Playtesting in the age of play the scenario once and move on.

Actionjick

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or think about all the old scenarios that now are ruined by the VBM freeze tactic, non common in the early ASL days.
It was around but I don't remember a big fuss being made about it. I primarily played Fish so really can't say how it was viewed by the overall community back then. Pre internet sleazes and their solutions were most likely confined to small groups of players.
 

Actionjick

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I really don't care about balance except for A26.4. There are just too many variables. Playtesting being the exception. There the Designer needs to know that the scenario is not completely one sided.

It was a rough day and I am mellowing with some Dark and Stormy refreshments and watching the charcoal turn to embers on the grill so I will pontificate on balance versus historical accuracy.

It seems odd that some players want balanced scenarios when that was the last thing the actual participants wanted. It would seem that those who embrace historical accuracy would want the imbalance that most likely existed in reality. Gamers would seem to prefer balanced scenarios.

Our focus was on if a scenario was fun. In Today in ASL History I featured The Agony of Doom and a respondent was amazed that the Germans got the A 26.4 balance as on ROAR it is markedly pro German. We both wanted the Russians because it seemed more fun to play them. Just us. YMMV.
 
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ecz

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I really don't care about balance except for A26.4. There are just too many variables. Playtesting being the exception. There the Designer needs to know that the scenario is not completely one sided.

It was a rough day and I am mellowing with some Dark and Stormy refreshments and watching the charcoal turn to embers on the grill so I will pontificate on balance versus historical accuracy.

It seems odd that some players want balanced scenarios when that was the last thing the actual participants wanted. It would seem that those who embrace historical accuracy would want the imbalance that most likely existed in reality. Gamers would seem to prefer balanced scenarios.

Our focus was on if a scenario was fun. In Today in ASL History I featured The Agony of Doom and a respondent was amazed that the Germans got the A 26.4 balance as on ROAR ot is markedly pro German. We both wanted the Russians because it seemed more fun to play them. Just us. YMMV.
try to imagine how much better would be if Agony of Doom was also balanced...
 

klasmalmstrom

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or think about all the old scenarios that now are ruined by the VBM freeze tactic, non common in the early ASL days.
I think it was quite common in the early days as well....I started in 1990 and I saw it used pretty much from day one...
 
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von Marwitz

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My recollection is that the older scenarios were very movement oriented. Its been a long time so my recollection may be faulty.
Yes, but in a different way. Some of these needed one or two turns for both sides to move towards each other before the real fighting started. In today's scenario fare, you get more 'insta-action' from turn 1 - which makes a good setup more important compared to the times in which 'the setup' developed over the first two turns.

von Marwitz
 

von Marwitz

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good to know, probably you and your Swedish friends were a decade in advance on the Italians!
I would need to kick myself very hard to play ASL when I am in Italy for there are so many beautiful things to see in your country...

Maybe that explains it. 😉

von Marwitz
 

Actionjick

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try to imagine how much better would be if Agony of Doom was also balanced...
Maybe but part of the fun in a scenario, for me at least, was trying to overcome the disadvantages one side has.
 

wrongway149

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This brings to the final point. At which level of play a scenario should be balanced? Some say that a scenario ideally should be balanced at any level of play. I disagree. If a scenario is balanced at any level it happens usually by chance or because is dull and flat and everybody notice at first sight the few obvious and necessary things to do.
Officially: balance for good players. They are more likely to find a way to break it. Let the newbies play good players so they can get better (I had to get creamed as the Brits in North Bank FOUR times before I grasped how to use RFP to suck the SS into kill zones.)
Rather, try and ensure that a scenario is FUN for all levels of play. (The British paras do have some cool things in NORTH BANK --like great leadership.)


Personally I do not have an answer. I think it's impossible to have scenario fun, with high replayability and balanced for newbies and for top players at the same time. Not at least in the conventional form we are used.

Opinions?
Not impossible, but a fool's errand in most cases. We have 1000s of scenarios. No need to have one that meets every objective all the time.
 
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wrongway149

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Yes, but in a different way. Some of these needed one or two turns for both sides to move towards each other before the real fighting started. In today's scenario fare, you get more 'insta-action' from turn 1 - which makes a good setup more important compared to the times in which 'the setup' developed over the first two turns.

von Marwitz
When I first started playtesting scenarios for the ASL ANNUAL, this was often a suggestion -- chop off a couple turns and cut to the chase.
Some folks blame Schwerpunkt.

I blame Mark Nixon. :)
 

Actionjick

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When I first started playtesting scenarios for the ASL ANNUAL, this was often a suggestion -- chop off a couple turns and cut to the chase.
Some folks blame Schwerpunkt.

I blame Mark Nixon. :)
I would blame him for the SL tournament scenario Mud Madness but that was forty years ago. 😉
 

Actionjick

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Yes, but in a different way. Some of these needed one or two turns for both sides to move towards each other before the real fighting started. In today's scenario fare, you get more 'insta-action' from turn 1 - which makes a good setup more important compared to the times in which 'the setup' developed over the first two turns.

von Marwitz
Yes but actually maneuvering the units was fun itself. It accentuated things like mechanical reliability, portaging dismantled SW and moving units with different MF/MP.

Given the Advanced age of most ASL players these days getting right down to the gunnin is probably the way to go.😉🙄🥰
 

von Marwitz

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Yes but actually maneuvering the units was fun itself. It accentuated things like mechanical reliability, portaging dismantled SW and moving units with different MF/MP.
In fact, I agree with you.

I vividly remember coming across one of "ye olde ones" and experiencing just that.
It felt different, and personally, I liked it.

In "modern" scenarios, you usually get insta-action. But if you don't have a solid setup, you're screwed, because there is no time to alleviate for mistakes during the course of the game. So you need to spend time thinking before the game actually starts.

In the old scenarios, it did not really harm to quickly pile your units into rough areas and then let the "start of action" develop as both sides moved to close in. You did not have to have a plan before game start but both sides would develop it as part of the game during the first two turns while reacting to the moves of the opponent. A much more relaxed approach.

von Marwitz
 

Eagle4ty

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For the most part movement to contact is a thing of the past in ASL scenarios. Most scenarios now focus on actions on contact or imminent contact. The reasons are pretty obvious, most players don't want to try and figure out how to maneuver to get their forces into jump-off positions without too much reaction from their opponent. I believe they would rather concentrate on the tactics of fire and maneuver within the actual engagement (It's simply more exciting). I use my experience as a basis. I used to like the old scenarios as I used that as the basis to which I approached the game with and it replicated actual historical decision-making processes. However, my regular FtF opponent for that past several years detested the older scenarios for that very reason and played them (if I ever got a chance to talk him into it) as he would play the smaller scenarios; rushing into combat. I found myself also falling into that mindset. I also believe it's one of the reasons the game has gotten away from the original parameters established by the original designers (Ldr & SW allocation, and size of forces employed by either side for example). Unfortunately, what I've seen too often lately is when a larger scenario/CG is offered, the new concepts of smaller scenario parameters are plugged into the larger game; often to its detriment both historically and play-wise (IMHO).
 

Actionjick

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For the most part movement to contact is a thing of the past in ASL scenarios. Most scenarios now focus on actions on contact or imminent contact. The reasons are pretty obvious, most players don't want to try and figure out how to maneuver to get their forces into jump-off positions without too much reaction from their opponent. I believe they would rather concentrate on the tactics of fire and maneuver within the actual engagement (It's simply more exciting). I use my experience as a basis. I used to like the old scenarios as I used that as the basis to which I approached the game with and it replicated actual historical decision-making processes. However, my regular FtF opponent for that past several years detested the older scenarios for that very reason and played them (if I ever got a chance to talk him into it) as he would play the smaller scenarios; rushing into combat. I found myself also falling into that mindset. I also believe it's one of the reasons the game has gotten away from the original parameters established by the original designers (Ldr & SW allocation, and size of forces employed by either side for example). Unfortunately, what I've seen too often lately is when a larger scenario/CG is offered, the new concepts of smaller scenario parameters are plugged into the larger game; often to its detriment both historically and play-wise (IMHO).
It seems rather analogous to how baseball changed when Babe Ruth started hitting home runs at such a prodigious rate. The " scientific " approach of advancing base runners by bunting and sacrifice hitting fell out of popularity when the Babe was blasting the ball out of the park.

I am breaking my resolution of not posting before finishing a second cup of javeine but wtf. Love the Babe.
 

von Marwitz

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Unfortunately, what I've seen too often lately is when a larger scenario/CG is offered, the new concepts of smaller scenario parameters are plugged into the larger game; often to its detriment both historically and play-wise (IMHO).
Interesting observation.

von Marwitz
 

Doug Leslie

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I would need to kick myself very hard to play ASL when I am in Italy for there are so many beautiful things to see in your country...

Maybe that explains it. 😉

von Marwitz
If my limited experience of Sweden is anything to go by (watching episodes of Wallander), perhaps your post offers a clue as to why there are so many excellent ASL from that part of the world!
 
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