|Close battle, but the endgame was not exciting|
This scenario has a huge map for the relatively limited amount of forces involved. An Australian force is defending against two German forces, each smaller than the Aussies, but combined the Germans heavily outnumber the Australian defenders. One German wing is trying to force a river crossing where there are no bridges, while the other wing enters as a reinforcement that has already crossed downstream and hits the flank. The Australians have excellent OBA support, whereas the Germans have none. There are four victory conditions for the Germans, who need three for a minor or all four for a major victory. The Australians get a minor if the Germans only achieve two, and a major if they only achieve one. VCs include having more steps south of the river, inflicting double casualty rate, suffering no more than ten steps, and clearing the river boards.
The Germans are all on foot, with the exception of basically worthless field guns on wagons. I say worthless because with the Aussie OBA and given VCs it’s dangerous to use them. I did use them as bait at one point, and the fact they survived some of the worst Australian OBA rolls of the game was lucky for me.
My north wing made a slow approach under maximum cover towards the west end of the river, as the Australians had a spotter on a mountain that could bring OBA hell down on the entire east portion north of the river. I brought massive firepower to bare on the four platoons holding the woods just south of the river, but to no avail whatsoever. My rolls were abysmal, and I could not get a combat effect against the defenders, leaving the entire wing held up for a substantial time.
My eastern wing came in on turn eight, and I figured I could begin to push against the Australian flank. I maneuvered to maximize my approach on the defenders in the east woods, and finally went in for the assaults. My rolls continued to be abysmal as despite the assaults being in my favor, my opponent rolled 5s and 6s while I could not get a roll above a 3 on any assaults through turn 15. On turn 16 I managed to inflict my first step loss on the Australians when my opponent counterassaulted me, but the casualty count at that point was five to one. By turn 20 I finally managed to bring that up to five to five, but things were looking real bad for the Germans.
My north wing gave up trying to shake the defenders in the woods and sent the engineers forward to cross the river. Most of the wing (less the guns) managed to cross, but I did lose a full platoon to an OBA shot. The wing managed to pressure the woods defenders and finally begin degrading them (as well as assisting the hunting down of a 2lber), but that was the extent of their penetration.
My eastern force finally began to tell, especially since they took down the Australian guns and mortars. Weak concentrations of Australian defenders in assault hexes wore down and died. Eventually, as the scenario came to an end, they managed the two to one ratio (almost prevented from the two step loss), to score 14 to 7. Barely managing three conditions the Germans scraped a minor victory from a near disaster.
We thought this was a weak 3 for a rating. The scenario was reasonably balanced, but the slow movement for the Germans over such a large board combined with little for the Australian player to do towards the end had both of us anxious to get this scenario finished by turn 25. The last five turns were far from exciting despite being critical in garnering four of the step losses the Germans needed to win. It was a good scenario, but not an exciting one.