AAR - A Lion In The Field - AP114

Major Issues

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I was able to get together with Xenovin for a game of Alyin’ In The Field. I recently played this with Walt, and kicked butt as the SS – we ended on turn 5. I did an AAR on this. I wanted to try this as the British.

Xenovin is one part the Fuhrer, one part the Pope. He was suckered into was eager to play this as the SS. The lure of being able to use black counters may have influenced his decision.

This was Xenovin’s first FTF game since the whole Covid thing started. He has not only been socially distant, but emotionally distant as well. To be safe, we did not hug or kiss. This time. But I was willing to make an exception for his wife. Also, in keeping with the CDC’s recommendations, he took my temperature when I arrived.

Rectally.

Twice.

It’s hard to describe Xenovin’s playing style, but the words ‘cream puff’ seem to come up a lot.

He had found an AAR by JRV on this scenario. In it, JR talked about several alternate British setups. I had already done my setup before Xenovin sent me this, so it did not influence my setup.

I did pick up one thing from JR that neither Walt nor I had grokked. Crews are treated as SMCs for building control, so we had played it like they really didn’t matter. But the control rules are that a GO unit has control until they lose it. It does not specify MMC. So while a crew cannot take back a building in this scenario, if they start in a building, they control it until evicted. This is a big deal. Xenovin ended up having to run into every location of 8 victory buildings just to make sure that they were crew-free. He could have used Mopping Up, but I don’t think it would have been any faster.

Walt had defended the town, with the AT guns on each flank. It did not end well for him. VC are that the SS must control 8 multi-hex buildings in town, and have more CVPs than the British. I decided that my best chance was to not defend the buildings, and set up on the far side of the river. SS can get points for exiting, but they would have to run the gauntlet to do so. I did put both AT guns on the south side of the bridge to cover the road. This wuz risky, as if he was able to find one and bump it off, it would be an SS victory. One problem with defending north of the bridge is that some units are isolated in half-hexes, and thus cannot shift, rout, or retreat.

Xenovin made his way through town, running into victory building hexes, and other hexes that might contain AT crews before moving his tanks forward. Meanwhile, my gallant soldiers were digging and digging and digging. Except for Major Borington, who just kept pacing back and forth with his swagger stick, telling stories about how he gave it to the Bosch back in the Great War.


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By the time the first Germans arrived, all those diggers had foxholes, except Major Borington.

I was kinda worried because there was a large infantry force heading for the hill. One of my HIP AT guns was on the back side of the hill. If it was overrun by infantry before it could pop a tank, it would be game over. So I played one of the greatest cons ever, putting a SR right on top of the HIP AT gun. I had no intention of converting it, of course, but Xenovin didn’t know that, and, faced with the prospect of lots of 12-1 attacks, shifted his infantry down the hill.

There is a large walled area near the bridge, which I figured would attract Germans. But it isn’t a great spot for them, because there are only two hexes facing the bridge, and one of those has a pond in it. A tank drove into the other one, thinking it would be hull down. But it was not to my 57L AT gun on the hill, and with a rear shot, the Brits had their first CVPs. MG fire broke a 548. A loud “Huzzah!” was heard.

Major Borington had to forego Prep Fire in order to finish digging foxholes for himself and the HMG squad. They were then fired on, and promptly broke. Major Borington must have gotten promoted because he was friends with someone when they were school chums at Eton.

The battalion mortars opened up, and a tank was immobilized. A couple more tanks drove down the road, which put them hull down to my hill AT gun. But not to the second AT gun, which knocked out two.

Turn 6, a mad rush by a tank across the bridge ends badly, as one of the PIAT crews in building R1 destroys it with a side shot before it could VBF. Two squads and a leader who charge are all broken, and both squads reduce. The SS decide to retire back into Gavrus, and make scrounging attempts to locate bottles of Calvados.

CVPs when we called the game were 26-0. Four tanks were dead, and one immobilized. Xenovin would have gotten 4 CVP, because he broke one AT gun crew. The crew could rout away, but he would have been able to capture the gun. Still, this was a crushing defeat. The Munich Junior Boy’s Paintball Team couldn’t have done worse.

The SS only have a couple turns to clear the British from the bridge, can’t use the FTs, have a lot of bad terrain in front of them, are mostly going to be firing their infantry at long range, and will have OBA landing on them. Some of the infantry had zero chance to exit, the rest would have had to run a gauntlet of fire that would make The Charge Of The Light Brigade look like a church picnic.

Xenovin was not able to lay effective Smoke. When he wanted to, it was Defensive Fire, when it was useless, and when he would move a tank somewhere it could smoke a British position, it would die. G6, he got two infantry smoke, and one from a smoke discharger. But with AT shots from three different hexes, and infantry shots from eight different hexes, smoking a couple is not going to protect the Germans while crossing open ground. He did wish that he had smoke mortars. And Nebelwerfers. And a battalion. And six more turns.

With the town defended, this is pro-German. With the bridge defended, this is pro-British. While my setup worked well, it probably would have been smarter to have the AT guns north of the bridge

Pic from the middle of G6 Movement, when Xenovin called the game.


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Next post – Will this stunning defeat cause Xenovin to give up ASL and switch to Chutes And Ladders??? Will we ever know why he set up the board on top of a Stalingrad map??? Will he realize that The Masked Opponent was actually Major Issues, and not Perry Dyer like I told him?????
 
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