Moving into Turn #3 of starter kit scenario S9 - Ambitious Assault and every move for my Allies seemed to becoming more and more critical. With only four full turns ahead, I had to keep up the pressure and give myself a fighting chance at victory.
American Turn #3
It took us a full evening on VASL last night to complete turn #3, an indication of the amount of careful consideration we were putting into each move and the amount of fighting now taking place. The British still wouldn't arrive until turn #4, so it was down to my strong American parachute infantry to build on their early momentum.
|Board Position At The Start Of American Turn #3|
The map above shows the board position at the beginning of turn #3, with the green arrows indicating the positions that my American squads would try to assault this turn.
|A Miserable Assault Attempt From The Americans|
The Italians had failed to recover their broken leader in N7 (above) and I elected to have no PREP FIRE instead moving straight into the MOVEMENT PHASE.
From the East side of the map (left) I needed to move down to Close Combat his 3-4-6, so I sent my 3-3-7 across the street and into the building beside the 3-4-6 Italians (A). I had cover from the units at (C) and knew that the building would give me good protection against his 3-4-6 despite the point-blank shot. He rolled a 1,2 (2D6) and I failed my morale check breaking the 3-3-7 and leaving 2 residual fire-power in the hex.
I still had an 8-0 leader and a 7-4-7 squad to move and stupidly decided to avoid the residual fire-power and moved them as a stack (to get leader movement bonus) over the edge of the hill at point (B). This of course brought them into line-of-sight for his groups on hill (C).
|A Couple Of Pinning Shots Couldn't Slow The Americans|
The 8-0 leader made it to the building, but the 7-4-7 got pinned on the hill by his 3-4-6 squad with a LMG. His other roll from (C) with 3-4-6, 8-1 leader and MMG would fail and malfunction his MMG in the process, so I figured I'd gotten off lightly for my mistake... Not so as GaryB would later target this isolated unit, PREP FIRING from (C) during his turn to eliminate my 7-4-7. Nightmare!
I need to be more careful when moving.
|Board Position At The Start Of Italian Turn #3|
I had better success in the West of Avola although only after a shaky start. I assault moved a 7-4-7 squad into the trees at (D) only to see them pinned by a fortunate shot from the hill at O9. Close Combat there would need to wait. Elsewhere I assaulted squads across the street (E) to take the units and building around (F). The Italian squad there malfunctioning their LMG in a desperate defence.
By the end of Allied turn #3 the board postion was as follow:
(G) - American 3-3-7 had routed back to building hex L2
(H) - The (soon to be eliminated) 7-4-7 sitting exposed on the hill, with my 8-0 leader hiding in the adjacent building.
(I) - GaryB's central Italian squads had a malfunctioned HMG and failed to repair it in the RALLY PHASE of turn #3.
(J) - An American 7-4-7 squad, with MMG and a 9-2 leader have all but taken buildings in this area.
(K) - A 9-1 leader with two 7-4-7 squads waited to fire on O9.
|Italian Prep Fire Phase|
Italian Turn #3
During the Italian RALLY PHASE they failed to repair their HMG and the Americans recovered the lost Italian LMG in M8 only to find it unusable. The Italian 7-0 leader in N7 also recovered from his broken state.
Most of the Italian action was concentrated on PREP FIRE (right) as they gained one major success in eliminating the American 7-4-7 at position (L) on the hillside. The rest of their fire that phase was largely ineffective.
During MOVEMENT they assault moved their 7-0 Leader into O8 (M) in view to moving him into the buildings on the opposite side of the street.
In his eagerness to put pressure on my broken 3-3-7 in building hex L2 (below) GaryB moved his 1-3-6 from P2 to try and move towards Close Combat. He missed my LOS from the 7-4-7 / HMG stack in M6 (O) and took heavy fire, breaking just as he left the building (N). His unit missed it's ELR and dropped to a 1-2-6. Looks like we both need to be more careful when moving :)
|Italians Caught In The Open|
|Heavy Fire From The Americans|
It would be the DEFENSIVE FIRE that would prove most costly for the Italians as the Americans used some heavy fire-power targeting (P) and (Q) forcing both units to break. The 1-3-6 at (P) low crawling into O7 and the 3-3-6 at (Q) routing into the relative safety of hex P9.
By the end of Turn #3 my Americans had made a little progress and were in a reasonably good position. How critical would the loss of the 7-4-7 on the hillside to the North prove to be?
In Turn #4 the Americans will have the support of a significant British force made up from elements of the British 50th Infantry Division. They arrive at beginning of Turn #4, but have some distance to cover before reaching Avola.
|British Forces Arriving On Turn #4|
|Board Position At The End Of Turn #3|