Joshua Gottesman
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War on the Equator - Scenario 2 - Peruvian Blitzkrieg

The Ecuadorans put 2 INF platoons forward dug in on the bridge. An INF and HMG guarded the forward town, and the rest of the INF were in the woods or dug in on the road before the larger town, figuring the CARA reinforcements could guard the town itself or the front troops could pull back to there. The Peruvians entered with their tanks racing up the road to 2 hexes from the Ecuadoran guarding the bridge. The infantry headed forward as fast as it could, with the artillery battery heading for the woods to the south. On turn 2 the tank fire demoralized one of the bridge defenders and disrupted the other...the demoralized guy amazingly recovered, only to have both units demoralized by OBA.

The bridge area was cleared by turn 3 and on turn 4 the tanks raced towards the small town and again parked 2 hexes away. Without any Ecuadoran anti tank weapons, they laughed at possible danger (I set the Ecuadoran artillery protected in the woods. Its 1 AT factor would not have helped much, IMO). At this point, the Peruvian OBA started to mail it in, and from here on out was mostly ineffective (lost of 6 - 8 results). The Ecuadoran losses started on turn 6, as intense direct fire demoralized the forward town defenders, and then 2 of them died of compound demoralization. Meanwhile, it took until turn 6 for the CARA reinforcements to arrive (the last possible turn). They started racing towards the larger town...or at least as fast as 2 MP units can race.

The Peruvians assaulted and took the forward town on turn 7, not from getting "1" or "2" results on the assault table, instead from compound demoralization in the dispirited Ecuadorans. The Ecuadorans fell back towards the larger town, while the Peruvians started to fan out to encircle them. On turn 9 a combined tank/engineer stack moved to assault some troublesome Ecuadorans in the woods blocking the approach to the larger town. The Peruvian advanced was slowed by Fog of War. On turn 10, most of the Ecuadoran resistance outside of the town collapsed, at they lost 8 steps to assault and fire, mostly from compound demoralization. However, a couple of INF platoons and the CARA had established themselves in the town. Of course, the Peruvians had almost half the scenario to go...no problem.

Well...maybe. On turn 11, command confusion (i.e., an early FoW roll) slowed the Peruvian advance. On turn 12, a single CARA defending in the woods to the northwest of town passed and M2 morale check and continued to be a thorn in the Peruvians side until turn 17, stubbornly refusing the break. The Peruvians braved heavy Ecuadoran fire to move into assault positions on the town. Turn 13 saw the first Peruvian casualties as the Ecuadorans blasted the units trying to assault the town from 2 hexes (The Ecuadorans had one 10-1-1 leader who was invaluable here). Again, FoW slowed the Peruvians. Finally, they began assaulting the town on turn 14, only to see the Ecuadoran regulars hold and watching them Demoralize a Peruvian captain and disrupt a tank unit. OBA tried to blast a reinforcing CARA and, as usual, failed miserably (we're talking 45 factors available here, folks). Actually, this time they hit, but the CARA and its 6/5 morale passed 3 separate checks.

Turn 15 saw the demoralized captain desert, while the Peruvians now had 2 of the 3 town hexes tied up in assault. However, FoW struck again, ending the turn on the 1st opportunity. Time was running short now. The town was almost completely surrounded on turn 16, but the Ecuadorans in the assaults refused to die. Finally on turn 17 2 of the town hexes fell to assault. The 3rd town hex was assaulted, but the Ecuadorans held their own. With 4 steps left on turn 18, there was no way the Peruvians could dislodge all of the defenders fromt hat last hex in 1 turn, and it was declared a Ecuadoran victory.

The key to the win was...well...luck. The ineffectiveness of the Peruvian air and OBA was a great boon to the defenders. 2 different Ecuadorans recovering from demoralization with snake-eyes slowed the advance a bit, as did several Fog of War rolls. The brave CARA units standing up to assaults on the approaches to the town and in the town itself bought the Ecuadorans just enough time to win the scenario. It was a fearsome slaughter, and the Ecuadorans did what they had to do.

I rated this a 3/5 because there's not a lot for the Ecuadorans to do, however for a solo scenario I'd make it closer to a 3.5.
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