Saturday, April 12, 2008

The anatomy of playtesting a dog...

Yesterday, the three regulars (Bob, Jess and I) play tested a scenario called Reaping Rewards for AP5 (Eastern Front). Apparently, after expressing his apprehension to Chas Argent, Bob was told that the scenario should be balanced already. Um........NOT.

The scenario uses 2 new boards and board 13. The Romanians are on the center board in a cluster of buildings the Russians have two groups. One has some 81 mortars and some other assorted smaller arms. The other is supported by two T34's a KV-8 and they have a .50 cal and several good leaders. The squads are easily two to one if not 3 to one in favor of the Russians. There are 3 multi-hex buildings and the Russians have 5.5 turns to take two of them. Aside from that, the Romanians are limited in their setup to 8 hexes from the center of the middle board.


This scenario is at least 80% in favor of the Russians. I am not the greatest player and even not using the KV-8 and the .50 cal (I was saving the KV-8 for later so as to not prematurely break the FT), I was within 3 hexes of 2 Victory Objectives by the end of Russian turn 3. The Romanians have absolutely nothing to stop the tanks. They have one measly little 45L that kills on a 4 with a rear shot. The armor on these tanks is 11/8 and 11/6. Aside from that, due to the terrain layout, the Russians spent the entirety of turn 1 advancing in what amounted to complete cover. No concealment kept, but the attackers would lose that soon enough anyway. What the cover did was basically negate the mortars that the Romanians had as well as most of the support weapons due to lack of LOS.

The tanks were essentially unstoppable and were free to VBM freeze whoever they wanted and let the assault teams flank and enter the objectives. Admittedly, the Russian sniper got in a few really good hot sniper rolls, but after 3 turns, Bob ceded the game. That was at 12:00 am. At 1:00 am we were STILL scratching our heads as to how to fix it. Ultimately the .50 cal needs to go away. The 9-2 should probably be a 9-1. Either the KV-8 needs to go away or the Romanians need something better than one 45L to kill the tanks. Preferably multiple. The Romanians should be able to set up at least 10 hexes from that center hex (if they are restricted at all). Perhaps they need to change some conscripts for elite squads. Finally, the Romanians could use 8-10 dummy counters to spoof the Russians.

Our Romanian player (Bob Wolkey) having a lot of experience knew exactly where we would come in (and he was right), set up his defence accordingly, and we still owned him. This one needs some MAJOR help before going to print.

Still, playing a DOG ASL scenario is better than no ASL at all.....

- Josh

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice AAR Josh, interesting web site......I like the black background.

Paul (serpico on ASL forum)