Well, it has been some time
since I've been heard from around these here parts. A move to Minneapolis has
put me out of playing commission for awhile, but I'm once again starting to
flex rusty ASL muscles. (Anyone from the Twin Cities, care to contact me and
let me know who plays where and when?)
I recently returned from the ASL tourney in Sioux City (as part of MageCon there.) Burnie Hegdahl did his usual wonderful job of putting on a great tourney for the lads. He's been doing this for a long time, simply as a labor of love for the hobby, and I hope the gaming angels are paying attention and reward him. Our yearly thank-yous hardly seem adequate enough.
It was great to see familiar faces, and the ASL action was highly entertaining.
My first game pitted me against Steve Swann, another of the hobby's true gentlemen. We played Deadeye Smoyer, from the outstanding Schwerpunkt collection. I had the Germans, trying to maintain a hold on a building and LOS with my Panther to either of two hexes. The Americans had a Pershing equipped with Gyrostabilizer. A short, but tricky scenario. It ended up coming down to the last roll of the dice. He charged my Panther, which was behind a wall, moving his Pershing right next to me. I of course doinked several fire attempts. He took a shot, and with me being hull down, he needed a turret hit. It was a hull hit, my tank survived, and I won. 1-0.
My second game was against Darrell Anderson, one of the mighty Iowa City contingent. We played Massacre in Paradise, I believe from Tactiques. I had the Germans, attacking across open ground into a collection of buildings held by the Brits. Not a lot of time, so I had to keep moving across open ground into the teeth of strong fire. But, I employed the Russian approach, which is to present so many targets, the enemy can't possibly shoot them all. Still, I took a great many casualties, and thought I was down and out, dead on the mat. For a stretch, his average dice roll seemed to be around 5. However, in my last turn, I made the mad dash for cash and grabbed enough victory locations to win. Highlight of this one, at one point he achieved a 1 KIA on my stack of a SMC and two squads sitting out in the open. Before I roll the random selection, Darrell says "Triple sixes would be nice right about now." I roll the dice, and yup, you guessed it, I roll triple sixes. I fail my personal morale check, and try to avoid breaking several Commandments. At that point, I thought the game was over, and I still don't know how I pulled that one out. 2-0.
So, in the third game, I played for the chance to play in the championship game. I played Blake Ball, one of the mighty Winnipeg contingent. This is the third time I've played Blake, and he is great fun to play. Our first two games were carnage fests, and this was no different. We played Panzer Graveyard, from ASL Journal #2. A swarm of Germans descend upon some Brits trying to hold a village. Sir Blake of Ball outnumbered me in AFVs 8-2, and that killer advantage proved decisive. Blake is one of the best I know at using AFVs, and he massacred me with those things. He was terrific and maneuvering with them, and I couldn't keep them all out of the village. I chose the Brits, thinking I could do the fire and fall back defense, which I'm not bad at, but he never gave me the chance. Some poor dice rolls at bad times didn't help, (I probably hold the world's record on breaking PIATs on their first shot) but spotting Blake that kind of advantage in tanks is a good way to go to 2-1.
My last game had me against Scott Cochran, another of the mighty Hawkeye contingent. We played Thrust and Parry, from the new GI pack. To sum up, I got thrusted and parried. I had the Americans (i.e. They Of The Worthless Morale) against some SS. It was March 1945, and their ELR was still 5. That should tell you what kind of fanatical animals I was up against. The Americans have to maintain LOS to a road junction. I had an artillery module to help keep the SS out of the village, but my first three radio contact rolls were 10, 10, 9. At that's about how things went. Since my artillery was late in coming, he was in the village real quick. When I finally did get the arty, there came a point where I had to make a decision. I moved the SR one hex, and brought it down as FFE, with a one in six chance of it moving towards my guys. Of course, it moved towards my line, and shattered me, and I couldn't quite recover. I did get a concealed gun crew up to a 1st level window with an LOS to the road junction, but as the crew poked their heads out the window to view the road, in his last turn Scott let loose with a blistering hail of bullets, and in the end there was nothing left of the crew but a pair of smoking boots. So, I ended up 2-2.
Guy Falsetti bested Blake Ball in the championship game. They played Death at Carentan.
A wonderful time, and it won't be soon enough till the next ASL tourney...