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Colin Hunter
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Well I'm thinking of taking the plunge and I might start playing. A while ago I downloaded the squad leader rule book off the net and played a few games solo. It seemed straight forward enough (even if there were lots of little rules for specific actions). I realise that ASL will be a bit of a step up so I am willing to start with the starter kits. One of the main thing that inspired me to get into it is that I have been playing some Combat commander and it reminded me of reading through the old squad leader book. When I was looking into squad leader there were some mechanic I didn't really like, but after player Combat commander (which had some of these same mechanics) I realised it wasn't an issue, a bit of a change of heart I guess.

I want to make sure I am ordering the right things first.

1. I need to get a copy of the full rule book (which are available online or do I need to order this from MMP?)

2. I need a copy of atleast the ASL starter kit 1 and I can add 2 and 3 from there;

3. Normally I would just read the entire rule book and jump in (thats what I did with squad leader), but I like the idea of gradually building up my skills as I think I will learn the game more deeply. Does everyone agree this is the way to go?

4. ATS: Given I like deeper more heavy games should I even consider ATS?

5. Many people comment this is a lifestyle game and that it takes a lot of study in order to master. This sounds very appealing to me. Does this mean it is taken quite seriously, say like chess or go?

6. Does anyone know if there is a community in New Zealand?

Thanks for your help
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Todd Pytel
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ibn_ul_khattab wrote:

1. I need to get a copy of the full rule book

The SK's are a subset of the full rules and include their own rulebooks in the box. If you're starting with an SK, you don't need the full ASL rulebook. That being said, if you get into playing the SK's you may find situations where the full rules help clarify ideas that the abbreviated SK rules don't do such a great job with.

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(which are available online or do I need to order this from MMP?)

There are no online rules. The full rules must be purchased.

Quote:
2. I need a copy of atleast the ASL starter kit 1 and I can add 2 and 3 from there;

Correct.

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3. Normally I would just read the entire rule book and jump in (thats what I did with squad leader), but I like the idea of gradually building up my skills as I think I will learn the game more deeply. Does everyone agree this is the way to go?

Yes. You could not possibly read and comprehend the entire ASL rulebook before playing it. Maybe you could read and sort of comprehend the most important parts of Chapters A and B (about 70 pages covering Infantry and Terrain) before playing a simple scenario. But the SK's make this a lot more straightforward. It's also worth noting the ASL has a number of important differences from SL. I never played SL, so I can't tell you the details. Just don't assume they're the same.

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4. ATS: Given I like deeper more heavy games should I even consider ATS?

I haven't played it. Some people seem to like it.

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5. Many people comment this is a lifestyle game and that it takes a lot of study in order to master. This sounds very appealing to me. Does this mean it is taken quite seriously, say like chess or go?

ASL is probably the polar opposite of chess or go. Lots of dice, detail, rules, chaos, and surprises. It is certainly taken very seriously, but in a totally different manner than chess or go.

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6. Does anyone know if there is a community in New Zealand?

There are communities everywhere, at least everywhere English-speaking. There's no other wargame that has nearly so many players. I know at least one fellow (Reepicheep) from NZ on the Gamesquad forums. You might contact him for more information on the local scene.
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Colin Hunter
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tppytel wrote:
Quote:
5. Many people comment this is a lifestyle game and that it takes a lot of study in order to master. This sounds very appealing to me. Does this mean it is taken quite seriously, say like chess or go?

ASL is probably the polar opposite of chess or go. Lots of dice, detail, rules, chaos, and surprises. It is certainly taken very seriously, but in a totally different manner than chess or go.

What I meant was, is it taken seriously like the abstracts are? One of the things I find frustrating some times is playing games all the time with people who don't want to take it seriously. What I am comparing is the gaming attitude not the mechanics, but I think you understand that.
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Jim C
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1. I wouldn't buy the full ASL rulebook yet until you've gotten through #2.

2. Yes ASLSK #1 is all you need initially; note that there is errata from ASLSK #1 that's corrected in ASLSK #2, but you can also find it on the MMP website.

3. The only way to go short of having someone else teach you. It'll make it easier to get into full blown ASL later on down the road.

4. ATS is in between ASLSK and ASL in complexity. It's got 60 pages of rules. The emphasis is on out-of-the box historical scenarios with impulse movement as opposed to ASL's IGO-UGO (but barely recognizable with defensive fire, etc.)

5. Yes, there are tournaments with a huge population of competitive and casual players. For me, the ultimate experience in ASL is the historical scenarios with Red Barricades being hand's down the best. The Piper modules are pretty good as well. I love having to figure out how to economize my forces so I can fight the next day.

6. I don't, but you should get an answer in short order.
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Todd Pytel
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ibn_ul_khattab wrote:
One of the things I find frustrating some times is playing games all the time with people who don't want to take it seriously.

The volume and complexity of rules along with the financial cost of the system is a pretty big deterrent to playing ASL "casually" in the sense that most games would be played casually. You might find casual SK players, but very few casual full ASL players.
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Colin Hunter
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oh boy I'm looking forward to this already. I just need to find a few players in New Zealand. Right next week I'm going to order it.
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James Davis
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Heres a list of some users from new zealand that have listed ASL in their collection, I hope this can help you.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/nzgamer
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/Peter+Palmer
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/Pinetree

good luck
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Andy Daglish
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tppytel wrote:
ibn_ul_khattab wrote:

1. I need to get a copy of the full rule book

The SK's are a subset of the full rules and include their own rulebooks in the box. If you're starting with an SK, you don't need the full ASL rulebook. That being said, if you get into playing the SK's you may find situations where the full rules help clarify ideas that the abbreviated SK rules don't do such a great job with.


so much for the SKs. Perhaps their best use is to bolster the morale of people reading the rules for the first time, for example they could lay their left hand on a stack of all three SKs and close their eyes for a few seconds before continuing with the next paragraph.

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(which are available online or do I need to order this from MMP?)

There are no online rules. The full rules must be purchased.


the ASL rules exist in electronic format.

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2. I need a copy of atleast the ASL starter kit 1 and I can add 2 and 3 from there;

Correct.


SK1 is not ASL, as it falls a long way short, so you'll want to disregard any impressions it creates.

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3. Normally I would just read the entire rule book and jump in (thats what I did with squad leader), but I like the idea of gradually building up my skills as I think I will learn the game more deeply. Does everyone agree this is the way to go?

Yes. You could not possibly read and comprehend the entire ASL rulebook before playing it. Maybe you could read and sort of comprehend the most important parts of Chapters A and B (about 70 pages covering Infantry and Terrain) before playing a simple scenario. But the SK's make this a lot more straightforward. It's also worth noting the ASL has a number of important differences from SL. I never played SL, so I can't tell you the details. Just don't assume they're the same.


40 pages is much closer to what is important in all scenarios.

The comparison between ASL and the SL gamettes is perhaps the most interesting example of boardwargame development known to man. ASL neatly demonstrates the problems that SL ran into, rather than the other way round. One of the main problems with ASL was the name: calling it "Advanced" was probably a mistake.

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4. ATS: Given I like deeper more heavy games should I even consider ATS?

I haven't played it. Some people seem to like it.


by those criteria, no. Its a rip-off product feeding the large "wannabe" market.

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5. Many people comment this is a lifestyle game and that it takes a lot of study in order to master. This sounds very appealing to me. Does this mean it is taken quite seriously, say like chess or go?

ASL is probably the polar opposite of chess or go. Lots of dice, detail, rules, chaos, and surprises. It is certainly taken very seriously, but in a totally different manner than chess or go.


as with chess or go you would also need the necessary ability to succeed with ASL. Lack of aggression amongst boardwargamers is a strange but common phenomena, but seriously disadvantageous in an equally serious tactical game. As for lifestyle, I would forget about the game and become more closely acquainted with the history, and the gun and vehicle notes are a good guide to what you need to seek out in this regard.

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6. Does anyone know if there is a community in New Zealand?

There are communities everywhere, at least everywhere English-speaking. There's no other wargame that has nearly so many players. I know at least one fellow (Reepicheep) from NZ on the Gamesquad forums. You might contact him for more information on the local scene.
[/q]

VASL plus Skype is pretty much all anyone needs. However with ASL there are likely to be good players everywhere, though the sales figures would suggest otherwise.
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Colin Hunter
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Thanks everyone for your help. I know most of these questions have been asked before, but I was struggling with piecing them together from other threads.
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