Category Archives: Heroes 2010

Heroes 2010 AAR

After a bit of effort I’ve finally written up last weekends Heroes ASL Tournament 11th March – 14th March. It was a great weekend and good to be playing Advanced Squad Leader again. I’ve broken it down by day. The few iffy photos are from my phone. The other, better ones are from Pete Philips of View From the Trenches and are used with permission.

Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

My memory isn’t what it was so if I’ve got bits of action mixed up between scenarios then it’s all my fault!

And although the game was still going on when we left, I believe Phil Draper took the 2010 trophy.

Now, back to painting and basing some 6mm Prussians!

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Heroes 2010 – Blackpool: Part 4 – Sunday

So the final day dawned. Battle still raged over the streets of Stalingrad and the tournament was to be decided in a game between Sam Prior and Phil Draper.

My final game was Slava from From The Cellar 3 against Martin Baker. This was our first game even though we’ve been to the same tournaments a few times. I took the Germans again with a mixed force of SS and Wehrmacht and a captured T34. My task was to push down the board and across the shallow stream to exit top right past a large building. With only two bridges across and a lot of hedges and walls blocking lines of sight it would not be easy. And, as in Friday’s game, fire was to play it’s part. The T34 fell early to the AT gun but I managed to push forward and drive the Russians back. The two small blazes placed at the start spread rapidly as first we had gusts and then a mild breeze to fan the flames and soon the large buildings and wooden rubble at the end of the board were blazing away. I even had a berserk SS squad who punched a hole in the defence but throughout the game I had 8 boxcars and 8 snakeyes so it was a very hit and miss affair!  Despite making it to the end I left myself too little time and Martin had pulled back enough to cover the exits, crucially including his HMG which covered the main bridge. As time was running out and my lift home was waiting, I conceded.

The end of the game

So that was it. Played 6, won 2, lost 4 and all were good fun! It was good to be playing again and I hope I can find the time to resurrect my playing, especially against my regular opponent Neil who I haven’t played in some time!

Good to see people again though. And thanks to Pete at View From The Trenches for organising it. We may be back in the Hotel Skye again next year, which may or may not be a good thing! The new owners are very accommodating, friendly and keen to refurbish and there has been a great improvement in food so hopefully it will be good.

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Heroes 2010 – Blackpool: Part 3 – Saturday

After three games on Friday I was a little frazzled so on Saturday I thought I’d just take it easy. Michael Davies had suggested having a game on the Saturday so I thought I’d just wait until he arrived.

Anyone glancing through any photos of previous Heroes is likely to find one of me sat clipping counters. For those not in to boardgames, this is the epic task of clipping the corners off EVERY counter to tidy them up. And in ASL that is a LOT of counters…

Anyway, I still had a few of my main module counters to clip and also I had bought with me the last two From the Cellar packs from Le Franc Tireur and the Swedish Volunteer pack so I decided to punch and clip those. That kept me busy until just after lunch. Andy from Second Chance Games had arrived with his stash of ASL stuff so I was restrained and just bought Beyond the Beaches from MMP and Purple Heart Draw from Lone Canuck Publishing. I’d like to have bought the latest Schwerpunkt stuff but as I’m just returning to the game I thought it might be a little excessive so they can wait until next year!

When Michael turned up we chose SP180 Encircle This from the latest Schwerpunkt. I took the Germans yet again and with some trepidation as I had 2 panthers (I think) a three halftracks and I knew I would be rusty in their use. The German target was two factories and then to exit 12VP off the far board edge. Again all seemed to be going badly. I misjudged the arrival of his reinforcements and so unloaded my halftracks a turn early. My first panther rolled up to hammer one of the factories, malf it’s gun on the first shot and then rolled a 6 on the repair to put it under recall. The other panther rolled forward round the right flank and stopped only to find the HIP Russian 45mm AT gun in the building adjacent. He got APCR and I got a torched panther!

Then in a surge of enthusiasm I launched my faltering Assault Engineers at the factory with a cry of ‘Are you Assault Engineers or are you…’ and the only thing that came in to my head was ‘..cats!’ The next five minutes were devoted to hysterical laughter, tears down face etc. before we calmed enough to play. You had to be there…

Some luckily won close combats and I finally had the factories and my troops made a rush for the board edge. The halftracks (250/1s) had both been killed by T34s but I’d managed to PF one of them. The remaining one had broken it’s CMG but moved to intercept my exiting squads and in the Advance Fire Phase fired it’s 85mm and malf’d that to! In the final turn he failed to repair it so only had his 2FP BMG to stop me. I had 4 groups to run off and the only one he could get a good shot at was a half-squad with a HS prisoner that had to run right across his front. As they moved adjacent he rolled a 3 for a 1KIA. Random selection roll? Two 5’s! Both died…

I had totalled up what I had and it came to 11VP. My only other chance was the 250/10 halftrack which had to run the gauntlet of an MG and an ATR. Inevitably the ATR hit and killed it so I lost it by one point. Excellent game and great fun…

By then it was late and after sampling some of Olli’s 25yr old Macallan malt, and Neil’s vodka I retired for the night…

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Heroes 2010 – Blackpool: Part 2 – Friday

After a child free and therefore relatively good nights sleep, Friday dawned and I made the decision to NOT play in the actual tournament. I still didn’t feel confident with the rules and although I’m sure any games would still be fun I couldn’t really expect an opponent to give me the latitude and allowance for errors that would allow me a good game. Maybe I was being a little cautious but I knew there were a few people around NOT playing the tournament so finding a few friendly games wouldn’t be an issue.

So, first game Friday was against Ian Willey (custardpie on Gamesquad). We (he) picked FrF11 Rostov Redemption from Friendly Fire Pack 2. Again, I took the Germans. This saw a mainly infantry force plus a PzIIIH trying to dislodge a group of Russians from a large building – with the ever present threat of a 45LL to keep the German AFV a little cautious. 

Early stages of the game

There were two blaze counters in place with mild wind providing Dispersed SMOKE. But gusts and some good rolling meant the fire spread like…well…wildfire!

Germans prepare for the final assault

As the Russians slowly fell back I kept the pressure up with a central thrust and then a large force to push round the Russian left flank. As I pushed forward on my right the Russian fell back before the fires cut them off. A lucky shot from the PzIII broke one retreating group and then an Intensive Fire shot took out a second. If the Germans could get in place before the fire blocked them off there was a chance of a win here.

As the SMOKE provided cover and the Russian HMG on the first floor was put out of action I was able to rush the AT gun on the ground floor forcing crew to fire, and then drove the PzIII in to the building to secure that corner and one of the stairwells. The VCs specified no unbroken or un-encircled Russians in the building so I only had to secure the other stairwell for victory.

The building falls as the flames close in!

The smoke provided the required cover and I managed to break the ground floor squads with my flamethrower. Victory was mine!

It was a great game and played in great humour. I’d happily play Ian again…

…Which I did!

He was waiting for Martin Baker to arrive so we played a small playtest scenario of his own design. Apparently I’m not allowed to reveal anything about it as it has been submitted for ‘judging’ but it was short, quick and fun! And came down to the last Close Combat dice roll! As I rushed the last building with all my available troops it was surrounded by a mass of red PIN markers as most filed to get in for the close combat. But those that did managed to Ambush the Russians…and failed their roll only to die and hence lose the game.

Good fun anyway and plenty of replay potential. But credit where credit’s due.. Ian was lucky! 🙂

As this was a short game and most people had finished their two tournament games I then launched in to a third game against Dave Ramsey – FrF44 Anhalt Pandemonium from Friendly Fire Pack 5. I have the first two of these packs but due to my lack of playing hadn’t picked up the last three. This scenario shows that they haven’t lost their touch!

This time I took the Germans but on the defence. The Russians advancing through a built up area with a 3 SU-122s with my having a couple of Panthers and a couple of ‘schrecks HIP to delay them along with a 10-2 and decent SS squads to hold the line. I’d picked what I thought were good HIP locations and tempted one of 122s along the road to my right. After Immobilising one, my Panther died and the other 122 rolled up adjacent.The HIP squad 2 hexes away managed to roll boxcars with the ‘schreck. Next turn they got another chance and with a Panzerfaust torched the Russian tank.

Getting close to the endgame

As the Russians needed to get to hex row R I gradually fell back hoping to draw the other SU-122 on to my other HIP squad as my other Panther broke it’s gun and retired to the main line. Things were looking Ok with a good line of strong squads and the 10-2 awaiting the Russian arrival.

Then, as ever in ASL, Fate took a hand and it all went wrong in the space of one move! The remaining 122 rolled forward to support the attack even without it’s MA. As it rolled round my left flank up popped my last HIP HS with the Psk, missed at two hexes, ate the backblast and rolled a 12 on the subsequent MC! The SU-122 rolled on trying to draw fire. As it went adjacent to my two 8ML SS squads and the 10-2 I went for the PFs! The leader didn’t have one! The first squad rolled a 6 and pinned and the second squad got one, torched the SU-122 but the subsequent MC saw the 10-2 roll a 12 and die! Luckily both squads just ended up pinned but it crippled the defence on that side and stopped me rallying the couple of extra squads I needed.

Next turn the Russians skulked and advanced and that was that as what little fire I had was ineffectual. A good fun game and a pleasure to play Dave again.

It was a long day and quite tiring playing three scenarios in a row but very good fun, helped by having great opponents.

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Heroes 2010 – Blackpool: Part 1 – Thursday

Left for Blackpool Thursday lunchtime and my first proper ASL for nearly two years. I had lift from Olli Gray who on his way down from Cupar had picked up Dave Blackwood from Fife and John Martin from Edinburgh. More importantly he had hired a Ford Galaxy which had ample leg room in the back and huge storage space for the mass of ASL gear the four of us were taking! I now want one of these as it will hopefully stop my daughter continually kicking the back of my seat when I’m driving!

An entertaining but uneventful journey saw us arrive at 4.30pm. It was not in the usual Hotel Skye this year as that was closed due to issues with Fire Regulations so we were next door in the Colwyn Hotel. Same owner and staff, better hotel but still not as good as the one in Bournemouth.

There were already a good few people there, with games already underway and the start of what was in some ways the centerpiece of the weekend – Neil, Ulric, Mike and Sean playing First Bid from Valor of the Guards. A massive scenario which shows ASL at it’s most epic!

Neil and Mike plan the Russian Defence

Shaun and Ulric launch the German attack

Germans push into the city and target strongpoints
The left flank progresses well

After settling in Dave, who I had travelled down with, suggested having a game so we set up La Herrison. An action from 1940 with the Germans pushing the French back through a built up area with the aim of capturing 13 of the 15 multi-location buildings on board 23 . As my first game in a long time I was a little rusty with the rules but managed to push forward quite aggressively and after what looked like a stalled attack a few good rolls saw the Germans pushing forward. As it was a friendly game the last move was a bit of a team effort between me and Dave that established a German victory! It’s a good scenario but quite hard on the Germans. As it was also one of the tournament scenarios for the next day I’d be interested in seeing the results from those playing.

So that was the end of day one. A win for me but the Russians ponder how to stop the German onslaught!

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