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"Revising ASL for miniatures" Topic


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bpmasher10 Sep 2020 9:40 p.m. PST

So I thought about ASL today, checked out the forums here and noticed that people don't like it all that much. I find the fiddly counters and detailed gameplay charming.

Altho I have moved on from collecting the ASL boxes and sold most of them away, I still find the game has some appeal to me. I regularly check multimans website to see if they're coming up with new campaigns for the game.

I have 20mm miniatures, soon expanding into 6mm, so I've been playing around with the idea of using some ASL scenarios with my minis.

I'd like to try and revise the game to run with minis. I have Starter Kit 3 for rules reference, and coming up with new firepower values and command and control seems like a fun challenge. Why do this? I have lots of time.

Points of revision:

1. Firepower values. Squads need revising, based on squad weaponry of the day. Integral LMG gives X amount of firepower, all the rifles in the squad give Y amount of firepower. How many rifles do we need to get the "4" on a basic squad? A hero counter has 1 firepower. So let's assume a single rifle or SMG has 1 firepower. Multiply by the amount of men in the squad. Different nationalities have different doctrine, so firepower will vary nation to nation.

2. Command and control. Each squad has a leader integrated into it. Radio contact becomes a factor in getting the orders from the scenarios' HQ. Runners are a possibility when a squad is heavily pinned, and a leader could be relieved by having ineffective command. Command radius is a classic way of determining leader range and effectiveness, also pips would help make the game more unpredictable. We could also steal Chain of Command type command rolls, where a level of leader gets to issue commands according to dice rolls.

3. The IFT chart. We can use the extended chart for more granularity, given the new firepower values covered in point 1.

4. Vehicles. Too much work to calculate all the armor factors anew, so they will stay the same. Vehicles are very maneuverable in ASL, one could touch up on this reflecting different combat speeds vs. going all out on the battlefield. I don't know what to do yet with movement points. I imagine vehicles will be a lot slower while rolling around in combat.

5. Hexes and ground scale. No hexes. Too expensive to start collecting them fresh. Give vehicles a covered arc, and have infantry move a set amount of inches. Infantry movement factor of 4 translates either to 4 inches, or when double (CX movement) it becomes 8 inches. Seems good enough. Exhaustion will modify shooting rolls as per normal. A single-man counter (leaders usually) move around at 6 inches.

6. Terrain effects. I find them simple and good enough for our purposes. Different vehicle movement allowances make it a bit more complex.

7. Work on the range tables. Again this is for vehicles and guns mostly, convert them into inches and check any bugs that come up.

Anyways, that's the first of the notes I came up with, probably some errors here or there since it's been ages I owned the ASL rulebook. I will flip through my starter kit rulebook and find any reasons for revision.

bpmasher10 Sep 2020 9:56 p.m. PST

The pips and command and control are a bit hazy in my mind. Let's introduce a new "phase" into the Rally phase, which includes rallying of broken/pinned units. The "Radio phase".

Each leader has a morale rating that will be the target number for each radio attempt. You can only attempt a radio DR (Dice Roll) once each Rally phase. If you establish contact you get to issue commands to the squads under the leaders command.

The radio phase can be rolled for "functional"/fresh (unpinned/not broken) squads, whereas a pinned or broken squad must attempt a rally using the squads integrated leader.

Runners could be the last-ditch resort to relieve a squad leader that's ineffective, and have the new leader try and rally the pinned/broken squad.

About stacking: You can't stack miniatures, so let's forget about the stacking rule altogether. You can issue "platoon fire" or whatever it was called by linking adjacent squads firepower values to concentrate fire on a single target.

bpmasher10 Sep 2020 10:19 p.m. PST

Rate of Fire is a great mechanic, and works well under the d6 engine of the game.

Rolling for grenades is a skill-task of a type, which determines whether the squad can operate the grenades effectively that turn. It is not an availability roll.

Aside from Firepower modifications, squads are pretty much workable as they are in the stater kit rulebook. Firepower can be modified if the game proves too lethal when using the IFT for combat. A german infantry squad has 8 men with 2 men operating the squad machine gun (IIRC), so 6 Firepower plus 3 becomes 9 FP for the German basic non-elite squad (1st and 2nd line). Half-squads or machine-gun squads (MMGs and HMGs) have 4 and 6 firepower IIRC, so they can be retained as they are.

Machine gun squads stay put to pour fire on the enemy or operate as per the doctrine of the nationality (falling back to another position/advancing) when they succeed at a rally DR (to keep "unit" cohesion). A leader can send a runner to the squad to issue an order with his leader modifier modifying the cohesion DR of the squad.

I thought about the IFT a bit more. You could rule that only casualty reductions cause a unit to be broken and DMed under the rules, so that most non-casualty reduction/KIA rolls cause only PIN checks that increase in difficulty. This requires reworking the IFT chart a bit, but you could replace the 3MC checks with 3PIN checks for ease of conversion, for example. I don't see a squad breaking and running for the table edge when taking a bit of fire. They are soldiers that are supposed to be under fire. Logical.

bpmasher10 Sep 2020 10:51 p.m. PST

Squad cohesion rolls are from Retro IIRC, where any action a squad can take takes a cohesion roll before they can act on their orders. In this hack, integral leaders modify the cohesion die roll required, if they have a modifier.

Weapon ranges…whoops I missed a factor on the counters. We can go abstract on this and call each inch about 40 meters/yards across, as in ASL, and give rifles and MGs the most range, then working down from those values. With airborne squads for example, where a mix of weapon types is present, you can use two firepower values (12-man squad: 2 operating the squad LMG (3), 6 rifles (6), and a mix of SMGs and carbines (4)) so the longer range has 9 firepower, and the short range gets to add 4 firepower from SMG and carbine fire. SMGs also factor into Close combat rolls, which is their specialty anyway. The Firepower could be marked either 9/4, or 13/9 as a reminder.

Skarper11 Sep 2020 1:28 a.m. PST

I did try this years back. In the end I felt the basic ASL principles are broken beyond repair.

The idea of squad level combat still appealed to me so I designed my own VASSAL module.

Some thoughts you might consider.

Pinning is much more common result than 'Broken' in real combat. You seem to be on the same page as me on this.

The Japanese are handled quite cleverly and in my opinion and this idea should be used for all nationalities.

My IFT table has MCs that if failed reduce the target by 1 step. Passing an MC pins the target. All fire causes at least a PTC.

I have 4 steps – Full Squad [8-10 men] Depleted Squads [6-7 men] half squads [4-5] and cadres [2-3]. I also have Crews [3 men] and Teams [2 men] for most support weapons.

If you fail an MC the stack is reduced in size by 1 step. I treat all units in a single location as a single unit whether they are or not.

As for FP, a cadre of men with Bolt action rifles have 1FP and 4 range. Semi Autos get 2FP and 4 range and SMGS/Assault rifles get 3FP. Range might be 1, 2 or 3.

I don't reduce anything except morale for lower troop quality. I decided experienced troops would be 8ML, Trained would be 7ML and green would be 6ML.

I decided a stack would have the ML of the highest ML unit. Leaders increase ML by 1 if they have higher ML than the highest ML MMC.

I added a thing called an ATC – action task check. If you want a unit/stack to fire/move etc you have to pass an ATC. If you are pinned and under fire, the ATC gets a +4 drm. So for example if you fire to suppress defenders they have a chance of recovering to fire on you if you move.

The ATC and later to hit/effect DRs allow me to separate modifiers across 2 stages, stopping them dropping off the end of the 2d6 spread.

It makes for a lot of DRs but on VASSAL this is just a click.

This was a huge project for me and kept me busy for several years. I've kind of lost interest now but am happy to chat about it if you are interested.

bpmasher11 Sep 2020 2:18 a.m. PST

We're almost on the same page in our design philosophy.

I find that the basic ASL mechanics are AT LEAST workable, if not downright intuitive in actual play. It makes sense to prep fire and soften up the enemy before charging in to take objectives and advancing to close combat.

I'm trying to work around the basic mechanics (adding an action task check too btw) that makes infantry performance less linear in that they're not always either: 1) following orders or 2) even receiving them.

My increased firepower allowance accounts for the fact that morale failure causes PIN results rather than total unit collapse. Also, I'm working on my meager knowledge of proper WW2 squad composition, since the squads were different sizes for different nationalities.

Tanks are too much work since my technical know-how is limited, so they're going to stay pretty much the same, machine gun values and all.

The arbitrary MG values of 3/4/5/6/7/8 are acceptable also, and they have greater range of course (which might increase if I start doing research into usage of MGs in WW2).

Where the conversion starts to creak in its seams is the various phases involved in cases that are interactions between AFV and infantry and some exceptional situations. You have many special case rules covering infantry vs. AFV close combat, different phases of firing, and all sorts of considerations that wouldn't come up in other games.

They are based in "game logic" with a nod towards verisimilitude, but unnecessarily complicate the process of actual play. I will look into simplifying infantry vs. AFV combat and post the results.

I'm quite proud of my c-n-c structure where deployment, supporting fire and squad initiative come into play. The radio check / field telephone could be used to command a whole platoon to move, while being covered by a machine gun team (if it succeeds in it's task check) and other cool happenstances. Leaders will get a bump of firepower to 1 in addition to their leader modifier, which I will keep in the game.

My past of reading the ASL rule book over and over again while trying to memorize the whole game using my imagination to make the rules work in my head is coming back, and I find the whole process quite enjoyable.

bpmasher11 Sep 2020 2:28 a.m. PST

The issue of casualties can be kept abstract (either whole squad KIA or casualty reduction plus morale test), because ASL just isn't a 1:1 game.

Makes it more satisfying to land a good IFT roll.

I will go over the IFT and see what changes I can make to have this conversion work as a whole. The IFT is the heart of the game, and although a bit wonky, it can be used to run a good game with modifications.

Since units have self-rally capability in my version (integral leader) they will be more able to act without orders, provided they pass their task checks first.

Platoon movement: works with soviet tanks, human waves and banzai. Why not have every nationality be able to do the same. Make a radio contact/field phone check and issue the order to select squads, and move them "simultaneously" while allowing the enemy (who passed their task check) to attempt defensive fire against them. The platoon movement order must be put into action, despite how well each individual squad fares. Take a page from the Tactical Combat series with orders written down on a piece of paper and put into action on the gaming board.

You could rule that moving multiple squads always requires a radio/phone -check before you can execute the orders. This simulates squads being under fire not knowing what to do since nobody is giving the orders. Defensive fire always works <- squads are not stupid enough to let the enemy into close combat. Advancing and attacking should always be more difficult than defending, thus the radio check.

edit: Imagine the Americans with their green squads behind the first hedgerow they stumbled on, under fire by MG42s, trying to contact HQ for some kind of orders hoping the artillery can save their behind yet again.

Martin Rapier11 Sep 2020 2:32 a.m. PST

The main issues I had with SL/ASL were just the obvious ones – the lack of any command structure, and the rather bizarre modelling of LMGs (far too few, or do they actually represent three weapons? who knows).

Both are eminently fixable. If you don't use hexes though, how to you model beaten zones? That was always one of the cleverest and most subtle things about the design.

bpmasher11 Sep 2020 2:32 a.m. PST

So that's my take on command, first a radio check, then the action check to see if the men freeze in fear or get going as ordered.

bpmasher11 Sep 2020 2:43 a.m. PST

Two levels of being pinned, first one is without modifiers to rally rolls, the second one is a Desperation Morale counter with +4 to the rally attempt.

Ruling: If a squad comes under fire from multiple sources and they fail their first morale check, they have to take additional morale checks for the incoming fire and become DM'ed (as the rules state) if they fail any additional morale checks.

Thus we have the tactic of concentrating suppressive fire and maneuvering the attacking squads.

link

Working around these principles and modding the rules to fit the command ladder and individual squad actions will prove that the old ASL engine still has oomph in it.

edit: YouTube link

Skarper11 Sep 2020 2:59 a.m. PST

All the phases in ASL is a huge headache.

I don't use them at all.

Instead you take a unit – or sometimes a group of units operating together – and follow them over their 2 minutes of activity. During which they might do nothing at all or quite a lot of things.

If they keep passing FTC [Fire task checks or Move Task Checks] they can keep acting. As soon as they fail they stop and nobody else on their side within 100m can attempt an ATC.

The effect is while you are still well organised and well led you can get a lot done. As things breakdown it's hard to get anything done. Things grind to a crawl or a halt over time.

A units ability to defend itself at close range is harder to overcome of course.

For AFVs I copied the Panzer war files and data. It's a free download still I think.

I've got a to Kill table working on the ratio of Penetration divided by Armour thickness. ASL made a decent attempt at this but still has odd effects. Panzer war has a lot of data and while it might not be 100% correct has the illusion of being realistic. It's all an illusion whatever we do.

Back to the lack of phases, I merge the complex Prep Fire, move, defensive fire and advancing fire/opportunity fire and advance phase into one.

You can fire a unit. Move another unit. Fire another one etc…but you can't go back to a unit if you have selected another one. It's hard to explain but it works well and it can reproduce historical engagements quite well.

I struggled with a long time how to manage close combat. In the end it is treated as very close range fire and though it can take a lot of dice rolls to resolve is usually decisive.

Command and Control remains a problem. I have some rules but not really happy yet. I only play solo so there is no competitive reason to push what can reasonably be done.

bpmasher11 Sep 2020 3:06 a.m. PST

I see you tweaked the heck out of your rules to get the outcome you wanted.

I'm basically just bolting stuff on the ASL engine with new checks and command and control stuff, modifying the firepower values and squad morale.

I find the AFVs fun as they are in ASL (despite the many issues with too many phases for resolving actions).

Your move until failure concept seems really cool. As in I can imagine a squad deployed into a half-squad that does some recon, and if they come up to a point where fire is being taken from the enemy, the whole approach grinds to a halt. Needs to have concealed/HIP units for the enemy though.

I should get my Chain of Command book out and see if I can butcher it to bolt on the command dice off it.

edit: I'm working off the Starter Kit #3 rulebook

Skarper11 Sep 2020 3:24 a.m. PST

I started very much like you are doing but didn't really work for me. So I began from scratch.

In the end all I have remaining from ASL is the ideas of counters for MMC and SMC, FP, Range, Morale. Movement factors/MP.

You are not going to be using hexes. I still do but I allow units in centre dots OR vertices. I made the hexsides 25m long. Range is in 25m units. So a 4-4-8 full squad has normal range of 100m. It can fire out to 200m adding +1 to the FTC, to 400m add +2. I would allow further but there is seldom a worthwhile target at more than 400m.

I gave all SMC/MMC 8MF. They can take another MTC to keep moving after spending 8MF, but only once. A quirk is if they move – fire – move – fire – move they can carry on forever. Of course, they don't because eventually they fail an ATC or the enemy stops them somehow. Just walking down a road they can do about 5kph.

Playing solo, hidden units is a non-starter. I use a lot of concealment though.

If you want to model an attack by a platoon on a defending squad or MG nest it can work like this.

Say it's a British platoon – 3 sections of about 6-8 men in a V shape with the HQ and 2" mortar at the back.

You could stop and fire at the concealed Germans. But it might take a while to accomplish anything. More likely you advance until fired upon. 1 of the 2 sections will get shot up – but mostly only lose one step. [killing a whole squad would be rare unless they were under fire from a flank] The other can then open fire and suppress the Germans – eventually. You also use smoke from the 2" mortar if it has LOS. Then – somebody should move to flank the Germans. This is dicey and if they can be concealed while doing so they have a much better chance.

bpmasher11 Sep 2020 3:39 a.m. PST

Yeah. I ran out of steam for today and finished the rulebook I started reading today.

I only started today, I might get disillusioned really fast with this project tho. Maybe not.

The sequence of play needs work. I'm gonna concentrate on that for now.

Dexter Ward11 Sep 2020 4:18 a.m. PST

It's already been done for Squad Leader:
link

RudyNelson11 Sep 2020 5:32 a.m. PST

It has been done by different groups over the decades. Almost as soon as it came out, gamers were tinkering at making miniature rules for. Different rule mechanic have been used in other rules in the past.

A problem was that each counter contains a lot of data. Keeping track of it was each miniature unit was difficult.

As Dexter points some system can be found with some research. Some group systems cannot.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Sep 2020 6:39 a.m. PST

As I recall, the Squad Leader game *began* as a set of miniatures rules that was then converted to a board game.

I picked up a starter kit during pandemic and then withdrew in horror. It is the very definition of a monster game that adds system upon system upon system in the name of realism or accuracy, I guess?

If you like that kind of game play go for it, but i find Crossfire an infinitely superior game and simulation for that level of infantry combat.

bpmasher11 Sep 2020 6:58 a.m. PST

@Extra Crispy sure the endless phases and situational modifiers seem daunting, but I've had genuinely enjoyable games playing the system. I wouldn't waste my time on mindless calculus otherwise.

bpmasher11 Sep 2020 7:01 a.m. PST

For miniature play, I think the whole "thing" has to be revised, thus I'm taking a stab at it. With the board game, all the unit data is clearly visible. Miniatures play needs some tweaks, probably a roster sheet, and making changes along the way to the command and control system, which will provide a fun game. That is my honest belief.

There is so much good stuff between the fat of the game, I can't help but start rearranging the furniture, so to speak.

Sgt Slag11 Sep 2020 1:01 p.m. PST

I drew upon my memories of playing SL, back in the late 1970's, in my early teen years, to write up my Plastic Wars game, for Army Men figures. My PW rules are only loosely based on SL rules: I borrowed a few, basic concepts from SL. I did not have a copy of the rules, and my memory was 19-20 years old…

Still, I like to give credit to SL rules, for inspiring mine. Not much would be recognizable as having been taken from SL, but it was still my inspiration.

I have to clarify that my PW rules were written as an introduction to miniatures gaming, to kids and adults, ages 10+, so there is none of the SL complexity in them…

Good luck with your project! Cheers!

coopman11 Sep 2020 4:07 p.m. PST

I have moved on to easier to learn/play systems such as Lock N Load Tactical and Old School Tactical. It's still boardgaming but you can use your imagination a bit and "see" the squads and vehicles well enough.

Personal logo Dan Cyr Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2020 6:38 p.m. PST

+1 for Crossfire rules.

Skarper12 Sep 2020 12:09 a.m. PST

Crossfire has some great ideas. I may be wrong but it seemed to be a bit generic in regards to unit differences. I want more flavour and I admit more detail. I don't want to get to the absurdities of ASL, but Crossfire seemed a bit broad brush to me.

I only played it once and looked at some videos on youtube – so I may be mischaracterising it.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP12 Sep 2020 4:08 a.m. PST

Many years ago, I played and enjoyed the original SL as both a board game and as a miniatures game. The difficulty came when Donald Greenwood modified the original John Hill design beyond recognition by adding countless layer upon layer of detail to obtain a better "simulation". Unfortunately, as Wally Simon said, detail does not imply and is no substitute for accuracy.

CrossFire is an amazing game. The back and forth, rapid interchange of action can be intense. Yet the rules are easy to use once the unconventional sequence of play becomes familiar.

CF has one limitation; it is basically a two player game. Although there have been attempts to modify it for multiple players per side they all seem to break the rapid interchange and interrelationship of events that make CrossFire intensely involving and unique.

TacticalPainter0112 Sep 2020 3:11 p.m. PST

ASL has its roots in the games of the 1970s (Panzerblitz etc) which were based on information about WWII from the 1960s. Game mechanics and knowledge of WWII combat have moved on considerably since then. It was great in its day, but that day is not today.

Skarper12 Sep 2020 10:36 p.m. PST

My issue with SL/ASL is they just made up the numbers for the counters without any research. It was less available then so I can understand.

Now we are left with numerous anomalies that get explained away as 'design for effect'. I call it fudging.

They should have fixed the MMC factors when they moved to ASL. I really can't imagine why they did not. It's too late now.

Marshal Amherst14 Sep 2020 1:10 p.m. PST

Lock 'N Load Publishing's "Lock 'N Load Tactical" system is the modern day ASL (and probably state of the art tactical system) and is miniatures capable. They stripped out all the crap and streamlined it for fast play, then gave it amazing graphics and production value. There are several modules covering from WW2 to recent past.

Their Nations at War (WW2) and World at War 85 (WW3) is a different system (platoon level) but has built in miniatures capability. In fact there is a video on YT of guys in Atlanta playing WaW85 on a huge table over a long weekend.

bpmasher14 Sep 2020 10:16 p.m. PST

Yeah. My revisions would only make the game more complicated. My main motivation was to have a reason to buy the ASL boxes again, but I'll use the SK3 I have for now.

Changing firepower might give more kick to the units, but probably would mess up the scenario balance.

Radio contact for command and control sounds fun, but adds another die roll to the proceedings.

Ranges for weapons would be in cm x10, like 6 hexes would become 60cm, which is a LOT. Halving the ranges would be better. So 30 cm for a 4-6-7 German squad.

ASL is very dependent on terrain and it's effects, so I'll have to work on some woods, bocage and fields, if I want to play this with minis.

The game is so complete that it's difficult to pick and choose different aspects of it for my own project.

coopman16 Sep 2020 7:06 a.m. PST

Do you have "Retro" from Minden Games? If not, you might find it interesting:
link

TheNorthernFront17 Sep 2020 1:20 p.m. PST

In all honesty, I would look into porting Band of Brothers Screaming Eagles over to miniature play. It a much faster rule system than ASL and it has a really dynamic suppression system. Less work to transition the rules over, far more realistic system with a focus on the more important parts of tactical combat, like suppression and move and fire tactics.

bpmasher17 Sep 2020 7:37 p.m. PST

@TheNorthernFront

Could be a good idea. I don't know much about the BoB game tho, or if it's available nearby.

Skarper18 Sep 2020 12:35 a.m. PST

@bpmasher.

You might be better off just designing a miniatures based game from scratch, picking and choosing what you like in a range of board game and miniature rules.

If you persist in trying to adapt ASL [or ASLSK] rules you are going to be carrying a lot of baggage. It remains at its core a a 1970s system.

bpmasher20 Sep 2020 9:45 p.m. PST

@Skarper.

Seems so. I just liked the box sets too much I guess.

coopman05 Nov 2020 8:23 a.m. PST

You might want to have a look at the "Old School Tactical" system from Flying Pig Games.

Wolfhag In the TMP Dawghouse05 Nov 2020 11:03 a.m. PST

bpmasher,
Listen to this interview of John hill:
link

I had some experience as a squad leader. What I missed in SL was a real TOE at the platoon level and the abstraction of leaders. IIRC a "leader" in SL didn't represent an individual leader but various leaders influence in the units field of infuence. The leaders don't issue orders in the real sense.

Before you start modifying someone elses design you need to have a high level of understanding of his design, what he included, abstracted, left out and why.

Wolfhag

Skarper05 Nov 2020 8:59 p.m. PST

The first change I made to ASL, besides MMC that reflected the TOE of real units and the historical prevalence of MGs, was to change the way leaders worked.

In my ASL rip off Leaders raise morale [like Japanese leaders and Commissars do in ASL] and if they have a DRM, this is used to help pass ATC Action Task Checks. They don't help fire attacks or to Hit DRs.

It's a step forward from the ASL silliness, but still does not properly reflect the role of leaders in combat.

ASL is a fun game for those who like that kind of thing. But only loosely based on WW2 combat.

Wolfhag In the TMP Dawghouse06 Nov 2020 11:18 a.m. PST

They don't help fire attacks or to Hit DRs.

For the most part I agree. One of the jobs of a Squad Leader is to observe the squad application of proper firepower. Is their ROF appropriate for the situation? Should we shift fire? Is the enemy frontage completely covered? Did he spot a more dangerous threat of an automatic weapon to target. He may be moving around talking to his team leaders. This is why squad leaders don't normally take part in a firefight and mostly carry a short range weapon like a SMG. You could already have this built into your system.

From my personal experience as a rifleman when firing your weapon in prone and in the best cover your Situational Awareness is terrible. That's why SL's are moving around, popping up to observe and supervising the squad.

I use it as a player "Risk-Reward" decision. Leaders are mostly immune to enemy fire unless they "expose themselves" to use their leadership modifiers. When they do they take a causality check and could be targeted by a sniper.
I also use them in a similar way like ATC too.

I think John Hill would have agreed with you.

Wolfhag

Skarper06 Nov 2020 11:45 p.m. PST

I've got a 'feature' in my rules that allows a leader not to fire and then have greater chance to use their leadership DRM. Kind of a nod to the role of leaders not to participate in combat but to direct fire.

I'm working at a mostly higher level – with multiple companies in play. However I have a scenario for Brecourt Manor with a tiny US force versus a 1-2 platoon German force. It's a test/training scenario mainly.

There are options to have leaders keep their heads down and command rather than fire, although in very close range actions it's often worth having the leaders participate. Much as seems to have been the case at Brecourt Manor.

Wolfhag In the TMP Dawghouse07 Nov 2020 7:55 a.m. PST

Skarper,
So what is the lowest level maneuver unit are you using? individual, team/section, squad or platoon?

For just infantry I'm using 1" = 5m and team/section of 2-6 figures. One problem is players attempting to get each figure to be doing something different or break them up. Especially in an urban environment and in buildings. I've never done more than a reinforced company per side.

Wolfhag

Skarper07 Nov 2020 11:14 p.m. PST

There are SMCs SINGLE MAN COUNTERS that represent leaders, Heroes, Snipers, messengers, Radio operators and Forward observers. I would add medics in a post 1960 variant, but rules are still sketchy.

For MMC Multi Man Counters I have Teams [2 men] and Cadres [2-3 men]. This can be split off from larger units [squads essentially] if need be, but usually there is little to be gained.

Smaller MMCs are formed as larger units take casualties. Each hit causes a step reduction and sometimes a drop in Morale Level.

So a German Gruppe starts at full strength of 4-4-8 if experienced and goes thru 3-4-8, 2-4-8 and 1-4-8 each time it fails an MC [Morale check]. I am working on the assumption that each failed MC is a casualty and 4+ serious casualties renders a squad ineffective.

I am the only player of my rules, so they are not 'player proofed' and there may be loopholes that could be exploited.

bpmasher04 Dec 2020 1:37 a.m. PST

Back at this. Lessons gleaned from other game systems, and how I want my miniatures game to look like follows:

1. Every squad has a junior leader, represented by a single man miniature. He has the regular values of morale and leader modifier, but also gain 1 firepower for short ranges (carbine, smg, pistol).

2. Squad firepower stays the same, rifles might get more range (ie 6 hexes in ASL).

3. Movement is in inches (max 8" per turn), vehicles are much more maneuverable, but usually stay close to infantry in order to provide cover and get protection from the squad against panzerfausts, bazookas and other LATWs.

4. Movement/spotting is used with blinds (larger concealment counters for miniatures tables), where position and range affect spotting. A task check might be required to spot a unit behind a blind. Dummy blinds are also used.

5. Platoon movement issued by senior leaders, not only just a feature of Soviet AFVs, Japanese squads or Soviet squads. All the nationalities can conduct platoon movement on a successful senior leader roll and squad task check (for junior leaders). The success of junior leaders is necessary for a squad to participate in platoon movement.

More to come.

bpmasher04 Dec 2020 1:55 a.m. PST

Reading the ASL rulebook a bit more now, coming up with stuff for my hack.

6. Close combat is resolved when two or more opposing squads touch bases. They are considered to be "in the same hex".

7. Optional card activation sequence: Each junior and senior leader is assigned a card from a regular deck (ACE OF SPADES! for me), and their squad/platoon then goes on to conduct movement and combat. This would be the single biggest change taken from Chain of Command, but would introduce a lot of friction to the proceedings, and change the pace of the game completely.

8. Squad hesitation test: A squad task check is rolled against the morale of the squad or the junior or leaders morale (if he's still alive) in order to conduct movement under fire and advance to close combat (against AFVs too). Taken from Retro.

bpmasher04 Dec 2020 2:06 a.m. PST

9. Possible firepower values for weapons: 1 FP for rifles, smgs and pistols. 2 FP for BAR, Johnson LMG, Bren, Type 92, etc. You get the idea. 3 FP for MG34 and MG42 both in LMG role. 4 FP for M1919 air-cooled. Use the rest of the values from ASL.

Check the miniatures weapons to get total firepower values for squads. This contradicts one of my earlier points, but gives an organic feel to squads, ex. an assault squad solely armed with SMGs in a specialized battlefield role.

A US Airborne squad would then have one M1919 per squad, 4 firepower, three crew, and 9 riflemen (IIRC) for a total of 13 firepower.

ASL is at it's core a game of different weapons systems interspersed with a nod towards leadership during combat situtations. This is probably the reason I'm still sticking with the ASL system for this game system I'm dreaming up. It's a gun nuts dream.

bpmasher04 Dec 2020 2:18 a.m. PST

10. Regarding the card activation: Joker cards end the "turn" when drawn. They are mixed into the deck with both sides junior and senior leaders, all counters regarding unit status (first fire, prep fire etc.) will be removed at the end of turn. The orders card deck is shuffled and a new leader activation is drawn from the deck.

11. IIFT: Incremental infantry fire table is used for this version of the game.

12. The game will be bloody, with the new FP values for squads, they will be going down fast and hard. Broken status is less relevant since all the squads come with a junior leader "integrated".

KenofYork30 Dec 2020 7:35 a.m. PST

Interesting thread, and something I have worked on for many years without really getting a result I liked.

Maps scaled up for 15mm tended to be huge. Lots of counters. It was tough to convert.

In the end I sold my entire ASL collection and instead purchased every thing sold by Devil Pig games for their Heroes Scale tactical system.

The counters have a top down view of 15mm figures/vehicles. The rules are a good foundation to tinker with. Of course all of us have a favorite mechanic to play around with. I am plugging some Squad Leader mechanics in to the game to suit my preferences.

Best thing is the inclusion of Warhammer 40K and Cthulu horror, as well as pulp 40's style mummy stuff. SS troops with werewolves? Why not!

Everything is cross compatible. Cthulu vs Ultramarines? Why not!

Here is my video of a 40K game with 3D printed miniatures.

YouTube link

Here is part 2-

YouTube link

I have purchased 15mm armies for WW 2 as well.

I am very happy with my choice as it does 90% of the work for me as far as rules and system. The beach D-Day set is very nice. The Stalingrad boards are nice also.

The company is floundering a bit and the only bad thing is we may never see an official version of other 40K armies. I am really unhappy that the Tyranids vs Eldar set promised for this year may never come to pass.

Fans are making content now and the Iwo Jima set created is superb. I am working on Imperial Guard for 40K because I love the tanks.

Their web site has many free scenarios and some excellent fan made campaigns. Battle of the Bulge is one that comes to mind.

Many of the expansions feature linked games, where success in one alters the next. The Pegasus Bridge and Arnhem sets are some of my favorites.

Just my opinion, but I like it a lot.

Once the company goes under I am going to be extremely glad I have my collection.

The only thing I have not been able to find is the Dust Tactics cross over stuff. Sci-fi add on for world war 2.

I will eventually grab that on ebay.

greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Jan 2021 7:29 a.m. PST

Always nice to see dedicated fans speak up for their favorite products. thank you

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