Alternative Titles/Edition History:
Issue #44 is also known as the XX Anniversary Scenario Pack and as Operation Turnscrew.
Vic Provost/Dispatches from the Bunker (1997 - present)
Country of Origin:
Newsletter, 2-4 scenarios per issue
Dispatches from the Bunker is a long-running ASL newsletter from New England. Indeed, it is the longest continuously published ASL newsletter that has scenarios in every issue. Dispatches has a high reputation, largely due to its long history of consistently good scenarios. Dispatches is edited and published by Vic Provost, with help and assistance from a number of northeastern ASLers.
The main feature of each issue of Dispatches is its scenarios; each issue typically contains two to four scenarios, often tournament-sized ones. Its scenarios cover a range of actions, but Dispatches likes to group them into series. Series initiated so far (up through Issue #23) include the Sergeant Rudolf Brasche Series (6 scenarios), the Leibstandarte Series (5 scenarios), the Bougainville Series (3 scenarios), the East Front Series (4 scenarios), the DASL Series (4 scenaros), the Tunisian Series (8 scenarios), the Thunderbird (45th Inf Div) series, the Grossdeutschland Series (1 scenario), the Lorraine Series (4 scenarios), the West Front Series (1 scenario), the Philippine Series A (2 scenarios) and B (2 scenarios), and the “Independent” Series (5 scenarios).
Issue #23 introduced the Valor of the Guards Series, with 3 scenarios designed to be played on the historical map included in the HASL module Valor of the Guards (the people involved with Dispatches from the Bunker were the people who designed and playtested the module as well). However, the Bunker crew was a little too optimistic about MMP’s ability to get the game out–when Dispatches #23 came out, Valor of the Guards was still nowhere to be seen. Eventually, however, all was well.
A number of the scenarios that Dispatches has published so far have established good reputations. These include DB001 (Brasche Encounter), DB005 (The Marketplace at Wormhoudt), DB012 (First Clash in Tunisia), DB021 (Crisis on the Abucay Line), DB025 (Avril Action), DB035 (A Hotly Contested Crossroads), DB036 (First Crack at Hellzapoppin’ Ridge), DB040 (Riding the Coattails), DB058 (Vossenack Church), DB067 (Let’s Dance), DB083 (Block to Bataan), DB092 (The Streets of Kharkov), and more. It must be admitted that Dispatches has also released some dogs, but with some 114 scenarios released (as of 2014), this is to be expected.
The newsletter does have content other than the scenarios, although much of it is typically scenario analysis for the scenarios included in the issue. Other content can include tournament news, tactical tips, and scenario analyses. Unfortunately, much of this content is formatted in justified columns enclosed in boxes, which often makes it difficult to read. A lot fewer lines would make the newsletter a lot more readable.
In late 2010, MMP reprinted 14 Dispatches scenarios in a sort of “best of” scenario pack titled Out of the Bunker.
Sadly (except perhaps for those who scan their ASL scenarios), in June 2012, Vic Provost announced that Dispatches would cease print publication and move to a PDF-only format (starting with #37).