ASL Day – Under the Noel Trees

One of the classic scenarios, Under the Noel Trees features hidden, emplaced US tank destroyers facing German Stug III and Pz IV tanks that are attempting to cross open terrain. To make matters worse (or better as it turned out), the last line of defense was US paratroopers armed with Bazookas.

My opponent decided to place the TD:s in the half hex forest bits on the edges for maximum coverage (update: later found out that it is not allowed to use the half-hexes for setup. Something I had a faint recollection of at the time). Clever and very much unanticipated move. Infantry stood back close the exit, occupying the forest and giving pretty good last stand Bazooka screen. Ordinarily the scenario becomes dice fest where the US RoF luck declares the result once the Panzers are neatly in the open. Hidden initial placement, emplaced and capable of keeping the concealment, they are incredibly tough to hit and kill (even though they are OT, and would be subject to infantry fire as well as ordnance). However, as German (and known all too well how fast the attacking tanks can be destroyed), I attempted to probe to find out where the emplaced enemy tank destroyers were before general advance.

under-the-noel-trees-1

Three tanks down, one dashing to the exit. Three others milling around to avoid US TD fire. Found infantry on both sides rather useless (because the US cowardice?).

Operation to find them cost me two tanks. Third one was lost in gun duel just before one of the enemy TD:s had it’s MA out of action. A bit of feinting moves to keep the remaining four tanks alive, my opponent then decided to fire nearby infantry with a result of the second TD gun getting malfunction as well. That itself was a relief, but in rally phases, both guns were gone for good. This event then opened interesting opportunity, given that the Bazookas were all packed in the other side of the board.

Because infantry had just finished their long walk to catch my third feint (or factually indecision where to go, but let’s call it feint because it sounds better), the opposing end was rather thin on suitable defense and my opponent conceded. On that note, It was to take me full available turns to perform the daring escape. All in all it turned out to be interesting scenario where both sides appeared in various times to be winning and then suddenly losing again.

I admit that I would have been surely toast would my opponent have a bit better luck (and if he would have set up Bazooka guys a bit differently from the start). What I should have done, is to screen the tank advance with infantry, and clear the suspect locations before entering under fire. In hindsight, especially when the US TD:s were factually without infantry screen.

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One Response to ASL Day – Under the Noel Trees

  1. Tichy says:

    Now that I got the “pocket edition”, I noticed that yes, the half hexes are _not_ allowed setup hexes as I thought. So, the US TD’s rather fantastic locations were – fantasy. Well – both having malfunctioning MA (cause of recall btw.) was act of Karma then?. Live and learn 😀

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