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Subject: AFV Overrun, OBA and Air SUpport rss

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Boots
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I have now clocked up 30+ games of ASL that are mainly infantry-only, and while I'm not particularly good at the game, I'm starting to get the basics of handling infantry. Now I want more.

I've never played a game longer than about 5 hours, and I keep hearing about how great the game becomes when you have slightly larger OBs and more time to play around with, so I've scheduled a game of AP44 The Burial Mound from AP5: East Front.

But I've used OBA once (and didn't understand it) and I've never used Air support. I'm also really, really hazy on Vehicular OVR, and can't shake the feeling I'm missing something. Gamesquad seems to have no place for 'tutorial' threads,it's all rules questions, so I figured I'd try here.

1) AFV Overrun

My basic question is: just, seriously, what the hell? I keep reading in various places (like in Out of the Attic 2) about how infantry in CC are really dangerous to AFVs, but the last OVR I did with a few 4FP squads versus an overrunning TKS were completely without result and the TKS just got to stay in my hex. And that was with average squads but a lame tank - I hesitate to think what this would be like with a better tank.

What am I missing? Infantry just don't seem all that scary to tanks at all, especially tanks in motion. Why is everyone so scared of them? It seemed like the CCV of the infantry was down in the 2-3 range, and in my understanding of the rule you can't combine firepower factors in CC reaction fire?

Also, what's the deal with CC Reaction Fire being allowed outside the hex? and is it always TBPF if it's inside the hex? and if so, why would you ever fire CC Reaction fire at something outside your hex?

As you can see, I'm completely bewildered by this rule, and I must say the OVR flowchart only makes things LESS clear. Can anyone provide a link to a good tutorial for specifically AFV OVR, or give me (and other Noobs) a clean, simple rundown of a best-case-for-infantry description of one, that would really help. My google-fu is weak today and I can't find one.

2) OBA

This is another one where the flowchart makes things HARDER> As far as I can see, it goes - check for contact, check for access, AR->SR->FFE1->FFE2, over several turns. Is that about right? I know there's something about two red chit pulls but I don't understand the flow of OBA and it seems needlessly complex. Again, can anyone direct me to/provide me with a clean, easy to follow step-by-step tutorial of a best-case-for-firer process, without all the extraneous bolt-on chrome like aerial observers, off-board observers etc.?

3) Air Support

I haven't even read the rules for this one yet, nor ever got even close to playing with them, but on turn four of this scenario the Germans get two Stukas on Turn 4, and the Russkies have two AA trucks. As such I imagine I as the Russians will want to ensure good AA truck placement, which entails understanding anti-aircraft fire.

All I'm really after here is a tutorial on air support, as I've not read the rules and have NRBH, it would be inappropriate for me to ask you to do my work for me.

So please, O ASL gurus, help a noob out? I'd really like to get into the 'meatier' side of ASL and I'm a little tired of being scared of the more complex modular rules, and equally tired of all the buildup only to find they don't work as expected because someone fails a vital roll on turn 1, so I don't get to see how the rule actually works in play.


EDIT: I should say, when I'm asking for a "best-case for infantry" or "best-case for firer" rundown, I mean something like this:

A tank (say a 50L PzIII) and ONE 4fp infantry squad unmarked by a fire counter(say a French 1st line) on a terrainless, level plane with NO OTHER UNITS. No other defensive fire fouling things up, nothing other than the barest bones required for an overrun. I want to see the very basic building blocks in action to understand why this is scary for tanks, and why CC is a good move for infantry.

In terms of OBA, I mean - one observer, one target, no terrain - just to give me a sense of the process uncomplicated by "real world" obstacles and impediments.

The ASL rulebook is singularly terrible at these 'bare-bones' systematic, procedural examples, because it's all about the exceptions. But I feel like you have to learnt he rule before you worry about the exceptions.

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Boots
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I found a cheat sheet for Air SUpport and actually it doesn't look particularly difficult (just dense)

For other noobs wondering, it's here (this is a pdf download link).
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Mike Restall
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Have you checked out the tutorial on CC with AFVs under the files sections (pg5) here on BGG? i found it pretty helpful.
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AnzacWookie wrote:
Have you checked out the tutorial on CC with AFVs under the files sections (pg5) here on BGG? i found it pretty helpful.


I have not but I will right now. Thanks.

EDIT: That tutorial is perfect; exactly what I was looking for. It explains why that OVR sucked - I'd forgotten until I read it that actually they were two half squads, not a full squad. Therefore it's not based on FP factors, but on US#. I think I'm starting to get it.
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Jay Richardson
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There are a couple of resources in this thread that might be useful for learning OBA:

Off-Board Artillery tutorial
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/788238/off-board-artille...

There's a introduction to airpower in View From The Trenches Special Edition '98. The direct download link:

http://www.vftt.co.uk/vfttpdf/vfttse98.pdf

The complete list of View From The Trenches issues available can be found here (lots of good stuff in them):

http://www.vftt.co.uk/vfttpdfs.asp

Carl Nogueira's in-depth look at overruns in ASL Journal #8, "Crosstown Traffic," is the best treatment I've seen... but it may be more than you are looking for at the moment.
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Thanks Jay - was hoping you (as BGG's local ASL tute guru) would come through with the goods!
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Brian Sielski
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Frankly,

The OBA Flow Chart is the way to go. When I first made that in 1995, my head spun by just reading the rules ... and trying to apply it without slowing the game down.

With the flow chart, yes, it becomes that simple.

Doc
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Boots01 wrote:
1) AFV Overrun
My basic question is: just, seriously, what the hell? I keep reading in various places (like in Out of the Attic 2) about how infantry in CC are really dangerous to AFVs
Well, it depends what infantry and what time of the war.
OVR is not used a lot in ASL, and when PF and other SCW weapons are around, its use becomes very rare.
What is a much more common tactic is Vehicle Bypass Movement freeze.
Boots01 wrote:
Why is everyone so scared of them? It seemed like the CCV of the infantry was down in the 2-3 range, and in my understanding of the rule you can't combine firepower factors in CC reaction fire?

All depends on what risks you want to take to lose a tank - and a PzI or PzVI are about as vulnerable vs CC, as armor and Gun calibre don't enter the maths...
Not everyone is scared by tanks.

Boots01 wrote:
Also, what's the deal with CC Reaction Fire being allowed outside the hex?
I presume you are alluding to streetfighting.
Not very frequently used, not very efficient, but it can temper the tank's endeavour to drive within urban environement without infantry cover...
Street fighting is much more efficient during CCPh.

Boots01 wrote:

2) OBA

This is another one where the flowchart makes things HARDER

It doesn't.
It helps not have to delve into the rule when you want to convert, move, etc. your SR/FFE.
Now, in most "normal" situations, the flowchart is not needed - and players managed to play the OBA rules years before the flowchart existed.
However, the graphical display and the actual reading of the chart does enlighten one's understanding of some subtle mechanics of the OBA system

Boots01 wrote:

3) Air Support
I'm a little tired of being scared of the more complex modular rules, and equally tired of all the buildup only to find they don't work as expected because someone fails a vital roll on turn 1, so I don't get to see how the rule actually works in play.

I understand and I can be tired of some overcomplicated rules (Seaborne assault and panjis come to mind).
Air Support is rather simple.
First of all, it occurs quite rarely.
Second, you don't have a lot of AA defense resources most of the time.
Third, the most usefull AA is light AA : if your guns are in AA mode, you simply fire at the plane, using the IFE, the plane's DRM (in the black star) and remember that range is counted double (1hex = 2 hex).
Swinging the gun will add some CA DRM.
Fourth, as the aircraft can attack at any moment during MPh, about any unit, the placement of your AA resources never will be ideal.
At last, the Sighting TC is quite easy to compute : roll the dice, look up the DRMs : 8 or less, OK. 12 original : recall, 12 final : mistaken attack...

Boots01 wrote:
The ASL rulebook is singularly terrible at these 'bare-bones' systematic, procedural examples, because it's all about the exceptions. But I feel like you have to learnt he rule before you worry about the exceptions.
The word that "you play 10% of the rules 90%" proves quite true.
When you are accustomed to the bulk of the rules, you will mostly look into the rulebook when special occurences happen - which are covered by the "exceptions".

Now, to get a grasp of the rules, a good way to go is to play along the Starter Kit rules : they are a simplified set of rules, which mostly don't conflict with the full thing.

I hope I helped a little...
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Thanks for the reply, comments below.

Robin wrote:
Boots01 wrote:

2) OBA

This is another one where the flowchart makes things HARDER

It doesn't.
It helps not have to delve into the rule when you want to convert, move, etc. your SR/FFE.
Now, in most "normal" situations, the flowchart is not needed - and players managed to play the OBA rules years before the flowchart existed.
However, the graphical display and the actual reading of the chart does enlighten one's understanding of some subtle mechanics of the OBA system


All I meant by it "makes it harder" was that if you're trying to learn how to do OBA it makes the process look nearly impossible - there are so many edge cases that rarely come up, whereas the process itself is actually quite simple, just poorly explained in the ASLRB. SO the end result for the ASL Noob is that you have two comprehensive but hard-to-understand explanations of the same thing, when what you really need is a simple, procedural explanation of what to roll and when,and what counters to put where and when. Jay's linked VFFT article was exactly what I needed.

Robin wrote:
Air Support is rather simple.
First of all, it occurs quite rarely.
Second, you don't have a lot of AA defense resources most of the time.
Third, the most usefull AA is light AA : if your guns are in AA mode, you simply fire at the plane, using the IFE, the plane's DRM (in the black star) and remember that range is counted double (1hex = 2 hex).
Swinging the gun will add some CA DRM.
Fourth, as the aircraft can attack at any moment during MPh, about any unit, the placement of your AA resources never will be ideal.
At last, the Sighting TC is quite easy to compute : roll the dice, look up the DRMs : 8 or less, OK. 12 original : recall, 12 final : mistaken attack...


Thanks very much - this is exactly what I was after :)

Robin wrote:
Now, to get a grasp of the rules, a good way to go is to play along the Starter Kit rules : they are a simplified set of rules, which mostly don't conflict with the full thing.

I hope I helped a little...


Thanks, but I've played through most of the SKs and have been playing 'full' ASL infantry (with bypass, concealment, HOB and deploying etc.) - to go back to the SKs now feels sort of... restrictive and less fun.
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Klas Malmstrom
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Dr Brian wrote:
The OBA Flow Chart is the way to go. When I first made that in 1995, my head spun by just reading the rules ... and trying to apply it without slowing the game down.

With the flow chart, yes, it becomes that simple.

For me it is just the opposite, I (almost) never use the OBA Flowchart.
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Martí Cabré

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klasmalmstrom wrote:
Dr Brian wrote:
The OBA Flow Chart is the way to go. When I first made that in 1995, my head spun by just reading the rules ... and trying to apply it without slowing the game down.

With the flow chart, yes, it becomes that simple.

For me it is just the opposite, I (almost) never use the OBA Flowchart.


Hey, but you do understand the ASL rules.

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Martí Cabré

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Boots01 wrote:
Thanks for the reply, comments below.

Robin wrote:
Boots01 wrote:

2) OBA

This is another one where the flowchart makes things HARDER

It doesn't.
It helps not have to delve into the rule when you want to convert, move, etc. your SR/FFE.
Now, in most "normal" situations, the flowchart is not needed - and players managed to play the OBA rules years before the flowchart existed.
However, the graphical display and the actual reading of the chart does enlighten one's understanding of some subtle mechanics of the OBA system


All I meant by it "makes it harder" was that if you're trying to learn how to do OBA it makes the process look nearly impossible - there are so many edge cases that rarely come up, whereas the process itself is actually quite simple, just poorly explained in the ASLRB. SO the end result for the ASL Noob is that you have two comprehensive but hard-to-understand explanations of the same thing, when what you really need is a simple, procedural explanation of what to roll and when,and what counters to put where and when. Jay's linked VFFT article was exactly what I needed.


If you want to learn the rules by heart, you can do it reading the ASLRB and/or memorizing the OBA flowchart.

I guess that for some people memorizing text paragraphs is easier than graphic charts, and the other way round. To everyone their preferred memory method.

The important thing is that both mean exactly the same!
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