We were able to pick back up with the scenario on Friday and actually were able to finish in about 45 minutes allowing us some time to play Labyrinth: The War on Terror afterwards. Onto the summary of the action:
On my first turn I looked toward the Volksgrenadier unit that was carrying a Light MG located in the woods adjacent to me to the west. I had an Advance order in my hand as well as a Fire order. As I very quickly did the math in my head and taking into consideration the +2 cover bonus offered by the woods I decided that I had a significant advantage in melee FP if I decided to use the Advance order. I decided to save my Fire order to take care of the German Conscript in the woods to the north (that I had been unable to dislodge with my Artillery Request) and charged into hand to hand! My base FP was a 13 against his 5 but I was unsure if he had an Ambush action. Turns out he didn’t and I was easily victorious adding one more unit to the casualty track bringing him to a total of 6 casualties, leaving him only 2 away from Surrender! This action also gave me 2VP bringing my total to 5VP.
I next activated Sgt. Smith located in the buildings at Objective #4 with a Fire order to try to break the Conscript units in order to free up Cpl. Hubbard’s team to begin advancing into Objective #5 to bring a speedy close to this scenario. Sgt. Smith fired into the woods and was successful in breaking the Conscript and then used a Rout order targeting the German player leading to the unit retreating to the orchard near the northern edge of the map. This effectively took that unit completely out of the battle and allowed me to focus on taking it to the Germans to the northeast of Smith in the orchard and buildings at Objective #2.
The Germans then broke my radio with an Artillery Denied order, which I was ok with as I had only called in one attack due to the difficulties the hedgerows caused with Line of Sight for my leaders. As is usual, as soon as this happened I then drew a few Artillery Request cards! We exchanged several weak Fire attacks with little to no effect and I began to get antsy. I knew I was squarely in control but feared that he would take out Sgt. Smith’s squad leaving me with little power. At this point myaggressive side took over and I decided to activate Sgt. Smith to move across the road to the orchard near Objective #2. The Germans had a decent team there with a Conscript and a Heavy MG led by Lt. Shrader (Command 1) and a fox hole. I had a small fire team including a Line unit and Elite unit (who was Veteran) led by Lucas, American Hero (Command 0 but Morale 9) under cover of smoke to the adjacent hex to the east and wanted to get Sgt. Smith over there to bolster their FP for a possible Advance order into melee.
This was one of my worst (and really my only!) mistakes for the round as I moved Sgt. Smith first opening him up to a Fire action by the Germans which they took and broke him! I then moved my other 2 units to join him in the middle of the road and they fired again breaking both my Weapons team and my Veteran Elite. This left me in a really weak position and I feared that I had made the mistake that would lose me the game even with my decided lead.
He had the advantage with his FP being at 7 to my 5 but then I played the “ace up my sleeve” that I’d been holding for a few rounds, my Ambush action which caused him to break Lt. Shrader dropping his FP to 5 which meant we were tied! It was going to come down to the roll in a death match for the win, because if I won the roll he’d lose both units and be forced to surrender as he would reach the Surrender condition of 8 casualties.
I rolled first and pulled a double 5 card for a total FP of 15. He didn’t do as well and pulled a 6 for an 11 total FP! I had won! But out of his sweaty palm came the dreaded Initiative card forcing me to reroll! No I exclaimed. With great trepidation I reached for the top card of my deck and gingerly turned it over revealing…..a……6 and 4 for a 10 making my total roll a 15 again! I had to win the melee twice to win but win I did! What a great end to a great battle! The game ended with a German surrender and a victory for my Americans!
All in all, this scenario was difficult for me to understand how to assault the hedgerows. The extra movement penalty and issues they caused with Line of Sight plagued my decisions for most of the game. In looking back, I would have placed Lt. Blankenship in better position at the beginning to call in artillery rather than placing him to get the 2VP for voluntarily leaving the map. I also would have used more smoke as cover and possibly would have added one unit to my eastern diversionary team to put more pressure on Objective #2.
I am now ready to try the Germans as I have controlled the Russians and Americans and am 2-0 so far. I can’t wait to play Scenario #3!