Monday, October 21, 2019

October North Texas Gameday

I've got good news and bad news.
Bad news: I will not be hosting an ASL Game Day at my home in November.      Good news:  I will be hosting the 10th Annual North Texas Shoot Out on November 8 through 10 at the Holiday Inn Express at 35W and Western Center in north Fort Worth.  
Better news: a temporary NTASL website can be accessed at   
The Tournament will feature the Championship shoot out, Master Sergeant mini, and a SK mini.  We will have the Texas Hold 'Em ASL poker game, the All Around ASL Player give away, a T-shirt, AND a scenario pack designed by north Texas ASL players.  Let me know if you have any questions.

The October game day had a lot of ASL action.  Tracey and Matt played a double header.  
Their first game was Lone Canuck's To Battle By Air #6, Flames on the Borders.  The first turn set the mood as Matt lost two British squads to flamethrower attacks from Tracey's SS B1 Bis French tanks fitted with secondary FT armament.  A HIP PIAT team did eliminate one of the tanks but was promptly overrun by German infantry.  Losing a chunk of infantry early on crimped Matt's ability to contain the German thrust  and Tracey was able to exit the needed points for victory.
 Their rubber match was WO11 Across the Issel.  Again Matt had the Brits, Tracey had the Germans, and the tone was set on the first turn when both of Matt's Shermans were destroyed by HIP German AT assets.  This scenario is tough on the Brits as the German set up is completely HIP and without tanks able to fire Smoke, the VC are difficult for the British to achieve.

Ralph and Bob played FT122 Grasp the Wind.  Ralph attacking as the Americans and Bob defending as the Bolshevik Partisans and Mine Workers.  The Americans have to capture a good number of buildings in the Bolshevik set up area while keeping under a CVP cap.  It is a tight scenario with swings both ways.  One highlight was when Bob's HIP set DC took out two American squads and a leader.  Some lucky shot here, a break there, and the game could have gone either way.  In the end Ralph had to be careful as he neared his CVP cap but Bob was able to keep him out of the high VP point buildings for the win.

Ralph and I played the closing match from Fire Fights, FF12 Easy Out.  It is an American Night Paradrop in the wee hours of D-Day played on a special half board.  Ralph took the Americans and i got the Germans.  I think it is a pro-American scenario with the Americans needing to exit a good chunk of their force off any of three board edges without having 8 CVP of prisoners taken by the Germans.  With a NVR of 1 the Americans just need to avoid letting Germans gain Freedom of Movement and skulk off the map.  Unfortunately for Ralph his first roll of the Game was painful.  Boxcars.  NVR doubled to 2 and Gusts made the landing much more difficult.  Units landed all over offboard, the vast majority of the American squads broke into their component half squads on landing, only one SW chute landed in a recoverable area and most American leaders also landed off board.  My first turn allowed some units Freedom of Movement, mostly the crews for my 105mm Artillery Battery.  In the next few turns Ralph successfully exited most the units needed to win, losing a few small units to German fire although one squad CR'd and ELRd resulting in the remaining HS surrendering to adjacent German Conscripts.  As Ralph lined up the last units needed for the win I was able to Encircle and break another HS who surrendered and then forced the surrender of a full squad who broke to a lucky Artillery hit.  Ralph was not in a position to rescue the prisoners as I was adjacent to the board edges far from his GO units, resulting in my win.  Still think it is pro-American if the NVR doesn't increase, especially without Gusts on landing.  See my ASLOK recap below to see why Ralph should not feel bad about this loss.

Finally, I should let you know I did Texas proud at ASLOK.  I was 1-1 in the US versus the World so don't blame me for the World returning to their winning ways.  I think both games were dice fests, once in my favor and once against me.  In one game my force attacking a Victory Location was broken up with an 8 +2 attack.  When asked why, my answer was, I didn't expect the Conscripts to be able to respond to my 24 +2 attack's 3MC.  Yeah, they went Berserk.

In the mini's, I lost my 1st game of the Bushido: Way of the Warrior mini in a tough fight when I rolled boxcars in a Melee allowing my opponent to walk away with a Good Order unit in the Victory Area on my last DR.  This after I was able to get a unit into CC with the last GO order enemy unit, including having to go adjacent to an enemy HMG to get there.

The next mini was the Night mini.  First game saw my opponent's starshells holding up my right hook attack but I was able to squeeze into the German backfield and take the requisite buildings without activating too many Germans. It was closer than it should have been when I lost a 2:1 melee in my favor, including me ambushing the Germans.  The next game had to be the best game I have ever had the honor to play.  My highlight was a squad with a LMG IN Smoke, taking a 6 +5 shot that pinned a HS about to Advance into a Victory Location.  My opponent asked, who takes those kind of shots?1?  I could only smile.  My opponent and I were evenly matched and the game went back and forth.  It came down to the last 3 melees, I having to win 1 (I did) and not lose either of the other two (I didn't).  In the finals, I just hunkered down in the Victory location, used my ACs and HTs to harass the attacker.  My opponent graciously conceded with a too few turns left for him to take the needed buildings.  A very tough mini, I was lucky to emerge the Champion.

Winning the Night mini made me eligible to GROFAZ - play for the world championship.  Unfortunately, operating on 4 hours of sleep against a top player resulted in an early ejection.  Just glad to have been eligible to gain entry.

My last mini was Wrongway's Ready or Revise (Pete Shelling Playtest mini).  The first scenario involved American Paratroopers taking a German castle during Operation Plunder.  My Germans got in the American's face with HS to slow him down.  My MMG wounded the American 9-2 on the first shot but the MMG broke and immediately was eliminated on subsequent turns.  One HS ended up behind an American force with their RCL holding up the better part of an American platoon.  With two turns to go and finally able to get a toe hold in the Victory Buidling, my opponent declared "Revise".
I got a Bye on the next round as my scheduled opponent decided to finish another mini final from earlier in the week instead.
The final game saw me as the outnumbered Americans in an early war Korea scenario.  I had to prevent the NKs from controlling three buildings or exiting a good number of units off the map and taking American prisoners.  My opponent came at me hard and heavy, breaking my far left flank while surviving my 2 and 3 MC attacks unPinned.  The NK firegroups were generally 8 and 12 FP attacks but occassionally ventured into the 20 FP range.  I was lucky my .50 cal survived such an attack although the crew's leader did break.  Going on a rate tear, I broke 4 squads with another US squad breaking another vital NK unit allowing my broken units to escape the NKs but I was unable to withdraw the MG.  Due to overstacking I was able to keep the NK rally point under DM fire, the +4 IFT DRM falling to only +1 due to my leadership and his overstacking.  My reinforcements arrived as the communists were breaking my defense line allowing me to occupy the VC buildings with multiple MMCs resulting in my opponent conceding and making me a double mini champ.  

Hope to see everyone at the Tournament November 8, 9, and 10.  I still have a couple copies of AP14 which will be available for purchase at the tournament (plus one will be available for the All Around ASL player event).


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

North Texas Gameday (May 2019)

Ed Beekman

The time is fast approaching for the next ASL Game Day at my house.  Here's the kicker, it doesn't have to be a Game DAY, it can be a GAME WEEKEND.  If anyone is interested, I can open the doors around 7:30 Friday June 7th and we can play into Sunday.  You guessed it, the rest of the family will be out of town.  Just bring something to sleep (sleeping bag, blankets, pillows) if you like.  I can break out the war movie collection for side entertainment.  Or we can have the standard Saturday on the 8th.  One thing that does need to be completed is playtesting of our scenarios.  Chris K has sent me an update and there are a couple others in their final playtest stages..

May saw another rain and family (Mothers Day) abridged meeting.  Ralph and I played CH40 Nordic Twilight, an interesting Winter War scenario.  The Finns win by either breaking all the Russian MMC or if there are no GO Russian MMC in or adjacent to any buildings as long as they have a higher CVP tally than the Russians.  Aside from the Deep Snow, Extreme Winter, and Finnish Ski Troops there is the interesting SSR that all buildings have a 1 MMC stacking capacity (overstacking allowed with the usual penalties).  Ralph took the Finns and I got the Russians.  Then the fun began.  We each got to select the main order of battle from three choices plus purchase support weapons, fortifications, etc.  

Both sides attack and defend.  The Finns have a small blocking force west of the town.  The Russians set up in town and have a small relief force trying to break through from the west.  The Finns main body attacks from the east and south.  I set up for all around defense although the western side was lightly manned, just to keep the Finns in their blocking positions and not try anything adventurous.  The south had a mix of units with LMG and a Commissar to keep the units in the fight.  With a 2 ELR, I had many units replaced, including one Elite rifle squad reduced to Conscripts in a single Game Turn.  The east was covered by most of my troops with a T28 tank and HIP HMG reinforcing.  I concealed an AA Gun Truck in a centrally located orchard hex.  

Ralph tried to squeeze me from the NW and South.  I got lucky in the south stripping the concealment from most of the Finns while in the open, inflicting some casualties but I was slowly forced from my position as my units broke, ELR'd, and froze to death.  I had a tank nearby but it refused to budge without radio communications.  In the Northwest I was again able to strip concealment or at least counter with my own concealment.  Ralph forced the T28 to relocate and then immobilized it in CC (it also malf'd its MA due to the cold weather).  Unfortunately for him my HMG opened up on a flank breaking and eliminating the units there, allowing a Russian squad to sneak around and cut Finnish rout paths.  In the West, I warily advanced through the forest, like typical Russians in 1940 Finland.  After several turns I decided to throw caution to the wind and let my BT tanks loose down the road.  Well Lahti dah.  The lead tank was taken out by a HIP 20L ATR team.  The other tanks ran past the wreck and then pasted the gunners with MG and MA fire resulting in them breaking.  Around this time my other T28 had is MA freeze up an then break causing the Finnish blocking position get caught in a tank sandwich with support from my gun truck.  Ralph gave MVP to this truck as it stopped his NW attack and shot up his blocking force.

Final analysis, I had at least three nasty low rolls at critical times and good luck stripping concealment from the Finns, which is important when you have Winter Camouflage.  The resulting Finnish casualties made it nearly impossible for the Finns to meet the CVP prerequisite for victory.

We spent the rest of the day working on Ralph's scenario for playtesting.  We found the units, date, and location for the action he referenced.  We prepared an initial OB.  Upon review, it may need SSR editing an the Allied force may be a little strong for the Germans but that is why we playtest.

Let me know if you want to have an ASL Weekend (I can provide Saturday Dinner).  Look forward to seeing you either Friday the 7th or Saturday the 8th.  Come hone your skills for Austin.  BTW, I will be Chairman in June.