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Has CM killed ASL and other board games?


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One thing I liked about the ASL and SL series are the national characteristics. For whatever reason in CM a squad is pretty much a squad. Give me a squad of free french with rifles and an LMG or a squad of russian infantry that are all regular and they all act the same (excepting the human wave, of course). I really liked the way they attempted to "build in" the national characteristics that REALLY DID matter, such as the British refusal to cower, the Russian occasion of going berserk, and the plethora of German leaders, and the Americans having plentiful ammo.

Do you know I've never really thought about that...

Bearing in mind CM's ASL roots, I have always assumed that national characteristics were actually built in.

Is that right? Are they not? - It's difficult to tell when you're just playing the game.

If they're not, I'd like to have that on the CMx2 wish list. It can't be hard to include.

Or is this something that people actually don't want?

(Or is there a thread about this that I haven't bothered to look up? That'll teach me to post on the spur of the moment...)

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Originally posted by John1966:

(Or is there a thread about this that I haven't bothered to look up? That'll teach me to post on the spur of the moment...)

Yeah, check back in the CM:BO archives - some pretty good discussions on the truths and fallacies of the ASL-style national characteristics. So far the only thing that needed extra attention have been the early-war Soviets. Everything else generally accepted as a "national characteristic" can be taken care of with the standard CM editor utilities for morale, experience, and now fitness, etc.

-dale

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Yes, CM has killed most of the board wargames for me. I grew up playing them, starting around 1964. The early games that AH put out, such as Tactics II, Afrika Korps, Gettysburg and Battle of the Bulge, were simple and fun.

But as board wargames evolved and tried to become more "realistic," they became more complicated and less fun. I bought Squad Leader and Panzerblitz, but as soon as I saw the rulebooks, I never bothered to play them.

The final straw for me was when I bought "Stalingrad" from the people who used to publish "Strategy and Tactics" magazine, and it took me two hours just to set up my units.

The high points in board wargame development for me were AH's "The Russian Campaign" and "Fortress Europa." They had a great balance between realism and fun.

I still play Afrika Korps and The Russian campaign maybe once a year, but CM is light years ahead!

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I'll still play tabletop games like Spearhead because they are quick to play and don't suffer too much from unrealistic abstractions.

I never really got into board games, especially SL/ASL, as the rules were far too detailed, and thus fell foul of the dreaded rules lawyer.

That said, even the simplest system can fall foul of those - they're just more common the more complex the rules.

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Originally posted by CMplayer:

Board wargaming is adapting to the computer market, rather like the movies had to adapt to the coming of TV. Boardgames are more social to play, but the newer games coming in the wake of computer wargames need to have less number-crunching, better graphics and really play up the fun of a good evening's gaming with a buddy. So they are going a bit in the beer & pretzels direction.

Can you give any examples? It would be interesting to check them out.
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Couple of additional thoughts....

I don't think CM killed SL/ASL - ASL killed SL. ASL was supposed to be a refinement of the SL, but was introduced as a whole book of rules that signficantly changed basic rules in SL. However, unlike SL there was no programmed instruction that could ease one into a large and complex ruleset. I tried to keep up with ASL - but found it difficult. Paratrooper (an attempt to reintroduce programmed instruction) almost got me back in, but that was for infantry only and AH never got around to Tank and other modules. MutliMan Publishing is trying the same thing and maybe it will work.

However perhaps the overall question is wrong. Would CM have succeeded without SL? What many of us learned from the SL effort was a detailed understanding of morale, firepower, armor thickness, movement, tactics, etc. That understanding (while being a pain to CM developers) gave critical insight to what we wanted in a game at this level, and ulimately and appreciation for the product now in our hands. SL let us understand how the system should work and the results it should generally produce (while also building some myths). The intro scenario (Guards Assault) taught everyone the difficulty in crossing a street in the open. Great Stuff!!

While CM is a much more rich game, the dichotomy (sp?) is that much of it is unseen as just part of the code. In SL we could see it all and had to work through it all and had a better understanding of what had happened and as a result could predict better what could happen. So while I play CM a lot occasionally I pull out SL/ASL to brush up my understanding better - not actually playing it - but just glancing through the rules on specific topics.

Finally, the one thing SL had that is still missing in CM is being able to follow units through a variety of scenarios - watching leaders evolve, promotions from within the ranks, and the strengthening (or weakening of units) over a campaign.

PS - I do hope that MultiMan does keep publishing the programmed instruction gamettes and I will buy them, but I am now a firm CM player - I just wish Battlefront would add a campaign element to the game.

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Originally posted by dw:

I just wish Battlefront would add a campaign element to the game.

Or at the least make it easier for us to do the same with house rules. I'd almost prefer the latter, frankly. We have a start in importing maps and forces, but if we could get completely open ended in doing this, I am sure some talented rules makers and c++ coders could come up with a few interesting variants on a campaign game.
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Originally posted by Michael Dorosh:

Or at the least make it easier for us to do the same with house rules. I'd almost prefer the latter, frankly.

Not to mention that then BFC will be saved from having to decide how much action does it realistically require for a squad to advance from 'regular' to 'veteran'. Instead of all that they could concentrate on improving the game itself.
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Originally posted by flamingknives:

I'll still play tabletop games like Spearhead because they are quick to play and don't suffer too much from unrealistic abstractions.

I never really got into board games, especially SL/ASL, as the rules were far too detailed, and thus fell foul of the dreaded rules lawyer.

That said, even the simplest system can fall foul of those - they're just more common the more complex the rules.

I like Arty Conliffe's rules alot, Tactica, Armati and Spearhead were all a lot of fun. Been tryin to figure out how to play em on the computer. If I could get Rodney over at VASSAL to make me a LOS thread that doubles as a tape measure Id be in bidness.... anyone know Java? tongue.gif
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Hi Dalem

Originally posted by dalem:

Here is my game shelf

I see you have the miniatures ruleset Might Of Arms, a superb set IMHO

All this nostalgia about SL/ASL has me wanting to dig out the games again !

As per others here I had pretty much stopped playing SL long before CM appeared due to marriage/kid/job issues.

CM series (and EF/WF before it) has certainly given my wargaming an International flavour via Pbem.

I do miss the intimate social interaction (ie arguing ! smile.gif ) and tactile elements of Boardgaming especially rolling the little cubes with dots on them smile.gif

I still play miniatures games but never as much as I would like and it must be 3-4 years since I actually played any board wargame (I do on occassion take one out to 'fondle' though smile.gif )whereas I play several CM Pbem turns just about every single day and peruse these forums and many others like them............

Cheers

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Originally posted by Sanok:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by CMplayer:

Board wargaming is adapting to the computer market, rather like the movies had to adapt to the coming of TV. Boardgames are more social to play, but the newer games coming in the wake of computer wargames need to have less number-crunching, better graphics and really play up the fun of a good evening's gaming with a buddy. So they are going a bit in the beer & pretzels direction.

Can you give any examples? It would be interesting to check them out. </font>
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I played when i was young many board games, the best game imho was axis and allies but now i have a pc and cm so that was my board game time.

I like also the battles people develop themself like Eichenbaum.

this one is perfect looks even better then cmak cause of the map en heights etc.

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My Dad owned a Hobby Shop in the Norhern Virginia area back in the early 80s before he sold it i believe in 91, so i know many of the board games that all have mentioned above. He sold both board and miniature games and had 2 pool size game tables to play them on. I have played a few board games but my interest lies in HO and GHQ Micro Armour miniatures along with the CM series. Dad today at 61 still has an interest in Micro Armour miniatures and has a game table in his house that i come down couple times a month to play. As a matter of fact we just came back from a historical game convention in Lancaster, PA and ordered some miniatures. Last year i showed him the CM series and he was quit impressed and wanted to play as often as possible but since he is puter iliterate i have to play out the turns for him.

[ July 27, 2004, 03:03 PM: Message edited by: JoMc67 ]

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Yes, I was at Historicon myself this last weekend..woof, what a bunch...if someone had set off a "nerdtron" bomb the devastation would have been immense. The place was packed and some of the dealers that I spoke to said that it was the best con for sales that they had seen in years; I guess that everyone was finally breaking out the wallets this year.

Along the lines of some of the previous posters, I think that ASL knocked off SL for me; I was a devoted SL player in college 20 years ago and when they brought out ASL I just quit cold turkey. I never felt so taken before; but, they made their business decision and I made mine. I switched to playing miniatures. With the advent of computers (late 80's for me), I got back into the pseudo board game stuff (EMPIRE, etc.)

Now, with CM, I can have my miniatures and boardgaming together! I still play both miniatures (bi weekly) and board (weekly, sometimes twice), but those are usually one shot deals and have the most value in the social nature of playing FTF vs. online.

The best thing that the computer does for CM has been stated again and again; it eliminates all the arguing/rules lawyering that can just bog a board/mini game down to the point that you wanted to scream. I think that the best project that Battlefront could do would be to enable multiplayer network play. Just imagine a convention scenario with 4 players per side, only being able to order their own specific units and see what they can see and nothing else.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the curtain, is the "big board" with all the units being upated by representational miniatures for the onlookers to watch....The judge would only be required to monitor communication between the teammates, either by notes or headsets....maybe before I die we can see something like this in action..

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Originally posted by tabpub:

The best thing that the computer does for CM has been stated again and again; it eliminates all the arguing/rules lawyering that can just bog a board/mini game down to the point that you wanted to scream.

ahem...

tabpub you freaking jerk, we were using Fionn's short-75 rules with the promise that any unit going within 100 metres of the board edge would be voluntarily eliminated and then you show up having clearly purchased an AVRE and what is worse even though we have computer picked forces your troops are all Green and mine are Conscript so I call no-fairsies-with-a-startover and that AVRE is really just obnoxious!!

That was sort of a conversation I had with one complete tool I got sucked into a PBEM with; he emailed me out of the blue, set the parameters (identical to PBEMs he was doing with other players, no less, also) then complained when the computer picks gave me slightly better troops then him....

You can take the game away from the dweebs but you can't take the dweebiness out of the game...or somefink....

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Hi all

I was never a great SL/ASL player, although many of my friends spent years on these great games.

For me my great passion was a minatures WWII rule set called TRACTICS - released by TSR back in the 1970s. Thankfully, someone gave me Tractics as a birthday present when I was ten, because by the time I had the money to buy games Tractics was out of print.

To me, Tractics is as much a distant ancestor to CM as SL/ASL or other board games. The game listed all of the different armour values (obviously in 1970 a lot of the data was wrong) for all major sections of just about every WWII AFV - including the angle and weak points. Thus penetration was determined by facing, the angle to the attacker (both facing and armour slop) against the incoming rounds penetration. Behind armour effectiveness was partially determined by shell size/type and part random.

The advantage of playing with minatures was the battlefield was already 3D: we made little periscopes to get a "eyeball's" view of the battlefield.

The disadvantage was that the game was massively time consuming and very expensive - try building realistic minature WWII armies. For FOW you really needed a neutral ref. Games could take days.

The along the first computer games like Kampfgroup and Battlegroup. But I always dreamed of a Tractics like 3D computer simulation. Then I saw the GameSpy review of CM:BB.

I still have Tractics - aparently one of about 6,000 copies.

Regards

A.E.B

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Ah, Tractics on the basement floor....

That was my introduction to microarmour if not miniatures gaming as a whole. I still have two copies back home in storage. We left Tractics behind when we got our first copy of Panzer by Yaquinto, it seemed made for miniatures, and perhaps it was originally.

Still have alot of those old TSR rulesets, Tractics, Tricolor, Chainmail and the American Rev War one that I cant recall the name of. Also have a huge box full of Airfix figures that served a 12 year old's budget until I could buy lead ;)

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Originally posted by Sanok:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by CMplayer:

Board wargaming is adapting to the computer market, rather like the movies had to adapt to the coming of TV. Boardgames are more social to play, but the newer games coming in the wake of computer wargames need to have less number-crunching, better graphics and really play up the fun of a good evening's gaming with a buddy. So they are going a bit in the beer & pretzels direction.

Can you give any examples? It would be interesting to check them out. </font>
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Originally posted by Tychus:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Sanok:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by CMplayer:

Board wargaming is adapting to the computer market, rather like the movies had to adapt to the coming of TV. Boardgames are more social to play, but the newer games coming in the wake of computer wargames need to have less number-crunching, better graphics and really play up the fun of a good evening's gaming with a buddy. So they are going a bit in the beer & pretzels direction.

Can you give any examples? It would be interesting to check them out. </font>
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