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Subject: Pockets 7/44 (Campaign Game #2) rss

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Dave Terhune
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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This is a blatant example of frivolous geek gold spending.
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I spent 100 geek gold and all I got was this lousy overtext.
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This is game 2 in my U.S. Paratrooper campaign. Previous report is here.

Starting with this report, I mention my leaders by name. Greenwood and Turnbull are 9-2 leaders, and Patterson is an 8-0.

Still on the offensive, I rolled up Pockets (#2) for the next mission.

Setup

Boards were set up as follows (west to east): 17, 41 (both board numbers on the south end). There was more than enough concealment terrain to hide the requisite number of S?. I potentially had an awful lot of enemies to face.

EC were moist, with a mild breeze. The stream on board 41 was deep.

S? ended up in two groups, one on each board. The board 18 group was clustered in the woods just south of where the road split. The board 41 group was on the far southern end, mostly in the valley, but with a few squads in the woods above.

I put Patterson on the left this time, and Turnbull on the right. Greenwood again anchored the center. The bazooka teams were split between the platoons, with the extra one a ways out to the right to keep it safe in case I needed a reserve. The mortar teams were on the far right. I was going to try some long range sniping against the S? in the trees above the valley.

Turn 1

The game started great, with the enemy ammunition shortage event happening right off the bat. My spirits were immediately dampened when the first S? activated turned out to be a 6-5-8 SS squad. That meant the rest of the squads generated were also going to be SS. I was going to be in trouble if they activated in concentration.

A single squad broke Patterson's entire platoon, with the exception of Patterson himself, who was pinned. After the broken squads routed away, the SS advanced into CC and killed Patterson. (This was pretty stupid of me, in two different ways. One, I shouldn't have stacked an entire platoon in one hex, despite the fact that it makes one hell of a kill stack, even in advancing fire. And two, I should have voluntarily broken Patterson so he could have routed away with the squads, and not gotten himself killed in CC.)

Turn 2

Greenwood's platoon (yes, I was still stacking at this point) discovered a couple squads manning an HMG. Advancing fire broke them all, and they surrendered. I immediately began retreating the prisoners. As this was more or less a straight VP battle, I wanted to make sure I got my double VP for prisoners.

Point blank U.S. firepower broke a couple more squads, including the one on the left flank that killed Patterson.

Turn 3

A PzIV revealed itself in the treeline.

Greenwood captured the German HMG and used it to break another couple SS squads.

One of Greenwood's squads went berserk, but was eliminated at the end of its charge.

Another SS squad surrendered, and one of the bazookas turned the PzIV into a blazing wreck. Aside from the loss of Patterson, things were going very well.

Turn 4

Yet another SS squad surrendered. I was glad I was American and not Russian, because otherwise those SS would risk interdiction or low crawl away rather than surrender, and I'd have to chase them down. The VP bonus for captured troops was going to come in handy as well.

One of Patterson's remaining squads stumbled onto another HMG position and promptly got CRed. The survivors surrendered. That was going to upset my VP balance a bit, because I didn't really have anyone in position to prevent the guards from escaping.

Turn 5

The long range mortar fire hammered away at the targets on the right flank. It was pretty effective, and I was enjoying the results. However, it activated the German sniper, which broke Greenwood and the squad with the captured HMG.

Turnbull's men spotted a squad with a Panzerschreck and promptly eliminated them, leaving the PSK unpossessed.

A Marder appeared hiding in the 17Z7 wooden building, but fortunately missed with its first (and only) shot.

Turn 6

The closest bazooka team turned the Marder into a blazing wreck.

Some of Turnbull's men were broken by SS gunfire, and Turnbull routed with them to the woods. That was the last of the S? on board 17. I was so far ahead on VP, I only had to mop up the survivors and sit it out until the end.

Some of the woods caught fire from the PzIV wreck.

Turn 7

A self-rally attempt by one of Patterson's squads resulted in Leader Creation, and created a 7-0 leader, Frazier. I didn't have to wonder who was going to replace Patterson anymore, because there he was.

Turn 8

The noose was tightened around the SS remnants on board 17, and I captured another half squad.

Turn 9

The last of the SS on board 17 was eliminated.

Turn 10

The Wind Change DR resulted in Gusts, and caused most of the rest of the woods in that clump to catch fire. (This shouldn't have actually happened, as the weather wasn't actually Gusty, but I misread that part of the weather rules.)

Turn 11

The fire spread to the grain field in 17Y8, but it didn't matter any more because the game ended after my half of the turn.

Conclusion

The VP total was 51 to 19 in my favor, giving me another victory.

I needn't have been as worried about facing SS as I was. The scattered activations allowed me to defeat them in detail, and I never had to worry about taking fire from more than one squad at a time (often through smoke hindrance once the woods caught fire).

That fire took on a life of its own. The smoke was quite helpful. Its Hindrance made the SS firepower largely ineffective, while I was able to assemble kill stacks led by Greenwood and Turnbull that could overcome the smoke penalties with the awesome U.S. firepower and leadership modifiers.

Aftermath

Permanent casualties were Patterson and two squads.

Since Frazier was promoted mid-game, no replacement leaders were necessary. The squad replacement rolls gave me two squads, and I was back up to full strength again.
 
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