ASL 95: Descent Into Hell
Germany: Michael R.
New Zealand: John H.
For my weekly VASL game with John H. I picked ASL 95: Descent Into Hell with the latest MMP revisons. John H. and I have been playing ASL on and off for nearly 16 years. John still resides in Michigan and VASL has allowed us to keep up our long running matchups in ASL despite several relocations for both of us over the years. Descent Into Hell features German glider assault troops storming New Zealand positions at Maleme Airfield on Crete in May, 1941. To win the German must eliminate a light AA battery and secure both ends of the strategic Tavronitis Bridge in 8.5 turns. I took the Germans and planned to have the first wave of gliders hit fairly close to the airfield around which the AA guns were emplaced.
|Initial German Landing - Maleme Airfield|
Dust is in effect for the first three turns, so this allowed a closer glider landing than would normally be possible. Gliders are vulnerable to fire on the turn they land, so the dust provided just the cover neccessary to get the squads off intact. The landing worked quite well, bringing me down close to two of the AA guns. Within three turns, this pair of guns was eliminated, but the dust had settled down and I had to contend with approaching the third gun over open ground opposed by the defenders in the airfield buildings.
|Turn 3: Two Guns Down, One To Go|
On turn 4 the second wave of glider troops landed around the bridge, one group on a hill overlooking the eastern bridge defenses and another in the middle of the dry river bed itself. This landing went off perfectly and these forces were able to secure both ends of the bridge within 4 turns.
|Turn 4: |
Bridge Assault Force Landing
I was able to divert some of the bridge force toward the airfield battle, but they would arrive too late to help. The remaining troops at the airfield inched their way toward better positions to eliminate the last AA gun. However, the doughty Kiwis rolled a fanatic and a hero which really slowed down the advance. The final blow was a wind change that prevented me from throwing smoke up wind toward the airfield defenses. There was a last turn of hope as the 9-2 leader who had raced from the bridge sector battle hardened to a 10-2, but he was just too far to save the day. The last gun remained just out of reach across all that open ground and runway. The Germans were forced to call off the assault.
|Turn 9: Final Dispositions|
This was another close game, coming down to the last turn as so many ASL games do. The glider rules are not overly complicated and add an interesting new dimension to any ASL scenario. I highly recommend that you try this section of Chapter E.