In this first installment, I will review the basic units of the game: squads and leaders. After explaining what these units represent, and how they differ from each other, I will then use a simple tactical situation to illustrate the basic sequence of play in action. Squads and leaders are described in rules 1.2.1, 1.2.2, and 1.2.3.
What's happening here is this: when an American squad fails a Morale Check and breaks, it likely hasn't really panicked... the troops are simply keeping their heads down. This makes it relatively easy for a leader to rally them and get them back into the fight. A German squad is less likely to break, but when it does break it really is panicked, and it will be more difficult for a leader to rally them from a panicked state.
The 6+1 leaders, whose positive Leadership Modifier actually makes any squads stacked with them LESS effective and MORE vulnerable than they would be on their own, are best kept well away from the enemy. They can be used to rally broken troops, although not as effectively as the other leaders. The one thing they can do just as well as any other leader is add additional Movement Factors (MF) to any squads stacked with them.
Leadership is abstracted in ASL. If you actually included a counter for every sergeant and corporal present, you would have far more leaders than squads. The leaders that are present in every squad are assumed to be doing their job competently, so they are factored into the squad's ratings and do not appear as separate leader counters. The leaders that do appear in counter form are the few that perform above average, and who thus might be able to influence the course of the battle. In other words, they are the leaders who make a difference.
To win this scenario, the Americans must capture hex zF5 by the end of their player turn, otherwise the Germans win. This means that the Americans must either eliminate the German squad and leader, or break them and force them to rout away, and then move an American squad into zF5 to gain control of the hex.
The American player decides to fire with the two squads in zF7 and zG7, leaving the squad in zH6 unfired and free to move later. So the American plan is to hammer the German position with as much firepower as possible, and then move up a squad to either occupy the empty hex if the Germans break and rout away, or else advance in and attempt to capture it via Close Combat.
You might be wondering what the Smoke Exponent number represents, especially since it is often a low number that makes the successful use of smoke grenades difficult. First, notice that only a full squad can attempt to use smoke grenades (half squads and leaders can never place smoke). This indicates that a successful smoke screen is not the result of a single smoke grenade, but rather requires a lot of them. Then, given the large size of each hex (40 meters) and the short duration of a WWII smoke grenade (about 30 seconds, or one-fourth of a two minute turn), it becomes clear that, to place a useful smoke screen, you have to throw a lot of smoke grenades, very quickly, and spread them out to cover the entire hex.
The American squad declares that it will attack both German units. A leader in CC will normally attack and defend in combination with the squad on which it is stacked, unless the leader decides to make a CC attack by himself (in which case he could be attacked by himself). What the German leader is going to do does not matter in this situation... the American squad must attack and kill both German units, while surviving their attack, in order to win the scenario. Leaders have a FP of 1 in CC, so the American CC attack will be 6 to 5, which is 1-1 odds.
The German CC attack will be at 1-2 odds. The German squad's CC FP is cut in half to 2 FP because it is pinned, but the leader's 1 FP makes the attack 3 to 6 (the Germans would need at least 6 FP to get 1-1 odds). Note that pinned units in CC defend at full strength, but attack at half strength.
Welcome to the exciting world of Advanced Squad Leader. ASL is a detailed wargaming system that can simulate any company level ground action from World War II. The playing pieces represent squads, half-squads, leaders, crews, guns, and vehicles from every major and minor combatant of World War II. The battlefields are represented by geomorphic mapboards upon which the counters are maneuvered. Starter Kits provide the new player with an easy method for becoming familiar with the basics of the ASL system using entry-level scenarios, counters boards, and rules.
Advanced Squad Leader (ASL) is a tactical-level board wargame, originally marketed by Avalon Hill Games, that simulates actions of approximately company or battalion size in World War II. It is a detailed game system for two or more players (with solitaire play also possible). Components include the ASL Rulebook and various games called modules. ASL modules provide the standard equipment for playing ASL, including geomorphic mapboards and counters. The mapboards are divided into hexagons to regulate fire and movement, and depict generic terrain that can represent different historical locations. The counters are cardboard pieces that depict squads of soldiers, crews, individual leaders, support weapons, heavy weapons, and vehicles. 2b1af7f3a8