Long time gamer from Boise

Jason Bolles

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Hi All, I am a long-time gamer (not video games) since college. Brand new to ASL and the ASL community. I'm over 50 and have primarily played board games and 15mm sci-fi miniatures (StarGrunt II and Gruntz 15mm) since 2003. I have a twin brother who is also tentatively interested in getting into ASL. He bought ASLSK #1. I've got ASLSK #1, #2, #3, ASL core rules (the binder) and the pocket edition, Beyond Valor, Yanks, and For King and Country. I also have the 2nd edition Solitaire ASL module. We're interested in playing using VASL. He's located in Richland, WA. I'm in Boise, ID. He's has much less free time than I do. Any suggestions on how to get started? I've been watching youtube video tutorials, reading boardgamegeek.com, and I joined these forums. We're both military history buffs. I'm much more eclectic, but he focuses on the Civil War specifically the Battle of Gettysburg.
 

von Marwitz

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Hi All, I am a long-time gamer (not video games) since college. Brand new to ASL and the ASL community. I'm over 50 and have primarily played board games and 15mm sci-fi miniatures (StarGrunt II and Gruntz 15mm) since 2003. I have a twin brother who is also tentatively interested in getting into ASL. He bought ASLSK #1. I've got ASLSK #1, #2, #3, ASL core rules (the binder) and the pocket edition, Beyond Valor, Yanks, and For King and Country. I also have the 2nd edition Solitaire ASL module. We're interested in playing using VASL. He's located in Richland, WA. I'm in Boise, ID. He's has much less free time than I do. Any suggestions on how to get started? I've been watching youtube video tutorials, reading boardgamegeek.com, and I joined these forums. We're both military history buffs. I'm much more eclectic, but he focuses on the Civil War specifically the Battle of Gettysburg.
Welcome to the fold, Jason!

The best thing to get started...

I could now say that it would only take you around two to three months to develop and implement the 'perfect' storage system after spending improbable amounts of money on kit (don't forget not to tell your wife because otherwise, you'll be dead before you're halfway through) and then another three months to clip the counters appropriately.

But I will abstain from advising that now, sagely waiting for you to get dragged into the hobby until you eventually see the genuine reason and feel the urge to do this from within. ;)

Advice #1:
One good step to get started you already made:
You found this forum. This is one of the best sources for ASL around. You can get connected with people, you can ask even the most obscure rules questions (and get good answers by very good players in short order for most of the cases). Then, this forum is a trove of infomation for everything around ASL. The best way to search this forum is as follows:

Do not use the inherent search function of the forum but google with the follwing search string:
site:gamesquad.com "searchword(s)"

Advice #2:
Play against experienced opponents - either face-to-face or via VASL (see below). ASL is incredibly complex and it will speed up things tremendously if someone teaches you. That way you will learn the most important routines first and get to know the basic structure of the game. You will also get a feeling for what is most important to know and what is chrome that can be dealt with later. I have wasted years teaching myself for lack of opponents (VASL wasn't around then and no face-to-face oppos either). For lack of a teacher/mentor, I 'learned' as well to do many things wrong, which is a fuss to 'unlearn' later. Once you have gotten into the basics, play many different opponents. Each opponent has his tricks, tactics and mistakes. What one experienced player does wrong (and you think he does it right), might be pointed out and corrected by the next experienced player you have a game with.

Advice #3:
Check out VASL. You need to install VASSAL (http://www.vassalengine.org/) and then the VASL module (http://vasl.info/).
VASL is a virtual playing environment which will provide you will all boards all counters etc. while using a computer. More importantly, it will enable you to play live games with opponents across the world. If you use VASL in combination with Skype for voice, it works extremely well.

Advice #4:
Have patience. The Starter Kits are a good way to get into the game and to find out if you like the basic mechanisms. If you do like the SKs, then you might very well like (full) ASL. With full ASL, for starters, I am talking about chapters A, B, C, and D.
Some people remain with SKs and do not move on. That is ok if it suits their preference. But taking the plunge once familiar with SK is definitively worth a try. ASL is the best tactical wargame for WW2 out there. It is a gift that keeps on giving, it can accompany you for a lifetime.

Advice #5:
This is not really an advice on how to get started, but nevertheless good to know. If you get involved in ASL, earlier or later you will see that ASL is more than a game. It is a hobby (remember the counter-storage and clipping craziness I mentioned in the intro?). And, even more importantly, it is a community. If you have the chance, try to visit a tournament - regardless of your skill-level. This will get you in touch with the people who are generally a fine bunch. I have been offered room and board - and of course a game - by ASLers from the US to Australia without ever having asked for it and I would do the same for many of us. For some people this community develops into something that becomes equally important as the game itself. Many long-time if not life-time friendships have originated around this game.

Advice #6:
Bytimes the tone might be a bit rough in this forum. No berserk revilements unless you venture into the non-game political section, though. Some guys there can be people with 'an attitude' on a bad day and be very nice for most of the rest. Allow yourself time to become familiar and you will learn the quirks of the people around here and better able to judge them. In general, folks are very open and helpful.


Cheers,
von Marwitz
 
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