Monday, 29 October 2012

Learning ASL Starter Kit Part 2

We've walked-through some of the examples from richfam's excellent aslsk tutorial and GaryB has completed his Italian set-up to hold the town of Avola, Sicily.

In this scenario, Ambitious Assault (S9), elements of the Italian 146th Regiment are defending the small coastal town of Avola against units of the American 505th Parachute Regiment (arriving on Turn #1 from the North edge of the map) and elements of the British 50th Infantry Division (arriving on Turn #4 from the South edge of the map).

In setting up his Italians GaryB had to place them up-to seven hexes from S6, indicated by a yellow square on the map below.

GaryB's thoughts on his set-up "I was a little overwhelmed when I sat down to organise my defensive set-up, I had gone over the basic rules with GaryG and understood the counter designations and so on. Having never played before I did not have a feel for how fast the units would move, how far they would turn one etc. I settled for choosing what I thought would be the best locations for my support weapons and then would place my remaining troops in positions that would slow the Allies down. The first unit I placed was a regular 3-4-6 unit in hex O6 with the HMG, as from this elevated central location he could attack units on all the hills on each side of the map. I also placed my best leader in this location to maximise its effectiveness. The MMG I placed on hill W6 in the southern section to hold the British when they arrived. I placed LMGs in support of the HMG in O5, and the MMG in U5. The final LMG I placed with two 3-4-6 units on the road hex L8 with the intention of moving into the buildings K8/K9 as I guessed these would become key locations in the American attack. I was to rue this last decision as I underestimated how quickly the Allies would move into position"

Victory conditions state that the Allies win if the Italians have no unbroken multi-man counters (MMCs) in their original set-up zone (highlighted within the yellow area on the map above).

Turn #1
GaryB's set-up was solid enough, but I thought that I could exploit his soft underbelly by focusing my attack from the Western tree-line, just past the hills outside of Avola. This was Sicily after all!

Even at this early stage I was conscious that I needed to move quickly, so I sent two four elite units, with MMG and two quality leaders double-timing towards the trees. My other slightly weaker units would split off towards the East and make a delayed attack from that side of the town.

In response GaryB wisely moved his Italian troops into safer positions to the West, avoiding an unnecessary early encounter with the Americans. This was a delaying game for him after all, so engaging a stronger force head-on probably wouldn't be a good strategy.

End Of Turn #1
American Turn #2
In my first assault of the game I moved a 7-4-7 (with 9-1 leader) under the cover of smoke into tree hex M10 (point B on the map below). They took heavy fire from the Italian machine gun nest in the hills towards the centre of town, pinning the leader and breaking the squad. Not a great start!

I took the positions K8/K9 easily, despite fire from across the street and set-up two 7-4-7s with MMG. My key squad, another 7-4-7 (with 9-2 leader), would use the smoke and try to break across the street to get into close combat with the Italian LMG squad in M8. The roll went against me though and my unit got pinned at the tree-line under fire from two Italian 3-4-6 squads just to the South. Two turns in and I already feel like I'm running out of time...

American Turn #2
Meanwhile to the East, my 8-0 leader with 7-4-7 and 3-3-7 squads move into position having avoided any Italian attention.

Italian Turn #2
Settling for Prep fire the Italians focused their attention on taking out my MMG position at K8, but only managed to pin the unit, with other fire being largely ineffective. I had more success though in my defensive fire by fire-grouping against the 3-4-6 squad and 7-0 leader in M7, breaking both and casualty reducing the 3-4-6 to a 3-3-6 conscripts squad.

Italian Turn #2
The Americans are finally getting somewhere. Turn #3 would be a critical one and the buildings to the NW of town would need to be taken.

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