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Subject: ASL scenarios compatible with SK? rss

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Gary Tanner
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Sorry if this has been asked before, I didn't spot it. I'm wondering if there's a list, or website with a list, that would show what ASL scenarios are suitable for using just Starter Kit rules? If there's something broken down by which SK, that'd be great, but mostly just for the first one. For example, X scenario is an infantry only, either without special rules, or with special rules that can be removed without shifting the balance horribly.

I play both SK and full ASL, am just looking for extra options for introducing people to the game (or keeping casual players).

Any thoughts?
 
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Marc Hanna
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MilesF wrote:
Sorry if this has been asked before, I didn't spot it. I'm wondering if there's a list, or website with a list, that would show what ASL scenarios are suitable for using just Starter Kit rules? If there's something broken down by which SK, that'd be great, but mostly just for the first one. For example, X scenario is an infantry only, either without special rules, or with special rules that can be removed without shifting the balance horribly.

I play both SK and full ASL, am just looking for extra options for introducing people to the game (or keeping casual players).

Any thoughts?


Thoughts: ASL is not compatible with ASLSK for any scenarios that are true ASL. This is because crucial rules such as concealment and bypass movement are not included in SK; further, these are fundamental tactics that separate out ASL from SK. There is probably other stuff.

I don't know exactly what that stuff is because I learned ASL, as did thousands of others, without having to use ASLSK.

My suggestion is get away from ASLSK and into true ASL as soon as possible so you can fully enjoy the thousands and thousands of scenarios that can only be played with the victory conditions as established by the use of the full set of rules.

[edit -- and if you are truly into ASL, my suggestion is forget about teaching ASLSK and teach them ASL. This whole idea of a starter kit being necessary isn't so]

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Mattias Elfström
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MilesF wrote:
Sorry if this has been asked before, I didn't spot it. I'm wondering if there's a list, or website with a list, that would show what ASL scenarios are suitable for using just Starter Kit rules? If there's something broken down by which SK, that'd be great, but mostly just for the first one. For example, X scenario is an infantry only, either without special rules, or with special rules that can be removed without shifting the balance horribly.

I play both SK and full ASL, am just looking for extra options for introducing people to the game (or keeping casual players).

Any thoughts?

The simple answer is that none of the ASL scenarios are playable with ASLSK rules.

That said if you have the countermix and maps you could play many of the ASL scenarios with ASLSK rules. Balance would often be way off and some scenarios would have strange "holes" in them. If this is a problem or not is up to you - ASL is enjoyable even in cases where scenarios are one sided (and there are many scenarios that are not very well balanced even if using the full rules).

On the other hand there are quite a lot of ASLSK scenarios if you get all the kits, expansions and magazine scenarios. When you have played through all of them I can't see why you wouldn't want to go full ASL.

If this is a learning perspective I think that ASLSK is a good starting point. You may also want to check out the "Programmed instruction" article that breakes down the learning of ASL to a number of steps, much in the same way that the original SL did.

I learned as the modules were released SL-COI-COD-GI-ASL... and I think that was a very good way of digesting the fairly large amount of rules.
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Gordon Watson
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Counter-mix and balance issues aside you should be good to play most ASL infantry scenarios with ASLSK rules - I don't know if there is any ASL listing of scenarios which specify infantry only, 'no OBA' etc - it would be quite useful, even if just for selecting scenarios for ASL play.

Off the top of my head, a couple of the other scenario conditions you would need to steer clear of would be -

- Significant concealment ('?') as part of the set-up conditions

- OBA/radios in the couter-mix

- High SAN's for either side, or a SAN difference of greater than 1 between the sides.

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Robin Reeve
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Schwerpunkt published two Rally Point scenario packs, adaptable to both SK or full ASL (with additional rules for the latter).
Otherwise, apart from the rules additions, full ASL scenarios may ask for units not included in the SK modules.
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Marc Hanna
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Robin wrote:
Schwerpunkt published two Rally Point scenario packs, adaptable to both SK or full ASL (with additional rules for the latter).


Right, because the two systems are not compatible, the scenarios have to be adapted to both. I doubted there had been much effort put forward to that, but these sound good to teach new players to be able to get out of ASLSK for good and never look back.

domus_ludorum wrote:
Counter-mix and balance issues aside you should be good to play most ASL infantry scenarios with ASLSK rules



Well yeah if you don't care about scenario balance you can play any ASL scenario you want with ASLSK rules and substitute counters, but I don't think that's what the OP is getting at.

I was thinking the closest thing that ASLSK rules would work with would be ASL desert scenarios since bypass and concealment are more rare, but then you need ASL rules for the desert anyway.



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JP Laurio
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domus_ludorum wrote:
I don't know if there is any ASL listing of scenarios which specify infantry only, 'no OBA' etc - it would be quite useful, even if just for selecting scenarios for ASL play.

ASL Scenario Archive's search tool lets you do just that and much more:

http://www.aslscenarioarchive.com/adsearch.php

In addition, if you create an account and mark all the modules that you own, you can select that the search results only show the scenarios that you actually have.
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JP Laurio
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PS. You can of course use it to only search for Starter Kit scenarios as well:

https://goo.gl/ltfwFC



 
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Gary Tanner
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Thanks much all, will check out the Archive's search ability.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find anyone remotely local who plays full ASL. So I'm thinking to use the SK as a way of introducing people to it, without the commitment of full games (and maybe snag a few people to play at the convention I run). I'm thinking the biggest issues will be time, and that the most complex wargames most people I play with have played is Memoir 44. So the more stripped down, to give them a less daunting experience, the better. And I get bored with just the 6 scenarios per kit.
 
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Bruce Probst
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MilesF wrote:
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find anyone remotely local who plays full ASL.


Your idea of using ASLSK to ease locals into the game seems sound. However, if you're looking for opponents to play ASL, you don't need to rely on local talent. VASL will let you play as much ASL as you like with anyone, anywhere. And there's no reason that you can't use VASL to scratch your ASL itch while taking locals down the easy path with ASLSK.

I don't disagree, however, with the concept that it's OK to teach new players full ASL. There are plenty of small and simple ASL scenarios for people to cut their teeth on, and hundreds of existing players learned the game without ASLSK, so it's by no means essential. All you need is the will (and patience) to teach and players who have the desire to learn.
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Gary Tanner
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I've tried a few times to figure out the VASL bit, but for some reason it completely eludes me. I don't even know how to explain where it is I get lost in it.
 
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Marc Hanna
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MilesF wrote:

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find anyone remotely local who plays full ASL.


BruceP wrote:
And there's no reason that you can't use VASL to scratch your ASL itch...


I can relate. I used to live in Raleigh NC, where there easily remains half a dozen players within an hour of each of other and a dozen more on the highway to Charlotte. Never had trouble picking up some ftf play. A bunch of those guys now run the Bitter Ender tournament (coming up in May).

Now I'm in SE England and all the players here live in London and places north. As a result, I can attest to Bruce's accuracy of the VASL relief valve...

What I need to do is scratch up a local group and teach them myself. If and when I do that, I'll be using the ASLRB rules set because I'm stubborn and opinionated old-school laugh
 
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chris gammon
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Gary,
If you have a couple of hours and use Skype, I can walk you through loading VASL/VASSAL. Just email me. I was really frustrated with it originally but I think I have it down pretty well now. I've helped others before.
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Russell InGA
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(All of this is my understanding from reading in the past...)

ASL maps have Hedges / Walls, and ASLSK do not. At a minimum you have to import rules for those terrain features.

As indicated above, ASL scenarios were written and balanced with the rule ASL rules in mind. By Pass and Concealment (and even Skulking) can be important for the play of a particular scenario. As indicated above high SAN (sniper#) mismatch is there for a reason.

How much rejiggering is acceptable to you? How important is balance?

You have a rule set - you may need Special Rules / House Rules / Imported ASL Rules - put the counters down and have fun!
 
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Gary Tanner
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Definitely appreciated, Chris, I'll have to find out where my skype mic is and send you an email.
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Gary Tanner
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Sounds like the terrain, concealment, snipers, things like that will be the biggest issues. I think I'll start with finding other SK scenarios that I may not have already, and looking for more infantry only scenarios that might stand some tweaking. Being able to search for them will definitely help.
 
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Robin Reeve
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Honosbinda wrote:
I doubted there had been much effort put forward to that
Strange assumption.
Do you own Schwerpunk scenario packs?
They have a proven reputation of doing a lot of playtesting with seasoned players.
Suggesting that they didn't put "much effort" in those packs directly contradicts their claims.
See is what the Desperationmorale site says of Rally Point 2 :

Quote:
The second iteration of Rally Point, Schwerpunkt’s collection of themed scenario packs, has a rather unusual theme. Rather than depicting scenarios related to a particular unit or conflict, the unifying “theme” in Rally Point Volume 2 (RP2) is the Advanced Squad Leader Starter Kit. The 10 included scenarios are designed to be played using either the ASLSK rules or the full ASL rules; the pack claims that the scenarios have been “fully playtested with consideration for both rules systems.” [...]

RP2 was the second successful Rally Point, garnering a fair amount of play. Among the more popular scenarios from the pack are RPT11 (Butchers and Bakers), RPT13 (A Handful of Howdy), RPT15 (Comrade Klimenkov), RPT17 (Hetzer Hunters) and RPT18 (Worker’s Settlement No. 8). The latter is the most played scenario of the pack.

Link to full presentation : http://www.desperationmorale.com/products/rally-point-volume...
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Marc Hanna
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Robin wrote:
Honosbinda wrote:
I doubted there had been much effort put forward to that
Strange assumption.


Not really, given that ASL and ASLSK are not compatible. I would think it strange to assume someone is going to go to a lot of effort to create versions of scenarios for two different systems. Why not one for SL, Combat Commander, and Panzer Grenadier while they are at it?

I never suggested they had not put much effort specifically, but only in general hobbywide.

I wouldn't have been interested in owning any content from Schwerepunkt about ASLSK; that explains that.

I'll also posit this: I doubt there will be much similar effort by anyone else in the future to meld ASL/ASLSK.

Nor do I think there will be a 'Stahleresque' effort by someone to try to convert ASL scenarios to ASLSK scenarios. Mostly because you'd have to be a good ASL player to be able to do it and at the same time interested in ASLSK to the point of being a fanatic to care enough.

It should be added that the last time this has been accomplished was ten years ago, so there has been no popular movement in this direction.
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Mark Pitcavage
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MilesF wrote:
Sorry if this has been asked before, I didn't spot it. I'm wondering if there's a list, or website with a list, that would show what ASL scenarios are suitable for using just Starter Kit rules? If there's something broken down by which SK, that'd be great, but mostly just for the first one. For example, X scenario is an infantry only, either without special rules, or with special rules that can be removed without shifting the balance horribly.

I play both SK and full ASL, am just looking for extra options for introducing people to the game (or keeping casual players).

Any thoughts?


NO scenario designed for ASL is suitable for play using just Starter Kit rules. However, Schwerpunkt released two Rally Point scenario packs that each have 10 scenarios designed for both ASL and ASLSK play. See my website for details.
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Michael White
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I'm not a terribly experienced ASL player, but I'm sure you're intelligent enough to muddle through the scenarios well enough. Just play the things, take your notes on what worked and what didn't, and make adjustments to the scenario to improve balance as needed. Obviously it's best to stick with scenarios where you can cover the counter mix and not too many obscure rules are used.

If things such as concealment are critical, just add it as an SSR. This is already done in some of the SK scenarios, so why not? Can't be too hard to make some counters with a ? on it and a couple of simplified rules.

For example, you could go with something as simple as: Personnel units with a ? half firepower directed at it. You can add a ? at the end of your player turn if the unit doesn't move, make smoke, fire, or is fired upon if it is in a building or woods. This obviously leaves out a lot, but it's enough to give you some of the flavor and mechanical impact of the full rule.

I even came up with my own stripped down sniper rules (loosely similar to the main rules) to incorporate the SAN using SK rules.

You just have to ask yourself what's important to you? Having fun with friends and experiencing a satisfying narrative or slavishly adhering to minutia for the sake of other people's OCD? lol.

I'm sure I'll ruffle some feathers with the post, but I think you should just play. People aren't going to die because you played a scenario without bypass movement. I'm certainlynot disparaging anyone who prefers to play with maximum chrome, but different players have different needs and aims.
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Marc Hanna
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mwhite212 wrote:

I'm sure I'll ruffle some feathers with the post, but I think you should just play. People aren't going to die because you played a scenario without bypass movement. I'm certainlynot disparaging anyone who prefers to play with maximum chrome, but different players have different needs and aims.


The only problem with this approach is that with different sets of 'house rules' to muddle through with 'house counters', everyone would have to pre-negotiate what rules are going to be played. That's why the game consists of specific rules and counters already.

It's not about playing 'with maximum chrome' as it is about playing with a set of rules that I can sit down with anywhere in the world and play the game with anybody else on the same basis. If someone wants to 'just play,' that's fine for solitaire, make up any rules desired, but not so useful playing with others. The fact is, SK and ASL are two different animals and don't share the same gene pool scenario-wise
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Michael White
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I understand, but if you're trying to just play with friends over pizza or a beer, that's really not a need that must be met. I'll be frank, I don't play games with people I don't know personally for the most part, so I house-rule almost every single game I play and never participate in tournaments. lol. It seemed like this person is interested in playing the game with friends and acquaintances, not necessarily a competitive setting. The mindset of not altering rules to suit your group is a very alien concept to me. I grew up with old-school wargamers and no one ever used a book as written.

Also, I'm not suggesting it's going to be a flawless experience trying to play these scenarios with what is essentially a different game - though there are some that will translate with reasonable ease. 'Gavin Take' for instance is almost identical in its S8 incarnation "Ad Hoc at Chef Du Pont" that appeared in The General and the new Yanks - I think. Just a few very minor leader tweaks and one MG that I think had more to do with available counter mix than a problem with initial balance.

I see absolutely no harm in taking an existing scenario and using it for inspiration and as a basic foundation for a simpler SK scenario. Nor do I see an issue with adding a home made SSR to compensate for an essential rule that helps maintain the flavor of the battle. After all, it's an SSR and not a core rule anyway. But as with all things, mileage will vary.
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As long as balance is not an issue, there shouldn't be a problem. But as others have said, ASL and ASLSK are different. Me and my regular ASL opponent have found that concealment is very important for the scenario defender. Without it (i.e. with ASLSK rules), I suspect regular ASL scenarios will favor the scenario attacker. Mind you, we are both still noobs, but we have found regular ASL scenarios pretty hard as the defender, even with concealment.
 
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