Apex ASL: 5 diverse, in-print historical modules discussed.
Eoin Corrigan
Ireland
Wexford
Wexford
flag msg tools
designer
ASL Fanatic
badge
Royal Dublin Fusiliers "Spectamur Agendo"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
Many ASL players feel that playing a full historical campaign game is the pinnacle experience of the game system. The on-going development and publication of historical modules is testament to the vibrancy and health of the ASL community.

The purpose of this list is to present and discuss five diverse, in-print ASL campaign game products.

For the uninitiated, a few comments on the historical ASL modules. A unique aspect of ASL is the production of historical modules based on specific actions. They come with a map based on the actual battlefield and a set of scenarios describing elements of the battle. Often they include unique rules pertinent to the specific tactical situation, intended to portray the situational impact of weather, geography, supply or orders of battle. They also include campaign games which are a set of linked scenarios in which force preservation becomes an important factor. Campaign games are often a large undertaking, requiring many hours to complete. Part of the attraction is the ability players have to purchase reinforcements, set ingenious traps and experiment with, in ASL terms, grand manoeuvres.

Thus far, a wide variety of official historical modules have been produced and each has been based on extensive research by the designers. Besides Red Barricades, set in Stalingrad, others have been set in the Ardennes, Normandy, Tarawa, Guadalcanal, the Rhineland and Arnhem. Many of these modules are now out of print, and expensive to procure on the secondary market.

The historical module campaign games are perhaps the point at which ASL most closely resembles a simulation of sorts: the maps are faithful renditions of the actual terrain and the players are required to deal with some real life constraints, such as the need to limit losses and to trade space for time. Fortifications such as mines, wire and entrenchments often tend to play a larger role during campaign games and many players enjoy the opportunities presented when playing the defending side to purchase and design fortification schemes.

This list focusses on historical modules which are in print. Note that each module includes specific rules pertaining to the campaign game elements; how to purchase reinforcements, how to reconfigure troop dispositions during lulls in the fighting etc. The modules portray diverse situations and are published by MMP and reputable third party publishers.

The modules are presented in no particular order; each is highly recommended.

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: asl [+] [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Festung Budapest [Average Rating:8.68 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.68 Unranked]
Eoin Corrigan
Ireland
Wexford
Wexford
flag msg tools
designer
ASL Fanatic
badge
Royal Dublin Fusiliers "Spectamur Agendo"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The most recent official historical module, Festung Budapest describes the late-1944 siege of Budapest. Festung Budapest is particularly innovative as it models the impact of a protracted siege on the Hungarian and German garrison; the impacts of ammunition, fuel and food shortages are captured.

The map is fantastic, a beautiful treatment of an urban battlefield completely unlike any other ASL map. Playing a module like Festung Budapest gives one a very strong sense of some of the tactical dynamics of an actual battle and the impact of the actual geography; as a player one develops a very real understanding of the savagery of a late war, urban winter siege.

Another strong aspect of this module is the SSR heavy scenarios, many of which are destined for classic status.

Publisher: MMP
Scenarios: 17. A further scenario was published in Journal 9.
Campaign Games: 3. Note that CG I, Pearl of the Danube, is regarded as a highly demanding mission for the attacking Soviet player; apex ASL skills required to pull this one off against a competent Axis defender.
Counters: Yes, 9 (!) sheets.

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Ozerekya Breakout [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Eoin Corrigan
Ireland
Wexford
Wexford
flag msg tools
designer
ASL Fanatic
badge
Royal Dublin Fusiliers "Spectamur Agendo"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ozerekya Breakout depicts the fighting following an amphibious landing of Soviet marines in February 1943. The Soviets are attempting to fight up the Ozerekya river valley and reach the Black Sea town of Glebovka. A module with a very rural feel and therefore offering a strong counterpoint to the modules set in Stalingrad and Budapest.

This is a unique module in many respects. Firstly, the map is a fantastic addition to the ASL system as it depicts a single river valley with heavily wooded valley walls and vineyards and farmland on the valley floor. Secondly, the fighting is largely Soviet and Romanians. German reinforcements may appear later in the campaign but to a considerable degree the Romanians will be doing the defensive heavy lifting.

Publisher: Lone Canuck
Scenarios: 4. The scenarios seem something of an afterthought, perhaps best used as introductions to the terrain. The real meat here is the campaign game
Campaign Games: 1. 8 dates, or tactical missions as they are called, are included.
Counters: No.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Kampfgruppe Scherer: the Shield of Cholm [Average Rating:8.44 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.44 Unranked]
Eoin Corrigan
Ireland
Wexford
Wexford
flag msg tools
designer
ASL Fanatic
badge
Royal Dublin Fusiliers "Spectamur Agendo"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Another third party production, Cholm was published in 2011 to general acclaim. Much of the delight among the ASL campaign game playing community was owing to the components, which are fantastic and produced to the highest standard.

The module depicts the siege of Cholm, a Russian village held by the Germans and surrounded by the Soviets during the1941-42 winter counteroffensive. Supplied by air, the Kampfgruppe of approximately 5,000 men of diverse formations successfully defended against numerous Soviet attempts to take Cholm. The Kampfgruppe was rescued by a relief force in May 1942.

Two sets of maps are provided, the first depicting the early snow bound fighting, the second depicting the town in the spring complete with destruction caused to the town during the preceding months.
Given the scale of the fighting, particularly that the entire area can be comfortably depicted on ASL maps, the siege of Cholm is extremely well suited to treatment by historical module. The campaign game uses a modified version of the Red Barricades campaign game rules.

This is not a campaign for beginners as weather, block barrages, the supply situation and aviation feature strongly and come with a certain rules overhead, as one might expect.

Publisher: Le Franc Tireur
Scenarios: 15; 8 on the winter maps, 7 on the spring maps.
Campaign Games: 2.
Counters: Yes, 1 sheet including winter camouflage units, Soviet lend-lease Matilda tanks and aviation assets (gliders and tactical strike aircraft).
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: ASL Journal #9 [Average Rating:8.19 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.19 Unranked]
Eoin Corrigan
Ireland
Wexford
Wexford
flag msg tools
designer
ASL Fanatic
badge
Royal Dublin Fusiliers "Spectamur Agendo"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Published in 2011 Journal 9 is a strong representative of one of my favourite category of ASL products - the Journals. Aside from the usual diverse set of scenarios and articles Journal 9 includes

Suicide Creek is a small historical module which depicts fighting involving the 1st Marine Division and the Imperial Japanese Army in the vicinity of a small jungle river known as Suicide Creek on New Britain during early 1944.

New rules are included for Pillboxes with cellars, jungle debris and corduroy roads, bulldozer fords and (exploding) supply dumps.
The rules overhead for this module is light, although note that this is a jungle action featuring the Japanese. The fighting is extremely asymmetrical; US firepower vs. fortified and concealed Japanese.

Publisher: MMP
Scenarios: 6
Campaign Games: 1. This is a medium scale 7 date CG played over an approximate 50 hour period.
Counters: 1 sheet.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Valor of the Guards: ASL Historical Module Number 7 [Average Rating:8.73 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.73 Unranked]
Eoin Corrigan
Ireland
Wexford
Wexford
flag msg tools
designer
ASL Fanatic
badge
Royal Dublin Fusiliers "Spectamur Agendo"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
More than 15 years in development, Valor of the Guards depicts the stand of the 13th Guards Division in central of Stalingrad. Like Red Barricades, Valor of the Guards is set in ASL’s spiritual homeland; Stalingrad in late 1942. However, Valor of the Guards has a different feel to Red Barricades. The geography is largely residential and civic, rather than the industrial of the Barikady factories. New terrain types are included, such as gutted buildings and rail cars. There are rules for new troop types, such as NKVD units and additional commissars.

Perhaps the primary source material is William Craig’s Enemy at the Gates, and the module excels when presenting scenarios based on some of the vignettes described in Craig’s book, such as several scenarios based on the adventures of Hero of the Soviet Union Lt A. Dragan.

Stalingrad is ASL’s home and Valor of the Guards is a superb product which will deliver you into the main hall of the city’s Railway Station No. 1.

Publisher: MMP
Scenarios: 17. An additional 7 scenarios have been published in recent Journals.
Campaign Games: 4, two short CGs, a medium and a monster. I understand that a solitaire CG is under development.
Counters: Yes, 5 sheets.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.