moves his Stuarts into the gully for protection, overrunning a French squad who box cars his MC, rally's some guys back, and starts moving forward.  It is at this point, i reveal my right side HIP squad and get a 8-2 shot but only manage to pin the target HS.  My 105's come through for me though, taking out a half-squad.  My turn 2 is mostly skulking.

Turn 3 Mike makes a push on my right but is stymied by the French infantry, he pushes a Stuart out of the gully and tries overrunning one of my 105's but without success.  His center force by this time is mostly bust with only a couple of half-squads left which my 105's keep at bay.  My turn 3 i skulk with the exception of my left side leader whom i advance in concealed with the Stuart and 105, which i malfed.  I get ambush but don't get the "4" i need to hurt the Stuart.  The Stuart wiffs and the leader withdraws out.

French rear center defense.
 Turn 4, and Mike is running short of time.  He pulls his Stuart out of CC with my malfed 105 and drives it over to try and take out my other left-side 105.  I miss in defensive fire.  Mike continues to try and break my right side defense, but it's tough going as i have a full squad, a half-squad--who was broken in the overrun but rallied back--plus a half-squad/MMG and my 7-0 leader.  Backing that up is my center 105, and i haven't yet revealed my last 105.

My Turn 4 and i shoot my 105 on my left at the adjacent Stuart.  I hit but don't get a result on the TK.  I then intensive fire, hit and get an immobilization result.  Mike fails his check and the crew bails out and i break it with my MMG.  At this point with only 2 turns left, Mike throws in the towel as he has almost no chance of taking more than 2 of the 4 guns.

Immobilized and abandoned is no way to go through life son.
It was an interesting scenario.  Mike made the mistake of trying to move faster than he needed to by stacking.  This cost him dearly as 6 morale troops need to spread out.  He also left his middle Stuart open to repeated shots from my 105's.  We both realized after turn 1 that the Stuarts need to head straight to the gully until the infantry catch up.  I was happy with my defense and play with the exception of moving one of my squads into the gully.  I was being over-aggressive when i didn't need to be and Mike made me pay by overrunning it.

I like the French in this one as the can spread out their guns to 3 seperate areas and, combined with the short turn count, this will be a challenge for the 2nd line Americans to get to all 3 areas with sufficient force.

As alwasy, an enjoyable game with Mike, and thanks to Dave K. for hosting PAASL.

Thanks Mike! Love the dew rag.


  1. I'm playing this one at the moment as the Yanks, a tough job as you pointed out.

  2. Ohh man, its been a while since I played decent board and RPG card games :( Though this website has some awesome RPG card games, check the RPG category tho