Wednesday, April 20, 2011

ASL, "Misservey's Men"

Doug Kirk was in town for work, so he came over last night for dinner and a game of ASL.  Besides being a top notch player, you can read his excellent March Madness championship AAR here:

Doug also puts together the scenario list for the St. Louis Tourney of which he does a fantastic job. 

He wanted to check out "Messervey's Men" from the latest Journal.  "MM" is a basic King of the Hill scenario featuring a rabble of Italians trying to fend off a good size force of Sikhs, represented by 2nd line British, supported by some light weight carriers and armored cars.  This all takes place in Africa during 1942. 

The advantages for my Italians are few.  With 3 FP and 6 morale, i can't effectively engage in a shooting contest with Doug's troops especially since i have very little cover on the hill with 5 Sangars and some crags to hide in.  My main Italian advantages are time and fine cooking.  Doug has 6 moves to take and clear the level 4 hills.  This will be slow going for his troops and i hope to run out the clock.  I can also win by inflicting 26 CVP, but that is pretty unlikely in this scenario.  The fine cooking really doesn't factor in to ASL.

With that in mind, i set none of my 10 squads forward; everyone is around the victory area.  I do have a 70mm infantry gun and a light mortar which i center my defense around.  Doug comes on turn 1 and i hold my fire with the exception of taking a shot at one of his carriers that he leaves in LOS of my gun and mortar.  I fire first with my mortar but promptly malf it.  My gun then fires but can't get a kill.  Finally, i shoot my MMG but also can't kill the pesky carrier.

On to my turn 1 where i fire my gun again but malf it--Italian weapons really blow.  Finally, i shoot the MMG and roll snakes on the TK roll, burning the pesky carrier.  Doug has few shots and we move on to turn 2.

End of turn 1.  Carrier in flames!
 Doug continues to press forward on turn 2, while i skulk back or retain concealment.  I am unable to fix either the mortar or gun.  Doug's first mortar has no smoke, but he drops a well place HE round on the gun crew, breaking it.  He follows that up with a crit on my mortar crew.  That would be mostly it for his effective fire for the game.  And yes, i mean for the whole game!

I don't recall seeing such poor shooting in my many games of ASL.  Doug would routinely take half a dozen shots a fire phase.  2+1, 4+1, 6+1, 6+0, even a couple of 12+1 shots.  Nothing.  I mean absolutely nothing!   While my shots were generally poor as well--i malfed my MMG on turn 3 and X'd it on the repair roll, adding that to my gun and mortar--i did get some key breaks here and there.

Doug did roll 5 or 6 snakes but they didn't help him much.  One snakes was on a carrier overrun which i followed with a snakes of my own, BHing a 3-4-6 to a 4-4-7.  His other snakes generated a hero, which i promptly killed in CC.  Another battle hardened a half-squad, but activated my sniper which whacked his 9-1 leader.  It was ugly.

Doug: "What the hell did i do to deserve this?"
 Despite the poor shooting skills, Doug slowly ground his way up the hill, resorting to CC, which he did better at, whacking a couple of Italian squads.  I brought on my reinforcements, running my 2 squads/lmg/leader up the back of the hill, while my tank parked on the side of the hill to provide covering fire to the top of the hill.

Doug's armored car decided to duke it out with my tank.  I scoffed at the notion as my tank was the King Tiger of this battlefield with a 3 armor and a 37 gun plus 4 CMG while Doug's Rolls Royce had a 0 armor and an ATR for it's MA.  I didn't scoff long though as Doug DI'd my tank and the crew bailed.  Ouch.

Fortunatly for me, Doug had no one to shoot at the crew, so it was able to re-crew the tank next turn and would provide some decisive firepower to my defense.

Immobilized Italian tank helps break up the final rush.

A key piece i forgot to mention is the Italian Fighter-Bomber which came on on my turn 4.  It only gets one straffing run per the SSR, but it made the most of it, pinning or breaking a whole line of Doug's troops.  This really stymied Doug's advance.

We came to the end game, and i was able to put a line of guys in front of my last Sangar which contained a 3-4-6/lmg+8-1 leader.  Doug couldn't get to them in CC and had to break the squad in Advancing fire.  He had a 6+3 shot which he missed, a 2+1 shot which whiffed, so it came down to a final 1+1 shot with his armored car.  He managed a PTC, which i needed to roll snakes on to activate his sniper.  I didn't and it was game over.

A fun, tight scenario.  Neither of us were sure what to make of it balance-wise.  Doug's incredibly poor shooting meant the Italians had to take few MC's.  I had a total of 5 broken units the whole game.  I don't think my breaking all my key weapons early offset this, although it put me in a bad spot for sure.

Good times as always with Doug.  Play fast, have a few laughs, a few drinks, and a close hard fought game.  It's what ASL is all about.  Ciao!

My Italians hang on for the win.