Sunday, August 30, 2009

What he said.

I was going to post a detailed AAR of The Bloody Torokina Perimeter. But since I am still fried from yesterday's long and tense playing of that Dispatches From the Bunker scenario, I am glad that my opponent, JR, saved me the trouble.

There were other players and games at the Brackin Bash, but I'm not sure what they played or what the outcomes were, as this 12+ hour slugging match was nearly all consuming.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bloody Torokina Perimeter

This Saturday will be a return to for-real ASL action at the roughly semi-annual "Brackin Basement Bash". One of my regular opponents, Jim Brackin hosts these ASL days at his house from time to time. I've been to four or five by now, and none has ever been in the basement. I think a new name is in order for the event.

Anyway, I've drawn JRV for an opponent and we've agreed on Dispatches From the Bunker's "The Bloody Torokina Perimeter" (DB057).

I dropped a die to randomly determine sides and got the Japanese. When JR said he preferred the Japanese if it was all the same to me, I gladly handed them over. Not that I think the Americans have any real advantage, but giving a player like JR a week to set up a fixed defense is not a strategy endorsed by Sun Tzu.

I have the American defenders behind the fixed fortifications.

BTW, JR, This is not my set-up. :)

The Japanese have two reinforced companies moving down from the jungle to fling themselves at the dug-in Americans. The VC require them to exit infantry or capture pillboxes. Each wire hex in this map also contains a 6FP AP minefield.

The Japanese get 8(!) DC's and a flamethrower among other toys. Some of the DC's will surely be used to send DC heroes rushing in to attempt to blow a gap in the wire. The setup restrictions force most of the Japanese troops to setup on the road in the north, so they will take a turn or two to get to their line of departure, giving my Americans a chance to react and shift.

The American on board forces counter with 4MMG's, a 40mm AA gun, and a 37LL AT gun which hopefully have a few rounds of canister ammo. The good guys also get some high quality reinforcements on turns 3 and 5 including a 10-2, a .50 cal, and a flamethrower of their own.

Both sides have small OBA modules. The Japanese will most likely fire smoke or WP with their first mission.

There promise to be banzai charges through minefields, firelanes and all the rest. Looks like a real brawl.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Is it ASLOK yet?

Another ASL free weekend and I'm wishing that ASLOK started yesterday.

Last year was my first Ohio trip. I wasn't really sure what to expect, and so my anticipation wasn't all that high. This year it's in overdrive. Can. Not. Wait. to get in the car, crank up the iPod, and make that long highway drive through the scenic Pennsylvania countryside, to that bleak, flat, gray Ohio-scape.

The hotel is just about perfect. The games are in the top floor meeting room. The space last year was a little tight, but not terribly so. Just outside the room is a lounge with a few sofas, a bigscreen TV, and a cash bar! ASLOK is the only group on the floor. No wedding bands or trade shows to compete with.

So, I'm spending some lazy Sunday time trying to decide what scenarios to print out and bring, making sure my kit is travel ready, etc. I know it's seven weeks away, but come on!

Will be spending four full days this year. I'm signed up for a mini- tournament each day. You might think that won't leave any time for any relaxed "open" games. But the thing is, when you're not very good, you get knocked out of the mini's early, and have the rest of the day free!

2008 Recap

Recalling last year, I was fortunate to win the first two rounds of the night mini. As per ASLOK rules, when you win the first two rounds of a Thursday mini, you are automatically 2-0 for the Grofaz, regardless of the mini final match outcome.

I lost the final round of that mini to the gracious and affable Philly native Randy Rossi, when I conceded at about 2:45 AM. An appropriate ending for the "night" event.

Problem was that I was to play Bill Cirillo the next morning at 8:00 AM in the "Grofaz" mini. MC Bret was herding all 2-0 players into these. Now, Bill is about 20 times better at this game than me on my best day. Maybe 21. However, on 3-4 hours sleep, it's like a prize fight between Evander Holyfield and Renee Zellwegger.

Bill made very quick work of me in Rocket's Red Glare, and my Grofaz dream was over. But I was in contention! For like 5 minutes, sure. But still!

Come on, October.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Long March

Another ASL free weekend for me, but I at least I had a new product to pour over.

HOB's The Long March showed up my mailbox last week. It's a 17 scenario pack from the iconic period of the Chinese civil war, as Chiang Kai-shek's nationalists chase Mao's Red Army all over China.

$32 is a bit high for just a scenario pack, but it's ASL, and Heat of Battle has a well deserved reputation for quality products, so....what else are you going to spend your $32 on?

With one exception, the scenarios are all infantry. Standard Chinese counters are used for the Nationals and partisan counters represent Red Army troops. Scenario size runs the gamut. There are rules for linking the scenarios at a quasi-campaign game. The folder features a historical summary.

Many of the scenarios have unique SSR's to add historical flavor (and frankly, to give the all infantry scenarios each something distinctive.) For example, LM 11 ,Medieval Warfare, is played on DASL boards and depicts the Red Army scaling city walls and being attacked by cauldrons of boiling rice porridge. A Porridge Cauldron apparently attacks with 12FP (duh!), and is not penalized for use as advancing fire. Yeah. I guess not!

Looking forward to trying one of these.

I'm signed up for the Chinese mini at ASLOK this year, so maybe Bret will pull something from this pack.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rules Dive #1: Molotov Cocktails.

On the Two Half Squads podcast this past week, they covered the rules involving Molotov cocktails. I realized that this is one of those rules I never take full advantage of. Usually when my side has Molotov ability, either I forget about it, or I'm hesitant because I don't want to do the rules dive and figure it isn't worth it.

I'm typing this post as a quick exercise in committing to memory the basics of Mol rules once and for all.

A) When does your unit have one?

On a Mol check dr 1-3. Mods are: CX +1, HS +1, SMC +2, vs, non-AFV +1.
There is no penalty for rolling a '6' on your Mol check dr.
A Mol check counts as use of a SW

B) What happens vs infantry?

A unit with a Mol adds 4FP to it's IFT attack.

c) What happens vs an AVF?

A unit with a Mol attacks an AFV on the HE & Flame TK table.

D) What's the funky part?

It's all about the colored dr. Again, the chrome on the mol rules are all about
the colored dr.

If the colored dr of the IFT attack is '6', the unit possessing the mol is
broken, and if in burnable terrain, a flame is placed in it's location.

If the colored dr of the IFT attack is a '1', a flame is place in the target

And the rule I never knew until T2HS mentioned it: You can not use a mol across a woods or orchard hexside.

Now I just have to re-read this post 400 times, and maybe I'll remember it all when it matters.

...adding. Trying to come up with a mnemonic device for this. Something like "Roll a one, burn the hun, roll a six, ...uh...flick your bics.."? Guess it needs work.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Two Half Squads

For those who may not be aware, there is a podcast devoted to ASL! The 2 Half-Squads are Dave and Jeff, two Chicago area ASL players who host the lighthearted discussion of all things ASL.

They sometimes have a third voice in in the mix (Joe), and have even done interviews with ASL luminaries like Keith Dalton and Lars Thuring. They've already produced 20+ episodes.

This past week, they took another step on the technology ladder by doing a live show broadcast on the internet. There were some technical bugs with the call-in feature, but still it was fun interact with the hosts and the other listeners in the chat room.

You can find about about their various goings on at their site. They usually announce their upcoming shows on the Gamesquad forums, or you can follow them on twitter!