ASL FAQ Advanced Squad Leader Frequently Asked Questions This is v2.3, dated 12th August 2016 Building on v2.20, dated 1 January 2002 from http://grognard.com/faqs/FAQ0.htm Another good source of information : http://www.advancedsquadleader.net
Version History Edit
This is v2.3, dated 12th August 2016. It builds on version 2.20 from January 2002. Originally found on http://grognard.com/faqs/FAQ0.htm#
From version 2.20 :
This FAQ is intended to serve as a brief introduction to the boardgame ADVANCED SQUAD LEADER, originally produced by The Avalon Hill Game Company (TAHGC), and now produced by Multi-Man Publishing, Inc. (MMP) . It also aims to provide pointers to many amateur resources available for the game, and to answer many common questions, both about the game as an entity, and some specific common rules questions. This FAQ will be posted by the FAQ maintainer regularly to the ASLML, the newsgroup rec.games.board, and the web site http://grognard.com. Cross-posting of this FAQ to other online services and web pages of interest to ASL players is encouraged, so long as the contents are not altered and the FAQ is provided in full. Please let the FAQ maintainer know if you store this FAQ on your site.
The FAQ is currently available in HTML form at two sites. The first is at http://www.users.bigpond.net.au/mantis/ASLFAQ. This is my site, and all feedback on it - content, presentation, etc - can be directed to me at nhickman AT bigpond.net.au. The second site is Skip Kreitz's, at http://members.aol.com/lpkreitz/private/aslfaq.html. Please do not direct queries about the FAQ content to Skip, but to me. Likewise, do not direct comments about Skip's site's presentation to me, but to Skip! If you wish to host a copy of the FAQ on your website, feel free to do so. I would appreciate it if you could advise me if you do, so I can add your site to the list of available loctions, and advise you of updates as and when they occur. If you wish to translate it into another language, likewise do so, but again let me know so that players can be directed to your work. Errata and suggestions for this FAQ are always welcome. Please contact the FAQ administrator at the address below.
This wikification can be updated as long as you have the wiki credentials.
See http://grognard.com/faqs/FAQ0.htm# for original credits.
This FAQ was adapted to Wikia in order to open its updateability in 2016 after having seen a post on the Gamesquad forums.
Abbreviations and Glossary Edit
The following terms may be of use for those not familiar with them:
- ABS Australian Balance System. See [11.16].
- ASLRB The ASL Rules Book. (Often referred to as "The Holy Tome", "The Word", etc.)
- ASLRB2 The Second Edition of the ASLRB.
- ASLML ASL Internet Mailing List. The online "discussion group". See [7.1].
- ASLSK : ASL Starter Kit. Complete stand-alone games to learn ASL.
- CG Campaign Game. A series of scenarios played in sequence, usually using survivors of one scenario to determine the OB for the next. CG rules are usually integral parts of HASL modules.
- COWTRA Taken from Don Greenwood's Introduction: "Concentrate On What The Rules Allow". Rule-of-thumb for interpreting the ASLRB.
- DASL Deluxe ASL. ASL played on boards with very big hexes.
- DTO Desert Theatre of Operations, i.e., the "desert rules" (also covers some of the Mediterranean and Steppe Terrain regions).
- ETO European Theatre of Operations, i.e., the default ASL rules.
- FTF Face-to-Face. Your opponent is sitting across from you, as opposed to PBEM.
- Grognard "Old grumblers". Originally the term used by Napoleon to describe his veteran troops, who were habitual complainers, it's now applied to "veteran" wargamers (not just ASL players) -- you know, those "old fogeys" who remember way back when ...
- HASBRO The game company that as of October 1998 is the new owner of TAHGC (and hence ASL).
- HASL Historical ASL. Used to denote a module using a mapboard designed to recreate a specific battle, rather than using the generic geomorphic mapboards.
- HS Historical Study (not be be confused with "half-squad"). See [2.33]
- LOS Line of Sight
- ML Morale Level
- MMP Multi-Man Publishing. The group of ASL players (and longtime playtesters for TAHGC) that have been contracted by HASBRO to oversee all future ASL products.
- OBA Off-Board Artillery
- PBEM Play By E-Mail. Your opponent is on the other end of an electronic connection, as opposed to FTF.
- PTO Pacific Theatre of Operations, i.e., the "jungle rules".
- Q&A Questions and Answers. Rules clarifications from TAHGC/MMP.
- SASL Solitaire ASL.
- TPP Third Party Publishers or Third Party Products.
- TAHGC The Avalon Hill Game Company, now a Hasbro affiliate.
The HASBRO buyout of TAHGC Edit
In October 1998 the Hasbro corporation (https://www.hasbro.com) completed their purchase of TAHGC from the previous owners, Monarch-Avalon. Naturally enough, this purchase threw the ASL world into a chaos of uncertainty; what was the future of ASL likely to be under the new regime? Would there even BE a future? Fortunately, it would appear that Hasbro are well aware of ASL's popularity, and Hasbro have announced that they will continue ASL in the same fashion as TAHGC did before it: namely, the third-party group MMP has been sub-contracted to produce new ASL material for publication by HASBRO. See http://asl-faq.wikia.com/wiki/INTRODUCTION#HASBRO.2FMMP_Press_Release_.28abbreviated.29 for more information. Furthermore, if HASBRO is committed to producing new ASL material, logically it would follow that the older material needs to be kept in print. There may even be an opportunity to retrofit errata to older products. On a more practical level, any references in this FAQ to "TAHGC" should be assumed to include an implicit understanding that TAHGC is actually now an affiliate of HASBRO, and that MMP are sub-contracted to HASBRO to produce new ASL material.
HASBRO/MMP Press Release (abbreviated) Edit
(Released 15 Jan 1999) MMP Partners With Hasbro's Avalon Hill Games For ASL
Multi-Man Publishing, LLC (MMP) is proud to announce its new exclusive association with Hasbro, Inc. to develop, produce, and distribute games and other products for Avalon Hill's Advanced Squad Leader (ASL) game system. Hasbro's purchase of the Avalon Hill line puts the undeniable resources of this industry giant squarely behind the ASL game system and combines with MMP's proven track record for developing quality ASL products to promise a ton of ASL fun this year and the years to come. We are truly thrilled about the prospects for ASL and for the other great games of Avalon Hill.
Product information is available at, and purchases can be made via, our web sites:
or via phone at: 410-519-4411
or via fax at: 410-519-4151
or e-mail at: sales AT advancedsquadleader.com
or via mail at: MMP, PO Box 601, Gambrills MD 21054-0601
Contact us at through any of the above methods or e-mail us at: info AT advancedsquadleader.com
What is ASL?Edit
To quote the TAHGC 1996 catalogue: Our crowning achievement, and the ultimate wargame. No other can match its combination of beauty, detail and excitement. ASL is a system based on the original Squad Leader game, but revised and expanded so that ultimately a player can simulate any company or battalion-level ground action in any theater of WWII. Playing pieces (counters) represent squads, half-squads and crews, plus individual leaders, heroes, vehicles and guns. Each ASL module contains eight or more carefully balanced, historically based scenarios -- but players can also design their own using the 40+ geomorphic SL/ASL mapboards, numerous terrain overlays, copious historical notes, and thousands of counters depicting virtually every vehicle, gun and troop type in action during the war by every major and minor combatant nation. In addition to the above, there have been many "amateur" products released over the years since ASL was first released in 1985, so that now there are thousands of scenarios and campaigns that can be played in addition to the official ones produced by TAHGC and MMP. It is quite possible to play nothing but ASL for the rest of your life, and you still might not get to explore every facet of the game.
What do I need to play ASL?Edit
Prior to the publication of 2nd Edition ASL, the bare minimum required was the ASL Rulebook (ASLRB), and either Beyond Valor (Module 1), or Paratrooper (Module 2). (Neither 1st nor 2nd edition of BV contains Boards 1 or 8, so not *all* of the BV scenarios can be played without sourcing those boards separately. 2nd edition Paratrooper now includes Boards 2 and 4; if you only have 1st edition Paratrooper those boards would also need to be sourced separately.)
Today, you have to get the Rulebook 2nd edition (whatever version) and Beyond Valor 3, which contains all the needed maps and scenarios. You'll also need at least two (preferably four) six-sided dice of different colours (dice are provided in BV and 2nd edition Paratrooper), some cotton thread or string (for tracing LOS), and somewhere to set it all up!
What about those Starter Kits ?Edit
MMP has published a series of modules for learning ASL, that has become a complete product line. This is a good way to learn the game on your own, as it introduces main ASL concepts. After mastering the SKs, you will be able to add the few missing concepts in your "full ASL" games easily. Each SK module is a complete game that stands on its own.
Should I Buy Squad Leader First?Edit
If you can find it, it is an option. Before ASL, there was SL. The original SL game was released in 1977 and was an instant hit. It became so popular that additions and expansions were deemed necessary, and these followed as Cross of Iron (COI), Crescendo of Doom (COD) and GI: Anvil of Victory (GI). Each new module required that you owned all the previous ones, and provided additional rules, revisions of old rules, and new boards and counters. While an excellent game, it became something of an administrative nightmare: important rules were scattered through several rules books, early parts of the system didn't sit well with later ones, and it became obvious that things couldn't go on this way. So, ASL was born. A complete revision from the ground up, with all new rules and components that were based on the SL system but clearly separate to them -- and, in the opinion of most players, a considerable improvement overall. SL (without the add-ons) remains an excellent game, though it is much simpler and more abstract than the ASL system. However, there are so many differences in detail between the SL rules and the ASL rules that learning SL can actually hinder your ASL development. So although SL can teach you some basic ASL concepts, it is the opinion of the author that you are usually better off going direct to ASL. There is a caveat: many ASL scenarios require the use of the boards supplied with SL and its expansions. If you do not have SL/COI/COD/GI, there are 12 boards (1-8, 12-15) that you will need to purchase separately before you can play these scenarios. (Note that those maps are available for sale on MMP's website or available through the latest editions of several modules (Beyond Valor v3 and others).) Usually it is cheaper to buy them separately from your local game store or direct from MMP than to buy the four SL games, but if you can pick them up second-hand or whatever you may end up saving money. (GI also includes several terrain overlays to modify the mapboards, but to date no official ASL scenario has used any of these overlays.)
Well, I already have SL. How do I move to ASL?Edit
Probably the most important thing to remember is to not make any assumptions. Many rules in ASL are similar to SL rules, but have important differences. Almost no rule is identical between the two systems. If you're busily flipping through the ASLRB trying to find that rule you're *sure* you read somewhere, chances are you may be thinking of a SL rule instead. In the '90 Annual [see 2.32] an article is provided for those players who are changing from SL to ASL. In eight steps you're taken through the rules chapters, starting with infantry rules to OBA and finally AFV's. The article uses a "programmed instruction" technique very similar to the way the original SL rules were presented, and makes use of (modified versions of) the scenarios provided in the original SL set. Unfortunately the '90 Annual is very hard to find these days, but fortunately the article was reprinted in Vol.30 #1 of the General [see 2.34]. Even more fortunately, this article is now available in its entirety on the MMP website at www.advancedsquadleader.com. See also Section [3.0], and the "Intro ASL" project mentioned in [2.0].
What is available for ASL?Edit
ASL products fall loosely into two categories: "official" products, which were released by TAHGC and are now released by MMP, and "third-party" products, which are released by others. While it is generally true that the TAHGC and MMP products are better-looking and better researched, this is by no means always the case, and many of the third-party products are the best things that an ASL gamer could spend his money on. There is a tacit understanding however that if it comes down to rules conflicts or similar problems, the "official" products will win out, mostly because the TAHGC and MMP products usually have a much wider distribution, and it is unfair to expect new players to know about the alternatives.
Within the above broad categories, ASL products may be defined as "modules", "magazines", or "other". Modules are self-contained settings for a particular nationality or campaign, usually with rules and counters. Magazines should be self-explanatory. "Other" includes things like scenario packs.
Following the acquisition of TAHGC by HASBRO, all of the original ASL products became "out of print". It became essential to bring these products back to the marketplace in some form, and it was decided that rather than a simple reprint all efforts would be made to incorporate known errata and updates. Hence, there is now a "2nd Edition" line of ASL products. In general, both 1st Edition and 2nd Edition ASL products are completely compatible; any specific exceptions to this rule will be noted below. At the time of writing, not all products are yet available in 2nd Edition format.
TAHGC / MMP productsEdit
Starter Kit lineEdit
- Starter Kit #1 (ASLSK1) : This one is limited to infantry/small support weapons action. 2 unmounted maps (y,z), German, Russian, US counters, 6 scenarios, charts, 2 dice and 1 small rulebook.
- 2nd EDITION : the 10th anniversary contains an updated rulebook with all known errata.
- ASL Starter Kit Bonus Pack #1 : Beyond The Beaches. 3 bonus scenarios for ASLSK1, with an additional map (p) It was released at a small price ($10) but, since it went out of print, it has reached very high prices on 2nd hand market...
- Starter Kit #2 : GUNS (ASLSK2) : Infantry and on-board ordnance. 2 maps (w,x), UK, US and German counters, 6 scenarios, 2 dice, charts and 1 small rulebook.
- Start Kit #3 : TANKS (ASLSK3) : Infantry, on-board artillery and Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFVs). 3 maps (t,u,v), US, German and Russian counters, charts, 2 dice and 2 booklets (1 rulebook and 1 of notes about the vehicles).
- ASL Starter Kit Expansion Pack #1 (ASLSKEP1) : This one could have been called ASLSK4, as it is a complete game, with infantry, on-board ordnance and AFVs. 3 maps (q,r,s), US, German an Russian counters, charts, 2 dice and the same booklets as ASLSK3 in a plastic bag.
- Decision At Elst (DaE) : the first historical module for Starter Kit. Provides a historical map for Netherlands action, British and German counters, 4 scenarios, player aids and two booklets. The first is the rules, the second covers the campaign game. The rulebook adds off-board artillery, steeple, SS troops and a new terrain feature: polder.
- Announced : ASLSK providing PTO (8/2016)
- Announced : ASLSK Action Pack #1 (8/2016)
Do note that 2 scenarios for each starter kit have been made available for free on MMP's website, in ASLSK Official Downloads. They come from past issues of ASL Journal.
The meat and potatoes of ASL. Every player will need at least some of the following.
- 1st EDITION (TAHGC): The only version of the rules published by TAHGC. It included a binder and the rules organised in chapters. Chapters A-D, H, J and N included. Subsequent Modules provide new chapters (and expansions of existing ones). While probably still compatible with the majority of the rules in the 2nd EDITION, with the numerous errata, updates, and the availability of the 2nd EDITION, players should consider the 1st EDITION obsolete.
- 2nd EDITION (MMP): Over the years since its original publication there were many errata and additions to the original set of rules. Some of these changes were through replacement pages, others by simple notation through Q&A. The ASLRB2 endeavoured to incorporate ALL of these changes and updates in a single package. A list of what these changes are is included in ASL Journal #3. In addition, the size of the typeface is increased and the overall layout improved. Chapters E and K are now additionally included in ASLRB2. Chapter N has been removed (and Chapter N additions have been removed from all 2nd Edition modules where they were formerly included). The OBA and OVR flowcharts (previously included in the first two Action Packs) are now included.
- 2nd EDITION, 2nd print : several updates/errata included. The illustration of the cover has changed.
- Pocket Rulebook: all the rules of 2nd edition, chapters A-G, plus all official errata listed in the book, (not incorporated into the text and only up-to-date as it's release would allow) printed on-demand as a book. This first printing omitted chapter J, a necessary section for the hand-to-hand close combat rules.
- Pocket Rulebook, 2nd print : all the rules of 2nd edition, chapters A-J, plus all official errata listed in the book, (not incorporated into the text and only up-to-date as it's release would allow). The presumed second printing included chapter J. As the Pocket Rulebook uses print-on-demand technology, additional updates, fixes, etc. will presumably be incorporated into further printings.
- NOTE : the Human Waves rules have been redesigned in ARMIES OF OBLIVION (the update can be downloaded on MMP's website.
- NOTE : a pocket rulebook containing only the whole, updated, chapter H is in the works (8/2016)
- NOTE : an electronic version of the rulebook is in the works (8/2016)
- 1: BEYOND VALOR (BV): German, Finnish, Russian and Partisan counters. Important informational counters, 4 mapboards (20-23), 10 scenarios. Required for all other modules (except Paratrooper). Boards 1 and 8 are recommended.
- 2nd EDITION: BV2 provides additional counters for rules added in Chapter E (now included in ASLRB2), has the Finnish in a new colour-scheme, but most significantly now includes the HASL module RED BARRICADES (and all necessary maps, counters, scenarios and rules, in the form of Chapter O). RB is no longer available as a separate product, but will be reprinted in combination with the upcoming RED OCTOBER (8/2016)
- 3rd EDITION: BV3 includes maps 1-5, 8, 20-23 in Starter Kit style (unmounted), 24 scenarios (1-10, 123-136) but does not include RED BARRICADES.
- 3rd EDITION 2nd Printing: As above with minor changes.
- 2: PARATROOPER (Para): German and US intro module. Training manual (Chapter K), 1 mapboard (24), 8 scenarios. Used as intro to ASL. An excellent way to start learning the game, and much cheaper than BV (but you will need BV eventually). Boards 1-4 are required.
- 2nd EDITION: Para2 no longer includes Chapter K (it is now included as part of ASLRB2) but does now include dice and Boards 2 and 4 (but not boards 1 and 3).
- Deprecated since it has been included in Yanks 2nd edition
- 3: YANKS: US counters, weather, paradrops, gliders, fighter-bombers, night rules (Chapter E). 4 mapboards (16-19), 8 scenarios. The Chapter E rules make this module a prerequisite for most subsequent modules. In addition to BV requirements, boards 2, 7 and 12 are recommended.
- 3a: YANKS: 2nd EDITION: Adds the contents of Paratrooper.
- 4: PARTISAN! (Part): Axis Minors infantry (Hungary, Rumania, etc.), partisan forces. No new rules, 2 boards (10, 32), 8 scenarios. BV is a prerequisite. Boards 1-4 are recommended.
- 2nd EDITION:
- Deprecated as contents have been included and updated in ARMIES OF OBLIVION.
- 5: WEST OF ALAMEIN (WoA): British & Commonwealth counters, desert warfare (Chapter F), 5 boards (25-29), 8 scenarios and overlays. Yanks is a prerequisite.
- NOTE : Superseded by 5a/FKaC for British OOB, see below. Will be deprecated when HL3 gets released with Chapter F and desert boards (08/2016)
- 5a: FOR KING AND COUNTRY (FKaC) : includes all the British and Commonwealth counters and Chapter H rules, Boards 1, 7, 8, & 12, and 20 scenarios. BV is a prerequisite. No desert rules or boards inside. The major reason for this change is apparently that many people resisted buying the old WoA because they weren't interested in the desert rules, even if they were interested in the British counters. The new arrangement permits those interested in the British but not interested in the desert to buy just those, while those who also want the desert will be able to get that in a separate package. (Note however that some scenarios in some modules use the "desert boards" even when depicting a non-desert action.)
- 6: THE LAST HURRAH (LH): Allied Minors infantry (Poland, Belgium, etc). No new rules. 2 boards (11, 33), 8 scenarios. Yanks (Chapter E) is a prerequisite. Boards 2-4 are recommended.
- 2nd EDITION: Board 3 has now been added.
- Deprecated since the release of Doomed Battalions v3.
- 7: HOLLOW LEGIONS (HL): Italian counters, 2 boards (30, 31), 8 scenarios. WoA is a prerequisite if you want to play the desert scenarios included. Boards 4, 7 and 12 are recommended.
- 2nd EDITION: No new material.
- 3rd EDITION will contain Chapter F and associated counters, the 5 desert boards (25-29), desert overlays and the reprinted WoA scenarios. FKaC will obviously be a prerequisite.
- NOTE : HLv3 might also include the first installment of Chapter M, ASL Analysis, a reprint of Mark Nixon's article "Gunned-Up In The Desert". (8/2016)
- 8: CODE OF BUSHIDO (CoB): Japanese counters and rules, half of the Pacific theatre rules (Chapter G). 4 boards (34-37), 8 scenarios, overlays. WoA is a prerequisite. Board 2 is recommended.
- Deprecated since the release of Rising Suns
- 9: GUNG HO! (GH): Chinese and US Marine counters and the rest of Chapter G, including amphibious landings. 2 boards (38-39), 8 scenarios, overlays. CoB is a prerequisite. Board 2 is recommended.
- Deprecated since the release of Rising Suns
- 10: CROIX DE GUERRE (CdG): French (Pre-surrender, Vichy and Free) counters, 2 boards (40-41), 8 scenarios, overlays. WoA is a prerequisite. Boards 2 and 4 are recommended.
- NOTE : scheduled for update just after Hollow Legions v3. Will contain a mini-HASL module on Dinant. (8/2016)
- 11: DOOMED BATTALIONS (DB): Allied Minors (Poles, Dutch, Belgian, Greek, etc.) Vehicle and Ordnance counters, 3 boards (9, 44-45), 8 scenarios, overlays, new Chapter B terrain types, and Chapter A errata. HL and LH are prerequisites (some boards from other modules needed for some scenarios). Boards 2-3 are recommended.
- 2nd EDITION: A little bit confusing. What is called "DB2" is not *actually* a 2nd Edition module. What happened is that DB was the last ASL product produced by TAHGC before they closed their doors, and was only printed in small numbers, and thus became hard to find very quickly. MMP determined to make it available again ASAP, and thus published it anew under Hasbro's label. However, the rules pages included within *either* edition of DB are intended for *1st Edition* ASLRB (as ASLRB2 had not yet been published when DB2 was published).
- 3rd EDITION : maps 9, 11, 33, 44, 45, three terrain overlay sheets, 3 1/2 counter sheets (allied minor infantry and guns & vehicles), 24 scenarios, chapter H Allied Minors (revised and updated). This includes the contents of The Last Hurrah v2
- 12: ARMIES OF OBLIVION (AoO) : The long-time awaited module of Axis Minors, first announced as "Roads to Oblivion". Contains maps # 48-51, three terrain overlay sheets, the complete Axis Minors OB, 11 scenarios, chapter H Axis Minors , 2 SASL axis minor cards. Exists in two versions, with mounted or unmounted maps. Includes the contents of Partisan!
- 13 : RISING SUN (RS) : compiles and update CoB and GH. Contains the revised Chapter G, Chapter H for Japanese, Chinese, and Landing Craft and Chapter Z (Gavutu-Tanambogo Campaign Game), all the OOBs for Japanese, Chinese and US marines/early war, boards 34-39 and 47, Gavutu-Tanambogo HASL map, overlays and 32 scenarios.
- 14 : HAKKAA PÄÄLLE (HP) : the complete Finnish OOB with corresponding chapter H, 16 scenarios, map 52 and several updates for the rulebook (including updates for dividers).
Deluxe ASL Edit
- D1: STREETS OF FIRE (SoF): German and Russian "deluxe" module. Deluxe ASL uses very large hexes so miniatures can be used if desired, but this is in no way a prerequisite. DASL is especially for scenarios with a high density of forces. The large hexes allow painless coordination without much fumbling and tossing stacks over that would otherwise be unavoidable in scenarios with 20-25 MMC per side on an area equivalent to 1/2-1 standard board. Scenarios are especially designed for that fact. 4 boards (a-d), 10 scenarios. BV is a prerequisite. Now out of print and out of stock, and MMP have no plans to bring it back. However, the scenarios are available for free as downloads from the MMP website, and the deluxe boards are available as separate purchases.
- D2: HEDGEROW HELL (HH): US deluxe module. 4 boards (e-h), 8 scenarios, some useful info counters. Board b required.
Historical Modules Edit
- H1: RED BARRICADES (RB): Stalingrad historical module, contains several stand-alone scenarios (including the largest in the system, "The Last Bid") as well as providing rules for playing scenarios that link together into a campaign game, i.e., you need to preserve your forces each scenario for use in the next one. Many additional German and Russian counters, Chapter O, 2 unmounted mapsheets representing the Barrikady area of Stalingrad in October 1942, created from actual aerial recon photos of the area. Yanks is a prerequisite. A monster, but widely seen as the most exciting ASL experience around!
- 2nd EDITION: No longer available as a separate product, the 2nd EDITION was included with BV2.
- 3rd EDITION: To be included (or reprinted along) with RED OCTOBER (8/2016)
- H2: KAMPFGRUPPE PEIPER I (KGPI): The Battle of the Bulge, given the RB treatment. 2 mapsheets representing the historical area of Stoumont, Belgium; many additional US and German counters, Chapter P. Yanks is a prerequisite.
- H3: KAMPGRUPPE PEIPER II (KGPII): They couldn't fit it all in one box! More of the same. 3 mapsheets representing the villages of La Gleize and Chenaux, errata for Chapter P. KGPI is a prerequisite. Also includes a virtual reprint of Chapter P. These are actually replacement pages fixing minor errors, but all except the first page is updated!
- H4: PEGASUS BRIDGE (PB): A HASL campaign centred on the British glider landings on D-Day. Aside from the campaign rules (Chapter Q), there are several new German vehicle counters and corresponding Chapter H notes. There is one unmounted historical map sheet depicting the terrain around the Canal de Caen bridge (renamed "Pegasus Bridge" after the war), one countersheet and a continuation of Chapter K covering SW mortars and basic ordnance principles. PB is a smaller, simpler CG than has been previously published and would be an ideal introduction to the CG "concept". WoA is a prerequisite.
- H5: BLOOD REEF: TARAWA (BRT): A HASL campaign dealing with the USMC invasion of the island of Betio in the Pacific. Chapter T provides the necessary special rules. Two unmounted mapsheets depicting almost the entire island, four countersheets with additional Marine and Japanese units and weapons, and various markers necessary for play. GH is a prerequisite.
- H6: A BRIDGE TOO FAR (ABTF): A HASL campaign dealing with the failed Allied attempt to capture the Bridge at Arnhem in September 1944. Chapter R provides the necessary special rules. One unmounted mapsheet depicting the town of Arnhem on the north side of the bridge, eight countersheets depicting the additional units and markers required, a complete replacement set of counters for German SS done in white-on-black for those that prefer them to the traditional blue (the use of these black counters is completely optional), and some replacement counters for those that were misprinted in the first edition of DB. WoA is a prerequisite.
- H7: VALOR OF THE GUARDS (VotG): a HASL on Stalingrad whose subject is the battle for the main train station.
- H8: FESTUNG BUDAPEST (FB) : a huge HASL on the siege of Budapest, 1944-1945
- H9? : RED OCTOBER (RO) : announced (8/2016). Stalingrad historical module. It will provide a map that can be linked with RB and VOTG to make a huge mega-module.
Solitaire ASL Edit
- S1: SOLITAIRE ASL (SASL): A system for playing ASL scenarios solitaire. Rather than adapting existing scenarios, this system uses generic scenarios and random activation of enemy units to create new scenarios. "Campaigns" are encouraged. Rules (Chapter S) provide for US, German, Russian and Partisan forces only. Appropriate informational counters and 14 separate missions are included. Yanks is a prerequisite.
- 2nd EDITION: A greatly expanded product from the original. Now includes rules to cover all nationalities except Axis Minors and Finns (the necessary rules for which will be included in future products). Chapter S has been expanded accordingly, and there are now 21 individual missions included. Obviously the modules featuring the nationalities you want to play are prerequisites, e.g., if you want to use the French you will need CdG.
Module dependency graphEdit
Note this dependency list is not always as "absolute" as presented here, e.g., it is possible to play some WoA scenarios without owning Yanks. This graph is altered somewhat for 2nd Edition modules; the most important change being that the inclusion of Chapter E in ASLRB2 means that Yanks is not as important a prerequisite as it used to be. Consult the 2nd edition module descriptions above for more details.
Annuals === The ASL Annuals were TAHGC's magazine dedicated to ASL. As their name implies, they were to be released once a year. In practice this varied somewhat. There were two annuals released in 93 but none in 94. (The 95 annual was supposed to be released in a "Winter" and "Summer" edition but as it turned out only the first was released.) Each annual includes many scenarios and several articles on various aspects of ASL. The annuals are out of print and include:
- ASL Annual 89
- ASL Annual 90
- ASL Annual 91
- ASL Annual 92
- ASL Annual 93a
- ASL Annual 93b
- ASL Annual 95w
- ASL Annual 96
- ASL Annual 97
The Annual has now been replaced by the ASL Journal, the first of which was published in 1999. These are all still in print, and to date have been published approximately annually, although they (deliberately) have no fixed schedule. Like the Annuals before them, each Journal includes new scenarios and articles.
- Journal 1
- Journal 2 - included a HASL mapsheet, counters and campaign rules for a Kakazu Ridge CG.
- Journal 3
- Journal 4
- Journal 5
- Journal 6
- Journal 7
- Journal 8
- Journal 9
- Journal 10
- Journal 11
- Journal 12
The Journal is still going. (8/2016)
Other official ProductsEdit
- Action Packs - An "Action Pack" is a collection of new ASL boards plus a bunch of miscellaneous scenarios using those boards. The prerequisites for being able to play these scenarios are diverse.
- Action Pack #01 (AP1) includes Boards 42 & 43 and 8 scenarios. It also includes a new official OBA flowchart which greatly simplifies the OBA procedure (see [12.15]). AP1 is available without the boards if you already own them (they were available separately for some time prior to the AP release). Note: AP1 is now officially out of print, and MMP have no plans to bring it back into publication. The OBA flowchart is now included in ASLRB2, and the 8 scenarios can be downloaded for free from the MMP website.
- Action Pack #02 (AP2) includes Boards 46 & 47, 8 scenarios, some new terrain overlays, new Chapter B pages (the same as were included in DB) and an "OVR flowchart" (see [12.24]). This flowchart is now included in ASLRB2.
- Action Pack #03 - Few Returned
- Action Pack #04 - Normandy 1944
- Action Pack #05 - East Front
- Action Pack #06 - Decade of War
- Action Pack #07
- Action Pack #08 - Roads Through Rome
- Action Pack #09 - To the Bridge
- Action Pack #10
- Action Pack #11 - 29 Let's Go!
- Action Pack #12 - Oktoberfest XXX
- Scenario Bundles -
- G.I.'s Dozen - Thirteen scenarios from pre-ASL days have been updated and re-released in a "scenario bundle". Their common theme is the involvement of American forces, so the pack was called "G.I.'s Dozen". It contains no other components, and to play all of the scenarios requires BV, YANKS (obviously!), and WoA, as well as most of the boards from the SL era.
- Best of Friends
- Rivers to the Reich
- Turning the Tide
- Out of the Bunker
- Provence Pack - a collection of scenarios dealing with the invasion of Southern France in 1944.The scenarios are provided in full-colour and in PDF format for easy cross-platform printing (see [6.3]). The Provence Pack can be found at www.multimanpublishing.com, section ASL Official Downloads
- Winter Offensive - These are small scenario bundles that include a map, usually used by all the included scenarios.
- Winter Offensive #1 (2010)
- Winter Offensive #2 (2011)
- Winter Offensive #3 (2012)
- Winter Offensive #4 (2013)
- Winter Offensive #5 (2014)
- Winter Offensive #6 (2015)
- Winter Offensive #7 (2016)
- Winter Offensive #8 (2017)
- Historical Studies - A cross between a HASL and an Action Pack. Contains scenarios plus a small campaign set on a historical map, as well as a number of scenarios set on normal geomorphic mapboards. Each have a theme based on a particular historical campaign or action.
- Operation Watchtower (OWT): covering the fighting on Guadalcanal, was released late in 2001.
- Operation Veritable - covering fighting in Germany, February 1945.
The General was TAHGC's "house organ" and included articles on virtually all of their gaming products. A lot of coverage has been given to ASL over the years since its release, usually in the form of a new scenario or two each issue (see [8.1]). There were a number of articles on ASL game play etc. as well. Subscribers occasionally received benefits not available to newsstand purchasers, for example sometimes special countersheets were issued to provide new or replacement counters; a small number of faulty ASL counters were replaced this way a couple of years back. With the purchase of TAHGC by HASBRO, the General ceased publication (Vol.32#3 was the final issue). A new product to make it easier for those who didn't subscribe to the General for the last ten years is "Classic ASL". This is a 48-page composition of out-of-print articles, scenarios, and variants, presented in a magazine format. There are 16 scenarios (in the center, easy to remove and add to your collection!) Included in this package is a re-release of the IIFT! It's a lot cheaper than paying $1 per photocopied page. Note that there is no "new" content; all the enclosed material has been published before. Classic ASL is now out of print, and MMP have no plans to bring it back into publication; the scenarios are available for download for free from the MMP website.
The GAP (Game Assistance Program) was a computer program designed to make it easier to keep track of many of ASL's book-keeping requirements. It is more fully discussed in the section on electronic resources (see Section [4.9]).
Mobile app, available on iOS for free, that helps calculating TH/TK values depending on the situation and cases by selecting range, caliber, armor, etc.
Announced Future Products Edit
See in the modules list above for core modules. Other official upcoming and rumoured products are (8/2016):
- MMP, The Korean War (Pre Order NOW 8/2016)
- MMP, Overlay bundle
- MMP, Normandy Airborne HASL
- MMP, Dinant HASL (to be included in Croix De Guerre v2)
- MMP, Ortona : Little Stalingrad
- MMP, Slaughter at Ponyri
- MMP, Swedish Volunteers
- MMP, Rotterdam Mini-HASL
- MMP, Red October (Stalingrad)
- MMP, With Fire and Sword, Manila ’45 HASL
- MMP, Flames in Hatten, US vs German ’45
- MMP, ASL Starter Kit, Action Pack #1
- MMP, ASL Starter Kit, PTO
- MMP, Journal #12
MMP have a service by which you can receive an e-mail detailing the current status of all MMP projects (which includes other titles apart from ASL). Just send an e-mail to majordomo AT multimanpublishing.com with the message body of "info status". You will be sent an e-mail (very quickly!) from the server with the latest version of MMP's Product schedule.
- NOTE : still valid ? (8/2016)
TAHGC sold all parts and components for their games separately, in case you needed replacement boards or additional countersheets. MMP now sell all parts for all of their ASL products separately. See the MMP website www.advancedsquadleader.com under "Products" for more information. Also, for newer products with part errors (e.g., missing or damaged components) it is possible to arrange for replacements directly from the printer. See the MMP FAQ at www.multimanpublishing.com for details.
3rd party productsEdit
These cover a variety of formats and subjects. Magazines ("fanzines") are the most common, but historical modules and special scenario packs are not unknown. They are usually of low price and frequently the physical quality matches the price, but certain third-party publishers are known for their very high-quality components. Availability comes and goes, so an up-to-date list is difficult to maintain. One source of information on third-party products is at http://www.vftt.co.uk/ Most known 3rd party producers are :
- Heat Of Battle
- Critical Hit
- Bounding Fire Productions
- Lone Canuck Publishing
- Le Franc Tireur
- View From The Trenches
NOTE : need to expand this section with description and links
What is the best way to learn ASL?Edit
Now that MMP as released the 3 Starter Kits, the best way to learn is to grab ASLSK1 to learn the basic infantry rules, then move your way up to ASLSk2 (to add ordnance) and 3 (to add tanks). You can begin with any ASLSK, since they all contain the complete rules and counters needed for the included scenarios. You can also begin with Decision At Elst, the ASLSK campaign, as it also contains the complete SK rules.
After that (or along with it) The *absolutely best way* to learn how to play ASL is to find someone who already knows how to play, and get them to teach you. You will probably lose in the beginning, maybe quite often, but eventually you will start using the tricks you've learned on your opponents and you'll find yourself winning more often. Start with simpler, infantry-only, scenarios and work your way up to guns and armor, concentrating on learning the game instead of worrying about winning.
Unfortunately nearby opponents are not always available. Fortunately there are other options; the most common alternatives are VASL, Play by (E-)Mail and Solitaire. The rapid turnaround time of PBEM means that you can quickly ask rules questions of your opponent; the next best thing to "being there". Solitaire play can be useful but is not much help if you hit a rule that you just don't understand. One of the important functions of the ASLML is being able to quickly answer rules questions of people new to the game. As a further note to solitaire play, while the Solitaire module is a good way to brush up on unfamiliar rules, it's probably not as good in learning the rules for the first time, since (a) it assumes you already know them (including the more advanced rules) and (b) it uses some sub-systems (e.g., Command Control) not found in the regular ASL rules. For *learning* purposes, you're probably better off playing a normal scenario solitaire. It's helpful if you can get hold of the "Programmed Instructions" for learning ASL as originally printed in the 90 Annual. See [2.11] for more details.
Finally, if you have an opportunity to go to an ASL game convention, take it! Meeting other people that you don't play regularly will expose you to many different styles of play (and rules interpretations) that will *always* be a learning experience (as well as being a darn good time). Don't be worried that you're not "good enough" to play in a tournament -- just go for the ride and do your best. You'll be guaranteed to have a blast! More info on tournaments can be found in Section [7.0].
Some scenarios are better than others for learning particular rules sections. Below is a list compiled from the opinions of many people on the ASLML: No guarantee that these scenarios are balanced or fun, just that some people think they serve as good introductions to certain parts of the rules. Scenarios are identified by their ID, their name and the module in which they can be found. Note that some of the modules are not official TAHGC publications. Some scenarios have had both "amateur" and "official" publication; some have been seen in several amateur publications. If an "official" version exists, that will be the source cited; otherwise the most recent publication will be cited. Note that virtually all of the scenarios included in "Classic ASL" are considered good for learning purposes. Also, all scenarios from "Classic ASL" and AP#1 are available for free download from MMP's website.
ASL 101: Basic infantryEdit
- 1 Fighting Withdrawal BV
- 11 Defiance On Hill 30 Para
- A The Guards Counterattack Classic ASL
- B The Tractor Works (Classic ASL)
- T1 Gavin Take Classic ASL
- G35 Going To Church General 31.2
- RB6 Turned Away RB
- A80 Commando Schenke Annual '95w
- AP8 A Bloody Harvest AP #1
- D1 Guryev's Headquarters SoF
ASL 103: VehiclesEdit
- C The Streets of Stalingrad (combines A&B above and adds a few tanks)
- T2 The Puma Prowls Classic ASL
- 35 Blazin' Chariots WoA
- A44 Blocking Action At Lipki Annual '92
- 23 Under The Noel Trees Yanks
- F The Paw Of The Tiger Classic ASL
- A51 Clash Along The Psel Annual '93a
ASL 104: CavalryEdit
- 90 Pride And Joy DB
- SP32 Over Open Sights Schwerpunkt #3
ASL 112: Off Board Artillery (OBA)Edit
- D The Hedgehog Of Piepsk Classic ASL
- E Hill 621 Classic ASL
- A59 Death At Carentan Annual '93a
- T7 Hill 253.5 General 27.3
- ASLUG20 The Butcher's Bill ASLUG Singles
- L Hitdorf On The Rhine General 25.2
ASL 123: NightEdit
- 61 Shoestring Ridge CoB
- H Escape From Velikye Luki Classic ASL
- 20 Taking The Left Tit Yanks
- TOT8 Nightmare Time On Target 1
- A19 Cat And Mouse Annual '90
- BB2 Throwing Down The Gauntlet Backblast 1
- DA11 Sicilian Midnight Annual '93a
- TOT18 The Aller Waltz Time On Target 2
- 40 Fort McGregor WoA
ASL 125: DesertEdit
- 35 Blazin' Chariots WoA
- 37 Khamsin WoA
- 38 Escape From Derna WoA
- 41 A Bridgehead Too Wet WoA
- CH49 High Danger Critical Hit 4 or the VFTT website
ASL 126: Pacific Theatre of Operations (PTO)Edit
- A60 Totsugeki! Annual '93a
- 67 Cibik's Ridge GH
- A53 Smith & Weston Annual '93a
- A58 Munda Mash Annual '93a
- 63 The Eastern Gate CoB
- 60 On The Kokoda Trail CoB
- A42 Commando Hunt Annual '92
- CH28 Children Of The Kunai Critical Hit! 3
- A83 Last Of Their Strength Annual '95w
ASL 191: Beach LandingsEdit
- A55 The Cat has Jumped Annual '93a
- 73 Hell or High Water GH
- A79 Mike Red Annual '95w
(Issue 21 of View From The Trenches features an article on beach landings which may be useful for beginners)
ASL 291: CavesEdit
- BB1 Taming Tulagi Backblast 1
- 72 Sea of Tranquility GH
What electronic resources are available for ASL?Edit
VASL is a standalone computer application for playing ASL. It is a virtual representation of the ASL system components, including geomorphic boards, HASL maps, overlays, and the complete counterset, with Guns and vehicles for all nationalities. The interface is mouse-based, with players clicking and dragging stacks on the screen. It is designed for head-to-head play by two humans who already own the boardgame. There is no computer player and the rules are not implemented in any way. It is now the go-to engine for email play and for live simultaneous play over an internet server (many users add Skype in order to talk with opponent during the game). VASL runs on Windows, OSX, Linux and any other system that supports the Java Runtime Environment. It is not yet useable on tablets (that would require full re-development). The software is free, available at http://www.vasl.org/. An online user's guide is also available at this site.
ASL Internet Mailing List (ASLML)Edit
The advanced-sl mailing list allows discussion of TAHGC's Advanced Squad Leader game series. As at October 1998 there were over 900 subscribers to advanced-sl from all the "corners" of the world.
- To subscribe to advanced-sl, send mail to Majordomo AT multimanpublishing.com. In the body of the message type the following: subscribe advanced-sl
- To unsubscribe, send: unsubscribe advanced-sl
- A digest version of the list exists. To subscribe to it, use the above directions, but instead you must subscribe to advanced-sl-digest.
- A WWW interface to the ASLML now exists. You can browse recent messages, even post new messages, without actually subscribing. See http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~mhb/aslml/ for the full details.
- Etiquette: Aside from the basic rules of "netiquette" (don't flame people in public, etc.) there are some ASLML specific things you should know that will make your stay a happy one.
This stands for "No Rulebook Handy". It is very tempting to jump in and answer a rules question with an answer that you "know" to be correct. Unfortunately, it's easy to be wrong. It's generally preferred that a rules question be answered with a reference to the relevant rule (you don't normally need to actually quote the rule). If you must answer when you are NRBH, please have the courtesy to flag your message appropriately.
- Reality arguments.
In discussing rules and other things on the ASLML as well as in private, one thing almost always come up: reality arguments are arguments like "How come a tank isn't harder to hit from the side when it's moving than from the front? After all, if you're seeing the front, it ought to be moving straight towards you!" There is a widespread feeling that this is not a good argument, and people may be upset or dismiss you out of hand. There are reasons for this -- perhaps not good enough to excuse bad behaviour, but good reasons nonetheless. So, what are these reasons. One is that "reality" is different to different people. There are always (and I mean *always*) counter- arguments that are equally valid. In the above case, what if the tank is actually zig-zagging? Another reason is that we don't *know* what the rules are trying to simulate in many cases. OBA have a harder time hitting targets that are concealed than targets that are hidden. This is, of course, totally unrealistic. However, the reason for this is that the player has total information while the cardboard person actually calling in OBA doesn't. To limit the effects of the player's omniscience, this is made harder. That takes us to the next good reason: it has to work in the game. While some reality "fixes" might seem perfectly reasonable on their own, they may not be in tune with the rest of the rules. A recent suggestion was to add a more severe modifier to buttoned-up AFVs. While this might seem perfectly OK on it's own, the net effect was that it made blind charges over 500m of open ground against stationary enemy AFVs a good tactic. Not quite the intended result. That's sometimes how the game mechanics work out; they're more closely integrated than you might think, and while they might seem unreal in isolation it is the final result that matters. Of course, the final reason is the most convincing one: it's a game. While *based on* reality, it *isn't* reality. When playing competitively or when there is disagreement, whatever the rules say is what goes. While discussing the rules on the list you are talking to strangers, many of whom do not give any weight whatsoever to reality arguments. Don't expect to convince them because of your brilliant reality arguments -- they have most probably heard it before, and weren't convinced then. Reality arguments are fine when playing for fun or when playing against your friends. They are outside the bounds of the ASLML as reality is *not* a generally agreed-to basis for arguments. That means they are most likely to provoke some irritated or dismissive responses and no consensus whatsoever.
- FAQs and Grognards.
The ASLML has been in existence since 1991 and a good number of people have been on the list for years. It's likely that they've seen FAQ's come up many times over the years, and it's sometimes easy for them to forget their manners when replying to an honest question posted by a newbie. Everyone is encouraged to relax and cut each other a little slack. Before posting your question to the ASLML, please make sure to check that (a) you've tried finding the answer in the ASLRB and (b) you've checked to see that it isn't answered in this FAQ.
- The Signal To Noise Problem
A good metaphor for the list is 600 people talking at once in a big auditorium. It's likely that you don't care about 80% of the conversations going on, and you wish those noisy 80% would just be quiet. Unfortunately, the guy next to you has his OWN 80% to worry about, and chances are that he couldn't care less about the stuff you really want to talk about. This is just the way it is on a mailing list; everybody has his own favorite subjects and they usually don't overlap. Again, being reasonable and cutting each other some slack is the best answer. If you really can't stand someone or some subject, consider using a mail utility with a killfile feature; you'll be able to filter out the offending noise and your life will get less stressful.
- Virus Alerts
The vast majority of virus alerts are hoaxes. Do everyone a favour and don't pass them on to the ASLML; you're just wasting your time and making yourself look foolish in the process. Furthermore, even the *genuine* virus alerts are a waste of time, since anyone at all concerned will already know how to deal with them. While you think you may be just being "neighbourly" by passing on these alerts, all you are really achieving is to annoy a great many people. Just don't do it, OK?
It is possible to get back-issues of the ASLML in digest form from the archive: You would send Majordomo@multimanpublishing.com the commands "index" and "get", i.e.: index advanced-sl-digest get -listname- -filename- The "index" command tells you what the archive filenames are and the "get" command gets that particular archive. For additional information send a mail to Majordomo@multimanpublishing.com with the message "help". You will be mailed back the listserv help document. An example of the exact method to use is as follows (thanks to Tom Huntington for the original example): Send mail to: Majordomo@multimanpublishing.com
Subject: index advanced-sl-digest Message: index advanced-sl-digest
Majordomo will mail you a response *really quickly* that looks something like:
>>>> index advanced-sl-digest total 60380 -rw-rw---- 1 multiman vuser 42708 May 24 2001 v01.n1000 -rw-rw---- 1 multiman vuser 40917 May 24 2001 v01.n1001 -rw-rw---- 1 multiman vuser 41595 May 25 2001 v01.n1002 -rw-rw---- 1 multiman vuser 41210 May 26 15:02 v01.n1003 -rw-rw---- 1 multiman vuser 43317 May 27 13:56 v01.n1004 -rw-rw---- 1 multiman vuser 42061 May 28 01:16 v01.n1005 -rw-rw---- 1 multiman vuser 41179 May 28 19:17 v01.n1006 -rw-rw---- 1 multiman vuser 41944 May 29 13:56 v01.n1007 ... -rw-rw---- 1 multiman vuser 40775 Nov 20 08:34 v01.n1355 -rw-rw---- 1 multiman vuser 44887 Nov 20 17:19 v01.n1356 -rw-rw---- 1 multiman vuser 40678 Nov 21 08:54 v01.n1357 -rw-rw---- 1 multiman vuser 41408 Nov 21 18:13 v01.n1358 -rw-rw---- 1 multiman vuser 42855 Nov 22 10:30 v01.n1359 -rw-rw---- 1 multiman vuser 44896 Nov 22 12:48 v01.n1360 -rw-rw---- 1 multiman vuser 42534 Nov 23 12:31 v01.n1361
Pick out the digest you are interested in (say you missed #1359). Send another mail to: Majordomo@multimanpublishing.com
Subject: get advanced-sl-digest v01.n1359 Message: get advanced-sl-digest v01.n1359
You will be mailed back the missing digest.
The ASL DigestEdit
Before the introduction of the ASLML the only available electronic ASL forum was the ASL Digest. The Digest has a long history and the original issues can still be found today in the various ASL archives. Recently the ASL Digest was resurrected by Tim Hundsdorfer, who maintained it for a ten-issue stint during 1996. The ASL Digest's current editor is Terry Ford. The ASL Digest should not be confused with the ASLML-Digest Mode. The ASL Digest is an amateur electronic ASL newsletter which is sent out approximately once a month. The content of the Digest includes original scenarios, articles, discussions, product reviews, and editorials. Historical discussions and game tactics/strategies are also included. Current and recent issues can be found on Jeff Shields' ASL homepage (http://www.vims.edu/~jeff/asl.htm). Submissions are strongly encouraged from players of all abilities and experience. To make a submission or to subscribe to the Digest send e- mail to Terry Ford at TFord48157@aol.com.
The Expanded ASL IndexEdit
One section of the ASLRB that just cried for an update is the old index. As more and more chapters were added to the rulebook, the index fell further behind the times. The Expanded Index was a project started back in 1994, attempting to update the index to cover chapters E through S. Calling on the on-line community, Tom Huntington collected missing bits from the index, and produced his own version. This Expanded Index is available at several places on the web, but I don't think it has been updated for some time now. One reason for this was the release of the 2nd Edition Rulebook, which finally updated the index (and, if my memory serves, was based on Tom's work). Nevertheless, if you only have the 1st Edition Rulebook, this could prove to be a useful download.
WWW & FTPEdit
The most comprehensive list of WWW, FTP and other sites of interest to internet-capable ASL players can be found at the ASL Crossroads site: http://tigertank.com/aslcrossroads/. The guys at Coastal Fortress (http://www.coastalfortess.com) have a large set of links as well. Otherwise, search for "Advanced Squad Leader" in any search engine. Searching for "ASL" isn't recommended, as you will get a lot of results for things that share the same acronym if you do, mainly about the American Signs Language!
A huge Wiki about all things ASL related is : http://www.advancedsquadleader.net
The online encyclopedia of boardgames references ASL game components. http://www.boardgamegeek.com
In English : http://forums.gamesquad.com/forumdisplay.php?30-Advanced-Squad-Leader In French : http://forum.cote1664.net/index.php
CompuServe and AOLEdit
There are two CompuServe forums of interest. The first is Avalon Hill's "home" forum for their boardgames line (they have a different forum for their computer games). This is Section 2 of the BCRPUB forum. Any and all discussion of TAHGC games are encouraged here. The second is the PBMGAMES forum, Section 10 (Other Board Wargames). This is where the Ladder matches are played out in public postings. It's also where the general gossip, rules discussions etc. take place. (This is mostly a matter of history, since the PBMGAMES forum has been around a lot longer than the BCRPUB forum.) If you want to join the CIS Ladder, post a message to Gary Milks [73770,3177]. The AOL ASL club is still very active and running a ladder plus info areas. The current contact is Brian Sielski at Sielski@aol.com.
A GAP was a Game Assistance Program. The function of a GAP is not to *replace* the boardgame, but rather to help the player in keeping track of the many rules, dice rolls, etc. required during the play of a typical scenario. A GAP does *not* provide a computerised opponent, nor does it make ownership of the boardgame unnecessary. There are several different GAPs available for ASL play:
- The TAHGC "official" GAP.
Originally released for the Apple ][ and after that made available in MS-DOS format on a floppy. This software is fairly simplistic, and does not offer very much in the way of "fancy features". It's designed purely to assist in normal FtF play. Within these limitations, the software is functional and reasonably straight-forward to use. The only problem I am aware of with it is that in some circumstances it gives you a result without telling you what the intervening dice rolls leading to that result were.
- The Zundel GAP.
MS-DOS. Shareware. Optimised for PBEM play. E-mail to contact Steve Zundel: firstname.lastname@example.org. Latest update includes all nationalities and is optimized for MS Windows. (Ver 4) Has all OOB's for the nations now represented.
Windows-based. Freeware. What it does: ASLAP looks after your dicing, works out the results of your dicing, keeps track of snipers, OBA, interrogation, weather, PF, THH, Battlefield Integrity etc. It also helps with SASL. Has a PBeM interface to assist in PBeM, has a Unit Track to keep track of your units. Has complete access to TH, TK, IFT, IIFT, IIFT CTC interactive tables etc. What else? Has Quickmenus to all conceivable tables where you can automate things like Spreading Fire, Bog, Spotting, Barrage, HoB, Leader Creation, Glider Landing etc etc. You can download it from: http://www.pitt.edu/~pferraro/aslap.html
SALSA! is a SASL Assistant written by Robert Delwood (delwood AT isomedia.com) intended to simplify play by reducing excessive chart referencing and speeding up die rolling routines. It is not intended to be a computer replacement system for ASL nor automate the logic. It is meant to encourage SASL and to make play easier, quicker and, hence, more enjoyable. It does not compete with any other ASL product currently available and is the only product dedicated solely to SASL. It is available for both Macintosh and Windows. SALSA! http://www.delwood.org/SALSA.html
DYO: A program that will lead a user through the Chapter H DYO rules, plus generate random scenarios and solitaire missions. This program was written by Tim Kitchen and is now in Version 3.0. The program includes all data from the Chapter H DYO charts (yes, every vehicle and gun!), and makes designing DYO scenarios a joy instead of rocket science. The program performs all calculations like equivalent infantry, support weapons, leader generation, etc., and supports all nationalities released to date. This software is for Windows 3.1 or Windows 95. It was shareware, but Tim has now made it available for free from http://people.va.mediaone.net/kitchent/owner30.zip. If you like it, e-mail him at kitchent AT mediaone.net and say thanks.
How do I play by email?Edit
Basically, you trust the other guy to roll the dice for you.
- Frequency of Mailings:
Most people play at about the same pace -- about 3 or 4 mailings between the players per week. Life often intervenes to create delays in a game, but most games take only 2 or 3 months to complete. However, sometimes you've got to just be patient with your opponent's schedule and let the poor guy take his wife out to the movies instead of working on his Prep Fire, for crying out loud.
- Things you and your opponent should agree on before a game:
- Free LOS Checks
The rules specifically state that you cannot check LOS during a game without firing a unit. You are supposed to check all of the important LOS's BEFORE the game. Many people ignore this rule and play with "Free" LOS checks since you can't possibly check ALL of the important LOS's before the game and it's really frustrating to discover that your 8(-2) attack against his 10-3 is blocked by just *that* much. Of course, some people LIKE that kind of tension, so you should be clear on whether LOS checks are free or not in your game.
- IFT or IIFT
See [11.12] for some discussion on the merits or otherwise of the IIFT. Regardless, you should be clear with your opponent about which table you're using.
- ASL Ladder Points
Both players should agree on whether the game is going to be played for ASL Ladder points (see [5.1]).
- General style
How frequent the mailings should be or anything else that seems appropriate. If you're going to Tahiti for a month, it'd be good to let your opponent know before you start the game.
- How to start a game:
This is a sort of quick-n-dirty explanation of the On My Honor PBEM rules. Once you've decided on the scenario and the Things to Get Straight that are listed above, here's how the first few mailings will go.
If you're using non-free LOS checks, do them now. I've also noticed that it really helps to spend a lot of time before the game just looking at the board and trying to envision how the game is going to progress. Good players probably can do this in a short amount of time, but I need to take HOURS. Just a suggestion. Look at possible attack routes. Look at whether broken units will find safe havens to rout to. Try to look at the game from your opponent's perspective.
- First Mailing
Defender sends his initial setup, showing only the topmost counter in a stack (rule A2.9) since enemy stacks cannot be inspected prior to play. The first mailing would look like
4K1 8-1, 3 counters underneath 4M5L1 MMG, 1 counter underneath (etc.)
Note that "4M5L1" means the Level 1 location of building hex 4M5. People write this in different ways -- you might see it as 4M5(1), 4M5/1 or something. If one side doesn't have any units that start the game on the board, all of the other side's units will be able to start Concealed, with ? counters on top of the stack. It works both ways, too -- the side that enters the board will be able to have all of his units enter with Concealed status (A12.12). So the first mailing in this situation will look like
4K1 ?, 2 counters underneath (sometimes written as ?(2)) 4L5 ?, 5 counters underneath (or ?(5) ) (etc.)
- Second Mailing
The Attacker sends his initial setup, following the rules for mailing 1. He also sends the location of his Sniper counter -- read A14.2 CAREFULLY to see the restrictions on the Sniper setup; somehow it seems to be a rule that fools people. The Attacker then starts his first turn. For a big help on just WHAT to do WHEN, follow the Advanced Sequence of Play that is printed on the Chapter D divider [or the new Revised Advanced Sequence of Play that comes with the Chapter N divider in CdG.]
- Formats for Turns
People use different formats for recording their turns. Some people are pretty free-form and use a lot of words:
"Rally Phase -- OK, let's try to have Cpt. Wetzelberge rally those broken squads in R5. They are all DM, so that's a +4 DRM, and Wetzelberg's leadership gives a -2 DRM, so ...."
Others are more terse:
"RPh 1) 9-2 in R5 rallies units there 1a) dm468 DR = 5,2 result = no rally 1b) dm248 DR = 2,1 result = rallies ...."
Others use a kind of grid format:
---------------- PBEM EVENT SHEET ----------------
!Phase !E# ! Action !Rg!FP !DRM!DR !Result !------!---!-------------------------!--!---!---!----!------ !RPh1b !1 !Wind ! ! ! !1,6 !No Effect ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !2 !228 in S8L2 Self-Rally ! ! ! +5!4,2 !Remove DM ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Feel free to use whatever format you like. Note the Wind Change DR in the above PBEM event sheet. You should always check for wind change, even in a scenario where the wind doesn't seem to matter. The reason is that most scenarios have units that can create Infantry Smoke, and the placement of infantry smoke is affected if the wind suddenly kicks up into a Mild Breeze. Believe me, it can happen and have a big effect on the game -- it happened to me once! The attacker does his actions in the rally phase and moves on to Prep Fire and Movement phases. When he fires and gets a result on the IFT, he applies it to the defenders if he knows what they are:
PFPh 1) 8-1 and 467 with MMG in K4 fire at 10-3 and 468 in L6 1a) Firepower is 9, resolve on the 8 column. DRM is -1 (leadership) +2 (wooden building) = +1 DR = 5,3 result = PTC 1b) PTC vs 10-3 DR = 3,3 result = passed 1c) PTC vs 468 DR = 1,6 result = passed
If he's firing at Concealed units that he doesn't know the identities of, he'd just say something like
1b) You'll have to resolve the PTC against the concealed units.
While it may seem strange to let your opponent do the dice rolling for YOUR units, it really helps speed the game along. If he's going to cheat, he's going to get you no matter who rolls those morale checks, so it's not worth worrying about. Weird events happen in ASL all the time, and the bad luck that hurts you now will hopefully turn into good luck later on (although not necessarily in the same game ...). If you really suspect that your opponent is cheating, you'd have to come up with some pretty convincing evidence to prove it, and even then you might be wrong. Try to cool off and give the guy the benefit of the doubt -- maybe the dice will get hot in YOUR favor next turn. Ultimately, the best thing to do with an opponent who is just too darn lucky in your opinion is to not play the guy any more. Nuff said. The attacker then moves on to the Movement phase. He will send something in the same mailing that looks like this:
MPh 1) 8-1, 467 in L4 move 1a) Declare Double Time -- place CX counter 1b) L5 (1 MF) 1c) L6 (3 MF) 1d) L7 (5 MF) 1e) L8 (6 MF)
2) 9-2, 467, 467 with HMG in K2 move 2a) K3 (Bypassing K3-K2 hexside, 1 MF) 2b) K4 (3 MF) 2c) K5 (4 MF) 2d) Enter the Foxhole in K5 (5 MF)
Note the cumulative MF expended is listed in parentheses. Some people prefer to write the per-hex movement cost instead of a cumulative total. Third (and other) Mailing(s)
When the Defender gets the attacker's mailing that contains the attacker's initial setup, he places his own Sniper counter onboard before he goes on to read the Attacker's Turn 1 Rally Phase. He'll notify the attacker of his sniper placement in his next mailing. The defender then reads the mailing up to the MPh. He then reads the above MPh one line at a time and will see if he wants to First Fire at the moving units. He may then send the attacker something like
First Fire 1) When the 8-1 and 467 enter L7 , the units in J3 open up 1a) Firepower is 6 (HMG) + 2 (LMG) + 12 (three 447's) = 18 DRM = -3 (leadership) -2 (FFNAM/FFMO) = -5
Obviously, that 8-1 and the 467 are in deep trouble. Since their imminent demise might change the attacker's plans for his second move above, the Defender should probably stop reading the attacker's mailing and send him a message telling him about the devastating first fire that just happened and ask him if he should continue reading the movement orders. It slows the game down a little, but not as much as it would if you had to send one mailing for each unit that moved. Sometimes the attacker NEEDS to do a little probing before he decides what to do with the rest of his units in the MPh. He would then send a Search Mailing where just one or a few units move and try to draw fire or discover where the enemy is lurking. The Defender will respond to each search mailing saying whether or not he first fired at the probing units. This slows the game down some, but it doesn't happen very often and is a very necessary part of the game.
Sometimes the attacker will try to save time by prefacing his movement orders with something like "Here's my moves -- please stop reading and mail me if you fire and adversely affect one of my units." The attacker is saying that he doesn't want to be informed about the defender's first fire shots that have no effect. Or else the attacker may not care what happens in first fire and just say "Do these moves no matter what happens." Basically, the idea is to save time by communicating to the defender what you want to be informed about when you move. Most people appreciate it when the defender stops reading the movement orders and lets them know about the results of each attack. This kind of back-and-forth exchange continues until the attacker has moved all of his units. The Defender then does a mailing for his DFPh where he follows the same kind of firing guidelines as for the attacker's PFPh.
The Attacker then sends a mailing containing his AFPh and RPh, advance phase, and CCPh actions. (Although he may want to see the results of the Defender's RtPh actions before planning his APh actions.) He can even usually specify the actions his side will take during the Defender's upcoming Rally Phase. The Defender then responds with his own CCPh actions and in the same mailing moves on to the Rally, Prep Fire, and Movement Phases of his first turn.
It probably looks like a mess, but it's really not that hard at all. Email is so fast that it doesn't slow the game down to send extra mailings to your opponent if you have a question or want to go slowly at a certain point. The best way to PBEM is to try to recreate the feel of a FTF game -- you should try to allow both players to make the same decisions that they would be able to make if they were in the same room. Once you get the hang of it, you'll be moving the game along as far as possible with each mailing.
Concealment File Format
When you do your initial setup and have concealed units, it can save time if you send your opponent a Concealment file for each concealed stack. That way, if he fires on a concealed stack and gets a result, he doesn't have to mail you and ask for the contents of that stack; he can just open the file and see for himself. Again, you're trusting the guy to not open the file without having a reason. These files are also useful for determining if there's a real unit under a ? stack for various purposes. In that case, all the opponent needs is to verify that the stack isn't a Dummy stack. With these two purposes in mind, a concealment file for a stack consisting of a ? counter (with ID of "x") with 3 counters underneath might look like this:
-------------------------- (top of file) Contents of ?(x) (skip 30 lines) Real unit = 4-6-7 (skip 30 lines) Contents = 8-1, MMG, 4-6-7 --------------------------
You skip 30 lines twice because you don't want your opponent to accidentally open the file and see what's in the stack. During a game, units may gain concealment, but it's kind of pointless to send new concealment files for these units -- your opponent should be able to remember what the unit under the ? counter is. An exception to this is when several concealed units come together to form a stack and then separate ("the old switcheroo".) In that case, you're not sure st who is where and it might be good to have concealment files for those stacks. [Another way to do a concealment file is to 'grep' on the hex you need to know the contents of. Doesn't work with paper though :-)]
Showing the Game Status
It's possible for either player to screw up and not have a completely correct map set up at home. In order to keep both players' maps "synchronized", it's good to periodically send a description of what your map looks like. Some people do this at the end of each player or game turn; others wait until they feel the need to be sure they've got it all straight. All it takes is a listing of what you see on your map:
German unit dispositions: K7 Sniper L4 8-1, 467, MMG, 467, broken 247 Z4L1 ?, 4 counters underneath W5 Foxhole, 9-2, HMG, 467
Russian unit dispositions W3 Sniper M4 10-0, broken 447, broken 628, broken 628 (all DM) T8 447 w/MMG
Note that "447 w/MMG" is another way of saying that the 447 possesses the MMG. Note too the "(all DM)" for hex M4 can be easier than specifying a DM counter on top of each of the broken units. Also, some people will write "b447" or "dm447" for a broken or DM 447, and "cx447" for a CX 447, or "bz447" for a Berzerk 447, or "f447" for a Fanatic 447, etc. To each his own, but it's in your interest to be clear when you convey this information to your opponent. By the way, in PBEM it's customary for Snipers to have the "1" side of the counter face the ID number of the hex.
Unit ID's -- Some people list units as 4-4-7, others use 447. No big deal. Others like to specify WHICH 447, as in 447(a), LMG(b), 9-2 (Wetzelberger), etc. The game plays just as well with either system. It's just a matter of taste.
It has been noted that VASL can be used effectively for PBEM play. See Section [4.8] for more information on VASL.
On-Line Rating servicesEdit
The Internet ASL Ladder ("the Ladder") is open to basically any participant on the ASL Mailing list. The Ladder is something like an on-going tournament. Each member of the Ladder starts with 1000 points. Every time you play a game against another ladder member for "ladder points", the winner is awarded a number of points based on the ranking of his opponent. There's a formula whereby all this is figured, but it boils down to this: you get more points for beating a higher ranking member of the ladder than yourself, and fewer for beating someone below you on the food chain. In addition, every participant in a ladder game gets two points as an incentive to participate. The game can be FTF (face-to-face), PBEM, PBM, or play-by-Morse-Code if you like.
For more details, see the ASLML Ladder website at http://www.msen.com/~sdennis/asl/ladder.html.
An alternative to the Ladder is the Online ASL Rating System (OARS). This is based on Avalon Hill's AREA system, but is exclusively for ASL. For more details, go to http://www.cgocable.net/~dcroome/ASL/ or e-mail the Administrator, Dave Coombe, directly at email@example.com
Other online services run their own Ladder; they all tend to operate in the same way. Check out each individual service for more information.
I downloaded these strange files, what do I do with them?Edit
Compressed files: ZIP, ARC, Z, TAR, etc.Edit
Utilities to uncompressed these compressed formats are available at most, if not all, major freeware and shareware sites on the internet. Hunt around, they're easy to find. DOS/WINDOWS: The most common software for the DOS/Windows platform is PKUnzip. There are also many Windows programs (e.g., WinZIP) to do the same thing. Many of these programs will also work in multiple formats. For Z and TAR programs, there are DOS versions of the UNIX utilities that will uncompress them. Some of the newer versions of Windows utilities (e.g., WinZIP) will also work with .Z and other formats. A couple of potentially useful compression utilities are:
MACINTOSH: For the Mac, StuffIt Expander can deal with .z, .tar, .arc, and .zip archives, and it can be downloaded from the Web (free) at http://www.stuffit.com/expander/index.html.
OS/2: Similar situation to DOS/Windows. (Of course, you can always use the DOS versions if you can't find a native OS/2 program to do the job.) The GNU freeware ZIP and UNZIP programs will handle ZIP files just fine, and there are numerous PM applications similar to the Windows programs. Again, most of the UNIX utilities are available in native OS/2 format. UNIX: There are UNIX versions of UNZIP, and of course .Z and .TAR files are native to UNIX anyway.
PS files are "PostScript" files. PostScript is a printer control language; if you send a file with PS information to a PS-compatible printer, you will get a nice printout. (For DOS, just type "COPY FILE.PS LPT1" for example.) Unfortunately, a lot of people don't have PS printers (they tend to be much more expensive than "normal" printers), so the PS file has to be converted before it can be used. There are many converters around, the most common is GhostScript. GhostScript is free for non-commercial use and is available for all major software platforms. With GhostScript you can display the document on your PC and print it to whatever printer you have available. Check it out! Information on Ghostscript can be found on-line at: http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/index.html
PDF stands for Portable Document Format and was developed by, and proprietary to, Adobe. (They're also commonly referred to as "Acrobat" files.) Reading a PDF file is easy for most major platforms; Adobe make free readers available for DOS, Windows, Macintosh, OS/2 and various versions of UNIX. Check out http://www.adobe.com for more information. A common PDF problem is trying to read a newer file with an older version of the Reader. Make sure you have the current version (v5.0 at the time of writing) - remember, it's always free for the download.
What and where are the ASL tournaments?Edit
Upcoming tournaments in all parts of the world are almost always advertised on the ASLML. MMP has a page dedicated to Tourney information at http://www.multimanpublishing.com/tournaments.php?interest=ASL, and tournament directors can use this page to add their listing. You can also check the following sites:
The most current listing is at http://www.multimanpublishing.com/tournaments.php?interest=ASL.
Australia currently has four major ASL tournaments:
- CanCon: Canberra's national gaming convention is held every Australia Day long weekend (i.e., the weekend closest to 26 January). The ASL tournament at CanCon is probably Australia's largest regular ASL event, drawing players from all over the country.
- ANZACON: Melbourne's Army Group South holds a tournament over the ANZAC Day weekend. ANZAC Day is 25 April.
- SAGA: The SAGA gaming convention in Sydney has a regular ASL event. It's held in June (Queen's Birthday weekend) every year.
- Octobear: Sydney's Paddington Bears tournament. Held in early October (funnily enough) every year at the Paddington RSL Club in Sydney.
For more information and contact details for these events, check out the Paddington Bears WWW page: http://members.optusnet.com.au/~mmjm1/tourney.htm.
What was the ASL record, and what is ROAR?Edit
The Record was a win-loss database of nearly every ASL scenario ever published. It was a statistical tool to give ASL players the means to determine which scenarios are more likely to be balanced matches, and which are more likely to be unbalanced dogs. It is important to note that as with any other statistical tool, if the numbers are not large enough than the statistics have no meaning. If only five or six win-loss results are recorded for a particular scenario, that number is too small to be useful. So a record of 5-0 for a particular side in a particular scenario really doesn't tell you anything. Treat any information on scenarios with less than, say, thirty recorded results as being *highly questionable*. In addition to this problem, note that the Record does not record who was the more experienced player; it does not track rotten dice results or one player simply having an off-day; it does not track whether any scenario balancing was in effect. In short, each scenario has a great number of variables attached to it. In 1997 the Record seemed to die due to the disappearance of the maintainer, so a new service was created to replace it: ROAR. ROAR is an online database meant to provide the same functions as the Record provided, and more besides. Since it is online, new records are added "on the fly" and thus up-to-date results can be checked at any time. Various reports (most balanced, most recently played, etc.) are available for inspection. All players are encouraged to submit their game results to ROAR; the larger the database, the more useful it is. ROAR is maintained by JR VanMechelen (firstname.lastname@example.org) and can be found on the WWW at http://www.netreach.net/~jrv.
I know the scenario name, but not where to find it?Edit
ROAR can be used to find the answer to the question "what module/annual/magazine was scenario such-and-such published in?" This information is available for most if not all of the scenarios indexed in ROAR. Scenarios from the "General" can be particularly difficult to track down. Here is a complete list: (* denotes scenario reprinted in "ASL Classic" which is available as a free download from MMP)
- Conversions of original SL scenarios (see also "Tournament scenarios")
- *A The Guards Counterattack 22:6
- *B The Tractor Works 22:6
- *C The Streets of Stalingrad 22:6
- *D The Hedgehog of Piepsk 23:2
- *E Hill 621 23:2
- *F The Paw of the Tiger 23:5
- *G Hube's Pocket 23:5
- *H Escape from Velikiye Luki 24:1
- *I Buckholz Station 24:4
- *J The Bitche Salient 24:4
- K The Cannes Strongpoint 25:2
- L Hitdorf on the Rhine 25:2
- M First Crisis at AG North 25:3
- N Soliders of Destruction 25:6
- O The St. Goar Assault 26:1
- P The Road to Wiltz 26:1
- Q Land Leviathans 26:2
- R Burzevo 28:3
- S The Whirlwind 28:4
- T Pavlov's House 29:6
- U Chance d'Une Affaire 30:5
- V Auld Lang Syne 31:3
- W The Defense of Luga 32.3
- "New" Scenarios (some are actually "official" versions of scenarios originally published in an "amateur" format)
- G1 Timoshenko's Attack 23:3
- G2 Last Act in Lorraine 23:6
- G3 The Forgotten Front 23:6
- G4 First Action 24:3
- G5 Six Came Back 24:3
- G6 Rocket's Red Glare 24:6
- G7 Bring Up the Guns 25:3
- G8 Recon in Force 25:5
- G9 Sunday of the Dead 25:6
- G10 Grab at Gribovo 26:2
- G11 Pegasus Bridge 26:5
- G12 Avalanche! 27:1
- G13 A View From the Top 27:5
- G14 Tiger, Tiger 28:3
- G15 Bone of Contention 28:4
- G16 Alligator Creek 28:5
- G17 Hakkaa Paalle 29:2
- G18 Goya 29:2
- G19 A Tough Nut to Crack 29:3
- G20 Camp Nibeiwa 29:3
- G21 Cat's Kill 29:4
- G22 A Day by the Shore 29:4
- G23 Habbaniya Heights 29:5
- G24 Mountain Comes to Mohammed 29:5
- G25 The T-Patchers 30:1
- G26 Parker's Crossroads 30:1
- G27 Vaagso Venture 30:2
- G28 Ramsey's Charge 30:3
- G29 Shoot-N-Scoot 30:4
- G30 Morgan's Stand 30:4
- G31 Point of the Sword 30:6
- G32 A Helping Hand 30:6
- G33 The Awakening of Spring 31:1
- G34 The Liberators 31:1
- G35 Going to Church 31:2
- G36 Hill of Death 31:2
- G37 Forth Bridge 31:3
- G38 Castello Fatato 31:4
- G39 A Desperate Affair 31:4
- G40 Will to Fight...Eradicated 31:5
- G41 Jabo! 31:5
- G42 The Youth's First Blood 31:6
- G43 Kangaroo Hop 31:6
- G44 Abandon Ship! 32:2
- G45 Halha River Bridge 32:2
- G46 Triumph Atop Taraldsvikfjell 32.3
- DASL A To the Last Man 24:1
- DASL B The Kiwis Attack 29:6
- DASL C Smoke the Kents 30:5
- HASL A Ghosts in the Rubble 27:1
- 3000 Assault on Roundtop 22:5
- Tournament Scenarios (includes some SL reprints)
- * T1 Gavin Take 24:2
- * T2 The Puma Prowls 24:2
- * T3 Ranger Stronghold 24:2
- * T4 Shklov's Labors Lost 24:2
- * T5 The Pouppeville Exit 27:2
- * T6 The Dead of Winter 27:2
- T7 Hill 253.5 27:3
- T8 Aachen's Pall 27:3
- T9 The Niscemi-Biscari Highway 28:1
- T10 Devil's Hill 28:1
- T11 The Attempt to Relieve Peiper 28:2
- T12 Hunters from the Sky 28:2
- T13 Commando Raid at Dieppe 28:6
- T14 Gambit 28:6
- T15 The Akrotiri Peninsula 29:1
- T16 Strayer's Strays 29:1
What is AREA?Edit
AREA is an International "Ratings System" for players, originally established by TAHGC, now maintained independently. It rates players for many different game titles, not just ASL. The current website for AREA is at http://wolff.to/area/
Are all the Q&A collected in one place?Edit
Yes, they are in several formats. The most common and easily accessible collection is the comprehensive one printed in the '96 ASL Annual. This list is separated into "Clarifications" and "Errata". It includes all the relevant Q&A's that have been printed in the General and previous editions of the Annual. It is very convenient to keep a photocopy of the Q&A list in your ASLRB for use during play. Some people keep their own copy in electronic format and split them into different pages when they print it out for each Chapter of the ASLRB. The other most common collection is the "unofficial" list. This combines all of the information from the Annual list, plus includes many Q&A that have not (yet) been published in an official TAHGC publication. These are the Q's that have been answered by TAHGC in private correspondence, and have been posted to the ASLML for the information of all players. These include the "MacSez", wherein someone asked Bob Macnamara (one of ASL's prime developers) a question and received his off-the-cuff opinion. "MacSez's" are respected by most and usually settle a question, but they're definitely unofficial answers. A note on "official" vs. "unofficial" Q&A. It is generally regarded that "official" Q&A are to be considered extensions of the ASLRB itself, that is, what they say goes. A lot of people don't always agree with the answers that are given, and disregard them in their home games, but in tournaments, you should expect that all official Q&A are "in play". "Unofficial" Q&A are a different beast. TAHGC has been known to answer some Q's in private and then provide a different answer in the "official" version. Hence, all "unofficial" Q&A (even a "MacSez") must be treated with caution. It would not be unreasonable to expect that your opponent may disregard an "unofficial" Q&A in tournament play. Nevertheless, many of the "unofficial" Q&A are quite important and make a lot of sense (and end up becoming "official" eventually anyway). Simple rule when dealing with "unofficial" Q&A: Caveat Emptor. Another source for an "unofficial" compilation is Scott Romanowski (email@example.com). It includes all the official Q&A, plus all the MMP compilations posted to the ASLML, plus many other third-party publishers. It's available on the BAASL server (walden.ne.mediaone.net/baasl) and other places, including e-mail from Scott. It's in MS Word format.
Can I send Q's to MMP via e-mail?Edit
Yes you can! MMP have set up a mailing address to send Q's to. These Q's are not answered individually, rather, they are answered in a collection of Q&A's that are posted to the ASLML on a regular basis. While still "unofficial" (see above) until published, they're the next best thing. As a general rule, however, to prevent the Q&A address from being flooded with pointless questions, it is a strong recommendation that all Q's be sent to the ASLML first for general discussion. You may find that your Q has a very simple and unambiguous answer. Only send those Q on the e-mail address when there is no "obvious" answer available. The e-mail address is asl_qa AT multimanpublishing.com. Questions should be formatted to elicit a YES/NO response. The official MMP web-page (www.multimanpublishing.com) has a browser-based form to make submitting Q&A easier.
What are the common ASL questions?Edit
"Why are the rules the way they are?" This section attempts to demystify some of the more-commonly-queried rules decisions.
Why do the US Marines have ML 8?Edit
The short "official" answer is, apparently, they have to be that tough to survive fighting the Japanese, especially when making Beach Assaults. During playtest, ML7 Marines often broke and died for failure to rout from the beach, which did not seem correct to the designers. Many people feel that this is unfair to the regular US infantry (whose "Elite" troops only have a ML of 7). Too bad; deal with it. It's a game thing (and a source of a great (and greatly humorous) rivalry between the Marines and the Paratroopers/Rangers on the ASLML).
IFT vs. IIFTEdit
The IIFT (Incremental Infantry Fire Table) is a variant introduced in the '89 Annual (reprinted in ASL Classic, see [2.34], and now an optional rule in the 2nd edition Rulebook), that allows for every extra FP factor (or in some cases, 1/2 FP factor) to get you a new column; i.e., so that a 5 FP attack is slightly better than a 4 FP attack. Some people feel that this makes the game more "realistic" since you don't have to be fussy about how you organise your FGs, and throwing in that extra MG in the attack will always be useful. Other people feel that the extra FP factors make it more likely that troops will have concealment stripped (since the most common "extra" result when using the IIFT is a PTC). It's possible to argue mathematically that the effect on concealment loss is minimal, affecting less than 5% of games. Try it for yourself; play a game and make a note of how many times the use of the IIFT altered a game result; most people find that such altered results are rare. In reality, this is all irrelevant; IFT vs. IIFT is a stylistic thing, you either like it or you don't. Regardless, the IIFT is an *official* variant from TAHGC. It's available for anyone who wants to use it. If you don't want to use it in your game, then all you have to do is say "no thanks", just like when using any other official game variant (e.g., Battlefield Integrity). It's not worth abusing anyone over. Incidentally, Ole Boe has made a variation of the IIFT that uses "CTC" results (Conditional Task Checks). A CTC is a PTC *only if* the target is not concealed; hence, the argument that the IIFT "strips concealment" is nullified. This version is *not* "official", but again, it's available if you want to use it.
Where did the squad FP values come from?Edit
Guesswork, mostly. High FP factors combined with short range tends to indicate a dependance on fully automatic weapons (SMGs, etc.). The US squads are assumed to have at least one inherent BAR, hence their extra FP at long range. What it all boils down to though is that the original factors were designed for the basic SL game, and John Hill just fudged the numbers until they "felt right". Everything else in ASL is designed around those numbers. Don't lose any sleep over it.
How can I tell if a scenario is balanced?Edit
Experience, mostly. The more you know about the game the better idea you will have about the capabilities of the forces involved. What makes a "balanced" game, anyway? Ideally if two players of equal skill level play a scenario, then they should have an equal chance with winning from either side. In practice this won't happen all that often. Even two equal players can have "off" days, and the vagaries of the dice will guarantee that no scenario will play exactly the same way twice. Nevertheless, there are some scenarios (e.g., "The Agony Of Doom") that one side simply cannot lose, no matter what happens. You will get to know these scenarios as you become a more prolific (and proficient) ASL player. There are plenty of other scenarios that always provide a good match; the "unbalanced dogs" sink to the bottom fairly quickly. Don't sweat it; just concentrate on using your skills to the utmost (and having a good time while doing so). Ultimately, would you rather play a fun unbalanced scenario or an un-fun balanced one? Finally, note that ROAR (see [8.0]) is a tool that can be of some use (when used carefully!) in determining Scenario balance.
Why isn't there an electronic ASLRB?Edit
A lot of people think it would be great to have the ASLRB available on CD-ROM. MMP agree; they are working on such a product, publishing date unknown.
What is the Australian Balance System?Edit
The ABS is an alternate method of providing balance (and a side- bidding system) for a scenario. The standard ASLRB method of scenario balance involves a single option for each side in a scenario. (This method is described in A26.5.) The ABS (so named because it was invented by an Australian ASL player, Dave Longworth, and tested at Australian tournaments) uses a three-tiered system of balance for each side. The higher the level of balance for a side, the more that side gives up. Official scenarios published by TAHGC do not use the ABS, but you will often see "amateur" scenarios make use of it. It is especially popular at tournaments, and sometimes you will see official scenarios have ABS "retrofitted" to them for more variety.
Why can't I declare H-T-H Melee in non-Deluxe scenarios?Edit
H-T-H CC (J2.31) is a Deluxe ASL rule that permits a deadlier form of CC. It may at first seem peculiar that this rule is only allowed when playing on the extra-large Deluxe hexes, but the reason is surprisingly prosaic: no counters to designate H-T-H Melee (as opposed to "normal" Melee) were available until RB was released. It was a permitted option for DASL because the hexes are large enough to separate the units involved in Melee (thus presumably making it easier to designate which units are in H-T-H Melee). As noted above, RB added H-T-H Melee counters to the system, and it is a standard option in that module; subsequently, it was an option also granted to Japanese units (G1.64) (and appropriate markers were made available in CoB). These are specific exemptions, however, and the normal case remain that H-T-H Melee is an option available only for DASL scenarios. (Note: The updated Chapter A rules pages supplied in DB give Gurkha troops the same H-T-H options as Japanese.)
[11.21] The Rulebook By the time you have acquired all the modules, you will need additional binders. This is especially true if you use ring protectors or other methods to protect the pages -- HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! The FAQ author recommends the use of plastic page protectors (his ASLRB is currently split across several folders). [11.22] Counter storage There are probably as many ways of storing your thousands of ASL counters as there are players of ASL. There is certainly no absolute "best" way; it really is a matter of personal taste (combined with some other practical considerations -- how much space you have, do you want your ASL gear to be portable, etc.)
Common solutions include:
Counter trays. These are made in various sizes by TAHGC and other wargaming companies. They are not generally preferred for ASL since they usually are not big enough to hold a good number of counters, meaning that you need so many of them that they can become impractical to use. However, if space and portability is not much of an issue for you, they will certainly do the job. They also work fine in combination with other solutions.
Ziplok envelopes. The advantage of these is that they're pretty easy to pack and label, and come in all shapes and sizes, so they can be quite convenient. Sorting can however be a bit of a bear since you need so many of them.
Spare parts drawers. Available from hardware stores, these are usually small cabinets with a number of pull-out trays in them for storing odds and ends. These are best used when you have no need or desire to make your ASL set portable, as such cabinets usually have no way of securing the drawers, meaning they'll fall out and scatter the counters every where if they're knocked about. Still, they can be very convenient and functional, although sometimes a little pricy. You'll probably need several of them.
Fishing Tackle boxes. In the US, they're called "Plano", after a popular manufacturer of them. In other parts of the world, Plano can be hard to come by, but other brands of fishing tackle boxes are not (unless you live in the middle of a desert, I suppose). The preferred boxes are clear plastic (flexible, not brittle) and have many small compartments. They seal tight but can carry many hundred of counters, so you don't need that many of them. Their only real disadvantage is that they tend to be pricier than other alternatives.
[11.23] Overlays (i) How do I keep them in place on the board? A common solution is to use plastic page protectors (like the ones you protect your ASLRB pages with) and store them alphabetically in a ring folder. Small overlays can be kept in the plastic pages used to store card collections. When actually using overlays, there are many solutions. Many people recommend rubber cement, which will stick to the boards but peel off harmlessly when no longer needed. Don't confuse this with normal glue!
Other solutions include clear plexiglass overlays to hold the overlays in place (also helps to protect the boards). "Blue Tak" (that's the Australian product name; there are equivalents in most countries), the blue sticky stuff used to hang posters on the wall, will work fine in small amounts, but note that it has a tendency to leave a stain where it has been applied. Some people like to use draftsman's tape -- a type of clear adhesive tape that's designed to peel off easily without damaging the material underneath.
(ii) Where can I find a particular overlay?
The following is a complete list of official product overlays (at time of publication). NOTE: many third-party products also come with overlays.
- West Of Alamein
"D1-D6", "E1", "H1-H6", "S1-S8", "SD1-SD8", "W1-W4", "X1-X5".
- Code Of Bushido
"1-5", "B1-B5", "G1-G5", "M1-M5", "O1-O5", "RP1-RP5", "Wd1-Wd5", "X6".
- Gung Ho
"Be1-Be7", "Ef1-Ef3", "OC1-OC4", "P1-P5".
- Croix de Guerre
"OG1-OG5", "St1-St3", "X7-X18"
- SL Overlays (came with GI: Anvil of Victory)
"A-O". Hardly ever used anymore. (In fact, I know of no TAHGC- published ASL scenario that uses them, even the updated versions of old GI-level scenarios.)
- '95 Annual
Deluxe Mapboard overlays "dx1-dx9"- they were undersized, and replaced by an insert from the General magazine (Vol. 30 #3) later that year.
- Doomed Battalions
"RR1-RR14", "X19-X24", "OW1".
- Action Pack #2
"6", "Hi1-Hi7", "X25-X29".
[11.24] Scenarios Obtaining photocopy services is cheap and easy for most people nowadays, so the usual recommendation is that you copy your scenario cards and store them in plastic page protectors in a ring folder. (Yes, you can end up carrying a lot of folders around!) Note that this saves you from cutting up or pulling apart those magazines. If you photocopy the original scenario cards, you can then store the scenarios in numerical order, currently impossible with the bizarre TAHGC scheme used in most of the modules.
[11.25] Good mail-order stores Many people in the US (and in other countries) swear by Boulder Games, who always sell at a substantial discount. You can contact them via e-mail at BoulderG@aol.com, or view their web page at http://www.bouldergames.com/. MMP are making all currently available "official" ASL products available for sale via their web page - see www.advancedsquadleader.com.
[11.26] Where are the replacement pages? 1st Edition Rulebook: TAHGC have published several replacement pages for the ASLRB over the years. The errata pages can be identified by a superscript (indicating the year of publication) next to the page number. Text that has been changed by the errata is marked with a black dot in the margin. Unfortunately, most of the new pages are only available by buying the various modules. Here is the current list: 87 Errata pages: These were sent free to people who sent in their coupon from the original printing of the ASLRB. The free offer is no longer available (current printings of the ASLRB should have the 87 pages already included). Now out-of-print as a separate product, MMP have made these pages available for download from their website.
Page Nos.: A7/8, A13/14, A15/16, A27/28, A29/30, B7/8, B19/20, B25/26.
89 Errata pages: See 87 pages, above, for details of how to get these pages if you don't already have them.
Page Nos.: C1/2, C3/4, C5/6. C7/8, C11/12, D9/10, D13/14, D17/18.
90 Errata page: Supplied in the CoB module.
Page No.: E25/26.
91 Errata pages: Supplied in the GH module.
Page Nos.: B29/30, D1/2.
92 Errata pages: Supplied in the CdG module.
Page Nos.: A17/18, A29/30, B31/32, F1/2.
96 Errata Pages: Supplied in the KGP II HASL module. These pages replace all but a couple of the Chapter P pages originally provided in the KGP I module.
98 Errata Pages: Supplied in the DB module.
Page Nos.: A39/40, A41/42, A43/44, A45/46, B31/32, B33/34.
99 Errata Pages: Supplied in AP2. Note that these differ from the pages provided in DB in only trivial ways.
Page Nos.: B31/32, B33/34.
2nd Edition Rulebook: MMP have issued replacement pages for the 2nd Ed ASLRB, all of which are only available as downloads from their website:
Page Nos: A15/16, A53/54, B7/8, D5/6, D7/8
[11.27] I'm missing pages from Chapter N Chapter N is "armory", i.e., reproductions of the countersheets from the official modules. Not all modules have Chapter N pages included in the module the countersheets come with. Many of the earlier modules did not get Chapter N pages until later releases (for example, the Chapter N page for "Paratrooper" were not provided until "Yanks" was released). Moreover, there have never been official Chapter N pages provided for any HASL module, and there are no Chapter N pages for DB either. It is generally recommended that you make photocopies of the back and front of your HASL and DB countersheets before punching out the counters if this is of concern to you. Comments from MMP make it seem unlikely that any future products will update Chapter N.
Specific ASL rules questionsEdit
While the ASLRB generally hangs together surprisingly well, certain rules sections have become (in)famous for defying logic or common understanding. This part of the FAQ attempts to clarify some of these more obscure rules.
How does a Human Wave work?Edit
Ever since the ASLRB was first published, the rules on Human Waves were something of a mystery to many players; they depended on important concepts that were only vaguely described, and seemed to leave many holes open. Fortunately, this situation has now been resolved with the publication of DB: the updated Chapter A pages supplied in that module provide completely rewritten Human Wave (A25.23) rules that, while a little mechanical in operation, are nevertheless unambiguous. So what's with the red and white HW counters? It isn't explicitly stated in the ASLRB what the different colours signify. The red HW counters are used while the HW is moving; when the MPh is over, the red counters should be replaced by the white ones, to show that although they're no longer in a Wave, they still get the ML benefit (and the Lax penalty). Since these are standard colour-coded (red printing on white background) these are removed at the end of the CCPh, like Pin, TI, etc. The Japanese Banzai counters work in the same way; the red counters are used while the banzai unit(s) are moving, and then flipped to their white side when their MPh is over, and finally removed at the end of the turn.
How does Bocage work?Edit
Bocage is weird terrain in many ways. Most of it is straight-forward (TEM, movement restrictions, etc.) but where many people become lost is in the interaction of Bocage and LOS. Closely tied in with this is the application of the Wall Advantage rules to Bocage. When a unit is in non-open Ground behind a Bocage hexside, it can theoretically Prep Fire at opposing units through the Bocage and then become immune to Defensive Fire by claiming the TEM of the non-Open Ground terrain in its hex and dropping out of enemy LOS. This seems patently unfair and against the spirit of several rules (reciprocal LOS, "no free lunch", etc.) to some, but others have noted that Bocage was tremendously good defensive terrain and the designers may indeed have intended the rule to play as it seems to read. Indeed, 1st Edition Q&A ('97 Annual) confirmed this. The Wall Advantage and Bocage rules were rewritten for the 2nd Edition rulebook. An excellent article in J3 by Ian Daglish gives historical background on Bocage, and goes through these "new" rules in detail. J3 also included a summary by Bruce Probst of the "new" Wall Advantage rules. Overall, little has been changed, but much has been clarified in the new edition. The important thing to note when playing a scenario with Bocage, under either rules edition, is *when* a unit can claim WA. The simplest way to interpret the rule is that you always have WA vs. an adjacent hedge/wall/bocage hexside unless there is something to prevent this. Note that you can claim WA even when there are no adjacent enemy units forcing you to make the claim. With Bocage, if you don't have WA, you don't have LOS to a non-adjacent enemy unit through the Bocage. Hence, if you lose WA, you can suddenly drop out of LOS. Note, however, that once WA is lost, it may not be easy to claim it again. Especially note that you can't exactly claim/drop WA "at will"; once you voluntarily drop it, it stays dropped for the rest of the player turn. You must also decide whether a unit will keep or drop WA *before* any attacks are declared against that unit. Finally, note that Bocage makes it easy to keep and gain Concealment; a unit can move, rally, recover weapons, etc. behind Bocage and not lose concealment, and a unit behind Bocage can almost always gain Concealment automatically. Hence, ASL combat involving Bocage should become a "cat and mouse" affair, with units on both sides revealing themselves and then concealing themselves with frightening speed, and units never being quite sure what lies in wait a couple of hexes away.
CX and leader movement bonusEdit
See the 96 Annual. It has an excellent article on this very subject.
Moving vs. Motion etc.Edit
Again, see the 96 Annual.
Assault move and laying SMOKEEdit
Yes, you can roll for SMOKE grenades as part of Assault Movement. A unit is Assault Moving if (a) it declares that it is doing so before expending any MF and (b) it moves no more than one location while expending less than it's normal full allocation of MF. Within those restrictions, you can do anything and still be Assault Moving -- SMOKE grenades, DC placement, SW recovery, etc. Note that (of course) you can't declare CX and Assault Movement at the same time.
Area Target Type vs. Area FireEdit
These are easy terms to confuse, but they are separate concepts and actually refer to different things. Area Target Type is an Ordnance TH procedure. MTRs always fire with ATT, and any weapon attempting to lay SMOKE must also use the ATT. Otherwise, use of ATT (as opposed to Vehicle Target Type or Infantry Target Type) is optional. Use of ATT consumes all of a unit's available ROF [EXC: MTR fire], and, if a hit is secured, the normal FP of the attack is halved. The advantages of ATT are that it's often easier to obtain a hit, at the penalty of reduced attack effectiveness. ATT is also the only way to gain acquisition against a concealed target. Area Fire refers to any circumstance that causes your normal FP to be halved, e.g., firing at a concealed unit, firing in the AFPh, firing at long range are all examples of Area Fire. Ordnance is affected by Area Fire differently; it must add +2 to the TH DR, but if it hits, it attacks at normal strength *for the chosen Target Type*. Note that this means that *if* you are using the Area Target Type vs. a concealed target, you will have a +2 TH DRM *and* attack at half strength.
Do mortars get ROF with SMOKE?Edit
Yes they do. MTRs are the only weapon type that can maintain ROF when using the Area Target Type. Since the ATT is always used when firing SMOKE, MTRs may fire SMOKE and keep ROF. As a point of trivia, this was not the original intention behind the SMOKE rules. However, so many people were playing it this way that TAHGC felt that it would be counter-productive to issue errata to stop the tactic. Hence, MTRs are valuable SMOKE-producers in the game.
Infantry Target Type CHsEdit
Scoring an Infantry Target CH is great fun. You get to double your FP and reverse the protective TEM, making it very easy to cause damage to your opponent's forces. However, it is easy to play this rule incorrectly. When firing at the Infantry Target Type, you score a CH if your modified DR is less than half of your modified TH #. Note the distinction between "modified DR" and "modified TH #". Usually the only thing that will modify the TH # is range, as modified for short or long gun barrels, etc. On the other hand, there are many DRMs that can apply -- TEM being the most common. You must remember to add the DRMs to the DR, *not* to the TH #.
E.G.: A gun Prep Fires at an infantry target in a wooden building at a range of three hexes. No modifiers apply at that range to change the TH #, so it remains at "8". Thus, a CH will occur if the modified DR is less than 4. What modifiers apply to the DR? In this example, only the TEM for the building, +2. Hence it is not possible to score a CH, since the lowest possible DR is "4". [EXC: if you roll an original "2", you may still score a CH if a subsequent dr is 1, or is less than half the modified TH number. Thus, in this example, an original DR of "2" followed by a subsequent dr of "3" or less will be a CH.] Now let us assume that the gun in the above example keeps ROF. The second shot will now qualify for a -1 acquisition DRM, hence the total DRM is now +1, making a CH automatic on a DR of "2". If the gun keeps ROF again, it now has a -2 acquisition DRM. Therefore the total DRM are 0 and a CH will occur on a DR of "3" or less.
Note that none of the modifiers in these examples altered the basic TH # in any way -- they only applied to the DR. A lot of people make the mistake of modifying the TH # according to the DRM -- e.g., if the total DRM were +2, they would subtract that from the TH # and think they get a CH if they roll under "3" (if the basic TH # were 8). In fact, as the first example above shows, even rolling a "2" is only a *possible* CH when the total DRM is +2. Finally, remember that a CH will usually only affect a single target in the location (determined by Random Selection). Other targets in the location are only affected by a normal hit. Also, the chance to Rubble or Burn a location is not affected by scoring a CH.
Building vs. Location vs. Hex ControlEdit
The important thing to remember here is that *different* requirements apply to the different forms of Control. You may succeed in controlling a *building* but that does *not* automatically give you control of the *Locations* in that building. The reverse is usually also true. E.G., suppose an enemy squad is in a building that you want to control. You fire at it and break it, and then move in with a squad of your own. You do not yet control the *building*, because the presence of the enemy unit -- even if broken -- is sufficient to deny you control. However, you do now control the *hex* that YOUR squad moved into (and also the *location* -- remember that a single building hex may have several locations). Always read the scenario VC carefully. If you have to control a *building*, then you must completely clear the enemy units out of that building, and have one of your armed Good Order MMCs enter the building to win. If on the other hand you need to control only a particular *hex* of a building, then it doesn't matter how many other units may be elsewhere in that building -- if your units are the only ones in that hex, that's good enough. Note that the updated Chapter A pages supplied in DB have substantially rewritten (for clarity) rules on controlling Buildings, Hexes and Locations.
Why do the concealment markers have a morale level printed on them?Edit
The usual application of the Dummy ML level of 7 is when an "unbroken" vehicle (see A12.1) enters a hex containing a a concealed unit (without using VBM). You must pass a PAATC to remain concealed. If the stack being attacked is a dummy stack, then it uses the Dummy ML of 7 to see if they pass the PAATC. The Dummy ML is also used when dummy stacks undergo a Bombardment MC.
Do I have to declare it when I roll my opponent's SAN?Edit
A short answer: yes, according to unofficial Q&A from MMP. More generally, this is a tricky one. With most rules in the ASLRB, if you forget to apply them, too bad, what's done is done. You don't have to point out that your opponent has kept ROF with his MG, for example; if he doesn't notice it, that's his fault for not being observant enough. SAN can be interpreted slightly differently, however. The relevant rule does not say that SAN is an *optional* attack; the implication is that if the SAN is rolled, a SAN attack *must* take place, and any player who notices this should point it out. Not everyone follows this interpretation, though. In practice, it becomes a personal style of play. It's a "gentlemanly" thing to do; some opponents may admire you for it, others may think you're a schmuck. Play it in whatever way makes you comfortable; discuss it with your opponent before the game starts if you think it might become a source of contention. More generally, this question could be categorized as "what make good ASL ethics?" Not all players have the same feelings on these topics, and some players even play differently depending on whether they're playing in a friendly game or are trying to win a tournament. If your opponent's style of play makes you uncomfortable, talk to him about it and see if you can come to an agreement. It *is* just a game after all, and the primary purpose of playing ASL is to have fun!
Can a leader direct fire when he can't use his DRM?Edit
Generally, no. There are some specific exceptions (e.g., a leader may direct the fire of a FT to prevent cowering, even though his DRM cannot affect the outcome) but such exceptions are clearly marked in the ASLRB. Said exceptions aside, "directing fire" and "applying leadership DRM" are synonymous for all purposes.
What does "momentarily reveal" mean?Edit
Rule A12.14 in the 1st Edition rulebook uses the concept of "momentarily revealing" a concealed unit to strip concealment from an enemy unit in LOS. The concept is that you must prove to your opponent that you have a real unit that can see the enemy unit. There is some dispute amongst ASL players as to what defines that "proof". Reading the rule literally indicates that you must remove the unit's concealment marker, allowing your opponent to see the real unit, and then replace the concealment marker. Some players think that it's sufficient to show just enough of the counter to prove that it's genuine, without revealing the actual strength factors involved. Still others feel that a statement to the effect of "I have a real unit in this stack" is sufficient. However, the 2nd Edition is clearer: "... [the viewing] unit must completely forfeit its "?" momentarily ...". To "completely forfeit" Concealment is to confer Right of Inspection - as long as your opponent also has a unit in LOS - so this means you have to reveal a unit in full, and its possessed SW, to your opponent. Having said that, players who like Fog of War and/or are comfortable with an Honor system are free to continue to use a verification method of their choosing that is acceptable to their opponent and agreed to in advance.
Can I dm a weapon and still move?Edit
No. The rules are not crystal-clear on this matter, so it is understandable that some people may play this incorrectly, but "using" a weapon is sufficient to mark it with a "Prep Fire" counter, and dismantling (or reassembling) is a form of use. Similarly, you could not deliberately malfunction a weapon (which requires a fire action) and then move.
OBA confuses me! How can it be made simpler?Edit
I'm glad you asked! ASL Action Pack #1; in addition to the scenarios and new boards that it contains, included an "OBA flowchart" that covers in detail all the steps required to implement OBA. (It also includes several very important Rules Q&A concerning OBA.) The chart helps to explain the complex OBA procedure, and after a little bit of practice you should find that the necessary steps are easily implemented (and in the correct sequence too). This chart (less the Q&A) was reprinted in the 2nd Edition Rulebook; the Q&A was incorporated into the new rules themselves, if appropriate. There are a couple of different flowcharts available for free download from ftp sites, but it is the FAQ editor's opinion that the "official" chart is more comprehensive, more accurate and easier to use than the "free" alternatives that he has seen. Note that there was errata for the AP1 chart (see '97 Annual).
What is that thing on Board 8?Edit
Assuming you mean the object in hexes V6-W6, it's a castle (a little one). It is generally assumed to be of stone construction and two levels (0 and 1) since it is a multi-hex building with no explicit stairwell. Board 8 (and also boards 6 and 7) are somewhat notorious for featuring buildings of indeterminate construction. If an SSR doesn't specify the building types, rule B23.3 comes into effect.
The centre dots on my board aren't in the centre of the hexes! What do I do?Edit
Rule A6.1 specifies that LOS is (usually) measured from the centre of one hex to the centre of another. It doesn't actually refer to the centre dots at all. So the "correct" thing to do is to ignore the dot when it's obviously off-centre and use the "true" centre of the hex (which can be easily found by pencilling in a couple of intersecting lines). In practice many people just follow the centre dots regardless. It's a style-of-play thing; as long as both you and your opponent agree on whatever method you want to use, it doesn't matter how you do it. Note that in PBM and PBEM play, you will not have any idea what the boards your opponent is using look like. Unfortunately, not all boards are created equal, and a clear LOS on your set of boards may be blocked on your opponent's. In such cases it is probably best to resolve the situation by dr, as per A6.1. Calling for third opinions is unlikely to be useful, since these will involve a different set of boards again.
The rules say I can HIP my foxholes. Does that mean the units in the foxhole are HIP also?Edit
Generally, no. The relevant rule is A12.33, and it's pretty specific that it's *only* the Fortification that is HIP. (There is of course an exception: Pillboxes (B30.7).) Note that a HIP fortification loses its HIP status very easily; if you place HIP units in a HIP foxhole, for example, the enemy units will see the foxhole quite easily, which can compromise the "surprise" value of the HIP units IN the foxhole. (They're not revealed, but your opponent can guess the foxhole is there for a reason.) Note that at Night (E1.16) or in certain Pacific terrain types (G.2) hidden fortifications are more difficult to reveal, and thus placing HIP units in such locations can have greater tactical value.
Can I remove CX by declaring TI?Edit
A4.51 (Counter Exhaustion) is phrased a little poorly in the sentence that describes how CX status is removed. Many people interpret the last clause of the sentence that begins "A unit's CX counter is removed ..." as being immediately effective, i.e., if you become TI in the turn that you declare CX, you will immediately lose the CX counter. (A way of doing this would be to declare a Search attempt (A12.152) even when you know there is nothing to find.) However, recent unofficial Q&A from MMP has clarified that *every* clause in this sentence after "... in its next Player Turn ..." is only applicable to that condition (i.e., the *only* way to lose CX status in the same turn that you incur it is to break).
What is "VBM Sleaze"?Edit
An extremely common (and valuable) tactic that a surprising number of players have never heard of or used. Once it's been used against you though, you never forget it! A7.212 says that if an enemy unit [EXC: unarmoured vehicles] is in the same Location as you are, you cannot fire at any enemy unit *not* in your Location - NO MATTER HOW INVULNERABLE THE ENEMY UNIT IN YOUR LOCATION MIGHT BE. The "AFV Sleaze" is to so place AFVs in bypass of your defensive locations to prevent your infantry from firing at infantry units moving up behind the AFV. It can be extremely frustrating to see lots of juicy infantry targets go strolling by and the presence of a single tank parked outside your window completely negates your ability to do anything about them. (Note that the AFV need not be literally "parked" - it can be Motion and still have the same effect.) So what makes it a "sleaze"? Because you didn't think of it first, mainly. It's a perfectly legitimate tactic under the rules. Is it "realistic"? Maybe, maybe not, but that's hardly relevant - we're playing ASL here, remember (see [4.1] for a discussion of "reality arguments" and their ultimate pointlessness). Note that the "sleaze" is not necessarily all good news for the AFV owner. If you can set up your defense properly, the enemy may need a lot of AFVs to completely negate your defense. AFVs in bypass of a location are vulnerable to Street Fighting. And an AFV that's pinning your troops in the "Sleaze" is not running around in your rear areas, cutting off Rout paths and firing at your units. Finally, note important Q&A from the '92 Annual that says units in upper levels of buildings can only be "Sleaze-freezed" if the AFV is OT and/or CE - and of course an AFV in such a position is particularly vulnerable to fire from your "frozen" units.
When is CC "simultaneous"?Edit
Despite what it says in A11.1, Close Combat is, in practice, *never* simultaneous - and awareness of this is essential to gaining a clearer understanding of the CC "Infiltration" rules. The rules cite several examples of "unusual" situations where CC is not simultaneous: Ambush, CC vs. vehicles and Prisoners attacking their Guards. However, the important case here is "Infiltration" (A11.22) where either or both sides roll a "2" or a "12". It is a common misconception that whichever side rolls a "2" "goes first". (Or a "12" means that side "goes last".) THIS IS NOT THE CASE. The truth of the matter is that (barring Ambush etc.) the ATTACKER always rolls his CC dice first (A11.12), which means that his CC results always apply, *even if* the DEFENDER rolls a "2". The reverse is NOT true; if the ATTACKER rolls a "2", he may eliminate the DEFENDER (or withdraw) without the latter even getting a chance to roll at all. In other words, despite the "usual" "simultaneous" nature of CC, the ATTACKER always has a slight edge in CC, and the DEFENDER should not make his CC DR until the ATTACKER's DR has been seen. (This is even more important if the ATTACKER rolls a "12", since the option to withdraw must be taken before the DEFENDER makes a CC attack.) Note that either side rolling a "2" in CC may result in Field Promotion (A18.12) which in turn may change the odds of the CC (in which case the odds must be recalculated). If the ATTACKER has still rolled low enough though, a newly-generated Leader may end up dying with his DEFENDER squad just the same -- effectively giving the ATTACKER "free" CVP! (Although it's likely that the DEFENDER's DR of "2" will also eliminate the ATTACKER's units.)
EX: a German ATTACKER 4-6-7 and a Russian DEFENDER 4-4-7 are in normal CC. Neither side is Pinned or otherwise restricted. The odds, therefore, are 1:1 for each side. The German player rolls his CC dice first, and rolls a "3", sufficient to eliminate the Russian unit *even if* the Russian player rolls a "2" and generates a Leader (which would retroactively change the German odds to 1:2). If the Russian player rolls a "12", the German squad may Withdraw even though it has already rolled its CC attack. Of course, if the Russian player rolls a "4" or less, the German squad is eliminated also. If the German player rolls a "4" and the Russian player rolls a "2", the Russian must check for Field Promotion. If no leader is generated, the Russian unit is still eliminated and therefore may not withdraw (despite having rolled a "2"). If a leader *is* generated, the odds change to 1:2 for the German, and a "4" becomes only a Casualty Reduction. The Russian player must use Random Selection to see which DEFENDER unit suffers the CR and only the *survivors* have the option of withdrawing. Of course, with a DR of "2", the Russian has eliminated the German squad regardless.
Is "No Quarter" always applied to both sides when in effect?Edit
Not at all. One side may have "No Quarter" in effect for them while not at all for the other side. There are certainly situations where NQ may *automatically* be in effect for both sides (e.g., RB; late-war Japanese) but if not so specified NQ is always optional for each side.
Must I use my MGs when making a SFF attack?Edit
A8.3 says that *if* the MGs are used they are treated as Sustained Fire etc. This is not always desirable, so it would be good if you had the choice to not use them. Many people think that there *is* no choice, but they're mistaken: they only read the first half of the sentence ("... it must use all usable MG/IFE in its possession ...") while ignoring the second half ("... or forfeit their use for the remainder of the Player Turn ...").
EX (1): you have a squad with a MG that has already First Fired (i.e., the MG has lost ROF). An enemy unit sidles up within normal range. The squad can SFF its inherent FP; *if* it decides to use the MG as well, the MG is subject to Sustained Fire penalties. If it *doesn't* use the MG, it can't later change its mind and decide to use it after all later in the MPh/DFPh.
EX (2): As above, except the MG still has ROF. The only difference is that the player now has a choice between using the MG alone (at normal FP, no penalties), or using SFF from the squad; if the latter, whether or not the squad decides to use the MG as well, it still loses any remaining ROF and is marked with Final Fire etc.
EX (3): As above, except the possessing unit is a HS or Crew. The only difference is that the MG FP and the inherent FP can't be used together. The HS could First Fire its inherent and SFF the MG if it wants; or the other way around; or just continue to only use its inherent, or only use the MG.
The overall exception is FPF (A8.31), where all usable MG/IFE weapons *must* be used (as Sustained Fire, since the possessing unit is already marked with Final Fire) regardless of their prior status. So what difference does this all make? Only that it means if you want to Final Fire, you can't Final Fire your MG and then later on Final Fire your inherent (or vice versa); Final Fire means what it says: do it now, or don't do it at all. Barring FPF, there will be no second chances.
OVRs confuse me! How can it be made simpler?Edit
I'm glad you asked! What you need to do is buy the ASL Action Pack #2; in addition to the scenarios and new boards that it contains, it features an "OVR flowchart" that covers in detail all the steps required to implement an OVR. The chart helps to explain the complex OVR procedure (particularly the target's Defensive Fire options), and after a little bit of practice you should find that the necessary steps are easily implemented (and in the correct sequence too). The OVR Flowchart is also included in the 2nd Edition Rulebook.
While the rules for Heroes and Leaders are fairly straightforward, strange things occur when the two are combined by the creation of a Heroic Leader. The most common confusion is, "Can a Heroic Leader apply both his Heroic DRM and his Leadership DRM?" The answer is No (see A15.21). This also applies to a "0" leader, since "Leadership" and "Leader DRM" are synonymous terms. If your Heroic Leader and an MMC advanced into CC, you can attack using EITHER his Hero DRM or Leadership DRM, but not both. Or, if you have a Heroic 8-0 and a MMC in a same-location Firegroup, you can either "be a Hero" and add his 1FP and -1 DRM but risk Cowering, or "be a Leader" and direct the MMC but prevent Cowering. The other odd thing about Heroic Leaders is that it isn't necessarily a good thing to happen to a Leader if he already has a ML of 9 or more. Their Hero DRM doesn't make them more effective, since they are already at least a -1 in most armies. They are no more likely to pass a MC than before, either, although the fact they can't be Pinned by the MC is a small bonus. But, if they ever do fail a Morale Check, they Wound rather than Break - and risk being eliminated instantly by the Wound dr. If they do survive, but then fail another MC at any time, they are automatically eliminated by A15.2 - a broken Leader who fails a MC at least gets a Wound dr! On the upside, a Heroic Leader is always Good Order, but whether this is adequate compensation for being easier to be KIA'ed is debatable.
Half-Squads and Smoke GrenadesEdit
Half-squads may NEVER use Smoke Grenades. A24.1 is quite clear: "SMOKE placement may be attempted ... by any Infantry *squad* having a Smoke exponent ..." [emphasis added]. Half-squads are not squads, nor do they have Smoke exponents, so they may not use Smoke Grenades. H1.22 is sometimes cited as giving Assault Engineer HS the capability of using Smoke Grenades, since it increases their Smoke exponent by 2, "even if 0." However, a Assault Engineer HS is still not a squad, so A24.1 prevents them from using their Smoke exponent. Nor can two (or more) HS stacked together throw Smoke Grenades; they may be the same size (or larger) than a squad, but they are still not a squad!