I notice there’s been quite a number of “new” players who are really “returnees” from Squad Leader or ASL decades ago. Invariably we talk about how they should join a tournament at least once, since tournaments are great places to learn and to meet the community that accelerates your learning and your enjoyment of the game exponentially. These folks do worry about their level of ASL knowledge and whether they will fit into an ASL community with characters who’s been around for decades. Before joining my first tournaments in 2014, I worried about putting up the expense only to suffer some form of hostility because I was (am) not up to par.
This is Von Marwitz’s perspective, carried with his permission:
Whether new or coming back to the hobby, I would not be worried about not being good enough.
Back in the days, before I attended my first tournament, I had played exactly one single, very small 4.5 Turn scenario of ASL against an opponent. Besides that, all I had done was playing solitaire and teaching the game to myself – with all that entails.
I believe that even very fast players acknowledge, that under such circumstances nothing else than slow play can be expected. My personal experience regarding my treatment back then and by observation later is, that almost all experienced guys (fast or slow) are willing and open to treat such a game more as a tutorial than a competitive game. Needless to say, I did not win a single scenario during my first tournament but yet I had so much fun, that I am still sticking to ASL 25 years later.
So, this goes out to any newbies out here, to those returning to the hobby, and to those who have never attended a tournament:
Don’t worry about not being good enough or not fast enough. Take the dive and give attending a tournament a try. Altogether, the vast majority of players (of all playing styles) I have met, are a jolly bunch and welcoming.
(von Marwitz is associated with Grenadier 2023, which is going to be held in Gelsenkirchen Germany, 2 Nov-5 Nov)
Related Article: “Journey to a Tourney, Part 1: Decisions”