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Subject: ATS/ASL Non-Discussion rss

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M. Kirschenbaum
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A day or so ago, a BGG member posted as a forum thread a document written by someone else that professed to be a neutral, non-judgemental comparison of two popular wargame systems, ASL and ATS.

This forum thread attracted a quick and sometimes heated discussion from partisans of both game systems; ASL players in particular pointed out that whatever the author's original intentions, the comparison contained factual inaccuracies that mischaracterized the ASL game system and would serve to mislead those not otherwise familiar with it.

A short while ago the author of the original forum thread deleted the thread in its entirety and then reposted the original comparison document, verbatim, as a GeekList with comments closed:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/16849

I find this strongarm attempt to circumvent discussion disappointing. Those who would like to comment on the GeeklList in question are invited to do so here instead.

 
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Clinton Smith
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Well, BGG offers the ability to disallow comments on geeklists for a reason. Some people don't want their list cluttered up with a lot of heated discussion. I've never used that option but I like the fact that I can use it if I feel the need. Luckily we have the forums for discussion.
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Jeff Thompson
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Inerestingly, all the ATS modules were originaly published as ASL modules oh so many years ago.

I believe they are the same maps.

Very interesting...
 
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Jim Cote
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Discussions are valid, biased or not, heated or not. Others can gain insights from them. They should be left alone. Even if I ask a rules question, which subsequently is answered by quoting the rules directly, I leave the thread. Someone else may have the same question. Deleting a thread because you "feel picked on" is cowardly. Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Take your hits. Let us all learn from it.
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Jeff Yeackle
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I have the first page open still with the first 25 messages. If anyone wants a screen capture let me know.

I now keep copies of some of my informational posts because I *hate* when threads are deleted and suddenly something I spent a lot of time writing and planned to reference in the future is gone.

I have as much 'right' to my own posts in a thread as the starter of the thread does to their first post. If they can delete it, it should just be their posts. Leave my posts alone. I say nay to the ability to delete threads once someone else has posted to it (kinda like how the buy it now options goes bye bye on ebay).
 
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M. Kirschenbaum
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The whole episode was/is bizarre. He initiated the thread and then nuked it? His GeekList originally had a statement that he was forced to do so because of the "childish" behavior of certain posters, but then this too was removed. Obviously he's liberal with the delete key. What was he doing reposting B. Marten's remarks about the game system? What is his relation to Marten? Any? Did he post Marten's remarks with or without his knowledge and permission? Were they edited? Etc. Sorry, but I think motives and intentions are of some relevance here.

Edited to correct "Miller" to Marten.

 
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Jim Cote
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Peso Pete wrote:
ekted wrote:
Discussions are valid, biased or not, heated or not. Others can gain insights from them. They should be left alone. Even if I ask a rules question, which subsequently is answered by quoting the rules directly, I leave the thread. Someone else may have the same question. Deleting a thread because you "feel picked on" is cowardly. Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Take your hits. Let us all learn from it.


This is curious. I never said, nor implied, that these discussions were not valid - quite the opposite....


I wasn't replying to you, Peter. Just making a general comment about the incident.
 
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Jim Cote
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Can someone repost the link to the ATS online demo? I forgot to bookmark it.
 
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Lance Wilkinson

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mkirschenbaum wrote:
The whole episode was/is bizarre
[...snipped...]
Sorry, but I think motives and intentions are of some relevance here.


I agree with mkirschenbaum.

It is very odd to nuke the thread (which didn't seem that heated to me), then re-post the original, controversial, "unbiased" post as a geeklist that does not allow comments.

I didn't even know that sort of geeklist is possible (I knew you could make them close to additional items--it seems entirely against the tenor of BGG.

 
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Lance Wilkinson

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I'd like to see a reasoned, respectful discussion on the merits of both systems without all the partisan rhetoric that some people attach to these discussions.


One thing I'd have to ask is, what would be the point, given the high potential for the partisan rhetoric?

When a supposed newbie posts a question "I want to try a tacsim, ASL or ATS?" there really isn't a whole lot one can say. Unless they qualify the question by saying, "I need a ftf opponent," or "I want to play a variety of scenarios over vassal," what could one possibly write that would be helpful given their frame of reference? Given where most new players will be coming from, there's not a lot to suggest either game would be wrong for them. So, it isn't an issue of "buy ATS if you want X, buy ASL if you want Y," but probably something like "try both, here are some ATS options, here are some ASL options," likely involving folio editions and sk's to keep cost and complexity down.

For a player such as yourself, who has experience for both games, why not find someone to discuss it with and then put together a BGG article?

However, again, what would the purpose be? Everyone knows from experience what the troll questions are--'Which game is more worthwhile to invest time/money in,' 'is ATS just an ASL-ripoff,' or a question question so broad as to be meaningless, such as 'which game better models wwii infantry combat'... you can pretty much tell in advance these types of questions will devolve into bickering.


 
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Andy Daglish
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Quote:
it seems entirely against the tenor of BGG.


So it is, but making it irrefutable via Geeklist shows a greater degree of brainpower than previously deployed!
 
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Karl Deckard
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I was very sad and confused that the original post was deleted. I had marked it for future perusal, because the topic interests me and I was looking forward to hearing a variety of viewpoints on the subject. I didn't see what was so objectionable that the thread needed to be deleted, but I wish it had been left intact, so that users could make up their own mind about the debate. A Geeklist is not really the place for such a post and the fact that it is locked, so that I can't post this reply directly to the discussion seems ridiculous.
 
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Jeff Yeackle
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ekted wrote:
Can someone repost the link to the ATS online demo? I forgot to bookmark it.


Advanced Squad Leader (ASL) Demo
http://www.multimanpublishing.com/demo/MMP-31.html

Advanced Tobruk System (ATS) Demo
http://www.gilestimms.com/sighted/assets/oct05/atsDemo01_1_2...

I love how the ATS demo shows clipped counters. laugh
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Kevin Moody
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I'm not sure how often he's changing his and Miller's statements, but this is the language he had posted at the end of his geeklist, in its entirety:

Quote:
NOTE: I have converted this into Geeklist that prevents additional comments. I tried posting this as a forum thread, but it seems that there are a large amount of childish members in the BGG community. I am sad to say, that all of the flames stemmed completely from the ASL community, which does not represent the game in a positive light


I geekmailed the author with the suggestion that deleting the comments he characterizes as childish was in itself childish. He replied that he thought the opinions of those he deleted were like a certain body orifice (he knew the correct slang term for it).

I agree with someone posting above who doesn't understand why he would use someone else's writing, especially when he professes to have played both systems himself. I don't remember much about ATS from when I played it in early 2004, but I know the material posted regarding ASL is at the most basic of levels, something that would take little exposure to the game to come up with. It also leaves out some important information that would have mislead me if I hadn't known better as to player options and the flow of the game. Was that Miller's intention, or the OPs?

I also fail to see how he could claim his unbiased interest in the comparison and still include such unneccessary (and bizarre) commentary as this (supposedly) from Miller, following one of the comparisons:

Quote:
Of course, the nay-sayers will refuse to see and admit this, but then we can feel very sorry for their lack of understanding and vision. (Yes, sarcasm mode is on right now. Rarely have I seen grown men ... some of whom are "professionals" ... carry on petty grudges and hatreds like some of the nay-sayers can. I'd love to see them reconcile their bitter hatred with whatever their spiritual beliefs are.)
I guess a person's spiritual beliefs are fair game, otherwise why would this be posted? I should state that I would characterize myself as a non-denominational Christian and have enjoyed enourmously my exposure to ASL(SK) and some of the third-party ASL products. I played with a Lutheran for awhile who rates it as his favorite game, and an athiest from France who really digs it. YMMV.

Are we then to judge the value of a game based on alleged characteritics of some people who play it? Who are these people? (to quote Seinfeld). Or are these straw-men?

Shall we discuss some of the characteristcs of the ATS players who feel a continual need to post poorly-informed commentary on ASL, a game that minimal inspection suggests they have barely played at all, if ever? Maybe we should begin by judging the value of the ATS system on the reported and observed professional and personal behavior of Critical Hit's president Ray Tapio?

If we are to have a somewhat level discussion, perhaps we should.

I look forward (as did others) to learning of the "times (in ASL) when all you can do is sit and wait for a half an hour while your opponent moves", especially as I haven't encountered a moment of downtime in situations varying from the intro ASLSK scenario to some play of HoB's Onslaught to Orsha game.

In the deleted forum thread, I was also going to respond, again, to Ken Feldman's criticism of the ASL skulking tactic (which, IIRC, he termed "sleeze"), a part of the game discussed at its inception (read some old General magazines) and grasped by every new ASLSK player I've played against. If anyone would like info on it, do a search on BGG where I answered Feldman's previous criticisms about it, or I can go over it again here.

Lastly, as opposed to the 15-20 ASL players I know well (none of whom have ever said a disparaging word about ATS -- I think because they see as much reason to play it again as I do), there seems to be a recurring theme by a few ATS players here where they feel the need to knock down ASL.

The dogs bark, but the caravan marches on.

 
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Alexius Exfalso
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Just checked the new List - is it just me or has the 'comment' button been removed?

If no-one can comment on it, what is it, exactly? A work of art? A prose poem? Are we just supposed to silently select 'recommend', tip Geek-Gold and exit our homes to stand beneath the stars and lose ourselves in the wonder of it all?

And this:

Again, we prove the nay-sayers wrong by showing you that the move-and-fire mechanics are totally dissimilar. Of course, the nay-sayers will refuse to see and admit this, but then we can feel very sorry for their lack of understanding and vision. (Yes, sarcasm mode is on right now. Rarely have I seen grown men ... some of whom are "professionals" ... carry on petty grudges and hatreds like some of the nay-sayers can. I'd love to see them reconcile their bitter hatred with whatever their spiritual beliefs are.)

For a post that professes to be unbiased, that is several shades of perjorative. To post something with that tone and deny others the right to respond is, dare I hazard, cowardly.

I'm new to the board, but I'm shocked to encounter something so un-BoardGameGeek-ly. Sour and unlovable.

 
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Jeff Yeackle
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What the heck, it's in google's cache anyway:

http://tinyurl.com/oocx3 (comments 1 - 25)


http://tinyurl.com/q2jc4 (comment #26, 27+ are missing)

If we wanted, we can recreate the thread.

Edit: if those links stop working I have PDF backups.
 
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Jim Cote
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Nice, Jeff. When will people learn you get way less attention by just shutting up than by trying to squash the topic.
 
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Clinton Smith
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It's been a long time since I've seen this much whining over something so blandly insignificant.
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Jim Cote
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Artaxerxes wrote:
It's been a long time since I've seen this much whining over something so blandly insignificant.


Yet you felt compelled to post.
 
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Clinton Smith
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Quote:
Yet you felt compelled to post.


Yeah. So what?

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Sam I am
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That is completely incorrect. A short peruse of thier website is all the evidence you need.
 
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Sorry I missed the original discussion, but I did look at the cache.
Does seem like a cheap tactic.

I know people that take both sides in the argument. Some people refuse to play ATS. Frankly, I would play ASL if I had the time and I was resolved not to play anything else. But since that isn't the case, my collection lays gathering dust. I own a huge ASL collection (most of it excluding HoB stuff) but until I retire I'll probably never touch it (if even then).

To be proficient at ASL it really must be the only game you play and you must play it regularly. With ATS I can play a match months apart and have little down time with rules. But I always feel ATS is lacking something and I'm still not convinced an impulse system befits tactical warfare.

 
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Ken Feldman
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Quote:
Inerestingly, all the ATS modules were originaly published as ASL modules oh so many years ago.

I believe they are the same maps.

Very interesting...


I don't think there was an ASL module for Advanced Tobruk. And Panther Line and Berlin Red Victory came out as ATS games before being converted to ASL modules.

Critical Hit, the publisher of ATS, was a third party vendor that made ASL products. They tend to publish versions of their modules in both ATS and ASL, giving fans of both systems more scenarios.

Ken
 
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Ken Feldman
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Quote:


Well, the deleted thread at least had these links in them. I hadn't seen these demos before. They look great. I'd encourage anyone interested in either ASL or ATS to look at them before buying into the systems.

Ken
 
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Jim Cote
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Kenfeldman wrote:
Critical Hit, the publisher of ATS, was a third party vendor that made ASL products. They tend to publish versions of their modules in both ATS and ASL, giving fans of both systems more scenarios.


That is interesting. Does the exact same physical setup provide a similar experience in both systems? Do they make any attempt to tweak the setups to accommodate the different systems so the scenarios are balanced for both?

 
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