MMP ASL P500, October 2010
Mike Owens
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Ah, October. When the leaves start to fall, football [both kinds, the one you throw and the one you kick] is in full swing, a crispness is in the air, and old guys' thoughts turn to a long winter of boardgaming!

Iain is (still) correct when he says that ASL products don't really need publicity to wider audiences, they meet their P# goals quickly. But it's fun to track the progress and keep an eye on upcoming products, and maybe generate some discussion about what's new and upcoming.

New Website

MMP's new website is looking better every day. If you haven't been there, go check it out. MMP has obviously listened to the customers, and has implemented many suggestions very quickly. As a result, the website looks terrific, provides a lot of information, and really helps sell products.

The Preorder Numbers Are Fixed!

All the preorder numbers on the new MMP website are now correct. I will start tracking growth trends next month.

Cross-Promotion

The MMP [Non-ASL] P500 List Subscription Thread is here: MMP P500 Subscription Thread
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1. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit Expansion Pack #1 [Average Rating:8.29 Overall Rank:2332] [Average Rating:8.29 Unranked]
Mike Owens
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By The Numbers:

Months on List: N/A

Retail Price: $36.00
Pre-order Price: $27.00
Pre-orders needed: 900
Pre-orders taken: 1756 Made the Cut!

Link: http://www.multimanpublishing.com/tabid/59/ProductID/85/Defa...

The Company Line:

ASL Starter Kit Expansion Pack #1

MMP is proud to present the 4th installment of it successful Advanced Squad Leader Starter Kit line, The Advanced Squad Leader Starter Kit Expansion Pack #1. The Expansion Pack has been designed with all level of Starter Kit player in mind including something for everyone.

The Expansion Pack includes three new boards; q, r, and s consisting of a small city board, a village/woods board, and a rural woods/hill board.

In addition, the Pack comes with 8 new scenarios set in locations such as Poland 1939, Finland 1942, Sicily 1943, France 1944, and Germany 1944. The Expansion Pack includes actions pitting the Poles against the Slovakian army, Russians advancing against Germans, Americans in their struggle against the Italians, and the Free French forces defending against a sudden German counterattack.

The Expansion Pack is completely standalone providing everything you need to play the game (except dice) including new counters and updated rules and charts addressing known errata!

This product is a must have for Advanced Squad Leader Starter Kit enthusiasts everywhere.

The Expansion Pack covers actions that allow any level of Starter Kit player from Starter Kit 1 to Starter Kit 3 with 2 Infantry only (Starter Kit 1) scenarios, 2 Infantry and Guns (Starter Kit 2) scenarios, and 4 scenarios with Tanks (Starter Kit 3) of which 2 have tanks on one side only.

Fight your way across the tactical battlefields of World War 2 using the men and equipment available historically. Only this time you can determine the outcome!

ASL Starter Kit Expansion Pack #1 contains:


3 8"x22" geomorphic mapboards (q,r,s - artwork available soon!)
1 sheet of 1/2" counters
1 sheet of 5/8" counters
Fully illustrated (in color) rulebook incorporating all known errata
New charts (QRDC, etc.)
8 new scenarios!


My Opinion:

If you've already played through all the scenarios in all three of the Starter Kits, but still aren't ready to make the plunge into full-blown ASL, then this expansion is for you.
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2. Board Game: Miscellaneous Game Accessory [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:3821] [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:75]
Mike Owens
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ASL Map Set, Starter Kit Style

By the Numbers:

Months on List: N/A

Retail Price: $240.00
Pre-order Price: $180.00
Pre-orders needed: 450
Pre-orders taken: 901 Made the Cut!

Link: http://www.multimanpublishing.com/tabid/59/ProductID/87/Defa...

The Company Line:

ASL Map Bundle (Starter Kit Style)

These are maps (1-52 from ASL, t-z from ASL Starter Kits #1-#3) of 8"x22" geomorphic mapboards for use with Advanced Squad Leader.

These maps are printed on the same material as starter kit maps. They are not paper, nor are they "old-style" mounted boards. Rather they are a lightweight cardstock a little thinner than the thickness of a counter.

MMP moved to this style map for one reason -- cost savings. It was proving impossible to reprint out of print core modules when the cost we had to pay for mounted maps was through the roof (literally $4+ per board our cost).

Should this product meet its preorder number, we are producing many thousands of each map so that we will have stock for selling individually. Retail price for individual maps is $5 plus postage. The bundle, after P#, will be $240 plus postage.

We will also have a "leg up" on reprinting out of print modules. We will not be offering "mapless" versions of core modules in the future (it really is a logistical problem for our small office staff).

The maps will be shipped in a box so that they are not folded. PLEASE NOTE that they will be scored so that they can easily be folded. It's part of the production process, we're not going to try and bypass that. But when shipped they will be flat. We weighed a mock-up today and it was nearly 7 pounds not including the packing box and filler, this is a heavy product!

Unlike usual P# games, the artwork from this one will not be started until we are confident it will hit its preorder number. We will have to pay for 35 maps to be reproduced and that is not inexpensive, so we want to be sure we've got that angle covered. We have alerted the artist, Kurt Miller (of Avalon Hill fame), so he knows this job may be coming down the pipeline shortly. What does this mean to you? It means that there certainly will be some form of delay once this hits before this is produced. We hope the delay is minor, Kurt is very good at working quickly and meeting deadlines.

So, here it is. The first entry on the P# list in which no one at MMP has any inkling at how it will be received. We have done this in reaction to emails and posted demand "to get them as a group now", so lets see how accurate our online feedback really is!

My opinion:

I applaud MMP for republishing the existing maps in Starter Kit style to facilitate future reprints of core modules, and for offering the map bundle for those who want to re-purchase the existing maps in the Starter Kit-style.

However, I am hopeful that they will change their mind and start selling individual maps in new starter-kit style. Right now the plan is not to do this "unless there are some left over".

 
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3. Board Game: For King and Country: ASL module 5a [Average Rating:8.60 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.60 Unranked]
Mike Owens
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By the Numbers:

Months on List: N/A

Retail Price: $80.00
Pre-order Price: $63.00
Pre-orders needed: 800
Pre-orders taken: 779 = 97.4%, In the Zone

Link: http://www.multimanpublishing.com/tabid/59/ProductID/27/Defa...

The Company Line:

For King and Country contains the complete (in ASL terms!) Order of Battle for the British along with eight mounted mapboards (not available in any other ASL module) and 20 revised and updated scenarios from our favorites which appeared in past magazines or modules that are now unavailable.

These scenarios have been updated to incorporate existing errata and some have been changed to try and make them better balanced scenarios. You can download the changes that were made when updating FKAC scenarios so that your already owned versions of these scenarios will be up to date!

Contents:

8 8x22 Geomorphic Maps (6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 32) for the ASL System
1 full Countersheet of 1/2" counters
3 full Countersheets of 5/8" counters
1 half Countersheet of 1/2" counters
1 half Countersheet of 5/8" counters
20 scenarios printed on 10 individual cardstock sheets
1 Chapter H section for the British OB
Scenario List

91 Ad Hoc at Beaurains
92 Stand Fast the Guards
93 Tavronitis Bridge
94 Bofors Bashing
95 Descent into Hell
96 The Crux of Calais
97 A Desparate Affair
98 On Silent Wings
99 Probing Layforce
100 Regalbuto Ridge
101 Throwing Down the Gauntlet
102 Point of the Sword
103 A Day by the Shore
104 Hill of Death
105 Going to Church
106 Kangaroo Hop
107 Tettau's Attack
108 Guards Attack
109 Dreil Team
110 North Bank

My Opinion:

This is a great way to get the British / Commonwealth OB, plus a number of scenarios (redux) from out of print sources, in one fell swoop.

Now, I happen to love Mediterranean Theatre (aka desert) scenarios. But many people don't like them, so offering the British OB without the desert makes sense for those who want the British for ETO scenarios only.
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4. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:2328]
Mike Owens
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ASL Journal #9

By the Numbers:

Months on List: not on list yet

A preview from Chas' blog, 8/21/2010:

Quote:
Layout, editing and play testing of ASL Journal 9 is well underway, and one of its components will be the Historical ASL module Suicide Creek. This HASL, designed by Darrell Andersen, covers combat between the 7th Marine Regiment and the Japanese 141st Infantry Regiment at Cape Gloucester, New Britain, in early 1944. There is one Campaign Game and six stand-alone scenarios.

Terrain consists largely of a mixture of both Dense and Light Jungle, and (as the title suggests) features a twisting stream across the center of the play area. The Japanese have set up Pillboxes to cover potential crossing sites of the stream, and the Marines must find ways to both get cross the stream and overwhelm the defense.

The Marines will have the ability to build Corduroy Roads to help them bring up armor through the jungle, and once that armor has reached the stream they may also use bulldozers to build Fords to help that armor get across the stream, which can be critical in the assault on Japanese positions. Suicide Creek itself was steeply-banked, and armor may not enter or exit a stream hex without the use of a Ford.

There are a few new terrain types, including Jungle Debris and Jungle Debris/Stream; think of it as "Jungle Rubble." There are also some specific new toys for both sides.

The Americans may employ Trip Wires to aid in the detection of infiltrating Japanese units at Night. They also receive Supply Dumps, which the Japanese made several attempts to destroy. Marine 7-6-8 squads serve as Assault Engineers. The Japanese may set up Pillboxes with Cellar locations, and may also use Anti-Tank Magnetic Mines (ATMM) to try to knock out American armor.

The Campaign Game will feature seven CG dates (from 2-4 January, 1944), including two Night dates. The relatively small area encompassed by the map makes this an ideal CG for the space-challenged, since setting it up will not require a large playing space.

My goal is to wrap up play testing of the last scenarios at ASLOK, so if you're interested and are going to Cleveland let me know if you'd like to help play test while you're there!


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5. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:2328]
Mike Owens
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ASLSK Historical Module

By the Numbers:

Months on List: Not on list yet


From Ken Dunn's blog, 8/26/2010:

Quote:
One of my other projects that I have been working fairly steadily on is the ASLSK Historical module. The module is based on the battle that took place along "Hell's Highway" on the "Island" between Nijmegen and Arnhem during operation Market-Garden. The battle was fought in the vicinity of the small town of Elst that is situated about halfway along the main road between the two cities of Nijmegen and Arnhem. It started on Sept 23 and lasted until Sept. 25, 1944.

The British 214th brigade from the 43rd Wessex Division fought an "ah hoc" German unit known as Kampfgruppe Knaust for control of this strategic village. The British needed to get to the Rhine River Bridge to while the Germans sought to delay them as long as they could.

The terrain was easily dominated by the church steeple located in the village itself. From this vantage point an observer could see much of the surrounding lower lying terrain. Thus this module will be introducing Off Board Artillery rules in a simplified version as well as adding some new terrain types to ASLSK such as Steeples and new terrain types to ASL in general such as Polders. The Polders dominated much of the surrounding countryside and made vehicular movement off road extremely hazardous while at the same time providing cover for the infantry.

For the first time there will be SS units in an ASLSK module. Well armed and motivated they will defend the stone buildings of Elst and if the British troops want to advance, they will have to go in a dig them out. Thrown in some Panthers, Tigers, OBA, and Rockets and Major Knaust has quite the unit to defend the town with. The British will have to make sure they can blast their way through using all the weapons at their disposal even when the supplies line are cut and ammo is limited!

In addition to a full campaign game, there will be four scenarios that take place on the Elst map each depicting a smaller element of the battle itself.

Right now the module is going through some final playtesting while I am doing some final edits. Once that is done it will go into layout and proofing.

All I really need is a better title!


 
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