The Rout Report/DAGGER (1990-1995)
Country of Origin:
Newsletter with scenarios
The Rout Report was one of the more important of the first generation of ASL newsletters. It was important 1) because it published numerous scenarios, some of them quite good, 2) it was one of the only first generation ASL scenarios to have any sort of longevity at all, and 3) it proved that ASL and humor actually could, in fact, mix. The product of Detroit ASLer Kurt Martin (who later would go on to design a number of ATS products for Critical Hit) and Richard Rodgers, The Rout Report billed itself as “the journal for ASL adventurers.” The newsletter started as a bimonthly, but soon became an annual release at ASLOK, the major ASL tournament held each year in Cleveland, with multiple “issues” released at the same time.
Content included product reviews, tournament news (full of insider jokes and old boy network references), and a smorgasbord of other offerings, often indescribable (how does one categorize this headline: “Dreaded ASL Gene Found! Pennsylvania Gamer Found without a Life! Doctors say ‘He can’t be alive–his genes are shaped like dice!'” Perhaps it is enough to say that, although the newsletter was published by DAGGER, exactly what DAGGER stood for tended to vary considerably from issue to issue.
As a result of all the humor and in-jokes, the newsletter is rather dated for someone approaching it fresh, these many years later–far more dated than its contemporaries such as At the Point or ASLUG, which featured many articles on gameplay (something Rout Report eschewed). Unless one is familiar with the early 1990s Detroit and Cleveland ASL scenes, unless one knows the first names of Messrs. Mudge, Ginnard and Nixon and the real name of “Fort” (FYI: Pete, Dave, Mark and Gary Fortenberry, respectively), then one will miss many of the topical references. Kurt Martin had a habit of referring to almost no one by their actual full name (thus Dave Lamb becomes Dave Lambkin and Brian Youse becomes Ryan Louse, etc.). Probably the least dated and most useful articles are the reviews of various ASL products and the discussions of different scenarios.
The real strength of The Rout Report was its scenarios (40+ of them), many of which were fun to play and a few of which became genuine ASL classics. Inexplicably numbered (with various Mx, Ox, Xx, and Zx designations), they represent some of the best of the early third party scenarios.
Many Rout Report scenarios were later reprinted as “official” ASL scenarios in the ASL Annual ’95. Even more Rout Report scenarios were reprinted by Critical Hit in Rout Pak 1 and Rout Pak 2 (the third Rout Pak does not contain any scenarios that appeared in the Rout Report, despite its title).
Noteworthy Rout Report scenarios include X1 (Fire and Rain), X3 (Piats and Panthers), X4 (No Quarter), X5 (Morning in Mouen, a classic), X7 (Victoria Cross), X8 (The Glory Road), X10 (Distinguished Service, very balanced), Z5 (Brandenburger Bridge, but the Critical Hit reprint is better), Z10 (Riding Shotgun), Z11 (Slam Dance), Z16 (The Knife Edge of Defeat), Z19 (The Trap at Targul Frumos), and Z28 (Soldiers of Construction, also one of the best ASL scenario titles ever).
The last six scenarios, Z23-Z28, from the last issue of the Rout Report (which was the only issue to also be published on-line, at the dawning of the Internet age) are available for free download at http://ic.net/~kmartin/toc.htm.
- Rout Report 1, December 1990.
- M1 An Obligation Fulfilled
- M2 Celles Melee
- O1 Peiper’s Progress
- O2 Italian Brothers
- O3 Wintergewitter
- O4 Engineers as Infantry
- M3 The Crossroads
- M4 Tiger Route
- Rout Report 2
- X1 Fire and Rain
- X2 Another Balaclava
- X3 PIATs and Panthers
- X4 No Quarter
- Rout Report 3, circa August 1991.
- X5 Morning in Mouen. France 1944 (British vs. Germans)
- X6 In the Samurai Tradition. Philippines 1944 (Americans vs. Japanese). Airdrop.
- Rout Report IV, circa September 1991
- Volume Two, Issue One February 1992.
- Volume Two, Issue Two April 1992.
- Volume Two Issue Three.
- Volume Two, Issue Five (11-12), November 1992.
- Red Tide at Tarawa
- Volume Two, Issue Six (13), December 1992.
- Showa 68, Issue Two (15), circa March 1993?
- Z4 A Surprise Encounter. Finland 1939 (Soviets vs. Finns).
- Showa 68, Issue Three (16-17), circa September 1993
- Z5 Brandenburger Bridge
- Z6 King’s Dash
- Z7 Cushman’s Pocket
- Z8 The Noose
- Z9 Flags of Defiance
- Showa 68, Issue Four (18), circa February 1994.
- Showa 68, Issue Four (19-22), October 1994.
- Z13 Singapore by Moonlight. Singapore 1942 (Australians vs. Japanese). Night, Amphibious (but not technically Seaborne Assault).
- Z15 The Landing Zone. Netherlands 1944 (British/Polish vs. Germans). Glider landing.
- Z17 He Who Hesitates. Libya 1942 (British vs. Germans). Desert.
- Q11 Slam Dance. Netherlands 1944 (British vs. Germans). DASL.
- Q12 The Mailed Fist. Belgium 1940 (French vs. Germans). DASL.
- Rout Report Issue Five (23-24), Spring 1995.
- Z19 The Trap at Targul Frumos. Romania 1944 (Soviets vs. Germans).
- Z20 Out of the Frying Pan. Guadalcanal 1942 (Americans vs. Japanese).
- Z21 At Any Cost. Egypt 1942 (British vs. Germans). Desert.
- Z22 Winter Blues. Soviet Union 1942 (Soviets vs. Germans).
- Rout Report 5.2 November 1995 (#25-29). Final issue.
- Z23 Setting the Woods on Fire. Netherlands 1944 (British vs. Germans)
- Z24 Men of Stone. Okinawa 1945 (Americans vs. Japanese)
- Z25 Knight’s Move. Yugoslavia 1944 (Yugoslav partisans vs. Germans)
- Z26 The Cemetery. Yugoslavia 1944 (Yugoslav partisans vs. Germans)
- Z27 The Corridor. Germany 1945 (Soviets vs. Germans)
- Z28 Soldiers of Construction. Okinawa 1945 (Americans vs. Japanese)