Thread: Getting Started
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:09 PM   #1
Concept
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Getting Started

If you have a question about anything in the ASB, ask it here.

ASB: A Beginners Guide

Welcome to the UPN/SPPf PASBL (Pokemon Anime Style Battle League)! For those wondering what on earth they've just stumbled across, ASB is a forum based game in which players (referred to as "trainers") have pokemon battles with each other in an attempt to recreate the wonder, spectacle and variety of the anime, free from the more rigid and formulaic game rules. If that sounds the sort of thing you'd be interested in, do please read on.

Getting a Squad

One important thing to note before we start - the PASBL is spread across two forums; Ultimate Pokemon Network and Serebii. There is no "separation" between forums - everything you do on one counts equally on the other, so there's no need to post changes to anything on both forums.

So how do you join, you ask? There is no official sign up thread per se. Instead, your first port of call should be Sigless Squad Submissions thread. Here you can post your starting team. This thread is for all squad changes that don't include signature moves (more on those later). A new trainer can have a squad of up to fifteen pokemon, and you'll need at least six to start participating in matches. However not all pokemon can be used straight away. ASB has ranks known as trainer levels, six in total, and all new trainers start at trainer level one. Trainer level dictates what pokemon are available so progressing through the ranks will grant you access to a greater variety of pokemon as well as giving you more slots so you can possess more. A list of all available pokemon together with the trainer level required to obtain them is found here, under the aptly named 'Pokemon Level Acquisitions' section. All newly added pokemon start at level one, with the exception of uplevels. Uplevels are what we call the up to two pokemon out of your squad that can be one level higher than your trainer level. Think carefully about these - they can be pokemon that would otherwise require you to be the next trainer level to obtain, or simply pokemon you intend to use often. Uplevels are considered slightly more powerful than other pokemon, but the corresponding drawback is that they're harder to control - attempting to use more than one uplevel in a battle can result in them disobeying.

If this all sounds a bit confusing, let's hope this example beginner squad helps;

Heath the Ariados (level 2 Male)
Amy the Pichu (level 1 Female)
Norman the Hoothoot (level 1 Male)
Mighty the Bouffalant (level 2 Male)
Jerome the Chingling (level 1 Male)
Samantha the Corsola (level 1 Female)
Lily the Munna (level 1 Female)
Peabody the Oddish (level 1 Male)
Joey the Rattata (level 1 Male)
Jared the Mankey (level 1 Male)
Archie the Slugma (level 1 Male)
Tulip the Bagon (level 1 Female)
Pashmina the Zorua (level 1 Female)
Hanzo the Froakie (level 1 Male)
Mufasa the Litleo (level 1 Male)

Breaking this down piece by piece; this new squad has fifteen pokemon (the maximum allowed for a new trainer), of which two are my uplevels (the two that start at level 2). I've given them all nicknames (optional) and genders (required). For one of my uplevel slots, I've chosen to have Ariados, which would otherwise have to be a level 1 Spinarak. For the other, I've picked Bouffalant - a pokemon otherwise not obtainable at TL1 due to it's TL2 requirement. Once you've posted a squad in sigless submissions you're good to go straight away - no need to wait for LO (League Official) approval. So long as they're within the rules any changes in sigless submissions happen immediately.

It's important not to get too hung up on making the perfect squad right from the get go. At any point you can drop and add new pokemon as long as you don't exceed your total maximum, and you'll have many opportunities to expand your squad. It's also important to note that many more pokemon are viable in ASB than in comp, so don't worry too much about accidentally picking something up you later find you can't use. For your initial squad it's good to pick a wide variety of pokemon so you don't have too much in the way of common weaknesses. Large and varied movepools are also very valuable - a pokemon can use any move it could ever learn in the games. One other thing to keep in mind is that pokemon have different characteristics, which can be found here. These can significantly change how some pokemon play.

Once you've got your squad, you might want to come and introduce yourself in our Time Out thread. This is our chat thread, where trainers hang out getting to know one another, and is the hub of ASB social activity. Friendly ASBers will be more than happy to help newbies along - we were all new once, and between us we've made all the mistakes in the book.

Starting Your First Battle

Right, so now you'll want to get to battling. You can have up to three battles going at once, with at least one of these being on each forum. To set up your first battle, you'll want to go to the Open Challenges thread. This thread is where the majority of battles are organised. You can either accept a challenge already posted in the thread or post one of your own and wait for someone to take it. Challenges look like this;

X-on-X
Double Battle (optional)
Hidden Squad (optional)
Equilevel/Equiall N
N HR DQ
Realistic / Slapstick Rules
Return = OK / KO
Arena

To break this down into manageable chunks;

X is the total number of pokemon each trainer can use in a match. Whilst you'll always bring a full squad of six (except in 1 vs 1s, more on that later), in say a 3 vs 3 you will only use three of your six.

Double Battles are self explanatory - in double battles, both trainers will use two pokemon simultaneously. Single battles are the standard, and at present triple battles and rotation battles are not allowed for various reasons.

Hidden squad - In hidden squad, each battler will PM their squad of six to the ref rather than posting them in the thread as will normally happen. In 1 vs 1s, you'll PM your only pokemon and orders to the referee rather than posting a squad.

Equilevel/Equiall N - Useful for battles between trainers of different levels. Equilevel N makes all pokemon in the battle level N (except uplevels which will remain one level higher than other pokemon), without effecting their evolutionary levels. Equiall N will make all pokemon in the battle level N (again, except uplevels) and make them evolve as far as they would be at level N. For example, bringing a level 1 Charmander to an equiall 4 match will make it a level 4 Charizard, whilst bringing the same Charmander to a equilevel 4 match will simply make it a level 4 Charmander. Battles may not be held at a higher level than either trainer possess, so for example a battle between a level 3 and a level two trainer may be equi 1, 2 or 3 but no higher.

N HR DQ - N hours disqualification. After N hours (up to 96) since a trainer was supposed to post, their opponent may disqualify them. In these circumstances, if a match has not yet gone five rounds, no-one gets any points. If it has gone at least five rounds, the trainer calling the DQ may give DQ orders - basically a free round attempting to do as much damage to your opponent as possible - and gets points based on how far the match has gone so far. So for example, if you've KO'd two of your opponents pokemon in a 4 vs 4 when you DQ them you'll get the same credit as if you'd won a 2 vs 2.

Realistic/Slapstick Rules - Essentially determine whether pokemon can receive permanent injuries or not. "Realistic" treats pokemon somewhat more like real animals, whilst "Slapstick" treats them more as cartoon characters and is thus usually much closer to the anime. Slapstick is the standard assumption and almost all battles are held under those rules.

Return = OK/KO - This determines whether you're allowed to switch pokemon or not. In return=ok, you may switch pokemon as you please, whereas in return=ko pokemon returned to their pokeballs are considered knocked out and may not return to the field, unless they used a move like Baton Pass.

Arena - The arena the battle takes place in. A good list of arenas can be found either here or here, but they're not comprehensive - you can battle pretty much anywhere you can imagine, so long as it's reasonable.

You can have up to four matches going at once, as long as at least one is on either forum, or in the case of four, two on each. The person who posts the match stats in Open Challenges is referred to as the "challenger" Typically, the person who accepts the match from Open Challenges (referred to as the "acceptor") finds the ref. First, you quote the challenge you're taking in Open Challenges and post saying you're taking it. Then, take it over and post the stats in the Ref Queue, like so;

Your Name (Acceptor) vs Opponent's Name (Challenger)
X-on-X
Double Battle (optional)
Hidden Squad (optional)
Equilevel/Equiall N
N HR DQ
Realistic / Slapstick Rules
Return = OK / KO
Arena

Then you wait for a ref to come along and pick up your match, at which point...

Battling!

Now we're getting to the meat of the matter. The first thing you need to know is that the basic post order at the start of a match goes like this;

Challenger posts their squad of six.
Acceptor posts their squad of six, sends out a pokemon(s).
Challenger sends out a pokemon(s), orders.
Acceptor orders.
Referee refs.

If you're the challenger, you have a tougher job of deciding your squad as you have to be ready for anything your opponent could bring. You don't want your team to have too much in the way of common weaknesses - for example, what use is a squad where five of them are weak to electricity if your opponent then brings six electric types? You'll also want to consider the arena here, because bringing a Geodude to a Pool Arena with no pontoons is a bad idea. Generally you'll want a well balanced squad that cover each others weaknesses and can handle any situation. The acceptor has an easier time of squad selection. As acceptor, you want to build your squad to counter your opponents main threats and take advantage of any weaknesses you can see and exploit. Squad building is an art, not a science, and you'll get better with more experience. The acceptors advantage in terms of squad selection is balanced by having to send out the first pokemon. Remember your opponent could send out any one of their six, so you want to ensure you're not stuck at a disadvantage right off the bat. Don't send out Tentacool if your opponent is packing Magnemite! Often when planning a squad as acceptor, I first choose the pokemon I'm going to lead with and work from there. In the case of double battles you'll be sending out two pokemon.

With ordering, the order switches around after each round (so if you ordered second in the previous round, you have to order first this round). The exception to this is when a pokemon was KO'd - the person whose pokemon fainted sends out a new one and orders first.

I'll only cover the basics of battling here. Each round you can order up to two moves/actions. You can use three moves, but only a limited number of times per battle (for 1 vs 1s, 2 vs 2s and 3 vs 3s, you get one three mover per battler, otherwise you get two). Moves require energy and often deal damage. Pokemon will faint when they've taken about six hyper beams worth of damage or used approximately nine hyper beams worth of energy, whichever comes first. A list of descriptions for all attacks can be found in the appropriately titled attack descriptions - bear in mind that we're (loosely) based on the anime, so attacks can vary quite significantly from the games. Supereffective moves will do 2x as much damage as usual (or 3x if a pokemon possesses a double weakness, like Scizor and fire). While a pokemon can keep using moves of their own type(s) and the normal type freely until they faint, for other types we have the idea of "type energy". This basically means that pokemon can't use more than roughly a hyper beam of a given type that doesn't fall into the aforementioned categories. The exact amount will vary depending on their movepool. Game stats have no effect in ASB, which makes a load of otherwise terrible pokemon viable. Remember battles are not like in the games - picture the anime! That's pretty much all you need to know to be able to order your way to the end of a battle. You'll get the hang of it the more you do it and the more people you battle.

So you've got to the end of your first battle! It's now time to divvy up points. In an x vs x battle, the winner receives x KO's and 2x Trainer points. These are the basic building blocks of increasing your trainer level in ASB. A more detailed discussion of points and levels can be found here.

Further Links


What now then? From here, the whole world of the ASB is open to you. You've got loads of options! Here's a few suggestions for things you might want to start looking at once you've got a few battles under your belt;

Have a question that needs answering? Ask in either Trainer and Referee Q/A or Suggestions and Inquiries!

Want to be a referee? Take a gander at some tips, and apply via Ref School!

Curious about signature moves? Look no further. Submitted here!

Fancy taking on a gym leader? These fearsome trainers are the top of ASB, so if you fancy testing your mettle for a gym badge, look here for the rules under which gym matches take place!

Want to buy cool tokens, exhibition matches or more pokemon slots? Look no further than the ASB pokemart and TP/SP services thread!
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Last edited by Connor; 07-18-2016 at 01:28 PM.
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