Friday, January 23, 2015

Vassal, VSQL and The Guards Counter Attack

Well I got the first Squad Leader Scenario set up.

For some reason the picture I saved from Vassal is showing a lot of extra white space around the game board. Next time I'll crop the image better or play around with it some before I upload it.

You can download the Vassal Squad Leader Module here, they just came out with a new version on Jan 1st.

I had a minor freak out when I opened my Squad Leader and Cross of Iron Boxes and couldn't find the game boards. Further delving in the games closet found that I had stuffed the boards in my ASL boxes, Yanks and Beyond Valor. I'm not sure at present where my ASL rules binders are.

The biggest impetus to getting a game in is that I have no recollection of the rules. Once that is done we shall see. I've also done some quick math and it looks like one could play this scenario on a roughly 5ft by 3.5ft table if the hexes are 4" across. My impulse 1/72  order came in and I have some PSC Germans and Russians whom could be pressed into service shortly.

One thing I still need to sort out for SLiM is if the boxes I have will be enough, and how to differentiate between light, medium and heavy machine guns.

That is a subject for another post I think.



  1. Sean,
    For SLIM, I had to make some minor modifications. If you are going to have units based solely for SLIM I would recommend 40mm square bases and have labels with what the squad is carrying.

    In my case, my figures are generically based so they can be used with "most" rules sets. To improvise, I used counters from the game (like the LMG) and placed them behind the troop stand. Same with the Heavy Weapons. My Russian maxims have been used as both MMG and HMG for a substitute.

    A couple observations:
    SLIM would be loads of fun on a hex-mat.

    The question of "facing" when the troop stands are in buildings was tough to handle as in the game they have 360 degree observation but some of my buildings were massive compared to the size of a stand. So I played it much like rules and if they were in a smaller building, still gave them 360 LOS.
    -After awhile it became tough to distinguish who was in what stack. IE the Soviets had a massive wave attack that in the SL game would have been on 2 or even 3 hexes. I forgot where the imaginary line was and it was tricky sorting that out for defensive fire.

    Still though, SL as a miniatures game is incredibly enjoyable! Good Luck!

    1. Thanks Steven. I'm toying with the idea of marking the vertices of hexes (I also need squares for "To the Strongest") on my game mat. I want to do something that is not too distracting but where you can still tell "this is a space". As for basing, I was going to do my usual washers for skirmish games and then magnetic sheet stands, like I do for my RRtK armies. My initial thought was five figures per "squad", but three might be more realistic. Using the game counters is a good idea. I may need to think about how to denote a "stack". I'm also not sure if one box of PSC Russians has enough PPsH's to make all the guards units. I noticed in some quick wikipedia scanning that the MG42 was the main MG for the Germans after it came out. Seems like whether it was mounted on bipod, tripod or hand held is what made the difference in its role.

    2. Sounds like you're on the right track. Personally, I hate hexes on gameboards, but for some rules, they're indispensable (Command Colors, Battle Cry, SL, etc). I like your idea of marking the vertices - a good compromise!
      So, the SLIM supplement says to take 1 stand as the top counter, and then stack the other stands behind it (like in a column). I like to use the "top stand" as the nucleus and then place all the other stands around it, touching. That way it looks like a big mass of infantry instead of a column.

      5 would look really nice. 3 would look good too (3 figs per squad in Crossfire). I like the idea of magnetic bases. I've never used them before but I'll bet they're handy.

      The reason I like the game counters is it still feels like I'm playing Squad Leader. Like a healthy mix of counters and figures is fun but it's all whatever your preferences are. Plus there are expendable counters (like the satchel charge) that go away once used.

      I had an idea once that I wanted to play PanzerBlitz in 6mm but with large 3" x 3" stands representing platoons and companies. Instead of hexes on the table, I'll use "stand width" as a hex and just count bases for movement like DBA. That has the added benefit of each stand becoming a small diorama and I still get to play the game I like but with miniatures instead.

    3. Hi Steven, thanks. Good things to know. I like your idea with Panzer Blitz. For the table top I want it to feel more like a table top game and less like a really big board game, if that makes sense. I'm intrigued by the hex square for tabletop right now as I feel that sometimes base width and alignment can be a little fiddly. "Sorry, you stand is 1mm out of contact!" Of course since I mostly play solo it's not such a big deal.



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