Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Advanced Squad Leader - Released From the East

I forgot to blog about my ASL gaming last week.  It was important because it was the first game (of three) in which I've beaten Troy.  I changed up my tactics a bit and was more aggressive with my firing, moving, and positioning, and it seemed to pay off, even though in retrospect there were better places to stick my machine guns to create fire lanes and open up my line of sight.  As it was, I had to send one of the groups of troops north chasing after some Russians, just to make sure they didn't harass my other troops from the back, and to ensure that I didn't have troops sitting around doing nothing.  But otherwise, I think my positioning was good and allowed me to fall back from good fire groups to good in-building defense, and then provide plenty of backup on my close combat.  That, and I had a 9-2 leader who was chewing up the Russians by eliminating a lot of their coverage modifiers.  I think he got MVP for the game.  And I rolled well at the end, which was a change from past games where I had a habit of breaking my HMGs on turn one.

One thing I learned was that I'm not the only one who thinks demolition charges are for suckers.  Who the hell runs up next to someone and hangs out wiring up a charge under threat of point blank fire?  There's some sort of art there, and I don't quite know what it is.  Given Troy's demo charge sat all alone next to a group of my Germans for almost the entire game, he's not sure of the secret yet either.

He did come very close to breaking me in the end, however, and brought enough force to bear on my eastern flank that my troops crumbled and folded up because they were surrounded.  It was interesting to see the break and surrender work like you always thought it was supposed to when demoralized troops don't have anywhere to run.  Nice job on Troy's part.  It just was too late in the game.

There's a nice breakdown of one individual's after action report at BoardGameGeek.

"Istra, Russia, December 11, 1941: as the drive on Moscow slowed due to supply problems and "General Winter," STAVKA was given time to deploy fresh troops from other fronts.  The 78th Infantry, led by energetic 38-year old General Afanasy Pavalantovich Beloborodov, was transferred 6,000 miles from their native Siberia to the Sixteenth Army under Rokossovsky.  Veterans of the Mongolian frontier, the Siberians  would use skillful ambushes and delaying tactics to slow the panzer's march on Moscow.  Near the River Istra, they were finally ordered to halt and fight.  The snow-covered fields and the medieval town of Istra itself would become a battlefield for several weeks.  On 26th November, the 78th was renamed the "9th Guards Infantry," but needed no special titles to display elan and heroism.  Squeezing out of the pincers formed by the 10th Panzer Division and 2nd SS "Das Reich," the "marvelous Siberians" would regroup and launch a counterattack to retake the historic town." [But not in this case].

1 comment:

Sank said...

Man did I spend a lot of time playing ASL as a kid. I loved Avalon Hill games.. of course that was before computers. Bad news from my perspective, comupter games have really dumbed down the war gamming hobby, now they rely on fancy graphics and short mission based play instead of real tactics and resource management.

Whine whine and wine.