[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

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

I don't really want to get into an argument about playability (especially w
ith ASL, which I gave up on years ago as being ridiculously complex, on a p
ar with CNA) versus complexity -- the general trend on those two curves was
 plotted quite accurately decades ago.  Nor was my post about "monster
 games" per se -- but rather simply used them as clear examples to make a p
oint about comparative complexity of rules.  And let's face it, Monste
r games give a very easy comparison point.  War in Europe, versus Euro
pa.  Both on the same subject, both on about the same scale.  One
 virtually unplayable due to its extreme rules bloat, and the other so simp
listic as to be ragingly inaccurate as a simulation.  Where on the ran
ge between those two extremes do you fall?  Of the two, I prefer WiE, 
but I also add more OB, and a few extra rules to make it play more "realist
ically."  So, on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being WiE and 10 being Europa
, I probably hit at about 4 or 5.  Which, if you think about it, is pr
obably why I prefer TFT to GURPS for the most part.

AS for ASL, I'm glad you like it.  Many people do.  I don't.�� I'm perfectly okay with that, and you should be too.  We aren't go
ing to agree on ASL, so I think the prudent thing to do here is simply agre
e to disagree; you can continue playing it to your heart's content, and I w
ill continue not to play it.  How's that for a working arrangement?�� ;-)

      From: Rick Smith <rick_ww@lightspeed.ca>
 To: tft@brainiac.com 
 Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2015 12:11 PM
 Subject: (TFT) Classification of monster games. Defence of ASL
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 th
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 figh
rules and starshell rules.  But in 99% of the scenarios, you do not se
any of those elements.  If you are playing an exotic scenario, (with s
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 AS
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 
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 fe
el of 
tactics in WWII.  My friend Ben Pong (who was a Captain in the Canadia
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 
get to the point where it CAN play cleanly.  But again and again, I se
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 warg
> 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 
> play) in, say, Advanced Squad Leader.  Others prefer to use nothing 
> 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.�� 

Post to the entire list by writing to tft@brainiac.com.
Unsubscribe by mailing to majordomo@brainiac.com with the message body
"unsubscribe tft"

Post to the entire list by writing to tft@brainiac.com.
Unsubscribe by mailing to majordomo@brainiac.com with the message body
"unsubscribe tft"