What does ASL do better/worse than any other Game?

Aries

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Nope not an isolated incident guys. It's not just the ASL DYO, it's the whole concept of DYO.

DYO in Steel Panthers for instance. It's a total bust just as bad. I have been on forums where the whole deal involves complicated pregame negotiating on what is considered acceptable and what is considered unfair during force selection.

DYO is of no value in any game that prides itself on historical value. How can we ***** and chew over something so intensely in ASL like national characteristics etc etc etc, and then permit the players to invent none existent conditions that would never exist and call it acceptable?

One cancels out the other. Would you allow me to use American 9-9-9 squads if I explained they were all made of Sgt Rock veterans? I'd be willing to pay an increased point value eh.

Without a realistic historical framework, we might as well dispense with historical accuracy entirely.
 

Jo.B

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worst:
GDW Assault series do better sighting and simulating tank battles

best:
ASL is cheap due to its replayvalue
 
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Earthpig

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worst:
GDW Assault series do better sighting and simulating tank battles

best:
ASL is cheap due to its replayvalue
The Assault series LOS chart was cool:smoke: but to say ASL is CHEAP!! :eek:
P.S. is there any way we can make a los chart similar to the Assault one without infringement violations?:smoke:
 

Will Fleming

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ASL is good at sucking up my money for something that I actually don't use that much.

You guys better be around when I retire and have some time :smoke:
 

Michael Dorosh

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The other think that ASL does much better than other games I have played is double-blind (i.e. two players and a referee). Couple this with DYO and you have a situation that keeps both players on the edge of their seats for the game. I have run many DYO double-blind games and everyone always had a great time.
What is it about ASL that makes it particularly better suited for double-blind than, say, PanzerBlitz or ATS or any other tactical game system? Sounds like another fanboy comment to me.
 

Santino

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The other think that ASL does much better than other games I have played is double-blind (i.e. two players and a referee). Couple this with DYO and you have a situation that keeps both players on the edge of their seats for the game. I have run many DYO double-blind games and everyone always had a great time.
This is very true - i ran in one, and it was a blast. There is much more fog of war. IIRC, I ended up dismounting and firing at a wrecked vehicle early on, something that would never happen in a regular ASL game- should have paid more attention to the briefing! :)
 

Santino

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What is it about ASL that makes it particularly better suited for double-blind than, say, PanzerBlitz or ATS or any other tactical game system? Sounds like another fanboy comment to me.
The fog of war aspect, which ASL does in a fairly marginal manner is drastically increased. Combined that with the other positive aspects of ASL, and it's far superior to any other double-blind game I've played.
 

Mr. Omaha

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The fog of war aspect, which ASL does in a fairly marginal manner is drastically increased. Combined that with the other positive aspects of ASL, and it's far superior to any other double-blind game I've played.
One thing worth mentioning (although not very popular with many in the community) is the fog of war aspect that SASL provides. Although certain aspects of the activation rules are a bit spotty, I do like the tenseness that SASL provides with respect to fog of war. :)

I do want to point out that the classic AH game Flat Top as well as the Yaquinto produced C.V. are both exceptional double blind games. Finding suitable opponents to play them however could be a challenge... :upset:


Kindest Regards,


Vince DiMaggio
 

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GOOD:

NOT SO GOOD:

The Armor Rules – which suffer somewhat by being forced to operate within an infantry-game framework. Note the number of ASL players who won't play an all-armor scenario, and the general lack of interest in armor-heavy desert battles. But, I still prefer ASL's armor game to that of any other system I've tried (and I do like all-armor & desert scenarios).
As much as I love ASL I'm in complete agreement with Jay here. I've long felt that tanks were "shoe horned" into an infantry game framework (which is outstanding BTW!). Armor has always just felt wrong to me. I'll name a few of my concerns.

Armor Penetration: In ASL the "uniform" front armor simply cannot be penetrated by low velocity shells no matter what the range, baring a "critical hit". To give an example: I've read several accounts of a run of the mill Sherman with a 75 mm taking down a Panther from the front (in fact read the aftermath for Bastard Tanks and Shootin’ Fools for such an account). And yet in ASL when a Sherman is forced to deal with a Panther head on, it has no chance other than a snake eyes. Perhaps 1 in 36 is the appropriate level of chance but I preferred the Tobruk system where some kind of beneficial result other than total destruction may occur – such as killing a single crewman, knocking out the gun or an mg, immobilizing the opponent etc. Admittedly the “Tobruk” approach can only be taken by layering on even more rules to ASL. :rolleyes:

Speed: This is the big on for me. In ASL vehicles are in essence either moving or they’re not. There is absolutely no difference between shooting at a vehicle moving 5 mph or one moving 40 mph. The reverse is also true, a vehicle shooting on the move at 1 mph suffers just as much adverse effects to its shot as another vehicle moving 35 mph. Note the Case J modifiers do not attempt to remedy this situation but rather the effect of a vehicle “popping out” from behind a LOS obstruction.

Crew Proficiency: The Armor Leader Rules mitigate a lot of the problem here with the greater chance for scoring a hit by the higher morale crews (a nicely trained gunner) but ASL fails to give the well trained loader/commander/gunner team a higher rate of fire over the less trained crews.

Real World Simulation: I don’t know how to state this other than some real world tactics seem to fail in ASL. I’ll give an example: In the real world a favored armor defensive tactic would be to hide turret down, pull into a prepared position (crest) knock out a few rounds (and hopefully targets), pull back into the turret down position, and then to reposition to an entirely new prepared position and repeat process. ASL just can't simulate this tactic due to the infantry fire phases that tanks have been “shoe horned” into. In ASL the defending tank could do the above but it would never have a non-motion shot so more than likely all of its rounds would go wide. The only choice being to stop in the prepared position and sit through first the Defensive Fire Phase and then the opponents Prep Fire Phase prior to vacating the position (by which time the tank will have probably been lost.)

Tank MGs: The coaxial MGs slaved to the main gun sights don’t seem to have their firepower rating increased enough. Ammo considerations seem to have been taken into account by not giving tank MGs a ROF, but when a coaxial MG fires it is very accurate.

I’ll leave the psychological impact of an unopposed tank for another thread.

Kev
 

Nineteen Kilo

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As much as I love ASL I'm in complete agreement with Jay here. I've long felt that tanks were "shoe horned" into an infantry game framework (which is outstanding BTW!). Armor has always just felt wrong to me. I'll name a few of my concerns.

Armor Penetration: In ASL the "uniform" front armor simply cannot be penetrated by low velocity shells no matter what the range, baring a "critical hit". To give an example: I've read several accounts of a run of the mill Sherman with a 75 mm taking down a Panther from the front (in fact read the aftermath for Bastard Tanks and Shootin’ Fools for such an account). And yet in ASL when a Sherman is forced to deal with a Panther head on, it has no chance other than a snake eyes. Perhaps 1 in 36 is the appropriate level of chance but I preferred the Tobruk system where some kind of beneficial result other than total destruction may occur – such as killing a single crewman, knocking out the gun or an mg, immobilizing the opponent etc. Admittedly the “Tobruk” approach can only be taken by layering on even more rules to ASL. :rolleyes:

Speed: This is the big on for me. In ASL vehicles are in essence either moving or they’re not. There is absolutely no difference between shooting at a vehicle moving 5 mph or one moving 40 mph. The reverse is also true, a vehicle shooting on the move at 1 mph suffers just as much adverse effects to its shot as another vehicle moving 35 mph. Note the Case J modifiers do not attempt to remedy this situation but rather the effect of a vehicle “popping out” from behind a LOS obstruction.

Crew Proficiency: The Armor Leader Rules mitigate a lot of the problem here with the greater chance for scoring a hit by the higher morale crews (a nicely trained gunner) but ASL fails to give the well trained loader/commander/gunner team a higher rate of fire over the less trained crews.

Real World Simulation: I don’t know how to state this other than some real world tactics seem to fail in ASL. I’ll give an example: In the real world a favored armor defensive tactic would be to hide turret down, pull into a prepared position (crest) knock out a few rounds (and hopefully targets), pull back into the turret down position, and then to reposition to an entirely new prepared position and repeat process. ASL just can't simulate this tactic due to the infantry fire phases that tanks have been “shoe horned” into. In ASL the defending tank could do the above but it would never have a non-motion shot so more than likely all of its rounds would go wide. The only choice being to stop in the prepared position and sit through first the Defensive Fire Phase and then the opponents Prep Fire Phase prior to vacating the position (by which time the tank will have probably been lost.)

Tank MGs: The coaxial MGs slaved to the main gun sights don’t seem to have their firepower rating increased enough. Ammo considerations seem to have been taken into account by not giving tank MGs a ROF, but when a coaxial MG fires it is very accurate.

I’ll leave the psychological impact of an unopposed tank for another thread.

Kev
You know what, forget the above. Most of these "problems" come down to an argument of the amount of rules a person is willing to endure before realism kills the joy of an abstract game for fun.

However I will stand by the following - it is a problem in the mechanics of ASL: "Speed: This is the big one for me. In ASL vehicles are in essence either moving or they’re not. There is absolutely no difference between shooting at a vehicle moving 5 mph or one moving 40 mph. The reverse is also true, a vehicle shooting on the move at 1 mph suffers just as much adverse effects to its shot as another vehicle moving 35 mph..."

Kev
 
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However I will stand by the following - it is a problem in the mechanics of ASL: "Speed: This is the big one for me. In ASL vehicles are in essence either moving or they’re not. There is absolutely no difference between shooting at a vehicle moving 5 mph or one moving 40 mph. The reverse is also true, a vehicle shooting on the move at 1 mph suffers just as much adverse effects to its shot as another vehicle moving 35 mph..."
Kev
I get your point. The problem is, the added complexity needed to model this would further add to the rules and simply wouldn't be worth the effort for just a couple of DRMs. How are you going to decide when a tank is just going 5mph vs 30 mph? and what's going to be the difference in DRM between these cases and how is it calculated? ... there would need to be 10 or 12 subcases of cases C & J which would be a complete PITA (4 subcases of each of these is already enough).

It's a lot of extra work (in the form of added rules) for little/no gain.
 
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Commissar Piotr

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Hi Guys

The fantastic design based on the IFT that can differentiate betwen units firing and being in CC so simply and yet so intricately.
Unfortunately the IIFT designer destroyed that part for those that use it.
 

richfam

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Unfortunately the IIFT designer destroyed that part for those that use it.
You are, of course, referring to Charles Kibler and Bob McNamara, who actually designed the current IIFT. To suggest that those two gentlemen did not understand how ASL works is a bit of a stretch for me.

The original IIFT submitted by Jay Kaufman was not acceptable and never saw publication. As AH put it: "...it was simply too unwieldy. Too, many of the modifications made to firepower or results did not fit this system."

(Source: ASL Annual '89)
 

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A lot of these comments are "things I don't like about ASL" or "things I like about ASL." But that's not the thread.

Surely, any comment like those needs to be accompanied by examples from other tactical board wargames that have done it better/worse (as apropos)?

But then how many people here have even played any other tactical board wargames, I wonder?
 

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You know what, forget the above. Most of these "problems" come down to an argument of the amount of rules a person is willing to endure before realism kills the joy of an abstract game for fun.

However I will stand by the following - it is a problem in the mechanics of ASL: "Speed: This is the big one for me. In ASL vehicles are in essence either moving or they’re not. There is absolutely no difference between shooting at a vehicle moving 5 mph or one moving 40 mph. The reverse is also true, a vehicle shooting on the move at 1 mph suffers just as much adverse effects to its shot as another vehicle moving 35 mph..."

Kev
This is a problem with just about every game that simulates vehicle movement. The only real solution is to divide the vehicle's speed by the Movement Cost of the terrain.
 

DerBlitzer

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You know what, forget the above. Most of these "problems" come down to an argument of the amount of rules a person is willing to endure before realism kills the joy of an abstract game for fun.

However I will stand by the following - it is a problem in the mechanics of ASL: "Speed: This is the big one for me. In ASL vehicles are in essence either moving or they’re not. There is absolutely no difference between shooting at a vehicle moving 5 mph or one moving 40 mph. The reverse is also true, a vehicle shooting on the move at 1 mph suffers just as much adverse effects to its shot as another vehicle moving 35 mph..."

Kev
This is the sort of thing that a computer game, like Combat Mission, can do a whole lot better, at least in showing it (in modeling it, CM sometimes gives ridiculous accuracy to shots against tanks moving fast). But this brings up a point about speed for infantry, too. The only thing in ASL for infantry speed is the Dash, since halves FP. Double-time is speed, too, obviously, but is abstracted as greater distance over the same period of time, whereas they're actually moving faster than units using non-CX movement. I keep thinking that shots against CX units should have some disadvantage, too, like a +1 on the Fire table.

But to get to the question: I haven't played other board wargames in so long, that it's difficult to remember how well they played. I think there is definitely something to simplicity, like the old Afrika Korps. Pretty easy to learn, and pretty fun to play, and a decent simulation on a strategic level of North Africa battles. In that regard, the original SL is a better game than ASL. But the trouble is, the more complexity we get (more features, a greater sense of realism), the more we want. If Afrika Korps had added some super-realism modules, I would have leaped. I love and hate ASL for its level of complexity, and for all the things I can do on a given turn. Which brings me back to the first paragraph of the quote above. Agreed.
 

BobO

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But then how many people here have even played any other tactical board wargames, I wonder?

I have played nearly all of them.


Some people have complained about OBA in ASL but when compared to other tactical systems, it compares very well. I'm not sure what other tactical board game handles OBA significantly better than ASL.
I'm not saying that OBA is handled very well by ASL, but it does well when compared to other tactical systems.
 

Michael Dorosh

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Speed: This is the big on for me. In ASL vehicles are in essence either moving or they’re not. There is absolutely no difference between shooting at a vehicle moving 5 mph or one moving 40 mph. The reverse is also true, a vehicle shooting on the move at 1 mph suffers just as much adverse effects to its shot as another vehicle moving 35 mph. Note the Case J modifiers do not attempt to remedy this situation but rather the effect of a vehicle “popping out” from behind a LOS obstruction.

Crew Proficiency: The Armor Leader Rules mitigate a lot of the problem here with the greater chance for scoring a hit by the higher morale crews (a nicely trained gunner) but ASL fails to give the well trained loader/commander/gunner team a higher rate of fire over the less trained crews.

Real World Simulation: I don’t know how to state this other than some real world tactics seem to fail in ASL. I’ll give an example: In the real world a favored armor defensive tactic would be to hide turret down, pull into a prepared position (crest) knock out a few rounds (and hopefully targets), pull back into the turret down position, and then to reposition to an entirely new prepared position and repeat process. ASL just can't simulate this tactic due to the infantry fire phases that tanks have been “shoe horned” into. In ASL the defending tank could do the above but it would never have a non-motion shot so more than likely all of its rounds would go wide. The only choice being to stop in the prepared position and sit through first the Defensive Fire Phase and then the opponents Prep Fire Phase prior to vacating the position (by which time the tank will have probably been lost.)

Tank MGs: The coaxial MGs slaved to the main gun sights don’t seem to have their firepower rating increased enough. Ammo considerations seem to have been taken into account by not giving tank MGs a ROF, but when a coaxial MG fires it is very accurate.

I’ll leave the psychological impact of an unopposed tank for another thread.

Kev
GREAT post - thanks for that, Kev.
 

Michael Dorosh

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The fog of war aspect, which ASL does in a fairly marginal manner is drastically increased. Combined that with the other positive aspects of ASL, and it's far superior to any other double-blind game I've played.
Huh? Playing double blind is what gives you fog of war. The question is - what is it about ASL that makes it more suited than any other wargame for being played in double blind manner. That's the assertion you were making. I don't see that it is. In fact, given the interlocking phase system, I'd have thought playing ASL double blind would be made more difficult than playing other, simpler games, double blind?

Perhaps I'm missing something here, but the fog of war you talk about is simply a function of the fact you're playing double blind - not the game that you chose to play, no?

It seems like a situation where you paint the board and pieces red, then say you like ASL because it is the reddest game you've ever played. It's red because you made it that way, not because it is a function of the game itself...
 
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I have never played any other tactical level games but I have looked into the idea of ditching ASL for a game system where I did not need the rulebook in front of me all the time. (The end result for me was to stick with ASL).

So up front, that is my con of ASL, you really need the RB at all times.

Pro's:
1. No written moves (ala TCS)
2. The 2 dice bell curve probability IFT table based on FP and mods rather then %'tile probabilities of 10 sided die or the combat ratio found in non tactical war games.
3. The D Fire during movement interaction. No other system I know of forces the moving player to alter his thought process DURING movement. The next closest is the impulse based games (ATS) but even then does not create the tension and instant strategizing of a movement / DFF phase.
4. I like the depth of the multi "event" triggers assoicated with single die (or DR for SAN) outcomes during a DR. This replaces the need for cards or random event charts while giving the feel of real life events.
5. I like the drill down concept of individual squads as opposed to platoon or larger size. It really gives the feel of taking an objective at a close in tactical level. It puts artillery and tanks in a supporting role rather then a staring role. It creates a movement game rather then a game where you line up your counters and roll dice and hope you out roll your opponent. It really makes you think and plan and anticipate more often during the game.
 
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