New version of deluxe ASL

Discussion in 'The ASL Designers Forum' started by Fred Campbell, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. Fred Campbell

    Fred Campbell New Member

    16
    Sep 2, 2017
    The design of the original AH deluxe modules was driven by the desire to play with miniatures. I've been wondering whether there would be interest in a deluxe ASL 2.0 that would use larger hexes (but not as large as AH deluxe) and “deluxe” counters/components.

    My initial thoughts on this would be hexes that are 1.4 inches wide in order to accommodate AFV counters that are 1.25 inches long and 5/8 inches wide and three 1/2 inch counters without stacking. Turreted AFVs would have a separate turret counter (similar to Countersmith’s) that is 9/16 inches square. The advantage of the larger AFV counters its that they could depict more information more clearly. For example, separate armor values for the turret would actually be *on* the turret, separate armor values for front and rear would be in those locations on the counter, etc. A (very rough mockup) example of this is attached in a PDF.

    Squads could be the standard 1/2 inch to avoid stacking or could be 5/8 inch instead. One interesting option would be to have full squads be 5/8 inch and half squads be 1/2 inch, which would make it easier to see their status at a glance.

    A board with hexes this size that contains the standard number of hexes in width (10) would be 14 inches wide. If it were 28 hexes long, it would be 34 inches long (nominally — the exact measurement is 34.0149 inches). This size board would have nearly the same number of hexes as an ordinary board (thus allowing for maneuver) while offering substantially better detail. (Alternatively, the length could be adjusted to 1/2 the ordinary number of hexes so that a single 2nd ed. deluxe board would be roughly 1/2 the size of an ordinary board.)

    Another thought is to use 6 sided cubes (e.g., dice) for infantry rather than counters. A single cube could represent 6 different versions of the same squad rather than just 2: the unbroken full squad, broken squad, unbroken half-squad, broken half-squad, and 2 other states.

    Thoughts?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. von Marwitz

    von Marwitz Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2010
    Kraut Corner
    Probably a niche within the niche. The test was made with Deluxe ASL and it did not take off. Even of those who play Deluxe ASL, only a faction use miniatures of any kind.

    A new hex size would either limit the number of available boards severly or require the re-printing of around 100 MMP boards. I don't believe that either option is attractive. Many a gaming table would become insufficient for many existing ASL scenario, too.

    Introducing new sizes of counters would have similar effects: There won't be many of the new size around or 10s of thousands would have to be resized and reissued. A MASSIVE monetary investment.

    Cubes/dice to replace counters would not work for ASL, I am afraid. You might encounter secenarios, in which you have a stack of 15 counters in a hex. Even stacking a fraction of these might become art. Or having to remove them temporarily to string a LOS extrodinarily tedious.

    von Marwitz
     
  3. Paul M. Weir

    Paul M. Weir Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2004
    Dublin
    My first reaction? I would have to replace literally many tens of thousands of counters. Between dissatisfaction with the 6 vehicle/4 gun limit and the fact that AH was going out of business at the time I have 4 each of BV & WoA, 3 CdG and 2 each of the other cores, one each combination+reprints (Y2, RS) and at least 1 each of the HASL. I don't even approach Olli's stash but I have a lot. There is no way in hell that I am going to retire all that!

    I have 133 distinct boards (ignoring some old CH ones) with most duplicated, so a very large cost to replace. That's all beside having difficulty at times finding space for a 3/4 board scenario with the existing size. Bringing hex width from 0.8" to 1.4" would mean a standard board would go to from 8"x22" to 14" x (22/8*14)" = 14" x 38.5" (10 hexes x 32 hexes). A change in the proportions, eg reducing length from 32 hexes to 28, could well break some scenarios, depending upon how much the margins affect the game.

    I don't see any plus in having non-square rectangular vehicle counters. The Jagdtiger, one of the longest WW2 AFV, is only ~10m long, a quarter of a hex, so fits well, well within a hex (40m). So either the current or your proposed hex and counter size does not reflect that.

    While a nice idea, the inertial of existing material dooms it. While I did like Delux ASL, it's limited application (close quarter stuff only) limited my enthusiasm and apparently that of many, many other players. So my guess is that there would be little enthusiasm for a complete change over and a Delux only replacement intent would have a limited market. 30 years ago that might have had some chance, but now ....? ASL in my opinion had trod a line between unplayable due to map bulk and unreadable due to small counter size.

    Though you will find your idea shot down due to a combination of inertia and practicality, don't be afraid to propose others. As an long established game, few suggestions will see implementation but who knows what ones will?
     
  4. Jazz

    Jazz Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    Feb 3, 2003
    Wyoming
    <shrug> Still born idea for all the reasons Paul mentions.
     
  5. Fred Campbell

    Fred Campbell New Member

    16
    Sep 2, 2017
    Thanks for the responses. Perhaps it would be useful for a HASL module with its own counter set, but even that would probably be cost prohibitive. I got the idea while reading the rulebook section on AFVs and feeling there was too much information crammed into too small of a space in a way that makes it hard to remember the details. But it is a tough line between unplayable and unreadable in any game with a lot of detail.

    Thanks for the encouragement Paul. I expect I'll have more ideas, but I'm a total noob at ASL right now but trying to learn. My brother has a published 18xx game and I have one in development. We've been designing games for ourselves since we were kids.
     
    Paul M. Weir likes this.
  6. Carln0130

    Carln0130 Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2006
    MA
    LFT already did a Deluxe pack also. Same size and no need for additional counters etc. My understanding is that they are looking at a second such pack in the future. I always enjoyed Deluxe, although I never played it with miniatures. Certainly I would not part with money for such a set that significantly deviated from what MMP and LFT have done. No need to go that far off the beaten path really.

    The problem with the HASL thing is that it would be so small an area fought over, it takes fours Deluxe maps to = 1 standard Geo Map, that it would be next to impossible to get multiple scenarios and/or a CG on it. Even some of LFT's smaller CG's would require a lot of space in a Deluxe format.

    No harm thinking outside the box though.
     
  7. Paul M. Weir

    Paul M. Weir Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2004
    Dublin
    Fred, as you get into ASL, you will get a better idea of what's involved and what might practically fly and what most likely won't. I personally would have liked to see separate upper and lower Armour Factors rather than the (X) or [X] and its 11 grades (0-26) system as that's a bit crude especially at higher AF. But that boat has long sailed.

    As a general rule while ASL usually welcomes previously uncovered units (whether vehicles or squads)`, occasionally new terrain type and the like, it's very conservative with regard to physical components. DASL had a quite decent success in its day but the only component type changes that really succeeded were the likes of Double-Width (2 boards geomorphic on only 3 sides that are intended to be used as a pair, eg 64 & 65) and the "Fort" boards (16"x11", 1a-9b). The DWs and Forts succeeded precisely because they were 100% compatible with existing components.

    So little things at first. If you find an idea excoriated by some, it's likely that they have seen similar ideas with similar prospects and are just tired of it. While that would not be my reaction, you might make a little allowance for other's frustration. There will inevitably be many who will resent major changes to the massive edifice that is ASL. They want it to remain ASL, its what they like and play. As long as it remains ASL, as opposed to becoming (almost) another game and components are backwards compatible then you should find a more welcoming audience.

    EDIT: Oh and Welcome to ASL & GS.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
  8. RRschultze

    RRschultze Active Member

    265
    Sep 14, 2004
    Chester, UK
    I've got Critical Hit's 'Backhand Blow 43' module with the bigger counters ie. MMC's are the size of the normal AFV counters and the AFV's are bigger still.

    Works well - i like the bigger counters, however as Paul mentions the cost to buy the bigger counters and bigger hex boards. I have CH's Berlin Monster module that is 33 flat panel boards, you need a table tennis table to set them up, but boy they do look good
     
  9. von Marwitz

    von Marwitz Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2010
    Kraut Corner
    Large hexes for such huge maps are surely good for your eyes. But they'll break you back if you have to manipulate the counters more to the middle of it.

    von Marwitz
     
  10. zgrose

    zgrose Active Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    Pinole, CA
    Try it on VASSAL first. If its awesome, you'll be praised. If it sucks, you won't be out thousands of dollars.
     
  11. von Marwitz

    von Marwitz Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2010
    Kraut Corner
    To try Deluxe ASL on VASSAL/VASL requires some older versions IIRC (at least if you want to use overlays). Can't remember which ones offhand, though.

    von Marwitz
     
  12. zgrose

    zgrose Active Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    Pinole, CA
    These are new maps and counters so the issue is NA.
     
    von Marwitz likes this.
  13. von Marwitz

    von Marwitz Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2010
    Kraut Corner
    I was not aware of that. Nice!

    von Marwitz
     
  14. Mister T

    Mister T Active Member

    Aug 12, 2006
    Bruxelles
    It is an interesting thought but for most of the reasons exposed above it would be hard to find an economically-viable number of customers. A good size for maps is to be found in the RB maps, with their slightly enlarged hexes. The cube may work for other wargames but the 6-face cube appears ill-suited for ASL. Furthermore if stacked they may create "blind hexes" for players...

    ...and shades in early morning/late afternoon DTO scenarios provided the lamp is properly positionned :cool:
     
  15. Fred Campbell

    Fred Campbell New Member

    16
    Sep 2, 2017
    That's an interesting suggestion!
     

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