So what Starter Kit Scenario have you played recently?

sunoftzu

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Wow, its been a while since I last played ASLSK; 9 months !!!

Today I completed a PBeM game of S5 "Clearing Colleville", with a Taiwanese player (English name, Robin) living down in Tainan. He is also quite keen to learn (full) ASL, too.

My 5th playing of this scenario (he chose Germans), and yet again the same old strategy of basically forming fire-groups with a leader, mmg, and 2 666 squads (16FP, directed), whilst the half-squads skirmished. In spite of repeating the same tactic over and over again, each game has had quite a different feel to it.

In this playing, it took a while for the Americans to subdue the German defenders, and it took until turn 5 for the Americans to push all the German MMC out of the VC area. At the beginning of German turn 5, there were still 2 GO German MMCs. Both tried suicidal dashes into the VC area, but the American FP was too much for them.....

Robin has done a blog for our scenario; here is the link http://robinwargameroom.blogspot.tw/2016/06/aslsk1-s5-with-john.html

Hopefully, this will be the first of many games to follow......

John.
 

sunoftzu

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Hi all,

Robin and I have completed several more ASLSK games via VASL-logfile, and are currently playing 2 others (both recently started).

In S8 "Ad Hoc At Chef-Du-Pont", my Americans took some heavy lumps, in spite of a cautious approach. However, once employed, the US firepower was equally savage vs the Germans. A lot of low DR fire attacks by both sides saw huge losses to either side. My Americans lost 2 of their 3 leaders, and when the surviving (9-2) leader exited (on turn 5, along with 1 squad), there were NO leaders on the map !!! FTR left the Germans with 1 squad, and it didn't take long for the Americans to ensure that he wouldn't be going anywhere...... My Americans emerging triumphant by the end of their turn 6 MPh.

In S19 "Purple Heart Lane", my defending Germans were able to exit 1 238 half-squad (the other being killed in CC) to raise the VCs to 7 buildings, which through some good shooting, resourceful smoke use, and audacious moving netted Robin's Americans the 7 building he needed. But then the Germans got some good shots in also, which slowed the Americans considerably. Robin wisely guessed that the Americans would need to pad their lead, but wasn't able to do so as much as he would have liked. 2 CCs occurred in the last American turn; each one that was victorious for the American would net another VP building, but both CCs were inconclusive. In the final German turn, rather than reinforce the Melees, I exited 2 squads, pushing the VP requirements up to 9 (as well as placing a DC into 1 of the Melees - although this did not really turn out in my favor). The Americans would need to win both Melees, but in the end won neither. The ability of the Germans to exit MMCs in the last turn really give this little scenario that added bit of intrigue that will make it very replay-able .....

In S7 "Prelude To Festung Brest", I think that Robin gave up a bit too much territory, and that allowed the Americans to get the necessary buildings without taking a great many risks. I find in ASL that Americans can often become big green bullies when stone terrain well masks their inherent weakness (morale). With some timely smoke, the Americans gobbled up building hexes, and the Germans simply didn't have the resources to hold them for long. I caught Robin out with some snappy LOS shots, one of which KIAed a leader, which meant that he was tagged with serious rally issues on one board side. The initiative remained throughout with the Americans, and the Germans were forced into a late game suicide charge with predictable results. My first playing of this resulted in my Americans getting totally bottled up; its funny how this playing was so different.

John.
 
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sunoftzu

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Hi all,

2 more games completed with Robin now. Its very nice to see him teaching ASLSK to other players in Taiwan and China, too.

In S6 "Released From The East", my Germans split their forces evenly between the 3 VC buildings whilst focusing on guarding the interior lines in case I suddenly had to shift in a hurry. It is as well I did, since Robin utilized SSR2, which allows the Russians to form and enter an up to 5 squad reserve on turn 3 along the north and/or east edges of the map. Although this weakens the initial Russian force, it also gives the Russians the strategic initiative; the Germans cannot commit too heavily before seeing where this reserve is going to turn up.

As I expected, they turned up in the east, and went for the D3 building. With help from his Winter camouflage (can AM in OG without FFMO), Robin got inside the D3 building, and eventually overwhelmed the defenders by the end of turn 5. My remaining squads were doing a pretty good job of holding R2, pinning and breaking the Russians in the orchard and OG hexes outside. L6 was never really threatened seriously, and although all the defenders of R2 were CC'ed in the final turn, 2 squads held on in Melee to deny the 2nd of 2 buildings that the Russians needed for victory.

We played with Russian balance in effect (no increased morale for the SS), but it never really came into play in our game. It was really good to see Robin using the special capabilities of his Siberians to the full extent, he is maturing very well as a player.

S-006-Rus-06-CCPh-jpeg.jpg

In S29 "No Monumental Acclaim", I had the defending Germans once again. American balance was in effect, giving Robin an all-important extra turn. Not surprisingly, I had the 8-1 and MGs in the P1 building, and the rest of the squads positioned to fight a delaying action. Robin used smoke and tenacity to grind forward, block-by-block.

For a while, my Germans dished out some rough treatment, but as I have seen before in this scenario, the Americans have a capability to recover and go again if at first stalled. I did my cause no favors when I malfunctioned the HMG, and then X'ed it on a repair attempt; it would be dearly missed. Fighting on, I kept the Americans at bay for as long as I could, but in the end, 7.5 turns was just too long, and Robin had me cleared out of P1 in the RtPh of German turn 7.

Robin also got his first bazooka hit (ELR breaking the defending squad in the process), and more importantly, his first win, and I know that he's real happy about that !! I'm happy for him, too.

S-029-Ger-07-RtPh-jpeg.jpg

John.
 
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sunoftzu

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Robin and I finished another ASLSK game recently. This time it was S-17 "A Ridge Too Far". Robin had the British, whilst I had the Germans.

In this scenario, the British have to get 9 VPs worth of Infantry to or east of row K. All woods are orchards, so there is a dearth of cover, and the use of smoke is a key feature. My defense featured LMG teams in b4 and c7, whilst a MMG and LMG was positioned in I2 as the 'deathstar'. The reaming squads spread out as best they could inasmuch of a reverse-slope fashion as they could. The concept was to have the LMG posts (b4, c7) absorb the mortar smoke, whilst I2 would force the British to go to ground or suffer accordingly.

Well, all seemed to go according to plan - the British depleted all of their mortar smoke on the LMG posts, which eventually succumbed to CC attacks. But then the German fire really failed to flatter, and eventually, Robin got a hot ROF tear that broke just about all of the Germans. The MMG squad managed to rally, and I still had hope of maybe breaking a few British squads with a ROF tear of my own, but it wasn't to be. My fire was stone cold for pretty much the entire game, and was finished off in the DFPh of German turn 4. In truth, a comprehensive dicing, but that's how it goes sometimes. Good on Robin for getting his 2nd win (and in a row, too).

S-017-Ger-04-DFPh-jpeg.jpg
John.
 
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sunoftzu

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Robin and I finished another ASLSK scenario a while back. It was S-18 "Baking Bread". Robin had the attacking Germans. whilst I had the defending Russians.

To win, the Germans simply needed to control 2 stone buildings, namely P2 and P3. All orchards and woods are replaced by stone rubble, and the Russian OoB even has a 10-0 Commissar.

For the first 4 turns, my Russians were pretty resolute in their defense, and were able to attrition the Germans, a halfsquad at a time. A Russian squads would break from time to time, but the Commissar quickly returned them to duty. The 45L gun even got a couple of critical hits, but these results were negligible in the end.

But in the final 2 turns, things really started to fall apart for my Russians, mostly on account of some lethal ROF tears from the German HMG. In the final turn, just about everyone broke, except for one lone squad in P2. However, the Germans weren't able to get anyone adjacent (and unpinned) to P2, which meant that the Russians were assured of victory by the end of the German MPh.

John.

S-018-Ger-06-AFPh-jpeg.jpg
 

Megaloman

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I really like Baking Bread. The addition of the Commissar and Rubble means it feels quite unique in the SK scenario bank. I even made a custom printed map for this scenario some ten years ago or so... Good times!

The single Russian gun makes the scenario good for teaching the to hit procedure and most of the rules in SK2 while still maintaining a decent tempo, as well.
 

sunoftzu

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Scenarios like "Baking Bread" are good teasers for full ASL. It also makes the transition a bit easier. When I think back to how different ASL was from SL-GI, it's a much more gradual slope......

Robin is anxious to learn about vehicles, so it looks like the scenarios of ASLSK#2 will be largely ignored. It's a bit of a pity, since most of the scenarios are fun to play (although, they do often favor a competent attacker). I sometimes wonder if ASLSK#2 might end up as the ignored middle child. . .....

John.
 

sunoftzu

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Robin and I finished off our first ASLSK scenario featuring vehicles. The scenario Robin chose was S-030 "Ripples On The Pond", which features an American force of 5 Sherman tanks (a mixture of types, including 1 Sherman Jumbo), 6 squads trying to exit 10VP (13VP with German balance in play) past a German group of 4.5 squads, 2 ATGs. To simulate the soggy ground conditions, AFVs can only use half their MPs each MPh.

Robin placed the ATGs in r1 and v8, and was able to ambush and wreck one of the M4A2s. I kept the (non-Jumbo) tanks in the backfield, and had the infantry do most of the work, which they did well, easily getting the better of their frequently-ELRing German counterparts. In spite of this, the ATGs remained resolute, and it took several attempts of infantry swarms to neutralize the r1 gun, it finally succumbing around turn 4.

With the German infantry offering no meaningful resistance, I got the 4 surviving tanks into position for a turn 4 exodus, and kept the would-be supporting German infantry well suppressed. I just needed to place some smoke to cover the turn 5 exit, and that's pretty much what happened; the gun in v8 not being able to get an effective shot in at all, and in the end 22 points of American units were able to exit on turn 5. S-030-Ami-05-APh-jpeg.jpg

Thanks to the underwhelming German infantry, the game was a bit one-sided, but I suspect the Robin no doubt acquired a number of important aspects about dealing with the AT gun threat....

John.
 

sunoftzu

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Yesterday. I got in 3 ASLSK games with another Taiwanese player, Kang Yu Wang, a.k.a. 'Ken'. He had previously played about 3-4 ASLSK scenarios with Robin, and I thought the best way for him to grow as an ASL(SK) player was to get in as many games as possible using board Y, which (you may have noticed from my previous sentiments) I consider a better learning environment than board Z. The 3 scenarios that we played (in order) were S-008 "Ad Hoc At Chef-Du-Pont", S-019 "Purple Heart Lane", and S-004 "Welcome Back".

Game 1 "Ad Hoc At Chef-Du-Pont".

Ken attacked with Americans (plus balance), I defended with Germans. I put 1 447 squads in h3, j3, and w6, 8-1, LMG/467 in o10, and had the rest of the OoB in the M6-Q6 block. Ken moved with swift care, and apart from 12 MC'ing one squad down to a HS, was able to advance to contact after about 2 turns. Having got into range, my Germans were quite resolute for the next 3 turns, thanks largely to the fact that the Americans weren't able to get much in the way of either infantry smoke or IFT results. Turn 6 came around with the best part of the German OoB still in good fighting shape.

Ken needed a bit of luck to go his way, and it certainly did. His first 2 gambits were able to smoke German MG positions, and when the 9-2 and a 747 rushed into n9 to try and smoke o10, the 2mc from the adjacent 12-2 attack did absolutely nothing !! A 7-0 and 747 double-timed and made a dash for q10, but the leader broke, and the squad pinned in n7. Then the 10-2 and 3 squads made their rush for q10, but due to the placed smoke, nobody was able to stop them; a PTC result having no impact. With all the fire having been drawn, the 8-0 then skips off q10, and then 1 747 squad in the AFPh, satisfying the American VCs, with the rest of the 10-2's stack remaining behind to block any German withdraw. By German turn 6, my only hope was to KIA all remaining in q10, and somehow rush a 447 off, but not surprisingly, it wasn't to be.....

Game 2 "Purple Heart Lane".

Ken defended with Germans, I attacked with Americans (I forgot all about giving him balance). The game started really well for me, with the 8-0 and 747 in Z7 rolling a 1,1 in the opening PFPh, which KIAed a LMG/8-0 (c/- k/2 + wound fail), and I was able to eliminate a 238 in the CCPh. In German turn 1, the remaining 238 got pinned, and by the end of my turn 2, only the 7-0 and 1 LMG had escaped to join the reinforcing Germans in the M6-Q6 block.

With 3 buildings (U6, V6, W6) and no losses, I though that I was in great shape, but that's about when things went cold for my Americans. I couldn't get any smoke to happen, and while trying to get the upper hand against the stubborn German defenders, I would too often roll a 12 MC or rally, to the extent that I had lost 2.5 squads this way by the end of game turn 4. This really left me short of numbers, and combined with a dearth of infantry smoke, I was only able to grab 5 buildings by the end of my turn 6 MPh, by which time I had completely run out of steam, and even if I had somehow managed the required 6, I certainly wasn't in any kind of shape to oppose a German exodus, which would have made my close bid look quite far off. Kudos to Ken for winning both of our first 2 games !!!

Game 3 "Welcome Back".

Ken attacked with Germans (plus balance), I defended with Americans. I put 546 squads in C7, EE8, FF8, a 747 squad in I8, a FT/8-0, 747 in F7, a MMG/666 in K8, a 8-1, MMG/666 in CC6, and 10-2, .50cal/667 in P6. Essentially, I had the 10-2 directed .50cal in the center and strongly defended flanks. Ken had the right idea; a strong southern hook, with probes to try and keep my forces from linking-up. I had some pretty good shots early on, breaking quite a few Germans, most notably, the would-be probes and interdictors, which left me with most of the strategic initiative. The snow started falling around turn 2, and would continue to fall for the remainder of the game.

Ken did a pretty good job of rallying his broken units and formed up a pretty good battle group in the southern woods. But when my 10-2 and .50cal went on a terrifying ROF tear, literally destroying everything in their sight, it allowed me to shift everyone south to block the exit of the Germans, who ended up getting bottled up in the woods as time ran out on them. A pretty convincing American win (and the first one I have seen from them in this scenario, my 4th playing of it).

In all, a good day of ASLSK, in which I was able to pass on a lot of useful ASL concepts to Ken, and much fun was had. Will probably look to use board Z next time we play; I get the feeling that Ken is keen to see the Russians in action next time !!!

(I couldn't get any of the photos to upload - follow the Facebook link if you wish to see (poor quality) images of our games)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1628719720726712/

John.
 
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Perry

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Way to let the newbie win, John. ;)

Hopefully, he is well and truly hooked.
 

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With SK2 back in stock I broke down to get the next installment of quick, fast and to the point ASL. My 14 y/o son and I faced off in S09 with him taking the Italians per usual and I with the powerful allied forces. My son is a conservative type of player...so I figured this ought to be quick and easy.

Plan: American paratroopers will advance to contact trying to whittle down the Italian forces while forcing them into a smaller pocket. When the British forces arrive they should be able to join with the Americans and either finish off the axis forces or at the very least push them out of their few buildings that they should be occupying at that point.

Not to be. The game started with my Americans moving aggressively into position to start clearing a corner of the village. At the end of my turn I smiled to myself looking at my son's awkward positioning...Ha! you'll never be able to hold the town set up like that I thought to myself. There was a reason for his strange set up. He didn't sit there waiting for superior allied forces to position themselves....he attacked one the first turn. All but two Italian squads moved up and hit my poor Americans who spent the remainder of the fight battling for survival! The Brits showed up but due to lucky rolls and MG fire on my son's part were unable to take both the ground they had originally intended to AND the ground the Americans failed to take. It was a surprise and a blast. Victory: Italy.
 

sunoftzu

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Robin and I finished off S-022 "Another Summer's Day". I had the Americans, Robin had the Germans plus balance (which extends the game to a 7th turn).

This was a fun scenario to play, my plan was to have a 747+baz survive (= 15FP) within 3 hexes of the VC road, but 7 turns was just too long to hold out. The balance seems to be a BIG swing to the Germans.

S-022-Ger-07-CCph-jpeg.jpg

Robin and I have 2 more ASLSK scenarios penciled in (S-023, S-035), and then we will be graduating to ASL..... :cool:

John.
 

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John, Really enjoyed your quick AARs here and your intent to bring some more people into the fold. I seriously recommend getting Elst if at all possible as ARTY is really quite an addition (not that you won't be pleased going to full ASL as well). A hearty pat on the back for your efforts.
 

Megaloman

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Also, Elst is currently on sale for $36 over at the mothership. It's a LOT of gaming hours for that price!
 

chris_olden

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In S29 "No Monumental Acclaim", I had the defending Germans once again. American balance was in effect, giving Robin an all-important extra turn. Not surprisingly, I had the 8-1 and MGs in the P1 building, and the rest of the squads positioned to fight a delaying action. Robin used smoke and tenacity to grind forward, block-by-block.

For a while, my Germans dished out some rough treatment, but as I have seen before in this scenario, the Americans have a capability to recover and go again if at first stalled. I did my cause no favors when I malfunctioned the HMG, and then X'ed it on a repair attempt; it would be dearly missed. Fighting on, I kept the Americans at bay for as long as I could, but in the end, 7.5 turns was just too long, and Robin had me cleared out of P1 in the RtPh of German turn 7.

Robin also got his first bazooka hit (ELR breaking the defending squad in the process), and more importantly, his first win, and I know that he's real happy about that !! I'm happy for him, too.

View attachment 12

John.
Interesting that you gave the Americans the balance.
Sounds like a good game though.
 

Megaloman

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We recently finished "The Island", that is the CG from DaE.

I wrote an longer AAR and posted some pics over at our swedish hideout: http://forum.aslsweden.com//index.php?showtopic=3411

In short, we had a blast! Total playtime amounted to 30 hours or so, scattered over a month. I won fairly easy with the British on date four. The germans had some very bad luck during replenishment and didn't get many reinforcements at all, let alone the ability to counter-attack. Smoke was key and WP was instrumental in knocking out panthers.

I improved as a player by learning how to efficiently use superior numbers and fast(er) vehicles to cut off rout paths.

We are confidently moving on to full ASL now. So long Starter Kit, it was some fun 10 years...
 

Megaloman

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Excellent. Sounds like you are ready. Go for it!
Thanks! I've finally found another local player who's as (or even more) devoted to the game as I am, so it should be considerably easier from now on. We've already played "Commando Schenke" and I absolutely loved it!
 

sunoftzu

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As padawan, I believe Robin always gets the balance.
For now. ;)
Yep,

That's about the size of it.

Ironically, on the occasions that I've forgotten to give the inexperienced player the balance, I have experienced a lop-sided thrashing !!!

(must be some kind of karma thing...........)
 
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