New Solitaire System for ASL

Michael Dorosh

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New Solitaire for ASL by the guys doing the Vietnam ASL modules.





Are you a stout-hearted Advanced Squad Leader lover and encounter difficulty in finding another human player to share the fun? That is a common dilemma and one that causes some folks to look admiringly at their collection of Squad Leader and Advanced Squad Leader and yet rarely, if ever, play them.

There are some solitaire modules out there but they are largely out of print and expensive to purchase. The ones that I have seen seem so complicated that is hardly worth the effort. Even more frustrating, only certain scenarios can be used with these systems of solitaire play.

With that in mind, I’ve come up with my own personal system to facilitate the playing of SL/ASL and still encounter the unexpected. It’s rather boring to know everything the other guy is going to do when YOU are the other guy.

Let’s add a little flavor to that situation with this simple system of solitaire. Is it worth the time? I think so.

One of the nice things about this system is that one does not just have to play certain scenarios that are specifically designed for solitaire play. Now you can tackle any of them using this method of play.

Another aspect of this system is the unexpected. Just because you want a unit to do a certain thing is no guarantee that it will do it. Just as in real battle, where uncertainty is the name of the game, this method of play always leaves you a little apprehensive as to what you or the “other side” just might do or not do.

This is just what it says it is…a simple solitaire system that can be used for ANY Squad Leader or ASL scenario.

Here’s what you get:

1 Cover Sheet

54 mounted, laminated and razor cut counters:

51 Random Event Markers

2 Storm Markers

1 Fighter-Bomber Marker

16 Random Event Cards

32 Fire-Move Cards

1 Page of Rules (printed on both sides)

All components are stored in a zip-locked plastic bag.
 

JG53_Jaguar

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Hmmm...perhaps it will add a flavor to ASL...though for me I'm happy with SASL II. It's not perfect but it works well. I don't much care about ASL scenarios, I prefer campaigns and using SASL with VotG campaign (actual SASL CG rules written by Tom Morin) is a lot of fun. Paullus is currently working on Red Barricades SASL CG rules and in the future other HASL could have SASL CG rules as well. The cool thing about SASL is that you have command & Control, FOW and each battle is different....for me it's a ton of fun. Pullus and I have even possibly created a new way to play SASL...its' called TEAM SASL. Basically you divide your force into two groups and go against the system. Paullus and I are currently playing this way VotG CG2 and we love it.

This new solitaire ASL rules could be fun for others though...
 
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Michael Dorosh

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I wonder how many of these modules were written during the 1980s and 1990s and simply modified for ASL? I can't help but notice, for instance, the "sniper" counters in his Vietnam modules. So is this a genuine revival of older rules concepts that he liked, or just a dusting off of old rules that were kicking around? I'm still waiting to see a detailed review from someone who has purchased his "stuff". No knock intended - can't criticize without seeing - it's certainly interesting, and he currently has 3 Vietnam "core" modules in print, two historical Vietnam modules, two Korean War modules, and now Solitaire ASL - more output than even the newly recharged MMP and BFP managed to put together in the last year combined (at least as far as number of titles - number of actual modules is still less than two dozen since they are done by hand, compare to MMP selling out preorders of the APs in a weekend...)
 

Whizbang1963

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Hard to buy his stuff without seeing some reviews, actual photographs, and of course given the small quantities available, the price.
 
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Hey, I'm holding out for his 'simplified' version of Red Barricades. :)

Actually I will knock this guy a little bit - by advertising something similar to Solitaire ASL he's able to cash in on the high price those modules are fetching, and with 'solitaire' and 'ASL' in this item title he'll catch a little of their search traffic and push his own price up a little.

That said, if it's fun, and people buy it (for a reasonable price) and use it and enjoy it, then I'm not knocking that.

But if you want a cheap and fun way to play ASL without SASL, just go out and buy a copy of Mythic. Easy.
 

dlazov

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Actual SASL CG rules written by Tom Morin)
Where or what is this?

Also in Journal 1 There already is a SASL RB CG with 4 missions and 2 or 3 pages.

I'd like to see the VotG one.

There is also a SASL one from another Journal in Italy that I got.
 

JG53_Jaguar

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Where or what is this?

Also in Journal 1 There already is a SASL RB CG with 4 missions and 2 or 3 pages.

I'd like to see the VotG one.

There is also a SASL one from another Journal in Italy that I got.
Tom Morin is working on proper SASL VotG CG rules, tables etc. I'm currently beta testing his rules in VotG CG2 with Paullus. Check out Tom's post #52 in the thread below,

http://forums.gamesquad.com/showthre...t=74913&page=2
 
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Mythic is about $7, can be bought as a physical or download product, and has a couple of extras you can get for different purposes... but the gist of it is that it is a framework for gaming solo, or gaming together without a GM, by asking questions, assigning probabilities, and rolling dice and keeping a lid on the chaos. Loads of guys I know use it for miniatures wargaming, and others for roleplaying. I mentioned Mythic because it is simple, elegant, and probably cheaper than what this guy is selling on eBay.

There is a Mythic group of Yahoo Groups, and it also comes up a lot in the Solowargame Yahoo Group. I think I bought and downloaded my copy from rpgnow.com.
 

DaveStory

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I would also be interested in a review or more info as well. My experience with 'simple' fixes on such things always comes at a cost. You can strip out 80% of the SASL rules and make them much more simple, and still playable, but it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying/engaging.

I mentioned Mythic because it is simple, elegant, and probably cheaper than what this guy is selling on eBay.
I purchased Mythic a while back when I read some hype about how it worked wonders on making products solitaire. It turned out to be a product which attempts to systemize common sense. Basically, when you come upon a situation where a choice needs to be made, you give each option a probability and roll for the outcome. Elegant? (.1% chance) Rip Off? (99.9% chance)
 

Michael Dorosh

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Okay, so what I gather from this ebay listing is that it is not competition with SASL. He's not talking about a random scenario generator, nor a random scenario "system" nor a solitaire campaign game.

He's talking about a system for a simulated opponent for existing ASL scenarios. This is not something that currently exists specifically for ASL.

And he claims that such a thing can be done "simply."

Well, of course it can. Anyone can do it; you play both sides, for example, and try and make the best decisions you can for the "other" guy while you go through. Wargamers have been doing that since the first Tactics games got crunched off the presses. In fact, some numbers guys actually figured the majority of wargamers actually got their kicks doing things that way - for, like, decades.

It would be possible to codify a system on how to do that into charts and tables - in situation "A" choose one of the following options 1, 2 or 3. The "problem" is that any "simple" approach to this would only be as satisfying as you allowed yourself to feel it was going to be. Such a system would never be able to put together a sophisticated and co-ordinated attack against you or react with a well-thought-out or executed fall-back defence, except by sheer coincidence.

None of which is to say that a randomly generated set of decisions can't provide drama, tension and fun, but we all know it would not compare to a face-to-face game.

I'd be very interested to see what kind of system he has created nonetheless.
 

n3ddy

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I must admit the ability to play regular scenarios with a degree of uncertainty would be nice. It's one of the benefits of George Anderson's Robot in ATS. I'm not about to buy this until there have been some reviews, though. Until that happens I'd rather just play solo the old fashioned way - i.e. beer, good music and dim lighting... :devious:
 

JG53_Jaguar

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From my point of view there is no need for Mythic in ASL...we have something that really works well and it's called SASL. Granted you can't play existing scenarios with it without making some changes. However the missions for SASL or custom created published in various ASL magazines work. Also HASLs are the future as well, example VotG Tom Morin did create SASL rules for all of his existing 4 CGs and they work I know because I have been testing and plying with them. All we now need to SASL CG rules for other historical modules and we are set. I suppose this is challenge for others but for me I just don't see the point of creating "AI" for existing scenarios where you have pre-defined setup locations with already know OOB for both sides. I just don't see the point playing these scenarios...that's not how the war was fought. The formations leaders didn't know what's behind that hill, knowing that possibly two days from now I will have a possible serious thread from other direction due to whatever reasons. Should I commit all my resources to take this hill and possibly loose 50% of strength of my units to this hill? This kind of tactical/strategic thinking can much better be simulated with SASL...since you don't know what enemy units will be activated to stop your progress and you have to think much further ahead and not just on one battle so you have to worry about preserving your forces. This is what I love about SASL...from my point of view what would be nice for the future is MMP to publish SASL again and also update the rules to make it better..say deeper rules for vehicles.
 

Patrocles

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This new solitaire system sounds good to me. I hope it will be available cheaply in the future (currently at $180.00USD), but I doubt it based on the production numbers that these guys generate for the vietnam modules.
:)
 

Joao Lima

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I must admit the ability to play regular scenarios with a degree of uncertainty would be nice. It's one of the benefits of George Anderson's Robot in ATS. I'm not about to buy this until there have been some reviews, though. Until that happens I'd rather just play solo the old fashioned way - i.e. beer, good music and dim lighting... :devious:
Well, you can use SASL rules for standard ASL Scenaios. Heck, If I could devise a way of doing it, with a very simple set of scenario-specific rules for each scenario in SASL style, anyone can do. It's great fun also.
 

Michael Dorosh

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Well, you can use SASL rules for standard ASL Scenaios. Heck, If I could devise a way of doing it, with a very simple set of scenario-specific rules for each scenario in SASL style, anyone can do. It's great fun also.
A detailed AAR would be fun to read...:)
 

Joao Lima

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A detailed AAR would be fun to read...:)
I'm not very good , or adept, at writing long texts (strange for someone who loves reading...), but I'll post the SASL instructions for one of the scenarios, and let you guys be the judges , if you wanna try it.
 

Joao Lima

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As promissed:

ASL Scenario 75

briefing - as per original scenario

prevailing attitude - hold (all German reinforcements, advance)

mission tables -

enemy san - as per orig scenario
friendly san - as per original scenario
enemy ac - 3
re numbers - no re's available

mapboard - setup as per original scenario, EBE is East , FBE is West , no further maps may be activated

scenario end - as per original scenario

VPO locations - all GF hexes of building 22F4 are VPO hexes

S placement - S are placed as per case d, with the following limitations

- all S's on GF hexes only
- max one S per building and hex
- 1 extra S positioned in each 22E1 and 22J2
- Advance S's (German reinforcements, 6 S counters) enter along he south edge (board 22) on a dr of 1-3 or in east edge (board 22) on a dr of 4-6, they will move towards the closest VPO direction, will turn to hold attitude upon entering a VPO location or becoming activated.

sequence - VPO - S - Friendly (as per orig scenario), friendly side moves first

VP - as per victory conditions in original scenario

MSR - as below:

-all SSR of original scenario.
- S can only generate infantry units and accompanying SW's (no guns or vehicles) and leaders, all infantry units generated are Elite (4-6-8's or/and 2-4-8's) , if only a vehicle or gun (w/crew) is activated , S is removed.
- First advance attitude generated MMC possesses an DC charge , if when generated no SW is generated. If an SW is generated then the 2nd MMC will possess the DC and so on.
- no fortified buildings are allowed.
 

dlazov

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Sounds like most of that is taking a bit from ASL and a lot from SASL.
 
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