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Advanced Squad Leader Rulebook Updated and Erraticized


1. A.2 ERRORS: To the unscrupulous, these mechanics for handling errors might be viewed as a license to steal. We do not mean to insinuate that cheating is acceptable behavior; rather, that backing up a game to accommodate a forgotten rule/unit is a drag on play, in essence, the player's knowledge of the system and methodical application of its benefits as opportunities present themselves becomes an added skill factor better reflecting the abilities of an experienced battlefield commander. Ultimately, the only protection against a cheater is not to play him.

2. 7.22 RANGE: Range is far more than simply a measure of the distance a unit's weapons can shoot. It is also an abstracted measure of the unit's discipline, fire doctrine, training, and willingness to engage an enemy. The player who assumes that his units will fire at any enemy they can see is giving them the benefit of far more heroic and aggressive tendencies than they usually possessed. Fire draws fire in return, and more units sought to duck a fight than to seek one.

3. 4.15 INFANTRY OVR: The inclusion of an Infantry OVR rule was a source of heated debate among our playtesters—many of whom opposed it as an unnecessary complication. Others pointed out the End Game problem of using SMC as unrealistic sacrifices to "block" movement into hexes required for Victory Conditions. The resulting rule is an attempt to deal both with the artificial time constraints of the Game Turn and to give lone SMC the option of giving way before overwhelming force rather than risk sure elimination or capture.

4. 4.2 MECHANICS OF MOVEMENT: Players who find it difficult to remember which units have already moved should get in the habit of turning all units (for which facing is not important) to face North after movement on even-numbered turns, and south on odd numbered turns. At the end of the MPh all such units should be turned to face that direction.

5. 4.42 IPC: Players may question why a squad has no more IPC than a crew or HS which represents half as many men. However, a squad does have twice as much IPC as a HS when you consider that the squad can be Deployed into HS to double its portage capacity. Deploying a squad into HS decreases its fighting capacity, however, which is traded for the unit's increased IPC. A squad which forfeits some FP or Range to increase its IPC by Deploying into HS is realistically burdened by the excess baggage it is transporting.

6. 4.43 POSSESSION: I've often found it humorous that the very people who complain about the overwhelming omniscience of the player (i.e., the availability of too much information or the lack of "Fog of War") are usually the first to whimper when a rule such as the Sniper rule takes control out of their hands and relegates to chance decisions that virtually no battlefield commander could influence. Such is the case here. Broken units are not allowed to transfer or drop their weapons because allowing them to do so expands the omniscient player's control over broken units that he should have little or no control of. Allowing a unit in a 40 meter hex to automatically know that a SW therein is out of action and to go man it is assuming an awful lot. Does the unit even know where the SW is or why it isn't firing; would it be willing to leave its own position to man it; would the broken unit even give it up? I won't even go into the case of an apparently terrorized broken unit which routs but has the presence of mind to know where to drop its SW so that it can be recovered by friendly forces.

7. 5.5 EQUIVALENTS: Infantry crews/HS manning Guns are treated as squads for non-vehicular stacking purposes to simulate the difficulty that multiple Guns would have in terms of adequate dispersal, concealment, and use when clustered together in the same Location. The inherent attack and defense penalties of the overstacking rules encourage players to adopt more realistic tactics in terms of heavy weapon dispersal.

8. 7.21 PBF: Adjacent and same-hex fire attacks are given double or triple FP not only due to their close proximity, but because grenades are now factored into the FP generation. This is the main reason why a unit two or more levels beneath an enemy Location does not qualify for PBF, while the higher unit firing down, does; it is easier to drop a grenade than to throw it up—and if you miss while dropping a grenade it doesn't come rolling back up to you. Players should also realize that a Defensive First Fire attack at an adjacent enemy does not necessarily mean that the attacker held his fire until the enemy moved within 40 meters; the attack could also represent the cumulative effect of fire vs the unit as it moved during the MPh, culminating in a net effect in the adjacent hex.

9. 7.24 AFPh FIRE: The rationale for penalizing the AFPh fire of units which did not move during that Player Turn is twofold. The obvious benefit is that it increases playability by eliminating the player's burden of remembering two phases later which units have moved and which have not. From a realism viewpoint it reflects the fact that the fire is occurring at a later time and therefore is not using the full quantity of FP assumed to be used during Prep Fire. By sheer volume of fire the amount of damage is likely to be correspondingly less. This "time" theme is one which is consistently applied throughout the rules and the main reason why Multiple ROF is not allowed during the AFPh.

10. 7.25 OPPORTUNITY FIRE: Although Opportunity Fire is executed during the AFPh it is considered a form of Prep Fire and therefore not subject to AFPh penalties, because the units so assigned are assumed to be "firing" or alert for fire opportunities since the PFPh when they were designated as Opportunity Firers. Only the mechanics of that fire have been changed by allowing them to pick their targets during the AFPh so as to be able to fire more effectively at recently discovered enemy units. Vehicles are not allowed to use Opportunity Fire because of their restricted fields of vision, and because they are the only units capable of both movement and fire in their own MPh (Bounding First Fire).

10A. 7.37 INCREMENTAL IFT: The Incremental IFT and its accompanying article ("One-Half FP") first appeared in the ASL Annual '89. (In 1998, both were reprinted in Classic ASL.) Thereafter, various commentaries appeared in several succeeding Annuals. At one time, the ASL community seemed seriously divided over whether the IIFT should either be declared the official IFT or should be relegated to the dustbin. Since that time, however, consensus has settled upon treating the IIFT as just another optional rule, and that is how we present it here in the 2nd edition.

One of the several criticisms leveled against the IIFT was that, by adding additional PTC effects for higher Final DRs in the various intermediate FP columns, the IIFT strips concealment more readily than does the regular IFT. To counter this criticism, some suggested making all those additional PTC effects conditional, so that they only applied to unconcealed units and thus would not strip concealment too easily. We tend to agree with this thinking, and seriously considered changing the IIFT in that manner. In the end, however, we decided to leave the IIFT essentially unchanged from when it was originally published in 1989, but highlighted such "conditional" PTCs on the IIFT in blue. Anyone concerned about concealment being stripped away too easily can adopt the "conditional" PTC as a house rule.

11. 7.83 PIN: Remember that a broken unit doesn't necessarily do what is best for it (and certainly doesn't do what the player would like it to do); it has lost its discipline and may panic—thus making it once again subject to FFMO/FFNAM penalties during Defensive First Fire or Subsequent First Fire.

12. 8.21 RESIDUAL FP: Residual FP is far less effective than normal FP because it is incidental; i.e., not aimed. It may hit and affect other units moving up into that position, but it does so purely by chance. Nevertheless, even when obstacles block LOS between the source of Residual FP and later entrants of a target hex (such as often happens when firing at a Bypass unit), the discomfiting effects of nearby fire—even the very sounds of battle—can be enough to cause units to falter and refuse the ATTACKER's command for further movement. This is reflected by allowing all Residual FP attacks to occur vs the moving occupants of a hex regardless of LOS to the original firer who left that Residual FP while also affording the obstacle TEM to Bypassing units.

13. 8.31 FPF: FPF adversely affects only those firing units already marked with a Final Fire counter because only those units are assumed to have been tested to the very limits of their breaking points. A unit which uses Defensive First Fire or Final Fire is considered in no immediate danger of being overwhelmed because those attacks fall within the normal limits of its volume of fire. A unit which uses FPF, however, is being pressed beyond normal limits and may break under the pressure, if for no other reason than an appearance of being overwhelmed before it can reload.

14. 9.8 dm SW: Unlike other nationalities, which used entirely different weapons in the light and medium/heavy machine gun roles, the German MG 34 (and later also the MG 42) was the first general purpose MG; i.e., it would be used as either a LMG or (with the proper attachments) as a MMG/HMG. As a LMG the MG 34 was bipod-mounted and often drum-fed, whereas the HMG version was simply the LMG mounted on a stable tripod, equipped with a telescopic sight, and usually belt-fed (all of which improved the MG's range, accuracy, and volume of fire). Thus when a German MMG/HMG was dismantled by removing its tripod/sight, the basic bipod-mounted LMG still existed. Incidentally, the MMG version in the game represents a HMG with less ammunition and no telescopic sight.

15. 11.15 MELEE: It should be remembered that Melee can stand for other events than the commonly held visions of a deadly wrestling match with desperate men grappling at knife point. Melee can also depict a situation wherein opposing sides are in close proximity and aware of each other's presence, but not necessarily in view, and both sides are afraid to make the first move—a standoff test of wills. The most vivid example is of the fighting in Stalingrad, where whole platoons occupied adjacent rooms of the same building for hours but were afraid to even make a sound let alone venture into the other's lair. The fighting may indeed be hand-to-hand, but it can also be resolved with a hand grenade or burst from a SMG, and it may well represent no actual combat at all—a stalemate which effectively removes all involved from considerations beyond their immediate environs.

16. 11.622 CLOSE DEFENSE WEAPON SYSTEM: The 92 mm grenade projector is limited to use only after being attacked in CC to force players to use it realistically as the CC defense mechanism it was, rather than as another tool in a tank's offensive arsenal which might encourage a player to go hunting CC opportunities with his tank—something a real tank commander took great pains to avoid. By requiring that the tank or its accompanying escort be attacked first, we guarantee that the projector is being used against assaulting troops—not to seek out hidden defenders in their holes.

17. 11.8 STREET FIGHTING: An AFV was at a distinct disadvantage in the close quarter combat posed by the narrow city streets of Europe. The abstracted mapboards of the game system do not give adequate representation of the suffocating confinement of street fighting, thereby requiring special treatment.

18. 12.1 CONCEALMENT: A more realistic alternative for players who are willing to sacrifice speed of play is to secretly record the "contents" of each "?" and keep those pieces offboard out of sight until revealed. Each "?" is printed with an ID letter for this purpose. A "?" can exist alone in a hex only when this system is in use. Ideally, of course, the best "Fog of War" or concealment rules involve use of a neutral third person acting as a referee. The players make their moves in separate rooms on separate games, while the referee observes their moves and reports to the opponent only those moves and attacks which he judges the opponent will be able to see. Play-by-phone schemes with the judge acting as a neutral moderator while positioning all the counters on his board as the action unfolds but passing on only those moves which he judges to be in actual LOS of an opposing unbroken unit make for fascinating, if somewhat lengthy, simulations of actual combat.

19. 13.1 CAVALRY: While cavalry played a relatively minor role in WW2 it nonetheless saw action at one time or another with nearly every nationality that took part in that war. The exploits of German, Russian, and Polish cavalry are relatively well known, but little has been written concerning the battles fought by Italian, Hungarian, Rumanian, Finnish, Greek, or Japanese cavalry formations—to name only some of the belligerents that used horse soldiers. Of course, massed cavalry charges became less and less common as the war progressed, as the lethality of automatic weapons in well-sited defensive positions often caused the slaughter of both men and horses. Under the right conditions, however, and using more suitable tactics, cavalry units fought on in the Balkans and on the Eastern Front until the very cessation of hostilities. Therefore, cavalry is a valid adjunct of WW2 infantry combat. The rule which allows any Infantry unit to become cavalry by mounting a horse counter is an admitted simplification to avoid the need for written records. A more realistic approach would be to limit cavalry capabilities to specific units by recording the ID letters of those units or using infantry counters from the basic SQUAD LEADER game system which can be distinguished from ASL counters. Scenario designers might want to limit cavalry capability to only one side.

20. 14.01 SNIPERS: Snipers are a breed apart from the average soldier. Stealth and patience are every bit as important as marksmanship. They work alone, often in no man's land or even behind enemy lines, and are subject to only one order: survival. A sniper strikes only when he feels assured he can do so without being detected, and may pass up endless attack opportunities waiting for a better target. As such, snipers must be free of emotion and oblivious to all events not directly related to their own survival and the pursuit of a clean kill. Consequently, sniper activity is no more likely at the front of an advance than in the rear. A sniper does not attack the first target he sees; indeed, he may wait for hours with enemy activity all around him before selecting a "safe" target, and therefore sniper activity occurred "behind the lines" quite frequently. Some players will doubtless object to this depiction of snipers because they cannot control their attacks, but in real life no battlefield commander could control a sniper's attacks. Such attacks are indeed random, and to present them in a format where a player can dictate when they will occur would be extremely ahistorical. Each player should watch for and announce SAN DRs made by either player. A side benefit of the rule in its present form is that it acts as a sort of balancing mechanism; the player getting the majority of the good DR is also likely to be subject to more Sniper attacks as a consequence. Furthermore, it discourages the old "pot shot" mentality wherein players rolled the dice for every conceivable 1 FP attack because they had nothing to lose. Now they do. Another benefit is that solitaire play is much enhanced by random depiction of snipers because the player never knows "where" they are and therefore cannot be subconsciously taking unrealistic countermeasures. Lastly, some may complain that leaders are not targets in multi-target Locations often enough. They cite the fact that snipers were trained to select leaders as their targets. I only point out that a leader in a hex with a squad representing ten men has a 1000% greater chance of being the sniper's target than any one of the men represented by that squad. Sniper Checks are not allowed following ineffective sniper attacks merely to speed up play; the lethality of a Sniper Check has been correspondingly increased to abstractly reflect other such attempts following ineffective sniper attacks.

21. 15.431 BERSERK CHARGE: Berserk units lose their APh capability because the "time" normally allotted for that activity during each turn is being used in the MPh to grant them 8 MF. It also simulates well their frenzied rush of a defender by forcing entry during the MPh (where TPBF and FPF come into play) rather than allowing them to take the more cautious route allowed by an APh capability.

22. 15.5 SURRENDER: Some players become indignant when a 2 DR on a MC or Rally Attempt ultimately results in surrender when the subsequent Heat of Battle Final DR comes up 12. Such people feel cheated, so wedded are they to the concept that a low DR is good. What they do not realize or care to consider is that the 2 DR is merely a convenient activator for the entry of the rule; it doesn't guarantee them a positive result— only entry to a range of possible results that are generally favorable. If a unit, due to nationality, Class, or broken status, has poor Heat of Battle DRM, it merely detracts in a convenient way from the percentages that the unit should have been favorably affected by a MC or Rally Attempt DR of 2 in the first place. The alternative, making units subject to Heat of Battle only on certain types of MC, subsequent dr, or other hard-to-recall conditions, is hardly worthy of the name "alternative".

23. 16. BATTLEFIELD INTEGRITY: In most wargames, a side often fights on to the last counter regardless of the punishment the parent formation has taken. In reality, however, this is seldom the case. A combat formation, as a whole, will take only so much punishment before it disintegrates into a panic stricken mob. The effect is heightened if casualties have been disproportionately high among the leaders.

24. 16.11 BPV LOSSES: Loss of BPV due to Unit Substitution is partly balanced by Battle Hardening, but more by the fact that units lost due to a double break don't represent casualties so much as it represents a unit which has lost its combat coherence. It has become ineffective in game terms but not necessarily because all of its men are dead. They could be stragglers, wounded, prisoners, or just plain survivors—men attempting to avoid the enemy rather than seek him out.

25. 19.13 UNIT SUBSTITUTION: Unlike MMC substitutions, which usually reflect a loss of strength due to an inherent casualty suffered when a MC is failed, the Replacement of a leader reflects the loss of respect by his peers for breaking down under fire.

26. 19.2 GREEN & CONSCRIPT TROOPS: Even if these men were properly equipped (and they often were not), they frequently lost their equipment in their first encounter with an enemy or were hesitant to use their weapons effectively. These units are Conscripts, depicted not only by lower quality Strength Factors but by special restrictive rules as well. Even those nationalities which, due to time and circumstance, did not have to field such forces, were constantly committing newly raised and untried troops to battle, or refitting mauled units around a cadre of veterans who, under the pressure of enemy fire, could revert back to a level of performance not in keeping with their training and equipment. These units are classified as Green and were very unpredictable; they could stand like a stone wall one day and be driven like sheep the next. Even veteran troops could be reduced to sniveling shadows of their former selves if subjected to enough unnerving firepower. Therefore, Green troops are often represented by line infantry units with the capacity of becoming Green when brought under fire, while Conscripts often start a scenario as such, although they too can start a scenario under the guise of higher quality troops only to be replaced in mid-scenario by poorer quality troops, due to the loss of a key veteran from within their ranks. Therefore as a battle unfolds and one's troops are exposed to losses and unnerving fire, they will become less and less responsive to the player's command.

27. 20.55 ESCAPE: For the most part, Italians and non-Finnish Axis Minors were relieved to be out of the fighting—especially if they were captured by the Western Allies. In those rare instances when Japanese were captured, they were too humiliated to consider returning to their own side—feeling that their dishonor had already claimed their lives.

28. 22.6 MOL: In the absence of more sophisticated weaponry, partisans and other poorly-equipped units often relied on a primitive, but occasionally effective, home remedy known as the Molotov Cocktail. The main advantage of the "infantry antitank petrol bomb" was its availability. Any bottle, some petrol, and a suitable wick could be turned into a dangerous weapon in the hands of an experienced and courageous foe. To use a MOL, one merely lit the wick and hurled the bottle at the target. More sophisticated types needed no flame, the chemical contents igniting upon contact with the air. Hopefully, the bottle broke upon impact and the contents became an instant inferno—not as safe, quick, or easy to use as a hand grenade, but considerably more effective against armor.

29. 24.11 SMOKE GRENADES: SMOKE grenades (as opposed to canisters or shells placed by OBA, Guns, or AFV—which are represented by ⅝" SMOKE counters) created smoke for only about 30 seconds and contained far less chemical agents, resulting in a smaller smoke screen of short duration.

30. 25. NATIONALITY DISTINCTIONS: Nationality Distinctions vary troop capabilities from one nation to another, and while patently unfair in their application of stereotyped and over-simplified traits to all troops of a country without exception, nonetheless do serve to give the game much of its flavor. All variations from the basic game system are identified in an accessible format on the National Capabilities Chart, and are alluded to in section 25 only where special cases may make clarification desirable. The Leader Generation (LG) column of this chart is used only for the construction of DYO scenarios and is explained in H1.7.

31. 25.11 SS: Early-war SS formations and other pre-1944 SS formations which are in need of rest and/or refit can be represented by the 4-6-8/2-4-8 SS squad/HS Class.

31A. 25.211 SUB-MACHINEGUN UNITS: The Russians started producing the PPD SMG in 1935, but it was discounted as being just a "police weapon," and production stopped in January, 1939. The weapons that had been distributed were collected and put in storage. Following the experiences of the Win­ter War, however, this policy was changed, and some of the about 4,000 PPDs began being handed out to special units such as ski troops. Mass production began again in 1940, but it was officially replaced by the superior and cheaper PPSH-41 by the end of 1941.

31B. 25.212 RUSSIAN EARLY WAR DOCTRINE: Stalin had anticipated that the Red Army would capture Helsinki and destroy the Finnish army in less than three weeks, and when this failed to happen, he replaced Kliment Voroshilov with Semyon Timoshenko. Besides the ferocious Finnish defense, there were numerous reasons for the Red Army failure in Finland, chief among them poor organization and communication resulting from deficiencies both of the rank-and-file soldiers (mostly training-related) and of their offi­cers, who were still suffering the effects of the Great Purge of the mid-1930s. Timoshenko reorganized the army and instituted improvements to existing tactical doctrines to ameliorate many of the remaining problems, the effects of which could be seen as early as February, 1940.

32. 25.232 HUMAN WAVE: The eight MF allotment for a Human Wave attack does not necessarily reflect an all-out foot race towards the enemy. Observers of the Eastern Front would most likely remember the early Russian Human Wave assaults for the steady progress of their linked-arms ranks into devastating fire. The eight MF allotment is both a concession to playability (so that the player need only remember the MF expenditure of the chain as a whole, rather than that of its individual hexes) and a method for allowing the entire chain to maintain an even progression regardless of terrain. Previous experience with the Human Wave rules had shown that many players were confused by the phrase "in the same general direction" and that the application of that phrase was subject to abuse. The updated rules replace that phrase and attempt to tread a fine line between giving the Human Wave player either too much flexibility or not enough, without being too complex. This is further complicated by the need to use these rules as the basis for Cavalry Wave and Japanese Banzai attacks. The updated rules loosely tie the HW units to a specific Hex Grain. Other methods were tried based on utilizing either a covered arc or a channel, but the updated rules proved to be the best approach.

33. 25.24 PARTISANS: Partisans of all nations shared the same characteristics. They were usually weak in firepower, with few heavy support weapons. Lacking in training and discipline, they rarely held their own in a sustained firefight with enemy regulars. On the other hand, they usually enjoyed the benefits of operating in familiar territory and with the element of surprise. These advantages, coupled with the fact that they usually faced rear area support troops, made them troublesome adversaries. As a general rule, partisan units should be prohibited by SSR from deploying freely, making multi-Location firegroups, and attempting to entrench.

34. 25.52 ORDNANCE: U.S. ordnance early in the war suffered from inferior optical and fire control ranging equipment due, in part, to a dependence on German optical glass. In addition, U.S. forces in Africa experienced difficulties with over-age ammunition. U.S. industry provided adequate substitutes only as the war progressed.

35. 25.5 FRENCH: The French, considered by most experts of their day to have the finest army in Europe, were plagued by outmoded tactics, the dreary French political climate, confusion, and the disheartening failures brought about by the unexpected successes of the blitzkrieg. Defeatism became rife among many units of the French Army soon after the initial armored breakthroughs; thus the poorer broken Morale Level of their MMC.

36. 25.6 ITALIAN: Italy was a country woefully unprepared for the total war into which her leaders cast her. Despite a serious lack of raw materials, inadequate heavy industry, an unprepared military, and a less than fervently bellicose population, Mussolini and his cohorts deemed it necessary to forge ahead with their new Roman Empire before Hitler had conquered everything worth ruling—a tragic miscalculation. The Italian soldier has been much maligned for his lack of fighting spirit and tendency to surrender en masse, but it must be remembered that his training was generally sparse, his equipment poor, his officers insulated by class and tradition, and his will weakened by lack of conviction. The Italian soldier fought bravely when well led and equipped but usually one or the other (if not both) of these factors were lacking. Elite squads should generally be used only in scenarios recreating actions of the Grenadiers of Sardinia, the Folgore or Julia Divisions, the Alpini, or the San Marco Marines. Bersaglieri formed the full infantry complement (one regiment) of the armored divisions and one regiment of each motorized and cavalry division, and were also used in the recon role in these divisions. The 3-3-6 squads represent Colonial troops and Blackshirts. Colonial troops were merely native levies trained and armed only for tribal warfare, unaccustomed to maneuver, with mostly Italian officers. The Blackshirts were the Fascist Militia, grudgingly accepted as fighting forces by the Army due to its need for manpower. They were summarily trained and only lightly armed. Blackshirts were usually assigned on the basis of one Legion (two weak battalions) per division, from 1940 on.

37. 25.7 THE FINNS: No nationality can lay claim to having fought as valiant and skillful a defense of their homeland as the Finns of 1939-44. Extremely individualistic, patriotic, and ruthless, totally at ease in severe weather conditions, the Finnish soldier was tactically superior to his foe and fanatic in his resistance. The superiority of the Finnish soldier was based upon a deeply ingrained quality of "sisu"—determination and individuality. This trait was evidenced in combat where the Finnish soldier rallied quickly and often without the intervention of his leaders. However, the Finns did not share the goals of their German co-belligerents and for political and strategic reasons usually refused to take offensive action after 1941. Finland was not one of the Axis powers, and any reference in the rules to "Axis" does not in­clude the Finns. Some rules, however, specifically exempting Finns from Axis Extreme Winter penalties have been retained to avoid the appearance of any change in game play.

The Finns fought three different wars from 1939 to 1945:

Winter War (vs Soviet Union) 30 November 1939-13 March 1940

Continuation War (vs Soviet Union) 25 June 1941-4 September 1944

Lapland War (vs Germany) 15 September 1944-27 April 1945

The Continuation War can be roughly divided into three phases: the Finnish Attack to regain territories lost in the Winter War and later into Russian Kare­lia for strategically advantageous defensive lines (7/41-12/41); the Static War (42-5/44); and the Soviet Summer Offensive (6/44-8/44).

37A. 25.72 FINNISH SQUAD TYPES: New squad types have been added to the Finns to allow designers to better portray a broader range of actions.

37B. 25.76 PF/PSK: The Germans supplied PF/PSK to Finland in April 1944, but these were not handed out until 6/44. As troops gained familiarity with these weapons, Finnish ability to deal with Soviet tank attacks improved greatly. PF/PSK can be available by SSR in 6/44, but Casualty Reduction oc­curs on a PF Original TH DR of 11 or 12, and Captured Use penalties (21.11-­.12) apply for PSK.

38. 25.8 AXIS MINORS:

Romania: Romania, with no allies left following Germany's successes through 1940, bowed to German pressure and surrendered Bessarabia to Russia, northern Transylvania to Hungary, and southern Dobrogea to Bulgaria. Aware that she now depended on Germany to guarantee her survival, Romania joined the Axis in November 1940; her objective thereafter, both as an Axis and later an Allied partner, was to regain the lost territories. Although the Romanian 1st Army was kept from the eastern front to guard the border with Hungary, Romania was one of Germany's most dependable allies until she switched sides in August 1944 after the death of General Antonescu. Each Romanian infantry battalion had a HQ company, a Transport and Supply unit, a MG company and three infantry companies. Battalion support was provided by three MG platoons, a Mortar platoon, and a single AT Section. Each MG platoon had three MG squads each with two MG and crews. Each rifle company had three rifle platoons of three squads and a LMG.

Hungary: A traditional German ally, Hungary in 1938-1940 regained through the assistance of Germany most of the land lost after The Great War, albeit while simultaneously gaining the animosity of her neighbors. Hungary followed Germany first into Yugoslavia and then into Russia. Each Hungarian infantry battalion consisted of three rifle companies (with a HQ section, three rifle platoons and a light mortar squad each) and a heavy weapons company (with platoons of medium MG, 81mm mortars, and light AT guns). Each Mountain rifle company was composed of a HQ platoon and 4 Mountain rifle platoons; each platoon had three squads and its own light mortar squad outfitted with a 50mm mortar.

Slovakia: Urged on by the Germans, Slovakia declared its independence from Czechoslovakia in March 1939, and quickly helped itself to the Czech equipment within its borders. It repaid its protector by participating in the invasions of Poland and Russia. Each infantry battalion had a battalion HQ, a Combat Support company, and three rifle companies. The battalion HQ had a small two-squad security section for local control. The Combat Support company had a HQ section and five MG platoons, two heavy and three light. The two heavy MG platoons each had 4 MG and crews. The three LMG platoons also had four HS armed with the LMG. While the LMG squads were administratively under the command of the Combat Support company, each infantry platoon had a LMG squad attached to it for operational purposes. Each rifle company had four rifle platoons each with four rifle squads. The Germans began disbanding Slovakian units in May 1944. After putting down the August 1944 uprising in Slovakia, Germany disarmed all remaining Slovakian units.

German-Croatian units in Russia: Within a short time of the German conquest of Yugoslavia, over 5000 Croatian volunteers, mostly from Croatia's Ustashi Party enlisted in the fascist cause. From this group, a German-Croat Legion was established as the 369th Reinforced Croat Infantry Regiment serving as part of the 100th Jäger Division. The regiment was formed using the German organization and command structure and had three infantry battalions and an attached artillery battalion. Each infantry battalion had three infantry companies and one weapons company. All regimental transportation was horse-drawn, and all weapons were of German manufacture. One unusual feature of this unit was that it was officered completely by Croatian officers even while under German operational control. This unit was destroyed at Stalingrad at the end of 1942, but Croatian volunteers continued to man German units throughout the war, and the "German-controlled" sectors of Croatia continued to raise forces to fight against the Russians. Use German counters and Nationality Distinctions in Russia prior to 1/43.

Italian-Croatian Units in Russia: The Italian-Croat Legion was organized as a reinforced regiment (the "Light Transport Brigade") with two Blackshirt battalions, a Replacement battalion supported by a mortar company and an artillery battalion. The two Blackshirt battalions each had three infantry companies and a weapons company of light mortars and MG. The Replacement battalion was slightly heavier in mortars with three 81mm mortars assigned for direct support as well as light mortars and MG. The Italian-Croat Legion was dispatched to the Russian front on February 1, 1942, assigned to the Italian 3rd "Celere" Mobile Division under the overall command of the Italian 8th Army. It entered combat in May and fought well, but was eventually overrun and completely destroyed by the Russians around the Don River in December 1942. Use Italian counters (3-4-6s) and Nationality Distinctions for these units. Starting in May 1943 the Italians sponsored another "Legion," but those troops did not see any action before Italy surrendered, after which they were used to reinforce existing German-Croatian units.

Croatian units in Yugoslavia: Until the arrival of Soviet forces later in the war, Croatian Army units were engaged primarily in anti-partisan activities, fighting mostly against the Communist partisans of Tito. A major problem for the Croatian Army throughout the war was the exodus of many of the best Croatian officers, non-coms, and soldiers to volunteer for service in the German or Italian armies. Croatia raised the 369th Croatian Infantry Division in March 1943, the 373rd Infantry Division in late 1943, and the 392nd Infantry Division in 1944. All three Croatian divisions fought against the partisans and never left the confines of Yugoslavia. Additionally, the infamous Ustashi militia was active in anti-partisan activities, gradually playing a larger and larger role. Use Axis Minors counters and National Characteristics for all Croatian units beginning in 1943.

Bulgaria: Bulgaria joined the Axis in March 1941 but refused to attack Russia. The Bulgarian Army remained behind in the Balkans as security forces for the occupied Macedonian (Yugoslavian) and Thracian (Greek) areas. There had been, historically, a deep and bitter hatred between the Greeks and Bulgarians for centuries and this was released during the occupation of Greece. The harsh and cruel treatment of the Greek civilians by the Bulgarian soldiers helped to restrain Greek partisans from operating during the early part of the war but the unrelenting atrocities on Greek civilians by the Bulgars led many Greeks to join in with local partisan bands in ever-increasing numbers. Following the death of Tsar Boris III and Romania's defection in August 1944, Bulgaria abandoned Germany and joined the Allies under pressure from Russia. The normal Bulgarian rifle company was infantry heavy but was very lightweight in its firepower. While the rifle company did not have an inherent Heavy Weapons (HW) platoon, it was able to draw upon the resources of the parent battalion or regiment for certain types of HW support. These attachments included 20mm and 37mm AT Guns, 37mm INF guns, and light 50mm Mortars from the regimental Close Support company while the battalion MG company provided HMG support.

39. 25.8 NO QUARTER: An SSR should generally apply No Quarter to both sides in actions involving Axis Minor troops against partisans.

40. 25.81 PAATC: Generally, an SSR should show that 1st Line Infantry components of the armored divisions take PAATC rather than 1 PAATC.

41. 25.86 HUNGARIAN TROOPS: As the fortunes of war turned against the Germans and the Russians started driving the Axis forces out of Russian territory, Germany's Eastern European allies started having second thoughts about their support for the Axis. Partisans staged an abortive uprising in Slovakia in August 1944, aided by significant defections from the army. The Tiso regime managed to maintain control, but many Slovakian Army units disbanded, with the ethnic German Volksdeutsche transferred en masse to the Wehrmacht. Also in August, as the Soviet offensive drove into Romania, General An-tonescu was arrested and on August 25th Romania abrogated its treaties with the Axis. The Red Army moved into Bucharest on August 31st, and Romania went from being Germany's strongest ally in the region to being the biggest thorn in Germany's side, seeing significant action in Transylvania, Hungary, Slovakia, Moravia, and Bessarabia. Tsar Boris III's death and Romania's defection in August 1944 prompted a pro-Allied coup in Bulgaria, which followed Romania's example and switched sides. The army attempted to frustrate Germany's retreat from Greece, although not too successfully. In October 1944, as the Russians closed in on Hungary, the regent Vice-Admiral Horthy declared an armistice as he tried to negotiate a deal with the Western Allies. Hitler had Horthy arrested, installed the ultra-nationalistic Arrow Cross regime in power, and had the army placed under direct German control. Hungarian units continued to fight on the Axis side into May 1945. The Soviets created a rival Hungarian government, which promised Stalin eight divisions to fight the Axis but was unable to deliver. The Axis Minor units that switched sides at the end of the war were otherwise unchanged and continued to use the same weapons, doctrines, etc. Because the Hungarians ended up fighting Romanian and Bulgarian troops, some way was needed to distinguish between the two armies. The Hungarians had the greatest variety of vehicles that were not also used by other Minor nations. Representing them with the two-tone counters thus required that fewer such vehicles had to be in both regular green counters and the two-tone counters. With the blue border on the two-tone counter, Hungarians can also use the occasional German vehicle/SW while concealed.

42. 25.87 ROMANIAN ATMM: Like all of Germany's minor allies, Romania suffered from a chronic shortage of adequate anti-tank weapons to combat the Soviet armor. Romania addressed this issue during the army's restructuring following the Stalingrad debacle by creating special tank destroyer teams. The job of these hand-picked two-man teams was to close with and destroy enemy AFV at close quarters by whatever means necessary—usually improvised antitank mines made by banding together several fragmentation grenades or using PR The 1PAATC exception for 1st Line Romanians, the -1 PF Check drm for Elite Romanian MMC vs AFV, and this ATMM availability all help to reflect Romania's use of these teams.

43. 25.9 ALLIED MINORS: The Blitzkrieg never really gave the forces of the various invaded neutrals (Poland, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Greece, Yugoslavia, etc.) a chance to develop a national characteristic. For the most part, these countries were defended by reservists hastily mobilized to deal with a better equipped and trained invader already flushed with momentum from initial successes. Lacking sufficient training and resources to withstand the superior firepower of the enemy in a pitched battle, these forces, although brave enough, were often shocked into submission by the seemingly hopeless nature of their defense. Nonetheless, many of these nations (most notably Poland and Belgium) did manage to field some elite, well-trained units. Furthermore, Polish and Belgium non-reservist Infantry squads were equipped with inherent BAR rather than with the occasional LMG.