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

JoeArthur

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Played Blitzkrieg! and purchased ATR's and two 37* guns with crews to kill all the German tanks that I could. I saw Pierre-Jean playing it at the Villeneuve tournament and he had purchased two mortars. He was crushed - I hurt the Germans. So maybe the anti tank stuff is the way to go for the French in that scenario?
 

bprobst

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I would never ask our valued playtesters to waste their time trying to see if Kindling could "break" a scenario
Part of a playtester's job is to see if there are things that could happen that can cause problems. If they don't want to do that, they're pretty useless as playtesters, and should not be "valued"!

nor do I have any interest in doings so myself.
So you're saying that you don't actually have any interest in making sure your scenario designs don't have flaws? How ... strange.

I am too lazy and/or too busy actually testing the design for complexity, replay value and balance.
I don't see how the first part and the second part of this sentence can both be true.

I have seen ASL games pretty much ruined by Kindling. I have never seen one improved by it.
You haven't played enough scenarios, apparently. In any case, my post was not specifically talking about the value (or otherwise) of the kindling rules, but the complete lack of value in grudge SSR. Apparently that has gone completely over your head? Wilfully so, perhaps ... "Waahh! I want my grudge rules! I demand that other players play ASL the way I want them to play it! Waahh!!"
 

bprobst

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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.
It's interesting that you bring up a KW scenario, given that a not-insignificant portion of Chapter W is devoted to grudge rules. Give with one hand, take away with the other ....
 

jrv

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It's interesting that you bring up a KW scenario, given that a not-insignificant portion of Chapter W is devoted to grudge rules. Give with one hand, take away with the other ....
I can't characterize many of the rules as "grudge." Perhaps the HEAT rules [W.8]. For the most part they seem to be either chrome that a good editor might trim down or out as excessive, or necessary changes for the particular campaign. But not grudge.

JR
 

Justiciar

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It's interesting that you bring up a KW scenario, given that a not-insignificant portion of Chapter W is devoted to grudge rules. Give with one hand, take away with the other ....
Maybe you should take a breath, do a little research, and then respond. It might help you not look like a pillock, but then again we all know your track record .
 

Jacometti

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Played Blitzkrieg! and purchased ATR's and two 37* guns with crews to kill all the German tanks that I could. I saw Pierre-Jean playing it at the Villeneuve tournament and he had purchased two mortars. He was crushed - I hurt the Germans. So maybe the anti tank stuff is the way to go for the French in that scenario?
I know Mr Bendis played this at Albany and really blasted the Germans with his 60* MTRs from the hill at ranges of 20+ hexes......the 60* MTR can also kill tanks.....and is very deadly against infantry in woods. I certainly like the 37* INF guns, since you get an extra MMC which can help with building control.....

I think for most nationalities in most circumstances, on defense, a MMG is one of the best buys ever......(EXC: Russian).......
 

Jacometti

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Part of a playtester's job is to see if there are things that could happen that can cause problems. If they don't want to do that, they're pretty useless as playtesters, and should not be "valued"!

So you're saying that you don't actually have any interest in making sure your scenario designs don't have flaws? How ... strange.

You haven't played enough scenarios, apparently. In any case, my post was not specifically talking about the value (or otherwise) of the kindling rules, but the complete lack of value in grudge SSR. Apparently that has gone completely over your head? Wilfully so, perhaps ... "Waahh! I want my grudge rules! I demand that other players play ASL the way I want them to play it! Waahh!!"
I guess I should unpack my comments a little, in the parlance of our times.

Our aim as scenario designers is to create a fun and challenging wargame experience within the greatest wargaming system in the world. We are not committed to Rulebook worship, because like any massive piece of work written over many years it has its flaws.

We have concluded that a few specific rules are very open to abuse and likely to only diminish the fun or challenge of the wargame puzzle. We do not want our scenarios to be decided/ruined by those types of abuse.

A prime example is HIP. We love HIP. We do not want scenarios without HIP. We feel it is totally historically accurate and super exciting.

Until someone hides a half-squad somewhere out of the way (upper level building? swamp? bamboo?) just to let the enemy forces pass by - only to pop up at scenario end to gain a sudden "win".

That "win" is no longer a real victory as per the historical situation, it is just a problem with the Control rules.

Therefore, in all our DTF scenarios, HIP Infantry and Guns are all put on the map concealed at the start of Turn 5. Thus we can ensure HIP units are used to some purpose other than nonsense.

In the same vein, we do NOT find Kindling an acceptable or historically accurate element of tactical warfare in ASL terms. I would be depressed if someone would ruin a scenario we designed through its use. I would prefer that person did not play it at all. So we chose not to allow it. If you and your friend want to play it differently, that is totally up to you.

However, I do not think the "contest" of an ASL game is between a cunning player and the designer, where the former "wins" if he "breaks" the scenario through some of these moves, at the expense of his opponent.

That is why we rule this out and focus our design and playtesting time on the things that matter to us.
 
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Michael Dorosh

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In the same vein, we do NOT find Kindling an acceptable or historically accurate element of tactical warfare in ASL terms.
You keep flip flopping. A page ago, you said:

Pitman: 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.
Jacometti: Certainly true.


Which is it? Was it actually done, or not?
 

Jacometti

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You keep flip flopping. A page ago, you said:

Pitman: 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.
Jacometti: Certainly true.


Which is it? Was it actually done, or not?
I think my answer is quite clear. Deliberate setting of fires to "burn out" a defender was certainly done.

That does not make for an ASL scenario, in my view, but if someone wants to design something like that, be my guest.....

I did explain equally clearly that "burning out a defender" is not how ASL players use Kindling. The way ASL players use Kindling is ahistorical.
 
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Vinnie

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Played my first one twice on Friday. Both wins were for he German defenders in Magnificent Beasts of Prey. I cannot however commentnonmthe balance. We play 2 a side, Tony, my partner had slightly better dice than I did. Mine averaged out at 5.4, his at just over 5.2.
He second playing we abandoned after he rolled his fourth 2 in a single fire phase achieving a CH and 3 KIA attacks. It was brutal both times but with dice like that you can draw no conclusions on the balance.
 

bprobst

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Good thing is that no one is forced to the play these scenarios - there are plenty to choose from. Don't like the DTF SSR? Don't play the scenario or play it without using them - "problem" solved.
And indeed, I don't play those scenarios, if I have any choice in the matter. (Sometimes you are forced. Is there not a Swedish tournament where nothing but scenarios by Friendly Fire are played? Every single FrF scenario ever published has the "No kindling" grudge SSR, which Mattias has assured me is 100% deliberate, despite the fact that in 99.9% of these scenarios even attempting kindling would be a monumental waste of time on either player's part.)

How, however, does that help if even more scenarios are designed using the same flawed design principles? The problem is still there and is indeed just getting worse if designers don't even understand what it is that they're doing by designing according to these flawed principles.

Peter (etc.) is clearly adopting a "fuck the rules, the play is the thing" mentality. And I guess that's fine, so far as it goes, except it ignores the fact that many hundreds of scenarios are designed on a different mentality -- "the play is the thing, and we need to be aware of what the rules are so that the play isn't compromised".

You don't have to love the kindling rules, or any other rule. You're free to hate them with a passion. It doesn't matter. You just have to be aware of them and make sure they're taken into account in your design. Peter says "I can't be buggered doing that". I call that poor scenario design philosophy. Many other designers before him (and hopefully many to follow) were willing and able to put that extra work in.

Similarly, if you don't want your scenario "ruined" by a tricksy HIP unit, design the scenario so that it can't be ruined by a tricksy HIP unit. To me, that's so blindingly obvious that it shouldn't even need to be stated. Adding an SSR for that scenario to force HIP units to be revealed is a perfectly reasonable solution for that scenario. It's just plain stupid to assume, without any thought whatsoever, that it's a reasonable thing to add to every scenario ever.

Does that take more work? Almost certainly. Don't want to do that work? Then don't waste your time and ours.
 
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Jacometti

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And indeed, I don't play those scenarios, if I have any choice in the matter. (Sometimes you are forced. Is there not a Swedish tournament where nothing but scenarios by Friendly Fire are played? Every single FrF scenario ever published has the "No kindling" grudge SSR, which Mattias has assured me is 100% deliberate, despite the fact that in 99.9% of these scenarios even attempting kindling would be a monumental waste of time on either player's part.)

How, however, does that help if even more scenarios are designed using the same flawed design principles? The problem is still there and is indeed just getting worse if designers don't even understand what it is that they're doing by designing according to these flawed principles.

Peter (etc.) is clearly adopting a "fuck the rules, the play is the thing" mentality. And I guess that's fine, so far as it goes, except it ignores the fact that many hundreds of scenarios are designed on a different mentality -- "the play is the thing, and we need to be aware of what the rules are so that the play isn't compromised".

You don't have to love the kindling rules, or any other rule. You're free to hate them with a passion. It doesn't matter. You just have to be aware of them and make sure they're taken into account in your design. Peter says "I can't be buggered doing that". I call that poor scenario design philosophy. Many other designers before him (and hopefully many to follow) were willing and able to put that extra work in.

Similarly, if you don't want your scenario "ruined" by a tricksy HIP unit, design the scenario so that it can't be ruined by a tricksy HIP unit. To me, that's so blindingly obvious that it shouldn't even need to be stated. Adding an SSR for that scenario to force HIP units to be revealed is a perfectly reasonable solution for that scenario. It's just plain stupid to assume, without any thought whatsoever, that it's a reasonable thing to add to every scenario ever.

Does that take more work? Almost certainly. Don't want to do that work? Then don't waste your time and ours.
I laughed when I read this, man.

You have clearly missed your calling and your timing is off by a few hundred years, because you would have had a great career in the Medieval Catholic Church.

Have a great day.
 
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commissarmatt

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As the Russian defender in BFP93 Klein Stalingrad, I sure wished I could kindle. It would have been nice to set certain chokepoints aflame. It was not allowed, but I did the next best thing, which was to position some special antitank crews with molotovs near those spots, hoping they'd cause some by accident on purpose. Did/would the Russians deliberately set fires at Kursk? I have no idea.
 

commissarmatt

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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...

Sometimes I just put the armor leader on the tank, figuring that the extra fog of war is not worth the chance I'd forget to use his modifier when needed.
 

bendizoid

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As the Russian defender in BFP93 Klein Stalingrad, I sure wished I could kindle. It would have been nice to set certain chokepoints aflame. It was not allowed, but I did the next best thing, which was to position some special antitank crews with molotovs near those spots, hoping they'd cause some by accident on purpose. Did/would the Russians deliberately set fires at Kursk? I have no idea.
SSR: No MOL attacks against vacant hexes and kindling is NA.
 
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