Grognard Wargamer Thread!

So, I did.

The background. A friend of mine hosts a monthly gaming session at his house that draws about 18 people. A lot of them are career, tournament-level ASL players. I haven’t played SL since the 90s, so I usually play something else. Yesterday the theme was ASL in general, and someone was willing to teach SK.

Overall, I liked it.

My chief complaint is with the ASK 1 (at least) rules. They need work. At the end of it, I am still not sure we did close combat correct. It felt like the relevant rule was based in a paragraph wall of text, and the examples aren’t clear.

The second one was the original person teaching the two of us was, shall we say, rusty on the rules. Never mentioned cower, double-time etc.

We reset scenario 1, and he left us two noobies to ourselves after we were mostly clear on the rules (we thought). Someone else came over to watch and kindly corrected us on the rules. He also couldn’t resist adding in why our moves were horrid, and we are all “dude, we just want to see how this phase works.”

I am likely going to pick up from my friend a spare set of the ASK, but he is likely the only one up there I will play it with for a while. I need someone to take me by the hand and go “ok, if you do this, this will happen, and I can counter with that.”

That said, other than learning some of the rules that aren’t in the Kits (snipers, I think, and some other) I am not going to go too far down the rabbit hole of ending with 15 shelving units of components.

I’ve been able to hold off on ASL so far. I’ve been tempted a couple of times, but then I watch a game and think, “Garg, so many rules.” The exceptions have exceptions.

I’ve been cautiously poking around at other game systems that explore the same sort of space: Last Hundred Yards, Combat Commander, Lock 'n Load.

Glad you enjoyed ASL. Yes, there are too many rules. Yes, it really can be a huge rabbit hole. I own almost every module and game board, two three-ring binders full of rules (in plastic sleeves), and I even played in one ASL tournament, going 3-2. I doubt I’ll ever get back into it that much, but I do occasionally bust out a scenario and play solitaire.

Which ASL starter kit introduces skulking?

Oh! I’m so proud of myself! I actually understand this reference, in ASL terms. Someone explained it to me just a few weeks ago.

Grognard Level Up++

lol, skulking. I’m not sure, but I would think it would be enabled by starter kit 1! It’s sort of a core “feature” of the Sequence of Play, alas.

ASL has other gamey features too. And for all its efforts to make things hyper-realistic, it doesn’t play all that realistically. I love Historical ASL, but historical maps tended to reveal the inaccuracies in the ASL engine.

But for all that, the game delivers a great cinematic story – and great gaming tension. I still have vivid memories of several games that came down to the last move.

Wow, Matrix Games has all the sudden released an update to their Empires in Arms game.

So I think I saw @Godzilla_Blitz retweet this gmt announcement:

Basically it says that six games may be shipping at the end of October.

Absolute War (4 lbs)
MBT, 2nd Printing (4 lbs)
Normandy '44, 3rd Printing (3 lbs)
Tank Duel Expansion 1: North Africa (5 lbs)
Tank Duel Tank Pack #1 (3 lbs)
Wing Leader Supremacy, 2nd Edition (4 lbs)

When I saw Absolute War I did a double take. This was something I had clicked P500 on and, as time went on, assumed I’d never actually see. I’m very happy to see this on the list. I have No Retreat! And I’m worried about getting another game so close in the level of abstraction but if this is even more fast playing and covers the same grand sweep I think I’ll be happy if I can parlay that into more plays.

I’m also tempted to put in an order for Normandy '44. I dont have any games in that system and I think that’s the operation I’d prefer. But I’m holding for now.

I see that GMT Games is now selling games by weight. :)


This is very funny - people keep leaking classified documents about tanks on the War Thunder forums because the in game tanks are not accurate enough!

Is anyobody else on the board attending GMT’s Weekend at the Warehouse next week?

I’ve P500-ordered 3 pounds worth of Normandy '44. I think it was @Brooski who mentioned that it wasn’t one of his favorite games in the Simonitch series, but I thought I’d give it a try.

I was tempted to order 4 pounds, but I’m not sure what I’d do with a 1/3 of a map.

Not me, unfortunately, but in related news, SDHistCon is going to hold another online convention Nov. 12-14. Registration not open yet. I’m going to attend that, I hope.

If you do, make sure to sign up for my amazing exposition on Ted Raicer’s overlooked gem.

Also, in unrelated news, let’s get to the question on everyone’s mind.

Say more, dear sir! What overlooked gem would this be? Minds are curious.

So, in an effort to play games with real human beings, I introduced a friend to wargaming with Shores of Tripoli, which I intentionally picked because it has a super short 9 pages of rules that can be digested in about 15-20 minutes.

But the reaction on my friend’s face (not a wargamer, nor a Eurogamer) when I said “The rules are about 8-9 pages” was priceless. Turns out that a wargamer’s “short rules” is a lot different than a regular human being’s “short rules.”

Some idiot convinced me to read the AWAW rules as well.


I had very much hoped to but I don’t think it’s going to work out time wise for me.

I love reading long rulesets from wargames! Sometimes reading the rules is more fun than actually playing.