Which Advanced Squad Leader Module Is Which And Which To Get Before Which

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English: Signpost. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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:

  1. Beyond Valor : Russian & German units (“order of battle“) plus some Finnish units.  This is the first core module that anyone should get.  
  2. Yanks : US order of battle (European theater of operations)
  3. For King & Country : British order of battle.  This replaced West of Alamein as the provider of the British order of battle.
  4. Rising Sun (coming soon) : Japanese, Chinese and the US Marines.  This is the relaunched combination of Code of Bushido and Gung Ho.
  5. Croix de Guerre : French order of battle

Others :

  1. Doomed Battalions : Allied Minors
  2. Hollow Legions : Italian order of battle
  3. Armies of Oblivion : Axis Minors
  4. Partisans : well, partisans of various European countries

Top notched resources:

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!

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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!!


Key to the Advanced Squad Leader Modules Before You Buy Any

Advanced Squad Leader is also referred to as “ASL”.  You’ll notice a lot of different Advanced Squad Leader modules out there and it can get pretty confusing. It helps to know there are a few large categories:

  • Advanced Squad Leader Starter Kit “ASLSK” : these are complete modules that provide low cost venues for new players to try and to learn the Advanced Squad Leader system.  
  • Advanced Squad Leader Core modules : these are modules, each containing all the counters (“orders of battle” or “OB”) for specific nationalities.  The modules are not complete games by themselves.  There are “dependencies” between modules which we will cover in another post and they require the purchase of the Advance Squad Leader Rulebook “ASLRB” (latest being 2nd edition 2nd print) to play.
  • Historical Advanced Squad Leader module “HASL” : these are modules that takes a deeper look at specific historical events.   Note that they too are not complete games and are dependent on ownership of specific Orders of Battle plus the Advanced Squad Leader Rulebook.
  • Advanced Squad Leader Action Packs “ASL Action Pack” : these are expansions to the ASL system that contains additional maps and scenarios that allow players to get right into the action.
  • Advanced Squad Leader Compatible “ASLCOMP” : these are Advanced Squad Leader variants and expansions published by companies other than Avalon Hill Game Company or Multi-Man Publishing.

I hope this provides a good framework from which you can plan your acquisitions.  Any thoughts, ideas or questions please feel free to comment!