Multi-Man Publishing (2021)
Country of Origin:
PDF file containing 708 pages of official ASL rules (Chapters A-H, J-K, and W), as well as charts and tables.
Promises, promises, promises. In the second edition of the ASL Rulebook, published in 2001, MMP promised a forthcoming electronic edition of the ASL rules, which would be published on CD-ROM. Now, a mere 20 years later, MMP has actually made good on its promise of an electronic ASL rulebook–though aficionados of CD-ROMs are doomed to eternal disappointment.
Oddly, MMP is not selling this product from its own website, but rather from the rather obscure Wargame Vault site, where it can be had for $59.99. It comes in the form of a 708-page, 77.43MB PDF file, watermarked with the name and order number of the purchaser. You pay for it, download it, and apparently can have as many copies of it as you need.
The EASLRB contains all the materials in the standard ASL rulebook (including Chapter K, ugh), as well as complete Chapter H materials, Chapter J (DASL), and Chapter W (Forgotten War/Korea). Chapter S (Solitaire) is NOT included.
Supposedly all known errata as of August 2020 was incorporated into the EASLRB, making it currently the closest thing MMP has to a long-overdue 3rd Edition Rulebook.
The rules come bookmarked, so (depending on your PDF reader) you can display a pane on the left-hand side of the window with collapsible menus for chapters and cardinal numbered rules. The upshot of this is that it makes navigating the EASLRB very easy. The rulebook itself also appears to be fully hyperlinked, so you can use the links to go back and forth between rules references (though in some PDF readers the mechanism for going backwards is a little awkward).
The desert rules will supposedly be updated when the new Hollow Legions comes out. MMP also promises other updates, including errata as well as “additional chapters.” It would be extremely useful to have all the historical ASL module and supplement chapters in this format as they collectively take up a ton of print pages (primarily because most of them repeat the same campaign game rules).
In addition to the rules, MMP also seems to include a complete set of charts and tables (including the Korean War tables), which is a nice feature.
There almost certainly are coding or other errors in the document that will be found and need to be corrected, but overall, the job looks very well done, and many players who have created or cadged homemade EASLRBs over the years would probably be tempted to use this one instead.
One just hopes that MMP keeps its promise of additions and updates a little bit better than they kept their 2001 promise of an EASLRB in the first place!
Chris D. says
Good and fair review. I would point out that the Wargame Vault is part of DriveThruRPG.com which is the #1 site for Role-playing game products, also usually in the form of PDF files. It’s advantage is that MMP can upload changes in the PDF and all purchasers will see there is an update in their Wargame Vault library and can download again. Given MMP’s limited funds, and likely complete inability to do these updates themselves, it seems a good solution. DriveThru has been around fifteen years or so now and has a good reputation of reliability.
The lack of a search feature is the only real disappointment. That would have fantastic. Not sure what the technical hurdle preventing this was, but oh well…
There is a search feature. Try “find” in your PDF reader.
Philippe Duchon says
Since this is a PDF file, searching is provided by the PDF reading software. Internal hyperlinks (rules references, mostly) work, but they only point to a page, not a specific place in a page (I don’t know if this would be possible under the PDF standard; I believe so, but I’m not 100% sure). This means navigating the file is a bit awkward if your software cannot, or if configured not to, display a full page (something likely if you are reading on a small screen, e.g. laptop, with a landscape orientation); the two-column layout, of course, makes this even more awkward.
Still, having an official, potentially up-to-date, electronic version of the rules is a huge bonus.
I don’t believe HASL is included.
I dont know the exact rules for
– Foxholes- I can get a good idea from the pic of the chit
-Residual Firepower- the hex shaped shock/or explosion with a number 1 or 2 in them, ( there are 15 of them in Shoestring Rdg ) They are referred to in the Rising Sun/COB rules, but it is obvious it is a reference to an earlier set of rules.
-Banzai-I did find on the net but I am still am at a loss as why you would want to use it. LOL
-Victory points-I did find amphibious landings on the net and figured out the Victory pt rates for ldrs, weapons etc…..but those I imagine are in a previous rule set also.
-Do Americans go berserk ? SO far all I know the rules to are the orig- Russians, SS and now the Japs.
I am a little surprised that the RS/COB , referred to as the complete set, is not complete in this key feature. I certainly are not saying you, the manufacturer, quite the opposite, I give thanks that you continued where ASL stopped printing. But the seller on Ebay could have mentioned this.
so, I have the rules and I can access
…….. is there a ASLSK3 rules that has these key things I am missing ? As I am only up to ShoeStringe rdg., I am sure I am to encounter a few more.