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Subject: Which Way to Jump? rss

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Paul Curlin
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I have posted this thread in the Full ASL section also.

To Starter Kit or not to Starter Kit?

I have just received ASL Starter Kit 1 and a small 4 scenario pack. I am barely scratching the surface of the ASL juggernaut but am wondering if I should just go ahead and get the main ASL rule book and Beyond Valor. Instead of investing time with the Starter editions and then possibly switching to the Advanced options would it be better to wade right in?

Things I assume:

1. Some but not all I learn in the Starter Kits(SK) will carry on to the full game. There seems to be some firing rules etc that change between the SKs to the fuller edition?

2. More scenarios and nationalities and fuller O.B.s are available with full ASL.

3. If I am swift enough intellectually to pick up the SK rules I can pick up the full ASL rules. (Yes that is a big assumption )

4. Full ASL will burn a much bigger hole in my pocket.

5. I do 98% of my gaming solo, though I have heard of vassal and that could possibly be an option.

Feel free to point out the pros and cons and thank you in advance for taking the time to give some input.

Thank you much,
Paul(Mmookk61)
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Pierce Ostrander
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Are you willing to play one game most of the time?

ASL

Do you just want to play a little tactical level WW2 combat along with all the other games you play?

ASLSK
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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Someone told me once:

(1) Your brain has only two slots that can hold the rules to a complex wargame.

(2) ASL uses up two slots.

Of course, ASL fans would say "what better use of those slots could there be?"
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dan payne
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I got into Full ASL many years ago. You will definitely go down a financial, time consuming, brain bending rabbit hole. I'm like one of the other posters, the time spent was too much. I like all war games, and found that ASL took all my time. When ASLSK came out I bought it, and have had a great time playing it. ASL is NOT much like ASLSK. It's like comparing a pilot fish to the great white shark it hangs with. Cheers Dan
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Peter Kossits
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You have a few months worth of play with what you have now. Why not just enjoy it without worrying about buying more stuff right now and it'll become clearer all by itself later on?

Check out my Solo bot rules (in the Variants folder here) for solo play once you're more familiar with the basic rules. That might be a reason to stick with SK1 for a while if you want to do most of your play solo.

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Roel van der Hoorn
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Almost all rules of ASLSK carry over to ASL in my experience. There is almost nothing you need to unlearn.
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Russ Williams
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FWIW I bought ASLSK1 this year, and I enjoy soloing its scenarios. It's an enjoyable fun game with complexity similar to other WW2 tactical systems (Combat Commander, Band of Brothers, etc), and it's a nice self-contained small box with a good reasonable price.

I then bought the ASL rulebook (to test the waters, and with the rationalization that it could help me grok the intent behind some of the less clear rules in ASLSK), and glancing through its roughly 200 pages of fine print, I am currently not inclined to go further down the ASL rabbithole, and will probably simply stay with ASLSK1.

ASL's rules are simply too long and complicated to appeal to me at this time; realistically ASL would not get played enough to justify the investment in money, time learning rules and clipping/organizing the huge quantity of counters, the nontrivial storage space for all those modules and counter boxes (my wife is already grumbling that we have too many games), etc.

I'm not a Vassal user, and there's no way I'd convince anyone I play with to try ASL, so it would effectively be solo play for me, and many people say ASLSK is better for solo play than ASL due to ASL having more issues of concealed units etc.

The idea of ASL is (for me) more attractive than the reality. (I actually owned ASL & some modules a couple decades ago and never got them to the table.) Certainly there's a seductive appeal to the zillions of scenarios, modules, maps, counters, the large community, magazines, clubs, etc.

(But the large community and infrastructure also exist for classic games like Go and Shogi which I already enjoy, and which don't have the large rule and storage space and financial investment overhead...)

Back in the old days, I played original SL with a friend, and we really enjoyed the infantry-oriented scenarios, but found that guns and tanks started to get more fiddly & complicated than we enjoyed. I suspect it would be similarly for me with ASL: if I ever did get into it, I'd probably prefer playing infantry-only scenarios. Which then makes me feel even less inclined to go full ASL, as I'd be buying a lot of guns and tanks and not be interested in using them. I'm at a point where I strongly prefer simple elegant rules instead of enjoying complexity for complexity's sake (although I have enjoyed reading some rule threads deeply analyzing some ASL/ASLSK rules and can enjoy that kind of rule debate/analysis/discussion occasionally). Realistically, the only reason this might change is if I become friends with a local ASL player already into it (in which case, I could just play with their modules!) but this is less likely in Poland than back when I lived in Texas! Meanwhile I enjoy playing many other wargames and non-wargames which don't require hours of rule-learning...

There's no urgent need to jump to ASL if you currently have ASLSK1. If I were you, I'd at least play through the SK scenarios you have first, ideally more than once each, before deciding about full ASL. See how much you enjoy them, and then you can more realistically judge whether going full ASL seems like a realistic and reasonable choice for you.
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Ruben Rigillo
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Paul, as Peter Said, go with the SK1, play it and if you'll enjoy it then solve the question.
SK1 is a great game and you can easily stay with it.
......I jumped into full ASL this year....it is not the only game I play, it worth every cent you spend, and you can choose to play just it or not.
It is a wonderful game and you'll not regret time and money spent on it.
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Joe Gochinski
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Paul

Start with ASLSK #1, much less of a financial hit to start your journey.

I am long time ASL/ASLSK player and it is simply easier to learn the game by doing ASLSK#1 (Then perhaps 2&3). You don't have to "unlearn" anything at all once you jump to full ASL. Also the incremental infantry/Guns/Tanks approach makes the whole thing allot more fun. I have taught players and by the 2nd ASLSK#1 scenario they have actually been playing the game, not just trying to learn and memorize things!!

Go with your gut on what you think the best approach is, but I vote for Starter kits and by the ample threads of players playing and learning the game here on BGG and other forums this is clearly a proven method.

Play and enjoy the journey into ASL/ASLSK

Joe
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Matt R
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I had the same dilemma (never having played either) and went with ASLSK1 instead of going full bore ASL.

I think the ASL system is probably pretty great if you wanted to dedicate the time to learning its intricacies, but for me, ASLSK1 was enough for me to know that I probably will be staying away from ASL except to tinker with ASLSK1 from time to time.

And if you get ASLSK1 and find you love the system then, like I understand many ASL players to be like, money won't be an obstacle to purchasing all the additional ASL stuff you want plus the components (maps and counters) from ASLSK1 will be compatible with full blown ASL anyway so it's not like you are really "out" anything.
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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Noonespecial wrote:
And if you get ASLSK1 and find you love the system then, like I understand many ASL players to be like, money won't be an obstacle to purchasing all the additional ASL stuff you want plus the components (maps and counters) from ASLSK1 will be compatible with full blown ASL anyway so it's not like you are really "out" anything.

It's hard to imagine ASL costing more than golf, as lifestyle games go.
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Matt R
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Eric Brosius wrote:
Noonespecial wrote:
And if you get ASLSK1 and find you love the system then, like I understand many ASL players to be like, money won't be an obstacle to purchasing all the additional ASL stuff you want plus the components (maps and counters) from ASLSK1 will be compatible with full blown ASL anyway so it's not like you are really "out" anything.

It's hard to imagine ASL costing more than golf, as lifestyle games go.


Well, true and I'm sure there are other good examples. I was mostly just trying to make a little joke is all. whistle
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Eric Brosius
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Noonespecial wrote:
Well, true and I'm sure there are other good examples. I was mostly just trying to make a little joke is all. whistle

S'okay, Matt.
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Andy Beaton
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Stick with ASLSK for now, I would say. Get good at it, enjoy it. And then one day, when you find yourself thinking "it would be cool if there were rules for night actions or some kind of fog of war", you will be ready to take the leap.
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Eric Brosius
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aiabx wrote:
And then one day, when you find yourself thinking "it would be cool if there were rules for night actions or some kind of fog of war", you will be ready to take the leap.

Or "what happens if troops riding in a glider panic?"
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Paul Curlin
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As most probably knew I would, I am starting to play SK#1 first and have ordered the ASLRB, BV and Yanks at the most inexpensive I could find them.
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Øivind Karlsrud
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mmookk61 wrote:
As most probably knew I would, I am starting to play SK#1 first and have ordered the ASLRB, BV and Yanks at the most inexpensive I could find them.

I was just going to suggest this as one option. I think the choice between SK#3 or full ASL after SK#1, depends on how quickly you want to get to vehicles. With what you have ordered, I would play all the infantry-only scenarios I could find, before moving on to vehicles. I think there are some infantry-only scenarios in both BV and Yanks. But before that I would start with the classic Squad Leader scenarios, like Guards Counterattack. Those can be downloaded from MMP's website. Guards Counterattack lets you learn the full infantry rules (chapter A), but it has pretty simple terrain, so you won't have to read much from chapter B. When you're ready for chapter C and D (guns and vehicles), Russ Gifford has some excellent videos. If you can get a hold of the SK#3 rulebook, that's also a great way to learn vehicles. The thing about the ASL rulebook, is that it's a good reference if you already know the basic concepts. When you know SK#1, chapter A (and B) in the ASL rulebook will make a lot more sense than if you just try to read the ASL rulebook first.
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