Wednesday, 7 March 2018

A new AAR for Alien Squad Leader - an interesting encounter.

This was a pretty unusual game played between myself and Alex Self (the author of the ASQL rules)  at the club last Sunday. It was mostly unusual because the scenario we ended up playing (Scenario 2: Meeting Engagement) suited neither side, because both had opening options that were negated by the conditions of the scenario, because both sides were off table to begin the game.

The army I chose was my recently-completed Human Imperial Strikeforce while Alex had gone for a 2nd Global War German Occultists force. His army would be considerably larger than mine and would also outnumber me in numbers of vehicles and heavy weapons. My hope was that my power armour 5+ save would help me survive the inevitable bombardment while the inherent unreliability of his vehicles would let him down. I was nominally the attacker, but I didn't want to charge into massed heavy weapons fire.

My Strikeforce represented a fast attack unit from the Third Human Condominium which had been sent to investigate an unknown enemy which had emerged on the planet of Thekla III from some kind of wormhole or tear in the fabric of the space-time continuum. 

The battlefield didn't seem to offer me many possibilities, but I was able to move two pieces of terrain before the start, allowing me to move the village and the palm tree grove to my side of the table. The two hilly areas with rocky outcrops on top were impassable terrain features.

My deployment point was right behind the village.

Alex's Occult Nazis deployed from behind this are of soft cover.

The 3HC commander got into the village early, bringing a unit of Shocktroopers with him.

The only troops who had been able to take advantage of the Strikeforce's Sudden Strike rule were two stands of jetbikes.

I began to push troops forwards to occupy the palm grove and sent my APCs forward. These were equipped with turret-mounted heavy weapons and each carried a stand of Shocktroopers and another of Assault Troops, equipped with power axes in addition to their normal weapons.

The evil Nazi hordes poured out from their wormhole. They had slow-moving experimental tanks and a lot of infantry.

By now, I was wishing that I'd moved the palm grove closer to my side of the table, to the right of the village. This would have given me a much better position.

I started to push forward on my right, to try and close off the gap between the two areas of impassible terrain.

Meanwhile, I occupied the palm grove. There was a Medic with these units. His presence would be crucial.

Already, one of my APCs had sustained damage from some incredibly accurate fire from the German tanks. Alex was rolling some amazing dice, lots of doubles causing two critical hits. With only one saving roll available to me, damage was inevitable. I'd have to get the troops out of this APC pronto!

Things were not going any better for the other APC. I swiftly deployed the two stands (Assault Troops with green helmets).

Accurate fire from the German Crewed Weapons inflicted damage on my troops. I moved the Medic to help them. Unfortunately, they are wiped out before he is able to help.

The troops disembark behind a hill.

The Medic is certainly earning his pay today, as wounds are getting removed almost as quickly as they are being caused. Note that the Medic has taken a hit. That happened when I lost the Shocktrooper stand which he was trying to heal.

Horrifying Zombies shamble forwards, animated by some foul Occult Powers which the Germans have discovered. I send my Assault Troops forwards. Despite causing damage to the German tank. they are eventually pushed back, taking a wound too.

The palm grove is right at the core of my army. I push Heavy Weapons forwards to try and knock out the German long-range capability. They are successful and both stands of Crewed Weapons are destroyed. The Heavy Weapons also inflict damage to one of the German tanks, which spends the rest of the battle staying out of range, effectively neutralised.

The Assault Troops take on the Zombies. There can only be one winner here.

My Shocktroopers pour massive fire onto the Zombies, thinning their ranks. Is it all too little,too late, though? At least the Assault Troops are in cover now, receiving medical assistance.

Meanwhile, over on my right the jetbikes, supported by fire from the Shocktroopers and the damaged APC try and stop the Nazi advance. This fight will continue to rage on until my APC is destroyed and I bring all the units back to the village and palm grove.

Finally, time runs out. It is clear that from a shaky start, I have managed to stabilise things. My Medic is removing wounds with regularity now and my troops are inflicting damage on Alex's Germans. Totting up the points, I have caused more damage than I have received, but the result is a draw. However, we agree that it seems likely that if we were able to continue, the 3HC Strikeforce would have the upper hand.

So, a really absorbing and exciting game. Two very different armies, but both hamstrung by the scenario. I am not sure that this scenario really suits the Imperial Strikeforce at all, but that is all part of the challenge. One needs to make the most of the army, regardless of the situation in which they find themselves.

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