Does ASL represent SMOKE accurately?

Pitman

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What do you think about SMOKE in ASL? I was playing a scenario this past weekend in which my opponent had 5 vehicles that could fire smoke, and it got me to thinking.

Is it realistic for smoke from such devices, or artillery barrages, to be so thick that units in the smoke really could not see adjacent units also in smoke at all?

Is it realistic that smoke can so totally eliminate residual firepower?

Is smoke too "thick" in ASL?
 

Bob Holmstrom

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Excellent topic and one that i sometimes think about.

I often wonder how prevelant infantry smoke grenades were and how often they were used to screen movement as they are in ASL.

Not being the WWII historian, was smoke used that often in tactical situations by infantry and tanks?
 

soggycrow

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Not long ago on the web I saw some footage of mortar-laid smoke at Remagen. The smoke appeared to be very dense - impenetrable.:blab:
 

MrP

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I think that smoke doesn't spread easily enough in ASL. Even on a completely (to mere mortals like I) breezeless day, I see smoke drifting downwind more than 1 hex. Is it a smoke problem or an EC problem?

Ian
 

Xavier 658

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IMHO, Smoke is far too powerful in ASL. To create a screen of Smoke and conceral everything behind it, like it can happen in ASL just with a single Smoke OBA mission, you would need dozens of shells and an important concentration of guns.

Smoke in ASL is too thick.

In reality, it can hinder movements and so, but only a little bit and for a short period of time (even by ASL standards).

Furthermore, I always ask to myself when firing with my Stug (S8) a Smoke shell and while needing a 6, I roll a 7.... where does the shell lands? Sure, this is another problem....

But to sum up, I really think Smoke is far too powerful in ASL.

Cheers;

X
 

klasmalmstrom

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Furthermore, I always ask to myself when firing with my Stug (S8) a Smoke shell and while needing a 6, I roll a 7.... where does the shell lands? Sure, this is another problem....
Since each "shot" fired actually represents "the firing of an unspecified number of rounds" (footnote C8), in this case I would assume the the rounds fired are not concentrated enough to create a hindering Smoke Screen.
 

Tater

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Since each "shot" fired actually represents "the firing of an unspecified number of rounds" (footnote C8), in this case I would assume the the rounds fired are not concentrated enough to create a hindering Smoke Screen.
That is also my understanding...but then why not a chance for dispersed smoke? Say if you have a s8 usage and you need a final TH of 5 ('?' enemy) and you get a final roll of 6...why not place a dispersed smoke. I mean if the actual smoke shot represents multiple rounds in the attempt then shouldn't there be at least some varying degrees of effect other than "all or nothing".

I can't really speak to whether it is to strong in ASL or not...I've never seen real-life smoke (of any kind) placed. However, I would like those folks who think it is to strong to please explain why so few players (even the good/experienced types) actually use smoke. One would think that, being so strong/powerful, smoke would see more use. I suspect the reason it isn't used that much is because smoke is an iffy thing to get/keep and one normally has to give up something else (with equal potential value) just to have a "chance" at getting smoke. So, whatever strength one might think smoke operates at...it is balanced by it's "iffy" nature AND the need to "trade-off" just to get a chance at smoke.
 

alanp

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good points, Tater, in your second paragraph especially. SMOKE is great for hindering, meaning it makes fire less effective and movement in LOS safer. Only one side in any given scenario will, generally, see that as a good thing so only one side has any incentive to use it (at any given time, anyway.)

I'm also firmly convinced that players focus too much on shooting and they tend to focus on firing just about any kind of ammo besides SMOKE from a weapon.

While it seems a bit weird that SMOKE can cause either +3 Hindrance or nothing (where does it land, anyway?), I don't think it's too strong. And as we often see and discuss, if you see a problem in a rule, it's 1) often your view of reality that causes the issue; and 2)even if most ASLers agree with you what exactly will your 'fix' look like, keeping in mind the trade-off between playability and realism.
 

paulkenny

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I think infantry smoke should flip to +1 for final fire.
 

'Ol Fezziwig

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SMOKE could probably be better represented by the counter (and existing duration mechanics) but with a variable hindrance DRM a la dust...IMHuO
 

SlyFrog

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I often wonder how prevelant infantry smoke grenades were and how often they were used to screen movement as they are in ASL.
This is a very fuzzy memory (so who knows, it may be inaccurate), but I recall reading in the Combat Mission (computer game) manual that they did not include infantry smoke grenades because they could not find any historical record of them being used (or at least for anything but basic position marking, definitely not for masking movement).
 

Bret Hildebran

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Were they used often? Were they standard issue to squad leaders in some armies?
"Black Edelweiss" has multiple accounts of smoke grenades used for cover in combat situations. SS Mountain division primarily fighting in Finland & then involved around Operation Nordwind on the Western front.

Also as JD mentioned I know I've read PTO accounts by USMC/Army individuals where smoke grenades are used, although precisely which books I can't say with certainty. Maybe Sledge's "With the Old Breed"?

If Combat Mission truly didn't use them due to historical reasons, I don't think they did much digging through history...
 

Xavier 658

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Hi,

I can't really speak to whether it is to strong in ASL or not...I've never seen real-life smoke (of any kind) placed.
I have seen several kinds of smoke, and even fired some WP salvos. The wind can remove it very quickly btw. And the smoke screens couldn't hinder LOS like in ASL, or better said, couldn't block it with a "+6 hindrance".

However, I would like those folks who think it is to strong to please explain why so few players (even the good/experienced types) actually use smoke.
Maybe because they are not aware of its power, or maybe because they prefer to move... Also, you don't have the chance to have many smoke capable assets in each of the scenario you play. Maybe also you haven't played that many guys who do like using Smoke.

Many players are aware of the AFV freeze, but not that many people uses it simply because of the risk taken. I think it's just a matter of playing style. But IMO, Smoke is too powerful in ASL (and when i can use it, I always try to take out the best of it).

"Bonsoir" from Paris :smoke:

X
 

Will Fleming

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However, I would like those folks who think it is to strong to please explain why so few players (even the good/experienced types) actually use smoke. One would think that, being so strong/powerful, smoke would see more use. I suspect the reason it isn't used that much is because smoke is an iffy thing to get/keep and one normally has to give up something else (with equal potential value) just to have a "chance" at getting smoke.
/Remembers old note to self, "Don't cross Tate." and treads softly. :smoke:

I am not disputing your finding in your playings. I am sure you are correct, but I see SMOKE used a lot. Each of us has our own interpretation of "a lot" is. For me, I can't get enough of the stuff and find it is often the best thing you have to counter that 9-2 or other key unit. I suspect the designers didn't give you a set number of rounds and went with the S# system because having guaranteed SMOKE would be too strong. I would venture a guess that both Bendis/Shelling used SMOKE in their recent ASL Open playings.

In addition, while I agree it is iffy, trying for SMOKE has few drawbacks. You don't really give up anything by trying it--other than possibly malfunctioning the weapon. Maybe an extra sniper roll? If you get it and aren't a MTR/miss rate, you loose the weapon's normal shot, but a full strength SMOKE counter is more devastating than the average shot from a SMOKE capable weapon.

On defense, I use it less, but it can still help neutralize an attacking fire base or make it harder to get to a location. I am sure a scenario has been won/lost due to the extra MF making a location inaccessible on the last turn.

As noted, WP is very nice against caves.

IMHO, it probably is too strong. I also agree with Xavier's point about the smoke landing somewhere. Tate, your dispersed SMOKE idea is a good one. Perhaps if you miss by one, place dispersed SMOKE in the target hex, if you miss by two, place it in a randomly selected adjacent hex. Miss by two or more...well, the firers suck and get nothing.

Of course, YMMV and it depends on the situation. My experience has been that in most scenarios, SMOKE ammunition is used quite a bit. I almost always choose SMOKE and will even fire SMOKE OBA, which can be devastating to a defense.
 
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Will Fleming

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This is a very fuzzy memory (so who knows, it may be inaccurate), but I recall reading in the Combat Mission (computer game) manual that they did not include infantry smoke grenades because they could not find any historical record of them being used (or at least for anything but basic position marking, definitely not for masking movement).
Your memory is better than you give yourself credit for. I recently re-read the manual and it states that almost exactly.

There is probably a mix of truth to both arguments. I doubt it was as prevalent as ASL makes us believe, but I suspect the real reason battlefront took it out of the CM series was that it was difficult to model well and added too much complexity to the system.

Gotta meet your production deadlines right?
 

Blackcloud6

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I commented on this awhile ago and got blasted away by trying a reality argument.

I think that smoke is too readily available in ASL for what I perceive, from what I read, was it's actual use in WWII.

Also, form experience as a mortar platoon leader, I would say that OBA emplaced smoke may not be representing actual artillery/mortar smoke correctly. Setting up a smoke screen is very difficultwith real artillery and can take 20-30 minutes of firing to get all the rounds in place. What ASL may be replicating is the "immediate" smoke mission where a number of smoke rounds are fired to lay a short, quick screen. If so, to me, the 7 hex screen of ASL may be too large for such a mssion. Also, most artillery delivered smoke is linear and not a big clump.
 
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