Wednesday, October 17, 2007

AAR: FO1 Come Seven Come Eleven

Zeb Doyle

Americans: Bill Dorre
Japanese: Zeb Doyle

Today finds me recovering from a fantastic weekend of ASL in Houston. It's always cool to go down for OwlCon, and this was almost as fun. I carpooled it with Rob and Roy and we got in a good discussion of the merits of the King Tiger vs the IS-2m before we arrived at Walter's new digs. He's got a very nice place for game days, and although no sun-bathing beauties appeared, the hospitality was still awesome with lots of barbecue and Kaiser Wilhelm Oktoberfest beer.

I faced off against Bill Dorre in Come Seven, Come Eleven, which is a pretty fun-looking scenario freely available on the web for download:

As you can see, both sides have a nice force but the Americans are pretty pressed for time. In our playing, Bill's boys had their 150mm rockets drift harmlessly astray, every SMOKE shot from the WP9 tanks failed, the OBA man was killed by a sniper after pulling a red card, while I was killing him with .50 cal fire and blowing up his AFVs with Berserkers that ran through more lead than you'll find in a Chinese toy factory. Fun scenario, great opponent, but the dice were very one-sided and the Americans have no margin for error.

Lots of other ASL action went down around me, but I think the game of the day was Walter squaring off against Roy in With Tigers On Their Tails. This is a monster from the Armies of Oblivion that's very fun but flawed in that the two Hungarian Tigers are so vital that it's basically over if anything happens to either of them. I goaded Roy into taking the big cats, and Walter pushed him to the very brink of defeat several times. Every time Roy was almost dead though, he'd roll a one to repair the Tiger MA or a two to bring it back from being Shocked. If the Russians can't KO the Tigers, it turns into a mental test of endurance, with 43 vehicles and 41 squads battling over some crazy LOS terrain for 11 turns. Here, Roy, being the wily veteran of countless untold mental battles of academia, had a substantial edge and began to quote long passages of his dissertation at poor Walter. This was an effective weapon but it had the side affect of driving the rest of us off. As we left for Tom's to continue playing, I noticed Walter was displaying more emotion than I'd ever seen before from him: a slightly disappointed hangdog look of mild frustration. Giving that he was contemplating being along in a room with Roy for seven more turns of a monster scenario, I think Walter is likely the most stoic person I've ever met.

Once at Tom's house, Rob and I squared off in Streets Afire, a deluxe city fight between Hungarians and SS on one side and Russians on the other. This is one of the scenarios from the CH Total Axis Pack I mentioned the other day, and I was pretty excited about playing it. The Axis have some troops trapped in the upper levels of a multi-story building while the Soviets dominate the ground floor and surrounding terrain. At game end, whoever controls the building wins, but some reinforcing SS, Zyrinis,and FT halftracks really complicate the assault on the upper levels. Just to make things even more interesting, the Soviets also get some reinforcing T-34s which have a very small entry area. Given the tight confines of the deluxe boards, it's pretty easy for the Axis to get some PSK teams in the area, so an interesting little side-fight can occur over there, distracting both forces from the main event in the big building. To sum up, you have the Axis defending the top of the big building while attacking the bottom and the Soviets doing the reverse, with the potential for another battle around the T-34 entry area. Very cool situation!

As it worked out, Rob came down with a bad head-ache and set up before the aspirin kicked in. He also rarely plays deluxe scenarios, which have a much more chess-like feel than standard ASL due to the tight quarters the action takes place in. Those two things gave me a big edge right off the bat, and I then started the game with a huge ROF tear from my 9-2/HMG/MMG kill stack and a very lucky ATR shot to bag a FT halftrack. I then managed to storm the upper levels of the victory building without taking any real losses and so we packed it in pretty early. I think the funniest moment from our game was a Hungarian squad doing a Search in the VC building to strip the concealment off of twelve squads and three leaders. We didn't even bother to roll for the Search Casualties...

That was enough ASL for one day, and we switched to watching Curt Schilling get knocked around by the Indians, but the next morning we were back to rolling dice. Roy had wandered in at some point, although I had missed exactly when since he's so small, and he and Tom sat down to play the Streets Afire scenario since Rob and I had left the pieces out. Their game looked like it had a lot of action, with far more force being committed to the battle around the T-34 entry area. It ended up with lots of T-34s being bogged in a burning building, and I think it left Tom with a bit of a bad taste in his mouth. I can understand that, and the entry area is extremely constrained, but I still think it's a pretty cool situation overall.

Meanwhile, Rob and I did battle once again, this time in a SP scenario The Five Pound Prize. It features some SS and Panzer IVs attacking some Brits with 57L AT guns backed by some Shermans. I took the Brits and managed to come away with the win. Early, I couldn't scratch any of Rob's tanks despite having some pretty good shots. My infantry though was basically invincible, taking 2MC and 3MC checks over and over without breaking. Eventually, my defenses started to crumble but I got some sneaky LOS to finally bag three of the SS tanks and Rob just ran out of time. Fun scenario, and a really good one to play at a tournament, but nothing amazing.

Still, ASL is fun ASL, and I really enjoyed all of my three games and hanging out with the Houston crowd. Thanks to Walter and Tom for their hospitality, and I can't wait to do this all again at the San Antonio game day coming up!

Thanks for reading,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hey Zeb,
Thanks for giving "Streets Afire" a
try! I hope that it was interesting
enough to give it another go at some
chris olden