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Subject: [ASL] Help! Someone talk me out of it rss

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olivier R
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Okay I don't know why but I got this silly idea into my head that it would be fun to play ASL... (I know, right) robot

So I need you guys to talk me out of it and help me not succumb to this terrible affliction.

....







Now in case that fails and the temptation is too strong, I have a few questions :

1/ Granted this will only work if the rumours are true and Beyond Valor is available again, but can I skip the starter packs entirely?

2/ What are starter kit style mapboards?

3/ I already own SL and all its modules (I think), so basically I will be getting the same maps again and the same counters too? That's the part that bothers me the most, it makes me wonder if it is worth it.

4/ I am mainly interested in the east front. With Beyond Valor, will I be able to play the following modules or do they require maps that are in other out of print gamettes?

-Armies of oblivion
-Valor of the guards
-ASL Action Pack #5 - East Front

5/ Does Beyond Valor really come with 10 maps???

That's about it. arrrh



 
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Todd Pytel
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pepe le moko wrote:
Okay I don't know why but I got this silly idea into my head that it would be fun to play ASL... (I know, right) robot

So I need you guys to talk me out of it and help me not succumb to this terrible affliction.

You've obviously well read about it and you're still interested. So sorry... it's too late. You're one of us now.

Quote:
1/ Granted this will only work if the rumours are true and Beyond Valor is available again, but can I skip the starter packs entirely?

You could. But if you don't have an experienced ASL'er nearby, I think that's a very hard road. Even if you're dead-set on the full system, I'd still recommend SK1 - it's a cheap entry point with great intro scenario, and a core ruleset that you can easily build on. Just doing SK1 and then going right to the ASLRB is perfectly reasonable IMO, and well worth the cost. That is, if it weren't all out-of-freaking-print. SK2 is OK too, but I like SK1 a lot better.

Quote:
2/ What are starter kit style mapboards?

Soft cardboard - much thicker than paper, but not rigid. Just like GMT uses in Twilight Struggle, Here I Stand, etc.

Quote:
3/ I already own SL and all its modules (I think), so basically I will be getting the same maps again and the same counters too? That's the part that bothers me the most, it makes me wonder if it is worth it.

The counters are totally different and there are many, many more of them in BV. There's no overlap there. Four of the boards in BV aren't from SL, and the others will have updated art. Plus the scenarios. It's a whole new game, well worth it.

Quote:
4/ I am mainly interested in the east front. With Beyond Valor, will I be able to play the following modules or do they require maps that are in other out of print gamettes?

-Armies of oblivion

This uses lots of other modules, as it's the most recent core module. I wouldn't count on being able to play more than one or two scenarios, if that.

Quote:
-Valor of the guards

Yes, totally playable with BV.

Quote:
-ASL Action Pack #5 - East Front

I only see two scenarios playable with just BV due to missing boards/overlays. A couple more open up if you buy AoO along with it.

Quote:
5/ Does Beyond Valor really come with 10 maps???

Yes, six from old SL modules plus the four original BV ones.
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Brian Drabek
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I tried getting into ASL twice. The second time I bought up everything I could find and spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars in my excitement. I soon found that:

1.) I could find no one to play it with (and I personally don't like playing online via VASL, etc.).

2.) It was way too complicated for what it was worth

3.) It was way too expensive for what it was worth

4.) I didn't like that you HAD to buy A, B and C just to play the first scenarios in A.

5.) I found that Combat Commander and Conflict of Heroes scratched the same itch for a LOT, LOT less money and time commitment and was in the end a LOT more fun (no little fiddly rules after the first game or two).

6.) and...I still couldn't find anyone to play it with (for all the reasons given above).

I know ASL has a lot going for it and there are many diehard wargamers out there that swear by it. I would hate for anyone to have to experience that monetary losses and the disappointments that I had to and learn my lesson the hard way. For me the negatives far outweighed the positives. I suggest trying it out with a friends copy first and see if you're hooked. If not you can easily fall back on Combat Commander and Conflict of Heroes for the same fix. Good luck!

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Asking wargamers to talk you out of ASL is like going to the bar and asking the patrons to talk you out of a drink.
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James Lowry
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pepe le moko wrote:
So I need you guys to talk me out of it and help me not succumb to this terrible affliction.

I'm afraid you're not going to get any help here.... Do it!

pepe le moko wrote:
1/ Granted this will only work if the rumours are true and Beyond Valor is available again, but can I skip the starter packs entirely?

Yes. The starter kits are simpler, and apparently do a good job introducing you to the system, as well as being good in their own right, but you can (and many people have) go straight to the full thing. I recommend you look up tutorials and people who already know the game in that case (on line is fine).

pepe le moko wrote:
2/ What are starter kit style mapboards?

Traditionally, ASL mapboards were mounted, like everything else from Avalon Hill. That's gotten too expensive, so, starting with the Starter Kits, they've moved to printing them on a reasonably heavy and stiff paper. All boards are now produced like this, and they're quite good.

pepe le moko wrote:
3/ I already own SL and all its modules (I think), so basically I will be getting the same maps again and the same counters too? That's the part that bothers me the most, it makes me wonder if it is worth it.

The SL series used 11 mapboards (not including 9-11...), there's now about 50, available through various modules. You will end up getting some of the same ones, but there's no product that will just be familiar ones. (Also, since you've played SL, you should have an easier time 'getting' ASL. Just watch out for a number of things you'll have to "unlearn".)

pepe le moko wrote:
4/ I am mainly interested in the east front. With Beyond Valor, will I be able to play the following modules or do they require maps that are in other out of print gamettes?

-Armies of oblivion
-Valor of the guards
-ASL Action Pack #5 - East Front

...I'd have to check the dependencies. You should at least be able to play some of the scenarios from AoO and AP5. Valor of the Guards does not use standard boards at all. It comes with a pair of unmounted (thick paper) poster-size unique maps that shows the actual terrain of central Stalingrad as close as ASL can handle.

pepe le moko wrote:
5/ Does Beyond Valor really come with 10 maps???

Yes. These are the 'Starter Kit' style maps. It comes with... (checks)... Boards 1-5, 8, 20-23. You'll note that you have 6 of those already (in the old format), but they're used for the scenarios in BV. The other four have only ever appeared in BV.
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Michael Lucey
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ASL is a combination expansion and summarization of the 4 SL modules.

1. The RB is back in stock, BV is a month or 2 away.
2. SK is the new map style which is a cardboard type backing as opposed to the out of date hard backing of AH SL games
3. Look on the MMP website but I tink you'd have a lot of map boards that are either hard to find or spread out among a lot of modules. I think 6 are duplicates but the one's in the 20's are new.
4. BV scenario's are self contained. Get VotG because that (with the RB and BV) would be self contained as well. Any AP really is dependant on ownership of everything. AoO is the 12th module so you need a lot of others to play all the scenario's. Its minor nations so not Russian / German like the others you asked about.
5. Yes, its a big starter module.

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Todd Pytel
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Not taking issue with the rest of the response, as ASL is certainly not for everyone, but I don't understand this part...

briand72us wrote:
I would hate for anyone to have to experience the monetary losses and the disappointments that I had to and learn my lesson the hard way.


Monetary losses? ASL is the Honda of wargames - you can always sell it back for most of its price. Buy the ASLRB and BV for $165. Don't like it? eBay them off for ~$125. It doesn't seem that bad to me. Now if you go buying a bunch of shrinkwrapped OOP modules and punching them all just for that "new game" feeling, that would be a different story.
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Todd Pytel
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pepe le moko wrote:
4/ I am mainly interested in the east front. With Beyond Valor, will I be able to play the following modules or do they require maps that are in other out of print gamettes?

Also, I forgot to mention earlier... the recently released Turning the Tide scenario pack is a set of old SL scenarios revised and rebalanced for ASL. Between your old SL boards and BV, you should get a lot of playable scenarios out of that.
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Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
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If you have the original "orange box" Squad Leader, you can stop right there. IMHO, 90% of all the fun you'll find in ASL was right there all along.
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Jim Patterson
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leroy43 wrote:
Asking wargamers to talk you out of ASL is like going to the bar and asking the patrons to talk you out of a drink.


Somehow, I'm betting he knew that.
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Steve Jones
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leroy43 wrote:
Asking wargamers to talk you out of ASL is like going to the bar and asking the patrons to talk you out of a drink.


So true. I think, Oliver, that you already know what you want to do, but you want to blame us for the decision.
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Dan Owsen
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You can start with regular ASL and skip the Starter Kits. Remember, lots of people learned how to play before those were available.
 
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Get Combat Commander and then you can have a life too.
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Shane Woyak
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Who needs a life when you have ASL?
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Wolfgang Kunz
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pepe le moko wrote:
Okay I don't know why but I got this silly idea into my head that it would be fun to play ASL... (I know, right) robot

So I need you guys to talk me out of it and help me not succumb to this terrible affliction.



Sure, we'll talk you out of it... devil

From my experience (still new to ASL):

I found the Starter Kits very helpful and the GREAT TUTORIAL here on BGG exceptional.

With these me and two friends are digging our way into the ASL SK world. One thing that makes it worth is having either a buddy willing to go down that path with you or you being fascinated by playing it online - VASL. For me ftf - play is the right thing - not very fond of VASL.

Recently I found an avid ASL player (owning all of the modules and expansions). So if you have an ASL player willing to help you dig into the system it is not only a recommendation - it is a MUST going deeper into ASL.

I think you can learn playing ASL with the rulebook and BV only - just a question of devotion - but I found the SKs a better (easier) way.

My main concern for buying a game is: Can I play it ftf. That's important for me. I would have dropped ASL instantly if I had no ftf player.

Concerning monetary loss: No way. I get at least what I paid for thru ebay. Check the prices for the British (WoA, FKaC) or the Pacific Module. Anyone here for RB? They will in fact raise in value if you be nice to your games. So don't worry.

About all the other things - Todd has well spoken.

One thing I can tell you from my experience: I play EFS, OCS, Europa but I have never found a wargame that is so intense, with such a high replayability and often decided by the last die-roll like ASL.

Especially this last paragraph should get you out of it... devil
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Brad Miller
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I played Squad Leader back in the day when it originally came out. Wasn't a huge fan, but enjoyed it, and bought Cross of Iron. Never went for Crescendo or Gi, but I digress. Recently saw ASL SK1 for $18 so I picked it up. Read the rules. Wow. Firepower is doubled in this case, (but also halved because of this), and the DRM for terrain must be applied, but since this is the defensive fire phase, the units under DM must also take some kind of MC, etc. etc. etc.

Just not worth the additional complexity IMO. So I agree with what Brady said. However, if you want to play SL, and continue to want to have more new stuff, and a huge back catalog of scenarios, you are pretty much stuck with ASL instead of SL...

Me? I'm not going there.
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June Hwang Wah
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*Sound of respirator*

"You do not know the power of the Dark Side..."

*Sound of respirator*

Happy gaming.
 
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Ernest Schubert
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BradyLS wrote:
If you have the original "orange box" Squad Leader, you can stop right there. IMHO, 90% of all the fun you'll find in ASL was right there all along.


WOW!

You know what? You're absolutely correct. I think I knew this too, but didn't realize it until you said so.

It would certainly be the "poor man's" approach, since the orginals, in playable condition, are VERY REASONABLE...

Add in the simplefied rule set from Retro Games... and you have everything you need.

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G. Harding Warren
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BradyLS wrote:
If you have the original "orange box" Squad Leader, you can stop right there. IMHO, 90% of all the fun you'll find in ASL was right there all along.


I am really encouraged to see these comments. I am in full agreement.

What exactly is it that you think you are going to get out of ASL that you are missing with Squad Leader? That is not a rhetorical question--there may well be strong reasons, such as everyone in your game circle plays ASL and you still play Squad Leader.

But you say that you really like the Eastern Front. With Squad Leader and Cross of Iron, you have something like 18 Eastern Front scenarios, and you can find another 30 on the internet. Does anyone really need a whole lot more than that? Isn't Hill 621 or Hedgehog of Piepsk worth numerous replays?

I will say that I've never found the Beyond Valor scenarios to match the quality of those found in Squad Leader and Cross of Iron.

If you didn't already have the Squad Leader series, I would certainly encourage you to go with ASL. But I just don't see the point, given your interest in the Eastern Front and your ownership of the great original series.

 
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James Palmer
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I recently managed to acquire the ASL Rule Book, and have been skimming it over a bit. I don't have any of the modules, and am not sure if I will get any. Rules in the book like the following tend to scare me off:

"Rules referring specifically to the bottom of a
Depression hex use the words IN/INTO with all CAPITAL letters as opposed
to normal usage with lower case letters. A unit IN a Depression is
at the bottom of it, but one in a Depression is i.n Crest status in it."

Separating meaning of words based on capitalization?? This happens CONSTANTLY (as opposed to constantly) throughout the rules. If rules cannot be understood when read outloud, then I see that as a serious issue. I had heard that the rules in ASL were dense and difficult to get through, but they're beyond even what I had imagined.
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Shane Woyak
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but it's worth it. whistle
 
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SL and COI - only one concept from ASL could add to the game - residual firepower instead of the clunky and inaccurate 'shoot everyone that passes through the hex by memory tracking.' mechanic.

But hey, I have tried the 'I don't want to play ASL' idea as a wargamer.

It is a failed policy.

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James Lowry
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Felkor wrote:
I recently managed to acquire the ASL Rule Book, and have been skimming it over a bit. I don't have any of the modules, and am not sure if I will get any. Rules in the book like the following tend to scare me off:

"Rules referring specifically to the bottom of a
Depression hex use the words IN/INTO with all CAPITAL letters as opposed
to normal usage with lower case letters. A unit IN a Depression is
at the bottom of it, but one in a Depression is i.n Crest status in it."

Separating meaning of words based on capitalization?? This happens CONSTANTLY (as opposed to constantly) throughout the rules. If rules cannot be understood when read outloud, then I see that as a serious issue. I had heard that the rules in ASL were dense and difficult to get through, but they're beyond even what I had imagined.

If you've played D&D, you've already run into this. The (1st ed) rules point out the potential confusion and attention to context needed around the word 'level'. As in 'character level', 'dungeon level' and 'spell level' (to begin with...).

ASL just refuses to leave it context. Thankfully, I can only think of two terms that had to be differentiated that way: IN/INTO and ADJACENT.

IN/INTO doesn't come up that often, which is why I'm still not comfortable with it. Hex, Location, adjacent and ADJACENT are part of the core of how ASL works, but the differences only come into play when there's multiple-level buildings around (pretty often). Well, and and few other things that can cause multiple Locations in a hex, oh, and cliffs.

Part of the price to be paid for representing a 3D world on a 2D board....

And yes, completely worth it.
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If having an experienced ASLer teach you the rules, then who taught the first person to play?
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James Palmer
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whatambush wrote:
If having an experienced ASLer teach you the rules, then who taught the first person to play?


According to the ASL rulebook, the ASL rulebook was written for those who already know how to play Squad Leader. So I'm guessing the first people first learned Squad Leader (which apparently you could just do from the SL rulebook) and then learned ASL later.

Or maybe the ASL designers just taught people?

Now that the Squad Leader game is out of print, I really think they should add more introduction at the beginning of the ASL rulebook to make it more newcomer-friendly. There's a section of the back, though, that seems geared towards new players, so I'm not going to rule out learning from the rulebook.
 
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