The battle for the city of Leros itself began in earnest today. Ron’s troops, spearheaded by the Pioneers, began the process of rolling up the defenders. Assault-style combat is a dicey business under normal conditions, but anytime you have any of those special “stormtroops” that don’t double their morale in assaults, it makes a huge difference (this made the loss of then entire Küst company on the run in – morale 0 assault troops – especially painful). With the Irish defenders being saddled with 2 points of battalion morale, the Pioneers would often have a 5 or 6 column morale edge, which made it pretty easy to sweep through the town. Castle Leros still remains untouched and loaded with heavy weapons, and the pier we covet is still a ways a way and the Pioneers do get worn down each time they assault. But things are looking much better; the British defenders in Leros are getting mauled, my paratroops, after a nasty run-in at the landing zone, have regrouped and headed for the city of Portolago, which is essentially undefended. Even the minimal defenders will probably require help from the Luftwaffe to clear out, but once occupied Portolago is a very nice central position which will both block British counterattacks and provide a good regrouping area.
Just as we were getting on a roll, though, there was a change in the weather … which went directly to Storm on a roll of boxcars on the last turn. This is painful – the airborne reinforcements (all the heavy weapons for the Fallschrimjägers) will be delayed until the storm clears, and the sea-borne reinforcements, already taking forever, will be badly delayed. Still, I feel generally quite a bit more optimistic about the situation than after the last session.
One issue with TCS is the fact that the battalion morale rules are a little dicey, so I checked out the 4.0 beta playtest rules. The new rules are a huge improvement in this respect, so next game I’ll lobby to use them. Of course, when that next game might be is open to question. Milton is lobbying so play some HASL next, maybe Arnhem, so we’ll see what happens. I’ve been toying with maybe trying to do a TCS game at MonsterCon instead of my usual OCS, due to some general format issues, but it’ll be hard to turn away from Korea.