In Contact/ASL Players Association (1989-1990)
Newsletter with Scenarios, Periodical
Country of Origin:
Short newsletter with 6 scenarios per issue
ASLers Bill Conner, Daryl Burke and Pierce Ostrander founded the “ASL Players Association” in 1989 and created for it an ASL newsletter, In Contact, which debuted at Origins in the summer of 1989.
The debut issue consisted of only four pages of text, plus six scenarios on cardstock, so the emphasis was on scenarios from the very beginning. From the very beginning all the way to the second issue, that is, because In Contact had an extremely short life.
In Contact was very possibly the first newsletter published specifically for ASL (On All Fronts predated it, but started as a Squad Leader newsletter and continued to have Squad Leader content for a number of years). Its big draw was new scenarios–lots of them–which were quite rare in those early days. Altogether, In Contact published 12 scenarios (all of which were reprinted as official ASL scenarios many years later in MMP’s Out of the Attic), including several that were well-received, notably IC11 (Monty’s Mess) and IC12 (Crocodile Rock), although none of them were classics.
Though extremely short lived, In Contact paved the way for a host of newsletters that would shortly follow, including the Rout Report, Fire for Effect, At the Point, ASLUG, and more.
- Issue #1
- IC1 The Road to St. Lo. France 1944 (Americans vs. Germans). DASL.
- IC2 Skirmish in the Snow. Soviet Union 1942 (Soviets vs. Germans)
- IC3 Waiting for Fredendall. Tunisia 1942 (British vs. Germans). Desert.
- IC4 Hell on Wheels. France 1944 (Americans vs. Germans). DASL.
- IC5 Broich Bash. Germany 1945 (Americans vs. Germans).
- IC6 Rear Area Defenders. France 1940 (British vs. Germans).
- Issue #2
- IC7 Mounted Extraction. Soviet Union 1944 (Soviets vs. Germans).
- IC8 Celles Melee. Belgium 1944 (Americans vs. Germans).
- IC9 A Parting Blow. Sicily 1943 (Americans vs. Germans).
- IC10 Tyranny’s End. France 1944 (Americans vs. Germans).
- IC11 Monty’s Mess. Netherlands 1944 (British vs. Germans).
- IC12 Crocodile Rock. Germany 1945 (British vs. Germans).
Pierce Ostrander says
A couple of the other attributes of In Contact:
1. It was intended to bridge the East Coast / West Coast player communities. At the time, I Pierce Ostrander was based in Southern CA and Phoenix AZ, while Bill and Daryl were in Youngstown, Ohio. The idea for publishing a ASL ‘zine was hatched between the three principals at Origin ’86 – which was held in L.A., the first and only time as I recall. It was one of the few times in the history of the game was ASL East met West.
2. The primary purpose of In Contact was to publish tournament-length scenarios. At the time, there were very few of them. The Southern California ASL club held 3 tournaments a year, and all the scenarios used in those tournaments were purpose-built by the membership. We had a backlog of solid, short scenarios that we knew were well-balanced (from tournament results). This provided the initial raw material for In Contact. Designers Steve Brasseur, Ryan Allen, Pierce Ostrander, David Roth, Tom Lavan and Nadir El-Farra, were all from the L.A. and Phoenix areas – these are the earliest designs from that coast.
3. The first two (the only two) issues were layed out (photo-copy proofs) by me on one of the earliest MacIntosh Computers. The camera-ready copy was snail-mailed to Ohio where Bill and Daryl published and distributed them. I was the only one of the three of us with computer skills. My commitment to Bill and Daryl had been for 2 issues, after that, it was up to them.
Very interesting! Thanks for sharing that background.
Rick Troha says
I was also involved in In Contact.
I was the author of the rules questions that were published in the newsletter that years later ended up in Out of the Attic. I would have put my name on them if I had known that was going to happen.