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  • ASL... not for me?

    I've heard so much about ASL since registering here... it's gradually begun to creep into the "curiosity" part of my brain. Tonight, I spent a little time reading up on the game a bit, to see if it might be something I would be interested in. I found something called the ASL Wiki, which seemed like a good place to start. There is a "Tactics Primer" page, with a section called "Newbie Hints"... and indeed, it began simply enough:

    Lets say we start out with a relatively easy situation... You have a platoon of Rifles (range ~6) and some supporting weapons (lets say an MMG and a couple LMG's). You are in a city. You are the defender. What do you look for in setting up a decent defense?
    Ah, okay. So far, so good.

    Then... only a couple paragraphs later (still in the "Newbie Hints" section, mind you), this jumped out of the screen and stabbed me all over the eyes:

    I recently learned a hard lesson in CC versus an AFV with sN. Instead of having 2-3 squads advance in for CC, I should have had 1 squad go in for the CC and have the other two squads (which were armed with PIAT) advance to the sides of the AFV for shots during DFPh. As it were, all 3 squads broke to the 16 FP sN attack, and this after I'd had my "free" CC.
    Holy crap.
    "I am not an atomic playboy."
    Vice Admiral William P. Blandy

  • #2
    I bought the full game last summer and, while I still haven't learned to play every type of scenario, I'm adapting quickly enough with other players. Now I can play most simple scenarios with no problem and few rulebook references. Simple means no AFV's or all AFV's, daytime, in normal weather.

    Quote:
    I recently learned a hard lesson in CC versus an AFV with sN. Instead of having 2-3 squads advance in for CC, I should have had 1 squad go in for the CC and have the other two squads (which were armed with PIAT) advance to the sides of the AFV for shots during DFPh. As it were, all 3 squads broke to the 16 FP sN attack, and this after I'd had my "free" CC.

    Holy crap.
    My experience is just that you have to learn the language of the game and then it makes sense. All that paragraph said is that 'sending 3 squads to attack a tank is less effective than hitting it on the flanks with LATW's if you have them and then attacking the tank (CC). Common sense stuff but the acronyms make it seem daunting.

    I'm sure one of the veteran players will be along to offer their opinion but I think you should go for it if you can find veteran players too.

    Comment


    • #3
      How to describe ASL to a newcomer in a way that leaves no illusions.

      Ok, the counters, there are many, so what many wargames have many counters.
      The maps, well they look nice, but again so what.
      Charts, well hell all wargames have charts.
      Scenarios, lots of scenarios, so many you would think you might never need to play the same one twice. Sound neat right?

      The manual. Ah the manual.
      It's big, bigger than big even. Not a game out there that has anything like half the size. Doesn't matter that you can state "well you don't require most of it in most games" That simply doesn't help.

      Here's how you sum up ASL.

      You show the manual to a lawyer, an actual lawyer, and he either becomes aroused sexually just thinking of all those clauses and sub clauses and sub clauses of sub clauses of sub clauses, ooor, he breaks out in a cold sweat and is shocked someone would actually call this game "fun".

      ASLers, there's no wargamers breathing quite like ASLers.
      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


      • #4
        ASL isn't so much a game, but a lifestyle.

        You may want to check out ASLSK first. Yeah yeah, it's not ASL. But it is a good primer to some of the more basic rules. And it's a fun game in its own right. You should also begin by playing with someone who owns and knows the game.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'll echo Duncan's comment. Buy a Starter Kit. They are cheap. Try the game. If you like it buy the other Starter kits.

          If you can't find a local player to mentor you, you can always try VASL.

          Comment


          • #6
            Until I had held a copy of ASL Starter Kit 1 in my hands, I used to say the best idea was just grab a used copy of Squad Leader.

            It's where the game came from, and Squad Leader is even easier to understand than ASLSK1 (odd I realize).

            But finding a copy of Squad Leader is not so easy, whereas ASLSK1 is really just a 25 dollar bit of investigation. Come on, a case of beer or a wargame, it's not that big of a deal

            I am unsure if they should have done ASLSK1 and 2 and 3 as spearate products.
            But as one they would cost too much. Combined you have made a reason for not needing real ASL (as some will also just play game demos and not bother with the real thing).

            I think the heart of the game is ASL's infantry system. If you can't make up your mind with ASLSK1, then you are just too indecisive
            Buying ASL though is not for the faint of heart or the light of wallet.
            If you haven't got a PS3 because they are too expensive, then chances are you are the sort that also would call ASL too expensive.

            You get about the same "thrill" playing Steel Panthers, and that's free.
            You can also play Lock n Load, and it's a good board game as well.

            ASL is the deluxe of the deluxe options out there. You have squat till you have bought enough to be worth it.
            That means a manual, and Beyond Valour. No small purchase. You likely will demand Americans, and British. And that means you also will need French and Italians. That's several hundred bucks in modules.

            Up against that, most wargames of ANY sort are way less expense. Even a classic wargame that sells for 200 bucks is cheaper.

            That's the hell that is ASL. The squeemish need not apply. Either you are all the way in, and can drop 3-400 bucks on a board game with no concern, or you might as well forget it.

            The ultimate is of course living in a location where someone else already owns the game Then all you have to do is be nice and bring a six of beer occasionally
            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


            • #7
              Asl.

              All,

              I started playing Squad Leader in 1980. Bought all the gamettes before ASL began to appear.

              In 1998, I began the slow transition to ASL. Found Beyond Valor & Code of Bushido in a local hobby center. Then "lucked" upon the last of the v1 rule books, Paratrooper, Gung Ho, Pegasus Bridge and both Kamfgruppe Pieper modules in Austin Texas. These purchases overwhelmed my mind; trying to differentiate between SL & ASL.

              Found Red Barricades, Hollow Legions, West of Alamien, Doomed Battalions (first release) and the Croix De Guerre with some CH stuff from Alex Keys (the ASL Quartermaster). These purchases allowed me to have the entire "core" modules in 1999.

              When MMP provided "Bloody Reef; Tarawa" & "A Bridge Too Far", I bought two copies of each.

              I own the v2 of the rulebook (helped to proof the Chapter D & H), as well as the v2 & v3 of Beyond Valor, ALL the "ASL Annuals", ALL the "ASL Journals", ALL the Generals that have SL/ASL scenarios (except the OOP Original Cross of Iron edition of the General), as well as all the "Official ASL" scenarios from AH/MMP.

              I estimate my collection of ASL stuff to be as much as $3000.00.

              I own many products from "Third Party Publishers" (TPPs) and have helped some in research, playtest, proofing and editing. I have not been paid for helping these companies, since I feel a sense of "duty" to continue to help support my "ASL crack Hobby".
              Kevin Kenneally
              Masters from a school of "hard knocks"
              Member of a Ph.D. Society (Post hole. Digger)

              Comment


              • #8
                Paul hit it out of the park pn that last answer. ASL is an amazing hobby, not a game per se. Duncan coined the right phrase with "lifestyle". It's the embodiment of getting into a pair of OD's and a helmet and slogging through blood.

                I used to say the same thing about starting out with Squad Leader, but complete copies became harder and harder to find....until EBay. But even with EBay, a good copy can set you back, and let's not forget Beyond Valor will cost you.

                If your not a "chit pusher" already, I would seriously lok into eithe Lock N' Load:Band of Heroes (about 50 bucks US), and/or Panzer Grenadier's "Airborne" (about 20 bucks US). They are much easier to play than ASL, and will give you the best idea if this is "your thing"
                http://www.militarywargaming.com

                "The Golden Rule of War, Speed - Simplicity - Boldness" -- General George S. Patton, Jr

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kevin Kenneally View Post
                  All,

                  I started playing Squad Leader in 1980. Bought all the gamettes before ASL began to appear.

                  In 1998, I began the slow transition to ASL. Found Beyond Valor & Code of Bushido in a local hobby center. Then "lucked" upon the last of the v1 rule books, Paratrooper, Gung Ho, Pegasus Bridge and both Kamfgruppe Pieper modules in Austin Texas. These purchases overwhelmed my mind; trying to differentiate between SL & ASL.

                  Found Red Barricades, Hollow Legions, West of Alamien, Doomed Battalions (first release) and the Croix De Guerre with some CH stuff from Alex Keys (the ASL Quartermaster). These purchases allowed me to have the entire "core" modules in 1999.

                  When MMP provided "Bloody Reef; Tarawa" & "A Bridge Too Far", I bought two copies of each.

                  I own the v2 of the rulebook (helped to proof the Chapter D & H), as well as the v2 & v3 of Beyond Valor, ALL the "ASL Annuals", ALL the "ASL Journals", ALL the Generals that have SL/ASL scenarios (except the OOP Original Cross of Iron edition of the General), as well as all the "Official ASL" scenarios from AH/MMP.

                  I estimate my collection of ASL stuff to be as much as $3000.00.

                  I own many products from "Third Party Publishers" (TPPs) and have helped some in research, playtest, proofing and editing. I have not been paid for helping these companies, since I feel a sense of "duty" to continue to help support my "ASL crack Hobby".
                  Hey Kevin, if you ever need a house sitter, let me know buddy! I thought I had a lot of the stuff...but you got a few gems I haven't laid my greedy little paws on yet!
                  http://www.militarywargaming.com

                  "The Golden Rule of War, Speed - Simplicity - Boldness" -- General George S. Patton, Jr

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Paul Maud'dib View Post
                    How to describe ASL to a newcomer in a way that leaves no illusions.
                    In a nutshell I've always said, "Anything you can do in real life, you can almost do in ASL."

                    Originally posted by Kevin Kenneally View Post
                    All,

                    I started playing Squad Leader in 1980. Bought all the gamettes before ASL began to appear.

                    In 1998, I began the slow transition to ASL. Found Beyond Valor & Code of Bushido in a local hobby center. Then "lucked" upon the last of the v1 rule books, Paratrooper, Gung Ho, Pegasus Bridge and both Kamfgruppe Pieper modules in Austin Texas. These purchases overwhelmed my mind; trying to differentiate between SL & ASL.

                    Found Red Barricades, Hollow Legions, West of Alamien, Doomed Battalions (first release) and the Croix De Guerre with some CH stuff from Alex Keys (the ASL Quartermaster). These purchases allowed me to have the entire "core" modules in 1999.
                    I fall within the same lines; started with SL and bought ASL immediately when it came out. I have all the modules up to CdG, RB and KGP1, and Streets of Fire. I believe the Solitaire module was the last one I bought. I haven't played since 95' but still have all my stuff safely packed away till the day I dust it all off and attempt to catch up. I've always been curious as to how much it's all worth since they're all originals.
                    If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A LOT! I told my wife, if I croak, sell it in a group bid on EBay and go to the Islands on me!
                      http://www.militarywargaming.com

                      "The Golden Rule of War, Speed - Simplicity - Boldness" -- General George S. Patton, Jr

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Whiterook View Post
                        Hey Kevin, if you ever need a house sitter, let me know buddy! I thought I had a lot of the stuff...but you got a few gems I haven't laid my greedy little paws on yet!
                        Emery,
                        What has helped me is the fact that I volunteer my services to help "proof-read" for the producers. I still pay for my products, even though I have many versions of the early production of a product.

                        I own over 30lbs of paper that has "Armies of Oblivion" stuff, "Valor of the Guards" rules, chapter H stuff, scenarios and playtest mapsheets from MMP, as well as many "digits" of ASL Journals I have helped with. I playtested and proof read for MMP on "Operation Veritable", "Operation Watchtower" and Solitary ASL (I actually received a "complimentary copy" of this module for all of my hard work, Thanks MMP).

                        I have helped many scenario designers with Historical research. I consider Chas Smith a very close friend, even though we have never met. I have helped him with "many" items. I enjoy answering his questions. You know you have a very close firend when he states "Kevin, you suck", when I came to visit his local area in the summer of 2006 (Fort Stewart, Ga.).

                        The ASL community is a very "charitable" community; but we also have "thieves, liars, cry-babies and hooligans (less than .1%). I have enjoyed meeting MANY ASL players in my travels and take an ASL player at his "word".
                        Last edited by Kevin Kenneally; 09 Jan 08, 20:14. Reason: Forgot something
                        Kevin Kenneally
                        Masters from a school of "hard knocks"
                        Member of a Ph.D. Society (Post hole. Digger)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kevin Kenneally View Post
                          The ASL community is a very "charitable" community; but we also have "thieves, liars, cry-babies and hooligans (less than .1%).
                          You're gonna hurt Psycho's feeling if you keep it up. If he has any....
                          If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by freightshaker View Post
                            You're gonna hurt Psycho's feeling if you keep it up. If he has any....
                            I call them like I see 'em....

                            But Psycho is "Good" in my book.....
                            Kevin Kenneally
                            Masters from a school of "hard knocks"
                            Member of a Ph.D. Society (Post hole. Digger)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hey Mirrorshades I don't know if you are an oldtimer like all the other ASL'ers or young like me, but you had better get a second job and get into the ASL hobby so that someone else will be around to play these when the 'original SL players' have all kicked the bucket. People think I'm crazy because I don't play PS3 or Xbox but hours of playing a real wargame is much more satisfying to me and you are thinking too. The people my age all play miniatures and with the amount of money they dump on making one army, I don't see how anyone could call ASL too expensive.

                              Plus if you can be satisfied to just have Soviet, German, and US, then you can get all of that for less than the price of a Wii. And unlike videogames, these will still be useful and reliable twenty years from now (unless your cats live inside).

                              Comment

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