Round 5 MM07 - Cantigny - 28 May 1918
JimDauphinais (German) 6 Medals (1 majority temporary, 2 by eliminated units, 2 by recon cards and 1 by Allied concession), 1 Figure lost (as of the time of Allied concession).
mirkobruner (Allies) 0 Medals (as of the time of Allied concession), 13 Figures lost (as of the time of Allied concession).
This is a challenging scenario for the Allied player that was much tougher than normal for the Allied player in our playing due to the very lucky German card draws and dice I received, and the very poor Allied card draws and dice that Mirko received. Mirko as the Allied player had a very unpleasant game.
My starting draw of Command Cards as the German player included a Rush and Rotation card, center card, right card and an Artillery Bombard Card. In addition, I drew three excellent Combat Cards: Lost Messenger, Short Supply and Butt and Bayonet. This set the tone for German luck for the remainder of the game. For this particular scenario, it is hard to see how I could have drawn a better opening German hand.
The Germans started with a temporary Medal for the possession of the majority of the three Building hexes.
Mirko as the Allied Player opened with a Recon in Force. Given I was sitting on Rush and Rotation, I immediately played Lost Messengers on him -- costing me all of my starting HQ tokens. Now limited to one ordered unit, he decided to go with is right Schneider Tank. Unfortunately for him, the tank immediately bogged in the first hex it moved into.
I then as the German player played Rush and Rotation. This is a huge starting card for the Germans to have in this scenario as a large portion of the German forces start on the German baseline. With the card, I moved up my four ordered units five to six hexes to strengthen my front lines. This left me with three units in my right trench line, two infantry units in my center trench line and my mortar in the non-fortified Building Hex on my right. Crossing the lengthy (three to four hex) No Man's Land in this scenario was now going to be very tough for Mirko.
However, Mirko then came back with a Direct from HQ card play. With it, he activated his four rightmost infantry units (including one with a flamethrower figure) and his bogged Schneider. With is infantry he dashed forward two hexes. With his Schenedier he tried to unbog, throwing in 3 HQ tokens in the attempt. Unfortunately, bad luck struck again for Mirko and the Schneider failed to unbog, even with an Engineer figure helping (a four dice attempt, not a five dice attempt because Schneider's do not get a free unbog die).
I now played my Artillery Bombard mostly to get it out of my hand given I only have a four-card hand and only an up to 3 dice Artillery Reserve capability, but also because three of the infantry units he moved forward were in contiguous hexes and two of those units were in Countryside (open ground). The two combats from the card resulted in the second combat roll producing two on target hits on his center unit, which was in a shell crater. As a result, he was able to ignore one of the two solider hits from my results roll. Note that in my subsequent command card draw i gained a Recon Left card. Once again, luck was raining down on me.
Mirko then played a Probe Left. He used this to dash one infantry unit two hexes to a shell crater and move another infantry unit once hex into Countryside. Note that advancing on the Allied left in this scenario is extremely difficult as the No Man's Land on that side is four hexes wide. Furthermore, in this particular playing, the pre-game No Man's Landing shelling only placed one shell crater two hexes from the left Allied front line and, via my earlier Rush and Rotation play, I had three units in my right trench line rather than just one. The remaining shell craters on the Allied left were four hexes from the Allied front line. Mirko took a one die shot at my right-most infantry unit that was in my trench line but failed to roll a Burst.
I came back with a Probe Right. My MG fired 3 dice on his infantry units in the shell crater and scored two soldiers and one burst. Mirko played Body Armor to block the solider hits, but the unit still lost one figure due to the burst result. Fire (with one die) from one of infantry units on Mirko's infantry units on his left in Countryside was ineffective.
Mirko followed up with an Attack Left and Physican to fix his infantry unit on his left that had lost a figure. With the Attack Left, Mirko moved: (i) the unit he healed up two hexes forward into a shell crater adjacent to my trench line, (ii) the infantry unit he had in Countryside two hexes forward into Countryside adjacent to a shell crater and (iii) a infantry unit from his trench line forward two hexes into the just vacated shell crater hex. Since these were all two hex moves, Mirko could not attack my units.
I came back with another Probe Right and played my Short Supply Combat Card as well. With my Short Supply card, I sent his unit that had gotten adjacent to my trench line back to his baseline. My subsequent ranged fire caused the infantry unit on his left that was in Countryside to lose a figure and retreat one hex. During Command Card draw, luck continued to rain on me as I picked up a second Recon Card for my hand (Recon Right).
Mirko then came back with an Assault Left (it was clear at this point that Mirko was likely stuck with several left cards leading him to make this sustained attack on my right despite the width of the No Man's Land here). With the card he moved forward the two infantry units that had not been sent back to his baseline forward to hexes into shell crater hexes adjacent to the far right of my trench line. He also moved the infantry unit that had been sent back to his baseline forward two hexes into a vacated shell crater hex. Mirko also took a one die mortar ranged fire shot at a unit in my trench line, but, once again, he failed to get a burst result.
I came back with a Direct from HQ Card as the only right section card I had left was a recon card and Mirko now had two infantry units (one down to three figures and the other full strength) adjacent to my trench line in shell craters. I used the card to activate four units -- the three units in my right trench line and my MG unit in a fortified Building on my left. My ranged fire and close combat on my right was devastating as his two infantry units were each knocked down to one figure. Mirko then tried Butt & Bayonet back, but luck continues to not his way as it was ineffective. My luck continued as I drew an Assault Right Command Card at the end of my turn.
Mirko then played a Recon in Force Card. With it, he pulled back one of his two one figure infantry units by two hexes to a Countryside hex, moved an infantry unit two hexes from his center in the right most hex of my left trench line, and moved an infantry unit from his right into the left most hex of my left trench line.
I now played my Assault Right Card and attacked his two one figure infantry units on his left. Both units were eliminated. I was now up to 3 Medals (two from eliminated units and one from majority Building hex control). Mirko still had none. Amazingly, at the end of my turn a drew a Storm of Fire Command Card.
Mirko came back with a Probe Center Card. He used it to move his center Schneider Tank two hexes forward into Countryside and an infantry unit in his center with a flamethrower two hexes forward into a shell crater hex.
I now played my Storm of Fire Command Card. I started scoring addition hits Mirko's units. Mirko then had enough and wanted to concede the game to me. Note that at this point he had no medals and had only been able to eliminate one of my figures. Furthermore, as can be seen from this report, all of the luck was going very heavily my way.
At first, I tried to talk Mirko out of the concession pointing out that it is important to continue because advancement in tournament is based on being the best German player or the best Allied player (i.e., you are really playing against the performance of the other German players or the other Allied players) and because of that Mark really needs fully completed game medal and lost figure counts. However, after I remembered I still had two recon cards left in my hand, which would allow me within two turns to instantly jump from 3 Medals to 5 Medals, I accepted Mirko's concession as it clearly was going to be a painful situation for him to continue.
Luck clearly heavily favored me. I essentially got about the best cards I could, and my dice rolls were very good. Mirko's card draws initially only left him with multiple card plays on his left, which were not going to be very promising if I had decent number of right cards to respond with as I did. Bogging one of his Schneiders right at the start of the game was also very painful along with the failing of a subsequent four dice recovery roll for that tank.
On his left, I think Mirko should have waited for Infantry Assault and/or Over the Top Cards, or for center cards to allow one of his Schneiders to move to attack the German right. I think it would have been better to throw off some of the left cards rather than play them to put Allied units in Countryside hexes, which was a big gamble. TGW requires significant patience to get the right card combinations (or card draws to get your tanks moving and attacking) when attacking over a wide No Man's Land even when your opponent can score medals on recon cards.
Also, I unfortunately did not notice this until I ran through the log to prepare this report, but Mirko also forgot to fire his tanks on the turns he moved them. While they were only one or two dice ranged fire shots, they were a lost opportunity.
Other than with respect to the above, I thought Mirko's play was good.
I appreciate Mirko putting up with the luck situation in our game as long as he did and look forward to playing him again in the future.