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Subject: The Tanks of ASLSK #3 rss

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Jay Richardson
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MMP recently released a list of the vehicles and guns that will be included in ASLSK #3, in a message posted on ConsimWorld by Perry Cocke. Most (but not all) of these units will appear in the included scenarios. I thought it might prove interesting to provide a quick overview of these new units.

What's missing? Open-topped AFVs, which were removed in the interests of keeping the rules as simple as possible. So American tank destroyers and armored cars, many German self-propelled guns, and all halftracks & carriers are absent.

For each unit that can fire armor piercing (AP) ammunition, I've given the gun's basic AP To Kill number (TK#); and for the tanks, I've included their front hull armor factor (AF). This allows you to do a rough comparison between potential adversaries. In general, the more the shooter's TK# exceeds the target's AF, the better the chance of killing the tank with a hit. The basic TK# can be modified by the range at which the shot is taken, and the front hull AF is used only if a shot actually hits the front hull, so the actual chance of a successful kill can vary quite a bit.

But, you ask... what happens if the TK# is LESS THAN the AF?



It bounces off, doing no harm... In such cases you have to hope to roll a critical hit, which doubles the TK#, or try for a side or rear shot (where a tank's armor is usually much weaker).

This highlights the critical importance of Guns setting up with HIP (introduced in ASLSK #2): if you have placed your hidden Gun in a good spot, you can wait until an unsuspecting tank drives past and then hit it with a side shot that is often an almost certain kill... instead of a front shot that may have little or no chance of a kill.

For example: an American 57L AT Gun has almost no chance of defeating a German Panther in a fair fight: TK# of 15 vs front hull AF of 18. But let that 57L set up HIP somewhere on the map, and that Panther is going to be very reluctant to move at all, because it is so vulnerable to a side shot from the 57L.

Now let's see what MMP says is coming in ASLSK #3...

American

M4A1
TK#: 14
AF: 11

The M4 Sherman tank, workhorse of the American army, equipped with a 75mm gun.

M4A2(L)
TK#: 14
AF: 11

This model is slightly faster than the M4A1.

M4A3
TK#: 14
AF: 8

The M4A3 is faster than either of the previous two models, but its front hull armor is weaker.

M4A3(75)W
TK#: 14
AF: 11

This model combines the speed of the M4A3 with the armor protection of the earlier models, making it an excellent all-purpose tank.

M4A3E2
TK#: 14
AF: 18

The "Jumbo" Sherman, with much heavier armor, which also made it the slowest Sherman model.

M4A3E2(L)
TK#: 17
AF: 18

Although the Jumbos were built with the standard 75mm gun, it was easy to upgrade them in the field to use the 76mm long barrel (high velocity) gun, which was much more effective against armored targets.

M4A3(76)W
TK#: 17
AF: 11

The most common version of the up-gunned 76mm Sherman.

M4A3(105)
AF: 11

The American version of the assault gun: a Sherman chassis with a 105mm howitzer mounted in the turret. This gun had no AP ammunition, but it did have a HEAT round (High Explosive Anti-Tank) with a TK# of 15. If no HEAT rounds were available, it would have to engage armored targets with basic HE rounds (High Explosive) with a TK# of 10.

M1 81mm MTR

This weapon also appeared in ASLSK #2.

M1 57mm AT
TK#: 15

This weapon also appeared in ASLSK #2. Note that this high velocity 57mm gun has a higher TK# than the bigger, low velocity 75mm gun mounted on the Shermans.

M5 3-in. AT
TK#: 17

A high velocity 76mm gun with a low rate of fire: in ASL it has a ROF of 1 while other similar guns have a ROF of 2.

British

Mk VIB
AF: 1

Now here's a vehicle to strike terror in the hearts of your enemies: the early war "tankette" with a MG as its main armament. They are fast, however.

Stuart III
TK#: 11
AF: 4

The American-made M3A1 light tank converted for use by the British. It had excellent speed but sacrificed firepower and armor.

Sherman II
TK#: 14
AF: 11

The American M4A1 Lend-Leased to the British.

Sherman IIA
TK#: 17
AF: 11

The M4A1(76)W.

Sherman IIC
TK#: 23
AF: 11

This is the famous "Firefly": the British innovation of mounting their extremely high velocity 17-Pounder (76mm) gun on an American Sherman chassis. The 17-Pounder was the equal of the Panther's gun, and the Firefly gave the British a tank that actually had a reasonable chance of killing a Tiger I or Panther with a frontal shot.

Daimler Armoured Car
TK#: 10
AF: 2

Armored cars are not, of course, expected to fight tanks... or anything else, for that matter. Their primary job is to find and observe the enemy. The Daimler was a fine design with excellent speed, and its 40mm gun was a threat to any enemy armored cars it might encounter.

OML 3-in. MTR

This weapon also appeared in ASLSK #2.

OQF 6-Pounder AT
TK#: 15

A high velocity 57mm gun.

OQF 25-Pounder ART
TK#: 13

An 88mm artillery piece that could also serve in an AT role when necessary.

Italian

L3/35
AF: 1

The Italian version of the tankette, sadly outclassed by the British Mk VIB. It was very slow for a light tank.

M13/40
TK#: 11
AF: 3

The most famous Italian tank of the war, equipped with a 47mm gun. Outclassed by almost everything it faced, and very slow.

AB 41
TK#: 6
AF: 1

A decent armored car, with a 20mm gun.

75/25 ART

This must be a misprint: my 1st edition Hollow Legions has no such Gun, and none is present in the counter list for the 2nd edition. This probably should be "75/27 ART" which is a short-barreled 75mm infantry gun with a TK# of 10.

German

PzKpfw IIF
TK#: 6
AF: 3

A main battle tank early in the war, with a 20mm gun, the PzKpfw II was later used in a reconnaissance role.

PzKpfw 35t
TK#: 8
AF: 3

The Czechoslovakian main battle tank, with a 37mm gun, used by the Germans after their seizure of Czechoslovakia.

PzKpfw 38(t)A
TK#: 9
AF: 3

A Czechoslovakian-built replacement for the PzKpfw 35t, with an improved 37mm gun.

PzKpfw IIIF
TK#: 9
AF: 3

Germany's main battle tank in the early years. This model had a 37mm gun.

PzKpfw IIIH
TK#: 11
AF: 6

This model had improved armor and a 50mm gun, but was slower than the PzKpfw IIIF.

PzKpfw IIIN
AF: 6

When its days as a main battle tank were over, the PzKpfw III was equipped with a short barrel 75mm gun and used in a support role against enemy infantry. This gun has no AP ammunition, so it must use HEAT rounds (TK# 13) or regular HE rounds (TK# 7) when firing at armored targets.

PzKpfw IVD
TK#: 10
AF: 3

An early version of the famous "Mark IV" that was the workhorse of the German armored forces throughout much of the war. This model was equipped with the distinctive short barrel 75mm gun with limited AP ammunition.

PzKpfw IVF2
TK#: 17
AF: 6

The PzKpfw IV was up-gunned with a high velocity 75mm gun to counter the heavily armored Russian T-34s.

PzKpfw IVH
TK#: 17
AF: 8

The most commonly encountered version of the PzKpfw IV in the later years of the war.

PzKpfw IVJ
TK#: 17
AF: 8

The final version of the PzKpfw IV, with a slower turret but improved close defense capability.

PzKpfw VG
TK#: 23
AF: 18

The Panther... regarded by many as the finest tank produced in World War II. After you play ASLSK #3, you'll probably agree with that assessment. Incredible hitting power, awesome armor protection, and high speed... this is the complete package.

PzKpfw VIE
TK#: 20
AF: 11

The legendary Tiger I, arguably the most famous tank of the entire war. The Panther outclasses it in most areas, but the Tiger's 88mm gun is more effective against infantry than the Panther's 75mm.

PzKpfw VIE(L)
TK#: 20
AF: 11

The final version of the Tiger I, with improved reliability and close defense.

PzKpfw VIB
TK#: 27
AF: 26

The King Tiger (Tiger II)... a gun that could take out almost any opponent with a single shot, combined with frontal armor that was nearly impregnable, insured this tank's reputation as one of the monster tanks of WWII. But its slow speed was a significant weakness.

StuG IIIG
TK#: 17
AF: 8

This is a turret-less assault gun, with a high velocity 75mm gun that allows it to serve in an anti-tank role. Like most turret-less assault guns, the StuG IIIG benefits from a low profile that makes it more difficult to hit.

StuG IIIG(L)
TK#: 17
AF: 8

A late model StuG IIIG with improved close defense capability.

StuH 42
AF: 8

This assault gun mounts a 105mm gun that does not have AP ammunition. It must use HEAT (TK# 15) or plain HE (TK# 10) when firing at armored targets.

JgdPz 38(t)
TK#: 17
AF: 14

Unlike the more general purpose assault guns, the JgdPzs were designed from the start as tank destroyers. They often had limited HE ammunition and ineffective MGs, leaving them vulnerable to enemy infantry if they were not supported by friendly infantry. This model is the Hetzer, built on the Czechoslovakian PzKpfw 38(t) chassis.

JgdPz IV/70
TK#: 23
AF: 14

Building turret-less AFVs was not only cheaper than building regular tanks, but it also extended the useful life of older chassis. The PzKpfw IV series was maxed out with the "H" model, but when converted to JgdPz form it has the hitting power of a Panther and excellent armor protection.

PSW 232
TK#: 6
AF: 3

An excellent armored car design, with good armor protection, high speed, and a 20mm gun.

PSW 234/2
TK#: 13
AF: 4

The Puma, one of the best armored car designs of the war: it had better armor protection than the PSW 232, and a high velocity 50mm gun... without sacrificing any speed.

8cm GrW 34 MTR

This weapon also appeared in ASLSK #2.

5cm PaK 38 AT
TK#: 13

7.5cm PaK 40 AT
TK#: 17

This weapon also appeared in ASLSK #2.

8.8cm PaK 43 AT
TK#: 27

(I'm guessing here, as there are two Guns that match MMP's designation of "88LL AT" – this is the more famous one, and therefore the one I think will actually appear in the game.)

The 88mm gun that appeared in ASLSK #2 was an anti-aircraft gun that could also be used in an anti-tank role. This model was designed as an anti-tank gun, and is considered to be the best AT Gun of the war. It has a higher velocity (longer barrel) than the AA Gun in ASLSK #2, which gives it a tremendous TK#. This is the same gun that is mounted in the King Tiger.

Russian

BT-7 M37
TK#: 10
AF: 2

An obsolete tank lacking in armor protection, equipped with a 45mm gun.

T-34 M41
TK#: 13
AF: 11

The T-34, the workhorse of the Russian army. It's combination of heavy armor and high speed was a rude shock to the Germans when they first encountered it. Compare this to the German main battle tank at the time, the PzKpfw IIIH (TK# 11, AF 6): the T-34's 76mm gun has a chance to kill the PzKpfw IIIH with any shot, while the T-34 is almost invulnerable to a frontal shot... and many of the German tanks of the time were even less powerful than the IIIH!

T-34 M43
TK#: 13
AF: 11

This later model T-34 has slightly better turret armor and an improved rate of fire.

T-34/85
TK#: 17
AF: 11

When the German Panthers and Tigers appeared, the Russians responded by putting an 85mm gun into the T-34.

M4/76
TK#: 17
AF: 11

An American-built 76mm Sherman sent to the Russians via Lend-Lease.

T-44
TK#: 17
AF: 18

This one is a surprising inclusion: a model intended to replace the T-34/85, but few were built, and few of those ever saw combat. Perhaps this was needed for a scenario on some obscure 1945 end-of-the-war battle?

KV-1 M41
TK#: 13
AF: 11

The KVs were heavy Russian tanks with superior all-around armor protection, but they were much slower than the T-34 models.

KV-2
TK#: 17
AF: 8

The KV-2 was an extremely slow moving tank mounting a massive 152mm short barrel gun. It was perfect for assaulting a heavily dug-in enemy position, but useless in trying to stop the German blitzkrieg.

IS-2
TK#: 25
AF: 14

The IS series were late war Russian heavy tanks mounting 122mm guns. A very low rate of fire was their greatest drawback. In ASL, this means that they have no ROF and they cannot use Intensive Fire at all.

IS-2m
TK#: 25
AF: 26

The main difference from the IS-2 was a greatly reinforced front hull. The IS-2m was one of the few tanks that could trade shots with a German King Tiger and hope to survive the encounter.

Sherman III
TK#: 14
AF: 11

The Lend-Lease version of the M4A2.

82mm BM obr. 37 MTR

The MMP list has "81*MTR" – but the Russians do not have an 81mm mortar, so I am assuming they actually meant the 82mm mortar, which also appeared in ASLSK #2.

57mm PTP obr. 43 AT
TK#: 15

76.2mm PP obr. 27 INF
TK#: 9

A short barrel infantry gun that really isn't designed for anti-tank use.

76.2mm PTP obr. 39 ART
TK#: 13

This weapon also appeared in ASLSK #2.

122mm obr. 31 ART
TK#: 25

An artillery piece that makes an extremely powerful anti-tank gun.

***

Well, that list has quite a bit of variety... much more than I really expected. There's everything from the pathetic machinegun tankettes of 1939 to the terrifying monster tanks of 1945!

This quick survey has been somewhat superficial, but MMP is planning on including complete Chapter H historical notes for all of these units in the ASLSK #3 rulebook (just like they did in the ASLSK #2 rulebook) so you will be able to get a lot more detailed information there.

And keep in mind that my comments about different ammunition types, etc. are all based on the full ASL rules. How much of the ASL armor rules actually make it into ASLSK #3 – and what form they take there – remains to be seen. But hopefully this will have whetted your appetite to give ASLSK #3 a try to see what armored combat is like in the world of ASL.
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Andrew Young
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And if you never have, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.
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Nice work.
 
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Andrew Young
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TedTorgerson wrote:
In addition to AP and HEAT you can also get the Sherman equppied with paint cannisters. Makes pretty pictures. Scares the hell out of people.


I've seen this cause berserkers to rush the painters... it's not pretty after that.

8-)
 
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Kevin Moody
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Quote:
In addition to AP and HEAT you can also get the Sherman equppied with paint cannisters.
Turner Classic Movies is showing that flick this Saturday night

woof! woof!
 
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Michael Decker
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TedTorgerson wrote:
In addition to AP and HEAT you can also get the Sherman equppied with paint cannisters. Makes pretty pictures. Scares the hell out of people.


Sounds like one of the scenarios may have a French bank filled with German gold...

 
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If they don't have that scenario then I'll be sending out some serious negative waves!
 
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Dave Humm
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I really hope that the the British 88mm artillery aka 25pounder makes it into the published game. Slightly disappointed to see the pretty rare things like the T44 and PzkfwVIB in there as I prefer to see the more common types. From the British side I would have been nice to see a Churchill or Matilda in there.

 
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Peter
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MonsterMash wrote:
I really hope that the the British 88mm artillery aka 25pounder makes it into the published game. Slightly disappointed to see the pretty rare things like the T44 and PzkfwVIB in there as I prefer to see the more common types. From the British side I would have been nice to see a Churchill or Matilda in there.



That shouldn't be a problem for those that have full ASL
 
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Richard D
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Thanks for all the great info. Very interesting. The ASLSK#3 sounds like it will be a lot of FUN!
 
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Jay Richardson
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Of course it isn't a problem for people with full ASL... but not everyone goes directly from playing ASLSK1 to buying everything possible for ASL, do they, Peter?



I agree with Dave that the British OOB in ASLSK3 looks to be a little Sherman-heavy, but at least you'll have the Fireflys to play with!

Just to show the encyclopedic completeness of full ASL, here's an abbreviated list of the British vehicles and Guns that can be found in ASL proper. Most models will have six counters each, but some rarer models will have fewer.

Vehicles:
* 4 tankette models
* 3 Stuart models
* Locust (a grand total of six saw combat in one operation... and ASL includes them!)
* 7 Cruiser models
* 5 Crusader models
* Grant & Lee
* 5 Sherman models
* 2 Firefly models
* Centaur
* 4 Cromwell models
* Challenger
* Comet
* Sherman Dozer
* Sherman Crab
* 3 Matilda models
* 4 Valentine models
* 6 Churchill models
* Valentine & Churchill Bridgelayers
* Churchill AVRE
* Churchill Crocodile
* Deacon
* Wolverine & Achilles
* Archer
* 22 assorted Armored Car models
* Bishop
* Priest
* Sexton
* a wide assortment of carriers, AA vehicles, amphibious vehicles (including the Sherman III DD), and trucks... 44 models in all

Guns:
* 4 mortar
* 5 anti-tank
* 12 artillery
* 4 AA

This British OOB is from West of Alamein; the British OOB in For King and Country might possibly be slightly different.
 
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Jay Richardson
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There's been several recent posts on the various ASLSK pages asking if it will be possible to play regular ASL scenarios using the ASLSK3 rules. This is unlikely to work well – or at all – except with the most basic ASL scenarios: ASL maps have many terrain types that are not covered in the ASLSK rules, and the play balance of the scenarios will be severly reduced without the use of concealment and other ASL-only rules.

But... the one part of full ASL products that will be usable with the ASLSK3 rules is the counters, and especially the vehicles. If, for example, there was an ASLSK player who was fascinated by the British, but who absolutely had no intention of moving on to full ASL, he could purchase "For King and Country" and have the full range of British squads and vehicles available for use in his ASLSK3 games. The problems he would encounter in doing this include:

* He would need to get the ASL To Hit and To Kill tables (readily available as downloadable ASL player aids).

* There are no rules for open-topped AFV's, so to use them in an ASLSK scenario would require either treating them as fully-enclosed AFV's or adapting the existing ASL open-topped AFV rules.

* Certain highly specialized vehicles could not be used (for example, an amphibious tank is going to be pretty useless without beach maps and amphibious landing rules).

* He would have to develop his own scenarios.

I can't really see that buying one or more ASL modules, and spending many hours developing your own scenarios, makes more sense than simply moving on to full ASL... but it is an option. A more likely scenario would be an ASLSK player who sees a damaged or incomplete used ASL module for sale at a really low price: why not pick it up and get some more counters to play with? The ASLSK3 rules – with the addition of the ASL To Hit/To Kill tables – will handle most of the fully-enclosed AFV's that have been published in ASL.
 
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richfam wrote:
Of course it isn't a problem for people with full ASL... but not everyone goes directly from playing ASLSK1 to buying everything possible for ASL, do they, Peter?





Ahhh well...didn't buy everything but I did "step on the throttle" after I bought ASLSK #1, easy decision really since I know I'm going to play ASL for life. I hardly get everything, I'm only buying what I think I will actually play. It's so easy though to buy other modules just for collection but I can restrain myself, at least so far. No Pacific and Desert for me...

I still remember January 2006 when I got my order of full ASL rulebook, 2 copies of BV3 and Yanks from MMP - very special day. The greatest day so far for me was Black Day Sale at MMP in late 2006 when I got Red Barricades and SASL II for around $25 each...what a steal!!! I think I spent like $900 on ASL related stuff in 2006 not including ASL Journals or other ASL related magazines. But you know it's worth it to me, there hasn't been a day in 2006 that I didn't do something ASL related. For 2007 all I really care about to buy is VotG and ASLSK #3, Red Star Rising and of course PanzerBlitz 2.

I also bought Panzer Grenadier Eastern Front Deluxe from Avalanche Press but for some reason I can't get into it...the counters look amazing but maps are kind of dull and the rules too don't excite me too much either.

richfam wrote:

I agree with Dave that the British OOB in ASLSK3 looks to be a little Sherman-heavy, but at least you'll have the Fireflys to play with!


You know looking at your list of vehicles, there is a lot of shermans there period! Lets see I think I count 15...wow! Someone on the design teams likes to play with Ronsons. I would have liked to see British Matilda, or T-34 M42, PzKpfw III G, PzKpfw III L...though that won't be problem for me

You know speaking about those TK numbers...I found the ASLSK To Hit CHart a bit confusing in ASLSK #2 so when I play I actually like the full ASL C3/C4/C5/C6 tables much easier to read.

Btw Jay, do you have any suggestions how to learn Armor rules in full ASL ? How did you approach Chapter D yourself ? Can't wait any longer for ASLSK #3.
 
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Jay Richardson
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JG53_Jaguar wrote:
Btw Jay, do you have any suggestions how to learn Armor rules in full ASL ? How did you approach Chapter D yourself ? Can't wait any longer for ASLSK #3.

Hmmm... that would be getting too off-topic for this thread. See instead my post in another thread on the ASL page:

Scenario recommendations for a newbie with a good teacher?
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/134875

When learning the armor rules, at either the ASLSK or ASL level, I think that Bounding Fire and the whole Moving/Motion/Non-Stopped multiple-status thing will probably cause the most problems.
 
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Will DeMorris
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Man, the more I hear about it the more I can't wait for SK #3 to come out. Thanks for the list!

-Will
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Perry Cocke
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Jay did a great piece of describing the AFV and Guns we planned to include in SK#3. We actually did a pretty good job of predicting what we would do, but all plans change upon meeting up with reality.

So here is what changed from what Jay described based on our prediction.

These AFV didn’t make the cut:

US M4A3E2

Italian AB 41

Russian T-44.

The US, German, and Russian SW mortars made it in, as did some BAZ, PSK, PIAT, and ATR.

Jay was correct with his predictions that the Italian 75/25 ART is really the 75/27 ART

And that the 88LL AT mentioned was really the 8.8cm PaK 43.

And FYI, the T-34 M41 is only available with a radio beginning 1943.

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