Chess Clocks in ASL

asler

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Several years ago there was an article published about the use of chess clocks in ASL; to help "speed-up" slow players in tourneys etc. I looked through my annuals and journals but couldn't find the article. Can someone let me know what publication it was in? I'll be playing Timshenkos (?) Revenge with 5 others and we want to keep the three seperate battles running relatively together.

Chris
 

Mike Owens

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Chris,


The article you refer to -- "Playing for Time: ASL with a Chess Clock", by JR Tracy, was in Critical Hit #3.

Mike
 

Jazz

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asler said:
Several years ago there was an article published about the use of chess clocks in ASL; to help "speed-up" slow players in tourneys etc. I looked through my annuals and journals but couldn't find the article. Can someone let me know what publication it was in? I'll be playing Timshenkos (?) Revenge with 5 others and we want to keep the three seperate battles running relatively together.

Chris
Beware...a chess clock will NOT speed up a slower player. It will only make them, and in turn anybody they play, miserable. I've tried and it really don't work. Some people just have a given comfort zone when it comes to speed of play and when they get too far out of it, they're...well...not comfortable :(

A chess clock is a great way to play and to introduce a very satisfying level of tension between two players that play at about the same speed. It makes it a different game. Kinda neat actually.

Jazz
 

asler

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Jazz said:
Beware...a chess clock will NOT speed up a slower player. It will only make them, and in turn anybody they play, miserable. I've tried and it really don't work. Some people just have a given comfort zone when it comes to speed of play and when they get too far out of it, they're...well...not comfortable :(

A chess clock is a great way to play and to introduce a very satisfying level of tension between two players that play at about the same speed. It makes it a different game. Kinda neat actually.

Jazz
Yeah, I agree. We're not using it to speed up play per se, all six of us are pretty reasonable players. But we're going to use G1 Timoshenko's Attack as a 6-person multi-player game. 3 on a side, each paired up on one of the 3 boards. The kicker is that the reinforcements for the German have to be requested 1 turn before they enter. That means we have to keep all three boards at the same pace because the reinforcements can enter on any of the boards. I remember the article noting a way to estimate how much time to put on the clock based on number of units. We'll just use it so everyone keeps a decent pace and knows when or when not to spend time consulting the ASLRB.

Thanks Jazz

CG
 

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asler said:
Yeah, I agree. We're not using it to speed up play per se, all six of us are pretty reasonable players. But we're going to use G1 Timoshenko's Attack as a 6-person multi-player game. 3 on a side, each paired up on one of the 3 boards. The kicker is that the reinforcements for the German have to be requested 1 turn before they enter. That means we have to keep all three boards at the same pace because the reinforcements can enter on any of the boards. I remember the article noting a way to estimate how much time to put on the clock based on number of units. We'll just use it so everyone keeps a decent pace and knows when or when not to spend time consulting the ASLRB.

Thanks Jazz

CG
The rule of thumb that we've used for total time is:

30 seconds per turn per MMC (infantry unit?)
60 seconds per turn per vehicle

Without knowing who or what is going to go to what board, it may be a bit funky? I suppose you can allocate time mid-game as units enter the various boards?
 

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Australian ASL tournaments have used chess clocks for years. Speeds up play a lot. Also has the advantage that rounds finish on time and you're not waiting around for a slow pair of players.

There tend to be small penalties for exceeding the time limit (which includes set up time). Mostly the clocks act as a reminder not to linger too much.

One CanCon, there was only one scenario for the final day, so it was decided to dispense with clocks. A sizable number of games had to be adjudicated (including the championship game).

I've heard many tales of excruciatingly slow play at US tournaments. The clocks eliminate this completely.
 

MarkDV

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Saying that...

Saying that I'm one of the people involved in this upcoming ASL fest in Chris basement...

My speed/rate of play is not the question, neither is Chris. We're concerned about suddenly 6 different styles of play in one scenario, and getting to the end of a game turn together....

I do like the idea, and wonder if we'll do it.

I leave the topic in Chris Gs. capable hands.

Mark De Vries
 

David Goldman

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As the Tournament Director for the last 4 years of the ASL OPEN, slow playing in my tenure has not generally been a problem at the OPEN. If the scenarios selected are appropriate in length, (I use 1 minute per turn per MMC and 2 minutes per turn per AFV) and the TD is very clear that a game not finished within the allotted time will be adjudicated at the end of the allotted time for that round, then slow players generally get the message. The tournament rules for the OPEN also state that a player who takes too long to get set up will be penalized if there is an adjudication of that game also probably helps nudge along the slower players.

David Goldman
 

asler

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Thanks

Thanks for the input. Mark and several others of us in the west side of Michigan are trying to do more multi-player scenarios. We played The Advance Continues (from ASLOK 1990) with 4 players. We'll probably get to The Dogs of War after this. Maybe even tackle some from the Monster Pack.

CG
 

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Perhaps the clock idea is more useful if both players know when they plain their strategies at home prior to start playing that there will be a time limit. If sudenly one player puts a clock over the table, it is not good.
 

ASL Maineiac

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Just thought I'd revive this thread because I think using a chess clock to play ASL sounds like an interesting idea. What made me think of it was the Two Half Squad's interview with John Hill. Hill talked about how all the chrome in ASL has taken away from the immediacy of the game. He said his original vision was forcing players to make split-second decisions, not contemplate a bounding first fire shot for five minutes while pouring through the ASLRB. I admit to being a fairly slow player, but it's mostly because I don't have the rules internalized. I like the idea of playing with a chess clock, however.
Anyone have a chess clock to bring to the Nor'Easter and would be interested to give this a try?
 

Fort

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Just thought I'd revive this thread because I think using a chess clock to play ASL sounds like an interesting idea. What made me think of it was the Two Half Squad's interview with John Hill. Hill talked about how all the chrome in ASL has taken away from the immediacy of the game. He said his original vision was forcing players to make split-second decisions, not contemplate a bounding first fire shot for five minutes while pouring through the ASLRB. I admit to being a fairly slow player, but it's mostly because I don't have the rules internalized. I like the idea of playing with a chess clock, however.
Anyone have a chess clock to bring to the Nor'Easter and would be interested to give this a try?
Hill and his devotees are full of crap on this point. ASL takes NO LONGER to play than SL..it's all a matter of player speed not game speed.

ASL DFF is much more of a snap decision forcing mechanism than "take everything back to that target counter, where I'll shoot your entire OB".
 
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Ray Woloszyn

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As the Tournament Director for the last 4 years of the ASL OPEN, slow playing in my tenure has not generally been a problem at the OPEN. If the scenarios selected are appropriate in length, (I use 1 minute per turn per MMC and 2 minutes per turn per AFV) and the TD is very clear that a game not finished within the allotted time will be adjudicated at the end of the allotted time for that round, then slow players generally get the message. The tournament rules for the OPEN also state that a player who takes too long to get set up will be penalized if there is an adjudication of that game also probably helps nudge along the slower players.

David Goldman
This is one of the things I like about the Open. You know on the front end you need to beat feet. However, sometimes another player takes advantage of the situation by not playing at a decent speed and if you try to compensate for such slow play by moving fast yourself, then you are the one penalized. In general, know your fellow ASL'ers and then you can choose your opponent based on whether you want an all-nighter or an after dinner mint. I have seen players nod off waiting for their opponent to finish a move. Caveat...this is being posted by someone who does not consider himself a fast player.
 

ASL Maineiac

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I'm not saying playing with a chess clock is going to make slow ASL players fast, or somehow reintroduce an aspect of the game that was lost with all the chrome, I'm just saying I think it could make for an interesting game. Just like with chess -- playing without a clock is fine, but introducing a clock adds another layer to the game.
 

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The best method to deal with slow play is to hook up battery cables to the chess clock and to the slow player. When time is up, ZAP! a nice subtle reminder to move faster. A loader gun to the back of the head also works well! :p
 

Steven Pleva

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In general, people that need a chess clock to force them to play faster will not use one. However, if you find two reasonably paced players and give them a clock with a tight time limit, it can add some real excitement. I believe this helps the player decision process as you are forced to think about the important things and not waste time thinking about a meaningless HS move. Like most things in life, you get out what you put into it and YMMV...

Steve
 

ASL Maineiac

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However, if you find two reasonably paced players and give them a clock with a tight time limit, it can add some real excitement.
That's what I'm talking about. Anyone have a chess clock they want to bring to Nor'Easter? Maybe play a quickie infantry-only scenario like Gavin Take or something with a clock...
 

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I just want to find the time to play ASL again, clock or not.

I'm slow and know it - but then I actually like it as a game to try to consider the best moves rather than one to just pour ahead on a schedule.

That said - I'd be intersted to try to go on the clock even if it just meant each player recording their total time taken to play the scenario rather than actually having a deadline. In tourney play do see the need for it and still have bad memories of someone slower than I....good times, good times.

Who gets the time added when their is a isagreement on the rules (when you both think you're right) ?
 

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I was taken to task to someone about using chess clocks when I said they aren't so useful in ASL> I got the impression they are commonly being used in tournaments in Australia.

I don't see a lot of threads on the subject, though 'chess clocks for ASL' search. The last comment in here from over 10 years ago. I couldn't find much more recent on Gamesquad, though there is more recent stuff on BGG.

Any recent news on ASL tournaments using chess clocks, FtF or VASL?
 
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