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Subject: Please convince me to buy ASL or ASL starter kit rss

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Scott
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Well here's my situation: After asking in another thread whether I should get SL or ASLSK, I decided to go for SL because it was cheaper. I love Squad Leader; I've only played up to the vehicles portion of the rules but it is a great game and I've rated it a 10 based on the first 3 scenarios.

That being said, I've started to wonder if I should just go ahead and move into the full ASL system via one of the starter kits. ASL seems to be more widely played and I think I would like the extra detail. I'm thinking it might be better to put my learning effort into ASL before spending too much time on Squad Leader.

So please convince me why I should or should not move into the more complex system. Is ASLSK differnt enough from SL to warrant it's purchase? I've heard that they are pretty similar

Also, I've looked into Lock n' load and some of the other tactical systems and have decided ASL is the way to go for me so no need to suggest those.

Thanks a lot!
 
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Dale Martin
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If you have already grasped the mechanics of SL, I'd recommend that you skip the Starter Kits. The Starter Kits are more for introducing those unfamiliar with the basic concepts: morale, routing, and so on. For example, Starter Kit 1 uses no walls or hedges or upper levels of buildings. One of the most significant differences between SL and ASL concerns machine guns, but again, if you're comfortable with SL, go straight to ASL. It'll be pricey, and while opponents may be hard to find for face-to-face play, don't overlook VASL: opponents all over the world.
 
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Karl Deckard
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You may want to just jump right in to the full-blown ASL, if you are already familiar with Squad Leader. You don't even get to play tanks in the starters. One reason to go with the starter, though, is if you were afraid you might be scared off by the rules density of ASL, which may or may not be a factor.
 
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Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
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I was once an Advanced Squad Leader player having everything up to Croix de Guerre. At the time, my chief problem was that to be good at the game required committing a LOT of time to it. There were only two other committed players at I.U. and I decided I really wasn't as dedicated as they were into committing my gaming time strictly to that.

But when we did play, I noticed that the three of us, of all the expansions at our disposal, wanted to play only Beyond Valor (Eastern Front) and Yanks! (late-war West Front) scenarios. Well, heck, that's what the original Squad Leader was all about, anyway!

So I decided to get rid of ASL from my collection about 10+ years ago. Then I got a craving for it again-- but really only for the original Squad Leader game itself. I've found a nice copy of the original and I find that that's all I need when I want those German, Russian, and American squads to slug it out.

In short, if you find that you need to be convinced to get into ASL or ASL:SK-- as opposed to viewing it as the next obvious step-- I'd think again.
 
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Russell Gifford
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ASL is the best wargaming investment I ever made. And if I were you, I'd jump know before you need to un-learn anything. ASL is a smooth system - for the most part, it works like you think it should. (Vehicles add complexity, but they work. Everything ELSE is STREAMLINED from SL to ASL. No more 'track counters" and the Defensive First, Final and Final Protective fire is seemless in the flow of the action. It takes the excitement up a level from SL. Not certain? Grab ASL Rule Book and Paratrooper. Enjoy. It is a wonderful experience.

---Russ
 
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Chris Milne
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I'd agree with Russ' statement. But if you're still a bit worried about making the investment, either try the ASLSK (inexpensive and self-contained and will give you a good idea of how the fundamental parts of ASL differ to SL), or go out and find your local ASL players. If you're in the US, there's almost certainly someone nearby - they'll probably be quite happy to give you a game and you can find out in the most enjoyable fashion possible.
 
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Mark Drake
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ASL is my single favorite wargame of all time--no matter what else I play,I always come back to thi one.

Try one of the Starter Kits first to see if you like the differences in ASL over SL;not too many but they do make the game play much better.Plus it is an inexpensive way to try it out.

MD
 
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Fen Yan
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There's a large community of ASL gamers available, even online via VASL. Starter Kit #1 is lots of fun and should be easy for you.
 
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Adam D.
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Interesting. I too started with SL, made the jump to ASL and got outta dodge as fast as I could.

I can not fathom (not starting a war here, just stating opinion) the concept that ASL is more streamlined or actually easier to play than SL. Maybe in context of having to leaf through all the rulebooks up to GI... But like the inital post, I don't play much past the start of COI or maybe a little COD just to get a taste for the scenarios. The minutae just gets crazy in ASL to the point where you are playing the rule-book reference game and not the actual game part of the game

However, if you invest the time, you can learn it all, and I know a lot of guys really dig on that level of involvement. That's the trick though, you really have to want it to spend the time to learn it.

Just my .02
 
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Michael Von Ahnen
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I would consider Cross of Iron if I were you. I own the four Squad Leader games and in my opinion, the rule set at the Cross of Iron was where the system was at its best. The infantry rules are changed very little from Squad Leader and the "real" vehicle rules are added. I would also recommend playing some of the more advanced scenarios in the Squad Leader game. I particularly liked #5 (Hill 621). I have played it both with Squad Leader rules and Cross of Iron rules.

I personally had (and still have) no interest in ASL for the fundamental reason that I hate to keep "buying" a game. When ASL first came out, Avalon Hill decided to first sell only the rules. And the kicker was that it was almost as expensive as all of the previous 4 Squad Leader games were put together. And what was promised? More of the same of the last two games of the Squad Leader series. Fidly rules that added nothing (in my opinion) to the play of the game. This has continued now with the starter kits, etc. How many times do you have to re-buy the same game? I have been surprised that there has not been work on taking the game system and moving it to other conflicts (Korea, World War I, modern, even Ancients).

It is interesting that Adam was concerned about starting a "fight" by expressing his recommendation for the Squad Leader games over ASL. I am also amazed at the response of ASL players. Can they not accept the fact that certain people think that ASL is a step backwards in wargaming? Why should that offend their gaming ego? If you like ASL, play it, have fun, period. If you don't, no big deal.
 
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Russell Gifford
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I find it funny that you think WE'D be offended. Having played both SL and ASL, I also know people that feel one is superior to the other. I stand by my statement that ASL is 'smoother' than SL - and it is, for ME. You, obviously not. But if the issue is 'fidly' rules, I certainly feel ASL has an inside track. But again, to each his own!

----Russ
 
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Russell Gifford
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PS: the BIG advantage of ASL over SL, especially SL expansions, is finding opponents. If you play ASL, you never want for opponents, and unlike SL, you don't have to decide 'which rules' you are going to use. It was a huge factor in the success of ASL.
 
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Kevin Moody
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Russ, if he's playing a lot of solitaire wouldn't SL be the better choice? At least that's how I remember it.
 
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Russell Gifford
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Kevin -

If solitaire is the goal, I'd guess either is fine. SL would certainly have fewer decisions on the solitaire side.

BTW, ALL -

I will say I went back and looked at the original question looking for that solitaire issue, and didn't see it. I also saw the original quesiton I answered, which was: should I buy either the ASL Starter Kit or ASL?

And from what I read, he already has SL.

Personally, if the issue is money or expense, I'd get a used 1st edition RB. Read pages A1 to A28, page A38 (Smoke), and A43 (VC). Read B1 and half of B2. Use the Chapter B player card card for Movement points and modifiers for terrain, and play some games. Use the index to look up what you need to know on a case by case basis.

Want the tanks in the game? Scan C5-C15, and D1 to D10.

Since you've done some SL - look for the differences: they concentrate on pages A14 to A20.

Buy Paratrooper and if you didn't like it, re-coup your investment with a sell off. If you have questions, feel free to ask.

---Russ

For those of you with ASLRB 2nd edition, they used larger text and bigger diagrams, so the pages quoted are:

Chapter A: A1 to A40, A49, & A55.
Chapter B: B1 and B2.
(Read the other things as they come up - Motars, Bazookas, (that's the C stuff below), terrain type, etc. )

For Guns and Tanks:
Chapter C: C8 to C17, C22 - C23
Chapter D: D1 to D13.
 
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Bruce Monnin
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Russ Gifford, haven't heard from you in years!

I played a little SL (infantry only scenarios, could never handle the tanks).

I've never been able to get my arms atound full ASL.

However, I found ASLSK #1 quite interesting. Especially when played with an ASL expert who can show you why some tactics work better than others.

I still need to break out ASLSK #2 and fool around with it. Want to shoot some of those big guns!
 
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Russell Gifford
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Bruce, my friend. I keep dropping by your web site, praying I win the lottery so I could buy all the back issues of the Boardgamer before they are gone! Saw your CD offer! Very tempting! Congrats on all the good stuff that has come your way since last we spoke!

---Russ
 
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