Monday, March 24, 2008

Review: Dispatches From The Bunker #26

Walter Eardley

The ASL Fairy left a prize in my mail box this afternoon. Dispatches #26 was waiting for me. This publication is rapidly becoming one of my most anticipated deliveries each year. This issue only confirmed my belief that they are one of the better TPP out there. My typical way of looking at a new ASL offering of this type is to go straight to the scenarios. When I pulled it out of the envelope, I happened to be looking at the back page. I spy an article titled “Welcome to the (Concrete) Jungle: City Fighting in Stalingrad”. Being a Stalingrad nut, I stopped and read. Nice little article talking about how nasty debris is. When I finished, I turned it over and took a look at the cover. Typical stuff on the front for this publication so I start turning pages. While working my way to the scenarios, I ran into a tasty article on The First Bid by Jim Torkelson. I stopped and read the entire article. There is some good stuff in this article without giving away too much. I was intrigued by The First Bid but now I want to play it. So before I ever even looked at the scenarios, I am two articles deep. Usually I do good to read the Historical information on the scenarios much less two articles before I even look at the scenarios.

All three scenarios have made my Wanna Play list. In order of my own personal interest:

1) Shock at Kamenewo – 7 T-34s (mixed M40 and M41s) and 3 KV-1s manned by a 9-2, 9-1 and 8-1 AL and supported by 18 squads with decent leaders and some motorcycles get to have some fun on boards 44, 11 and 4 with 5 PZIIIs and 2 PzIVs (with 10-2 AL) supported by a mix of 468s, 88L Flak guns and 105 artillery pieces. The Russians have to kill a bunch of Germans and cross a bridge. This looks like a Walter and Rob special (with have this bridge theme going). The Russians look pretty tough in this one. Better settle in for an all day match if you pick this one.

2) Commandos Hold Fast – A small force of 648 Brit Commandos is trying to hold of two waves of 9 467 Germans. The second wave is supported by two PzIVHs. At 6.5 turns, it looks a nice smaller scenario for a game day or an afternoon among fast players.

3) Murphy, Go Help the British – This one features 20 666 American squads with some supporting halftrack assault guns T30s attacking along the widths of boards 15 and 9 placed end to end. The Germans get a mix of 9 468 and 467 supported by an SPW 250/10. The objective for the Americans is to clear Level 4 hill hexes. With only 4.5 turns, they will need to move along. Again this looks like a good game day offering which some toys on each side.

If you do not receive Dispatches, I would highly recommend subscribing.

Walter

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