Change the foxhole rule? (B27.4)

Should rule B27.4 be changed?

  • Yes, all movement to/from a foxhole location should be cosnidered a single expenditure

    Votes: 58 28.7%
  • Yes, but only Assault moving units may benefit from the foxhole's TEM.

    Votes: 50 24.8%
  • No, the rule is fine as is.

    Votes: 94 46.5%

  • Total voters
    202

Michael Dorosh

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Since we're talkin' rule change on Foxholes, I feel they are too easy to dig.
Any folks ever dig one or dig the earth?
Of course we have. Depending on soil, number of roots, etc., two men can dig a basic fighting position in about an hour - well out of the scope of a 15 minute game - but you can dig a shell scrape in much less time. I think the rule also represents the act of simply seeking out appropriate natural cover already available - dips in the ground, etc., at least as far as I understand it.

I voted no, incidentally. Don't forget, jumping into cover is one thing - organizing a ten man squad for all-round defence, or lining up your weapons teams on line while also getting them into cover is something else. I see no problem in penalizing them a couple of MF for doing so. As usual, it would appear the guys doing the most complaining have the least actual military experience. It's not just jumping into cover that is at issue, it is keeping your squad organized and ready for combat. The movement expenditure represents the same kind of delays you would have gotten, say, when moving from line into column in the American Civil War, or in Napoleon's day. Letting a squad gain the advantage of cover without penalizing them for the disorganization of going to ground would be just as unrealistic.

You could add EVEN MORE RULES by putting Disrupt counters or something on units making use of the Foxhole TEM in the MPh, but there are limits to how far you want to go, I think. I think we all agree ASL is far from perfect. Changing the rule to simulate one thing better unfortunately will only break it as far as another. It's that simple.
 
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FJ_MD

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Threating them like shellholes may be a good idea. Who want to use the protection will pay the additional movement point. It sounds strange that casual things like shellholes are of better use than a prepared position.
 

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wrongway149 said:
Should rule B27.4 be changed to make foxhole movement consistent with routing from a foxhole?
No, routing should be changed to make it consistent with foxhole movement.

(extra MP to enter/exit foxhole is combined with COT to allow unit cover of the FH throughout the entire one-hex movement.)
No, this would create consequences for too many other rules such as Defensive First Fire, Residual Firepower, and possibly others. I think perhaps unintended consequences.

Should this be allowed for all movement, or just Assault-moving units?
No, rather the combined movement costs for Routing units should be eliminated.


Hey, it's fun playing Hypothetical Advanced Squad Leader!

Regards,
Bruce
 

JG53_Jaguar

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I voted Yes, all movement, etc.
If things are to be changed, better keep the more simple possible.
I agree with Robin 100%, the way currently foxhole rules work is an example of unnecessary complexity of ASL rules and from my point of view should be cleaned up. No foxholes in my game, yeah in few times it's possible for two guys to dig a foxhole even within the short time that ASL scenarios are played in ...but on average...I don't think so.
 
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Treadhead

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JG53_Jaguar said:
This is my house rule for foxholes, so when infantry is moving into a hex with foxholes, it pays the MF TEM penalty of that hex + the cost of moving into foxholes.
How do you account for Defensive First Fire?

How does a unit break in the Location, but outside the Foxhole?

What about a KIA? Where do the surviving SW end up?

Can a stack of three MMC enter the Location using the Foxhole TEM as a MF, even though it may only be a 1S Foxhole?
 

JG53_Jaguar

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How do you account for Defensive First Fire?

How does a unit break in the Location, but outside the Foxhole?

What about a KIA? Where do the surviving SW end up?

Can a stack of three MMC enter the Location using the Foxhole TEM as a MF, even though it may only be a 1S Foxhole?
I just treat the foxholes hex with just a hex with better TEM that's all and normal stacking rules apply. But to be honest, I prefer to play without foxholes...I use trenches or shell holes instead which are setup before a scenario starts. In most cases in real life combat tactical egangements there isn't enough time really to dig a foxhole...and also given how short on time most of the ASL scenarios are....I don't see the point to use them.
 
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Jazz

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I think it should become a "standard" SSR that designers of future scenarios can use or not use as they see fit.

Changing it in the body of the rules would:

1. Change too many existing scenario too much.

2. Require an encyclical from Perry to change the rules in the Book and all the angst would imply
 

James Taylor

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Of course we have. Depending on soil, number of roots, etc., two men can dig a basic fighting position in about an hour - well out of the scope of a 15 minute game - but you can dig a shell scrape in much less time. I think the rule also represents the act of simply seeking out appropriate natural cover already available - dips in the ground, etc., at least as far as I understand it.

I voted no, incidentally. Don't forget, jumping into cover is one thing - organizing a ten man squad for all-round defence, or lining up your weapons teams on line while also getting them into cover is something else. I see no problem in penalizing them a couple of MF for doing so. As usual, it would appear the guys doing the most complaining have the least actual military experience. It's not just jumping into cover that is at issue, it is keeping your squad organized and ready for combat. The movement expenditure represents the same kind of delays you would have gotten, say, when moving from line into column in the American Civil War, or in Napoleon's day. Letting a squad gain the advantage of cover without penalizing them for the disorganization of going to ground would be just as unrealistic.

You could add EVEN MORE RULES by putting Disrupt counters or something on units making use of the Foxhole TEM in the MPh, but there are limits to how far you want to go, I think. I think we all agree ASL is far from perfect. Changing the rule to simulate one thing better unfortunately will only break it as far as another. It's that simple.
Michael, do you feel the current FH rule encourages their application in the game in a manner that reflects their application in real life?

JT
 

James Taylor

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They are the #1 place to be (barring a CH but you'd more likely be dead anyway) when a Bombardment hits.
Actually, the #1 place to be in a Bombardment is on a different board. :smoke:

But you make a good point... FH are valuable when you do have to suffer the rain of death.

Perhaps what we need is more bombardments to make us realize the value of FH?

JT
 

Jim McLeod

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It is 'never' too late to change any rule in the game system.

The only difficulty surrounding such a rule change is in players accepting that change.

The FH rules in ASL have never been any good. I would be in full agreement with changing them in such a way that makes their use more realistic.

And while we are at it, why not change the rule that makes you place a HIP FH in concealment terrain on map once an KEU is within 16 hexes of it. ;)
 

Jim McLeod

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Since we're talkin' rule change on Foxholes, I feel they are too easy to dig.
Any folks ever dig one or dig the earth?
This is true as well.

Go out to your back yard and dig a hole 24" deep, 48" long and 24" wide. :)
 

Michael Dorosh

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Michael, do you feel the current FH rule encourages their application in the game in a manner that reflects their application in real life?

JT
I'm the wrong guy to ask. I started playing SL thru GI in 1986, played ASL starting in 87, mostly with a small group of friends. I was the only one to buy the rule book. We played to have fun.

I never knew what "skulking" was until 2005 or so, when I read about it on this forum. It just simply never occurred to me that anyone would be so, as I saw it, petty as to move backwards one hex in his movement phase simply to evade fire and then advance back, because in "real life" his intent would have been to occupy the same position in contact with the enemy.

It began to occur to me that ASL is viewed differently by different people. And my viewpoint wasn't purely a simulation viewpoint nor a pure game viewpoint - I had developed a unique perspective based on my own history with the game and the interactions with the fellows whom I grew up playing the game with. Just like all of you.

To a tournament guy, who grew up in an environment where SL/ASL was just another game and he had never met someone like me, skulking would be so obvious as to defy description, I think. He would ask me "Why on earth wouldn't you do something so obvious?" and he'd probably be as flabbergasted as I was upon reading about skulking on the internet.

The foxhole rules as printed seem perfectly natural because they're something I've been familiar with for 20 years. To be honest, I'm having trouble seeing what the "big deal" is and haven't really seen the entire issue articulated very well. Perhaps the issues are so obvious as to require no further articulation. Either way, I stand by my point that jumping into a hole may be an easy thing to do, but keeping ten men in some semblance of order and ready to fight is frequently not.

The rules seem fine to me, but I may be the wrong guy to be asking.

I get the feeling Jim is a "tournament" guy, incidentally. There will always be friction between the camps of realism and gameplay - and the farther we get from 1977, or 1987, the farther we get from the original design rationales, the more dangerous we become when we start screwing with this rule or that rule without fully understanding or appreciating why they were done to begin with, or what they are supposed to represent, as I feel a delicate balance was struck.
 
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Robin Reeve

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the farther we get from 1977, or 1987, the farther we get from the original design rationales, the more dangerous we become when we start screwing with this rule or that rule without fully understanding or appreciating why they were done to begin with, or what they are supposed to represent, as I feel a delicate balance was struck.
I don't believe the myth that original designers had omniscient perception of all the implications of the set of rules they created.
They did their best, but I don't think they were able do guess all the interactions of the rules.
The fact is that, when you are stuck in a foxhole in OG, you risk FFMO and/or Interdiction when trying to move from it.
In the second case, you magically avoid Interdiction if you are moving into an adjacent foxhole: that adaptation shows that the designers felt that something was wrong with the risk taken to move out of a foxhole - IMO they only adressed it partly, thus the present problem which makes foxholes death traps.
 

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I'm the wrong guy to ask. I started playing SL thru GI in 1986, played ASL starting in 87, mostly with a small group of friends. I was the only one to buy the rule book. We played to have fun.

I never knew what "skulking" was until 2005 or so, when I read about it on this forum. It just simply never occurred to me that anyone would be so, as I saw it, petty as to move backwards one hex in his movement phase simply to evade fire and then advance back, because in "real life" his intent would have been to occupy the same position in contact with the enemy.

It began to occur to me that ASL is viewed differently by different people. And my viewpoint wasn't purely a simulation viewpoint nor a pure game viewpoint - I had developed a unique perspective based on my own history with the game and the interactions with the fellows whom I grew up playing the game with. Just like all of you.

To a tournament guy, who grew up in an environment where SL/ASL was just another game and he had never met someone like me, skulking would be so obvious as to defy description, I think. He would ask me "Why on earth wouldn't you do something so obvious?" and he'd probably be as flabbergasted as I was upon reading about skulking on the internet.

The foxhole rules as printed seem perfectly natural because they're something I've been familiar with for 20 years. To be honest, I'm having trouble seeing what the "big deal" is and haven't really seen the entire issue articulated very well. Perhaps the issues are so obvious as to require no further articulation. Either way, I stand by my point that jumping into a hole may be an easy thing to do, but keeping ten men in some semblance of order and ready to fight is frequently not.

The rules seem fine to me, but I may be the wrong guy to be asking.

I get the feeling Jim is a "tournament" guy, incidentally. There will always be friction between the camps of realism and gameplay - and the farther we get from 1977, or 1987, the farther we get from the original design rationales, the more dangerous we become when we start screwing with this rule or that rule without fully understanding or appreciating why they were done to begin with, or what they are supposed to represent, as I feel a delicate balance was struck.
I'm actually with you on NOT changing the existing rule, but I would love to see someone create an optional or chrome SSR that made FH a little more useful within the GAME context.

I think your point about one's approach to the game is also an excellent analysis as well.

JT
 

Michael Dorosh

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I don't believe the myth that original designers had omniscient perception of all the implications of the set of rules they created.
They did their best, but I don't think they were able do guess all the interactions of the rules.
The fact is that, when you are stuck in a foxhole in OG, you risk FFMO and/or Interdiction when trying to move from it.
In the second case, you magically avoid Interdiction if you are moving into an adjacent foxhole: that adaptation shows that the designers felt that something was wrong with the risk taken to move out of a foxhole - IMO they only adressed it partly, thus the present problem which makes foxholes death traps.
I don't see the problem. Once you're out of the foxhole...you're in open ground. The act of leaving entrenchments puts a squad into a disorganized state which may or may not increase its exposure to enemy fire, but certainly the fact that it is no longer in cover does so.

I'm really not seeing the problem here, nor the rationale for your "death trap" appelation, and I'm trying hard to get it.

I'm sensing there is some reaction to the fact that broken troops can rout out of foxholes without being subjected to defensive fire (which is a factor of the phased game system itself).

Ok, that's a bit of design inelegance, but what does one have to do with the other? Troops leaving cover are ... no longer in cover!

Not to mention that once you're in an entrenchment, you're in a fixed position. To get out of it, there's only one way out. And if the enemy has your positions in his sights - well, I guess that is naturally called a "death trap." It seems perfectly reasonable to me, to be honest.
 
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wrongway149

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I'm sensing there is some reaction to the fact that broken troops can rout out of foxholes without being subjected to defensive fire (which is a factor of the phased game system itself).

Ok, that's a bit of design inelegance, but what does one have to do with the other? Troops leaving cover are ... no longer in cover!

The more I look at the rule and read this discussion, the more I see Michael's point. The rules were written deliberately different-it's no accident that movement from a foxhole is different than routing from one.
 

Robin Reeve

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I'm sensing there is some reaction to the fact that broken troops can rout out of foxholes without being subjected to defensive fire (which is a factor of the phased game system itself).
EDIT : You are right: they are interdicted as per the terrain of the next hex entered. I got it wrong!

Not to mention that once you're in an entrenchment, you're in a fixed position. To get out of it, there's only one way out. And if the enemy has your positions in his sights - well, I guess that is naturally called a "death trap." It seems perfectly reasonable to me, to be honest.
This leads one to avoid being in a foxhole, as its exit is so much more complicated and risky than, say, from a building to an adjacent cover.
EDIT: so foxholes are a little "stand or die" positions, from which one can flee only if demoralized...
 
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Robin Reeve

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The more I look at the rule and read this discussion, the more I see Michael's point. The rules were written deliberately different-it's no accident that movement from a foxhole is different than routing from one.
Oh, I catch the difference now.
"B27.41 ... A unit expending one MF to leave a foxhole in Open Ground is subject to Interdiction in that hex only if the MF is expended without being combined with the MF cost of another hex being entered; if the MF is expended in combination with the MF for entry of another hex, any possible Interdiction must occur in the newly entered hex as per the terrain in that hex."
That solves the problem indeed - I was sure that Interdiction applied except when moving into another foxhole.
Better leave the rule as it is...
 

Michael Dorosh

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The more I look at the rule and read this discussion, the more I see Michael's point. The rules were written deliberately different-it's no accident that movement from a foxhole is different than routing from one.
I see your point too, I mean, why penalize something in one phase and not another. But there are paradoxes in these situations no matter what you do. Can you really permit moving in open ground without penalty (which is what allowing a unit to exit a foxhole without FFMO permits)? You could fudge and maybe give a +1 TEM or something, but there only so many exceptions (sorry, EXC) that a 300 page rulebook can fit in...

I would love to have seen a 600 page Designer's Notes for people like Robin (and me) in which the original rationale for this was all laid out. Maybe Nixon's file cabinet holds the answers.

But I do think that parts of these rules were, as Pete indicates, written with different intentions in mind. It's impossible to know exactly what now. Kinda gotta take things on faith. If guys want to change the game system, well, house rules are wonderful things, but splintering the community even more, and on every second rule to come along, serves little purpose AFAIAC. How many Bridge TEM debates do we need in a year? :)
 
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