Tacticians or Lawyers?

Where lies the 'edge' in the game of ASL?

  • The rules

    Votes: 54 36.0%
  • Tactics

    Votes: 96 64.0%

  • Total voters
    150

Chas Argent

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I saw one or two big fat scary rules yelling matches at ASLOK this year; it happens, people get tired, but man it is ugly. I would just hand my opponent the game in that situation. That's not why I'm playin'....
 

RobZagnut

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I think we might be able to put this one to bed. Let me know if you have a differing opinion.

Probably, in the first 1-5 years of playing ASL rules knowledge is more important.

After 5 years when we can assume that everyone has pretty much the same level or close to the same level of rules knowledge, it is the better tactician that will win most of the games.
 

Legion

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At least games between tacticians flow better and move faster... Rules lawyers take too long!
 

Legion

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Jay White said:
Sounds like someone had a recent bad experience...?
:laugh: No, actually a discussion JP and i have been having made me think of it... of the useless hours spent arguing over a +1 here or there... but i must say that in general i do find it frustrating... it is a game, we are not playing for sheep-stations and sometimes the strict adherance to rules does get in the way of the flow of the game!
 

Jay White

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I don't know what a sheep-station is, but it doesn't sound like something to get very worked-up about either :)
 

Pitman

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You have to distinguish between the derogatory term "rules lawyer," in the sense of someone who wants to argue over every rule, and someone who is a master of the rules. The latter will not necessarily slow down a game.
 

'Ol Fezziwig

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Rules knowledge and tactics are interrelated: by having the knowledge of the rules, you free yourself of the shackles of them allowing the creation and use of tactics based on their parameters. Pitbulls' 'tank in trouble' scenario is such an example (though I think the conclusion he draws is only partially correct) Getting the Sherman out of trouble requires the knowledge of the available options (ie, rules knowledge) but the implementation of them is pure tactics.

Personally, in my own experience, I find (granting a limited sample base, mind you) "rules lawyers" to be unimaginative and easily ruffled by non-conformist play. The best tacticians I know have a decent grasp of the rules, but can force you to have to make the most deliciously painful decisions with every swish of cardboard.
 

Legion

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Jay White said:
I don't know what a sheep-station is, but it doesn't sound like something to get very worked-up about either :)
"Playing for Sheep-stations" is an Aussie expression stating that you are putting a lot on the line... it is usually used in a derogatory way - to say that it is not as though one is playing for control of heaven and earth!

In Oz we have sheep-stations in the outback that are the size of small European countries
 

Legion

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pitman said:
You have to distinguish between the derogatory term "rules lawyer," in the sense of someone who wants to argue over every rule, and someone who is a master of the rules. The latter will not necessarily slow down a game.
Hard to find a better definition of 'rules lawyer' than this, Mark
 

Treadhead

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pitman said:
You have to distinguish between the derogatory term "rules lawyer," in the sense of someone who wants to argue over every rule, and someone who is a master of the rules. The latter will not necessarily slow down a game.
Good point, Mark. I have always thought of the term "rules lawyer" as derogatory.

I have not really known any player to be a "rules lawyer" during play. In my experience, any contention is handled in some objective, random manner.

In a forum, or on a mailing list, however...

I note that this thread seems to concentrate on "rules lawyers", even though the poll itself asks wherein lies the edge in ASL, "the rules" or "tactics". I have come to believe that the poll question is not well conceived. There have been many replies to the effect of, "given equal rules mastery, tactics will prevail". Well, given equal rules knowledge, of course the better tactician should be better.

I still contend that you must first be a rules master before you can be a tactics master. There is no way you can become an ASL tactician unless you know the ASL rules.

(Having a tactical intuition -- e.g. "place smoke" -- is useless and meaningless unless you know that there is an ASL rule for "smoke". I have read many tactical analyses -- though I have thankfully never been involved in combat -- that state something to the effect of "use overwatch fire". Okay, that could be sound tactical advice; now, what does that mean in ASL?)

Rules first; tactics after.

Regards,
Bruce Bakken
 

Treadhead

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[QUOTE='Ol Fezziwig]The best tacticians I know have a decent grasp of the rules, but can force you to have to make the most deliciously painful decisions with every swish of cardboard.[/QUOTE]
I daresay that the best tacticians have more that a "decent grasp" of the rules, otherwise they would not know how to put the opponent in such painful decisions.

It doesn't take a tactician to know how to take best advantage of "VBM sleaze"; but it does take a rules master to understand the implications and use it to full advantage.

Regards,
Bruce Bakken
 

Pitman

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I always wondered if you would be a rules lawyer during play, Bruce, because you seem so interested in rules interpretations (including sometimes, shall we say, novel ones).
 

Tompy

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I just thought of this.

If you were sitting at a table at a tournament and a rules question popped up, who would you ask, the guy at 5-0 or the guy at 1-4? I'd ask the guy that is 5-0 because I would assume he knew the rules better. So my perception is that to be good you must know the rules.

Later,
Jeff
 

Treadhead

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pitman said:
I always wondered if you would be a rules lawyer during play, Bruce, because you seem so interested in rules interpretations (including sometimes, shall we say, novel ones).
I'm a little surprised that you would wonder that, because I have stated so many times that I am not like that during play. I suppose it's a fair question, since you and I have not played each other. We shall have to remedy that some day, time and place permitting.

I indulge in rules interpretations on the forum (or more likely, on the ASLML) because it seems the only place appropriate for such intense scrutiny.

IIRC, the only strange interpretation I was pressing on involved Target Acquisition. Even I admit that I was a bit "anally literal", and I let it drop. (I still believe the wording -- and in particular the verbs used -- are not in the proper syntax for what, evidently, it really is supposed to mean. "Retain" is not the same as "gain".)

The ASLRB is replete with really poor wording; where I get "novel", I suppose, is when I attack that wording. JMO, of course. I know that you do not care for lengthy rules discussions. (I can't remember offhand you really participating in one...)

Regards,
Bruce Bakken
 

Pitman

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I am more likely to remember your rules discussions than a post from you stating that you are not like that during play...
 

'Ol Fezziwig

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bebakken said:
I daresay that the best tacticians have more that a "decent grasp" of the rules, otherwise they would not know how to put the opponent in such painful decisions.

Perhaps, on the face of it, that may seem a slam dunk. However, in practice, that is not always the case. One of the best pure ASL players I know has a 'decent' grasp of the rules. He is not fluent in every arcane nook and cranny of the ASLRB. What he does have is an incredible sense of timing and a good enough grasp of what can and cannot be done to make nearly everey game have to go down to the last. Now, I'm not insinuating he doesn't have a handle on the rules; what I'm saying is when we play, we put our heads down and charge into it, leaving the game to its' own flow. Our play is remarkably clean (any questions/potential questions are quickly checked or jotted down to look up later) non-the-less.

I do not hold him to be a "rules master", but a "master ASL player": there's a big difference. :nuts:
 

McFinn

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Put me in Mastering the Rules is a prerequiste for Masterful ASL Tactics camp.

If you do not have Mastery of the Rules you will be occassionaly be unable to implement your Masterful Tactics due to incomplete rules knowledge. The reverse is not true.

The fun of the game is in striving for Tactical Mastery, and in watching the cardboard carnage unfold as your incomplete Mastery of the Rules and/or tactics is revealed.

On a side note I think leaving the bulk of rules discussion/debate until after a game is best. Roll odd/even if a dispute lasts more than a few mintutes and play on.

Keith
 
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Tater

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McFinn said:
Put me in Mastering the Rules is a prerequiste for Masterful ASL Tactics camp.
Agreed...it is no guarantee. But, to be good at tactics one must understand what the options are in any given situation. One has to know about SF, BFF, FPF, Bore Sighting, HtH, IF, Double Time, etc...before one can use them. Once the knowledge relative to the options is in hand then it is a matter of experience to learn when to use them.
 
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