Devil's Advocacy

Cpl. Canfield

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Wanna see people Foam at the Mouth? Stay tuned . . .
(Note to moderators: I post the following in complete sincerity, with No intent of causing anyone emotional distress - but, having some familiarity with some of the 'Usual Suspects' hereabouts, Every expectation of doing so)

(*ahem*)

I arise in (limited) defense of Bill Wilder.
In case you have been conducting extended geological surveys in the Gobi the last few years, you may not have heard that some in the ASL community have been using their bully pulpits to, well, bully. And one of the targets of these ‘hate-ons’ is Bill Wilder, a once well respected designer.
Curious as to what all the ruckus was about, and having somewhat more money than I know what to do with, I purchased several of the items in question. Specifically, I bought 5 modules endeavoring to apply the ASL engine to earlier periods than originally envisioned by its designers. I did this despite public warnings that they were “probably unplayable . . . stay away”.
And then, I played them.

For starters, let me assure you that they are perfectly playable. Anyone who says otherwise is, at the very least, making statements with reckless disregard for the truth. One, in particular, was an astonishingly well balanced solitaire scenario (Cav08 - “Buffalo Hunt”), with a Lot of potential as a training aid.
This is not to say that there is nothing to complain about. On the contrary, there is plenty here to take exception with, at least, for the typical mainstream ASL player.
1) For starter, it is not exactly ASL. This in itself is, I find, often quite enough to work a certain kind if ASL fan into a froth.
2) In the ACW modules, it is harder to respect your troops, as they are notably harder to control during maneuver, and their fire is Way less effective, with lower IFs, shorter ranges, and random complications. I can just see someone, used to his SS and Assault engineers, tearing his hair out.
Personally, I think this is as it should be. No less a light than Phil Barker has pointed out that the purpose of command control systems in a game is the opposite function of those in reality, as their purpose is to Reduce the commander’s capacity to get his troops to do what he wants.
3) Also in the ACW modules, I anticipate that some will raise the twin scale objections of size of maneuver unit, and density. Let me dispense with these promptly. I believe both vanish if you treat the MMCs as representing companies.
The standard unit of maneuver at the time was the regiment, ideally a decimal structure of 1,000 men, in 10 x 100 man companies. In practice, during the war companies were seldom anywhere Near full strength, usually being 40 or less. Now, according to the manuals of the times, such a company in double line ( = typical formation - skirmish lines were known but not much used) would cover 15 yards of frontage. So three of them would cover 45, which is within 12% of an ASL hex, this matching up passably well with the stacking rules.
As for historical maneuver, these companies would sometimes be “told off” to perform some specific chore within their regiment’s deployment area, semi-independently (as was done famously by the 20th Maine at Little Round Top), so again, company scaling solves any issues of historicity (but, sadly, not those based on plain malice).
4) There are the usual typos, omissions, and map errors on the scenario cards. Nothing you haven’t seen from other third party publishers. Usually obvious; nothing to pitch a fit over.
5) Finally, and most telling, is you have to do some thinking for yourself. The new rules covering this or that new piece or game mechanic are Very poorly documented, usually restricted to a few lines on the counters themselves. This is an omission that is hard to excuse, as a half page of type could probably have spelled everything out Just FINE.
Now, I (who have been playing ASL [and SL before it] for a Very long time) found I could come up with cogent interpretations on my own most of the time, which is no different than coming up with house rules for any other disputable issue. Thus, for example, in the ACW scenarios, I excuse troops from the “Movement card” draw mechanism when stacked with a leader with a 0 or higher mod, or even just near him, if he has a positive mod. No idea if this is in harmony with the Mr.Wilder’s original vision, but it gives good results.
But ASLers are not famous for enjoying rules that require interpretation.
In fairness to the author, I was able to contact him, and he graciously offered to answer some of my rules questions, but his health situation has precluded him from getting to all of them. Also, at least one of those answers seems so obviously wrong that I suspect he has not laid eyes on these works in so long that he is not really familiar with the subject anymore.

SO there you have it: A bold, provocative, but arguably incomplete work, unjustly maligned out of any proportion to actual flaws, by those who need everything to fit into their conception of its proper pigeonhole.

Now, Bring on The Hate!
 

Pitman

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Prove that you are real and not a sock puppet for that sgtdan idiot.
 

Rock SgtDan

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Like I said before, I never wear socks. It masks the wonderful aroma. A Grand Alliance of Limburger, Stilton, and Livarot.
 

Rock SgtDan

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> 5) Finally, and most telling, is you have to do some thinking for yourself.

The definitive stumbling block for those stuck in the AHBGer Mind Frame.
 

jrv

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I'm not buying into it until I see a decent Buçaco. Oh, and triremes. And I've always wanted to do a DYO of a trebuchet vs. a TKS. Or was that a trebuchet using a TKS as ammo, I can't remember.

JR
 

Cpl. Canfield

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Prove that you are real and not a sock puppet for that sgtdan idiot.
Wow, so many responses come to mind, I'm not sure which to use first!
So, in no particular order . . .

1) How, exactly, would I accomplish that?
2) How do you know that He is not some unreal "sock puppet" for Me?
3) How do you know that either of us are "real"?
4) For that matter, how do I know that You are "real", and not some vindictive girl that Bill Wilder slighted back in grammar school, dogging his steps to this day?
5) Most importantly, it would seem to me that I have Nothing to prove to you. Given the falsehoods I have seen you publish on these very forums (not to mention those published on Desperation Moral, if you are who I think you are), you have zero moral authority to ask for proof of anything.
 
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Martin Mayers

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Wow, so many responses come to mind, I'm not sure which to use first!
So, in no particular order . . .

1) How, exactly, would I accomplish that?
2) How do you know that He is not some unreal "sock puppet" for Me?
3) How do you know that either of us are "real"?
4) For that matter, how do I know that You are "real", and not some vindictive girl that Bill Wilder slighted back grammar school, dogging his steps to this day?
5) Most importantly, it would seem to me that I have Nothing to prove to you. Given the falsehoods I have seen you publish on these very forums (not to mention those published on Desperation Moral, if you are who I think you are), you have zero moral authority to ask for proof of anything.
To be fair Mark Pitcavage has done plenty enough for the ASL hobby to have moral authority around here.

What have you done for the hobby other than come onto these forums to bait ASL players.
 

Honza

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I don't see anything wrong with the original post. It seems like an honest and objective view of Bill Wilders works. What follows is just typical of these forums unfortunately. Sometimes its like teaching Darwinism in the Bible Belt around here.....
 

Honza

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To be fair Mark Pitcavage has done plenty enough for the ASL hobby to have moral authority around here.

What have you done for the hobby other than come onto these forums to bait ASL players.
Two words grate with me here; "moral" and "authority". I would certainly argue that Mark is no more of either of those than anyone else around here. Also I would say that the real sharks around here who do more than "bait" other ASL players are all hiding in the crowd.
 

Cpl. Canfield

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To be fair Mark Pitcavage has done plenty enough for the ASL hobby to have moral authority around here.

What have you done for the hobby other than come onto these forums to bait ASL players.
I have baited no one. In this, my first Day in this forum, I asked some questions, got useful answers from exactly two people (Snudl & Footsteps), made pleasant banter with a few others, presented the preliminary results from playtests of an unfashionable TPP, and got a lot of flak for . . . what? Partially agreeing with Sgt. Rock's unfashionable points of view? Correcting Pitcavage in public?
As I mentioned at the very top of my post, I had no intent to upset anyone. There were things that needed to be said, falsehoods proceeding from persons in postions of influence, that I felt needed to be corrected. The truth is not arrived at in silence.

That these efforts get answered with derision, mostly from people I would bet heavily have never handled the products in question, is not, I think, a reflection on me.
 

Gunner Scott

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The pitman is more like the Himmler of ASL when it comes to "moral" and "authority".


Scott

Two words grate with me here; "moral" and "authority". I would certainly argue that Mark is no more of either of those than anyone else around here. Also I would say that the real sharks around here who do more than "bait" other ASL players are all hiding in the crowd.
 

Rock SgtDan

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The pitman is more like the Himmler of ASL when it comes to "moral" and "authority".
Scott
Canny, since timezones conspire against us WRT the telephone, I think I should explain that in a short-lived blog, Pitman at one time revealed that he hates Wilder because some silly collectors paid outrageous amounts for his modules on Ebay. He rants that this was taking money away from "more deserving" TTPers.

Thus he reveals himself as a Socialist of the first order, who wants to suppress the Free Market of not only Ideas, but Commerce as well.
 

Cpl. Canfield

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Canny, since timezones conspire against us WRT the telephone, I think I should explain that in a short-lived blog, Pitman at one time revealed that he hates Wilder because some silly collectors paid outrageous amounts for his modules on Ebay. He rants that this was taking money away from "more deserving" TTPers.
SRRsly!?!! :eek:

Man, if that's true, in the words of Shaka Zulu, "For a Transgression of this Magnitude, there can be but One Punishment!"
 

JohnisaG8tor

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1) Cpl. Sgt. Can Rock has multiple personalities and talks to us and himself at the same time!!! :laugh:
(But is entitled his opinion, and you can agree, disagree, read it, don't read it, ...let alone retort back)

2) The Pitman has done a lot for the ASL community; however, like us ALL ...can be biased and imperfect.
(Though overall, I think he does an OUTSTANDING job dissecting most of the ASL products as no other!!!)

3) As for the Wilder stuff, I've bought some of it... when it hasn't gone to high priced, ........in my opinion.
He has some interesting topics, quality of material seems decent (though not HOB/LFT/MMP), and so forth

But, I'll admit, haven't played any of it yet... and would have to defer to someone else on "playability" of it.
Personally, yes, it seems no worse than the worse of CH; though yes, not as good as many other third party.

And I wonder why Pitman seems to hate it so vice the typical Crit Hit bashing of their worse stuff, just curious;
for he does give good to great reviews for some of Crit Hit's better items..... of which they do have good stuff.

But I also wonder the validity of "who" posted the original Cpl. post too. :devious:

Whether it's Cpl. Sgt. Can Dan Rock Paper Scissors just having fun again,
a "minion" of Wilder trying to pump up those in the ASL community also,
....or truly, a real ASLer who has found Wilder's stuff to be pretty decent.

It is what it is... (To quote a beer commercial)

And life will go on! :)
 

dlazov

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Leave it to a Troll and a double faking Troll at that.

What a crock of non-playing ASL vitro, from a non-playing ASL Troll mite

Troll # 1 (SgtDumb@$$) and Troll # 2 (Cpl. CanfeedBullSh1t) == the same Troll
 

Martin Mayers

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I have baited no one. In this, my first Day in this forum, I asked some questions, got useful answers from exactly two people (Snudl & Footsteps), made pleasant banter with a few others, presented the preliminary results from playtests of an unfashionable TPP, and got a lot of flak for . . . what? Partially agreeing with Sgt. Rock's unfashionable points of view? Correcting Pitcavage in public?
As I mentioned at the very top of my post, I had no intent to upset anyone. There were things that needed to be said, falsehoods proceeding from persons in postions of influence, that I felt needed to be corrected. The truth is not arrived at in silence.

That these efforts get answered with derision, mostly from people I would bet heavily have never handled the products in question, is not, I think, a reflection on me.
You have baited someone....Pitman. You called him a liar in this very thread.

You expect freedom to go around accusing people who, even if not always liked, are certainly respected, of spreading falsehoods and not be challenged. When challenged you want to play at being some kind of victim??

Give us a shout when you've returned to planet Earth please
 

Jazz

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Thus he reveals himself as a Socialist of the first order, who wants to suppress the Free Market of not only Ideas, but Commerce as well.
So you do realize that Tim Hundsdorfer (Snudl), who's blog you seem to be enamored with, is an out & out card-carrying (if they had cards) Marxist?


As to the thread....<shrug>.... talking about Bill Wilder in positive terms will draw a lot of response around these parts, most of it unfavorable. You are free to talk about whatever topics you see fit, and others will reply as they see fit.

<shrug>

Scott is right. Between SLAAKATTAK & sock puppets, Sgt DanRock, and now Cpl Canfield, 2013 has been one strange year around here.
 
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Martin Mayers

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Leave it to a Troll and a double faking Troll at that.

What a crock of non-playing ASL vitro, from a non-playing ASL Troll mite

Troll # 1 (SgtDumb@$$) and Troll # 2 (Cpl. CanfeedBullSh1t) == the same Troll
Same person for sure
 
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