Scenario Designer's Handbook

Scenario Designer’s Handbook (2nd Edition) is intended as a reference for those interested in designing historical scenarios for the Advanced Squad Leader game system. This book features over 200 pages in full colour with a variety of information to help in force and terrain selection; chapters on all the components of the scenario and how to craft them; information on publishing your scenario, including how to create your own logo and layout; tips on how to research your scenario, including a listing of all the major official histories; and several detailed walkthroughs of the design process, highlighting various subjects of interest such as SSRs, VCs, SAN and playtesting.

  • Author: Michael A. Dorosh, CD
  • Format: Softcover, full colour, 240pp
  • Status: First printing commenced 18 November 2007, 2nd Edition July 2015
  • ISBN 978-0-9784925-0-2

"...though (Scenario Designer's Handbook) purports to be a handbook for scenario designers, in actual fact it is much, much more. Perhaps the author was afraid of promising too much. Personally, I should instead describe this book as a ‘handbook for all ASL players’. Going further, I recommend to anyone already possessing much or all of the ASL stuff available and wondering what next to invest in: look no further... 

 

What do you get? A lot of history of the game itself: from its predecessors to its development. This reviewer has been playing throughout the three decades since Squad Leader came on the scene, yet I learned some interesting things from this book about the game itself. Plus there is a lot... about force composition: TOEs of all the nationalities, etc.; and of course, analysis of every aspect of the scenario card. The book offers all sorts of valuable material..."(Ian Daglish, View from the Trenches )

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Detailed order of battle information for the divisions and brigades of the world’s major infantry and armoured forces are presented in an easy to read format, as well as detailed battalion listings in ASL terms of the various forces that fought the war in all major campaigns in the Pacific, Western Europe, Eastern Front, far north, Africa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean.

A variety of tables and charts provide the reader with additional information to assist in the crafting of ASL scenarios, giving relevant information on everything from moon phases (for selecting NVR) to the Australian Balance System.

A complete and fully illustrated listing of official map boards and overlays will help you select terrain appropriate to your scenario, and a section on creating your own maps will help you with historical projects.

Detailed walkthroughs discuss how to take real life data on various battles and translate them into ASL terms for use in scenarios. A chapter also provides hints on converting scenarios from other game systems to fit within ASL parameters.

A chapter on Heroes and Leaders provides historical insights into the relationship between rank, authority and medals and the depiction of individuals in ASL via SMC counters.

A listing of other resources is also provided to help the scenario designer seek out and find additional information and assistance with the scenario design process.

The goal of Scenario Designer’s Handbook is to complement the existing literature on scenario design and provide the reader not only with hard data on terrain, historical references, and force compositions, but to provide an insight into how vast the conflict really was and inspire further research into the more obscure units and campaigns of the war.

The Author – Michael A. Dorosh, CD, has had articles published in both ASL Annual and View From the Trenches. Outside of ASL, he has completed five books on military history; Canuck (1996), Dressed to Kill (2001) and An Officer and a Gentleman (2008) deal with the subject of Canadian Army uniforms in the Second World War; he also published two unit histories under his own canadiansoldiers.com imprint in 2007, Yorkton’s Gunners and Gallant Calgarians. Scenario Designer’s Handbook will be the first CSC title intended for a wide audience. Canadiansoldiers.com was begun in 1998 and continues to provide information on the Canadian Army in the 20th Century to a world-wide audience.

 

STOREFRONT

Specific Formations for which combat deployment theatres and/or dates are provided:

Axis Minors Romanian Divisions (Infantry, Security, Cavalry, Motorized, Armoured, Fortress, Reserve and Guards)
"British" British Infantry Divisions
British Armoured Divisions
British Airborne Divisions
Australian Divisions
Canadian Divisions
Indian Divisions
New Zealand Divisions
South African Divisions
Finnish Finnish Infantry Divisions (composition only)
German German (Army) Motorized Infantry Divisions
German Light Infantry Divisions
German Jäger Divisions
German Light Divisions
German Mountain Divisions
German Panzer Divisions
German Panzergrenadier Divisions
Waffen SS Divisions (all types)
Luftwaffe Field Divisions
Luftwaffe Parachute Divisions
Italian (pre-defection) Divisions (infantry, mountain, alpine, (semi-)motorized, assault, air-landing, cavalry, parachute and armoured)
Japanese SNLF
United States US (Army) Infantry Divisions
US Armoured Divisions
US Airborne Divisions
US Army Ranger Battalions
USMC Divisions

Specific formations broken down in diagram form:

Allied Minors Belgian Infantry Division
Greek Infantry Division
Dutch Infantry Division May 1940
Dutch Infantry Regiment Dec 1941 (East Indies)
Norwegian Infantry Brigade April 1940
Polish Infantry Division September 1939
Yugoslavian Infantry Division April 1941
Axis Minors Hungarian Infantry Division July 1942
Romanian Infantry Division June 1941
Romanian Security Division 1942-43
"British" British Infantry Division 1942-1945
British Armoured Division 1943-45
British Airborne Division 1944-45
Australian Jungle Division 1943-45
Finnish Finnish Infantry Division 1939-40
Finnish Infantry Division 1941
French French Infantry Division 1939-40
French Motorized Infantry Division 1939-40
German German Infantry Division 1939-42
German Infantry Division 1943-45
German Mountain Division 1939-45
German Panzer Division 1940-45
German Cavalry Division 1939-40
German Parachute Division 1943-45
Luftwaffe Field Division 1942-43
Italian Italian Infantry Division 1940-43
Italian Infantry Division (North Africa) 1942-43
Italian Motorized Infantry Division (North Africa) 1942-43
Japanese Japanese Infantry Division Type "B" 1940-45
"Russian" Red Army Infantry Division 1939-40
Red Army Infantry Division 1941
Red Army Reduced Infantry Division July 1941
Red Army Infantry Division June 1942
Red Army Infantry Division July - December 1942
Red Army Infantry Division 1943-45
Red Army Rifle Brigade 1941-42
Red Army Mountain Division 1940
Red Army Ski Brigade early 1942
Red Army Ski Brigade September 1942 - January 1945
Red Army Cavalry Division 1939-1941
Red Army Cavalry Division July 1941
Red Army Light Cavalry Division 1941
Red Army Cavalry Division 1943-45
Light Tank Brigade 1939-40
Heavy Tank Brigade 1939-40
Red Army Motorized Division 1941
Red Army Tank Division Jul-Jul 1941
Red Arm Tank Division Jul 1941-1945
Red Army Tank Brigade Aug 1941 - Dec 1941
Red Army Tank Brigade Dec 1941 - 1942
Motorized Rifle Brigade Apr 1942
Red Army Tank Brigade 31 Jul 1942-Nov 1943
Red Army Tank Brigade Nov 1943-1945]
Red Army Mechanized Brigade Sep 1942-1945
Red Army Airborne Brigade Nov 1940
Red Army Airborne Brigade 1941
Red Army Airborne Brigade 1943
United States US Army Infantry Division 1942-45
US Army "heavy" Armored Division 1942-45
US Army "light" Armored Division 1944-45
US Army Mountain Division 1945
US Airborne Division 1943-44
US Airborne Division 1945
USMC Infantry Division 1942-May 1944
USMC Infantry Division May 1944-1945

These are just the charts; some timeframes not covered by the charts are covered in the text instead. For example, the Japanese Infantry Division Type "B" chart is also applicable to the Type "A" Division, with changes described directly in the text, rather than devoting space to another diagram. Similarly, the late USMC Division chart is applicable to both the "F" and "G" Series organization with a few footnotes.

The point of the divisional charts (which also break down the regiments into number of infantry battalions as well as a breakdown of supporting units, in the case of artillery and mortars to the battery level with type of tube/barrel) is to give some idea as to what an infantry battalion might expect for support. In other words, I've focused on the infantry. So while I don't break down a typical armoured battalion, I do break down the infantry battalions in, say, a Panzergrenadier division. For every formation level breakdown I just listed, there are corresponding infantry/cavalry battalion breakdowns down to the squad level, in ASL terms.

The detailed (squad-level) breakdowns in ASL terms include:

Allied Minors Belgian Infantry Battalion May 1940
Greek Infantry Battalion October 1940
Greek Cavalry Battalion October 1940
Dutch Infantry Battalion May 1940
Dutch Infantry Battalion Dec 1941
Norwegian Infantry Battalion April 1940
Polish Infantry Battalion September 1939
Yugoslavian Infantry Battalion April 1941
Axis Minors Hungarian Infantry Battalion
Romanian Infantry Battalion June 1941
"British" British Infantry Battalion 1939-1942
British Infantry Battalion 1942-1945
British Motor Battalion 1940-Apr 1942
British Motor Battalion Apr-Sep 1942
British Motor Battalion 1943-45
British Parachute Battalion 1942-43
British Parachute Battalion 1943-45
British Glider Battalion 1944-45
British Independent Company 1940
British Commando 1940
British Army Commando 1943
Australian Jungle Battalion 1943-45
Chinese Nationalist Chinese Infantry Battalion
Finnish Finnish Infantry Battalion 1939-40
Finnish Infantry Battalion 1941
French French Infantry Battalion 1939-40
French Motorized Infantry Battalion 1939-40
French Motorized Dragoon Battalion (type DLC) 1939-40
French Motorized Dragoon Battalino (type DLM) 1939-40
German German Infantry Battalion 1939-42
German Grenadier Battalion 1943-45
German Mountain Troop Battalion 1939-1945
German Schützen Battalion (Motorized) 1939-42
German Schützen Company (Armoured) 1939-42
German Panzergrenadier Battalion (Motorized) 1942
German Panzergrenadier Battalion (Motorized) late 1943
German Panzergrenadier Battalion (Motorized) 1944
German Panzergrenadier Battalion (Motorized) late 1944
German Panzergrenadier Battalion (Armoured) late 1943
German Panzergreandier Battalion (Armoured) 1944-45
German Cavalry Battalion 1939-1941
German Cavalry Battalion 1944
German Parachute Battalion 1939-42
German Parachute Battalion 1943
German Parachute Battalion 1944-45
Luftwaffe Field Battalion 1942-43
Italian Italian Infantry Battalion 1940
Italian Infantry Battalion 1941
Italian Infantry Battalion 1942-43
Japanese Japanese Infantry Battalion 1939-45
Japanese SNLF 1940-45
Japanese Airborne SNLF 1941-42
Japanese Raiding Regiment 1944
Japanese Glider Regiment 1944
Partisan French Secret Army and FTP Tactical Organization (manpower only)
"Russian" Red Army Infantry Battalion 1939-41
Red Army Reduced Strength Infantry Battalion July 1941
Red Army Infantry Battalion Jan-Jun 1942
Red Army Infantry Battalion Jul-Dec 1942
Red Army Infantry Battalion 1943-45
Red Army Reduced Strength Infantry Battalion 1943
Red Army Rifle Brigade Battalion 1941
Red Army Rifle Brigade Battalion 1942
Red Army Mountain Company 1940-Apr 1943
Red Army Mountain Company Apr 1943-1945
Red Army Mountain Battalion 1944-45
Red Army Ski Battalion Winter 1941-42
Red Army Ski Battalion Oct 1942-1945
Red Army Line Squadron (cavalry) 1939-41
Red Army Motor Rifle Company 1939-41
Red Army Light Cavalry Squadron 1941
Red Army Line Squadron 1943-45
Red Army Motor Rifle Battalion 1939-40
Red Army Motorized Infantry Battalion 1941
Red Army Infantry Battalion (as in Tank Brigade) Aug 1941-Dec 1941
Red Army Motorized Rifle Battalion Dec 1941-Jul 1942
Red Army Motorized Rifle Battalion Apr 1942-Nov 1943
Red Army Motorized SMG Battalion (as in Tank Brigade) Nov 1943-45
Red Army Motorized Rifle Battalion (as in Mechanized Brigade) Sep 1942-45
Red Army Parachute/Glider Battalion Nov 1940-Sep 1941
Red Army Parachute/Glider Battalion Sep 1941
Red Army Parachute Battalion 1943
United States US Army Infantry Battalion 1942-45
US Army Armored Infantry Battalion 1942-43
US Army Armored Infantry Battalion 1943-45
US Army Mountain Battalion 1945
US Glider Infantry Battalion 1942-44
US Parachute Infantry Battalion 1942-45
US Glider Infantry Battalion 1945
USMC "D" Series Infantry Battalion 1942-43
USMC "E" Series Infantry Battalion Apr 1943-May 1944
USMC "F/G" Series Infantry Battalion May 1944-1945

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