Designers' Response to Desperation Morale Review of "Death To Fascism" scenario pack

bprobst

Elder Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2003
Messages
2,509
Reaction score
1,391
Location
Melbourne, Australia
First name
Bruce
Country
llAustralia
3) Include some “general” rules, which aim to reduce extremely “gamey” solutions to the puzzle, so as to make these simply standard of play. Mark calls these “grudge rules” and I do not object to the term. Anyone who disagrees with us if free to play without these “General” rules – just do not blame the designers if Kindling or the intentional Rubbling of victory buildings ruins your game.
That's an amazingly irresponsible response to make as a scenario designer, IMO.

"Grudge SSR", when they occur, are the scenario designer saying one (or possibly several) of the following things:

"I don't like this rule. Therefore it is abolished."
"I don't know what this rule will do to my scenario and I can't be bothered finding out. Therefore it is abolished."
"I've always believed that ASL should have a rule for <thing>. Therefore I have introduced it and you must use it."

In all three cases the scenario designer is not presenting his scenario to the ASL audience; he is presenting his opinions and telling his audience to "suck it, do what I tell you".

When I'm playing your scenario, it has become my game. When I'm playing my game the scenario designer has no right to tell me how I should play, what rules I should or should not employ, nor should I have to put up with his opinions. SSR that set up how the scenario "works" -- that's completely fine and expected. SSR that change how ASL works -- not so fine (usually). I want to play my game with your design. I have no great interest in playing your game. Sell it to someone else.

There are scenarios where, for example, allowing kindling could dramatically alter the balance of that scenario in one player's favour, in a way that doesn't add any enjoyment to the play of the game. In such scenarios, it's completely right and proper to make kindling NA.

The trouble is, I'd be surprised if more than about 10% of scenarios that feature a "kindling NA" SSR would actually be significantly affected by that SSR. Kindling is not easy to accomplish and there's no way (usually) to guarantee that it will do what you need it to do. It's not that often, especially in "modern" tournament-style designs, where either side has the time and resources to spare for that kind of dickery -- there are usually more important things to do. (I've even seen one or two cases where deliberately setting fires was actually an important consideration in the historical action being depicted, but the scenario designer has attached the "kindling NA" SSR as a knee-jerk impulse anyway. What does that say about his research skills?)

There should never, ever be "grudge SSR". There should only be SSR that are important and necessary for that scenario, after the designer (and playtesting) has appropriately determined the necessity. Anything else is negligence, laziness and/or arrogance. I don't want or need your opinions about how ASL "should" be played in my game.
 

Michael Dorosh

der Spieß des Forums
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
15,733
Reaction score
2,752
Location
Calgary, AB
First name
Michael
Country
llCanada
That's an amazingly irresponsible response to make as a scenario designer, IMO.

"Grudge SSR", when they occur, are the scenario designer saying one (or possibly several) of the following things:
How does one get "several" out of a list of three?

"I don't like this rule. Therefore it is abolished."
"I don't know what this rule will do to my scenario and I can't be bothered finding out. Therefore it is abolished."
"I've always believed that ASL should have a rule for <thing>. Therefore I have introduced it and you must use it."
Nah. Sometimes you really do need to set conditions for a scenario to maximize the enjoyment by removing ahistorical decision making. And as Jacometti says, players can choose not to play them.

When I'm playing your scenario, it has become my game. When I'm playing my game the scenario designer has no right to tell me how I should play, what rules I should or should not employ, nor should I have to put up with his opinions. SSR that set up how the scenario "works" -- that's completely fine and expected. SSR that change how ASL works -- not so fine (usually). I want to play my game with your design. I have no great interest in playing your game. Sell it to someone else.
Don't look now, but he already has. Why should it bother you?

There should never, ever be "grudge SSR". There should only be SSR that are important and necessary for that scenario, after the designer (and playtesting) has appropriately determined the necessity. Anything else is negligence, laziness and/or arrogance. I don't want or need your opinions about how ASL "should" be played in my game.
A designer doing his best is arrogance - but calling ASL your personal property is not? You can't be serious here.
 

Bartleby

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
23
Reaction score
27
Location
Toronto
Country
llCanada
Early in my ASL days I once designed a couple of longer scenarios where I allowed players to purchase units each turn for several turns, but based on what the reinforcements were, they would come in some turns later. Nearby reinforcements would come faster, while others would take longer. I felt that would make players make strategic decisions. Is something less good but sooner to arrive better? Or is it better to hold out until the heavy cavalry comes? And other questions of that nature.
This is a really neat idea.
 

Spencer Armstrong

Canard de Guerre
Joined
Mar 7, 2009
Messages
8,624
Reaction score
1,682
Location
Gainesville, FL
First name
Spencer
Country
llUnited States
That was basically my conclusion after playing one of them. It was a good scenario, by the way. But yeah, the juice didn't seem worth the squeeze on the hidden SW. I could take it or leave it.
I've played several of them and I feel like it pays more in some than others. But IMO the squeeze is light enough that I enjoy the juice either way.

Admittedly, I played them all on VASL where just HIPping them is stupid easy...
 

Jacometti

Elder Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2008
Messages
3,913
Reaction score
1,894
Location
Halifax, NS
Country
llCanada
That's an amazingly irresponsible response to make as a scenario designer, IMO.
That's an amazingly irresponsible response to make as a scenario designer, IMO.

"Grudge SSR", when they occur, are the scenario designer saying one (or possibly several) of the following things:

"I don't like this rule. Therefore it is abolished."
"I don't know what this rule will do to my scenario and I can't be bothered finding out. Therefore it is abolished."
"I've always believed that ASL should have a rule for <thing>. Therefore I have introduced it and you must use it."

In all three cases the scenario designer is not presenting his scenario to the ASL audience; he is presenting his opinions and telling his audience to "suck it, do what I tell you".

When I'm playing your scenario, it has become my game. When I'm playing my game the scenario designer has no right to tell me how I should play, what rules I should or should not employ, nor should I have to put up with his opinions. SSR that set up how the scenario "works" -- that's completely fine and expected. SSR that change how ASL works -- not so fine (usually). I want to play my game with your design. I have no great interest in playing your game. Sell it to someone else.

There are scenarios where, for example, allowing kindling could dramatically alter the balance of that scenario in one player's favour, in a way that doesn't add any enjoyment to the play of the game. In such scenarios, it's completely right and proper to make kindling NA.

The trouble is, I'd be surprised if more than about 10% of scenarios that feature a "kindling NA" SSR would actually be significantly affected by that SSR. Kindling is not easy to accomplish and there's no way (usually) to guarantee that it will do what you need it to do. It's not that often, especially in "modern" tournament-style designs, where either side has the time and resources to spare for that kind of dickery -- there are usually more important things to do. (I've even seen one or two cases where deliberately setting fires was actually an important consideration in the historical action being depicted, but the scenario designer has attached the "kindling NA" SSR as a knee-jerk impulse anyway. What does that say about his research skills?)

There should never, ever be "grudge SSR". There should only be SSR that are important and necessary for that scenario, after the designer (and playtesting) has appropriately determined the necessity. Anything else is negligence, laziness and/or arrogance. I don't want or need your opinions about how ASL "should" be played in my game.
I would never ask our valued playtesters to waste their time trying to see if Kindling could "break" a scenario, nor do I have any interest in doings so myself.

I am too lazy and/or too busy actually testing the design for complexity, replay value and balance.

I have seen ASL games pretty much ruined by Kindling. I have never seen one improved by it.

The Kindling Rule in ASL is not based on any real historical evidence that this was commonly used in tactical combat, it should have been in optional Chapter E.
 
Last edited:

Robin Reeve

The Swiss Moron
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
Messages
18,694
Reaction score
4,349
Location
St-Légier
First name
Robin
Country
llSwitzerland
If the rules were to be made from scrap, I would plead that Kindling were only allowed by SSR.
And I would also plead that vehicle crews are equivalent to SMC when it comes to control.
When SSR massively disallow a given aspect of the rules, it can be common sense to question the validity of the rule.
Golden calves must be pulverized.
 

jrv

Forum Guru
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
21,998
Reaction score
6,201
Location
Teutoburger Wald
Country
llIceland
Is That how you win that one!!!
I believe so. The KPA is overwhelming compared to the US forces but if the US can constrain them they can use their firepower to advantage. The clues are there that this is intentional: not only is the standard "Kindling is n/a" SSR not present, but also EC are very dry. I think the US should kindle, but also use WP (including "needless" WP grenades at the end of a move) to try to start fires "accidentally." Also drive trucks into enemy positions in woods. Then if the enemy kills but doesn't blaze the truck, fire at the wreck to try to light them. Any way you can think of to start fires.

Even with the blazes it's going to be a tough fight for the US, but I don't think it is balanced if you don't try to get them.

JR
 

macrobo

King of Boxcars
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
1,241
Reaction score
569
Location
Geelong Melbourne
First name
Rob
Country
llAustralia
I believe so. The KPA is overwhelming compared to the US forces but if the US can constrain them they can use their firepower to advantage. The clues are there that this is intentional: not only is the standard "Kindling is n/a" SSR not present, but also EC are very dry. I think the US should kindle, but also use WP (including "needless" WP grenades at the end of a move) to try to start fires "accidentally." Also drive trucks into enemy positions in woods. Then if the enemy kills but doesn't blaze the truck, fire at the wreck to try to light them. Any way you can think of to start fires.

Even with the blazes it's going to be a tough fight for the US, but I don't think it is balanced if you don't try to get them.

JR

You are a true Pyro of ASL - I did not know some of those cause flame tricks!!!

Rob ?
 

jrv

Forum Guru
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
21,998
Reaction score
6,201
Location
Teutoburger Wald
Country
llIceland
You are a true Pyro of ASL - I did not know some of those cause flame tricks!!!
Backblast from the RCLs too [C12.4]. It may not be convenient to position the RCLs so that's useful, but it's something to remember if it comes up.

JR
 

dlazov

Elder Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Messages
7,991
Reaction score
1,377
Location
Toledo, Ohio
First name
Don
Country
llUnited States
Well in the real world in the general scheme of things soldiers in the heat of battle don’t stop in the middle of a firefight and look for some wood to light on fire in a building, that is pretty silly. Now lighting some straw hatch roofs with MG tracers in a firefight that is reasonable. Those old WW2 photos of Nazi lighting Russian villages was most likely taken after the battle.

Now I do recall one instance where Rommel had his troops light fires to cause smoke to cross a river, but I think those instances are rare and can be handled by SSR.

Soldiers are too busy in the heat of battle to start fires when they have perfectly good ammo loaded in there rifles and MGs.
 

Pitman

Forum Guru
Joined
Jan 27, 2003
Messages
14,092
Reaction score
2,311
Location
Columbus, OH
Country
llUnited States
Well in the real world in the general scheme of things soldiers in the heat of battle don’t stop in the middle of a firefight and look for some wood to light on fire in a building, that is pretty silly. Now lighting some straw hatch roofs with MG tracers in a firefight that is reasonable. Those old WW2 photos of Nazi lighting Russian villages was most likely taken after the battle.

Now I do recall one instance where Rommel had his troops light fires to cause smoke to cross a river, but I think those instances are rare and can be handled by SSR.

Soldiers are too busy in the heat of battle to start fires when they have perfectly good ammo loaded in there rifles and MGs.
It is possible to come across accounts in World War II of fires deliberately being set in an attempt to burn someone away from a position rather than physically assault it.
 

klasmalmstrom

Forum Guru
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Messages
19,057
Reaction score
6,161
Location
Sweden
Country
llSweden
Now I do recall one instance where Rommel had his troops light fires to cause smoke to cross a river, but I think those instances are rare and can be handled by SSR.
Footnote 3 of the new Chapter DN:
3. SSR DN7 KINDLING: Rommel ordered the torching of buildings at the water’s edge as he had no smoke generation machines and other smoke available was not sufficient to the task of masking the crossing. The -2 DRM for flame and blazes to be created/spread in woods represents the absence of thick underbrush in this area of Europe. This robs spreading fire of much of its fuel and impedes the creation of new fire.
 

Michael Dorosh

der Spieß des Forums
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
15,733
Reaction score
2,752
Location
Calgary, AB
First name
Michael
Country
llCanada
I would never ask our valued playtesters to waste their time trying to see if Kindling could "break" a scenario, nor do I have any interest in doings so myself.

I am too lazy and/or too busy actually testing the design for complexity, replay value and balance.

I have seen ASL games pretty much ruined by Kindling. I have never seen one improved by it.

The Kindling Rule in ASL is not based on any real historical evidence that this was commonly used in tactical combat, it should have been in optional Chapter E.
Apropos of nothing, but I did hear of this being done exactly once, and in a face to face interview with a Panzer Lehr vet. He actually painted a picture of the incident and gave me a printout of a scan - this was in the 1990s now. But it wasn't to achieve a victory condition of any kind, in ASL terms. He and a comrade were cut off behind Russian lines, apparently, and they decided their best chance of escaping was under cover of darkness, and to assist further, they decided to set a small cabin in the woods on fire, thinking the light it created would make them more difficult to see (the fire would be between them and the Russians). The details may be poorly remembered now, but I can only report on what he told me. It obviously worked, as he lived to fight in Normandy with PzGren Lehr Rgt 901 and survived the war to move to Canada.
 

Michael Dorosh

der Spieß des Forums
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
15,733
Reaction score
2,752
Location
Calgary, AB
First name
Michael
Country
llCanada
Now lighting some straw hatch roofs with MG tracers in a firefight that is reasonable.
Very common occurrence here on the prairies during military range shoots are brush fires, and standing orders always call for a good pile of shovels, etc., to go fight them when they erupt. And that's when you're trying not to start them.
 

Jacometti

Elder Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2008
Messages
3,913
Reaction score
1,894
Location
Halifax, NS
Country
llCanada
It is possible to come across accounts in World War II of fires deliberately being set in an attempt to burn someone away from a position rather than physically assault it.
Certainly true. But that would make for a rather different ASL scenario.....and probably 10-15 Turns long......and maybe not so popular at tournaments.....

I have only ever seen Kindling in ASL used by the Defender, since ASL Control rules make it impossible for an attacking force to reach Control VC through setting deliberate fires.
 

jrv

Forum Guru
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
21,998
Reaction score
6,201
Location
Teutoburger Wald
Country
llIceland
Kindling was very popular and useful in Red Barricades before it was banned.

JR
 

Mister T

Elder Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2006
Messages
4,185
Reaction score
1,634
Location
Bruxelles
Country
llFrance
By the way, involuntary kindling of huts in PTO sucks. Especially when when the goal of the scenario is to control them.
 
Top