What was your "moment?"

Fort

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This question may need a complete do-over, because almost all of you are giving answers that are basically answering some sort of question about how the game's appearance was attractive to you. Most of these answers are of the "I liked the box" variety.
My answer was not really tied to the appearance so much as the narrative of the Series Replay between Dale Wetzelberger and Arnold Blumberg with Don Greenwood's commentary. The play caught my imagination and I had to have the game.

The moment I gave up SL and became an ASL fanatic was at Origins in 84 or 85. I was looking for the Squad Leader tourney and happened upon a motley group of fellows with a new game: ASL. They were holding a tourney and I asked about the new game and they enthusiastically told me it was much better than SL and asked if I wanted a demo.

I sat down to Ranger Stronghold with me as the Americans and Fish Conner as the Germans. It was a resounding defeat, but I still remember Fish telling me I did pretty good and he could see I knew how to play Squad Leader. ActionBurke, Mark Nixon and Eric Baker were all there watching the newbie get pounded. I vowed then and there to master this game.

To this day I am very happy that my first game of ASL was with my friend Fish.
 

Michael R

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You ask a question that I never thought about before. I'd say my commitment came in several stages. Although I owned SL, I had not played it. I started ASL in 1990 because it had the WW2 tactical level detail that I desired from reading WW2 books. Stage 1 was the the first Avaloncon (1991?) where I found out just how large a community ASL attracts. It inspired me to run an ASL tournament in my hometown of Montreal to have that feeling more often of being among like-minded people having fun. Stage 2 would be probably five-ish years later. I had a stressful job that could occupy my mind even when I was not at work. I noticed that when I played the game, my mind was so focussed on it that I did not think about anything else during the game. Even though ASL has its own stress, it was relaxation from work stress. As well, I find that my brain's horsepower is not high enough to be good at a lot of games simultaneously, so I stick with ASL. As an aside. in later life I developed tinnitus, but when I play ASL, I don't notice the ringing in my ears.
 

olli

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After playing My first game of SL back in the 70’s
 

xenovin

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Cross of Iron sealed the deal. Before that an armored counter was a generic regiment or division but now you had the actual vehicles and their own specific characteristics fighting against each other. It was mind blowing and I was hooked.
 

Tuomo

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[Angelic music plays... ]
The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft the ASLRB from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Tuomo, was to carry the ASLRB. That is why I play this game.
 
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thedrake

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When I first read/saw the components pic on the back of the box of original SL. Was reading Carell's "Scorched Earth" , chapter on Black Sea amphibious assaults by Russians, and thought to myself "I can play out the battles from the book!"
Was hooked instantly.
 

hongkongwargamer

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People. The game's top-notched but the peoples' better.

I am absolutely gobsmacked by the nobility I see over and over again in the ASL community.

ASL is the only game I play. What I really mean is: ASL'rs are the only people I game with.

It's a no brainer.
 
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ASLurker

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I dabbled with quite a few wargames back in the late 70s, most of them stratetic, grand strategic, or operational (Russian Campaign, Third Reich, Air Assault on Crete, even some scifi/fantasy types, etc). But none of them stuck, I couldn't really get into them or find excitement or stories in any of the gameplay.

Panzer Leader and Panzerblitz came close, but it still wasn't there. Great games to be sure, but still not what I was looking for (even though I didn't know what that was at the time).

Some Steve Jackson pocket games got me excited with their tactical nature (Ogre, GEV, etc).

Then a friend introduced me to Squad Leader, and everything about it clicked for me. The tactics, the rules (programmed instruction, still love that idea), the art, the boards, the overall design. So elegant. After that I really had no interest in many other wargames.

Playing ASL allows me to recreate (and tell new) heroic stories. Something no other wargame has given me.
 

g_young

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After a 2yr odyssey back in the late 1990's I finally came across a shrink wrapped copy of the rule book in a local store in NZ.

A mate of mine had played SL at university and had mentioned he was going to move to ASL. Although we'd never played, (beers, women....) and having lost contact with Pat after graduation, it'd left an impression.

Anyway, the point of no return for me was my first attempt at reading that "book". I made good progress but then came across "collateral attacks" which confoundingly in the 1st ed was earlyish in chapter A, I believe. I thought "WTF!" - couldn't make head nor tails of it. From that moment on I was hooked.

Considering this was the first war game material I'd ever bought I can truly say I just didn't know any better. Consequently it meant every other game system purchase had to meet an impossibly high standard.
 

holdit

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[Angelic music plays... ]
The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft the ASLRB from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Tuomo, was to carry the ASLRB. That is why I play this game.
More like Wagner's music as ASL carries away your soul. Think the last scene of Excalibur. :)


(Sir Perceval represents your fellow gamers who don't play ASL.)
 
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holdit

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Answer to the rebooted question: more a process than a moment, one that started with the Guards and their counterattack and was completed on the bloody slopes of Hill 621 by which time the game had confirmed that it would indeed fultil the potential suggested on the back of the box.

In parallel with that process was the "mind movie" that SL was creating in each scenario, something I didn't get to the same degree from other WW2 games. Maybe it was Kruger's misjudged rush on the sniper as described on the back of the box that prompted it, but as I played I could hear the tramp of boots up concrete stairs as the Russians cleared building F5...the panting of panicking Germans as they ran towards the hoped-for safety of the distant hill, the muffled blasts as US demo charges explode in the pillboxes outside Cannes...

Some claim that ASL is "WW2, Hollywood-style". I don't really buy that. It's too random, too cruel. If it is WW2 movie-making, the it must be in the tradition of the best ones...SPR, the Thin Red Line, Paths of Glory, All Quiet on the Western Front and Attack! (with Eddie Albert as the permanently-broken 6+1 :) ).
 
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oybj

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I had a stressful job that could occupy my mind even when I was not at work. I noticed that when I played the game, my mind was so focussed on it that I did not think about anything else during the game. Even though ASL has its own stress, it was relaxation from work stress. As well, I find that my brain's horsepower is not high enough to be good at a lot of games simultaneously, so I stick with ASL. As an aside. in later life I developed tinnitus, but when I play ASL, I don't notice the ringing in my ears.
Exactly the same. The game’s interactivity keeps my brain occupied all the time and is the best way to relax from my work. How nice that you are also free from tinnitus while playing!
 

Sparafucil3

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I collected ASL but never really played it much. I was on the verge of tossing it out when I got home from Europe the first time. I did a quick search (well as quick as dial up was then) to see if all the stuff I had (through WoA) was worth anything and found the DC Conscripts. I attended a meet up at the Elkhorn Library and played Jim Mehl in Guards Counter Attack. I wanted to know if I could hold my own and played well enough. I began to attend regularly and play a lot of VASL PBM (Reepicheep and Ron Mosher) preparing for ASLOk. ASKOk is what hooked me. As @hongkongwargamer said, the people are what keep me coming back. The game itself has become more a frustration for me than a joy, but the people are tremendous. -- jim
 

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I had played some higher-level (brigade/division-level) games (from Strategy and Tactics magazine) and was always getting cut off and put out of supply. The friend I was playing with (who was a bit older than me) gave me his copy of Squad Leader which he said hadn't really appealed to him, and said he thought I might enjoy that more. I did. The year was 1989. My last game of SL was 16/1/93, my first game of ASL was 22/1/93. I still enjoy the larger scale games, and have a bit more patience for them these days.
 

'Ol Fezziwig

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[Angelic music plays... ]
The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft the ASLRB from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Tuomo, was to carry the ASLRB. That is why I play this game.
Some tart dispensing rulebooks from a pond is no basis for a lifetime of gaming-based OCD!
 

'Ol Fezziwig

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Pretty much when I realised SL could better emulate the 'little battles' I read about in Stalingrad, Belgium, France, than could PanzerBlitz or Panzer Leader. Never mind the battles in Sgt. Rock or The Haunted Tank. That came pretty quickly after I soloed The Guards Counterattack the first or second time. The details, and yes, complexity, captivated me.
 
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