FrF45 Totensonntag

This is one of the more popular Friendly Fire scenarios.  It’s Poland, September 1939 and the Poles launched an offensive against a German flank.  The Poles win if 6 or more German squads equivalents are eliminated or captured.  Each wooden building containing => 1 Polish squad equivalent equates to a German squad eliminated.

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BFP15 Cobra’s Venom

You are going to see a lot of bocage country. We are going to play the whole of BFP Operation Cobra front to back. We already did BFP14 Opening Phase, so this is the second one ..

J43 3rd RTR in the Rain

Oi .. we are playing in the rain this time.  Heavy rain that adds +1 LV every 6 hex.  That’s also why all our VASL screens looks .. well, rainy.

The 9 squads of Queen’s Victoria Rifles are rushing in to grab 6 buildings out of 8 from 5 squads of Germans.  There are of course 5 AFVs helping the Brits out against the 3 German ones, well, 3 German AFVs AND an AT gun.

The Truth About VASL

 

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VASL stands for “Virtual Advanced Squad Leader”, a platform created by Mr Rodney Kinney for the enjoyment of ASL’rs worldwide.

On one platform you have most if not all the mapboards, overlays and counters you need.  You can play online versus anyone anywhere in the world (with Skype or Discord).  You can also choose to play via email (PBeM).  I have regular live games sessions scheduled with few of my buddies weekly.  We pick up on a saved game and make a some progress every week.  We also chat about our jobs, our families and our lives – just like face-to-face gamers do.

VASL accelerated the development of ASL communities in Asia Pacific for example, where ASL’rs are spread far and wide.  No matter where you are, for as long as you have an internet connection, you will never run out of opponents.  In fact, you can play some of the most experienced ASL’rs in the world, folks who are delighted to show you how it’s done.  Before some Asia Pacific gamers even met each other in the Singapore, Manila or Siem Reap tournaments, we have already been talking to each other on a regular basis via VASL games.  When we met, we are already old friends.

It’s interesting to note that VASL is (largely) NOT created nor maintained by the companies that publish our ASL modules.  They are NOT part of our purchases.  We don’t have ANY rights to it.  We can’t expect any level of value but yet, it’s one of the best products I have ever used  .. and it’s free, freely updated and lovingly maintained.

VASL program, maps, overlays and counters are made & maintained by a group of ASL gamers like you and me, not game company executives who also play ASL, ASL gaming consumers like you and me.

You know, ordinary people: Dudes.  Bros.  Blokes.  Chaps.

Folks who have lives, families, jobs and aspirations.  Folks who love, laugh and worry.  Folks who sometimes struggle, like all of us do, to find time to play ASL.

Folks who feel compelled to give back to the ASL community, amidst all the conflicting priorities we all have.

Each VASL counter (substitute : overlays, maps) has to be created from scratch.  Two graphics to each counter, four for a nationality that step reduces.  Each piece of info : graphics and numbers are sized for visibility.  After the graphics are done (and info properly put in), intelligence is coded in to make VASL extensions.

We want squads to ELR or Battle Harden properly.  We want Chinese counters to go “Dare Death”.  We want SMCs to go “Heroic” but not MMCs.  We want IJA squads to stripe to the correct numbers.  We want LOS strings to work from any point to any point.  We want terrain to transform properly, or have entire sets of transformation built for specific scenarios.  Should that gun unlimber when you flip it over?  Can that support weapon dismantle?

We want NIGHT to look glorious and it does.  We want SNOWscapes to look chilly.  We want PTO to look unforgiving.

Someone somewhere decided to not do something else but to do VASL, for you and I.

Someone somewhere decided to do this day after day, and to do all this for free.

Versions after versions, bug fixes after bug fixes, modules after modules – one of the best things in life IS free.  There IS such a thing as a free lunch.

Next time you deal with / report issues to the VASL crew, perhaps you can also offer to help?

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.

This one’s an interesting scenario.  I read the VC wrong though, or really, I didn’t really understood the VC.  The VC called for 8VPs and the Russians can achieve it in one of two ways:

  1. Get all the buidings in the middle of the board, rubble or not, they total to 8VPs;
  2. Move 8 units into the circle, AFV or squads.

The defender has to get the right balance between defending against the two – defend the buildings and risk getting surrounded or backup to the rear and risk losing the buildings.

Thoughts?

40 Fort McGregor

I am finally doing DTO!!  Unfortunately for me, my first DTO scenario is also a Night scenario, something that I am not very well versed with.  Then again hey : I have a GREAT opponent, so the best time is definitely now.

This scenario is an ASL classic.  The Germans win by scoring 20 CVPs more than the Brits and by controlling the both Hillock summit.  There’s a bombardment before the German turn but it really didn’t do much!

NVR’s 3, the Germans crept in…

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