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Subject: ASL vs Combat Commander Europe rss

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George Acin
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Which game would you say will hold the longest period interest/fun/excitement in the long run (say 5-7 years from now)?

If you can, please state the reason (or reasons) why.
ASL (Advanced Squad Leader)
Combat Commander: Europe
Other (Specify in reply)
      99 answers
Poll created by jcikal
 
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skippen
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ASL has already got this in one the bag. CC: E is a good game though.
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Will Green
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It may come down to what you consider to be 'fun' in the present moment.

For me, ASL has just about the greatest level of 'staying power' in the business. However, on the 'player interest/ fun level,' CC: E wins.

Why? In my view ASL is the 'training ground' of the military. You can use military doctrine, and your plans will flow naturally from that doctrine, without the ( messiness of war ). ~ Sure some die rolls may not go in your favor, yet the 'variables of warfare' ~ that which you can't fathom happening ~ the utter and sheer variables that a General just can't account for ~ those, they are not present, ( to my knowledge ), in ASL.

So, CC:E brings that element of variability to the battlefield, and for this, I find it infinitely more fun, (knowing there are lifestyle ASL gamers who will disagree to the bottom of their bootstraps to the top of their GI Issue helmet.

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cscottk wrote:
ASL has already got this in one the bag. CC: E is a good game though.


And probably got it in the bag 15-20 years ago meeple
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Graham Smallwood
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In CC:E your plans can fall apart based on the randomness of a deck shuffle. In ASL, your plans fall apart from the other guy shooting your doodz. I can't imagine getting attached to a game where the game is my enemy instead of the other guy being the enemy.
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Devon Harmon
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I like CC:E; I love ASL.

Once a month I drive 300+ miles just to play ASL. I've never done that for CC:E.

When I learn/play ASL, I actually learn little tidbits of history. I've never felt this way with CC:E.

When I am doing other things, my mind will often drift to ASL. Sometimes I imagine how the area around me would be depicted on an ASL map. Before I play a scenario, I'll consider the various ways and locations to deploy my troops. I've never thought about CC:E unless I am playing.

I actually began playing CC:E first, but my percieved shortcomings with the game led me to search further for a tactical WWII game. After sampling Panzer Grenadier, Lock n' Load Band of Heroes, Advanced Tobruk System, and ASL Starter Kit 1, I decided that ASL was for me.
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William Boykin
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Actually, the fact that you're playing against the 'game' as well as the enemy is why I like Combat Commander better than ASL. The hardest part about combat is that its hard to motivate men to actually get up and GO at times. The plan that you implement, RIGHT NOW, is ALWAYS preferable to the 'best' plan that you won't be able to implement until later.

That said, I'm not sure that CC:E is the 'definitive' answer to small unit tactics/leadership. Much as I like the game, and definitely as much as I appreciate where the designer is coming from, I think that there could be a bit more 'flex' in the system- because at times, as a defender, an optimal strategy is just to have as many random events come up in the hopes of causing something odd to happen as a 'weapon'. That I disagree with to an extent.

If you want total control, play ASL. If you LIKE indeterminacy, play CC:E.

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Colin Hunter
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Here is a question for all you ASL fiends out there. Does ASL have replayability, because of number of scenarios and configurations or is each scenario infinitely replayable? I have no idea as I have only played ASLSK, but I'm interested as to what people think about this. I haven't found any particular scenario in CCE to get tired, although I'm sure I may eventually, I wonder if ASL scenarios get tired more quickly or less quickly?
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Greg Syferd
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I think both of your points are accurate.

First, the sheer number of scenarios in ASL makes it years ahead of CC:E. Furthermore, there is a fairly large community that has, or is continuing development (such Heat of Battle, Tampa Bay ASL Group (Schwerpunkt,) and Critical Hit.) CC:E has a way to go to come close to the number of developers for ASL.

Secondly many scenarios can be replayed multiple times using different "doctrine" as mentioned above. Very rarely do I not want to play both sides of a scenario. CC:E re-playability to me seems to determined by the "luck of the deck."

Now, this being said CC:E is a pretty young game and GMT seems to be punching out expansions at a rapid pace, so who knows. For me, I will stick with ASL...if nothing else for the investment I have made in it!


 
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Gave up on Squad Leader, because there's simply too many fiddly rules. I haven't bothered to work on ASL. I've heard ASL/SL referred to a "lifetime game", that is, you have to play it all the time to keep the rules in your head. I'm much more interested in trying faster play games with slimmer rules sets such as Panzer Grenadier, War to Axis, Lock & Load, etc.
 
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gregor1863 wrote:
I think both of your points are accurate.

*SNIP*

Now, this being said CC:E is a pretty young game and GMT seems to be punching out expansions at a rapid pace, so who knows. For me, I will stick with ASL...if nothing else for the investment I have made in it!



Many people have made some good points. Design intent is big for this question to be answered accurately. I'm not sure Chad intends to further CC in more and more modules so that the entire war is covered and explored. ASL also has the Campaign system allowing for more opportunities to explore WWII. I think CC is touted as being different than CC:E and M in many significant ways. Perhaps that means its not really a system itself? Though the name Combat Commander is being used. Not sure.

But, it is clear that ASL seeks to explore the way in a MUCH greater detail and scope. And, given its history already I think its safe bet to vote for it over CC:E right now.
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ibn_ul_khattab wrote:

Quote:
I wonder if ASL scenarios get tired more quickly or less quickly?









I think that there are so many scenarios made or being made for ASL that it would be impossible to ever play them all! I have been playing for about 16 years and I have only scratched the surface!
 
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Gregory Smith
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CC:E and CC:M are fun games and I rate them a 9. But they are quite limited compared to ASL. Every scenario is fought on little postage stamp sized maps compared to most ASL scenarios. One CC:E map is about 1/2 ASL board, and most ASL scenarios use more than 1 board. CC:E is all infantry and will never include armor according to the game designer. The game is like being in a boxing ring. There is movement in CC:E but no maneuver. Skilled ASL is about motion and combined arms.

I guess I'm just saying there is SO much more to explore in ASL that there is no comparison. Even with expansions to CC:E it seems unlikely the system will ever mach ASL's breadth and depth.

I'm still probably going to buy every CC:X expansion, but it is no ASL.
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Ben Smith
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I can't knock Combat Commander:Europe, it improved my Tichu.
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ASL is getting its 2nd wind so to speak. With the creation of the SK's and the encourgaging signs of all core modules available in the near future ASL will continue to stay popular. Its MMP pipeline alone for core and HASL modules planned will keep people around. With a half dozen TPP (can any other game system claim 1?) in addition to MMP the scenario production will continue to keep most players happy and the SK's appear to bring in new players every day. All around the world are so many dedicated game groups and tournaments that I don't think CC:E has a chance to gain enough ground on ASL to reach the depth of the ASL community and its popularity within.

As far as replay ability goes, with at least 5000 scenario's available x2 for playing either side, replay is not an issue, almost not an option with that many choices.
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Joel Tamburo
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Sorry, but Combat Commander is better than ASL in more than one way.

First, it has actual command and control rules.

Second, it's infantry firepower model where defenders in good defensive terrain or fortifications are very difficult to shoot out of their positions is more realistic than ASL, where you can blast defenders out of any position with enough small arms fire.

Third, it has a very easy to use scenario generator so replayability is not an issue. Also, most of the scenarios have changeable elements (like objective chits) to make them replayable.

Give CC time and it will have a player community similar to that of ASL. It already has a pretty large one and only has been out for a year.
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You forgot one disadvantage for CC: it has no vehicles!
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Joelist wrote:
Sorry, but Combat Commander is better than ASL in more than one way.

First, it has actual command and control rules.

Second, it's infantry firepower model where defenders in good defensive terrain or fortifications are very difficult to shoot out of their positions is more realistic than ASL, where you can blast defenders out of any position with enough small arms fire.

Third, it has a very easy to use scenario generator so replayability is not an issue. Also, most of the scenarios have changeable elements (like objective chits) to make them replayable.

Give CC time and it will have a player community similar to that of ASL. It already has a pretty large one and only has been out for a year.


Spoken like someone who has never played ASL.

I'm sure you'll come back and claim that's not the case, but your post has already made it clear that you've never played.

This is not to take anything away from CC, it's a solid game. But you clearly have no clue when speaking about ASL and so your comparisons are inherently flawed.

Your terrain comment is particularly telling. On one hand you praise CC for it being difficult to shoot troops out of defensive terrain. Difficult != impossible. On the other you attack ASL for it being possible "with enough small arms fire". So, in ASL, by your own statements it's also difficult to do. And yet, when it's the game you like this is a good thing and when it's the other you put on the blinders and spew crap. If you really think sitting there firing your small arms at guys in fortified locations is a generally useful tactic in ASL, you're very clearly missing something.

You have one [/i]partially[/i] valid point and two that are complete BS. I pointed out one of the BS ones, I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine which of the other two is BS like the terrain bit.

EDIT: The real bite is, by pointing this out some will think I am also attacking CC instead of just the bogus reasons above. I like CC, it's much more accessible for one. And what it does it does fairly well.
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ibn_ul_khattab wrote:
Here is a question for all you ASL fiends out there. Does ASL have replayability, because of number of scenarios and configurations or is each scenario infinitely replayable? I have no idea as I have only played ASLSK, but I'm interested as to what people think about this. I haven't found any particular scenario in CCE to get tired, although I'm sure I may eventually, I wonder if ASL scenarios get tired more quickly or less quickly?


A bit of both. Some scenarios are really only interesting once or twice. Some are replayable dozens if not more times.

This doesn't necessarily mean the ones with less replayability are necessarily bad (though some could be considered bad, I'm sure), some are real interesting nailbiters for those first couple of plays.

I'm sure there are some that aren't even fun once or twice. Those would be bad, but I've yet to actually try any that made me think that (there were some that seemed that way upon reading, but without actually trying them it's hard to areally say). I'm sure they are out there though, the sheer number of scenarios pretty much guarantees it.
 
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Really, there's just no possible comparison here. CC:E is a fine game and does what it sets out to accomplish rather nicely. But no one that actually understands anything about ASL would claim that it has the same kind of depth and replayability.

Before you flame me, CC:E lovers, ask yourself this... thirty years from now, will you have been playing CC:E to the exclusion of any other wargame? I know numerous players who have been playing non-stop since the original Squad Leader was released 31 years ago. Whether or not you or I aspire to that kind of fanaticism, it should tell you a lot about replayability.
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Todd Pytel
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ibn_ul_khattab wrote:
Here is a question for all you ASL fiends out there. Does ASL have replayability, because of number of scenarios and configurations or is each scenario infinitely replayable?

As others have said, it's a bit of both. Apart from one or two dogs that weren't even any fun the first time, I could probably replay any of the 50 or so scenarios I've played at least 2-3 more times without beginning to get bored. But practically speaking, there are so many scenarios out there that I almost never replay anything. I think I've only done maybe 1 or 2 replays, if any.
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Joel Tamburo
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keethrax wrote:
Joelist wrote:
Sorry, but Combat Commander is better than ASL in more than one way.

First, it has actual command and control rules.

Second, it's infantry firepower model where defenders in good defensive terrain or fortifications are very difficult to shoot out of their positions is more realistic than ASL, where you can blast defenders out of any position with enough small arms fire.

Third, it has a very easy to use scenario generator so replayability is not an issue. Also, most of the scenarios have changeable elements (like objective chits) to make them replayable.

Give CC time and it will have a player community similar to that of ASL. It already has a pretty large one and only has been out for a year.


Spoken like someone who has never played ASL.

I'm sure you'll come back and claim that's not the case, but your post has already made it clear that you've never played.

This is not to take anything away from CC, it's a solid game. But you clearly have no clue when speaking about ASL and so your comparisons are inherently flawed.

Your terrain comment is particularly telling. On one hand you praise CC for it being difficult to shoot troops out of defensive terrain. Difficult != impossible. On the other you attack ASL for it being possible "with enough small arms fire". So, in ASL, by your own statements it's also difficult to do. And yet, when it's the game you like this is a good thing and when it's the other you put on the blinders and spew crap. If you really think sitting there firing your small arms at guys in fortified locations is a generally useful tactic in ASL, you're very clearly missing something.

You have one [/i]partially[/i] valid point and two that are complete BS. I pointed out one of the BS ones, I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine which of the other two is BS like the terrain bit.

EDIT: The real bite is, by pointing this out some will think I am also attacking CC instead of just the bogus reasons above. I like CC, it's much more accessible for one. And what it does it does fairly well.


Well contrary to the nonsense you just spewed, I am a LONG time ASL player. No doubt as long or loner than you, since I started on SL and moved up to ASL when AH originally put it out some 20 years ago. I am also an ASL event GM, and back when TSR ran Gen Con I set up and ran the entire ASL area (we had about 100 gamers playing in 10 tournaments).

My point about small arms lethality is correct, and actually it's pretty easy to get enough firepower together. Typically 3 squads with MMG and leader will be effective against even stone buildings. Work it out. The problem is compounded by rout because once you break a unit in this type of terrain all you have to do is get adjacent and it is forced to rout out of the position. This is all blatantly ahistorical.

Guess what? Realistically you should not be able to blast units out of stone buildings and the like with small arms fire. It should take Close Assault with covering fire or ordinance to get them out. And in CC that is pretty much what it takes.

Second, ASL has no real command and control rules. Leader functions in the system are morale and fire related for the most part. CC by making leaders necessary to move large bodies of troops gives them a dimension missing from ASL.

Point three was simply describing CC, so it only tangentally applies to ASL. ASL has a point system, but the CC Scenario Generator take more elements into account. Also, the elements in CC scenarios like Objective Chits make most scenarios very replayable.

So, all points totally valid. Try again.
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Joelist wrote:
Give CC time and it will have a player community similar to that of ASL. It already has a pretty large one and only has been out for a year.


Sorry, I just can't see CC having the same player base equivalent to ASL in 5 years or 20. We will be lucky if a large player base is still playing CC in 10 years.

Plus, CC: E has been out longer than a year, and its playerbase is impressive, but can't even reach the adult dinner table that ASL is on.
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Joelist wrote:
My point about small arms lethality is correct, and actually it's pretty easy to get enough firepower together. Typically 3 squads with MMG and leader will be effective against even stone buildings.

I can think of very few scenarios I've played where I can easily come up with, say, 16FP and a -2 leader without shorting myself on troops I need elsewhere. I'm curious as to whether you still play ASL or stopped playing sometime back. The original bunch of scenarios in the core modules tended much more strongly towards "shoot-em-ups" with lots of high FP squads, HMG's, and -2 or even -3 leaders. More recent scenarios tend much more towards making the attacker move and take calculated risks to accomplish his goals and/or keep him on a tighter clock so that simply firing on every enemy position is impractical.

Quote:
This is all blatantly ahistorical.

Every squad-level tactical game is ahistorical, and ASL is no different. A truly historical game would be totally chaotic, depressingly gruesome, and zero fun to play.

Quote:
Second, ASL has no real command and control rules. Leader functions in the system are morale and fire related for the most part. CC by making leaders necessary to move large bodies of troops gives them a dimension missing from ASL.

Again, it's a game and not a simulation. The intricate dance of movement and defensive fire is what provides most of the tension of ASL. It lets you concoct clever plans and make heroic dashes for key buildings. It's fun and allows for planning and creativity. That's why people keep playing it. Drawing cards over and over in search of the one you need is, generally, less fun. Certainly that introduces a hand-management aspect to the game that can itself be manipulated - I don't mean to imply that card-driven games are "all luck". But if you're talking about replayability, I'll absolutely come back more often to games where I can create and execute a plan with some semblance of reliability, because that allows for a longer learning curve and more interesting analysis. History and realism have nothing to do with any of this.
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Don't be so sure. Considering its relative newness CC not only gathered a large base of players but also is holding on to them. That is the first step towards longevity.

Now, it may not get as large as ASLs in its heyday simply because ASL has been its own mini-hobby for 20 years, and it piggybacked on the highly successful SL to boot. But I suspect it will have it's own large following.

A related question is whether ASL is actually growing or not. Yes the SKs have sold well, but there isn't a lot of evidence showing that new players are buying SKs then going to full ASL. In fact, what appears to have happened is that the SKs have their own independent player stream that isn't crossing over in large numbers (probably because of the huge cost of getting into full ASL).

Interestingly, when we play the SKs in our group we have resorted to using only the ASL elements in the kit rules (to keep the scenario balance valid) but using the full rulebook to actually execute those elements. This is because the SK rules are too brief in places and create issues.
 
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