Category Archives: World War 2

Advanced Squad Leader – Initial Thoughts

I’ve been into boardgaming for 30 years and I’ve never seen a game with depth of Advanced Squad Leader.  This was originally published by Avalon Hill and is now handled by Multi-Man Publishing, although there are several third party companies that also support the game.

One of my goals over the years is to learn this game but the rule book is pretty intimidating.  On a good note, there are plenty of resources out there to help me along way and there’s even a podcast, the 2 Half Squads, that’s great to listen to.  In a couple of months, I’m going to start with Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1, which is a scaled down version of the game that teaches you things in bite size chunks.  Along the way I’ll document my journey so if you have any tips or comments, feel free to leave comments along the way.

New Preorders at GMT Games

GMT Games has added a few new titles to their P500 list.  This is your chance to not only speed up a games progress to being printed but it also usually gives you the best possible price.  This month there are three new additions to their P500 list.

First on the list is 1914, Serbien muß sterbien, a Michael Resch title that focuses on the early parts of World War 1 on the Balkan Front.  It’s being billed as a great gateway game into the series because it has an affordable price point, doesn’t require a lot of space to play and it only has one map.

Next up is Combat Commander Battle Pack #6.  Subtitled “Sea Lion,”  this series of scenarios focuses on a hypothetical German invasion of Great Britain in World War II.  You get ten new scenarios and that take you through both a German invasion and British counterattack.  There’s three maps and it looks like a lot of fun play for only $18.

Finally there’s a new Richard Berg title, Genesis.  There’s not a lot of information on this game but it’s being billed as similar to Pax Romana.  It covers the late Bronze Age in the Middle East and all I can say is, you usually can’t go wrong with a Richard Berg game.  I’ll be keeping my eye on this titel as more details surface.

What GMT titles are you playing right now?  Leave a comment and let me know.

Special Ops #1 – Savage Streets

While I’m working on getting some Advanced Squad Leader content here soon, one of my favorite game companies is Multi-man Publishing.  ASL is one of their bread winners but they also publish a variety of games and publications including Special Ops with the first issue coming out in the Summer of 2011.  In the magazine you’ll find a little bit for everyone and this one includes some game articles and there are also four ASL scenarios (two are for ASL and two are for the starter kits).  What I usually look forward too are the mini-games that are included.  This issue includes two.games including Raphia (which sort of but doesn’t quite require MMP’s Standard Combat Series rules) and the other is Savage Streets which is what I recently set up and messed around with.

Savage Streets simulates the battle for central Stalingrad with an emphasis on the ferry landings that took place between September 14 to September 27th, 1942.  There’s a small amount of old school counters you have to punch out but that didn’t take that long and I was interested to see there are solitaire rules for the game so I set it up and played a couple of rounds.

The solitaire rules didn’t really grab me though and I lost interest after a couple of rounds but I could see this being an enjoyable game with an opponent.  The Germans start with an advantage early but they have to make a quick push and things start to even out and the Germans spread themselves out.  The Germans also have to keep their supply lines open to get the win so that can be a challenge as well.  I thought combat was particularly interesting with the superior side getting more dice but you don’t add them together you compare them on a one to one basis. This can create situations where the inferior fighting force could potentially pull off a major upset.  Plus just by fighting their way through the map, the Germans wear down.

In short, a not complex game (I wouldn’t call it easy though) with some interesting nuances.  It’s also a quick game that doesn’t require a ton of time.  And more importantly, it touches on a very interesting portion of World War 2.