Wednesday, July 05, 2006

AAR - Pegasus Bridge Campaign

Ed Beekman

Sean Harris and I have been playing the Pegasus Bridge Campaign I (8 scenarios) and have completed two Night scenarios. Here is a report of the action so far.

We practiced by playing PB1 “Ham and Bloody Jam”. Sean took the Brits and I had the Germans. Sean landed his gliders away from the bridge on/near the road and stealthily approached the bridge. My conscripts were consistently forced to retreat to the wooden house behind the pillbox and eventually eliminated for failure to route since Sean cut off all possible retreat and the Brits have invoked No Quarter by SSR. However due to the cautious approach to the bridge not much time was left to take and clear the bridge. My reinforcements of a 2-3-8 HS and 8-1 Leader took over the MMG in Café Gondree freeing up a Conscript HS and 7-0 to delay the advance over the bridge. Eventually the 7-0 blocked the win by taking up position on the west end of the bridge. To remove him would require Infantry OVR and use up too many MF to gain all the needed LCVP. It was a fun learning experience and we were ready to do it again in a campaign setting.


The first TC was to roll for sides with Sean’s high DR of 10 giving him the Brits, I again got the Germans. My 5 yr old daughter rolled for my MGs, tanks and Leaders. My bridge defenders received one MMG, a pair of 8-0 leaders but no additional LMG. None of my Panzer-Pioneers in LePort or Benouville received HMGs. The Benouville garrison received a 7-0 Leader and a LMG. The first leader roll for LePort was boxcars – great, a 6+1. In true ASL style the next roll was snakes giving me a 7-0 and a mighty 10-2. The tank platoon was at full strength giving me 3 Hotchkiss and one Somua tank.

I set up with wire over the pillbox and protecting the AT Gun approaches. Trenches were used to create a bunker complex with a route under the wire and another across the river to give an escape from Café Gondree. A HS and 8-0 manned the MMG in Café Gondree and another squad occupied Café Picot. A HS occupied the bunker and a squad protected the bunker from the Trench. The other 8-0 and more conscripts manned the building behind the bunker and the final squad guarded the trench back door to the bunker.

The glider landing was a die roll disaster. Two gliders missed their landing hexes with one destroyed and the other damaged with half the occupants broken. We both agreed that such bad initial rolls would doom the fun of the campaign so we agreed to start over. The second attempt was much better with only one glider being damaged with a leader, some MMC broken and a PIAT lost.

Sean attacked with a pincer against the bunker. He forced his way into the bunker through the communication trench and ground down all the east bank defenders. The 50L was captured in CC; I think it became known through civilian interrogation. Only a HS and the leader, reduced to 7-0 quality, escaped through a swamp to cower in fear out in the irrigation ditches to the north of the bridge. My Fallschirmjager reinforcements drove along the canal and into an IR. They were hit by intense fire from the other bank, the 8-1 broke and the HS was eliminated due to boxcar Fate. The Brit Sniper eventually finished off the Kubelwagon, I claimed that in their haste to gain cover the parking brake wasn’t set and it rolled into the canal.

The Brits rushed the bridge, clearing it as they moved. The defenders on the far side were eventually reduced to two leaders manning the MMG and a broken HS in Café Gondree. The game ended for me with a disaster and a mercy. The disaster for the Germans was that the NVR dropped twice in a row to zero so the Brits just marched up to all the remaining positions and wiped them out in Close Combat. The mercy was that the game ended immediately upon the death of the remaining defenders, thus not allowing the Brits to claim more strategic terrain to consolidate their bridgehead.

Night I scenario ended with the entire German garrison eliminated except for a 7-0 and conscript HS who escaped into LePort during refit. The British suffered no permanent casualties, only an 8-1 and a HS of each squad type becoming walking wounded. The downside for the British is that they only controlled three strategic locations on the west side of the canal (W18, X18, and Z17) and they were isolated.


My goal for the German counterattack was to retake the western side of the canal. I split my forces to follow the two roads to the bridge out of LePort. The force attacking along the canal road consisted of two Hotchkiss tanks, a 7-0, a 6+1, and about half my infantry. The force attacking from the crossroads had a Somua, a Hotchkiss, a 7-0, and the MMG and LMG in a kill stack with the 10-2. Sean manned his airborne MTR, covering the north of the bridge, and the 50L AT with his walking wounded HS. His reinforcements were slowed by wounds to his leaders (one walking wounded and the other an early sniper victim). His western force deployment was dictated by their isolated status. To my advantage the NVR quickly rose to 4, thus making my SMT tanks more effective, although towards the end of the scenario it dropped back down to 3.

I scouted along the river with a conscript HS and a 6+1 for added mobility. They succeeded, the Brits revealed themselves by eliminating the HS and wounding the 6+1. The lead Hotchkiss tank then found the PIAT team and created a fiery beacon to guide all to the bridge. As the battle developed around Café Picot, I infiltrated concealed units into place to rush the cafe. One concealed squad was lost to snakes on DF. In return I pinned his 9-2 and broke one defending squad, then on a subsequent attack I broke the other squad but the already broke squad got HOB, rallying, going fanatic and creating a Hero. The broke MMC fled to Café Gondree while the Hero attempted to Gammon bomb the other Hotchkiss (dying in the unsuccessful attempt). Half the fanatics died and the British 9-2 was wounded in Melee. Reinforcements charged across the bridge and reinforced the melee, eliminating two of my squads. I threw more troops at the Café and Sean pulled out into the smoke behind the café. My other Hotchkiss overran them but was then knocked out by the 50L AT across the river, an incredible shot through the bridge, at a moving small target by non-qualified troops at night (+7 -1 for acquisition)! I broke one of the remaining three HS and the wounded 9-2 around Café Picot, who fled across the bridge, and killed the remaining two HS in melee at the cost of another 2nd Line squad.

The fight around Café Gondree took longer to develop since my units had farther to travel. The Somua attacked down the road only to be caught in an IR and destroyed by a critical hit from the 50L AT. The Hotchkiss came through the fields on the plateau overlooking the bridge, over the hedge and into the irrigation ditch behind the café only to become bogged. Supporting troops followed up including the 10-2 16FP kill stack (which was revealed by those pesky French civilians as it was about to attack ). The attack drove the broken refugees from Café Picot south down the canal road with an 8-0 leader and out of the fight. The 10-2 and his troops made quick work of the defenders and took up positions to defilade the bridge with some serious firepower. Sean’s reinforcements rushing across the bridge were stopped by their defensive fire.

Having achieved my initial goals of driving Sean from the western bank and having lost ¾ of my armor and ½ my infantry I offered to end the scenario. Sean, having only a couple GO squads ready to cross the bridge agreed.

Sean will attack in the next scenario. I will have 13.5x 2nd line squads, 1.5x conscript MMC, 4x LMG (one is British), 2x MMG, 3x 7-0, 2x 6+1 (one is wounded), the 10-2 and a Hotchkiss tank to defend. Sean has 4.5x elite rifle squads (one is sapper), an elite SMG squad, 8-0, 7-0, wounded 9-2, 2x LMG, a PIAT, an airborne MTR, and the 50L AT. He also has as walking wounded 2 elite SMG MMC, a HS of elite riflemen, an 8-1 and a 7-0. But Sean is smiling because he gets 18 squads plus a plethora of excellent leaders and SW to charge across the bridge and wipe out my defenders. We are looking forward to more hard combat over the vital Pegasus Bridge and will let you know how it goes at a later date.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

2006 ASL Team Tournament TD Report

Well, the fourteenth edition of the Austin ASL Team Tournament event is now in the books. The tournament was held in Austin, TX from June 22nd through June 25th, 2006. This year we had a good turnout of 33 players joining us from all over Texas and from points as far away as Ohio, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. They showed up to battle it out for the many honors we had available for the taking.

As has been the case over the last few years, the doors opened on Thursday morning to open gaming. Thursday gaming counted toward the Major Johnson award – given to the person who plays the most ASL over the course of the weekend; the Minor Johnson – given this year in celebration of the release of Armies of Oblivion to the person who played the greatest number of scenarios involving a minor power; the Audie Murphy and Col. Klink awards – given for the greatest number of snakes and boxcars respectively; and prizes to the person(s) who playtested the greatest number of Pete Shelling and Heat Of Battle scenarios over the weekend.

By coincidence, the beginning of the tourney also corresponded with the 65th anniversary of the start of Operation Barbarossa. In recognition of the event, Zeb Doyle conceived a great remembrance mini. He created two relevant scenarios and came up with a unique team/scenario scoring format that did a good job of taking out scenario imbalances as evidenced by the fact that the difference between the eventual first and second place teams was just one point. Zeb distributed German and Russian themed t-shirts to the participants (very cool!), and also created a booklet with well written articles covering the finer points of pillboxes, platoon movement, and naval OBA that we are going to make available as a Banzai!! Special Edition on the Central Texas ASL website ( and was also made available to the participants. At the end of the day, the winners of the mini were Matt Shostak of Austin and John Van Marter of Capitan, NM.

Friday open play began counting towards the meat of the tournament: the team honors and the top individual awards. As a part of the weekend activities, the ASL Team Tournament also offered a Saturday only, one-day mini-tournament, punctuated by a full BBQ dinner provided by Pok-e-Jo's on 5th Street. We call it the “Texas Heat”. It is a unique format where players are pitted against each other not only across the playing board, but also compared against combined results of their fellow Axis or Allied commanders. A field of 12 played two scenarios: Abandon Ship (WCW5) and A Hotly Contested Crossroads (DB35). Glen Gray (Addison, TX) wound up as the top Allied Commander and Russell Mueller (Dallas) garnered the top Axis Commander accolades.

All the action concluded with the final big matches on Sunday that determined the team champions, and saw it pit the top undefeated players against each other to crown the “10-3” individual champion and “9-2” runner-up. When the dust settled the Team winners were Jack O’Quin (Austin) and Doyle Motes (Houston), the “9-2” runner up was Zeb Doyle (Austin), and the “10-3” superman was Jim Ferrell of Fort Worth. Congratulations, gentlemen!

We were able to get a lot of folks in on the winning action this year by being able to give out a number of door prizes thanks to the generous support of the folks at Bunker Hill Games and Against the Odds magazine!

We closed the books on the 14th Annual ASL Team Tournament, the last of the gear was packed, and most of the folks had headed back to the real world. It is really incredible to have all of these great players together for several days of competition, camaraderie and just plain ol’ fun. I hope that you can join us in Austin next year as we look to see who will be the champions of our 15th Annual ASL Team Tournament. To all, please mark your calendars for June 21st through June 24th, 2006 and plan on being here!

I want to thank the many folks who helped me pull all of this together: John Hyler for getting the trophies and setting up the tournament room; Mike Seningen for his sage advice, handling treasurer duties and running the Texas Heat; Matt Shostak for helping pick the Heat scenarios; Zeb Doyle for his Barbarossa mini; Glenn Schools for helping clean up the place the end of each day; Sam Tyson and Jeff Toreki for the use of their coolers; Kevin Kenneally for his vocal support on the Forum; and many others.

Of course I want to extend my sincere appreciation to the following sponsors for their generous support of the ASL Team Tournament:
The La Quinta Inn for providing us gaming space
Against the Odds Magazine
Boulder Games
Bunker Hill Games
Dispatches from the Bunker
Fanatic Enterprises
The Gamer’s Armory
Heat of Battle
Lone Canuck Publishing
Multi-Man Publishing
SoCal ASL Club

Here is the complete list of prize winners (and their booty):

• Team Champions: Jack O’Quin and Doyle Motes (engraved cups, SoCal Melee Packs and Lone Canuck Tournament Packs)
• 10-3 Champion: Jim Ferrell (engraved cup, MMPs Fire in the Sky)
• 9-2 Runner-up: Zeb Doyle (engraved cup, gift certificate from Boulder Games)
• Texas Heat: Glen Gray and Russell Mueller (gift certificates from The Gamer’s Armory)
• Major Johnson: Jerry Simmons [Denton, TX] (engraved cup, subscription to Dispatches from the Bunker)
• Minor Johnson: Matt Shostak (engraved cup)
• Audie Murphy: Bill Hayward [Cleveland, OH] (engraved cup)
• Col. Klink: John Garlic [Weslaco, TX] (engraved cup)
• HOB Playtest Prize: Mike Cadieux [Oklahoma City, OK] (a copy of Russia’s Heroes)
• Pete Shelling Playtest Prize: Glenn Schools [Fort Worth, TX] (Fanatic Enterprises Fanatic Pack #4) and Tom Gillis [Houston] (ASLOK XX Anniversary t-shirt)
• Barbarossa mini: Matt Shostak and John VanMarter (engraved plaques)

The complete list of participants and all their scores is available from this blog.

Thanks, as always, to the ASL players themselves, who choose to make the ASL Team Tournament one of their ASL tournament stops each year. Without you guys, there would be no ASL Team Tournament. Thanks again!


2006 ASL Team Tournament Results

Player Scores

Player              Score   Wins   Losses
------------------ -------- ------ ------

James Ferrell         5.0      5      0
Bill Hayward          3.0      4      1
Mike Seningen         3.0      4      1
Zeb Doyle             3.0      4      1
Randy Shurtz          3.0      4      1
Sam Tyson             2.0      3      1
Allen King            2.0      3      1
John Garlic           2.0      3      1
Doyle Motes           2.0      3      1
Jack O'Quin           2.0      3      1
Russell Mueller       1.0      2      1
Tom Gillis            1.0      3      2
Rick Reinesch         1.0      3      2
Eric Gerstenberg      0.0      2      2
Brian Roundhill       0.0      3      3
Matt Shostak          0.0      3      3
Walter Eardley        0.0      3      3
Bryan Register        0.0      2      2
Christopher Buehler   0.0      0      0
Robert Delwood        0.0      0      0
John Hyler           -1.0      2      3
Michael Cadieux      -1.0      2      3
Pete Shelling        -1.0      2      3
Glen Gray            -1.0      1      2
Scott Bell           -1.0      1      2
Dan Preston          -1.0      0      1
Kevin Kenneally      -1.0      0      1
Jeff Toreki          -2.0      0      2
Glenn Schools        -3.0      1      4
Matt Schwoebel       -3.0      0      3
Jerry Simmons        -5.0      1      6
John Van Marter      -5.0      1      6
Scott Hopkins        -5.0      0      5

Major Johnson Scores

Player                  MJ Total
---------------------- --------

Jerry Simmons          21100.0
Matt Shostak           16040.0
Bill Hayward           15529.5
John Van Marter        15219.18
John Garlic            14662.5
John Hyler             11536.0
Brian Roundhill        11094.65
James Ferrell          10374.0
Zeb Doyle               9339.4
Sam Tyson               9073.5
Rick Reinesch           9017.89
Mike Seningen           8656.5
Doyle Motes             7726.5
Walter Eardley          7420.5
Allen King              7255.0
Bryan Register          6696.0
Randy Shurtz            5920.0
Eric Gerstenberg        5812.5
Tom Gillis              5442.5
Michael Cadieux         5425.0
Scott Hopkins           4518.75
Scott Bell              4350.0
Glenn Schools           4046.25
Jeff Toreki             4017.0
Pete Shelling           3780.0
Glen Gray               3738.75
Russell Mueller         3540.0
Jack O'Quin             3140.0
Matt Schwoebel          1450.5
Dan Preston              224.25
Kevin Kenneally          224.25
Christopher Buehler        0.0
Robert Delwood             0.0

Team Scores

Team                                     Score      Wins    Losses
---------------------------------- --------------- -------- --------

Doyle Motes,Jack O'Quin,                4.0         6        2
Bill Hayward,Walter Eardley,            3.0         7        4
Brian Roundhill,John Garlic,            2.0         6        4
Michael Cadieux,Zeb Doyle,              2.0         6        4
Christopher Buehler,Rick Reinesch,      1.0         3        2
CENTRAL TEXAS                           0.625       31       26
James Ferrell,Jerry Simmons,            0.0         6        6
Pete Shelling,Tom Gillis,               0.0         5        5
HOUSTON                                 0.0         12       12
NORTH TEXAS                            -0.667       14       16
Eric Gerstenberg,John Hyler,           -1.0         4        5
Matt Shostak,Scott Bell,               -1.0         4        5
FOREIGNERS                             -2.0         9        13
Mike Seningen,Scott Hopkins,           -2.0         4        6
Bryan Register,Jeff Toreki,            -2.0         2        4
Dan Preston,Glen Gray,                 -2.0         1        3
John Van Marter,Sam Tyson,             -3.0         4        7
Glenn Schools,Matt Schwoebel,          -6.0         1        7