Scenario Pack(s) Idea

Cult.44

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I'm wondering if there might be a niche for scenario packs that are conservative in their use of boards and overlays which would be aimed at new players coming into the hobby and graduating from the Starter Kits. One frustrating experience I've had is you buy a module, say FK&C, so now you have the British OB but, nevertheless, you still can't play many scenarios that feature the British because you don't have the boards and overlays (particularly true, of course, for newer scenarios).

So I'm thinkig of something like a set of British scenarios that use only boards (and components) from BV, FK&C and maybe SK#3. You could do similar treatment for BV and DB. Maybe one or two scenarios could stray from the rule but still only use stuff that's in print and readily available.

I certainly would have gobbled up packs like that if they were available after purchasing the various in-print modules. I've been lucky in that I've been able to afford the board bundle and a couple of out-of-print modules but a lot of players don't have that luxury. It seems like it would be nice, after having puchased something like FK&C, to be able to get some scenarios you know you can play and would tide you over until you can afford to expand your kit further.
 

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I\ve always thought this would be a great ifea - the BV Pack, the FKaC Pack etc. Difficult to do tho.....
 

dlazov

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This is a good idea, but I would expand it out a bit more. The map pack is still available and if one shops around they can pick it up for less than $200.

If someone has BV, FKAC, DB3 (all in print) and the Map Pack there is a lot of scenarios one could play and a lot that one could 'create' for the newbies.

BV is a main requirement and does come with the 10 boards, so that would be a good starting point, perhaps with a SK board or two thrown in but that would go on the assumption that someone has SK1, SK2, or SK3 (or the expansions, or the WO packs, or AP, etc). But its a great idea.

Why not make them Open Source and free to download in a nicely done PDF? Since they would be transitional scenarios for "SK newbies" wanting to come over with limited resources?

Just throwing out ideas.
 

RobZagnut

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Good in theory, poor in application. The goal of any publisher is to maximize sales. Then why limit your product with restricted units and boards? It's nice to 'hope' for this type of product, but not very practical.

Besides, the HASLs pretty much fill this niche. Doesn't Valor of the Guards, Red Barricades or Festung Budapest already only require Beyond Valor? Doesn't Pegasus Bridge and Operation Veritable only require FKaC and BV? Doesn't GT, OWT and BRT only require Yanks and RS? Etc.
 
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Vinnie

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Very good point about the CGs.

The limiting to the map bundle is not really limiting that much. I'm not certain many beginning players would be willing to drop that sort of money on something as large as that especially if they know they will be getting duplicates along the way when they pick up the modules.

I wonder if ASL will ever go to a "one box game" like the SKs are? It is possible since the majority of a countries counters are different types of vehicles/guns so a limited theatre box could achieve that. A small mix of system counters and a sheet and a half of others?
 

dlazov

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Again, Rob hence my suggestion for Open Source Scenario packs, yeah no one would make any money, they would be "TPP" for free, but we don't get into ASL to make the BIG $$$ lol...
 

Cult.44

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Good in theory, poor in application. The goal of any publisher is to maximize sales. ... (snip)QUOTE]

But are you really maximizing sales when you offer a scenario pack that, in order to play all the scenarios, requires the buyer to own the whole ASL kit? What percentage of ASL players are so endowed? (Currently I have all the in-print stuff, plus Yanks and Croix de Guerre, and the board bundle, yet in any given scenario pack, I can only play a half to two thirds of them because I'm missing overlays, or I don't have the Italian OB or something like that.) On the other hand, a scenario pack focused on particular module, with conservative use of boards, overlays, etc. would have broader appeal across the spectrum of players. Sure, some percentage of grognards who are tired of the old boards would decline to purchase the pack but many would buy it anyway.

It would also make the modules more attractive. If you've got BV and you're contemplating getting FK&C and you do a little research, you'll realize that you won't even be able to play all the scenarios in the module, and darned few from APs and elsewhere that feature the British. But if there were scenario packs available where you knew you could play 75% of the scenarios in it, then forking out for FK&C is a more attractive option.
 

dlazov

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If you're not worried about selling them for profit, what about the Open Source idea? Sort of like the News Letter that Jon puts out. Or perhaps a subscription based Scenario Pack Idea?

They would not be official, but that does not mean a scenario pack would not be good/cool or play balanced.

I suppose what the motive is? Are you going to submit it to MMP or BFP/LFT/CH etc.
 

Cult.44

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I harbor no illusions about making a profit, and I kind of like the open-source idea. But maybe this is something that could be pitched to MMP or other publisher. While I'm happy to download and print out scenarios, there is something gratifying about purchasing a physical pack that's nicely produced on card stock.
 

dlazov

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Ah, so your not looking to help create one, you're just saying you'd buy one.
 

RobZagnut

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But are you really maximizing sales when you offer a scenario pack that, in order to play all the scenarios, requires the buyer to own the whole ASL kit? What percentage of ASL players are so endowed? (Currently I have all the in-print stuff, plus Yanks and Croix de Guerre, and the board bundle, yet in any given scenario pack, I can only play a half to two thirds of them because I'm missing overlays, or I don't have the Italian OB or something like that.) On the other hand, a scenario pack focused on particular module, with conservative use of boards, overlays, etc. would have broader appeal across the spectrum of players. Sure, some percentage of grognards who are tired of the old boards would decline to purchase the pack but many would buy it anyway.

It would also make the modules more attractive. If you've got BV and you're contemplating getting FK&C and you do a little research, you'll realize that you won't even be able to play all the scenarios in the module, and darned few from APs and elsewhere that feature the British. But if there were scenario packs available where you knew you could play 75% of the scenarios in it, then forking out for FK&C is a more attractive option.
Boards 48-52 have been out since 2005 when they were published a year before AOO. That’s eight years of having boards 1-52 in print. That’s a long, long time. Plus, boards 53-55 didn’t come out until 2008, so designers had three years to create scenarios for 1-52. Again, that’s a long time. We now have 20 more boards, 53-66 and the six Fort style boards 1a-6a, available to be used. You’re asking designers to lose over one third of their canvas to create an extremely limited scenario set for older, tired boards. Not sure how many would sign up for that.

I might not buy a pack based on only boards 1-52. I did buy Jim McLeod's Canadian pack, but that was to pay tribute to him (which also happens to fit the qualifications youre looking for). I buy new APs, Journals and TPP packs like Blood & Jungle and Crucible of Steel, just so I can play on new boards. I bet many others do too.

What you’re asking is that a publisher take a step back to 2005 to cater to a small sampling of the ASL market. Why? Especially, if that small market hopefully likes ASL enough to catch up with the rest the market. So, why restrict their product? It doesn’t make sense. Plus, in those past eight years there are plenty of scenario packs available to you that already use your restrictions. Look at any Lone Canuck ‘Canadians at War’, ‘Canadians in Italy’ or MMP’s ‘Provence pack’. Look at many of the pre-2009 scenario packs and you will see packs like MMP’s AP#3, SP’s Rally Point #1, HOB’s Buckeyes, Tropic Thunder and RBF #3 that concentrate on one nationality and use the boards you specify.

Finally, old core modules used to include only 10 scenarios per module. Now, core modules like BV#3 and FKaC include 20 scenarios, which in essense, includes the extra scenario pack that you request.

In another eight years during 2020 when another new player wants to restrict the scenarios to boards 1-66 and 1a-11a we can refer him to current packs that concentrate on one nationality like the upcoming AP Burma pack, LFT’s French issue or BFP’s Poland in Flames, etc.

Like I said earlier… good in application, poor in theory.
 
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RobZagnut

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Got caught by the duplicate bug.
 
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Cult.44

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Ah, so your not looking to help create one, you're just saying you'd buy one.
Oh, as an aspiring desinger, I definitely would be interested in helping to create one. But as a consumer, I'd also be interested in buying one.
 

Cult.44

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Boards 48-52 have been out since 2005 when they were published a year before AOO. That’s eight years of having boards 1-52 in print. That’s a long, long time. Plus, boards 53-55 didn’t come out until 2008, so designers had three years to create scenarios for 1-52. Again, that’s a long time. We now have 20 more boards, 53-66 and the six Fort style boards 1a-6a, available to be used. You’re asking designers to lose over one third of their canvas to create an extremely limited scenario set for older, tired boards. Not sure how many would sign up for that.

I might not buy a pack based on only boards 1-52. I did buy Jim McLeod's Canadian pack, but that was to pay tribute to him (which also happens to fit the qualifications youre looking for). I buy new APs, Journals and TPP packs like Blood & Jungle and Crucible of Steel, just so I can play on new boards. I bet many others do too.

What you’re asking is that a publisher take a step back to 2005 to cater to a small sampling of the ASL market. Why? Especially, if that small market hopefully likes ASL enough to catch up with the rest the market. So, why restrict their product? It doesn’t make sense. Plus, in those past eight years there are plenty of scenario packs available to you that already use your restrictions. Look at any Lone Canuck ‘Canadians at War’, ‘Canadians in Italy’ or MMP’s ‘Provence pack’. Look at many of the pre-2009 scenario packs and you will see packs like MMP’s AP#3, SP’s Rally Point #1, HOB’s Buckeyes, Tropic Thunder and RBF #3 that concentrate on one nationality and use the boards you specify.

Finally, old core modules used to include only 10 scenarios per module. Now, core modules like BV#3 and FKaC include 20 scenarios, which in essense, includes the extra scenario pack that you request.

In another eight years during 2020 when another new player wants to restrict the scenarios to boards 1-66 and 1a-11a we can refer him to current packs that concentrate on one nationality like the upcoming AP Burma pack, LFT’s French issue or BFP’s Poland in Flames, etc.

Like I said earlier… good in application, poor in theory.
Your points are well taken but I continue to disagree with many of them. I'm not sure the age of the boards is overly relevant to what I'm saying, it's their availability. The board bundle is a considerable outlay, and the additional boards even more so if they're available at all. Also, it's not clear to me that established designers are hostile to using older boards -- it might be a fun challenge to restrict youself to the BV, FK&C and SK3 and see what you can come up with. And it doesn't mean stepping back from designing with new boards.

>and FKaC include 20 scenarios, which in essense, includes the extra scenario pack that you request.

Unfortunately, this isn't entirely true. Not all the scenarios in FK&C are playable with just BV, there are other dependencies. For example, 2 or 3 of the scenarios require glider couters which you get from Yanks which isn't in even in print. Doomed Battalions is worse in terms of out-of-print dependencies.

>cater to a small sampling of the ASL market

That's an open question. Just how small is the sampling? Is the sampling made smaller because of a lack of products along the lines I'm suggesting? To sustain the hobby, ASL needs newbies, and they need a means of moving up incrementally. I'm not sure if what I'm suggesting is the ticket to that or not, but it does seem to me like it would be a pretty inexpensive way to throw newbies a bone to sustain their interest while they wait for the money and/or availability of products to expand their kit.
 

pybarrondo

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Good in theory, poor in application. The goal of any publisher is to maximize sales. Then why limit your product with restricted units and boards? It's nice to 'hope' for this type of product, but not very practical.

Besides, the HASLs pretty much fill this niche. Doesn't Valor of the Guards, Red Barricades or Festung Budapest already only require Beyond Valor? Doesn't Pegasus Bridge and Operation Veritable only require FKaC and BV? Doesn't GT, OWT and BRT only require Yanks and RS? Etc.
I agree with most of what you're saying, but just to clarify in case any newbie is thinking about grabbing Pegasus Bridge or Operation Veritable: For PB, you'll still need the glider counters from Yanks, and to play all the scenarios in OVHS you'll need a crazy assortment of overlays from Croix de Guerre, Gung Ho and Code of Bushido (or Rising Sun), West of Alamein and Doomed Battalions, along with a bunch of geo maps (I think only 5 of the scenarios use the historical map).

I'm not a newbie in terms of ASL play, but as a returning player who has had to repurchase a lot of this stuff, I do understand the frustration, particularly when so much of it is OOP and ridiculously pricey. Overlays especially are a big issue; you might need overlays from three modules and an OOP action pack to play a particular scenario.

It will be hugely easier for newbies once MMP makes the overlay bundle available. And of course, there's always VASL if you just *have* to play a scenario where you're missing some overlay or map.
 

hayman

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I think this is a good idea, Cult.44

Probably hard to come up with a large set of scenarios just using BV and one other module's boards, but ideal for the SKASL player transitioning to ASL whilst building up their ASL module collection.

I think the $ 200 map bundle purchase is too pricey for new players when they are entering the game system, having copped a wallop buying the Rulebook and BV + another module (say the Brits or Yanks).

Ten scenarios for $12- $ 15 is not much to add to the total (compared to the map bundle purchase) and, let's face it, the completists out there would buy the scenario pack anyway.

As for using the "tired old boards" I think there is nothing better than breathing new life into the worn out terrain, it just takes an SSR or tweak here and there to produce a different flavour to the scenario e.g. Olive groves & cactus patched on board 15, etc.
 
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witchbottles

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I think this is a good idea, Cult.44

Probably hard to come up with a large set of scenarios just using BV and one other module's boards, but ideal for the SKASL player transitioning to ASL whilst building up their ASL module collection.

I think the $ 200 map bundle purchase is too pricey for new players when they are entering the game system, having copped a wallop buying the Rulebook and BV + another module (say the Brits or Yanks).

Ten scenarios for $12- $ 15 is not much to add to the total (compared to the map bundle purchase) and, let's face it, the completists out there would by the scenario pack anyway.

As for using the "tired old boards" I think there is nothing better than breathing new life into the worn out terrain, it just takes an SSR or tweak here and there to produce a different flavour to the scenario e.g. Olive groves & cactus patched on board 15, etc.

A very good deisgn tool for beathing new life into old boards is the proliferation of TPP boards over recent years. I combined a TPP board and Bd 15 to make a wonderful map recreation.

Try pairing Bd 2 with a HG2 board to make a ridge line running lengthwise. Or BFP-A and 20 to make an entirely new set of urbanized terrain.

Add in a couple of 1 hex rubble overlays in the city or 1 hex orchards into Bd 4. Again TPP products. Changes the dynamic completely.

KRL, jon H
 

Cult.44

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I think this is a good idea, Cult.44

Probably hard to come up with a large set of scenarios just using BV and one other module's boards, but ideal for the SKASL player transitioning to ASL whilst building up their ASL module collection.
... (snip)
QUOTE]

With BV & FK&C you have boards 1-8, 10, 12-15, 20-23 and 32, add the SK3 boards (it's still in print) -- t, u, v -- and you have a pretty fair selection. With Doomed Battalions you get 9, 11, 33, 44 & 45 plus a few overlays.

The 10-scenario Brits Pack I'm imagining might have four scenarios that use only the BV, FK&C, and SK3 boards, then open things up with boards/overlays from DB, APs still in print, or available TPPs.
 

dlazov

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Well I would say the parameters are Maps 1-66 (all available from MMP in one form/fashion or another), 1a/b-9a/b (has 7a/b-9a/b shipped yet?) and if needed SK p-z.

Heck, if you just used VASL to play on then no worries.
 

Snudl

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I'm not completely sure why designers need to confine themselves to geomorphic maps anymore. Using Google Earth and a drawing system like Jo Bader developed, you could easily make HASL maps and have them available to print out or use on VASL. There are also archives of aerial photography available on the web.
http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/
This, potentially, eliminates the problem of open source issues and the need to purchase a large number of sometimes difficult to find mapboards.
If this system were simplified, it would be possible to go back and retrofit old scenarios simply by finding a map or photo on-line and updating the map. It will, of course, screw with balance, but that is a problem that could be fixed.
 
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