Saturday, December 6, 2008

ASL Learning Tips #2 and #3

WE LIKE CHEESE!!! Can't let a full week go by without posting something!

Well, if you've been following the comments on previous posts I've been called out by Prawnski in what passes for his broken English. His request has been for adopting his natural form of pinko-Commie in the next scenario we play. It just so happens that S2 War of the Rats pits Germans versus Russians in a Stalingradesque urban battle. Stay tuned loyal readers for the next thrashing of the Prawn.

So I've been thinking that I'll start posting good learning tips that apply to ASL and basically any higher complexity wargame. In addition I'll post them in a handy marquee thingy at the bottom of the page -- check it out!

Here's tip #2 which is an excellent one for ASL(SK) learners:


I'm paraphrasing a great introductory section from The Gamers' Standard Combat Series v1.7 rulebook which is, in its entirety, here:

"Games are meant to be enjoyable pastimes, not tedious tests. In order to learn this game, begin by lightly reading the rules and thumbing through the game’s component parts. Don’t memorize anything. Punch out a few units from both sides and set them up on the map in any desired fashion. Now, with the rules in hand, follow the “sequence of play” below, re-reading as needed. ... Once you are moving along with your random game and rarely have to look things up, set up the real game and give it a try. By this time the terminology should be well under control and you will be able to play any SCS game with little additional effort." (Essig)
Now just substitute ASL for SCS and "scenario" for "real game" you'll get the wisdom of this.

Skim the rules the first time through, maybe even take a few point-form notes or write out the sequence of play. Don't try to super-absorb everything the first time. Skim a second time and start pushing some cardboard pieces around as soon as you can. Set up S1 or some other scenario that catches your eye. Set up the situations in richfam's tutorials. Use VASL if you don't have the boards. I personally found that DOING the stuff in the rulebook made a lot more sense than just trying to picture it in my mind. It's a great tip.

And here's one more while I'm thinking about it. It's common sense that teaching something requires that you know that particular something yourself. That applies to ASL as well. So, if you've advanced a bit past just knowing the rules and pushing cardboard squads around TEACH the game to someone else. (You did do this for Newbie November didn't you?!) Just start small and, keeping tip #2 in mind, don't dump the entire ruleset on your victim all at once. Think about what you need to know and expand from there.

ASL Learning Tip #3:


Now, go roll some dice!

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