Sherry Enterprises/Schwerpunkt (2017)
Country of Origin:
20-page magazine; 12 scenarios on cardstock inserts
At the end of 2017 emerged the vigésimo tercero issue of Schwerpunkt, the long-running magazine+scenarios from the Tampa, Florida, ASL crew of Evan Sherry and friends. For many years Schwerpunkt was released annually at ASLOK, but that has ceased to be the case as Sherry et al have grown less interested in beating themselves up to make that deadline. This may make ASLOK regulars sad, as “new product” is always one of the most eagerly anticipated aspects of that tournament, but they got this issue soon enough, anyway.
Schwerpunkt consists of a small magazine, plus a dozen variegated scenarios. Over the years, the “magazine” part of the product has shrunk and become less important. Schwerpunkt Volume 23’s magazine consists of a single article, on early war German squad organization, plus the usual designer and player notes for each scenario. One wonders if at some point they will set Schwerpunkt down and instead concentrate solely on producing their Rally Point line of scenario packs.
The twelve scenarios (SP265-SP276) of Volume 23 represent, as always, a grab bag of actions from across the width and breadth of the war, including Belgium 1940 (French vs. Germans); Netherlands 1940 (Dutch vs. Germans); Greece 1941 (Greeks vs. Italians); Netherlands East Indies 1942 (Dutch vs. Japanese); U.S.S.R. 1941 (Soviets vs. Germans [SS], 1942 (Soviets vs. Germans), 1943 (Soviets vs. Germans [SS; two scenarios]), 1944 (Soviets vs. Germans [SS]); Guam 1944 (U.S. vs. Japanese); Philippines 1944 (U.S. vs. Japanese); and Czechoslovakia 1945 (Soviets vs. Germans). Half of the scenarios are thus Soviet versus Germans East Front scenarios, with half of those featuring the Waffen SS (a higher proportion than usual for Schwerpunkt). The two Dutch scenarios and the Greek/Italian scenario add a little needed flavor. Three of the scenarios are PTO, an area sometimes neglected by Schwerpunkt.
Nine of the 12 scenarios use geomorphic boards numbered 60 or higher, so to get fullest use of this product, players ought to be reasonably up-to-date on their geoboard collection. Most of the scenarios are small or medium-sized in scale, making this product pretty tourney-friendly. The largest scenario is SP267 (Death’s Head Debut), which features 18 Waffen SS squads and 10 AFVs attacking 16 Soviets squads with 3 guns and 4 AFVs.
No scenarios use OBA or Night rules; one scenario uses Air Support rules. Overall, the scenarios have very minimal SSRs; indeed, four of the 12 scenarios have only a single SSR establishing environmental conditions. Seven of the scenarios were designed by Evan Sherry, while the remaining five came from the minds of Mike Augustine, Brook White, Pete Shelling, and Hugh Downing.
The scenarios have so far received only limited play, but the early ROAR results may have some ASL players wondering whether some of the scenarios may be a bit unbalanced:
Of course, early ROAR results are not necessarily reliable because of insufficient plays, so some of these may well even out over time (one certainly hopes so). Your humble author will note that he, too, lost in SP276 (Triumphant Return) as the Japanese (this scenario’s victory conditions certainly do seem tough on them), and that he heard complaints at ASLOK about the alleged balance in SP272 (Statue of Liberty Attacks).