Avalon Hill (1996)
Country of Origin:
64-page magazine, including 14 scenarios printed as pages of the magazine
The ASL Annual ’96 marked the beginning of the final era of the Annual, as former third party publisher MMP took over the development of the ASL line of products for Avalon Hill, with Annual ’96 as their first product. Resembling past issues of Backblast or future issues of the ASL Journal more than it does past issues of the ASL Annual, Annual ’96 certainly has a distinct MMP feel to it.
Nowhere is this more obvious than in the article content, which is overwhelmingly rules-related, including articles explaining snow, moving/motion/non-stopped status, CX limitations, gliders, and caves and cave complexes. Two other articles provide scenario analysis. While rules articles are better than the “historical” articles that dominated some past issues of the Annual, the lack of strategy and gameplay articles here is noticeable.
The 14 scenarios included herein provide a mix of actions, including the Soviet Union 1941 (Soviets vs. Finns), 1944 (Soviets vs. Germans); Philippines 1941 (Americans vs. Japanese), 1945 (Americans vs. Japanese); Italy 1943 (Italian partisans vs. Germans); 1944 (British vs. Germans); France 1940 (French vs. Germans ); Madagascar 1942 (British/East Africans vs. Vichy French); Guadalcanal 1942 (Americans vs. Japanese); Germany 1944 (British vs. Germans); China 1938 (Chinese vs. Japanese); and Crete 1941 (British vs. Germans).
A102 (On Silent Wings) is a Glider landing. A103 (Mayhem in Manila) is a DASL scenario.
A104 (In Front of the Storm) and A103 (Mayhem in Manila) are considered classic scenarios, while there are some other solid scenarios in Annual ’96 as well, including: A93 (Faugh A’ Ballagh!), A94 (Last Defense Line); and A98 (Crossing the Gniloi Tikitsch).
Overall, Annual ’96 is a pretty good publication, and worth getting.