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Subject: How much is this a game? rss

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Lucas Emery
United States
Charlottesville
Virginia
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Hey,

My apologies if this is a question that's come up and been answered before.

I want to play a heavy, tactical squad-based combat game. It's the consensus opinion around here that Advanced Squad Leader is the alpha and omega of the genre, so I'm considering buying the starter kits and "taking the plunge".

The only problem I'm having is that I'm really not at all interested in this period of military history. Just not my thing. For grittily realistic recreations of historical battles I'm much more of an ancients kinda guy.

Sooo, knowing that, my question is: if I'm not into the history will I still enjoy ASL? Or is the history part-and-parcel of playing the game? Going further, how much is ASL a game and how much is it a historical simulation? Can the units be abstracted to "good guys" vs. "bad guys" or "squad a" vs "squad b", or will I, in game, have no recourse but to think of them as Americans, Germans, Italians, etc.?

Thanks in advance for your answers
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Crusher Crancko
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You have also other options:

LocknLoad Band of Heroes
Combat Commander
Squad Leader
Ambush (Solitaire)

among others.... Just try one of these as they are cheapest than the Big Boss (ASL). Check also asl.gamesquad.com for more information about ASL and Starter Kits.


Regarding your questions I would say yes the army profile affects the style of playing and tactics.

Hope it helps.
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John Di Ponio
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This game can drain cash and brain cells. Don't get me wrong, the game is fun...and addicting once you know the system.
As far as the game goes....its abstract in the big picture of battles but is still army and period dependent. You can try the fist ASL starter kit to see if it's your type of game. It is not expensive and gives you a pretty good grasp of the basic infantry system.
There are a few ancients games out there that are a bit heavier. GMT makes an ancient series that is pretty good.http://www.gmtgames.com/c-14-ancient-world-series.aspx I don't own the games but have played one of them and liked the system. Richard Berg developed them and he did a nice job!
The Campaigns OF King David by Clash of Arms Games is another title I have been looking at...you may want to check that out. http://www.clashofarms.com/kingdavid.html
Will games like this be as heavy as ASL?...probably not...but will be 'heavier' type games!!! Hope this helps a bit!!!
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Slyvanian Frog
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word_virus wrote:
Hey,

My apologies if this is a question that's come up and been answered before.

I want to play a heavy, tactical squad-based combat game. It's the consensus opinion around here that Advanced Squad Leader is the alpha and omega of the genre, so I'm considering buying the starter kits and "taking the plunge".

The only problem I'm having is that I'm really not at all interested in this period of military history. Just not my thing. For grittily realistic recreations of historical battles I'm much more of an ancients kinda guy.

Sooo, knowing that, my question is: if I'm not into the history will I still enjoy ASL? Or is the history part-and-parcel of playing the game? Going further, how much is ASL a game and how much is it a historical simulation? Can the units be abstracted to "good guys" vs. "bad guys" or "squad a" vs "squad b", or will I, in game, have no recourse but to think of them as Americans, Germans, Italians, etc.?

Thanks in advance for your answers


If you have absolutely no interest in the history, I do not think you will find ASL that much fun. Though you do not have to be a complete history geek to enjoy it, ASL is very detailed, and I do not think that you will get much enjoyment out of the game if you are picking armor factors and turret types off of tanks without any caring or understanding that the PZkmphWagenMeister 35 dominated that period of history and had strong frontal armor.

Instead, you will be looking at what appear to be a bunch of fairly arbitrary numbers in little circles on nearly identical looking cardboard counters and wondering why that tank has a 6 in a circle for frontal armor while that tank has a 4 in a white dot.
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Robert Wilson
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word_virus wrote:


The only problem I'm having is that I'm really not at all interested in this period of military history. Just not my thing. For grittily realistic recreations of historical battles I'm much more of an ancients kinda guy.



In that case Id suggest against trying ASL

perhaps command and colours:ancients would be more fitting?
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Jakob Schneider
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C&C is not heavy by any standards.
Try the Great battles of history stuff, that's ancient tactics heaven.
Alexander is a good start, and the system is even good for medieval japan.

On the other hand: ASL really sparked my interest in WWII, so after playing the first SK I went out to get some books on the war, to get a good grasp of 40s combat.
 
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Michael Lucey
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ASL can be pretty generic if you want it to be. If you don't read the setting and background of the scenario cards you basically have one color counters vs another color counter. The colors really have assigned nationalities that you will have to wade through for the rules, but once you set up a scenario the nationalities are irrelevant, the counter colors give specific tendencies. It has a great DYO and in reality if balance is not an issue then you can sub out a counter color for another. The big issue is the weapons, kind of hard to imagine a tank a chariot or a mg an archer.

I don't think Sk has a DYO option so only full ASL would work. ASL is kind of expensive just for a DYO option.
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Lucas Emery
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Thanks for all the replies, everyone. Based on this info it looks like I'll be giving ASL a pass for now.
 
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Scott
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Well, I'm a little late but I thought I'd chime in any way. A passing interest in history will help but I had nothing more than a passing interest myself when I first got into it. It pretty much is a scenario based game and the scenarios don't feel super-historical to me. The HASL modules are probably a lot more historical. You might learn a fair amount about some of the nitty gritty i.e. the German machine guns were better than Russian but the system doesn't really hit you over the head with history; it's all sort of built-in. It's really just a ton of squad-based action.

The big thing to enjoy about ASL(and the starter kits) is the absolutely insane amount of depth to the system. There is no better gaming value for the amount you spend. I'd say that the $18 I spent on ASLSK#1 was the best money I've spent on a game. And that's just the starter kit! It's packed with so much depth and replayability that if you're a gamer with diverse interests, I don't think you would even need to jump into the full game.

Warning: The system is very deep with lots of rules and will give you headache the first few games but I haven't found any other games that are as fulfilling. Give the Starter Kit another look. If you're interested, it's a cheap entrance and an easy way to decide if it's for you.

(NOTE: from your profile, I would say that ASL is quite a bit of a step up the complexity scale from some of the other games you've played. Not that that matters if the interest is there.)
 
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Lucas Emery
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Checkallday wrote:

The big thing to enjoy about ASL(and the starter kits) is the absolutely insane amount of depth to the system. There is no better gaming value for the amount you spend. I'd say that the $18 I spent on ASLSK#1 was the best money I've spent on a game. And that's just the starter kit! It's packed with so much depth and replayability that if you're a gamer with diverse interests, I don't think you would even need to jump into the full game.


Depth and replayability are exactly what I'm looking for. Just quit playing Magic: The Gathering and need something else to obsess over for awhile

Guess I will give the starter kit a shot. 18 bucks isn't too much of a gamble.

Thanks!
 
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Scott
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Cool, I hope you enjoy. It might take a little work to figure everything out but its worth it. Also, ASL players are a very helpful bunch so make sure to ask questions and download the player aids. Feel free to PM if you need help figuring something out. Some of the defensive fire stuff can be tricky.

Enjoy!
 
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Robert Wilson
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Lucas

I have a thread that I made that collated all the playaids and tips for new players


http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/179078


if you have any questions once you get the game, feel free to ask in the SK forums


here are 2 online stores that have a good reputation :

http://www.gamersarmory.com/catalog/product_info.php?product...

http://wargamedepot.com/catalog/aslstarterkit1-p-143.html?os...
 
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Jim K.
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If you're interested in ancient combat, I strongly recommend Siege of Jerusalem (if you can find it)

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/1710

This gives a lot of the flavor of ASL but using Roman and Judean units. There are leaders, morale, support weapons (ballistae, onagers), and even a campaign game.

 
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