As an ASL newbie I’ve been scouring the web for ASL resources while I try to get to grips with this classic but complex squad level WWII war game.
Pretty quickly I discovered Virtual ASL or VASL which is an excellent Java application by Rodney Kinney that allows both play by email (PBeM) and online play with ASL opponents around the world. Using VASL is just like having a board, a box of counters and some reference sheets in front of you. VASL has no concept of the game rules so you’ll still need a copy of ASL to play. There also seems to be an active and fairly friendly community using VASL too, with a mix of ASL experts and new players like myself.
Through VASL I’ve started a PBeM game of “S01: Retaking Vierville” with a gentleman in Germany. Despite the fact this is an inordinately basic ASL scenario using just Infantry and Leader counters and we’re only 2/3rds of the way through the first turn, I’m already having a blast. I suspect I will be totally schooled by my opponent (who’s getting back into ASL after a decade) but hopefully I can provide them with some amusement. I feel PBeM is a good way to play for a newbie too, because it gives you plenty of time to re-read the relevant rules and consider your actions as you play.
Other ASL online resources are the excellent Game Squad ASL forums. I found the “Basic Tactics” links very handy, in particular they linked to some excellent ASL Starter Kits tutorials on Board Game Geek.
By the way, regular viewers may have noticed I’m on something of an ASL jag at the moment. I solemnly swear to return to normal programming shortly with some progress on the various modeling projects I have on the go, not to mention a quick figure painting tutorial I plan to put together. We’re expecting our second child in a week and a half, so I’d better get some modeling in before then!
Addendum: “The Joys of VASL” which is a good description of VASL was pointed out to me by another gentleman I’ve started a second PBeM game with.