Alternative Titles/Edition History:
1st Edition, 1998, 2nd Edition, 1999, 3rd Edition, 2010
Avalon Hill (1st Edition, 1998); Multi-Man Publishing (2nd Edition, 1999; 3rd Edition, 2010)
Country of Origin:
1st & 2nd Edition: 3 8" x 22" mounted mapboards (9, 44-45); three countersheets; 8 scenarios; 3 sheets of terrain overlays; Chapter H (Allied Minor); revised ASL Rulebook pages (for 1st Edition rulebooks).
3rd Edition: 5 8" x 22" cardstock geomorphic mapboards (9, 11, 33, 44, 45); 3 1/2 countersheets; 24 scenarios; 3 sheets of terrain overlays; Chapter H (Allied Minor, corrected and revised from earlier editions).Commentary:
With Doomed Battalions, the much looked for Allied Minor guns and vehicles finally made their appearance (ending the cries of “We want Dutch trucks!”). This is a fairly meaty module compared to some of its predecessors, with a full complements of components. The new ASL Rulebook pages provided significant errata (primarily for human waves) and added new terrain types (such as narrow streets); these rules would shortly be incorporated into the 2nd edition ASL Rulebook.
The real significance of Doomed Battalions is that it was printed at all; it was one of the very last games ever produced by Avalon Hill (along with Bitter Woods, a non-ASL Battle of the Bulge game designed by Randy Heller), and MMP, which was producing ASL products for Avalon Hill at the time, had to rush it to get it out the door (in a very small print run) before Avalon Hill closed its doors forever. The resulting product was full of errata because it was hurried to completion. However, ASL got a new lease on life after MMP arranged a licensing deal with Hasbro, and one of their first decisions was to reprint Doomed Battalions, both to fix its problems and to allow it to reach a wider audience. Note that this “2nd Edition” of Doomed Battalions is different from all other MMP “2nd Edition” ASL core modules in that the font size in the rules pages was not increased.
The 2nd Edition Doomed Battalions is now sold out (and pricy on the secondary market), but MMP announced a new edition in the near future. This 3rd Edition will include cardstock mapboards and all of The Last Hurrah.
Overlays included: X19, X20, X21, X22, X23, X24, OW1, RR1-RR14.
Update February 2010: After some time of being out of print, Doomed Battalions once more appears, in a revised and enlarged edition (incorporating the contents of The Last Hurrah, as well as additional scenarios), though still sporting what has to be the ugliest game box in the ASL world.
The 3rd Edition contains 24 scenarios: all of the scenarios from the original Doomed Battalions, all of the scenarios from the Last Hurrah, and reprints of 8 scenarios from the ASL Annual and the ASL Journal. Many of the scenarios have been updated or revised to reflect errata or changes for better balance or gameplay. The scenarios with changes include: 43 (Into the Fray), 44 (The Gauntlet), 45 (Revenge at Kastelli), 46 (Birds of Prey), 47 (Rude Awakening), 48 (Toujours L’Audace), 49 (Piercing the Peel), 50 (Age-Old Foes), 83 (An Uncommon Occurrence), 84 (Round One), 85 (No Way Out), 87 (Good Night, Sweet Prince), 88 (Art Nouveau), 90 (Pride and Joy), 137 (Italian Brothers; formerly A72), 138 (Rattle of Sabres; formerly A46), 139 (The Weigh In; formerly J25), 140 (Round Two; formerly J26), 141 (Action at Balberkamp; formerly A63), 142 (On the Road to Andalsnes; formerly A31), 143 (Grebbe End; formerly J42), and 144 (The Professionals; formerly A28).
The 3rd Edition maps also include the 2 maps that originally appeared in The Last Hurrah. As are all official ASL maps nowadays, these 5 maps are printed on thin cardstock instead of being printed on thin paper and mounted on cardboard. They also have completely new, computer-derived graphics. While these lack the flair that some of the original hand-painted maps sometimes (repeat, sometimes) had, overall the graphics are crisper and better than the original graphics, although the orchards look like squished bugs.
The counters are also newly done. Although the graphics are crisp, the most important thing about them is that the die-cutting is much improved over the horrific die-cutting that the 2nd Edition Doomed Battalions had.
Many people will ask whether the 3rd Edition of Doomed Battalions is worth getting if one already has an earlier edition and The Last Hurrah. For the budget-minded, the answer is no; one can easily get by without getting the 3rd Edition. For others, the answer may be yes, it is worth getting, as the counters and Chapter H pages are nicer and incorporate errata, and almost all of the scenarios have been changed as well.