SASL V3 Changes?

DQuin

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Considering that MMP will be doing a long awaited re-print of SASL, if there ever were to be a SASL V3, what changes would you like to see made to the game and/or game system?

Would you only like to see additional nations added? Or would you actually like to see some game mechanics tweaked and improved upon? Please explain! 

Curious to know if you think SASL is good as-is, or if it’s a system that you think needs some improvement. 
 

Barking Monkey

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I put a pretty extensive list of what was on my wish list in my earlier "SASL Claus" thread back in October. To paraphrase:

Rules: There's very little I want to see in changes to the existing chapter S rules - mainly I'd like to see a clear, generic, definition of what constitutes a 'w', 'c', and 'v' board rather than having them defined board-by-board on table A9. This way TPP boards and MMP boards published subsequent to chapter 'S' releases could be quickly put into use. I've always wondered about including the Chinese and Axis Minors with the US and Italians as nationalities that get a +1 panic DRM, since their 1st line squads have '7' morale rather than '6' and presumably don't require a compensating factor.
Most of the rules changes I'd like to see are in the DYO parts of chapters E and H. Outside of Europe the DYO weather tables are pretty bad/silly. The EC rules mean that, even in Europe, you're going to be playing a lot of games in 'mud' or 'snow' - which unbalances several missions (I actually roll 2 dice and take the higher result for this.) The ELR of US forces should be at least one higher across the board if you want to get anywhere near the original SL concept of 'break quickly and rally quickly'.

New material: Most of what I want is updating material. Adding in the new boards with their vpo locations to the existing tables for one. Revisiting table A11 would also be in order. The 'Pursuit' mission S? placement text needs to be fixed so most of us can know what's supposed to happen - they actually released some errata for this mission that doesn't help at all. The Escape mission is FAR too punishing - you can basically lose the campaign in one mission if things go badly, I don't even try to play it to win anymore - when it comes up I accept it's going to be a loss and just play to get my company out intact. It's a shame since it's a cool concept and could fairly easily be fixed.

A couple of the other missions could use balance tweaks, imo. There are four-ish missions I already use handicaps for when I play them b/c my win-loss record was getting very lopsided in my favor.

Adding new nationalities is honestly fairly low on my priority list. I'd like to see the Japanese get fixed before they start adding new ones (if they can't figure out how to have the Japanese run properly as a FRIENLDY company against the US and UK forces I don't see how they will get the Korean War Chinese to work.)

As far as less prosaic stuff - it would be fun to get more one-off "HASL/SASL" missions similar to whats been included in a couple of the journals and some TPP modules. The standard missions are pretty clearly made for campaign play and don't really run that well as standalone games. This (imo) is where the historical missions really shine.

I've gone into more detail in the above mentioned thread so I won't repeat it all here.
 

DQuin

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You
A couple of the other missions could use balance tweaks, imo. There are four-ish missions I already use handicaps for when I play them b/c my win-loss record was getting very lopsided in my favor.
Would you mind sharing the missions that you find unbalanced and what handicaps you use?

I’ll be starting a new campaign and would love to test them out.
 

Barking Monkey

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In my own experience (ymmv) Enemy Offensive, Patrol, Recon and Pursuit all strongly favor the FRIENDLY side. As a handicap I've started awarding myself only 1/2 CVP in these missions. Caveat Emptor - I haven't played these enough with the handicap in place to know how effective it is, but it's a starting point.

On the other side, "Bridgehead" somewhat favors the ENEMY side when I play, but I've only got 5 playings of this one so I have less of a track record to go on (with one win and 4 losses of it.)

Like I do with everyone, I encourage you to keep your own notes of games you've played (at a minimum your win/loss record by mission). I began doing this myself right at the start of my SASL 'career' and the info has proven useful. I'd also encourage you to log your games on the ASL Scenario Archive, which has entries for all the original 2nd edition SASL missions.

As far as "Escape" goes - if I had the job of fixing it I think I'd still count each FRIENDLY unit left on the board at game end as lost for mission win/loss determination, but rather than erasing them from the company roster I'd have a 'straggler' roll for each unit to see if they were really lost or not (e.g. dr 1= actually lost, otherwise returned to company roster - that's just an example, you'd have to do some playtesting to find a proper dr/DR threshold.) I'd also DEFINITELY have an MSR that negates mud or snow EC for this mission.
 

DQuin

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@Barking Monkey , I'll go with that handicap when I play my upcoming campaign.

Have you tried Andrea Fantozzi's SASL Mission Generation Project and SASL++? I've played a few of his missions and his rules are very well thought out. It's a different flavor of SASL, more akin to normal scenarios. There's not as many Suspect counters as the number is based on your unit size. The FRIENDLY side has support points to spend on things like AFV's, reinforcements, OBA, etc. It's quite fun.
 

Honosbinda

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@Barking Monkey , I'll go with that handicap when I play my upcoming campaign.

Have you tried Andrea Fantozzi's SASL Mission Generation Project and SASL++? I've played a few of his missions and his rules are very well thought out. It's a different flavor of SASL, more akin to normal scenarios. There's not as many Suspect counters as the number is based on your unit size. The FRIENDLY side has support points to spend on things like AFV's, reinforcements, OBA, etc. It's quite fun.
Can you provide a PDF link or web location to access this Fantozzi system? thanks -- sounds interesting.
 

Barking Monkey

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Fantozzi's system is unfamiliar to me as well - since I'm not on Facebook I'm afraid it'll probably remain that way.
 

DQuin

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I’m asking him for permission. If approved I’ll post here.
 

DVexile

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Heres a google drive link to the current version of Andrea Fantozzi's SASL MGP / SASL++

It's very well done and worth learning.

Holy moly, that's impressive!!!

I recently grabbed his PBS rules (Play Both Sides) that someone helpfully posted to Discord - another impressive undertaking.
 

DQuin

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Yeah, it’s no joke. It’s seriously great.
 

Honosbinda

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Thanks for posting!

68 pages! even my SASL version 2 has only 31 pages total. Yes, the Play Both Sides is also quite detailed. I'm not so sure though, that the level of detail warrants my time in trying to learn it. Unless there is some duplication of rules, we're talkning about adding 100 pages to SASL rules for both. I can easily play both sides by just using the regular rules and playing both sides to the best of my ability.

At some point the return on investment of time grocking these rules is seriously diminished.
 

DQuin

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Yeah I hear what you’re saying about detail. I can’t manage the level of detail of the PBS rules when it comes to enemy fire.
The thing I like about his SASL rules is that it approaches a few things differently that I like a lot.
  • there’s way less Suspect counters to deal with as they’re dependent on your company size. This makes creating your own missions much easier, especially on HASL maps which are not standard size.
  • His support points rules add a lot to a campaign and allow more use of AFV’s, air support, OBA, etc. rather than relaying solely on random events, you sand spend points and call in reinforcements.
  • His activation table is more likely to create more AFV’s, which makes for a tougher Enemy. Which also plays well with the use of support points
 

DQuin

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Thanks for posting!

68 pages! even my SASL version 2 has only 31 pages total. Yes, the Play Both Sides is also quite detailed. I'm not so sure though, that the level of detail warrants my time in trying to learn it. Unless there is some duplication of rules, we're talkning about adding 100 pages to SASL rules for both. I can easily play both sides by just using the regular rules and playing both sides to the best of my ability.

At some point the return on investment of time grocking these rules is seriously diminished.
A lot of it is replacement of rules, rather than just addition of rules. He’s approaching several things differently, so there are new rules for how he’s approaching it. I hear you though in terms of investment time to learn a bunch of new rules.
 

Honosbinda

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A lot of it is replacement of rules, rather than just addition of rules. He’s approaching several things differently, so there are new rules for how he’s approaching it. I hear you though in terms of investment time to learn a bunch of new rules.
Thanks for the excellent feedback about rules purposes and intentions. SASL has been moribund for some time, and of course I'm glad they are reviving it. I wonder who is the mover and shaker behind the scenes for changes, or if they are going to just reiussue it with the missing factions such as Finns and Korea. I hope they will at least do that.

Meanwhile, I like the idea of less activation markers and more bells and whistles. I never mind learning rules if they are worth the effort. Sounds like that is definitely the case. I will definitely check them out.

cheers Marc
 

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I wonder if this bothers anyone else and should be changed in V3? We have Gray "Enemy" RE/AC and Green "Friendly" counters. But we have Gray "Axis" and Green "Allied" VPO counters. Couldn't we just have Gray "Enemy" and Green "Friendly" VPO counters instead? My OCD twitches every time I lay out the counters to play.
 

Honosbinda

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I wonder if this bothers anyone else and should be changed in V3? We have Gray "Enemy" RE/AC and Green "Friendly" counters. But we have Gray "Axis" and Green "Allied" VPO counters. Couldn't we just have Gray "Enemy" and Green "Friendly" VPO counters instead? My OCD twitches every time I lay out the counters to play.
You're right. funny I didn't notice so it didn't bother me. But it would be more consistent with game terminology to have markers 'Friendly/Enemy.'
 

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I hope it comes out soon. ASL was the first non-solo game I purchased in years. I figured There was a model for solo so go for it. Only to discover it was OOP and used costs were insane. I hope they don't overload it with too much focus on hidden units and minute details. The critical part is a smooth and intuitive SOP, hopefully with the opponent action mostly card-driven like the LnL system. Looking up things on a dozen tables is not a smooth playing experience. Without a computer-driven AI system, you can't account for every situation. LnL at times just says make the most logical move or choice. My house rule is to do what is LEAST advantageous to me. After all, it is a game and an abstraction. Let the new system flow so the player can create the narrative/story in their head as they play and not let the mechanics get in the way of the adventure.
 

mburskey

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SASL is something beyond ASL. I have played many ASL scenarios/campaigns. I have played a few SASL scenarios. SASL is intimidating but very playable. The player has to remember the SASL SOP and the significance of each dice roll. Once you get the routine and some of the rules down, it will make more sense. I forget a lot rules while playing but it balances out for both sides in a scenario. And you start to figure things out...like learning and remembering rules after playing ASL with a friend. A SASL player should not cheat and should play the situation as if they were playing as the enemy.

It can also be a little frightening. I dread every roll. When I see the AC# rolled, I shake my head and await the worst. Example, advancing a friendly squad closer to a ? suspect counter to roll the Activation number, and generate a Tiger II with a 9-1 armor leader, blocking a crucial path to an exit hex row. This truly unknown factor makes SASL a very unique ASL experience.

I played a coop scenario with a friend of mine where the British had to exit the bottom of a one-map scenario. We decided to make things more interesting than SASL proper (e.g. strict SASL rule interpretation). We played as if the Germans were dynamic...both in HOLD and ADVANCE status. They could move or hold based on the situation, with movement not based on the rigid SASL MOVE rules. It made for a much more interesting game.

SASL is a great ASL experience; similar but different. I can't wait for the updated release of SASL (hopefully they update the nationalities to include Korea, update the map generation chart and most importantly...add desert rules!!)
 

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Korea SASL was being worked on by Lincoln Hubley about 1-2 years ago, as I playtested some of the Missions with new Nationality Generation Tables. Have not heard anything since though.
 
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