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Couple of days off (ye hah) and got in some more games with my Dad. Of course this meant Combat Commander got yet more play
First scenario was from the Normandy pack with an action set on Sword Beach with me as British invader against German beach defenders. AS can be seen from pics below I had a large strech of beach to traverse to get to cover of a line of Shingle with only few hedgehogs defences to assist. Moving in sand/beach hex costs extra half movement point. The Germans have a Gun in a bunker but with fixed firing line several wire entanglement and couple of other Bunkers all connected by communication trenches (give good cover of +4). British troops a mixed bunch but they do have scenario specific ability to always discard one card even if other orders/actions taken. But by far the biggest influence in our game was pre-game smoke bombardment which puts random smoke into 10 (I think) random hexes after set-up of both sides. Thankfully for me the smoke fell very kindly effectively masking of my approach of left hand side of beach. This let me move virtually unmolested up to the left most Bunker (and the one containg the fixed gun) which soon fell to a close assault. I was then able to mass against rest of Germans and mop them up for possibly easiest win yet. Of course could have been much different of smoke not so fortutitous in its placement or if a Breeze event had occurred. One up then to the offspring.
Second scenario played was an absolute belter around the Barrikady Factory in Stalingrad. Biggest game we have played in terms of units on board. Also a unique set up method with 24 random Rubble placements and our units divided up into numerous deployment groups which also alternate in random placement (draw two random hex cards per group and placed into/adjacent to hex nearest own base line. This resulted in units all over the place often intermixed . Fritzs get a really tough bunch of reserves on 4th 'turn' of 8 Sturm units. Fritzs can auto win by outnumbering Ivans in the main factory building at any point (firing is allowed within each factory at -3 hinderance). Fritzs usual 6 card attackers hand versus the Ivan 4 card defence but have ability to play all 6 if possible per turn. Ivans have a mix of units types but are mainly Rifle and Smg squads with several bunkers and MGs. Both sides have Satchel Charges, the Fritzs have Flamethrowers and the Ivans 2 Ampulolets (can be dangerous to users !) and Molotov Cocktails and a single Infantry gun. They also have access to Sewers. This game saw us both hurl units into melee early on firing within the factory pretty ineffective and the German have couple of Pioneers squads who are very potent at the old fisticuffs stuff. Biggest influence on game was a Blaze which started outside the factory just behind advancing Fritzs. A truly amazing run of Breeze card events (which dissapate smoke but spead Blazes) saw a massive 25 or so hexes eventually consumed. As it spread behind my Dads right wing forces he found himself caught with nowhere to go (units must exit Blaze hxes immediately) several times losing 4 Units to the flames !!!. This combined with other losses saw Fritzs forced to Surrender with Ivans not too far behind. This was a hugely entertaining game with loads of incidents and events and much wailing and gnashing of teeth or hooting and ahollering as fickle fate took part. The set up etc of this means it will seldom play same way twice (as we were to find out). Great stuff.
Burn baby burn...........................
Following day and another session saw us initially back to Stalingrad for an encounter around some fuel tanks near the Barrikady. Both sides a mix of troops and both having a small reserve that could come on on baseline or one flank edge of board. Ivans had two very tough Assault Squads (these have a low shooting range of 2 but these have really good firepower of 7 bossted to 8 in melee). The fuel tanks are only light cover. Both sides get points for exiting units with Ivans able to gain double if they can exit via three specifc hexes (either side of road exit at opposite base edge). With a good leader I was able to sweep right into Gully area and flank Fritzs who were stymied by a couple of rearguard squads and my reserves. Good meleecards and rolls saw Ivans take out key Fritz units and offered option to either go for the big exit points or to come in behind Fritzs. Guess which option I took !? Coming around behind I was able to kill enough to force another Surrender and so another win !
Next up was a scenario set in 1943 around Veilke Lukye and was a break-in/breakout setting with Ivans defending a Fritz relief force trying to break through to a town to allow its besieged garrison to escape. This was simulated by Germans getting an unbroken unit into the town (situated behind Ivans who were forbidden entry) to activate the garrison (a bunch of half squads) which reverses baselines to allow escape. Ivans gain victory points for each unit still in the town at game end. All hill hexes count as level one only. I decided to defend near the town rather than further forward as I was first tempted to do. Fritzs came on and reached tree lines. Here them came undone as they stumbled into a Minefield and my lowly Light Mortars got some great rolls and card combos to breal and kill severa units (we had found these light chaps rather impotent in past games). But this being Combat Commander two succesive events by yours truly saw two eliminated German units come back to the fray and into the damn town. Once Rallied from broken state and despite my trying to kill them, this brought the Garrison into play !! However I was able to bottle it up fairly well and at same time cause more losses to the relief force so again a Surrender by Fritzs was forced and another win !!!
We then mutually decided to finish of with a re-visit to the Barrikady scenario (Dad was determined to do better after spitting feathers about the 'bloody inferno' of previous attempt). So we duly set up scenario again and as expected the random deployments were quite different to first game . Ivans quite well established in the main Factory but had isolated units elewhere. On my left I did break a Pioneer squad (these are mean with firepower 7) but its colleague proceeded to single handidly take out three Ivan Bunkers and associated units. The arrival of the Sturm group en mass in the factory made it precarious for Ivans to take risks. A single turn massed assaults by Fritzs (4 in total) saw them lose 1 but win 3 and tip the balance of forces within the Barrikady in their favour thereby giving them the win. Not one single Blaze or Breeze event this time round. Again great fun and evidence (as if we needed it) of the variety inherent in this scenario set-up.
I really must try to get my Dad to play another game either that or buy the Resistance pack !!