variable terrain "at start" SSR

ecz

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ASL is a game and any serious attempt to simulate a battle " precisely" how it happens is obviously impossible. This is even more true when we use geo-boards that approximately represent the terrain with no serious chance to recreate the exact position of the main elements of the battlefields. See for example the board configuration of scenario J1 Urban Guerrillas (one of the best scenarios ever designed), and see how far is in the real world the Danube from the St. Stephen cathedral.

Having this in mind, I appreciate scenarios where important terrain elements change from game to game. This enhaces the replayabilty of any scenario at the very cheap cost of a simple SSR. I remember a few scenarios where the board changes at each playing, but they are not enough, probably because they make more difficult the playtest. Besides often the SSR is a little too long or complex.
Instead in any urban scenario this can be done very easily (and no overlay is required). Just add random (burning) wrecks or rubbles in key (road) hexes where the presence of a (burning) wreck can make the difference.

SSR example:

SSR: After all setup is complete the Attacker makes a dr for each of the six following hexes: ... Place a burning wreck for each 1; a wreck for each 2 or 3; NE for a 4-6.

so you could have from several to none (burning) wrecks in key hexe(s) that could force the defender to adjust his defensive position and/or suggest the attacker a different path to approach his objective. Every playing changes and the designer can modulate the parameters of the random drs according his taste.

You can make something similar also with Rubble or Debris ( see O1 from RB ) to random occupy some key points to create problems to the FL the defender would otherwise classically and automatically place.
Note however three things:
1) (burning) Wrecks are something rather unxpected for both attacker and defender and "mobile" by nature. The setup should be done BEFORE any dr for their random placement.
2) Rubble is a terrain more stable. Thus nobody should be surprised by its presence: the setup should be done AFTER their random placement.
3) Avoid if possible any blaze in spreading terrain. It's boring roll buckets of dice every AdFire ph. If you want the chance of permanent smoke somewhere, use burning wrecks in non burnable terrain...

please comment and suggest any improvement of this basic idea.
 
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witchbottles

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ASL is a game and any serious attempt to simulate a battle " precisely" how it happens is obviously impossible. This is even more true when we use geo-boards that approximately represent the terrain with no serious chance to recreate the exact position of the main elements of the battlefields. See for example the board configuration of scenario J1 Urban Guerrillas (one of the best scenarios ever designed), and see how far is in the real world the Danube from the St. Stephen cathedral.

Having this in mind, I appreciate scenarios where important terrain elements change from game to game. This enhaces the replayabilty of any scenario at the very cheap cost of a simple SSR. I remember a few scenarios where the board changes at each playing, but they are not enough, probably because they make more difficult the playtest. Besides often the SSR is a little too long or complex.
Instead in any urban scenario this can be done very easily (and no overlay is required). Just add random (burning) wrecks or rubbles in key (road) hexes where the presence of a (burning) wreck can make the difference.

SSR example:

SSR: After all setup is complete the Attacker makes a dr for each of the six following hexes: ... Place a burning wreck for each 1; a wreck for each 2 or 3; NE for a 4-6.

so you could have from several to none (burning) wrecks in key hexe(s) that could force the defender to adjust his defensive position and/or suggest the attacker a different path to approach his objective. Every playing changes and the designer can modulate the parameters of the random drs according his taste.

You can make something similar also with Rubble or Debris ( see O1 from RB ) to random occupy some key points to create problems to the FL the defender would otherwise classically and automatically place.
Note however three things:
1) (burning) Wrecks are something rather unxpected for both attacker and defender and "mobile" by nature. The setup should be done BEFORE any dr for their random placement.
2) Rubble is a terrain more stable. Thus nobody should be surprised by its presence: the setup should be done AFTER their random placement.
3) Avoid if possible any blaze in spreading terrain. It's boring roll buckets of dice every AdFire ph. If you want the chance of permanent smoke somewhere, use burning wrecks in non burnable terrain...

please comment and suggest any improvement of this basic idea.
Snow drifts work well

Shellholes from previous fighting in the area

the burnt out wreck, of course

KRL, jon H
 

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If the burning wrecks occurred from some prior action, it seems the defender would have opportunity to account for them. Placing burning wrecks after setup feels odd to me. If the defenders were in position before the tanks were wrecked, what was the cause of their destruction?
 

ecz

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If the burning wrecks occurred from some prior action, it seems the defender would have opportunity to account for them. Placing burning wrecks after setup feels odd to me. If the defenders were in position before the tanks were wrecked, what was the cause of their destruction?
yes, plausible.
but is also plausible that the (burning) wreck was just created, and the defenders had no time to adjust their defensive position or just they have not yet received any order.

I love the idea the teorically "perfect" or "obvious" defensive position could be ruined sometime (the % of times is decided by the designer) by an incident like a (burning) wreck in the wrong place, so the defender must consider in advance a "second best" setup for some units. But the attacker ignores if and how the defender managed this risk.
Adds Fog of war and suspense, makes room for some bluffes (expecially if HIP are included), leave the players basically free to decide and -for sure- changes the game at each playing.
 

Vinnie

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What about the attacker moves the wrecks through the town trying to exit the mapboard and the defender says stop at any point whereupon they become a (burning) wreck.
The attacker gets to chose the route, the defender the placement.
 

ecz

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humm...
probably the defender can most times easily find a hex along the path where the (burning) wreck causes him no problem for los and is useless for the attacker. Besides such a SSR would be too long to write in clear and plain ASLish and prevents the defender to prepare his setup in advance saving precious gaming time. In fact when a scenario forces both players to be at the table at the same time prior the setup, the appeal of the scenario is drastically reduced.
 

ecz

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Snow drifts work well

Shellholes from previous fighting in the area

the burnt out wreck, of course

KRL, jon H
yes, and probably there are other things that could be "scattered" across the battlefield not placed by players, like old trenches and foxholes, bunkers, wires, roadblocks, and also- why not - known minefields. When the front line is fluid and the same strip of terrain changes possession more times in a few days, it's quite possible there are "residual" fortifications left by the precedent owner now became Attacker...
 

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yes, and probably there are other things that could be "scattered" across the battlefield not placed by players, like old trenches and foxholes, bunkers, wires, roadblocks, and also- why not - known minefields. When the front line is fluid and the same strip of terrain changes possession more times in a few days, it's quite possible there are "residual" fortifications left by the precedent owner now became Attacker...
Exactly... then there is the well documented fact of the Berlin advance 1945 Russians using battlefield pickup PFs to create breaches just about everywhere they desired.

In those scen, perfectly plausible to allow the russ attacker to predesignate breaches in any wall, or make them as well.

I also like the BR:T version of Pre game bombardmanets for heavy stonks prior to the assault , ie a 3 hex radius, no immune hexes.

etc, etc.

KRL, Jon H
 
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