Thursday, April 6, 2017

PICKING HUBE'S POCKET

AXIS - TURN 3

      This is turning out to be one of the best ASL scenarios I've played in a while.
     Now, I had issues with Avalon Hill back in the day. It always irked me how they would do things -- like requiring mapboards from games A-B-C in order to play all the scenarios that come with game D. Seriously. What if you spent top dollar for Beyond Valor only to discover that you need Crescendo of Doom to play half the scenarios? It also bothered me that The General magazine was nothing but a hard-sell hype machine. I've never gotten over the fact that they suckered me into buying Up Front. The hype was constant and, sadly, I succumbed. (I remember one article where they were trying to sell a game called Devil's Den (IIRC) by creating a Squad Leader scenario to play on one of its mapboards. C'mon, man!)
     Oh, well. Say what you want about AH, but I've found all the SL/ASL scenarios to be extremely well-balanced; i.e. obviously play-tested, which is more than you can say for most stuff these days. For the most part, AH and Victory Games always put out a quality product. Both were head-and-shoulders above the rest of the industry.
     Anyway, on to Hube's Pocket, Turn 3.
     The highlight of the Axis turn was withdrawing the Panther tank from its current engagement so it could it could stem the Russian onslaught on the flank. And by "withdrawing" I mean "advancing-with-guns-blazing!"

The Panther spends 1 MP to start and 1 to move out from behind the trees in plain sight of the Russian T-34.
Since the Russian player would have no idea of the Panther's intentions, he decides to fire immediately. Since it is a moving target, the shot misses (he had a chance of killing it with a turret hit). The T-34 does not retain ROF, so the Panther spends 1 MP to stop and 2 more to take aim before firing. Regardless of the outcome, it plans on skedaddling down the road.
The Russian tank is destroyed and the Panther moves along the road. Another Russian tank, concealed behind a house, takes a pot-shot. Since this one is a rear shot, a hit will probably put the Panther down. But the shot misses. The Panther fires its machine guns at a Russian squad in a wooden building, but misses and continues down the road, having survived the gauntlet of fire.
The overall situation at the conclusion of Axis Turn 3. On the German left, the Russians knock out a German tank. That flank is mostly open now if the Russians choose to exploit it. A single German tank holds the flank. It is on a level 2 hill, but its LOS is severely restricted. In the center, a German tank scores a  potential kill on another T-34 (it is Shocked for now). The Panther approaches the rear of the other Russian tanks, but is itself now vulnerable to infantry assaults in the close terrain. (BTW, that's a German halftrack burning in the middle of the picture. Its luck finally ran out.)

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