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Finally ASL

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  • Finally ASL

    I realised quite early on that to count yourself as a serious wargamer, you had to have played ASL. It has always looked like a daunting task so I have posponedit for a long time but now that has come to an end.

    Starterkit#1 arrived yesterday and I have spent the morning punching counters and scanning through the rules. Two things that struck me was:

    1.) The counters are alot smaller than I had thought.

    2.) They must have gone through alot of effort to write down the rules as complicated as possible. They make up own abbrevation for everything (disregarding what other games normally uses), and use them to a level that text becomes close to unreadable. Combine that with a total lack of simple bite sized steps to follow (or a walkthrough AAR) to be able to play a game.

    I wonder if there are any ASL players here, and if you know about any good supplement to use to help interpret the rules in a good way. I mean, after understanding the rules myself, I need to teach other people them as well so I have someone to play with.
    "The secret of war lies in the communications" - Napoleon Bonaparte

  • #2
    Hehe welcome to ASL Hell Perg I bought the ASLRB back in the 80's, never could get around to actually play it (I'm not the tactical type) and yes, acronyms are ASL's trademark

    Also, there's two types of counters for ASL, small ones for infantry and small arms and bigger ones for vehicles, guns and stuff, don't know about ASLSK though.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Boonierat View Post
      Also, there's two types of counters for ASL, small ones for infantry and small arms and bigger ones for vehicles, guns and stuff, don't know about ASLSK though.
      Starter kit #1 is infantry only , to make it simple
      So I guess its only the tiny counters then. On of the biggest advantages I have discovered so far is that the game doesnt take up much place and is easy to stow away.
      "The secret of war lies in the communications" - Napoleon Bonaparte

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      • #4
        try http://www.gmtgames.com/combatcomm/main.html

        like ASL only simpler
        The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism. From a barbaric Bronze age text known as the Old Testament, three anti-human religions have evolved.

        - Gore Vidal

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Krasny View Post
          Its allready on my wishlist. How much do the fate-cards effect the game? I have heard that it can make you feel that you no longer are in control of the game, but my own guess have been that they just add enough chaos to make things unpredictable.
          "The secret of war lies in the communications" - Napoleon Bonaparte

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          • #6
            Pergite:

            I found the following 2 page "cheat" sheet to be a good, easy reference for helping new players to learn the starter kit rules: http://files.boardgamegeek.com/viewf...p3?fileid=5398

            Boardgamegeek also has other quick reference material on their site for Starter Kit #1. ASL is surprisingly simple at its core. An easy way to teach new folks is to just use the cheat sheet and if you can't clearly remember a rule, don't interrupt play to look it up. Just play using common sense and look up the rule afterward.

            Since ASL covers so many situations, the vast bulk of the rules is for specialized aspects of play and really aren't essential for you to enjoy a lot of what the game has to offer. The starter kits are a wonderful way to learn the basics of a game that can literally cover every single aspect of WW2 combat.

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            • #7
              "I wonder if there are any ASL Players here?"



              Welcome to the game Pergite

              Couple of valuable comments here for you.

              A. the ASL forums at Don Maddox's place http://www.gamesquad.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=30
              They can be a trying bunch some days, but they are also the best place to ask a question.
              And while Mark Pitman can be a real pain most days , he's also one of the best sources of information as well.
              Ya just gotta skip past the many many many seemingly silly threads about nothing

              B. the game is best played with just the SMALL scenarios until you are a total hardcore fanatic. Things like the HASL products are seriously demanding, as they involve some very over the top quantities of units.

              If you can beg borrow or buy a copy of the ASL Training manual (originally appeared in the module Paratrooper) it will give you a light hearted read through of the actual ASL rules design when you are done with the Starter kits.

              If you want my view on the cheapest possible intro to genuine ASL, it's Manual, Beyond Valour and Yanks. Mirrors the original Squad Leader in that it's Germans Russians and Yanks (that was the mix of original Squad Leader).

              The only hell you'll have to deal with, is getting the boards you need. Might as well just accept that it won't be easy.
              Life is change. Built models for decades.
              Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
              I didn't for a long time either.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Aries View Post

                If you want my view on the cheapest possible intro to genuine ASL, it's Manual, Beyond Valour and Yanks. Mirrors the original Squad Leader in that it's Germans Russians and Yanks (that was the mix of original Squad Leader).
                My into at the moment is ASL SK#1, and I am currently under the impression that it will last for a long while

                My online shop describes the manual as 2kg of rules, and it really looks like a challenge. But if all those pages are written in the same strange way as the Starter kit rules, then I am a little put off at the moment.
                "The secret of war lies in the communications" - Napoleon Bonaparte

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pergite View Post
                  My into at the moment is ASL SK#1, and I am currently under the impression that it will last for a long while

                  My online shop describes the manual as 2kg of rules, and it really looks like a challenge. But if all those pages are written in the same strange way as the Starter kit rules, then I am a little put off at the moment.
                  So I take it you have never actually SEEN the manual?

                  The pages are double column and I think the font is 8. Very richly illustrated, but they cleverly number the pages separate for each chapter such that it isn't easy to get a proper total page count.

                  Either way, the rules are best described as a lawyers wet dream
                  Life is change. Built models for decades.
                  Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
                  I didn't for a long time either.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Aries View Post
                    So I take it you have never actually SEEN the manual?
                    No its currently a mythical arifact for me, right up there with the unicorns and leprecons.


                    The pages are double column and I think the font is 8. Very richly illustrated, but they cleverly number the pages separate for each chapter such that it isn't easy to get a proper total page count.

                    Either way, the rules are best described as a lawyers wet dream
                    I have scanned through the ASL forum over at gamesquad and its almost like they are refering to bible passages when discussing rules.
                    "The secret of war lies in the communications" - Napoleon Bonaparte

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The best way to learn is to play.

                      I like to choose a scenario before game day. Then I can look at it and decide which rules I need to know and figure them out before hand.

                      The ASL manual is put together a lot better than the ASLSK manuals. But as you play you will be looking things up and finding that you did things wrong. I like to play by email. That way I can spend a few minutes emailing a phase and don't slow down my opponent if I need to search for a rule. Experience is the best teacher.
                      AHIKS - Play by (E)mail board wargaming since 1965.
                      The Blitz - Play by Email computer wargaming.

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                      • #12
                        Its allready on my wishlist. How much do the fate-cards effect the game? I have heard that it can make you feel that you no longer are in control of the game, but my own guess have been that they just add enough chaos to make things unpredictable.
                        as a beer and pretzels wargame it is pretty much unrivaled

                        it's nowhere near as realistic as ASL in some respects but more realistic than ASL in others

                        the fate cards can make you lose control of the game, but then what plan survives contact with the enemy

                        it's your job as commander to minimise the effects of bad hands and ruthlessly exploit good hands
                        The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism. From a barbaric Bronze age text known as the Old Testament, three anti-human religions have evolved.

                        - Gore Vidal

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          To comment on Combat Commander, hmm how to say it without droning on and on.. I wouldn't play the game if you gave me a free copy.

                          Some games just don't work, and some games are just another game, but no where near as good, some games are even sometimes both.

                          If you truely want to play a squad based game, that is based on cards, go on eBay and score a copy of Up Front.
                          That game is so fricking good, my copy has the wear and tear of a dozen games added together.

                          As for further comments on the ASL manual, the manual is as big as it is, because its an umpire in the form of a rulebook. The text is as excrutiating as it is, as the letter of the law really counts. The core fact to keep in mind though, is large tracts of the manual can be easily ignored if the conditions don't apply.

                          For instance, desert rules don't count in Russia, Pacific rules have no use in the Med, airdrop rules are only for airdrops, if there are no vehicles, you don't need vehicle rules, you don't consult snow rules in the summer, if you are wondering about building rules, you only need buildings rules, artillery rules not surprisingly are not important if you have none.

                          The manual is very well catgorised, and thus, there WILL be sections you probably will not get around to reading much, as they are not needed if you don't use them during the game. If all you ever want to play is German vs Russian battles, you can assume a large sum of rules won't get employed.
                          Life is change. Built models for decades.
                          Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
                          I didn't for a long time either.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've been playing some solitaire scenarios with the ASLSK 1 and 2 since I got them, and I think I will like the game. The thing that keeps me from ordering more is that I don't know when the Pacific scenarios will be available. I was also going to order the whole starting package (Rulebook and Beyond Valor), but the day I came in with my card ready the rulebook was not ready to order....and still isn't! This makes me think that if I miss something before it goes out I'm screwed for a while. I still really want to play it (the real thing) though. They seem like a bunch of jerks at their board and I'd rather not deal with them.

                            When the ASL rulebook wasn't available, I went ahead and bought some Advanced Tobruk (ATS) games instead, and I am very impressed with them. They definitely play differently from the ASLSK games but it is enough to make me decide that I want to have both.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Aries View Post
                              To comment on Combat Commander, hmm how to say it without droning on and on.. I wouldn't play the game if you gave me a free copy.

                              Some games just don't work, and some games are just another game, but no where near as good, some games are even sometimes both.

                              If you truely want to play a squad based game, that is based on cards, go on eBay and score a copy of Up Front.
                              That game is so fricking good, my copy has the wear and tear of a dozen games added together.
                              I have played both Squad Leader and ASL since they came out. Love the system as long as you play it to recreate infantry actions with minimal AFV involvement. Played a bit of Up Front and agree that it is a wonderful system.

                              RE Combat Commander, the system is a great entry point game for introducing people to map and counter based suad level combat and having said that, the "you are not God" (do not control God like powers) aspect of having the cards dictate some of your choices in the game is in my estimation a wonderful mechanic. Combat COmmander is not a "squad based game, that is based on cards" but rather a squad level board game that uses cards to simulate the limitations of command and control.
                              Tray Green

                              www.abandofgamers.com

                              Battlefield Tours for Wargamers
                              Normandy 2007
                              ACW Border Wars 2008
                              Bulge 2008

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