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

Jo.B

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I finished a Hill192 Sceanrio 2 'the Objectiv' yesterday.
(Reduced Turns to 11.5, remove MAG, PDF is not up to date)
I had fun with 2 leaderdirected firegroups in one Def.Ph.
Shot on his 10-2 for 9 turns without effect. In the last turns
I shot the 10-2 down, ELR and 3 Times wounded. He had three heros at game end.
I stole him his MAG, and his Jeep.
Hey it was much fun.
 
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Jim McLeod

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Don't forget the Battlefield Integrity optional rule which many people avoid like the plague (because its extra effort?) As your unit takes casualties their ELR goes down, so they can still fight to the death but their efficiency as a unit diminishes the less there are of them.
IMHO, BI sucks at the scenario level due to the small slice of time the average scenario is supposed to represent.

Where it, BI, could shine is in the realm of the CG.
 

Bob Holmstrom

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Jo writes:

"oh ok, "military actions" seams not to be the right therm , I want to say "military Operations"
such as :

- reconnaissance
- relief
- combat patrol
- probe
- retreat (maybe, like fighting withdrawal)
- retreat in to a line (in german: 'Aufnahme' New Page 1 )
- what about this Band of Brothers adventure. take prisinors behind the river,"

I've played scenarios that represent all of these except maybe your last example. Perhaps you have a limited selection of scenarios?


"In other words, I would prefere more focus on the motiv and less in the art of balance and havy playtest.
Yes, I know, it is hard to paint in that style. "

These two things are not mutually exclusive. Good scenarios provide both.

"no, no, I dont want/like this one to one. I am beleaving
that this less leader Scenarios are for very good for experince players.
And are playtested down to this amount of leaders by thouse players.
But is this a fun thing to play with leaders only for rally task ?"

This confuses me. On one hand you want historical representative scenarios, but now you say that when they are represented, they aren't fun?

I know there are quite a few ASLers who only want to play with elite units, and if you prefer that, i suggest you try playing lesser quality troops. It is often very fun and rewarding.

"Maybe you are right and they want to represend the poorly led forces.
Ok, but nearly all on of this large/medium size scenarios do in that way.
I get fear, when I think about two well placed sniper shoots.
Do you really like that style ? "

Most ASL scenarios produced in the last ten years have an over abundence of leaders when compared to the game's recomendations. And i do like scenarios like "Hill 621" where you have 50 squads and 3 or 4 leaders. It gives me a good feel of the action.
 

Jo.B

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Bob,

gut!, please tell me the name of one scenario with a reconnaissance
and maybe a second one with a retreat. I like to check that.
I tried hard to figure out some VCs with that.

I like early war verry well. Isn't it easy when I want historical Scenarios
with more leaders ? I dont think they would be less historical with some more.

Its only my theorie that there are less leaders in the later
official scenarios cause of the guys who are doing the playtest.
But again I am disapinted on the AoO Scens.

"...over abundence of leaders.."
sorry I cant agree and cant see that.

jo
 

Bob Holmstrom

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Jo,

"gut!, please tell me the name of one scenario with a reconnaissance
and maybe a second one with a retreat. I like to check that.
I tried hard to figure out some VCs with that."

Sure, "A Meeting of Patrols" shows 2 patrolling units bumping into each other. There's also also a Japanese/Australian scenario in one of the old annuals that has a similar theme.

In addition, HOB's "Paper Line" shows two recon units "reaching" out to each other.

These are off the top of my head. I know there are many more.

As for retreat, AoO has a scenario showing a German/Hungarian retreat. The Pete Shelling classic Woofer "Desperate Dash" shows a russian cavalry unit in retreat.

There are many more of these as well.

As to leaders, well, if you like a lot of leaders in your scenarios, that's cool.
 

jwb3

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Guys,

I'm going to pump out a bunch of messages in a row here, responding to individual quotes. I already lost one long response I was sending to this thread because my log-in timed out while I was writing it... :mad: :cry:

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.
I have never played it double-blind, and don't necessarily feel that it's better suited than the few other systems I've tried. But, the group I play with has discussed doing ASL double-blind, so I'd say there's something about the system that seems to naturally point in that direction.

I think that something is probably the ? and HIP rules. When the game already has rules for "How to play when your opponent's pieces are not visible on the board", including all the aspects of Area Fire, tracing LOS, rolling for ? gain, and so on, it's quite easy and intuitive to make the leap to refereed double-blind.


John
 

jwb3

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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.
What he said. ASL does a spectacularly good job of capturing the inherent chaos and random occurances of real combat, and the need to react to same. You thought you knew where this unit was going, but suddenly... Or, you just sent this unit out to draw fire, but it lived! Now what do you do with it?

Likewise with the event triggers. You had a fire plan, but now your best leader is dead with a bullet through his head, and his firebase is broken. What now? But almost every event trigger is, in fact, logically connected back to a plausible cause of that trigger.

Compare that to one of the recent tactical games, "Combat Commander", which my friends played a bit of recently. A card is drawn to determine the outcome of some shooting, but it also calls for a random event. They draw a second card to see what the event is; it says a fire starts in a random location. They draw a third card to see where, and it's... just some hex. Why did a fire start there? Nobody knows. What does it have to do with the shooting? Absolutely nothing.

The wonderful thing about the SAN mechanism is that it is actually just as non sequitor as that fire was... but it comes with a built in explanation. Why did a shot come out of nowhere and blow your leader's head off? Because when a sniper strikes, that's exactly what it feels like! This is why the SAN mechanism is actually much better than the original rules for snipers that were used in SL, and which felt very much like Just Another Fire Attack.


John
 

jwb3

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Despite claims to the contrary, in all of the other major games systems (Warhammner, SFB, Battletech) DYO is a big part. The only real question about ASL is why are so many players wedded to scenarios as opposed to DYO? All of the other systems have scenarios, yet DYO play dominates. Warhammer, which by the way has a much greater following than ASL has ever had by perphaps a much as 10:1, is almost exclusively DYO.
The short answer is: With all due respect, this is like comparing apples and carrots.

Those of us ASLers who are wedded to scenarios instead of DYO play the game because history fires our imagination, and it does a particularly good job of bringing that history to life. See also the current threads on "Fictional Scenarios", "Piepsk"...

ASL is a game about a real history, with many, many real events to fire the imagination.

SFB is a game about a TV show, with limited history, and very few actually televised battles to fire the imagination. Any other scenarios created for the system have the disadvantage that they didn't "really happen". They may make a good game, but they won't appeal on the same level.

Warhammer is a game with quite a lot of made-up history, but was always designed as a DYO game. The costs of miniatures make it prohibitive to create scenarios with an OB and then expect the players to go invest in that OB in order to play them. Instead, most Warhammer "scenarios" are actually more like SASL "missions"; they include information on how to set up a random board, what each side's goal is, and any SSRs that apply. Then you can play the battle with whatever army you've already invested your thousands of dollars in.

Battletech also has quite a lot of made-up history, with a number of scenario books based on that history. But most people I know play it with miniatures, and thus run into the same problem as with Warhammer. For reasons I've never understood, the scenarios also tend to be uniformly quite large. If every published ASL scenario was 10 turns and had you running a battalion, then DYO ASL would be my game of choice, too!


In short, we're wedded to scenarios because we CAN be!!!

John
 

Jo.B

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Bob,

As for retreat, AoO has a scenario showing a German/Hungarian retreat.
Ok, this is a Retreat, the brave Horses will move offboard.
Pursuited by the enemy, leaving doomed Germans behind them.
and the usual chaos of battle, which we like, will happen.
And even they would not have to move offboard it may be
a retreat in terms and scale of ASL.

In my eyes a reconnaissance has to implement some information gathering
about the enemy. So a VC of that should read something like:
Record every individual KEU you have LOS for each of your M8/Pumas as one VP.
At game end sum up every VPs of M8/Puma that moved offboard.
You win while haveing more than...

so, what do you think ?
-that reconnaissance is not fun
-thats not the right VC of a reconnaissance
-there should be a following second Scenario on the same board
where the gatherd Information has to play a part.
 

jwb3

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I am not sure if anyone has mentioned it but the ability to bypass obstacles and the LOS rules that take into account that type of movement is one area that ASL may be unique in. I am not aware of any other hex based game that allows this.
Don't know if it's unique anymore, especially given how closely ATS imitates ASL in some ways. But it (well, Squad Leader actually) was certainly the first... and anyone else who is doing it now copied it from ASL.

And I concur -- this is something that makes ASL a uniquely good game. Just as the rules about LOS obstacles reduced the effects of the hexgrid and made the game less abstract, so the bypass rules do for movement.

In effect, in ASL you don't have a hex with a house next to another hex with a house; instead you have a house, the yard surrounding it, six different points in that yard, six points in the yard next door, and the house next door. Infantry will always retreat into the houses when they "run out of initiative" (end their MPh) but vehicles can sit at any of those 14 points until the cows come home. It allows the players to interact with the map at a second, more precise "scale" (no longer 40 meters/hex, but 20 meters/focal point). And thus it adds an entire extra level of tactical considerations. It single-handedly allows the game to be both battalion scale and fireteam scale at the same time.


John
 

jwb3

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Jo - your comment on leaders has given me a thought that perhaps a scenario with maybe 10 or so leaders per side (for about 15 squads) would be an interesting development in the ASL scenario genre.

I.E. to have more than enough leaders for you force and see how it plays.
I regret to say that it would be a disaster, unless every single one of the leaders was -1 or better. As we have discovered in our RB playings, 7-0s and 8-0s make excellent scouts (for stripping concealment by bumping) and deliverers of DCs, provided you don't have more important things for them to be doing (such as desperately trying to rally your men because you haven't got any -1 leaders left!). They're also good for running behind the enemy to cause elimination for failure to rout.

I suppose you could put in some kind of VP cap to prevent the player from taking risks with them, but IMO that's rapidly making the experiment more trouble than it's worth.


John
 

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There's also also a Japanese/Australian scenario in one of the old annuals that has a similar theme.
I expect you are referring to "Commando Hunt". I don't have the scenario number handy.

I think I understand where Jo's lament is coming from. True, there are scenarios out there that depict retreats... or scouting missions... or probes... or maybe even taking prisoners. But except perhaps for the retreats, they don't PLAY like those missions. Particularly in this day and age of hard-charging SP-style scenarios, it seems like everything plays like an attack anymore. Close with the enemy, surround him with maneuver, and wind everything up with a grand game-ending melee-which-will-decide-the-game.

For example, Commando Hunt may be about an encounter where the two sides were probing at each other, but my impression (haven't played it)of how it actually plays is that both sides rush forward to try to claim the good positions, then close with each other and try to wipe each other off the map. IIRC, "Meeting of Patrols" and "Paper Line" are also both, in the end, about killing each other.


John
 

jwb3

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In my eyes a reconnaissance has to implement some information gathering
about the enemy. So a VC of that should read something like:
Record every individual KEU you have LOS for each of your M8/Pumas as one VP.
At game end sum up every VPs of M8/Puma that moved offboard.
You win while haveing more than...
As it happens, I came across a scenario very like that just the other day. It's from the CH ATS module "Darkest December", and the Americans do in fact get VP for every German unit they force to reveal itself. There isn't anything about having to exit the information-gatherers afterward, but IIRC the US does have a casualty VP cap, so he has to recon rather than charging.

The ASL version of this module is a map/scenario pack called "Devils in the Woods". I expect the VC should work about the same way.

I think it's a really cool idea for a scenario. It's also the only one like this I've ever seen.


John
 

Bob Holmstrom

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Bob,



Ok, this is a Retreat, the brave Horses will move offboard.
Pursuited by the enemy, leaving doomed Germans behind them.
and the usual chaos of battle, which we like, will happen.
And even they would not have to move offboard it may be
a retreat in terms and scale of ASL.

In my eyes a reconnaissance has to implement some information gathering
about the enemy. So a VC of that should read something like:
Record every individual KEU you have LOS for each of your M8/Pumas as one VP.
At game end sum up every VPs of M8/Puma that moved offboard.
You win while haveing more than...

so, what do you think ?
-that reconnaissance is not fun
-thats not the right VC of a reconnaissance
-there should be a following second Scenario on the same board
where the gatherd Information has to play a part.

I think its worth giving a try. One problem to try and avoid in a scenario like this is that it doesn't end up boring for the defender.

Linked scenarios where the info gathered in the first, affects the second scenario could be interesting.

Good luck and post here if you get one of these ideas to work.
 
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