Friday, January 10, 2014

ASL Pegasus Bridge scenario 1 and campaign start

I had the opportunity to play some ASL at this year's Kinkkucon. The scenario was PB1 from the Pegasus Bridge Historical Module. The module has scenarios and a campaign detailing the glider landing near the Caen canal bridge and the fighting that ensues. If you are unfamiliar on this famous D-Day action, check it out at Wikipedia.

The scenario we played starts at the very beginning. British troops land near the bridge on gliders and proceed to take the bridge from the poor-quality German troops guarding it under the cover of darkness. This was the first time we have used the glider landing rules, but more importantly, we have never played the night rules before. The glider rules are quite easy and you only have to do them at the beginning (and we still managed to make a mistake with them), but the night rules are much more comprehensive and dramatically change the way the game plays out. Not only is visibility limited, but units on the move might stray off course, get spooked and fire when they're not supposed to, or in the case of defenders, are not easy to get to move at all. Also, the rules concerning gunflashes, starshells and such are somewhat detailed. Still, we managed to play the scenario through in decent time and hopefully didn't make too many errors on the rules or learn them wrong.

We rifled through the Pegasus Bridge rules and the rulebook for information on where the wind was blowing at the start of the game but couldn't find it. We ended up randomizing the wind, which forced the British player to land his gliders much further away from the bridge than would have been the case historically. Later on we spotted the predesignated wind direction on a different scenario card than the one we played, but the damage was done. The British attack was delayed by about a turn because of this and made the scenario more difficult for him to win.

Here's the action. I've embedded the commentary in the images to make it clearer.








So, the British failed to take the bridge but then again, the Germans failed to retreat over it. We decided to have a go at playing a campaign game while we're at it and recorded all necessary stuff for later use. The situation as it stands is that the British player will receive some reinforcements in the next couple of games but the German player (me) will receive nothing until dawn. There's not quite a platoon of conscripts guarding the bridge from Cafe Gondree so it will be interesting to see if anyone is left alive after the next scenario. The Germans will get their payback come dawn though, I'm sure.

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