Ideas for Starter Kits?

owenedwards

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Piping in to say that ASLSK#5 being Desert would be perfectly justifiable (and would definitely make sense as the last "full" Starter Kit). Why?

(1) Because in terms of full ASL "modes", the Desert is the last big thing left - it has a whole chapter dedicated to it! Yes, it's undergamed - but will be much more gamed after Hollow Legions II is released. Why is it undercovered/undergamed? Out of print core product is one reason; connected to that is a relative lack of new scenarios; at root, perhaps, is that it's a dense ruleset, even compared to PTO. A Starter Kit seems more justifiable on that very basis!

(2) It's a major part of the war, and it's legitimate for SK-only players to get a product covering East Africa, the Western Desert, Torch/Tunisia, and the Middle East.

(3) It's an exciting product to think about. Three-four overlayless boards (you could always include a Big Escarpment Overlay ala WoA, for better variety). Include a few new terrain types (dunes, hammada, deir, wadi, hillock?), include a version of Dust, include Minefields. Four nationalities ala SK3: German, Italian, Commonwealth, French (allowing you to get the French OOB into SK!). You can then cover: Western Desert (including Birk Hakeim!), East Africa, Exporter, parts of Torch and Tunisia. And EP3 could include France and Norway 40, and US actions in Torch (and hey, add some Ethiopians and have Mini-Soldiers of the Negus ;)).

(4) But, to touch on the other point made above, it makes sense as the last full SK - it covers the final full chapter, and depending on nationality inclusions could also introduce the last big OOB. It means that an SK-only player can play every theatre. It means a hybrid player can train in everything - and is a way of teaching touch Desert rules to people wanting to move on to full ASL! Not many other big things for a 6th to cover - SK-level landing rules make sense in a SKHASL or in an EP, but not as the core of a whole box; you can use EPs to add more counters to badly-covered OOBs (the Minors, most obviously) or even absent ones (Finnish, as Chinese entered in EP2).
 

Michael Dorosh

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Piping in to say that ASLSK#5 being Desert would be perfectly justifiable (and would definitely make sense as the last "full" Starter Kit). Why?

(1) Because in terms of full ASL "modes", the Desert is the last big thing left - it has a whole chapter dedicated to it!
The same can be said of Deluxe ASL....
 

Actionjick

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Piping in to say that ASLSK#5 being Desert would be perfectly justifiable (and would definitely make sense as the last "full" Starter Kit). Why?

(1) Because in terms of full ASL "modes", the Desert is the last big thing left - it has a whole chapter dedicated to it! Yes, it's undergamed - but will be much more gamed after Hollow Legions II is released. Why is it undercovered/undergamed? Out of print core product is one reason; connected to that is a relative lack of new scenarios; at root, perhaps, is that it's a dense ruleset, even compared to PTO. A Starter Kit seems more justifiable on that very basis!

(2) It's a major part of the war, and it's legitimate for SK-only players to get a product covering East Africa, the Western Desert, Torch/Tunisia, and the Middle East.

(3) It's an exciting product to think about. Three-four overlayless boards (you could always include a Big Escarpment Overlay ala WoA, for better variety). Include a few new terrain types (dunes, hammada, deir, wadi, hillock?), include a version of Dust, include Minefields. Four nationalities ala SK3: German, Italian, Commonwealth, French (allowing you to get the French OOB into SK!). You can then cover: Western Desert (including Birk Hakeim!), East Africa, Exporter, parts of Torch and Tunisia. And EP3 could include France and Norway 40, and US actions in Torch (and hey, add some Ethiopians and have Mini-Soldiers of the Negus ;)).

(4) But, to touch on the other point made above, it makes sense as the last full SK - it covers the final full chapter, and depending on nationality inclusions could also introduce the last big OOB. It means that an SK-only player can play every theatre. It means a hybrid player can train in everything - and is a way of teaching touch Desert rules to people wanting to move on to full ASL! Not many other big things for a 6th to cover - SK-level landing rules make sense in a SKHASL or in an EP, but not as the core of a whole box; you can use EPs to add more counters to badly-covered OOBs (the Minors, most obviously) or even absent ones (Finnish, as Chinese entered in EP2).
I'm not sure about Desert for the ASLSK, it seems too complex for players who don't even want to tackle basic ASL. Don't get me wrong I very much liked the Desert, helped Mac with the early playtest but I don't think it's most people's cup of tea. Btw PTO seems even less adaptable to the SK although it probably has greater appeal than the Desert.
 

owenedwards

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Actionjick: I mean, arguably "basic" ASL is a contradiction in terms ;) (per the BD&D/AD&D split...). AFVs are pretty complex, but they're a successful part of SK. Even more so with PTO (which you rightly comment on). I'd say "see if it works in development". I'd reckon it will. Five new terrain types and a Dust mechanic activated by SSR don't seem all that impossible to port over.
 

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I think you nailed it, that's what it sounded like to me too. I really like what he said at 29:15 regarding the in game 2 minute turns and how he had watched different guys playing ASL taking 30 mins a turn due to all of the rules reading they would do, and yes, it was more detailed but less realistic. Later he said a leader is pretty much limited to telling a unit to move/attack there, but beyond that the leader is just watching and hoping everything goes well. I've always felt this way myself, the Starter Kits produce a gaming experience closer to the speed I want but I'm still required to buy the big binder to utilise all the terrain rules, charts, chapter H, etc. making it all a little bit of a compromise. There would be a market for a Squad Leader 2 IMO. I'm into ASL because it's still better then anything else out there right now, but the SK chrome trimming is responsible for that...
Far be it for me to contradict the legendary Ioannes Collis but players even approaching two minutes per turn is not reasonable, and believe me we tried. Both of us were fast players but given the piece density of practically all scenarios, especially SL, it wasn't possible. That being said I much preferred an opponent who embraced the spirit of the two minutes per turn and played accordingly.
 

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Actionjick: I mean, arguably "basic" ASL is a contradiction in terms ;) (per the BD&D/AD&D split...). AFVs are pretty complex, but they're a successful part of SK. Even more so with PTO (which you rightly comment on). I'd say "see if it works in development". I'd reckon it will. Five new terrain types and a Dust mechanic activated by SSR don't seem all that impossible to port over.
I tend to agree that basic ASL does seem to be a contradiction in terms but the game can be played without all the chrome and still be ASL. I think Mr. Hill was right on the money with his observations about ASL and chrome. It just seems to me that the starter kit is not a starter when it attempts to cover too much.
 

Michael Dorosh

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Far be it for me to contradict the legendary Ioannes Collis but players even approaching two minutes per turn is not reasonable, and believe me we tried. Both of us were fast players but given the piece density of practically all scenarios, especially SL, it wasn't possible. That being said I much preferred an opponent who embraced the spirit of the two minutes per turn and played accordingly.
Even if we believed that each turn in SL/ASL represents two actual minutes, each unit on the board is experiencing that 2 minutes, making decisions, etc. But there is only one player able to execute those decisions - doing it in "real time" would mean two minutes for every unit on the board...

I tend to agree that basic ASL does seem to be a contradiction in terms but the game can be played without all the chrome and still be ASL. I think Mr. Hill was right on the money with his observations about ASL and chrome. It just seems to me that the starter kit is not a starter when it attempts to cover too much.
Quite, at that point it becomes its own game system - and that is apparently just fine by a number of people. More power to them.
 

owenedwards

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I guess ASLSK seems to me to validly attempt - and, as I read around, largely succeed - at two aims. It's a bridge to full ASL - and it's its own game system. I don't know anything else like it, though you see some interesting parallels now like Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion, a slightly simpler/better-presented version of Gloomhaven, functioning as a starter and as a game in its own right.

So the problem you articulate is this: DTO might be too complicated to turn into a "starter version", as with PTO. Any such system in SK would just be its own middle-weight game system, not a starter/bridge to ASL. I can see that.
 

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Even if we believed that each turn in SL/ASL represents two actual minutes, each unit on the board is experiencing that 2 minutes, making decisions, etc. But there is only one player able to execute those decisions - doing it in "real time" would mean two minutes for every unit on the board...



Quite, at that point it becomes its own game system - and that is apparently just fine by a number of people. More power to them.
Well said!! However players embrace whatever part of SL/ASL/ASLSK and even Up Front is fine by me. Go for it!

John's comment about people being upset about having to replace counters when transitioning to ASL reminds me of a story Captain Bacchus wants me to relate.

It was at Origins when ASL was first released. AH put on a seminar about SL/ASL and afterwards had a Q and A segment. One attendee spoke up and was quite irked that the new FFE counter didn't have the explosion graphic on it that the SL had! Ok, not my funniest story but still sticks with me decades later. ??
 

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The same can be said of Deluxe ASL....
Starter Kit Deluxe? You might be on to something. And though I was skeptical last year, SK PTO is winning me over, especially on VASL where you can make orchards look like palm trees. Currently playing S71 American Devil and planning to play the scenarios in Starter Kit Expansion Pack #2 next.

SK DTO could work but I don't think it needs its own boards. Hollow Legions is due this January(fingers crossed)and given the nature of the maps could be used in Desert Lite. Perhaps MMP could take the Expansion Pack route, introducing simpler rules for fortifications, adding some counters as necessary, and taking the Starter Kit Leader to the sandlot.
 

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Even if we believed that each turn in SL/ASL represents two actual minutes, each unit on the board is experiencing that 2 minutes, making decisions, etc. But there is only one player able to execute those decisions - doing it in "real time" would mean two minutes for every unit on the board...



Quite, at that point it becomes its own game system - and that is apparently just fine by a number of people. More power to them.
The two minute turn is definitely an abstraction but if you happen to be in an abstract frame of mind it can seem possible. ?
 

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Even if we believed that each turn in SL/ASL represents two actual minutes, each unit on the board is experiencing that 2 minutes, making decisions, etc. But there is only one player able to execute those decisions - doing it in "real time" would mean two minutes for every unit on the board...
I've seen players who did exactly that. Fortunately never had to play one of those guys.
 
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owenedwards

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Starter Kit Deluxe? You might be on to something. And though I was skeptical last year, SK PTO is winning me over, especially on VASL where you can make orchards look like palm trees. Currently playing S71 American Devil and planning to play the scenarios in Starter Kit Expansion Pack #2 next.

SK DTO could work but I don't think it needs its own boards. Hollow Legions is due this January(fingers crossed)and given the nature of the maps could be used in Desert Lite. Perhaps MMP could take the Expansion Pack route, introducing simpler rules for fortifications, adding some counters as necessary, and taking the Starter Kit Leader to the sandlot.
Perhaps my preference for a full SK is because it makes it easier to fit in a French OOB and a bunch of Cruisers and Valentines...;)
 

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The two minute turn is definitely an abstraction but if you happen to be in an abstract frame of mind it can seem possible. ?
Yes, but what if they forego ASL/ASLSK altogether and play an operational game where each turn may be a week/month, normally too long for me, let alone a strategic game where the turns may be a quarter of a year or better.o_O
 

Actionjick

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Yes, but what if they forego ASL/ASLSK altogether and play an operational game where each turn may be a week/month, normally too long for me, let alone a strategic game where the turns may be a quarter of a year or better.o_O
Just requires a greater amount of some " abstract thought ". ?
 

Actionjick

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Heck, I can hardly remember where I left my car keys overnight let alone a game sequence/play over such periods between turns.:whistle:;)
I suggest a bottle of cheap wine. If the brain cells are starting to let you down might as well take them down with you.????
 
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