Friday, May 4, 2012

ASL45 Revenge at Kastelli

Took a 4-day weekend this week and with that, gave my wife 1 day and ASL 1 day (a customary thing for my longer-than-3-day weekends).  Today's live VASL foray was ASL45 Revenge at Kastelli against Spencer Armstrong.  This one was on my list for several reasons:

1.) Having come to ASL (fully) in the early 2000's (2001 I think), and having SL but never having played it really, most of the "old" scenarios are new to me.  This happened to be one of the many I have never played.
2.) It's a fairly straight-forward scenario with some easy-to-understand SSR's and VC's.
3.) It's all-infantry and I'm still not very good with tanks.

Having played 4 turns of it, now, we're shelving it.  I may do an actual AAR later (or maybe not), but here are my impressions.  One of the things I'm finding about the "old-school" scenarios (from the boxed sets) is that they are all 1.) really long and 2.) much more "historically based" in OB and conditions than "newer" scenarios as a general rule.

The key to this scenario is to surround and kill or even better, capture for FTR.  I've loaded the south board and while I've certainly taken my licks, have fairly well surrounded the Germans down there.  I left a token force in the north to try and force the Germans to move slower to reinforce the south and hopefully give my Greeks enough time to clear it prior to them getting there so that they can redirect their force.

The problem with the game is that there is simply no variety in the action within the scenario itself.  The playing area is large and the bulk of the Greek squads are green so they only move 3 normally.  It takes longer for them to get anywhere.  The hills and woods-to-brush terrain change make for an interesting modification to these boards because the hills make routing extremely difficult, and the brush makes movement-under-cover impossible.

Don't know if we'll pull this one out again or not (either live VASL or PBEM).  It's not a very "exciting" scenario (more of a slog-fest) and with there being so many other scenarios out there to play...  Who knows?

What WAS fun, however, was playing ASL with my friend Spencer.  For those of you that have not had that opportunity, I highly recommend it.  A great player, and even more important, a great guy.  I look forward to our next meetings both PBEM and live.

The Count

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

AAR for FrF45 Totensonntag

With this being my first ever game of PBEM, I would have thought it would be harder.  It's not.  I really enjoy the speed and medium of PBEM to fit my time needs.  Not that I don't like live VASL/F2F more but right now, this definitely fits my play availability better.

So I've set up a "permanent" opponent in my eASLeague partner-in-crime Spencer Armstrong.  This was our first scenario and at the beginning, he spent some time teaching me the mechanics of PBEM (but they're not hard to master).  He then proceeded to school me on how NOT to attack as the Polish in this scenario.

The Polish are set with the task of killing 6 SEq worth of Germans and/or capturing wooden buildings (with one building captured being the equivalent of one squad) in 6.5 Turns.  It is an infantry-only scenario on board FrF-A.  Below, is a screenshot of our final Setup (illustrating the board as well).

As you can see, there are several "open" hexrows that lie between woods and town that I'm going to have to cross - with NO smoke.  That was sucky.

This is the end of Turn 1:

I began toward rushing the right side because of how heavily the left was loaded (MG in the wooden building plus no cover.  Spencer shifted immediately, however ready to punish with -2 shots.  I was not able to keep enough pressure on him with the guys in the center to keep him from shifting.

At the end of Turn 2:
 I have forced him out of the stone building in the middle and taken the first row of woods.  The problem is that when you're advancing, you have no cover between the woods rows and the German can make you pay.  The trick for the German seems to be avoid adjacent units and especially CC at any cost (up to and including Voluntary Break) and NOT to let the Polish behind them.  The Polish, on the other hand seem to not be able to go down either side and rush the back field (both to capture buildings and/or kill for FTR) without taking brutal -2 fire which leaves the middle and cover for the Germans' retreat.  Seems a real pickle.

At this point, I wasn't losing excessive firepower and I had taken a half squad and he had broken one of his MG's.  Not quite as quick of progress as I'd hoped, but there was still 4.5 turns.  I had some time.

...Several turns later...

In Turn 3, I picked up another HS.  but had come up empty after that.  As you can see from the picture above, I had taken the second woods, but was drastically running out of time.  I had previously tried to flank with a squad and leader down the left (east) side but they got gunned down and were pretty well down for the count.  You can see here, Spencer is falling back like a pro leaving a few units as "speedbumps" and enough possible negative shots to funnel me through woods terrain that eats up my MF.  At this point, the game is very likely over, but I have decided that I want to play more endgames so I can see some of those last minute reversals (though with my luck at this game, that's not likely to ever happen but hey - "you have to play to win").

End of Turn 5:
This is my first foray trying to push through the last batch of woods.  I got a few through, but at this point decided that I hadn't been pushing enough.  The Polish player needs to be fairly aggressive in this scenario so that the German can be flanked.  If the German is always to the south, the Polish player will run out of time.

End of Turn 6:
Here's where I started pushing and formed up at the edge of the woods for a last ditch charge to capture some VP's.  At this point I had broken the eastern-most guy and passed him.  I would be able to kill him for FTR by moving adjacent.  I had stood up to a firelane to ensure it.  The guy in the building was now isolated, but I didn't anticipate him routing upstairs so taking him was not to be.  I had also gotten another HS as free points.

Game Final:
By the end of the game, I had killed the ninja squad (who had dodged ENTIRELY too much fire to not have some sort of ninja training) to the east for FTR and another squad with Boxcars on a MC.  Final tally 3/6 of the VP required with no buildings captured.  Win for Spencer.

A great game all around and one I recommend as a good all-infantry game.  Another great offering from the guys at Friendly Fire.  I look forward to our next fracas.

The Count