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Subject: Advanced Squad Leader WWI style? rss

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Mark van der Veen
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Is there anything out there that is something like ASL-in-WWI?
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Eoin Corrigan
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Check out the latest Special Operations magazine produced by MMP. It includes a WWI scenario with armoured trucks, Imperial Russia vs Imperial Germany. SSRs are used to give the action a WWI feel (human wave attacks and poorly armoured trucks).

However, aside from some ASL experimentation (which is not without a degree of controversy as some hold that ASL is inherently unsuitable for WWI tactics) there is a dearth of tactical WWI games. Part of thaexplanation is the scal of the manoeuvre unit generally used during WWI. With the exception of the late war Sturm Abteilung and their analogues, the basic unit of manoeuvre was much larger than the squad, therefore ASL's level of granularity is probably inappropriate from a simulation perspective.
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Sean McNeely
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There is Red Poppies: WWI Tactics and the out of print Trenchfoot.

I have heard good thing about Landships! Tactical Weapons Innovations 1914-1918 as well.

I think WWI tactical might be better suited at a platoon level. Part of the recent ASL kerfuffle was that squad level tactics hadn't really been used yet and was thus unsuitable for that conflict.

There is also Infantry Attacks: August 1914 which is platoon or company scale I believe.

Unfortunately I have not yet played any of the above mentioned games yet. Hopefully someone else can weigh in on how they play.
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Lee Trowbridge
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On a slightly larger scale, there is Soldiers an early SPI game -- it's explicitly WWI, "the early years."
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Ed Lizak
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Infantry Attacks is a pretty good game although the artillery rules are a weak point. It covers the East front so not a killer weakness.
 
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Michael Dorosh
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mvdveen wrote:
Is there anything out there that is something like ASL-in-WWI?


Wild Bill Wilder is selling a number of ASL modules on ebay with a First World War theme, but they haven't been playtested.

The First World War saw the modernization of infantry tactics, so games depicting ground combat would necessarily have to reflect that.

In 1914, the basic unit of maneuver was the infantry company, and artillery was firing over open sights, Napoleonic style.

In 1915, the barrage was in its infancy, artillery was firing indirectly, machine guns were being added exponentially to infantry units, officers in infantry companies had stopped riding horses and carrying swords.

In 1916, most armies started issuing steel helmets and organizing into platoons and sections.

By 1917, the basic unit of maneuver in the British Army was the platoon (composed of four specialist sections), the creeping barrage was a standard prelude to a major attack, "trench raids" were typical activities and could involve anything from a section to a brigade.

In other words, the changes between 1914 and 1917 were sweeping and dramatic. A "tactical unit" in 1914 might be 200 men under the command of a captain, whereas in 1917 it might be a section of 8 men under command of a corporal.

Soldiers, mentioned above, reflects the early war tactics well and was well-thought of in its day. There were some variants for sale on ebay in recent years.

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Bob Roberts

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Good look at low level tactical combat, mostly aimed towards the later part of the war. Lots of good info in the back about platoon organisations and arty barrage patterns and such. Fun to play as well. Not as complicated as ASL, more of a design for effect thing.
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Juan Siso
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Do not EVER buy anything from Will Bill Wilder.

http://www.desperationmorale.com/worldofasl/worldfirsttofigh...
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Andy Daglish
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mvdveen wrote:
Is there anything out there that is something like ASL-in-WWI?


Thunder at Cassino shows the only WW2 battle that resembled a Great War situation, according to Hitler, and you can see his point in this game.
 
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Pokey 64
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Trenches of Valor?

Trenchzone?
 
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Rev. Mark Fischer
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The Kansas City ASL club play tested several scenarios last year at their March Madness and I believe they will do so again... very interesting no?
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Michael Dorosh
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DReaper wrote:
Do not EVER buy anything from Will Bill Wilder.

http://www.desperationmorale.com/worldofasl/worldfirsttofigh...


I invested in one of his Vietnam ASL products, and while I would not be as rabid as Pitcavage in my review, I would definitely agree that what I received was unfinished and untested. For a minority, that would not be a handicap - I've seen other owners of WBW products brave enough to admit that they enjoyed what they had purchased. Basically, it's like a DYO project, since things like TO KILL values for heavy weapons are missing, and the rules are a weird hybrid of original SL and ASL. There are some germs of ideas in what is presented - and the components are of a decent enough quality. The counters are hand-made, but of vibrant colours with passable artwork.

There is no comparison between what he is offering, and the much more polished offerings of, say, Bounding Fire Productions, Critical Hit!, et al, who at the least do cursory playtesting, proofreading, and quality control.

For those willing to invest some time, or use the products as the basis of their own variants, though, they may be worth a look. WBW has been kicking around the tactical wargaming scene for decades - his Squad Leader variants were first published, IIRC, in THE WARGAMER as early as the 1970s, and I recall his name from various websites when Combat Mission first came out circa 2000. Longevity does not always equal quality, but it does count for something. I wouldn't pay the king's ransom his modules were fetching ($200, $300, $400 apiece) but would never say "never" either.
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Joeseph McCarthy
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Using the basic core of Squad Leader of ASL to create a WW-I tactical land game should not be excessively difficult. Counters would be a hair different since the basic maneuvering unit of WW-I was not the same as in WW-II, but have the same general framework would make a fun game.

I'd buy it.

I was disappointed in Trenchfoot. It was too limited. We need a game that covers that era of warfare, where ever the armies meet, not just in the trenches.

Mogadeet
 
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John New
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I still think the ultimate WWI tactical game was the brilliantly cynical "All Quiet on the Western Front" solitaire scenario in SPI's Patrol! You attempted to get a platoon of soldiers across the map (no man's land) in the face of random shell and machine gun fire. Any soldier who made it to the opposite map edge was said to have expired on the enemy's wire. Kind of says it all.

That said, has anyone tried VPG's "Trenches of Valor"?
 
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Michael Dorosh
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blueshark wrote:
I still think the ultimate WWI tactical game was the brilliantly cynical "All Quiet on the Western Front" solitaire scenario in SPI's Patrol! You attempted to get a platoon of soldiers across the map (no man's land) in the face of random shell and machine gun fire. Any soldier who made it to the opposite map edge was said to have expired on the enemy's wire. Kind of says it all.


I think it may say a lot about all the great books you've apparently missed out on reading, if that's what you think the last word in simulating the First World War should really be... whistle
 
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John New
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Well, having read Sassoon, and Graves, and "Mark VII" (Max Plowman) and Owen (that is to say, people who were there) I think it speaks quite nicely to the pointless slaughter that characterized small unit actions on the Western Front.
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