Saturday, May 31, 2008

Enfilade AAR - Part 2

Saturday Morning. The thought of ASL all day has me busting at the seams. I have breakfast with my wife and go down to the convention floor. Within 5 minutes Brent Morris (Boise, ID) is asking if I want a game. Um, duh.....

After some deliberation, I select one of the scenarios that he brought: LSSAH #7, "Just in Time". This one pits the British against the Germans for 7 turns. The Germans have to hold a one-lane bridge placed in 40Y2-Y3 and the British cross board 2 to try to either destroy it and win immediately, or capture and hold it until the end of the game.

This game started with me as the Germans making a setup snafu. The setup is anywhere on Board 40 or on Board 2 south of Hex row 8. I missed the "south of Hex row 8" part. So did my opponent. We didn't notice it until we were about 3 turns into the game. As written, I'm thinking that the scenario is at least 65-35 pro-British, maybe even 70-30. They have 3 mortars, enter first, and then are on the hill pissing down a whole lot of bad news on the Germans who can't do very much about it. As we played it, it's still probably at best 60-40 pro-British. The Germans are outgunned by about 3-1 and the Brits have a significant number more squads.


I set up my mortar on the hill with another squad supporting it. Both were in trenches. I knew I wasn't going to hold that hill but I had to delay them somehow. If they crossed Board 2 with impunity, that means that they were maybe 6 hexes from the VC with like 5 turns to do it. Totally unacceptable. So instead of taking the hill on turn 1, they did it on turn 2. My defense was reasonably flexible and able to reposition itself once I saw where the main thrust of the British advance was going to be. Unfortunately, I didn't have a whole lot of stopping power. My idea was to try to find the guys with the footballs (DC's) and kill them. The thought was to force them to take and hold the bridge rather than win instantly. Ultimately, I didn't really have the juice to do that either.

Not only that, but the only really good place for the lone AT gun that I had was behind the river on 40 (I put it in an orchard on Hex row Y giving it a good view of the bridge and a decent one of my right flank).

The hill team didn't do very well, although the mortar support squad did better than the mortar squad, holding out for 2.5 turns where I lost the mortar at the beginning of turn 2. I also had some guys on the right and left flanks with clear rally points and fallback lines. The left flank shifted right as the British thrust that way but my left flank forward positions were overrun.

Another issue with the SSR's in this scenario is that even though the British enter off board, there is no HIP for the gun, and the sunken road does not exist. The extra rout line would have been nice.

It also didn't help that my AFV recalled and my ATR needed snakes to hurt the front armor of the British BMG's

As it was, on turn five, Brent caught the bulk of my defenders in the middle trying to skulk with fire in a stack and I boxcar'd the result. Wounded leader, CR half squad, broken squad. That left 2 squads on the right flank, a leader in the middle, and the AT gun. My next turn I tried to rally and biffed on the rolls.

It was about then that I conceded.


I'm thinking that my rear positions may have been better served starting behind the river entrenched. The problem with setting up forward is that for the most part, the only "connected" cover is trees, and if the British take the hill, their mortars are firing air bursts all day. Bad news for the already beleaguered Germans. I just don't see how the Germans can get it done with the restrictions that they have. Not if the British have 7 turns. Maybe I'm wrong.

Through it all, Brent was a class act. Offering rules clarifications and helping me to sort through unfamiliar concepts with kindness. I'd play him again any time and would recommend him to anyone that has the opportunity to do so.

Game 3 to follow....

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Spokane ASL Club

The Spokane ASL club is meeting Friday at 7pm at Rob's house for an action packed evening of cardboard and dice. All are invited.

As an aside, we will likely be hosting a tournament in CdA, ID in October. More details to come....

More ASL....


Enfilade AAR - Part 1

Over Memorial Day weekend, I attended Enfilade 2008 in Olympia, WA. It has been 7 years since I attended a gaming convention and I have MISSED it. I relish the opportunity they afford of meeting new people and entering new situations. This one was no exception.

My first game was on Friday afternoon around 4. I got there and immediately introduced myself to Sam Belcher who promptly asked me if I was interested in a game. Was I ever....After looking through his scenarios, I saw one that caught my eye that I've been wanting to play for a long time. Commando Schenke is a scenario that has gone through three versions (Tactiques, ASL Journal, and Beyond Valor 3rd Ed.). We played the one from Beyond Valor 3rd Edition.


On rolling for sides, I got the Russians.This scenario is played on board 1. The Russians are defending a fortified building and their defense must include 6 or more forward squads. My strategy was to sacrifice these squads as a delaying action. The configuration of the board makes it difficult if not impossible to rout from their setup area. The rest of the OB was deployed back with ample fire lane opportunities.

My goal was to make it as difficult as possible for Sam to get to the fortified building even if it was more difficult for me to fall back there. I did have a leader with my outside MG groups to rally them.I also changed up my 8-0 to a 9-0 commissar and put him in the victory building.The Germans have a decent amount of ground to cover but I made a judgement call and I decided that the first road they had to cross was indefensible by my forward 6 squads so I gave it to him. Again, this was a rout decision. Also, if he got careless, he might step in front of my rear machine guns whereas if I put the squads even further forward, once he dealt with them, he would be even more careful on the approach and I probably wouldn't get an early shot with them.

My 6 squads, one in particular, put up a heroic effort and slowed the Germans. Sam, living up to his reputation as a very competent player did not give me any shots for my MG's. So it went squad to squad as he tried to cross the second row of streets. One of mine survived everything that Sam threw at him until he brought up a demo charge. That took care of that squad.He then moved down the board, I laid a few fire lanes and he got into the building. At this point, he made a rules error. I didn't even notice. You cannot advance into the same hex as a Good Order enemy unit in a Fortified Building. We fixed it in a gentlemanly manner and moved on. This is where I started hurting.

In turn 5, we had a real issue. I had taken out two DC's but there was still a DC and a Flamethrower out there. DC's start as a 30 shot and FT's IGNORE TERRAIN. So once at the victory building, that nice +4 TEM is basically useless and if the FT is up close and personal, we're talking about a 24-flat shot. OUCH!

By the end of the second to last German turn, I had 2 squads left at the top of the building. He had finally picked up the dropped DC outside and was going to be in a position to use both that and the FT on the remaining two squads his next turn. It is theoretically possible that I could have gotten lucky on the dice, however, at this point I conceded the game.


My play on this scenario, was pretty solid. I didn't make any glaring setup mistakes, and my original plan held up. I needed to hold him up around turn 3 for one more turn and I would have had it. All in all, though, I vindicated myself well. A bit of better rolling and I think I could have won this one. This is a great infantry only scenario. The only hitch for the Russians are the FT/DC. They are KILLER because they ignore terrain and/or have high shot values. It is important to identify who is smoking and who is carrying the footballs early on and eliminate them if possible. If the Germans and the Russians go toe-to-toe for the building with the Germans sans FT/DC, I think this is a Russian win. Even with the FT, if the Germans can be delayed to Turn 4 on the outskirts, I think the Russians will win because they can rout upstairs. The commissar is also important because of the ignoring DM factor as well as the morale bump. Rallying at a broken 8 for the Russians is HUGE.

Sam is an excellent player and a very kind individual. Bob W. said that he was a great ambassador for the game and I wholeheartedly agree. If you ever have the chance to play Sam on VASL or F2F, I highly recommend that you avail yourself the opportunity. You will not regret it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Anticipation is Killing Me....

I leave tomorrow with Sarah for Enfilade 2008 and I couldn't be more excited. I haven't gone to a gaming tournament since Nuke-Con 2001. I've missed it SO bad. They are all kinds of fun. If you haven't had the chance to attend one, I HIGHLY recommend it. Always lots of great people to meet and friends to make. Then, of course, there is the gaming. Need I say more?

There will be a tourney AAR posted here when I get back sometime.

I want it to be tomorrow....

Friday, May 9, 2008

More Happiness!!!

In addition to the post below, I think I have the greatest wife ever. With her blessing, I just pre-ordered AP4 (probably not a moment too soon). $8 cheaper than it would have been.

Mmmmmm........Normandy Bocage scenario goodness.......


Barry's Home!!!!

I just got news that my Brother-In-Law is back from Afghanistan as of last night. YAY!!!!

I also got my stimulus check today. YAY!!!!!

So two things:

1.) Time to book the trip to Olympia for Enfilade '08. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am for this. My first tournament! And an actual vacation (no kids, just spouse and ASL - How cool is THAT???)

2.) As a welcome home present, and in order to support the hobby, I just bought SK3 for my Brother-in-Law, Barry and his son Ryan. He is a history buff like me and seemed interested in ASL when I told him about it a couple of years ago. The problem was that it was price prohibitive. With the SK's out, though, I can afford to get him one and he and his son can not only learn ASL but reconnect now that he's home. Both are into Real Time strategy games like Command and Conquer, and Barry enjoys WWII and Civil War history. Who knows, maybe he'll like ASL so much he'll check out GCACW from MMP as well....

You never know...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Rocket's Red Glare AAR

Played RRG against Rob based on a post on the GS forums regarding most played scenarios according to ROAR. Really glad I did. This scenario is awesome. It uses one of my favorite boards (board 3). The troops are all elite and have plenty of toys. There aren't a ton of them, and there's a lot of flexibility.

Turn 1

I had what I thought was a pretty good setup for responsiveness to react to whatever Rob decided to do. With all the MG's, the fire lanes were aplenty. Based on Rob's swing around the hill, I took my MMG out of M5lv1 at the end of the turn. A big mistake, but done with the intention of being flexible. Once I lost control of the S2-N4 road he was free to swing some guys around flanking to O5 and P4 a lot sooner than he should have. My whirblewind would make it more difficult for these guys in Turns 2 and 3, but I should have just left the MMG there. My 105 I chose to set up HIP in R8 with a CA of Q8-R7. My thinking was that it would be used to wreck an Ami end game. As it was, the bulk of the Ami forces came down the right side of the board using the W6 hill as cover. Tons of Bazookas and 'fausts. Perhaps a better place to put the 105 would have been in Y6, or maybe even putting one of the LMG's there with a squad. Either one would have done the job.

Turn 2

The Ami's had penetrated down the right side of the board to the Y8 area on turn 1. On turn 2, since I moved my MMG to support the middle, the Stack in T1 was free to swing around into O5 and P4. Not that I didn't have anything to meet them with, they just were way closer than they should have been on turn two. I moved my StuG III (L) up some to support after the Ami's put their tank in W5 thinking that maybe he was coming down the hill to support his infantry thrust. He didn't though, and was just there to provide a sort of quasi-artillery support for the attack. At that range, my 'schrek in the middle of the board was basically useless, although I put him in R6 with a 6-5-8 on the off chance that the tank would get bored and come down to play.

Some of the bazooka guys assaulted my squad with an LMG in U6 and failed to kill him starting a melee which lasted until the end of the game, ultimately tying up 3 squads and a leader in something like a 1-4 CC that the Ami's for some reason just couldn't win. If a squad with an LMG has to go down, that's not a bad way to go. This turn, Rob went berserk with one squad that I stopped by moving the spare crew forward to within sight range of the berserk squad to tie him up.

Turn 3

This is where things really started going bad overall. I did not have enough mass in the center of the board to stop those stacks in O5 and P4 so I started shifting. My 75L shifted to help the HMG in S8 keep the Bazooka teams in turn 2 from hooking around south to capture O10, while the guys I originally had protecting it moved toward the center of the board to help fend off the masses. I put the Whirblewind in O7 and then Q6 after doing some damage with that 20 FP IFE gun (MAN I like that!). The other thing about Q6 is that it is hull down to a bunch of stuff. The 90L started after me and couldn't get a turret hit. YAY for HD!!! After the Ami's moved I didn't like the 75L position so I went to reorient and bit it with a Bazooka round. No survivors. Should have popped smoke before starting. That was my second big mistake.

At the end of this turn, my position was precarious but not totally lost.

Turn 4

This is when I lost the game. The Ami's broke my MMG, my HMG, the guy with the 'schrek, and a couple of un-weaponed squads. After that the middle of the board was basically over. I had no one to maintain Q7 except a wounded leader and although getting there was costly for the Ami's due to the 105 that put a ton of fire on Q6 breaking the squad and wounding the 10-2 leader, the stack in R6 advanced into CC with Q7 and took the building, ending the game.


I REALLY need to work on timing. When to abandon positions v. when to hold them. Also, I tried to avoid putting a stringer out in no-man's-land but putting someone in Y6 even if they broke on turn 1 or 2 might have slowed the Ami's down a turn. Even better, it might have channeled them into the fire lanes that I was ready to make. All good things....

As a scenario, I'd play this again in a second. This is truly one of the "Classics" for a reason. I recommend it to anyone.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Spokane ASL Club Meets Tonight

6:30 pm at Rob's Condo. YAY!!!!!

What a fabulous way to end the day.