Modern ASL

Magpie

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Hi all, I put this under chit chat as it's more just tossing around ideas.

I know about the VFFT "modern" rules and I have heard of the ASLUG MASL (not seen the rules) but I feel these ones seem to fall a bit short or are maybe a bit over complicated.

Does anyone have any thoughts about how ASL could be expanded to include modern-day day forces ?
 

synicbast

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it could be expanded, but more importantly should it be?
Personally my view is that the changes and modifications would be far better produced and marketed as a completely separate stand alone game not incorporated as part of the ASL pantheon. FW Korea is about as far as the current system can be taken without a complete revision to core structural components such as SOP, Inf vs Vehicle, Vehicle vs Vehicle and so on
 

Magpie

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I don't agree, i actually don't think there is much to change at all, however I understand your view point.

If we can keep this thread confined to the "what if we did" rather that "should we" that'd be appreciated.
 

R Hooks

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I don't see ASL as applying after Korea, except early battles over Israel. I agree with synicbast that after that it should be a new game. But I would buy it.
ASL has always been an infantry game that handles tanks very well, but what I think of as modern combat has greatly changed infantry tactics, so it supports armor better then WW2.
Modern ASL would need IMO a total redesign of infantry units, their firepower, and how many support weapons they can use.
 
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Magpie

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Again, I respect that view, disagree and ask if in this thread we can look at how it might work rather than say it won't.
 

synicbast

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Before we even look at how it might work, the immediate questions I am seeing are:
  1. How do you deal with 1st, 2nd and third generation ATGW within the current turn sequence?
  2. How do you differentiate credibly between Homogenous armour, Spaced armour, Chobham style Armour and ERA style armour using the existing Armour rating system
  3. How do you distuinguish between fire control systems such as Ranging MG, Integrated FCS, Laser Rangefinders etc?
  4. Do you use the existing IFT and deal with the exponentially increased firepower of infantryt teams etc or do you create a brand new IFT to deal specifically with modern firepower volumes and efficiency?
  5. Is Command and Control something to be revisited and emphasised or is Morale the only real determinant?
  6. How do we replicate the "empty battlefield"?
For me these are fundamental questions that need to be answered before I even look at any tactical modern game
 

Magpie

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Before we even look at how it might work, the immediate questions I am seeing are:
  1. How do you deal with 1st, 2nd and third generation ATGW within the current turn sequence?
  2. How do you differentiate credibly between Homogenous armour, Spaced armour, Chobham style Armour and ERA style armour using the existing Armour rating system
  3. How do you distuinguish between fire control systems such as Ranging MG, Integrated FCS, Laser Rangefinders etc?
  4. Do you use the existing IFT and deal with the exponentially increased firepower of infantryt teams etc or do you create a brand new IFT to deal specifically with modern firepower volumes and efficiency?
  5. Is Command and Control something to be revisited and emphasised or is Morale the only real determinant?
  6. How do we replicate the "empty battlefield"?
For me these are fundamental questions that need to be answered before I even look at any tactical modern game
  1. ATGW are just highly accurate HEAT weapons that take a bit longer to hit. That can be dealt with in terms of their TH modifiers, TK numbers with a -slight possibility- of reaction fire based on range to target.
  2. The present rules don't differentiate between RHA and Face Hardened per se, such kinetic energy resistance definitions can be accounted for by modifications to the basic Armour Factors. TK# Modifiers v HEAT can be handled in a similar fashion to the present, albeit very erroneous, Schurzen rules
  3. Modifiers to the To Hit number/ROF. Ranging MG will give a better chance of a first round hit while increasing the engagement time a bit but still within the realms of the WW2 method of bracketing. Integrated FCS can be modelled by a better rate of fire in a similar manner to the M4's white ROF. Same applies to Laser Ranging.
  4. IFT remains the same, firepower hasn't changed out landishly since WW2 at the squad level, but the number of soldiers required to output that firepower has.
  5. Better command and control can be modelled with better control of support, ie OBA, Air Support etc. Possibly look at noncontiguous hex fire groups to represent squad radios and things like that.
  6. Empty battlefield comes naturally from the radio concept above and coupling that with half squads being more powerful. I'm thinking along the lines of a 4-5-X being a half squad from and 8-5-X squad.
I'd also add that the primary focus of a Modern ASL is more aimed at the actual conflicts that have been fought which for the most part have been low intensity conflicts rather than "Russians overrun Western Europe".
Although I don't see The Battle of the 73rd Easting being impossible, certainly no more so than Pokrovka
 
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synicbast

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okay thanks for responding.

1. I disagree quite stroingly with lumping ATGMs into a single category; the differences between 1st gen weapons such as Sagger, 2nd gen such as Swingfire, HOT and TOW, and third gen Fire and Forget targeting vis a vis the relative vulnerability of the operator to defensive fire, target defensive reaction and the flight times is pronounced. I do not see how using the current SOP you can show those significant differences easily if at all.

2. ASL armour ratings are based on relative thickness in cms for homogenous armour. Given that the various types of armour have different effectiveness vs not HEAT but sub-calibre penetrators, HESH type rounds, it's a little much to think that a single AF rating will be able to offer a meaningful differentiation against the various types of rounds to a degree where the feel of modern advances in ammunition types is a given. as an example, the French 105mm smoothbore as used in the AMX-30 used a Fin stabilised HEAT round that was far more effective against all types of armour than its APDS round was at similar ranges (and a subsequent APFSDS had to be developped) yet I'm not sure that this could be modelled at all using already established.

  1. the available effective ranged firepower of a modern 4 man fire team is far superior to that of any 8-12 man WW2 section/squad
  2. I cannot parse the opening sentence in relation to command and control as those are force multipliers and support assets.
6. I thought you might go with just increasing the FP - but the empty battlefield also entails a much reduced effective lethality - the IFT is a brute force solution, the higher the column, the easier it is to mission kill - increasing the FP doesn't change that it just exacerbates the effectiveness of any shot regardless of cover. I think an emphasis on suppressive fire results is far more important than mission kill KIA results and the frequency of such should increase comparatively. Especially if you intend to model low intensity conflicts.

There are enough high intensity conflicts- albeit of shortish duration - within the last 35-40 years alone (ie since the Falklands) to require consideration of this level of detail - ASL is a detail oriented game, that is a large part of its attraction and also one of its flaws.

Cold War Gone Hot hypothetical conventional conflict has always been a huge selling point subject wise - in the 70s and 80s we had SPI's Central Front, GDW's Assault and Third World War series, the 90s in miniatures was very strong with Command Decision (GDW), Challenger (TTG) and WRG's 1950-1985 and 1950-2000 rules sets, and now in miniatures the popularity of FOW's team yankee rules is at a high point.

The thing is, many of those miniatures rules sets are set at the same level as ASL in terms of company level plus supporting assets and they have significant systemic differences from their WW2 brethren rules sets because those systemic changes are required in order to more effectively model and resonate with the changes in modern warfare at the tactical level.

At the level of ASL, what we now call low intensity conflicts are very much high intensity tactical situations.


anyway we're obviously coming from a different understanding of what modern tactical warfare entails and involves so I'll cede the floor
 

Magpie

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  1. I'm not suggesting lumping them into a single category. Each would have it's own attributes in terms of accuracy. The current rules rate things for accuracy via DRM's these would be no different.
  2. Penetration v Armour factor covers all of that, it's just a matter of the degree. There is no issue there at all.
" the available effective ranged firepower of a modern 4 man fire team is far superior to that of any 8-12 man WW2 section/squad" - 3 M16s and a SAW? don't think so.
" I cannot parse the opening sentence in relation to command and control as those are force multipliers and support assets." Strange use of the word parse, but in ASL what other command and control is there?
6. Why change the IFT? Bullets are bullets it's the "target density" that has changed and TBH at platoon level actions the density really hasn't changed a lot. "Empty battlefield is a concept for higher level formations beyond the scope of ASL.

The Falklands, being essentially an infantry only campaign fits right in with the low-intensity conflict concept.

Cold war gone hot is popular, but not the subject of the largely historical based nature of ASL and not under consideration. Having said that there is no impediment to modelling Desert Storm actions and similar.

"anyway we're obviously coming from a different understanding of what modern tactical warfare entails and involves so I'll cede the floor " - I suppose so, mine's from 15 years doing it for a job.

As I said earlier, the intent of this thread is to bat around ideas of how to make it work, not pile on the negatives of why it wouldn't
 
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Jazz

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Great discussion.

I do agree that the system would require substantial rework to be viable for "modern" ('73 and later) combat.

- The flight time of guided munitions being an appreciable chunk of the theoretical turn length and the associated possibility of interdiction of the guiding units would required a fundamental change to at least some aspects of the turn sequence.

-The matrix of possible armor vs possible warhead technology is substantially more intricate and involved than the same discussion about WWII. Indeed, there have been a number of folks (notably Kinetic Energy and their early Korea development which never saw the light of day) that held that SCW in WWII were not nearly as devastating as represented in the current ASL system.

-If one wants to deal with a modern system, one had better be ready to deal with large high intensity events such as Desert Storm, Yom Kippur '73, and the Warsaw Pact/NATO balloon going up, as well as the low-mid intensity events mentioned.

None of these is a show stopper, but each is enough to change the system to the point where it cannot continue to be called ASL and can be implemented by a mere additional module.

JMMHO, as always.
 

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Isn't most of this already covered in the MBT series put out by GMT?
 

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Isn't most of this already covered in the MBT series put out by GMT?
I was thinking the same thing. Too lazy to look now as I have that game in my closet but maybe some day I will look at it.
 

MAS01

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From the BGG overview of MBT:

"The scale is right down in the weeds with individual vehicles, infantry squads, half squads and sections. Each hex is just 100 meters across, so it is going to be nose-to-nose action at its finest."
 

macrobo

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My 2 cents

If we going to proceed we need to look more at the way we did Korea - what battles existed and then what vehicles (or weapons) and then grow realism from there - I find the Korean MMP series the hardest I have ever played - Its beyond what the Desert, Jungle, Nasty city fight like Budapest - its that characteristic that I must try and master by repetitive play (first run through almost finished) - so remember the conflicts of modern ASL are not "Panzer Divisions" but groups of a number of tanks in a particular area - or a specialist weapon system.

I know there is a lot of negative opinions about CH so lets not start that argument but in their experimental world - where people contribute that are not Ray - I have seen attempts at adding what is needed for the operation - this is often terrain, a weapon, occasionally a vehicle type or environment - This is mainly done for WW2 - so their recent Partisan series I tried (I don't think it worked after a few games) and the big dense German forest stuff that again is experimental - there are other examples like Maxim Gorky, the D-Day landings and the esoteric set of Japanese battles like the Wake module etc - all have the experimental feel using the current game system with additions that come from historical documents - I remember one Omaha West one that tried to demonstrate how Cota saved the day - very dinky really when I played it

So with their post WW2 stuff they have Korea, Vietnam, Arab Israeli and other places (they are nearly all not Rays work so they are designers with a want to progress) - When you try and play them - you see the kinks but I had a problem that I am not an avid military historian or armorer - I just carried a modern rifle in an Aussie Squad with an Mg and had annoying tanks and jets ruin my day- but this stuff they tried was representing an operation - with the exception of the Arab- Israeli series - there are no massive armor thrusts etc etc - so to design something historical was their plan. I am not swearing by it but its an attempt.

So I think it took 10+ years and a lot for MMP to get Korea on the playlist - their scenarios are very unique - they are more than any Finn or Japanese sortie
It would take a huge effort to get a modern battle to that level but it would be a small battle not a World War.

So I would respect that effort and realize that the TPP world is were you might develop things "Magpie" (If only our dear US friends realized how annoying that bird is!) - CH is not a cup of tea for many but they will continue to experiment - LeFT, BFF, Tampa Group and Dispatches (just to name a few) may one day cross some boundary but they have so much WW2 yet to cover well! - They may take your challenge of it being "too hard" to figure whether the concerns that people have expressed are more than theoretical or was it actually true that most of the "super duper" toys in a modern battle like Vietnam and even "Desert Storm" broke down >50% of the time (mine always did) and still the poor infantry soldier had a gun and a knife in the end to battle away versus the enemy and "Squad Leader" is about how the NCO or junior officer is actually still is soooo important in the battle field (having been led by multiple bad NCOs and Officers myself!) - so I think its doable but a very long project

My thoughts

Rob:)
 

Magpie

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Flight time of ATGW is often mentioned as a seemingly insurmountable hurdle. No idea why. The flight time of an ATGW is a fixed rate, so very easy to model.
The early Sagger was around 13seconds to 1000m, 25 Hexes, so well within the time frame of a single ASL turn of 2 minutes. Only thing to sort out is the defensive reaction. Pretty easily handled within the current system of TCs and motion attempts for prep fire ATGW and equally when Defensive firing ATGW you can work out the allowable MP expenditure for the target given the time of flight.
Perhaps an option is to only permit ATGW fire in Defensive Fire to simulate the longer time of flight, their role as a defensive weapon and reload times etc

Similarly weapon v armour is just another set of factors that are already in the game and no special game breaking new rules are needed.
Chobham, Dorchester, Spaced, ERA and even the new kinetic protection systems can all be modelled using the present TK# system.

There's no reason you can't put every desert board you own on the table and have IDF Centurions plink Egyptian T55s.
 

Magpie

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In regards of development time frames i think there is a lot more going on with Forgotten War than just developing the rules. When you look at all the components produced and the development, design and production effort involved contrasted with available funding and cash flows I'd suggest the main thing holding back its release was the capital investment that was needed to get it out the door.

I apologise if you find my speculation annoying.
 
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