Wow, I've been busy! This took me a bit longer to post up than I expected.
The final gaming I did on Black Friday was another game of Nations at War: White Star Rising, this time with an opponent: Rob. We played scenario 2.
Scenario 2 covers, according to the description, an attack by the US 175th Regiment and 29th Infantry Division to take the towns of Le Hauderie and Montmar Tin-En Graignes, held by the German 17th SS and 352nd Divisions.
A quick Google search doesn't turn up either of those two towns, but I'm guessing that the scenario references the towns of Lenauderie and Montmartin-en-Graignes, which were kind of a side show to the Battle of Carentan (town shown on the map linked). Maybe the names (or spelling of them) have changed in the years since the battle?
Regardless, Rob played as the Germans, and I took the Americans. The goal was to advance the Americans across the map, and take either of the two cities. I had 8 turns to accomplish this. Nothing else special going on.
I have two formations under my command: the 2/16 Infantry, consisting of a lot of infantry on foot with some heavy weapon support, and the 73rd Recon, with some Armored Infantry and an M8.
Rob's formations were elements of Kampfgruppe Dauer (SS infantry with heavy weapon support), and elements of Schtz.Btl.107 (consisting of... more infantry with weapon support).
Just a warning, pictures are a little flaky this battle report. I struggled to get the camera to work correctly at the store.
I advance both of my formations west (the American formation automatically activate the first turn of this scenario), crossing the bridges, and pretty much being stuck out in the open.
We then draw both of the German formation's chits, and Rob uses the opportunity to reposition his units to receive my attacks.
Movement in the North. No shooting yet.
And my movement in the South, again, thankfully, no shooting yet.
The first chit drawn was the Schtz.Btl.107. They started shooting at my infantry (with their 81mm Mortar), disrupting one, and reducing another by shooting from a German Infantry unit.
I was disappointed, however, when we drew two straight End of Turn chits, ending the turn. That left my 2/16 Infantry a bit damaged and out in the open, without first getting a shot at recovery.
First activation is the SS in the south. Since I'm out of effective range (and still embarked, limiting the effectiveness of his infantry) they don't accomplish anything.
2/16 activates next, and they begin to move into the woods. Having played on map A during my first solo experience with the game, I figured that the best way to get into position to attack the city would be through the woods. This helped a lot, since it meant I was out of sight of most of Rob's shooting. However, I didn't get away fully- the Schtz.Btl.107's mortar took an Opportunity fire shot against my ATG, and managed to disrupt and reduce it.
The Schtz.Btl.107 activates at this point and the mortar attempts to finish off the ATG, but failed to get any hits. Rob sends his HQ with an Infantry unit into assault against my HQ and Infantry, and are dealt 3 hits (and cause 1, I think), causing the unit and the HQ to be eliminated. Not good for him.
The turn couldn't end until the 73rd activated, and they finally did so, moving up safely (Rob had attempted firing with the SS earlier to no effect), and I disembarked my infantry, deciding that either way I was going to be vulnerable, but hoping to take cover in the cultivated terrain next turn and advance into the town.
Action in the North. With no Germans defending the forest, I'll get a good shot to move through it and threaten the target city safely, I hoped.
Status in the South. With luck, next turn I would begin to take chunks out of my opponent.
The first chit drawn was the 2/16 Infantry, which is great news for me. I rally what I can, and I push through the forest. The 57mm ATG doesn't rally, and sits out in the open. I opt to leave it behind. My goal is the city. I move one of my infantry stacks to get a line of sight into the open road, just in case Rob tried to move across it, and threaten my army.
After drawing one of the End of Turn chits, we then drew the 73rd Recon. I chose to start reducing my opponent, and I open fire, killing one of the Arm Inf units facing me, and disrupting the ATG.
Fortunately for me, the second End of Turn chit was drawn, and although the German formations were required to activate next turn, it still felt great to get a practically free turn.
Progress in the north. Looking good!
Progress in the south (sorry about the glare!). The defenders start to feel a little sparse.
Of course, in true 'fair' fashion, the Germans are the first two formations to activate on Turn 5. The Schtz.Btl.107 activates first.
With the HQ being thrown out of position by its death, the whole formation is not in a good spot. The 81mm Mortar failed it's Out of Command (OOC) check, limiting what it could do (basically, it's only allowed to fire as Opportunity Fire). The German HQ and the Pioneer unit went after the rear of my infantry column, assaulting into me and causing 3 hits, while taking one in return. The HQ attempted to bring a second unit with it, but it was disrupted en route.
The SS activated next, and began firing at my attackers, who were in the open. They disrupt the infantry squad stacked with my HQ, as well as another one of my infantry squads.
The 2/16's formation chit is drawn next, and ignoring the Germans, I move to the edge of the woods closest to the town, and prepare for my glorious assault.
The first end of turn chit is drawn, and I briefly stress that the 73rd could be subjected to a second round of shooting in the open, effectively ending it.
It's not to be, however, as the 73rd Recon's chit is drawn, and I rally my army. I assault into the nearest Arm Inf unit, but sadly take three hits (and dealt 1), eliminating the Infantry unit, and the HQ with it. I shove the rest of my infantry forward into the cultivated field, hoping that I activate before the SS do, so I can deal some heavy damage.
Turn 5 ends with me threatening both towns, but with pretty heavy losses in the south.
In the North, things aren't going so terrible. I can begin to attack the town next activation.
In the South, things aren't as great, as I'm now outnumbered and surrounded.
The 73rd do get to activate next, and I quickly assault an Arm Inf squad, killing it. My M8 fails to provide any help with its shooting, yet again.
The first end turn chit is drawn, followed by the SS formation. They start by shooting at my Infantry squads, dealing 2 hits, disrupting my units. This is followed by an assault by one of the Arm Inf units, who dies for his efforts, but clears out my infantry, leaving me with only the M8 stacked with the HQ. Not a really scary combination. This effectively ends the game in the south- I spend the rest of the game taking a few shots at the defenders, and try to assault at one point, but I have no realistic shot of success there.
Unfortunately, the second End Turn chit is drawn, moving us to Turn 7.
American offensive is effectively ended in the South.
The Schtz.Btl.107 activates to start the turn, and Rob begins to retreat everything he can back towards the town (sadly, it's less than he'd like). Everything has passed their OOC checks and rallied, so he's as good as he's going to be at this point. The HQ and the Pioneer assault another group of American infantry, and deal two hits.
The 73rd Recon and the SS both activate here, but since Americans have already lost down there, I'll skip the recap.
The 2/16 gets to activate before ending the turn, and I begin my assault. I send two Infantry units assaulting into the first hex of the city, and although they only score one hit (and take 0 in return), it's enough to clear the squad in there out of the way, meaning I've claimed the first hex of my goal! However, it's about to be turn 8, and if I don't get an activation I've lost!
Americans take the first hex of Ste Jeanne.
And I get lucky. First activation is the 2/16!
They assault the city fully, and completely claim it, killing the defenders. Rob realizes that he has nothing that can get there and win it for him... and concedes the victory to me. Americans win!
I thought this scenario was a bit more interesting (and closer) than the first scenario, although it's a bit peculiar. There's two battles going on, and they have no reason to ever interact (since the Germans need to defend both cities. It's almost like two small scenarios being played at the same time. I'm not sure what the Americans can do in the South, although I suppose staying in the vehicles and maybe trying to get into the forest in the south would be an option. I don't think there's enough time to do it though.
In the North, I think I did what the Americans will have to do. Rob believes he set up his defense too far forward (meaning he was chasing me to the town at the end of the game) which is probably a true observation. If I ever get a chance to play this scenario again, that's probably what I will end up doing.
So far, definitely like the system. Hopefully I'll get a play on Scenario III soon!