Creating a Squad
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 where do you start your squad? 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 15 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. 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)
Mighty the Bouffalant (level 2 Male)
Amy the Pichu (level 1 Female)
Norman the Hoothoot (level 1 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 15 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. The league standard to check movesets is to use veekun. 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.