Brevity Assault AAR

Michael Dorosh

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I suspect that had I kept working on this, the way forward would have been to handicap the casualty tracking within the ASL scenario somehow, but this would have gotten complicated fast. What would the proper ratio of ASL to op layer casualties be?
Why not just a flat rate of say 10% KIA, 30% WIA, 60% return to action - possibly adjusted for base unit morale level?
 

CTKnudsen

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It sounds like you were heading in the right direction, though. You mention tracking cohesion and leadership - some of the operational layers I've seen for other games went as far as to track artillery rounds, supplies, etc. They usually fell apart from lack of enthusiasm for tracking all that stuff on multiple spreadsheets, as well as the herding cats aspect of keeping multiple players engaged over a period of weeks and months as the operational layer resolved itself. The ones with role playing elements were interesting but tended to emulate the Stanford Prison Experiment quickly - i.e. Russian and German commanders tended to go dark fast, sacking their subordinates after a single poor showing in the tactical layer, threatening to shoot people, etc.....
The beauty of this system, should it ever actually appear, is that it is on computer - no spreadsheets to track! And it is specifically designed to resolve with wargames (Combat Mission, specifically, but also whatever other board or computer game you want), so long as there is some sort of ruleset to graft one to the other.

Why not just a flat rate of say 10% KIA, 30% WIA, 60% return to action - possibly adjusted for base unit morale level?
The op layer could track WIA/KIA as an input, but could also just take a "casualty" input and do that math as well, already adjusting for the unit variables - Morale, Experience, Leadership, Fatigue, Supply, Cohesion, and Troop Quality. My next steps were to fine tune the casualty numbers - was a lost squad (after the lazarus roll) worth 10 men out? 8? 6? No denying it needed more testing. Unfortunately the bigger issue was how to implement a system that required attacks to break off or defenders to retreat once a certain casualty level had been reached.
 

Michael Dorosh

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The beauty of this system, should it ever actually appear, is that it is on computer - no spreadsheets to track! And it is specifically designed to resolve with wargames (Combat Mission, specifically, but also whatever other board or computer game you want), so long as there is some sort of ruleset to graft one to the other.
I always wondered what formula BFC used to calculate the ratio of KIA to WIA in the CM combat results. It was irrelevant in game terms since it only showed up in the end game screen as a bit of chrome (IIRC), but there seemed to be some method to their madness.
 

Yuri0352

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I hope that these and other issues with making ASL "operational" are overcome, and this system is the breakthrough that people hope for! I know that I would definitely love to play ASL on both an operational and tactical level, and I'm sure I'm not the only one!
I'm excited to see a designer pursuing this concept. I've enjoyed the 'area-move', 'zone' type games such as 'Thunder at Cassino' etc. I'm especially pleased to see that the setting is in North Africa.
 

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I'm unfortunately of the same mind. Adding the rules overhead of a new operational system to the unfamiliar desert rules makes this a no-go for me, but I'm eager to see what the desert fans do with this.
Desert rules are not that difficult or strange to play, if you are a military history fan you should appreciate them... then playing them with this operational game is more fun than playing single scenarios because you feel much better how this "moving war" was fought.
 

sebosebi

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We represented a battle very short in time, two days, small in space (around 400 km2) and in dimension of armies used (one reinforced regiment per part). The short time justifies the lack of reuse of an eliminated ASL unit, whatever is the "real" reason of its elimination. For the same issue of the time/space dimensions we didn't implement command and control.
 

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We represented a battle very short in time, two days, small in space (around 400 km2) and in dimension of armies used (one reinforced regiment per part). The short time justifies the lack of reuse of an eliminated ASL unit, whatever is the "real" reason of its elimination. For the same issue of the time/space dimensions we didn't implement command and control.
I think it's almost the way you have to go. I think that my attempt was made far more challenging because it was working off an attempt to make a system that was intended to be highly granular, tracking individual men, vehicle repair pools, etc. I wonder if an attempt grafted onto another, less granular system set at the Coy/Bn level would be easier to pull off.
 

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Ordered. What the hell; it looks like fun.

Neal, maybe we play some of this at the next (first) Palouse ASL happening?

I'm wondering if the lack of availability of Hollow Legions might be tempering sales.
 

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Any designer should keep in mind that ASL "casualties" are not equivalent to casualties in real life. A squad in ASL might be "KIA," while in real life that squad might have only suffered a KIA, a heavy WIA, a light WIA, and the rest of the squad disorganized
Also bear in mind that the 'leaders' in Squad Leader were not originally meant to represent each actual individual leader but important/influential individuals that have an impact on the battle (they could be officers, NCO's or even privates that other men in their group are willing to follow). That is why ASL is an abstraction/simulation of battle, in that VP casualties are not 'men killed'. Hells bells, most ASL scenarios see 50-70 % of your force 'killed', if that was real life, wars would never occur in the future (at least non-conscript armies would be impossible to recruit for).
 

sebosebi

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We are always in the Operational Turn 3 in Brevity Assault CG III “CAPUZZO-SIDI AZEIZ SECTOR” playtest, the players decide to suspend the previous scenario in Bir Hafid when they were on German turn 4 (with VASL it's easy!) They want to play a combat on the left of the Allied front. Here, in an intermediate location on the route to Sidi Azeiz, a strong Allied armored group meets a weaker German one. Allies have also a 25pdr OBA at their disposal. This is another example of what can happen in Brevity Assault. The map is generated and is quite flat with a small hillock in the lower right corner and a sand dune in the upper center. The Allied player chooses to enter with the Cruisers, with ATR armed carriers and with en portee trucks, leaving light tanks and Infantry offboard (he can wait until Turn 4 to make them enter the map). German vehicles are waiting in the center of the map.


12125

12126
 

sebosebi

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At the start of German turn 3, the battle broke out, the vehicles pirouetted with the dust behind them, the Allied exploited the little hillock, even if he lost a Cruiser there. German tanks are attempting to surprise the left Allied group.12127
 

Yuri0352

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This is another example of what can happen in Brevity Assault. The map is generated and is quite flat with a small hillock in the lower right corner and a sand dune in the upper center.


View attachment 12125

View attachment 12126
I would be interested in hearing a description as to how a ASL map and specifically, terrain features such as hillocks, deirs, etc. is 'generated' based upon the results of playing the game at the operational level. An interesting concept, which I have had no experience with in the past.
 

Michael Dorosh

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I would be interested in hearing a description as to how a ASL map and specifically, terrain features such as hillocks, deirs, etc. is 'generated' based upon the results of playing the game at the operational level. An interesting concept, which I have had no experience with in the past.
I'm also interested, but didn't the desert rules have a system for random generation of features as part of Chapter H? I dimly recall such a thing.
 
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