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For King and Country: ASL module 5a» Forums » Reviews

Subject: ASL Noob Reviews: For King and Country II rss

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Boots
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For my third module review, I'll move on to the last of the "big four" nations in ASL - the British and Commonwealth forces. The British module has undergone a couple of iterations in its lifetime, and the versions for this one are probably even more confusing than Beyond Valor.

Which Version Should I Get?

The British were originally released in West of Alamein, which contained the same OoB as the newest reprint of FKaC, but came with desert rules, maps and overlays. When MMP took over the system, they reprinted the OoB but added new maps, and removed the desert components, renaming it For King and Country, and renumbering it "Module 5a".

This presents the ASL noob with a difficult choice. West of Alamein is not cheap, and without it you can't (easily) play desert scenarios. If that's your thing, you're in for a bit of a hard time in ASL at the moment. But if you get WoA, you miss out on the benefits of FKaCII - updated counters and a number of essential maps. The only thing I can say for sure is - do not buy the first version of FKaC over the second one - you might save money, but you'll be missing maps 6, 10, 13, 14, 15 and 32.

You've convinced me to go for FKaCII, so what's in the box?


Thanks to Kevin Moody and Mark Tomlinson for the images used in this review.

FKaC is a workmanlike module - you just get game components, and lot of them! MMP's process of re-vamping components and re-packaging scenarios is a real boon for the beginning ASL player. The counters are improvements on the old AH ones. Older modules had between 2 and 4 maps, this one comes with eight - almost as much as BVIII. They are also really useful maps, chosen because they've been unavailable for ages and are frequently used. In this version, you get updated, crisp, versions of maps 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 32, in thin but durable "Starter Kit" style.



The British OoB is HUGE. I think it might actually be bigger than the Germans, especially once you add in Free French coutners from Croix de Guerre. Be prepared for a long and complex sorting and storing process. These counters are typical of MMP's updated counters - larger fonts, larger images, all corner-cut not side-cut, thick, high-quality cardstock. There is one thing to watch out for, which is an easy-to-resolve QA issue: Some copies shipped with leftover old counters from FKaCI. These are easily identifiable as they have a slightly different tan colour, and are copyrighted 2003 not 2011. MMP will replace any old counters with new ones, no questions asked.

Like Beyond Valor III, FKaCII has a greatly increased number of scenarios over its previous editions - 20 in all. The Scenarios in FKaC are a little more noob-friendly than those in BVIII: ASL105 Going to Church and ASL107 Tettau's Attack are both small, fast inantry-only scenarios, and ASL108 Guards Attack, ASL109 Dreil Team and ASL110 North Bank are small scenarios that use a minimum of armour and extra rules. All five of these scenarios could be played in 5 hours or less.

The other scenarios are more complex. Six of them use glider counters, only available in Yanks. There is at least one night scenario and three with OBA - two of the more complex parts of the system for Noobs to figure out. Overall, this is a better selection than BVIII.

Dependence issues?
I mention in my Yanks review that ASL had some dependency problems, and FKaC is where it really starts to show. You can be assumed to have BVIII if you have bought FKaC, because it's the core core module. But on top of that, you'll need the following maps: 9, 11, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 33. Luckily, you only need two modules to get these maps - Yanks and Doomed Batallions III. You'll also need the aforementioned Glider COunters. All of the scenarios are British vs. German, so you won't even need any extra OoBs. Overall, FKaCII isn't plagued by the same dependency issues as some of the later modules. In fact, if you have BVIII and Yanks, you'll pretty much be fine.

Conclusions

Personally, I think FKaCII is the best module yet. Part of that is personal bias; I'm much more interested int he Western Front than the East. But partly it's because it's one of the most rewarding for the ASL noob - a fair proportion of noob-friendly scenarios, a good selection of much-needed maps, and not too many dependency issues. I would rate this one as a must-purchase with or immediately after BVIII. The added benefit is that as of writing, it's the most recently reprinted Core Module, so there should still be stock floating around. Don't expect that to last - ASL sells fast!

Pros:
+ eight maps, a few of which are frequently used
+ top-notch printing quality on counters and maps
+ 20 scenarios
+ a good number of scenarios suitable for noobs
+ few dependency issues

Cons:
- no glider counters when a third of scenarios need gliders
- Complex OoB needing complex storage

Links to my other ASL Noob Reviews:
The Rulebook
Beyond Valor III
Yanks
Croix de Guerre
Doomed Battalions III
Armies of Oblivion

The ASL Noob Review Index Geeklist
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Todd Pytel
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Boots01 wrote:
Personally, I think FKaCII is the best module yet... partly it's because it's one of the most rewarding for the ASL noob - a fair proportion of noob-friendly scenarios, a good selection of much-needed maps, and not too many dependency issues.

I agree. FKAC is the model for core modules, largely due to the excellent selection of easily playable scenarios. I hope that, when the time comes, the new Yanks meets the same standard.

edit: I should add... it's not just that the scenarios are short. They're also really good. Many of the scenarios included here are established tournament favorites and a ton of fun.
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Brian Roundhill
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tppytel wrote:
Boots01 wrote:
Personally, I think FKaCII is the best module yet... partly it's because it's one of the most rewarding for the ASL noob - a fair proportion of noob-friendly scenarios, a good selection of much-needed maps, and not too many dependency issues.

I agree. FKAC is the model for core modules, largely due to the excellent selection of easily playable scenarios. I hope that, when the time comes, the new Yanks meets the same standard.

edit: I should add... it's not just that the scenarios are short. They're also really good. Many of the scenarios included here are established tournament favorites and a ton of fun.


I am confident that MMP will do the same thing with Yanks and cycle in some older, shorter scenarios to go with the original Yanks scenarios. It is a great way to reprint the best of old Annual scenarios.
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Andy Beaton
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Looks good. Too bad they couldn't have at least included the desert rules, so you could play desert games on VASL.
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skippen
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aiabx wrote:
Looks good. Too bad they couldn't have at least included the desert rules, so you could play desert games on VASL.


I never understood why the removed them from the British. When the originally did it, they had no plans for a future desert module. I am sure it was that they didn't want to prepare the rules for printing vs. speed to get it out.
 
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Now that the Italians and the Japanese are the only Core OBs I don't have, I'm wondering that too. I can get the maps, but no counters (Sangars/Dust) or the rules. It seems a shame, as I've seen quite a few interesting desert scenarios.
 
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Stephen Rynerson
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cscottk wrote:
aiabx wrote:
Looks good. Too bad they couldn't have at least included the desert rules, so you could play desert games on VASL.


I never understood why the removed them from the British. When the originally did it, they had no plans for a future desert module. I am sure it was that they didn't want to prepare the rules for printing vs. speed to get it out.


Another explanation would be that it was to make the future reprint of Hollow Legions more appealing by making it a "meatier" module.
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Dan Fielding
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Was the MMP edition of Hollow Legions exactly the same as the AH first edition, or did they upgrade the counters?
 
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Gronak wrote:
Was the MMP edition of Hollow Legions exactly the same as the AH first edition, or did they upgrade the counters?


It had the same counters, all they did was reprint the rules pages in a slightly larger font, apparently.
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Alan Lynott
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Another great ASL Noob review, thanks. I'm about 15 games into the starter kits but I'm loving it so much I've committed to getting into full ASL so these reviews are incredibly helpful.

I've just bought FKaC 3rd edition - which is an amazing packed product - but I am surprised at how little you can play out of the box. I understand the dependency on BV and Yanks, but a lot of the scenarios rely on doomed battalions maps - which of course is out of print. Oh well, maybe half the fun is one day getting hold of a missing module that unlocks a bunch of scenarios scattered around other modules ...
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Michael
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We few,we happy few,we band of brothers;For he today that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother: be he ne’er so vile;And gentlemen in England now-abed Shall think themself accurs’d they were no here That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
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Don't forget Alan, all the maps are available starter kit style from MMP
about $5 each I think...

I might have a 2nd edition DB somewhere whistle

Mike
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