Home Forums General Game Design Is this concept too wild?

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  • #21446
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    A solo game, ww2 to cold war.

    The player has a relatively small force (could range from a single squad to a full company).

    As you play, rather than specific enemy figures (in most cases), the enemy is represented by areas of “Pressure”.
    If a building has 1 or 2 points of pressure, it might only hold a single sniper or a few riflemen while 5 or 6 points might be an entire platoon of heavily armed Nazi’s.

    The amount of pressure in different features will change up and down somewhat randomly and more pressure can mount form a new direction or a threat can fade away.

    The players decisions would be about how to assign their forces against each enemy position, reducing pressure by applying their own force and preserving their fighting strength. (Pressure would basically act as an attritional factor).

    If done well, it could capture the idea of the “empty” battlefield and maybe even be a pretty decent platoon leaders simulation (a tiny little bit).
    The challenge could be to keep it interesting and make sure there’s enough actual decisions being made, to make the game interesting and fun to play.

    Would something along the lines of this concept be of interest or would it be too weird and abstract?

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #21450
    John McBride
    Participant

    How would the pressure of a sniper (lethal at some distance) compare to the pressure of an ied (lethal but only in one place)? And one is active and the other more reactive.

    And what is the pressure of civilians. whether innocent or “innocent”? The sniper in a solo hole is not the same pressure as the same sniper shooting from the orphanage window, I assume?

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 3 months ago by John McBride.
    • This reply was modified 6 years, 3 months ago by John McBride.
    #21453
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    Interesting points.

    (And I’ll stress that this is highly hypothetical at the moment ūüôā )

    You could have two types of pressure, persistent (which stays around though it can increase and decrease) and brief (which increases pressure for one turn, then disappears)

    Thus, an artillery barrage or an IED is brief pressure (applying force to that is mostly taking cover or taking care of the wounded, or even searching the area) .

    For civilian concerns, maybe there’s a second factor: “Concerns” (Bad word for trying to think of something better). Concerns require manpower to overcome but can provide victory points or just slow you down until they are resolved.

    Concern points in a building could be civilians you have to deal with, a wounded enemy soldier, a particularly rubble filled structure or even a cache of booze.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #21454
    John McBride
    Participant

    Yeah, the trick will be — as it always is with rules design — to integrate enough distinctions such as those to cover a complex reality, without losing a playable simplicity. Good luck; it does sound promising.

    #21455
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    Interesting. Would you break down enemy Pressure (maybe Threat?) ¬†according to armored enemies, etc.? The movement of enemy “pressure points” would be determined by die rolls and the active force’s decision making?

    I¬†could imagine a modifiable card deck for each game, representing the enemy’s activity. ¬†You could decide that you want to fight a “milk run”—the deck is mostly blanks, only a few generating more enemy pressure,¬†artillery. ¬†You could build a brutal battle, with lots of enemy pressure building,¬†counter-attacks, and artillery support.

     

    #21456
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    Heavy abstraction is always risky, because there’s always going to be a point where someone tunes out ūüôā

    I imagined it as dice driven, ala 5150 and Nuts but it could be card driven as well, now that you mention it.
    Threat does sound better.

    My gut feeling is that it doesn’t distinguish between types of enemy. There’d be a small Threat table outlining what a given Threat level might mean and the player would put a few miniatures in the feature to represent that, at their discretion.

    But again, literally everything is an open idea at the moment.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #21463
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    I like the general sound of a system along those lines, and it sounds fun to try. But I’d be concerned that the specific system you’re describing does not, as you say, distinguish between types of pressure. I might be one of those players who tune out when a sniper does not “feel” like a sniper in the way it projects its pressure, if that makes any sense.

    Also, depending on how the player’s force and actions are represented in terms of game mechanics, it might be the kind of system that, like many boardgames, makes the player have to think more like an economist (viewing the game as a bunch of “points” to be allocated/countered/collected in the most rational manner possible) than a storyteller. That’s one of my main gripes with boardgames – the best player is the one with the most rational, most mathematical, least creative mindset.

    #21464
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    Yeah, those are the biggest challenges with something like this.
    Maybe the answer is in the storytelling though. I’ve played a lot of RPG’s where there was one basic dice mechanic and the GM figured out how your situation fits into it and what the dice roll meant. I imagine this would be fairly similar.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #21467
    John McBride
    Participant

    A story-telling game is often great fun, but doesn’t it assume that the person running the game is both 1) a decent story teller? and 2) knows a LOT about the situation, its dynamics and its variables, already?

    When young Ronald Reagan was a sports announcer on radio, he would describe a game as though he were there, just from reading the stats coming on the ticker. But that only worked because he had really seen a lot of games. (And, come to think of it, because his listeners had, too.)

    Being a good story-teller is a skill in itself.

    And how much would one LEARN from a story-telling game beyond what is in the story? learn about the wider phenomena?

     

    #21470
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    I¬†think you’d have to break down pressure/threat by at least a general type—“Infantry threat,” “armored threat”. ¬†Otherwise I’d worry there would be too much abstraction. ¬†If the enemy’s coming at me with 8 pressure, for instance,¬†it would make a difference if that pressure is from a Tiger (which my platoon can’t¬†hurt) or from a platoon of panzer grenadiers (which we might be able to stop, just with the¬†weapons at hand).

    For a game like this, I don’t think you’d need to¬†break down between types of armor. 1 Armored Pressure could mean a roaming Sdkfz 251/1. ¬†5 Pressure might be a StuG or a Pz IV.

     

    #21471
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    Yeh, probably correct on that. Would there be just the 2 types then?

    If we’re complicating matters (and well, it rpobably wouldn’t get that complicated anyways, since there’d be almost no unit stats), could have a three way split: Infantry threat, armour threat and shock (for artillery, booby traps etc)

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #21479
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    I like that 3-part breakdown.

    Pressure/threats would all be dealt with by applying troops to “face” them? Face could be as simple as move into LOS with them. ¬†Each turn, your troops could roll a D10; if they roll equal to or less than the amount of enemy Pressure within LOS, they become¬†pinned and ineffective. ¬†If you roll half of the¬†threat, they are casualties. ¬†If in the open, enemy threat is doubled.

     

    Example:

    4 enemy threat within LOS

    Friendlies in the open would be pinned by a roll of 5-8, and casualties on a 1-4.

    Friendlies in cover would be pinned on a 3-4, and casualties on a 1-2.

     

    Pushed back by threat: Friendlies within 3″ of pinned or casualties¬†must test or else fall back. (This could be taken directly from the mechanic in NEIS).

     

    Neutralizing threat: Roll 1D10 per¬†troop applied against the threat. ¬†Threat in the open is hit on a 6+. ¬†Threat in cover is hit on an 8+. ¬†One D10 per two friendly infantry¬†attacking; 2D10 per¬†support weapon; 5D10 if a heavy weapon (tripod MG, tank). ¬†Each hit removes¬†1 threat (that threat could either be eliminated or driven back–perhaps with a second roll, or by rolling quite high on the first roll, it is destroyed rather than driven back).

     

    In a lot of ways, this could be an ideal system for¬†RPGing into wargames, as the GM would be in charge of interpreting all that “threat”. ¬†And, of course, could work solo.

    #21483
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    I also think that a lot of interesting subtly and flavor could be injected into this.

    Perhaps threat is almost invulnerable to actual destruction from¬†enemy fire (only suppression or “driven back” results)–but if you can get even a little bit of enfilading fire, that gets around the enemy cover and attacks it from¬†multiple directions at the same time, that threat might evaporate quickly.

    #21484
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    I knew I adopted you as my minion for a reason ūüėČ

    So the roll to neutralize threat is increased by having troops on the flanks. You could even work vehicle stuff into that.
    A squad of infantry can push back an armour threat (molotovs and rifle grenades) but to stand a chance of seriously reducing it, a bazooka in a flank position is needed.

    Moving up against a threat would presumably work similar to something like NSIS: Moving in sight of a threat is hampered based on severity adn terrain, possibly range.

    As a player my decisions might look like:

    Move a team (possibly suffering suppression, rarely casualties)
    Regroup a team (restore from suppression)
    Fire on a threat (to suppress and prevent it from advancing, outflanking or increasing)
    Assault a threat (high risk, but can potentially wipe it out)

    Unopposed threats have a small chance of inflicting suppression and may (randomly) outflank, spread out, advance or otherwise complicate matters.
    If I ignore the MG team on hte flank, they may harass me despite my efforts to take cover but it also means I am leaving that flank open for a full squad of angry Nazi’s to crawl up on me.

    Opposed threats are contained (need minimum strength based on threat rating) and will remain in place but I am risking heavier losses.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #21485
    John D Salt
    Participant

    I very much like the idea of giving the player the impression of the empty battlefield, especially for a game that casts the player as a section or platoon commander.

    However I would be very wary of using post-hoc storytelling to paper over the abstraction of a “points for this, points for that” system. “Pressure” is just a bit too abstract a concept for me to be happy with.

    At the platoon or section level, “pressure” pretty much means fire. You will sense the enemy more by the fact that he is shooting at you than any other way. The fire may be characterised as heavy or light, accurate or inaccurate, bullet or HE, with bullet fire classified further into singles or bursts, and HE further characterised roughly by size of bang. If you listen carefully, you will also be able to characterise bullet fire as close or distant (time from crack to thump) or HE fire as supersonic or subsonic (crash-boom or boom-crash). However you will never have anything like the amount of information commonly available by inspection on the wargames table (I’m being shot at by two slightly understrength rifle sections whose Waffenfarbe indicate that they are Gebirgsjager).

    The other thing about fire threats is that you can suppress them by returning fire. If you do so accurately, the “pressure” from the threat will decrease as the return fire slackens. Has the enemy sneaked off, or are they hiding at the bottom of their fighting holes waiting to pop up and have another go? There is really no way of telling without getting closer, but in the latter case there is what might be called latent pressure — fire that your fire is currently suppressing, but that will pop up again if you take away your counter-pressure.

    I also think that “pressure” is too vague a concept to support the idea of the player taking actions to find out more about it. When a section commander has been shot at, he will want to know all sorts of things about it (“Where is the enemy?”), and the drills for locating the enemy and controlling return fire are bread-and-butter elements of infantry minor tactics (“Watch my tracer!” and all that jazz). So I think the system should reward the player who takes intelligent action to find out more about where the fire is coming from. Who knows, you might even devise a wargame where time spent in reconnaissance is not wasted.

    Apart from fire, one might also detect movement. You might only see an enemy flit into vision for a couple of seconds as he moves from cover to cover, so spotting movement in a location does not tell you a lot about who is there, just that they are there. Vehicular movement, of course, can be heard for considerable distances if it is the rattle and squeal of tank tracks.

    I think I would like a game where the only indications of the enemy were shooting noises, track noises, the occasional blurred shape moving through the trees and the couple of bodies on the enemy position after the final assault, but it might not appeal to the kind of miniature wargamer who likes to paint the Gebirgsjager Waffenfarbe on his toy soldiers.

    All the best,

    John.

    #21486
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    Minion?¬†I plan to steal all this and publish “Brought My Browning” before you can finish!

    I really like the notion of a solo game like this.  I think directing the activity of enemy Threat via cards would be the way to go, not as a money making scheme (just include them in the PDF) but as an easy way to direct threat without the need for long charts.

    #21487
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    John – Recon is incredibly hard to do well in a game (which is why they all ignore it ūüėČ )

    If the aim is a solo game, that does open up significantly, because you acn hold off a lot of information until it is generated.

    Nate – Damn you! I will immediately sue you for all the moneys!

    I am hesitant on cards because I tend to avoid games with a lot of paraphernalia. I agree it might make the most sense though in this case and certainly is faster.
    The benefit of a table is that it’s easier to tailor to different situations: (threat under fire, threat under assault, threat unopposed).

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #21488
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    Nate ‚Äď Damn you! I will immediately sue you for all the moneys! I am hesitant on cards because I tend to avoid games with a lot of paraphernalia. I agree it might make the most sense though in this case and certainly is faster. The benefit of a table is that it‚Äôs easier to tailor to different situations: (threat under fire, threat under assault, threat unopposed).

    I now control all the moneys, thank you.

    True, a table is much more easily modifiable.  Cards could have three sections on them as you describe above, but the chart might be the way to go.

    #21489
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    As an aside, while it wouldn’t be as full fledged as John’s suggestions, a simple scouting system would be to assign men to scouting terrain features.

    Roll a D6 for each feature scouted. If the roll is equal or less than the number of men assigned, any threat is rolled/drawn/revealed before you take your actions (but cannot interdict your movement until afterwards).

    If scouting fails, threats are revealed/rolled/drawn and can interdict you as you move.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #21491
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    Also, @John—you put more reasonable and informed commentary about warfare and wargaming in¬†individual posts than one usually encounters in entire forums(a?). ¬†I always learn from your posts.

    #21493
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    <p data-wr_replaced=”true”>Also, @John‚ÄĒyou put more reasonable and informed commentary about warfare and wargaming in individual posts than one usually encounters in entire forums(a?). I always learn from your posts.

    it IS a little disconcerting isn’t it ūüôā

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #21497
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    How would movement/positioning work in this hypothetical game? Would that also be abstracted, like with a Peter Piggish grid system (or node system)? Or would there still be a more elaborate and organic set of rules for movement/positioning in “non-discrete space” as in most other miniatures games?

    Just wondering, now that you’ve grabbed my attention.

    #21500
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    It could be either.
    My gut feeling is a system where you move between terrain features or other points of interest but there’s no reason movement couldn’t be more concrete.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #28832

    Did anything happen with this Ivan ?

     

    (I took it you were trying to develop a new ruleset)

    #28847
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    It’s sitting in my big pile of notes and possibilities, but nothing concrete at the moment.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #28850
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Ivan,

    Somehow I missed this topic when it came out.

    In any case, check out the boardgame “Fields of Fire.” ¬†It’s written by a former Marine infantry officer, and is company level, but has some similar concepts.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #28852
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Oh hey Just Jack….your still alive !!!

    #28884
    Just Jack
    Participant

    I am indeed alive.

    I told you guys I was going on vacation.  Took the family down to the beach at Corpus Cristi.  Also visited the USS Lexington and the Alamo.

    For Ivan – I stopped in at Great Hall Games in Austin, talked to one of the proprietors (forgive me, I don’t recall his name).¬† I bought a couple of scenario books, one for Force On Force (“Day of the Rangers”), and a set of WWII scenarios for Battlegroup Panzergrenadier (or something like that).¬† As I was checking out, he mentioned “yeah, those are really good rules.”¬† I replied that I didn’t have them, just needed WWII scenarios.¬† He mentioned I should try Battlegroup Kursk, and I didn’t really say anything.¬† Then he said that he and his partner had been on a¬† kick where they were playing these new rules called “5Core.”¬† I mentioned I’d heard of them ūüėȬ†

    I told him I was big into Company Command, played and posted lots of batreps on TMP/TWW.¬† He said he didn’t really hang out online, but that he and his partner Scott were working on a campaign book for Sci-Fi 5Core which ties together the skirmish, company, and brigade-level rules.¬† He said they’d be contacting you soon.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #28887
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    How cool is that !!!!

    #28893
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    THE EMPIRE GROWS ūüôā

    That’s really cool, thanks for the heads up!

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #28975
    Etranger
    Participant

    Ivan- a few years ago I wrote a ‘scenario generator’ for patrol and encounter missions, designed for solo play in French Indochina; that ended up being published in SOTCW (Issue 69 apparently). It was simple enough, using a deck of playing cards to produce various encounters for the (French in this case) player, who could end up facing anything from a cache of rice to a VM battalion in full cry.

    Depending upon what was dealt and subsequently turned over, games ¬†could end up as anything from uneventful¬†patrols to desperate last stands. The mechanism was easy enough to do, and there have been plenty of card driven systems over the years. It doesn’t sound that different from what you suggest.

    #29021
    Shecky
    Participant

    Just Jack et al.

    the Great Hall Games proprietor was probably Kevin. I’ve known him since the mid 80’s when we gamed at UT. I’ve also known the previous owner since about the same time.

    I was just at the shop last weekend. I don’t remember bringing up the 5 core games but if there’s a group around here who will take them up it’s the GHG group. They’re not afraid to try lesser known rules but still have adherents to the ¬†more popular, readily available ones. ¬†You’ll find interest in BBB, CoC, the Ambush Alley and Iron Ivan rules at the store. They’ve worked with the publishers of Napoleon at War and By Fire and Sword to promote the games in the U.S.

    if you’re trying to promote the 5 core rules more, I’d suggest contacting Kevin at Great Hall to see what he can offer.

    Tom

    #29030
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    If you want to throw one of the guys my email, I can hook them up with a few comp copies of the PDF’s.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #29087
    MartinR
    Participant

    When a section commander has been shot at, he will want to know all sorts of things about it (‚ÄúWhere is the enemy?‚ÄĚ), and the drills for locating the enemy and controlling return fire are bread-and-butter elements of infantry minor tactics (‚ÄúWatch my tracer!‚ÄĚ and all that jazz). So I think the system should reward the player who takes intelligent action to find out more about where the fire is coming from. Who knows, you might even devise a wargame where time spent in reconnaissance is not wasted. Apart from fire, one might also detect movement. You might only see an enemy flit into vision for a couple of seconds as he moves from cover to cover, so spotting movement in a location does not tell you a lot about who is there, just that they are there. Vehicular movement, of course, can be heard for considerable distances if it is the rattle and squeal of tank tracks. I think I would like a game where the only indications of the enemy were shooting noises, track noises, the occasional blurred shape moving through the trees and the couple of bodies on the enemy position after the final assault, but it might not appeal to the kind of miniature wargamer who likes to paint the Gebirgsjager Waffenfarbe on his toy soldiers. All the best, John.

     

    This was largely the premise of Andy Graingers ‘Bocage Battle’, an interesting system which I ran a few times, although it did largely rely on an RPG style umpire(s) vs players type of play which doesn’t appeal to everyone. I later bolted the unit motivation system onto my WW1 East Africa rules, which they worked rather well for.

    Cheers

    Martin

     

     

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #29094
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Etranger,

    How does one go about getting their hands on SOTCW Issue #69?¬† I’ve perused their website and Wargame Vault, and used my feeble Google skills, but haven’t come up with it, and I’m very much interested in the ‘deck of cards determining the encounter’ concept.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #29107
    Etranger
    Participant

    JJ – PM me an email address & I’ll see if I can find the draft & send it to you. It’s on a thumbdrive somewhere….

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 11 months ago by Etranger.
    #29109
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Etranger – Can’t PM, I’m not a supporting member… ūüôĀ

    My e-mail is big jack mac (at) hot mail (dot) com

    Thanks, I appreciate it.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #29115
    Etranger
    Participant

    D’oh! I just realised the same thing. I’ll get it to you in the next day or so.

    #29166
    Etranger
    Participant

    Just Jack – it’s stored on an old computer that I can’t currently access. However there is an online version at The Wargames Guild¬†http://www.guildwargamers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=181&t=4806 You may need to join to access it but it’s worthwhile joining anyway.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 11 months ago by Etranger.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 11 months ago by Etranger.
    #29173
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Thanks Etranger, I’ll take a look.

    V/R,
    Jack

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