Thursday, February 16, 2006

PanzerGrenadier: Wrapping up Fontana Alba

To put a wrap of sorts on my running game of PanzerGrenadier: East Front Deluxe, I’ll sum things up by pointing out that it’s VERY hard to completely wipe out one side in a scenario.

EFD scenario three, Fontana Alba, is difficult for either side to win. The Romanians have to control the town. The Soviets have to kick all Romanians back across the river. I think balance in this scenario tends toward a draw, with a modest chance of a Soviet win that depends to an extent upon how hard the Romanians press their initial attack.

The Reds begin rolling for their counter-attack beginning with turn 13 – they have to roll a ‘6’ on a single die to receive their reinforcements. Each hour (four turns), the score needed to trigger the reinforcments increases by one. In this game, they roll a ‘5’ on turn 19 and the counterattack sweeps onto the board.

As seen in the photo below, by the time the counter-attack goes in, the Romanians have managed to contest three of the four hexes of Fontana Alba with assaulting units. The Soviet task at this point largely consists of trying to winkle the Romanians out of those assault hexes.

Sweeping away the few Romanian units that remain outside of the town isn’t a terribly difficult task. The stack of two Romanian machinegun platoons close to the river bridge gets pounded to dust by the Soviet off-board artillery (3 x 10-point concentrations) and the three Soviet on-map mortar platoons, before falling victim to a company-sized assault in fairly short order.

The remainder of the game then boils down to the Soviets managing their assaults against the three town hexes while the Romanians can do little more than hunker down and try to hang on by their fingernails.

The northern-most town hex is cleared in a couple of turns, as the two reduced cavalry platoons there lack any stamina at all in the face of a company-sized assault. Romanians in the other two town hexes cling grimly to their positions, but without reinforcements and with no place else to hide, they can only do so much.

It’s a close-run thing, but the Soviets finally manage to clear out the last of the Romanians with one turn remaining in the game. Had the Romanians suffered slightly lighter casualties in their initial attacks on the town – say, two fewer step losses – they likely would have had sufficient strength to hang on in at least one of the assault hexes and force a draw. As it played out, however, the large Soviet counter-attack – aided considerably by good Soviet leadership draws – was simply too much for the Romanians to contend with.

1 comment:

jamie said...

Thanks for the commentary, it was interesting to follow.