ASL...a game for the entire family!!!
Normally, I don't play ASL on Sunday nights...especially if Sunday Night Football is on. Generally, I like to relax as much as possible in order to prepare for the start of another week's work. But this past Sunday, I broke with tradition to get in a game with my 21 year old son, who is once again living with us.
Without making this AAR too personal, I'll share a bit of why Sunday's night game was such an important one for me. Raising my son has never been easy. My son has dealt with Aspergers and Mood Disorder since he was a teenager and was never an easy child to raise. And having him live once again in our home has been anything but easy and pleasant. So you can imagine that a simple game of ASL was a welcome joy for this father.
Now my son was never into ASL. He loved miniatures though and so we spent many hours with Lord of the Rings, WW2 Minis and his favorites Warhammer and Warhammer 40K.
My son joined me in the garage on occasion for some WW2 1/72 miniatures games...but he never seemed as interested in that period as his Dad is.
Trips to see family in Alabama always included a stop at Games Workshop's Memphis Battle Bunker.
But as many of you know, Warhammer 40K is as much about modeling and painting as it is gaming...so suffice to say...lots of money was spent and very little "real" gaming was had. And honestly, Space Marines and Tyranids were never really my thing.
After graduating high school my son left for the Marines and at 5'4" tall survived "The Reaper" and earned his EGA. Pride doesn't come any better than that...but Pride cometh before the fall...which occurred only months later.
Sadly, the joy of having a Marine in our home quickly faded with a General Discharge and many unhappy days as our son worked to put together a life away from home...which was ultimately unsuccessful.
But putting aside all these personal details, I found myself across from my son for a game of ASL. And what could be better. So here begins the tale of a father and son rolling dice and moving cardboard across a European Battlefield.
As my son was completely new to ASL, I had him select the defense and he quickly set up his SS Panzergrenadiers in and around the Church, which would be the primary objective of my attacking Canadians.
Though not stated in the Scenario SSR's, I went ahead and allowed the Church to have a steeple for use by a half-squad or SMC.
My son quickly placed his MMG with a Hero and 3-4-8 Half-Squad in the steeple. I had created a monster already!!!
My son's first attempt at a credible defense was pretty good overall. He quickly grasped the advantage of the upper floors of the church and set up with good fields of fire. He also understood the need to protect his flanks and to keep me away from the church itself.
His SS Grenadiers were well placed and ready to do battle.
Now this was not played as a Starter Kit game. It was full ASL, but I opted to leave concealment out of the game. So that was the only facet of full ASL that was not employed.
I began the game with a successful smoke creation attempt by the mortar. The remainder of my troops moved forward under harassing fire from the Church.
My mortar would only get the one smoke and would be broken twice before game end by the German Sniper. I rolled a large number of '4's during the game and suffered from the German Sniper accordingly.
The smoke naturally aided my initial assault, but my son was undaunted by the smoke and fired through it. And then proceeded to roll more '3's than I have seen in a long time. ROF was also his friend as he DM'd and pinned my boys early and often.
Now as my son's MMG continued it's ROF dance of death on my boys...my 9-2 failed one MC and then another...I rolled a 6 for the wound severity and just like that my 9-2 was KIA'd.
My dice were rolling 10's and 11's for me and 3's and 4' for my son....good grief!!!
Despite my losses, I kept pushing forward, but my cold dice continued to keep me from inflicting any real harm on my son's forces.
Of course it helps if your troops are taking the whole thing seriously enough!!!
The German Sniper managed to DM my Mortar team on two occasions.
My forces continued to press forward.
But remained perplexed at their inability to dent the German defenses.
Then finally my HMG managed to DM the Germans in the Belltower. WOOHOOO!!!!
Persistence finally paid off!!!
CAN I GET A YES!?!
Thank you ERIC ORTEGA!!!
(and thanks for the Passion you have for ASL...you inspire us all!)
My good fortune continued as I managed to battle harden and create a Hero!!! Things were looking up!
Despite my good fortune, I still had failed to do any lasting damage to the Germans...and time was running out.
My boys in G2 had a demo charge. If I could just get them into the Church...
Despite being new to ASL, my son was by no means immune to its vagaries as he broke all of his MG's at least once during the scenario.
As the game wound down, I charged ahead...reckless in some cases to just try and move forward....(and yes...to give my son some shots...shhh...don't tell him!!!)
My Canadians with the DC went over the wall and were KIA'd by the mass of German fire. My Hero remained standing...but the Germans went after him in Close Combat. He went down fighting bravely!
My son's Grenadiers savored their successes!
As the game neared it's conclusion, I did have a few more successes, but again was not able to convert them for big gains.
And just when I thought I had my son in a corner, he managed to rally his DM'd 9-1 and battle harden him and rally the squad as well.
And in his Prep Fire he managed to DM nearly the last of my attacking squads. Only a single 4-5-8 remained to carry forward the assault in Turn 6.
They succeeded in entering the Church and went into CC with the Grenadiers on the bottom floor. But my son rolled the ambush and eliminated them. And just like that the game was over.
A final look at the game. The Germans had suffered no losses while eliminating 6 Canadian Squads and a 9-2 officer. Not too shabby for a first game of ASL...
Of course...playing a friendly and fun game was my real objective of the evening...and it was a mission accomplished.
I was pretty happy to have the opportunity to play some ASL with my son and I hope he enjoyed it enough to perhaps try it again one of these nights.
Until then...I'll just keep blogging away...
and wish you all a Good Night.