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!!)
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!!
Corporal Gruber saw the German squad breaking into the stone structure to the right of the post office where the Russians dug themselves in. He grabbed the demolition pack and dashed out into the street. How he ran through the bullet storm and across the street was beyond anyone’s guess, but the German squad must be keeping the Russian distracted. Some of the Russians saw the lone figure coming and got off a few shots nonetheless. Jaws were dropping all around as Gruber, still unscathed, managed to place the demolition pack.
The Russian squad, already being shot up by the Germans dropping in from the right, was looking to run. The blinding explosion that ensured took out half the Russians and made a firm decision for the rest : run!
- Stalingrad: the turning point of WWII (warhistoryonline.com)
- Russia to mark Battle of Stalingrad’s 70th anniversary (itv.com)
- Battle of Stalingrad: key dates, quotes and legacy (warhistoryonline.com)
- Stalingrad: 1943 and 2013 (conservativeread.com)
- Memories of Stalingrad (on.aol.com)
- Russia marks the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad (rbth.ru)
- Vasily Zaitsev: The legendary sniper of Stalingrad (indrus.in)
- The Battle for Stalingrad remembered (russianreport.wordpress.com)