Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 08:32:12 -0500
From: Mark S Walz
Subject: ASL: SON 01 Our Place in the Sun
Our Place in the Sun takes place in Ethiopia in 1935. This is another low firepower close with the enemy scenario. Nineteen Italian squads must close with sixteen Ethiopian squads to take hill locations dotted with caves. Currently it is 2 - 0 Pro Italian on ROAR. My initial impression is that it would be difficult on the Italians. Digging anyone out of a cave is difficult.
The Italians have 7 turns to move up the board 15 hill and try to take 4 VP worth of hills. 4 hexes are worth 1 VP each and to the east a force of Eritreans enter with an opportunity to take an additional hex worth 2 VP or they can lend there support to the Italian force. The Eritrean force enters on a dr so there are no guarantees that they will have time to do very much for the Italians and they may still be very pressed to get to BB5. One of the interesting SSRs makes the entire eastern edge of the board 15 hill a cliff. It may be time to look up the climbing rules. The Ethiopians setup 5 x 226s on the eastern edge to guard against a rush to BB5. They mostly jam up the gullies. This takes away the cover for the Eritreans while threatening them with H to H if they get in to close. The rest of the defense centers on three of the four victory hexes on the western edge of board 15. Three squads are scattered in front to slow the Italian down. Four more are in two flanking positions that are not on the axis of attack but which can bring fire on the victory hexes. The rest of the squads setup in caves in or directly on the victory hexes.
The first problem I had with the scenario was with the terrain. I don't recall a gully cutting through a cliff hex-side so I decided to play that the gully negated the cliff hex-side. The other problem was overlays X4 and X5. The SSR didn't explicitly state that they were on level four but I assumed this was the intent. It also didn't say if the overlay took away the cliff hex-side or not. Because the overlay covers the hex-side I decided that the cliff did not exist.
Forward Element wiped out for F.T.R. while inflicting only two breaks and two pins on the squads moving in.
The slow steady mob keeps moving up the hill. 2fpf - 1 doesn't even seem to make the Italian player blink. The Italians should be pulling out the bayonets on turn 4.
The Italian 75 wounds a leader and breaks a squad in one of the VC hexes. Leaves two caves vulnerable to CC.
Turn 4 the Italians start the CCs at 3-2. Ethiopians and Italians both lose 1.5 squads.
Turn 5 More CCs are initiated with the Ethiopians taking the worse of it. Eritrean Reinforcements enter but it is already looking like only a matter of time before board 15 folds. The Eritreans therefore, assume defensive positions below the Ethiopians and are waiting to dish it out to any 226 squad brave enough to try and charge the position. This is turning ugly.
It is painfully obvious that the only hope for the Ethiopian is the CVP cap. So all Ethiopian efforts will be directed toward that end. Thus far the Ethiopians have scored 7CVP. They need 7 more to claim the win and three turns to accomplish that goal.
Italians Break everything on the hill except 1 stinking hs. The hs is tied up in a H-H with two Italian squads. The Ethiopians need 4 CVP for the win so they go 1 - 6 and roll a 3! Game, set, match to the Ethiopians.
Final comment: The Italians must and will take enough VC locations. This scenario is really about CVP. Take the Italians but if you're the Ethiopians aggressively seek H to H and go for the cap. A reverse slope defense and hiding in caves until H to H time is the best defense. Especially in light of the fact that the Ethiopians move last.
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