J168 Katyusha’s Embrace

This 1943 scenario offers the Russians a 200mm Rocket OBA with a preregistered hex.  The 200 mm is a massive but a one shot deal and it wanders by half a dr.  You can’t aim nor correct the thing (it’s automatically inaccurate)!  I started the scenario off being less than thrilled about the usefulness of it.

Since Rocket OBA uses a Harassing Fire’s Blast Area, I figured this thing will touch a 5/6 hex area (the rules don’t say whether the error’s rounded up or down.)  The GameSquad crowd pointed out there are certain merits to holding off on it so that the Germans will avoid crowding.  I put my PreReg hex on 63Q10.

The Russians (I) pushed through the middle – first by largely Assault Moving on board to avoid damage from the various machineguns trained in my direction. Then the Russians executed a Human Wave to rush into the woods ahead.  I’d love to say it’s a brilliant move but reality is that I benefited hugely from my opponent’s horrible die rolls.

Oh yes, the Russians get points for taking the multi-hex buildings and by rushing units into the circled area on the right of the map.  The Russians win when they stack up 8 points.

Last Turn about the start .. the Russians have 4 points in houses, so 4 points to go .. 4 units, infantry or AFV, have to get into the magic circle and survive the ensuring Axis turn.  Do I have a chance?

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Baptism of Fire – Introduction to Tank Play via S21 Clash at Borisovka

German Tiger I of the 501st heavy tank battali...

German Tiger I of the 501st heavy tank battalion in Tunisia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am in trouble!

I just found myself regular face-to-face (“FtF”) games with the good people of the Hong Kong Society of Wargamers who, when they are not playing miniatures, meet regularly to play Advanced Squad Leader games.

I thought I would just drop by, watch and learn how ASL rules come alive in FtF play.  It’s my first meeting with these folks (names withheld since I didn’t ask for their permission) and I was determined not to be too much of a disruption.  I mean these are very experienced players who carry all the ASL tables in their heads, surely they don’t have time for newbies …

They would have none of that.

Before I knew it I was taking part in a scenario “S21 Clash at Borisovka“.  This scenario depicts a situation on March 14 1945, in Borisovka, where the German Grossdeutschland Division had penetrated deep into Russian lines and elements of the 3rd Guard Tanks Corps was sent to stop them.  It’s a tank on tank scenario where the Russians has 10 T-34s and the Germans has 4 Mark IVs and 2 Tigers.  I haven’t yet read Chapter D but soon after they took the time to explain gameplay to me, I was running a T-34 from behind the woods, speeding through open ground and ramming up against the side of a row of Mark IVs on our flanks and took two of them out!

The Tigers were much harder to deal with.  We were trying to run T-34s around them and even got some rammed up their sides but to no avail.  We though things were going downhill for the Russians when one of the Tiger’s gun malfunctioned!

You should have heard the screams!

At the end the Russians won, befitting the engagement’s historical ending.  If you saw the level of engagement (Advanced Squad Leader is a VERY interactive game), it’s not hard to understand how some folks devote a lifetime to playing it.

To my fellow newbies : It’s true – the best way to learn Advanced Squad Leader is to have seriously experienced players to play with you.  You’ll be amazed how quickly everything fall into place!

(If the above sounds fantastic, you should know that I was learning more than playing .. a couple of grognards did all the moves!!)

Kwan01

How about coming home everyday to 30 mins of PBeM game over VASL?

Whether you are a fellow newbie who would like to learn together or an experienced ASLer who don’t mind helping me up the curve. I play to enjoy and to learn. Please message me at jackson-dot-kwan-at-gmail-dot-com!!