Alpha Scenario Play Notes and Rules Commentary


[BOARD ENTRY] Must enter at the specified location(s) on the specified scenario turn, either during the movement and/or the advance phase. The normal terrain cost of the first (whole or half) hex of entry must be paid.

[BOARD EXIT] Units may only exit the mapboard area at specified locations during a friendly movement or advance phase. A unit is not considered to have exited until it expends one movement factor to leave a board edge whole or half hex. Broken units may not exit. Units may not exit unless specified by the scenario rules or victory conditions and once exited they may not return.

[HALF HEXES] See rule 3.7. Un-labeled half hexes are referenced as either 0 (as in j0) or 10 (as in j10). Numbering on all boards is similar.


LINES OF SIGHT (LOS), comment by Alan Yngve: [9/23/96]

A number of precautionary notes are worthwhile on the issues that often arise over line of sight (LOS) in Squad Leader. Squad Leader was one of the earliest hex-based games that used terrain features to determine the blockage of vision, rather than always defining the entire area of a hex as entirely containing a terrain feature. There are a number of useful guidelines within the rules that are helpful to bring to special attention.

(Rule 7.1): LOS follows a straight line measured between the center marks of the firing and the target hexes. Two options for measurement are mentioned; (1) rubber band or string, or (2) transparent straight edge (or thread). Finally note the last sentence: DISAGREEMENTS ARE TO BE RESOLVED WITH A FRIENDLY ROLL OF THE DIE! With face-to-face (ftf) play, usually both players will use the device of the owner of the game, and the LOS is determined upon the board in use. Be prepared for both different devices AND differently printed boards if playing a scenario by play-by-mail (PBM) or play-by- email (PBeM).

(Rule 7.2): LOS is present if unobstructed by a building or woods SYMBOL. And for the LOS to be obstructed the obstruction must be visible on _both_sides_ of the measurement device in use.

(Rule 19.3): Neither side may make LOS checks before declaring an intention of firing along a specified LOS. This has expanded implications when playing via PBeM. Clarify a "house rule" if you wish to play differently with your opponent!

WALLS/HEDGES and LOS/DRM, comment by Alan Yngve: [9/23/96]

Rule 11.5 introduces Walls and Hedges, but is often a source of confusion among Squad Leader players. Perhaps because these rules are not actually used in the original scenarios until #4, a considerable time after their introduction. Two interpretations exist: that the wall or hedge SYMBOL dictates LOS presence or blockage (consistent with rule 7.2) or the alternative, that the Wall or Hedge HEXSIDE dictates LOS presence or blockage (consistent with rules 5.51, 11.5, and 11.51). Please be aware of this disagreement and be prepared to agree with your opponent on an interpretation prior to play. If, after examining the rules, you are looking for a recommendation, I would encourage you to use the HEXSIDE definition.

The LOS course (page 24): This course is quite helpful but incomplete due to its limited sample of hexes. One of the Wall/Hedge difficulties is that L4<->N7 is listed as blocked while L2<->N5 is listed as clear. Even using the symbol definition, I have never seen a Board 3 that did not have the wall extend past the M3/M4/L3 intersection.

(Rule 11.53): Wall/Hedge confusion arises between LOS determination and terrain effects modifier application. In Appendix rule 11.5 (page 22), the LOS course on page 24, and Q&A all indicate that an LOS exists if the firing or target hex has a Wall or Hedge along one of its hexspines (see page 9 for hexspine definition). However, rule 11.53 states that the target unit only receives a terrain modifier if the LOS is traced "across a ... hexside into the hex _formed_ by that hexside ...." Examining the 11.5 example on page 22, it states that fire from A (3t4) to B (3u3) would be modified by a +2 drm due to the wall, as is consistent with this rule because there is a wall along the hexside of 3u3. What the example fails to mention, however, is that fire from B (3u3) to A (3t4) would _only_ receive the +3 drm for the stone building, since no wall extends along the target hex in this reverse case. Note that not all players will agree with this interpretation.

SHELLHOLES, comment by Alan Yngve: [9/23/96]

Movement through shellhole hexes (example, 4s3) that are also road hexes is a source on contention among Squad Leader players. Two interpretations exist; that road movement is unhindered by shellholes due to rule 44.3 "Shellholes have no special effect upon infantry movement ..." and rule 5.52 "... moving into a road hex is 1/2 MF only if the hex is entered through a hexside crossed by the road" OR that entering a shellhole hex, even if along a road, costs 1 MF, an interpretation derived primarily from the inclusion of shellhole hexes with "open ground and wheatfields" on the movement chart (rule 5.5). If, after examining these rules, you are looking for a recommendation, I would encourage you to use the later 1 MF in all cases definition.