Geometry-Straining, Disbelief-Suspending, Panzer Flambé

by Robert Delwood

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The Grid certainly imposes a gamey aspect on ASL. That is, the 60 degree nature of all the facings is an artificial feature because of having to use hexes. But all gamers know that. ASL does an admirable job working around many of those problems. However, I believe they never got Vehicle Bypass Movement down right. It's allowed but at the same time they discourage it. The vehicle slows down, it become much harder to move around, and the field of fires get sorely messed up.

The case below is a good example. In Figure 1 below, the American Sherman, by definition, has a front shot (marked in purple) on the German panzer. If the panzer backs up one hex in bypass (Figure 2), suddenly, its front becomes so distorted that the American now has a side shot. In fact, the panzer loses nearly half its front hexes (marked in red) for backing up and getting farther away.


Figure 1: A front shot on the German.

Figure 2: By moving back one hex, it's now a side shot on the German.

This is a bizarre exception to the normal rules. Although the LOS/LOF actually crosses the front hexside, D2.32 states "The Target Facing of a hit vs a vehicle in Bypass is based on the hex it originated from (not the target hexside crossed as per normal Target Facing; 3.2); to score a rear hit the shot must have originated from a hex in the target’s rear Target Facing" (emphasis not added). This is another case that makes an unpredictable and quite unnecessary exception to the rules (soapbox pontification added).