Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year? New Readings!

I'm constantly amazed at the quality of fan-made stuff that is out there. Anyone who has played PC games in the past few years has definitely been exposed to the "mod" scene out there. Mods are works by hobbyists that run from small tweaks to their favourite games to wholesale, from-the-ground-up revamps.

For ASL in particular I've mentioned richfam's contributions to helping people learn and enjoy the wargame. In the past couple of weeks I've not only found more stuff by richfam but others and I wanted to share them. Think of this as Web Resources post #3 (post #1 and post #2).

1. Well, let's start with a slightly different but altogether very familiar way to learn things. We've all taken courses of study in school and maybe even done some "distance" learning. Mr. Russ Gifford contacted me on the 'Geek about a month ago and offered to share his efforts at creating a Learning ASL course of study in multimedia format. Of course I said yes and he mailed me a slick little CD over the holidays that I only recently started to enjoy. Yes, I said enjoy! Mr. Gifford has a natural teacher's voice (he is a pro at this actually) and his initial lessons -- done in Powerpoint format -- take some of the esotericness out of the intimidating process of learning ASL. If you want to see what Mr. Gifford is up to check out this thread on the 'Geek or go straight to his personal site here.

2. You all should have read over richfam's 5th ASLSK Tutorial which was made available on the 'Geek recently. But have you checked out some of the other stuff on ASLSK that he's written about? Here's a discussion on when to close combat and when not to. Have you started reading all the View From the Trenches newsletters by the British ASLers out there? Well, here's richfam's neat index of useful articles from said newsletter. Here's his unofficial ASLSK3 errata list. Here's his take on the AFVs in ASLSK3. (And this would have been useful when I played Talloaf the other day...) Richfam's overview of S21 Clash at Boriskova. Ah hell, just go here! This man has been busy!

3. I've also mentioned and linked Daniel Savarese's ASLSK work. Apparently he also did a review of S2 War of the Rats -- perhaps the Prawn should take a read...

4. This is one I knew about before but some people still haven't seen. MMP hosts a small Flash demo of the Movement Phase and Defensive First Fire here.

5. And finally I'll pimp out the 'Geek again. Always check the ASLSK1-3 boards and read over session reports and rules questions. Nothing helps learning more than making it a collaborative effort -- something the Internet makes easy. You never know where it might take you. For example, I decided that I'd post a session report and noticed that Talloaf was posting similar ones. He and I hooked up over email and then subsequently to VASL where we now know a lot more about AFVs than if we had just lurked and done nothing.

Last thing, I know from just running this silly little blog that it takes more than a trivial amount of effort to "give back" to the hobby and I want to commend everyone who I listed above and anyone else who has posted a session report or AAR, or put together a learning package or playaid for their gaming buddies, or somehow took the plunge and did something to expand ASL outside their immediate comfort zone. Kudos to you people; your work is much appreciated!!!

p.s. And just as I wrapped up this post I found a new resource (from Count Zero's Blog!): Alain Borel, a French ASLer, has posted small scenarios that were used in Vae Victis magazine to teach specific ASL rules. Check it out here. Anything else I missed this time through? Let me know in the comments or via email.

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