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Re: Opinions on 'skulking' or 'going to ground'

Posted: Thu Nov 04, 2021 2:33 am
by marchanna
It's useless complaining about skulking in ASL and equally useless detesting it as some kind of cheesy play. Good players are going to do it to win games and I've seen arguments which bolster that it realistically represents defenders keeping their heads well down and out of sight, limiting exposure. Who is to say there are not back rooms in a given building hex or wooded areas in the rear of forest hexes that wouldn't be immune to some kind of fire? These hexes don't fully represent the terrain here, and there is no need to pretend they do by whining about skulking.

The way to handle skulking is to get a bead on the hex(es) the defenders are skulking to, so they can be shot at in the defensive fire phase instead of the PFPh. It's always better to take on the enemy in defensive fire anyway, because there is no sacrifice of maneuver options, which does happen when a player preps or op fires.

Doing that requires a basic ASL tactic, called flanking and move/fire. Nobody wins this game blasting away in prep fire. Mark Nixon once pointed out 'if they are shootin at ya, at least they are not runnin at ya.' And that sums it up. If a player is prep firing -- and sometimes it's necessary - they better be doing it to free up other units to move more safely. But getting into that discussion is a digression from skulking.

How can we possibly fix ASL to prevent people from moving out of LOS to avoid getting shot?? Is this not a valid tactic, are you guys who hate skulking trying to say that units shouldn't be allowed to move out of LOS, in case it happens to be skulking!? What if they are doing it to reposition themselves after the advance phase in a better spot? Is that skulking then?

My suggestion is don't complain about how the game works unless you are going to offer a meaningful proposal in how to fix it. I'd love to see how a fix on skulking isn't going to make matters 10x worse! cheers Marc

Re: Opinions on 'skulking' or 'going to ground'

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2022 7:08 am
by Prester John
I remember when I first encountered this in about my tenth ASL game (a huge approximation) so long ago. I said to myself I need to remember this and apply it frequently. To me it seemed to define the difficulties the Germans had trying to defeat the Soviets in close urban combat. Also in my mind games back then were about ten turns long and were a day's play, 9-5ish. Now I'm playing starter kit to get back into things and they are what I feel are smaller short games, five or six turns playing out in three or so hours on VASL, or faster. Same-ish rules but a game played in a full evening rather than a day. Anyhow lots of memories but not bad. Short games require a higher tempo, and the rules must be considered in scenario design and testing.