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Subject: New here with wargame Question. rss

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Stephen Lewis
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Related to one of the other posts is about what wargame is for me?
I have looked up ASL which looks neat and kit #1 is pretty cheap.
Also CC:E looks cool, more expensive mind you but with a fate mechanic.
Lastly I saw CoH. It seems neat also. Personally I'd rather Americans/British vs. Germans/Italians but I try to keep open minded.
Just wondering what you people recommend. Massive rule books do not scare me, my 900+ page bio text book that cost me 125+ dollars scares me. It's a huge paper weight.
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Michael
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They are all good games. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them if you are new to the hobby.
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Stephen Lewis
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Yea thats my problem, I can get by with getting like one of them at my hobby store soon but I can't decide which one. So I figured I'd ask to see what people thought about the games.
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Dan Owsen
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It depends on what you are looking for. If you want something more historical, you should go with ASL. It's also infinitely expandable, the only downside is some of the key modules are out of print. But, you can have a lot of fun with just the starter kits, and there are a lot of players who are always happy to teach new players and probably already have all the stuff anyway.

Combat Commander is a fun game, but I can't see it simulating actual battle situations due to the randomness of events. Combat Commander is also infantry only, no tanks or vehicles, which I find limiting.

Haven't played Conflict of Heroes but from what I've seen it is also more of a game than a sim. Nice looking components though.

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Stephen Lewis
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Thanks, I was looking at ASL Kit #1 because of the high infantry(Or at least that's what the box said.) I am not a big fan of vehicles but artillery I love.
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Mike Kozlowski
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If you don't like vehicles, boy howdy is Combat Commander your friend. Nary a single tank to be seen.
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Stephen Lewis
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So thus far(and stop me if I am wrong):

ASL= All around units, bit of everything. With lots of rules but high realism

CC:E = Ground pounders of all variety but with fate thrown in. Less Rules/less realism
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Before we can recommend anything, can you give a bit more information? Do you have much experience playing war games before? Do you have a local opponent to play against, or do you plan to play online, or maybe you hope for a little of both?

Personally, I found the ASL Starter Kits were a great choice. The gameplay was tight and involved, giving each player hundreds of options to explore during each game. Short scenarios and a small footprint made the game easier for me to get on the table, and ensured a difference experience each time I played. However, an experienced local guy was able to coach me through a game or two and help get the rules down... and his assistance was crucial to my enjoyment of the game. The rulebook is short, but dense and tough to fully grasp until you play a few games. ASL has a great online community, so you might be able to find someone using VASL (google it for details) who could do the same for you.

Combat Commander was a complete miss for me. I wanted to love the game and was thrilled to play the first time, but simply didn't have fun. Each subsequent play was worse... until now the game sits untouched in my trade pile (where it will probably remain indefinitely, unless I can find a local gamer who wants it). The biggest source of disappointment was how Combat Commander introduces randomness and chaos into the game. I don't mind random games, but after investing a significant amount of time with the rules I felt like there should have been more control here. You can't move or shoot unless you draw the right card, you often have difficulty killing opponents even when circumstances do fall your way, you don't know what the goals are for each side, and you have to deal with all sorts of completely random crap happening on the board while trying to figure out a plan of attack... It might be realistic, but not being able to clearly assess who was winning and how I could go about changing that left me disappointed. Most other people seem to love Combat Commander, so I'm in the minority here.
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Bombilla wrote:
Thanks, I was looking at ASL Kit #1 because of the high infantry(Or at least that's what the box said.) I am not a big fan of vehicles but artillery I love.


ASLSK #2 has artillery, while the first kit is pretty much just infantry and small support weapons (machine guns, flame throwers, mortars). The first kit is still a good deal though, and a perfect way to work into the system.
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Stephen Lewis
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Thanks for the blunt honesty.

As for me I have people to play with and have played wargames before though nothing in this style as far as i can see. I like games when i can play it solo .(I play chess, go, polarity, and memoir 44; by myself just to work things out) I have play table top minis (warhammer 40k, necromunda) but was looking to step toward Flames of war. Then i decided i would delve into something hopefully cheaper. I just graduated college and just want things to take up my down time.

I am starting to lean toward ASL because it seems you can connect boards together to make a large field. I did not know that CC:E units needed cards to move/fire. Reminds me of Memoir 44(I did not like that system. Cards to shoot/move mad me angry"Hes one hex away and won't shoot!")
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Scott Bluerock
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Bombilla wrote:
Massive rule books do not scare me, my 900+ page bio text book that cost me 125+ dollars scares me. It's a huge paper weight.


That paper weight makes me think you may be need to play War until you get through your studies.
 
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Stephen Lewis
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I played way too man cards man, Anyway I graduated this December Hehe. Got time to kill
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John Kovacs
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I've been a wargamer for a long time (late 1970s) but I've only been a member of BGG for a couple of months. Based on my limited experience (mostly with B-17: Queen of the Skies and Panzer Leader) and what I have read here, I would go with Advanced Squad Leader if you are seeking accuracy and Conflict of Heroes if you are seeking a fun game.

I myself would probably get CoH if I was in the buying mode (I am currently unemployed). Here's another option - a good-looking Print & Play game called Valor & Victory. I would recommend that game, too.
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Jooky
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The ASL starter kits are a great choice to start with. They are fun and have a medium complexity that leaves you open to explore the high complexity rules of full blown ASL. Of course you might want to avoid full ASL because just to get enough to start playing you are looking at around $200.00 right off the bat for the rule book and Beyond Valor. You would also at least want to pick up Yanks since it adds Americans. BV just has Germans/Finns and Russians.
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Stephen Lewis
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Infomanohio wrote:
Here's another option - a good-looking Print & Play game called Valor & Victory. I would recommend that game, too.



Awesome man, thanks. I will check that out. Ultimately I am looking to just get away from my computer which I am on way to much.

A while back i picked up a bucket of plastic army men. Then picked up "Little Wars" and "Floor Games" by H.G. Wells. That was a good time for a while. Good cheap table top.

I figure i'll just nab the ASL starter kit #1 and see where that goes. Should be a good time. If i don't like it, well at least it was not as expensive as CC:E. If I like ASL a lot, heh, Birthday on Feb. 3rd. Not far off.

Thanks a bunch guys it has been very helpful. I hope to be telling you of my battles to come. Who knows maybe some pictures.
 
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Ken Feldman
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If you want US and British versus Germans and Italians pick up Advanced Tobruk and expansion 5a (Kasserine and Beyond). Advance Tobruk gives you the Germans, Italians and Brits in 24 scenarios, and Kasserine would add 12 more with the US forces. They play on desert maps with overlays.

From there, you could go to any number of games with US, British, German or Italian forces (or expand to the Soviets or Japanese if you'd like). Here a link to a geeklist of the Advanced Tobruk games:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/15765/item/287028#item...
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Rick Weckermann
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Quote:
Personally I'd rather Americans/British vs. Germans/Italians but I try to keep open minded.
Up Front Is a game close to ASL, and is on a squad level. It has the Americans, Germans and Russians.With GAMEID=1573] you get the Brits and Japs, Desert War gets the Italians in there. The last two expansions are more difficult to acquire. Up Front though is a complete game and still very challenging about $40 to $80 on eBay.
 
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Richard Irving
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If you are newbie wargamer---DO NOT get the ASL Starter Kits. They are not easy to learn--unless you have significant wargame experience.

Wargamers often are the worst people to ask on which games to start out with.
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Stephen Lewis
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Well i just got back from the hobby store i had to drive to. They did not have the kits but they had the ASL 2nd edition rule book/binder. That was kinda intimidating but then i remembered i have plenty of books on warhammer 40k games and that i am up for a challenge. The owner also did not have CC:E. Although he had plenty other GMT games. So in about one to two weeks i should have the ASL starter kit. Thanks for the warning Mr. Irving, but a steep learning curve only makes me want to play it more. I will check out Vassal since i've been told it's ASL on the PC.
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Bombilla wrote:
So in about one to two weeks i should have the ASL starter kit. Thanks for the warning Mr. Irving, but a steep learning curve only makes me want to play it more. I will check out Vassal since i've been told it's ASL on the PC.


Hope you enjoy the game. It's incredibly deep *if* you can get into the system... but learning does require patience and persistence. One piece of advice I would give is to get a good grip on the rules yourself before sitting down with a friend... otherwise the games will be long and difficult to get through. Playing solo and on VASSAL first will help immensely.

(If you decide that ASL isn't for you, hold onto the starter kit until they go out of print again - ASL stuff holds value extremely well, and you'll probably be able to sell for a profit if it's in good condition.)



This might be jumping the gun, but there are some articles here at BGG that are definitely worth reading. These articles will make more sense after you have read the rulebook and have the game in-hand, but it might be interesting to start looking at them now:

An ASLSK Tutorial (Part 1)
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/157922

An ASLSK Tutorial (Part 2)
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/166941

An ASLSK Tutorial (Part 3)
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/169542

Explanation of the Rout Phase
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/122340

Explanation of ROF (and Defensive Fire)
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/88350

There is also a podcast by some ASL devotees called "The 2 Half-Squads"
that might be interesting to listen to. They have plans for a series of "newbie" lessons:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/364312


Finally, don't forget that there are free scenarios to download from MMP's website. Some require more than just ASL Starter Kit #1, but you should be able to play a couple of them:

http://www.multimanpublishing.com/ASL/aslsk.php
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Kurt Weihs
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Quote:
i remembered i have plenty of books on warhammer 40k games and that i am up for a challenge.


Hmmm...ASL rules are much denser than anything you will find in the Games Workshop games. I strongly recommend getting the starter kit first and seeing how you like it before you pick up the 2nd edition ASL rulebook. There are more rules packed into the 10 pages of the starter kit rulebook than most games pack into 40-50 pages. ASL is a great game, but it can end up becoming a hobby unto itself leaving little time for other games. I enjoy ASL a great deal and have a lot of respect for the amount of work that MMP has put into keeping the license alive and thriving.

Another game that I have enjoyed a great deal is Lock 'n Load: Band of Heroes. It reminds me a lot of the original Squad Leader game. It is also squad level (with tanks) and has some creative ways of dealing with reinforcements/changing victory conditions.

While I like these games I question their historical accuracy. Admittedly, there has been a huge amount of research done with ASL and the game does a very good job of reflecting the physical aspects of combat. ASL has been around so long that most people just seem to nod and accept it as the most realistic simulation available. It might be, but it seems that those of us who have been accustomed to ASL seem to have real issues when we lose direct control over our army. A truly realistic simulation of squad level combat from World War II would have a much more elaborate command control mechanism and a lot less direct control over our units. CC:E's randomness which seems to drive the ASL folks wonky actually reflects a part of Squad Combat that ASL scrimps on. Ultimately, I tend to think of ASL as being the most elaborate game system out there, but I don't consider it the most realistic. Simpler games model things that ASL doesn't that are just as relavent.
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Stephen Lewis
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Thanks again for the heads up. I guess you can say i am fairly new to the more intense wargaming. It's nice to know that there could be a ton of stuff i need to learn and do. Also it seems that most people pull for ASL if you are not afraid of a challenge and enjoy realism.

While squad combat is neat, i could enjoy a more broad game play with deeper rules. I play Axis and Allies plenty of times. The reason i played that was because i did not like the risk style of "haha they all count the same".But even now i am starting to see Axis and Allies in the same light, even gamesworkshop games are the same. I just want to find a game with a good utilization of tactics while also keeping it amusing.

Btw, it's pretty freakin costly for that non-starter kit stuff. Does MMP not always have things in print?
 
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Dan Owsen
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The ASL modules are indeed costly, but you have to look at what you get-- thousands of counters and, in the new editions, lots of map boards and scenarios. Hours and hours and hours of gaming.

It's unfortunate that the modules are out of print, but that is driven by economics. They are expensive to produce and store. Just keep on the lookout for the new prints and get them when you can. In the meantime, I'm sure the starter kits will keep you occupied for some time.
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Stephen Lewis
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yea. I am current amused by one of the little banners that had "firefight" on it. What a frustrating little game, but it's real good. If i had someone/where to print the stuff for Victory and Valor i would do it. Just don't have the ink/paper for it.
 
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Murray Lewis
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I'm surprised no-one has mentioned Panzer Grenadier yet.

You say you were attracted to ASL because of the possibility of linking boards together to form larger battlefields, and that's exactly what many PG scenarios do.
You can also pick from quite a few of the standalone Panzer Grenadier games if you'd like to play with certain forces/a certain period.

For starting off, I've not heard that many positives about buying the Airborne game, so the cheapest box (with the most bang-for-buck) would be the newly released Panzer Grenadier: Elsenborn Ridge.
Of course if you want to go the whole hog, go ahead and get a copy of Panzer Grenadier: Eastern Front.

In terms of rules weight, it uses a 16 page book that's not too difficult to learn. Once you know it then you can play any of the games in the series.
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