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Subject: "No Dice" Chit rss

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ROB VERRY
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I have been a veteran player of ASL and SL before that. One thing I have noticed over the years, is that one single DR/dr can have such a devastating impact, that the only real option is to concede play. Yes, the dice do average out and I get that, but that killer, game stopping roll can allow the luck factor to ruin the game. This can be especially frustrating if you have played well and made few mistakes. Anyway, in Combat Commander, they have an initiative card. The card can be used at any time to cancel an opponents roll and force him to re-roll. Afterward, the card goes to the opposing player, where he now has the same option. The passing of the card can shift back and forth any number of times. I made up chits for my initiative card and have tested it in several games with good results. It definitely tones down the luck factor.
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Pierce Ostrander
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Tyrone_Slothrop wrote:
I have been a veteran player of ASL and SL before that. One thing I have noticed over the years, is that one single DR/dr can have such a devastating impact, that the only real option is to concede play. Yes, the dice do average out and I get that, but that killer, game stopping roll can allow the luck factor to ruin the game. This can be especially frustrating if you have played well and made few mistakes. Anyway, in Combat Commander, they have an initiative card. The card can be used at any time to cancel an opponents roll and force him to re-roll. Afterward, the card goes to the opposing player, where he now has the same option. The passing of the card can shift back and forth any number of times. I made up chits for my initiative card and have tested it in several games with good results. It definitely tones done the luck factor.



Rob - that's an idea that is simple and workable.

However, Who starts with the chit in hand? What if the other player has the chit when you need to cancel his good luck? What if he continues to hold it and keeps rolling like he was born with a golden spoon in his mouth?

For me ASL at it's core is just a silly dice game. The unbridled joy of rolling what you need, when you need it is such a glorious pleasure that I'd hate to introduce a way for someone to cancel it!
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Ron
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It most matters in small scenarios. Whenever you go for a medium or large one, it will even out ... at least, I tend to think so.

Battles can be doomed by bad luck. That's ok. Your suggested variant is tried and tested in many designs (The Avalon Hill area-impulse series has it, Twilight Struggle has the China Card ...). IIRC, I have been reading an article somewhere that already suggested using such a card/chit for ASL. I don't think it would improve the game. At least, not for me. Giving such a chit away, means also that my opponent can cancel out my good luck - I really don't want that to happen! meeple
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ROB VERRY
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The scenario card (in CC) designates which side starts with the "chit" that is often the side beginning the game with initiative. In ASL, it could be awarded to the side according to the tactical situation. For example, in an ambush type scenario, the ambushing player would start with the chit. A simple rule, but it introduces so many options in its use to BOTH players. For instance, the re-roll could potentially be BETTER than the roll that was cancelled. You could hold onto it as a 'Golden Spoon' but trust me, with the number of rolls in ASL, you will not be holding on it too long, as your opponent at some point will hit you with a catastrohpic roll. There is a subtle tactical use to the chit and you become abundantly aware of when to use it. Many moons ago, the now defunct "On All Fronts" mag inrtoduced this idea. I tried it, but didn't like my God-like rolls tampered with. In Combat Commander, it is part of the rules so you HAVE to learn to use it, and use it well. In that game, it removes the casino-effect. It does the same for ASL. Moreover, it is a very simple way to indicate which side has initiative without pages and pages of rules/charts to reflect same.
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Ian Finn
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I call these "Go Back In Time" chits, and I don't care for them myself. I've played a number of games over the years that use this 're-roll chit' mechanic, and it has always felt artificial to me. Nothing like that would happen in a real battle, so it seems inappropriately 'gamey' to do it to your opponent. To say the chit represents 'initiative' is unconvincing because holding the chit in no way relates to the 'actual' battle initiative happening on the game board.

The artificial-ness of a re-roll chit also jars me out of the headspace of being a battlefield commander, whether I was the one who played the chit or whether I had it played on me. It pops the ground combat illusion-bubble because the chit represents an 'event' that could never happen.

Yes, a snake-eyes-surprise can kill your battle plan with shocking suddenness, but that's exactly the kind of stress a real tactical commander experiences. To arbitrarily "undo" such an occurrence is inappropriate in my view, and only serves to lengthen an already long game.

So overall I think re-roll chits do the game playing experience more harm than good. Let the dice fall as they will and handle the result with good sportsmanship, I say.

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Brent Pollock
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...or treat the leader modifier as a Mulligan allowance.
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Pierce Ostrander
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WBRP wrote:
...or treat the leader modifier as a Mulligan allowance.


This thought just occurred to me, since it is the way my devious gamer-mind works... devil

So I hold the chit. I have a risky move to make (e.g. moving a leader-assisted stack in the open in possible long range of a hidden unit). Because I hold the chit, I do it. I know he will be forced to make two die rolls to get that one roll that I dread.


We have now introduced yet another game-y element into a game filled with them. I'm not sure we need one!
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Roger Hobden
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Why not simply allow one re-roll per player per scenario ?

If a player fails twice, he deserves to lose. arrrh
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ROB VERRY
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Maybe this concept is not for ASL, but it works remarkably well in Combat Commander (which is also a squad-based game). I think it heightens the tension, introduces a new concept to be considered tactically and stabilizes the luck-factor. The fact that the chit can go back and forth unlimited is what makes it interesting as well. When do I end a re-roll 'war'? How long should I hold the chit considering the tactical situation? Is forcing my opponenet to re-roll that result really that significant? Anyhoo, interesting thought.
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Pierce Ostrander
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Tyrone_Slothrop wrote:
Maybe this concept is not for ASL, but it works remarkably well in Combat Commander (which is also a squad-based game). I think it heightens the tension, introduces a new concept to be considered tactically and stabilizes the luck-factor. The fact that the chit can go back and forth unlimited is what makes it interesting as well. When do I end a re-roll 'war'? How long should I hold the chit considering the tactical situation? Is forcing my opponenet to re-roll that result really that significant? Anyhoo, interesting thought.


Agree with all.

It is used in another of my favorite games: War of the Ring. In WoTR, the Free People player starts the game with three 'no dice" chits. In the game the are presented thematically as "rings". When he uses one, it is passed to the other player. When the other player uses it, it leaves the game. It works well and adds another decision point to the game that is otherwise much more limited than ASL.

In ASL - there are so many critical decision points, it probably does not need another.
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Brian Roundhill
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My view is that killer, game stopping rolls only exist in smaller scenarios, and there is only so much that can be done about them. SSRs do exist to accomodate this(Guns cannot break on first shot, first OBA chit draw is automatically Black, etc), but at some point we the players must accept that randomness will bite us in the arse.

All that said, I would play with the initiative card. My guess is it gives an advantage to the Attacker, who normally has to do more movement.
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Stephen Stewart
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While I like not getting HOSED by a singular roll...

ASL is a storyline game. You can have battles where you can't pass a MC...Or the opposite where ever shot you make INFLICTS a MC.

A mulligan will ruin the great emotional swing of the game...

Say your opponent SR's his Conscript HS that was DM'ed...and comes back to encircle a unit to royally screw him...(this, I did to my opponent)

Taking that excitement away from your opponent and yourself for that matter, will ruin it ....

Simply playing with Large #'s of AFV's makes it so dicey I avoid them...there is no middle ground with AFV's. They either survive unscathed or are BURNING...That's not exciting...TOBRUK damage is needed, but would be more cumbersome.



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Stephen Stewart
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fubar awol wrote:
Tyrone_Slothrop wrote:
Maybe this concept is not for ASL, but it works remarkably well in Combat Commander (which is also a squad-based game). I think it heightens the tension, introduces a new concept to be considered tactically and stabilizes the luck-factor. The fact that the chit can go back and forth unlimited is what makes it interesting as well. When do I end a re-roll 'war'? How long should I hold the chit considering the tactical situation? Is forcing my opponenet to re-roll that result really that significant? Anyhoo, interesting thought.


Agree with all.

It is used in another of my favorite games: War of the Ring. In WoTR, the Free People player starts the game with three 'no dice" chits. In the game the are presented thematically as "rings". When he uses one, it is passed to the other player. When the other player uses it, it leaves the game. It works well and adds another decision point to the game that is otherwise much more limited than ASL.

In ASL - there are so many critical decision points, it probably does not need another.


Yes, but in CC you KNOW that there are 2 2's and 2 12's coming your way...It's guaranteed...

The timing is the difference...JUST As in ASL ...1,1 rolled for a TC is wasted, while a MC is completely different impact.

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Brian Roundhill
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ASLChampion wrote:
Say your opponent SR's his Conscript HS that was DM'ed...and comes back to encircle a unit to royally screw him...(this, I did to my opponent)


Been there, done that. Self rallied the PSK toting half squad and nuked at least two tanks in a playing of The Last Tiger. If I needed two! miracle rolls because of the initiative chit, I would not have the story I have today.

Hmmm. Still kinda like the idea as a variant, but this is a sticking point.
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ROB VERRY
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Maybe it is all in the frequency of use. Perhaps limit it (the re-roll) and chit exchange to once p/player turn? I agree that ASL already has so many variables for a player to consider to play well and this would layer on a whole new dimension despite the simplicity of the concept. Nobody likes being hosed by an opponent with 'hot' dice, but like a movie, or comic book it makes for a helluva story.
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Bob Holmstrom
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While I wouldn't play with any reroll variant for a number of reasons, I would suggest that if you do, you make it so you can reroll rather than making your opponent reroll.
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Pierce Ostrander
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ASLChampion wrote:


"ASL is a storyline game."

"Simply playing with Large #'s of AFV's makes it so dicey I avoid them..."



But Duude,

They are so big and rumbly and cool!

Gotta have them near

so much fun.


Edit: (I think that is a spontaneous Haiku!)
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Andy Beaton
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I mentioned in this forum recently a scenario I played where I essentially lost when an HE critical hit on the back of a large building caused falling rubble to crush my key position in the front. That's just the kind of situation where reversing the roll would give me the win I was coasting towards.
And I wouldn't want it. I'd rather play a game where I get a great story and a loss out of some incredible freak roll. It's stories like that that make the game great and I'd hate to lose it.
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T. Dauphin
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Tyrone_Slothrop wrote:
Yes, the dice do average out and I get that, but that killer, game stopping roll can allow the luck factor to ruin the game. This can be especially frustrating if you have played well and made few mistakes....It definitely tones down the luck factor.


I don't know but is sounds like you may be playing the wrong game, if the chaos of war messes with your best laid plans. If you have played well and made few mistakes you would need many bad rolls to lose the game on account of the dice.
It's worth a try, however. Though I like Strategery21's suggestion that it change one of your own rolls, not one of your opponent's.

 
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Rev. Mark Fischer
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This is interesting given a recent post recently concerning the "Historicity" of scenarios. I'm just saying... Keep on Playin'... [pause] ASL!
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