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Subject: Future Imperfect: SL or ASL? rss

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Hilary Hartman
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As it would turn out, my wife and I are considering paring down our wargame collection to only a handful. The consensus reached by us was that we really, really enjoy Squad Leader the most out of our wargames, so we'll be keeping that one and continue playing it until we burn through the scenarios.

And that is where the future becomes imperfect...

At some point we're going to run out of scenarios for SL. I know I could create my own, or buy the additional modules off of ebay, or utilize the online missions. We could even switch sides (I play the Allies and she the Axis in all of our WWII games) and start anew, but we will eventually run into the same problem.

Thus, at what point to we make the leap to ASL? If, indeed, SL is our wargame of choice, then does that mean we even should move on to ASL? Would it be useful to play SL all the way through and then get into ASL, or should we jump ship sooner?

Please, your experience in these matters would be of great help.

Thanks!
 
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Bob Mosdal
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My recommendation would be to go for ASL Starter Kits 1, 2 & soon 3. That'll take you awhile to get through, won't overwhelm you (probably), and is a good price point. If you're enjoying Squad Leader there's no particular reason to jump ship but I wouldn't bother trying to find Cross of Iron, Crescendo of Doom, etc. at the point you're done with Squad Leader I'd go to the starter kits. Of course the basic Squad Leader scenarios have been converted to ASL scenarios and are downloadable from MMPs website so that might be something to think about as well. You could also try a little Do it yourself scenario design. Anyway, Start kit #1 is Infantry; #2 adds guns; and #3 adds armored fighting vehicles. See www.multimanpublishing.com
 
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There were additional "100", "200" and "300" series of scenarios for Squad Leader (those are the titles not counts). I own some of them but I could see exhausting them.

ASL is expensive and time consuming. You could look at other games like
Lock n' Load, ATS, Landships ... but you're correct that if you want an inexhaustible supply ASL would be the way to go.

At least with ATS you can buy a complete game with scenarios when you're ready for something new and the rules are the same (barring rule upgrades).

Or could be indecisive like me and keep them all.
 
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Kevin Moody
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Are you finding the SL scenarios worthy of replay? There are a few scenarios in ASLSK#1 I've played five times, and I'd assume SL's scenarios would also have high replay value.

Most people who pursued the additional SL modules ended up dropping out for various reasons, but a common one was it's increasing complexity and the need to alter or tweak earlier rules. The first module seems to be the sweet spot as far as additonal additional mterial without making the effort to play too great. If you have no complaints about SL, I'd recommend going with that.
 
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castiglione
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Does your wife have any sisters?
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Bob Mosdal
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Kevin Moody wrote:

Most people who pursued the additional SL modules ended up dropping out for various reasons, but a common one was it's increasing complexity and the need to alter or tweak earlier rules. The first module seems to be the sweet spot as far as additonal additional mterial without making the effort to play too great. If you have no complaints about SL, I'd recommend going with that.


Yep, that's why I'd recommend the Starter Kits. They're a pretty manageable (well I'll assume #3 is going to be manageable ) entry to ASL and don't have the integration issues that the original progression from SL had while being fully compatible with ASL so if you decide you do want to drain your wallet you won't have to unlearn anything.
 
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Kevin Moody
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Quote:
well I'll assume #3 is going to be manageable
The last #3 ruleset I saw was nearly a year ago, but yeah, it'll be managable...assuming you've mastered the gun rules from #2. Even someone going into #3 cold can do it, but it'll take effort and a lot of rulebook page flipping.

The scenarios for #3 sound excellent, and there are a few covering only infantry and a few with inf/guns. Still, I always advise anyone new to it to begin with #1. It has so many tight scenarios it would be a shame to miss out on them, and there's a pretty large learning curve in learning how to play it well long after players are beyond the need for the rulebook.
 
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Neal Kegley
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I've gone both routes... I owned and played SL and all three modules (COI, COD, GI) and transitioned to ASL in 1985 when it came out. Personally, I love both; but the ease of learning the Programmed Instruction just can't be beat. For richness of subject matter, ASL is a hard one to top.

When in doubt, keep both!! I did, and and I'm glad. My wife and play SL as well!

Neal
 
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Gary Krockover
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If you're looking to trim down your wargame collection, I'd suggest not trying ASL. If you enjoy SL, then you'll find ASL an addictive upgrade that will soon take over an entire room of your house and deplete your savings account. You have been warned. gulp
 
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John Brady
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I thought one of the perks of SL was the robust "DYO" scenario system...have you tried making any yourself? I know there was a recent post here where someone commented on how that gave the game almost infinite legs.

 
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Jay Richardson
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You should be able to find additional Squad Leader scenarios online.

The link below would be a good place to start looking... there are scenario downloads and links to many other SL sites:

http://www.advancephase.com/
 
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Dale Holmstrom
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A tough poser. Once SL has run its gaming course for you two, I think there are two options:
1. Dive into ASL. Problem is cost, availability, and complexity. If you desire a system that will cover the whole war with an almost infinite list of scenarios and a good selection of historical modules (including post and pre war ones from Critical Hit) this is it.

2, Select another Tactical system. Problem: not Squad Leader, not as much coverage as ASL. Systems such as Lock 'n Load(I recommend) or ATS (haven't played) are less complex than ASL, and offer a "game in a box" (in most cases).

Perhaps creating a list of pros and cons with your wife on game selection would help to.

Dale
 
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Hilary Hartman
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To answer Roland's question first: My wife does have two sisters, actually. They are both married. Sorry. I married the coolest one, anyway.

Now, back to our discussion!

I appreciate all of the feedback. My wife and I are still working our way through the SL rulebook, ever so slowly though. We've played "The Guards Counterattack" three times now. I'll be reading the one page of rules covering flamethrowers, smoke, etc., in Section Two sometime today, and then we'll probably play scenario two a couple of times. We have more than enough with SL to keep us busy for the next few months or so. I was thinking longterm when I initially posted this thread.

In the meantime, we'll check out the various websites that have been mentioned, and when ASLSK #1 is available we'll buy it just to make sure we get a copy.

At one point, I owned LnL: BoH, but gave it away as a gift. I had read the rules and thought that I'd probably end up playing SL more out of the two.

So, then, how steep is the curve when one does make the leap to ASL? Are the two games (SL & ASL) really that divergent?
 
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Ken Feldman
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Quote:
So, then, how steep is the curve when one does make the leap to ASL? Are the two games (SL & ASL) really that divergent?


The learning curve to go from SL to ASL is very steep. The Sequence of Play is the same, but there are many other differences. I tried to do it in 2002, but ended up getting frustrated and went to the Advanced Tobruk System instead. That was before the ASL Starter Kits were available though.

With the Starter Kits out now, it shouldn't be too dificult to add the rules from each starter kit as you go through it, and that should keep you busy for some time. Each Starter Kit contains a mix of scenarios and nationalities, plus MMP is publishing more in the Operations magazine. You could just go with the Starter Kits and never make the leap to full ASL if you wished.

The advantage that ASL and the Starter Kits have over Squad Leader and the gamettes is that they are in print and well supported. You'll have access to more scenarios than you'll ever be able to play. With Squad Leader, it's a couple of dozen, and when you get past Cross of Iron, the rules complexity is such that you might have well gone to ASL anyway.

Ken
 
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John Richert
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The whole key with ASL is to take it slow. First, learn infantry rules, section A and section B forwards, backwards, sideways, etc. After you play with those rules several times and get them down, move up to guns. Play some scenarios several times, etc. Move up to vehicles. Its not that hard, unless you try to do everything at once which becomes overwhelming very quickly.
 
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Jay Richardson
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Some previous interesting discussions concerning SL/ASL/ASLSK:

ASL vs Squad Leader
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/69305

What is the draw of the Starter Kit over the original SL?
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/123864
 
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