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Subject: With many new options now, where to go after Beyond Valor? rss

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Erik
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Being a Starter Kit player, who's dabbled in the Paratrooper scenarios and gone through Chapter K, I'm now a bit uncertain of where to go next. Looking past Beyond Valor, there are now quite a number of options in print, or about to be printed; Yanks, Festung Budapest and Red Factories/October.

The concept of HASL is really exciting, but would campaign games possible just be too much for someone still quite new from ASLSK -> ASL?

I get the "buy when it's available mentality", but if I really had to choose only 1 or 2 after Beyond Valor, which should I go for =)?
 
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Will Pearson
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Definitely Yanks, the American OOB comes up in many scenarios.

Campaign games bring up lots of extra rules: Tanks/Guns/Weather/PTO, unless you're fully clued up on Beyond Valour they're a big jump.
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Perry Cocke
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spiggie wrote:
Being a Starter Kit player, who's dabbled in the Paratrooper scenarios and gone through Chapter K, I'm now a bit uncertain of where to go next. Looking past Beyond Valor, there are now quite a number of options in print, or about to be printed; Yanks, Festung Budapest and Red Factories/October.

The concept of HASL is really exciting, but would campaign games possible just be too much for someone still quite new from ASLSK -> ASL?

I get the "buy when it's available mentality", but if I really had to choose only 1 or 2 after Beyond Valor, which should I go for =)?


Best bang for your newbie bucks would be Yanks.

Only you can decide if you are ready for HASL.

Festung Budapest is a little high on the chrome spectrum.

You might want to stick with the more meat-and-potatoes Red Factories, which will be out well before you get bored with Yanks.
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Dane P
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Why not Decision at Elst?

I'm a veteran ASL player who took a 20-year break (with maybe 6 games in that period of 20 years).

The starter kits are outstanding values, and they scale up to full ASL quite well. Decision at Elst is even designed to be that interim step between a starter kit and a campaign.

I'm sitting in front of my map of it right now wondering if I want to play some solitaire on it.

Whether you want to limit yourself to starter kit rules or not, it's got a nice, manageable campaign, as well as 4 scenarios and a unique historical map, with all the counters you need for the game. And it's $70 or so, which is a terrific value.

To me, it sounds like Decision at Elst is exactly what you're looking for.

I own most of the historical campaigns (indeed, it's why I bought Elst for myself). Red Barricades is gigantic and complex and difficult. You're probably not ready for it. I've played the full campaign, and you need to go into it with a high level of familiarity with advanced rules (night scenarios, aircraft, OBA) without having to look up much, else it's going to be a slow tedious process.

Of the Historical Campaigns I have, Pegasus Bridge and Primosole Bridge (the latter from an ASL Annual that's hard to find; the former out of print and hard to find) are good, small campaigns (the size of Elst... see what I'm getting at?). You'd need West of Alamein/King and Country for both Pegasus and Primasole, and for Primasole you would need Hollow Legions (maybe that comes in For King and Country, I don't know the reboxed set).

Yanks is indeed the logical next step because it opens so many more scenarios up for you, but if HASL is appealing to you, Elst is a good buy. It also lends itself to bringing in someone new to the hobby, as Starter Kit rules (even for the Elst kit) are very manageable. Eighty percent of the game for 20 percent of the complexity, is how I describe it.
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Bruce Probst
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spiggie wrote:
The concept of HASL is really exciting, but would campaign games possible just be too much for someone still quite new from ASLSK -> ASL?


As Perry said, only you can decide whether you're "ready" for a CG or not. In its favour, a CG will expose you to everything -- if you're looking for an "excuse" to learn Night rules, sewer rules, see more Close Combat, use more vehicles, etc., than most CGs will do that for you.

That aside, Yanks is indeed the most obvious "next step". For a newbie it contains a lot of good stuff, and again as mentioned above, you're going to need those American counters going forward.

I disagree with the sentiment that DaE is good value for someone looking to widen their ASL experience. It might be perfectly OK for someone sticking to ASLSK; I can't comment on that. But in ASL terms, DaE is a big box with not much in the way of content. Only 4 scenarios, and they're pretty tiny. I have heard that the CG can be difficult to make "work" using the full ASL rules, which would be ameliorated if MMP would publish appropriate rules to "convert" it, which they seem reluctant to do. Looking at it just as an ASL (not ASLSK) player, DaE is an expensive indulgence of limited inherent value.
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Erik
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Thanks everyone for chiming in. What made me buy a used copy of Paratrooper a year ago was a feeling i was started to get a bit frustrated by the obvious limitations of the Starter Kits, like lack of Dash, Spraying Fire & Building levels for example. Apart from that, I do agree that they represent amazing gaming value.

Sounds like the consensus is to focus on Yanks, and then wait for the next GC reprint in 10 years or so which is totally fine, as BV and Yanks will provide more than enough gaming enjoyment. A reprint of a smaller full ASL GC would be amazing though, like Pegasus Bridge .

Thanks once again! Looks like I'm off to order Yanks.
 
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Peter Kossits
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spiggie wrote:
and then wait for the next GC reprint


Getting Yanks and playing as much of it as you can is a great move. Waiting for reprints of older campaign games is probably not such a great idea. You'll likely be disappointed.

You may want to consider something like Purple Heart Draw by Lone Canuck after Yanks. I don't have it myself but it's supposed to be a very manageable campaign game.

Elst really isn't a bad choice at all. At least one of the scenarios is not puny - and you know, once you start playing, you really don't miss all the stuff in full rules that you think you'll miss. I wouldn't bother trying to shoehorn it into full rules. It's plenty complicated and heavy enough for a newer player. I learned some stuff about guns and vehicles from DaE that were never obvious from reading the big rule book.
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Todd Pytel
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Apart from the additional rules load inherent to most CG's, it's worth asking yourself whether you're truly going to play one. The smallest ones are a few dates, the largest are much longer. Do you have a regular partner that's also interested? Do the two of you play often enough to make reasonable progress through a CG? Do you have space to leave a game set up?

When I was buying into ASL, I bought a bunch of first- and third-party HASL's and only barely played one or two CG's. I found they didn't suit my time, space, and partner constraints. I ended up selling many of them later and have passed on new offerings, even official ones. (Though I may well pick up Red Factories.) Sure, they include a neat historical map and some scenarios, but that's an expensive way to buy scenarios.

Of course, if you're sure you want to a CG, then go for it. I'd definitely recommend Red Factories after you get Yanks.
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Michael Tisdel
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I would suggest the following sequence...

1. Yanks
2. ASL Map Bundle
3a. For King and Country (Out of Print)
3b. West of Alamein (Out of Print)

This gets you all the major powers for ETO. Yeah, they are out of print, but scratch around. With these you can play lots of things from the scenario packs - Action Packs, Journals, Annuals, Winter Offensive, etc.

Up next depends on where you want to go -

The Other Europeans
4. Croix de Guerre (also useful for Pacific theater)
5. Hollow Legions (also useful for North Africa)
6. The Last Hurrah
7. Doomed Battalions
8. Armies of Oblivion
9. Hakkaa Päälle!

The Pacific
4. Rising Sun
5. Croix de Guerre(also useful for Pacific theater)

North Africa
5. Hollow Legions (also useful for North Africa)

Lots of these are out of print - and some are to be reprinted or replaced. In any event, keep an eye out.

As for the CG - as was said before these require a lot of time to play, though the scenarios are pretty good.
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Eddy del Rio
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Quote:
Being a Starter Kit player, who's dabbled in the Paratrooper scenarios and gone through Chapter K, I'm now a bit uncertain of where to go next. Looking past Beyond Valor,


Have you done ALL of BV? There's a ton of gaming in there. Don't forget to observe Module Dependence as you make your decision. You don't want to buy something that requires maps or nationalities that you don't yet own. Yanks is the next step!
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Dean Zadiraka
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Is the upcoming Red Barricades/Red Factories something someone not too up on ASL should avoid considering its complexity and such?
 
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Bruce Probst
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Radz wrote:
Is the upcoming Red Barricades/Red Factories something someone not too up on ASL should avoid considering its complexity and such?


No CG, with the possible exception of Blood Reef Tarawa, is more "complex" than regular ASL. It's more a question of scale than of scope.
The only real difference between playing a CG and playing a regular scenario is that a CG is decided after playing multiple scenarios, and you largely decide for yourself what reinforcements you will receive, and when.

Incidentally, no-one should be operating under the idea of "I'll pick up the older CGs when they get reprinted". MMP is extremely unlikely to reprint any HASL -- they mostly don't sell well enough to justify the expense and effort required to do a reprint. Red Factories is only including a reprint of Red Barricades because (a) it's an extremely logical fit to go with Red October and (b) RB has a reputation and popularity amongst ASL players quite unlike any other HASL.

If you have your heart set on owning a copy of, e.g., Pegasus Bridge or A Bridge Too Far, then you will need to pay what the second-hand market charges.
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Brian Roundhill
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Radz wrote:
Is the upcoming Red Barricades/Red Factories something someone not too up on ASL should avoid considering its complexity and such?


Depends on how much you are willing to take on. The complexity of a campaign game is that it uses all the rules: OBA, night, air support, Fortifications, and more. Can be overwhelming if you let it, or it can be a fun way to learn by diving in the deep end.
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Erik
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edelrio wrote:
Quote:
Being a Starter Kit player, who's dabbled in the Paratrooper scenarios and gone through Chapter K, I'm now a bit uncertain of where to go next. Looking past Beyond Valor,


Have you done ALL of BV? There's a ton of gaming in there. Don't forget to observe Module Dependence as you make your decision. You don't want to buy something that requires maps or nationalities that you don't yet own. Yanks is the next step!


There is still gaming left in BV, for sure, but I have also understood that as an ASL player you have to plan a bit in advance when it comes to buying .

Love your EOPs for Starter Kits btw!
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Stephen Rynerson
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Yanks should be your next buy simply because it immediately opens up so many ETO scenarios, but I would say Rising Sun should be your second acquisition after that (unless you're pretty sure that you're not interested in PTO scenarios) simply because it will be the next core module to go out of print, albeit probably not for another 18 months or so.
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Scott
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Yanks and Rising Sun (probably in that order, unless you think RS will go out of print soon) will be the most immediately useable. Really though, the sanest thing is just to buy stuff you know you'll play or really want to play. Yanks, BV, Rising Sun, while they won't give you access to every possible journal, third party, etc. scenario, will hundreds of hours of ASL fun. Getting caught up in the ASL collector's bug can can easily lead expensive shelf decorations (take it from one who knows...).

The HASLs, while awesome, are "bonus" ASL products in a sense. They aren't prerequisites very often, and unless you have interested partners and the time for Campaign Games and big scenarios, it's entirely possible to have them sitting on the shelf unplayed for years. You'll use Yanks, and Rising Sun if you're into PTO, all the time.

If you really want to know about HASLs, maybe find somebody who has one they want to play or buy one of the small Campaigns from Lone Canuck. You can always buy the new HASLs when they print if you decide that HASLs/CGs is your flavor of ASL. It isn't everybody's.

Here are the Rising Sun Dependencies:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1621178/scenario-dependenci...

I don't think the original Yanks/Paratrooper had any dependencies other than BV...I'm not sure about all of the extra scenarios in Yanks II..
 
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Erik
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I read a blog that posted about the Purple Heart Draw campaign game some time ago. Maybe I should check out that producting from Lone Canuck after Yanks.

Thanks community!
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Mark Sockwell
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spiggie wrote:
I read a blog that posted about the Purple Heart Draw campaign game some time ago. Maybe I should check out that producting from Lone Canuck after Yanks.

Thanks community!


Make sure to check out the "ASL For Fun" tab. George has put a number of items on it, and all it costs is your time to download it.

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