Friday, June 2, 2023

Grumble Jones June Scenario GJ121 Before Oldorobo Mountain

Long time readers of this blog, know that it's a bit of a scenario design free for all at Grumble Jones. I like to try and create a scenario for anything that catches my fancy. Over the years, I have explored every theater of WW2 from 1939-1945. I have thus far avoided anything that is outside of those years. But recently, after playing several pre-WW2 scenarios from both LFT and Broken Ground Productions, I realized that nothing should be off the table. Bear Valley from LFT is essentially a WW1 scenario based on weapons available to the US Cavalry for a scenario set in 1918. The Spanish Civil War and the Russo-Polish conflict of the 1920's have also seen some recent playings in the ASL world. And of course, how we can forget Dan and I exploring the Battle of Gettysburg in ASL. Believe it or not, our AAR on our Civil War playing is one of the most viewed posts here at Grumble Jones. Heresy to some and an opportunity for martial exploration for still more of us. There should be no sacred cows and the opportunity to broaden our horizons and see how ASL's game construction works with periods outside of the conventional WW2 time period are worthy endeavors. 

A universe of possibilities are out there!!!

Before I get off my heretical soap box, I'd like to point out that ASL's Sequence of Play (from the brilliant mind of John Hill) makes it adaptable to any period of conflict, that can be parsed down to a company/squad level engagement. Nothing limits us from creating a skirmish scenario between a patrol of Greek Hoplites and Persian Immortals. 

Of course, while it could be done...should it be done?? With over 8000 scenarios already available to the ASL community, there's not really much reason for any new scenarios. We can't play the existing scenarios in our lifetimes. But variety is the spice of life and it is great fun to explore the possibilities of ASL.

Of course, an Osprey book is once again the primary source material for this month's scenario outing. The setting would be a new one for me...1916 East Africa. Von Lettow-Vorbeck's actions in East Africa have always intrigued me and therefore, I was eager to explore the campaign for an action that could be translated in ASL.

The fighting for Salaita Hill or Oldorobo Mountain. The hill was the location of German defenses along the border between British and German East Africa. The British campaign had not gone well, and the British were eager to change that and an assault on the Salaita Hill would be the start of a new campaign to take control of German East Africa.

Dan Best and I worked together to determine terrain rules and troop types. Dan is part of the Kansas City ASL Club team which has been developing a World War 1 pack for several years now. They are close to completing their work and providing a pack complete with counters for actions between the British and Germans on the Western Front. It is a tremendous undertaking and the KC Team has put in significant time, effort and resources to get it right. It's something else to look forward to and experience some World War One action in the ASL universe. 

Critical Hit already provides a number of World War One themed packs in the GWASL series. I'm not familiar with these products, but imagine that they are subject to the good and bad already associated with Critical Hit. Personally, I've also given kudos to Critical Hit for providing packs for so many different WW2 campaigns as well as World War One and the American Civil War. 

One of the chief areas of terrain discussion was around brush, scrub and cactus patch. The scenario SSR's indicated that woods are in fact cactus patch and brush is treated as brush. The terrain in this action would break up the British formations as they advanced towards the hill. So this lent this particular battle to an ASL construction. Assault Fire and LMG's are both absent with MMG's representative of their World War One cousins. The armored cars for the British are also representative, as I don't believe the ones used in this action exist in the current British OOB's of West of Alamein and For King & Country. A further SSR details that the existence of the German trenches are only revealed when the the occupying units fire from them. They would naturally also be revealed upon application of their TEM benefit when fired upon. 

And also one big change to the terrain on LFT3 Board. The valley hexes are to be treated as a level one hill. 

Not much else to say. As always, I appreciate the indulgence of my readers for the more fanciful scenarios that I put out there. It's fun to push the envelope a bit and see where this great game of ASL can take us. 

As always, these monthly "Basement Quality" Scenarios are offered for fun only and as a thank you to the readers of this blog.

Remember to open pictures in a new window in order to maximize the size. 

All Grumble Jones scenarios are available from the ASL Archive website. 

(Just search on Grumble Jones)

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