Why I Love ASL: An Anecdote

jcferrell

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We are right in the middle of ASL Scenario 1: Fighting Withdrawal, and thus far there has been way more fighting than withdrawal. In an effort to slow down the Finnish advance, a lone squad decides to make a noble sacrifice for the motherland and allow 2 Finnish squads to advance into CC. 3 rounds of melee later, these brave men of the Red Army are still holding strong against twice as many Finns.

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Fast forward to the following player turn. The relentless advancing fire of the Finns draws the attention of a Russian sniper. As luck would have it, the sniper is activated with a dr of 1 and ends up here.

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Random selection to determine which squad breaks: you guessed it, snakes.
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Not only did the squad manage to delay the Finnish advance for 2 turns--they crushed the morale of the enemy, lived to tell the tale, and are now rejoining the Russian "fighting withdrawal," while the Finns are still in that rowhouse licking their wounds.
 

David Reinking

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We are right in the middle of ASL Scenario 1: Fighting Withdrawal, and thus far there has been way more fighting than withdrawal. In an effort to slow down the Finnish advance, a lone squad decides to make a noble sacrifice for the motherland and allow 2 Finnish squads to advance into CC. 3 rounds of melee later, these brave men of the Red Army are still holding strong against twice as many Finns.

View attachment 14176

Fast forward to the following player turn. The relentless advancing fire of the Finns draws the attention of a Russian sniper. As luck would have it, the sniper is activated with a dr of 1 and ends up here.

View attachment 14177

Random selection to determine which squad breaks: you guessed it, snakes.
View attachment 14178

Not only did the squad manage to delay the Finnish advance for 2 turns--they crushed the morale of the enemy, lived to tell the tale, and are now rejoining the Russian "fighting withdrawal," while the Finns are still in that rowhouse licking their wounds.
Well, actually, you would need to choose one of them, then roll a follow-up dr to see if the 2nd squad was affected by a sniper-- needing a 1 to Break or a 2 to Pin. But, A.2 being in effect...
 

holdit

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This is the kind of thing that hooks you with this game, especially if it prompts mind-movies in your head. It's the kind of thing that would might make you think that the entire game is just blind luck and a crapshoot, but the good players keep winning more than the bad ones. Sounds a bit like...war.

I made the exact same mistake recently, sniper gets pin result, RS selects both squad 6-5-8s in the hex, where from which it had been meant to achieve great things. Oops. If A.2 was a tyre on my car the mesh would be visible...
 

Sparafucil3

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Truth be told, it's the kind of thing that turns me off to the game. Not to be a dick, but it's not like you controlled anything after making a (IMO) bad decision to enter in CC. You need able bodies to hold off the Finns and putting one in CC is not to your benefit. Then the dice bailed you out. Too often in ASL, bad decisions aren't punished. What's worse. sometimes, you get rewarded with a BH squad, Hero, SAN, dead enemy leader. IMO, things like this are too random. They do make for great stories. -- jim
 

Actionjick

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Truth be told, it's the kind of thing that turns me off to the game. Not to be a dick, but it's not like you controlled anything after making a (IMO) bad decision to enter in CC. You need able bodies to hold off the Finns and putting one in CC is not to your benefit. Then the dice bailed you out. Too often in ASL, bad decisions aren't punished. What's worse. sometimes, you get rewarded with a BH squad, Hero, SAN, dead enemy leader. IMO, things like this are too random. They do make for great stories. -- jim
Jim I understand your point but as Holdit pointed out the good players keep winning more than bad ( or average ) players. As was stated in another thread things even out in the long run. Bad decisions will sometimes get rewarded, good decisions will sometimes get punished, just the nature of the game.

Btw hope the wedding went well!
 

Sparafucil3

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As was stated in another thread things even out in the long run.
But "long run" doesn't mean "this scenario", especially in today's modern tournament size game. WRT the top players, yes, they keep winning. I get that. But I have seen many a game still in the balance, where someone has walked away from the game based on reputation alone. I have even seen players who have the game won quit. I imagine the game would be much more enjoyable for me if I didn't understand the math. If I could change one thing about the game, I would make every IFT DR result in some DR by the defender. If rolling the dice more even's everything out, forcing the defender to roll the dice would introduce a chance for them to roll a 12 after my 10 on a 6 -2. Not going to happen this late in the game.

Wedding went well. Two weeks of quarantine on either side of the week was a bit painful. That's all done today. Work starts again next week. -- jim
 

Kijug

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Card games are the same. Good players win by handling the situation better given the odds of what may transpire. Good card players continue to win (mostly) just like ASL.
 

Paul John

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I agree its annoying when the dice determine a game (best laid plans my ass!), but then again, they give one of the players a glorious story to tell for years to come. That luck element also keeps the anxiety high when you know that one bad run can wreck everything.
 

Actionjick

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Its a dice game...
Well it's a game that uses dice. Yahtzee is a dice game, Chute Five is a dice game ( btw where we got our dice towers ).
Dice are obviously an integral part of ASL but the game could probably be played with some random number generator. Personally I like having my sweaty mitts on those magical cubes so they can absorb my mojo!
 

Sparafucil3

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Card games are the same. Good players win by handling the situation better given the odds of what may transpire. Good card players continue to win (mostly) just like ASL.
Depends on what cards you're talking about. If it's poker, there is a ton of skill in that game. You can still get sucked out. -- jim
 

Tuomo

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I think good players are able to recognise bad decisions before they make them.
I think it partly assuages the Dice Gods if you tell them that yes, you do recognize you're tempting them by Intensive Firing. They might let you off with a warning (ie, a DR of 9 that just scares you instead of breaks your gun).
 

Eagle4ty

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If one wants to play checkers, play checkers. If you want a dice game play craps, Aces, ship-captain-crew, whatever! ASL is a game of tactics & strategy with dice added to enhance the randomness of events. I seriously doubt the dice have ruined a good game. If your looking for the reason a game had gone south on you, search for the answer in ever smaller concentric circles around your location. You're bound to arrive at a more reasonable answer sooner or later.
 

Michael Dorosh

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I think good players are able to recognise bad decisions before they make them.
I think it is far more fun to make bad decisions than agonize over every phase desperately sussing out the "correct" move. Poker was mentioned above. For many, the rules don't make it fun, the gambling aspect does. ASL is no different. There's a rush in throwing an outclassed squad into CC and seeing it pay off. The original poster captured it perfectly.
 
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