Tuesday, August 30, 2016

August 27th Kansas City ASL Group Game Day!

Now...it's been a hard year of work...work and more work. So when I saw that the Kansas City ASL Group was having a game day in August..well I decided that I had to get myself up there. I took my wife and daughter, spent two nights ($350+ on hotel room, food, etc.). So on Saturday, while my wife and daughter shopped at Legends (http://www.legendsshopping.com/), I drove over to the Hollis Renewal Center for a day of ASL.

The Hollis Renewal Center is tucked away in a forested cove, where the ASL is thick and the distractions few. A perfect place to get one's priorities straight!

Upon arrival, I found the place hopping with ASL players, already primed and ready to wage cardboard war! 

Upon arrival, I had the great fortune to be matched up against Dan Best. Dan was the first person I played against during my first Texas Tournament in 2013. Dan is a tremendous ASL player and just terrific fun to play against. We not only competed on the cardboard battlefields of ASL...but I think we had dueling Russian Accents throughout our game...which might have been confusing for Dan as I was supposed to be the GERMANS...but I just love doing a Russian accent...

Hey...I gave it my best shot...

So suffice to say, I was thrilled to be playing once more against Dan. Dan has been working on some new scenarios and asked if I would mind helping to play test. Sounded good to me, so we decided on a Scenario entitled " YEVPATORIYA MOP UP", which takes place in the Crimea in 1942.  Dan mentioned that Youtube has a German newsreel of the actual fighting for the town of Yevpatoriya. Here is the link to a fairly good little video.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82GRzswgSbo

 Dan and decided to roll for sides and I ended up as the attacking Germans. I couldn't have been happier. Me and my Wehrmacht boys...together again!! Dan drew the Russians and went about setting up his defense. 

The German force consisted of a 10-2, 9-2, 9-1, 8-1, 6 x 8-3-8 with 4 x DC's and 2 x Flamethrowers,  a handful of 4-6-7's, with 2 x 222 Armored Cars against a Russian force of 4-5-8's, 4-4-7's, and some tough 6-2-8's led by two Commissars and some regular Red Army officers. 

The Germans would win it after 7.5 Turns, they had taken two building locations on Board 10 and Board 8. Sounds easy right?  Well the Russians would be able to fortify 5 hexes and would have two HIP units. The battle which would follow would go to the very bitter end and would be decided in the final Close Combat phase. It would prove to be a very bloody and desperate fight from start to finish. In short...it was an AWESOME Game of ASL!

 Now, some may question (though perhaps not many) driving 9 hours round trip and spending $400 to play one scenario of ASL. Of course those who might question that probably don't play ASL!!! 

Some folks go the beach...some to the mountains...some to the lakes..me I went for some ASL...and was the better for it!

Just a quick note about the pictures. Normally, I use my Canon camera for my blog images...but when traveling, I rely on my I-Phone 4S camera. It's just not the same. So my apologies in advance for the poorer picture quality for this AAR.
 My Germans entered from off board on Turn 1. In the interest of full disclosure, I set up my 8-3-8's on the wrong side. They should have been on the left side of this setup.  Dan forgave me the error and we were off and running! My plan was go directly for the first building with my two MMG's on either flank to cut-off potential reinforcements to this building. My 8-3-8's with the DC's and Flamethrowers were going straight at the Russian building in my front.

My Turn 1 movements had revealed the two Russian MMG's, one on the far left and one in the center stone wall island thingy. This was good as, I knew that the Russians in the main building were not hiding any big firepower.

Now on Turn 2, I received two 222 Armored Cars as reinforcements. They rolled into the battle ready to do some VBM sleezzzzzyyyy stuff!
"Come to the Crimea they said...it'll be fun they said..."

My 222 Armored car that went left was successful in freezing the Russian MMG team over there, but would be immobilized in the succeeding Melees. The 222 that went up the middle would malf it's main armament and then break it for good and be recalled. Easy come....easy go...

Yeah...the gun was still good and would eventually take out the Russians in Melee.

But...it's Crimean Tour was over.

My flame-throwers moved up and helped to push back the first Russian 4-5-8 in the fortified building. Did I mention the building was fortified...!?!
It is good to have the Flammenwerfer...say it with me...slowly..Flammmeennweerrfer...

As the battle progressed...it became clear that the Russians had a Commissar in the fortified building. And the dude was Johnny on the Spot with Rallies. The Russians would break, rally and then hit me hard. Fanatic 4-5-8's and 6-2-8's with a Commissar in a freakin' fortified building...yeah...things were not looking good for my Germans. But my 10-2 and his 6 x 8-3-8's with DC were about to crash this Socialist Party...HARD!!!

Commissar Pavlovovich...master of the fortified building and enemy #1!

8-3-8's waiting to join the party...
vodka...ve bring die Schnapps!!

On the left, my boys in the 222 did indeed take out the Russians in Melee even as  a 4-6-8  rushed in to support. On the left,  had fared less well. A Russian mortar had nuked my recon 2-4-7 and it had a clear shot down the road on the right. So a little bit of caution was required as my 9-2 moved an MMG into position to duel with the Russian MMG in the center stone wall thingy.

Little did I know that the MMG squad was unfamiliar with the MG-34...as they would break it three times in this game...3 times...seriously...3 times....a veritable festival of boxcars!!!

They just weren't taking things seriously...focus guys...quit burning out the barrels!!

Twice during our game, Dan channeled his inner Carnac to correctly guess the next roll..."Snakes" the first time and got it and then after his mortar went on an 8 in a row ROF tear, he correctly guessed the next roll would be "Boxcars!!!" and it was...
(Dan will be my source for lotto numbers in the future!)

As Turn 4 came to an end, my Germans had finally taken control of the fortified building. Hard fighting and lots of close combat had eliminated the last of the Russians. Even the Commissar had been shot down in the street and he ran for the row houses.

My 10-2 was firmly in command of the situation!!

One building down...but the second building was quite a ways away. And time was running out for my Germans. The Russians would not go quietly into that long goodnight...hard fighting awaited!!!

With time running out, my Germans had to start preparing to make up lost time and make a beeline to the second building objective...no time to sit on our laurels!

As my boys prepared to move forward, little did they know that the Russian 4-5-8 in BB5 was sitting in yet another fortified location and would seriously damage my calm...

So Boris...always with the fortified buildings....

As Boris and his fortified building made their full presence known...the Russian Sniper showed up and ended my 4-6-8's romp on the far left.

And the next thing I know....Dan rolls another Snakes and Boris' squad creates a Hero of the Soviet Union...yep...Dan was rollin' dice like a BOSS!!

Kinda takin' the whole Hero Creation thing to a new level...

So there I was Prep-Firing away with 18 factors, 20 factors, 30 factors...and nothing...nothing...oh and I create a Hero...aieieeieieieieieiiiieeeeeee....

Fortunately for me, my Germans were pretty badass themselves...so they were able to deal with Boris and the Hero and make a strong move to the right and to the left. The breakout had begun!!

Break time...the weather was pretty nice...so we took a nice break out on the front porch, soaked in some sunshine...talked ASL with some other club members and got ready for the titanic conclusion to our scenario!
Ahhh...breathe in the calm...the serenity....

Now back to wanton card board death and destruction!!!

With time slipping from my grasp, I sent my boys rushing ahead. The Russians were also moving to reinforce the second victory location. 

Weaving my way through Russian fire resulted in some broken squads, but our boys were getting through...it looked like we had a chance...then my 10-2 rolled snakes and then boxcars to go Berserk and take his whole stack with him....UGH!!!

DUDE...you are leading them away from the Victory Location...turn around...go back!!!

"New orders men...Operation Berserker..."

Oh...so close...so close...

So as my 10-2 and 8-3-8's became infected with the Rage Virus and went after a nearby 4-5-8, the rest of my Landsers hoofed it to the second building objective and gave it their best shot to defeat the remaining Russians.

But it wouldn't prove to be enough. My Germans stormed into the final building...but couldn't eliminate the remaining Russians in Close Combat and then a broken 4-5-8 had routed into a corner on the second floor. Time ran out...the buzzer sounded...and it was game over.

A well deserved victory for Dan and his hard-pressed Russians.

But of course this is ASL Comrade...and just spending a Saturday playing ASL made us all winners!!!

A huge thank you to Dan and the rest of the Kansas City ASL Group for allowing me to share in their game day. I had a blast and hope to do it again one day!!!

One final note, be sure to follow the Kansas City ASL Group for the release of this fantastic Scenario in their next Publication!

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