Home Forums General General Replaying scenarios: pros and cons?

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  • #175164
    Chris Pringle
    Participant

    If you do historical refights, do you like to fight same battle more than once, perhaps multiple times? Why / why not?

    I do. The latest in my series of “Reflections on Wargaming” discusses the pros and cons here.

    I’d be very interested to know others’ views on this too.

    #175165
    Paint it Pink
    Participant

    Yep. If only to play the opposite side, and then play again to finalize the learning opportunities.

    One is good, more is better
    http://panther6actual.blogspot.co.uk/
    http://ashleyrpollard.blogspot.co.uk/

    #175166

    All the time, but some scenarios lose their charm with hindsight, particularly if not balanced or taut with difficult tactical choices.

    Random events, including alteration of an OOB and fog of war rules help recreate the novelty and the mindset of a historical commander encountering the fight for the very first time.  sad part of many games is the first play novelty is often marred by misunderstandings with the rules to play it. once you understand the rules properly sometimes the tactical “puzzle” is already solved.

    Mick

    #175184
    Mike Headden
    Participant

    Interesting reading, as ever, Chris.

    As you will doubtless remember, I am not a fan of historical refights and prefer fictional actions between fictional formations but set within their historical context. No Tigers crashing through the Ardennes in 1940, no deployment of mitrailleuse by Napoleon, no Sumerian cavalry wings.

    That said, surely the arguments in favour of historical refights remain as valid as ever, for a certain value of valid 🙂 , you just know the result of one or more extra versions of the battle!

    I do think it helps if you can dress the battle up as something else to reduce the precognition effect of players who know the detail of the action being refought and that might be a little harder second time around. 🙂

    I look forward to further thoughts on your piece from others, yourself included.

    There are 100 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who can work from incomplete data

    #175218
    deephorse
    Participant

    The historical battles that I play fall into two groups.  The first are hypothetical battles where all aspects of it have come from my imagination.  These do not get replayed because I don’t bother to record what they consisted of in the first place.

    The second group are games taken from scenario books, magazines, or the internet.  These, if they are any good, can get replayed, because all the information is still there.  So the key for me is was the game any good?

    The one scenario that we have played many times is the Sword Beach game from the Rapid Fire D-Day book.  There’s no novelty, we all know what happened historically, the landing waves are all pre-determined, as are the German reinforcements.  But none of this seems to matter to us.  The German player wants to repel the invaders.  The British players have to succeed or face the embarrassment of the war lasting for another year.  It can all come down to how many DD Tanks make it ashore.

    But ultimately it’s all down to the quality of the scenario.  Some don’t have any replay value, such as a Rapid Fire scenario printed in a magazine (I think), where the lone Tiger I on the battlefield has no ammunition.  It’s value lies in intimidating the opposing player because he/she doesn’t know about the lack of ammo.  Once you’ve played it, as written, it can never be played again by the same group of players.

    Sword Beach, however, has replay value, because the Allied losses on the way in vary every time we’ve played it.  Some bad British die rolls can really give the defenders a fighting chance.

    Play is what makes life bearable - Michael Rosen

    #175222
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Some don’t have any replay value, such as a Rapid Fire scenario printed in a magazine (I think), where the lone Tiger I on the battlefield has no ammunition. It’s value lies in intimidating the opposing player because he/she doesn’t know about the lack of ammo. Once you’ve played it, as written, it can never be played again by the same group of players.

     

    Alternatively play it again with some ammunition, just to teach them not to be too cocky 🙂

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #175231
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    A cunning acquaintance of mine frequently plonks a Tiger on the table in scenarios but it often represents a PzIV which players only find out about at the end. Of course it only works with an active umpire running the rules, but it’s great fun watching people’s faces – especially the ones who’ve played before and think it’s a PzIV when it really IS a Tiger!

    Be that as it may – playing the same historical battle over – yes of course. Some are harder than others – does Grouchy ever turn up? No matter what you do that mist at Austerlitz seldom springs the same surprise. But the battles worth fighting once are worth replaying precisely because if you like historical battles that’s the point – to see what might happen differently if…D’Erlon hadn’t spent all day countermarching between Quatre Bras and Ligny, if there had been more infantry across the Danube earlier at Aspern, or the bridges had been destroyed more thoroughly delaying support further.

    That’s before we get onto the same battle with different rules!

    I suppose there are the disadvantages of over familiarity if you play the same battle many times but with a decent interval I can happily find sufficient nuance in most battles to warrant several replays.

    #175236

    I like fog of war…that PzIV/Tiger stand in great!  Like RHA Rocket artillery pretending to be lancers!

    Mick

    #175317
    Chris Pringle
    Participant

    Thanks very much for all your thoughtful comments. This blog post got about 100 comments in various places so I’ve updated it with a summary for those who are interested.

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