Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Back to CC

It was a long time since we'd played Combat Commander, so after our OCS Sicily extravaganza I suggested we get back to something simpler for our next effort. Eric picked CC:M #20, A March in December. After playing the Axis for the past few OCS games I chose to play the Russians, and Eric the Finnish.

The scenario has the Russians set up along a road, the Finnish setting up in the woods one hex removed from the roads. We both have the same number of squads (15), although the Finns have boxed firepower (useful in melee), longer range (4 versus 3), boxed range (useful for spray fire), higher movement (6 versus 4) and a higher broken morale value (9 versus 6). We both have 3 leaders, with the same ratings except for morale with his being 10/9/8 versus my 8/7/6. The Finns have some Molotov Cocktails, and the Russians have a pair of MMGs. The main Finnish advantages are mobility and morale. I guess the Russian advantage is the MMGs, but in heavily wooded terrain it's not much of an advantage.

The game opens with Eric advancing north and south. I try to fire, but even with fire groups I'm firing on a negative balance - his morale/defensive modifiers are greater than my firepower - and I don't get much effect. Any effect I do get comes from using a strong fire group and 3 Hand Grenades/Sustained Fire cards, but he has a Recover in hand so we're back to where we were. Given that we're the same in firepower I try a different tactic and Advance to melee. Except I've forgotten that he gets an extra point for boxed firepower. However, that's only a single point of difference, but I can't make it up in either melee and lose two squads.

The game progresses in that aspect, as I slowly lose squads to no response. I do get the occasional opportunity, breaking his squad and good leader in a woods/road hex, adjacent to 2 squads, but can't find a Fire or Advance card to take advantage of it, and he retreats out of range. Generally when I break a squad Eric has a recover card in hand, and with a morale of 9 and in woods, that's a morale of 11, and a pretty much automatic recovery. That's the way the game goes. I fire, he recovers. He fires, I break and lose a unit to an advance or second break as I can't recover, and soon enough he's turned an initial 4VPs on my side to around 40VPs on his side. The only bright spot in the whole game is late on when I draw a sequence of Advance/Ambush cards in following turns and roll up his right flank, removing a leader and 3 squads. However, in the mean time he's rolling up my right flank as my squad and MMG in a foxhole is broken then forced to retreat as it can't roll 7 or less in 4 Recover cards played. Finally, the game is over as the Russians hit their Surrender level, with the VP still around 30+ after I'd got it down to around 20.

Not a fun scenario for the Russians, as all the advantages lie with the Finns, firepower, morale, position. However, I did forget that I could get points for exiting the board, and burned numerous Move cards for little effect, but I'm not sure what that would have done. The sole objective that came out was double points for eliminated units, which contributed to the large margin of victory, the control of objective hexes counting for nothing except the sole event that came out, and that from Eric's deck. The only event that helped me was a broken squad reinforcement, which I could have exited if I'd know that I got points for it, but I was only playing to the drawn objective chits.

Maybe we need to try this one again with the Russians just running, because they certainly can't stand around to get pummeled. Then again, I'd probably draw an event that had all moving squads trip over their laces and break.

1 comment:

Eric said...

If you're still interested, I'd happily try this one again and you can choose whether you want another chance with the Russians or want your shot with the Finns.