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Subject: What makes ASL recommended as a solo game? rss

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Ken Thibodeau
Canada
Quebec
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I love Combat Commander but I can't find opponents often enough to play it to my liking. I heard that CC was based on ASL and share some obvious similiarities.

Since both games have their worship community, I thought I could ask here what makes ASL a much more recommended solo game option than CC, in a nutshell? (63.6% vs 29.6%) Is it special solo rules? Is it a built-in AI? Lack of fog of war?...

Thanks
 
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Michael Tisdel
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The high rating is because of the Solitaire ASL (SASL) module. It uses a special set of scenario types plus extensive rules that provide a kind of AI to play against. The system relies heavily on expanded fog of War rules to present the player with a unique view of the known battlefield. The downside is that SASL is out of print and I don't know if MMP is planning on reprinting it.

No discussion of solitaire play would be complete without mentioning VASL. This fairly up to date utility allows folks to play via computer. This system allows folks who don't have any local opponents to play against folks from around the world.
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Carl
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So far I've only played the Starter Kits and I find that ASL plays fairly easily solo b/c so much is dependent upon the die rolls re how things will develop. Just adopt a reasonable plan for both sides and watch the battle unfold! I've played it quite a bit solo and it works as well as most other 2-player wargames.

Full ASL also includes concealment and hidden deployment options which would make solo play more difficult but I recall reading about work arounds somewhere.

I can also second VASL for online or pbem play - works really well!
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Gordon Watson
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Banstead
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ASL - other tactical wargames call it Sir.
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The reason ASL scores more highly than CC for solo play is down to the hand management aspect that is central to CC's gameplay, and it's recreation of the fog and frictions of war. ASL doesn't really model this, except via 'concealment', which is not present in the Starter Kits, and which is still possible to play with solo.
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Michael Lucey
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In a nutshell the answer to your question is nothing. Nothing about the game makes it a better solo option. On the flip side, there is nothing that prevents you from playing it as well as any other 2 player game solo which is probably the real reason behind the numbers.

Having said that I find it to be a terrible option because the rule dedication to learning is far too much for playing a tactical game solo. I cannot imagine the play value worth that cost. ASL shines as a 2 player game and its mechanics revolve on that interaction. That strength has sparked hundreds of firestorm threads by people who complain that those gaming strengths have cost it realism and simulation value which is true. I think solo diminishes some gaming strengths while not giving some the unrealistic expectation of a good simulation or recreation of combat at this level.
 
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Robin REEVE
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Even if ASL is better as a 2 player game, I have had a lot of fun playing solo - and still have.
Of course, it asks for some "mental gymnastic", as one has to "play as if" when confronted to hidden/concealed units.
Playing with other people does help learn the rules (and unlearn mistakes), but I can say that I have had a decent grasp of the rules by playing solo.
Before I had access to Internet and to VASL, I didn't have many FtF opportunities : I simply had to play solo.
It has become a pleasing habit and I still have a solo game running, most of the time.

But, sure, it asks some slightly strange psychological dispositions - but I have learnt to cope with my mental deficiencies.
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Markus Klaas
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Hi Ken,

we know each other from the CC forum (I'm still playing it...at the moment I'm waiting for Resistance to be delivered to Germany). I'm rather sure that you won't regret to look into ASL using the starter kits.

Maybe you should modify your question a little bit...

If you start to play ASL, you will not have any problems to find vasl opponents (either SK or full ASL, either live or by mail) making the solo capabilities more or less obsolete.

But if you have to solo, ASL is a stronger recommendation (from my pov) as you do not have to pretend to not know the other player's cards...

Drop me a message if you decided to give ASLSK a try - maybe we can arrange something...

All the Best
Mac
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Mark Tomlinson
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You can always try the Mike O'Leary solo ASL rules if you cannot find a copy of SASL.

I haven't tried them myself though it is on my list of things to do because they deal with concealment and Hidden Initial Placement which I have have never tried to incorporate into solo play of ASL.

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Michael Tisdel
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Let me jump in again on SASL. If you can find it for a good price, then purchase it - either first or second edition. The SASL system is very good and provides not only an excellent way to learn new rules and exercise your knowledge of the core rules, but provides a very enjoyable game. The expansion is more than a WWII version of TSR's Endless Quest.
 
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Robert Wilson
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Personally I think base ASL makes a terrible Solo game

the main gist of the wargame seems to be deception and trickery , NOT pure firepower , and in those areas playing solitaire isnt very fulfilling, IMO

SASL is a viable alternative however!

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Robin REEVE
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dude163 wrote:
the main gist of the wargame seems to be deception and trickery
I would rather consider maneuver as the main element of ASL.
One thing an player learns with experience, is not to fear HIP units too much.
Concealment only "works" at the beginning stages of a scenario.

So, even though deception and trickery are an element that don't encourage solo playing, they aren't a decisive one.
I have been playing solo from the beginning of ASL, and I do like the experience - which does not mean that it is preferable to FtF (which I practice too).

To each one his own, I presume.
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Robert Wilson
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Advanced Squad Leader » Forums » General
Re: What makes ASL recommended as a solo game?
Robin , a well thought out post!

I didnt necessarily mean HIP/? units, but also luring your opponent into shooting at the wrong targets during the DFF / SFF FPF phases.

I do agree that its a game of Manouvre not the IIFT
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