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Subject: ASL Starter Kit vs. Squad Leader rss

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Rob Rob
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I have Squad Leader and am just beginning to learn how to play. Since the SL add-on modules are all so outrageously priced, would there be much of a benefit in upgrading (cheaply) with the ASL Starter Kit?
 
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Lawrence Hung
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Wan Chai
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Re:ASL Starter Kit vs. Squad Leader
Robrob (#43674),
It has been a very long time since the release of the original Squad Leader already. The Advanced Squad Leader is based on the Advanced Squad Leader, not Squad Leader. So they are basically different games with essentailly similar game engine. Obviously ASL is a much more complex game than SL and the ASLSK is aimed at introducing players to ASL world, not SL. So it can't really be compared easily. If you want to jump in ASL, ASLSK is for you. Even for a non-ASL fan like me, I am also lured to buy a copy of it because the components are so carefully done and scenarios carefully constructed. The ASLSK contains scenarios on infantry action on the eastern front only. If you are interested in the theatre, like me, you should also buy a copy.
Lawrence
 
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John Hooper
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Re:ASL Starter Kit vs. Squad Leader
Lawrence Hung (#43785),

Actually, the ASL Starter Kit #1 has 4 US/German (i.e., West Front) scenarios and 2 USSR/German (i.e., East Front) scenarios.

John
 
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Mike Barton
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Re:ASL Starter Kit vs. Squad Leader
Lawrence Hung (#43785),
Essentially, everything Lawrence said about the intent of the ASLSK is true (except, of course, the comment about the East Front scenarios, clarified previously).
To be more granular, SL is a different system. SL uses programmed instruction (adding new rules and even changing rules) for each scenario in the chain. SL was designed from the outset to arrive at where ASL is, over the course of 4 modules and 40 scenarios. In 1985, Avalon Hill took a look at the monster they had created with GI: Anvil of Victory (the last of the original SL modules) and realized that the present system had something like 118 different and in many cases contradictory rules sections and almost no good cross referencing, forcing players to reatin huge amounts of information which as you can imagine led to tumultuous arguements and many late nights for the game designers answering rules questions, oh, and the Russian OB needed to be revised.

So, rather than perpetuate the nightmare, AH went 'back to the drawing board' and rewrote the whole system in a modular, completely cross-referenced binder intended to eventually accomplish the mission of having a single comprehensive system to cover any engagement in any theater with complete OB's and realistic rules simulating same.

What I am trying to explain is that the ASL SK does NOT use programmed instruction. It gives you the full-blown ASL rules that you need to play the six scenarios, with some complex and realistic rules omitted. I am familiar with the system, and the omitted rules tend to be somewhat optional from a strategy point-of-view (the ASL SK does not allow you to create a fire lane with your MG, for example, and in ASL you may or may not, etc.).

So to agree with Lawrence, if you want to gradually learn the outdated SL system, stick with SL. If you wish to learn (and invest) in ASL, then the ASL SK is your best choice. In playing ASL SK you will be using the full ASL system which is significantly different from SL im some key ways. Neither is significantly more difficult than the other. In fact, the 3rd SL scenario adds vehicle rules which are not seen in ASL SK #1. It might be more FUN to get going with SL, but the SL gamettes are somewhat hard to obtain if you plan to go all the way.

Hope this helps! Good luck passing your morale check...
 
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Richard Seeley
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Re:ASL Starter Kit vs. Squad Leader
Robrob (#43674),
When Squad Leader first came out I purchased a copy and was very impressed with this game. So impressed that I also bought each expansion as it came out so I own Cross of Iron, Crescendo of Doom and GI:Anvil of Victory. I never did buy ASL as SL had already taken a large chunk of my gaming funds. So when the ASL Starter Kit #1 came out I decided to give it a try and bought a copy which arrived this week. Now I am certainly not an expert on ASL, but as I was reading the rules to the ASL SK I was amazed at how much this SK is SL. It is not the base game of SL, but if you use the infantry rules that were added by the expansions this is basically SL. As I read the rules I am saying to myself; there is a rule added in COD, here is one added in GI etc.... Some of these SL rule changes are directly incorporated into the Infantry Fire Table, which is cool. I know this is only a starter kit and that the rules for ASL may differ greatly from SL when all the ASL rules are used. However it seems to me that that when I was playing SL infantry combat scenarios using all of the rules from the three expansions I was playing ASL and did not know it.
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Rob Rob
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Re:ASL Starter Kit vs. Squad Leader
As I read the rules I am saying to myself; there is a rule added in COD, here is one added in GI etc.... I know this is only a starter kit and that the rules for ASL may differ greatly from SL.... However it seems to me that that when I was playing SL infantry combat scenarios using all of the rules from the three expansions I was playing ASL and did not know it.

That is what I was wondering about; is ASL an altogether different game than SL or is it basically SL plus all of the modules put into one binder? The SL fan sites have created a SL "Classic" rules edition that encompasses SL+modules. It runs several hundred pages but is a living document (v1.2). Since I already have SL, I'm thinking that it may be cleaner to stick with that plus the living rules rather than purchasing the SK (especially since MMP didn't upgrade the graphic quality).
 
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Lawrence Hung
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Re:ASL Starter Kit vs. Squad Leader
Robrob (#44622),
Where can we find the living SL rules on the internet? Thanks.
Lawrence
 
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Mike Barton
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Re:ASL Starter Kit vs. Squad Leader
Robrob (#44622),
By sticking with SL+modules, here is what you are giving up:
1. Almost no new scenarios are being written for SL. DYO values are only available for Ger, Rus, Brit, and French units. GI Anvil of Victory, the last SL series module does not include DYO purchase values for American units so you CAN'T create point-value balanced new scenarios (of course you can futz around with estimates). This was a major outrage when GI was released.
2. The Russian OB is presented in Cross of Iron (the 2nd SL module). The rules for GI do not retrofit well to the Russian vehicles and units. The pieces for GI look almost completely different than for COI.
3. None of the historical modules use SL+COI+COD+GI rules. All of them use ASL rules which are totally consistent.
4. SL+modules has no Italians, Japanese or Chinese. This may not bother you but many ASL scenarios deal with these nations.

You simply have more flexibility with ASL, plus you will have an easier time finding ASL players compared with SL.

To be clear, some rules in ASL are completely different than the SL rules: Road bonus, machine guns, residual FP, portage points, indirect fire, hull down vehicles, moving vehicle modifiers and many more. They literally are 2 different but similar sets of rules.

I completely disagree with the statement that ASL is just SL+ all of the modules. Unfortunately it has been significantly rewritten. Also, if you don't already have the SL modules they are all OOP.
 
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Thierry Bothorel
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Re:ASL Starter Kit vs. Squad Leader
webbbarton (#48368),

on the other hand,

is there any chance I can use SL serie counters and scenarios with ASL SK rules (at least only those scenarios involving items covered by ASLSK rules) ?

Thierry B.
 
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Jay Richardson
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Re:ASL Starter Kit vs. Squad Leader
Quote:
is there any chance I can use SL serie counters and scenarios with ASL SK rules...


You could try playing SL scenarios (those that just use infantry) with the ASL SK rules, but expect to encounter some play balance problems.

When the original SL scenarios where reissued for ASL, they almost all needed some tinkering to adjust the play balance. I believe that some of these reworked scenarios can be downloaded for free from MMP's download page as the "ASL Classic Scenarios".

The old SL counters will probably be missing some information, so it might be difficult to use them.
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Jeff K
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Lawrence,

You can find the consolidated SL classic rules here (on Ian McDowell's pages):

http://www.roundhead.demon.co.uk/gresslc.html
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Mark Crane
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Xookliba wrote:
Lawrence,

You can find the consolidated SL classic rules here (on Ian McDowell's pages):

http://www.roundhead.demon.co.uk/gresslc.html


Now only available through archive.org:

http://goo.gl/7WlUbu

update: there is a set of rules in the file section here on BGG that appears to supersede these.
 
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