Concealment trick

von Marwitz

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Okay I think I finally am getting what your saying.

Even when the other guys sets up first and places ? and even if he may have extra ? in face to face play you can see the physical stack and take some good educated (experienced?) guesses as to what they may or may not be.
True. But I like fog of war and hanging on to the right-of-inspection thingy just adds (or rather keeps) a little bit of it.
Trying to figure out the opponents disposition is the first thing I do when receiving a defensive setup including some counter counting now and then. That way you can figure out possible enemy deployment or are able determine a concealed stack or two as being fully/partly dummy depending on the number of OB-given "?" counters or the size of OB-given "?" counters used. Of course the greater your experience, the more correct your educated guesses will get.

But even in case you are experienced and able to figure out quite well your most of the opponent's disposition despite him being concealed, you will run into situations where there's two spots that could hold some key weapon that could screw up a certain offensive approach - or not. In some cases the attacker would be in dire straits to take a risk, so actively trying to "build" such an ambiguous appearance of your defence is fun and challenge and has the benefit of creating two "real-looking" threats where there can only be one. The attacker - unless he wants to take the risk - has to react to that, so in the end you can influence enemy forces to your favor with "nothing".

Its sort of the same in VASL except your correct that I could see the contents of that stack, which does give one a little more info.
I think in ASL it is the sum of the little things that add up to an advantage that makes the difference between win or loss among similarily skilled opponents (not counting just the right DR when you need it most, of course...).

- Creating some little bit of mystery by enforcement that stacks cannot be inspected prior to start of play.
- Taking those 1+1 or 2+2 shots despite the enemy Sniper in most situations.
- Thinking about Sniper bait (often in the form of your own sniper).
- Taking those free LOS checks during the enemy MPh and possibly voluntarily drop concealment to prevent them.
- Placing a 1x 2AT minefield instead of 2x 1AT minefield in most situations.
- The list goes on an on...

Each of the above examples is neglible by itself on average. Not so, if taken as a sum.

I guess it would really matter more in a competitive game, in a typical friendly game its not really that big of deal and in all my face to face games (80% of my games) after about turn 3 or 5 when all the little surprises and tricks are out of the way, we just say I got the squad and LMG in that hex or I got that wounded 8-1 and MMG and 4-4-7 over here so you can get ? blah blah blah...etc.

So I get what your saying, but I just don't think its that big of deal.

Of course you are correct that these things might seem more relevant for competitive games. But for me trying to remember and to take advantage of as many of the little details just when the situation arises has nothing to do with competitive gaming but in fact with good play (and seeing such things happen to remarkable degree earns my respect time and again). Competitive gaming in my understanding (and which I dislike), if it is of primary importance to win, not to screw up your AREA-rating, etc. Personally, I would prefer to play and lose in a fun game rather than to have to play against an opponent doggedly hellbent on winning. It is just not the same pleasant social atmosphere during the game.

von Marwitz
 

Mark Humphries

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Now, this leaves me without rest... I simply cannot conceive how HIPing a conceament counter could create any confusion when preventing unintended (or unallowed) inspection of stacks before play.

See the following illustration:

View attachment 42574

Figure 1B is what the opponent would see if he did a mouse over by accident or intentionally, giving him "inspection" against the rules before play.

Figure 2B is what he would see if the owning player placed a HIP concealment counter (NOT part of his OOB) as in Fig. 2A. The number of counters in Fig. 2B matches those of 1B, which equals the the number of counters in the German OOB (forget about Deployment for the sake of the example). So the stack cannot be inspected AND it still shows the correct number of counters as given in the OOB.

Figure 3A/3B WOULD create confusion as there a NON-OB GIVEN concealment counter does VISIBLY appear if viewed by the opponent - mouse-over or not. The number of counters would not correspond with those given in the German OOB.

Thus in my humble opinion, using HIP concealment couters if wanting to enforce the prevention of stack inspection prior to play is currently the ONLY solution to avoid confusion.


von Marwitz
When most VASL users see concealed counters in a stack at setup, they naturally assume one of the counters is a concealment counter.
I don't think I've had an opponent assume otherwise.

Using your trick, I'd expect they'd be confused if I didn't provide an explanation of the trick along with the setup file.

It's because your trick isn't yet common knowledge and practice that it would be, at least at first, more confusing.
 

von Marwitz

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It's because your trick isn't yet common knowledge and practice that it would be, at least at first, more confusing.
All right, now I begin to understand the problem from the other point of view.

Well, this thread might serve to spread the word and the trick...

von Marwitz
 
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