Patch came over for the first time in way too long right after Christmas, and we got in a FtF game of ASL. Out of a few different possibilities, Patch stuck with “Counterattack at Carentan” from the second Winter Offensive pack, which would have been our previous Vassal game if I hadn’t gone for something more topical.

It’s a week after D-Day, and the 101st Airborne is defending the approaches to Carentan from a German counterattack. Half of boards 54 and 63 are used, with all hedges treated as bocage. The Americans are defending with five 747 paratrooper squads and a pair of 337s, a MMG, 2xBAZ and a 57mm AT. The Germans get nine squads (mix of SS and 548s), some LMGs, a DC, two StuGs, a StuH and a Marder III M. My first thought was the American force was completely inadequate, but then I realized the goal is for the Germans to exit off the opposite end of the map (20 hexes) in six turns. That made more sense, though Patch immediately realized with Germans only need 15 EVP, which means it’s not hard to do with just vehicles.

However, I mis-set up the scenario, going for the opposite halves of the two boards than what is intended. Which helps explain some of my difficulties. There is no good place for the ATG in my mis-done version. Worse, the east edge is relatively clear this way, and Patch was contemplating a sprint down the edge for a quick potential win. It’s remarkable how different the two halves of board 63 are in particular. The wrong half is much more congested, and there’s no place for a Gun to cover everything. I nearly set up the ATG in the I2 building, but then realized it wouldn’t see over bocage. Patch pointed out the level 2 I3 position. It can see to the left and right, but is blocked in front by the building. Also, not too hard to smoke in, once the position is known.

I ended up in the O4 building, which was pretty useless as it was away from Patch’s advance (E2, which I nearly went with, would have been much better). I kept it hidden for the entire game to keep Patch having to worry about it, but his post-game analysis that I would have been much better served to push it down the road to I1 is correct.

So, we had a fairly unbalanced contest as I redeployed against his edge-crawl, and Patch made fairly steady progress, capturing a couple of HS on the way. I occupied the orchard-road hexes for a bit, but Patch got through that, because there wasn’t enough there yet. However, the one bit that made him sweat a bit was when I revealed the MMG in there for a flank shot against the Marder, and he realized it had a meaningful chance of a kill. Sadly, it missed.

Naturally, my final defense ended up along the bocage line in D4/D5. Patch regretted not keeping me from getting there first, as I got there with more than he anticipated, but I couldn’t get good enough shots with the BAZ to kill anything, and he zoomed off the map for a win with plenty of time on the clock.


Well, this is the second time I’ve muffed a physical scenario setup. But, it was great to see Patch again (it has been far too long), and to get to use all these physical ASL materials again. (Maybe if I did it more often, I’d stop mixing my left and my right.)

Got to chat, I got to show off some of the stuff I’ve gotten over the last couple of years, and had an altogether fun time. As a plus, an early finish meant he got on the road before the next rain storm started really moving in.