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Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1» Forums » General

Subject: ASL Noob rss

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Nick Dotzenrod
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So I am looking for a fun solitaire game that will keep me wanting to play more, and ASL caught my attention.

I know little about it except it looks like Ambush, which I have played before. Can someone compare this with ambush?

Also, I see that a newer "Starter Kit #1" was released. How does this compare to the original 1980s version? It seems so cheap ($20 on cool stuff). Is there a of gameplay in the starter kit?

Thanks!
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Øivind Karlsrud
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ASL isn't a solitaire game, so it's not really like Ambush at all. There is a solitaire module for ASL (not starter kit), but that's it. I'm sure there are plenty of people who play it solitaire by playing both sides, like with most wargames. However, ASL/ASLSK is not the best system for this, since there are lots of reactions (firing during the opponent's movement), which makes it harder to play one side at a time. There's no hidden information though, so it's not too bad (in full ASL you can have hidden units). But you will be missing the really good, competitive, down-to-the-wire experience ASL can often be when playing against someone.
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Øivind Karlsrud
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Let me tell you something about the starter kits. There are 3 starter kits. The first one is just infantry, the second introduces guns (cannons), the third introduces vehicles (tanks). Starter kits strip away a lot of the details from full ASL, while preserving the essentials (SK#1 is only 8 pages of rules, but still teach you a lot about how ASL works). They are good games in their own right, but also a good stepping stone to full ASL. An example of the kind of thing which is stripped away in the starter kits is bypass, a rule which lets you move in the open terrain outside buildings/woods, when moving through a hex. It's a kind of detail which most squad level games does not bother with, so starter kit is basically the essentials of ASL, but stripped down to the same amount of detail as other systems like Lock'n Load and Band of Brothers. Once you know the starter kits, it is easy to add all those details in full ASL, because they do not change the structure of the game. And even if you don't want to move on to full ASL, starter kits give you an amazing value for money. I have only played the first 2 scenarios in SK#1 (because I have moved on to full ASL), and they are good scenarios, which can be played many times. I expect scenario 3-6 to be equally good.
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Chris Buehler
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bassman211 wrote:
So I am looking for a fun solitaire game that will keep me wanting to play more, and ASL caught my attention.

I know little about it except it looks like Ambush, which I have played before. Can someone compare this with ambush?

Also, I see that a newer "Starter Kit #1" was released. How does this compare to the original 1980s version? It seems so cheap ($20 on cool stuff). Is there a of gameplay in the starter kit?

Thanks!


Peter Kossits has been working on a solo bot for ASL:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1546763/solitaire-asl-bo...

I suggest you give it a look if you really want to play ASL solo and do not own the Solitaire module.

Chris
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R. Beef
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ChrisBuehler wrote:
Peter Kossits has been working on a solo bot for ASL:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1546763/solitaire-asl-bo...

I suggest you give it a look if you really want to play ASL solo and do not own the Solitaire module.


I will 2nd that!

I found it enjoyable and Peter is still supporting his solo bot
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Jay Richardson
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Nick Dotzenrod wrote:
I know little about it except it looks like Ambush, which I have played before. Can someone compare this with ambush?

The biggest difference between Ambush and ASL – other than ASL not being designed for solitaire play – is that ASL has much more replayability... even if you just play it solitaire. You can play an ASL scenario a dozen times and get a different game experience each time.

Also, the scale is slightly different as the basic unit in ASL is a squad of about 10 soldiers.

Nick Dotzenrod wrote:
Also, I see that a newer "Starter Kit #1" was released. How does this compare to the original 1980s version?

The two versions are identical except that the newer 10th Anniversary edition has a much improved rulebook incorporating all known errata, and thus is the one to get. However, if you can find a dirt-cheap 1st edition, it will work OK, as there are many threads here on BGG that will answer any questions you might have about the rules.


EDIT: Sorry, I misread Nick's question.
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Herb Boutilier
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Smyrna Mills
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Peter's Solo bot system is excellent. I play much more ASLSK now than i ever did thanks to Peter's solo bot. It's worth looking at.
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Øivind Karlsrud
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richfam wrote:
Nick Dotzenrod wrote:
Also, I see that a newer "Starter Kit #1" was released. How does this compare to the original 1980s version?

The two versions are identical except that the newer 10th Anniversary edition has a much improved rulebook incorporating all known errata, and thus is the one to get. However, if you can find a dirt-cheap 1st edition, it will work OK, as there are many threads here on BGG that will answer any questions you might have about the rules.

If he's talking about a 1980s version, he must be talking about ASL, not starter kit. The difference between ASL and ASL starter kit is big. Although ASLSK is a surprisingly good introduction to ASL, when you think about how short the rulebook is (especially ASLSK #1). Moving from ASLSK #1 to some of the simpler infantry scenarios (like Guards Counterattack) in full ASL is really easy.
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Mike Whittemore
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I play all my games solitaire (face to face too). In fact, I find playing both sides (or all sides) solitaire much easier and more fun than running through AI flow charts in made-for-solitaire games. This includes ASL and even card-driven games. I just play each side as best as I can from its perspective, and also "compartmentalize" my thinking a bit to "eliminate" knowledge of the other side's hidden cards, secret plans, etc. That last bit can't be perfect but it can work. Also, I always win!
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R H
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MikeWhit wrote:
Also, I always win!

Yes, that's definitively an argument.
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Robin REEVE
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Blitzbuff wrote:
MikeWhit wrote:
Also, I always win!

Yes, that's definitively an argument.
You also always lose.
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Thomas Marshall
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hbmaine wrote:
Peter's Solo bot system is excellent. I play much more ASLSK now than i ever did thanks to Peter's solo bot. It's worth looking at.


And unfortunately, Peter's system has refined Herb's play against live opponents to nearly flawless.

Trust me on this. soblue
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Peter Kossits
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I would love to hear more about that (but this might not be the right thread for it).

To reply to the original question. I think that ASL Starter Kits might be a little frustrating to get into if you're intending to only play it solo. It's doable though. I would play a bunch of learning games with others first to avoid ingraining mistakes in your play. Playing by email is a great way to do that if you don't have anyone around who already knows how to play.

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Thomas Marshall
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peterk1 wrote:
I would love to hear more about that (but this might not be the right thread for it).

To reply to the original question. I think that ASL Starter Kits might be a little frustrating to get into if you're intending to only play it solo. It's doable though. I would play a bunch of learning games with others first to avoid ingraining mistakes in your play. Playing by email is a great way to do that if you don't have anyone around who already knows how to play.



That's a valid point, Peter. I learned ASLSK 1 on my own - which wasn't terribly difficult at all.

But it only took a few learning games playing solo for me to start questioning if I was interpreting the rules correctly, and then applying the rules into reasonable tactics. Those were two entirely different learning curves for me.

And that's the point where both face to face and PBEM live opponents really hauled me up over the learning curve (if it ever really ends. I think there are things to be learned with ASL every time you sit down at the board). I suspect guys with a better tactical eye in reading ASL boards and situations than I have can see it for themselves, but I found the help of my opponents invaluable starting out (and still do, for that matter).

After that, ASLSK solo is terrific...although there is still something about going against a live opponent that brings out pretty sweet nuances of the game's design.
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Øivind Karlsrud
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peterk1 wrote:
I would love to hear more about that (but this might not be the right thread for it).

To reply to the original question. I think that ASL Starter Kits might be a little frustrating to get into if you're intending to only play it solo. It's doable though. I would play a bunch of learning games with others first to avoid ingraining mistakes in your play. Playing by email is a great way to do that if you don't have anyone around who already knows how to play.


Jay Richardson's tutorials are also great:

Jay Richardsons ASL Starter Kit tutorials properly typeset for printing
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Andrew Wallwork
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Have always wanted to get into ASL so the starter kits seemed a perfect way to do that. However it has always been difficult to find them for sale in the UK. However today I managed to get a copy of the 10th anniversary edition from my favourite supplier, and at a normal price!! Have just bought the first one for now.

I enjoy LnL and CoH but this one, while not as pretty as the others, is the benchmark. I'm hoping that if I can understand the rules, it will eventually make me a better player in my other tactical games as well. The good news is is that there seems to be plenty of resources (like Jay's tutorial) to help me.
 
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Herb Boutilier
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Andrew, I really love ASL SK #1. I would be more than happy to help you along and learn the rules!!!!!! I have played several SK1 PBEM games. Herb
 
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Andrew Wallwork
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That would be great Herb. Will get that going once I have got the game and had a foray into it on my own. Won't be neglecting LnL though. Plenty more scenarios of HoN for you and I to work through yet. Which reminds me. I need to get a turn back to you!!


hbmaine wrote:
Andrew, I really love ASL SK #1. I would be more than happy to help you along and learn the rules!!!!!! I have played several SK1 PBEM games. Herb
 
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R. Beef
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Aloha Andrew - as Herb said - I would also be more than happy to play/help pbem w/ you, or anyone else, as well.

I played the SK and full rules - but it has been awhile, so looking to start the journey again w/ SK1 > Sk2 > Sk3 > full rules at a leisurely pace.
 
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andy stearman
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old blue , id be keen to start working through the starter kits PBEM
if you are up for a game
I played SK1 a few years ago, so most of it should still be locked away
in the memory banks but it may take a while to get back up to speed
I have SK2 and a the full rules as well

Andy
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Andrew Wallwork
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My copy arrived a couple of days ago so have punched the counters and have started learning the rules. Following a tutorial that I got here on BGG so once I've got the basics sorted I'm sure I'll be looking for help with some pbem games
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R. Beef
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ozpom wrote:
old blue , id be keen to start working through the starter kits PBEM
if you are up for a game
I played SK1 a few years ago, so most of it should still be locked away
in the memory banks but it may take a while to get back up to speed
I have SK2 and a the full rules as well

Andy


I replied to your GM - I'm in
 
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R. Beef
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tasmanuk wrote:
My copy arrived a couple of days ago so have punched the counters and have started learning the rules. Following a tutorial that I got here on BGG so once I've got the basics sorted I'm sure I'll be looking for help with some pbem games


Give me a holler when ready.
 
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