AFV Combat analysis [in spanglish]

mgmasl

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Time enough to do some analysis about ASL AFV warfare.
When engaged in AFV combat first objetive is to hit the enemy AFVs to get any effect. Probability are based on rolling an exact number or lower and so the greater is the number the most option to hit. The exact probability to get an exact hit number is obtained from the expected twoxdr6 results. Obviously, higher numbers get higher to hit percentages and so normal AFV tactic is moving to get the best to Hit number, the most negative modifiers and the less positive to friendly to hit DRs, and doing just the opposite for enemy to Hit DRs. Additionally more shots done vs the enemy, increment more hits, and so ROF ordnance is important, same than ordnance superiority.
Once HIT, rolling below the Kill number is the second problem. Obviously the greater the best, so CH and Special Ammo are clearly important in AFV Combat.
Teorically game is about manuevering with AFVs and anti-tank capable weapons to get the maximun numbers of highest possible shots vs the enemy.
In ASL all those aspects are fussioned in one only DR deciding at the same time and with only one DR if enemy is HIT, the weapon ROF, hit is a CH or Special Ammo availability.
Here is the DR results posibility using two 6 dice:
12700
Next analisys is about the possible effects when needing an exact number to hit and a hit is obtained. I´ve made a table placing the number needed to hit first with the probablity of getting a HIT, and I´ve added additional columns for getting ROF, Special Ammo availability and CHs obtained, based on the number needed to Hit. I mean, if needing an exact number to hit and a HIT is obtained how it´s the probability of getting ROF, Special Ammo and CH for this exact hit DR.
12701
Accordying to this table, if needing a 3 or less to Hit, probability to hit is low (8,33%) but if rolling low enough and a Hit is obtained, there is a 66,67% probabilities to get ROF with a 1 weapon, 100% with a 2-3 weapon. Also this same hit will be with Special Ammo 100% except if #2 availability (only 33,33% for this number) and it will be a CH 1 of every 3 hits (33,33%). If needing a 9 or less to hit numbers to Hit are 10 times bettered (83,33%) and if a His is obtained, there is a 20%/40%/60% probabilities of getting a new shot with 1/2/3 ROF weapons, special ammo from 3,33% to 50% of Hits depending on availabity number, and last, a CH will be obtained a 3,03% of the hits obtained (ie once of every 33 Hits). Here is a graphic about including this results.
12702
Because of the linked effect of rolling one DR, every hit needing low numbers is proportionally a lot more successful than any hit needing high numbers because of the linked benefits included (or the higher probability of getting those added results). I mean low hits are excepcionally awarded with CHs, ROF and Special Ammo availability comparing with higher number to hit shots. And so, the efforts of playing manuevering adequatelly to minimize DRMs are a lot less important than rolling low enough, what is always linked to more rolls than the opponent. I mean the more weapons to roll the most option to get low results and the linked effect. In my opinion, this makes almost impossible to balance scenarios where a few good weapons try to stop a lot of enemy AFVs, because the enemy is playing to roll as much as possible looking exclusively for low DRs what it’s directly attached to the number of DRs in any scenario. I´ve always thought this linked resulta are a deep problem in AFV warfare in ASL where there are little options for minor results -usually Kill or ne- and little option to recover any vehicle or gun.
Thinking about a logic design I firmly believe the best option to hit an enemy -good vision, clearer target, no movement..- if any, it had to be linked with the added benefits of CH, ROF and (maybe even time to find the) Special Ammo. I mean any crew with time enough to hit because it has a very clear target will surely use a lot less time pointing to the tartera before firing and surely will get time enough easyer to fire again at the same or a different target, and the same for pointing to a known critical point of the enemy AFV. I´m not trying to look a way to change those linked effects from low numbers to hit to big numbers to hit, but at least trying to eliminate the existent relation between low DR and special effects.
There are Pleva´s variants for ROF and Special Ammo breaking this successful connection between low numbers and ROF or Special Ammo. To break connection with CH I´ve calculated than rolling after each Hit a new DR needing 2 or 12 for a CH have a general prob of getting the same CHs in any game with a base 7 for a normal hit. If using those three rules the new table is this one
12703
The main difference is that ROF, Special Ammo and CHs are now depending on the ROF, Special ammo and CH numbers directly, with no relation at all with the numbers needed to Hit, and so better numbers to hit are esentially better options to do the job. ROF is depending on the kind of weapon, Special Ammo in the avaibility for this special gun in this year, and finally, probability of a Critical Hit would be one of every 18 normal Hits. Here is the graphic using variants.
12704
To resume.. IMHO both Pleva variants are really needed for interesting AFV combat in ASL, and I will add the CH variant. I believe some additional dice rolling may improve the game.
Only exposing some personal thoughts about ASL ?

Sorry about any confussion due to my poor english ?

and finally thanks a lot if reaching this point ;)
Miguel
 
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Sparafucil3

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I have postulated in the past that if rolling more times evens out the luck, then both sides should have to roll every time an attack is conducted. The attacker's final DR should reflect in the DRM the Defender has to roll for the result. As it is today, a 6 -2 shot that rolls an 11 is NE. In a system where the attacker rolls and the defender rolls, an 11 just means the DEFENDER gets the benefit of better odds on his dice, but he too, can still roll an 11 and break. At this point though, we are talking about re-writing the whole game. Why not use percentile dice rather than 2d6? We could use 2d10 and get results from 2 - 20?

Or, we could just play the game and accept it's warts. -- jim
 

mgmasl

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I have postulated in the past that if rolling more times evens out the luck, then both sides should have to roll every time an attack is conducted. The attacker's final DR should reflect in the DRM the Defender has to roll for the result. As it is today, a 6 -2 shot that rolls an 11 is NE. In a system where the attacker rolls and the defender rolls, an 11 just means the DEFENDER gets the benefit of better odds on his dice, but he too, can still roll an 11 and break. At this point though, we are talking about re-writing the whole game. Why not use percentile dice rather than 2d6? We could use 2d10 and get results from 2 - 20?

Or, we could just play the game and accept it's warts. -- jim
It´s not about DRs .. and not at all about using percentile dice. If using the same all-in-one-DR with percentile dice we´ll only get the same graphic posted above with a similar curve, but nothing better if we keep the same linked effects to rolling low.

When adding the probabilityes of hits and kills taking in account ROF, Special Ammo, CHs, Breakdown,... the probabilitys on causing any damage when needing low rolls to hit goes up a lot respect to the shots requiring bigger ones because the "collateral success" linked to low DRs. I mean the real curve about harming is not similar to the one expected by using 2x6 DR but a really different one because linked items to low DRs. I´ve always thought those linked effects works againts enjoyment.

I see players looking for balanced or less dicey scenarios everytime.. same as myself. And a lot of post have been written about "bad" companys selling non-tested scenarios. Because of that, I figure there is a lot of players interested in a balanced game.

Main question is What is a balanced scenario?, or a dicey one to be avoided? IMO a balanced scenario is an interesting one so well designed that there is a good relationship between average play and average options to win. I mean that a player may play vs a similar skilled opponent and probability to win will be proportional to the efficient use of OB, terrain, rules.. IMHO this is what a lot of players is expecting everytime they start a game.

I´m analyzing some issues about resolving-everything-with-the-same-DR that may be easily avoided by rolling some additional DR/dr, if anyone interested, of course. Curious thing is we have concluded here similar "variants" to those implemented by some players 10.000km away, because of similar detected issues. Maybe there is something out there.

Bad or good luck in any scenario is not in question, nor it´s the neccesity to accept results from DR as the only way to enjoy this game.

Miguel
 

Sparafucil3

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It´s not about DRs .. and not at all about using percentile dice. If using the same all-in-one-DR with percentile dice we´ll only get the same graphic posted above with a similar curve, but nothing better if we keep the same linked effects to rolling low.
I understood your original post. It was well done and the English was not a barrier.

I´ve always thought those linked effects works againts enjoyment.
In matters of taste, there can be no argument. It has never bothered my enjoyment of the game.

I see players looking for balanced or less dicey scenarios everytime.. same as myself. And a lot of post have been written about "bad" companys selling non-tested scenarios. Because of that, I figure there is a lot of players interested in a balanced game.
It is not clear to me how your proposition balances the game. I get the argument you postulate--tying everything into on DR can further skew the outcome--I am not certain your proposition makes for a more balanced system. IMO, luck will always play a part if we assume the scenario is perfectly balanced. Among equally skilled players whom play "perfectly" for their skill level, luck will most likely decide the outcome.

If you're going to un-couple the DR's, would I get to roll two dice every time you do something that qualifies for a SAN to see if my SAN activated? Would you roll twice on the TH DR, one for the hit, and one for the aspect you hit? Shouldn't we also uncouple the hit location from the TH?

Main question is What is a balanced scenario?, or a dicey one to be avoided? IMO a balanced scenario is an interesting one so well designed that there is a good relationship between average play and average options to win. I mean that a player may play vs a similar skilled opponent and probability to win will be proportional to the efficient use of OB, terrain, rules.. IMHO this is what a lot of players is expecting everytime they start a game.
Trying to balance a scenario for wide disparities of skills is--in my opinion--a fantasy. There are too many variables to account for. I have said it before and I think it's worth repeating, if I were designing scenarios, my goal would be to get it someplace into the 60:40 level. Of course, I would strive for better. If I could make it into the 55:45 range, I would be super excited about it. Given the tools we have, a scenario which presents itself 60:40 may be significantly imbalanced in favor of the 40 side at high levels of play and the number of playings by "all other players" is skewing the balance result. Take a look at the ROAR results for SG1 Abrahms Charge. Admittedly, at 22 reported playings, the sample size is small but the Germans are winning at a 3:1 margin (making the scenario 25:75 for the Germans). I know from playtesting, the Americans were degraded some and the belief among the top level players involved, this scenario is still strongly pro-American.

I am not here to say there isn't merit to your post, I just think the path you are taking is towards a completely different game than the one we are playing today. If you're end result is a new game, I don't know why you would limit yourself to 2d6 when you have some many other options available. How does 2d10 flatten the curve, and give a more central tendency compared to 2d6? Is that preferable? Does it go far enough to limit the tails of tails of probability while still allowing for the unlikely? I don't know. I am not a game designer. :) -- jim
 

von Marwitz

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I agree with Jim that it is a matter of taste.

In my opinion, the part that skill has in playing ASL outweighs sheer luck quite a bit. Otherwise, it wouldn't be the same group of players winning most of the tournaments and otherwise you would not 'feel' the difference playing an opponent whose (alas defunct) AREA rating differs from your own by the margin of 100 points.

A good part of the attraction of ASL is the 'stories'. And these stories most of the time revovle around the improbable, the extreme, the luck. I would not want to miss these stories ASL is telling when playing the game.

You can attempt to eliminate as many elements of luck in ASL to make it more chess-like and thus strengthen the element of skill yet further. Even in doing so, of course it will never become chess-like. This is good. And I don' t think Miguel envisions this.

For me, part of the skill, however, is to deal with good luck and bad luck. It forces you to adapt to the unexpected. You have to skillfully and immediately be able to switch plans, develop alternatives, limit the effects of disasters, and to make most of an unexpected advantage or opening. I consider this good luck or bad luck more representing the vagaries of war. War isn't just. The timeless wisdom about war is that best laid plans don't survive the first contact with the enemy. There are probably few things that force you as much to adapt to the unexpected, to the extreme, to the unfair. This is what good players seem to master. And thereby they continue to write 'stories' themselves: "That dude lost his best tank with the Armor Leader and then I was convinced that I had bagged the scenario. But through forces not yet fully understood, he somehow contrieved to turn the game again and I snatched defeat from the jaws of victory..."

I concede, though, that there are circumstances in which curtailing the luck (or maybe more the bad luck) would be an improvement. The classic example is that 4 1/2 Turn scenario which is well designed, tense to play, and a lot of fun - unless you malf your key unit on the first shot which breaks the scenario. To sum up, situations in which a specific DR with a very improbable outcome breaks a scenario. To address this, IMHO a mulligan is the simplest, easiest, versatile, and most elegant method to deal with the matter.

I believe that the current balance within the game of skill, luck, and the necessity to adapt to the unexpected, which is the stuff the ASL-stories are made of, is quite good. Not to say very good! So generally, I am happy with the way things are.


von Marwitz
 

mgmasl

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Thanks for your interesting comment.

I think IIFT was a greater change including a new crítical table and some additional results-CTC-. It’s only use the same ROF rule with a special ROF die. There are a lot of ROF dice designed and used. It’s also about the Special Ammo DR used as a second free hit attemp.. there are lot of post about this question an Pleva has a good rule for that.. I personally missed the rule and played for a lot of years rolling first to check availability and then to hit..
I recognize CH proposal is a bigger one but actual roll is a Critical Shot and not a Critical Hit.. I mean actually the same number of shots generate the same number of CHs with no dependence on the needed to Hit and so less probable hits are clearly favoured. Additionally I discovered with the many games played that a hit with low numbers obtained is more easily a CH. if the crew has so many problems to hit needing a 3 in 36 to have any effect is just absurd that 1 of this exact 3 shots will be a CH..
I’m trying to justify the need of a ROF die for a better game, the good efffect on the game of the Special Ammo Pleva variant,, and finally a personal thinking about a possible and easy way to break the strange relationship between CH and low to hit numbers commented above.. each one add against dicey games in tourney scenarios.. same as the OBA Pleva semi-official rule. I decided not to play with OBA except if using this rule since a lot of time ago.
And only if the AFVs combat are important to decide an scenario.
A full new game ? I don‘t think so but I may be wrong.. I see GSQ a good forum for this debate.
Take care and thanks again for your post.
 

von Marwitz

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Probably the IIFT with CTC has more impact than a 3rd ROF die.

I don't think that either has any fundamental consequences on the game (without wanting to resurrect the IFT/IIFT mother-of-all-debates...).

Normally, I play the IIFT with CTC and don't use a 3rd ROF die. More a matter of habit than anything else I reckon. But a third ROF die is one of those examples I accept as a house rule. Same with the Pleva OBA rule, although the latter manages to fix a rather serious weakness of the rules and is an example of what resembles a mulligan. With which I would also be fine as a house rule.

Cheers,
von Marwitz
 

Sparafucil3

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Take care and thanks again for your post.
How does a 3rd die ROF change my SAN? Assume I have a SAN of 5. Intuitively, it seems like it shouldn't be affected but I am not smart enough with the math to prove it. -- jim
 

mgmasl

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ROF die has no effect on SAN.. the normal to hit attemp is done and SAN resolved.. this shot may roll 5 as usual. What is changed is that a low DR is not automatically rewarded with ROF and so low to hit numbers doesn’t cause automatically ROF. If not using a ROF die -not counted for SAN- and you only hit with snake eyes, EVERY hit allows a new shot because automatically gun also rolls 1 in the colored die.. With a 3 ROF gun, it happens if needing 4 or less.ie EVERY hit needing 4 or less to impact has an automatic new shot in the same pack.
This is the linked effect.. and same for Special Ammo and very similar for CHs using ATT or VTT.

Those linked effect makes not so bad to try 4 or less to HIT attempts, specially with Special Ammo #4. If using variants noted it’s really a bad idea because gun may lose ROF and may lost a needed Special Ammo Shot in a shot with a very low probability to hit. I mean you may get the Special Ammo and then miss the shot.
 
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Sparafucil3

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ROF die has no effect on SAN.. the normal to hit attemp is done and SAN resolved.. this shot may roll 5 as usual. What is changed is that a low DR is not automatically rewarded with ROF and so low to hit numbers doesn’t cause automatically ROF. If not using a ROF die -not counted for SAN- and you only hit with snake eyes, EVERY hit allows a new shot because automatically gun also rolls 1 in the colored die.. With a 3 ROF gun, it happens if needing 4 or less.ie EVERY hit needing 4 or less to impact has an automatic new shot in the same pack.
This is the linked effect.. and same for Special Ammo and very similar for CHs using ATT or VTT.
I await the math. Something about this seems counter-intuitive to me. -- jim
 

von Marwitz

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I await the math. Something about this seems counter-intuitive to me. -- jim
I think there is no math to it.

The SAN is only considering your 'normal' DRs, i.e. the two dice you would throw anyway (special ROF rule or not, so there can't be a difference). The sole function of the ROF die is to find out if there is ROF or not. For all other purposes it does not exist.

von Marwitz
 

klasmalmstrom

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I see players looking for balanced or less dicey scenarios everytime.. same as myself. And a lot of post have been written about "bad" companys selling non-tested scenarios. Because of that, I figure there is a lot of players interested in a balanced game.
Out of curiosity - have you tried these changes to the rules in any scenario you have played? Do you use them for friendly play?
 

Sparafucil3

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I think there is no math to it.

The SAN is only considering your 'normal' DRs, i.e. the two dice you would throw anyway (special ROF rule or not, so there can't be a difference). The sole function of the ROF die is to find out if there is ROF or not. For all other purposes it does not exist.

von Marwitz
I understand the purpose of the third die. What I don't understand is if the frequency of SAN's (not the activations, just the check) is changed. Say I have a SAN of 2. If you roll a ROF 1 weapon, I will get a SAN 1 in 6 if you get ROF. Now if you roll a third dr, does that change? In the extreme example of a SAN 2, I am pretty sure it does not. The others probably do not either, but the math escapes me. -- jim
 

mgmasl

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Out of curiosity - have you tried these changes to the rules in any scenario you have played? Do you use them for friendly play?
I was going to play a serie of scenario using variants with a friend FtF but Coronavirus has stopped our plans..

ROF from a lot of years vs every VASL opponent accepting.. and usually always when playing FtF..
 

mgmasl

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I understand the purpose of the third die. What I don't understand is if the frequency of SAN's (not the activations, just the check) is changed. Say I have a SAN of 2. If you roll a ROF 1 weapon, I will get a SAN 1 in 6 if you get ROF. Now if you roll a third dr, does that change? In the extreme example of a SAN 2, I am pretty sure it does not. The others probably do not either, but the math escapes me. -- jim
Any relation between ROF and SAN is broken by the ROF die.. but not every good shot adds ROF and so it’s compensated.
 

Sparafucil3

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Any relation between ROF and SAN is broken by the ROF die.. but not every good shot adds ROF and so it’s compensated.
I understand. What I am not certain about is if this is a good thing, a bad thing, or an indifferent thing. If it changes the relationship between ROF and SANs, how does this change the game. That's the math I am uncertain of. -- jim

EDIT to add: Assume that to get ROF, you generally have to roll low (it can be no worse than a 9 assuming a ROF of 3, no worse than a 7 with a ROF of 1). SAN's too require low rolls. Using a ROF die breaks the marriage between low rolls and ROF. Are SAN's on low rolls a balancing feature? Assume a SAN of 5 and ROF of 2. I roll a 5,1 TH. No SAN, but the 3rd fie ROF is a 2. Now I roll again. Second attack is a 2,3 and generates a SAN but the the ROF dr was a 4 so no ROF. The IFT DR was a 4.1, another SAN. How does this fundamentally change the game from a SAN perspective and is this good, bad, or indifferent?
 
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Robin Reeve

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I seem.to recall a footnote - but cannot find it - which explained that the link between ROF and a low roll was due to the fact that the firer, having had a quick good result against his target had time to engage other targets or press on his attack against the initial target.
As wary as I am about "simulation of reality" explanations, I find the reasoning rather good.
 

mgmasl

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Suppose a classic scenario final situation. After a lot of fantastic turns 3 Friendly AFVs are driving to exit the board and an enemy 2ROF weapon covering the road to exit. Attacker need to exit with at least 2 AFVs to win the game.

1) Defender 2ROF weapon has been smoked and because of movement, BU and more DRMS defenders need to roll 3 or less to hit the attacker AFVs. Without variants if the defender HITs the first AFV moving to exit with 3 or less, AUTOMATICALLY gets a new shot option and it has 1 in 3 option of getting CH. Of course, with Special AMMO. If firing againts the 2nd moving vehicle and it rolls again a 3 or less, it´s again automatically rewarded with a new shot, special ammo and has a higher probability of obtaining a CH.

There is no possibility of HIT with 3 or less without getting ROF and a CH in once of every 3 hits, or without special ammo #4. Or you hit, ROF, Special AMMO and 1 o3 CHs or just nothing..

2) Defender 2ROF weapon has a fantastic BS vs the key hex and an -2 Armor leader, enemy is big target and so it needs 10 or less to hit each every enemy AFV moving to exit. if first DR is 11 -we can forget 12 by now- there is a miss and AUTOMATICALLY no ROF and no Special AMMO.. game over by rolling 11.

There is no option of getting ROF and having Special AMMO available for next shot if missing by rolling 11.

If using the ROF variants, Special AMMO and CH variants.. options for 1 and 2 are

1a) Hits First AFV but no ROF, no Special AMMO, and no CH (1 in 18)
1b) Hits First AFV with ROF, no Special AMMO and no CH (1 in 18)
1c) Hits First AFV with ROF, Special AMMO and no CH (1 in 18)
1d) Hits First AFV with ROF, Special AMMO and CH..

And this also for the second AFV if getting ROF, and so on.. And a high roll is not automatically no ROF or Special ammo not available, with an option to a new HIT attemp vs the third AFV..

2a) Miss First AFV with ROF, Special AMMO still available.
2b) Hits First AFV with ROF, NO Special AMMO available, and CH (1 in 18)
2c) Hits First AFV no ROF, No Special AMMO and CH (1 in 18)..
And so on...

This kind of strange results is what the variants are trying to eliminate. I mean, defender may hit or miss at first vehicle and getting ROF or Special Ammo or CH. And every shot with the same probabilities of getting ROF, Special Ammo and CH (1 in 18t) with no relation with the previous result obtained on the to hit table.
 
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