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Scenario Lists:

Lists are collections of scenarios that have a common theme - anything from "Scenarios I'll never play because...", through to "Scenarios with Tigers in the snow"

An Old-Timer's Favorite Scenarios by Module

(views: 7912) Generate Inventory Report

Discussing (or arguing about) one's favorite scenarios is a common feature of ASL discussion forums. I'd like to take a slightly different approach in this list and discuss my favorite scenarios for each individual module. This will bring a much wider range of scenarios into the discussion, and it might prove useful for someone considering purchasing a particular module... by giving them a sense of what the scenarios included in that module are like. If you disagree with my comments (and you WILL), just use the "add comment" links to add your own thoughts. I haven't made an entry for every module. There are many I don't have, some I haven't played (or haven't played very much), and some in which I just don't have a favorite scenario. If there's a module you'd like to talk about that I haven't included, just make up a new list of your own. It's easy! This list is a reworking of a similar list I did a while back on boardgamegeek.

Uploaded by: richfam: 2006-08-20 10:49:23

Barkmann's Corner DASL 2 - Hedgerow Hell D15
richfamModule: Hedgerow Hell

Barkmann's Corner
Deluxe ASL Scenario 15

Not only do I think that this is the best scenario in Hedgerow Hell, but it is also my pick for my favorite scenario in the entire ASL system.

***

July, 1944: A single German Panther tank, supported by one small AT gun and four SS squads, waits at a crossroads in the bocage in France to halt an American breakthrough...

A large American force of both tanks and infantry comes into view moving down the road, unaware of the Germans lying in wait...

The Panther's commander waits for his moment, utters a single word, and all hell breaks loose. American tanks erupt into flames as the column breaks apart and dives for cover. The Panther is nearly unkillable from the front, so the Americans desperately try to get a Sherman or a bazooka in position for a flank shot... while the outnumbered Germans desperately try to prevent that... and then, just when the situation simply can't get any more out-of-control, the American fighter-bombers roar across the sky...

***

How can one possibly choose any single scenario as the best of them all? For me, two factors led to this choice:

(1) This is easily one of the most enjoyable scenarios I've played, regardless of whether I had the Americans or the Germans.

(2) In this scenario both players, almost from the very first turn, are absolutely convinced that they cannot win! Both players are in full panic mode, and there is no such thing as playing safe - you have to take risks... lots of them.

I'll play this one any time, any where, any side... it's just too much fun!

But, if you look at the ROAR listings, this is one of the LEAST popular scenarios in ASL. Why? Well, it's from Hedgerow Hell, perhaps the least popular ASL module... it's a bocage battle... the American convoy gets ripped apart in the initial turns... and it's a brittle scenario that could possibly be decided by a single die roll. And maybe players don't like being thrown into a panic when trying to figure out how to win!

The beauty of ASL is that there is so much variety to the scenarios that you are sure to find something that you think is great. For me, it's Barkmann's Corner.

Honorable Mention:

They're Coming! - A huge bocage scenario. An elite German force supported by four Panthers must fight their way across three boards defended by US Army troops with loads of firepower. Each American Sherman and Stuart has the option to set up using HIP... at the cost of reducing the German victory requirements.

Ripe Pickings - A small American force ambushes a much larger German force in the bocage. A fun, fast-playing scenario.
Draconian Measures DASL 1 - Streets of Fire D6
richfamModule: Streets of Fire

Draconian Measures
Deluxe ASL Scenario 6

The Russians are defending in Kharkov in 1943. They have one AT Gun and one ART Gun, both of which can set up using HIP, and more concealment counters than squads. Reinforcements, in the form of three T-34s and a variable number of elite 6-2-8s, will arrive any time from turn 2 to turn 7.

The Germans attack with a mixed group of elite, first line, and second line infantry supported by four Pz IVHs. But their turn 2 reinforcements bring on four 8-3-8 engineers with a FT, three DC, and two Tiger tanks.

That powerful German force is a good reason to like this scenario, but the true appeal with this one is that, prior to the start of the game, the German player secretly chooses one of three different victory conditions. The Russian player must conduct his defense without knowing for sure what the German objective is, while the German must try to mask his true intentions and mislead the Russians as long as possible. The secret victory conditions create a game that feels extremely realistic, and is great fun to play.

Sadly, however, this idea never caught on. Almost all ASL scenarios tell both players exactly what has to be done to claim victory... thereby sacrificing all of the tension and uncertainty that secret victory conditions can so easily provide.

Honorable Mention:

Storming the Factory
The Schoolhouse
With Flame and Shell
Little Stalingrad
First to Strike

Heh... I almost might as well just list them all! For me, Streets of Fire is the best ASL module ever published, and the only module where I have played, and enjoy playing, every single scenario! One I don't list, Guryev's Headquarters, is a favorite scenario for many players... and the absolute best scenario to use to teach ASL to a new player.
Red Packets ASL 1 - Beyond Valor (3rd Edition) 6
richfamModule: Beyond Valor

Red Packets
ASL Scenario 6

Truth be told, I didn't find any of the scenarios in Beyond Valor to be of great interest. Part of the problem was that I learned ASL playing Streets of Fire with its beautiful giant hexes. When I then later tried to play with the regular mapboards and their tiny hexes - and the resulting towering stacks of counters - I was both appalled and disgusted.

That said, Red Packets would be my favorite of this group. It is a meeting engagement between a German reconnaissance group (one tank, one halftrack, one armored car) and a Russian force of five armored cars, a truck-mounted AA Gun, and three motorcycle squads in June, 1941.

This is an intensive, challenging, and quick-playing scenario. It's great for learning how to handle vehicles in combat, and it stands up well to repeated playings. Also important (at least to me) is that the small number of units involved minimizes the problems of playing with the small hexes.
Le Manoir ASL 2 - Paratrooper (2nd Edition) 13
richfamModule: Paratrooper

Le Manoir
ASL Scenario 13

This is a D-Day scenario in which 11 squads of American paratroopers have to capture a farm defended by a German force of 2 squads and 1 HS. The Germans are outnumbered by 4 to 1, but they are compensated by having 2 leaders, a hero, 1 MMG, and 2 HMGs... and their entire force sets up using HIP!

Scenarios with one side hopelessly outnumbered always appeal to me. The Americans have an interesting challenge in this one, as those German machine guns can be deadly.

Honorable Mention:

Defiance on Hill 30
Under the Noel Trees ASL 3 - Yanks 23
richfamModule: Yanks

Under the Noel Trees
ASL Scenario 23

Action from the Battle of the Bulge: a strong German force, 7 tanks carrying 7 SS squads, attacks 10 American paratrooper squads supported by 2 M10 tank destroyers. The Germans have winter camouflage, but the M10s and all American SW set up HIP... and both sides have an armor leader.

There's nothing particularly noteworthy about this scenario; it's simply a good one. It is typical of many ASL scenarios in that the stronger side must play somewhat recklessly because of time constraints. I like it because it poses interesting challenges to both players: the Americans must defend a wide front with a small force, and choose the best time to commit their hidden units; the Germans must devise a plan of attack that will move them across the map quickly without incurring too many casualties.

Honorable Mention:

Gavin's Gamble - One of the more unique scenarios in ASL, it recreates the famous river crossing assault by American paratroopers at Nijmegen. Assault boats that are almost uncontrollable... a smoke screen that covers two entire boards... and plenty of firepower on both sides of the river.
 PanzerUnder the Noel Trees is a pile of fun to play. It's a good mix of force and plays quickly. A must play!
Blazin' Chariots ASL 5 - West of Alamein 35
richfamModule: West of Alamein

Blazin' Chariots
ASL Scenario 35

I suspect that this scenario was the first taste of desert warfare for many veteran ASL players, just as it was for me.

The British send 12 American-made Stuarts to attack a mixed German force of Pz IIs, Pz IIIs, and Pz IVs - 9 tanks in all - during Operation Crusader. The Germans have two armor leaders, and the British are hampered by attacking into the setting sun.

The resulting long range desert gun duel was quite unlike anything seen before in the ASL system. With no terrain features and no infantry, this is a pure tank vs. tank battle.

I've actually played very few desert scenarios, as my opponents have not been interested in the North African theater. So this one becomes my favorite WOA scenario by default; there's probably others I would like more if I ever get a chance to play them.
The Last Bid HASL 1 - Red Barricades RB 5
richfamModule: Red Barricades

The Last Bid
ASL Scenario RB5

The campaign games are probably the best part of Red Barricades, but I've never had the opportunity to play one. I've played several of the smaller RB scenarios, but, while good, none of them were especially memorable. The problem is that I really don't care for scenarios that only use a small portion of a large map (it's frustrating to see all that map area go unused)... but I don't have the time to play a campaign game.

The answer to my problem is "The Last Bid" - a titanic 21 turn scenario that uses the entire map and literally hundreds of units. It would take several sessions to play, but would probably still be shorter than a full campaign game.

I must confess that I've never actually played this scenario (although I hope to do so eventually), so I'm just guessing that once I do play it this would then be my favorite RB scenario. It is certainly the one I most want to play.

The great appeal of Red Barricades is that it uses a historically accurate map of Stalingrad. Playing on this map showed me just how artificial and limiting the standard geomorphic maps are. I would much rather have a single map with "real" terrain than three or four mini-maps with limited terrain squeezed into them just so they can fit together in different ways. I think the geomorphic maps have long outlived their usefulness and should be discarded in favor of real maps... but I doubt that many other players share this view.
 DaveHas anyone played this one? I'd love to see an AAR for this scenario.
 King BillyI have played this. It is tough on the Russians, particularly when the German armour reinforcements come on, but a must play. Took four of us about three months to play through it, although we did not play every week. As the Russian we conceded about two thirds of the way through.
The Paw of the Tiger Classic ASL F
richfamModule: Cross of Iron

The Paw of the Tiger
ASL Scenario F (was SL Scenario 14)

This old scenario, revised by Avalon Hill to work with the ASL system, is one of the most realistic, challenging, exciting, and enjoyable tank battles I've ever played... in ANY game or game system.

Set near Leningrad in 1943, the Russians attack with 18 T-34s. The German defense centers on 2 Tiger tanks, supported by 2 light tanks, a light AT Gun, and 3 dug-in squads with off-board artillery on call. The action rages across three mapboards as the Russians have to charge across the map, fight through the German positions, and exit the map. The Germans have to make every shot count.

The only flaw in this scenario is a poor victory condition option that can occasionally allow the endgame to degenerate into a "cops-and-robbers" chase as the Russian tanks pursue the last mobile German tank back and forth across the map.

This scenario can be downloaded free from MMP's web site as part of their "ASL Classic Scenarios" collection.
Escape from Velikiye Luki Classic ASL H
richfamModule: Squad Leader

Escape from Velikiye Luki
ASL Scenario H (was SL Scenario 6)

A scenario from the original Squad Leader game, revised by Avalon Hill for use with ASL. This is a night battle, using the extensive night rules found in Chapter E. Night rules create an almost entirely new type of game when they are used, and I think every ASL player should try a night scenario at least once.

In this 1943 situation, a small band of Germans try to escape a Russian encirclement by sneaking past a much larger Russian force under the cover of darkness. The Russians, having celebrated their recent victories a little too much, are not as alert as they should be. The result is mass confusion for the Russians, and some hair-raising moments for the Germans.

This scenario can be downloaded free from MMP's web site as part of their "ASL Classic Scenarios" collection.

Honorable Mention:

Hill 621 - One of the most famous scenarios in the entire SL/ASL system, and an absolutely incredible experience to play. So, why isn't it my favorite "SL to ASL" scenario? Because I don't understand how anyone can actually finish it! By turn seven the counter density on the map becomes so high, and there's so much action going on, that it just fries my brain. I simply can't handle it.

One notable fact about Hill 621, in light of its popularity and reputation, is that it is NOT based on an actual historical event... something that many players claim that they won't accept.
 Michael DoroshTried this as my first ever Night scenario. Would love to see an AAR by two players who know what they're doing. As the Russian, my dummies set up on the opposite side of the board as the German dummy stacks. Result - not a shot fired and the German sailed to victory. Set up seems critical, but would love to know if we got the night rules essentially right.
To the Last Man AH:The General # 24.1 GD-A
richfamModule: The Avalon Hill GENERAL Magazine

To the Last Man
Deluxe ASL Scenario A

Avalon Hill published many scenarios in their magazine, The GENERAL, that never appeared in any actual module. This is my favorite of these.

Set in 1945 Budapest, a large German force, well-fortified but surrounded and running out of both fuel and ammunition, faces a two-pronged attack by a Russian force twice its size. With the Russians attacking from both the east and the west, the doomed Germans put up a tenacious and ferocious defense.

The Russian attack is lead by 5 of the monstrous IS-2m tanks, equipped with 122mm main guns.
List Comments:
DaveGreat list! I promise to play Barkmann's Corner as my next full ASL game - in honor of this list :)
LtDanoGood list, I agree with a lot of your picks (especially Under the Noel Trees). I can never get anyone to play Barkmann's Corner with me though...
Sunday 22 October 2017 08:36:01 PM  (c)dramsey 2017