ASLSK New Rule Wishlist

Jwil2020

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I realize that the Starter Kit concept was designed with the goal of providing new players a gateway into full ASL with much simpler rules at a lower initial cost. There is no question that endeavor was successful, and that there are new ASL players today who got into the full game via ASLSK.

But, it is also apparent that, whether intentional or not, after more than 16 years ASLSK has become a true stand alone system with its own community of dedicated players happy (for now) to stay with SK.

With that in mind, are there any rules you wish could be added to the existing SK4 rulebook (perhaps in a future expansion kit) similar to say how OBA was introduced with DaE?

Of course, the likelihood of such additions is extremely remote if for no other reason than it would go completely contrary to the Keep It Simple principle that has made SK popular.

Just curious to see if there is any interest.
 

von Marwitz

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First: I am not an SK player but only play ASL.

I don't think that (ever) more rules for SK make sense.

After all, people who stick with SK apparently do so because for them ASL has too many rules.

So why add more and more things to SK to make it ever more 'ASLish'?

One could as well take ASL and leave things out at one's discretion.

von Marwitz
 

Jwil2020

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First: I am not an SK player but only play ASL.

I don't think that (ever) more rules for SK make sense.

After all, people who stick with SK apparently do so because for them ASL has too many rules.

So why add more and more things to SK to make it ever more 'ASLish'?

One could as well take ASL and leave things out at one's discretion.

von Marwitz
Good point. Would it make more sense to go full ASL and dial it back to what a player is comfortable with, or go simpler and add a little more spice from full ASL?

Like I said above, just curious to see what other SK players wish was included, not that I expect it would ever happen (or should happen).
 

zgrose

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Since it would involve additions to the ruleset, I'd like to see a Desert expansion pack and/or boxed set. The choices one has to make in mostly featureless terrain are distinct from SK1-4 and I believe one could have a pretty fun desert-lite in a couple pages of rules.
 

von Marwitz

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If I were to start from scratch right now, this would be my approach:

Most important of all:
Find opponents that have more experience than you and play them (either face-to-face or via VASL).
This is the prime and most important factor that will make you learn quickly and to see during play, how a gameturn works and which rules (be it SK or ASL) are the most often used and most important. This is invaluable for you to find out which rules to rehearse and get acquainted with first with the 'biggest bang for the buck'.
This approach is recommendable no matter if you want to learn SK, learn ASL directly, or if you first go for SK and then switch over to ASL later.

1st step:
I'd try out SK1. IIRC, this has only 12 or 16 pages of rules, is a self-contained game. You will get a good first impression and learn some of the most basic rules which you would start with even if you ventured into ASL directly. The financial commitment is very overseeable for SK1.
If you start with ASL directly, you require the Rulebook and the first core module 'Beyond Valor' - unless you find an opponent which has the kit. This is probable if you start to play being taught by a more experienced opponent. The ASL Rulebook and the Beyond Valor is quite a financial commitment. The cheapest way into ASL directly is the Pocket ASL Rulebook and an opponent with kit that teaches you or the Pocket ASL rulebook and VASL (Virtual ASL) along with an opponent that teaches you.

2nd step:
You find out SK1 is not for you? Ok, you sunk only the cost for SK1. And if SK1 it not for you, you can be pretty sure that ASL ain't for you either.
You like SK1 and want more? Move on to SK2 to open a new 'chapter' - Guns! Again, SK2 is self-contained and priced similar to SK1. Same procedure as before.
In case you started with ASL directly, you already have the Pocket ASL rulebook that contains all the rules you need. You still have the buddy that teaches you and he'll likely have all the kit you need. VASL still comes at zero cost. And if you bought the ASL rulebook in a binder an Beyond Valor already, there is no additional cost either.

3rd step:
SK2 and Guns were great? You want still more? Go for SK3. Roughly same price as SK1 and SK2. Same procedure as before. You found SK2 to be just enough of complexity? All right, then no need to buy more complex stuff.
If you have ASL components already, no extra cost.
At this time, you should also really think about looking for different opponents besides your first mentor. You will see that you can learn things from every opponent you play. Even your mentor will likely make mistakes, but these might be caught by other opponents you play and thus prevents you from 'internalizing' them. The same effect you get for learning tactics. All the while, if you play ASL, while playing with your mentor(s), you will automatically learn which new rules sections of the full set of rules you will need first/most for Guns, Vehicles, and anything else.

4th step:
You liked SK1 through SK3 and still want more?
Then - seriously - there is no reason at all to hesitate to move on to ASL.
If the complexity of SK3 is enough for you, then stay with it. Maybe after a while, you will feel the lure and call of full ASL getting stronger. If so - give in...


This is how I would do it, if I started from scratch.


von Marwitz
 

zgrose

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> Then - seriously - there is no reason at all to hesitate to move on to ASL.
While true, there is also no reason why someone can't enjoy a smaller ruleset. I play a lot of SCS and avoid the other lines because SCS is just right for what I'm looking for out of a wargame most of the time.

I feel the ROI on SK content is high enough to justify creating more.
 

lt_steiner

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When DaE introduces OBA to Sk, it helps me a lot understanding OBA rules in full ASL. Plus DaE introduces you to campaign games, a bridgehead to other historical modules.
When SK4 appears, I tried PTO lite rules and having a taste of it, I am not afraid anymore of chapter G, nor concealment.
EP2 introduces Chinese, likewise providing gentle experiment on how to play the Chinese.

Whenever new Sk products provides introduction on specific rules, I find that great. So having new Sk products introducing rules that may be tough to read in the ASLRB would be welcome, some at a time with a few scenarios. For example:
  • desert theater of operation
  • air support and glider/paratroopers
  • landing crafts and seaborne assaults
  • night rules
 

boylermaker

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Good point. Would it make more sense to go full ASL and dial it back to what a player is comfortable with, or go simpler and add a little more spice from full ASL?
I don't know about the latter (I jumped from SK3 to ASL before Elst and the PTO came out for SK), but the former is pretty easy to do. There are so many scenarios out there, including free ones, that it is very possible to choose scenarios that are just the level of complexity or simplicity you want. There are some things, like bypass movement, that are unavoidable, but it's easy to play without AFVs, or night rules, or unusual weather conditions.
 

Eagle4ty

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The only rule I felt that should have been included in ASLSK is an intro to Fire Lanes. With Bypass being NA in ASLSK the ASL rule could have been cut down considerably and yet introduced a VERY critical rule from ASL to the ASLSK system. I feel its absence, especially in the PTO, has a detrimental effect on learning the "basics" of the game and tactical employment of MGs.
 

zgrose

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The only rule I felt that should have been included in ASLSK is an intro to Fire Lanes. With Bypass being NA in ASLSK the ASL rule could have been cut down considerably and yet introduced a VERY critical rule from ASL to the ASLSK system. I feel its absence, especially in the PTO, has a detrimental effect on learning the "basics" of the game and tactical employment of MGs.
Without Bypass, it may be that Fire Lanes could be excessively strong since they would be harder to avoid when moving parallel to the direction of the FL?
 

Eagle4ty

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Without Bypass, it may be that Fire Lanes could be excessively strong since they would be harder to avoid when moving parallel to the direction of the FL?
Moving parallel to the FL should be no different than its effect in ASL, it's moving perpendicular to its potential use that would introduce a new element, albeit IMHO a better one if handled with a stripped down FL rule (perhaps only allowing a hexgrain FL for example). The ASLSK system should not only introduce the new player to the basics of ASL rules but should also introduce them to at least the basics of common tactical principals (an area that the entire game, ASL/ASLSK is predicated upon). Having helped bring along a few players from ASLSK to ASL, often times I hear "What's That? Why didn't they include some of that in ASLSK?" when first seeing a FL. Being used to RFP they can understand the basic concept but are really thrown by its potential effects. As for probably being too powerful, hey, it's huge in ASL as well and there are ways to mitigate its effects. As always JMHO.
 

zgrose

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Moving parallel to the FL should be no different than its effect in ASL
One can effectively close down the whole road hex-line in ASLSK with a fire lane. With Bypass movement, that's much harder to accomplish.
Not that this is the reason they didn't put Fire Lanes in, but I can see it as one un-intended side effect.
Similar to how ATG in ASLSK have a much easier time against AFV in ASLSK since there are vastly fewer paths to the VCs in urban maps.
 

kempenfelter

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Rather than add rules players looking to up their game should check out the excellent Starter Kit Special Study scenario packs from Sherry Enterprises, available from Gamer's Armory, Rally Point Volume 2 and Volume 6. 10 scenarios per pack and all of them can be played with Starter Kit components, SK #1 - #3 for Volume 2 and SK #1 - #3, plus BtB and SKEP #1 for Volume 6. They can be played with SK rules or all the rules and are enjoyable at either level.

I find the SSR approach to putting more ASL into Starter Kit clunky sometimes. With the Rally Points you can choose your level of play. Heard today that the Tampa ASL group is working on another bridge from SK to ASL and this time for the PTO. That will be welcome.
 

Jwil2020

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Kempenfelter, thanks for the recommendation. As I said in my OP, I am not suggesting that the SKRB be beefed up with more rules from full ASL. That would obviously defeat the purpose behind the whole SK idea itself which was to keep it simple. Perhaps adding rules like Fire Lanes and Bypass Movement, to name just a couple, would be too much of an increase in the learning curve, especially for the player who does not intend to move up to the big tent. Besides, once the precedent of cherry-picking favorite rules begins, where do you stop? "If you want more rules, then switch to full ASL," is a legitimate point.

What I was thinking of was smaller edits: rules that add more realism without unduly increasing complexity or impacting playability.

For example: a situation that comes up in almost every SK scenario I play is a broken MMC retaining possession of a SW. In SK, the only way to get that 'possessed' weapon away from that broken MMC (assuming it was not forced to drop it when routing due to IPP limits) is either to rally them, or to pry it away from their cold dead hands after they have been eliminated. Whereas, in full ASL, it is possible for a leader to gain possession of that SW.

The SK rule is the SK rule, and I've learned to play by it. No big deal. But, it just seems a little unrealistic that not even a good order SMC in the same hex with the demoralized squad can convince them to come out of the fetal position long enough to give up the MG.

"Hey, Mack, we see enemy soldiers running across the field heading our way. If you're not gonna use that MMG, can we at least borrow it for a couple minutes?"

Again, no big deal. I don't want to come across as being critical of the SK rules. On the contrary, I think Ken Dunn, Perry Cocke, and team did an outstanding job distilling the full ASL rules, while still maintaining their unique essence. No small feat, and it is something I personally would like to commend them for. The SK concept (and the rulebook they wrote for it) is the only reason I am even contemplating ASL.

For now, I'm having a blast playing through the SK scenarios and taking on the rewarding challenge of learning a new system.
 

Augie

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There is a lot of 'good rules' missing from SK, which were surely decided for simplicity reasons. But I agree with Evan Sherry that a rule that is needed is Deliberate Immobilization. Without it, many tanks are essentially unstoppable in SK.

My other personal preference for inclusion is Open Top AFV rules. The lack of Open Top rules (slightly resolved in SK4) means the ultimate WW2 Blitzkrieg vehicle is not included - the halftrack.

However, being at SK4, adding more rules to SK at this point is probably counter productive.
 

Jwil2020

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QUOTE:
"However, being at SK4, adding more rules to SK at this point is probably counter productive."

True enough. As I said above, once you start cherry-picking rules, where do you stop, and how long until you have defeated the whole purpose of SK?

Better to leave well enough alone.

But I would like to see halftracks... :oops:
 
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Perry

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My other personal preference for inclusion is Open Top AFV rules. The lack of Open Top rules (slightly resolved in SK4) means the ultimate WW2 Blitzkrieg vehicle is not included - the halftrack.
As evidenced by SK4, OT rules themselves are not too hard (especially absent inherent crews).
It is the Passenger aspect of HT (and other transport) that is tough to simplify.
Don’t expect them anytime soon.
 

Stewart

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While the Bridge from SK to ASL is a courageous endeavor, there still is the issue with availability of product.

SK simpler, cheaper, more readily available.

ASL not simpler, more expensive, NOT readily available and you have no clue when the system is going to fill in the gaps you might be looking for.

I see less players moving to ASL simply due to the PRICE/Complexity coupled with the lack of availability.

IF I'm "diving in" , there better be WATER IN THE POOL
 

Perry

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I see less players moving to ASL simply due to the PRICE/Complexity coupled with the lack of availability.
SK#1 is not always available, but it usually is. (It will be back in stock shortly.)

ASLRB and Beyond Valor are not always in stock, but they usually are. They are now.

The price and complexity (relatively speaking) have not changed much over the years.
 
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