Learning Solitaire - Daft question #4

PhilC

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Within my limited exposure to ASL, Skulking always seems "gamey" and not really in the spirit of the system (my opinion only ):) but I do understand if only one side is skulking, things are unbalanced.
As SASL AI doesn't use it as a tactic, it seems I can (happily) dispense with it's use. Is there a general consensus on it's use within SASL? ...am I missing something?
thanks in advance
 

ScottRomanowski

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I skulk my units if needed when playing SASL, but I follow the SASL rules for the enemy units, which don't skulk. But then again SASL can be unbalanced in that every S? could activate.
 

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Within my limited exposure to ASL, Skulking always seems "gamey" and not really in the spirit of the system (my opinion only ):) but I do understand if only one side is skulking, things are unbalanced.
As SASL AI doesn't use it as a tactic, it seems I can (happily) dispense with it's use. Is there a general consensus on it's use within SASL? ...am I missing something?
thanks in advance
Well I don't know anything about SASL but am an unabashed advocate of skulking. Regardless of our differing views I wish you good gunnin and hope those who play SASL can answer your questions about it.

BTW no daft questions when it comes to ASL.
 
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Robin Reeve

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Skulking is certainly part of the system.
It was evoked in an article of the General at the time of Cross of Iron, and the move towards ASL didn't try to correct the game to avoid skulking.
Learn to exploit the system by all legal means.
ASL is a game, not a simulation.
 

A_T_Great

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Within my limited exposure to ASL, Skulking always seems "gamey" and not really in the spirit of the system (my opinion only ):) but I do understand if only one side is skulking, things are unbalanced.
As SASL AI doesn't use it as a tactic, it seems I can (happily) dispense with it's use. Is there a general consensus on it's use within SASL? ...am I missing something?
thanks in advance
SASL Games are never balanced. I think you will find that even if you use skulking, the AI will be hard to beat.
 

Honosbinda

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Also important is the 'reverse skulk' technique, that is, baiting the AI with a HS (ideally concealed), or even a dummy stack, triggering defensive fire away from more important units doing something nefarious.

In a way SASL is even more gamey than regular ASL when it comes to tricking the lunatic AI to do things a decent real ASL player never would. Some players recognize this and try to play the AI enemy in a less gullible fashion.

OP: as for any comments that ASL is not a simulation, ignore them. This is an popular (thumb-attracting) but incorrect pronouncement and fails to recognize what ASL is about. ASL is not just a 'game' because it definitely tries to simulate squad level combat and that's why we play it. We don't play it like some random kiddie game of chutes and ladders, which doesn't try to simulate anything real.

Nobody in their right mind would play ASL if they weren't interested in it as a simulation of WW2 combat on some level. They would play euro games filled with happy-faced enslaved meeples. Not something as elegant and complex as ASL.
 

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Also important is the 'reverse skulk' technique, that is, baiting the AI with a HS (ideally concealed), or even a dummy stack, triggering defensive fire away from more important units doing something nefarious.

In a way SASL is even more gamey than regular ASL when it comes to tricking the lunatic AI to do things a decent real ASL player never would. Some players recognize this and try to play the AI enemy in a less gullible fashion.

OP: as for any comments that ASL is not a simulation, ignore them. This is an popular (thumb-attracting) but incorrect pronouncement and fails to recognize what ASL is about. ASL is not just a 'game' because it definitely tries to simulate squad level combat and that's why we play it. We don't play it like some random kiddie game of chutes and ladders, which doesn't try to simulate anything real.

Nobody in their right mind would play ASL if they weren't interested in it as a simulation of WW2 combat on some level. They would play euro games filled with happy-faced enslaved meeples. Not something as elegant and complex as ASL.
Interesting about the AI.
 

Actionjick

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Also important is the 'reverse skulk' technique, that is, baiting the AI with a HS (ideally concealed), or even a dummy stack, triggering defensive fire away from more important units doing something nefarious.

In a way SASL is even more gamey than regular ASL when it comes to tricking the lunatic AI to do things a decent real ASL player never would. Some players recognize this and try to play the AI enemy in a less gullible fashion.

OP: as for any comments that ASL is not a simulation, ignore them. This is an popular (thumb-attracting) but incorrect pronouncement and fails to recognize what ASL is about. ASL is not just a 'game' because it definitely tries to simulate squad level combat and that's why we play it. We don't play it like some random kiddie game of chutes and ladders, which doesn't try to simulate anything real.

Nobody in their right mind would play ASL if they weren't interested in it as a simulation of WW2 combat on some level. They would play euro games filled with happy-faced enslaved meeples. Not something as elegant and complex as ASL.
I will say that for some ASL is primarily a game that attempts to give the flavor of WWII tactical combat. We were among those although our ranks are thinning. You are probably correct that today most ASL players enjoy it as a game but have more interest in the simulation aspects of it than as a game.

I would be curious to know how some of the real oldtimers view it. Nixon and Fortenberry come to mind. Both were/are affectionadoes of other games. Third Reich and Magic respectively.

Your qualifier of a simulation on some level is excellent. I always enjoyed the system but had it been presented as a different time than WWII I am not sure if it would have grabbed me as it did.
 
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Robin Reeve

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OP: as for any comments that ASL is not a simulation, ignore them. This is an popular (thumb-attracting) but incorrect pronouncement and fails to recognize what ASL is about. ASL is not just a 'game' because it definitely tries to simulate squad level combat and that's why we play it. We don't play it like some random kiddie game of chutes and ladders, which doesn't try to simulate anything real.
Telling people to ignore what other say is for the least rude (and saying it is "thumb-attracting" is not fair).
ASL is a simulation of a war movie.
Most of its mechanics, starting with the sequential game turn, makes it a wide approximation.
Being annoyed by skulking most often stems from an idea of "realism".
That is why we should remember that ASL remains a game full of abstractions, that we must do our best to make serve our objectives.
 
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Actionjick

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Telling people to ignore what other say is for the least rude.
ASL is a simulation of a war movie.
Most of its mechanics, starting with the sequential game turn, makes it a wide approximation.
Being annoyed by skulking most often stems from an idea of "realism".
That is why we should remember that ASL remains a game full of abstractions, that we must do our best to make serve our objectives.
Well said. Some look at the abstractions as annoyances. Others as conveniences. Everyone still seems to enjoy the game though. 🤗
 

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I have no issues with skulking but find it difficult to employ effectively in most SASL games, mostly due to the threat of panic and, often, the odds. On defense you are almost always heavily outnumbered by an opponent that doesn't care about losses. Pulling a bunch of your guys off the line to gain concealment leaves you very, very vulnerable to getting overwhelmed by a couple failed panic checks or bad CRT rolls. When playing a campaign, avoiding close combat should always be a high priority and skulking on defense invites melee. The large number of S? you face can make it difficult to find masked positions to gain concealment in any event. The fact the ENEMY won't be maneuvering to cut off your rout routes and rarely forms very high-FP firegroups means breaking from enemy fire isn't usually as lethal as in standard ASL so you can often afford to take more fire while unconcealed. (Though rallying broken units is usually harder since your leaders are more overtaxed.)

On offense skulking is hard to pull off even in standard ASL, in SASL you are often faced with a tight time limit made worse by the threat of panic delaying your advance. Skulking makes a fast advance even tougher - against an isolated position you're often better off trying to hammer your way through with firepower, imo.
 

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...one again, many thanks for your input.
 

Barking Monkey

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One other thing I'll mention, since this is a "learning" thread - When I first started on SASL, on a lark, I started a game log/journal. Just a summary of what side I played, the vital stats (AC#, RE#s, etc.), boards, weather, etc. and the final score/outcome. Also a quick summary of the game and any rules I learned or got wrong. This has proven to be very handy as it turns out. Even if all you record is a simple scorecard I think you'll find it worthwhile if you get hooked on the game. I think you'll find some missions to be tough and others usually pushovers. After you've played a mission a few times you'll have enough data to start handicapping them. This is also why I encourage players to enter their SASL games on the ASL Scenario Archive. Right now there's not really enough results to provide much insight, but eventually it could be a valuable resource - especially if MMP in fact ever reprints SASL and decides to balance the missions a bit.
 

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Nobody in their right mind would play ASL if they weren't interested in it as a simulation of WW2 combat on some level. They would play euro games filled with happy-faced enslaved meeples. Not something as elegant and complex as ASL.
I know a ASL player with little interest in WW2 history. He plays no other game but ASL. I thought it was strange when he didn’t know what a panther tank was but he loves the game alone. Sure, he’s an anomaly but people like him are out there.
 
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ASL may be less so than most games, but still everything is abstract to an extent. I think of the skulk maneuver as ‘going to ground’ and being especially cautious in finding a position. It makes sense considering it takes a unit so long to do it.
 

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I know a ASL player with little interest in WW2 history. He plays no other game but ASL. I thought it was strange when he didn’t know what a panther tank was but he loves the game alone. Sure, he’s an anomaly but people like him are out there.
Nice Bob! He found what I consider the best game around and he stuck with it. Well done to him. ASL is a big tent. 🤗
 

Actionjick

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ASL may be less so than most games, but still everything is abstract to an extent. I think of the skulk maneuver as ‘going to ground’ and being especially cautious in finding a position. It makes sense considering it takes a unit so long to do it.
Well said Sir!
Btw I did an Altering Songs today of Mr. Tambourine Man, Mr. Paramarine Man. Hope you don't mind, no offense meant
 
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