In response to repeated requests over on BoardGameGeek, I’ve been working on a series of tutorial articles to assist ASLSK players in learning. Absent, however, was anything approaching a tutorial, or a guide to It may have been sired by ASL, but ASLSK owes its parent no allegiance. ASLSK Tutorial – Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online.
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I began my Squad Leader journey in and still remember the Christmas joy when Cross of Iron appeared under the tree. Then Crescendo of Doom. I could have played that system for quite a long time. InI was still in college and still playing Crescendo of Doom rules, ttutorial consigned Anvil of Victory’s to the sidelines.
I resisted ASL axlsk out of protest for having to completely start over. Now all these years later, its fun to look back at the journey, but it’s hard to imagine how a new player makes that same journey today.
In some ways it is easier, but in other so much more difficult.
But it’s a wonderful journey at any rate. Thanks for another thoughtful article. Thanks for sharing your experience Scott. I am amazed at the dedication shown by newer players who have taken on ASL from scratch, and become ardent advocates of the game.
I met one guy at ASLOk a few years ago. He picked up the game after retiring, and has been playing ever since. ASL can be an incredibly absorbing and satisfying hobby. It’s too bad that there isn’t an easier way to get highschool students introduced to the game.
I played other wargames as a teen, but I was hooked after playing Guards Counterattack. Part 2 in this series is scheduled for midnight EST. Yeah, the journey into wargaming is different for everyone. I’m sure every ASL Player has a similar story.
I thoroughly enjoyed the read. The rules are too much like ASL in terms of verbiage ex: The see the frustration on the new faces of folks trying to read the rules. I learned the game by myself back in I had the dual book and paratrooper. The key for me to learning those rules were the Ch K pages.
I still refer to these when I need to relearn and wrap my head around a particular rule that is in it. Things like an index I imagine would help the grognard help the newb. So I agree on that point. Please note my opinions were formed after getting feedback from players that wanted to learn ASL but had trouble with the rules presentation. For example, things like Def First Fire during enemy mov phase seems to get lost in the translation from the page to the game.
What I find interesting is that I remember reading the related ASLRB rules section so many years ago to completely understand how it all worked. The movement phase can be a pain for the new player.
Thanks again for the read. I am sure many folks appreciate the time you take to make this all available. Thanks for the kind words and comments Jonathan. Jay Richardson’s article in Operations 49 is a good place to start. Sadly, it is long out of print. Perhaps, in the future, MMP will make it available for download on their website. Hard at work on the next part in this series.
Heaps of interruptions due to family commitments, but should have it published before the weekend. Thanks for everyone’s patience.
Thanks for the article. I played SL back in High school loved it for the instructions and ease of play.
The ASLSK Tutorial Project
Have gone back and forth trying tuutorial learn with CH k or SK. I would rather learn complete rules based on scenarios vs limited rules in SKand then apply new rules over again. The Game had a future that promised, among other things, a completed core system. But hard-core ASL players would have to wait a little tuttorial for the long-awaited armies of oblivion. An upstart, ASLesque publication had jumped the queue.
An ASLSK Tutorial (Part 1) | Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1 | BoardGameGeek
The derivative game that salsk all the fuss is not, as some suggest, Asldk for dummies. In fact, this sub-system has grown so much over the past decade that it often bewilders the very people it is meant to attract. This, tutroial the following posts in this series, are an attempt to shed some light on what has become an offshoot of the ASL tree.
Back in the day, the most advanced technological device in my house was a inch, black-and-white television. It was the late 70s, and the vivid black-and-orange Squad Leader box was a welcome contrast to the grey world of our cathode ray tube.
The board game from Baltimore had a different kind of programming, programming that unlocked a turbulent, technicolor world of the early s.
Every teaching segment concluded with the memorable lines: You have read all that is necessary to play Squad Leader was imposing. It was a far cry from Risk. Few games of the period approached its level of detail and complexity.
Learning let alone mastering the game was a daunting proposition for a 14 year old. Programmed instruction made all the difference. When the sequel appeared a year later, my friends and I dove right in. It was so big, and so exceptional, that it was sold separately. At the time, we took this in stride. In retrospect, it was a bold move. Rules were divided into colour-coded chapters complete with colour chapter dividers that doubled as player aids.
The rules came in their own specialized binder, nestled inside a sturdy slipcase. The attention to detail was phenomenal. Absent, however, was anything approaching a tutorial, or a guide to learning the newfangled game. Avalon Hill was counting on this. The company was also betting that the majority of their established player base would adopt the new game. It was a big ask. It was a completely revamped game system. Avalon Hill belatedly acknowledged this with the release of Paratrooper the following year.
But an inexpensive introduction to ASL it was not. The text on the back of the Paratrooper box emphasized that there were few prerequisites needed to play the eight scenarios in the module. The manual was broken down into six teaching sessions, or days. It took the form of an imaginary, military-training syllabus—some 30 pages long—replete with a cartoon-character, Yutorial Drill Sergeant. Tuyorial the first day, trainees were treated to a forced march across several boards, traversing along the way much of the terrain found in Chapter B of the ASLRB.
One board has at least 20 different types of terrain! The manual nevertheless falls short of tytorial programmed instruction method that Squad Leader employed to great effect. Even the most basic scenarios in Paratrooper include ordnance weapons such as light mortars and bazookas.
Admittedly there is a great ttutorial in these chapters that can be ignored when playing the scenarios in Paratrooper. However, to play any scenario in this module also requires a player to grasp a good deal of Chapter C, which runs to over 20 pages. The Training Manual included with Paratrooper only addresses the salient points of the first two chapters.
Therefore, until training exercises for ordnance appeared more than a decade later, beginners were left to decipher Chapter C on their own. Once we factor in another 20 or so pages for Chapter D, we can begin to appreciate the daunting task faced by the budding squad leader.
In a nutshell, Paratrooper did not provide a progressive introduction to ASL, because in spite of its allegedly introductory nature, Paratrooper contained no truly introductory scenarios. This may have worked for some ASL initiates with prior experience of Squad Leader —namely, the target audience. It would be another 18 years before newcomers would have access to a truly entry-level ASL publication.
The small, unassuming box is a marked departure from earlier publications. Until then, ASL had been a strictly, modular system. The new Kit is self-contained. Starter Kits target new and returning ASL players. In keeping with this aim, the Kits require only a small investment of time and money. Ken Dunn, the lead developer, and MMP accomplished this frugal feat by dramatically reducing the complexity of the game. A simpler game means less components, and in turn, lower cost.
Each Kit contains just enough material to play the scenarios enclosed in the box. With a bit of imagination, future scenarios can be designed within the limits imposed by the contents of a particular Kit.