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Kampfgruppe Peiper II: ASL Historical Module 3» Forums » Rules

Subject: Slopes Step-by-Step rss

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Jay Richardson
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The ASL rules make extensive use of "comprehensive" examples of play. This is where they take a map image, place a bunch of units on it, and then write a dense "wall of text" to explain everything that is happening (or could happen) in that map situation. It's nice and compact, which helps keep production costs down, but many of these comprehensive examples of play are tedious – and sometimes confusing – to work through.

In this article, I've taken the comprehensive example of play for slopes from the Kampfgruppe Peiper rules and reworked it as a series of 12 separate illustrations, each one accompanied by a short descriptive text. My hope is that this will make slopes a little easier to understand for players using them for the first time... and maybe a little easier for me to refresh my memory when I'm preparing to play a scenario that uses slopes!



I make no claim to being an authority on slopes, as I've only played a couple of scenarios that use them. So if you see a mistake here, or something important that I've overlooked, let me know and I'll get it fixed. I've also only used slopes in KGP II, so I don't know offhand if any of the later HASLs change any of the slope rules.

I'm not going to repeat the entirety of the actual slope rules, but here is a quick overview: A unit in an Up-Slope position is 3/4 level higher than its base level, allowing it, for example, to see over half-level obstacles that are Down-Slope to it. Being Up-Slope cannot by itself give you the +1 Height Advantage (HA) TEM, but being Down-Slope to a firing unit can possibly give you a +1 slope TEM and/or a +1 Fire Lane slope DRM (if the Up-Slope unit is a MG laying a Fire Lane). Moving Up-Slope costs 1/2 MF + COT, or 1 MP + COT.

There are two levels present in these illustrations: the dark green hexes are at Level 2, and the light green hexes are at Level 3.



In the illustration above, the German squad's LOS to the four American squads is unaffected by any of the slopes.



Here the German squad has no LOS to any of the three American squads (The LOS tutorial in Chapter K calls this the "plateau effect").



The German squad in I14 can see every American squad. The plateau effect does not prevent the Germans from seeing the three American squads down on Level 2, because the German Up-Slope position at Level 3-3/4 allows it to see over the intervening Level 3 hexes.

If the German squad is fired upon by any of the three 5-4-6 squads, it can claim the +1 HA TEM because it is at least a full level higher than them. If it is fired upon by the 6-6-6 squads, it cannot claim the +1 HA TEM.



The German squad in K14 can see the 6-6-6 squads, but it cannot see the 5-4-6 squads.



The German squad in L13 can only see the four 6-6-6 squads. However, if it was Up-Slope in L13, with a slope on the K13-L13 hexside, it could then see the three 5-4-6 squads as well.



K11 is a blind hex to the German squad in I14, but the Germans can see the 6-6-6 in L10. The topmost height of the two story house would be Level 3-1/2 whereas the German squad is at Level 3-3/4 due to it being Up-Slope along that LOS.



The AFV in J13 Hinders the LOS between the 4-4-7 and the 5-4-6, but it does not Hinder the LOS between the 4-6-8 and the 5-4-6. The 4-6-8 is Up-Slope to the 5-4-6 (and the AFV is not) so the 4-6-8 can see over the AFV without any Hindrance. Both German squads can see the 6-6-6 without Hindrance from the AFV, because the 6-6-6 is Up-Slope to the AFV.



The German squad can see the American squad without Hindrance, because it is Up-Slope to the two AFVs. If there was a wall or hedge along the hexside between the two AFVs, it would not block the LOS.



The American 5-4-6 can claim a +1 slope TEM if it is fired upon by the 4-6-8. If the 4-4-7 in H13 fires, there is no slope TEM because the LOS does not cross one of K14's slope hexsides. The 5-4-6 also cannot claim the +1 slope TEM if it is fired upon by the 4-4-7 in L13, regardless of who has the Wall Advantage, because the firing unit is adjacent.

If the German squads in H13 and I14 form a FG to attack the 5-4-6, the American squad can still claim the +1 slope TEM (A.5).

Note that the 5-4-6 has a possibility of claiming a +1 slope TEM only because it occupies a hex with three or more (or two non-contiguous) Down-Slope hexsides.



If the Germans place a Fire Lane counter in L13 (or beyond L13 along that same LOF), all moving infantry can be attacked by that Fire Lane with no slope DRM because the firing unit is not Up-Slope to any of the affected Locations.



If the Germans place a Fire Lane counter in K14, the 5-4-6 (if moving) could claim both the +1 slope TEM and the +1 Fire Lane slope DRM; units moving in J13 or J14 could not claim either benefit.

If the Fire Lane counter were instead placed beyond K14 along that same LOF (e.g., in M14), the effect on units moving in J13, J14, of K14 would be the same, but the 6-6-6 squads (if moving) could not claim the +1 Fire Lane slope DRM. Note that I14 is not Up-Slope from either L13 or L14 along the LOS from I14 to those individual hexes. For the same reason, the +1 Fire Lane slope DRM would not apply to a Fire Lane Snap Shot at hexside L13-L14.



If the Germans place a Fire Lane counter in I12 (or beyond I12 along that same LOF), the 5-4-6 (if moving) could claim the +1 Fire Lane slope DRM, but the 6-6-6 could not (because it is adjacent to the firing unit).
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Michael Decker
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Jay, I'll not need to fetch my historical ASL rules out of storage. Thanks!
 
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Andy Beaton
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Thanks. Slopes have confused me in the past, and this helps.
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Stephen Rynerson
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A+ tutorial on a vexing subject. If had any GeekGold, I'd give you some!
 
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Miikka Sohlman
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I live in the city of Gulf, on the shores of Lake Water. This fun fact has nothing to do with this badge you're pointing at.
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The guide is excellent but how come you have real looking counters on a VASL map? What's your secret? Did you scan your counters and replaced the default VASL counter images with them?
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Jay Richardson
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Strictly speaking, my ASL/ASLSK illustrations are not VASL images; they are created entirely within Photoshop.

I use map images extracted from the VASL mapboard files and scans of actual counters. Map images are easily extracted, because VASL mapboard files are just ZIP archives, and each one contains a GIF image of the entire map.

I use these VASL map images because it's easier than scanning the actual maps (all of which are much bigger than my scanner), and the quality is good enough for online illustrations.

I use scanned counter images because they look better than the VASL counters, and scanned counters give me more flexibility in creating illustrations, as counter placement & display options within VASL are rather limited. For example, the following illustration uses a VASL map image of a Deluxe map, but you could never arrange the counters like this within VASL:


The only drawback to this technique is that creating illustrations like this involves a little bit of work. Simply exporting an image from VASL would be much faster.
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Stephen Rynerson
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Duc de Guise wrote:
Tcaalaw wrote:
A+ tutorial on a vexing subject. If had any GeekGold, I'd give you some!

Er........thanks (I think).


You're welcome! And six years later, I have some GeekGold, so please enjoy the (belated) tip.
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