Next series of Civil War ASL modules now available for order at Critical Hit

Bob Walters

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#42
I don't think the problem Bob is adaptation. The problem could be what makes that adaptation so easy. Subtract all the fun goodies of ASL and go back, way back to SL and delete the SW and you have a basic infantry v. infantry combat system. ASL could be thought to break down post ww2, which isn't true of course, you just have to have a deft creative touch in the design, but prior to ww2. No compatibility shouldn't be an issue, especially for CH who have spent more time outside of ww2, and much of it successfully IMO, than anyone has.

What could be the problem is that it simply wouldn't be interesting which is got me yakking with Larry. The ACW was on the tactical level, less about tactics, more about pure slaughter until one side blinks or 'fails their MC' and runs for the hills haha. Interesting to study, less fun I would suspect to game out. That is why few IIRC really have tried it at such a small scale, the most fun are at the regimental level. Get lower than that and it is a trip to gameplay snoozeville IMO.
There are a couple of physical constraints of the weapons that were used that doom the use of the ASL system for combat during the American Civil War. The first of these is the rate of fire. The use of breech-loading repeating rifles paired with metal cartridges and smokeless powder made fire and maneuver possible. There is just no way a weapon that can fire two to four rounds a minute and fit in a fire and movement system within a 2 minute phased turn. Another constraint is the effective range of the black powder single shot muzzle-loading rife. There was a reason these were fired in volleys as after the first shot it was incredibly difficult to see the target and target acquisition was impossible. Introduce smokeless powder and give everyone repeating rifles then maybe it might work. It is not that the tactical doctrine used by the forces involved that is the problem. The problem is the weapons systems used will work with the ASL system.
 
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#43
There are a couple of physical constraints of the weapons that were used that doom the use of the ASL system for combat during the American Civil War. The first of these is the rate of fire. The use of breech-loading repeating rifles paired with metal cartridges and smokeless powder made fire and maneuver possible. There is just no way a weapon that can fire two to four rounds a minute and fit in a fire and movement system within a 2 minute phased turn. Umm.. HASL CG play forever doomed the notion of a hard and fast '2 minute phased turn'. :)

Another constraint is the effective range of the black powder single shot muzzle-loading rife. There was a reason these were fired in volleys as after the first shot it was incredibly difficult to see the target and target acquisition was impossible. Introduce smokeless powder and give everyone repeating rifles then maybe it might work. It is not that the tactical doctrine used by the forces involved that is the problem. The problem is the weapons systems used will work with the ASL system. Excellent points, but as I noted above, nothing that can not be dealt with with appropriate rules and SSR to the existing framework of basic infantry ASL action. I've seen people rail for years that ASL doesn't work in other eras, yet the proof is what it is, TPP have moved it out of ww2 and done so in a way that is playable. That is the beauty of ASL, it is highly adaptable, yet at its core very simple. Yes the ASL rulebook has evolved into a monster, but it had it's genesis, and still the core of the game is quite simple. Infantry v. Infantry.
 
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#44
Umm.. HASL CG play forever doomed the notion of a hard and fast '2 minute phased turn'. :)
The 2 minute turn wasn't describing how long it would take to play a turn, but how much activity would happen, mostly 'simultaneously', in a two minute period in the battle. For CGs, it takes much longer to 'act out' that two minute period, but it's still meant to represent 2-ish minutes.
 
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#45
^ yes. Until Red Barricades changed ASL and how it is played. It blew that notion up completely where a 6 or 7 turn scenario represents about 12 to 18 hours of action.

It's all relative man... 2 minutes.. 4 minutes.... 10 minutes of actual time a game turn represents. Who cares. No one did for RB did they. As long as both sides are playing at the same speed, or you don't have a cool Wild Bill HASL covering the coming Repuiblican Civil war in America where M34 wielding neo-facists facing old against 1853 Enfield wielding states righters.
 
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#46
Equating a situation that uses breech-loading smokeless powder weapons to one using muzzle-loading back powder weapons is totally ahistorical. Can units equipped with those weapons even accomplish in real life what they can accomplish in the game? Not going to happen. Sure, I suppose you pretend it is the ACW but it will bear no resemblance to the actual event. It makes about as much sense as playing Monopoly with ASL counters and calling it tactical combat.
 

von Marwitz

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#47
It's all relative man... 2 minutes.. 4 minutes.... 10 minutes of actual time a game turn represents. Who cares.
Equating a situation that uses breech-loading smokeless powder weapons to one using muzzle-loading back powder weapons is totally ahistorical. Can units equipped with those weapons even accomplish in real life what they can accomplish in the game?
I think that both sides have a point.

First, it does not really matter, how long a turn is supposed to be. The important thing is if the game 'works' based on the turn sequence.

Second, of course it does make a difference if one uses muzzle-loading black powder weapons or modern MGs. And this needs to be somehow reflected by the mechanics of a game.

Which brings me to my point:

For game purposes in different eras, some things remain pretty much the same, while others change substantially. Movement of foot-soldiers, for example, is not much slower or faster in the US Civil War compared to WW2. The amount of fire that can be dished out is very much different.

This means that the relation between movement, fire and the effect of the latter needs to be carefully scrutinized for these different wars to make a game 'work'. Numerous factors would go into that: The rate of fire that can be put out is one. Another would be - with regard to effect - the way in which units usually deploy in battle: There is a difference if soldiers take as much cover as they can in any situation like in WW2 compared to battles in napoleonic times, when regiments of infantry just lined up and fired without taking cover at all.

So, for example, in WW2 a modifier of -2 for FFMO and FFNAM might be very well justified, because if you expose yourself to a vicious amount of fire, you are likely to get hit. For napoleonic times, the same modifiers in the same situation would be inappropriate, because it just takes more time to get the lead out. The assumption, that a high volume of fire countered by almost always taking any cover available would with regard to effect equate a low volume of fire and not taking any cover, is daring IMHO.

For that reason, one does need different game mechanics and ASL rules cannot be applied without major modifications to an extent that they are not ASL any more to a US Civil War environment if you want to have a game that makes sense.

If we look at the timing per turn, the important thing is not really how many minutes it represents but what can be actually done in a period that is depicted by a turn. To illustrate, if in ASL you attempt to run up towards a defending squad with a LMG that puts down a FL over OG across 6 hexes, you'll never arrive. In a napoleonic environment, you might. So, to get 'wiped out' in napoleonic times, you might need to charge for 12 hexes or whatever. At the same time, it would probably not make sense to give napoleonic infantry 12MF per turn if accompanied by a leader. This shows pretty well, that the entire way a 'turn' works needs to be different.

von Marwitz
 

Vinnie

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#48
The range of the weapon has a huge effect on how people move. A Napoleonic musket with a slow rate of fire and effective range of 400 yards? Means you can move in an unhindered way over most if the battlefield.
Now give the other side a machine gun with a keatgal range of over a mile and it doesn't matter that it's well beyond its effective range, you are still not going to be running around in front if it!
 

Jazz

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#49
ASL works representing the empty battlefield. Characterized by high accuracy/long range that equated to anything that could be seen could be killed.

It does not work representing the crowded battlefield. Characterized by low accuracy/short range weaponry that required massed firepower to inflict any appreciable damage.

The transition from the crowded to the empty battlefield took place over time between the Crimean War and finally reaching full transition with German StrossTruppen in late WWI.

Treated in some detail in the introduction in the book On Infantry, John A. English and Bruce I. Gudmundsson.
 
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#50
ASL works representing the empty battlefield. Characterized by high accuracy/long range that equated to anything that could be seen could be killed.

It does not work representing the crowded battlefield. Characterized by low accuracy/short range weaponry that required massed firepower to inflict any appreciable damage.
umm hmmm I can agree in principal with that Jazz. For if we are talking pure simulation purposes, you don't have to go back to the Civil War to argue that but to ASL HASL to show how ASL does not work representing the crowded battlefield.

work? As a simulation that is. It plays well, and I guess that is my point I've been trying to make. Do players really care? Of course not. As a simulation yeah one could find or create better systems to model mid 19th century combat. How many play ASL for simulations sake? Very few I suspect. It is fun to play and you get the flavor of the conflict Just as one can say that one can find a better system than ASL to model large dense 'crowded' HASL actions of ASL. Yet ASL works for those doesn't it, could find a better system, but it works.

As I said, I have no particular interest in what CH did here, so I can't say how well they did model it. My point earlier though is they have taken ASL out of ww2 on numerous occasions and done so successfully. So my paycheck on this this being playable, and generally realistic. I see nothing inherent in the basics that make up ASL that make in incompatible with modeling the ACW.
 

Jazz

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#51
umm hmmm I can agree in principal with that Jazz. For if we are talking pure simulation purposes, you don't have to go back to the Civil War to argue that but to ASL HASL to show how ASL does not work representing the crowded battlefield.

work? As a simulation that is. It plays well, and I guess that is my point I've been trying to make. Do players really care? Of course not. As a simulation yeah one could find or create better systems to model mid 19th century combat. How many play ASL for simulations sake? Very few I suspect. It is fun to play and you get the flavor of the conflict Just as one can say that one can find a better system than ASL to model large dense 'crowded' HASL actions of ASL. Yet ASL works for those doesn't it, could find a better system, but it work. As I said, I have no particular interest in what CH did here so I can't say how well they did model it. My point earlier though is they have taken ASL out of ww2 on numerous occasions and done so successfully. I see nothing inherent in the basics that make up ASL that make in incompatible with modeling the ACW.
<shrug> Whatever....you are entitled to your opinion. Evidently there are more than a few folks that disagree with you, on any number of your points.
 
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#53
umm hmmm I can agree in principal with that Jazz. For if we are talking pure simulation purposes, you don't have to go back to the Civil War to argue that but to ASL HASL to show how ASL does not work representing the crowded battlefield.

work? As a simulation that is. It plays well, and I guess that is my point I've been trying to make. Do players really care? Of course not. As a simulation yeah one could find or create better systems to model mid 19th century combat. How many play ASL for simulations sake? Very few I suspect. It is fun to play and you get the flavor of the conflict Just as one can say that one can find a better system than ASL to model large dense 'crowded' HASL actions of ASL. Yet ASL works for those doesn't it, could find a better system, but it works.

As I said, I have no particular interest in what CH did here, so I can't say how well they did model it. My point earlier though is they have taken ASL out of ww2 on numerous occasions and done so successfully. So my paycheck on this this being playable, and generally realistic. I see nothing inherent in the basics that make up ASL that make in incompatible with modeling the ACW.
I think many have illustrated why the ASL system is totally ahistorical for use in the black powder era. Note I am not saying it is not playable or even not fun, it is, however, not remotely representative of combat in the black powder era. It does not give the flavor of Civil War combat. In the ASL system do you think infantry could charge a kilometer and a quarter over open ground (33 hexes) against an infantry and artillery position and make it to their goal?
 

Jazz

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#54
oh well... so much for trying to have a discussion. You actually had a nice point.

back to regular old boys club backslapping programming haha.
Sorry. Mea Culpa.

I have a hard time having an objective discussion when anything CH is involved. Watched too much crap come out of Ray Tapio over the years.
 
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#55
My point Bob, lost in the shuffle, and though Jazz had the inkling of what I was trying to provoke out of you all, but obviously didn't expect or appreciate having it turned back upon him and decided to go snarky, was asking precisely how ASL is incaptable as a simulation to the ACW. I can, and did, bring up whatever might be brought up to lack of realism and accurate modeling and throw it right back into the face of the game itself in the form of HASL. Doesn't make it not fun, but don't call it realistic either.

much of what you brought up was legit, but also could be handled with specific rules. Nothing you brought up (IMO as it seems prudent to mention) makes ASL (as a basic combat system) incomptible with ACW play. If there is a specific reason, by all means, bring it up. That is what interests me, much more than the CH game itself for if there is anything I love more than ASL and ww2 in general, it is the ACW. Thus I have a strong passion and interest in it and attempts to game it. I just don't think, no matter what CH did with it, it would be fun to play. However I do feel it is an interesting discussion to be had. The jury is still out IMO for this forum whether people are so ingrained in back slapping their buddies and playing for likes to actually think.
 

von Marwitz

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#58
was asking precisely how ASL is incaptable as a simulation to the ACW.
I believe the majority consensus around here is that ASL is not a simulation for any period.

As a game system, it should be able to grasp certain relations properly for a given period (for example the relation between fire and movement) while allowing for some more or less generous leeway to make it playable (the underrepresentation of OBA in ASL has been noted, for example).

In the latter regard, ASL cannot reflect within its game mechanisms adequately, what would be necessary for a proper ACW game IMHO.

von Marwitz
 

von Marwitz

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#59
Nothing you brought up (IMO as it seems prudent to mention) makes ASL (as a basic combat system) incomptible with ACW play.
Fire/Movement relation in the form of -1 FFMO / -1 FFNAM have been mentioned. These are pretty much the most important and core modifiers that dominate how the game is played. Their effects cannot be "adapted" to ACW by merely scrapping FFNAM, for example.

And ASL is a miserable and inappropriate system where the basic maneuver elements were companies or larger in linear or column formations.
The above point is another one.

von Marwitz
 
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Vinnie

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#60
If you want to show born ASL in to ACE then I think you are looking at squads with values of 1-1-8 or there abouts.
Platoon move ent for most units and maybe a separate CC factor.
Terrain movement costs would be higher too as units get disrupted moving over the obstacle.
It's not a system that is ideal...
Alternatively you could use the idea of the system fire, movement phase interrupted by defensive fire etc.
The unit per counter would be a company or larger rather than the squad which would alter maps range etc.
It might be like ASL but not the same.