Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Saturday, 10 December 2016

A Week In ASL

I always have a number of games of Advanced Squad Leader going at any one time. These games are played via email using a platform called VASL. Strange how a game that relies on fairly constant interaction  between players can actually work in this manor. 

I actually am playing ten games via email at the moment but here I will concentrate on just the six I play with my Australian opponent Rob. Each log had something interesting happen and as all the scenarios are from different periods of WWII  as well as different environments I thought I would share them here. I can't think of a single other game or rule set that can cover this diversity.

1st September 1939 Poland. My three Polish armoured cars had already bested three German counterparts though I lost two of mine and malfunctioned the main gun on the surviving AC. The German attack has stalled but Rob has a safe location to rally some of his broken squads. I go into close combat with his covering half squad roll snakes which kills them instantly. As I rolled double 1 I get a leader creation roll gaining a 7-0 leader and get to advance out of the hex. I took advantage and moved next to that safe hex forcing the broken squads into disruption and making their rally much much harder.

3rd September 1940 China. The Chinese Government troops and the Communist Red Chinese (CCP) had formed an alliance to fight the invading Japanese. The CCP had left the Government troops to do most of the fighting whilst husbanding their forces. This changed with the Hundred Regiments Offensive. Here Rob is again on the attack and fighting through jungle into a village. The Chinese start with a 2:1 advantage but the Japanese get more troops half way through the game. 
I made several Banzai charges that weakened one flank of the two attacking columns. Part of my force is made up of dummy units so Rob can not be too sure where my main defence is. I had a stack of three counters that could be a unit, a unit with a MG or leader or fake. Rob went with fake and put a crew next to them with the intent of moving into the building the following turn. The unit was real, I passed on firing in the firing turns and stayed in position until the final move section of the turn where I advanced into close combat and being concealed managed to get a straight ambush killing his crew and slipping back into the building still concealed. Rob now knows the unit is real but still does not know what it is and if it does indeed have a support weapon.

11th May 1943 Tunisia. I as the attacking French and American's need to push through a deep defence comprising of both Italians and Germans. At no point do the Italians and Germans have a strong force to use as a blocking force. Rob needs to draw back as many of his troops as possible whilst using the scattered forward units to try to slow down my advancing troops. I have a mix of American armour and some British Valentines in French service and some of the obsolete Somua S-35's. Infantry are supplied by the French in a mix of British and captured Italian trucks. 
Both sides lost some tanks with a number of them brewing up and with wind suddenly starting the issue of smoke slowing me down and causing hindrances to firing threatens to throw my attack off track. 

5th July 1943 Kursk Russia. I have the Russians defending with five AT guns all of which have little punch. Helping me out is a group of bunkers backed up with barbed wire and a mix of AT and AP mines. I have plenty of infantry 13 squads and 14 crews with three T34's arriving at the half way point. The Germans don't have a massive advantage in infantry but turn up with 11 tanks, three of them early Tigers! 
I failed to do much against Rob in the early turns but my hidden ATG's started scoring kills once he had passed them and they fired into the rear of his tanks. However a burning tank in the same hex as one of my ATG's hidden in a wheat field has set the wheat on fire and I now have to either try to push the gun out of the hex which will probably get the crew killed or just leave the gun. I can of course also try to put out the flames before they fully take hold.

7th February 1945 Buda, Hungary. The German war effort is in tatters. Hitler ordered Budapest to be fortified and held till the last bullet. By February Pest had already been captured and the German and Hungarian garrison squeezed into an ever small area. Ammunition and food was scarce and the last bullet could soon be a reality. This scenario is fought on a historical map of Buda and lots of the buildings have sections of building rubbled making some interesting shooting opportunities. Snow lies on the ground making some movement more difficult and the fighting is very close and personal. The axis have to be careful of which shots to take as a high roll can cost them guns and support weapons and even reduce squads in quality to simulate the low levels of ammunition on the frontline.

16th April 1945 Iserlon, Germany. A motley mix of German infantry from elite battle hardened veterans to newly raised conscripts defend in a city with a good assortment of mg's and three Jagtigers. Facing these is a large American infantry force well armed and four heavy self propelled assault guns. I as the attacker took advantage of the low morale of the Germans and took prisoners wherever possible. Soon I was finding the prisoners to be quite a handful as squads were having to be taken out of the fighting to guard them.
Lots of fighting around the Jagtigers with many a shot bouncing off the sides (no chance of penetration from the front unless via a critical hit.In the end I took the most troublesome one with a bazooka shot. The defence is cracked but still resisting, it really does feel like a last stand.


  1. Great descriptions, this sounds like a treat! Lucky that you have a good and regular opponent. I used to be a heavy PBEMer but darn it, I can either paint and play, or PBEM. If I go back down the PBEM rabbit hole, I'm afraid I won't come back out. ;-)

    1. Always a dangerous game that rabbit hole. I will beat last years number of games this year. The first I have played more in a year than the previous for a few years now but I am lucky I can get plenty of painting in as well