Going through the ASL classics, what could be better than Commando Sehenke sometime after Comissar’s House. Again, it is a setting of very intense, very bloody city fight and my opponent elected to be the attacking Germans. I was left with Russians and my first tactical decision was to replace my best commander with Political Commissar. Having only two leaders, I thought it would make a big difference. Last stand morale boost provided by the Commissar is, regardless of the ill effects – eg. rally casualty reductions if really unlucky.
Very early in the game my 10-0 Commissar battle hardened, but I did not remember that if already as good as it can get, it would become Fanatic. In any case, commissar proved out to be absolutely crucial resource. Inside building (building bonus 1-, increased morale +1), baseline rally check of 1st line trooper would be 9 or less – not bad at all…
I decided to set up some portion of the forces and another leader up front to slow down the attack – fully aware of the fact that storming the fortified location is anything but easy. They were to fall back and die in the progress. Additionally couple of dummy stacks suggested Germans to channel their advance precisely where I needed them – amongst intricate structure of fire lanes and residual fire. Additionally, I intended to discourage envelopment that would have spelled doom to the fortified building. As I hoped, he did fall into it. As a result, he did not deploy some of the more important tools in his arsenal to restrict my movements and bound some units in false caution.
Knowing the that the combat engineers with smoke making capacity of 5, it would be hard to put good fire against them and I started delaying action that relied entirely on residual fire and fire lanes. Residual fire ignores smoke and other hindrance, but they would not cause huge losses. However they would force caution – caution that cost time. And time, time was my ally.
I have to admit that rather stupid loss of my second leader and related stack+LMG did hurt, but on the other hand they did manage to buy one turn of time. German assault finally came in with support of flamethrowers, combat engineers and massive firepower. I withdrew from the most deadly locations but kept tap on the most likely avenues, and laid again set of fire lanes and residual fire to hinder German movement.
Combined with change in luck – quite few DR under 5 against FFNAM units finally began to tell. Running through modest residual of 2 became deadly affair. Two turns to the end, and not getting the DC in place, not even mention successful breach, he abdicated. Without break it was simply not possible to clear the now throughly occupied building in given time.
I knew it from the Comissar’s house that Fortified buildings are terrible. Almost impossible to reduce if one has no time. One cannot just simply walk into Mor… err…, to the building locations through advance phase if occupied by opposition. Every single location needs to be cleansed by purifying fire…
And that building has 18 possible locations to hold out. What a deployment possibilities for a defense to the last man.