AAR - 13: Le Manoir

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Originally posted to ASLML ca. 1997.

Played the first of what will hopefully be many games over at Russ George's this Sunday. We had agreed on "Le Manoir" from Paratrooper ahead of time, but as neither of us had a particular hankering for either side, we diced for it and I got the Germans.

Russ graciously went outside to water the yard while I pushed my 2 1/2 squads and three foxholes around. The easy decision was to take advantage of SSR 3 and Deploying everything I had. I considered some forward positions as they had great lines of sight right across the inevitable line of the American advance. I also considered puting a half-squad and MG next to the 4O6 building and advancing them in there first thing to really put a thorn in the American advance. However, with only 2 1/2 squads to play with, force conservation won out and I went with more interior sites that I might actually be able to rout back from.

The 9-1 leader got a half squad and the MMG in 4Q3 with a foxhole with the idea of ducking behind the bocage if necessary. One of the HMGs went in 4T4 with a half-squad and the hero in the foxhole since it had wonderful LOS and a victory building right behind it. The other went in 4S2 looking right down the road on the other side board 4, and the likeliest avenue of advance. The remaining foxhole went in 4V3 with a halfsquad to tie down the left, and the last half-squad went in 4O3 to tie down the right, with the 7-0 in 4T3 as a rally point.

The Americans lined up in a big green line at the limit of their setup area, and as typical, preceeded their assault with a bombardment from his two mortars. By turn two, things were looking pretty desperate. Three of the half squads were broken, two of them being MG crews, and the hero was wounded. However, the Americans were only making slow progress towards the victory buildings, desperately wondering where the second HMG was (4S2).

The tide turned again when all three half-squads rallied a turn or so later, the 9-1 started marching his crew back into position, one of the others went forward and recovered the HMG and brought it back to 4T3. 4S2 had opened up by this time, and the value of stone buildings was shown when an American MTR fired on it, kept ROF about five times, and still never managed to get a result on the IFT.

The Americans attempted to set up a rally point at 4N5, an expedition that ended in disaster. The 7-0 showed up with a 747 escorting. The 747 was broken by the half-squad in 4O3, and the 90 day wonder 7-0 was too liberal with the whiskey while rallying and the squad went berserk. The MMG crew regained their postition just in time to mow them down in their headlong rush at the half-squad.

The generally useless shelling of stone buildings contined along with the Amercan advance with the Germans slowly racking up a score in dead Amercans. This was exaberated when, in a hurry to get to a rally point, about three squads suffered causualty reduction from Interdiction. Along about turn six I glanced back at the victory conditions and noticed the German instant-kill VC when the Amercans go under four unbroken squads. A quick look at the board showed the Amercans had about seven unbroken squads left. It was a race to see who lost first.

At about the same time, the Amercans finally got a couple of squads into the abandonded foxhole in 4T4. The countryside fight quickly took on the overtones of a city fight with a pair of high FP stacks next to each other with +3 modifiers. The Amercans gave as good as they got, each side having a squad breaking, and the hero finally dieing of another wound. Unfortionately, the Germans only had one squad (or rather, two half-squads, as I'd never remembered to recombine them and get some extra range) in the building, and routed out, leaving the HMG to the Amercans who already had one of their MMGs along.

The two half-squads both rallied only to be shot up by the new uber-stack in 4T3 and individually suffer ELR-failure. The HMG crew in 4S2 also got shot at and died. This left two half-squads, one manning the MMG and directed by the 9-1 to interfere with the Amercan advance across the road. My one true mistake in the game was neglecting to advance the still unbroken 7-0 into 4S2 to pick up the HMG and offer a last ditch defense of the building. As it was, my luck was not sufficient to halt the Amercans and they took the building, and the victory on turn 8.

I might have been able to retake the building myself in my last player turn, but the victory is awarded *immediately* upon capture of both buildings.

Lessons learned:
  • Foxholes in woods are beter than nothing against mortars, but not by much.
  • Light mortars lack the firepower to be much of a threat indoors. (Especially true with those 50mm German ones.)
  • Bazookas are damn near useless at range four. (Score: Bazooka hits 0, eliminated Bazooka 1.)
  • Five half-squads are not nearly as helpless as they seem.
Well, this puts my personal ASL score at 0-2, with two more games in progress. The scenario is a good, tight little situation, that I wouldn't mind trying again.