New Product: ASL Starter Pack #1

kdalton

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2003
Messages
2,457
Reaction score
72
Location
Charleston, WV
Multi-Man Publishing is proud to announce a new product for the ADVANCED SQUAD LEADER (ASL) system – the ASL STARTER PACK #1.

The ASL STARTER PACK is the first in a new set of how-to modules designed to get new players quickly into the ASL action.

The pack will contain six small scenarios pitting American and Russian troops against Germans. Enough counters to play the scenarios will be included in the pack. Two new geomorphic maps mounted on card stock will be enclosed, as well as a new rules booklet written as a phase-by-phase tutorial on the game and dice. In short, everything you need to immediately start learning and playing ASL is right there in one package.

The scenarios are still being finalized, but here’s a taste of what’s included:
  • US Paratroopers versus Germans in a scenario featuring a pitched battle for control of a village;
  • A Stalingrad scenario in which German sturm troops try to take a few key buildings on a city map prior to a Russian "strike team" counterattack;
  • A U.S. Army assault in the German city of Aachen in 1944.
We are projecting a retail price of around $25 and expect to put it on our preorder list soon. Our projected release date is the second week of March just after the GAMA conference.

MMP will put it up for preorder to give our loyal customers a chance to get it at a discount since we will not be selling the components on this individually (we're keeping this project very tight with regards to costs, overruns and overhead to keep the price bare-bones). We hope to put it up for preorder during our holiday break. It won't have a P# to "hit"; we're considering this to be one of those "MMP has to take a risk" games that we feel we have to make.

If this proves successful, we intend to do more of these Starter Kits to introduce ordnance, armor, and more terrain types.
 

Birdgunner

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2003
Messages
181
Reaction score
4
Location
Bagotville, QC!
Country
llCanada
I think this is a great idea Keith. One problem I am finding with getting ASL more exposure is that retailers are apprehensive to start carrying ASL. The cost of the rulebook and Beyond Valour with little to no guarantee that it will sell make it look too risky for them to carry it.

If the price can stay as low as you are projecting I can see more potential players that are on the fence trying it out.

Are the geomorphic maps intended to integrate into the rest of the system? ie: there's something for everybody here.
 

Hams

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2003
Messages
55
Reaction score
4
Location
Elgin, Scotland
Country
ll
As a new player (played my first ever ASL game on Tuesday) my thoughts are...

1) How does this affect the reprint of the ASLRB which I seem to recall reading somewhere was the next priority and is also due "to begin shipping in the first few months of 2004" (quote from a MMP email).

2) Is it a good plan to offer a Starter package to encourage people to play ASL for them to subsequently discover that they cannot buy the ASLRB and Beyond Valor?

...mind I'll be preordering anyway as it sounds like just what I need :)
 

Aries

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
4,187
Reaction score
5
Location
Earth
Country
llCanada
Well dang it I am taking credit for this idea unless I can get definitive proof it was thought up more than a year ago hehe :)

Look at my post traffic, have I not been ranting for an ASL product where joe newby doesn't have to spring for a 150 buck plus game he might not wish to own?

Eh Eh Eh :)

And now, we only need to keep the #$#&#^&&# hard core fans from buying all the #&^$%#%^% first run just so they can add another ^^&$$%&$* module to their collection.

Good job MMP, I applaud this first real indication you actually want someone other than us old diehard freaks to buy the game hehe.

I have not been overly impressed with the company's concept of thinking until now. But now I feel much better.

Yes we need ASLRB2. Yes we need Beyond Valour and all the rest. But what seems to be escaping all the ASL grogs, is joe newbie is NOT going to shell out 150 plus bucks for a game just because a few faithful say they should, any more than software is easy to sell without a demo.
 

Priest

Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
Messages
2,132
Reaction score
4
Location
Denver, Colorado
I just hope that these starter kits can be integrated into the ASL system if they decide to persue ASL further. When I first heard about it it got flashes of MTG portal release.
 

Chris Milne

Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
675
Reaction score
3
Location
Letchworth, UK
Country
ll
Well, judging from Consimworld, MMP has tapped a rich vein of players that were interested in ASL but were put off by the price and/or the size of the RB. So it looks as though ASL will have a new stream of players opened up, which is great.

My query is: will those that buy the starter pack(s) then need to go on and buy the RB and core modules? I'd feel hard done by if I was to spend on these games and then have to go and spend a lot more to get the full monty.
 

Priest

Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
Messages
2,132
Reaction score
4
Location
Denver, Colorado
LestheSarge9-1 said:
Yuck Portal was bad bad bad.
Exactly, this is starting to sound like Portal. They are going to give these guys a few counters, a couple of mapboards and some scaled down rules. This is to get them hooked and when they try to buy the full version of the ASLRB it isn't going to be there nor is BV. Gee, I hope that I'm wrong but this is starting to sound bad.
 

Aries

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
4,187
Reaction score
5
Location
Earth
Country
llCanada
I agree Priest.

The key to this new product will be that it lets the buyer for a minor fee, actually see the game, and actually allow them to decide categorically if it is worth all the hype.

Wrong choice is to give them a functioning full game of course. This shouldn't become just another demo that removes the need to buy the real thing.

But.....

If MMP doesn't have ASL Rulebook 2 and Beyond Valour ON SALE AND FULLY IN STOCK the day this new item is released, then I can only say the company is run by idiots. Yes I will at that time wash my hands of MMP if that is indeed the case.

It would be the same as a store spending time and effort to advertise before the shelves are stocked with the items in the ads.

Frankly if I was to buy this new demo product, and I was told they were out of stock of the most core of the core items, I would be inclined to demand a refund of the demo as well.

Want my fullest opinion, the demo should actually BE a built it deposit on the cost of purchasing ASLRB2 and BV if both are bought at same time.

Yep possessing this new item should be good for 25 bucks off the purchase of ASLRB2 and BV. And nope, I am NOT interested in hearing about the cost to produce either of said items nor the cost involved in selling the demo item.

Frankly, if MMP CAN'T conduct business like a REAL business, then it is about time they started letting someone else do it instead.

I would not even think it was improper to approach Hasbro and suggest that it might be about time they reconsidered their choice of operation in charge of ASL.

Call that remark whatever you wish too.

I have heard far nastier remarks fielded at plenty of software makers that have done far less in their mismanagement of titles actually.

Everything connected with the presentation of ASL and it being in stock always comes back to money. You don't make money until you spend money. Heck I learned that in grade 10 marketing.

Crying you can't reprint a hit item because you are short on cash in a good indication no one in charge has any real business training.

I am definitely hoping this new item is a strong indication of forward momentum in regards to the MMP people now actually committing to the ASL line.
 

Brad Knoll

Eagerly awaiting UF 2000
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
178
Reaction score
11
Location
Kingston, Ontario
Country
llCanada
What happened to iASL? My patience with MMP is running real thin. I used to be a MMP supporter. I have been working to get new people into the game, but cant because these people cant get rulebooks. It is very frustrating. Wasnt a big fan of the iASL concept but seems to me MMP lacks focus.
 

Dr Zaius

Chief Defender of the Faith
Joined
May 1, 2001
Messages
8,903
Reaction score
518
Location
The Forbidden Zone
First name
Don
Country
llUnited States
Stubble Jumper said:
What happened to iASL? My patience with MMP is running real thin. I used to be a MMP supporter. I have been working to get new people into the game, but cant because these people cant get rulebooks. It is very frustrating. Wasnt a big fan of the iASL concept but seems to me MMP lacks focus.
Let's not be too hasty. MMP may be onto something here. Before we jump to any conclusions let's see what this new product has to offer. It might turn out to be better than you expect.

MMP is finally starting to turn out ASL material at a fairly reasonable rate of late. In my book that's a good thing.
 

Birdgunner

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2003
Messages
181
Reaction score
4
Location
Bagotville, QC!
Country
llCanada
What????

Don Maddox said:
MMP is finally starting to turn out ASL material at a fairly reasonable rate of late. In my book that's a good thing.
Your kidding right?

Let's see, FKaC was on pre-order for what, over a year and had several release dates. The Rulebook has been on pre-order for about the same time and is still not printed. BV is not even on the P# list yet. AOO already has over 1000 pre-orders but I won't expect it to be printed before Santa comes next year.

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of a demo type product to get more people interested in the game but Stubble Jumper has a point. If MMP doesn't get the ASLRBv2 and BV out at the same time or before, than the people that do try the starter packs will be dissapointed and possibly turned away by MMPs apparent unreliability; and without new players the game WILL die.

Rant mode off....you may now return to your regular post reading.
 

Dr Zaius

Chief Defender of the Faith
Joined
May 1, 2001
Messages
8,903
Reaction score
518
Location
The Forbidden Zone
First name
Don
Country
llUnited States
I know some of this stuff has taken a while to get to this point. I'm talking about right now. MMP just released FKaC and we are getting a new Journal as we speak. In addition it looks like some of the long awaited reprints are not very far off and MMP just announced a new product.

Has MMP turned a corner? That remaines to be seen.
 

Brad Knoll

Eagerly awaiting UF 2000
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
178
Reaction score
11
Location
Kingston, Ontario
Country
llCanada
I think the new products are great since i own almost everything available. The ASL COMMUNITY needs the rulebook and BV not now, but like a year ago or however long it has been OoP. I was one of the patient ones, but it has gone too long OoP and is hurting the growth big time.
 

Priest

Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
Messages
2,132
Reaction score
4
Location
Denver, Colorado
Chris Milne said:
My query is: will those that buy the starter pack(s) then need to go on and buy the RB and core modules? I'd feel hard done by if I was to spend on these games and then have to go and spend a lot more to get the full monty.
It would seem so Chris, these starter packs look to be little more than demos. I just hope that MMP will have the ASLRB and BV back in print by then.
 

Aries

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
4,187
Reaction score
5
Location
Earth
Country
llCanada
Ideally the starter package should only suffice to demonstate the game.

Therefore I re iterate, it should do nothing at all to discourage the buyer from buying the manual and BV.

But again I state, putting the starter out without getting ASL RB2 and BV in stock, and oh I mean in stock realistically too eh, so 20 copies will be a fools decision at best will be the same as suicide for the company.

After all, what better way to go down the tube than to attract a lot of eager new fans, and then make them angry when they can't buy the real thing after investing in the demo eh.

Thus I re state, the company might want to consider a discount for getting ASL RB2 and BV if they have a proof of purchase from this starter kit.
 

Chris Milne

Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
675
Reaction score
3
Location
Letchworth, UK
Country
ll
Well, these questions have been asked on Consimworld (where BY answers regularly), and the plan is that, if the starter packs sell well, the cash will be used to fund the reprint of the ASLRB and BV. There shouldn't be any delays, since all the laying out etc. is sorted (though it'd be nice to remove the few errata that crept into the ASLRB2).

If the intention is for players that get the starter packs to then go on and buy these core products, then yes, I think they should get a discount. Though perhaps there'll be enough in the starter packs to render BV unnecessary for a lot of scenarios.
 

Aries

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
4,187
Reaction score
5
Location
Earth
Country
llCanada
"Well, these questions have been asked on Consimworld (where BY answers regularly), and the plan is that, if the starter packs sell well, the cash will be used to fund the reprint of the ASLRB and BV."

Oh that sounds wise (add your sarcasm here).

So lets see if I have this clear, they sell the starter pack for a game for say 4 months, and all during that 4 months they are willing to endure the anger of the first wave that want to order the game, but are told, we will have it on sale in a few months.

"There shouldn't be any delays, since all the laying out etc. is sorted"

Problem is, MMP is already gaining a reputation for being good at creating delays.

Hmmm, personally I don't get it. What is so difficult here?

Have the MMP people never heard of investors?
Do they really think so little of this game, they can't get a SMALL bit of investment to cover the cost of printing BEFORE putting it on sale?


As far as I am concerned, selling the starter and then printing the manual and BV tells me only one thing. Either I know a great deal more about business than do the owners of MMP, or they just reeeeeally don't care how efficiently the game is marketed, and reeeeally don't wish to be a genuine business.

I think the second has to be more likely, because I am not so sure I am able to justify the first.

If MMP doesn't do that which is required to be taken seriously, then maybe it is time we all decided to just play old ASL, and turf them and turf their product from our lives.
Hey I own ASL, and many of us fall into that category.
And my old ASL didn't suddenly stop working for me just because it isn't 2nd edition eh.
The magnitude of improvements is not so earth shattering that I absolutely can't afford to NOT get 2nd edition.

Or an other option, wargaming could always just say screw it anyone got a line on where I can get a copy of Panzergrenadier or Lock and Load.
I love my ASL dearly, but wargame designers didn't suddenly stop making wargames after ASL was made eh. Ever compare the price difference between ASL and Lock and Load?

I sure hope MMP stop fumbling the ball and finally takes the shot.
 
Last edited:
Top