Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 Hide
17 Posts

Band of Brothers: Ghost Panzer» Forums » General

Subject: misc questions rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Brian Berg Asklev Hansen
Denmark
Vejle
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I am trying to convince a fellow gamer that this series is right for him, and during a long game/discussion segment he had the following questions:

1) How come there is no range limit on guns and tanks? It feels odd to engage infantry targets with a PzII at ranges of 20+ hexes at full effectivenes (assuming the rather easy prof.check is passed), when a MG would have trouble firing that far.

2) Why is there no "crawling move"? Almost all other tac. sims give players the option to move infantry a single hex while suffering less severe effects compared to regular movement.
This is even more important in BoB as it has THE most severe modifiers for moving in the open in any tac. sim we have tried.

3) How come the PzIV only have prof.8 while all the PzIIIs have prof.9?

4) How come there are no SU-76s in the game?

5) What are all these "gamey" and/or "unrealistic" elements in ASL? (My friend used to be a big ASL gamer, but havent played for years for lack of opponents)

I am confident that Jim will give some very good answers to these questions, and hopefully I can convince my friend of the errors of his ways
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Randall Shaw
United States
Kennesaw
GA
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
"5) What are all these "gamey" and/or "unrealistic" elements in ASL?"

Wasn't there a listing or a doc with many of these at one point?

Sorry can't help more but I gave up on that monstrosity and began my quest for a suitable replacement.

I'm glad to say after many years and several pretenders to the throne, my search is over: I found Band of Brothers. cool
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Berg Asklev Hansen
Denmark
Vejle
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I used to be a big ATS fan, but had a hard time finding opponents as no one seemed to love learning that 40+ pages rulebook, and I often found myself forgetting the rules if I didnt play regularly.

Then I found Conflict of Heroes and Band of Brothers, and I really love them both.
Conflict of Heroes is (IMO) superior as a game, as its Action Point and Command Point system gives a lof of depth to gameplay, and its a system that is really easy to learn and hard to master. It is however very much a "game" in this regard, as I dont think company commanders thought in terms of optimising AP´s and making the opponent waste activations

Band of Brothers on the other hand is FAR superior as a simulation, as EVERY single move you consider could be taken from the mind of a WW2 commander. It is also WAY faster to play, and it is therefore possible to play rather large tactical battles in a reasonable time compared to most other systems. (I shudder at the thought of playing some of the larger GP scenarios using the ATS rules )
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Evans
United Kingdom
St Ives
Cambridgeshire
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
brian asklev aursen wrote:
I am trying to convince a fellow gamer that this series is right for him, and during a long game/discussion segment he had the following questions:

1) How come there is no range limit on guns and tanks? It feels odd to engage infantry targets with a PzII at ranges of 20+ hexes at full effectivenes (assuming the rather easy prof.check is passed), when a MG would have trouble firing that far.


At that range quite a few negative proficiency modifiers would kick in making the shot far harder to get off I believe though if you make it then the damage could be just as severe I guess.

Quote:
2) Why is there no "crawling move"? Almost all other tac. sims give players the option to move infantry a single hex while suffering less severe effects compared to regular movement.
This is even more important in BoB as it has THE most severe modifiers for moving in the open in any tac. sim we have tried.


Jim would have to answer this.

Quote:
3) How come the PzIV only have prof.8 while all the PzIIIs have prof.9?


Proficiency encodes lots of different aspects of the vehicle so I would assume there is something about the PzIII that makes it somewhat better than the PzIV in terms of firing at things.

Quote:
4) How come there are no SU-76s in the game?


Again that's one for Jim

Quote:
5) What are all these "gamey" and/or "unrealistic" elements in ASL? (My friend used to be a big ASL gamer, but havent played for years for lack of opponents)


I know of some of these but someone else would be better at explaining them I'm sure.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sean McCormick
United States
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
brian asklev aursen wrote:
I am trying to convince a fellow gamer that this series is right for him, and during a long game/discussion segment he had the following questions:

1) How come there is no range limit on guns and tanks? It feels odd to engage infantry targets with a PzII at ranges of 20+ hexes at full effectivenes (assuming the rather easy prof.check is passed), when a MG would have trouble firing that far.

2) Why is there no "crawling move"? Almost all other tac. sims give players the option to move infantry a single hex while suffering less severe effects compared to regular movement.
This is even more important in BoB as it has THE most severe modifiers for moving in the open in any tac. sim we have tried.

3) How come the PzIV only have prof.8 while all the PzIIIs have prof.9?

4) How come there are no SU-76s in the game?

5) What are all these "gamey" and/or "unrealistic" elements in ASL? (My friend used to be a big ASL gamer, but havent played for years for lack of opponents)

I am confident that Jim will give some very good answers to these questions, and hopefully I can convince my friend of the errors of his ways


1) The ranges have always struck me as reasonable, particularly because the ranges of effective engagement are limited by terrain. A PzII using a MG at long range is very much an outlier for the system, and even then, I think it's justifiable considering the lack of real damage it will end up doing.

2) Just because something is a trope of tactical games doesn't mean there is a simulative value to the practice. I don't see any justification for advance rules, particularly in open terrain.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Norman Smith
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re 1) tanks could engage and hit other vehicles at 1700 metres and some tanks were doing that at 2500 metres. So rough accuracy is not an issue.

Anti tank shells lose kinetic energy on their journey, so range is an issue in AP fire in relation to performance against the target.

So do HE shells, but the difference is with HE is that when it arrives, it has the same explosive power regardless of range, so against infantry, which can easily be hit in the ranges that you see with BoB, range is not really an issue.

Re 2), other systems seem to rely on 'low crawl' type movement to get them out of rout difficulty and the existence of that rule brings with it an overhead of additional rules and exceptions. In BoB, other than moving next to a non-melee enemy or closer to an enemy in LOS, there is no rout penalty to movement while getting to cover, this feels a more natural implementation of movement under these conditions than the slow dance of death that Low Crawl can bring.

It's just different ways of doing things and I supposed what you are used to. One system has CX movement for faster movement and crawl for slow safe movement and normal movement and extra movement with a leader and slower movement if portage points get a bit heavy ....... thank goodness for BoB, I played a tense face to face last night and we did not miss any of those things.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Hoyt

Butte
Montana
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jim has done some really nice designer notes and other documents explaining the design. And there is the not yet published (AFAIK) Battle Manual. It would be really nice to get all of those published in one place www.worthingtongames.com maybe?

I'd also be interested in a list of "gamey" items for ASL.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Krohn
United States
New York
flag msg tools
designer
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
badge
Ahhh....my misspent youth...
Avatar
mbmb
Brian,

Others have done a good job answering some of these, but I can add a few details.

1) Guns could easily fire at distance. A 1600 yard shot was not a terribly difficult shot. Even the PzII (which is a bit of an outlier) could fire that far and the slightly more difficult Prof Check represents a drop in effectiveness.

2) There is no crawling/advance move because of gaminess. Yes, this behavior was sometimes used on the battlefield, but not how people use it in game. How do you cross a street in SL/ASL? Sometimes (not every time, obviously), the right move is to advance into the street at the end of your turn. You don't get moving in the open penalties. I did this many times in The Tractor Works (SL Scenario 2). I doubt any commander in WW2 ever had their people slowly crawl through the wide open street under the fire of the enemy to take a building.

3) The PzIIIs had a smaller caliber gun and had a higher rate of fire making it more likely they would get a hit.

4) SU-76s were not intentionally left out. In the description of battles that I read for the 11th, I did not find any. That doesn't mean that they never fought the 11th, just that I didn't have the accounts. In a similar fashion, the 11th does not have any Tigers (although you do find them in SE). Hopefully we will have a module on a Russian unit (I have my eye on one) eventually and we will get the rest of the vehicles from the eastern front.

Besides, I used up my counter allotment.

Quote:
5) What are all these "gamey" and/or "unrealistic" elements in ASL?


Check out this document:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/72928/why-band-of-brot...

While it is more about what is right with BoB than it is what is wrong with other systems, a thoughtful read will figure it out. (since that document, infantry Proficiency has been replaced by Proficient Firepower, but the effect is the same)

For grins, here is a quick list of some things off the top of my head:

1. Kill stacks - 3 squads, a leader, and a bunch of support weapons in one hex is a WW1 density.

2. Overall deployment - clumps of hyper densely packed troops with wide open space in between is not how a company commander would have deployed his troops.

3. Casualties at distance - only heavy weapons should be able to cause casualties against first line, dug in troops.

4. Double breaking leads to casualties - who do all my troops fire at? The only ones not firing back. You often fire at broken squads so that you can get a double break and get casualties.

5. Both of the above obscures what should be the real way to inflict casualties - by heavy weapons and by the assault at the end of the maneuver.

6. Uber powerful leaders - the non-coms of each squad were just as important.

7. Needing leaders to rally - in reality, the effect of fire should wear off naturally (and rather quickly) over time if they are no longer under effective fire.

8. Ballet tanks - Since there is no Proficiency roll, a tank can always turn to face its frontal armor against a threat. ASL does a terrible job demonstrating how PzIIIs could take out a T34. Already shot? That's okay, fire your MG in order to turn and face the new tank threat.

9. The Vehicle Bypass Sleeze (TM)

10. Skulking (TM)

11. I suppose I should add the advance phase garbage mentioned above.

Plus there are more, but this quickly hits most of the high points.

I feel bad after writing this list. I don't hate ASL, but these are some of the reasons that I designed things differently. I still also have very fond memories of years of SL.

16 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Janik-Jones
Canada
Waterloo
Ontario
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Up Front fan | In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this | Combat Commander series fan | The Raven King (game publisher) ... that's me! | Fields of Fire fan
badge
Slywester Janik, awarded the Krzyż Walecznych (Polish Cross of Valour), August 1944
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'll just tackle 5 as most of the others have jumped in. As a wargamer of 40+ years and a tactical wargamer since the original purple box Squad Leader I've tried them all. ASL player for years. Gaminess?

Just Google "The Big Black Book of ASL Sleaze" ... http://www.ths85.net/zekesaslparadise/sleaze.html and read for yourself.

There are so many ways to game the system, to create ahistoric results, to do physically impossible things, or to simply cheat using one rule to override another (forcing riders off via orchard movement without paying a dismount penalty, for example), that ASL lacks for me any semblence of reality. Tjough it can be a fun game.

I've yet to find a way to "game" Jim's system as written. And I've tried. As part of my rating comment I explain ...

Because you can't "game" the mechanics or twist any rule to your ahistorical advantage it means that poor planning or bad tactical decisions will almost certainly lead to failure, or at best a very tough go of it. Players need to plan, but be able to adapt when their soldiers might not do what they're asked to do (the morale mechanic). BoB eschews the standard trope of ready or broken states to focus on the effects of firepower and how it wears off over time. It balances the desire for WW2 gamers to want to be able to order every unit to try to do something (a key reason players like ASL), with the uncertainty of the battlefield (a key reason to like Combat Commander) where men whose morale is lowered may not want to do what you've asked of them. BoB offers the best of both these wargames (in a much more elegant, yet simple, package) to wargamers who are willing to play tactical games understanding that it will be their poor tactics that will lead to failure, just as in real life.

BoB is the best tactical system for making you focus on, and utilize, real-life WW2 tactics, more than *any* other system available today. The suppression and morale mechanics in the Band of Brothers system are, hands-down, the best representation of the real-world effects of how volume of fire makes men hesitate, and the fix/fire/flank/finish doctrine and proper tactics used during WWII combat. And the designer notes offer a rare glimpse into a system that was designed to address both the historical reality of combat, and at the same time offer an elegant system that plays superbly.

More importantly, Band of Brothers properly and elegantly solves many of the "realism" issues of almost every other WWII tactical system in very elegant ways and when you lose, you never felt that maybe you had a "bad" run of cards, or that your opponent used some gamey loophole in the rules to exploit a situation. You will lose combat engagements because your men were unable to withstand the pressures of battles and your tactics led to your failure.
12 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Hoyt

Butte
Montana
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Man,David really nailed it. Well said. Though it hurts a bit as I just got my ass handed to me in a Texas Arrows play-test..... "Poor Tactics" indeed, I didn't know what I was doing. But, plenty to think about how to do it better next time
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Krohn
United States
New York
flag msg tools
designer
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
badge
Ahhh....my misspent youth...
Avatar
mbmb
Quote:
Just Google "The Big Black Book of ASL Sleaze" ... http://www.ths85.net/zekesaslparadise/sleaze.html and read for yourself.


Wow. So many things went through my mind. After reading the first couple on the list, I had a rather pleasant feeling of memory. Gradually, however, that faded, and began to be replaced by something else.....pain or disgust would be way too strong a word....it was more like I was uncomfortable reading it. Thankfully that didn't last.

By the time I got to the end, I was definitely feeling relief.

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Oberly
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jim Krohn wrote:

9. The Vehicle Bypass Sleeze (TM)




Wow, I looked at that 'ASL sleaze' doc, and I had never thought of this one. If I had an opponent who was doing this, I'd throw the game out the window. The more rules you throw in to account for any situation that can possibly occur, the more room there is for people to sleaze the rules. Ugh.

I played SL and its first couple of 'gamettes' as much as any game back in the day, but the series had lost me by the time of GI:AoV. I have the ASL rulebook, and Beyond Valor: ASL Module 1, but I don't believe I've played even a single turn of official 'ASL'.

I have ordered both of the Band of Brothers games, because they look like the type of thing I would be interested in at this scale nowadays. I really like some of the ideas in the design. Can't wait to try it out.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Berg Asklev Hansen
Denmark
Vejle
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
How come you included rules for roads in BoB?
As roads were often avoided by troops in combat situations it would have been simpler to just have roads cost 1 movement point instead of the current 2/3
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Berg Asklev Hansen
Denmark
Vejle
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Can't wait to try it out.


You will love it!
It is a tuly amazing ruleset. More realism than any other tac sim while having fewer pages of rules than any tac sim
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Krohn
United States
New York
flag msg tools
designer
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
badge
Ahhh....my misspent youth...
Avatar
mbmb
There is that argument. Roads were needed mainly because they made a huge difference for vehicles.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
beresford dickens
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
brian asklev aursen wrote:
4) How come there are no SU-76s in the game?


While the sources assure me that SU-76s and Marder IIIs were used in substantial numbers, it is quite difficult to find descriptions of actions involving them to turn into scenarios.

I recommend this site however http://english.iremember.ru/home.html, which has some stuff from an SU-76 crewman as well as some fascinating (for tankies) snippets of how Western tanks were regarded by the Russians. For example the description of the Matilda II sinking up to its skirts in Russian mud and becoming stuck.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rolland Beach
United States
Viroqua
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
One additional point to consider about Marder III and SU-76 is the fact that both had a fighting compartment open to the rear.

To model this would mean a 'special rule' allowing infantry fire to mission kill the unit from a rear aspect.

(edit: for specific direction of vulnerability)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.