Sam H
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…Or how I learned stop worrying and love armored fighting vehicles (AFVs)

Ah, tanks…

After my first foray into the world of ASL through the second starter kit, I was kind of hooked. I liked how ASL told a story, how a lot of games were tense until the last turn. I couldn’t wait to push around a cardboard Tiger or Sherman. ASLSK3 was available at that time, while SK1, was out of print, so I picked it up.

This brings me to a crucial ASL lesson I have learned : If you think you might want to play something, and can afford it, get it now. Do not wait until you are ready to play as there is a good chance it won’t be available anymore.

The components



The box is standard fare and rather inexpensive by wargame standards. The Kit includes everything you need to play : rulebook and charts, 3 geomorphic mapboards, counters and two six-sided dice. The counters are fully compatible with the ASL system and can be combined with those of other modules or SKs. New scenarios are coming out that use a combination of counters and maps from the different SKs.



The rulebook

This would be the definitive version of the SK rulebook, until the one accompaying the first SK expansion comes out. The new sections are highlighted, except for the section dealing with vehicle movement and combat.
AFV movement and combat are very different from the way infantry do it and it takes some getting used to. There are very good tutorials out there and I recommend any new player check out the tutorial on AFVs published by Jay Richardson on BGG :
[url]
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/361467/an-aslsk-tutorial...[/url]

Honestly, once you understand the meaning of moving, stopped, non-stopped and motion status (which is a feat of abstract thinking) AFV movement becomes quite simple and, I might add, elegant.



The scenarios

There are eight scenarios included in ASLSK3. Here are some of my highlights.

Scenario S21, Clash at Borisovka, is an all-AFV scenario that throws german against russian tanks. It is a great scenario to learn the basics of movement and is a lot of fun to play. I lost this scenario, playing the russian, because I got too cocky… I was leading the game and had my opponent’s last tank pinned. If he moved, a rear shot was almost certain to eliminate him. Figuring exiting two tanks would be flashier than just the one that was sure to exit the board, I made a run for it and got myself killed, securing the win for my opponent. Lesson learned.

S23, Monty’s Gamble is interesting in that all the british units may setup hidden from the other player at setup. So the german player basically has to contend with an « empty » map on entering his units.

S24, Sherman marches west, is a great scenario with tanks and infantry on both sides. A small german force with an Anti-tank gun must defend against six Shermans and their accompanying infantry. German reserves come in during the scenario, including a Tiger. The Shermans are no match to the Tiger’s powerful gun, and must outsmart the tank to take over the necessary buildings.

General impressions

I haven’t had a chance to play a full ASL scenario involving AFVs (Armored Fighting Vehicles) so I can’t really tell how the SK version differs from the full version. From what I gather from this website and others, the rules are very similar. Some people therefore recommend skipping the third starter kit and jumping straight into full ASL.

There are however a couple reasons that make this kit worthwhile :

- Three Maps. ASL players really love new maps. These maps can be used in other scenarios, including full ASL ones.

- Players not wanting to continue on to full ASL will have a complete ruleset, for a relatively low price, and be able to play all MMP and third-party scenarios being published. Even in the event of eventually buying the ASL core modules, who has too many Tiger counters?

The third installment of the SK series is a lot of fun. The scenarios tend to be on the bigger side and counter density starts to increase also. Combining infantry with tank tactics opens up a whole new world of possibilities.
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Mike Windsor
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MMP has this OOP (how's that for abbreviations?) for some time now. From what I've read on CSW, one problem in reprinting it is that it is not a ful counter sheet. The fact that you have it at all makes me envious.
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Sam H
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I feel your pain...

The ASL rulebook was OOP about the time I was looking into getting it and the price asked on Ebay were just insane...

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Simon Thompson
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Nice review Sam, tipped you for taking the time.

Like a lot of people I just wish I'd purchased when it was available.
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PM For Name
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FWIW, it's available again. I just got my copy.
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Freddy Dekker
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I've been wondering about getting into ASL.

I own combat commander and wonder if there is a point to owning both.

Would this be a good set to start?

 
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Paul - the
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sagitar wrote:
I've been wondering about getting into ASL.

I own combat commander and wonder if there is a point to owning both.

Would this be a good set to start?


ASL(SK) and CC are quite different games so definitely room for both imo.

I think SK1 is the best game to start with and if you like that buy SK3 as well. SK2 was the SK I was least impressed by.

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Freddy Dekker
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I'll have a look see if I can get SK1, but I figured I was allready Lucky to locate SK3.

The games seems very popular and I've considered it before untill I saw people needing whole libraries and computers to keep track of rules.
That put me off.

Still it might be nice to get a starter just to experience the game.
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Miikka Sohlman
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I firmly believe that SK3 is a terrible starting point for a complete beginner if you don't have a tutor who already knows the game. The rules are complex enough even without the added vehicle rules.

I started with SK1 and was super overwhelmed by the rules.

(Luckily, Joe Steadman's video series helped a lot and Jay Richardson's amazing tutorials.
And also Eddy del Rio's Examples of Plays for step-by-step examples.)
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