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