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Subject: ASL 21 Among the Ruins rss

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Well, this was definitely a fun scenario. I played it against Carl Nogueira, who designed this, and has been around since Squad Leader. Of course I lost, but I learned a lot from the game, and saw some things I'd never seen before or thought of. For example, Carl was able to put four MMGs in a level 2 location by deploying into half-squads, giving him 16 FP up to a 10-hex range. That was really interesting to see. He was also helpful on rules, explaining the basis for things he would do in-game. The man is virtually fluent in ASL, which was a refreshing change from other games I've played where my opponent and I are spending a lot of time in the rulebook. I can't wait until the day that I have it all pretty well locked in my head.

I took the defending Germans, and I witnessed the effectiveness of using a host of halfsquads to swarm the board. They were everywhere! He used them to strip concealment, sniff out dummies, and search out my HIPpies--and Carl had a good sense, it seemed, of where HIP units would be. I was a bit disappointed, though, that my halfsquads with Panzerschreks did nothing at all, missing both times.

The idea of this scenario is that the Germans are defending in war-torn Aachen, late 1944, against a horde of American 6-6-6s with Bazookas, a flamethrower, plenty of leaders (4.6 squads per leader) and three M4A1s. The Germans are outnumbered 2-1, with 3 squads per leader, a whole hell of a lot of MGs (1.7 squads per MG), a flak gun and 14 concealment counters--plus every German stack automatically starts concealed. Plenty of opportunities for fake kill stacks and so on, which is what I should have done...instead, I just made a bunch of dummies, which were pretty much worthless to me.

Additionally, the Germans can use Sewer Movement. This scenario felt a little bit like playing as the Russians against the Germans, actually.

The goal for the Americans is to exit ten squads (out of 23).

My setup for the scenario wasn't all that great, but I wouldn't say it was terrible, either. But I could have done more. I set up two "kill stacks," my HMGs, up at level 2 locations where they could see most of the board. Unfortunately, the tanks could see them, too, so the very first thing Carl did was lay down white phosphorous on them. I didn't break, but it was annoying. He then proceeded to advance the bulk of American forces in one mass through the center of the map, along with attendant half squads running alongside like obliging servants.

"Oh yes, Mr. Eight Neg One Leader, we'll check that rowhouse out for you."

"Oh certainly, we'll run across this open street for you to try interdicting rout paths. If we live we'll serve you well!"

"What's that? Run into the woods there looking for a Flak gun? Sure! Oh look, I found him. Killed the crew for you in close combat!"

That was stupid of me. I watched him move right up to where I had the Flak gun, which was my last line of defence, guarding the open ground hexrow the American squads had to use to exit the board. I even let the half squad keep concealment! He advances in, gets ambush, and kills them. I really should have blasted him.

We had a lot of fun Heat of Battle stuff...we both got Heroes (and both of them were quickly killed); I generated two leaders (a 7-0 and an 8-1); and of course my sniper helped out, killing an American 7-0, a hero, and breaking a lot of stuff.

After finishing up, I realise that the main problem with my setup is that I tried concentrating my forces into a few strong points, but I should have spread out and deployed like mad. The American SAN is only 2, and they have that awful 6 Morale Level...whereas my SAN is 6. If I were more spread out, then there would have been more targets for the Americans to shoot at, giving him more chances to roll a 6; and there is a very low risk for the Germans in taking a lot of low FP shots. Any time I could get an NMC or PTC, the Americans would likely fail, and rolling them gives them more chances to activate my sniper. There's really no reason to have a big 20 FP fortress in this scenario, I don't think. better to keep laying down firelanes and stay close to the ground, and probably use the sewers, which I didn't really do at all.

Among the Ruins definitely goes on my list of scenarios I'd play again.
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chris gammon
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Thanks for an enjoyable AAR.

Just bear in mind if you take the Americans, that when YOU try to use WP, you'll run out on the first shot, your bazookas will break on the first shot, and your concealed units will always lose the ambush roll. That's what happens when you play against expert ASL players!
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Brian Roundhill
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liberty0 wrote:
Thanks for an enjoyable AAR.

Just bear in mind if you take the Americans, that when YOU try to use WP, you'll run out on the first shot, your bazookas will break on the first shot, and your concealed units will always lose the ambush roll. That's what happens when you play against expert ASL players!


Biggest step I made in my playing was realizing that one bad roll will happen. One unit will not hold the flank, one unit will not smoke the enemy in, and one shot will not break the enemy. If my plan includes "this unit must...", I know it is a bad plan.
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Martin Vicca
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So true! The ability to realise there is nothing you can do about rolling the twelve after he rolls the two and its not your fault if that happens is so important. Incorporate the "s**t happens" into your defence!
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Eoin Corrigan
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Wexford
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Nice report, many thanks.

Played this one as the USA last year and, and ROAR's 84-84 record notwithstanding, I think it's very much pro-US, particularly if the US are moving quickly from the outset and using infantry smoke, vehicle smoke and WP to the fullest.
 
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ROB VERRY
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Proper use of HS, are key to any victory in ASL.


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