What I hope to get out of this blog is to possibly fix some of the little nagging things I do when I play Squad Leader that continue to cost me. I’m not obsessed with winning, (I would definitely like to win more though) but I would like to at least play competently. I recently finished a game with Anatoly Sizov (my first ever game with a Russian player) in which I needed to take 5 stone buildings in 5 turns (more on that in Thing #3). I misjudged the timing of the attack so badly that I got none of them and had to surrender at the start of turn 4 because I would have been unable to reach the rearmost building in two moves much less wrest it away from Anatoly’s American paratroopers. The pace of a scenario is something I need to judge better. I also purposely left a tank and some units for turn 2 entry (yeah, totally stupid), then forgot to enter them (yeah, even stupider). I don’t know if my mind wanders or I just lose track of stuff, it is something that has plagued me my entire ASL experience.
Hopefully, I will beat myself up enough when I write and then read what I write that this stuff will start to sink in. You would think that after so long playing this game that I would start to learn. My regular opponent and I played very regularly for 20 or so years, and while his game improved immensely, mine plateaued and I don’t seem to have gotten any better.
I won’t give up the game. I have too many years and too much money and too many friends in this game to do that. Maybe I’ll have to just wallow in my below average mediocrity until I am too old to play. If so, then so be it.
Ever since I became really interested in WWII, the fall of Berlin has always captivated me as I mentioned in my AAR for B:RV 1. So I have decided to work my way, scenario to scenario, to the fall of Berlin. No, I won’t be starting in 1939. I will be starting in January 1945, as the Reich is in real trouble and the Wehrmacht is retreating toward the German capital. I have found an intrepid opponent who will at least start with me…. my old VASL buddy, Jason.
I will be playing all fronts, but only the scenarios I own. I will not be playing scenarios that I have already played. I had a long list of ToT scenarios but eliminated most of them because they have special SSR’s that I don’t have, and I really don’t want to chase down. It sill leaves me with over 100 scenarios, so I should be set for a while. Jason and I will start with Festung Budapest 1 Uncles and Pups, the date given for that scenario is January 1 and so it’s a great place to start.
Looking at the scenarios, I will be playing all of the Festung Budapest scenarios, and end with Berlin: Red Vengeance and ultimately I think if I make it that far, I will finish with the Deluxe scenario The Final Battle. If anyone wants to play me in a late war scenario on my way to Berlin, just shoot me a note on Gamesquad (screen name – Roy).
I have come to the realization that my enjoyment of smallish scenarios is waning. I’ve played a few in the last couple of months and even though I have very much enjoyed my opponents, I am not getting much satisfaction out of the scenarios game wise.
I definitely fell into the same spell with the shorter scenarios that most of us did and many still have of the ‘Schwerepunkt’ type of scenario that lops 3 turns off and starts the opposing forces close enough to spit on each other (and yes, I know SP has plenty of meatier scenarios). I’ve played three scenarios recently that were under 6 turns and time was a significant factor getting the victory conditions done. If you make a wrong move, or an important scenario piece like your only MMG or one of your two leaders breaks or dies, the scenario is for all intents and purposes over. I find I really like the scenarios where you have room to maneuver or have adequate time to get the job done if you play wisely instead of dropping CX markers on all your troops and hoofing it nonstop to the objective or you lose.
So, while I am sure I will still play small scenarios from time to time, especially at a tournament, I am going to gravitate towards the meatier scenarios, with plenty of options and time to correct mistakes or get some units rallied, and make that six or eight hours of game worth setting up.
Thanks for reading