Scenario Design books

Morbii

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I've noticed two separate scenario design books out there for ASL (Pitman's and Dorosh's). Are either of them any good/worth it if I want to try my hand at ASL scenario design? Are there more options out there as well?
 

sswann

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The Pitman book is a basic primer on design concepts and comes with an example of a scenario design. It does have a good listing of some of the more 'standard' SSR.

The Dorosh book has more detail as to the Order of Battle of different nationalities in ASL terms.

The other option is to "ask a designer for assistance". Most designers will be happy to proof and offer suggestions on improving a scenario design. Just remember that their suggestions will reflect their own way of looking at a design and rarely will they agree on most points. In the final say, its your design, so go with what feels good to you.

In my case... my very first design was my best design. 20 years later and I am still trying to duplicate that quality.
 

wrongway149

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In my case... my very first design was my best design. 20 years later and I am still trying to duplicate that quality.

One of my furts (and teh firsta ctually published.

Was G29 Shoot N' Scoot.

Among the best balanced of my works, and fun to play (lots of toys.)
 

chris_olden

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The other option is to "ask a designer for assistance". Most designers will be happy to proof and offer suggestions on improving a scenario design. Just remember that their suggestions will reflect their own way of looking at a design and rarely will they agree on most points. In the final say, its your design, so go with what feels good to you.

In my case... my very first design was my best design. 20 years later and I am still trying to duplicate that quality.
Yes to paragraph #1.
Steve is far too modest in paragraph #2.
:smoke:
 

Glennbo

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I've only read Pitman's guide. It's got a lot of interesting information in it, and was an enjoyable read. But I never refer to it when designing scenarios. Perhaps a new designer would find it more useful in that regard.
 

Psycho

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I've only read Pitman's guide. It's got a lot of interesting information in it, and was an enjoyable read. But I never refer to it when designing scenarios. Perhaps a new designer would find it more useful in that regard.
Read them both and enjoyed Dorosh's slightly more. Pitman's is probably more useful for an up and coming young designer. Dorosh's is just full of useless info (kinda like Dorosh himself). :)
 

Michael Dorosh

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I've noticed two separate scenario design books out there for ASL (Pitman's and Dorosh's). Are either of them any good/worth it if I want to try my hand at ASL scenario design?
Apologies for not responding sooner. The other replies make mention of one them in particular, and I think they are correct in suggesting that one doesn't need to be interested in designing scenarios to get value from a book on scenario design. I used to watch the late Bob Ross' TV show on PBS all the time - he with the helmet hair and the 'happy trees' and I've never painted a tree in my life. He was simply entertaining and I found the show, and him, very entertaining. It was fun to see the creative process in action, and gain an understanding of how the artwork was put together. In that respect, Mark's book or an article in The General or ASL Journal on the topic of scenario design is of general interest even if one never designs a scenario.

I would suggest that it would be impossible to write a book on how to paint Picassos just as much as it is impossible to write a book on how to make "good scenarios" since everyone's definition will vary. It's subjective; in the end it is art. The book shows you the basics of what you need, and provides some detail in how to achieve a basic product, but will not explain what you need to get other people to think you are any good at it.

Stuart Tucker wrote the following in The General sometime near the end of that magazine's run. It seems apt:

God knows I could create an ASL scenario in less than an hour. Would it be publishable within the standards of the ASL gaming community? Absolutely not. The ASL players have come to expect their scenarios to meet certain criteria that revolve around historical accuracy, playability and competitive play balance... These issues are what make playtesting critical to the success of an ASL scenario or a game design.

I guess all I can offer is that it is not rocket science. Anyone can deduce from a few scenario cards what the basics are. My book goes further and, using detailed references which are footnoted, details some tips on how you might optimize your efforts. There are detailed examples and walkthroughs, and historical data to guide your efforts. Mark's book also provides tips on optimizing your product, and includes such extras as an extensive appendix of sample SSRs.

If there is some particular aspect of the book you are particularly interested in, feel free to email me and I'd be happy to send you a sample chapter. Thanks for your interest.

Are there more options out there as well?
Steven Swann had an article in Critical Hit on the subject of scenario design which was quite brilliant, and which I mention every time the subject comes up. I'd need to look up the exact reference now, but if interested I can do so. I understand Pete Shelling has an article scheduled to appear in the Journal in the future also; his reputation speaks for itself. The ASL Clinic article in The General Volume 20 No. 6 by Jon Mishcon is also worth a look if you can find it, as it has two sample scenarios and shows how a draft scenario was revised for publication.
 
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fwheel73

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I've noticed two separate scenario design books out there for ASL (Pitman's and Dorosh's). Are either of them any good/worth it if I want to try my hand at ASL scenario design? Are there more options out there as well?
Several threads can be found in Gamesquad on these two books. I think it is safe to say that the costs are minor for anyone interested in design and that both books should be on your shelf. After you read these books--over one weekend-- you will be ready for the next step.:)

Now I expect you to order both of these books tomorrow and prepare two book reports on these books by October 1.... we'll be looking for them right here!:D

Best regards,:salute:
John

ps and your first scenario design to be posted here by January 1!! :eek:
 

AZslim

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Another source of knowledge here. Right in this very thread are two VERY experienced scenario designers. Steve Swann and Glennbo. Hit 'em up for info.
I'm sure Steve will share any info he has.............Glennbo..............well........:D
 

sswann

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Which one was your first design?


John
G8 RECON IN FORCE, US Rangers vs. German/Italians in Gela, 1943. The General, Vol 25-5.

Designed as an accessory scenario for the historical article "DARBY'S RANGERS" in the same issue.
 

dlazov

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Cool beans I remember that one...for a Marine your a pretty cool dude...

from an old army guy...lol
 

prymus

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I would go check out the 2Halfsquads podcast and look for the episode that discusse both books in a fair amount of detail. Good info there, just my opinion of course.
 

jwb3

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G8 RECON IN FORCE, US Rangers vs. German/Italians in Gela, 1943. The General, Vol 25-5.

Designed as an accessory scenario for the historical article "DARBY'S RANGERS" in the same issue.
Ah, yes. I was pretty sure that series of articles were where I'd first encountered your name, although the design that I directly associate with them is "Cat and Mouse".

But back in those days of no acknowledgment of the scenario's designer (though I understand their reasoning), for all I knew you'd done something a lot earlier!


John
 

RobZagnut

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G8 RECON IN FORCE, US Rangers vs. German/Italians in Gela, 1943. The General, Vol 25-5.

Designed as an accessory scenario for the historical article "DARBY'S RANGERS" in the same issue.

Dang! No wonder you're still trying to better yout first scenario. Recon In Force is one of my favorites and it's a classic. I love the ability to play 3 players and the Germans and Italian mix is too cool.

Great scenario.
 

sswann

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Ah, yes. I was pretty sure that series of articles were where I'd first encountered your name, although the design that I directly associate with them is "Cat and Mouse".

But back in those days of no acknowledgment of the scenario's designer (though I understand their reasoning), for all I knew you'd done something a lot earlier!
John
CAT AND MOUSE was a scenario that was companion to the FSSF (First Special Service Force) article in a different issue of the General.
 

Martin Mayers

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I bought the Pit book and found it very dissapointing if I'm honest (sorry Mark).
I wanted and expected a book which would detail national OOBs and give some significant insights into balancing and playtesting and the like and, from my recollection, the rather 'basic' style of the book fell short.
I'll take another look later today to see if I'm being fair or not.
Haven't purchased the Dorosh book...not easy to get hold of over here and probably wouldn't now as I've lost the desire to design one.
 

dlazov

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I do know that the M. Dorosh book does contain detailed OOB type of stuff for each nationality.
 
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