Multi-Man Publishing (2001)
Country of Origin:
80 page magazine, with 30 scenarios included as pages of the magazine; 1 SASL Mission; Red Barricades Campaign Game
ASL Journal Issue Three (J3) followed on the footsteps of two highly successful previous issues of the Journal. At 80 pages, with 30 scenarios, J3 is the largest issue yet produced, it continues the successes of the previous two issues.
First, it should be noted that there are no “extras” or “bonus” materials, such as rules pages or mini-HASLs. However, there are extra scenarios or campaign games for a wide variety of HASLs.
The article content is not as good as previous issues, with too much “historical” material and not enough gameplay articles (though there is an interesting little article on playing the Japanese by Brian Youse). One of the few gameplay articles deals with the hardly-ever-used subject of using AA guns (against actual aircraft).
J2 does include a new SASL mission, JM1 (Hoch! Hoch!), a commando mission for the British taking place during the Salerno landings. It also includes a new Kampfgruppe Peiper campaign game, KGP CG IV (Prayers in the Dark), with 4 campaign dates.
With 30 scenarios, no one can deny that J3 does not provide a lot of play opportunities. The scenarios include a variety of actions, including an entire scenario pack’s worth of Norway scenarios designed by Philippe Naud and other French designers. The scenarios are not scattered throughout the magazine, as with earlier issues, but conveniently located in the center of the magazine, where they can be easily removed.
- Norway 1940 (British/Norwegians vs. Germans , British vs. Germans , Norwegians vs. Germans , Poles vs. Germans, French/Norwegians vs. Germans)
- Netherlands 1940 (Dutch vs. Germans), 1944 (British vs. Germans)
- France 1940 (British vs. Germans), 1944 (British vs. Germans)
- Dutch East Indies 1942 (Dutch vs. Japanese)
- Libya 1941 (British vs. Italians)
- Yugoslavia 1941 (Yugoslavs vs. Croatians)
- Soviet Union 1942 (Soviets vs. Germans), 1943 (Soviets vs. Germans ), 1944 (Soviets vs. Germans)
- Tunisia 1943 (British vs. Germans)
- Sicily 1943 (Americans vs. Germans)
- Burma 1944 (Americans vs. Japanese)
- Germany 1944 (Soviets vs. Germans, Americans vs. Germans), 1945 (Soviets vs. Germans)
- Belgium 1944 (Americans vs. Germans )
- Okinawa 1945 (Americans vs. Japanese)
- Austria 1945 (Soviets vs. Germans)
J47 (“They’re Here! Reverse!”) is a desert scenario. J55 (Matsumoto’s Charge) uses the Nhpum Ga map from ASL Annual ’97. J57 (Guards Artillery) is a DASL scenario, as is J65 (Brave Little Emchas). J58 (No. 8 Platoon Overrun) takes place on the A Bridge Too Far map. J64 (American Tragedy) uses the Kakazu Ridge map from ASL Journal Issue Two, providing a scenario that uses a bigger chunk of the map.
Three scenarios–J52 (Dress Rehearsal), J53 (Setting the Stage), and J54 (Showtime)–all designed by Pete Shelling and set at Kursk–can be combined for a sort of linked-scenario campaign game, for which rules are provided.
Of the 30 scenarios, a number stand out. J43 (3rd RTR in the Rain) has become a true classic with a knife-edge balance. Just as balanced and exciting is J59 (Friday the 13th), while J63 (Silesian Interlude) is not far behind. Other great scenarios include J36 (The Bridge of Verdalsora), J37 (Tretten in Flames), J41 (By Ourselves), J42 (Grebbe End), J44 (Audacity!), J45 (The Last Roadblock), J46 (Strongpoint 11), J51 (Canicatti), J53 (Setting the Stage), J60 (Bad Luck), and J62 (Lee’s Charge).
Although the issue does contain some dogs, some of the scenarios originally thought by players to be unbalanced when the magazine was first released have turned out over time to be more balanced than was initially thought. In actuality, J3 contains a real wealth of fun ASL material, even if it has no maps or counters.