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Subject: Getting into ASL rss

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John Vasilakos
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A check of their website shows that Starter Kit No 3 is in Print. That is all you need to learn the basics of ASL and start playing the 8 scenarios that come in the box....it is a self contained package

However to progress to full up ASL you will need the seperate Rule book, it is temporarily out of stock, but MMP will be reprinting it (as they do every few years) It may be availible from several retailers still. You will need one of core sets too ... and the first one, Beyond Valor is in Print. This will give the German and Soviet forces as well as all the game information counters. And 24 more scenarios.
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Brian Blad
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Bryan Youse at MMP indicated on another forum that the printer was working on the rulebook and that it should be back in stock any day.

ASL can be somewhat painful when it comes to acquiring all the relevant pieces, but if you're patient, check the for sale areas here and on the other forums and are not against ebarf prices you can get most of the set fairly quickly.

Starter Kit #3 is really the only one you need to learn the basics and to see if you like it enough to spend the money on moving up. If you decide to move up, the Rulebook and Beyond Valor will give you a lot to work with. You can also download the VASSAL Engine and VASL and play online. Lots of folks willing to help others learn how to play.

 
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Joel K
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Unless I am badly misinterpreting their website, Wargamedepot appears to have several ASL modules and the rulebook in stock.
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Eoin Corrigan
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The Starter Kit Expansion Pack is also available, as an alternative or complementary pack, to Starter Kit 3.

There's no need whatsoever to have SK 1 or 2 - SK 3 and the Expansion Pack will provide a range of infantry only, infantry+guns and infantry+guns+vehicles scenarios.

Enjoy!
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Malcolm Sleight
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Coolstuff also has a stock of ASL related stuff.
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Tom Willcockson
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I would beg to differ, I think ASLSK #1 is a better place to start; only infantry situations, no gus or tanks, and much easier for someone just starting out with the system. Playing my way through these scenarios with a new player right now and they are a blast. After that you could go to ASLSK#3, but if you are into it enough after SK#1 to get into the system then you probably would want SK#2 anyway. So I would say get SK#1 if you want to just try out the system, and if you like it get everything else SK. After that, if you are still really into it then move on to full ASL.

I'm pretty sure I heard that MMP will get around to re-publishing ASLSK#1 soon, however you can probably find a used copy relatively easily.
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Scott
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I still think that the best way for new players, who don't have a veteran to help them through the learning process, is to get Starter Kit #1 or maybe Starter Kit #2, both of which, as you've noticed, are out of print. #1 really is the core of the game and it will give you a good sense as to whether you want to continue investing in the system.

The problem with jumping right in with the #3 or the expansion pack is that there are a ton of densely packed rules in those modules. They both have a couple of infantry-only scenarios, but the rule layout isn't the best for using the later modules to learn the earlier module's rules. For me, starting with either of those probably would have been too much, but I was a new wargamer at the time so your experience may be different if you're used to complex games (and make no mistake, those later Starter Kit modules are really complex compared to most other games, especially if you're coming from a Euro or simple wargame background).

The prices for the first two modules on Ebay are not that crazy yet, especially if you shop around. Really, the first module is a complete game in itself, and given the amount of play you can get out of it alone, it's worth a lot more than what it sells for when it's in print. $30 or $40 is not too much to play for the replayability and depth that come in that little box.

I wouldn't worry about getting into the main rulebook right now; grab a starter kit and see if you like the system. Not only is full ASL fairly expensive, it requires a major investment in rule-reading and gameplay as you're learning the system (if you're lucky, you'll love the system and won't really want to play or think about anything else though). You want to know for sure if it's something you'd enjoy before you make that sort of investment.

Your absolute best option, if possible, is to find a local ASLer who will show you the ropes. The game is way easier to learn that way, and most ASLers will already have at least one copy of the Starter Kit (and it's highly likely that they'll have several copies; ASLers are a sick lot when it comes to product acquisition). Maybe you can hunt around and/or post for ASL opponents in the GameSquad Forum or the BGG region forums. ASL has a super-dedicated following, there is a good chance that there are ASLers near you. As a general rule, ASL communitie are amazingly generous and open to new players; you'll be all set if you can find one nearby.

Finding someone to teach you on VASL is an option too, if you're into playing that way. Online play isn't my thing, so I can't be much help, but there are probably plenty of guys that would be willing to help you out if you ask around.

Once you decide you like the game, you'll want to buy every damn thing that's in print before it goes out and you have to play double on Ebay (hence the aforementioned sickness). But you can cross that bridge when you get to it.
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todd mewborn
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I was in the same boat you were a little over a year ago. I was able to get ahold of all 3 starter kits. But I soon found that full ASL was the way to go for me. I was able to find more support and opponents. (Yes, there is plenty of resources for the SK's) So I wasn't over whelmed, I started with infantry only scenarios and slowly worked in more rules.
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Warren Bruhn
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galad2003 wrote:
Hi guys. I have been playing board games for a year now and really enjoy them and I was thinking about making the plunge to try some wargames, specifically Advanced Squad Leader.

If so I would just rather buy the rulebook right off the bat.

If this stuff is out of print forever is there another game you guys can recommend?

Edit: P.S. I will probably never find a person to play a live game of this in my life so if I ever get to play it would probably be on Vassal so do you think it would be better for me to just buy the rules?


Are you CRAZY?!?!?shake

Do you enjoy reading federal statutes? If so, reading the ASL rulebook may be for you. It's truly one of the most horrible documents that I have ever attempted to read. But the HUGE number of ASL fans will tell you that it's worth the excruciating effort in the end. Perhaps a bit like climbing the face of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, or like climbing Mt. Everest. Why else would "starter kits" be a feature of a cardboard wargame system? That alone should scare you.

There are several tactical WW2 cardboard wargames available now. ASL may still dominate the field, but that's because ASL has been around for so long. There have been many threads on this forum discussing the merits of the various games of this type. Cardboard wargamers all have their personal likes and dislikes. One game that has been more consistently praised on this forum is Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles. It's not a massively developed system like ASL yet, but it gets good ratings.

As for not being able to play with live face to face opponents, do you live in some roadless wilderness area? There's plenty of cardboard wargamers in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. There's conventions to attend, and I'm sure other cardboard wargamers in that region might be hosting weekend get togethers.

I notice that you are new to BGG. Welcome!

So, here's a few tips re finding live face to face opponents via BGG.

1. Put the cursor over the country flag under the name of other users. If that user has input their location into their profile, their city and state should show. Note that some users occassionally put a different country than the one they are in, such as when several users put up a Spanish flag in support of another user who had been offended on the forum. So, in spite of the country flag, the user might actually live in North Carolina. If you frequent the forums, you can contantly scan these locations to spot other users in your area. Since you are interested in wargames, visit this forum regularly.

2. You can do a search for other BGG users near you. Just input your zip code, and pick a distance limit, and see who comes up.

3. Once you spot somebody from your state or region, you can click on the users BGG name to see that user's profile. Sometimes users have input some comments about what type of games they like. But more importantly, you can look at the other users' game collections, ratings, and comments. Do this by clicking on the number next to owned games. By looking at the other users' collections you will be able to figure out which ones in your area share your interests.

4. Once you find users in your area who share your interests, send them a "geekmail" by clicking on the envelope symbol under their name. Some will respond. I've found most of the people that I play cardboard wargames with this way, with just as many other users contacting me first.

5. Post a thread in this wargames subdomain forum. What else is it really for? There's too many threads in which we discuss the merits of something like hexes vs. areas, or endlessly debate what should be considered a wargame. There's not nearly enough threads in which wargamers are trying to link up with other wargamers in their city or region for face to face gaming sessions.

6. Join a BGG guild for your city or region, or join a BGG guild for a favorite game. ASL probably has a BGG guild. If you don't see a BGG guild for the things that interest you, then start one.

7. When all that is done, then try other media, such as facebook groups, meetup groups, yahoo groups, or Consimworld Forums. I think BGG is the most effective tool for meeting other face to face cardboard wargamers. But linking in other contacts with those you can meet through BGG is worthwhile.

Best of luck to you, and I hope that you can make North Carolina a hotbed of cardboard wargaming, if it isn't one already. But don't stop painting those miniatures! For tactical WW2, there's nothing quite like a cool tank model on nice terrain.
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Tom Willcockson
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Warren Bruhn wrote:
It's truly one of the most horrible documents that I have ever attempted to read. But the HUGE number of ASL fans will tell you that it's worth the excruciating effort in the end.


It's worth it.
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Enrico Viglino
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TomW731 wrote:
Warren Bruhn wrote:
It's truly one of the most horrible documents that I have ever attempted to read. But the HUGE number of ASL fans will tell you that it's worth the excruciating effort in the end.


It's worth it.


I had the opposite experience. The rules weren't bad - they seemed
quite well done compared to the only similarly sized project I've
dealt with (SFB).

Payoff was low though. But, WWII tactical is not my cuppa.
Beyond that, it struck me as a game designed more for the
competitive side of the hobby. Other than Red Barricades,
I can't say I had any real fun with it.
 
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Val Ruza
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ASL is definitely worth the effort to learn and play in my view. It does polarize people and there are detractors To begin to learn the game a mentor would be ideal; however, with the videos found here, a copy of the rulebook, and Beyond Valor: ASL Module 1 you have a good start.
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Slyvanian Frog
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When they reprint the rulebook so he can actually buy it, will he get the distinct pleasure of buying a rulebook that is 10+ years old, with pages upon pages of errata that won't be incorporated into the new printing?

Nothing says fun like sitting down with your newly purchased $80 rulebook and printing out pages upon pages of errata, cutting it into strips with a scissors, and rubber cementing it into the book.
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Greg Gresik
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Just play "ASL-Light" (Valor & Victory) - it's simple, free and a blast. And it's still a game, not a lifestyle change.

ETA: One plus of ASL though - your session reports/reviews get all kinds of pub as all the fan boys thumb 'em and dump GG on 'em.
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ben saylor
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if you are interested I have some ASL first edition rule books and modules including the "starter" module that I am looking to trade/sell.
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Mark Humphries
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In April there will be a 4-day ASL event in Raleigh, NC:
http://forums.gamesquad.com/showthread.php?109894-Bitter-End...

You should be able to find someone there who lives near you and is willing to coach you through your first games.

Welcome to the ASL hobby and community!
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Val Ruza
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SlyFrog wrote:
When they reprint the rulebook so he can actually buy it, will he get the distinct pleasure of buying a rulebook that is 10+ years old, with pages upon pages of errata that won't be incorporated into the new printing?

Nothing says fun like sitting down with your newly purchased $80 rulebook and printing out pages upon pages of errata, cutting it into strips with a scissors, and rubber cementing it into the book.


Currently the issue is that they have run out of dividers for the rulebook, so the actual printed pages are still the same. The rulebook is still available at a number of shops, and if you purchase online you will generally get a better deal than $80. While I understand your displeasure in downloading errata and adding it to you rulebook or amending portions of pages I am glad that they are continuing to correct and improve the rules and the game. I am looking forward to the electronic version of the rules they are working on, having the rules on my iPad would rock!
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Obsolete Man
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galad2003 wrote:
I have decided to get the starter pack #1 if I can find it and find someone who ships to APO's. I am out of the country right now so the plan is to read it over and push some cardboard chits around to get the hang of it while I am out of the country. If i like it I will probably go straight to the rulebooks and coreset 1.

I like reading rules and I used to play Starfleet Battles so I think I am up to the challenge :p

I say I may never play live b/c my gaming group rarely plays anything over an hour long which can be quite annoying. They seemed obsessed with quantity of games played over quality. So yea I guess I will have to go out of my comfort zone and find some new people to play with when I hit the states again. Getting into a new game group can be.....interesting to say the least.

What got the bug into me was yesterday I was watching the army (I work with the army) run some maneuver's on base and it was cool as shit. It got me wanting to play a tactical based wargame and I remembered hearing how ASL was supposed to be the definitive tactical wargame. I am tired of the games I play like WH40K that really have nothing to do with realistic tactics or combat maneuvers. Whoever writes the best list usually wins and the best tactic is charging up the middle of the field.

Thanks for all the help guys!


Cool. ASL is a lot of fun and very rewarding. ASL Starter Kit is so good that it even stands on its own. It is *most* (though not all) of the fun of ASL without the vast majority of the work. A very good way to ease into it. Any of the published Starter Kits will work, but get them all if you can because there's years of gaming there and it's very accessible.

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Mark Humphries
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Peso Pete wrote:
Nikoms wrote:
Just play "ASL-Light" (Valor & Victory) - it's simple, free and a blast. And it's still a game, not a lifestyle change.

ETA: One plus of ASL though - your session reports/reviews get all kinds of pub as all the fan boys thumb 'em and dump GG on 'em.


Greg, I love V&V and for that reason, I will tell you that calling it "ASL-Light" does a disservice to V&V. While it is lighter than ASL, mechanically, it is a very different animal. The biggest advantage V&V has is the availability of everything. Nothing is out of print and you don't have to troll eBay to get anything. You want Italians? Print and mount as many of them as you want/need. Want a new map to play scenarios on? Print it out and have at it. For those who have experience with ASL, you already know that this is no small thing.


All that printing and mounting makes even eBay sound appealing to me
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Mark Hendricks
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Don't do it! Run away. This is not the system for you. There are much better systems out there for squad level games. Admittedly they have their roots in ASL but have learned from the mistakes they made. I have played ASL for years but I look now at it as wasted time I wish I had back. I love the level of war-game but move on to something else.
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Mark Humphries
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These are not the trolls you are looking for ninja
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Eoin Corrigan
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TomW731 wrote:
I would beg to differ, I think ASLSK #1 is a better place to start; only infantry situations, no gus or tanks, and much easier for someone just starting out with the system...

I'm pretty sure I heard that MMP will get around to re-publishing ASLSK#1 soon, however you can probably find a used copy relatively easily.


If the OP can get a hold of SK1 right now, then yes, go for it as SK1 isn't a bad choice. However, if he can't, the SK3 and the Expansion pack are perfectly servicable routes to learning the SK rules.

And if the OP is interested in making as rapid transition to ASL as possible, learning the gun and vehicle rules quickly, then SK3 and the Expansion pack are superior, as he won't be languishing in SK1 infantry-only-land for 6 full scenarios.
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Eoin Corrigan
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Mark_WH wrote:
These are not the trolls you are looking for ninja


I think they're bitter because they can't find any opponents for their niche, flash in the pan competitor systems

#1 benefit of ASL - a vibrant, global player base which has been in existence for 30 years and will be in existence for decades to come!
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Val Ruza
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Love it or hate it, ASL does inspire passion! And passion is good on a day like today.
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Markus Pausch
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I just tried out several tactical games like Conflict of Heroes, Lock 'n' Load, Combat Commander, Fighting Formations, but I must say that the SK-Sytem as you might call it, is my favourite.

Learning the system with starter kits is absolutly required. I began to read the rules of full blown ASL and I think it is an absolutly terrible read for a beginner.
Instead of an overview of the gameplay, they startet to explain things like how to use the dice and what to do if you randomly pick units when a stack is hit or how you use special modifiers if some of the attacking units have them and others not.

If I hadn't played the SKs I wouldn't had a clue what was all this about.

Don't get get me wrong: I think ASL is fantastic and reading the rulebook clarify some things up that weren't so clear in the SKs.

Edit: spelling
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