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Subject: Any tips for newbies' first real game? rss

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David Williams
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I played a little SL back in the late 70s and got totally out of gaming until 3 years ago. Mostly Ameritrash, but for nostalgia I got ASLSK#1 and my also newbie friend dabbled a little. We jumped in whole hog last month with ASKRB and BV. So I've watched ton of videos, read a bunch, and we played a couple of incomplete games. So tomorrows the real deal. But my head spins with snap shots, bypass, prisoners, fire lanes fires ablazing, etc., etc. etc. How do we go about this without being overwhelmed, and tips?
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Malcolm Sleight
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ASKRB and BV are very difficult for newbies because there are so many additional and special rules. I would stick with the starter kits and work your way thru them first. Then, if you are still hooked, buy the rule book and Valor of the Guards (ASL #1). Valor of the Guards is greatly expanded over the first edition and contains reworked scenarios from the original SL.
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Brian Roundhill
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Focus on the game flow. Learn the phases and what happens when.

You will make mistakes, you will miss options. Everyone does. Just keep trying things, which will lead you back into the rulebook, to learn what happens.
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JR Thomas
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Welcome to a wonderful obsession ... er, I mean addiction... HOBBY! Yeah, that's right. Hobby!

Scenario 1 "Fighting Withdrawal" would be the place to begin. Only infantry in that one.

I'd recommend at least going through the "Readable Advanced Sequence Of Play". http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/56972/readable-advanced-se... Now keep in mind that ASOP includes EVERY little thing - don't stress it. Just get an idea.

There is also an old (year 2000) "walk through" found at http://home.comcast.net/~tomrepetti/xop/FWXOP.pdf that may be some help.

Remember that the first few games are just going to be getting a feel for the game - how the sequence of play rolls along. That, as has been pointed out above, is the biggest thing.

ASL is fantastic for giving you SO MANY OPTIONS! Don't worry about all the "chrome" your first few times out of the barracks. Just get to the board, roll some dice, push counters and HAVE FUN!

Good luck, and roll low!
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Zartan Madinski
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The Old Man wrote:
I played a little SL back in the late 70s and got totally out of gaming until 3 years ago. Mostly Ameritrash, but for nostalgia I got ASLSK#1 and my also newbie friend dabbled a little. We jumped in whole hog last month with ASKRB and BV. So I've watched ton of videos, read a bunch, and we played a couple of incomplete games. So tomorrows the real deal. But my head spins with snap shots, bypass, prisoners, fire lanes fires ablazing, etc., etc. etc. How do we go about this without being overwhelmed, and tips?

I've trained two players in ASL without using the Starter Kits at all. I dislike the Starter Kit concept, mainly because it completely lacks concealment, which is so essential to ASL, and the terrain is so boring. Buying SK#1 in order to test out the basics of the system for cheap is smart. But after SK#1 it's just as easy to move to full rules Chapters A & B as it is to push on to SK ordnance and AFVs.

When I start a new player on full ASL I take a simple, all infantry scenario and focus on three things - terrain, movement and concealment. Avoid Mortars at first because you want to stay entirely in Chapters A & B. DCs and FTs can trigger a lot of rules complexity (things like spreading fires and rubbled multi-story buildings) so be leery of getting bogged down in those.

Just make sure you understand your various movement options over the terrain at hand. Make sure you are working to keep and gain concealment whenever practical. Basically the stuff that real infantry grunts would be concentrating on.

Getting solid on Terrain/Movement/Concealment is far more important in the beginning than the more complex Chapter A concepts like firelanes, encirclement and prisoners. Those kind of things will come in their own time as you get more familiar with the basics.

Also remember to always, always, always place your Residual Fire, even when it seems irrelevant. You want it to be an instinct.

Good luck and have fun!

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Warren Smith
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I would suggest Scenario A in the Classics pack available for download from the MMP website, "The Guards Counterattack". "Fighting Withdrawal" has some environmental issues (fire spread, smoke, etc.) which would pile extras onto the basics of movement and combat. 'Course, you'll need Board 1 for that, but 3rd Ed BV has that. If you don't have Board 1, then perhaps "Fighting Withdrawal" and leave out the environmental stuff for the first run through. Also, I think the tactical situation of a fighting withdrawal is a bit more complex to start off with.

Regardless, the Classic pack is a very worthwhile download.
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Øivind Karlsrud
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wsmithjr wrote:
I would suggest Scenario A in the Classics pack available for download from the MMP website, "The Guards Counterattack". "Fighting Withdrawal" has some environmental issues (fire spread, smoke, etc.) which would pile extras onto the basics of movement and combat. 'Course, you'll need Board 1 for that, but 3rd Ed BV has that. If you don't have Board 1, then perhaps "Fighting Withdrawal" and leave out the environmental stuff for the first run through. Also, I think the tactical situation of a fighting withdrawal is a bit more complex to start off with.

Regardless, the Classic pack is a very worthwhile download.


+1 to 'The Guards Counterattack'. It has quite easy terrain, and only infantry. I've never played starter kit, and think it's almost as easy to jump right into a scenario like this (that's what I did). A lot of the rules in full ASL which are not used in the SKs are just missed opportunities if you don't know them. Forgot the bypass rule? I guess you didn't use it when you could have then. Maybe next game you can learn to take advantage of it. No big deal.
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Peter Veenstra
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My friend Alan Lipka thought me ASL with the scenario Festung Brest from the starter Kit. It's infantry only, a few units, not too many turns. But it has all the basic features you need.

"Gavin take" is also very good. Very balanced.

Good luck!

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Mark Sockwell
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David:

I think that everyone's missed the most important tip:

Relax and have fun!!


Mark
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David Williams
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Thank you to those who have responded so far. I'd rather jump in than go through the SKs at this time (hey, life's too short.) I think Guards Counter Attack is the way to go--though I'll tell you the VCs are a little weird. I don't get the "and/or" part.

I do think it's very important to get handle on concealment. Also today I realized how important bypass is. I was walking by a building and thought--why would I enter it and walk through it when walking around it would be quicker/easier? So yeah a lot of the things in ASL vs. ASLSK make sense. Another obvious example--Dash. Shoot me if you can!
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Warren Smith
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The Old Man wrote:
Thank you to those who have responded so far. I'd rather jump in than go through the SKs at this time (hey, life's too short.) I think Guards Counter Attack is the way to go--though I'll tell you the VCs are a little weird. I don't get the "and/or" part.


Yeah, the "and/or" is superfluous; it should just be "or". Otherwise, it's not too complicated. The Russians can win 1 of 2 ways: 1) Control 2 more net buildings than they initially start with, or 2) Have a 3:1 ratio of unbroken squad-equivalents.
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Jason Sadler
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Play fast, play wrong, lose a lot.
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Stephen Stewart
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BeatPosse wrote:
Play fast, play wrong, lose a lot.



From the 2 Half-Squads Podcast...
"Roll Low, and Rally Well..."
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Robin REEVE
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BeatPosse wrote:
Play fast, play wrong, lose a lot.
Don't be obsessed by winning. Try to apply rules such as Dash, Close Combat, Fire Lanes, without burning your brain about making the "good, winner" move.
ASL is an experience, a large swimming pool where you can try many tactics. Winning is not essential.
Having fun is.

Guards counterattack is nice, but counter heavy.
Gavin Take is lighter and shorter.
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David Williams
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Our first complete game report:

Decided on Gavin Take, I had almost every American unit I needed from ASLSK#1. Took 5 hours and did hurt our brains.

For the first three turns it looked totally hopeless for my friend's Americans. Apparently there was shoddy workmanship at the smoke canister factory because only about 20% worked.. However by the sixth turn the American's were able to dance down the southern Q road to victory. While the American's had problems with their smoke, the German's were really let down by their machine guns. I would have expected better quality, but one after another jammed. Very disappointing.

We used some bypass and dash. An American squad had some kind of invincibility psychosis and they exhibited the traits of fanatics. The Germans kept reading their field guide by never could understand how, or if, they should lay down a firelane. Both sides kept poking around walls and hedges taking shots and having problems deciding if they were blocked, or what the fire power was reduced by or who had an advantage. Both sides will be reviewing any material they can get their hands on.

Reporting back HQ they did have a few questions (all on board 3):

1. Squad on first level of T6, what is the modifier shooting into V3?

2. Can a firelane be laid shooting from P4 to J3? In other words can other hexes be hit even though the line of fire doesn't cross the center of the hexes?

3. Under special rules does the rubble simply mean there's no enter into M2?

Thanks to everybody for their suggestions, we had (some) fun and are not discouraged.
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Eoin Corrigan
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The Old Man wrote:
Reporting back HQ they did have a few questions (all on board 3):

1. Squad on first level of T6, what is the modifier shooting into V3?

2. Can a firelane be laid shooting from P4 to J3? In other words can other hexes be hit even though the line of fire doesn't cross the center of the hexes?

3. Under special rules does the rubble simply mean there's no enter into M2?

Thanks to everybody for their suggestions, we had (some) fun and are not discouraged.


1. +2. Wall and wooden building are not cumulative.

2. No, it's not a hex grain or alternate hex grain.

3. M2 is rubbled, but rubble may be entered for 3MF. The principal implication is that the upper levels of the entire M2 building (as opposed to hex) may not be entered as the stairlwell has been rubbled.

Glad to hear the game went well

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James Lowry
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The Old Man wrote:
1. Squad on first level of T6, what is the modifier shooting into V3?

+2. I sense two things here:
A) B9.31: "The wall/hedge TEM is not cumulative with positive TEM of other terrain in that hex..."

B) B9.33: "If a ... firer is at an elevation above the wall hedge, the hexside TEM may be reduced." The rest of the verbiage boils down to that you need have a height advantage greater than the range to the target for this to take effect. i.e., if you are adjacent (range 1) to someone behind a wall, you need to be two levels above him to reduce the wall TEM to +1.

The Old Man wrote:
2. Can a firelane be laid shooting from P4 to J3? In other words can other hexes be hit even though the line of fire doesn't cross the center of the hexes?

Fire Lanes have to follow either a hex grain or an alternate hex grain. Sadly, past range 3, there are some hexes you just can't cover with a FL. Take a look at the example following A9.221 for some help.

The Old Man wrote:
3. Under special rules does the rubble simply mean there's no enter into M2?

Rubble is simply a terrain type that provides building TEM and costs 3MF to enter. See B24.
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Ruben Rigillo
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Guys,
Is V3 a simple one-level-hill hex?
Is it the target's hex? (..,INTO V3)
...or my english is going back on me?
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James Lowry
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3V3 (the only board this scenario is on) is a single-hex building. It is the target.

The firing Location is 3T6h1 ("Squad on first level of T6"...).

That help?
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Ruben Rigillo
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Confused with V6...sorry!
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