I finished my first complete game of Advanced squad leader over VASL just recently. VASL is a derivative of VASSAL, a virtual boardgame application which allows you to play boardgames and wargames over the internet. The system enforces very little of the rules in the game. It just creates a virtual board you can move pieces on. The good thing about this system is that you can play against anybody around the world and can load and save large setups in the blink of an eye. You can always put the game away and continue later, no matter how big it is. Also, I really like it when VASL graphically transforms the map depending on season, special rules and so on. Something which is impossible with the boardgame. Having a bright green map and pretending its the middle of January in Finland is a bit difficult.
Anyway, I played the session with my regular ASL opponent in about 4 sessions I think. We played two hours here, and hour there. The game takes a bit longer to play on VASL as it takes time to vebally explain your actions where the same things would be easy to point out to your opponent if he was in the same room. In this scenario, Revenge at Kastelli, German paratroopers stick their nose where it doesn't belong in a Cretan village. The Greek forces, composed mostly of troops inferior to the Germans in quality, have an advantage in numbers.
I was playing the Germans, and my objective was to survive ten rounds against the Greek and prevent him from amassing 20 casualty victory points. I reckoned attack to be the best defence and worked to surround the village occupied by the Greek at the start.
|Everything is still looking good for the Germans at around the fifth turn.|
Things were going just fine for half of the match with the Greek troops forced on the defensive in the village. At some point I think I forgot what I was supposed to be doing and tried too hard to take the village. The paratroopers ended up taking some nasty casualties and the Greeks got the initiative back. On the last two turns the Greek forces made a really aggressive, really effective counterattack and scattered the Germans. All I could do was watch the carnage and try to rout to safety. Still, my opponent had no trouble reaching his goals. Only a couple of small pockets of German resistance remained on the table when the greeks hit 20 victory points. I guess this teaches me to keep the objective bright in my mind.
These two ASL games we've played recently really sparked my interest in the game back to life. We already agreed we'd play a scenario from Valor of the Guards next week so I guess there's some grim Stalingrad action coming up!