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ASL Players Are Suspect Historians?

Discussion in 'Advanced Squad Leader' started by Christopher47, Sep 17, 2014.

  1. green slime

    green slime Member Patron  

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    Points system, same issue. You know (for example) there is only 500 points out there, that your opponent isn't sitting on a massive 5000 points. In points systems, given the leeway, and size of points assigned, you too can be fairly certain, to take another example, that in a 500 point game, that the opponent hasn't bought a 800 point Tiger. Reality serves up some real unfair shit.

    You have no idea what I've done. Yes I've played double-blinded war games with umpires. On several, even triple-blinded and more, as there were more sides involved than just two combatants. Most scenarios involving civil wars have these, with various factions present. Yes, it's time consuming. But they don't continue nonstop for 3 or 4 or 5 days. This alone limits the size and scope of the scenario involved. It means decisions are made with a clear head, without exhaustion, dehydration or fatigue (or if you are, its your own bloody fault) . In normal life, I can't imagine there's that many umpires that interested in sacrificing their well being for a game. If you want to grab a hot meal to eat; you're free to do so whenever. These kinds of games have other limitations as well: they can take several hours of real time to resolve what in game time (or in a real firefight) would be a few minutes at most. This means, each participant is given the luxury of hours, to make decisions and play over various scenarios in their minds, that in reality, a commander only has seconds to do. That does not detract from the point, that there is no "down time" for the units in the battle unfolding. Neither side is "just doing routine patrolling": there is an expectation of conflict, and the players behave and make decisions thereafter. If the entire game consisted of two sides routinely patrolling their respective areas, with no interaction, it'd get real old real fast, and no one would stick around after the first hours of sheer boredom, as realisation sinks in. A few diehards may hang around for 24 hours. After which, if nothing had happened, the umpires would lynched.

    The fact remains; in order for the scenario to be interesting / challenging, there needs to be sufficient challenge, but not overwhelming challenge. Which honestly you can never be certain of in reality.

    Role Playing Games are an entirely different kettle of fish. No experience of Recon, Seen it laying around somewhere, never read it, or played it, although I do have a wide experience of Role Playing. So I can safely say, that it is highly dependant on the skills of the umpire / gamesmaster.
     
  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    What is ASL?
     
  3. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large Patron  

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  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Indeed without the other sources how would you know for sure what the limitation of the simulation/game were. Professionally I've done a lot of analysis of simulations and one of the most important sayings I have heard in that regard is something to the effect of:
    "If you expect to get an answer out of a simulation you are wrong. Simulations should be relied on to give one insight into a problem but not a solution."
     
  5. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    I was a fanatical wargamer and still pay whenever I get a chance, but despite ASL opponents being slightly easier to find I dropped out of that game after a while, the complexity to simulation ratio is horrible, there is enough chrome to keep a 1950 car manufacture in business for weeks, and I don't understand what role the player has after initial setup, to make things worse games are often won by "last turn end of the word" tactics.

    If the model is good it allow players to explore what ifs that can be useful for real life decision making, the military have used "games" extensively as training tools. It can also give the historical researcher a lot of insight. One big problem with commercial wargames is that logistics are not fun so the models tend to oversimplify that aspect for a more enjoyable game, to take ASL as an example "running out of ammo" is totally random while a real life commander would have some ability to allocate his ammo stocks.

    There are some gems, umpired uncertain force composition Flat Top is one example, when played by teams it runs practically in real time and you get a feeling of the stresses involved in decision making (used to take us multiple evenings to finish a 3 days scenario) the adrenaline levels got pretty high when you had a multiple squadron attack in flight and no feedback, the model was solid enough that you didn't get unrealistic results whatever you did.
     
  6. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    I've accused people of being a bit 'wargamey' in arguments before.
    Mostly when someone starts harping on penetration statistics or similar, armour slope vs. velocity vs. steel hardness, that sort of stuff, in a cold 'on paper' manner without attempting at all to place things in a more realistic context of fleshy bits, vomity smells, randomness, stupidity, error & fear, as apparently found on real world battlefields.

    Bit wargamey: (Nasal voice): "Obviously that HV 75 will penetrate (they love penetration) your M4a3 at that range - the laws of PHYSICS say so! - Ha! I win!"
    Not So wargamey: " But Oberleutnant Frier is still in town with his whore, the ersatz rubber on the wheels has disintegrated, an outbreak of hoof-rot has meant the ammunition supplies have failed to materialise, and we suspect given the state of the bearings on that final drive the Panzer will burst into flames if they ever get enough fuel to start it up."
    Etc.

    At least, that's always what I assume 'wargamey' to mean, when used as a criticism.
     
  7. Otto

    Otto No More Half Measures Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I had a similar discussion with my ASL group recently, so a very late addition to a thread started by a now banned member from two calendar years ago. Necro-posting at it's best.

    It depends on the person and how they apply what they learn to military history. It doesn't matter if the information comes from wargames, books, or documentaries, if they assume war-fighting and war-waging is a simple application of math and rivets, then they are probably wrong. An I'm not even including the human element which under the duress of combat can sway things in any direction. All in all I'd say most ASLers know more that their fair share about military history (have you seen the rulebook?), and most know that a game of any kind simply cannot replicate the dire stakes the combat presents to a human being.
     

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