Friday, 12 October 2012

Time For ASL Starter Kits Again?

ASL Starter Kit #1
I've posted up a few older AARs for Advanced Squad Leader Starter Kit scenarios over the past few months, so perhaps now is the time to add some new history to my ASLSK play.

Background to the ASLSK Series

Full ASL Rules Binder
Advanced Squad Leader has been around for many years, but always seemed too daunting a system to learn given the size and depth of the rules binder. MMP, the current publisher of ASL products, recognised this and in 2004 released Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1 covering infantry and small arms combat only. By 2007 they had expanded the range to include Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #2 (battlefield ordnance) and Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #3 (armoured vehicles), each coming with their own updated rulebook, new counters, mew maps and new scenarios.


ASL Starter Kits #1 - #3
With each update the starter kit rulebook has evolved to take on new units, weapons and terrain considerations to provide an ASL "light" experience without feeling that you've lost too much vs. the full system. Opinions vary, but I feel that ASLSK provides an excellent (and accessible) infantry combat system without the level of time investment required by the full ASL. If I played full ASL it would probably be at the expense of all the other games I play. I would be happy, but there's a great big world of games out there!

My ASLSK Boxes
Don't get me wrong the ASLSK is still a hefty investment, especially early on, as it's rulebook reaches 28-pages by SK#3. Best to get someone to teach you if possible, or at least to work-through the rules with. 

I have played through most of SK#1 and some of the SK#2 scenarios, but will probable move back to infantry only as I'm teaching a new player this time around.

The Appeal of Advanced Squad Leader

The Guards Counter-attack (SL)
One of my earliest wargaming experiences was with Avalon Hill's Squad Leader and I still remember playing The Guards Counter-attack scenario with a friend of mine. That's why I enjoy ASLSK so much, the boards are similar (albeit thinner) to the original Squad Leader boards and the system for me represents a pure approach to squad level gaming. Biased? Yes, but in a good way :).

I have other newer games waiting to be played, but recent conversations about ASL have really whetted my appetite again.

I'll post up soon with details of the scenarios we choose.

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