A year of ASL
Russell D
United Kingdom
Ewell
Surrey
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Today is the anniversary of my first game of ASL, so I thought I'd make a Geeklist to celebrate.
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1. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1 [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:421]
Russell D
United Kingdom
Ewell
Surrey
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Today is the anniversary of my first game of ASL. Except that, technically speaking it isn't, as my first two games were Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1, a reduced ruleset.

I'd seen a couple of games of ASL going on at my local games club, and I was very drawn in by what I saw. I arranged my first game, a simple infantry scenario where I was on the defence. A couple of hours later, I was hooked. The game told a great story, and was gripping throughout.

Fortunately, later that day I managed to buy a cheap used copy of Starter Kit #1 from BGG, so I could read the rules. I do think it's a shame that SK#1 has been out of print for the past year, I'm not sure if I'd have made the leap if it hadn't been able to get my own copy. Once I'd brushed up on the rules, a second SK game followed in quick succession.

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2. Board Game: For King and Country: ASL module 5a [Average Rating:8.60 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.60 Unranked]
Russell D
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Ewell
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Knowing that there were some opponents nearby encouraged me to make the leap to full ASL, so I duly placed the order for the large rulebook and started reading.

My first game of full ASL was with another beginner, who had only played a few games. We dived in head first and played scenario 110 North Bank, which had guns, tanks, heroes, LATWs, and more. Looking back I am sure we got plenty wrong (e.g. vehicle bypass) and ignored a lot more (e.g. we didn't use much concealment at all), but with frequent recourse to the rulebook we got through a game and had great fun. (This was to be my last win for a long time!)
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3. Board Game: Beyond Valor: ASL Module 1 [Average Rating:8.51 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.51 Unranked]
Russell D
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Ewell
Surrey
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My fellow ASL newbie moved away from the area, but fortunately that left one FTF opponent who had played ASL a lot some years ago and was getting back into the game. Over the summer we played a few scenarios from Beyond Valor, with me learning properly this time starting with an infantry scenario (1 Fighting Withdrawal), then gradually adding in OBA, tanks, and so on.
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4. Board Game: Yanks: ASL Module 3 [Average Rating:8.18 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.18 Unranked]
Russell D
United Kingdom
Ewell
Surrey
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In the autumn, a new baby meant I didn't have too much time for FTF ASL, but there was plenty of time late at night to sort out that all important part of ASL-- counter storage. I went for RAACO trays, and over several months amassed most of the core European modules and sorted and stored all the maps, counters, and so on. I was fortunate to get a copy of Yanks-- pretty essential-- from a forum, and picked up most of the other OOP modules pretty cheaply from various eBay vendors around the world.

I also discovered VASL, a means of playing ASL online, which meant I could get in an ASL game even when an FTF meet was impossible.
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5. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit Bonus Pack #1 – Beyond the Beaches [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked]
Russell D
United Kingdom
Ewell
Surrey
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I haven't managed to recruit any new players to full ASL, but I have taught the Starter Kit game to my brother and we got in a few games. Naturally, that gave me the excuse to buy the full Starter Kit range too. I already have more ASL scenarios that I expect I could ever play, but it is strangely addictive...
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6. Board Game: Doomed Battalions: ASL Module 11 [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked]
Russell D
United Kingdom
Ewell
Surrey
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Well, a year in I am still enjoying ASL very much, and for the same reasons as I enjoyed that very first SK scenario. The game tells a great story, and it is gripping throughout.

It's great to be able to play a mixture of Face-to-Face and live VASL with Skype, and I've also just started to explore VASL-by-email as another way to get some ASL in.

Hope it's a game I'm in for the long haul. I've still got a long way to go in learning all the rules, and a very long way to go before I'm any good at the game.
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7. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:208] [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked]
Russell D
United Kingdom
Ewell
Surrey
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Here is my "bucket list" for the year ahead:

- Buy Rising Sun when it comes out, and play a scenario in the Pacific Theatre

- Play a FTF scenario on deluxe boards [DONE 1/viii/2013]

- Play a night scenario

- Recruit someone new to ASL at the local games club
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