Have so many other tactical systems hurt ASL?

62nd Army

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Messages
576
Reaction score
117
Location
USA
Country
llUnited States
Gentlemen

I was wondering if others thought that the proliferation of other small unit tactical games like Combat Commander, Old School Tactical, Lock & Load, etc, etc, have hurt ASL? I would like to say no, but I think that is unrealistic. ASL compared to any one of those games probably has a more dedicate following. Collectively however, I think these have hurt ASL? (Cost players, sales, etc) This is admittedly just based on my observations of the sheer number of these games.

I wish to be clear here, I am NOT bashing any of these games, to each his own, I just want others take on this situation.

Regards
Joe
 

Mister T

Elder Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2006
Messages
3,694
Reaction score
1,040
Location
Bruxelles
Country
llFrance
It's funny because i was discussing the merits of a new game elsewhere, the last hundred yards (GMT), which some were finding interesting but did not stand scrutiny, at least to my opinion. While these games repeatedly attempt to topple the ASL leadership, they generally fail to do so, while fueling interest for the market segment -WW2-tactical- , which is eventually good for our game.

A quick look at Vassal usage statistics shows how dominant our game remains compared to other WW2 tactical systems (open monthly data, then look at "VASL")

 
Last edited:

Paul M. Weir

Forum Guru
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
8,211
Reaction score
3,086
Location
Dublin
First name
Paul
Country
llIreland
To some extent any rival tactical system will take some from ASL, that is true. My approach is to look at what is ASL's demographic. It's a super detailed system, quite a distance beyond rival systems like L'n'L. It's key demographic are the anally retentive, obsessive nerds and I don't exclude myself from that description. The low to medium complexity types will at best try ASL and most will decide that ASL is not for them. That's fine, a game should be for relaxation, learning and challenge, not a quest where you abandon life and family. So on the lower end of complexity scale such games will take bites out of ASL, but ASL has the higher end fairly sown up. That strength is itself a form of weakness, the effort to get into ASL.
 

lluis61

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2017
Messages
201
Reaction score
169
Location
Barcelona
First name
Luis
Country
llSpain
There are interesting game systems out there, but limited ones. I've seen it many times: they work well with the initial game, but then, they believe that have made it and go a step too much for them, and begin to introduce new rules besides the simple infantry combat… and then they fail miserably. I know many ASLrs that buy that games ( I work at a game shop) and after a month (or after trying the first expansion) they bring them to sell as second hand. I always think of it as absurd. You play the best of the best, but you keep trying to see if another game is better and simpler. That's not how life works; you want detail, you take the bunch of rules associated to it.
ASL has inconsistencies, but not ridiculous ones. All the other WWII tactical systems have inconsistencies that immediatley dettach you from the game.
 

MAS01

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
1,211
Reaction score
357
Location
Joplin, MO
First name
Mark
Country
llUnited States
To some extent any rival tactical system will take some from ASL, that is true. My approach is to look at what is ASL's demographic. It's a super detailed system, quite a distance beyond rival systems like L'n'L. It's key demographic are the anally retentive, obsessive nerds and I don't exclude myself from that description. The low to medium complexity types will at best try ASL and most will decide that ASL is not for them. That's fine, a game should be for relaxation, learning and challenge, not a quest where you abandon life and family. So on the lower end of complexity scale such games will take bites out of ASL, but ASL has the higher end fairly sown up. That strength is itself a form of weakness, the effort to get into ASL.

Hey Paul!

First, congratulations on becoming a moderator. However, I tend to disagree with your first sentence. Mind you, this is all gut-feel, but I don't believe that ASL would really "fit" with gamers who play the rival systems. I see most of those gamers as ones who play a wide variety of games and use one of the rival systems to whet their tactical appetite. Everything I've seen with the rival systems is an attempt to do an "ASL-lite", but isn't that really the role that Starter Kit fills? And if you're playing a rival ASL-lite, why not just play the official one? I've always seen ASL as more of a lifestyle game, the primary game that a player plays. I know that's the case with me, although recently I've taken a liking to some of the recent releases that are solo-designed from the start (D-Day at Tarawa, NATO Air Commander, Peleponnesian War, etc.). I find that they present me with an interesting puzzle to solve and a great diversion from ASL.

Just my $0.02.

Cheers,


Mark
 

Paul M. Weir

Forum Guru
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
8,211
Reaction score
3,086
Location
Dublin
First name
Paul
Country
llIreland
However, I tend to disagree with your first sentence. Mind you, this is all gut-feel, but I don't believe that ASL would really "fit" with gamers who play the rival systems.
I'm more thinking along these lines: I started with PanzerBlitz and PanzerLeader and bought many subsequent tactical games from the likes of SPI. The closest to satisfying my itch for a long time was SPI's October War. SL though physically more attractive did not do it for me, it took CoI to get to the level I needed. So think of a gamer that is not quite as nutty as I. That person may have a complexity range that overlaps both L'n'L (or ASLSK) and more bread and butter ASL. If that person gets enough satisfaction with a game that is a complexity level below ASL, he/she may well decide that it's not worth it to go to ASL. That reluctance may be because of the intimidating reputation, time requirements or availability of modules of ASL.

In summary, I don't think other games will detract people who delight in ASL complexity, more that they might provide a satisfying landing pad for someone who is moving up in game complexity.
 

dlazov

Elder Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Messages
7,530
Reaction score
862
Location
Toledo, Ohio
First name
Don
Country
llUnited States
The Evils of Greenwood, first AH start you off on SL and then entice you with COI and to add to the sugar frosting COD, the icing on the cake was GIAOV.

Then so many versions of the above rules and gamelettes we started getting fed up, then the evil Greenwood “invented” ASL (right, he planned it all ages ago), and we waited, and waited and waited some more. Then a surprise a module called BV arrives, and we are confounded with all the new pieces what do they mean?

The evil Greenwood then delivers the coup de grace with the ASL rule book and Paratrooper arriving at the same time (like the evil man did not know this), boy those rules are big and lengthy but no more squabbling with 4 SL rulebooks and with Q&As pasted, written everywhere, no we gets some new clean sheets to meditate over.

Some lamented and nashed their teeth swearing no way to ASL (Sgt. Scott in OAF magazine), some left in a rage but others filled their shoes.

Ah the evil Greenwood strikes again with RB and WOA and HL and CDG.

Evil Greenwood enlists evil Meadrow to prove by statistics and numbers 6,6 or 1,1 is all probabilities and facts but they lie, because our dice live and breathe by the sweat of our hands.

COB and Gung Ho, KGP I and II and evil black SS in a bridge too far.

Then the Annuals were wrote with endless scenarios in our throats and more articles to boot. New faces when the AH regime died bought games and added more and tell us that Perry Seyz, oh the lies...

The Evil Greenwood spread...
 
Last edited:

zgrose

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2004
Messages
3,463
Reaction score
469
Location
Kingwood, TX
First name
Zoltan
Country
llUnited States
Well, I suspect there are more players lost to the OOP game system, and those are actual losses. SK players are still paying MMP’s heating bill.
 

Swiftandsure

Robin Reeve
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
Messages
16,338
Reaction score
1,896
Location
St-Légier
First name
Robin
Country
llSwitzerland
How many full ASL players have moved to SK only?
I don't think so many.
 

TopT

Elder Member
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
1,948
Reaction score
686
Location
PA
Country
llUnited States
Is the assumption "had it not been SK, they would all have learned ASL directly instead of running away screaming"?
I don't know what the assumption is. I am just saying how I took his comment that some might have picked up the SK's and proceeded no further.
 
Top