Unboxing Decision at Elst

Here they come! The Tommies are on their way to Arnhem.

Decision at Elst ASLSK (7)  Decision at Elst ASLSK (6)

Just today I got this new box, my first Advanced Squad Leader Starter Kit. And my first British ASL counters. The idea is to get some easy to learn rules for our NGWP or better known as next generation wargaming project. And to add some more historical flavour to it. With the 7oth anniversary of Operation Market Garden around the bend, it may also serve well as a jumping-off poit for some reflection on history. There is a good account of the 2-day battle to be found on The Worcester Regiment.

Decision at Elst ASLSK (1)So lets unbox the game and take a sight seeing tour of the battlefield. Here you see a bird eye view of the the town of Elst and the surrounding country side. It looks quite interesting with houses lining the main street and the vast weed fields and orchards.  Figuring out LOS will be quite chalanging in this terrain.

Decision at Elst ASLSK (5)  450px-Elst,_de_Grote_of_Sint_Maartenskerk_RM14948_positie2_foto1_2013-06-02_14.57  Wapen_van_Elst

The Chruch of St. Werenfridus (Sint Maartenskerk) constitutes the main landmark of Elst. It is the only location from where spotters can overview the entire area. In games terms, the church tower is a level one hex with an additional special level, the Steeple. From here all but the blind hexes straight behind buildings can be seen. This will probably make the church the most contested building in Elst.

Decision at Elst ASLSK (4)   Decision at Elst ASLSK (10)   CIMG2775   CIMG2774

Also there is another new type of terrain, the Polder.  It is a open terrain with water filled drainage channels and soggy surrounding. Infantry can find cover if paying an extra movement points, vehicles must pay 4 extra movement points and pass a Bog Check to exit the Polder. Also new is the Pond. It is a clear hex of terrain that cannot be entered or covered in smoke. I am quite curious to find out how these new terrain features effect the game.

Decision at Elst ASLSK (9)  Decision at Elst ASLSK (8)

The box contains 3 sheets of counters for the 43rd Wessex Division and the 10th SS Panzer Division along with the game markers. You find all the vehicles that one expects in a 1944 scenario, including Sherman and Firefly tanks for the British, Panther and Tiger I for the Germans. The 4 scenarios and a campaign game that come with the Decision at Elst box offer a variety of approaches to the game. I am very much looking forward to get the troops ready and revive history.

You will definitely read more of this in future posts!

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