How to become better at using AFVs in ASL?

Actionjick

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This is a spinoff of the " prolific tank killer " thread. I found it interesting that bad use of AFV's was some of the responses. The more I thought about it the more I tended to agree. In that thread JoeArthur`s response was " me, I just don't do tanks well ".

In the same thread I said that Fish thought AFVs were too dicey. Maso1 asked why Fish felt that way and my feeble answer was that I was luckier with AFVs than Fish was. Probably true but not very instructive. Sparafucil3 had a much better answer when he observed that when bad things happened to AFVs it was usually permanent. A useful answer, thanks Jim. For all their strengths AFVs do have their weaknesses. I would tell Joe the first step to becoming a better player when it comes to AFVs is to know both.

My advice would be to ALWAYS look at you and your opponent's AFV counters. Review what all those squares, circles, different numbers and colors mean. Don't just look at the scenario, pull the counter and examine it. This could mean the difference between victory and defeat. An example, which I've previously related follows.

I was playing McGrath in " Italian Brothers ". He was freely moving his AFVs around and it wasn't till after my defeat that I realized his AFVs were radioless and should have been using Platoon Movement! I dont remember the majority of scenarios I played but this one sticks with me. As a result of this " oversight " I resolved two things.

I would always examine all the counters in a scenario to understand their capabilities and I would become a master of Platoon Movement. The first resolution wasn't always carried through but the second was achieved. I highly recommend this as a great learning tool. Pick a rule and become Grofaz at it. It just may come in handy sometime.

So if you have advice or tips for those players who feel that they don't do tanks well please share it. Or if you dont do tanks well and have a question on rules or tactics please ask.
 
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bendizoid

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If you don’t know what to do keep your tanks together, mutual support. Try to find a spot to park that does multiple things at once, provide cover and firepower at the same time. Quickly count your complete tank move either in your head or quietly count it on the board before you make your actual move to make sure you have the MPs to do what you want to accomplish. Use bypass sleaze to crack defenses.
There’s a few.
 

Sparafucil3

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Know the VC. If the VC doesn't put a cap on CVP or require the AFV's to be alive at game end, make sure they die doing something useful. Enemy Infantry close to your tanks is not going to end well, especially if that Infantry has SCW (Inherent or otherwise). one of your tanks in motion in your opponent's turn is a tank that will be dead in your next MPh (or sooner). Try to park next to some sort of hard-cover. If a behemoth pulls up to kill you, don't sleep on the ability to go in motion, freely change CA, and scoot out of harms way in your own MPh (if you survive that long). Know the dance of death and all your CA options. Read the vehicle notes. A tank without an MA is still a smoke generating mobile pillbox. It also still cuts off rout paths. Know the rule on stop and delay. It sucks to be a rules lawyer, but if you want to sleaze my position, you better know that you can't "enter for 2 in bypass remain in motion and delay the rest". If you have the MP's, it rarely hurts to stop and try for hull-down. Bounding First Fire shots are usually way more likely to hit than you think. If you're letting your opponent do that and you're comfortable, you should probably take another look at the TH Modifiers for a BFF AFV. As Bob says, a tank on its own is a dead tank. That's OK if it dies with a purpose but rarely is it a good idea. Some tanks are going to die. It's inevitable. Just make sure they die with a purpose and the risk was worth the reward. A tank dying trying to get to the rear to cut rout paths is probably a good risk. Maybe the crew will survive the bailout to get the same effect. A tank dying to kill another AFV that is not part of the VC is probably a waste. Know what you need to accomplish and make sure your tanks are supporting those objectives. It helps to roll low twice in a row. It's no good to hit on a 5 and then roll the TK and have a 10 for a NE.

It's 0300 here and I am tired or I could come up with more. Last one:

Play against someone who is good with their AFV and watch how they do it. Ask questions if they do something you don't understand, especially if they do it over and over. You'll definitely learn something.

OK, one more: don't play late war if you're trying to learn AFVs. Play early war. The TH/TK's are such that you'll work for every pip on the die for both the TH and TK modifiers. It will help to ingest and retain the rules and to learn proper application of those rules. The Tin-cans and Pop-guns mini at ASLOk is often filled with some of the best ASL player's at ASLOk. Enter that if you have an opportunity. It will be dicey, but that means you can beat a better player with some good fortune :) -- jim
 

bendizoid

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Most important, like Jim said, learn the go motion rule and use 2 MP ‘short halts’ to stop it.

Oh, please stay at least 7 hexes away in your panther and tiger tanks.
 

Fort

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This is a spinoff of the " prolific tank killer " thread. I found it interesting that bad use of AFV's was some of the responses. The more I thought about it the more I tended to agree. In that thread JoeArthur`s response was " me, I just don't do tanks well ".

In the same thread I said that Fish thought AFVs were too dicey. Maso1 asked why Fish felt that way and my feeble answer was that I was luckier with AFVs than Fish was. Probably true but not very instructive. Sparafucil3 had a much better answer when he observed that when bad things happened to AFVs it was usually permanent. A useful answer, thanks Jim. For all their strengths AFVs do have their weaknesses. I would tell Joe the first step to becoming a better player when it comes to AFVs is to know both.

My advice would be to ALWAYS look at you and your opponent's AFV counters. Review what all those squares, circles, different numbers and colors mean. Don't just look at the scenario, pull the counter and examine it. This could mean the difference between victory and defeat. An example, which I've previously related follows.

I was playing McGrath in " Italian Brothers ". He was freely moving his AFVs around and it wasn't till after my defeat that I realized his AFVs were radioless and should have been using Platoon Movement! I dont remember the majority of scenarios I played but this one sticks with me. As a result of this " oversight " I resolved two things.

I would always examine all the counters in a scenario to understand their capabilities and I would become a master of Platoon Movement. The first resolution wasn't always carried through but the second was achieved. I highly recommend this as a great learning tool. Pick a rule and become Grofaz at it. It just may come in handy sometime.

So if you have advice or tips for those players who feel that they don't do tanks well please share it. Or if you dont do tanks well and have a question on rules or tactics please ask.
Chaney always said, "Tanks don't rout."
 

The Purist

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'Panzer Gegen Panzer' written way back in the days of ASL Annuals and reprinted in the OoA1 is an excellent read and was my primer to getting a handle on tanks. The super tanks are deadly enough but don't discount a Pz I, L3/35 or TKS. This early tanks are usually small or very small targets and can be very deadly when used correctly.
 
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Craig Benn

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You don't have to move and attack with your AFV every turn.

You get a benefit simply from it existing - a fleet in being concept - in how it restricts your enemy's movement/occupies the attention of his AFVs.

When you maneuver to take a shot, make sure it's your last 2MP in enemy LOS to lessen the chances of a motion attempt.

Conversely choose a position where after a successful Motion attempt, your first MP gets you out of LOS from a likely enemy firing position.

Don't fire your main gun for acquisition when you hit on 2s due to Bounding fire/other mods and your opponent can get out of LOS before a 2and shot. Don't fire at infantry with main gun when theres serious tank contest.

Very rarely worth trying to fix your main gun when it malfs.
 

STAVKA

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... Know the rule on stop and delay. It sucks to be a rules lawyer, but if you want to sleaze my position, you better know that you can't "enter for 2 in bypass remain in motion and delay the rest".
It is very often allowed to to enter for 2 MP in bypass and delay the rest while in Motion, and if you know the rules it is 100% sure move. Old school rule know how - since the early beginning of ASL,
 

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It is very often allowed to to enter for 2 MP in bypass and delay the rest while in Motion, and if you know the rules it is 100% sure move. Old school rule know how - since the early beginning of ASL,
We'll agree to disagree.

D2.18 A vehicle is not prohibited from expending more MP to enter a hex than the minimum required, and may, as it enters a new hex, declare a higher-than-necessary MP expenditure.
I can't read the part not in English and I don't trust Google translate. I presume you're going to claim "I want to spend everything else I have left +1 MP to enter the next hex but I can't so I will remain here in this hex, without stopping, delaying, etc". That's not what D2.18 allows. D2.18 says you may spend more to enter a hex than the minimum, the emphasis being on entering the hex. The phrase "as it enters the new hex" explicitly states you may do so only as you enter the next hex. If you don't enter the hex, you don't get to spend more than the minimum. If you have more MP's left, you're going to have to find some other way to bleed off the MP's you have left besides resorting to that line of reasoning. -- jim
 

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'Panzer Gegen Panzer' written way back in the days of ASL Annuals and reprinted in the OoA1 is an excellent read and was my primer to getting a handle on tanks. The super tanks are deadly enough but discount a Pz I, L3/35 or TKS. This early tanks are usually small or very small targets and can be very deadly when used correctly.
It's a good article but I take some exception with it. Bruce's point about "taking the first shot of the engagement" is critical but I think his definition of "first shot" as one which places acquisition is dangerous. A BFF shot at a point blank target (+1/+2 TH DRM) from a CE tank can easily get to hit on a DR 7 or less. If the target is large/double large it can easily go much larger. Armor leaders lurking in some tank you don't know about is even more so. Waiting to take these shots until AFPh to gain acq rather than take them in B1F is very risky. IMO, I would rather take the shots as B1F with enough MP's left to get out of the line of fire if possible. Even if you aren't point blank, the TH at ranges <= 6 are uncomfortable, especially in late war scenarios where a hit is an almost guaranteed kill. JMO, YMMV. -- jim
 

Actionjick

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It's a good article but I take some exception with it. Bruce's point about "taking the first shot of the engagement" is critical but I think his definition of "first shot" as one which places acquisition is dangerous. A BFF shot at a point blank target (+1/+2 TH DRM) from a CE tank can easily get to hit on a DR 7 or less. If the target is large/double large it can easily go much larger. Armor leaders lurking in some tank you don't know about is even more so. Waiting to take these shots until AFPh to gain acq rather than take them in B1F is very risky. IMO, I would rather take the shots as B1F with enough MP's left to get out of the line of fire if possible. Even if you aren't point blank, the TH at ranges <= 6 are uncomfortable, especially in late war scenarios where a hit is an almost guaranteed kill. JMO, YMMV. -- jim
OMOOT. YMMV?
 

The Purist

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That's true but I think the "take the first shot that places Acq" advice may refer to engagements where you cannot get the PB shot at the flank or rear. In any case, every engagement will require applying the 'rules' in a slightly different manner.

I remember reading years ago that "Counterattack at Sidi Bou Zid" (A20 from Annual 90) is a good training scenario for a new player learning how to use tanks. Give them the Germans Pz IIIs and IVs with the experienced player taking the American M4a1s. All the goodies are there,.... red v black TH #s, gaining and losing acq, HD, large vs regular target size, L guns, range effects on penetration, vehicle dust, etc. I still think that scenario is one of the fun tank v tank clashes even though the US would need extreme luck to pull out a win.
 

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We'll agree to disagree.


I can't read the part not in English and I don't trust Google translate. I presume you're going to claim "I want to spend everything else I have left +1 MP to enter the next hex but I can't so I will remain here in this hex, without stopping, delaying, etc". That's not what D2.18 allows. D2.18 says you may spend more to enter a hex than the minimum, the emphasis being on entering the hex. The phrase "as it enters the new hex" explicitly states you may do so only as you enter the next hex. If you don't enter the hex, you don't get to spend more than the minimum. If you have more MP's left, you're going to have to find some other way to bleed off the MP's you have left besides resorting to that line of reasoning. -- jim
You are wrong, the rule is clear enough.

D2.4 MOTION STATUS: .A Vehicle may end its MPh in Motion without expending all of its MP only if it has insufficient MP remaining to enter the next hex it wishes to enter.
 

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That's true but I think the "take the first shot that places Acq" advice may refer to engagements where you cannot get the PB shot at the flank or rear. In any case, every engagement will require applying the 'rules' in a slightly different manner.
It has been a long time since I read it. I may have to dig out my PDF copies and read it again. I recall the lesson I took was "get acqs" then I watched Fort/Chaney tear apart my AFV's with BFF shots and thought to myself, I am missing something and started looking at the math. It is much closer than I originally thought, especially when the guy shooting back has to change TCA and is BU. -- jim
 

Sparafucil3

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You are wrong, the rule is clear enough.

D2.4 MOTION STATUS: .A Vehicle may end its MPh in Motion without expending all of its MP only if it has insufficient MP remaining to enter the next hex it wishes to enter.
I know the rule. We both know the AFV doesn't "wish" to enter another Location. It "wishes" to stay right where it is. Secondly, C1/D1 are illegal destinations. Neither is in the VCA so not a valid movement option as depicted in the picture. You can't declare a move which isn't permitted within the rules as your wish just to avoid having to spend the rest of your MP. Further proof that the "wish" is to stay where it is. Why not declare a desire to enter G8 instead? Or the moon for that matter. It would be just as reasonable. At the very least, to enter D1, it would have to continue to the D2/C2 hexside. The declaration to enter C1 would take a whole lot more. After that, I think the rule is unclear. I find it hard to believe the intent of the rule was to also stop all D1F against that unit after the point of the declaration (saying it has ended it's MPh without spending the rest of its MP's also stops D1F which is the exact opposite of what D1 says). We'll see what Perry Sez. I sent the request to him. -- jim
 

The Purist

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It has been a long time since I read it. I may have to dig out my PDF copies and read it again. I recall the lesson I took was "get acqs" then I watched Fort/Chaney tear apart my AFV's with BFF shots and thought to myself, I am missing something and started looking at the math. It is much closer than I originally thought, especially when the guy shooting back has to change TCA and is BU. -- jim
I believe we agree that PB range is the best opportunity to score a hit/kill in the MPh. Just as I am sure most experience players will try to support their vehicles so the opposition can't run up an put a paint shell into the back of your Mk VI



Although it does make "pretty pictures" and "scares the hell outta people". Two highly sought after objectives in an tank battle. ;)

 
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