Alternative Titles/Edition History:
1st Edition, 1990; 2nd Edition (included in 2nd Edition Beyond Valor), 2001; 3rd Edition (as Red Factories), 2019
Avalon Hill (1st Edition, 1990); MMP (2nd Edition, 2001; 3rd [Red Factories] Edition, 2019)
Country of Origin:
1st Edition: 2 historical maps; 2 countersheets; 7 scenarios; rules (Chapter O); Chapter O divider
2nd Edition: Above plus Beyond Valor contents
3rd "Red Factories" Edition: See entry on Red Factories.Commentary:
Avalon Hill broke new ground in 1990 with the release of the first “historical” ASL module, Red Barricades (RB). This experiment, designed by Charlie Kibler (one of the most important innovators in ASL), easily answered the question “where can ASL go after all the core modules are completed?” Red Barricades leaves the generic geomorphic mapboards behind and takes players directly to the rubble-strewn streets of Stalingrad. A huge, incredibly detailed 2-sheet map, derived from aerial photographs, depicts the actual terrain of the area of Stalingrad surrounding the Red Barricades factory. The seven included scenarios allow players to move and fight in the historical Stalingrad, though somewhat stylized. One of the scenarios, “The Last Bid,” is a true monster scenario.
If this weren’t enough, Kibler also introduced a new way to play ASL: the campaign game (Red Barricades includes three). Campaign games are a series of linked scenarios; each new scenario takes place where the previous scenario left off. Although players can purchase a variety of reinforcements, they primarily fight with the forces left over from the previous scenarios, introducing an element of conservation of forces largely absent in ASL. The campaign games allowed ASLers to experience an entirely new level of strategic thinking; the largest Red Barricades campaign game includes 30 campaign dates, and even though most campaign games are decided before the final date, a Red Barricades campaign game can take months to play and is highly suitable for team play.
It may not be too much of an exaggeration to say that Red Barricades has been the most popular ASL module ever. There are a number of ASLers who play Red Barricades campaign games over and over, rarely venturing into other areas of ASL. Even people not so fanatic about campaign games will surely appreciate what they have to offer.
If Red Barricades has a flaw, it is that its campaign games play fast and loose with history. It is hard to reconcile the forces available to the players with the actual units fighting in the area at the time. Later HASL modules had more attention to historical detail (some would argue, with correspondingly less attention to quality of play).
A 2nd Edition of Red Barricades (with little substantive change other than the incorporation of some errata and a change to a slightly larger font size) was incorporated into the 2nd Edition of Beyond Valor. However, it was NOT incorporated into the 3rd Edition of Beyond Valor.
Red Barricades is out of print, sadly but probably not permanently. Charlie Kibler is working on a sequel to the game, which can be played separately or mated with Red Barricades to form a humongous section of Stalingrad. It would not be surprising if Red Barricades were reprinted to coincide with the release of the sequel, or shortly thereafter. Many newer ASLers will be eagerly awaiting its reprinting.
2019 Update: In 2019, MMP finally re-released Red Barricades as part of Red Factories, the sequel module referred to above. Please see the Red Factories/Red October entry for this edition and, presumably, any future editions.