Advanced Squad Leader
|INTRODUCTION||PART 1||PART 2||PART 3||PART 4||PART 5|
|[12.0]||Specific ASL rules|
|[12.01]||How does a Human Wave work?|
|[12.02]||How does bocage work?|
|[12.03]||CX and leader movement bonus|
|[12.04]||Moving vs. Motion etc.|
|[12.05]||Assault move and laying SMOKE|
|[12.06]||Area Target Type vs. Area Fire|
|[12.07]||Do mortars get ROF with SMOKE?|
|[12.08]||Infantry Target Type CHs|
|[12.09]||Building vs. Location vs. Hex Control|
|[12.10]||Why do the concealment markers have a morale level printed on them?|
|[12.11]||Do I have to declare it when my opponent rolls his SAN?|
|[12.12]||Can a leader direct fire when he can't use his DRM?|
|[12.13]||What does "momentarily reveal" mean?|
|[12.14]||Can I dm a weapon and still move?|
|[12.15]||OBA confuses me! How can it be made simpler?|
|[12.16]||What is that thing on Board 8?|
|[12.17]||The centre dots on my board aren't in the centre of the hexes! What do I do?|
|[12.18]||The rules say I can HIP my foxholes. Does that mean the units in the foxhole are HIP also?|
|[12.19]||Can I remove CX by declaring TI?|
|[12.20]||What is "VBM Sleaze"?|
|[12.21]||When is CC "simultaneous"?|
|[12.22]||Is "No Quarter" always applied to both sides when in effect?|
|[12.23]||Must I use my MGs when making a SFF attack?|
|[12.24]||OVRs confuse me! How can it be made simpler?|
|[12.26]||Half-Squads and Smoke Grenades|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 categorised 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!
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
The OVR Flowchart is also included in the 2nd Edition Rulebook.
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.
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!
|INTRODUCTION||PART 1||PART 2||PART 3||PART 4||PART 5|