Hello and welcome to my Advanced Squad Leader Blog. I have been following the growth of a new player using the total immersion/ small scenario method of teaching young players as an attempt to get this great game out to the next generation of players in this age of video games and instant gratification. After my youngest player got immersed into the Kampgruppe Pieper campaign game I started using smaller scenarios to get the finer points and to have some fun playing. The First one we used was Tin Hat Tin Cans from break point, this was a small scenario which had to early war French tanks fighting a small band of Aussies in 1941. It resulted in 2 awesome battles that went down to the last dice roll during close combat.The next one we used was FRF16 Last Orders, with its small order of battle and varied Victory conditions it had a high replay rate and it exposed our young players to Berlin 1945. I moderated the game and watched it played two times in one evening and both games were fun and down to the wire.
In that trend of small unit actions with a couple of vehicles either on one or both sides the next scenario we tried was RPT 14 by Rally Point Keitel and Cox. This scenario depicts 10 American 666 Squads and 2 Sherman Tanks vs. 7 548 germans armed with panzerfausts and a lone tiger tank. The scenario takes place on one of the starter set boards, Z, so the line of sights are forgiving easy to figure out for the younger player.
Jayden took the Germans and I took the Americans. Now mind you he has been playing the game for about a year. I have been involved in ASL since the original Squad leader in 1977. My Americans ran into a brick wall against Jayden’s Germans. Casualties mounted quickly and within 2 hours the game was over. He defeated me handily. Nothing builds the confidence of a new player more than thumping an older experienced player. He left my store with a smile on his face and an urge to play more ASL.
He came into my store today for a repeat match. We played Keitel and Cox again with the same sides. Again I ran into the stone wall of German fire. I had to pull all my tricks to keep the Americans together. I was pinned against the ropes and had to do the bypass freeze to get into the last building. The only reason I was able to get the tank to where it had to go was because he rolled a 12 on the to kill roll with a panzerfaust. It took a 12 on a to kill roll for me to win the game against a 10 year old boy who has been playing this game for a year and a half. I am very happy that this young man has taken to this game so well. I lost to him once and needed him to flub the to kill shot with a panzerfaust and I loved IT!! There are 2 things I would take away from my experience:
First, after the total immersion scenario or campaign, try to pick small replay able scenarios and replay them, even with keeping the same sides. The younger player will feel more comfortable with the same pieces that way he gets the chance to make mistakes and learn from them, Second be patient and help them with the modifiers. Soon they will be rattling off the mods to you. They will know what they need to hit before you do. Advanced Squad Leader is a great game and I am finding more young people are getting into it. Unlock those young minds and who knows what they will teach US. Let me know what you think about my posts and my web site by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Like always have fun and good gaming.