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Aug 26

Written by: Ken
8/26/2010 11:08 AM 

One of my other projects that I have been working fairly steadily on is the ASLSK Historical module. The module is based on the battle that took place along "Hell's Highway" on the "Island" between Nijmegen and Arnhem during operation Market-Garden. The battle was fought in the vicinity of the small town of Elst that is situated about halfway along the main road between the two cities of Nijmegen and Arnhem. It started on Sept 23 and lasted until Sept. 25, 1944.

The British 214th brigade from the 43rd Wessex Division fought an "ah hoc" German unit known as Kampfgruppe Knaust for control of this strategic village. The British needed to get to the Rhine River Bridge to while the Germans sought to delay them as long as they could.

The terrain was easily dominated by the church steeple located in the village itself. From this vantage point an observer could see much of the surrounding lower lying terrain. Thus this module will be introducing Off Board Artillery rules in a simplified version as well as adding some new terrain types to ASLSK such as Steeples and new terrain types to ASL in general such as Polders. The Polders dominated much of the surrounding countryside and made vehicular movement off road extremely hazardous while at the same time providing cover for the infantry.

For the first time there will be SS units in an ASLSK module. Well armed and motivated they will defend the stone buildings of Elst and if the British troops want to advance, they will have to go in a dig them out. Thrown in some Panthers, Tigers, OBA, and Rockets and Major Knaust has quite the unit to defend the town with. The British will have to make sure they can blast their way through using all the weapons at their disposal even when the supply lines are cut and ammo is limited!

In addition to a full campaign game, there will be four scenarios that take place on the Elst map each depicting a smaller element of the battle itself.

Right now the module is going through some final playtesting while I am doing some final edits. Once that is done it will go into layout and proofing.

All I really need is a better title!

 

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25 comment(s) so far...

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

Ken, I didn't see this on the preorder page. Do you know if it will be added soon?

Thanks, and keep up the great work!

By Sarjent Mike on   8/27/2010 8:22 AM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

Mike,

It is not up yet. As is the requirement for ASL stuff these days at MMP, it won't go up until it is ready. In this case ready means (at least to me) that the scenarios are final playtested and that components are finished with layout. Printer ready is my hope. That means that there is still a lot of work to do yet before it goes up on pre-order. Hopefully this reduces the amount of time between pre-order hit and shipping!

And seriously...despite how catchy the phrase ASLSK HASL is, a better title would help a lot!

By Ken on   8/27/2010 9:45 AM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

How about

ASLSK: Hells Highway
ASLSK: SS at Elst

By dude163 on   8/27/2010 10:16 AM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

The name is currently Hell's Highway: Elst but I've always associated Hell's Highway with the American paratroopers.

Victory at Elst! Victory or Elst!

By Ken on   8/27/2010 11:51 AM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

This is off topic... at least for the ASLSK products mentioned here. But will there ever be an ASLSK PTO line? I really like the PTO but I just don't have the time or inclination for full blown ASL anymore, so I would love to see the PTO come out in an ASLSK version.

Just my two cents. :)

By Down range on   8/27/2010 5:12 PM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

Down range,

I haven't really thought much about it other than to note the difficulties inherent in a PTO ASLSK. I'm sure there is a way to get it done and I'm interested in looking at it at least. But before I tackle a project like that I've got a few things in front of it that I want to do first. And to top it all off, I'd want to make sure that MMP wanted to go there as well.

By Ken on   8/27/2010 8:33 PM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

hmmm

You are right, I think the US Paras coined "hell's Highway"

what about

"Race against time:Elst"

By dude163 on   8/28/2010 5:14 AM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

hmmm

You are right, I think the US Paras coined "hell's Highway"

what about

"Race against time:Elst"

By dude163 on   8/28/2010 5:27 AM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

Thanks for the reply. Now back on subject. I am looking forward to this. How about "Elst: Dance of Death. :)

By Down range on   8/28/2010 7:39 AM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

This SK HASL sounds exciting! Cannot wait until it's available.

By nick.rusch on   8/28/2010 12:55 PM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

Ohh! Historical ASLSK...this might push me over the edge to get back into ASL after a very long hiatus.

By EdwardH on   9/10/2010 9:07 AM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

Thanks for the encouragement guys! Its coming along nicely so far. I'm happy with it and really only need to do final testing before layout!

By Ken on   9/13/2010 6:17 PM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

How about: "Kampfgruppe Knaust"? A scenario therein might be called "Take Elst, or Else!" Looking forward to it.

By edelrio on   10/2/2010 9:40 PM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

That title is already in there! It was too obvious not to use!

By Ken on   10/8/2010 6:45 AM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

What if "Inferno at Elst"?

By Kala on   10/9/2010 10:38 AM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

Hi Ken,
Off the main topic and for future reference, if Blood Reef Tarawa is ever reprinted, BRT2 should be updated as "China Gal" (see www.tarawaontheweb.org/usmctank.htm). Other than having the name of 1Lt Bale's tank wrong, it's a fun little scenario.

By VSL25 on   12/1/2010 11:24 AM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

In the middle of playtesting the Campaign game at MMP world headquarters. As the British attackers I had made some good progress through the orchards and grainfields at the outskirts of Elst on the first day of the campaign game. Unfortunately right around turn three, after having secured the perimeter as far as I wanted to go in the center and the southern flank, I bumped into Kevin's OBA, 2 Panthers and about 5 squads of various types (included the dreaded Nazi SS squads) on the northern flank where my major push was. All his squads seemed armed with Panzerfausts and MG - 42s. The 100 mm OBA thrashed my boys in the polder while the Panzerfaust and Panzershreks did 3 of my Shermans in. I had to make a tactical withdrawal. The Northern flank did manage to secure a reasonable setup area but I didn't garner enough CPP to push whatever slight advantage I might have gained. So the next date turned out to be idle. I bought my reinforcements and shifted some troops around with an eye towards looking for a hole in the German defense.

By Ken on   1/5/2011 8:04 AM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

It was a shortened playtest night at MMP world headquarters due to the snow storm here. We thought it prudent to pack it in early rather than risk additional accumulation. I'm pretty sure than if I was 20 years younger I would have simply had another beer and kept playing.

Anyway, if you are familiar with Campaign games, which is what Kevin and I are playtesting, we had finished up last time with our perimeters drawn and decided through secret selection of idle or attack chits that the next date was going to be idle. I chose an idle date (as did Kevin) because I thought I was going to need to bring some real power to the battle to crack Kevin's defensive line. I wanted more infantry, tanks, artillery, and smoke laying capacity.

Unfortunately I couldn't buy all of that as I rolled poorly on the secret Campaign Purchase Point table. That is the table that distributes CPP to each player so that they can "purchase" additional troops for the upcoming scenario. I could only buy a company of infantry, a mortar and machine gun platoon and one troop of tanks. I don't know what Kevin bought but I had to make the assumption that he got enough to counter my balance of forces. And without an Off Board Artillery module to bring in some smoke, I was uncomfortable claiming an attack.

So we went idle and started purchasing again. This time I really got a bad number. Only enough points to purchase 1 off board artillery module...but I can't wait any longer. So I pulled my attack chit out and Kevin setup. Turns out he had rolled poorly on the table also both times and has not been able to purchase much in the way of reinforcements. The German player starts with lower CPP than does the British player.

He set up well back from the front line. This will require me to spend two to three turns advancing to contact. I'll make up a lot of ground and probably run into a bunch of artillery fire but I'll take about half the map.

We called it a night after both sides set up and we'll pick it back up next week.

Otherwise I'm off to MMP's winter Offensive weekend tournament which takes place in lovely downtown Bowie, Maryland...which is all of 10 minutes from my house. Always a good time. I will be playtesting this and other games there such as Storm over Normandy and the Sicily card driven game I am trying to put together. I'm likely to have a historical ASL design on Normandy there also to playtest. That is quite the large project!

By Ken on   1/12/2011 9:17 AM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

Ken - a RADICAL idea that I really think would make this new HASL a MUST HAVE new MMP module is to do what MMP has often done before: COMBINE it with the older version (yet related) A BRIDGE TOO FAR!!! I'm still dying to get this HASL game being added to my ASL empire; and this would not only help me, but I think any and all new ASLers and probably some old ones as well would love to have it as a one OPERATION MARKET GARDEN combo kit. Two seperate HASL modules combined in one set like MMP is now doing with Code of the Busido and Gung Ho in the RISING SUN module. And after all, it's already completed; and very little work would have to go into making this a set you can buy seperately (if older ASLers already own ABTF) or buying the combined kit for new guys like myself. Please! Please! PLEASE! Do your best to run this idea past the powers that be. Thanks - John

By Arnheim1 on   10/14/2011 10:31 PM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

Any news about this one?

I know, there is a lot to do because of products like "Festung Budapest" and/or events like "Winter Offensive 2012", but this is all Full ASL stuff. Strictly speaking these have nothing to do with the ASL Starter Kit product line.

The Starter Kit players are waiting. They want new toys too.

Don't forget these players.

By Björn on   12/10/2011 4:21 AM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

Sorry I've been out for a while...@Arnheim1...To be honest I'm not in favor of combining historical modules. And I'm definately not in favor of combining a ASL HASL (such as ABTF) with a ASLSK HASL such as Elst. With absolutely no research or real data to back me up I'll throw my thoughts out there.

1. Adding ABTF to the module would increase the price dramatically to the point where the true market, the ASLSKers would not purchase it becasue the price point is to far out.

2. The ASLers wouldn't buy it becasue they already have ABTF...for every guy out there that wants ABTF there are probably 5 (WAG) that would say I have it and therefore pass on the module.

3. Reprinting ABTF is actually quite a bit of work for someone (probably Chas and Perry) that would detract from the big shiney new stuff.

4. Having an either/or purchase option (as in with/without ABTF) doesn't work from an operational stand point for the office ladies I'm guessing.

5. There are a bunch of other issues also...for example royalties...how does that get worked out?

So for the time being...I'm betting this doesn't happen. Not trying to rain on the parade but am trying to provide feedback (albeit really late feedback).

@Bjorn

(Sorry I can't do umlats) Its coming...Chas, Perry, and I were talking about wrapping up the playtesting last week. Layout commences soon and I expect to have a painted map with hexgrids at Winter Offensive.

And Winter Offensive is not just about ASL. There is plenty of ASLSK action there...last year the SKEP got released at WO...so it happens. But I'm betting that for anyone with umlats in their name that it might be a tad expensive to get to Bowie for WO...but if you can, you should! Its always a good time!

By Ken on   12/14/2011 5:45 PM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

Can you PLEASE try to keep the pump (SK1, SK2, SK3) primed? When these become OOP/OOS, why can't you drop another order for 250-500 so we can continue getting folks into the game? It's very frustrating when you've got a friend, brother, son, grand-son and there is no game available to purchase. IMO ALL THREE are needed and SKEP1 is not an alternative, rather an expansion.
Thanks,
Eddy

By edelrio on   1/22/2012 10:29 AM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

Regarding the name selection, have you considered "Highway 69" THE name of "Hell's Highway"?

By edelrio on   1/22/2012 5:12 PM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

Regarding the name selection, have you considered "Highway 69" THE name of "Hell's Highway"?

By edelrio on   1/22/2012 7:10 PM

Re: ASLSK Historical Module

@edelrio...I'm no expert of the subject but having listened in on this type of conversation many times at MMP HQ, you simply can't drop an order for 250-500 copies of a game down. The economics just do not work. The smaller the print run the higher the cost of the components...significantly so sometimes, thus making the price point for the game for consumers beyond the intent of the line.

Plus the production has to fold within the production schedule of the rest of the MMP products. It isn't easy planning out those logistics. We had a long discussion about gang printing requirements the other night in fact.

I apologize for the OoP status, there are going to be times when this happens. I think ASLSK 1 has been reprinted 3 or 4 times. That’s a pretty good run for games of this nature. Essentially, its my impression MMP keeps ASLSK in print as best they can within the various other parameters that keep the company afloat and profitable.

By Ken on   2/1/2012 8:15 AM
 
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