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Re: (TFT) Classification of monster games. Defence of ASL

Hi David,
  You prefer SL to ASL???  Wow!

  A friend and I were big fans of SL.  But is that rule I half remember in 
scenario 3 of SL, scenario 7 or 8 of Cross of Iron, or is it in Cresendo
of Doom?  No!  We found the rule in the erratta from GI, Anvil of Victory!

  SL had the advantage of programmed instruction.  But the flaw was
programmed instruction where the rules were scattered all over the 
place.  (And we always bought the 2nd or 3rd editions which had the
erratta printed at the end of each rule book which gave us another spot
to look for rules.)

  (Did you just play the basic SL, or did you add Cross of Iron, Gi, etc. 

  Not only was ASL's rules organized, but game play was streamlined.
Snipers in SL were a monster.  In ASL, snipers give you a reason not
to bother figuring out that that tiny long range squad, if it rolls a snake
eyes, might cause a pin on that squad over there.  The fact that the
activity might alert a sniper, means that you tend to ignore the almost 
no chance, wild shots that you hunted for in SL.  This one rule greatly
speeds play.

Warm regards, Rick

On 2015-10-22, at 12:24 PM, David Carter wrote:

> I actually bought a copy of War in North Africa when it came out. We even punched the counters for the first turn units and that was all she wrote. Way to complex to play. Terrible Swift Sword was another monster game but it played well. One of the cons had a 5 day 24 hr multiple player TSS campaign. DNO/Unt and War in the East could be played if you had the time. Took me and a friend 3 months to play WIE.
> For my little group Advanced Squad Leader killed our enthusiasm for SL. 
> Sent from my iPad
>> On Oct 22, 2015, at 3:17 PM, Rick Smith <rick_ww@lightspeed.ca> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> The discussion of Monster Games below prompted me to say 
>> what KIND of monster games are there?
>> --- The first type are games like Quazar, or War in the West
>> which had fairly simple rules.  They were monsters because they
>> had huge maps and bejillions of counters.
>> --- The second type are best represented by Advanced Squad
>> Leader.  Lots of rules, but most scenarios have a fairly low number
>> of counters and play quickly (if 2 to 4 hours are considered 
>> quickly).  Quickly at least, compared to the type one monster games
>> given above.
>> --- The third type of monster game are those that have huge maps,
>> tonnes of counters and really long, complex rule books.  I've never
>> played any of these, but from my readings, War in North Africa 
>> might fall into this category.   (I read that the designers admitted that 
>> they never expected anyone to play it.  The game was to bought &
>> admired for its research.)
>> I would like to take exception to the slander that ASL has poor game
>> play.  In many ways, it is more playable and more polished than the
>> game it was created from, Squad Leader.  The rule book is so 
>> amazingly thick, because it tries to have rules for EVERYTHING.  Do
>> you want to create a scenario, based on a real life battle where 
>> gliders landed at night on both sides of a river, and one side used
>> star shells?  Well that game has glider rules, river rules, night fighting
>> rules and starshell rules.  But in 99% of the scenarios, you do not see
>> any of those elements.  If you are playing an exotic scenario, (with say
>> Japanese tunnel complexes in the Pacific theatre), you read the page
>> of rules for that weird situation and add it on the rules you know well.
>> The basic infantry rules for ASL can be boiled down to 16(?), 18(?)
>> pages of rules and they play is fast and clean.  I know this, because
>> that is exactly what ASL starter kit does.  (I don't own Starter Kit 1, so
>> I can't check the exact page count as I type.)
>> And the rules for ASL are phenomenally well organized.  They are
>> indexed, cross indexed and logically laid out.  I can find rules in ASL
>> faster than in poorly organized games with 1/100 of the page count.
>> If you had asked me three years ago, I would have said that I admire
>> ASL, but never play it.  (Which would tend to give the lie to how
>> great it is.)  But I've recently found a guy who is into the game and we
>> will get together, about once a month, and play a smaller scenario.
>> Now ASL starter kit and Memoir '44 will appeal to different people.  
>> The latter has between 1/2 and 1/3 the rules of the former, and takes a 
>> lot less brain power to play.  But the former tries to give you the feel of 
>> tactics in WWII.  My friend Ben Pong (who was a Captain in the Canadian 
>> Army) played ASL with his fellow officers to get a feel of the ebb and flow 
>> of real battles.
>> ASL plays cleanly.  But there is a considerably larger learning curve to
>> get to the point where it CAN play cleanly.  But again and again, I see
>> people who have never tried it, look at that thick rule book and assume
>> it has poor game play, simply because it has a lot of rules.
>> Warm regards, Rick
>>> On 2015-10-22, at 11:06 AM, Jeffrey Vandine wrote:
>>> How can any game, constrained as it is by the hex map, ...
>>> In the end, it depends on how you like to play.  Continuing the wargame
>>> analogy, War in Europe & Europa both simulate the same thing, but which
>>> one do you prefer, taking into account complexity versus playability? 
>>> Some people love the brutal attention to detail (at the expense of game
>>> play) in, say, Advanced Squad Leader.  Others prefer to use nothing at
>>> all but a storyboard and their imaginations, while yet others think card 
>>> play, Fate Points, and the like are the be-all and end-all of gaming.  
>> ...
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