BFP 129 – A Bitter Day
From Bounding Fire Productions’ Poland In Flames module
Saint Louis ASL Night, October 12, 2017
The scenario is set in Poland, 12 September 1939. Contrary to what you would think, the Poles are the attackers and the Germans are the defenders. In order to win, the Poles need to control every building on board 7b. Any time I see a victory condition that requires 100% control, I get nervous, but the Poles 21 MMCs with associated leaders and support weapons to drive out a group of 13 squads and 2 half squads (along with SWs and leaders). The ASL Scenario archive shows it to be extremely balanced.
I did not have a great number of options for defensive setup, so I thought that I would try to slow him down as much as possible holding the first set of buildings and then fall back when pressed. I did not want to concede the south side of the board, so I made sure to cover that area as much as possible. This was definitely secondary in my mind, though, and he was able to sneak one unit past those defenders to get to the solitary building in R8. Little did we know at the time, but the entire game would hinge on that control. More on that later.
By the end of the first turn there were no surprises. He was coming in as I expected him to, and I was trying my best to maintain discipline and remain concealed. We were both able to get some hits in but there were no major developments yet.
In turn 2 he really started to advance toward that lone building on the south side. I think that I made the right play in keeping my MMG concealed and pulling back slowly because it really delayed his advance and the threat of it tied up a large number of his troops. In the main cluster of buildings, His advance was stalling, and he was rolling really poorly. Every time he rolled an 11 we both laughed (What can you do?) and every time I reminded him that the dice always come back around. How right I was! You can also see here that I decided to use the cover of the hill to start falling back even though I was still in good order with the initial cluster. I did not want a series of bad roll to wipe me out and allow free access to the North side of the building. As defender, I like to maintain the threat of force as mush as the actual show of force.
By turn 3 he was finally able to overrun my initial cluster of buildings, and also sprint up ahead to grab that lone building on the South side. He was also able to encircle my lone hill defender – an excellent bit of tactics on his part. Nevertheless, my initial strategy of delaying and falling back was working, and my reinforcements had started to arrive.
On turn 4 he started to organize to make his final push, and I started digging in to cut off his movement lines and make sure that it would take him more time than he had to grab every single building. You can see that I was starting my counter attack on that southern building as well. It was very lightly defended.
In turn 5 he was coming at me hard, but I still held the buildings. I was feeling good about things, knowing that I was going to get a bunch of point blank shots. My MMG finally revealed himself as well. He was much more effective as a threat than he ever was in use, but as defender I think he did his job.
Turn 6. Ugh. Remember what I said about the dice coming back around? Holy moly. I rolled nothing but 11s. He had my northern reinforcements cut off, and my troops in the buildings could not shoot straight. The dice completely failed me and I was overrrun. Retaking that solitary building to the south was my last hope. But I had a chance.
Rest in peace, men.
Turn 7. My last chance. I had to have that building, so I moved in. My men charged bravely. Some broke on the way, but one squad made it in. This is what is all about. Last roll of the game. I am the attacker, so I get to go first. I may be wrong remembering the numbers, so please don’t look it up and yell at me, but I think I needed a 4 to kill. Rolled it. Bam. I am one roll away from my very first ASL win. He needed a 3 to kill me (There was no ambush.) If he rolls it, he wins, since we are both broken and he controlled the building. If he rolls 4 or higher I win.
I am still winless, but I love this game more than ever.