Thursday, September 18, 2014

Episode 124: Tarawa-boom-de-ay

It's hard to imagine a player of Advanced Squad Leader who doesn't like a challenge. After all, the very essence of ASL is in the challenge to learn it, and for an elite few, master it. But even so, many of us would rather suffer repeated dowsing with buckets of icy water than to take on the monster that is Blood Reef: Tarawa, the fifth historical module in the ASL family (and perhaps the archetypal "black sheep" of the line).

But wait. There's hope. For you that proudly own BRT but lack the courage to tackle its diabolical eccentricities, or for you that have played it and glossed over its imposing minutiae, or for you that can only sit in awe of its Byzantine logic, there's hope! Thanks to many monasterial hours and days of staggering devotion, Rich Spilky has sought to unravel the Gordian Knot of rules and create a selection of player aid charts that will greatly assist your BRT odyssey.

In this episode, we chat with Rich -- or rather, Rich chats with us -- about each of his BRT tables: why he created them and how to use them.

Equipped with these tables and the Tarawa Gamer's Guide AND this episode of The 2 Half-Squads, the challenge of BRT will seem child's play. And if we're wrong, you can dump a bucket of ice water over . . . Perry's head!

Tarawa Player Aids by Rich Spilky

Download this episode (right click and save)


  1. Uhm, just FYI - ALS is NOT Alzheimers.. It's is Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gherig's disease...

    Some notes on Rich Spilky.. His tables are amazing and he is amazeballs because of them.. BUT he could likely go through each line in every table in detail in the time that he spends verbally justifying each and every chart/table .. And if Jeff is the God of 'don't worry about the rules - just play the game and have fun' - then Rich Spily is his anti-Christ...

  2. Thanks, Ken, for correcting our error. We knew it, but the wrong words came out and I (Jeff) didn't catch it in the editing. We apologize for the blunder.

  3. Hurray! The comedy is back at the start of the podcast!! Good to hear Rich again too! What ever happened to Joe P.? Wasn't he the fellow ASLer from "way back when" you two first started broadcasting from the "foxhole"? I believe he was Jeff's original opponent for TARAWA. Happy Fall! Go BEARS!!!

  4. Some have reported having problems posting comments on the site with a mac. Dave's works. We don't know why others have problems.

  5. Blast! can't hit the "dull" button on this episode :>

    Really enjoyed the rich discussion of the BRT rules. Thanks again for taking the time and effort in making your podcast.

    Best wishes, Matt from sunny LA

  6. Hey it finally worked!


  7. Great Podcast as always. Great Job Rich I am using your tables almost every games. I am also glad that the comedy intro are back. Good work !!!