Historical Advanced Squad Leader modules (HASL modules) were addons for the tactical wargame Advanced Squad Leader intended to depict actual historical events using maps produced from actual terrain maps, and featuring linked scenarios (called Campaign Games). All other equipment from ASL was necessary for play, including unit and system counters, dice, the ASL Rulebook and in the case of the Historical Studies, the geomorphic mapboards. In addition, some extra equipment was included in most HASL Modules, such as extra copies of commonly used counters in order to prevent shortages of vehicle or infantry types, as well as module-specific informational markers. Finally, each module contained its own rulebook chapter pages (or pages for just part of a chapter, in cases where multiple HASL modules shared the same rulebook chapter), which gave rules for module-specific terrain and units, as well as campaign game rules, and a black and white miniature of the historical map (if included) which was to be photocopied and written on during the course of campaign play.
The centrepiece of these historical offerings, aside from the maps, were the Campaign Games.
The Campaign Game (abbreviated CG throughout the rules and hereafter) allows for a wide variety of situations and nearly limitless possibilities. Each player, or team of players, is assigned a certain force, given in terms of Companies, Platoons and Batteries as well as a number of campaign Purchase Points (CPP) and Fortification Purchase Points (FPP).
Each Company...is composed of a set number of squads and support weapons. Further, each Company can be either in a full-strength or depleted state...The CPPs are used to purchase additional forces throughout the game.
Unit purchases are made during a Refit phase taking place between game days - instead of a set number of game turns, actions now take place in game days. A game day is of variable length...
At the end of a campaign day both players place perimeter markings along their front lines, or around units if they're isolated. The perimeter serves as your start line for the next campaign day. This will usually result in wild jagged lines penetrating into enemy held areas which show where your last major effort was made...After each campaign day in which at least one side had decided to go on the offensive, each day varies from a minimum of five (game) turns to an infinite amount (though likely less than eight)...both sides (then) refit and redeploy anywhere along their defined perimeter...
Opposing sides do not fight tooth and nail every day. At the outset of each campaign day each side secretly chooses a(n)...Initiative chit, outlining its intentions (Attack or Idle)...On all results except (both players choosing) Idle, another game day is played out with its varying length. If both sides are Idle, then a game day passes without being played out...(either way, at day's end) both sides again go through the Refit Phase...The Refit Phase features events like promotion, extinguishing blazes, AFV machine gun exchange and scrounging (as well as purchasing fresh forces with CPP and FPP).
Red Barricades: Squads at the Gates: Advanced Squad Leader does Stalingrad by Tom Zlizewski Fire & Movement: The Forum of Conflict Simulation, August 1990 (Number 67)
Perhaps the only perceived drawback to the historical modules was a lessened replayability. By their nature, mapboards were small and focused on close-in terrain such as urban, forest or jungle. While new scenarios for play on the historical maps were occasionally found in ASL themed periodicals such as ASL Annual or ASL Journal, the limited scope of the fighting on these maps restricted the number and type of scenarios possible. However, the dynamics of the campaign games guaranteed that no two CG would play out the same, even with the use of similar forces and identical terrain.
Red Barricades was released in 1989 and focussed on the fighting for the Krasnaya Barrikady ordnance factory complex in Stalingrad. Commonly abbreviated as RB. Special additions for this module included rules for new terrain types including debris, railway embankments, culverts, storage tanks, single hex two-story buildings, and modified rules for gullies, factories and cellars. As well, two new weapons (the Soviet Molotov cocktail projector, also known to Combat Mission players as an ampulomet) and the German StuIG (a 150mm infantry gun on a Panzer III chassis) were introduced. Three Campaign Games were included as well as 7 standalone scenarios. The Campaign Games include "Into the Factory" (17-29 October 1942), Operation Hubertus (11-15 November 1942) and The Barrikady (17 October - 15 November 1942). Multiman Publishing will return to the 1942 Stalingrad campaign with its forthcoming Valor of the Guards module, which will focus on the fighting around the central Stalingrad railway station.
Additional scenarios were also printed in the ASL Annual.
Released in 1993, this was the first of a two part module, focusing on the fighting by one of the SS armoured spearheads in the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. Kampfgruppe Peiper is best known as the unit that perpetrated the Malmedy massacre but that incident is not portrayed in the game, nor is the Baugnez Crossroads where the massacre took place. The rules chapter for this HASL Module included rules for Pine Woods, Slope hexsides, and barbed wire fences, as well as modifications of existing rules for stream-hex terrain, village terrain, hillside walls and hedges, and known minefields. One mapsheet, for terrain surrounding Stoumont, Belgium, is included as well as 1 campaign game ("Clash at Stoumont", 19 – 21 December 1944) and 4 standalone scenarios.
The second half of the Kampfgruppe Peiper module (commonly abbreviated as KGP II). Acting as a companion to the KGP I module, it depicted the fighting between Waffen SS forces of Battle Group Peiper near the Belgian villages of Cheneux and La Gleize. Three mapsheets are included; a two-piece sheet covering the terrain around La Gleize and a single Cheneux sheet. Additional rules for Chapter P of the ASL Rulebook were included.
Six standard scenarios using small portions of the two maps were included as well as one large or "monster" scenario using the entire La Gleize map.
Scenarios KGP5 - KGP11
This module depicted the fighting at the so-called Pegasus Bridge on 6 June 1944, one of the events famously depicted in the 1962 film The Longest Day and also the subject of a book by Stephen Ambrose by the same name. Released in 1996.
The module contained six stand-alone scenarios in addition to the requisite Campaign Games, two in number in this module. The mapsheet depicted the bridge and surrounding towns of Benouville and Le Port. Chapter Q of the ASL Rule Book was included. Additionally, Day 7 of the Chapter K training module was included (later released with the second version of the ASL Rulebook).
Scenarios: PB1 - PB6
The new rules chapter included special rules for the Arnhem Bridge, the ramp leading up to the bridge, and a blockhouse located on the bridge, as well as new rules for factories and cellars, wide city boulevards, unit replacements, and partial orchards. Three campaign games were included as well as 9 standalone scenarios; the campaign games being "Block by Bloody Block" (17 - 19 September 1944), "A Dark and Fateful Day" (19 - 21 September 1944, and "A Bridge Too Far" (17 - 21 September 1944).
Depicts the landings at Betio Atoll in 1943 by United States Marines.
Contained three campaign games and 7 standalone scenarios.
This was the first so-called "historical study" which combined actual (or "historical") maps with scenarios played on the geomorphic maps released with the core modules. This HASL module depicted the fighting on Guadalcanal from 7 August, 1942 until February 1943.
Released in 2002 this historical study was the first official module to contain scenarios depicting Canadians (other than the Rogue Scenarios of the original Squad Leader game). A campaign game called "Riley's Road" was included with a historical terrain map, as well as scenarios using the geomorphic maps (and in one case using only terrain overlays). The scenarios all featured British and Canadian forces during Operation Veritable, the battles to clear the last German holdouts west of the Rhine, to the east of the Nijmegen Salient, as a preparation for the 21st Army Group's crossing of the Rhine River in March 1945.
The rules feature several new terrain types, as well as the German Sturmtiger AFV.
Being dependent on the geomorphic mapboards, the prerequisites for this module were many, including the ASL rulebook, "all core modules" according to the official website, and boards 4,5,11,19,43,46,49, and 50.
This proposed game, under production and slated for a 2006 release (but not actually released until 2008), centres again on the fighting in Stalingrad. Early advertisments for this game were seen as early as 2002 in ASL Journal #3, stating Preorders would be taken beginning in 2003. Preorders for the game went onto the MMP website on 21 December 2005; over 500 pre-orders were registered on the site by credit card in just four hours.
The game includes:
The game simulates the fighting in September 1942 near the Central Railway Station and includes several famous historical locations such as Pavlov's House and the Univermag Department Store where General Paulus had his headquarters at the time of the surrender in February 1943.
The rules include, as is common for HASL modules, several new terrain types. In VotG, this includes burned out stone buildings, Plazas, and partially rubbled buildings.
This module was released in January 2008.
There have also been Historical Advanced Squad Leader offerings not in Module form.
ASL Annual '93b featured a Gavutu-Tanambogo HASL feature with rules, scenarios, campaign games, and historical map insert. The module depicted the fighting for these two islands from 7 to 9 August 1942. These two small islands dominated the approach to Florida Island's deep water anchorage and were ordered secured as part of the invasion of Guadalcanal on 7 August 1942. The islands, garrison, and attack forces were small enough to be represented in their entirety in ASL format for this feature.
This HASL module did not include a stand alone map. Instead, it included three new overlays for each island that are placed atop the Ocean overlays from Gung Ho!. The illustration at right is the version used in Virtual Advanced Squad Leader.
Both stand-alone scenarios as well as historical Campaign Games were included in the ASL Annual '93b issue.
ASL Annual '97 included a mini HASL game which consisted of a fold out map, Campaign article and 4 scenarios. The game was designed by Chuck Powers and is set in Burma in late March 1944. The Campaign notes also refer to some scenarios (Orange at Walawbum / Last of their strength, etc) that dealt with the topic and were included in the Winter '95 ASL Annual.
ASL Journal #6, released in 2005, offered a Primosole Bridge HASL feature with Rulebook Chapter, campaign games and historical map insert. The Primosole Bridge battle occurred during the fighting on Sicily in 1943.