Updating the Canadian Rogue Scenarios for ASL / VASL
The Rogue Series 200 Scenarios were the first "official" use of Canadian units in the Squad Leader system. While there were a couple of scenarios dealing with Canadian battles (including one dealing with the 4th Canadian (Armoured) Division at Friesoythe in which the Canadian 4th Armoured Division erroneously rides Cromwell tanks into battle due to a limited countermix), the meat of the Canadian content was in a miniature campaign game set in the Breskens Pocket.
The Battle of the Scheldt was conducted in September and October of 1944, finishing early in November. The aim of the battle was to clear the land to the north and south of the Scheldt Estuary - the waterway leading into Antwerp. Once the coastal guns along the Estuary were cleared, the port of Antwerp could finally be put into operation. Since most of the large ports on the English Channel and North Sea remained in German hands until May 1945, Antwerp was essential for easing logistical burdens. The Allies were expending desperately needed gasoline, as well as thousands of trucks and drivers, by driving supplies from the beaches in Normandy to the front lines, which by Sep 1944 were in Belgium, The Netherlands, and even within the borders of Germany itself.
The Rogue Scenarios
The Rogue scenarios contain five scenarios taking place during the Battle of the Scheldt. They are as follows (approximate geographical location of each scenario is shown on the map at right.)
1 R218 Operation Switchback (7th Canadian Brigade, 6 Oct 1944)
2 R219 Scheldt Fortress South (4th Canadian Division, 25 Oct 1944)
3 R220 Clearing the Breskens Pocket (6 Oct 1944)
4 R221 Vitality I (4th Canadian Brigade, 24 Oct 1944)
5 R222 Infatuate II (4th British Special Service Bde, 1 Nov 1944)
Scenarios R218 and R219 represented the crossing of the Leopold Canal in what the Allies called "Operation Switchback", and the final battles to clear what the Germans called "Scheldt Fortress South".
These two scenarios were then combined in Scenario R220 into what HASL players would recognize as a Campaign Game; the playing area for both scenarios was overlapped and merged, giving a 16-board surface, and play was divided into three 17-turn portions separated by "BREAKs." The actual battles merged together took place two weeks apart and several miles apart, so both time and space were considerably compressed in these scenarios; however, this shouldn't be seen as either unusual for SL/ASL scenarios, nor as a design drawback.
The terrain on the boards was heavily modified by Scenario Special Rules, which made it hard to visualize the effects; stone buildings were turned into wooden buildings, marsh and wheatfield became clear terrain, dirt roads became paved, Level 1 hills became Mud and Level 2 and 3 hills became inundated hexes representing water at ground level. Entire land masses were transformed into water hexes, and some water hexes were turned into clear hexes in order to narrow the Leopold Canal.
At right is an overhead view of a set of Virtual ASL boards incorporating the terrain changes.
The design credits for the original series are as follows:
Scenario Design: Joe Suchar, John Kenower, Jon Mishcon
Scenario Development: Jon Mishcon, Joe Suchar
Playtesting: Rex Martin, Burt Baker, Rich Hegeman, Jim Stahler, Steve Martinsen
Illustrations: Charles Kibler
Graphics: Dale Sheaffer
"VASL" or "Virtual ASL" by Rodney Kinney is a freeware program that uses Java to allow players of ASL to play online, using virtual boards and counters. This program is supported by MMP, and requires players to own the ASL Rulebook as well as the scenario cards, but all other components exist in digital form. The URL at the time of this writing is http://www.vasl.org
For those interested in playing these Rogue Scenarios via VASL, the board (complete with turn counter for the mini-campaign game on the scenario cards) can be downloaded from the Yahoo VASL Group, accessible through the http://www.vasl.org site.
The VASL board is called "breskenspocket" and is the large board used in R220; for use with R218 or R219, use the crop tool in VASL during game creation and modify to the configuration shown on the scenario card.
Scenario Special Rules
When using the VASL mapboard discussed above, many of the Scenario Special Rules as printed on the cards will not be necessary; as it is the SSRs are scattered over three cards, repeated in many cases, and unclear. A simplified list is provided here, for the first two scenarios - note that references are made to the Crescendo of Doom rules, they have not been updated for use with ASL at this time. The SSRs for amphibious trucks are considered to be superseded by the GI: Anvil of Victory rules and have been deleted.
Scenario R218 OPERATION SWITCHBACK
R218.1 Waterway on Boards 7 and 8 is the Leopold Canal. The Canal is Deep and flows West slowly.
R218.2 EC are Wet.
R218.3 Green terrain represents MUD at Level 0. Entrenchments and Trenches are NA in mud, Mud cannot be bypassed, and does double Infantry movement costs.
R218.4 Building hex 3M2 contains a second story; other two hexes of this building do not.
R218.5 Canadians automatically get 3 fighters on Turn 1 as air support. They roll every turn for additional air support regardless of the presence of other air units BUT additional air can only be fighters and only one per turn (see 139.12).
R218.14 Canadians may erect infantry hasty pontoon bridges (133.8) by having two unbroken crews or one unbroken squad in a large raft in the canal unmoving for one full turn. The canal may be bridged no faster than 1 hex per turn. Bridges appear automatically in the owner's next rally phase. Germans may not dismantle bridges buy may destroy them with KIA on IFT.
R218.15 WASPs may not ferry using 128.32
Scenario R219 SCHELDT FORTRESS SOUTH
R219.1 EC are Wet
R219.2 Green terrain represents MUD at Level 0. Entrenchments and Trenches are NA in mud, Mud cannot be bypassed, and does double Infantry movement costs.
R219.3 Building hex 3M2 contains a second story; other two hexes of this building do not.
R219.4 Waterway on Boards 7 and 8 is the Scheldt Estuary. The Estuary is Deep and flows moderately to the East.
R219.5 No entrenchments or trenches may be dug or placed on any Level 2 hexes (EXC: R219.6)
R219.6 Hex 8X4 contains an inherent trench (signified by the yellow circle around the hex centre dot) which adds its benefit to any adjacent wall without obstructing fire. The stone wall around 8X4, 8X5 and 8W5 has a special +3 modifier (signified by the yellow artwork). Building 8V6 is considered fortified and has a +4 TEM (signified by the yellow outline).
R219.7 Both German ART must start in trenches (not entrenchments). German AA, AT, MTR and their crews must set up hidden, facing determined at time exposed. All German ART and AA pieces must also be sited so that each weapon has a clear LOS to at least one Scheldt Estuary hex.
R219.8 All vehicles moving offroad in a Mud hex will BOG on a dr of 6.
R219.9 German 8-3-8s are Engineer units with unlimited smoke-making capability.
Update - 2012
With the release of Turning the Tide in 2008, Multi-Man Publishing continued its commitment to upgrading all the scenarios of the original Squad Leader series to ASL standard. Some of the Rogue Scenarios were included, though the Scheldt Fortress trio were not. It is anticipated they will be included in a future release, completing the upgrade of all the original scenarios.