ASL Saturday – Commando Sehenke

Going through the ASL classics, what could be better than Commando Sehenke sometime after Comissar’s House.  Again, it is a setting of very intense, very bloody city fight and my opponent elected to be the attacking Germans. I was left with Russians and my first tactical decision was to replace my best commander with Political Commissar. Having only two leaders, I thought it would make a big difference. Last stand morale boost provided by the Commissar is, regardless of the ill effects – eg. rally casualty reductions if really unlucky.

Commando Schenke - 1

German defensive layout. Dummies stacked in the right.

Very early in the game my 10-0 Commissar battle hardened, but I did not remember that if already as good as it can get, it would become Fanatic. In any case, commissar proved out to be absolutely crucial resource. Inside building (building bonus 1-, increased morale +1), baseline rally check of 1st line trooper would be 9 or less – not bad at all…

Commando Schenke - 2

German initial push.

I decided to set up some portion of the forces and another leader up front to slow down the attack – fully aware of the fact that storming the fortified location is anything but easy. They were to fall back and die in the progress. Additionally couple of dummy stacks suggested Germans to channel their advance precisely where I needed them – amongst intricate structure of fire lanes and residual fire. Additionally, I intended to discourage envelopment that would have spelled doom to the fortified building. As I hoped, he did fall into it. As a result, he did not deploy some of the more important tools in his arsenal to restrict my movements and bound some units in false caution.

Commando Schenke - 3

Russian Residual defensive strategy.

Knowing the that the combat engineers with smoke making capacity of 5, it would be hard to put good fire against them and I started delaying action that relied entirely on residual fire and fire lanes. Residual fire ignores smoke and other hindrance, but they would not cause huge losses. However they would force caution – caution that cost time. And time, time was my ally.

Commando Schenke - 4

More residual… 😉

I have to admit that rather stupid loss of my second leader and related stack+LMG did hurt, but on the other hand they did manage to buy one turn of time. German assault finally came in with support of flamethrowers, combat engineers and massive firepower. I withdrew from the most deadly locations but kept tap on the most likely avenues, and laid again set of fire lanes and residual fire to hinder German movement.

Commando Schenke - 5

German troops getting onto position. Way too late.

Combined with change in luck – quite few DR under 5 against FFNAM units finally began to tell. Running through modest residual of 2 became deadly affair. Two turns to the end, and not getting the DC in place, not even mention successful breach, he abdicated. Without break it was simply not possible to clear the now throughly occupied building in given time.

Commando Schenke - 6

Protective belt of Residual FP around the Fortified building. Not much got through.


I knew it from the Comissar’s house that Fortified buildings are terrible. Almost impossible to reduce if one has no time. One cannot just simply walk into Mor… err…, to the building locations through advance phase if occupied by opposition. Every single location needs to be cleansed by purifying fire…

And that building has 18 possible locations to hold out. What a deployment possibilities for a defense to the last man.

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4 Responses to ASL Saturday – Commando Sehenke

  1. Another fine game! If a person wanted to delve into ASL at this late point in time, what exactly is needed for purchase?

  2. Tichy says:

    Oh, it was. Bloody hard for the Germans, but on the other hand as Russian defender, I had sort of enlightenment about the residual firepower and fire lanes. Always like when that happens. 😉

    And the whole thing took about 4 hours with all the chatter and rules checking. Not bad.

    So, what would you need? It depends, if you wish to dive straight to the deep end, then the 2nd Binder, and Beyond Valor new ed (Russians, Germans and most of the system counters). Yanks new ed (well, Americans) is very nice, and offer hours of fun (old editions are much cheaper, but contain much less and most scenarios have been revised anyways).

    From then onwards it really depends on your interests. Some modules like for the King and Country (British) and Rising Sun (Japanese, Chinese) and hard to come by until reprinted – which may take a while. Last Hurrah gives allied minors, which is nice, Italian new module (Hollow Legions, I think) is long due. Axis minor box, Armies of Oblivion is not worth the investment, unless you get it cheaply and obsessed about axis minors (not going to happen). Rule of the thumb says, that one should always buy ASL stuff when available, not when interested in it – latter may become remarkably pricey.

    However, You have active ASL community around Spokane I think so it is hardly necessary to own everything anyways. Then, there is always option to play with VASSAL.

    That said, however, if you’d like to take dip on the shallow end then SK1 if you can get your hands on it and move up from there – by SK3 you should be pretty proficient and not a left with too thin wallet. 😉 In any case, if pondering even remotely about SL, and think ill of ASL complexities, consider SK instead, you will not be disappointed.

    • Great advice, thank you! As for the ASL group in Spokane, i games with a few of them many, many years ago after I first moved into the area. Since my focus has been primarily miniatures gaming, I lost contact. I wonder if those guys are still active?

  3. Tichy says:

    Considering that I’m a few thousand miles away from Spokane, I would not be able to say for sure, but I did see some mention somewhere not so long time ago – and of course it may have been dated few years ago.

    Not sure when this was last updated, but there is a ASL player map… 🙂 Of course there are other resources as well, but VASSAL is always very viable option if all else fails. That said, I have found out that many people are willing to try, but too scared to get into it without someone walking through the first miles…

    https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1zFa44q0GkVaGaENfA5RtiSgxZhg&hl=en_US&ll=41.02312285768895%2C-95.06350298183725&z=3

    Here’s some other resources:
    http://www.aslok.org/links.html

    Talking of which, I can of course always attend VASSAL game – in person would unfortunately be a tad bit complicated. 🙂

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