Too Much ASL, not enough space

Robin Reeve

φιλέω ASL אני אוהב
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Quite a lot of grognards started wargaming in their teens, with Panzer Blitz, then SL (1976), then ASL (1985).
I started at 15 in 1979, caught up with SL in 1982 (I was 18) and then ASL (1986, I was 22).
I am not the oldest, being 57.
 

Actionjick

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Quite a lot of grognards started wargaming in their teens, with Panzer Blitz, then SL (1976), then ASL (1985).
I started at 15 in 1979, caught up with SL in 1982 (I was 18) and then ASL (1986, I was 22).
I am not the oldest, being 57.
Started basic wargames in elementary school, Dogfight, Broadside, Hit the Beach. France 1940 the first advanced wargame I played, was still in High School. A six year hiatus while in the Navy and started SL when I was 27 or so. Fish was a couple or three years ahead of me as far as SL but he was much more into wargames in the early 70s when he got out of the Army.

Tons of Risk in Jr. High and High School but not sure if it really qualifies as a wargame. Lots of fun though.

I have some metaphysical thoughts about why wargaming was so popular for a generation or so after WWII but no reason to go down that road. 🙄🙄
 
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Kijug

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Quite a lot of grognards started wargaming in their teens, with Panzer Blitz, then SL (1976), then ASL (1985).
I started at 15 in 1979, caught up with SL in 1982 (I was 18) and then ASL (1986, I was 22).
I am not the oldest, being 57.
Touché!
 

von Marwitz

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Just move the kids to the garage (or attic) and place your ASL stuff in the new, empty room(s)….
A while back I was able to point out a reasonable communications strategy to a gentleman here who has recently returned to the game in which the long-haired general needed to be addressed with regard to space and resources devoted to ASL.

von Marwitz
 

Actionjick

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Unless I am missing some factual data, there are not a lot of younger, newer players.
At least, not enough to catch up with the passing away of the "first generation".
So, a lot of ASL collections will either amass dust in basements or be trashed.
I can feel sorry that this wonderful game will progessively disappear from visibility.
Of course, the rare younger newcomers will find more and more gear on the second hand market, and that is all the best for them.
But indeed ASL is part of those aspects of life that are linked to a given generation (like stamp collecting and electric trains).
Stamp collecting and model trains will most likely outlast ASL as they have been around for over a hundred years already and have value as collectibles. Most people coming across great granddad's Lionel train set while cleaning out the attic are not going to throw it out. Even if not interested in model railroads they are going to recognize it has value. A stack of ASL material is less likely to be recognized as such, its value really only apparent to those who play the game.

As you so accurately stated the ASL community is most likely experiencing attrition at a greater rate than replacements. This is natural for almost all games. IIRC a while back there was a thread that covered the future of board games.

I'm just glad I was around to experience the fun and comradeship SL/ASL gave to me.


Back to the thread try to find some person, club or organization that can use the game. As for me I'm going to cull the paperwork I have of all but the most important items.
 

Old Noob

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Started with Panzer Blitz/Panzer Leader circa 1975, with a smattering of Tobruk. This was in high school.
Found Squad Leader in 1977 at Keesler AFB PX, while undergoing technical training, and stayed with it.
Bought ASLRB(1st ed) and Beyond Valor in 1986 and continue with it.
 

bendizoid

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I am wondering if someone can do some larger counters for use with the deluxe boards. (Which would require more storage, so maybe a more 'targeted approach' -- only unit counters needed for a specific list of scenarios.)
Yeah, convert 1/2” counters to 5/8” and 5/8” to 3/4”. Make the counters kinda chunky, maybe extra detail, easy to pick up, know what I mean ?
 

Actionjick

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Yeah, convert 1/2” counters to 5/8” and 5/8” to 3/4”. Make the counters kinda chunky, maybe extra detail, easy to pick up, know what I mean ?
ASLFOF. ASL for old farts. The market for this product is growing.
 

BattleSchool

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Look at this data from the ASL Scenario Archive as of 4. Feb. 2021:

View attachment 16415

There is not a single ASL scenario among the 'most played Scenarios of last year', except 'The Guards Counterattack', which is a beginner scenario.

This means that - at minimum - the Starter Kits are extremely popular. You might expect that an ASL community which has built up over the decades might still 'outplay' the SKlers in the number of most played/popular scenarios.

And even within the SK scenarios, it is the S1 to S10 which see the highest number of playings. This might be interpreted that there is a continuous influx of new SK players as those 'sticking' to SK will move on to higher SK scenario numbers.

Yet even higher numbered SK scenarios feature in the most-played list. This can mean two things: First, it could mean that players stick to SK and do not consider ASL. It could also mean that people like SK a lot and at least some of them will move on to ASL. Probably, both assumptions are true.

Finally, let's have a look at ROAR:

I have looked at the TOP 50 Most played 2019 (no more current data available).

Rank 11: Retaking Vierville (S1), 27 playings
Rank 26: Commando Schenke (126), 15 playings
Rank 27: Fighting Withdrawal (1), 15 playings
Rank 28: Simple Equation (S3), 15 playings
Rank 32: War of the Rats (S2), 14 playings
Rank 46: The Puma Prowls (T2), 11 playings

In the TOP 50 of 2019, more than 10% are beginner scenarios which might have us deduce that there is a new influx of SK and ASL players.
Comparing 'TOP 50 ROAR 2019' with 'ASL Scenario Archive - Last Year (as of 4. Feb. 2021)', we see that the reported numbers are smaller on ROAR. This will either mean, that since 2019 more players are getting into SK play and/or that more people use the 'ASL Scenario Archive' and the role of 'ROAR' is diminishing. It might also tell us, that the 'older' and more established players stick to ROAR, as the most played scenarios are much more ASL than on the 'ASL Scenario Archive'.

Still, even looking at ROAR of 2019, there is not an insignificant number of 'beginner scenarios' played which hints at a new influx of new players. Of course, not all of these will stick with ASLSK and/or ASL, but some will.

von Marwitz
I'd be careful about drawing certain conclusions from this data. As you noted, there could be a difference between the number of games reported to the Archive vs ROAR, and those doing the reporting. I'd expect the majority of players reporting on the Archive to be part of a "younger" (< 50) cohort. (It'd be great if Dave could provide a list of users by age group. Like many of my regular opponents, I've never reported a game on either site.) So it's likely that the prominence of ASLSK and "beginner" scenarios are due to players who have grown up with the "web."

Another explanation for the high numbers associated with scenarios like "Fighting Withdrawal" and "Commando Schenke" has to do with availability. Given that both are included with BV3, and both are Infantry-only, it stands to reason that they will garner a lot of play even among old hands, including at tournaments. Keep in mind that many TDs report games to ROAR.

IOW, it's not clear that the number of playings for these scenarios can be attributed to new players. I also suspect that many returning players gravitate toward these scenarios in order to refamiliarize themselves with the system. Something similar probably accounts for the high number of ASLSK scenarios from the first Kit. It's also possible that a handful of "ASLSK" players are doing most of the playing and reporting. I seem to recall that Dave mentioned on IR recently that one person had uploaded more files to the Archive than (almost?) everyone else combined.

That said, I'm sure that there is some new blood out there. Sadly, many do not stick with it.
 

BattleSchool

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I am wondering if someone can do some larger counters for use with the deluxe boards. (Which would require more storage, so maybe a more 'targeted approach' -- only unit counters needed for a specific list of scenarios.)
I suppose this could be trialled as a DASL Expansion Pack. Maybe a couple of boards and one or two counter sheets with eight scenarios. A third party could do the counter artwork, just as third parties usually do the scenario and board design.

You'd only get six 3/4" counters to a (halfsheet) row--five one-inch counters work better. But then DASL scenarios are more Infantry heavy anyway.

I'd buy it.
 

Actionjick

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I am not so sure.

In the past, I have been amazed how fast the Starter Kits sold out. Some of them have been reprinted several times. And MMP will have learned to estimate the demand somewhat to avoid running out of stock of these too fast, so they will likely adjust the numbers reprinted to meet demand.

Look at this data from the ASL Scenario Archive as of 4. Feb. 2021:

View attachment 16415

There is not a single ASL scenario among the 'most played Scenarios of last year', except 'The Guards Counterattack', which is a beginner scenario.

This means that - at minimum - the Starter Kits are extremely popular. You might expect that an ASL community which has built up over the decades might still 'outplay' the SKlers in the number of most played/popular scenarios.

And even within the SK scenarios, it is the S1 to S10 which see the highest number of playings. This might be interpreted that there is a continuous influx of new SK players as those 'sticking' to SK will move on to higher SK scenario numbers.

Yet even higher numbered SK scenarios feature in the most-played list. This can mean two things: First, it could mean that players stick to SK and do not consider ASL. It could also mean that people like SK a lot and at least some of them will move on to ASL. Probably, both assumptions are true.


Now look at the 'All time' most played:

View attachment 16416

This is what really astonished me:
These are all 'beginner' scenarios. But 5 out of 10 in here are Starter Kit scenarios. The SK playings with 628 outnumber the ASL playings with 582, despite SK being much much younger than ASL. Again, this gives us a clue that SK seems to be very popular.

And once more, I am pretty sure that a constant fraction of SK players will move on to ASL to provide 'new blood'.


Finally, let's have a look at ROAR:

I have looked at the TOP 50 Most played 2019 (no more current data available).

Rank 11: Retaking Vierville (S1), 27 playings
Rank 26: Commando Schenke (126), 15 playings
Rank 27: Fighting Withdrawal (1), 15 playings
Rank 28: Simple Equation (S3), 15 playings
Rank 32: War of the Rats (S2), 14 playings
Rank 46: The Puma Prowls (T2), 11 playings

In the TOP 50 of 2019, more than 10% are beginner scenarios which might have us deduce that there is a new influx of SK and ASL players.
Comparing 'TOP 50 ROAR 2019' with 'ASL Scenario Archive - Last Year (as of 4. Feb. 2021)', we see that the reported numbers are smaller on ROAR. This will either mean, that since 2019 more players are getting into SK play and/or that more people use the 'ASL Scenario Archive' and the role of 'ROAR' is diminishing. It might also tell us, that the 'older' and more established players stick to ROAR, as the most played scenarios are much more ASL than on the 'ASL Scenario Archive'.

Still, even looking at ROAR of 2019, there is not an insignificant number of 'beginner scenarios' played which hints at a new influx of new players. Of course, not all of these will stick with ASLSK and/or ASL, but some will.


So as a bottom line, I believe there might be more influx to ASL that we might be aware of. Not even to mention what's going on in China and areas that do simply not 'show' in a forum like GameSquad on which we are often prone to base our assumptions.


von Marwitz
The beginner scenarios, such as Guards Counterattack and Fighting Withdrawal, have a lot going for them: classics, simple and fun to play. Experienced players may go back to these for those reasons but there may be another reason. How does a highly experienced player approach them with all the experience gained since first playing them as a novice? What insights may cause a different approach to these classics?

Or they may just remember how fun and uncomplicated they were and opt for a relaxing game. Hard to say but I am very happy these two classics are still being played and comparatively played a lot.
 

pensatl1962

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I looked at empty ASL boxes for years. And probably four feet worth of bookcase space for the scenario binders. And not to mention the 3 bankers boxes filled with Annuals, Journals, Special Ops, BFP and LFT magazines, and SP/Rally Point. Then, I realized that I physically accessed this stuff almost never, because I had scanned every single page of it (okay, except for the boxes). It was time to let go - started with the boxes to the recycling center. Then the bankers boxes, and finally the scenario binders. Very liberating, plus nobody has to go through my stuff and pitch it later on.
 
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