Removing (a bit of) luck from ASL

RRschultze

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It’s purely a dice game and the more I play I keep swaying to larger scenarios/CG’s in an attempt to ‘smooth’ the averages. Someone posted above ‘no luck’ involved. I totally disagree, the dice rule the map. Perfect example of this happened the other night. I was playing ‘Norman D’ with me taking the Americans. My opponent had a broken leader in a building with 2 broken SS squads. Come the Rph broken leader goes berserk and takes 2 1/2 squads (50% of his OOB) with him as berserkers. Subsequent move phase a number of 12 -2 shots take care of them. Scenario in the bag for me. If it wasn’t for the ‘snakes’ my opponent may have won scenario.
 

hongkongwargamer

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It’s purely a dice game and the more I play I keep swaying to larger scenarios/CG’s in an attempt to ‘smooth’ the averages. Someone posted above ‘no luck’ involved. I totally disagree, the dice rule the map. Perfect example of this happened the other night. I was playing ‘Norman D’ with me taking the Americans. My opponent had a broken leader in a building with 2 broken SS squads. Come the Rph broken leader goes berserk and takes 2 1/2 squads (50% of his OOB) with him as berserkers. Subsequent move phase a number of 12 -2 shots take care of them. Scenario in the bag for me. If it wasn’t for the ‘snakes’ my opponent may have won scenario.
If it’s a pure dice game it’s all the more reason NOT to make any attempts to “smooth” out the effects of the dice.

Let it rip!!!! Wooohoooooooooooooo
 

Justiciar

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I am a bit of an extremist. I can't stand people who screams/yells/moan/whine about the dice. Well, I can, but I can't see why I have to.

If ASL's giving you that much grief, there's always underwater basket weaving.
First it is not grief.

Second, it has to be a lot of failed MC...not 1 here and one there, or 2 here and two there....when it is every single one, but one.

Third, I grew up in the tropics I mastered underwater basket weaving by the time I was 6 and half. Sadly, since leaving the tropics at age 11.5 my gills have closed.
 

hongkongwargamer

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First it is not grief.

Second, it has to be a lot of failed MC...not 1 here and one there, or 2 here and two there....when it is every single one, but one.

Third, I grew up in the tropics I mastered underwater basket weaving by the time I was 6 and half. Sadly, since leaving the tropics at age 11.5 my gills have closed.
Lately I have been developing a language of play especially for units that fail to stay vertical or go where I want them to go, if just to appear less stoic to my opponents .. SMF's and MMF's ...
 

jrv

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The ironic thing about this idea is that many players want to blame the dicebot for their losses, but by introducing a "vengeful" and/or "beneficent' dicebot, now they would have a legitimate reason for doing so. I can hear the post-game stories, "it was all going great until the dicebot decided to balance my early good luck with a streak of elevens." And it would be hard to say they were wrong. Perhaps earlier good luck did cause the odds distribution to shift at a crucial later point in the game.

JR
 

Sully

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Don’t forget that your bad luck is your opponents good luck. It really sucks when that 57L takes out your panther with a critical hit but it sure feels good when YOU do it. Hopefully the person across the table from you is a friend and there’s nothing wrong with a friend having a little fun at your expense.
 

Ronnblom

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If luck was a dominant factor in deciding the outcome of a game of ASL, then good players wouldn't consistently beat players of lesser skill - and they (more or less) do.

In additon to being rather pointless, I think attempting to compensate unlucky players will prove effectively impossible. The player that had the lowest average dice, rolled the most snake eyes or the fewest box cars wasn't necessarily the lucky of the two. For example, there's usually a big difference between rolling snakes on the first PTC, compared to doing the same on the last CC DR.
 

MajorDomo

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I do believe that if you turn back the clock to when the first ASL rules emerged from the sea to crawl on land, the third ROF dr should have been the way to go.

A three ROF machine gun or anti-tank gun can occasionally destroy a scenario with a series of ROF, hence low rolls.

Rich
 

Magpie

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I've never agreed with the third die for ROF. The concept of a good shot doing the job quickly and having time for more and a bad shot needing more time to try to get a result is a very elegant abstract IMO.

It avoids the situation of the player firing ineffectively at a target and keeping ROF and changing target, where the "troops" are unlikely to do that.
 

Michael Dorosh

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Imagine outcomes of an event being located on a scale of 0 to 10

0 is totally predicatable, 10 is totally unpredictable

Playing chess would be a 0 on this scale, every move a player wants to make is exactly what happens, rolling two dice would be a 10 on this scale, the outcome is totally unpredictable. I think when you play ASL your probably located on 7-9 on this scale. Obviously, this is a tradeoff, a good dose of randomness is defintaly a good thing in ASL however too much of it is a bad thing.

The question becomes, is throwing dice the best way to play ASL? In my opinion, defintaly not. Although it certainly might be a reasonable and easy alternative. I think given the choice, alot of people would rather play ASL if it were located on the 5-6 region in the above mentioned scale.

I'm sure alternate systems have been discussed on these forums before. A simple system that comes to mind is creating a deck of 36 cards with all the dice rolling combination that can then either be selected or picked at random to simulate the dice. I don't really like that system so I wanted to propse another, however it would require programming and I would need some help from people here.

What I would like to see is a dice bot that examines your previous significant rolls and uses those to slightly skew the odds of your next rolls to try to average your rolls to 7. I have not worked out any of the math and there are many different ways to go about this. What i find so attractive with such a system is it would allow you to decide exactly where on the previously mentioned scale you want to play the game.

Here is a quick simple example:

Despite , the dice bot, you have been lucky and are averaging 6 on your rolls so far. You go to roll for a MC and the dice bot distributes the odds of getting each of the 36 different results according to a formula (not yet created). Here are the odds for your next roll (on the left column are what your odds would be without the dicebot, on the right your odds with the dicebot).Note that the math probably does not make sense for the right column, just illustrating how the bot would try eliminate a bit of luck.

12=2.78% 3%
11=5.56% 6%
10=8.33% 8.5%
9=11.11% 11.5%
8=13.89% 14%
7=16.67% 17%
6=13.89% 13%
5=11.11% 11%
4=8.33% 8%
3=5.56% 5%
2=2.78% 2%


So who would be willing to try this system, and would anybody be willing to try and program such a dicebot?
why not just get a deck of 36 cards, each one bearing the result of two dice, distributed per the usual - 1 card with snake eyes, two cards with a 1 and a 2, etc. Instead of rolling, you pull from the deck. Once pulled from the deck, you don't replace it in the deck until you've pulled 36 results.

There. Guaranteed to average seven. Guaranteed only one 12 result in 36. Guaranteed only one snakes.

Whole new set of problems, the ability to count cards chief among them.

Also removes some of the epicness from the game, the emotional highs and lows. What can be more exciting than getting a critical hit on the TH, and then a dud on the subsequent TK? Or getting two CH in the same ROF tear?
 

Swiftandsure

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If you have a deck of 360 cards, it reduces card counting.
 

Magpie

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If you have a deck of 360 cards, it reduces card counting.
The problem is though the outcomes are still dependent on what has gone before.

With dice, the outcome is equally likely each time you roll them so the last roll of the game is just as likely to be a 2 a 7 or a 12 as it was for the first game turn
 

Swiftandsure

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Just to be clear, I am not pleading for the replacement of dice with a deck or a "luck mitigation" system.
Just suggesting a way to answer to the card counting argument.
 

Sparafucil3

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If I were going to change the system to try and smooth things out, I would make the ATTACK DR create a DRM for a DEFENSE DR in all cases. That way both sides would roll on every attack and both sides could roll for those "lucky" or "unlucky" breaks. As it is now, if the ATTACKER rolls a 7 on an IFT 2 column with no DRM's, the DEFENDER just snickers and moves on. In the system I would create, the DEFENDER would still have to roll the dice and sweat a 12.

Of course, I also accept that would never happen and this particular ship has long since sailed. -- jim
 

Sully

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Another thought: the fact that an 8 flat shot can result in a 1KIA or nothing at all adds a whole lot of tension to playing the game, which is what keeps it exciting.

Back in the day a number of people worked on "automated" versions of ASL. A fatal flaw in all of the approaches I saw was that the software rolled the dice for you. That, pretty much, eliminates all the fun and you're left with a rather bland simulation.
 

stuh42asl

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Like life.............nothing is predicatable, So combat is the same, unpredicatable. It is proven elite troop break and run due to some unforseen event , while the greenest of troops hold out against insurmountable odds. Or your well maintained HMG may suffer from a jam due to faulty round just when you are trying to avoid being overrun. Or you almost become a victim of a sniper, when the round is deflected off your helmet. If you take out the randomness then it is not realistic.
 

von Marwitz

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So who would be willing to try this system,
Not me. Just suck it up and roll with the punches.

I have no issue with people whining about their dice. But I do not like the idea of meddling with outcomes.

von Marwitz
 

MajorDomo

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If you have a deck of 360 cards, it reduces card counting.
Operative word is "reduces".

Vegas went from one/two decks in early seventies to four decks in a dealing shoe. They now are at eight decks out of a shoe, last I visited.

As an avid blackjack counter, the four decks just slightly reduced opportunities. The eight decks do greatly reduce your favorable bet scenarios and with early shuffling pretty much eliminate the strategy.

They are not in business to lose money.

I actually enjoy the dice/luck element, evidenced by my forty year absence at chess tourneys.
 

CTKnudsen

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Have you considered a system whereby all results are decided by a series of games of rock-paper-scissors? You could modify the number of wins required based on what we now think of as DRM. So if you declared a 4FP attack at -2, for example, you would only have to win say two rounds of RPS and your opponent 6, in order to force another round to determine morale effects, whereas if it was a 1FP up 4, you would have to win 17 rounds, while your opponent only had to win 3, or something similar. Basically, every die roll, with its icky randomness, would be replaced by a purely skill-based metric. And for those wanting increased complexity, you could go with Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock!

And the beauty of it is that any skill-based oppositional contest would do! You could easily substitute footraces, or arm-wrestling, or freestyle canoeing, or colonizing other planets, or whatever you like - the possibilities are both endless and mind-boggling!

Well, ok, not freestyle canoeing, as it's a judged event. We don't want to introduce bias. But still!
 
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