Monday, December 10, 2012

SS ND Nederlander Design updates

Thanks to our Club's own Zoltan Grose ( Texas ASL Club's loss being our gain there :-)....); the Nederlander scenario cards are now converted to pdf formats in a standard layout that is very sharply done, indeed. Wih a bit of assistance from Jim Traver and a couple of progam templates we received from the GS Forumites, Zoltan is doing a bang - up job on these for our playtesters.

SSND1  " Tooth and Nail" is about finished, the last 3 playtests winding their way to the end, and we are complete with it.

SSND2  " Concerted Efforts" has begun some serious proofing, and is scheduled for 2 separate playtests now after the initial play - through and struggles it created by our intrepid playtesters Steve Bowen and Andrew Kerekes. Their advice in the original deciveness of the OBA led to many changes, and also identified some map problems which then went to Neil Andrews for comment and markups. I just got Neil's file back last night, and these will be incorporated in our next version pdf of the scenario, which should also be the signal to begin general playtesting of it.

SSND 3 " Hitler's Violins" has gone into Zoltan this week for conversion to pdf format, after its initial proofing errors were corrected. This should also result in a scen card ready for an initial play - through by a pair of playtesters for obvious problems.

SSND4 " Heart of a Lion" ( Kuban Breakout scenario, working title with most votes) This one has finally finished out the various historical accuracy of the OoB issues in its AFVs, and is going to have a rough layout made for it before Christmas, to go to the proofers for some in depth review of the SSRs before being laid out to pdf.

SSND7 " A Rude Surprise" is ready for pdf layout, and will be going to Zoltan this week, thence is in the same boat as Hitler's Violins , needing the initial rough it out play through for any major issues.

SSND5 , the Narva Bridgehead scenario , is without a title, and still in formulation of the various matters of the OoB, specifically the structure of the MMCs involved.

SSND 6 , the Courland  ATG vs Russian AFV scenario , is still in research stages, with only a geo map ready so far, and about 2/3rd of the OoBs laid out.

SSND8 will be the Oder Scenario. I am still deciding if there is an HASL map that will work well with a few minor changes to suit this one, with the new HASL releases, I think it will definitely be possible to incorporate one. If not, we will be formatting this scenario with almost 100% BFP or the a/b series boards from the APs. I want to maintain a non - standard geo board set for this scenario, so it needs some map design work ,yet.

SSND9- the last scenario, the North Berlin suburbs. This one actually has a working OoB for the Russians involved, still need to finalize the germans. Still working on the mapset here  but it is using a fair amount of previous damage to the buildings, to be sure. those BFP overlays from ITR will see some use here if the players prefer to avoid the rubble counters.

So there's our progress to date. As always, I need to thank all working on this with me. Without their volunteer efforts to tie down everything floating away on me, I'd never get anywhere!

So thanks everyone and keep up the good work! We might see the light at the end of this tunnel by Christmas 2013!! ;-)

KRL, Jon H

Friday, October 26, 2012

The September- October issue of Point Blank! has arrived!!!

Thanks to all for  the help to date!

Keep Rollin Low,

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Trials and Tribulations of Designing ASL Pt 1:

The SSND design project plods along , at times like a racehorse, and at other times like a 3 legged elephant wearing blinders. :-)

To date: SSND1 "Tooth and Nail" Has finished all playtesting, and revisions were made that forced another round of playtesting to check their effects on balance, with 2 games already started on this. ( I cannot believe we've gotten to revision #7 already!). With the help of 1 benefactor and 2 volunteers ( 3 if you count the wife who's actually doing all the heavy work, LOL); we have a layout team in place for designing the scenario layouts in a standardized and easy to read format. This should in the end ease the problems of not identifying the AFVs and Guns by ASL name on the scenario card, as well as the different fonts , and finally allowing inclusion of SSRs onto the scenario card.

SSND2  " A Concerted Effort" finished its initial playtest, waiting for the final reports from the playtesters on that one. There are some questions on the availability of AFVs at this location, and some historical data on these AFVs that may result in an OoB change of the models of the various Pz IIIs in the scenario as it now stands. This will of course send it back to playtest square #2.  The initial proofreads are all in , and revisions made therein to incorporate the changes to date. This one should be feeding into the playtesters by Thanksgiving. for full platesting and proofreading by all, then to the layout team by Christmas I am hoping.

SSND3 " A Rude Surprise" has just finished final design and has come back with a few changes from the initial proofreaders that will need to be incorporated still before it goes off for initial playtesting. These revisions should be done before Thanksgiving, so it is ready to feed into the playtest group on the heels of SSND2.

SSND4: " Hitler's Violins" is still in design stages, with suggestions on wording having been made by the proofreaders that will need to be incorporated before playtesting, and a possible map swap for a better representation of the terrain as well. All of that will need be finished before this one is ready for the playtest pipeline, but still should be done in time to avoid delys in getting to the playtesters as they are ready for it.

SSND5 and SSND6 are in need of some good titles , and the scen card mock ups will be going out the proofreaders for title suggestions and their initial blind read throughs. These are the Narva Bridgehead and Korsun Pocket scens. Design is still a ways off on firming up the OoBs and terrain here.

SSND7 "Kurland, Round Three" ( a working title, would like something better) is in initial terrain research, the OoBs havig been finally firmed up. Now we need to get the map put together for everyone to view :-)

SSND8 - the north Berlin destruction scenrio. This one is having difficulties in getting the OoBs representative of the confused times here. So far, we are aware of at least 1 Panther Ausf A that had been towed into position for the battle so it will be starting the game as a dug in tank. Then there is representing the panzergrenadier alarm units that were bicycle mounted troops riding specially designed cycles with racks capable of holding 6 panzerfauste and 4 ATMM in order to respond to the AFV breakthroughs and go into combat against them as a mobile AT team. This one is a long way from ready, but will probably take advantage of some of the overlays from ITR from BFP for sure :-).

KRL, and look for more updates on the project here!

Jon H

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Finally got all the back issues up on Dropbox!!! here they are:




Note Jan - Feb 2012 was not published due to my house fire.....

Older issues you're gonna have to check everyone's old rabbit and parakeet cage bottoms for ;-)

KRL, Jon H
Point Blank! is finally UP and running on the wEb in a true "free of charge" pdf downloadable file format for everyone to access without "subscribing" in any way :-)

I want to thank Zoltan Grose, our new arrival from Texas; and Steve Bowen for their efforts in assisting me with getting this up and online. Without further ado, lets drop in the link for the last issues Jul - Aug 2012:

The guys found Dropbox, and the cloud storage size is perfect for us, so I am in process of feeding the back issues into Dropbox, and will add the links as they get uploaded ( it takes some time from my ancient CPU) LOL!!!

The next issue in the works already, with a nice in person interview of our commanders at the recent Market  - Garden reenactment event my place of work hosted on the weekend of Sept 15-16th scheduled to be inside, along with more AARs, and our "Back to the Basics" will be running down the right ( and wrong) ways to plan glider and paratroop landings and defenses. September / October issue should be interesting indeed.

On the Nederlander scenario front; our effortrs continue, but the summer doldrums are working their way around and the upcoming returns to school; work; and ASL events of the Fall are eating into time, so the project is still ticking along. We've got 3 playtests underway so far still on the first scenarios, and a full  edit job pending for yours truly to the scens overall to incorporate all of the various items our proofreaders have found so far. :-) Thanks to eveyone who has been involved in this project! I cannot believe how far it has gotten this last summer with the additional efforts of the group assisting me with all manner of design items. We still have a long Way to go before its all ready, but its nice to see the "end of the beginning" at least!

Just chatted with Ian Willey this day, and he is working on a rather unique sniper reminder clix base we came up with. He thinks it will be arriving soon and he plans to have it ready as he manages to squeeze it into his miniature painting schedule, but it should hopefully be a grand exhibit for all! I must recommend visiting to anyone ASL related. Ian  runs a first rate ASL blog.

Jon H

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Welcome to the "official" Opening of the Point Blank! Blog

With the publishing of the July - August 2012 Newsletter for our ASL CLubs out here on the left coast, I am "open for business"!!!!

The Nederlanders Scenario pack begins its debut in this issue, with SSND-1 up and ready for play. there are 7 more to go, however, and I could frankly use any help anyone is partial to donate! email me at my gmail account if you are willing to assist in the SS-ND project.

Also could use a bit of technical know how, so if you can assist in helping me understand the nuances of the blogspot use in getting a file embedded in a posting or on the site, please email me at the gmail account.

Thanks to all who are and have pitched in so far! you have and continue to make this Newsletter a very fine project!

Keep Rollin' Low

Jon H

The latest issue link

Friday, August 17, 2012

We're almost ready to come "out of construction" here, and begin operations as the new "home" for the Point Blank! Club Newsletter. I am hoping to coincide the official announcements of the blogspot on the Club Listservs and the Gamesquad Forums in conjuntion with two events: the Jul- Aug 2012 issue release, and the first scenario of the Nederlanders Marsche! scenario pack : SSND1: "Tooth and Nail". ( which is currently in playtest.)

With that in mind, and a house move into my new permanent home upcoming this next week, it is shaping up to be a busy week for me, indeed.

KRL, and enjoy the rest of your Summer!

Jon H

Friday, July 27, 2012

One of our new readers who stumbled across an older copy of Point Blank! asked if there are any weblinks for where to find the other available issues. As I find this a very well intended question, I thought I would begin with links to each of the still available "back issues".

That is every issue still in electronic existence in my possession. Unfortunately after the house fire I lost the CPU as well as everything else, and all the pre - 2010 issues were on there.
I heartily recommend anyone interested in the initial offerings of Point Blank! ( from 1999 to 2001) consider using the CSW or GS forums to ask for an e copy to be made available from someone who may still have one. This is probably the best bet to secure a copy of the early issues.

An update as many are interested in the "Nederlanders Marsche" scenario pack under development here. We are currently well into initial playtesting of the first 4 scens, with the next four in markup stages after the final historical research comments were received. I would like to thank everyone assisting on this project, and most specifically: Paul Weir, Kevin Kenneally, Herr v Marwitz, Andrew Kerekes, Steve Bowen, Dennis Donovan, Eoin Corrigan, ( for historical research and proofreading) and the playtesters working on this as well. I believe the first installment "Tooth and Nail" will be ready for the July - August issue, which will also appear here when ready.

Til Later, and we're still "under construction"
Keep Rollin Low
Jon H

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

While considering new "homes" for the upload of the Club Newsletter 'Point Blank!'  and their various problems of either incorporating many extraneous advertising frames around the product, such as at the Scribd site, or the uploaded file limits of the GameSquad location servers,  or the requirements for 'joining' the Yahoo Groups to access their download files sections; I have decided that imbedded file within the blogspot should be the optimal method for distribution ( I hope). If not, then this endeavour may just reform itself into a blog forum in order to allow for better overall reader access.

The Point Blank! Is the newsletter for the SVASL and NorCal ASL Clubs. It is provided free of charge to anyone brave enough to read its contents, and represents my efforts of "giving back to ASL what ASL has given me".

With that said, consider this site under construction still as of the time of this posting.

Keep Rollin' Low!

Jon H