Played Stand and Die today. This would be the second to the last scenario my opponent and I would play before moving on to six D-Day scenarios. If you’ve read some of my last posts, you know my opponent “Chiang” has had some seriously hot dice lately while mine have been poor. During pre-game set up I asked if his streak could last. It did. He continued his unbelievable low roll streak. We use the old red and white AH dice. We throw them in a modified box and sometimes get them mixed up with each other's so I know his aren’t loaded. I just stared in disbelief as he rolled 3s and 4s and 5s with ease. Anyway, on to the AAR – such as it was…
I tried to get cute with this one. I split my forces with a weaker middle push – three squads, two ½ squads, a crew with a MMG, a couple of LMGs, and a leader. I also had a CMG tank and a 37 over there too. He had concealments in three of the four buildings in the “U” cluster and left the western building unoccupied. I placed the rest of my forces on the east.
Turn 1 went OK. He set up pretty weak in the east so I made it to the brick wall in front of the wooden (stone) building. He surprised me when he popped out his 8-1, MMG, and a squad in the jungle cluster on the east. Luckily no damage was done. I just kept moving and figured to out pace this group as I moved towards the village. In the center, I exposed some concealments in the first wooden building and set my squads up to take the last three on turn 2. I drove the two tanks up the rice patty to cover the back side of the buildings. Chiang popped out his ART and failed on his AP shot. He then missed with his HE shot.
Things went steadily downhill from there. He continually skulked me in the east so I could never get a clean shot at him. The few opportunities I did get I missed miserably. He used his ACs wisely and denied me a quick scoot around the path leading around the northern jungle. On the south, his ART took out my 37 tank. He surprised me when I tried to march some units past his two remaining concealed buildings only to find that there were squads in there. He blunted the move with some great rolls.
The next few turns saw me going nowhere fast. He even manhandled his ART piece back in full view of my 10-1, MMG, and a squad, only to have me break down my MMG. The final insult came when he rushed a squad in the open with a demo – not a Dare Death squad either – to take out my 57*. I didn’t hit squat. That ended it for me. I didn’t get into near enough detail about how rolls just kept working out for him and the inverse for me, but just suffice it to say, I had enough.
Things I learned:
- Bamboo can stop an advance in its tracks cold. My guys on the east were channeled into a narrow area because of it.
- When attacking from offboard, I almost always keep my forces together for concentration of force. I know that allows my opponent to move his squads to counter mine, but my reasoning is that (hopefully) by the time he gets to me I will have established myself in that area and be set up for his reinforcements. By splitting my forces like I did I couldn’t lay down the full brunt of my firepower to prep and move. I know, someone will say they had great luck with dual pushes, but if I were to play this one again, I would push up the center instead.
- Never put a 10 MP tank in a platoon. Since I always play the Axis, my platoon movement experience is minimal. I should have broken it off and sent it on its own, assuming I passed the TC, but by the time I realized how much the tank slowed me down, it was too late anyway. Now I know…
Anyway, still learning the PTO. It's certainly different from the ETO...