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Author Topic: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine  (Read 2170 times)

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Offline A Canadian Cat

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Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2017, 04:03:28 PM »
Oh BTW @Mad Mike and I are still fighting our battle out in CM. I am continuing with the battle based on the discussion we had. E Co and F Co are done fighting for now and are holding the ground they took while G Co is moving up to attempt to flank the portion of the map that E and F Co by passed. Things are still going and G Co has received a few casulties but nothing serious yet.

Offline choppinlt

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Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
« Reply #31 on: June 20, 2017, 07:13:31 PM »
I am leaning toward adjusting the persistence percentages upward a bit for ASL (so your option #2), and then adding a modifier for a good ELR (an ASL morale mechanism, if you recall.  This is rolled for at engagement start, and is influenced by unit morale and cohesion in TO).  This is largely because I am including a lazarus mechanism in the reporting stage, whereby an ASL infantry casualty has about a 33% chance of not being a TO casualty, in order to deal with the squad level "resolution" of ASL, and the fact that "eliminated" in ASL terms does not necessarily mean MIA/WIA/KIA.
Ha, I like the term 'lazarus mechanism'!  8) Agreed, I think this makes perfect sense under the circumstances.

We will see what we end up with, and next time I will see what happens if I up the persistence a bit.  I am thinking of going from 4/9/18 for attackers to 6/12/24, with a bonus for ELR of 4 or 5, and a penalty for 0-2.  This will end up with high losses, but the lazarus mechanism should correct it closer to the TO values, provided one does not lose too many vehicles.
Yeah, it will be interesting to see how this will work out.

I'm a little leery of "normalizing".  Why play the scenario if you are just going to plug in results based, I assume, on some sort of "victory level"?  Perhaps I am misunderstanding it, but it seems like it takes away the incentive for playing the engagement out.
So my concept for normalizing mentioned in my #3 above is fairly simple. If any of the 4 parameters (casualty % of Side A, casualty % of Side B, advance distance, and battle duration) get too far away from established thresholds for that tactical situation, then it would impact the others parameters/results used to input back in TO. For example, the tactical commander can play out and endure horrific casualties to gain a few hundred extra meters, but the results become 'normalized' a bit when inputting back in TO. For instance the attacker's losses would be lessened, but so is the battle duration, limits of advance, and losses suffered by the defenders. This would allow for greater flexibility on the tactical resolution while keeping results more reasonable for TO purposes.

Honestly the more I think about it, Options 2 and 3 are VERY similar to each other. We have to be careful with Option 2 that we don't accidently give the attackers an artificial advantage by increasing thresholds. Both sides would benefit from the increase, however it may allow for the attacker to gain more territory as a result. It's just one of the things that need to be considered for balancing purposes.

The other option, which I think many will take, is to do away with the persistence mechanism altogether.  This will have a big effect on TO, but that may be part of the game...
If you are suggesting that persistence be ignored when it comes to battle resolution, that is certainly an option. However if I were your CO who gave you specific orders to limit casualties and there was a blatant disregard for this order, I would probably take you out back and personally  :shooting-two-guns  !!!  ;) So I would say that this option would be used cautiously for that reason among some other reasons.

As I mentioned before, there would be nothing wrong with playing out a tactical battle after TO "results" were determined.

Just a quick thought about the casualty treated for withdraw. I think this might warrant multiple battles, in order to weed out the extremes prior to adjusting. Even though the great American artillery should be massive lol, it probably will not occur like this every time. It would be interesting to see this battle played out a few times to get some metrics.

Great suggestion!

Great discussion. The way I see it there is a conflict between the way we play tactical level games (fight to the bitter end) and the way that operational and RL are frequently played (make sure casulties are minimized).  Finding the balance is clearly going to be important. I think toning down the tactical battle player's first instinct to fight to the bitter end would be a good thing. We should be disengaging and withdrawing much more then we do. On the other hand what you just experienced regarding on turn one the Germans experience enough casualties to cause a withdrawal does not lead to a satisfactory experience. I'm am saying that guidelines should be in place for casualty limits.

Agreed!

On the one hand what you experienced - first turn forced withdrawal of the Germans - happened two or three times out of a campaign where there were 20 tactical battles that would be OK really. Another angle that could be considered is to have a feature built into TO that suggests when a battle would or would not be a good candidate for a tactical level game to be used for resolution. For example if there is a large attacking force and disorganized defenders the outcome is probably pretty clear and might not lead to an interesting tactical battle. Note I am not saying prevent a tactical game being used I'm saying TO could be programmed to recognize which engagements are more likely to lead to interesting tactical game resolutions.

Cat, I have given this some consideration before. And I think there are easily analyzed parameters that can be used to help give players some guidance. In many cases players are going to have a pretty good feel for a tactical battle leading up to it. But I can certainly give an indicator to help. For instance, the battle between you and Mad Mike was extremely lopsided in terms of total combat power available, but terrain, available support and overall condition of the defenders made it a potentially interesting battle to execute. And to my point earlier, you reached your limits regarding the battle, but you are playing it out some more for fun at this point!


Offline A Canadian Cat

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Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
« Reply #32 on: June 20, 2017, 08:50:54 PM »
And to my point earlier, you reached your limits regarding the battle, but you are playing it out some more for fun at this point!

Yes, for sure but inside the framework we discussed about ending vs. continuing and how far the advance continued. So instead of doing what the typical CM player would do - run E and F Cos into the ground and use G Co to continue as deep as possible. Instead E and F Co are setting up defensive positions to hold the ground they gained and G Co is flanking the fortified position to consolidate the battalion's advance.

For sure we are just playing for fun and your system already did something sensible with the results. I'm just seeing how one possible resolution would go in CM.

Offline A Canadian Cat

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Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2017, 08:52:41 PM »
Cat, I have given this some consideration before. And I think there are easily analyzed parameters that can be used to help give players some guidance. In many cases players are going to have a pretty good feel for a tactical battle leading up to it. But I can certainly give an indicator to help. For instance, the battle between you and Mad Mike was extremely lopsided in terms of total combat power available, but terrain, available support and overall condition of the defenders made it a potentially interesting battle to execute.

Cool. I'm not sure if that needs to be a top tier feature or added later but it would be helpful for those of us wanting to play the tactical battles out with another gaming system. Thanks for considering it.

Offline Christian Knudsen

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Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
« Reply #34 on: June 21, 2017, 02:49:46 AM »
Hey it's nice to see some folks reading this stuff!

It would be interesting to see this battle played out a few times to get some metrics.

I don't know that I necessarily want to re-fight THIS battle, but I do want to fight a bunch more battles to increase the sample size.  Battles like this will happen, we need to know how to handle them.  In fact, as I think I mentioned, I'm not too concerned about how the actual battle fights, I'm far more concerned about determining the before and after, and how that interacts with TO.  Not to say there aren't issues about how the battle works, but a lot of that comes out of starting conditions, and should be fairly easy to adjust.

...The way I see it there is a conflict between the way we play tactical level games (fight to the bitter end) and the way that operational and RL are frequently played (make sure casulties are minimized).  Finding the balance is clearly going to be important. I think toning down the tactical battle player's first instinct to fight to the bitter end would be a good thing. We should be disengaging and withdrawing much more then we do. On the other hand what you just experienced regarding on turn one the Germans experience enough casualties to cause a withdrawal does not lead to a satisfactory experience. I'm am saying that guidelines should be in place for casualty limits...  I have a question: earlier you said "Persistence is an optional mechanic that we are trying out" is that an actual ASL rule you are using?

This is really the heart of the matter right now, balancing our desire for realism in terms of tactics based around force preservation against our very real need to make a system that produces fun, challenging, meaningful tactical battles.  Interestingly enough, I had a fellow on the GS ASL forum basically say that he would not consider trying a system that would not forecast which engagements would be good battles and which not.  I take that with a grain of salt, there are lots of crappy unbalanced ASL scenarios out there, and even a few campaign games that are not well balanced, and are prone to the snowball effect.  I think that it will be fairly easy to pick out battles that are worth it, and recognize those that are not.  As to your question, persistence is a TO effect for which I blodged together some ASL rules.  ASL does have a somewhat similar mechanic whereby a side's ELR can drop during play due to losses.  I don't know anyone who uses it, and it doesn't really meet our goal of limiting losses.

BTW, because of the impetus system, the Germans were not required to give up after Turn 1.  Even with the additional Turn 2 losses, I could still make a roll or two and continue the battle, and who knows, I could get into a good position and inflict a bunch of casualties on the Americans in ongoing turns, which, so long as I limited my own (a lot, mind you), I could win the battle.  But I don't think that meets the commander's intent of keeping casualties light, so I will start my withdrawal in Turn 3.  Now the battle is still not necessarily over at that point, the defender might decide to pursue, in which case I have 4 turns to get my forces off the map.  If he does not, then the battle ends, but the attacker will not gain any ground in TO.

Honestly the more I think about it, Options 2 and 3 are VERY similar to each other. We have to be careful with Option 2 that we don't accidently give the attackers an artificial advantage by increasing thresholds. Both sides would benefit from the increase, however it may allow for the attacker to gain more territory as a result. It's just one of the things that need to be considered for balancing purposes.

I would increase the defender persistence as well though, by the same ratios.  This would create longer lasting battles that are hopefully more interesting, i.e. don't end in the first 2 turns.  I would compensate for this by adjusting the lazarus odds, basically.  So battles last longer, and have more casualties, but more of these are recouped at the end.  It should be possible to find a balance that allows for persistence to be meaningful, but not overly constricting, but then not lead to unrealistic attrition.  As mentioned, the squad resolution of ASL casualties makes this really easy to justify.

I realize, however, that I am not at all dealing with you bringing territory into the equation.  This is a good point, and one I need to think about.  We haven't really talked too much about territory gain yet, although I seem to recall that you have had to normalize our tests so far to limit the amount of territory taken.  I really don't like the concept of normalizing (that occurs outside of system transitioning), but more testing will iron out these issues, hopefully.

If you are suggesting that persistence be ignored when it comes to battle resolution, that is certainly an option. However if I were your CO who gave you specific orders to limit casualties and there was a blatant disregard for this order, I would probably take you out back and personally  :shooting-two-guns  !!!  ;) So I would say that this option would be used cautiously for that reason among some other reasons.

And I agree.  But players may not - persistence adds a layer of book-keeping that a large number of players may just not want to bother with.  We may just have to accept that players will want to fight to the death.  One thing that works in our favour in this is that my ASL engagements have no Victory Conditions other than cause casualties and take territory.  This may hurt us in other ways, but it definitely helps us in avoiding last minute suicide charges.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 03:03:32 AM by Christian Knudsen »

Offline choppinlt

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Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
« Reply #35 on: June 21, 2017, 03:47:26 AM »
Hey it's nice to see some folks reading this stuff!

My sentiments exactly!  8)

I don't know that I necessarily want to re-fight THIS battle, but I do want to fight a bunch more battles to increase the sample size.  Battles like this will happen, we need to know how to handle them.  In fact, as I think I mentioned, I'm not too concerned about how the actual battle fights, I'm far more concerned about determining the before and after, and how that interacts with TO.  Not to say there aren't issues about how the battle works, but a lot of that comes out of starting conditions, and should be fairly easy to adjust.

Well in fairness, it would be pretty simple to start this one over!  ;D

This is really the heart of the matter right now, balancing our desire for realism in terms of tactics based around force preservation against our very real need to make a system that produces fun, challenging, meaningful tactical battles.  Interestingly enough, I had a fellow on the GS ASL forum basically say that he would not consider trying a system that would not forecast which engagements would be good battles and which not.  I take that with a grain of salt, there are lots of crappy unbalanced ASL scenarios out there, and even a few campaign games that are not well balanced, and are prone to the snowball effect.  I think that it will be fairly easy to pick out battles that are worth it, and recognize those that are not.

CK, I agree with everything you said here that this is the heart of the matter. This is also were the beauty is in the eye of the beholder! The way I see it is players are free to make their own interpretations and create their own house rules. We provide as much guidance and context as possible and different considerations like we are doing now. But when it comes down to Jim playing Bob, they can resolve things however they wish. If they wish to take the literal translation of casualties and disregard persistence altogether, there is nothing stopping them. Just as long as there is some understanding between players before any tactical battle is played out. In my biased opinion, I think this is part of the beauty of TO: flexibility to suit individual player tastes.  ;D

Let it be known that persistence considerations will be part of the translation algorithm back to TO if/when I hand over a tactical battle!  ;)

Furthermore CK, I agree that I think players will quickly develop a feel for whether a battle is worth fighting out or not. That being said, I think I can easily produce an indicator to players like Cat has suggested. Definitely not a critical item to have, but I think it can be easily implemented.

I would increase the defender persistence as well though, by the same ratios.  This would create longer lasting battles that are hopefully more interesting, i.e. don't end in the first 2 turns.  I would compensate for this by adjusting the lazarus odds, basically.  So battles last longer, and have more casualties, but more of these are recouped at the end.  It should be possible to find a balance that allows for persistence to be meaningful, but not overly constricting, but then not lead to unrealistic attrition.  As mentioned, the squad resolution of ASL casualties makes this really easy to justify.

Yes, and it will be interesting to see it play out and the data collected!

Yes, for sure but inside the framework we discussed about ending vs. continuing and how far the advance continued. So instead of doing what the typical CM player would do - run E and F Cos into the ground and use G Co to continue as deep as possible. Instead E and F Co are setting up defensive positions to hold the ground they gained and G Co is flanking the fortified position to consolidate the battalion's advance.

For sure we are just playing for fun and your system already did something sensible with the results. I'm just seeing how one possible resolution would go in CM.
Yep, as soon as I saw that you replied about this, I recalled that conversation! Keep me honest ;), but mostly this is another good experiment with parameters and "normalizing" results. By the way, I got a system set up back when we talked about this, but I am just waiting for an excuse to test it out!

Offline Cougar11

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Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
« Reply #36 on: June 21, 2017, 05:05:12 AM »
I read these regularly, but most of the time I do not have any input into. Keep it coming, always a good read with the battles.

Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk


Offline choppinlt

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Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
« Reply #37 on: June 21, 2017, 02:04:11 PM »
Great Cougar11! Well feel free to chime in any time and offer your thoughts. We want to hear from the community!  :)

Offline A Canadian Cat

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Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
« Reply #38 on: June 21, 2017, 03:15:31 PM »
This is really the heart of the matter right now, balancing our desire for realism in terms of tactics based around force preservation against our very real need to make a system that produces fun, challenging, meaningful tactical battles. 

Indeed. I like the discussion around this actually. Very interesting. One thing that I would like to see come out of this for my CM games (applies to other systems too) is more realistic desire to withdraw and disengage. As in become more built into the way I play. One fear I have is that too much massaging of results might remove the lessons that the tactical players need to learn - that fighting to the death = operational failure. What I am getting at is that I might want to play the hard way and force CM players to learn to stop pushing until the bitter end. And by learn I mean by getting the backsides kicked because they spent the force guarding an important location totally and let the enemy take advantage of the gap in their lines and therefore ended up loosing.

Interestingly enough, I had a fellow on the GS ASL forum basically say that he would not consider trying a system that would not forecast which engagements would be good battles and which not.  I take that with a grain of salt, there are lots of crappy unbalanced ASL scenarios out there, and even a few campaign games that are not well balanced, and are prone to the snowball effect.  I think that it will be fairly easy to pick out battles that are worth it, and recognize those that are not. 

Indeed. I have my grain of salt right here :-) Sounds like @choppinlt does too. Just because an idea is good does not mean it is an immediate requirement.

As to your question, persistence is a TO effect for which I blodged together some ASL rules.  ASL does have a somewhat similar mechanic whereby a side's ELR can drop during play due to losses.  I don't know anyone who uses it, and it doesn't really meet our goal of limiting losses.

Cool thanks for the info.

Offline choppinlt

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Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
« Reply #39 on: June 21, 2017, 06:01:55 PM »
Indeed. I like the discussion around this actually. Very interesting. One thing that I would like to see come out of this for my CM games (applies to other systems too) is more realistic desire to withdraw and disengage. As in become more built into the way I play. One fear I have is that too much massaging of results might remove the lessons that the tactical players need to learn - that fighting to the death = operational failure. What I am getting at is that I might want to play the hard way and force CM players to learn to stop pushing until the bitter end. And by learn I mean by getting the backsides kicked because they spent the force guarding an important location totally and let the enemy take advantage of the gap in their lines and therefore ended up loosing.

Good, I am glad that people are finding this interesting. And this is something I am happy to engage people with, because I want to know what people are thinking.

Cat, I agree wholeheartedly. This adds a new dynamic to otherwise static tactical results. I say 'static' meaning battle results don't mean anything unless they are applied to a bigger storyline. I believe that players have their individual preferences on how they want results to be applied, and these preferences will vary widely. Furthermore, a player may want to experiment with difference preferences on how tactical results are applied, and this can even vary from battle to battle within a given operation/campaign. My only point here is that as long as players are in agreement with the process of how battles are to be executed (including the transition process to and from TO) then all players should find satisfaction. So if you (as the operational commander) want to have tactical battles in CM where 'the results are the results' then that is fine as long as the other players agree and understand.

Here are some reasons I can see value in massaging tactical results (in no particular order):
  • Less potential risk to the operational level when playing a battle out tactically, especially for unbalanced battles
  • Fundamental differences between how different tactical systems resolve battles (e.g. CM and ASL)
  • Experience/talent differentials between tactical opponents that could lead to overly lopsided results
  • When a TO player hands over the resolution of a battle to a 3rd party that is only doing the tactical side. The implication being the 3rd party is careless and grinds his forces to nothing, then hands these results back to the TO player to input. This is my personal nightmare scenario  :)

The last bullet above illustrates all the battles we have done so far in this TO scenario. None of the people doing the tactical battles are the ones commanding at the operational level. Without some assurance that reasonable results are going to be produced, TO players may forgo handing over tactical resolution altogether. Does this make sense?

Lastly, let me explain what I mean by 'massaging results'. Certain parameters would be established for each battle that would allow for significant latitude in terms of battle result variability. Nothing would be 'massaged' if final results fell within the parameters, but the further the final results fell out of the established parameters then the more the massaging would be done. That is the basic explanation, but what we need is a real example to better illustrate this. When you are done with your current CM battle, then we can use those results.

An extreme example would be a battlegroup attacking while sustaining 90% casualties, but they managed to finally take control of the map from the defender. If I got handed those results as the operational player from my tactical resolving player, I would not be happy if I was expected to take those results at face value. Massaging would take place by inputting say 10% casualties (still really high) in TO, but the distance advanced would be say 200m. IMHO all players would come away satisfied. The tactical player got to achieve his objective fully (damn the casualty list), and the operational player still has a unit to command!

Hopefully I don't sound like I am way out there on this explanation...I hope I am providing some clarity on the overall concept... Or am I missing the point?!  :eek My bottom line is that I am leaving up to the players to use their own preferences on battle resolution and transitioning, but I want to give them some solid mechanisms/guidance to use if they choose to. So CK is doing all his great work with ASL, while we are doing more with CM to provide the mechanisms and guidance.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 07:59:18 PM by choppinlt »

Offline A Canadian Cat

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Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
« Reply #40 on: June 21, 2017, 07:36:44 PM »
Hopefully I don't sound like I am way out there on this explanation...I hope I am providing some clarity on the overall concept... Or am I missing the point?!  :eek My bottom line is that I am leaving up to the players to use their own preferences on battle resolution and transitioning, but I want to give them some solid mechanisms/guidance to use if they choose to. So CK is going all his great work with ASL, while we are doing more with CM to provide the mechanisms and guidance.

No that sounds reasonable. I am glad you are considering how this will play out. Sounds like people will be able to go hard core and play with other like minded gamers and learn to fight more realistically or all the way the other way where an operational layer can be used to generate battles for a variety of people with differing skills and interests and everyone still has some fun. Sounds good to me.

Offline choppinlt

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Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
« Reply #41 on: June 21, 2017, 08:05:09 PM »
EXACTLY!  ;D and well said! I feel like this is a core issue with what I am trying to accomplish with the game. And I want to opt for flexibility to appeal to as many people as we can.

Offline Christian Knudsen

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Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
« Reply #42 on: September 16, 2017, 06:49:40 PM »
Okay - I shall revive this thread and finish what I started far too long ago.

My apologies, first, to Choppinit and the rest who have been so kind as to follow along.  I am in the military, and found myself deployed quite suddenly for a little over 2 months right as I was about to wrap the battle up.  I did have some internet access while I was away, and I promised Choppinit that I would get it finished, but I just wasn't able to get it done until I got back.

So on to the (anticlimactic) denouement, the German withdrawal and post-engagement phase.

Having taken well more casualties than planned, I decided to declare an attacker withdrawal (to start lines).  At this point the defender has the operation of either letting the attacker go and thus ending the battle, or declaring a tactical pursuit/counterattack and continuing the battle, trying to inflict more casualties and chase the attacker off the board, perhaps with a view to conducting an attack in the next TO orders phase.  However, I convinced my oppo not to do so, so we will move directly to the post-engagement phase.

A bunch of things now happen that I will not get into here, but which will be familiar to anyone who has played an Historical ASL Campaign game.   These include conclusion of melee, placement of HIP units and marker removal, rally of broken units, perimeter determination and resolution of isolated units, and clearing the map.  Note in this case that there is no perimeter resolution due to the attacker withdrawal - the Germans have fled back to their lines!

With all this out of the way, we move to casualty reporting.  The Americans took no(!) casualties - all they had was a broken HS, so no rolls on the casualty reporting table are made, and 0 casualties are reported to TO.

The Germans lost 2.5 squads (out of 16.5 at start).  This was in the form of 1 full, and 3 Half squads.  Each of these now gets a survival roll.  There are several modifiers to this, but the only ones that apply are the bonus for the units being Elite.  With this bonus, a dr of 4-6 (one one die) will be enough to save them.  Starting with the squad, the drs are 6,2,4,6 - good rolls for the Germans!  Only one HS is fully lost and will be reported as casualties.  This represents guys who are walking wounded, who go to ground and straggle in late, etc.  The same for the Americans - they may have taken casualties, but none are serious enough to warrant being evacuated.

The vehicles are a different story.  One StuG III (L) and one StuH 42 (L) were lost to artillery fire.  While neither burn, none of the crew survive (or they are wounded badly enough, etc), and the wrecks now sit in American territory and are un-recoverable.  The 2 crews are added to the casualty total (at 5 men apiece), and we are now ready to report to TO that the Germans have lost 15 casualties and 2 AFV.

Because the Germans have withdrawn to their own lines, an advance of 0 meters is reported to TO.

Next - the AAR AAR.

Offline Asid

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Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
« Reply #43 on: September 16, 2017, 06:53:51 PM »
Hi Christian

Real life gets in the way all to often. I appreciate your continuing efforts.

Regards

I stand against Racism, Bigotry and Bullying

Offline Christian Knudsen

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Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
« Reply #44 on: September 16, 2017, 07:20:28 PM »
Okay, points to consider based on all this.  I'll start with the small and proceed to the big.

Casualty reporting - As discussed above, there is a dialectic to be worked out between ASL, TO, and casualty reporting.  But I think the "Lazarus roll" is a solid way of dealing with it, we just have to fine-tune the sliders, as it were.  One point is with splitting casualties between units.  I don't think dividing equally is too big a deal, most will not want to track individual unit casualties, and so long as we force equal division people won't be able to take all their casualties from crappy units, and none from the elites.  One thing is I had not thought about how TO tracks crew casualties for Armoured units.  I have lumped all the crew and infantry casualties together, but it is easy on my side to separate them.

Perimeter and advance - Didn't really come into play here, unfortunately.  The perimeter determination rules as they stand now are much tested, and I'm not worried about those.  And I am reasonably confident that the mechanism I have chosen for translating that into TO terms is fine - Basically I measure the average advance in hexes across the width of the map, do a bit of math, and report that to TO.  The fact that a terrain generation is randomized for each generated engagement make this a fairly easy design-for-effect solution.

Persistence and casualties - Much discussion above, so I won't repeat it here.  I think that we will have to adopt some sort of normalization in terms of both casualties and advance to end up with meaningful battles that don't end too quickly, as this one did.  But the more we normalize, the less effect that playing the engagement out has, so why play the engagement, etc...  This is the biggest issue we have right now, and I think we are going to have to work out different options in terms of selecting a "normalization level" and let players choose.

Artillery - Much of the discussion above related to how to incorporate artillery without making it totally unbalancing.  So I tried a mechanic to reduce the amount of OBA on the board.  Even so, the arty was overpowering for the defenders, although it must be admitted that my opponent was quite lucky, and I quite stupid to give him a target.  But still, artillery is VERY powerful in ASL, and the number of modules on board is, although historically consistent, currently far too high.  It is kind of a rule of thumb in ASL campaign games that no more than 2 OBA modules may be used per side per day, and I am thinking about adopting this.  But then how do we align this with the high amounts available in this TO operation, especially to the Americans?  I am open to suggestions here, frankly, but am currently thinking that for each TO battery available for support, a roll will be made to see if it translates into the battle, with bonuses for lighter calibres, which must roll first.  Once 2 modules are "received", then that's all the side gets.  Another way to do it is to allow all the modules, but vastly change the ASL chit system for battery access to make actually getting a fire mission quite a bit less likely.  I am loath to do this, however, as it involves changing core ASL rules.

Anyways, this is why we test, of course.  Suggestions are welcome!