Dogs Of War Vu

Network of Friends => Theater of Operations: World at War => Topic started by: choppinlt on May 30, 2017, 07:21:47 PM

Title: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: choppinlt on May 30, 2017, 07:21:47 PM
I have not posted about this yet in the main thread, but at 1030 a company of Fallschirm in reserve with a newly arrived company of Stugs will engage a US infantry battalion that is recovering and preparing the next attack. Christian Knudsen and his opponent have volunteered to fight this battle out using Advanced Squad Leader (ASL). More details about the engagement will be shared, plus an after action report will be included in this thread.

I am still waiting to see if we have any volunteers to fight Tactical Wargamer in one of the other engagements using Combat Mission. Please speak up if interested! You can reply here or PM me.

-choppinlt
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Asid on May 30, 2017, 08:24:04 PM
This is great news. I really enjoy reading these posts   :book

thanks for taking the time to make them  :thumbsup
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Christian Knudsen on May 31, 2017, 12:39:19 AM
In the next day or two I should be finished generating the 2 OBs in ASL - I've been working on it a few days, but the process has highlighted a few inconsistencies and problems in the ruleset I generated, so there has been some revision there.

The big issue has been artillery.  Players of ASL will know that OBA can be pretty powerful and decisive.  ASL tends use "modules" of OBA that represent the fire of an offboard artillery battery.  But in this battle, the Americans, for instance, have access to 8 batteries of various calibre firing in support.  This is historical, but I feel it might be pretty unmanageable for ASL (and maybe CM too!)  So I am going to try a system where having access to more than a given number of batteries increases the effectiveness (ammunition level, in ASL terms) of each module.  So the Amis will go from 8 modules to 4, but these will have more ammo and therefore be more effective and easier to use.

I am a little conflicted here; I really feel that 8 batteries will be too much to handle, but on the other hand I might be wrong.  On the other other hand, the Americans in this operation can get a LOT of artillery on call, certainly with potential for more than 8 batteries in an engagement, so my feeling is that some sort of translation will have to be done.  This is why we playtest!

Anyhoo, I hope to have the OBs done and the ruleset adjusted by tomorrow evening, and then we will start getting into setup.  The ASL AAR will be nowhere near as detailed as last time - turn summaries instead of an exhaustive blow by blow account.  We want to have fun playing, but my main goal is to test-drive the major places that TO interfaces with ASL - pre-enagement, engagement resolution (in particular how the engagement ends), and post-engagement results.  Of particular interest is seeing how closely the results dovetail with what Matt's resolution algorithms come up with!

Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: choppinlt on May 31, 2017, 03:29:36 PM
Thanks CK, for doing this and your efforts!  :) Using ASL as yet another tactical system perfectly illustrates what I am trying to do when I say "you can use any tactical system you want to resolve combat." While Combat Mission has been my primary focus, any tactical system will work...and I want people to try them. One area we havn't seen are miniatures. If there are any microarmor or 15mm (like Flames of War)...or any others out there, feel free to speak up and join in.

Building off your comments, it will be interesting to see how this type of scenario works. Specifically I mean the fact that this engagement is merely a spoiling attack to throw the Amis off balance and disrupt the flow. In other words this isn't about seizing objectives, it is about being a pain in the butt without risking many casualties.

CORRECTION on the amount of arty available for the Amis. I may have misinformed you CK, but they have 5 batteries at their disposal (up to 7 were likely to respond). They have 2-105's, 2-4.2-inch mortars, and a battery of 155's. This builds in to my point below...

Arty is a tricky thing to balance. So I am always trying to tweak how arty works within ToO. This scenario is a good example. The US Inf Bn being attacked has a bn of 105's, a co of 4.2-in (i.e. 3 batteries), and a battery of 155's that are in "dedicated" support. The current concept is that dedicated arty only responds to fire missions from the unit they are supporting in the attack or defense. Due to the situation (cohesion loss, etc) the infantry only received 5 batteries. It turns out that is all the arty the US needs to beat back the attack, BUT if the Germans had attacked with a much stronger force the US infantry would have been eligible to receive arty from direct and general support too. So the question I need to evaluate is whether or not this concept represents reality, or does it require some tweaks?  :-\ Anyone, feel free to comment...
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Christian Knudsen on June 01, 2017, 11:14:27 PM
Matt and I have been firing emails back and forth in the last 24 hours or so, and he asked me to re-create the discussion we have been having here on the forum, I assume to hopefully generate further discussion.  So here we go!

Hey Matt

I was wondering how you intend to handle artillery preregistration.  I see this being an issue in any system (CM, ASL) that has this capability or something like it.

I have a mechanism for giving the defenders pre-registered hexes, they will just buy them with fortification points, much like CM.   Alternatively, we could award them on a per posture level - none for exposed or hasty, one for prepared, two for fortified.

For the attacker they are slightly more problematic, as the attacker will not receive fortification points, and for CM will likely not get points to purchase TRPs.  Is there some mechanism in TO whereby one can task a battery to pre-registration in a given area?  Is this historical?  Part of the deal is that you need pre-registered hexes in order to lay barrages in ASL.  I can change that, make it so that laying a barrage occupies a module for the length of the engagement, but this would involve some additional house-ruling.

What do you think?

As an aside, I have the OBs (less OBA) generated, and once we resolve the OBA issue I will start posting that stuff and carrying on.
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: choppinlt on June 02, 2017, 01:56:08 PM
...and my retort.  :D

Great question, and one that I think I have an answer to. In short it sounds like you have the same basic ideas I have. For this scenario the Amis have no pre-registration. Registration is determined by a number of things. In ToO an arty unit can be given a Registration fire mission. This links an arty unit to a ground unit (i.e. the arty is more likely to respond to fire mission requests while defending). This implies that the defending unit would get 1 or 2 registration points.

Beyond that registration is determined by unit posture, with cohesion, leadership and experience being factors. Units that are in a "prepared" posture get 1or 2 registration pts on the tactical level. Fortified posture gets 2 or 3 registration pts. FYI, I am talking from a CM battlefield perspective. ASL and other games may need to tweak the number of registration points based on how their system works. Which means that I assumed that attackers received no pre-registration.

I don't recall the mechanism for arty in ASL, however it seems to me that attackers can simply write down and declare where and when they want their prep bombardments to occur in the pre-game. The attacker then conducts missions with on-call arty without registration pts. Does that work or make sense?
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Christian Knudsen on June 02, 2017, 02:12:13 PM
I imagine registration missions would be pretty closely tied to posture anyways - So a registration mission would allow a unit to get TRP/Preregistration, the number of which would then be determined by posture (as it took time to conduct pre-registration fires, etc).  I imagine the way soft factors would affect this is by adjusting the speed at which a unit increases its defensive posture?

 There is nothing wrong with the attacker in a scenario having no registration, I've no idea how historical it was, especially considering counter-battery fires, but if we are denying TRPs to attackers, then we need to make some minor shifts.

Right now, pre-registration does a few things for you in ASL.  It makes battery access easier, it vastly increases the accuracy of spotting rounds, and  allows one to call a fire-for effect without having to first place a spotting round at all, if one wishes.  It also allows the use of barrages (A linear OBA mission, essentially) and creeping barrages.  These are only allowed if the attacker has a pre-registered hex, so if we are not allowing these for engagement attackers, we might need to have a mechanism in TO that would allow an attacker to set this up.  Or we could just say no barrages allowed for the attacker, although that would deny the attacker some interesting options for laying down smoke curtains and such.

There is also a bombardment mechanism, where most of the map gets attacked by a 2 morale check before the battle kicks off.  I have chosen to represent this by the following:

3.12 PRE-SCENARIO BOMBARDMENT:

A TO engagement preceded within a two-hour period by a bombardment from an artillery battery or batteries of over 100mm that fire(s) an Area Fire or  Bombardment mission,  or any Specific Target or Air Bombardment mission, may cause damage to defender fortifications and the map terrain.  Note that damage to defending units due to pre-engagement bombardment is already calculated by TO, so only terrain/fortifications can be damaged in this step.  Once the scenario defender has completed setup, but prior to the scenario attacker doing so, a bombardment is conducted per C1.8, except that only terrain and fortifications are affected.  In addition, any fortification counter not addressed in C1.822 (EX: Trench, Foxhole, Sangar, Panji) if in a bombardment hex is is attacked with a ML of 9. Any unit in a hex in which terrain/fortifications are damaged/eliminated is unaffected, but may be re-setup as desired by the defender, and will retain/gain concealment if able to do so as normal prior to attacker setup.  If the bombardment is conducted by an artillery battery ≤ 155mm, and/or by an aerial bombardment conducted by a bomber unit, then all terrain/fortification MC are at -1.

Long story short, the bombardment happens in TO, the unit is affected by it there and in the force generation process as per, and then the terrain gets attacked to represent the bombardment.  This has nothing to do with pre-registration, btw, just another thing that the system can do.

Barrages are what I now need to tweak though, and why I need to know how this would be handled in TO.
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: choppinlt on June 02, 2017, 02:45:17 PM
Your assumptions are correct about soft factors, speed, etc. Attackers didn't typically have true TRP's, but they could spend lots of time carefully planning, plotting and surveying where they wanted their planned bombardments to go.While it was less than optimal, it is very reasonable to assume that planned bombardments on the attack are going to be near or on the intended target area. Historically speaking, TRP's on the attack are a possibility though.

I see this as an ASL transitioning issue. Having some explanation of ToO, how do you accurately reflect what you are trying to accomplish? Does the declaration of pre-planned missions completely resolve the issue? E.g. Pre-planned Fire Mission Sheet: Turn 1-1 Btty of 155's hits hex 1746 (centerpoint) with HE; Turn 2-the 155's switch to hex 1751 (centerpoint) with HE (representing a creeping barrage), 1 Btty 105's hits hex 2021 (centerpoint) with HE; Turn 3, 1 Btty 4.2-In mortars hit hex 1649 (centerpoint) with smoke....etc. Anything that is NOT pre-planned must be called in with spotting, etc.

Or you could allow registration points with special stipulations for the attacker in ASL. I don't recommend TRP's for the attacker in CM due to how they work, but CM certainly allows pre-planned bombardments.

Thoughts, questions?
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Christian Knudsen on June 02, 2017, 04:26:18 PM
I think the level of detail you are talking about here in terms of pre-planned missions is way more than is required, honestly, and is already achievable by using ASL's pre-registration rules, hexes for which must be plotted before the other side sets up.

Perhaps we just allow attackers who have dedicated battery support to have access to a barrage (creeping or otherwise) or a pre-registered hex that would be only usable on Turn 1, 2, 3, or whatever, so long as you indicated it before setup, but then penalize such use by severely limiting what that battery (module) would be able to do afterward, by adjusting the battery access chit draw.  So you would get your barrage or pre-reg hex for one turn, but afterward you would have a hard time getting anything out of that module, and nothing before.  And if the battle ends before it's fired?  Too bad.

Bombardments I see as totally different.  A Bombardment is something that happens before the engagement starts, affects the targeted unit in TO only (said effects affecting the ASL OOB when the engagement OB is built), and is only resolved "in" ASL vs the terrain.  What I am talking about above only happens during the engagement itself.

The question then becomes whether we allow artillery batteries to fire "offensive preregistration" missions, and whether that would be at all historical.  If we don't allow this, and I can see some reasons why we wouldn't, how do we represent the sort of "planning, plotting, and surveying" that certainly took place before an offensive, i.e. an artillery fireplan?  And is it worth representing this at the tactical resolution scale we are looking at, or do we just leave attacker pre-reg out of it, let the artillery do pre-engagement bombardments in TO however they like, and then give the attacker an option to use barrages as above?
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: choppinlt on June 02, 2017, 05:45:07 PM
In ToO, 'dedicated' artillery is any battery that has been assigned to a specific Bn or BG for their use only. A time delay (for planning and integration with the assigned unit) is necessary before an arty unit can be 'dedicated'. Once that planning time has elapsed the unit has access to that battery (or batteries). Dedicated arty is the only arty that a unit on the attack may receive. Units on the defensive can receive fire support from dedicated, direct and general support assets. And you are correct, pre engagement bombardments are accounted for in ToO before an engagement commences meaning the effects are already assessed in to the transition information. You have some good ideas regarding the impact on fortifications though.

After hearing more, I am inclined to say yes to some sort of pre game registration for the attackers in ASL. Again, my issue is with CM and how TRP's work. I think what you are doing can be accomplished in a couple of ways. Having a Fire Plan would be a great way to accomplish it IMHO. But it looks like you have some great ideas regarding prereg that covers it well. Further thoughts?  :)
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Christian Knudsen on June 03, 2017, 05:36:05 PM
Ok - now we are caught up!

So thinking about it, I think I will do the following: 

Each attacker dedicated battery used in a single OBA module will come with one free pre-registered hex which may be used only by that module.  The attacker may use a barrage or creeping barrage as per E12.  An attacker module with a pre-registered hex never receives an additional black chit per C1.73.  Since only dedicated batteries in TO may fire in support of an attack, more than one battery must share a single pre-registered hex in order to go together as a module as per the TO OBA rules.  (EX:  The attacking German has three dedicated batteries of 105mm medium artillery in support.  He thus receives one module with plentiful ammo and one pre-registered hex, usable only for that module.)

For the defender, it is possible to have non-dedicated modules firing in support.  These never receive pre-registered hexes.  Dedicated supporting modules are treated as a separate category, and are awarded pre-registered hexes depending on the defending unit's posture, with units in an exposed or hasty defensive posture receiving none, units in a prepared posture getting one per module, and units in a fortified posture receiving two per module.  Defender pre-registered OBA also does not receive the C1.73 black chit bonus, and modules may never share use of another module's pre-registered hex.  (EX:  A defending American unit receives support from 5 batteries of 105mm artillery, of which two are dedicated, and 1 battery of dedicated 81mm mortars.  The unit is in a prepared posture.  It will receive 1 module of normal ammo 100+ OBA with one pre-registered hex, 1 battery of plentiful 100+ artillery with no pre-registered hex, and 1 scarce battery of 81mm OBA with a preregistered hex.)

tl;dr?  Basically modules still have to go together by type in order to limit the amount of OBA on the battlefield.  Pre-registered hexes will be common, but are limited in that they can't be shared between modules.  Limits imposed by the time it takes to get "dedicated" support, and to dig in and get a better defensive posture, should make OBA a major but hopefully not overpowering factor on the battlefield. 

One thing slightly worries me, however, and that is how to integrate non-dedicated supporting batteries.  You mentioned that the Amis would have been eligible for more support if required.  But this sort of pre-supposes that the battle is fought by TO before I resolve it in ASL!  Really, the American side here should have access to absolutely everything that COULD provide it fire support, taking into account cohesion, etc.  Whether the American player chooses to use all of it is another question, but they should have the option.  So how do we then stop them from doing so, and making the tactical resolutions nothing but massive OBA-fests?  I can think of a couple ways.

1.  Make the penalty for use of non-dedicated support pretty hefty in TO somehow, so that the player is a little leery about using it (and general support in general).  Whether this be an extra cohesion and/or supply hit is another question.
2.  Make general support be less likely/effective in tactical resolution terms.  In ASL we can do this by playing with the chit draw pile, so that it is less likely that it makes an appearance. 

Any other ideas?


Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: choppinlt on June 04, 2017, 05:00:54 AM
OK, I will take your word for it on a lot of this ASL stuff! ;)

So yes, in ToO attackers will only receive arty support from dedicated batteries. Defenders can receive from any eligible batteries, however there are many factors that weigh in when deciding if a battery will respond to a fire support request.

To your question, it is important to know that fire mission requests (FMR's) are established before a battle commences. Said differently, when a battle starts all artillery support has been determined for that engagement. This is important when establishing an OOB for the engagement. In the case of this scenario the Amis already have all the artillery they need (and more) already dedicated to that unit, so it doesn't go any further. But we can take this case a step further by assuming that the German attack is far more severe and the dedicated arty is not enough according to the battle algorithms. The Ami Bn would be eligible to receive additional support from direct and general assets too, but again this is all established pre-engagement. Make sense?

Furthermore, I want to add that there is a Registration Fire Mission that can be assigned to arty batteries. This helps to link a battery with a unit in defense, without making it 'dedicated'. So completing this FM will increase the likelihood a battery will respond if available. It is also assumed that the defending unit will receive some TRP's in CM or preregistration in ASL. OTOH, creating the registration point has some risks like counterbattery fire, or otherwise giving your position away. And registration takes time, meaning the battery is unavailable to pound on the enemy if needed. Lastly, if the unit with the registration or the artillery unit move the registration is lost.

Then there is the impact of unit posture. Units in a prepared for fortified posture are also assumed to have some registration points as well as we have previously mentioned. Does all this help?
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Christian Knudsen on June 04, 2017, 03:39:37 PM
Ok.  I think I am going to keep it the way it is at the moment, although I am toying with the idea of requiring attackers to pre-plan their pre-registered fires.  That really complicates things, however, because then I have to figure out how to treat the module outside of the planned fire, ie. is that module available for fires before/after the planned fire, and what will that look like.  And since I'm not allowing off-board observers, which make pre-registered hexes really ridiculous, the attacker is still going to have to get to where he can see the hex to make use of it, which I think will mitigate the effect a bit.

Defender pre-reg.  Sheesh, I'm torn here.  I know that historically, we should have a ton of pre-registered hexes/TRPs for the defender.  But where do we hit the point at which it becomes overpowering and makes the tactical resolution no fun for the attacker?  Right now your system, if I understand it correctly, units get TRPs from dedicated units, from registered units, and from the posture if applicable.  That's a ton of TRPs, especially considering CM (and ASL, though I can work around it) offers no way to exclude batteries from TRPs - what's there is available to all.  So considering the amount of batteries on call, and the amount of TRPs available, I worry that artillery will have a massive effect on the engagement.

Now in CM this is ameliorated somewhat by the fact that batteries run out of ammo.  This does not happen in ASL at all, instead it's randomized.  A module might never fire, as it's radio malfunctions, or it fails two battery access chit draws.  Or it can fire mission after mission, putting rounds down in just about every fire phase of every turn with a bit of luck.

So for defender fires I think I am only going to allow pre-registered hexes to dedicated batteries firing in support of prepared or fortified units.  Registration fires will be (for ASL purposes), a TO-only thing, allowing the defender an increased chance of getting a battery's (non-dedicated) support.  So for this battle, the Germans will get 3 OBA modules, 2 with scarce and 1 with plentiful ammo.  Each module will have access to 1 pre-registered hex.  The Americans also have 3 modules, 2 with normal and 1 with scarce ammo, with no pre-registered hexes.  Note that this is still a lot of OBA for both sides, and the Americans can make life very uncomfortable for the Germans with it, it just won't be as devastating as having pre-registered hexes would be.

We will see how it goes!
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: choppinlt on June 04, 2017, 08:29:38 PM
Yeah, it will be interesting to see how it comes together for ASL. After all, if it doesn't quite right then it can be tweaked!  ;D

Going back a few posts ago, you will note that I mentioned no number greater than 3 for TRP's. In fact I was thinking about a max of 4 under any circumstance for CM battles. Just to clarify, a Registration FM will allow a unit to get a TRP that may not otherwise have one. E.g. Hasty unit posture. Or units that gain them due to posture may get an extra TRP. Limiting TRP's is for the exact reason you are talking about. Getting a good balance is key, because on one hand you know that artillery can be a critical factor that is the difference between victory or defeat. OTOH, you don't want tactical battles to strictly turn in to planning the next fire mission. For CM I am less concerned about the number of batteries available and more concerned with the TRP's because of how they work.
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Christian Knudsen on June 05, 2017, 02:10:34 AM
Ok, I am a bit confused as to how support and pre-reg works.  Does a dedicated support battery automatically get pre-registration, or is pre-registration pretty much solely dependent on whether a battery has fired a registration mission for a given defending unit? 

Right now I am assuming that dedicated = registered, but if this is not the case (and dedicated is more of a command/control thing), it actually makes my life quite a bit easier, as pre-registration will be solely dependent on whether a registration mission has been completed, and then bonus pre-reg hexes would be awarded for the posture level, as you were planning.

I would lean toward 1 hex/battery for hasty and prepared, and 2 for fortified, just to try and keep the numbers down.
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: choppinlt on June 05, 2017, 02:43:40 AM
Ha, ha, well consider your life easier!  ;)

For CM transitioning, registration is dependent upon 2 things only: unit posture and if a battery has done a registration fire mission.

Artillery is either in General, Direct, or Dedicated support roles. This only determines who the arty is eligible to support, and how likely arty is to respond to FM requests from those units eligible to support. General arty can support the most units, however it is less likely to respond. Conversely, Dedicated arty is most likely to respond, but it will only respond to a single unit. Again, none of this impacts registration.

Make sense?  :D
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Christian Knudsen on June 05, 2017, 03:45:28 AM
Ah, the agony of making assumptions.  Ok, now I can move forward with (finally) finishing the draft OBA rules, then hopefully start the actual OBs and we can start setup and play this week.

You mentioned that you were not allowing registration for the attacker, and that's cool, frankly.  If so, I will allow each attacking module one pre-registered hex, for barrages/planned fires only, just to allow use of these tactics, and just work around the use before/after planned fires issue, which isn't a big deal at all, really.

Thanks man, this makes things much easier.

I am also assuming that no registration missions have been fired by the Americans in this scenario?
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: choppinlt on June 05, 2017, 02:28:46 PM
Yeah, it is easy to find yourself going around in circles when trying to put together something like this. I often feel like  :banghead

You are correct, the American's have performed no registration missions. They are recovering from the first attack, and are actively preparing for the next attack!

In terms of CM transitioning I am of the opinion that allowing TRP's for the attacker would be too powerful with how they work. In CM you can do planned missions that land accurately anywhere on the map within the first 15 minutes of a battle. After that it is all on-call, requiring an eligible spotter and line of sight. For ASL I don't recollect how the arty rules work exactly, but it sounds like you have a great system to start from the way I understand it!

I'm looking forward to see how things turn out for ya!  :)
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Christian Knudsen on June 07, 2017, 04:30:27 AM
Okay!

I'm not going to go into the blow by blow of how I take the info that TO gives me and transmogrify that into ASL terms; anyone who is interested can follow along when I get around to posting the ASL version of this on the Gamesquad forum - link to follow when I get around to doing that.

So using the ruleset I generated, I get the following battle area.

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y13/kira_mchaggis/VASLMap.png)

ASL is 40m per hex, so this battlefield is about 1200x1300 meters.  The Germans are given the following:

1 FJ Bn HQ
1 FJ Company
2 FJ MG Platoons
1 Stug Company (10 AFVs)
2 FJ Med Mortar sections 4 tubes 81mm MTR OBA normal ammo
1 FJ Regimental Mortar Coy 9 tubes 120mm MTR OBA normal ammo
1 FJ Artillery Bn 12 tubes 105mm HOW OBA normal ammo

The Americans are given:

1 Infantry Bn HQ
2 Infantry Companies
1 Engineer Platoon
2 Weapons platoons
1 Antitank Platoon 57mm ATG
2 Btys Light Artillery 8 tubes 105mm OBA plentiful ammo
1 Bty Medium Artillery 4 tubes 155mm OBA -plentiful ammo
3 Med Mortar Sections 6 tubes 81mm OBA normal ammo
2 4.2" Mortar Pl 8 tubes 107mm OBA plentiful ammo

I have taken some liberties by removing a full company from the American OB - the situation is that the Americans are reorganizing for another attack, so it makes sense that the third company would be more to the rear and out of the battle.

By the magic of the ruleset, this translates to the following in ASL terms.

German
FJ Batallion HQ 1 x 7-0 Leader Good old Col Klink, I guess.
FJ Company 12 x 5-4-8, 9-1, 8-1, 8-0 leaders, 6x LMG, 3x 50mm MTR, 4x PSK.
FJ Batallion MG Pl x 2 3x HMG, 6x MMG, 9x 2-3-8 HS, 8-1, 8-0 Leaders
FJ Stug Coy HQ -  1x StuG IIIG (L)
3x FJ Stug Pl 6x StuG IIIG (L), 3x StuH 42 (L), 9-1, 8-1 Armour Leaders.
1 x 81mm MTR OBA - normal ammunition - 8-0 leader, radio/field phone.
1 x 120mm MTR OBA normal ammunition - 8-0 leader, radio/field phone.
1x 105mm OBA plentiful ammunition - 7-0 leader, radio/field phone.

American
Bn HQ 8-0 Leader
Infantry Company 12x 6-6-6, 9-1, 8-1, 7-0 leaders, 1x HMG, 2x MMG, 3x 60mm MTR, 4x BAZ44
Infantry Company 12x 5-4-6, 9-1, 8-1, 7-0 leaders, 1x HMG, 2x MMG, 3x 60mm MTR, 4x BAZ44
Engineer Platoon 1x 7-4-7, 8-0 leader, FT, DC.
MG platoon full 7-0 leader, 2x HMG, 2x MMG, 4x 3-4-6.
MG platoon depl 9-1 leader, 1x HMG, 1x MMG, 2x 3-4-6.
1 Antitank Platoon 3x 57mm ATG, 3x 2-2-7, 3 x 1/4 ton jeep.
1 x 105mm OBA - plentiful ammo - 8-0 Leader, radio/field phone
1 x 155mm OBA - scarce ammo - 8-0 leader, radio/field phone
1 x 107mm OBA - normal ammo - 8-0 leader, radio/field phone
1 x 81mm OBA - plentiful ammo - 6+1 leader, radio/field phone

The objective for the Germans is to cause maximum damage to the Americans while sustaining few casualties themselves - This is really a large-scale raid to disrupt the American attack, and as such will rely on speed and firepower, especially from the StuGs, to cause damage before retreating back to their own lines - ideally this will be complete within an hour or less.  This requires concentration of force, but they need to watch out for the powerful American artillery!

Next - Setup!
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: choppinlt on June 07, 2017, 02:12:09 PM
Looks good! Fascinated to see this play out!  :thumbsup
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Christian Knudsen on June 08, 2017, 02:26:51 PM
Ok, I've gotten the American setup back, and my opponent has done a fairly decent setup. 

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y13/kira_mchaggis/Am%20setup.jpg)

The fact that I get an on-board setup zone plus the fact that the Americans are in an exposed posture and get no Fortification point purchase means that the defence is unable to gain any concealment until after I set up.  I can't inspect his stacks, but I can see what is on the top of each one, and I see a lot of MGs, mortars, and Bazookas.  I forget how much firepower the Americans get.  It seems like he is set up fairly evenly, with a lot of MGs to dominate the open ground in the centre of the map.  I can see one of his OBA spotters, too.  His AT guns do get free hidden setup, so hopefully I will not discover them with the burning wrecks of my StuGs.

My plan is this.  I want to try and stay away from his massive firepower in the centre, so my raid will be conducted along the eastern (right) flank through the bocage, where I can at least get some support from the AFVs, as opposed to moving through the woods on the left flank.  A platoon of assault guns will support this attack, another will carefully move forward and try and interdict any counterattack over the open ground, lobbing shells at anything they can see, and the third platoon will act as a reserve.

Next - my setup.
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Christian Knudsen on June 10, 2017, 05:36:28 PM
Ok, a word of caution before I begin.

I will admit that I have a bit of an advantage here.  Here's the thing.  Because I am the one who has done all the steps that TO would do in terms of letting each side know what they have, I know what is in the American OB, and that neither side is getting any reinforcements.  My oppo, however, has no idea as to my OB or reinforcement status.  This is deliberate, as I want him to react a bit more historically, and not be tempted to just move all his forces and attack mine, but instead have to hold position just in case I have more attacking forces that I have either held off board or will receive as reinforcements.

I want to point out that in TO, neither side will have much idea of what the other has in his OB, nor what they will get in reinforcements, except from what enemy units are potentially "in reach" of the battlefield.  This will, I think, create a much greater sense of caution in players that one really only sees in ASL campaign games, which is what we want to replicate in TO.  So the advantage I get here is purely an artifice of the fact that we are playtesting here - hopefully the next time we will factor some potential reinforcements into it to see if that changes how the battles fight out.

So with that in mind, here is my setup.

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y13/kira_mchaggis/gersetup.jpg)

Most of my strength will attack into the bocage against what I hope is the green company, trying to cause as much damage in 4-6 turns as I can before retreating.  I have 6 Assault Guns, and about 3/4 of my infantry here.  The remainder, 3 AGs and some support weapons, as well as 2 of my forward observers, will move forward and set up in the woods and maybe on the hill to their front, trying to shell what they can see and interdict any movement over the open ground in the middle of the map.  My OB will attempt to place harassing fires in and around the village in order to isolate the bocage area from the rest of the battlefield.  I really should have used my planned fires to place these immediately, but I messed up there.  Hopefully these are in place by my Turn 2.

As mentioned, I am not going into a blow by blow, but once we get going, I will do updates at the end of each turn.  Hopefully the first of these will be up by the end of the week.

Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: choppinlt on June 12, 2017, 04:12:41 PM
Looking great CK! Great supporting narrative on transitional aspects between ASL and TO as well.  :)
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Christian Knudsen on June 19, 2017, 04:39:20 AM
Okay, after a busy week (camping trip!), we managed to get the first turn of the engagement downrange.  Below is the situation at the beginning of German Turn 2.

It has not gone well.  My advance has been slow, still working to get into position to spread out and attack through the bocage, while placing an interdicting force in the center to pick off and pin Americans. 

Unfortunately I moved a StuH 42 onto a small hill in the hope that I could see further into the depths of the American position.  What I hadn't realized was that it was visible to his 155mm OBA observer.  Two decent rolls brought a 155mm barrage right between an infantry stack and my StuH 42, destroying the AFV, breaking the stack, and putting shellholes in 3 hexes out of 7!  Then immediately following he rolled snakes on a 4 +0 attack and KIA'd a squad and LMG.  I did manage to break one of his BAZ halfsquads, but that's of no account really, as it will rally quickly.  To make matters even worse, he's peeled off about half of his forces on his right (where I'm not attacking) and all his central depth troops and is swinging them over to where the action is!

I will try to push forward and actually cause some casualties; hopefully I can get my arty going and my AFVs in play.  But I won't push past 4-6 turns, after that I will begin my withdrawal.

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y13/kira_mchaggis/ger%20t2.jpg)
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Christian Knudsen on June 20, 2017, 12:10:24 AM
One thing that I forgot to mention is the persistence level for each side.  Persistence is an optional mechanic that we are trying out that attempts to stop the player from sacrificing far more forces in an engagement than their real life counterparts would have done so.  Basically, the player assigns a unit a persistence level in TO.  This equates to a % loss level that once passed will cause a side to have to withdraw.  There is a mechanic that allows a player a chance at increasing the persistence level in order to keep fighting, but this has repercussions in terms of cohesion (and manpower losses!) in TO. 

So the German in this battle has "cautious" persistence, while the Americans are "determined".  This means that the German will be forced to break off the attack after 4% casualties, while the Americans will start to withdraw at 9% losses.

In ASL terms, this is reckoned in CVP value.  Each squad or crew is worth 2 CVP, and leaders are 1 plus their leadership modifier.   Guns are worth 2. The German AFVs are worth 6 points apiece, crew included.

The German starts the scenario, then, with 109 CVP.  This means that the German can take up to 5 CVP before triggering persistence effects. 

The American starts with 87 CVP, and will trigger persistence at 8 CVP.

The bad news is that the Germans took 8 CVP in turn 1.  This means that in order to not have to withdraw immediately, I have to make an impetus dr of 3 or less in order to raise my CVP limit to 10 CVP.  I managed to do this, so the scenario will continue.  Should I take another 2 CVP, I will have to decide whether to withdraw, or attempt to press the attack and raise my persistence level again. 

Now one thing we are currently playing with is not including armour in the persistence equation.  If we do this, the Germans drop to 45 CVP at start, and their cautious threshold drops to 2 CVP.  The impetus roll still needs to be made either way in this case, because of the squad I lost to the KIA.

Thoughts?  While this is to a degree realistic, and will stop units from evaporating very very quickly in TO, I'm not convinced that it makes for fun play in the tactical resolution.  I think we might up the percentage levels - infantry casualties (in ASL) can be recovered in TO immediately after the battle, and TO can have vehicles come back pretty quickly depending on the maintenance level and capability of the units in question.  We want the tactical battles to be fun and somewhat decisive, but we don't want them to be too decisive, and kill off whole units.  Bit of a dialectic there that we need to explore further.

Let me know what you think.
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: choppinlt on June 20, 2017, 04:15:03 AM
The bad news is that the Germans took 8 CVP in turn 1.  This means that in order to not have to withdraw immediately, I have to make an impetus dr of 3 or less in order to raise my CVP limit to 10 CVP.  I managed to do this, so the scenario will continue.  Should I take another 2 CVP, I will have to decide whether to withdraw, or attempt to press the attack and raise my persistence level again. 

Now one thing we are currently playing with is not including armour in the persistence equation.  If we do this, the Germans drop to 45 CVP at start, and their cautious threshold drops to 2 CVP.  The impetus roll still needs to be made either way in this case, because of the squad I lost to the KIA.

Thoughts?  While this is to a degree realistic, and will stop units from evaporating very very quickly in TO, I'm not convinced that it makes for fun play in the tactical resolution.  I think we might up the percentage levels - infantry casualties (in ASL) can be recovered in TO immediately after the battle, and TO can have vehicles come back pretty quickly depending on the maintenance level and capability of the units in question.  We want the tactical battles to be fun and somewhat decisive, but we don't want them to be too decisive, and kill off whole units.  Bit of a dialectic there that we need to explore further.

Let me know what you think.

CK, I agree with you 100% and for the exact same reasons you mentioned. Nothing more anti-climactic than a Turn 1 withdrawal! BTW, i like what you did by having the impetus roll! :thumbsup Anyway, the question becomes how should this be handled? I think there a number of satisfactory ways it could be accomplished, but the way I see it is that there are 3 basic choices:
#1) Leave it be... you could take how it plays out exactly. Keep in mind that there is no reason you couldn't continue to  play a tactical battle out for a few more turns for pleasure, but the final results were determined on Turn 1 in this case;
#2) Allow exaggerated casualty thresholds for both sides to allow for a higher casualty tolerance. However the % of casualties sustained would be adjusted back when transitioning back to TO;
#3) Normalize results. If battle results fall within a certain range then no changes would be needed, otherwise results can be normalized to more acceptable parameters. The basic parameters being % casualties sustained for each side, distance of advance, and battle duration.

The way I see it, they rach have their pluses and minuses. Thoughts?
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Christian Knudsen on June 20, 2017, 04:45:54 AM
We have stopped halfway through the American turn 2, but will pick it back up again tomorrow or the next day.  The American arty has been unbelievably lucky, and I've lost another StuG and 1.5 squads in this turn to American OBA.   

So now my losses are at 17 CVP, or 15.6% - 2 AFV, and 2.5 squads.  This is enough to force me to either withdraw or try to push it to determined persistence at the beginning of my turn 3.  If I succeed, I could continue with another 3 CVP casualties, at which point I would have to roll for impetus every turn to keep going.  Seems a bit much for a limited spoiling attack.

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.

So I think in T3 I will have to withdraw, which should take 2-3 turns, and I will report it as it happened in terms of results. 

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.

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.

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...
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Asid on June 20, 2017, 03:20:51 PM
This is great  :popcorn
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Cougar11 on June 20, 2017, 03:54:49 PM
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.

Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: A Canadian Cat on June 20, 2017, 04:01:27 PM
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.

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.

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?
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: A Canadian Cat 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.
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: choppinlt 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!

Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: A Canadian Cat 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.
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: A Canadian Cat 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.
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Christian Knudsen 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.
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: choppinlt 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!
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Cougar11 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

Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: choppinlt 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!  :)
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: A Canadian Cat 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.
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: choppinlt 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):

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.
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: A Canadian Cat 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.
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: choppinlt 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.
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Christian Knudsen 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.
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Asid 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
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Christian Knudsen 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!
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: choppinlt on September 18, 2017, 04:48:51 PM
Hey CK, great to have you back!  :) You don't have to apologize, I know how these things can happen. I have been preoccupied myself the last few months. Don't worry you haven't slowed the scenario, because that has primarily been my fault!

So when I read your pursuit comment, I have to admit I get a funny visual of you on your knees begging your opponent "PLEASE don't chase me, I BEG OF YOU!" :pray

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.
Casualties in TO are tracked for each element. What that means is that an infantry company is tracked, plus any support platoons that are attached from the battalion level. E.g. the German Fallschirm Co has a MG platoon and a mortar section that were all attached battalion assets. Additionally it has a company of Stugs as part of the battle group. So losses are tracked for each of those elements (4 total). So dead crews matter (from the Stugs). When inputting back in TO, you can list the losses per element, if you have that information. Other times it may be cumbersome to do it that way... For instance if you were attacking with a full battalion of Fallschirm, OR you had a battlegroup of units cobbled from 2 different Fallschirm battalions, you could just split casualties as proportionally as possible rather than try to keep close track. I think it will be fairly easy to track different unit types with the Americans being a good example in this scenario. They have an infantry battalion attacking with an engineer co and tank co attached. It is fairly easy to tell which casualties belong to each of those units. Big picture, it is my current estimation that in most cases it is going to be reasonably easy to differentiate where casualties were taken. If it comes down to it I think it would be perfectly acceptable to SWAG it (Scientific Wild-Ass Guess). I don't want to force players in to taking copious notes...unless they want to. Does this answer your question CK? Am I making sense to everyone, or am I talking in circles? This is good CK, you hit on an area (varying options of inputting battle losses) where I have not thoroughly fleshed out all the details.

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.
I just want to reiterate that there will be a significant range of casualty "allowance", but once it reaches a certain point then players may want to normalize results to some degree (or not based on player preference at taking everything at face value regardless of outcome). In your latest battle, we may end up taking everything at face value and moving on. As for "why play the engagement" in terms of normalization I would respond "because they want to". If you go through the trouble of setting up a battle and things go badly very fast, then why not play it out more for fun? OR like Cat did, they reached a conclusion for TO after substantial play time, then continued to play it out strictly for fun. OTOH, if a battle ends prematurely the attacking player may well want to say"note to self: don't do that again!"  :-[, and then move on to the next engagement. I don't think we need to completely confine ourselves, and we can make it work to suit our preferences...and our preferences may change from battle to battle. In my humble opinion, the key will be mutual agreement between players on how to handle results before a particular battle commences.

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.
Artillery...yes this is an important aspect to discuss. As you mention, there is a careful balance. One thought for ASL would be to allow the arty limits you discussed, and then if you possess artillery in excess of this you could consider a few different options like: 1. increase your force size proportionally (i.e. trading artillery power for more on-field units); 2. Decrease the amount of enemy forces based on artillery proportions. These are just some quick ideas to get the juices flowing.  8)

This brings up a question: Canadian Cat, how did artillery work out in your battle using CM? My impression is that it went fairly well in that there were plenty of assets to use, but it did not totally dominate the battle. Is that a fair assessment?

Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: A Canadian Cat on September 19, 2017, 07:12:22 PM
This brings up a question: Canadian Cat, how did artillery work out in your battle using CM? My impression is that it went fairly well in that there were plenty of assets to use, but it did not totally dominate the battle. Is that a fair assessment?

I think so. I dropped some pre-planned artillery and called some on the fly. I did not use it all up and while I am not sure of how much damage I did it definitely do not think it over powered the defenders.
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Christian Knudsen on September 20, 2017, 02:26:37 PM
I will have to caution myself here and not go too overboard in making changes for the next round.  My gut tells me that for ASL at least, more than 2-3 artillery modules per side will be unbalancing and not fun to play.  Artillery is a bit too responsive and powerful in ASL, especially for the defender where the attacker has to attack over open or light cover.

However, in this case, two things happened that might have skewed the results a bit.

1.  I played poorly.  I knew the Amis had lots of powerful artillery, and I still moved my StuGs into positions where they were in sight of places where it was smart for my opponent to put his spotters.  I could have left them in the bocage on the right side, and while that would have caused other problems, it would have forced the Americans to get a lot closer to call in their barrages.

2.  There were a LOT of lucky rolls for the barrages, the whole way.  Accuracy performed better than statistically expected, and when inaccurate, drift was  beneficial, moving the barrages onto my troop concentrations that were actually out of sight to the observer.  Then the actual effect rolls were spectacular - more than a few DR below 5, and focused on my units, not the terrain.

So with that in mind I think for the next test I will leave the sliders as is, in terms of artillery, persistence, and loss reporting, barring Matt asking me to change something.  If we run into the same issues again on the 3rd iteration, then we will look at changes going into the 4th test.
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: choppinlt on September 20, 2017, 04:11:24 PM
CK, as someone suggested earlier, do you want to consider replaying this particular scenario and see how differently it goes as a test case? Just a suggestion, obviously time and interest factors apply here.  :) As for changing anything, I have no suggested changes at this point. I defer to your judgements regarding ASL conversion.

This experience is great! It brings up a number of different considerations for the community, such as:
1.) Different tactical systems and their balance. In this case CK mentions that artillery is extremely powerful in ASL with how the game mechanisms work. Other systems may throttle back or exagerate artillery, or other aspects. Some systems may have more or less emphasis on morale, cohesion, command and control, etc. Some systems are going to have a much higher mortality rate too. You all get the point...this is why we are testing various systems and trying to figure out rules for conversion.

2.) Human factors-let's face it we all have a bad day when comes to playing games.  :( Then there is the player's understanding and experience coupled with their overall ability in playing a particular game. I imagine a scenario where a player is excited and interested in playing a battle out, but lacks experience with the tactical system. In this case I don't like the thought of discouraging someone from playing a battle out, so normalizing results may be a reasonable way to handle this.

This is all just food for thought...

Canadian Cat, thanks for the input! I would love to hear what Mad Mike had to offer from his perspective. Mad Mike, do you have any sort of after action thoughts and considerations about anything regarding the engagement? What about offensive and defensive artillery?

Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: Christian Knudsen on September 24, 2017, 05:01:21 PM
CK, as someone suggested earlier, do you want to consider replaying this particular scenario and see how differently it goes as a test case? Just a suggestion, obviously time and interest factors apply here.  :) As for changing anything, I have no suggested changes at this point. I defer to your judgements regarding ASL conversion.

I'm not really in a hurry to replay this one, tbh.  I'm willing to accept it as a slightly outlying data point and move on at this juncture.

Quote
1.) Different tactical systems and their balance. In this case CK mentions that artillery is extremely powerful in ASL with how the game mechanisms work. Other systems may throttle back or exagerate artillery, or other aspects. Some systems may have more or less emphasis on morale, cohesion, command and control, etc. Some systems are going to have a much higher mortality rate too. You all get the point...this is why we are testing various systems and trying to figure out rules for conversion.

Agreed!

Quote
2.) Human factors-let's face it we all have a bad day when comes to playing games.  :( Then there is the player's understanding and experience coupled with their overall ability in playing a particular game. I imagine a scenario where a player is excited and interested in playing a battle out, but lacks experience with the tactical system. In this case I don't like the thought of discouraging someone from playing a battle out, so normalizing results may be a reasonable way to handle this.

Agreed, but to a degree and with less enthusiasm.  I think offering normalization options is a good way to go, but there are pitfalls here, as well.  For instance, my opponent would likely not be as happy to normalize in this situation as I would!  Keep in mind I am talking engagement-specific normalization here, not a system based one like I am using with a Lazarus roll or with trying to mesh artillery and air support from TO onto ASL, as these mechanics, once agreed upon, would be applied universally.
Title: Re: Counterattack at Belle Fontaine
Post by: choppinlt on September 25, 2017, 04:14:46 PM
I'm not really in a hurry to replay this one, tbh.  I'm willing to accept it as a slightly outlying data point and move on at this juncture.
No issues!  :) Just thought I would ask. I understand your point.

Agreed, but to a degree and with less enthusiasm.  I think offering normalization options is a good way to go, but there are pitfalls here, as well.  For instance, my opponent would likely not be as happy to normalize in this situation as I would!  Keep in mind I am talking engagement-specific normalization here, not a system based one like I am using with a Lazarus roll or with trying to mesh artillery and air support from TO onto ASL, as these mechanics, once agreed upon, would be applied universally.

I understand your view on this. And yes, I understand that we are talking about the engagement results, NOT the system conversion process (e.g. Lazarus roll). Again this is all up to players and how they want to use engagement results. You are correct that in this case your opponent may be less enthusiastic to lessen results, HOWEVER that is why these types of situations should be agreed upon prior to playing an engagement out.

I will give an example. Say I am commanding Side A against Asid who is commanding Side B in TO. We have an engagement that we are willing to let tactical players resolve. Say you (CK) and A Canadian Cat (ACC) volunteer. CK prefers ASL, but can do CM (CK, IIRC you posted a few months ago that would be willing to play a CM battle, but you indicated you weren't real proficient at it). ACC has no clue how to play ASL, but is very good at CM. As a result you guys agree to play CM to resolve the battle. So you two are controlling the tactical engagement, but there is a player profiency issue that is probably not indicative of the engagement situation. In this case me and my TO opponent would have a conversation if we want to normalize results due to circumstances. We can say "no, we are gonna let ride!" or "we are going to normalize results to prevent skewed results". CK, I know you get all this, I am just going to  :deadhorse to make sure people reading understand some of these nuances players will find.