This is a Running AAR. New frames will be added when the game progress!
I am the German defenders. While I believe in bringing all my guns up front, I am not backing up fast enough. I am not happy about exchanging casualties with the Russians at the present ratio (slight more than 1:1) since there are twice as many Russians as the Germans! Even though the Russians are spread out, they have 5 leaders in this scenario (these are the Guards Para!).
I am not confronting any defenders directly but relentlessly seek to push deep and to constantly flank while the tanks followup to deliver the head on blow.
The Russians only have two turns left to crush everyone in the little yellow circle. My opponent think his defenders are falling apart but I think the reinforcing German conscripts will take a while to clear just by standing around.
Feels like fine time to up the ante.
I watch live ASL games on VASL like people watch TV. There’s almost always something going on and it’s a good way for new folks to get some context for understanding the ASL Rulebook or simply to see how they can expand their opponent horizon from local to global.
“Von Marwitz” on GameSquad recent wrote a great “Step by Step” to do just that. So the following is posted with his permission.
#1. Don’t be afraid to try. Only the question that is not asked is dumb.
#2. To find an opponent, you can post in the “Opponents Wanted” section of this forum:
Describe your situation and chances are that you will find someone to play with in short order. (Hong KongWargamer : plus the ASL Groups on VASL – https://www.facebook.com/groups/advancedsquadleader/, https://www.facebook.com/groups/vaslmeetup/, https://www.facebook.com/groups/27083456599
#3. If you log on to the VASL server, you will find yourself in the “Main Room”. The actual playing goes on in the other rooms, often titled by the name or ID of the scenario. You can join a room by syncronizing with one of the players in it. Personally, I send a short Personal Message to ask if it is ok to sync before I do so. Usually I get a “Yes, sure.” in short order. Once synced, you will see the playing area, the log and counters moving about. Common etiquette is not to move their counters (you can do a mouse-over to expand stacks depending on your settings which they will not see on their screen). You do not hit any dice-roll buttons etc. Normally, you would not type anything into their log unless you previously by Private Message inquired if it is ok to do so. This is the basic etiquette.
Most VASL-players use a combination of VASL and Skype because communication is quicker. As an observer, this makes it a bit more difficult to follow the game, especially as a newbie, because you might not be able to glean what the reason for some dice rolls in the log were. If players don’t use skype, they will (necessarily) type that into the log. Sometimes, people are willing to add observers to their Skype call so that you can listen in (which you could find out by inquiring via private message). If they do, usually you would listen and not take part in the conversation. This might be different if you have become familiar with the players.
While being an observer, regardless whether via log or Skype, you do not give tactical tips to the players in an ongoing game. Usually, I would not point out rules mistakes to the players either unless I know they do not mind. And even then I would point out an illegal move via PM only to the player that just got a rule wrong.
In case you do not “see” the maps, then you might not have them in your “boards” folder and need to download them first (and resync). Same is true for overlays. Then there are some “extensions”, that might expand VASL with some extra counters or gadgets. Most of this stuff can be found in the downloads section of the vasl.info website.
It’s Oct 1944. The Americans were about to engage the Germans in what was to be their largest urban fight in the Second World War. Aachen was also to be the first German city captured by the Allies.
In this “BFP Into the Rubble” scenario, 10 elite & 12 US 1st line squads teamed up with 3 Shermans and 2 tank destroyers faced off against a mix of 18 German squads with mostly 2nd liners, a pair of AA guns and 2 Hetzers. The Germans also had 21 concealment counters, 8 Fortified locations and sewer movement capabilities.
There was a lot of rubble.
The Americans were to capture 7 buildings in 8 turns.
American Turn 2 about to start : The German Fortress troops had a surprise for me. They stacked a few Fortified counters on each other and brought the 37L AA gun onto the 2nd level! This flak gun didn’t have the 2cm FlaKvierling’s “20” firepower but it did have Stielgranate 41 ammo which offered TK# 26 within 11 hexes. The high rate of fire from both AA guns were particularly disconcerting if only for Deliberate Immobilizations. I am quite the novice with AFVs. I decided to keep my tanks together in mutually supporting roles. My AFVs would stick with the infantry (panzerfausts abound) and we would use MGs (and not tanks) against ordnance.
There were a couple more tactical things I wanted to do / get into the habit of doing:
- Place a squad on high ground. If nothing else to make it harder for my opponent to gain concealment. Squads in high places could interdict as well.
- Get to the center building (where the malfunctioned Flak gun was). My opponent observed that the center building was the ideal jump off point to the latter portion of the American attack.
- The German SAN was 5 and I got open top tank destroyers. I got to make sure we got dedicated sniper shielding for our key units!
I was on a tight schedule here as the Americans. I pushed on, using smoke whenever possible, dummies or not. One of the first things we found was of course the Flak tower my opponent constructed on my right flank (top of the map). My AFVs then slid towards the middle of the map.
End of German Turn 2 : The Americans managed to push to the middle of the board. The AA Gun commanding the middle of the street immobilized one of the Shermans. The American 10-2 (aka Jedi) Deathstar got taken out as well. However while the other AFVs spun towards the middle of the board to avoid the Steilgranate wielding Flak tower, a lone Sherman remained to provide smoke cover for the infantry (Errata : The 37L AA gun’s actually on the 2nd level, not the 3rd).
The Americans deployed 4 half squads towards the back to screen off the German sniper, and they took a few hits. Unfortunately the German sniper killed 2 out of 7 American leaders, something the Americans could ill afford with their lower morale. The American sniper relocated to the vicinity Before the game is up, the Germans would see their SAN reduced from 5 to nothing by Sniper-on-Sniper action!
In the midst of American Turn 4 : The Americans pushed forward and captured the lone AA gun in the middle of the board. American leaders continue to be shot by the German sniper. The latest victim was the radio guy who was in the midst of relocating this radio. The Jedi Master and his HMG team took the chance to rush past the sniper. Towards the sound of gunfire!
The Americans took the center building, we just needed to remember to get guys upstairs. Towards the bottom of the map, the infantry continue to lead the way with AFVs coming in as support.
End of American Turn 6 : Two more turns to go and the Americans still got 2 or 3 buildings to take. We were definitely running tight on time.
From the right flank (top of map), the American OBA put the Flak tower’s stairwell on fire! The gun crew was therefore encircled. The German brokies were blocking the approach from the American forces though.
On the left, a Sherman got blown up by a German squad who found a panzerfaust. An American flamethrower squad hopped by and broke the half squad involved. That gave the other American AFVs time to push the wreck out of the way and to get into position for an assault on the final VP building on the left flank (bottom of map).
The German Hetzers were about to enter from the left of the board.
After American Turn 7 : Encircled as it might be, the German Flak tower was still in the fight. It blew up the TD that rushed over to help! Nearby MGs were engaging it, as was the captured AA gun from the middle of the board. We got a little thin on our right but the lay of the rubble made it hard for us to rebalance.
The wounded artillery observer brought fire down on the left flank target building to good effect. The Americans on the left flank got ready to hit the building in the last turn.
End Game : The OBA on the left flank (bottom of map) broke some German units and even killed a Hetzer as it tried to move towards the Americans.
On the American right (top of map), the US forces had nothing but open ground to traverse unfortunately. We tried to shift as much forces as possible to the right but having to get around the German brokies proved to be fatal!! The Americans therefore lost this scenario by one VC building!
Thoughts? What would you have done better? What do you think of the tactical choices? Would you try this scenario Please comment!