Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rant: Cramping my style

For those of you that have left the simplicity of bachelorhood behind, have you ever noticed how having young kids/pets cramps your ASL-style?

Before you get the wrong idea, let me first say that I LOVE my kids. As much as I don't want him to know, I even like my cat, Rambo. However, working 60 hours a week every week does not leave much time for ASL. When I get the energy I want to get out the counters and play, but a couple of hours of ASL does not allow me to play a full game (I'm not speed racer when it comes to this game).

My 9 year old daughter has learned to leave my stuff alone. My 6 year old son, however, still looks with his hands. As for the cat, do a search on the Gamesquad forum for "FOBA" (or Feline OBA) - enough said.

The next response is usually "go with VASL". This is a hard one for me. VASL is a wonderful program (I say that as both an end user and as a programmer - though not in Java). The community should be forever grateful to Herr Kinney for his creation and CountermanCX for his ongoing contributions, not to mention all the map trolls and extension elves quietly and diligently adding their two cents. The fact of the matter is, I use a netbook for most of my computing. Screen size is an issue. I have, however, also done VASL with both one and two monitor setups. 2 monitors is tolerable. I don't happen to have two monitors at home.

Another problem with VASL is that I spend much of my day on a computer anyway. Often, I have a hard time generating the desire to get back on even to play this awesome game. This doesn't seem fair to my opponents to me so I am extremely hesitant to even begin a game. Case in point: my last attempt ended as a miserable failure. I had a very patient and understanding opponent. I am almost certain he bears no ill will that life was stepping in the way, but I feel guilty all the same. We did not even finish a single game.

Perhaps the more important and less concrete reason is that there is some aesthetic attraction for me to pushing cardboard stacks around a hard board (and occasionally tipping them over). There is also something about actually looking your opponent in the eye. I suppose I have been spoiled by living in Spokane and having a friend like Mr. Wolkey living so close. Here in Lubbock, I have not found nor been able to make a regular opponent.

It makes me wonder if any of my other "readers" suffer in silence. Speak up! Tell your stories. I'd love to hear them as well.

And so this doesn't end on a negative...Play often and roll low!!! Happy ASL-ing.



Ian said...

You need to try PBEM VASL, it is a great way of not letting down your oppo whilst getting to scratch that itch. Nothing beats pushing cardboard but it sure beats pushing nothing.

Anonymous said...

Get your butt to Spokane and we'll play --- Robert

blob said...

Well, hopefully you'll eventually be able to teach ASL to your kids and have opponents that way! I got into wargaming because of my dad--I think he was playing games solitaire and I saw them and took to them early on.

But I agree with you about VASL vs. FTF play. As great a program as it is, playing on VASL just isn't as fun.

Rob said...

I know how you feel. I played SL, COI, COD and GI regularly before I setup home. I have since bought ASL and the ASKs and they have just sat there collecting dust. There is something about the little counters that appeal. Anyway 3 kids later and I have never played ASL or ASLSK. I have looked at VASL -would like to play it but I can never get the time. So I am trying to develop a java SASL to play against the computer.

Andy McMaster said...

I managed to keep ASL going following marriage and arrival of my daughter. Still managed the tourneys, the fortnightly games etc. and even VASL games. Then three years again sprog nmber two arrived and that has pretty well killed it! I made a tourney last year but they were the only games I played that year. And since, nothing...
I do some figure gaming as well. Well, I buy and paint but rarely actually game. I find I can spare an hour to relax painting whereas four hours for an ASL game is out.
I hope to get a game going in the next month though. VASL, even PBEM, I don't want to commit to as I like to guarantee I can play often enough and I don't want to let my oppo down.
I'm just hoping I can live long enough to play in my retirement! Had kids late so it's touch and go on that front!

Josh said...


I know what you mean. That's precisely the reason I have a hesitation starting up VASL. I feel bad if we can't finish a game.