Journey to a Tourney, Day 1 – Photos

I am here!!  I got into Singapore last night and found my way to a bunk that I rented at a “capsule hotel” called “The Pod”.  It’s a little hotel where they have bunk beds in big comfortable rooms (with lockers), clean bathrooms and a nice common area.  I met up with Peter Palmer late last night and went to the Malaya Madness venue early this morning.

By early I mean I got up at 0530 this morning and met Peter at 0615.  We met up with George Bates at 0645 at the Bugis MRT (subway station).  Apparently George got a cab lined up.  That’s quite fortunate as both Peter and I got a big load of gear to haul over.

I am not going to write much more as I am pretty beat plus I would like to take a look at the scenarios for Round 3 and 4 tomorrow, but hey, pictures speak a thousand words (each) don’t they?

Having said all that : a huge thank you to Perry Cocke and Multi-Man Publishing for sponsoring the event!

This is the venue at 0730 in the morning.  Most participants hasn't arrived.

This is the venue at 0730 in the morning. Most participants hasn’t arrived.

George starting up the event!

George starting up the event!

My first opponent Maik Brinkmann

My first opponent Maik Brinkmann

George Bates and Vladimir See

George Bates and Vladimir See

Mark Humphries & David Leong

Mark Humphries & David Leong

Ian Percy & Maik Brinkmann

Ian Percy & Maik Brinkmann

Stanley Neo

Stanley Neo

Lunch, Singapore style : downstairs outside and spicy

Lunch, Singapore style : downstairs outside and spicy

John Knowles

John Knowles, my PTO teacher

Peter Palmer
Peter Palmer

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What Do We Enjoy The Most About Advanced Squad Leader?

chL61 am747S ge548S M36GMC BanzaiAs an ASL’r who’s almost 1-year-old, I often find it hard to tell my family and friends what I enjoy the most when they see me fussing over cardboard counters and maps.

Why am I so drawn to Advanced Squad Leader?

Recently on the GameSquad forums, someone started a discussion about aspects of Advanced Squad Leader they enjoyed the most and suggested that perhaps the most enjoyable aspect is the “immersive” nature of Advanced Squad Leader games.

Robert Wolkey, a long time “ASL’r”, put it best. So I got his permission to share his thoughts verbatim.

1. The people. I only play face-to-face, because I enjoy playing the game with a friend. I’m a social animal and I like seeing how other people play and react to what happens on the board. The after game discussions are fun too. I also log into GS every day, because of you guys.

2. The competition. I’m highly competitive and ASL is a great way to match wits with another player. For that reason I could never play solo. Some players teach you something new and some make some boneheaded moves that make you scratch your head. I love tournaments and wish I could attend more than two a year. I will be going to ASLOK 30th to see all the guys again.

3. The variety. I crave variety. I always buy expansions for any game I own. I’m more likely to buy a game if I know there are expansions planned. No need to tell you about the variety that ASL offers. But, if a TPP offers new mapboards, squad types, leader types or new AFV, I will buy them over a regular scenario pack.

4. The fun / immersion / tactics. It’s just a blast to play and it sucks you in from the first Wind Change DR. Enough has been written about immersion. I love the tactics aspect. To win consistently you must have solid tactics. You can tell by the first few turns whether you should beat an opponent based on their setup, how they move and their fire discipline.

5. The history. That’s how I found wargames in the first place, because I was interested in WWII. It has to be based in history or I won’t play it. That’s why I have zero interest in DYO.

If you just started off and are on the fence about Advanced Squad Leader that is truly massive in physical size and intellectual commitment or if you are merely curious about this game, I hope Robert Wolkey helps you understand.

I hope you will make the jump.

ASL102 Point of the Sword

ASL 102.Setup-procGoogle Map : Juno, Sword, Langrune-sur-mer & Caen

This is a Normandy scenario, dated 6 June 1944, D-Day. The 4th Commando Brigade moved towards Langrune-sur-Mer and into elements of a Panzer division. They radioed the French Canadians nearby for help and they joined the fight on Turn 4.

On the far north (left on-screen) of this board is a big patch of woods. As you move towards the south it’s vast tracts of open ground with little patches of grain and orchards. There’s a village on the south (right) with a lot of rowhouses and stone walls.

The commandos setup on the left at the edge of the woods. The Germans setup in the village. The commandos are assault engineers and so they get smoke grenades at 4 or less. They get some demolition charges and a 51” mortar. The French Canadians bring in a couple more mortars and heavy machine guns later on, also from the north.  The Germans get a heavy machine gun, a medium machine gun and a few light machine guns plus a 50” mortar.

The Germans have 3 fortified hexes in 3 different stone buildings. The Commonwealth wins immediately when they control 2 or more buildings that contain fortified hexes. Takezo played the Germans while I played the Commonwealth.ASL 102.1AlliedDFPh-proc

This is Allied Turn 1 :  the commandos started making the trek over the divide.  The mortar fired off a smoke round down the road where the German HMG pointed at.  I hoped to feint a left (east) and head right (west) when the French Canadians show up on Turn 4.  I made the mistake of putting the mortar too far back though.  Later on in the game it was unable to support the push.ASL 102.2AlliedMPh - -proc

Allied Turn 2 : My hero rushed up with a demolition charge to draw some fire away from his brothers.  He got than that.  He ran into a hidden German half squad in the woods and got shot by the Germans holed up in the buildings from the middle of the board.  The British sniper was very active as well, hitting the same stack of Germans at the top of the map multiple times!ASL 102.4AlliedDFPh-proc

Allied Turn 4 and the French Canadians arrived at the scene.  There were a number of German MG and a mortar (in that roundabout) to content with, hence the entry was crowded and disorganised.  The commandos threw smoke grenades to cover their approach the best they could.  The British mortar was embarrassingly out-of-place.  By this time it was quite clear that the schwerpunkt was coming from the right (bottom).ASL 102.5AxisMPh-proc

Axis Turn 5 : the Germans were moving back and to the west (bottom).  The lead Commonwealth troops moved fast enough to harassing the retreating Germans.  ASL 102.7AlliedAFPh-proc

Allied Turn 7: there was a bit of drama with the Germans holed up on level 1 of a stone building.  Earlier shots pushed them towards being fanatic.  Rounds after rounds of fire couldn’t touch them.  The French Canadians figured they would give it a last try with a feeble little 50″ mortar.  Guess what?  They rolled snake eyes and got a critical hit!!  The crowd went wild (to the extend PBeM could..).  As the dice gods would have it : they then rolled boxcars for the IFC resolution …. I swore I heard my British counters groan from their boxes.

The Commonwealth troops, close behind the retreating Germans, moved to have them encircled.
ASL 102.8AlliedMPh-proc

Allied Turn 8 DFPh and I was out of time : Tazeko revealed where the Fortified hexes were after the last Allied Movement Phase.  The Commonwealth troops would end up advancing into 1 out of 3 of the fortified buildings as opposed to the 2 required by the victory conditions.

For those of you who played this before, you are right, there’s a slight mistake here.  The 3 fortified hexes should be in 3 different stone buildings.  Oh well, a game is a game!

Going forward there are a few things I will do differently as the attacker :

  • move forward more aggressively, seek to push the boundaries and set the tempo as opposed to having the tempo dictated to by the defence.
  • have the mortars move up together with the troops.
  • if I am to play this scenario as the attacker again, my commandos will seek to push up a lot further to allow the French Canadians space and cover to get on the board easier

Any thoughts and/or advice, please comment!

Resources : Joss Attridge’s “Point of the Sword (ASL102)” in HullDown.Org

Eglise de Langrune sur Mer, Calvados, France

Eglise de Langrune sur Mer, Calvados, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A German prisoner captured by Canadian troops ...

A German prisoner captured by Canadian troops at Langrune sur Mer, 7 June 1944. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Headquarters, 4th Special Service Brigade, mak...

Headquarters, 4th Special Service Brigade, making their way from LCI(S)s (Landing Craft Infantry Small) onto ‘Nan Red’ Beach, JUNO Area, at St Aubin-sur-Mer at about 9 am on 6 June 1944 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unboxing the “RISING SUN”!!

The Rising Sun is the latest reprint module from Multi-Man Publishing.  It’s an impressive combination of the out-of-print modules Code of Bushido and Gung Ho!.  The counter artwork was redone, the rules updated and the scenarios rebalanced, giving ASL‘rs everything he/she needs to get into the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO).  While a lot of our American compatriots have gotten their copies already, I suspect the rest of the world is only starting to get theirs.

Here’s the unboxing of a copy that hit the PTO today!

IMG_6555IMG_6556IMG_6557IMG_6558IMG_6560IMG_6559IMG_6562IMG_6561IMG_6563IMG_6564

 

Resources :

 

Grognards Speaks : Advanced Squad Leader Articles That Change Their Lives

Detail: Espinoza Tawed Skin/Parchment model

If you are a Advanced Squad Leader player and you are not on online forums such as GameSquad yet, I suggest you do. You will find a terrific community of ASL’ers discussing rules, giving their reviews on scenarios and products. You will find a lot of support and from time to time, a better alternative to eBay in acquiring Advanced Squad Leader modules and Third Party Products.

Lately the grognards discussed ASL training articles that changed their (ASL) lives. This is obviously too good of a thread to pass up, so here it is:

This is the original thread on GameSquad forums.  I hope this helps you as much as it helps me!

Do let me know however of articles that helped you!

Protecting Your New Advanced Squad Leader Rulebook

IMG_6108The Advanced Squad Leader Rulebook 2nd edition (“ASLRB”) is finally in print again!

I got mine from a tiny store in Mongkok two months ago.  The Advanced Squad Leader Rulebook is massive: it’s a big box-file full of instructions to the best simulation in the history of board wargaming.

I have been working hard at learning it.  The punch holes in some of the pages are already showing tear.

To protect my ASL bible, I have two options:

  • Plastic punch hole ring reinforcement stickers
  • Plastic page protectors

Plastic punch hole ring reinforcement stickers

Unfortunately, the punch holes on the pages are too big.  I can’t find ring stickers that are the proper size.

Plastic page protectors

This is the pricier option but this is what I ended up doing.  Not only are the holes protected from frequent reference, entire pages are now protected from food stains and beer spills!

Since each page is thicker with the plastic page protectors, I split the rulebook into two box-files.  (I found a problem: I couldn’t get the holes in the plastic page protectors to work with the 3 rings in the original Advanced Squad Leader Rulebook binder.)

There are less than 250 pages in the rulebook – the standard set of rulebook sections plus sections F, G, Solitaire and a couple of Zs from ASL Journals.  I bought 5 packs of A4-s size Kokuyo”Clear Book” refills that has 50 plastic page protectors each and I got two double ring box files.  I put sections A to E in one box file and the rest in the second one.

Now I feel a lot more comfortable flipping through the protected pages in the less congested box-files!

To make the box-files look more authoritative,  I scanned the Rulebook cover and spine.  I want to get the images printed on A4 size stickers and put them on the front and spine of my box-files.  They will look pretty nice when I’m done.

What do you do to protect your Advanced Squad Leader Rulebook?

Recommended Links:

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Key to the Advanced Squad Leader Modules Before You Buy Any

Advanced Squad Leader is also referred to as “ASL”.  You’ll notice a lot of different Advanced Squad Leader modules out there and it can get pretty confusing. It helps to know there are a few large categories:

  • Advanced Squad Leader Starter Kit “ASLSK” : these are complete modules that provide low cost venues for new players to try and to learn the Advanced Squad Leader system.  
  • Advanced Squad Leader Core modules : these are modules, each containing all the counters (“orders of battle” or “OB”) for specific nationalities.  The modules are not complete games by themselves.  There are “dependencies” between modules which we will cover in another post and they require the purchase of the Advance Squad Leader Rulebook “ASLRB” (latest being 2nd edition 2nd print) to play.
  • Historical Advanced Squad Leader module “HASL” : these are modules that takes a deeper look at specific historical events.   Note that they too are not complete games and are dependent on ownership of specific Orders of Battle plus the Advanced Squad Leader Rulebook.
  • Advanced Squad Leader Action Packs “ASL Action Pack” : these are expansions to the ASL system that contains additional maps and scenarios that allow players to get right into the action.
  • Advanced Squad Leader Compatible “ASLCOMP” : these are Advanced Squad Leader variants and expansions published by companies other than Avalon Hill Game Company or Multi-Man Publishing.

I hope this provides a good framework from which you can plan your acquisitions.  Any thoughts, ideas or questions please feel free to comment!

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