should a HASL allow ahistorical actions in a CG?

Michael R

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In Historical ASL modules, have past designers ever done anything to prevent a player from doing something ahistorical?

I ask because of my work with the Ortona module. The town of Ortona is on a plateau that has a ravine on three sides (north, east and west). Historically the Canadians attacked from the south and did not attack from either flank, although there was some limited access to the town from the east and west flanks. I've read the some mines were encountered on the east flank during scouting. I believe that the west flank may have been exposed to fire from nearby hills, as well as the town.

During a recent playtest, a player has made strong pushes on different CG dates on the east and west flanks, partly for easy stone locations, and partly to see if it breaks the CG. The breaking aspect is still being played out.

My question is: should the designer prevent this ahistorical action?

My opinion is "no", but I want to hear from others.
 

Actionjick

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In Historical ASL modules, have past designers ever done anything to prevent a player from doing something ahistorical?

I ask because of my work with the Ortona module. The town of Ortona is on a plateau that has a ravine on three sides (north, east and west). Historically the Canadians attacked from the south and did not attack from either flank, although there was some limited access to the town from the east and west flanks. I've read the some mines were encountered on the east flank during scouting. I believe that the west flank may have been exposed to fire from nearby hills, as well as the town.

During a recent playtest, a player has made strong pushes on different CG dates on the east and west flanks, partly for easy stone locations, and partly to see if it breaks the CG. The breaking aspect is still being played out.

My question is: should the designer prevent this ahistorical action?

My opinion is "no", but I want to hear from others.
No. Although a solution would be to provide options so the CG could either be played historically or ahistorically. Historically for a taste of the action as it was and ahistorically for how the player would have improved upon what the actual participants did. The former approach for those " accuracy fans " and the latter for the " what if ? " aficionados.
 

BattleSchool

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If playtesting reveals that flanking will break with history, then perhaps one could build disincentives into the design. These disincentives could include a special allocation of minefield factors in the initial OB that can only be used in a defined area on the east side of town. The western approaches could be "covered" in any number of abstract ways. For example, offboard weapons that can only target the western outskirts of the town, or a separate Sniper counter with a high SAN that is only triggered by enemy units that have crossed a designated line west of the town proper, and which only targets them. These measures wouldn't prevent the Canadians from flanking the town, but could prove costly while allowing time for the Germans to shift forces to meet the threat.
 

footsteps

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Require all Reinforcements to enter via South edge; minimize Concealment/Rally terrain features on East/West approaches, with clear LOS from plateau; higher SAN for lower elevations.
 

Carln0130

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I would recommend some additional research. See if there is additional evidence as to why this approach was not chosen. More often than not, either a geographical or military reason was present for not pursuing a certain course of action. If that turns up nothing, a restructuring of the VC may be in order, especially if the ground being taken was superfluous to the historical force attaining the objective. If none of that applies and the approach could have been tried but wasn't, I would leave well enough alone. Definitely do a dive into the history of the event and see if you might not uncover something first. Also, if there has not been too much sprawl in all these years, perhaps Google Earth and old maps could help too.
 
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Actionjick

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If you are prevented from doing something different than what wuz done historically WTF is the point of a CG?
Obviously Jazz is a " what if " kind of guy. 🤗
 

Blackcloud6

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Like many things tactical, it depends. if the "ahistorical" action was tactically possible at the time of the real event, then players should have that option. if there were reason outside the scope of the action, such as higher command restrictions, boundary lines or like you suggest fire from high ground off to flank, then some form of disincentive to use the tactic or outright make it not allowable is perfectly fine. And one should explain the reasons for such in the designer's nots.
 

von Marwitz

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A historical CG should allow anything that would have been possible with the units, the terrain, and conditions at hand in the historical circumstances.

If a certain avenue of attack has not been taken historically but it could have been taken historically, then of course, it should be allowed.

If historically a certain avenue of attack was blocked (say, due to a gadzillion of King-Tiger tanks historically lurking just beyond the edge of the playing area, you get my meaning...), then it should not be allowed.

Altogether, historically viable options open to the historical commander should not be forbidden simply because they have not been taken at the time. This would artificially limit the options which historically existed - and this would be ahistorical.

von Marwitz
 

lluis61

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A historical CG should allow anything that would have been possible with the units, the terrain, and conditions at hand in the historical circumstances.

If a certain avenue of attack has not been taken historically but it could have been taken historically, then of course, it should be allowed.

If historically a certain avenue of attack was blocked (say, due to a gadzillion of King-Tiger tanks historically lurking just beyond the edge of the playing area, you get my meaning...), then it should not be allowed.

Altogether, historically viable options open to the historical commander should not be forbidden simply because they have not been taken at the time. This would artificially limit the options which historically existed - and this would be ahistorical.

von Marwitz
And I could add: If a player feels that an approach to the combat could be a better one that the one that he knows it didn't work historically... Well, in my opinion that is for what ASL stands for. Otherwise, it would be an overextended AAR...
 
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Actionjick

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And I could add: If a player feels that an approach to the combat could be a better one that the one that he knows it didn't work historically... Well, in my opinion that is for what ASL stands for. Otherwise, it would be and overextended AAR...
And the choir says Amen!
 

von Marwitz

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And I could add: If a player feels that an approach to the combat could be a better one that the one that he knows it didn't work historically... Well, in my opinion that is for what ASL stands for. Otherwise, it would be an overextended AAR...
Good point!

von Marwitz
 

Hutch

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Cue Critical Hit: Custer had his Gatling Guns at Greasy Grass (Little Big Horn...)
 

Actionjick

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Cue Critical Hit: Custer had his Gatling Guns at Greasy Grass (Little Big Horn...)
The Twilight Zone episode with the tank crew at Little Big Horn.

" They should have taken the tank. "
 

wrongway149

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In a CG, the player has control of the battle at a higher level than in a regular scenario -- so any choices that were available to say a regimental/division commander should be available to the player, (with attendant trade-offs, of course.) -- regardless of whether or not the respective historical counterparts actually CHOSE those options.

This vs. the battalion/company command level in an ASL scenario.
 

Actionjick

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In a CG, the player has control of the battle at a higher level than in a regular scenario -- so any choices that were available to say a regimental/division commander should be available to the player, (with attendant trade-offs, of course.) -- regardless of whether or not the respective historical counterparts actually CHOSE those options.

This vs. the battalion/company command level in an ASL scenario.
I am for almost anything in the realm of historical possibility. No lasers on D-Day. It's Interesting to see how different choices in strategy or tactics work out.

I've been playing Civ 3 PTW a thousand turn campaign. I've gone back 50 turns already to see how a different strategy works. It worked better than my original efforts. I have been thinking about going back 150 turns to pursue an even better strategy.

That is the beauty of a campaign game. The " there is a tomorrow " and the ability to pursue a different path than the one originally taken. Or you can take the original path and see if you can outperform the original " players". Great stuff!!!
 
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