- Setup seems more formulaic than I remember. Two of the five German groups setup in single hex buildings, and the rest must have a pretty standard setup. The Russians are even worse, with three groups in single hex buildings and the Guards stacked like sardines in F3.
- Machine Guns are scary - far scarier than in SL. Don't get me wrong, they should be, but it's still a shock
- The Russians would kill for a Smoke Placement number
- Strategy question - is there any reason not to have the Guards use a Human Wave attack into building F5 on Turn 1? Use one platoon of Guards on the Germans in the building, the MMG in J2 to suppress the assumed fire group in J4 and 6 squads with the 10-2 cross the street. even if half the Guards make it across the street into CC, they should be able to clear out the Germans by turn 2. If you get really lucky, you can roll all the way into I7. The other choice I see is to do the same Prep Fire, then assault move into the street, take the Defensive Fire and advance into the building. You don't get the FFNAM penalty, but you don't get the +1 morale either. Am I looking at this right?
Earlier this week, I went over to Gamer's Armory to meet our local ASL scene, which I'm told is fairly large. Everyone else apparently took Christmas off,so instead of introducing myself and maybe playing a learning game, I pulled out Scenario A to push some counters around solitaire. It was a good enough in 1977, it should be good enough now, right? Take these thoughts with a grain of salt, as I haven't played any Squad Leader type game in almost two decades.
How did the game go? The Guards suppressed most of the Germans in F5 on turn 1, but they rallied almost instantly [I forgot the DM modifier]. I sent off the Human Wave anyway on Turn 2 and made it across with the 10-2 and a Guard half-squad [it should have been more, but I forgot the morale modifier for Human Wave]. They ended turn 2 in melee with a squad, the 9-1 and LMG in F5. With those Germans in melee, I could have dashed some more Guards across the street and secured the building on turn 3. With most of the Guards broken, however, and their leader in melee across the street, that was probably all that could have been accomplished. It was definitely a good learning experience, and reminded me of rules I needed to read again.
As part of getting [back] into ASL, I've been reading a number of ASL websites. Some of them are amazing, others not so much. As I get back into wargaming, and into ASL in particular, I thought it would be interesting to record the journey. it also seems like a good place to store whatever collected wisdom I stumble upon. No doubt alien archeologists a millenium from now will find some humor in it.
Who am I? Well, I've been a wargamer since I got my first copy of Starship Troopers back in 1978. Worked my way through almost all of the Avalon Hill catalogue as well as much of SPI's. I was fortunate to live in Baltimore at the time, so I got to meet and game a bit with the Avalon Hill crew back when they were on Read Street in the mid-80s. The pinnacle of my gaming "success" probably came with the opening of my store, Cerebral Hobbies, in Chapel Hill, NC in 1994. Cerebral was open for 12 years until we closed in 2006. I still live in Durham, NC - for 23 years now]
I picked up Squad Leader shortly after it's original release in 1977 and all the expansions as they came out [I currently have three copies of SL, two copies each of COI and COD and a copy of GI. Even bought the ASL rulebook when it came out, although I never made the transition to ASL. Back them my impression of ASL was based on the tournaments at AvalonCon - people hyper-focused on one game to the exclusion of everything else [seriously, all you heard in the ASL room was the sound of dice rolling in tumblers]. Scared me off, honestly.
That leads us to last week when I found someone on Craigslist selling his ASL collection - 2nd Ed rulebook, Beyond Valor, Red Barricades, Yanks and Paratrooper. Even though I already have copies of Beyond Valor and Paratrooper, I took it as a sign and here we are. Looking forward to many years of fun