Another game of Bridges, this time with German Ausbuildings und Ersatz tanks participating in a last training even before moving off to join their parent formations
I was cast in the role of 'attacker' for the training exercise. MO decided to hunker down near the bridge, using a building for cover. The attacker role gave me the initiative. And so I was moving second, an advantage. Or so it seemed.
On the first turn of shooting (Turn 2) I concentrated on the MKIV, a marginally easier target. Still had 4 defense dice. But my third MKIV rolled 4 hits (the odds against that, Hauptman, are 16 to 1) and he rolled 4 misses (combined odds, 256 to 1).
But the MKIV still survived, because no critical damage occurred
I didn't quite make contest distance, and MO placed the MKIV so that it wasn't shootable this turn. Shooting the TIGER proved a different proposition. No hits. But the Tiger, rerolling, did 2 hits to a MKIV. A battle of attrition was on
Turn 4, MO contested with the Tiger, as did I. With all three tanks. The MKIV managed a position where it could only be shot by 1 tank. One point of damage to Tiger, 1 point to my already damaged MKIV. Two MKIV's traded shots and I took one hit.
A repeat of the buffalo shuffle so my tanks stayed at +2 defense dice for movement. Another damage point for my damaged MKIV. A damage point to the Tiger. This time MO's MKIV missed and mine didn't. Scratch the MKIV.
Turn 6, in case you are counting. Tiger faced by 3 MKIVs. 6 defense dice (2 for my movement, 2 for his, two for his armor). No hits, three times. MO missed as well
Frustration is a terrible thing in a wargame. mine became manifest on Turn 7 after the Tiger smoked in a cheap shot on the badly damaged MKIV. Annoyed, I used blitz to move into close range, hoping for a big turn. After all, I had 9 combined DP left while the Tiger was down to 5.
MO sat still. My tanks had 0 defense dice and his had one. I rolled 4 dice, and managed 2 hits twice, no criticals. He produced 6's in defense to match mine twice (luck is a fickle thing)
MO managed 4 hits on my damaged MKIV.
Even with that stunning loss my plan seemed to be working. MO executed a buffalo shuffle to improve his chances of surviving, and let me contest unchallenged. He actually grabbed some cover. I sat still. Rerolls, you know. My 4 shots against his now 5. No hits. No hits on the reroll either.
5 dice fly against my 2 for his movement and one for my armor. Engine fire! One additional hit! Guess who can't find the fire extinguisher!. But I have a victory point.
Turn 9. No time limit in this game, so MO hasn't won. Bad thinking. I calculate the odds again. Best chance of scoring a hit is what I did last time. Closing the range by moving adds a dice to his armor, and I can't get to short range by just a blitz. So I repeat. He repeats.
I shoot, and get just one hit. Have to reroll, for NO ACTUAL HITS. (16 to 1, remember). MO smiles, rolls 5 dice and gets just one net hit. Dodged a bullet that time.
Then I remember about the fire extinguisher...
I vividly remember the movie scene in UNDER SIEGE where the U-Boat Kapitan and Gary Busey look at each other and then the 16" hits. Felt a lot like that.
First, luck was a factor in my favor early so I can't really complain when it balanced out at the end. But my observation in another 50 point Tanks foray is still valid. Small battles, luck will frequently dominate skill. Not that closing the range to accelerate victory was hugely smart, by the way, but it was carefully considered.
In the end the Germans won/lost, and I was on the losing end of the equation. Schlect Gluck, Kameraden