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Subject: Wimped out on ASL purchase at MMP rss

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Matt B
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I have been wanting to purchase ASL for awhile now... would be planning to play solo mostly. Definitely need to start out with the ability to play as Americans, so that means ASL rulebook + Beyond Valor + Yanks. Not interested in the starter kits--have played them and enjoyed them, but am ready to understand the rules that were excluded.

I knew it was expensive, but needed to see the total cost to let it sink in. After adding the three items described above to my cart on Multiman Publishing the total was $328. I couldn't do it, folks.

To me it comes down to marginal analysis. I get a great deal of satisfaction from games priced in the 50-70 dollar range, and I cannot bring myself to believe that the marginal cost of $250 would bring me more utility than any alternative purchases.

Has anyone else had similar struggles?
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Nick Wade
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I do that all the time. I put things into shopping carts, leave them there, think about them, price check across different sites, and then change the contents of the cart, do it all again, and then either finally buy or delete them all.


For the ASL products you looked at, get the rulebook as the cheaper book version and buy it all through NWS for $194!

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Matt B
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Probably a rookie question... what is NWS?
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Bill Gates
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Online wargame store.

http://yhst-12000246778232.stores.yahoo.net/
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Peter Kossits
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avidwanderer wrote:
I have been wanting to purchase ASL for awhile now... would be planning to play solo mostly.


I know you've said that you've tried the Starter Kit, but you're also saying you're planning on playing mostly solo. Just wanted to bring your attention to the card driven Solo Bot that I prepared last year that has set-ups for all the scenarios in SK1 (and a few from Beyond Valor). Might give you a few more months of fun for only 25$ until you build up your courage to get the big game. Just visit the ASL SK1 forums here if curious.

To answer your question - yes, I think you will have some buyers remorse at first if you're planning on playing a lot of the scenarios that come with Beyond Valor solo. They are on the large/complex side to a great degree. That's not to say that you won't begin having lots of fun with it once you dig in.

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David Douglas
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There's a reason why ASL is so rabidly played 30+ years after its inception. It's worth the extra $250 dollars and a whole lot more.
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Geromino Pares
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ddavidc wrote:
There's a reason why ASL is so rabidly played 30+ years after its inception. It's worth the extra $250 dollars and a whole lot more.


I was looking into ASL and then I think im going with Advanced Tobruk System... It's cheaper
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Runs with scissors
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If it's for playing solo, I'm not going to try to talk you out of it. Without someone there checking me, I'm going to screw up rules and skip steps.


If it was for gaming with others, that's another story. I've built up some great memories gaming with others, and the money's been worth it.

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Geromino Pares
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The Bot from ATS is supposed to be amazing and can be played with all scenarios!
 
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Robert Wolkey
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Hattusilis_III wrote:
I do that all the time. I put things into shopping carts, leave them there, think about them, price check across different sites, and then change the contents of the cart, do it all again, and then either finally buy or delete them all.


For the ASL products you looked at, get the rulebook as the cheaper book version and buy it all through NWS for $194!





Holy cr@p. Those are great prices. Where you been the last 20 years? I coulda saved a mint.

The Pocket Rulebook, BV3, and Yanks is the perfect starter.


BTW - ATS would be my perfect desert island game... I would use it for kindling to start my fires.
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Russ Williams
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pares101 wrote:
The Bot from ATS is supposed to be amazing and can be played with all scenarios!

Oh, I'd never heard of that one before! I always thought ATS was purely 2-player.

Searching the forums, I find https://boardgamegeek.com/article/19148869#19148869 links to it as a product at criticalhit.com :

http://www.criticalhit.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=criti...

It seems to have snuck under the radar. I only knew about Conflict of Heroes, Lock n' Load, Combat Leader, and ASL solitaire expansions.

Are there any reviews of it anywhere? "ATS Robot" does not seem to exist as a BGG database entry. :/
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Russ Williams
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avidwanderer wrote:
To me it comes down to marginal analysis. I get a great deal of satisfaction from games priced in the 50-70 dollar range, and I cannot bring myself to believe that the marginal cost of $250 would bring me more utility than any alternative purchases.

Has anyone else had similar struggles?

Sure, especially with complicated wargames like this which it might be uncertain how much they'll really get played if one honestly assesses one's situation.

There are a lot of games which I feel certain I would enjoy playing (even some games which I KNOW I enjoy playing, because I've played them, but don't currently own them), and I considered buying them, shopping around online, etc ... but then thought "Oh come on, realistically no one I know is going to play this with me, or maybe I'll get it to the table once or twice." So it's not worth spending the money - or taking up the storage space on my shelves. :/

---

It's funny you mention ASL as your specific example. I once owned ASL (with several modules) but never got it to the table. Over the years I was thinking about it wistfully, and recent threads finally pushed me over the edge. But instead of jumping in whole-hog this time, I am currently buying only ASLSK1 to see how that goes. The difference is that I'm expecting to solo it. (Of course if some friends want to play it, great, even better.) If I enjoy soloing it, then I might go further...

(Ironically, enjoying soloing Band of Brothers recently is what convinced me I would probably enjoy soloing ASL too! The two systems have very different design philosophies and rule complexity levels...)
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I'm still at the stage where I haven't found one big series to fall in love with and sacrifice my wallet to, so I have a habit of snapping up almost any small/mid-sized title that takes my fancy.

I guess it comes down to the same thing, though, whether it's a bunch of smaller scale one-off games or a "lifestyle" purchase like ASL: weighing up how much you're going to get out of it.
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Ronald EMCA LADD
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You need to look at the long term for any game really, but, especially for a game like ASL. Yes, the initial outlay for ASL is high at $328.00 USD, but, how often and how long do you see yourself spending time and playing ASL, even solitaire? If you see yourself playing four scenarios a month for the next year, that works out to a little under $7.00 per scenario. You can also do the same for the enjoyable time you've spent on ASL. The price per use keeps getting lower the longer you have and use it.

As an example, I purchased the block game Victoria Cross a couple of years ago for $60.00 USD. At that time it was more than I wished to spend on a ten year old game, however, my 'want' was stronger then my 'need' and I got it anyway. I've played about a dozen games including two last week. So, my $60.00 USD game has now cost me $5.00 per game and each game takes about 90 minutes to play. So for 18 hours of fun and enjoyment it has cost me still that $60.00 USD. Now I can catch a movie with a buddy and after the price of admission, popcorn, pop, then wings and a beer afterwords, it'll still cost me $60.00 for about three hours of fun and enjoyment.

Now, I've never played ASL, but, I did purchase Squad Leader, Cross of Iron, Crescendo of Doom and G.I. Anvil of Victory back starting in 1980 and played to 1995. I don't remember how much those games cost me in exact dollar figures, but, I did get more than my money's worth when I packed the games away. I still have those games and with a little bit of time, energy and work, I could get those games back on the table if I so wish.

Reconsider the ASL purchase, but, don't just look at the initial cost, but, also look at the long term use and enjoyment. If you do that and it is still not worth the cost, then ASL is not the game for you and move on. All the best with your decision.
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Gilles Daquin
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avidwanderer wrote:
I have been wanting to purchase ASL for awhile now... would be planning to play solo mostly. Definitely need to start out with the ability to play as Americans, so that means ASL rulebook + Beyond Valor + Yanks. Not interested in the starter kits--have played them and enjoyed them, but am ready to understand the rules that were excluded.

I knew it was expensive, but needed to see the total cost to let it sink in. After adding the three items described above to my cart on Multiman Publishing the total was $328. I couldn't do it, folks.

To me it comes down to marginal analysis. I get a great deal of satisfaction from games priced in the 50-70 dollar range, and I cannot bring myself to believe that the marginal cost of $250 would bring me more utility than any alternative purchases.

Has anyone else had similar struggles?


Dude, it is one of those cases where ebay is actually your friend. Always great opportunities and gamers happy for their games to find a good home even at bargain price.
 
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Peter Kossits
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Wolkster wrote:

The Pocket Rulebook, BV3, and Yanks is the perfect starter.


Careful if you're tempted to go with this. You'd end up missing quite a few charts that aren't in the small rules. Terrain and the Guns/Vehicles to hit charts are the big ones.

Not a heck of a lot of info about the ATS bot. I asked about it last year on GameSquad and didn't get any response at all.

I think I picked up Beyond Valor and the latest rules at a local game store for just a bit over 200$ Canadian last year (that would be like 140-150 US), so your price that you quoted seems a bit on the high side.

Perhaps some AARs will convince you? I had almost forgotten these, but I posted a couple of pretty detailed session reports of full rules games played with my solo cards last year....and there was even one posted by someone else that was a lot of fun to read.

The ASL Solitaire Bot plays Guards Counterattack

The ASL Solitaire bot plays ASL 3 -The Czerniakow Bridgehead

Solo Bot playtest of ASL105: Going to Church
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Albert Taylor
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pares101 wrote:
ddavidc wrote:
There's a reason why ASL is so rabidly played 30+ years after its inception. It's worth the extra $250 dollars and a whole lot more.


I was looking into ASL and then I think im going with Advanced Tobruk System... It's cheaper


But, ATS is not as cheap as it once was. Prior to the introduction of the Advance to Contact and 4.0 rules, a new player could get into the game by simply buying one of the boxed games. Now one needs the rulebook, possibly game markers and a module that includes all the combatants needed to play.
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Øivind Karlsrud
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avidwanderer wrote:
I have been wanting to purchase ASL for awhile now... would be planning to play solo mostly. Definitely need to start out with the ability to play as Americans, so that means ASL rulebook + Beyond Valor + Yanks. Not interested in the starter kits--have played them and enjoyed them, but am ready to understand the rules that were excluded.

I knew it was expensive, but needed to see the total cost to let it sink in. After adding the three items described above to my cart on Multiman Publishing the total was $328. I couldn't do it, folks.

To me it comes down to marginal analysis. I get a great deal of satisfaction from games priced in the 50-70 dollar range, and I cannot bring myself to believe that the marginal cost of $250 would bring me more utility than any alternative purchases.

Has anyone else had similar struggles?

You definitely made the right decision, if you're mainly going to play solo. But if you decide to play ASL with others (on VASSAL or F2F), those $328 may turn out to be money well spent.
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John Forse
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I completely understand your situation!

One Christmas, I was gifted the ASL rulebook and the biggest in-print module I could find -- Rising Sun. I was extremely excited and subsequently disappointed to find out exactly how incomplete and inter-dependent each module is. The system looks so fun but very uneconomical when even basic game markers are OOP. To MMP's credit, they did accept my return.

$50-70 can buy a lot of fun; there's no shame in being frugal.
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Andy Daglish
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pares101 wrote:
ddavidc wrote:
There's a reason why ASL is so rabidly played 30+ years after its inception. It's worth the extra $250 dollars and a whole lot more.


I was looking into ASL and then I think im going with Advanced Tobruk System... It's cheaper

Its a lot more amusing.
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Matt B
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Thank you all for the responses. Will hold off on pulling the trigger for now.

I have also been researching why ASL is so expensive... don't think it is because of the component density or production costs.

Hypothesis: Anecdotally it seems like ASL demand is price inelastic. There aren't any substitutes of equal scope and complexity for a tactical wargame. Is the high price of ASL a result of what happens when a monopoly supplier meets price inelastic demand?
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Michael McLean
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I'm sure lack of competition helps keep ASL prices up, but the sheer volume of components in Beyond Valor, for example, seems to put the value of that module in the $100-125 range. What would you expect to pay for a game with 14 counter sheets?
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WIMP!

What? Someone had to confirm the OP subject.
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James Lowry
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The main reason for the higher prices is that MMP's print runs are relatively small (compared to say, GMT). My guess is that they don't have a lot of available warehouse space (and certainly don't have the finances to pay for warehouse taxes), so they avoid overcrowding across all their products by keeping print runs down to what they know will sell in a reasonable time frame.
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If you're going to spend hundreds of hours playing ASL, then $300+ is worth it. If not, it probably isn't.

Many people spend hundreds of hours playing ASL.
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