Do you put -2 leaders on your designs?

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I feel that 9-2, 10-2 and 10-3 are a major problem in scenario balance: when directing fire they reduce stone building to woods, in ambush pull out ambushes that completely modify the landscape, normal units bounce back from broken status as if they were fanatic, not to mention those fanatic which you are almost guarantee to have immediately back.
So I stay well away from -2 when desigining scenarios, in case the episode really deserve a -2 I tend to minimize the impact making him heroic, this usually reduce his permanence on the battlefield if used too aggressively.

and you?
 

Mister T

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Only 10-3s are to be excluded in my opinion (EXC: scenarios with 100+ squads)

9-2/10-2 yes they are strong but they bring about some excitement to a scenario card that designers find it hard to do without. And i understand them, notwithstanding the issues you refer to, which are valid as well.
 

klasmalmstrom

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9-2/10-2 yes they are strong but they bring about some excitement to a scenario card that designers find it hard to do without. And i understand them, notwithstanding the issues you refer to, which are valid as well.
Agree.
 

Paul M. Weir

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Providing that they are low in numbers, a -2 leader does not seem outrageous.

Remembering bits of the original SL design notes, they stressed that not every squad leader was represented. So, any leader is a cut above the average.

This is my interpretation:
+1: Idiots and higher ups who have forgotten their low level stuff and drives the junior officers to madness with medling.
0: An Efficient leader who puts in a good solid reliable performance. Nothing fancy but usually gets the job done. Troops trust him.
-1: As a 0 but has good tactical sense and a few tricks learnt from experience. Can show a fair bit of initiative. Troops both trust and admire him.
-2: Always on the go, in the thick of it, well honed combat skills and destined for higher things. If he survives! Troops either regard him as the second coming or a "our guts his glory" lunatic.
-3: Certified, either as a lunatic or genius. Troops will at times regard his leadership as a, likely posthumous, medal winning time.

So 0 or -1, no problems. How many -2? I would say 1/4 to 1/10 of a side's leaders. In an action mentions actions by a particular NCO/officer then throw one in. If you have much more than a 'fat' company then consider one. A 10-3 would need a certified film clip of said officer walking on water. The Chapter H allocation makes -2 leaders rare, you would have to have 4 x 8-0, 3 x 8-1, 2 x 9-1 to get your 1 x 9-2, only 1 in 10.

My experience is that amongst a decent number of other weaker leaders a -2 often does little better than them. Yes a good DR with a -2 DRM can wreak great damage, but not as often as you might expect. Of course 1 x 10-2, 2 x 9-2 commanding 6 squads is another matter. Like in good cooking, sprinkle sparingly.
 

von Marwitz

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I have no problem with any of the best leaders. A -2 leader can be a nice attraction. The 10-3 is an exceedingly rare breed in the first place. So if it appears, I find it an attraction, too.

Of course such leaders can have an enormous effect on a game - or not. Who doesn't know a story in which his 9-2 did a hell of a job, nor seemingly nothing at all, or got shot/wouded by a Sniper?

The risk of them somewhat unbalancing a game is admittedly somewhat greater than compared to other units. But a working FT or a HMG with a ROF tear can do just the same.

What these type of leaders undoubtedly do is to create stories, to create drama. And this is one of the attractions of ASL I would not want to miss.

von Marwitz
 

Yuri0352

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Providing that they are low in numbers, a -2 leader does not seem outrageous.

Remembering bits of the original SL design notes, they stressed that not every squad leader was represented. So, any leader is a cut above the average.

This is my interpretation:
+1: Idiots and higher ups who have forgotten their low level stuff and drives the junior officers to madness with medling.
0: An Efficient leader who puts in a good solid reliable performance. Nothing fancy but usually gets the job done. Troops trust him.
-1: As a 0 but has good tactical sense and a few tricks learnt from experience. Can show a fair bit of initiative. Troops both trust and admire him.
-2: Always on the go, in the thick of it, well honed combat skills and destined for higher things. If he survives! Troops either regard him as the second coming or a "our guts his glory" lunatic.
-3: Certified, either as a lunatic or genius. Troops will at times regard his leadership as a, likely posthumous, medal winning time.

So 0 or -1, no problems. How many -2? I would say 1/4 to 1/10 of a side's leaders. In an action mentions actions by a particular NCO/officer then throw one in. If you have much more than a 'fat' company then consider one. A 10-3 would need a certified film clip of said officer walking on water. The Chapter H allocation makes -2 leaders rare, you would have to have 4 x 8-0, 3 x 8-1, 2 x 9-1 to get your 1 x 9-2, only 1 in 10.

My experience is that amongst a decent number of other weaker leaders a -2 often does little better than them. Yes a good DR with a -2 DRM can wreak great damage, but not as often as you might expect. Of course 1 x 10-2, 2 x 9-2 commanding 6 squads is another matter. Like in good cooking, sprinkle sparingly.
Spot on as usual with your assessment of ASL leadership values.
In the absence of any 'walking on water' video evidence, I recommend that the 10-3/10-2 leaders be reserved for the likes of 'Red Mike' Edson or Marie-Pierre Konig.
 

jrv

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I like higher-order leaders. They are like tanks: they are powerful yet they need to be used wisely. If I wanted to push a pile of mush around, I would play Risk.

JR
 
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Of course such leaders can have an enormous effect on a game - or not. Who doesn't know a story in which his 9-2 did a hell of a job, nor seemingly nothing at all, or got shot/wouded by a Sniper?
The risk of them somewhat unbalancing a game is admittedly somewhat greater than compared to other units. But a working FT or a HMG with a ROF tear can do just the same.
von Marwitz
That's exactly what I fear as a designer, If I introduce a -2 leader, a AFV mounted FT an High ROF MG or GUN, i know I'm looking for trouble. Some playterster will say that it ruined their day others will say it was a waste.
And you need to walk the knife edge.

Nice to know your opinions on the subject.
 
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von Marwitz

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That's exactly what I fear as a designer, If I introduce a -2 leader, a AFV mounted FT an High ROF MG or GUN, i know I'm looking for trouble. Some playterster will say that it ruined their day others will say it was a waste.
And you need to walk the knife edge.
I believe that scenario designer should not shun away from certain risks. I can remember playing a number of very acclaimed scenarios that did not seem much fun in my playing because certain crucial die rolls or key units got screwed. But on the other hand, if luck evens out in such scenarios - which I believe tends to happen more often than the other way around - these are an absolute blast to play.

The overly safeguarded designs completely cleansed of -2 Leaders, FTs, and other bytimes precarious attractions might seem dull compared to that.

You are correct in your assessment, that designers need to walk the knife edge. Sometimes it might be hard to forsee the outcome. But many of the best and most memorable scenarios seem to be among the designs that try.

von Marwitz
 

xenovin

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In heavy urban areas you almost need to give the attacker a -2 leader or they mostly likely won't get through.
 

Brian W

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I tend to avoid them as well, especially when coupled with high ROF weapons, which is where they really become god-like. As bad as they can be for infantry combat, a -2 AL is akin to the 10-3, so I don't usually even play scenarios with -2 ALs.

There is a tendency to eschew the 10-2 leader in favor of the 9-2 among designers I think, so when I feel a -2 leadership is appropriate, I try to justify the 10 ML, too. And when a 10 ML seems justified, I just accept that it will come with a -2 DRM. If I were to change ASL, I would top the Fire Direction DRM modifier to -1.
 

von Marwitz

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In heavy urban areas you almost need to give the attacker a -2 leader or they mostly likely won't get through.
Giving the attacker a couple of pre-registered modules of Rocket OBA might do as well... :D

von Marwitz
 

Eagle4ty

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And take away that @#%! blasted sniper that always seems to nail my best Leader early in the game! OH, and FTs too, maybe that ROF 3 weapon & certainly that HIP ATG.:rolleyes:
 

Mister T

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As bad as they can be for infantry combat, a -2 AL is akin to the 10-3, so I don't usually even play scenarios with -2 ALs.
I would still recommend to you SP110 The Chernichivo Shuffle with a -2 AL in a Tiger against quite a few KVs. Excellent design
 
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I would still recommend to you SP110 The Chernichivo Shuffle with a -2 AL in a Tiger against quite a few KVs. Excellent design
Incidentally I just played it 5 days ago as German. The AL is a 9-1 and that's more than enough to play havoc against the poor KVs, couldn't imagine what a 9-2 with ROF 2 could do.
 

Mister T

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Incidentally I just played it 5 days ago as German. The AL is a 9-1 and that's more than enough to play havoc against the poor KVs, couldn't imagine what a 9-2 with ROF 2 could do.
I had fond memories of the effectiveness of the Tiger so I over-estimated its crew's skill. But the scenario is pretty-well balanced according to ROAR, so no excuse for losing with the Soviet!
 

Fort

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I really would've preferred leaders having a second modifier to separate morale effects from tactical skill.
It would make the higher modifier leaders less problematic in scenario design.

For example, a 9-2-1 would have -2 modifier for all morale dependent DR and a -1 modifier for all attack based DR.
This would allow much greater variety in leaders.
Those 10-3 and 6+1 leaders that currently occupied a plastic counter tray prison would see more play if they were 10-3-1 or 10-3-2 or even 10-3+1 and 6+1-2 might be useful on a rear MG nest.

And, as a bonus, this change could easily be added to the game by simply stating that a leader with only one modifier number has the same value for both...making reissuing old counters unnecessary.
 

Swiftandsure

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And some Finnish leaders could have better than their max -1 modifier when directing fire (e.g. 9-1-2 or 10-0-3).
 
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