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War Panda

My word…where to start?!?!? 🙂

Ivan your analysis of the two system philosophies is very helpful to me. It always helps to define exactly what’s being represented

Ivan said:

For example, I shot at your machine gun last turn, it got pinned down. So now, I can move my squad up to the wall without being shot to pieces.

My being able to move to the wall is a consequence of something that happened on the table

The next being:

I roll a Scurry which lets my men get to the wall without getting shot at.  Why did your gun not shoot? Maybe my men found a ditch they could sneak through, maybe they did shoot and jammed up, maybe they just weren’t paying attention that moment, maybe they did get shot at but it all went wide or maybe the men were in that position all along.

“This happened, and here is the reason it did”.

We’ll call that the “Results” method.

I think my problem with the Results method as described id this: What I value in “gaming war” is the creation of a narrative that at its centre is a “unit”  (which is of course probably consists in a group of units but all working together in a unified effort towards a singular goal) in which my decisions (made by Me) effect its “make believe” environment. The environment itself of course through various causes effect the unit in which I’m endeavouring to direct.  The elements of this environment that the unit needs to overcome are “the enemy unit” “internal psychological constraints i.e. effects of morale…poor die roll concerning a SAT roll”  “Joker Dice” means a non movement turn representing a moment of reluctancy to move from one cover position to another etc etc Various random events…Random activation…All of these “environment effects (including the units interior mental condition)

I need the control of the unit.

but to me it’s realistic (we’ve all read about the lull in the action that allowed ‘x’ to happen, or the furious firefight that broke out on the left flank, etc…), AND it aids gameplay.  Again, for me, back to the idea of friction, not being able to do everything you want (within limits), and no matter how good or dire things look, you’re only one great activation roll (great being defined as what you think you need, i.e., I could really use a ‘scurry,’ or a ‘firefight,’ right here) from being right back in it.  I like this, others may not, though to me that doesn’t make a lot of sense as all you’re rally saying is ‘my dominant force should easily crush that weak force,’ or vice versa, when, to me, anything is possible once the rounds start flying (and history backs this up).

And please hear me out here because this is where either the rules need to be “fixed” or I do 🙂

The issue for me seems to be what I am willing to accept as what I can justly constitute as challenging environmental challenges that oppose my direction of the unit.

An analogy might be the captaincy of a Man of War sailing ship. The direction and plan of the captain can find opposition in the direction of the wind, the experience, health and strength of the crew, the activity of the enemy. AS Master and commander of the ship I expect the changes of rigging and sails to best suit the wind and inadequacies and strengths of my crew. I might have a immensely strong militia on board but a woefully poor sailing crew which might influence my overall plan. An opposite condition in crew would demand an opposite plan of attack perhaps.

All of these uncontrollable elements are the challenges of the commander. But if I feel my militia are not adequate for a boarding of the enemy vessel do I feel satisfied if a random die roll means my intended orders are dismissed and the crew insist on directing the sails and vessel in an altogether different direction. Is this realistic…Possibly..if perhaps the crew were feeling mutinous or maybe even suicidal.

But is it a satisfying game dynamic>? Well not for me. And that’s how I’m feeling about the Results Philosophy. It doesn’t just attempt to challenge my leadership of the unit; Private Jack  and his rifle section blatantly takes over and charges across the street towards the distressed she-goat while I sit behind the wall ripping up my plans :0

Okay I might be wrong about all this…perhaps I would feel different once I have a few games under my belt but…I don’t think so…a 1 or a 6 on a die roll on each activation seems way too regular occurrence to constitute a mere “random” event…it just seems n matter what orders I shout to the Sailing Master he’s going to make his own decision…

In regards to friction I usually drove my pals crazy back inIreland when we played IABSM. I had a huge random deck and loved unexpected events challenging and changing your original plans.

In my Napoleonic days I enjoyed the odd unit lapsing in its operation of orders…this was to be expected in this time period and in this level of command. If I absolutely needed an order carried out I’d prioritize the job with an appropriate Aide de Campe or Marshal etc… The problem I have here is the level of command and there’s no contingencies in which the chances of these random effects can be controlled.

Having said all of that I have bought the rules and will play them and I might be wrong about how I feel about them.

BTW Jack I loved your thoughts on tanks fire and how their movement effects situations. Having read a little on the subject I wholeheartedly agree. That deserves a whole new thread on its own. I’m serious. I think it needs addressing and may be buried here under all the crap I’ve probably started.

And to Ivan: Maybe a better forum for some of this discussion is private messages. I really like your rules and I do intend to play them soon. It should be noted that Jack has played these rules more than anybody probably and loves them. My assessment is based primarily on my own contrariness 🙂

Rod Said:

Another is to penalise the effects of speculative fire somehow. This would allow AFV’s to conduct recce-by-fire actions and suppress potential foes without outright destroying them straight off the bat. The suppression could pin the target without actually killing it.

I like this Rod. I would prefer it to the taking out the Fire at the end of the move. This could be easily employed in the game. Just place modifiers negative modifiers on the chances of killing.

Jack also mentioned something that I think has a lot of value in regards to the proposed SAT:

Panda – if you recall my “All Americans” campaign, I was using card-based activation in a very similar means to Bolt Action (which is probably where I got the idea).  Early on I was doing what you were talking about: I was having each team take an activation test (based off Angel Barracks’ KR-16 rules).  I think it works for what you’re trying to do, but it slowed things down too much for me, so ended up only having them test if they had taken fire (like the pins in Bolt Action).

I did slightly worry about the risks of this slowing things down too much…the one thing I’m really enjoying right now is the “flow and ease” of play. I’d hate to disrupt this. At the same time I do like the idea of certain static troops risking becoming unresponsive. I know you’re not really familiar with the rules but an easy way to insert this into the rules would be to place a single pin marker on a unit that doesn’t activate “on the joker” (BTW successfully activating a unit in BA removes one pin)

As to Spotting and Target Acquisition, again the mechanics of the game are unclear to me now. You could either laminate onto the rules a foreign acquisition system or try and tinker with the mechanics of the game. I suspect, but do not know, that the best way to do this is through the activation rolls and using modifiers to see if the target is acquired is probably the way to go.

Yeah to keep it simple the Acquisition of a target could just be inserted into the chances of hitting.

As to the speed of AFV’s you could make the road bonus only available to unbuttoned tanks with an exposed commander.

I always had problems with keeping track of buttoned/unbuttoned status…I went to the trouble of making little markers and in the end I just felt it was over-complicating things 🙂 “Laziness have I ever offended thee” 🙂

“The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad.”