06/02/2019 at 18:05 #108662vtsaogamesParticipant
Found this optional rule in the board game “The African Campaign” (1940-42). The Allies start with the tactical advantage. They may require a re-roll of any die roll in the game, friendly or enemy. The new result sticks. The advantage passes to the other side, who cannot use it until the next turn. It’s simple and may mitigate lousy luck, unless the second roll is as bad or worse. Our group, the Corlears Hook Fencibles, is considering making it a general house rule. It might need a snappier name.
It's never too late to have a happy childhood06/02/2019 at 23:41 #108674John D SaltParticipant
It’s a fun rule. I first met it in Courtney Allen’s “Storm Over Arnhem” (Avalon Hill), although “African Campaign” (Jedko, Avalon Hill, Compass Games) is much the older game, and I suspect may be the first to use such a rule. IIRC Courtney Allen uses the term “initiative”, rather than “tactical advantage”, but it’s much the same idea. It is used in all Courtney Allen’s area movement gxames, and as these all use opposed dice rolls, with each player rolling 2d6, it is very useful to have a mechanism for moderating the more extreme excursions of chance that are possible , if rare, when one has possible results in the range -10 to +10. “African Campaign” seems justified in using the rule because the linear theatre geography and the low troop count mean that a single extreme result might be decisive for the campaign. However I don’t think I would use the rule unless there is some good reason like this to do so; no point having a mechanism just for the sake of it.
A related rule, in that it entitles players to re-roll bad results, is the idea of “hero points”, which I first med in Greg Costikyan’s “Price of Freedom” (West End Games). This is more suited to individual skirmish or RPG-like games. Suitably heroic characters are awarded one, or perhaps more, hero points, and can expend a hero point to re-roll a bad result. If you have a GM, obviously they can be expended on other things, such as attempting a usually-impossible action, or lightly bending one of the more inconvenient laws of physics in the Hollywood tradition. Obviously the idea lends itself best to adventure games with a bit of a pulpy feel, where you don’t really want the hero Lane Mastodon tripping over a set of roller skates and breaking his neck in the first scene.
All the best,
John.07/02/2019 at 02:53 #108675vtsaogamesParticipant
I have the Compass Games edition, so this may be the first time the rule has appeared in this game. Hmm, I take your point about it being useful for smaller games but it still sounds like fun.
It's never too late to have a happy childhood07/02/2019 at 06:06 #108684Norm SParticipant
In some boardgame where the Tactical Advantage is used as a mechanic, the range of choices as what to do with the Tactical Advantage is wider than just offering a re-roll. It can be quite nuanced and can also be used to bring in special rules for the scenario in hand. I use the mechanic in one of my sets of rules and it allows a unit that is out of command to be automatically be put back into command for that turn.
An interesting way to use it on a 2D6 re-roll, is to use it to only re-roll one of the two dice.That makes for a more gentle application of the mechanic.08/02/2019 at 12:12 #108753Phil DutréParticipant
I like the mechanic. I seem to remember something similar from Wally Simon’s writings, but I might be wrong …10/02/2019 at 14:41 #108859Ivan SorensenParticipant
The “Twilight Struggle” board game has a similar mechanic with “The China Card”.
Its a very powerful card, but when you use it, it’s handed over to the other player for use in the next turn.
Some RPG’s have something similar, where players (or major villains) can claim a re-roll, save or whatever, but the other “side” accumulates the same benefit for later.
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