Saturday, January 19, 2013

More ASL crack: Omaha

The latest ASL fix arrived on Wednesday from Fine Games ( just 7 days after the order was processed. I had ordered (despite my misgivings at Critical Hit's record) three major HASL products: Kharkov, Kursk (Ponryi) and Tyrants Lair 2 (Berlin) as well as two older CH products: Red Christmas and Spanish Fury. Added to this that CH's Omaha West had arrived a couple of days prior and I was inundated with major HASL nirvana.

Sadly, Kharkov arrived without the mapsheet and Red Christmas was missing the Scenario card for 3b. My frustration was pretty intense at this pointg because mapsheets and overlays are almost impossible to do without. Edoardo (ASRomafan from Gamesquad) put me in touch with Ray Tapio from CH directly and this morning I have received a very gracious and prompt response sorting out the issue to my satisfaction. Can't ask more than that for resolution of a customer service issue.

I intend to write up a few initial impressions on the products that have arrived complete and will follow up on the others once I have all the replacement parts.

Omaha West (Final Countdown Edition)

Seriously this is one pretty major work. 3 standard HASL maps, 16 scenarios, a large amount of set up charts and a duplicated set of 2.5 fullsize countersheets plus a 12 page booklet of rules. Landed cost for me: approx AUD$91.

US Playaids, Naval Data ccard and the Omaha West rules

German Widernest Play Aid cards
Normally I find the inclusion of duplicate counter sheets a gimmick rather than a selling point but in the case of Omaha west, the inclusion is a definite plus as tehre will be a need for the additional landing craft and the HASL specific SW like banagalore torpedos and the like. The quality of the countersheets, while not up to the level of BFP or modern MMP in terms of diecutting, is certainly a vast improvement from that previously available. I don't particularly like the reduced size turrret speed notation as it does not easily meet the eye but that's a quibble.

The scenarios don't all focus on the beach assault itself, with five of the sixteen included focused on actions in the hinterland proper, while several use the whole map depth. Apart from the 39 turn monster Black Day for the 116 which effectively is the CG for this module, the scenarios cover a great range in overall size, with the first three scenarios serving nicely as introductions to the mapsheets.

The scenarios
The Big Scenario: 39 turns of Bloody Omaha

The map is the real star of this. CH got it absolutely right in printing the beach defensive works on the mapsheet as the amount of fortification counters required would have been obscene. It's a very impressive sight when laid out. It has meant that my Gaming table plans have been revised.

All in all very impressed. It's a module that were it not for Joe Balkoski's books and Saving Private Ryan, I would not have been interested in. I doubt I will be buying the companion Omaha East unless the price point reverts to sensible levels as $USD199.00 + P&H is obscene.

1 comment:

  1. I have the original with the old style counters. I have only played one inland scenario from it so far. I really need to get some play out of it