Its been a while since I've written a full session report. My overall campaign score for the western front theater scenarios was very poor overall. I seem to be doing better on the Mediterranean front, considered as a unified campaign. Luck or balance? Who knows.
Today we played Toulon, where French tanks and infantry, including a group of Rangers and an African Commando Group assault German defenses in Toulon. I follow my usual practice of taking the seemingly stronger side for the "psychological advantage" this gives, hoping a victory (and practice) will serve me well when I switch sides.
The Germans have it rough, as any side does when they suffer a four card hand and the other player gets six. The germans are helped somewhat by getting both airplane cards, and a nice artillery defense on the French left flank.
This scenario stands out as providing for a "sudden death victory" condition where the Allies win if they occupy any three hexes of Toulon.
Looking over my options (which include a Direct from HQ, Their Finest Hour, Barrage, and some Recons) I lead off with a Barrage of his single Artillery unit. First turn barrages are common when we play: it can help immeasurably to take out a pesky defensive unit in good defensive terrain. I don't have luck with my dice though, and I score no hits.
He responds with a Recon, and discards an Assault Left.
Since I couldn't take out his Artillery, I really don't want to try to slog through on my Left. So after a Recon of my own nets me a General Advance, I commit to a Right flank strategy, drawing an Assault Right of my own and moving my forces inexorably towards the town.
As I advance we exchange fire, but neither of us score any decisive die rolls. I kill his infantry in the forest on my Right, and park a tank on the Left road, trying to hit his sandbagged infantry on the road.
With my Assault Right, I manage to get my tank, rangers, and other infantry very close to the town. At this point he brings on his ME and interdicts, stopping all three from advancing any further. I brought one tank next to the plane to possibly kill it. He survives his air check next round and strafes over my tank, reducing it to 1 figure at that point.
I use a Direct from HQ to keep moving on Toulon, and he makes a crucial mistake with his next strafing run, taking his plane deeper in instead of using it to cut off retreat for my damaged tank unit. It emerges from the strafing unharmed.
I was pretty proud of my next strategy, playing Their Finest Hour and parking my weak tank behind the Right-most side of Toulon and bringing my Rangers and other Right tank to bear on the town in hopes of forcing a retreat into the arms of my waiting tank assault. I don't get the retreat the first time around, but I do the second.
My Finest Hour roll was about as great as could be hoped, scoring 3 infantry units, 1 tank and one unit of my choice.
As I have racked up three infantry unit kills, and my opponent has killed only my single tank unit, I edge closer into Toulon. Again my opponent makes a fateful decision to use an Assault Center to attack units in a wide spread. Instead he would have been better off leapfrogging a fresh infantry from the road into the center of Toulon and the other Toulon infantry back to hold the town.
As it was I scored sudden death victory with an Attack Center that saw two very weak units take open town hexes while infantry killed out a remaining defender. If the game were to continue I don't think it would be easy for me to hold the town, but I'll take a sudden death win by the rules of the game.
All in all a tense scenario. I juts hope I can hold off the French a bit better than my opponent did. They are French