There’s a particular “dependency” between the Advanced Squad Leader Core Modules that dictates the order in which you acquire them.
Firstly, it’s important to know that most of the rules are in the Advanced Squad Leader Rulebook (2nd ed). The reason I said “most” is that some of the chapters are contained in the modules. There are also updates and corrections (errata) published periodically. That’s why the Rulebook is not bound but housed in a 3 ring binder.
Secondly, the Core Modules do NOT standalone like the Advanced Squad Leader Starter Kits. They each contain:
- Counter sheets that pertains to combatant countries in the Second World War.
- Numbered maps depicting playable terrain that can be freely combined as each game scenario dictates.
- Scenarios – situational setups with historical background, maps and counters involved, game turn limits that gives you three-hour games to campaigns that goes for days plus victory conditions. Quality of scenario design is a key element that makes Advanced Squad Leader fun.
Thirdly, this is where core module dependency comes in :
Scenarios contained in the modules, ASL magazines and 3rd party companies call for map combinations and combatant country counters that are sold in different modules.
For example : You need at least the Japanese counters plus the US Marines and/or the British to play any PTO (Pacific theater of operations) scenarios. That requires the ownership of a number of modules to play.
So here’s a brief description of the orders of battle provided by each Advanced Squad Leader Core Module:
- Beyond Valor : Russian & German units (“order of battle“) plus some Finnish units. This is the first core module that anyone should get.
- Yanks : US order of battle (European theater of operations)
- For King & Country : British order of battle. This replaced West of Alamein as the provider of the British order of battle.
- Rising Sun (coming soon) : Japanese, Chinese and the US Marines. This is the relaunched combination of Code of Bushido and Gung Ho.
- Croix de Guerre : French order of battle
- Doomed Battalions : Allied Minors
- Hollow Legions : Italian order of battle
- Armies of Oblivion : Axis Minors
- Partisans : well, partisans of various European countries
Top notched resources:
- Mark Pitcavage’s Desperation Morale website is a top notched guide to Advanced Squad Leader products.
- “Boots” ASL Noob Review provides great information about these core modules as well.
- ASL Module Dependency Chart shows you which modules you need before you can play all the scenarios in each module
I hope this gives you a better idea of how to acquire your Advanced Squad Leader modules! Please let me know if you have any questions!
How about coming home everyday to 30 mins of PBeM game over VASL?
Whether you are a fellow newbie who would like to learn together or an experienced ASLer who don’t mind helping me up the curve. I play to enjoy and to learn. Please message me at jackson-dot-kwan-at-gmail-dot-com!!
- Why Do I Love Advanced Squad Leader? (hongkongwargamer.com)
- Key to the Advanced Squad Leader Modules Before You Buy Any (hongkongwargamer.com)
- The Advanced Squad Leader Starter Kits Are A Great Way To Start! (hongkongwargamer.com)
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Many veteran ASLers would say that the order in which you get ASL core modules is unimportant, because your goal is ultimately to have all the core modules. Therefore, if something is in print and available, get it now, even if you can’t play much from it. You will be helping yourself in the long run, because it might be out of print later (and much more expensive).