Well, after a 20 year wait. Mike and I finally sat down to a scenario of ASL from an official MMP Korea module.
When I say 20 years, let me elaborate a bit. Three years after Mike introduced me to ASL we went to our second tournament: March Madness ’99.
March Madness nowadays is run by our good friend Dan Best. In ’99, the tournament was run by Mike Reed and Mark Neukom of Kinetic Energy fame. We were treated to a viewing of the actual boards for their version of Korea for ASL. Eventually it was moved to the ‘Official’ realm and we heard rumors for years. Well, it has finally arrived to much fanfare. (btw, Bob Bendis won MM ’99)
Mike and I decided on ASL 204 Human Bullets. It’s a scenario based on an action where the South Koreans (ROK) separated a convoy of T-34s from it’s accompanying infantry, set up an ambush, destroyed the tanks and then fought the infantry. The term ‘Human bullets’ comes from the South Korean version of ASL PTO tank hunter heroes.
So, I’m going to cut to the chase here. We did not enjoy the scenario, it was not fun and we both would watch concrete set before we ever sit down to play this one again.
The T-34s set up on one of the mountain boards on a road, in convoy. The South Koreans set up one of their on board groups in ambush surrounding the tanks. He has some options. A choice of one of three ambush groups: Three 57L AT guns with some infantry: two 57L AT guns with a bazooka and some infantry: one 57L AT gun with two bazookas and some infantry. If you, as the ROK player choose any group other than the three AT guns, you’re nuts. Breaking down the options: Three 15TK weapons with 3 ROF and probable rear shots, or bazookas with no ROF, 16 TK and with the new Korea HEAT rules, a 1 in six chance of a dud. Throw in the ‘Human Bullets’ who have to survive defensive fire, and defeat a T34 in CC with a 6 TK and the AT guns are the ONLY way to go. Because here is the crux: It takes 16 exit points for the NK to win. If two tanks get away because you miss, the game is over.
Now the good side for the ROK. If you can kill the front tank, it makes it very difficult for the rest of the convoy to get through, and every tank that dies makes the path all the more difficult. In our game, Mike killed every tank with the AT guns in the first two fire phases save one; it was the last tank in line and just for giggles, he tried the human bullet and was successful.
If the ROK can keep the tanks from exiting, the NK have an almost insurmountable task. Sure they have 25 squads and a Commissar but they have to average 3 hexes per turn for nine movement phases across open ground with the last half crossing hills and steep hills, again across open ground and exit 16 points of infantry. Mike managed to stop my troops with three (!) dominant positions overlooking the valley we had to start in. Unless I was in my non moving phase, every shot I had to endure was modified by 0, -1 or -2. The NK can’t wait for that nice prep shot, he has to move or he will never make it. I only got one unit to the back board. There’s a gully running across board 24, but it’s slow going and when you come out of it, you’re in the open again. No human waves, no smoke, a lot of ELR, and the Commissar just crushes his own troops once they have broken.
I’ll throw in a few pictures here but it was ugly from start to finish.
So, in a nutshell: If the NK gets a couple of tanks off the board, he wins. If not, the ROK player has to have some really bad shit happen to him to lose.
No fun. Either direction.
We’re going to try another scenario, but so far, not impressed.