04/08/2014 at 22:24 #3282quidveritasParticipant
The following comment appeared in another thread, “I figure that all figures are just markers so no matter what someone designs a game with (plastic for instance), it doesn’t cause me to run away. Cards for WW2… not sure if that fits my feeling about the period or not. . . . what is it trying to accomplish and how?
This is an excellent question and indeed is part of the very “guts” of the WWII Project.
Who moves first is determined by a play of cards. Each side (or each major command, or each platoon if you want a lot of complexity) has a deck of 54 cards – 2 Jokers. At the beginning of the game the deck is shuffled and each player (with a deck of cards) draws two cards. Each player then selects one of these cards and places it on top of the 2nd card. All top cards are revealed at the same time. High card goes first.
The first objective is to allow a player to chose whether he wants to move early in the turn or later in the turn. That said, there are no guarantees. You could play a 5 of clubs and still move first.
Next lets take a look at the turn sequence:
One of the first things a player must do is determine if a unit will move or remain stationary for the entire turn. Those units that elect to remain stationary receive a “V” marker. In essence, the “V” marker allows a unit to issue opportunity fire (and fire in other special instances). Once a unit issues “V” fire it cannot issue “V” fire again until the “V” marker is reset. Therefore opportunity fire is not a ‘given’. Many times players will let a unit pass rather than use that “V” fire, anticipating a more desirable target. Conversely recon units really work because they will draw fire or if not, they can scout ahead. This mechanism also keeps players engaged during his opponent’s turn as they must declare “V” fire as his opponent(s) are moving.
The cards ensure that it is unlikely a player will always move first or last. This leads to “double moves” in some cases. If a player moves last in one turn, it is possible he can move first in the next (this second move happens before the opponent can reset his “V” fires).
With two decks of cards there aren’t too many surprises. With 4 decks, you get an interesting game. With 4+ decks, the complexity of the game (and the time to play) increase considerably. Players often have a bit of a debate before the start of each game — the number of card decks to be used is often the center of those discussions — that said 5 minutes of discussion about forces to be used and how much time for the game will settle matters on a mutually agreeable basis.
So to sum things up, the use of card decks in the WWII project eliminates the IGO – UGO issue and injects a degree of uncertainty without creating situations where a player might have to skip a turn entirely if his dice preclude him from “activating” all or part of his force.
IMO this is a better way to game in general. Works very well for WWII.
(JFIW — WWII project games are often over in 4-5 turns).
NOTE: the WWII project is not yet a finished set of rules. If you want to play test for us, I will send you enough stuff to play a game. The gotcha is that you must promise that you will actually perform the playtest and return an after action report, a critique, and some photos of your game. I’ll make you no promises, but my past play testers often received a copy of the finished rules — this is a fickle determination on my part based on the assistance provided by an individual in development of the rules. You see, while I write the rules, the guys that develop the rules are those that appear in the credits.07/08/2014 at 00:45 #3647Truscott TrotterParticipant
Too Fat Lardies have been using card/Dice activation in their WWI and WWII games very successfully. I play F&IW using a set that uses card activation – I was not sure at first now I love the mechanism.
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