Chris
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Given that this is an ATS entry level game, does it still provide the "feel" of a desperate bloody fight in the streets of Stalingrad? I find the topic appealing, and ATS seems a little easier to get in to than full blown ASL. I own ASL (the full system and SKs), BV, and RB, but have yet to grasp enough of the rules to tackle Red Barricades.

What appeals to me about this ATS offering are the large hexes, alleged quick ramp-up to play, impulse system, and low cost. How playable is Streets of Stalingrad? Does it have staying power, or would I quickly thirst for something more involved/advanced?

Please keep in mind that I am not looking for a replacement to ASL, just something in addition to.

 
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Guy Riessen
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I truly think you'll be surprised at how satisfying this particular game system is. The BG ruleset is slightly stripped down, and I'm not sure about it, since I've only played with the full rules (the BG games play great with the full rules of course). The one disadvantage is that it only comes with 4 scenarios IIRC, however the sceanrios are extremely tense and exciting and replayable. The large hexes make moving stacks a breeze. The full rules are only about 60 pages and I think worth the investment--they are quite intuitive and are well laid out so information is easy to find. Much of the rulesbook is terrain effects, which you can skip completely and just read the terrain you're playing in.

It seems like every tactical wargamer on the planet has an opinion on this, but personally, I give the nod to ATS over ASL--not as a replacement, mind you (like you I have a selection of both systems), but rather for as a 'quicker' system to learn and a quicker system to teach. If you're familiar with the rules you can easily teach others to play, while playing a game if they're remotely familiar with other wargames.

The impulse system is tense, exciting, and also conducive to teaching new players--one ditinct disadvantage to ASL is the IGO UGO in terms of teaching the unfamiliar...you'll be questioned about why so and so can't move if he see these so and so's coming, etc. I'm not saying one is better than the other, rather that in an "introducing new players" aspect, impulse is much easier to digest for the newbie.

ATS is also much much more 'deadly' combat tends to wipe units out, rather than modify morale effects. Again, realistically, ASL will get the nod, but for sheer excitement amongst new players, wiping counters off the map is much more "satisfying," at least initially.

Lastly, I think you'll find the ATS system more conducive to a "hmmm what shall we play this evening" mindset. Now throw 2 serious ASL players in a room and of course you'll see different results. But throw two, like-sample-lots-of-wargames, players in a room and ATS will be far far easier to break out and play.


Oh, and one other thing, if you're looking for a bigger game on the same subject, ATS Stalingrad: Dzerhezinsky Tractor Works. This has the full rules and 9 scenarios. It doesn't have the giant hexes, and it does cost about twice as much. Of course, you could get both and get 13 scenarios and a bunch of counters and a load of fun!
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Chris
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Thanks Sprydle. Your post has convinced me to pull the trigger. I'm looking for more of a pick up and play Stalingrad fight, and this looks like it'll fit the bill.
 
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