The Big Black Book of ASL Sleaze


Working definition of sleaze: something the ASL rules allow that feels or seems wrong.

Another definition of ASL sleaze: something your opponent thought of before you did.

Disclaimer: ASL is a game. ASL is not reality. As a game ASL allows a few actions which some consider ahistorical, unrealistic, or "sleazy." For each of the following "sleazes" there are people who will argue vehemently that the "sleaze" in question is a perfectly valid tactic with a sound basis in reality used repeatedly during the Second World War by many nationalities. Do not email me with such arguments. I am not endorsing or criticizing any of these "sleazes". The Big Black Book of ASL Sleaze is for entertainment purposes only, not to encourage cheating.

Anti-disclaimer: The Big Black Book of ASL Sleaze may be copied and redistributed at will. You can even modify it, claim you wrote it, and distribute it for money if you like. If you see something that seems incorrect in the list below or you know a sleaze that is not listed please email me.

VBM sleaze

The act of ending a vehicle's movement phase in VBM (usually staying in motion) to prevent the enemy units in that hex from firing out of the hex. Also called VBM freeze. A7.212 says that if an enemy unit [EXC: unarmored vehicles without PRC] is in the same Location as you are, you cannot fire at any enemy unit not in your Location. The VBM sleaze's usual aim is to place AFVs in bypass of defensive locations to prevent those locations from firing at units moving up behind the AFV. A vehicle ending its MPh in bypass also strips the concealment of any units in that location (A12.42).

Skulking sleaze

The act of moving out of enemy LOS during the MPh, often using assault movement, then advancing back into the original hex during the APh.

Crew control sleaze

The act of abandoning perfectly good AFVs in order to use the crews to control victory hexes and such. This infamous sleaze forced some new scenarios to carry the "vehicular crews may not voluntarily abandon their vehicles" sleaze stopper SSR.

Pyro sleaze

The act of setting fire to key areas to deny movement and rout paths. While deliberately kindled fires cause control of the burning locations to be forfeited to the non-kindling player (A26.16) kindling is still popular for channeling attacks. This infamous sleaze forced some new scenarios to carry the "kindling is NA" sleaze stopper SSR.

Disappearing tank sleaze

The act of using platoon movement even with radio equipped AFVs in order to start, turn, and possibly even exit LOS before the enemy can declare first fire. See D14.2, 2nd sentence and D2.17, 1st sentence. Now you see him, now you don't.

Backblast avoidance sleaze

Using opportunity fire to avoid backblast penalties yet still AFPh fire that Bazooka from a building hex (C13.8).

Self inflicted wound sleaze

The act of deliberately intensive firing your MA all the time trying to disable it and invoke recall. Used to rid yourself of crappy tanks in VP scenarios before your enemy can destroy them for points. Particularly sleazy players could even argue that it's legal to spike the MAs (A9.73).

Berserk truck sleaze

The various ways of using unarmed trucks or empty carriers to annoy your opponent / deny rout paths after they have unloaded their passengers/guns, or trying to get them destroyed for wreck TEM / hindrance. Unarmed trucks carrying a half squad or SMC are Known armed enemy units.

VCA change sleaze

Rotating a TCA or VCA by simply firing your MG or, if all MG have already fired, your MA. The extreme sleaze is to rotate by taking an AAMG shot with an AFV which has "AAMG: VCA only" like some of the STGs. This alone can be reason enough to leave them CE.

Special ammo = 2 x To Hit sleaze

Using your AFV's or gun's special ammo (usually APCR / APDS C8.1) to get two to hit attempts. This sleaze is often used when the to hit needed is low and the special ammo's depletion number (C8.9) is as low or lower.

Ammo shortage double shot sleaze

Taking two shots from the same location at the same target. When under Ammo Shortage mandatory firegrouping does not apply. Given a negative DRM shot opportunity it typically pays that a squad with a MG should fire just its inherent firepower first and then fire the MG separately at that same target on the same MF expenditure only if the moving unit is not effected. Saving the MGs this way will extend their Ammo Shortaged life. See A7.55 (Mandatory FG applies to Good Order units/weapons) and the Index (a MG under Ammo Shortage is not a Good Order weapon).

Unload the riders for 0 MP sleaze

D6.21 says in part "A Rider on a turreted AFV must Bail Out if the AFV changes its TCA." Although this does entail a NMC Riders who have high morale or are easily rallied can be successfully unloaded with this sleaze. Driving the tank through an orchard without using a road is another way to force riders to Bail Out for no cost.

CC double advance sleaze

Advancing into close combat with the objective to win the ambush and perform ambush withdrawal (A11.41) to gain one more hex of movement. Often used to exit a stack who can't quite make it off board on that last turn to fulfill some victory condition.

I'm still good order CC sleaze

Choosing not to drop concealment when the enemy advances in for CC on the last turn of the game, avoiding the possibility of Melee and loss of good order status. Often used by that last HIP GO HS in the VC area.

Route phase attack sleaze

Self breaking a unit to use its rout to actually progress further along the attack route or toward a victory condition or exit destination. Somewhat nullified by errata which requires self-break to occur within LOS and Normal Range of a KEU but still quite effective for units which stand a very good chance of rallying before their next MPh.

Prep fire smoker's sleaze

Set up a kill stack in a building with an AFV out of LOS behind the building in bypass. After the kill stack fires in Prep Fire the AFV sets off its smoke dispenser in Movement Phase before moving on, giving the kill stack smoke cover during DF.

Unload PRC for cheap in VBM sleaze

Unload PRC "behind" an obstacle in Bypass but without the MF to move into it. This will prevent DFF in the obstacle hex as well as get the PRC into the obstacle for free - without any MF, even if pinned. The unloaded (or Pinned) in bypass unit is placed in the obstacle after its MPh is over

Control by tank sleaze

Driving an AFV into a Victory Condition hex to gain Control. While an AFV Controled location is only "temporarily" Controled (A26.12), if the location is devoid of armed enemy units, is not a building, and is the only location in the hex the AFV does Control the hex.

Car bomb sleaze

The act of moving an ammo vehicle or Goliath near an enemy unit and then setting it off with friendly fire. You must use OBA or Area Target Type to kill your own units.

Prisoner deployment sleaze

Transfering prisoners from unit to unit enabling the Guarding unit to freely deploy. Especially useful for Russians and others who cannot freely deploy.

Foregone support weapon sleaze

Refusing to use a machine gun (and risk MG malfunction) in an attack because the MG will not move the attack to a higher IFT column.

It's broken but I don't care sleaze

Refusing to attempt repair of a MA to avoid possible MA disablement and Recall of the AFV.

Sit 'n spin sleaze

Having a fully tracked AFV enter a wire location and change covered arc repeatedly until the Bog check dice roll clears the wire (B26.53).

Double attack by WP sleaze

Getting an additional NMC "attack" against a position by placing WP smoke grenades during the MPh (also strips concealment). Normally followed up with advancing fire to provide the double whammy.

Firing into melee sleaze

Firing into a melee hoping to break the other side without particularly caring what happens to your own unit. Especially prone to being used by the Japanese and when one side has a morale advantage over the other.

Half squad recon sleaze

Moving a half squad into a location containing concealed enemy units to strip concealment of at least one of those concealed units (A12.15). This can be enhanced by marking several friendly units with opportunity fire in PFPh so as to fire at full strength at the soon-to-be unconcealed unit(s) in the AFPh.

Appendix A - Illegal sleaze-wanna-be's

These sleaze-wanna-be's are illegal. While sleaze is legal, these rules violations are not.

Halftrack gegen Tiger violation

Driving a half track or weak MAed tracked AFV into a hex with an enemy AFV and then rolling for maximum allowed ESB once in the hex hoping to fail ESB and Immobilize in the hex, thereby disallowing the enemy AFV to fire outside its hex. Illegal by Q&A: D2.6 In the last line, after "5", add "(using a non-Depletable ammo type available to the vehicle). A vehicle thus barred from remaining in an AFV's hex may not attempt ESB in that hex". {93b}

CX ruse violation

The CX ruse of declaring CX and then deliberately halting movement before expending all bonus MFs, thereby avoiding the DFF the defender was ``holding'' for use against the ATTACKER in that final location. Illegal by Q&A: A8.11 If the DEFENDER declines to use Defensive First Fire versus a unit after it moves into a certain hex and the ATTACKER subsequently announces that he had finished moving that unit, can the DEFENDER then change his mind and use Defensive First Fire (before another unit has physically moved)? A. Yes. {89}

Shot while attempting escape violation

The act of abandoning prisoners then gunning them down to unburden one's self of the prisoners without incurring No Quarter. Illegal by A20.52: abandoned prisoner subsequently eliminated by the side that abandoned it causes the No Quarter rule to take immediate effect.

Fire lane yatzee

Driving a BU fully armored AFV up and down a firelane trying to get the MG to malfunction thus nullifying the firelane. Illegal by Q&A: A9.223 Must a Fire Lane attack be rolled even when the attack cannot get any result vs the moving enemy unit (e.g., a BU fully-armored AFV or an attack which receives too many positive DRM)? A. No. {97}

The CX/TI switcheroo

Going CX and then Searching on the last MF to make the unit TI to remove the CX status. Illegal by Q&A: A4.51 Are all five of the listed conditions (in the penultimate sentence) for removal of the CX counter (other than "if a unit breaks") only effective "in the next player turn"? A. Yes. {J1} [if you become TI while CX you will only lose the CX status the next turn (unless you break before that)]

Appendix B - Non-rule related sleaze

"If you don't like it show me the rule" sleaze

The act of deliberately breaking the rules, figuring some of it will get past your opponent. Most players consider this cheating. A few argue that cheating is something done on the sly, like loading your dice or moving counters when nobody is looking and thus this sleaze is not cheating. These sad folks should seek professional help.

Mis-remembered SL rule sleaze

Performing an action against the ASL rules then attempting to cover up the violation by saying "I must be remembering an SL rule," usually after making a show of leafing through the ASL rule book.

Distraction sleaze

The practice of using loud music, annoying throat noises, tapping a pencil, nudie posters, porn playing in the game room, too much free beer, gloating, berating, personal odor or flatulance, amorous leg humping dog, or physically assaulting your opponent to throw him off his game.

Look the other way sleaze

Failure to remind / inform an opponent when he forgets a rule or DRM that would be to his advantage (but a SAN must be announced when either player notices).


The original Black Book of Sleaze was written by Jack Jones and posted to the ASLML back on June 11, 1998. Jack's revamped Black Book of Sleaze appeared in Pete Phillipps' most excellent View From The Trenches issue 20 in July 1998.

While I may not be a good ASL player I can plagarize as well as the next man. Over the past few years I have been adding sleaze that appeared on the ASLML to Jack's original, stealing from the best, if you will. It was only after I secured Jack's kind permission that I published my updated Big Black Book of ASL Sleaze.

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