ASL Literature: What areas remain?

Pfc TAZ

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paulkenny said:
Series Replays, They're the BOMB, cant get enough of em!!!
I completely agree with Paul. I am relearning the system right now and I love to pull out my old journals and General magazines to read through these.

I just bought Jornals 4 & 5 and was disappointed that they didn't have any SR's. Are they out of fashion? Nothing helps a newbie or returnbie out like reading a Series Replay.
 

R.S. Barker

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There is no need for a step by step how to play ASL article, because that has already been done. It is called Chapter K.

Ok, so IF Chapter K is such a complete how to play article, why have so many articles been written on the subject of trying to teach the system/explain rules/etc. and yet, NONE of them turn on the proverbial lightbulb and make you go..Ohh, thats it !

IF Chapter K is such a be-all-end-it-all for learning the system, you'd think that more people would refer to it, and use it, and thus newbies wouldn't be scratching their collective melons.

Look, for those of you that have this system down, great..^5ss..BUT from the standpoint of a newbie trying to understand this system, IMHO, whats missing is the connection between the new gamer and the easy interpretation and understanding of the rules as they are presented. Whats missing is a simple method to learn these rules, and thus enjoy the game.

I'll shut up now about this point.

In any case, I do have a question regarding the newest 2nd edition of Paratrooper - which does not have Chapter K included with it.

In what module is Chapter K available - or going to be available. ?

kwsrv,

Many thanks.

Had that site bookmarked, but overlooked those. Read through them, but I'm still scratching my melon. lol

Ciao
 

Treadhead

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These are some interesting ideas, particularly from those who would like something to help the new player. I have often thought of this subject, and over time I have come to some general classifications of how the ASL game system might be analyzed or instructed.

1. "Actions". For lack of a better term (or ASL term?) I would refer to any activity a unit may voluntarily engage in as an "Action". Bypass Movement would be an Action. Smoke Grenade placement would be an Action. Assembling a SW would be an Action. And so forth. These are actions a player takes with a unit that is not dictated by the game mechanics (e.g. a MC would not be an Action, because MC are called for by the game mechanics). Typically, Actions involve a declaration of some sort of what it is the unit is doing (or about to do), the act itself of performing the action, conditions or prerequisites for performing the Action, any steps involved (including DR, etc.), and the possible outcomes of the Action. As large as the game is, there are only a finite number of Actions an Infantry unit can perform; an AFV may perform; a Gun may perform. These could be laid forth in simple language, using simple (and numerous) diagrams and a list of steps to take. Where complexity usually comes in is keeping straight the various conditions and requirements for performing the Action. Simple checklists help with that. These could be considered "How To" aids. I have seen some literature that might be considered "How To", but IMO they do not quite fit the bill that I have in mind here.

2. "Tactics". This one is a little more difficult to pin down, but seems of interest to most players. In ASL, I would define "tactics" as "the applicable of Actions to achieve a defined goal". Sure, we can talk about the tactics of storming a Factory across a paved road, but what are we really referring to then? It would be a sequence of Actions (#1 above) to achieve a goal (control the Factory). In such an analysis, more is required. First, one must assume a certain familiarity with the individual Actions involved. Next, one must be aware of the ramifications of those Actions, or "what happens when", and actually try to anticipate the effects that your Actions will have. In that sense, "Actions" are the science, and "Tactics" are the art.

3. "Mechanics". What I have in mind here are the system requirements for playing ASL. Wind Change. Routing. Applications that require the player to do because the game can't do it by itself. (E.g., a computerized game would check for Wind "behind the scenes", but in ASL the player has to do it.) Again, while there are many game mechanics to attend to, there are only a finite number of them, and at any given moment only a very few will apply. Usually, these "mechanics" are related to the "Actions" you have taken, and so are related in that sense.

4. "Probabilities". These are related to "Tactics", because what I am thinking of here is a decision-making process that takes into account the player's understanding of the probabilities involved. Certainly, "Tactics" would take that into account in most cases. "What are my best odds?" These analyses can become quite cumbersome, however, and quickly lose focus.

Series Replays don't interest me as much as they used to (probably because I'm a crusty veteran by now). My interest waned when I realized that players whose moves were being recorded may sometimes make errors. While it is possible to learn new tricks (see "Tactics"), what time I do have for ASL is spent in other ways. For newbies, a Series Replay is probably pretty good. Others may like them simply for the entertainment value.

I have had many ideas over the years for various articles or player aids, particularly for "Actions" and "Tactics". Some of these ideas are still active; others have gone dormant. Time is the big issue for me. Also, I would prefer to see my work published by the producers of ASL -- ostensibly to reach a wider audience, receive a certain note of credibility, and receive at least some small pittance of compensation.

I come from an Instructional Design and Technical Writing background. Any of the above (and the ASLRB, for that matter), could be written simply and directly. I would love to write some of these materials, if only I had the time. At least, this has given me the opportunity to share these thoughts.

(Sorry it is such a long post. You know me... extensive and convoluted...;) )

Regards,
Bruce Bakken
 

Treadhead

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pitman said:
Jesus H. Christ. Just look at the bibliography I compiled on the Desperation Morale website. Look at all the areas where there are copious articles written and all the areas where there are hardly any articles written--and also try to discern the missing areas, which means that NO articles have been written on those subjects.

The truth is that relatively little that is really substantial has been written on most ASL-related topics.
First, just to get it out of the way... by some, you may be said to be using a profanity with your opening statement.

Secondly, it is true that your bibliography (which I will say seems quite extensive) can be very helpful in identifying those subjects that have been covered. What is not so clear is the quality of that coverage.

Some of the publications you list can be said to have had little or no editing, nor factual corroboration. I.e., does this author know what he's talking about? Is he actually correct (with regard to rules references, interpretation, and so forth)? I can not comment on the quality of the work that the bibliography represents, but credibility of the source is a valid considersation.

I will take it as your opinion that little of real substance has been written. I note that your bibliography claims to list articles covering the play of ASL, as opposed I assume to probability analysis, historical articles, and so forth. (I am relying on memory of the last time I looked at your site.) It seems that your bibliography may be omitting a certain amount of work that others may find interesting or of substance.

Nevertheless, I do agree that the ASL game system is so extensive that we have really just scratched the surface. And anyway, the saying goes "there are no new stories, just new tellers of the story". It is the new telling that sometimes creates the interest.

Regards,
Bruce Bakken
 

DLYoung70

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Wow! That's a GREAT idea! ACTIONS!

You know what I'd like to see? One very long list that starts with the first thing that is / may be / should be done in the Rally Phase to the last thing that is / may be / should be done in the Close Combat Phase. I'm not talking about the Advanced Sequence of Play chart... I'm talking the ASP on steroids, with visual examples of what happens and direct references to the rules that tell you what to do and how to do it.

If this is done electronically, it can have switches for what is or isn't included. Using no special rules, you get a basic flow. What... you're playing at night? Check the box, any additional steps necessary due to night rules also appear. PTO? Para? Gliders? Beach landing? Check the appropriate box or boxes and those steps are merged into the flow in the proper place.

Think something like that would elminate mistakes? The sequence by itself would prevent grogs from forgetting things. The examples and rule references would allow newbies to not only see what they can or are supposed to do, but quickly look up how to do it if they don't know or can't remember.

A preface flow showing all the things you should / can do prior to start of gameplay (HIP, setting firelanes, etc.) would make it complete.

Darrell
 

Treadhead

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Don Maddox said:
I'm not referring to "sleaze" as that is simply taking advantage of the game mechanics and doesn't qualify as real tactics. I'm talking about real tactics; which ones work and which ones don't.
I am very interested in hearing you elaborate further on this. As I stated in an earlier reply, I define "tactics" as "the application of Actions to achieve a defined goal."

"Sleaze" certainly plays a role in that, insofar as we are only talking about a game, after all, and if the ends justify the means...

However, I certainly agree with your point. I would love to see far more written about circumstances. "When confronted with this, do that." Of course, one must learn to correctly implement the steps, and then the author runs the risk of getting bogged down in detail. A prerequisite to fully understanding the "tactics" of a situation, is fully understanding how to implement the required "actions" to get the job done.

At least, that's how I look at it.

Perhaps a good first start would be a comprehensive list of "tactical situations". To generalize: destroy a pillbox; capture a building; defeat armor attacks. From that, generate a list of actions to take; from there, define the actions (how to).

I like it, I like it. (Now, about having the time to write all this...)

Regards,
Bruce Bakken
 

Treadhead

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pitman said:
There is no need for a step by step how to play ASL article, because that has already been done. It is called Chapter K.
I wouldn't call Chapter K a "step by step how to play ASL" article. I don't think it even bills itself that way.

It calls itself a training manual. It teaches (supposedly, to be honest I have never been all that impressed by Chapter K -- though, it does use humor to good effect) the various mechanics of certain limited actions.

In no way does it teach one how to play ASL. Nor does it purport to.

Regards,
Bruce Bakken
 

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@ R.S. Barker

There is another source of articles that doesn't appear on the desperation morale website and those are articles that are printed in various ASL clubs in-house news letters. For instance "View from the Trenches" has some excellent newbie articles such as how to setup your pieces and 10 things that every newbie should strive to do each game. Also SoCal's in-house news letter "Hit the Beach" has some excellent articles. You should check these out as well.
 

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Before we can define what hasn't been written, we need to define what has. Mark made a good start by creating a reference. It would be nice if it were also in the form of a true bibliography.

There have been many articles written toward the newbie audience. I disagree with Mark about the ASL Clink. It was directed at the new player and had just enough content for that purpose. And articles like Bruce Bakken’s “Panzer Gegen Panzer” covers tanks fairly well, etc.

What would be useful would be to track down the copyrights material that is out of print and place it in a central repository for everyone to examine.

For example, who holds the copyrights for the material in “The General”? Almost all of the ASL material there could be reprinted on a website and updated to reflect modern rules interpretations.

The articles by Steve Swan I found to some of the most interesting. He has written at length about the TO&E of various units. He has only scratched the surface on this one.

I personally don’t find AARs and Scenario Replays all that interesting. For them to be useful, one usually has to setup the situation and “follow along”. A good chunk of them seem to be instructions on what mistakes not to make.

Articles like the one alluded to in the Indian Army thread are of much more interest to me. Along those lines are the articles by Charles Markuss on the various strengths and weaknesses of the various nationalities.

I agree with Mark that Chapter K is a good start for learning the rules. However, it is certainly not the be all end all.

Again one of the problems is that so many of the old articles are OOP that there seems to be a market for repeat articles. Put these up on websites and they can be used by the community as a general reference. It would also give our community a common point of discussion as to where they need to be updated. This would then lead to new articles.
 

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I've been messing around with the start of an aritcle on possible worlds theory--an established branch of analytic philosophy and narratology--and ASL. I'm interested in the ways it could provide insight into exactly what is being represented in the geomorphic scenarios while avoiding the pitfalls of the tired reality arguments. Of course this has zero practical impact on play, and I suspect the audience for it might consist of, well, me.
 

Klaus Fischer

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pitman said:
...snip...

Here are some things that are particularly needed:

......

4) halftrack tactics

.....snip...
Well, RbF2 features nice articles on the "Mechanized Blitz" and on "Breaching Operations". Offers general military insight and how it translates into ASL.

Klaus
 

paulkenny

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Klaus Fischer said:
Well, RbF2 features nice articles on the "Mechanized Blitz" and on "Breaching Operations". Offers general military insight and how it translates into ASL.

Klaus
Mark

There is an excellent article on this in one of the early CH magazines.
 

Mark Warren

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R.S. Barker said:
In any case, I do have a question regarding the newest 2nd edition of Paratrooper - which does not have Chapter K included with it.

In what module is Chapter K available - or going to be available. ?
Chapter K comes with the ASLRBv2 if I remember right.
 

Pitman

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"Priest," did you *look* at the Index on the Desperation Morale website? Articles from every newsletter you mentioned in your post are included in the index: View from the Trenches, Hit the Beach!, Banzai!, and more.
 

Priest

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pitman said:
"Priest," did you *look* at the Index on the Desperation Morale website? Articles from every newsletter you mentioned in your post are included in the index: View from the Trenches, Hit the Beach!, Banzai!, and more.
Yes I did Mark, sorry must have missed it.
 

Arthur H

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Types of articiles

I would like to see articles about tactics because that would help new people or old vets see how the rules work as well as things you can do to improve play. Another type article would be how different sections of the rules come together. Ian Daglish article "Heads UP! Heads DOWN! AFV Passengers and Crews" is an excellent article on the interact of fire results on passengers and crews which are covered in differeent sections of the rule book.
 

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Any thoughts of using VASL? Could have scheduled online training sessions where observers could ask questions and such as play evolves. Or use it as a training module that a person could step thru that would include explanations on setup, combat results, moving, etc. Almost like a live replay.
 

CPRad

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Kenmski said:
Any thoughts of using VASL? Could have scheduled online training sessions where observers could ask questions and such as play evolves. Or use it as a training module that a person could step thru that would include explanations on setup, combat results, moving, etc. Almost like a live replay.

I'm in favour of this idea. An Vets care to volunteer their time. We newbies would be most grateful.
 

mkirschenbaum

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mkirschenbaum said:
I've been messing around with the start of an aritcle on possible worlds theory . . . Of course this has zero practical impact on play, and I suspect the audience for it might consist of, well, me.
That's what I thought. :bored:

From a practical standpoint, can anyone recommend (or is anyone willing to write) a piece on vehicle passengers: getting on and off of, into and out of, a variety of different kinds of transport? (Mark, I consulted your bibliography and found a couple of pieces on motorcycles, trucks, etc. but nothing that seemed very comprehensive--or perhaps the rules in this area are too disparate for a single, comprehensive article.)
 
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R.S. Barker

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Any thoughts of using VASL? Could have scheduled online training sessions where observers could ask questions and such as play evolves. Or use it as a training module that a person could step thru that would include explanations on setup, combat results, moving, etc. Almost like a live replay.

This sounds like an excellent idea, given my inability to find anyone close by for a FtF learning session. Tom Sharp on VASL took me through a newbie tutorial on how VASl works, and I certainly caught on to it fairly quickly, so something like this where we can watch/learn/interact in a learning environment sounds great.

Cheers,

R.S.
 
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