National Distinctions

Nineteen Kilo

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A25 National Distinctions - these "flavor" rules are some of my favorites and keep me coming back to ASL time and again.

This morning I was pondering which of these characteristics give the greatest advantage in a scenario? Belgian assault fire? Japanese banzai? Russian entrenching? Finn self-rally? British no cowering? US higher broken morale? Chinese Human Wave? Gurka hand to hand? etc.

So I pose to you which of these "special abilities" gives a player the greatest advantage?

Now I'm sure the instant reply will be "Kev it depends upon the situation." So here is the situation:
You are entering into a series of linked scenarios in which you will be controlling the Latverians (affectionately known as "Latties"), with the most generic of all first line troops - 4-5-7's with broken morale of 7 . In these linked scenarios you will sometimes be the Attacker, sometimes the Defender. Some scenarios will be set on Urban Boards, some on Rural Boards, some on Forest Boards, and some on Hill Boards (Latveria is famous for its geographical diversity). In some scenarios you will be out numbered, in others you will have a numerical advantage. Entering into the series of scenarios you have the ability to layer over the Latties a single national distinction from any other country's first line troops. Which one do you choose? And why?

*Edit*
Note I have edited the original post to indicate that I am not looking for a single Nation's characteristics, but rather a single attribute of a single nation.
 
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BattleSchool

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It depends? ;)

It depends for instance, on when the scenario is set, i.e. what year, and what kind of force mix your never-too-Latties expect to face. For example, ATMM/PF capability could be extremely important in a scenario set in 1945 when faced with the prospect of heaps of enemy armour.
 

Nineteen Kilo

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It depends? ;)

It depends for instance, on when the scenario is set, i.e. what year, and what kind of force mix your never-too-Latties expect to face. For example, ATMM/PF capability could be extremely important in a scenario set in 1945 when faced with the prospect of heaps of enemy armour.
OK smart guy :)

More on the situation: The date is July 1, 1942. The scenarios are heavily weighted toward infantry force pools. The opponents are the dreaded Wachovians - as luck would have it their troops are just as generic as the Latverians (what were chances of that happening?). The weather in Latveria is almost always clear and sunny. As I'm sure you already know the tactical doctrine of both the Latverians and Wachovians is to fight exclusively in the daylight hours.
 
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von Marwitz

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Probably the US 666 then:
  • Infantry Smoke Exponent of 3
  • Infantry WP Exponent of 2
  • Assault fire capability of 3+1=4 (which will allow you to move an fire with the same strength in AFPh as the regular 4-x-x- has in the PFPh without moving)
  • Long 'Normal' Range of 6
  • Good 6FP basic
  • Advantage in CC due to 6FP for a squad and 3FP for a HS
  • GO Morale of 6 somewhat balanced by broken morale of 8
von Marwitz
 

Nineteen Kilo

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Probably the US 666 then:
  • Infantry Smoke Exponent of 3
  • Infantry WP Exponent of 2
  • Assault fire capability of 3+1=4 (which will allow you to move an fire with the same strength in AFPh as the regular 4-x-x- has in the PFPh without moving)
  • Long 'Normal' Range of 6
  • Good 6FP basic
  • Advantage in CC due to 6FP for a squad and 3FP for a HS
  • GO Morale of 6 somewhat balanced by broken morale of 8
von Marwitz
Nope you're not following me. It's not the country's first line unit but the A25 National Distinction you get to add. Example: The US first line broken morale of +2 would be a strong addition to the Latverian 4-5-7.
 

hongkongwargamer

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Red Chinese
  • They don't cower.
  • They have underlined ELR
  • Their Commissars don't shoot their own.
  • Their Dare Death squads get a -1 HtH or not.
  • They also do the HW.
  • They deploy.
  • They are stealthy
Rgds Jack
 

Nineteen Kilo

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Red Chinese
  • They don't cower.
  • They have underlined ELR
  • Their Commissars don't shoot their own.
  • Their Dare Death squads get a -1 HtH or not.
  • They also do the HW.
  • They deploy.
  • They are stealthy
Rgds Jack
Holy Cow I didn't realize they had all that up their sleeves!

I'm splitting hairs here but I'm not sure the underlined ELR is a National Distinction so much as the function of the Partisan 3-3-7 unit itself. You will not be working with 3-3-7's but rather our hypothetical 4-5-7. However ELR 5 is definitely a National Distinction of Partisans under A25.24.
 

BattleSchool

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Holy Cow I didn't realize they had all that up their sleeves!

I'm splitting hairs here but I'm not sure the underlined ELR is a National Distinction so much as the function of the Partisan 3-3-7 unit itself. You will not be working with 3-3-7's but rather our hypothetical 4-5-7. However ELR 5 is definitely a National Distinction of Partisans under A25.24.
Which is why you really ought to play BFP-34 Hundred Regiments Offensive some time.
 

BattleSchool

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In that case, it's a toss up between being ski-capable (E4.2), and Red TH Numbers. ;)

With a broken ML of 7, Self-Rally may be the most useful attribute given that neither the Latverians--nor the equally mediocre, fair-weather Wachovians--have much to commend them.

The ability to "recyle" troops quickly is arguably the most important factor in a predominately Infantry-based contest. Infantry will break, including those stacked with a Commissar. Leaders, especially with favourable Leadership DRM, cannot be everywhere. And if your description of these minor combatants is anything to go by, neither side is likely to be blessed with exceptional leadership.
 

Nineteen Kilo

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While I admit that Jack's Latverians with a flavoring of Red Chinese are going to be tough opponents. I'll counter that the Finn first line unit ability to self-rally is a real game changer. This allows all leaders to be up front directing fire all the time. And of course they are stealthy and do not cower as well.

I'm sure there is some mathematician out there that can tell us how much additional "fire power" not cowering adds to a unit. I have no idea, but when I have troops that don't cower I feel like it adds 20 firepower to my order of battle.

*EDIT* I see Battle School beat me to the punch with the self-rally comment.
 

BattleSchool

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I'm sure there is some mathematician out there that can tell us how much additional "fire power" not cowering adds to a unit. I have no idea, but when I have troops that don't cower I feel like it adds 20 firepower to my order of battle.
Robert Medrow concluded that when attacks of one or two FP are ignored, "the largest increase due to Cowering of either variety [i.e. one- or two-column shift] is 3%. Given the many uses to which leaders can be put, this effect is too small to be worth considering." General 22-6, p. 12

Where laying a Firelane is paramount, a lowly 6+1 (or 8+1) leader will suffice.

Table 9 Effect of Cowering Gen 22-6 Page 12.png
 
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Bob Walters

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The first thing I thought of when I read this is the Finn ability to self rally. This is assuming I only get to add one national characteristics. This is especially important if there are not a lot of leaders.
A25 National Distinctions - these "flavor" rules are some of my favorites and keep me coming back to ASL time and again.

This morning I was pondering which of these characteristics give the greatest advantage in a scenario? Belgian assault fire? Japanese banzai? Russian entrenching? Finn self-rally? British no cowering? US higher broken morale? Chinese Human Wave? Gurka hand to hand? etc.

So I pose to you which of these "special abilities" gives a player the greatest advantage?

Now I'm sure the instant reply will be "Kev it depends upon the situation." So here is the situation:
You are entering into a series of linked scenarios in which you will be controlling the Latverians (affectionately known as "Latties"), with the most generic of all first line troops - 4-5-7's with broken morale of 7 . In these linked scenarios you will sometimes be the Attacker, sometimes the Defender. Some scenarios will be set on Urban Boards, some on Rural Boards, some on Forest Boards, and some on Hill Boards (Latveria is famous for its geographical diversity). In some scenarios you will be out numbered, in others you will have a numerical advantage. Entering into the series of scenarios you have the ability to layer over the Latties a single national distinction from any other country's first line troops. Which one do you choose? And why?
 

Nineteen Kilo

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The first thing I thought of when I read this is the Finn ability to self rally. This is assuming I only get to add one national characteristics. This is especially important if there are not a lot of leaders.
Truth be told Bob, this is exactly what I had in mind when I posed the original question. Jack took me by surprise when he posted the laundry list of Red Chinese abilities. I am going to go back and edit the original post to make it clear I am talking about the single most useful National Distinction of a single Country.
 

Nineteen Kilo

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Robert Medrow concluded that when attacks of one or two FP are ignored, "the largest increase due to Cowering of either variety [i.e. one- or two-column shift] is 3%. Given the many uses to which leaders can be put, this effect is too small to be worth considering." General 22-6, p. 12

Where laying a Firelane is paramount, a lowly 6+1 (or 8+1) leader will suffice.

View attachment 2118
Admittedly that chart is a little hard for me to decipher, but I think it is applying to one single shot. However spread over an entire OB, over the course of of an entire scenario, I would think the effects of not-cowering would be more profound. Or am I wrong?

Kunfused Kev
 

Bob Walters

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Truth be told Bob, this is exactly what I had in mind when I posed the original question. Jack took me by surprise when he posted the laundry list of Red Chinese abilities. I am going to go back and edit the original post to make it clear I am talking about the single most useful National Distinction of a single Country.
Yeah, I never knew Mao created super soldiers. I wonder how the Vietnamese beat the pants off them :)
 

Brian W

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I think self-rally of the Finns is the obvious answer.

I have a love/hate relationship with the nationality distinctions. I love the Hollywood flavor, but I hate the disregard for reality. If I could remake ASL there would be 7 squad types for all nationalities (467/8 (semi-auto armed squads), 367/8 (rifle squads without MG), 537/8 (sMG armed squads), and a 326 conscript for them all). Each squad would receive a LMG if that were the practice of the army (i.e. no "inherent LMG"). This would give the Germans the squad firepower edge, which they generally had over their opponents, instead of the US (i.e. 467 squads vs 367/537 squads with 3-8 LMGs).
 

Michael R

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I would choose the ability to never cower. That rule bites me the most; I would like to know that my fire lanes will work most of the time (EXC: malfunction).
 

witchbottles

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OK smart guy :)

More on the situation: The date is July 1, 1942. The scenarios are heavily weighted toward infantry force pools. The opponents are the dreaded Wachovians - as luck would have it their troops are just as generic as the Latverians (what were chances of that happening?). The weather in Latveria is almost always clear and sunny. As I'm sure you already know the tactical doctrine of both the Latverians and Wachovians is to fight exclusively in the daylight hours.
man, this sounds like the Chaco Wars!!!!

;)
 

RandyT0001

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My first choice for single national distinction to lay over the Latverians would be self-rally. My second choice would be US +2 to broken morale. If I could have two national distinctions I would choose those to add to the Latverians.
 
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