It’s been more than 20 years since I was into ASL - other priorities like jobs and family got in the way. However, I’m a great deal wiser now and been rethinking priorities. :-) and so have been giving serious thought to returning to the fold.
I’ve been tinkering around with the ASKSK #1 and have started working through the scenarios to lubricate the more rusty of joints. I certainly do not remember hardly any of the rules, so much of this feels new again. I am very much enjoying reading through the message boards. Both the folks asking and answering questions related to rules have earned my respect.
Hopefully during this play through opportunities will arise to question the rules, or learn just a bit more about how the rules apple to some circumstantial peculiarities.
On to the game. I’ve set up the Germans and Russians as per below:
I’m sure there are far better ways to get the game started. I figured that I’ll learn more from doing things the dumb way than trying to copy what others have done with the starting positing of this scenario.
Of note, I’ve got my 9-2 Major, MMG and squad sitting in N3 to hopefully have command of all they survey. Flamethrower in G5 flanked by the DC crews on each side. I put a couple of 5-4-8 units to the west to see how quickly I could punch through the conscripts and get into the building in F8.
The Russian strategy is to dig in, soak up as much damage as possible before falling back, and hope for reinforcements in Turn 2 or, at the worst, 3.Turn 1
Quickly, all of my plans fell apart. The FT did put one squad into DM, but the rest of the line experienced completely ineffective PF. Most attacking die rolls were in the 8-10 range. When the Germans did get good rolls, the Russians (even those with Morale of 6) didn’t break.
One German squad in D6 did lay smoke and allowed another squad to get close, but was quickly pinned in defensive fire.
During the Russian Defensive Fire Phase, they got a great shot at the main stack in N3 and were able to put them all into DM.
Nobody was able to rally and the Russian Prep Fire phase was also largely unsuccessful.
Above at the end of Turn 1. The Russian conscripts in the West have been softened up a bit, but the rest of the board is largely unchanged. The Russians were able to keep the German leader in N3 under DM.
Rule Review: During the German’s turn, I really wanted to have a 5-4-8 in D6 lay smoke for the squad in C7. D6 would expend 2 MF for the smoke, allowing C7 to move to D7. Depending on the results of this move, I could use the remaining 2 MF retained by D6. As I learned several paragraphs into 3.3 of the MPh: “Once a unit moves, stops, and another unit moves, the original unit may not move again in that MPh”. I take this to mean that the original unit may also not expend any more MF in that MPh.Turn 2
Things have started to go the German’s way. After a couple of successful rallies (including self rally), the Germans split Prep Fire (with good results) with the laying of smoke and forward movement. In the west, the Germans begin their end-around movement to cause mayhem beside and behind building F8.
Above is a shot near the end of the German’s MPh.
The Russian defensive fire, both the the MPh and DFPh didn’t amount to much. The Germans finished their turn with a flamethrower blast through the orchard and into L5, breaking the Russian troops. After advancement, they finished their turn as pictured below:
Rule Review: During the German MPh, I was eager to get that flamethrower back into the fight. After moving into J5 and surviving the defensive fire from L5 (remembering the -1 DRM the Russians get against the flamethrower), I was then confused as to what attack options yet remained in the AFPh. Distance is 2 Hexes = 12 strength. Into a building but flamethrowers ignore all that. However, I had to see if firepower is halved in the AFPh (it isn’t) and then how/if to modify the roll across the orchard hex-line at K6. In the end, I put the attack at 12/+1. Let me know if I missed something.
The Russians are in trouble at this point. The Germans were able to rally the stack with their 9-2 Major and MMG. Russians did not get their reinforcements. The Russians, largely stuck at DM across the board either failed their rolls our I dared not roll for fear of boxcars. During PFPh, the Russians did push back one 5-4-8 German squad. Otherwise, the used this turn for fall-back movements to buy them some more time.
During the Rout Phase, I encountered a situation I’m not sure I handled correctly:
In above, the squads in F8 need to rout. But to where? I believe their only choices were either E8 or F7. None of the squads in C9 or G6 were “known” previously. The squad in C7 is not in good order, but I’m not certain that matters here. I believe that moving to E8 is allowed and this is where they stopped. Let me know where I went wrong here..
The units finished up in the final photo below.. just before I pulled the Pin counter to end the turn and flip the counter over to Turn 3.Turn 3
Everything is now falling the German’s way. They’re making rally die rolls, the Russian’s aren’t. It really highlights how much more advantageous an 8 is over a 6 (or a 7 over a 5).
The German FT is now causing all sorts of hurt, eliminating a counter in both it’s attack phase as well as in the form of defensive fire during the Russian turn. The Russian reinforcements still aren’t coming. The Russians lost several squads for failure to rout cleanly.
Above: At the end of the German’s phase of Turn 3. Now, it’s just a matter of mopping up.
What Russian counters are left in Good Order made a go at it, mostly at PB Range, but still didn’t make much of a difference. They were subsequently pounded during the Defensive fire phase. After routing and advancing, the Germans now have full control of 2 out of 3 Victory Condition buildings. This game will now come down to defending these buildings against the reinforcement squads when they finally arrive.Turn 4
Now the Germans will focus on digging in and preparing to defend their turf for when the Russian reinforcements arrive.
The Russians in F8 were able to survive several PBF shots in the PFPh, but couldn’t handle the demolition squad that came down from G7. They moved to F7 and successfully placed the DC, as well as survived several rounds of defensive fire. After the DC went off, the leader broke and didn’t survive casualty reduction. The two squads broke, survived, but then were eliminated for failure to route in the RPh.
The balance of German forces moved into better position and took subsequent shots at what broken Russian forces they could find to keep them under DM as much as possible.
The Russians rolled another 6 for reinforcements and did little in their turn but continue to rout further away. The Russians are now devoid of any leaders to help rally what troops remain.
At this point the Russians concede. For me, this is a notable match in that I’ve had the Germans win both of the previous two attempts with this Scenario. I was beginning to suspect that (for my style of play or strategic choices/knowledge) I would need to adjust the balance.
Rule Review: Final matter that I’m not absolutely certain about. As part of the Scenario’s Victory Conditions, the Germans must control all 3 buildings at game end. Does this mean that there cannot be any Russian counters in any hex of the three buildings? Do the Russians have to be in Good Order? Could they be caught up in CC/Melee in just 1 of the 10 hexes (of the 3 buildings) and deny a German victory?
Final board (above) at game end. I need to get a sheet of anti-glare glass.
Thank you for reading. Any comments suggestions are welcome.. my main goal is to play through these earlier scenarios to work through and remember the standard sequence of phases for each side. Better tactics will follow once the mechanics become more second nature.