Advances Squad Leader Starter Kits: They're Like Boot Camp!

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Advances Squad Leader Starter Kits: They're Like Boot Camp!

Postby Whiterook » Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:24 pm

The Advances Squad Leader Starter Kits are just like going to Boot Camp! :D

Back many years ago, I'd bought Avalon Hill's Squad Leader, which had an 'Introductore' style of rules learning, whereby you bit off rules in manageable chunks....just enough to play a scenario and get used to the rules, and then move on to more rules.

When Advanced Squad Leader came along, it came in the form of a binder about 3" thick of rules! Talk about 180 degrees! But, the 'Basic Training' method was brought into that system in the form of Chapter K.

Still, the system was a bear to learn. I tried and failed several time and never made it past Chapter A, Infantry (actually, I didn even make ot through the chapter! :oops: ). I'd collected all these modules and the rulebook, and was stymied. I did make it into a scenario once, on another forum as a Play by Post participant, but the game never finished as it was too much for the GM to finish. Yes, it's that complex!

Finally, to my relief.....MultiMan Publishing came out with the Starter Kits: #1 Infantry; #2 Artillery; #3 Armor. I got my hands on #1 and 3, but 2 is currently out of stock.

Well, I've read through the SK1 rules, and that is where the statement for the subject of this thread was born! It's *kinda* like the old SL Basic Training, but rather handles it by talking Infantry, Artillery, and Armor as it's 'chunks' to learn.

For me...it works! I am finally getting it!!! :D

To me, it feels like I am IN Boot Camp. I'm actually just as (mentally) exhausted, but I'm being molded into something enough to be dangerous.
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Re: Advances Squad Leader Starter Kits: They're Like Boot Ca

Postby Duncan » Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:35 am

The games aren't as difficult as the rules make them seem. The rule books are terribly organized. The games are good though.

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Re: Advances Squad Leader Starter Kits: They're Like Boot Ca

Postby Whiterook » Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:56 pm

Duncan wrote:The games aren't as difficult as the rules make them seem. The rule books are terribly organized. The games are good though.


Are you talking about the Starter Kit rules?
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Re: Advances Squad Leader Starter Kits: They're Like Boot Ca

Postby Duncan » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:09 pm

Yes, the starter kit rules.
ASL is a different matter. :P

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Re: Advances Squad Leader Starter Kits: They're Like Boot Ca

Postby Whiterook » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:14 pm

Duncan wrote:Yes, the starter kit rules.
ASL is a different matter. :P



I figured....just thought I'd make sure I understood :lol: :D

I have to agre that the rules are laid out rough, in that at even a dozen pages or so for the SK1, it can still be tough to go back and find something. The whole Defensive Fire thing, followed by the Defensive Fire Phase was especially confusing on first read to me.

I ended up highlighting the major parts of sections with yellow highlighter, and used a blue flair pen to right a caption on the verticle next to it (like little tabs)....e.g., COWER, SUBSEQUENT FIRST FIRE, etc...it helped a lot.

Then I opened the armor SK3 and OMG :shock: :o , it had it's own highlighting in salmon color to differentiate new and previous SK rules. I just shook my head.
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Re: Advances Squad Leader Starter Kits: They're Like Boot Ca

Postby Duncan » Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:01 am

I think I'm going to need a third ASL rules binder soon. :lol:

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Re: Advances Squad Leader Starter Kits: They're Like Boot Ca

Postby Whiterook » Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:27 am

Duncan wrote:I think I'm going to need a third ASL rules binder soon. :lol:


LOL...I love the look on people's faces when I dig out the ASL binder and show them the rules for the system. It's like I just took out aeronautics manuals from the space station to them.
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Re: Advances Squad Leader Starter Kits: They're Like Boot Ca

Postby Kaddo » Sun Mar 27, 2016 12:23 pm

Starter kits 2 and 3 are back in print, by the way.

Oh, and be sure to read Jay Richardson's tutorials, he makes it all seem simple.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/157922 ... ial-part-1

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Re: Advances Squad Leader Starter Kits: They're Like Boot Ca

Postby Whiterook » Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:33 pm

Yeah....I actually had SK2 on Preorder with Ritterkrieg, and is due in this weekend. He had it on Preorder for $6 off list with free shipping!!!! I hav SK3 already....so this will complete the big three Starter Kit series. I'll get the Decision at Elst historical module down the line, as well as the expansion pack if it comes out again.
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Re: Advances Squad Leader Starter Kits: They're Like Boot Ca

Postby Whiterook » Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:43 pm

OK, so with my first tournament out of the way and jumping in the deep side of the pool with full rules play, I can officially report the following:

I definitely now see the advantage in full view, of owning the Starter Kits and working through them one at a time to get infantry, artillery, and armor basics down pat FIRST; then, add in the full rules later.

This next point, I believe is very important: Veteran ASLers are pretty quick to say just jump into the full system and slug your way into the system. There's a lot to be said about that, really....you really get in deep quickly, but that 'trial by fire' can be a very valid way to go.

That was actually pretty apparant at the tournament, as I was learning a lot. ....but I have to admit I was running scared, too, feeling way over my head and desparately clinging to the life raft! That was humbling! I felt so overwhelmed.

You see, I started to feel.... 'Why in the Hell am I subjecting myself to this?!?' That was with the full system rules, which I was completely lost on. However, I was enjoying the Starter Kit 1 scenarios I was playing outside of the official tournament and mini-tournament, and that showed me I was playing a system I am loving getting into.

What that told me was two things, personally....

1. Respect the level you're at.
2. The Starter Kits are really all you need, to start off into the system and then move on

I'll stick with the SKs for now! :D
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