Critical Hit (1999)
48-page magazine, including 22 scenarios as pages of the magazine. Also includes a 22" x 30" Beda Fomm historical map.
General information on Critical Hit Magazine can be found here.
Critical Hit Magazine “Operation Compass & Wavell’s 30,000″ Special Edition. 48 pages (including 22 scenarios. Also includes a 22″ x 30” Beda Fomm historical map.
With this Special Edition, Critical Hit tried an interesting experiment, including a full-sized full-color historical map, and jamming the magazine full of geomorphic and historical map scenarios representing different actions from the 1940 O’Connor offensive (foreshadowing the later “Historical Studies” released by MMP). This project was designed by brothers Patrick J. Hair and Fred Hair, coming out of nowhere and for whom this is their sole contribution to the history of ASL.
On the face of it, this experiment was very exciting, issuing a flood of new scenarios (though no campaign games) featuring British versus Italians–hardly an worn-out subject. Unlike all previous, every single scenario in this issue focused on the subject at hand, and so did all the articles.
Scenarios range from CH110 (Starlight, Starbright), which at three turns in length may be the shortest of all ASL scenarios, to massive armored slugfests featuring large numbers of squads and vehicles per side–one scenario, Beda Fomm #3 (Death of an Army), has a total of 66 vehicles in it.
However, the scenarios in this issue are rarely played. Part of the reason is that desert scenarios are not very popular, part of the reason is that some players are not enthusiastic about playing Italians, part of the reason is that some of the scenarios (including every scenario on the historical map) are very large, and finally, part of the reason is that some of the scenarios have a reputation for balance problems. There may be truth to the latter, as the designers appear to have been first-time designers and may have done most or all of the playtesting themselves as well. As a result, players should treat this product with caution.
One of a relatively few good things that can be said about Critical Hit, though, is that more than any other publisher, official or unofficial, Critical Hit has supported the DTO. This is an early example of that fact.
2014 Update: In 2014, Critical Hit released/recycled some of the “Operation Compass” materials in a new format in Graziani’s Advance.
2016 Update: In 2016, Critical Hit released/recycled some (different) “Operation Compass” materials in a new format in Beda Fomm.