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Sunday, August 02, 2020

ASL: the answer

I mentioned that there was a little trap in the previous post that mentioned ASL. It was actually contained in this sentence: Consider, for example, the procedure required to calculate the correct Firepower (FP) total while conducting an Overrun attack on exposed infantry by a vehicle.

The underlined word was the sperg bait, since infantry don't need to be exposed in order to be attacked by Overrun. In fact, it's even possible for the vehicle to destroy the infantry during the Bog check by collapsing the building as it drives into it, as per the AFV Overrun order of resolution:
  • The AFV declares OVR
  • Bog check is first (note the EXC: list at the end of D7.1) The OVR MP expenditure must be announced as a combined expenditure with that for entrance of the hex as the vehicle enters the OVR hex, unless that hex contains only unknown enemy units (A12.41). ... [EXC: Bog DR, and Defensive First Fire other than Reaction Fire (7.2), prompted by that MP expenditure (or by the MF expenditure of accompanying Infantry using Human Wave {A25.23} and Armored Assault {9.31}) are resolved first].
  • Then DFF against the AFV.
  • Then OVR.

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51 Comments:

Blogger Silent Draco August 02, 2020 7:22 PM  

Read right past it, because overrun can involve: exposed, improved positions (incl. entrenched), or cover. 'Smash" depends on the MF and vehicle toughness. Owe myself a dollar for initial conditions and not errata.

Blogger Fozzy Bear August 02, 2020 7:42 PM  

Did someone fall for the trap, or is Vox telling us he is the ASL sperg?

Blogger Ronius_Maximus August 02, 2020 7:56 PM  

I really want to learn how to play this game. And then find someone to play it with. This whole time I thought Risk was the pinnacle...

Blogger RadixMalorum August 02, 2020 8:04 PM  

You could probably just give an ASL test as the entrance exam for law schools.

Blogger doctrev August 02, 2020 8:12 PM  

Huh. Could someone who doesn't play ASL ever catch that?

Blogger Salt August 02, 2020 8:19 PM  

Do you also like to play with your food?

Blogger Doktor Jeep August 02, 2020 8:23 PM  

This is way off my sperg map.

Blogger Dole August 02, 2020 8:29 PM  

No idea what this means, but it does not sound like good news to Patreon.

Similarly, the fact that Sargon and Southern supporters seem to unanimously agree that it is time to sue Patreon with vengeance, is not good news.

Blogger Rek. August 02, 2020 8:38 PM  

Good one.

Blogger VD August 02, 2020 8:44 PM  

Could someone who doesn't play ASL ever catch that?

No chance whatsoever.

Blogger buwaya August 02, 2020 9:04 PM  

We liked Avalon Hill's Squad Leader. It was a neat beer & pretzels wargame. ASL was something else. The point of such a game was to be a command simulation of a small unit action, with all the limitations of board wargaming of course. The complication of ASL mechanics was very much further from reality of small unit leadership and IMHO made it a much poorer simulation.

You can get away with such stuff in a game that justifies, maybe, team play with a "staff", some monster operational-strategic game such as SPI's "War in Europe" or "War in the East" or goodness gracious me "Campaign for North Africa". Thats because in reality this stuff requires a staff.

Blogger Nate73 August 02, 2020 9:12 PM  

@5: Reverse the situation and imagine you've played World of Warcraft or MTG for a long time. Then imagine yourself back when you just started playing and what the skill difference is and what kinds of things you would miss.

Blogger Daniele Grech Pereira August 02, 2020 9:14 PM  

That looks more complicated than actually calculating artillery fire in a command post. Without using computers.

Blogger Newscaper312 August 02, 2020 9:26 PM  

Sounds just a bit more complex than Stratego.

Blogger Yossarian August 02, 2020 9:30 PM  

Who's the guy that beat Vox at ASL and when is he planning on suing PayPal?

Blogger Bezzle August 02, 2020 9:38 PM  

About ten years ago, there was this graying gentlemen who would drift into Source Games and Comics in Minneapolis every Friday, and spend hours laboriously wrapping cellophane around hundreds of tiny, square ASL chits.

I never saw him play the game.

Blogger Azimus August 02, 2020 10:01 PM  

Its posts like this when I realize I need a better hobby.

Blogger Glen Sprigg August 02, 2020 10:18 PM  

For those who do play ASL, I've got the Squad Leader game, as well as Cross of Iron and Crescendo of Doom. I've never gotten very far into them, but I have a 12-year old who is very interested in it.

Is it worth grabbing G.I. Anvil of Victory, and would graduating to ASL be worth the time, effort and investment, or will SL suffice for the two of us?

Blogger Wazdakka August 02, 2020 11:08 PM  

I play "firepower"
Has rules for assaulting infantry while climbing a tree

Never played, but The Campaign for North Africa: The Desert War 1940-43 has rules that Italian trooos use more water, because they eat pasta.

Blogger jkmack August 03, 2020 1:17 AM  

would love to see the stat on "time spent on page" for the website this month, as all the spergs tried to suss it out. I only spent about 30 or so minutes on it, only. Supreme Dark Lord indeed.

Blogger Meanoldbasterd August 03, 2020 1:22 AM  

This is why we used to call them crunchies in the Cav!

Blogger Akulkis August 03, 2020 1:42 AM  

>> This whole time I thought Risk was the pinnacle...

Risk is an abomination masquerading as a wargame.

Blogger doctrev August 03, 2020 2:47 AM  

VD wrote:
No chance whatsoever.



Well, thanks be to God for that. I was starting to feel like a dog running into a wall as I tried to decipher the text, and increasingly certain that I was just an idiot.

Blogger FrankNorman August 03, 2020 3:05 AM  

This is sounding like one of those table-top games that try to simulate realtime play with turn-based moves.
As if the OpFor will stand there and do nothing while you shoot at them, and then take their turn shooting back if they survive.

Unless you are recalculating the game-universe situation multiple times during the attack, or something...

Blogger Teleros August 03, 2020 3:22 AM  

Figures it'd be something like this. Was a fun little challenge though, thanks VD :) .

Blogger Hylean August 03, 2020 4:25 AM  

Out of curiosity would collapsing the building with a vehicle as described destroy the vehicle? Or would it survive and its fate depend on some set of obscure chance rules that would terrify the average Indian math prodigy?

Blogger Bernard Korzeniewicz August 03, 2020 4:27 AM  

This is why I play Orks in Warrhammer.
Just gather a horde and run.
The 50% chance it turns ou to be a Kursk, I lose 10x more models and somehow I win.

Blogger buwaya August 03, 2020 4:47 AM  

GI Anvil of Victory is a good expansion for SL.
Cheap enough on ebay, and its useful even if your copy is incomplete. It adds unit types and their counters, maps which are always useful, scenarios, etc.

SL is a fine "friendly" game.

I had ASL. It appeals to a rather different sort of player.

Blogger buwaya August 03, 2020 4:50 AM  

Risk is a very simple wargame. That doesn't mean its a simple game, exactly. Chess and Go are also simple wargames, but... There's nothing wrong with these things. A matter of taste.

Blogger anorganicbear August 03, 2020 4:58 AM  

*Goes back to Axis and Allies*

Blogger boogeyman August 03, 2020 5:59 AM  

As someone who has never played the game, this post makes me sympathetic with those who just want to drop nukes on an enemy and be done with it.

Blogger Unknown August 03, 2020 6:30 AM  

6. Salt August 02, 2020 8:19 PM
Do you also like to play with your food?



you're new around these parts, eh?


22. Akulkis August 03, 2020 1:42 AM
Risk is an abomination masquerading as a wargame.



are you also upset that Monopoly isn't much of a Real Estate simulator?

or that nobody who plays Sorry! is actually sorry?

Blogger Glaivester August 03, 2020 6:47 AM  

I think the real sperg bait is in this post.

Anyone else see where?

Blogger Bart August 03, 2020 9:05 AM  

Getting flashbacks, playing SL 'The Paw of the Tiger' scenario.

Also, other scenarios where units would go berserk!

Blogger VD August 03, 2020 10:44 AM  

Is it worth grabbing G.I. Anvil of Victory, and would graduating to ASL be worth the time, effort and investment, or will SL suffice for the two of us?

SL will suffice. I HATED GI Anvil. The ASLSK (Starter Kit) is actually very good.

Out of curiosity would collapsing the building with a vehicle as described destroy the vehicle?

Depends on the modified Die Roll. It's pretty common to Immobilize a vehicle that way, but they usually aren't destroyed outright. A vehicle can fall into a Cellar, though. That pretty much takes it out of the game.

Blogger maniacprovost August 03, 2020 11:11 AM  

I think the real sperg bait is in this post.

Anyone else see where?


Is it the comments section?

In hindsight, "exposed" is an adjective and adjectives are nearly always a trap. But for all I know, overrun rules cover cavalry and infantry rules cover equipment loss so exposed infantry are literally naked but horses aren't technically vehicles and FP doesn't apply to Lances because of nighttime melee rules.

Blogger John E. Boyle August 03, 2020 11:12 AM  

I can hear John Hill laughing. I was at a Cold Wars convention in the early 90's and a buddy of mine had signed us up for a Johnny Reb event. We got there early and helped the guy running it set up; it turned out he was John Hill, the designer of Squad Leader, and I got to spend the next six hours being a fly on the wall within 10 yards of one of the best game designers of the 20th century (IMO). It has been a long time, but I remember him as being quiet, extremely well-read and possessed of a dry sense of humor.

I THINK that was where I heard him talk about the one thing he would change about Squad Leader if he could. He felt that GI: AOV had revealed a flaw in his depiction of the effectiveness of the BAR in US squads. What I remember of the rule change he suggested is below.

For American SQUADS only (not half-squads, crews, leaders, etc): Add one to the long range firepower of the squad AFTER halving for long range.

Example: If a US squad (6-6-6) is firing at a German squad in the open at a range of 8 hexes, it would halve the 6 to 3 but would then add 1 for the BAR for an effective firepower of 4 before adding in the firepower of any support weapons and calculating the effective DRM.

This has the general effect of shifting long-range fire one column to the right on the combat results table for American squads. I think he would find these two posts and their comments to be quite amusing.

Salute, Mr. Hill.

Blogger CarpeOro August 03, 2020 11:50 AM  

While I only played a bit of Squad Leader long ago, this does put me in mind of some of the micro armor I played on occasion. Engineers (that worked in the Abrams factory) bringing out protractors and calculators to determine if a shot could be taken based on the stated elevation, distance, and cover... sometimes interesting, more often tedious. Sometimes I miss it a little. Just a little.

Blogger Unknown August 03, 2020 6:18 PM  

i'm still waiting for the ne plus ultra sperg to show up and complain about how poorly chariots, cavalry and war elephants are modeled in chess.

Blogger Akulkis August 03, 2020 7:30 PM  

>> Is it worth grabbing G.I. Anvil of Victory, and would graduating to ASL be worth the time, effort and investment, or will SL suffice for the two of us?

Yes.

But be prepared for rules regarding aircraft and AFV's to supercede earlier rules.

Blogger Akulkis August 03, 2020 7:32 PM  

>> I play "firepower"
>> Has rules for assaulting infantry while climbing a tree

Firepower is also a good game. I use it to teach younger soldiers the fundamental tactics below the platoon level.

Blogger Akulkis August 03, 2020 7:36 PM  

>> This is sounding like one of those table-top games that try to simulate realtime play with turn-based moves.
>> As if the OpFor will stand there and do nothing while you shoot at them, and then take their turn shooting back if they survive.

BZZT! The very first rules learned in Squad Leader give the non-phasing a chance to shoot at the phasing player's troops EN ROUTE and at their new firing position BEFORE the phasing players moving troops get to fire.

Squad Leader's rules are the WW2 miniatures game played by the Purdue Wargaming Club, set to hex-field boards. If you want to play THE GAME that Squad Leader and ASL is derived from, then go to the Steward Center on any Friday or Saturday night during the Spring or Fall semester (outside of pre-finals "dead week"), and you should be able to play THE GAME that started it all.

Blogger Akulkis August 03, 2020 7:43 PM  

>> >> Risk is an abomination masquerading as a wargame.

>> are you also upset that Monopoly isn't much of a Real Estate simulator?


No. However, Monopoly is an equally tedius, and monotonous game which drags one far too long with very little opportunity for overall reversal of fortune.

"The Game of Life" beats both of them by a mile.

"Mousetrap," though simplistic, is fun.

>> or that nobody who plays Sorry! is actually sorry?

I guess you never played Sorry! with any of childhood friends and acquaintances.

Blogger Akulkis August 03, 2020 7:46 PM  

GI Anvil of Victory is worth it for the units and equipment provided.

As far as rules go, GI:AoV proved to be a gamette too far, and as far as I can tell, was the impetus for the entire rewrite of the Squad Leader Series rulebooks which resulted in a unified, internally consistent document which is the Advanced Squad Leader rules.

Blogger Akulkis August 03, 2020 7:56 PM  

The fundamental flaw of both Squad Leader and Firepower, unless played with a referee/adjudicator who can run a double-blind game.

Too much information available due to the "eye in the sky" effect. And I'm not just talking about the opposing side's pieces.

I came across an article by an infantry 1LT or CPT, talking about his days as a newly commissioned 2LT, and his experience in is first exercise using M.I.L.E.S. (army laser-tag) gear on the weapons.

"Having played wargames such as Squad Leader, I fully expected to not know where the opposing force was located until the fired on my platoon. What I was unprepared for was the difficulty in locating them even AFTER they had opened fire on my troops. Moreover, what I was completely unprepared for was NOT EVEN KNOWING WHERE MY OWN MEN WERE LOCATED."

I don't think any game which has finer granulation than platoon level (and even that's iffy) is, or even can be, a good simulation of what it's like to command at that level, until you get down to the fireteam level (where everyone stays within voice-contact range of each other).. but even then, elements of another friendly squad should be only vaguely known unless in line of sight out in the open, or if making their location known to friendlies, from the "back" side of a building.

And if you look at battles like Hurtgen Forest... companies moved very slowly, sometimes making gains of only significantly less than 100 m in a day... and still American battalion and regiment headquarters often had only a vague where their companies were actually at.

Blogger dweb August 03, 2020 8:10 PM  

The reference to section A is different A12.41 vs A12.13 of the previous post. Looks like ASL distinguishes between concealed and unknown enemy infantry.

Blogger Glaivester August 03, 2020 9:22 PM  

@36 maniacprovost:

The fact that infantry don't need to be exposed to be subject to overrun attacks doesn't necessarily mean that exposed infantry are not subject to infantry attacks - moreover, it does not mean that the calculations for exposed infantry might not be different from those of unexposed infantry (which would make specifying "exposed" necessary, if the calculations are the same, the question is technically fine but contains superfluous information).

Not certain anything in the original post implied that only exposed infantry were subjected to overrun attacks.

I don't play ASL, so I have no idea what the actual situation is.

Blogger Jack Amok August 03, 2020 9:30 PM  

As far as rules go, GI:AoV proved to be a gamette too far, and as far as I can tell, was the impetus for the entire rewrite of the Squad Leader Series rulebooks which resulted in a unified,

Took the words out of my, er, off my keyboard. I felt the same way. I can second Vox's recommendation of the starter kit. I used the same thing with my oldest when he was about 12 too.

For the record, I didn't step in the sperg trap, but also didn't get the right answer. I thought the problem with the initial post was that rule 7.11 related to the AFVs attack on the infantry (how much firepower does the vehicle have), while the errata was about the infantry attacking the AFV (how much armor does the AFV have and what are the modifications to the AFV Destruction Table).

Blogger Jack Amok August 03, 2020 9:37 PM  

I don't think any game which has finer granulation than platoon level (and even that's iffy) is, or even can be, a good simulation of what it's like to command at that level,

Agreed, but I don't think that's the value ASL can bring. What you can learn playing ASL is what tactics have a chance to succeed and what are likely to end in disaster. A commander IRL might not know where his troops are, but he's going to make a guess and plan accordingly. ASL might not be able to simulate the chaos, but it can at least give the commander an idea of what might happen if he's right about where everyone is.

Not perfect, but still valuable.

Blogger buwaya August 04, 2020 1:14 AM  

Well off topic -
A turn based computer game that gives a SL/ASL feel - the old 1990's "Steel Panthers", which was much improved and updated to "WinSPWW2" by Shrapnel Games. Its available in free and pay versions, and it is still regularly supported and updated. Its also got a vast range of scenarios (500 or so), a scenario/map editor, an also vast and comprehensive OB/unit range, covering everything ever available in WW2 and plenty that wasn't. Check it out. The only real problem with it are, sometimes, issues dealing with modern video setups.

Blogger Gettimothy August 04, 2020 8:34 AM  

These sorts of posts keep me reading the blog.

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