OK. So you made up your mind. Your going to get into (or back into ASL). Let me save you some time and show you 7 quick steps to get going with ASL.
1. Dig Out What You Got or Work Out What You Need
- First timer? What is the best place to start and which modules do you need? Great post from No Dice No Glory.
- If you are returning, then dig out your old“stuff” and have a look through it. Get reconnected and remember “Oh yeah, I remember that!” or “Remember when I knew whether it was a morale check or not just by memory!“
- Get an idea of what you may have missed since your time away from the board. You can use the pic below to see what has come out and what you had. And how it is all connected.
2. Connect Up
- Connect up to appropriate FB groups. Some recommendations:
- Advanced Squad Leader
- Advanced Squad Leader (ASL) players group
- Advanced Squad Leader Community
- If you are playing online VASL (more about this below)
- Connect up to other places where players are at. Some recommendations:
- Introduce yourself. All these community areas are really welcoming of new players. Put a post up and let others know you are here. Don’t be bashful.
3. Find Other Good Starter Resources
Find out where local clubs are, or resources other players are checking out. Here are some I enjoy:
- The 2 Half-Squads – Podcasts
- ASL in Real-Time – Video Tutorials & Scenario Replays
- My Resources – Article Coolection on Tactics & Techniques (Shameless plug)
- Texas ASL Club links – Guidepost for US player clubs
- Otherwise, hey google is your friend just search 🙂
4. Get a New Electronic Rulebook
- Buy the electronic rulebook. Don’t waste time trying to pull together the errata stuff (“hang on which version of …“). Get the latest thing online, and you will get the forever updated version when updates come out. End of story. You can always print it out at your local printer if you really need that printed copy for face to face.
5. Setup So You Can Play Someone Online (If can’t play face to face)
- There are 2 pieces of software you will need. VAASL and VASL. Yeah don’t you love how they are almost named the same?!
- Watch the VASL101 (and if you want VASL202) tutorials on youtube by ASL in Real-Time. The are awesome. Thorough and complete. Will take less than 1 hour if you skip through the slower bits or speed up the videos (hey I am an Aussie, we talk fast and get bored quick). You will be an expert.
- Learn how to use VASL. Fool around with a dummy game. Save some log files, open them up again, step through the game. You get the hang of it fast.
- Bonus Tip: Recognise where the chat field is … (took me 3 hours of searching! Look at the time saving for your right there). It’s right HERE.
6. Learn or Relearn Some Stuff
- If you are returning, have a skim through Chapter A & B of your new rulebook. See what it brings back for you. “Oh, yeah critical hit.“
- Walkthrough Chapter K in your new rulebook. Should You Do Chapter K?
7 Get Out There!
- Find out about how to play by PBEM. I didn’t know about this, but now after starting to play I realise that PBEM is a great way for starters. It allows you time to stop, think and consider your moves. Also allows you to refer to the rules to check things (without feeling you are driving your opponent crazy).
- Listen to the Why Knott PBEM? episode on the The 2 Half-Squads podcast. Gives you a great insight as to how it works.
- Read Hong Kong Wargamer great intro articles:
- Read Matt Romney’s – The Joys of VASL PBEM.
- Put Out Your First Invites To Play Before You Feel 100% Ready. Don’t wait till you are perfect or have a great knowledge of the rules to get started. The game is in the fun of playing.
- Find a opponent who knows you are starting and willing to help guide you during the game. A friendly game is the best start to your new hobby.