Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Great End to a Fine Year

In the end, 2012 worked out pretty darned well.

I ended up playing 36 games in total, one more than I had thought. I may have only won 7 and finished the year off with three losses in 24 hours but I played a hwole bunch of people I hadn't played before and for once played more Live VASL games than PBeM.

I picked up two Grails: King of the Hill and Journal 3, caught up on 95% of the releases from ASLOK XXVI and XXVII, plus finished the scenarios of Journal 7, most of Journal 8 and even started on Journal 10.

All this and taking two mental health breaks totalling 7 months away from gaming.

And as the header pic may show, I'm enjoying the opportunity to not take wargaming too seriously, thanks to Scott Holst for introducing me, via the Cleavinator, to Girls Und Panzer. I foresee a new catchphrase being used when trolling for opponents on Gamesquad: "Anyone up for some Tankery?"

Plus I just love the whole Over the Top concept despite not being a huge Animé fan at heart.

I hope you all had a good 2012 ASLwise and look forward to meeting you across either the virtual mapboard or Face to Face at ASLOK XXVIII where I may even have a few 1/100th scale models of the tanks from Girls Und Panzer to show off and give away.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Bell is Yet to Sound

With three days to go before the end of what, in retrospect, has been a very good year for me in terms of ASL, I couldn't resist the opportunity to squeeze in two more games.

For me, it's a huge positive in that I went looking for Live VASL games as opposed to PBeM. And it felt comfortable. The only diownside is that I had more takers than opportunities, so for those great people who offered to play me as a default, my heartfelt thanks. I see some more dice purchases in my future, even if I have been told I do not need any more dice.

So I'm playing Damon Norko in FrF40 Sporck's Eleven and Chuck Hammond in ESG38 Choke Point. With these two probably finished by Sunday evening, along with the near to completion of J111 Prussia In Flames, I should get to 35 completed games for 2012 with a day to spare.

I've  just finished ESG38, and I liked it. Chuck handed me my head in this one, but i take some solace that he would roll 3s and 4s on low FP attacks, but I would compound the damage by rolling 9s, 10s and the useful 12s in response. Don't let my tale of woe or that it uses the same board configuration as FrF30 Biderman's Escape dissuade you from playing it. It is quite different in terms of approach routes and defensive setup.

On my playlist for ASLOK.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Some Tweaking and Updates for the New Year


 2013 is the year I return to ASLOK after a three year gap since my initial attendance. It's been a long wait until I could confirm my attendance for 2013, and Pre-registration was my Xmas present to myself. It helps that Kirsty has signed off on attendance for 2015 and 2016 as well, so I'm all set for ASLOK XXX and the subsequent 30th anniversary ASLOK as well.

Now all I have to do is generate a decent and attractive playlist so I can maximise my chance of games. There are a few ASLers I have promised games against, and I am looking forward to those games in particular.

New Blogs

I've had a quick look around and added a couple of Blogs to my blogroll:

Firstly Davide Bendazzi's Wargames Journal . I played Davide in a game of FrF30 Biderman's Escape which despite some appalling rules gaffes on my part (RST Tanks firing MA and CMG while CE, anybody?) was a superbly enjoyable game. Check out Davide's well crafted AAR when you have a moment.

Secondly, Lauchie from Scotland's Snake Eyes blog. Have a visit, let him now he is not alone out there in Blogland and even better, see if you can arrange a game.

New Stuff

I've ordered a few more HASL packs from overseas, surprisingly mostly from Critical (mis)Hit, but I feel pretty confident I will get value out of these, particularly as they were at reasonable prices courtesy of Mike Dean at Fine Games.

2012 Games

 I'm hoping to finish off my game with John Knowles this coming weekend, and hopefully I will get one more VASL Live game completed before the New Year.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

ASL Games Played 2012

There must be an easier way to format this...

My totally awesome display of ASL skill.

2012 ASL Games Played

Won or Lost 
Ladder/ Tourney
Counterattack at Carentan
John Knowles 
Just A Bit Outside
Aaron Cleavin
I Don't Like Retreating
John Knowles 
Power Struggle   Soviet  
Aaron Cleavin
Take Two (playtest) Japanese
   Randy    Shurtz
Bagging Burcorps British
Aaron Cleavin
Marsh Madness
Aaron Cleavin
Astride Hell's Highway  US/British 
John Knowles 
Maczek's Fire Brigade
        Ian          Percy
Jarama Proving Ground Nationalists
John Knowles 
Ski Patrol
Aaron Cleavin 
J103 Lenin's Sons
Lee   Thornton
AP84 Thai Hot
Spencer Armstrong
FrF30 Biderman's Escape
Davide Bendazzi
Mark McGilchrist
FrF53 Raid Into The Reich
David  Wilson
MP17 Bagging BurcorpsBritish
Murray McCloskey
FrF20 Rostov RedemptionGerman   Nick    Irvingg
SP87 Fangs of the TigerSoviet      Jeff      Sewall
The Marketplace at Wormhoudt
  John Knowles
 BFP030 Melee Near The CoastJapanese       Jon       Halfin
 J100 For A Few Rounds MoreGerman Sandro Coriasco
J115 Last Push To MozhaiskSoviet
John  Knowles
 SP174 Krupki StationGerman      Burnie      Fox
 ASL088  Art NouveauGerman      Ivan       Kent
 FrF57 Warsaw in FlamesGerman
Aaron Cleavin
 FrF45 TotensonntagPolish  Eion Corrigan
 ASL012  Confusion  Reigns  US  Mark   Moore
J118 Elephants UnleashedSoviet
John  Knowles
J119 Sovkhoz HaystacksGerman
John  Knowles
ASL015 Trapped!US Mark Moore
J120 Ishun Tank Traps German
  John   Knowles
J111 Prussia In Flames Soviet
  John   Knowles
FRF40 Sporck's Eleven  German Damon Norko
ESG38 Choke Point GermanChuck Hammond

2012 Playing Record: 32 games so far

Won:Lost: 25  
Win/loss Percentage: 22/78

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry ASL Christmas

Woek up this Christmas morning to see two new scenario packs had been released for Pre-order by MMP. Initially I thought it might have been Rising Sun as well.

I've ordered my usual two of each (one set for me, and one set for whoever locally wants one)

An interesting mix of scenarios from the first four packs by Friendly Fire, which given how many from those packs have already been publishedin the Journal, means I could have avoided ordering this. However we are talking about someone who owns about three versions of Dzerzhinski Tractor Works so restraint is not a realistic option. Maybe this way I can get John Knowles to broaden his ASL horizons from the older school Official  ASL scenarios.

I would have liked to see Wunderwaffe, Wunderwagen and Pavlov's Dogs included with a small half countersheet but perhaps the reprint of SV will include them as part of the countersheet.

ROAR Stats are as of December 25, AEST.

BoF1 The Marco Polo Bridge Incident  [FrF3-17] (Japanese vs Chinese, China, 1937)
ROAR: Chinese 35, Japanese 27
BoF2 A Polish Requiem
[FrF3-26] (German vs Pole, Poland, 1939)
ROAR: German 32 Polish 26
BoF3 The Abbeville Bridgehead
[FrF2-09] (French vs German, France, 1940)
ROAR: French 15, German 26
BoF4 About His Shadowy Sides
[FrF3-19] (Russian vs German , Lithuania, 1941)
ROAR: German 47, Soviet 37
BoF5 Adolf’s Amateurs
[FrF3-20] (German vs Russian, Finland, 1941)
ROAR: German 25, Soviet 24
BoF6 Cavalry Brigade Model
[FrF3-21] (German vs Russian, Russia, 1942)
ROAR: German 10, Soviet 7
BoF7 The Fields Of Black Gold
[FrF2-12] (German vs Russian, Russia, 1942)
ROAR: Soviet 43, German 24
BoF8 Sting Of The Italian Hornet
[FrF4-29] (Canadian vs Italian, Sicily, 1943)
ROAR: Italian 34, Canadian 26
BoF9 Pursuing Frank
[FrF4-31] (Russian vs German Poland, 1944)
ROAR: Soviet 6, German 12
BoF10 To Have And To Hold
[FrF1-07] (American vs German, France, 1944)
ROAR: US 17, German 21
BoF11 Second Thoughts
[FrF1-08] (German vs American France, 1945)
ROAR: German 23, US 19
BoF12 Forging Spetsnaz
[FrF3-24] (Russian vs Japanese, Korea, 1945)
ROAR: Soviet 20, Japanese 19

Looking at the ROAR Stats, I can see why a couple or three will get tweaked, but there's a distinct feeling that these are the second wave rather than assault troops of Friendly Fire. However they are Friendly Fire designs so they generally make for great ASL. Marco Polo, Abbeville and Fields of Black Gold are my favourites from this selection.

Pretty standard fare, although the inclusion of the old GI overlays will be interesting especially as a pre-cursor to the Overlay bundle. The Breskens series are pretty much non-entities as far as scenarios go, encapsulating the worst excesses of SL-GI. There was niore than the obvious board reason they were released as part of the Rogue series by AH.

Monday, December 24, 2012


Years ago, on the old ASLML, I wrote some posts regarding fixing a few of the more notorious ASL Dogs. Unfortunately several computers and one lost box of CD Archives later, I cannot find my notes or the original posts. Shame really as I'm really keen on playing those scenarios again.

The scenarios were:

  • A8 Agony of Doom
  • A21 CounterAttack on the Vistula
  • N Soldiers of Destruction
And yes I know there have been official MMP revisions for one or two of them, but the revisions didn't go far enough or missed the actual cause of the imbalance.

Upcoming in 2013

I have been pretty remiss in writing up AARs for this blog, especially given I play so many PBeM games during the year. The usual obstacles of time and aptitude do put a hindrance in the way, but 2012 had some great games for AAR purposes, even if the skill levels were not of the highest.

Funnily enough the scenarios that I enjoyed the most were the shorter, more tourney oriented types. So I'm working on preparing AARs of BFP30 Melee Near the Coast, FrF30 Biderman's Escape and FrF45 Totensonntag. If I can get these three AArs done in January I will be happy as it will then allow me to look at perhaps adding one AAR every two months after that. The trick is playing around with the graphics as I am a complete tard with graphics programs.

Other projects in 2013 include creating a couple of T-shirt designs I hope to have ready forr ASLOK 2013 and potentially a bunch of games on the King of the Hill map, if I find they actually work for me.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

2013 New Year's Resolutions and Wishlist part 2

Before I go ahead with this second part of my goals and ambitions for 2013, the previous instalment playing goals require additional comment.

In 2012, I resigned from a position and workplace that was making me physically and mentally ill. After 4 months, I was able to find a better role in a much healthier environment. The codicil to all this was that for the first three months of the year I was trying to get the headspace working properly. I then had a nice smooth 3 months of good ASL; but as I started the new job, ASL took an understandable back burner while I delat with the stresses of the new role and the lingering aftereffects from my previous job.

It was only in the last few weeks that I've been able to face ASL and gaming again, but in that time I've also come to the realisation that to manage 30+ ASL games in that time andwioth oustide factors weighing in is a pretty good achievement by my standards. I doubt I'll ever break the 100 games per year unless I get a position that doesn't require 4/5hours commute/transit per day.

What looking at the numbers from 2012 does do is convince me that even with a conservative playing schedule, I can come damn close to 80+ games per ASLOK year and around 60 in a non ASLOK year. The trick will be in managing my FTF games so I actually get to play longer, more in depth scenarios.

2013 Purchase list

The coming year looks to be a fairly intensive one ASL release wise and the list below will be my core purchases:

  • Festung Budapest (MMP) - I passed up buying FB as it was released just after I resigned and money was not available.
  • Rising Sun "Code of Ho" (MMP)- the new core modules are just too good to pass up. Code of Ho looks to be another win for MMP in terms of the total package.
  • WO2013 pack (MMP) - I really think MMP are on a winner with this release each year, as it starts the year off with a couple or three scenarios that generate discussion and much play along with the new board(s).
  • Decision at Elst (MMP) - I don't like the fact it's an HASL for ASLSK, as I feel ASLSK has already gone as far as it should in terms of it's focus and development. Once someone has reached ASLSK 3 level, they shouldn't need trainer wheels beyond that. I'll be buying it, but i won't be playing it SK style.
  • Poland in Flames (BFP) -Early War has always been the highlight of my SL/ASL involvement, ever since the release of Crescendo of Doom. Given the quality of previous releases, I doubt I will be disappointed with this one.
  • Scenario Pack releases - Hopefully we see the return of Friendly Fire at ASLOK and the usual set of releases from Schwerpunkt, East Side Gamers et al. I may pick up a few CH items on the down-low and discount market, but they are a very low priority.
  • Holy Grails & older releases - Just a few now to go, but the acquisition of King of the Hill pretty much convinced me that 2014 (a non ASLOK attendee year) will be the go to year for picking up the remaining Grails.
  • Dice and accessories - A Pleva dicetower,  a complete set of Battledice and hopefully some RAACO, Hozan and Box-Box storage should round out 2013 nicely. 
I also intend to pick up a few things at ASLOk that might seem mundane: a couple of poster frames and a portable playing mat similar to the one I saw Mark Pitcavage using at ASLOK 2010 plus some US letter sized page protectors and hopefully a good portable mapcase for the boards.

Final Resolutions

  1. Have fun.
  2. Don't sweat the hard stuff.
  3. Be realistic.
  4. Finish the US vs World challenge with a .500 average or better after 6 or more games.
  5. Play more FTF and get in some HASL scenarios.
  6. Play a few non-ASL boardgames to break up the year.

2012 in Review Part 3: Toys n Stuff

ASL Crack obtained in 2012 

 A stellar year for feeding the ASL addiction product wise. A lot of Gaps filled, primarily the raft of releases from ASLOK 2011.

2012 releases

  • Le Franc Tireur 13
  • From the Cellar 7
  • Dos Equis Pack
  • Action Pack 8
  • Winter Offensive 2012
  • Journal 10

Catch Ups

  • Le Franc Tireur 12
  • From the Cellar 3
  • For King and Country
  • ASL Starter Kit 3
  • Schwerpunkt 17
  • Friendly Fire Pack 7
  • East Side Gamers Dezign Pack 7
  • Special Ops volume 1
  • Special Ops volume 2
  • Action Pack 7
  • Out of the Bunker

 Holy Grail(s)

  • King of the Hill
  • Genesis '48

 DTO  and Misc Fix

  • Afrika Korps: El Alamein
  • Afrika Korps: Bir El Gubi
  • El Alamein: Ruweisat Ridge
  • Genesis II (at 33% retail)    Do not buy from Gamesquest UK, they are bait and switch merchants.
  • Omaha West (at 33% retail)

 So where's Fortress Budapest?

It wasn't a priority and Late War East Front City fighting is a acquired taste, particularly as I do not do CGs. I'll see how my non-ASLOK ASL budget goes for 2013.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

2012 in Review Part 2: Scenarios

So today I reached the magic number of 30 scenarios played for the year.  Of those 30 games, I managed to scrape out 7 victories, which looks pretty harsh in the cold light of day. It has been a very good year when you take into account I did not play any ASL from January to March and from July to October.

The Breakdown

There was a bit of a theme to many of my games as I played through the scenarios from several products in series.

6 scenarios were from Friendly Fire

5 scenarios were from SOCALASL's Mèlée Pack III
5 scenarios were from Journal 8
3 scenarios were from the Winter Offensive 2011 and 2012 packs
2 scenarios were from Journal 7
2 scenarios were from an upcoming Action Pack
2 scenarios were from Paratrooper

2 scenarios were from BFP
2 scenarios were from Schwerpunkt
1 scenario was from Doomed Battalions

So 50% of the games I played were published by MMP with the majority of the remainder coming from the usual recommended suspects in Third Party publishing, with a significant sample from a more esoteric publisher. The absence of LFT from this is purely because I am yet to arrange a theme opponent for a playthrough, plus I am tempted to wait until i can arrange some KGS Cholm play. Other publishers just didn't feature because I haven't looked at them this year.


An axiom of ASL is that you learn more from playing a wide variety of opponents than you do from playing within a small playing circle. If that's the case, then I have learned a lot this year.

Apart from  John Knowles (8 games) and the Cleavinator (6), I played some 14 different opponents, 11 of whom were first time opponents.

So since ASLOK 2010 , I have pretty much quadrupled the number of people I have played in three short years.

 My 2012 shortlist

FRF 30 Biderman's Escape
SP    87 Fangs of the Tiger
BFP 30 Mèlée near the Coast
ASL 12 Confusion Reigns
MP   17 Bagging Burcorps (the only scenario I played twice in 2012)

So all in all, a much better year for actual play than I've managed in quite some time, and I will probably get two more games in by the end.

next up...what ASL crack did I get this year...and why Festung Budapest did not make the cut.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

2012 in review Part 1.

2012 initially looks to have been a less than stellar year in my ASL career, given the intrusions and disruptions of an acrimonious resignation, job hunting, settling into a new jopb and the attendant downsides to all this that saw me switch off ASL for 5 months in total, including a three month period where I didn't even want to look at ASL.

However as I look at my number of games I actually played to a conclusion, and the current games I am involved in, it's beeen a better year than I expected. I'm yet to go through the final numbers but I may actually reach my goal of 30 games for the year, which is frightening.

I played 17 different opponents in 2012, but that should be exceeded easily next year when ASLOK will take care of 20 alone.

I haven't done the final tally or looked at the win-loss percentage as yet, howevre apart from the raw numbers, I feel some of my play backslid while other aspects where great. More than a few games went to the wire but I couldn't close, whereas lately some of the games I have been playing have been seriously influenced in outcome by the dice on both sides.

So not as bad a year as I thought, and still room for a few more games to get finished. Plus I have a few AARs to do for some of the PBeM games I played in 2012, some of which were just full on top ASL experiences.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

2013 New Year's Resolutions and Wishlist part 1

Yes it is that time again...the time where I make a whole bunch of promises, predictions and generally put my hopes for 2013 on the line.

2013 Tourneys


I owe it to myself and to Steve Linton to atttend CanCon - especially given that I am a miniatures gamer at heart and I've been in Aus since 2008 but have yet to attend. This should be achievable as a regular annual pilgrimage as well, now that work situation is settled.


It wouldn't be a Queen's Biirthday in Aus without traipsing to the bearz for 4 games of ASL goodness. 'Nuff Said.


I have three more ASLOKs in me before I have to retire from International Jetset ASL. This is the first of those three and the one I have been jonesing for since the return from ASLOK XXV.

ASL Playing


Resolution 1: Limit myself to no more than 4 concurrent PBeM ASL games.
Resolution 2: Actively participate and complete all round of the 2013 eASLeague
Resolution 3:Sort out the tri-monitor configuration once and for all.
Resolution 4: get through 3 games every 2 months minimum


Resolution 1: Limit myself to no more than 2 concurrent games
Resolution 2: Be more realistic in my session planning
Resolution 3: No pick up games - I need the prep time

Face to Face ASL

Resolution 1: Attend and play 10 of 12 Bearz meetings
Resolution 2: Play all 3 local to Central Coast ASLers at least twice each
Resolution 3: Play at least 2 ASL games for each day at ASLOK
Resolution 4: 2013 is the year of the DTO

2013 ASL Completed Game Target: 75

Expected number of Face To Face Games: 41
  • Cancon: 4, JunoBear: 4, ASLOK: 20, Bearz: 10, other: 3 
Expected number of completed PbeM games: 18 + 2 carrying over from 2012
Expected number of Live VASL games: 20

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving ASL update

Well ASL012 Confusion Reigns is now in the final 2 Game Turns and I'm behind the cosh, needing to pick up a deficit of 4CVP to gain the required 2:1 CVP ratio by game end. I haven't seen so much cowering by the yankees since 2004.

FrF45 Totensonntag is getting very interesting, I think I may be forced into an end game victory location rush, an artificial construct of ASL that can be infuriatingly ahistorical. This the result of not pushing hard enough and a turn delay forced by excellent German fire.

Now I just have to work on my Japanese Set up for J147 - I will be interested to see how others approach this scenario, particularly as the Japanese.

Monday, November 19, 2012

6000 and counting!

This blog operates in fits and starts and incorporates content from several prior blogs of mine, but I take a little pride in the fact that I have now reached 6000 pageviews (most of which are undoubtedly spiders).

I'm certainly no Ian from Wall Advantage in terms of content and detailed AARs and mass readership, but I hope that those of you who do visit here find something of interest.

In ASL news, ASL12 Confusion Reigns is now in the mid-game and it's come much closeer in the last turn...whereas FrF45 is looking to be a struggle, with the German defenders not being put under pressure any more as my fire attacks have been uniformly poor for a while.

Three concurrent PBeM games is about my limit with my hours the way they are, so Pierce M (ASL1 from GS) and I are starting a series playthrough of the scenarios from Journal 10, starting with J147 Into the Grinding Mill, which loooks as interesting as the WCW classic Stand and Die.

What's not to like about FIVE Type 89B Chi Ro medium tanks swanning around Boards 12 and 13 as I have never seen them before...

In other news Scott Holst and I are starting off my desert reboot with AK07 Kidney Punch from the El Alamein pack, and hopefully Scott will be able to make it to ASLOK next year for some more desert desserts.

I hope to have a game lined up for the December Paddington Bearz meeting, hopefully something along the lines of Ivanovskii or Sporck's Eleven. I can handle a nice fast game, especially if it's done by 3pm.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Critical MisHit

I've been burned before, and you'd think I'd have learned my lesson but CH's quality control is not even third world or emerging nations level.

Here's the current litany of incompetence:

Roman Glory, a well thought of and known to have been playtested scenario pack on an HASL mapsheet, arrived without the Nikitovka mapsheet but with a mapsheet coded as BG3,.

El Alamein Afrika Korps: This I expected to have problems, but it's actually hard to determine what is actually missing as there is no actual list of contents to check what overlays are missing, eother in the product or at the CH website.

In both cases an email was sent to CH's customer service rep as per their website. Except that I received an auto-response to the email advising me that I needed to resend to a new email address.

Frankly this is bush league company business practice. As for the various reprints and "upgrades", I'll obtain scans of the new scenarios and rules, the counter sheets I do not need, and restrict myself to playing them on VASL if I need the new maps.

No more from CH except for the final couple of older products I have played but yet to purchase.

And as for charging $299 for Omaha East, you just have to laugh at the sheer gall. I see that a couple of known GS denizens have plunked down the shekels already, but then one of them is not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer based on my knowledge of him from CSW and GS over the years, while the other is probably the most megalomaniacal collector I know in ASLdom, but he's cool about it, although I wish he would not try to corner the market in the OOP classics that do turn up from time to time.

Anyway, I think I will buy Gazala (hopefully with the correct amount  and type of overlays) despite the known overlay/map colouration mismatch and that will be it for CH newer releases. I have lost count of how many DTW map versions I have now...

At least I have a workable set of Oosterbeek and Third Bridge to be getting on with as the scenarios in there do not do any justice to the area portrayed.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

One Down, Three to Go

The MMP Friday before Black Friday sale did nothing for me, other than reminding me that buying a second edition game when the first edition  is still sitting unpunched on the shelf 12 years later is a Bad Ideatm.

Instead I wandered to Noble Knight Games to check out what was available from my Wishlist of rare and OOP items...Heat of Battle's King of the Hill!

Kerching!!!! Sold to the crazed kiwi. This was fine retail therapy and set off the perfect start to the day provided by Manu Samoa in Cardiff. Take that, Stephen Jones you moustachioed miserable muppet!

In also ordered the new version of Ruweisat Ridge and Bir el Gubi, CH products I know, but the tricksy hobbitses included maps and counters...The scenarios are almost certainly unplaytested dogs but I don't care, extra one piece desert mapsheets make me happier.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

ASL Crack

Two additions to the ASL library arrived today: the original edition of Genesis 48 from CH and also the El Alamein Afrika Korps core pack. TBH, the Genesis Jerusalem map is something I want to look at in detail, but the counters need to be redone, so definitely thinking about making up my own set with decent and standard graphics and iconography.

Interestingly, the El Alamein pack I have features overlays that aren't too much lighter than the large desert map sheet. I'm not sure I will leave the overlays in the shape they are, preferring to cut them as per the older WOA overlays.

I have some ideas for 1940 Western Desert armour/ infantry battles as well as some early 1941 actions, but will need to do more research as the focus will be on the use of A9 - A13 tanks.

In my current PBeM games, I'm doing okay in FrF45 Totensonntag as the Poles while my US paras are whittling away at the defending Germans in ASL 12 Confusion Reigns from Paratrooper module. I think the title refers to my efforts to come up with a coherent attack plan though.

Exciting pace on both games, even with me doing late shift during the week., and I think my play is going okay, despite some silly omissions and mis-steps.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Dog is back in the Kennel (for now)

Winston Churchill supposedly referred to his depression as bouts with the "Black Dog", something I'd thought to be under control on my part but as I learned the hard way in August, it's not always the case.

My recent malaise included a sympathetic ASL burnout which was so pervasive I couldn't even face visiting Gamesquad or opening my email client to catch up with my PbeM opponents. Those of you who found our games abandoned without the courtesy of an explanation until now, my sincere apologies.

A combination of the realities of my working week and a general desire to do nothing other than reactive recreation (ie watching Rugby matches and catching up on various TV series) coupled with a somewhat incorrect impression that I was losing every game I played really put me off ASL (and in effect all gaming).

The low point was missing out on the Operation Veritable sale that MMP put on a few weeks ago...OVHS is one of my Holy Grails of ASL, along with ABTF and KOTH, so to miss out on that purely because of timing between paysdid nothing for my PMC.

So that's the bad part of the year out of the way.

The lessons kicked into me after this are pretty straightforward:

1. Don't overcommit to PBeM - 2-3 games concurrently is about the maximum I can manage
2. The VASL League is not for me - Live VASL with Euro players doesn't work when under time pressure - so better not to commit.
3. Live VASL play - only have 2 games running concurrently at a time. Otherwise I get scheduling conflicts.
4. Look to quality of play rather than speed and quantity.
5. Avoid playing anything over more than 2 full boards on VASL, at least until the triple monitors are set up with a 27/30" main screen.
6. Don't feel pressured to accept every offer of a game - be grateful to have enough people wanting to play.
7. Take advantage of the local FTF opportunities when popssible - it gets you out of the PBeM habit and  a mindset that can be detrimental to FTF play.
8. Stick to a playlist - play scenarios that interest you, not because you feel obligated.
9. Don't sweat the hard yards - the results will come, just focus on playing well.
10. Above all, have fun and take a break when you feel playing is becoming a chore.
11. The final one, always look forward to ASLOK 2013 - getting there is half the fun

Friday, August 17, 2012

August Update

Now for the meat and two veg of the update (an unfortunate analogy given yesterday's extractions):

New purchases (including a lot of catch ups):
  • For King & Country
  • Starter Kit #3
  • Winter Offensive 2012 Pack
  • Special Ops Vols 1 & 2
  • Out of the Bunker
  • Le Franc Tireur #12
  • From the Cellar 7
  • Friendly Fire 7
  • ESG Dezign Pak 7
  • Schwerpunkt 17
  • Texas ASL Dos Equis Pack
And since my last gaming update back in May I've completed 10 games...for 3 wins and 7 losses, but man, some of those games were tight as.

  • MP19 Ski Patrol - loss vs the Cleavinator (live VASL)
  • FrF01 Jarama Proving Grounds - loss vs John Knowles (live VASL)
  • FrF30 Bidermann's Escape - loss vs Davide Bendazzi (PBeM)
 JunoBear 2012 results:
  1.  BFP099 Ivanovskii - win vs Mark McGilchrist (F2F)
  2. FrF53 Raid into the Reich - loss vs Dave Wallace (F2F)
  3. MP17 Bagging Burcorps - loss vs Murray McCloskey (F2F)
  4. FrF11 Rostov Redemption - win vs Nick Irving (F2F)
  • SP089 Fangs of the Tiger - loss vs Jeff Sewall (PBeM)
  • BFP030 Melee near the Coast - win vs Jon Halfin (PBeM)
  • J114 The Marketplace at Wormhoudt - loss vs John Knowles (live VASL)
 In progress:
  •  FrF57 Warsaw in Flames vs Aaron C - VASL + Skype
  •  FrF40 Sporck's Eleven vs Ian Percy - VASL PBeM
  •  BFP99 Ivanovskii vs Mark Humphries - VASL + Skype 
  •  WO6 vs Adam Lunney (VASL)
  •  J100 vs Sandro Coriasco (VASL)
  •  J115 vs John Knowles (VASL + Skype)
  •  J130 The Fine Art of Dying vs Josh Gilbert (PBeM)
At this rate I may just crack the 30 game mark for the year...

Lacking Wisdom...

As I have a day off thanks to yesterday's dentistry, I thought I'd be relatively productive and do some updating on my blog courtesy of my new toy, an old but very useful iPad 1.

I've been pretty quiet since May on the ASL front, primarily because of work commitments not permitting much time during the week. I have managed a few games online and at JunoBear with the usual mixed bag of results, although I am sure my game has improved markedly in the last twelve months.

With an income again, I've been able to start catching up on the releases since last ASLOK which means I am almost up to date on my ASL collection. Now for the Raaco, Hozan and BoxBox storage orders.

A brief update, but one designed to test this blogging app.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Playing Status Update:

Wow. A lot of ASL played since the beginning of April: 9 completed games (2 of which were PBeM) and currently I have 10 games on the go (although some of these will be completed within the next 14 days.).

It helps that now I have a new job starting in a couple of weeks, I can concentrate on what truly matters, playing ASL. Lots of people I haven't played much against or at all in the list below, so i'm getting a good view of how I stack up in general.


  • MP19 Ski Patrol vs Aaron C - VASL + Skype
  • FrF57 Warsaw in Flames vs Aaron C - VASL + Skype
  • BFP30 Mèlée Near the Coast vs Jon Halfin - VASL PBeM
  • FrF40 Sporck's Eleven vs Ian Percy - VASL PBeM
  • FrF01 Jarama Proving Ground vs John Knowles - VASL + Skype

Tourney Games:

Global Ladder:
  1. FrF30 Bidermann's Escape vs Davide Bernazzi - VASL PBeM/Skype
  2. BFP99 Ivanovskii vs Mark Humphries - VASL + Skype 
2012 VASLeague:
  • Round 2: TBD vs Adam Lunney
VASL AP9 PT tourney
  • Round 2: AP84 Alea Iacta Est vs Spencer Armstrong - VASL + Skype

2012 eASLeague

  • Round 1: J103 Lenin's Sons vs Lee Thornton - VASL PBeM

So really a very busy ASL period coming up. At this rate, just doing the AARs may be beyond my means, but I will do my best.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Theory and Practice: Those two imposters

"Theory is when you know everything but nothing works.
Practice is when everything works but no one knows why.
In my games of ASL, theory and practice are combined:
nothing works, and I have no f%&$ing idea why."

The job hunting continues, which has had an impact on my motivation to post AARs to the blog as supposed to succinct posts on Gamesquad. Things look to be improving though, more of that as matters coalesce.

I've been playing a fair bit of ASL lately via PBeM and especially live on VASL. Since the beginning of April, I've completed 8 games of Live VASL and have two PBeM games in varying stages of completion.

With John Knowles, we've completed our run through of the Winter Offensive 2011 pack scenarios but i haven't won any of them despite being in contention for at least 2 two of them right to the end. Aaron Cleavin and I are almost finished with our playing of the Melee Pack III scenarios, the last of which will probably be started and finished this coming weekend. Again, no wins from the 4 scenarios played so far as could be expected but some close games.

Of these seven scenarios, there are a few that stand out, in fact I would say that MP17 "Bagging Burcorps" is probably the highlight so far, It's a scenario that I have played before as both attacker and defender and enjoyed thoroughly despite losing both times. Suffice it to say, Aaron thought well enough of it to include it in the scenario list for the JunoBear tournament.

Of the other standouts, none features from the Winter Offensive pack sadly, mainly from the point of view of being enjoyable and interesting situations with a perception of balance. Facing three HIP 88LLs with good LOS to expected AFV movement channels is not something I expect to find that interesting given the Hit = KO equation, let alone facing 16 flat HE with 7 morale troops.

Some of this may be coloured by my failure to win a game, but given that the outcomes were close, the enjoyment factor during the games was paramount and I can remember feeling I was just going through the ASL motions in some games, not in terms of my tactics,, but purely because I could not see a way of avoiding expected outcomes.

They say bad ASL is better than no ASL. I now think that is a false equation. If the game is not enjoyable for me, I am at a loss on how my opponent might be enjoying it. For me, part of the intrinsic attraction of ASL as a game is that both players participate in a mutually enjoyable pastime/hobby. 

The other game I played was in Gary Fortenberry's AP9 Playtest Tourney where I faced Randy Shurtz in AP83 Take Two, a good little infantry only PTO design with some small but interesting tweaks on regular ASL fare. A little Pro-Japanese as it stands before fine-tuning after the first round of results, but with minor polishing and some clarifications, this looks to be a very solid tourney playing.

Now Randy is a very strong player, having beaten the Plevanator in a toruney himself, so I was very pleased to pull off the win. the disparity in our skill levels evened out nicely with the scenario, but I am pleased that it was not my dice that dominated the game (although my last turn Defensive First Fire was as usual, rather good) but rather my initial setup and patience in the opening turns. A significant factor was a misdirect involving a HIP squad and leader that did real damage to one of Randy's stronger probes.

So 1 and 7 so far, with one PBeM likely to be decided in the next week or so. I have kept reasonable records of the games so far via VASL so when I have the intellectual energy, I will try and provide some detailed AARs here.

P.S. You know you've been out of the loop ASL wise, when you forgot that you had bought Crucible Of Steel and declined a game on VASL because of this.

Monday, April 9, 2012

ASL Games in Progress update For April

So far so good in my return to active ASL-dom. I have A single PBeM game running as part of the eASLeague PBeM tourney, which is a good starting point. I've restarted my series of Melee Pack scenarios with Aaron and we're getting through one a week on VASL which is good by my standards, while John and I are working our way through the WO series at our own speed. Additionally I'm lined up in Fort's Live VASL AP9 Playtest tourney against some pretty heavy hitters including Randy Shurtz and Gary Trezza.

I should have some AARs by the end of next weekend, but these take time as I forgot to take screenshots and log stuff on a tyurn by turn basis.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

What I'm currently watching...

Part of my malaise has been a pretty debilitating ennui and enervation outside of watching videos. I'd become very passive. However the upside of this is that I've been watching some pretty good foreign mini-series and films.

The current ones on my playlist are:

ShtrafBat (Penal Battalion) - an 11 part mini-series which I am finding very enjoyable.
Next up will be:

This is something I only picked up through browsing for a Shtrafbat image for this blog.
In any event, I'm almost tempted to see if I can wangle a PBeM game of The Citadel out of this. Early Barbarossa is my favourite Eastern Front setting for ASL and miniatures, so hopefully once I'm back up to speed, I can get something organised.

Rumours of my demise...

...are only slightly exagerrated.

Since I last posted, my role was off-shored and I was re-deployed into a high-stress, hateful position which I had to get out of by resigning. Unfortunately the stress of that coupled with the holiday period and general mental fatigue arising meant I dropped out of gaming completely for a while. I tried returning to miniatures gaming in January and February but I wasn't remotely ready.

However I missed playing ASL a lot and chatting with the Cleavinator plus returning to Gamesquad in moderation has w4roked. It helps that Round 3 of the VASL league is underway and that I'm ok to take part in the new dedicated PBeM league (I enjoy PBeM sometimes more than Live VASL). I'm also taking part in Gary Fortenberry's VASL Tourney which will give me some material for here as part of the entry condition is AAR and setup screenshots.

I don't think you'll ever see the same volume of posts as last year, I still have to find a new job and I do want to bring back my miniatures blog from the shadows again, now that I have safely archived the old posts for transferral to on that later.