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Subject: Explanation of the Rout Phase rss

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Steven Bucey
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I guess I'll stay stuck in my wheelchair where I belong
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Isaac Citrom
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I finally took the plunge after strategically avoiding ASL for 20 years. All the while that I am exposed to people and posts such as Jay's I am all the more motivated with respect to ASL and detailed tactical wargaming.

Then, with clockwork regularity come along the ubergeeks such that unless all of wargaming humanity follow in their underwear-playing secluded world vision of what constitutes the righteous ASL path, we the stupid and gutless ought not even be allowed to purchase a starter kit.

I have the starter kits as well as the ASL Rulebook 2nd Edition (lest it go out of print for a few years). Yes, my ultimate goal is to play full-blown ASL. But, looking at the 3 page foldout flow chart for off-board artillery, I am not today sure that I can make ASL my life's calling. I'm having fun working towards it but frankly there are some fine books I'd like to read, perhaps volunteer for some worthy cause, and perhaps play a game or three other than ASL with my sons.

So, if the ASL squad will allow it, perhaps some of us infidels will end up being satisfied with the starter kits, albeit that we are not "real men". There's a reason I think why one never ever sees a woman in any ASL related photograph.
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Jason B
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If a unit ignores a building as a rout destination because it is the same distance to an enemy unit as its starting location, can it travel through that building and back into open space on its way to a more distant location?

Example: On board y, place our favorite poor broken German squad at M8 and US squads at L9 and P6. Can the Germans rout to K6 via L7, L6, K6?

Another question. If all nearby buildings are the same distance from enemy units as the starting location, can the unit do a destinationless rout? Or can it only ignore a destination in favor of another destination?
 
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Todd Pytel
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jbos wrote:
If a unit ignores a building as a rout destination because it is the same distance to an enemy unit as its starting location, can it travel through that building and back into open space on its way to a more distant location?

Yes. This is stated as an exception to the rule that a unit must stop upon reaching a building/woods hex in A10.51 in the ASLRB: "A routing unit may also ignore a building/woods hex if that hex is no farther from a Known enemy unit than its starting hex, even if it must rout through that now-ignored hex to reach its destination."

Quote:
Example: On board y, place our favorite poor broken German squad at M8 and US squads at L9 and P6. Can the Germans rout to K6 via L7, L6, K6?

Yes. L7 (2MF) and M6 (3MF) are both ignorable as they are no further from a KEU than the starting position. K6 and K8 (both 4 MF) are the next destinations to consider. Note that the MF cost for the path to K6 would be calculated from M7-L6-K6 even though the path you would actually take (to avoid interdiction) is L7-L6-K6 (5MF) as you specified. Alternatively, you could rout to K8, and then to either J7 or J8.

Quote:
Another question. If all nearby buildings are the same distance from enemy units as the starting location, can the unit do a destinationless rout? Or can it only ignore a destination in favor of another destination?

The unit may rout to any hex. From A10.51: "If no non-ignorable building/woods Location can be reached during the RtPh, a broken unit may rout to any terrain hex consistent with the above restriction and need not rout toward the nearest woods/building Location." I don't know if "destinationless" is quite the right word, but I think that answers the question you're asking.

How does that sound, Jay?
 
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eric hess
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richfam wrote:

* Whenever a broken unit is hit by enough firepower to possibly cause a Normal Morale Check (NMC) – taking into account Terrain Effects Modifiers (TEM) and possible cowering – it immediately regains a DM marker (regardless of the actual result of that attack).


I could swear this rule doesn't exist in ASLSK. I played an ASLSK game with an ex-ASLer turned ASLSKer, turned ASLer again, a year ago at West Coast Melee, and he wanted to use this rule during the game we played. I swore I never read it anywhere in the rules, and when pressed, neither of us could find it, but he thought he remembered it being there.

Am I wrong?
 
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Todd Pytel
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It's there, Eric. Look at the last sentence of 3.2.1 - 3rd paragraph on pg.6 in the SK1 rules.
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Fredrik Ulmstedt
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Thanks once again!
 
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Jim Cote
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Say I have a unit in a large building that must rout. It has 2 options: move to open ground then to another building (3 MF), or move to the next hex in the same building then leave the building for another (4 MF). Does the rule about "closest woods/building in MF" prevent me from using the second option? Does it prevent me from using the first?
 
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Todd Pytel
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ekted wrote:
Say I have a unit in a large building that must rout. It has 2 options: move to open ground then to another building (3 MF), or move to the next hex in the same building then leave the building for another (4 MF). Does the rule about "closest woods/building in MF" prevent me from using the second option? Does it prevent me from using the first?

Assuming that the routs are otherwise legal (not moving toward KEU, etc.), the unit could rout to either location. As I understand it, it breaks down like this:

The adjacent building hex is the first location considered (since it has the lowest MF cost, 2 MF). If the unit chooses this hex as its target, it may exercise the option to continue routing, since there is an additional woods/building adjacent to its original target. Thus, it would use a total of 4 MF. But even though the total rout is 4 MF, this option is considered 2 MF (the MF to the original target) for the purposes of determining priority.

However, targets within the same building as the routing unit *may* be ignored if desired. So the unit could ignore the 2 MF target and instead rout to the other building hex on the other side of the OG for a total of 3 MF instead. In a similar way to the first case, if that building had another building/woods adjacent to it, the unit could continue routing another hex, for a total of 5 MF.
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Daniel Jacobsen
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richfam wrote:

Where Do Routing Units Go?


Where do broken units go?
Can they find their way home
Back to the loaded arms
Of a squad that's waiting there?
And, if somebody pins you
Won't they always pin you?
I look at your snake-eyes
And I know that you don´t care
For me

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Todd Pytel
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LEHaskell wrote:

Let me see if I understand this:

A broken unit in a stone building (TEM = 3) is subject to a 1FP attack. It will NOT receive a DM marker because no DR could result in NMC (4 being required).

Correct.


Quote:
Likewise, the same unit, in the same terrain is subject to a 4FP attack by a non-leader directed Inexperienced MMC. The original roll is 2, indicating the firing unit cowers, so the attack is resolved on the 1FP column. As above, the unit does not receive a DM marker.

If, however, the original roll does not indicate the unit is cowering, the attack is resolved on the 4FP column and, regardless of the actual result, the attacked unit receives a DM marker.

Is this correct, or am I completely off-base?

This is not correct. It makes no difference what the unit actually rolls. It's only whether cowering affects the possibility of an NMC that matters.

For example, a 2+3, leader-directed attack would DM any broken units, because the attacker could roll a 1,1 (which wouldn't cower), which would be a 2+3 = 5 = NMC result. The same attack, if not leader directed, would not DM the units, because the only way to get the necessary Final DR = 5 on 2FP would be a 1,1, which (without a leader) would cower to 1FP and not cause the NMC after all. It makes no difference at all what's actually rolled - you can decide whether the units will DM without touching the dice.

Any clearer?
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Jim Cote
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LEHaskell wrote:
Ahh, yes! Thank you! In trying to come up with an example, I muddied the waters for myself. So, all that matters is whether the attack has the POSSIBILITY of producing a NMC result. Without running the numbers, it would seem to me that the majority of attacks on broken units would result in DM -- is that a fair assessment?


You can't get MUCH worse than a 2+3 shot.
 
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Todd Pytel
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ekted wrote:

You can't get MUCH worse than a 2+3 shot.

Nonsense. I just played a KGP scenario yesterday where the Wind Change DR's bumped us up to Extremely Heavy Mist. Throw in some Brush and a Burning Wreck or two... it wasn't uncommon that a 2 or 3 hex range shot picked up +4 just from Hindrances even before TEM, CX, etc. It's pretty damn hard to keep anything DM when you can barely scrape together but one or two usable shots in the first place.

But this is getting off-topic of Jay's thread...
 
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Jay Richardson
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I'll just note that Todd is describing a scenario for the full ASL rules where low visibility conditions are in effect... such scenarios do not exist for the ASLSK rules. In the Starter Kits, and in most "regular" ASL scenarios, it is relatively rare to find a shot that would not put broken units back under DM. It would have to be a shot with very low FP, or one that had a lot of Hindrance DRMs from grainfields, orchards, smoke, etc.
 
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Red Moss
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Thank you very much for taking the time to write this up. I am quite sure it is going to help me with ASL(SK) greatly.
 
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Jayson Ng
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Great article. Routing is actually one of the most difficult phases in ASL. I just wish they kept it simple instead to make it more enjoyable.
 
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Josh
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Well, Beyond Valor 3rd ed comes with the new style map boards (along with any other reprint that MMP will be doing), so going straight to ASL doesnt help you avoid them..

...and from someone who tried starting out with the full rules and failed (bought rules and first couple modules about 5 yrs ago, gave it a try for 6+ months then gave up and sold it on ebay).... I like the SK way... found out about them a couple weeks ago and got the first one.. had a lot of questions after the first scenario, but very few after the second, and now into the third i feel comfortable with the vast majority of the rules.

I'll be doing SK 2 and 3 as soon as I'm done with 1 and will likely move on to full ASL in under a year.

The other thing is that I'd never attempt to play ASL with my 8yo, but SK1 isnt too bad, I just point out his options and he decides how he wants to move/fire.. he'll pick up the rules this way in about a year or so...if i tried that with full ASL, he probably wouldnt even try..

anyway, just my 2¢
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Jayson Ng
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I am a learning ASL player and playing SK3. I'm glad I did it that way as I now know that ASL is not for me. There was little regret for trying it out. If I went straight to ASL proper immediately, then I would have really regretted the move in a major way.
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Jay Richardson
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I have removed an incorrect statement from my article:

Jay Richardson wrote:
The most curious difference is in the conditions that force a broken unit to rout. Both rule sets agree that a broken unit that is adjacent to an unbroken Known Enemy Unit must rout. But compare the wording for broken units that are not adjacent to an enemy unit:

ASLSK (Rule 3.6): "...may not remain in the same Open Ground location in the normal range and LOS of a Known Good Order enemy unit that would be able to interdict it if it were routing in that hex..."

ASL (Rule A10.5): "...may not remain in the same Open Ground hex in the Normal Range and LOS of a Known non-Melee enemy unit/its-SW/Gun,..."

These are NOT equivalent! For example, under the ASLSK rule, a CX unit cannot force a non-adjacent broken unit in LOS in Open Ground to rout, because it could not Interdict a routing unit moving through that hex (CX units cannot Interdict). But under the ASL rule, a CX unit will cause a non-adjacent broken unit in LOS in Open Ground to rout. The ASLSK rule is much more restrictive.

When I wrote this article, I was surprised to discover that ASL & ASLSK apparently differed in this area... but I just couldn't see what I was overlooking. There's nothing in A10.5 itself that would prevent a CX unit from forcing a non-adjacent broken unit in Open Ground to rout.

But a player over on the GameSquad forums has pointed out that the definition of an Open Ground hex for the purpose of rout determination is dependent upon whether the unit occupying the hex could be interdicted there, and CX units cannot interdict. See the ASL Index entry for Open Ground, and A10.531.

I personally find the wording of both the Index entry and A10.531 to be not very clear. That is, in reading them, I'm still not sure that I would come to the conclusion that a CX unit cannot force a non-adjacent broken unit in Open Ground to rout... but the Morale section of the Chapter K Training Manual states this perfectly clearly (see page K26, 1st col, 2nd para, in the 2nd ed ASL Rulebook).

So it appears that the conditions that force a broken unit in Open Ground to rout are identical in both the ASL & ASLSK rules, which is, of course, a good thing.

I apologize for the error.
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Scott Burkhardt
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Re: Explanation of the Rout Phase of EXAMPLE 2?
Thank you very much!!! I am confused on one aspect and was hoping you could clarify. I started with SK1 and have transitioned into Full ASL most recently. In example #2 using ASL rules my understanding is as follows:

German MMC would have to surrender to American MMC in N3 yes?

Variable:
American MMC in M3 (not n3), n5 and p5.Therefore no unit is adjacent but Germans are in open ground and must route. They must Low Crawl to p3? or can they risk interdiction in p3 and p2 running for p1?

Thanks for your help. My brother and I are playing weekly but get hung up on routing every game and it has become very frustrating.
sburkhardt99@yahoo.com

Thanks Scott.

 
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Jay Richardson
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Scott Burkhardt wrote:
I started with SK1 and have transitioned into Full ASL most recently. In example #2 using ASL rules my understanding is as follows:

German MMC would have to surrender to American MMC in N3 yes?

Yes.

Scott Burkhardt wrote:
Variable:
American MMC in M3 (not n3), n5 and p5. Therefore no unit is adjacent but Germans are in open ground and must route. They must Low Crawl to p3? or can they risk interdiction in p3 and p2 running for p1?

With the American squad in M3, and another in N5, the German player can choose to either Low Crawl to P3 (or O3), or to rout normally to P1 with Interdiction in both P3 and P2 (or also O3-P2 or O3-O2).

This is one of the few times when the rout rules actually give you some control over your broken squad... but, of course, both choices here are bad!

Scott Burkhardt wrote:
My brother and I are playing weekly but get hung up on routing every game and it has become very frustrating.

A lot of players have shared your frustration with routing. But just keep at it... eventually it will start to make sense.
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Frederic Colard
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richfam wrote:

Must A Routing Unit Always Take The Shortest Path To Its Rout Destination?

No. As long as a routing unit reaches its rout destination, it is not required to use the shortest path.

* As long as a routing unit follows the shortest path to its rout destination, it may use shellholes, entrenchments, and pillboxes to avoid Interdiction... even if doing so means that it cannot reach its rout destination in the current RtPh.


I do not understand why in ASL, a unit may move to the Rout Destination without reaching it, then it might normally do that, without going into a trench located on the path for example. Could you give more explanation about this?
 
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Jay Richardson
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Frederic Colard wrote:
I do not understand why in ASL, a unit may move to the Rout Destination without reaching it, then it might normally do that, without going into a trench located on the path for example. Could you give more explanation about this?

Routing troops are panicked and out-of-control, but they are not so panicked that they will ignore self-preservation altogether.

Look at the illustration for B27.41 in the ASL Rulebook, and assume that Interdiction is possible in every Open Ground hex. The shortest, most direct path to the woods in D9 is through the two hexes containing foxholes. If the routing unit runs past those two foxholes, they will reach their rout destination in D9, but they will suffer Interdiction twice. The ASL rules allow the routing unit the option of moving into each of those foxholes – thereby avoiding Interdiction – even if doing so means they won't reach the woods. That sounds like something that real-life soldiers might do: rather than blindly run through a hail of bullets, they would dive into a foxhole, catch their breath for a moment, dash to the next foxhole and dive in, etc. It would be slower... but much safer.

But ASL also puts a restriction on this. Routing units can only use shellholes, entrenchments, and pillboxes to avoid Interdiction if they are otherwise moving along the shortest path to their rout destination. In the B27.41 illustration, the routing unit could spend 5 MF to rout along either row C or E to reach D9 (instead of spending 4 MF to rout along row D)... but they would *have* to ignore any foxholes that might be present in rows C or E, because those rows are not the shortest path to D9.
 
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Jan Colpaert
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richfam wrote:

Leaders without a SW, or a single leader with a MG, cannot Interdict.


Can you explain why a single leader with a MG cannot interdict, Jay?
 
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Jay Richardson
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Jan Colpaert wrote:
richfam wrote:

Leaders without a SW, or a single leader with a MG, cannot Interdict.

Can you explain why a single leader with a MG cannot interdict, Jay?

From the ASLSK #3 rulebook:

"A unit in melee cannot interdict, nor can a unit/Weapon which has any form of halved FP or positive DRM." (6th paragraph of rule 3.6)

From rule 4.1, a single leader firing a MG must do so as Area Fire (FP x 1/2), which prevents him from interdicting any routing units. In other words, a MG requires a crew of at least two SMCs, or a HS, in order to fire at full FP and thus be able to interdict.
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