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  • #81056
    Avatar photoDeleted User
    Member

    I can’t claim any originality for this idea as I saw a chap use it several years ago. I filed the idea away but as I’m (temporarily, I hope) the group’s scenario deviser, I’m contemplating it for anything from Biblicals, H&M, SYW, Naps & Colonials.

    Essentially, you set up an interesting terrain, choose 6 openly numbered objectives (a crossroad, a bridge, a field fortification etc).

    Then both sides dip three times into separate envelopes that both contain cards with 1-6 on them: thus securing 3 “secret” objectives. Clearly, there can be objectives no one wants, one or the other side wants or both want.

    As the game progresses, you will finally get an idea on what your opponent’s objectives are but it takes time (particularly if he bluffs). Victory goes to the player, after a stipulated number of game turns, who has secured the most his three objectives.

    What do you think? Too “gamey”? Too lacking in context/back story? Or a neat mechanism for a game?

     

    donald

    #81061
    Avatar photoshelldrake
    Participant

    I think it is a brilliant idea, and one I will have to slip in to my games.

    #81063
    Avatar photoLes Hammond
    Participant

    Sounds a lot better than a mad dash for the village in the middle of the board!

    6mm France 1940

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    #81068
    Avatar photoCerdic
    Participant

    That’s not a bad idea!

    Possibly a bit gamey in certain contexts but sounds like a laugh anyway. I’m going to give it a go…

    #81069
    Avatar photoNorm S
    Participant

    Has its place and ideal for pick-up games and enhanced replayabiliyty of teaser type scenarios.

    #81081
    Avatar photoChris Pringle
    Participant

    I used a different approach to variable objectives, rather successfully though I say it myself, in the BBB Gettysburg and Koniggratz scenarios. In both these battles, the defending generals’ plans were messed up by their subordinates taking the initiative, advancing to hold what they regarded as vital ground, and disrupting the defensive deployment scheme.

    For Gettysburg, rather than just have a “stupid Sickles” rule, I put in three possible objectives (in addition to some fixed ones like Cemetery Hill):

    “Meade seriously considered trying to hold Gettysburg and/or to attack Lee’s left. He was dissuaded from these ideas, but Sickles unilaterally chose to advance to occupy the Peach Orchard. After both sides have deployed their reinforcements for Day 2, roll D6 to see which plan of debatable wisdom is adopted:

    1-2: Sickles! The Peach Orchard is an Objective.

    3-4: Hold Gettysburg! Gettysburg is an Objective.

    5-6: Attack the Rebel left! Benner’s Hill is an Objective.”

    Similarly for Koniggratz:

    “Benedek’s dispositions were badly compromised by two of his generals, Festetics and Thun, who decided to advance from their designated prepared positions to the high ground overlooking them, thus exposing the Austrian right to attack. […] To reflect how the unhelpful initiative of the Austrian corps commanders dislocated Benedek’s defensive line, determine the objectives for Victory after the Austrians deploy, but before the Prussians do. There are 4 pairs of possible Objectives:
    A The Holawald or Ober Dohalitz
    B The Popowitz woods or Problus
    C Maslowěd or Nedělišt
    D Břiza or Stěžer
    Roll D6 four times, once per pair. On 1-3, the first named location is the Objective; on 4-6, the second one is. Chlum and Sadowa are always Objectives.”

    My approach was to make these objectives known to both sides, but you could equally keep them secret until game end.

    I hope this helps. Good luck with your scenario-devising!

    Chris

    Bloody Big BATTLES!

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    #81095
    Avatar photoAutodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    I’ve never really randomized objectives but I have assigned secret, sometimes conflicting objectives in multi-player games. I’ve use this in both French and Indian War scenarios as well as Aztec games. Usually adds a degree of suspense and variety to the game.  I suppose if I was actually playing in the game, drawing the objectives out of a hat would keep me in suspense, too. I like that idea.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
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    #81155
    Avatar photoPhil Dutré
    Participant

    I have used variations on this theme.

    E.g. you have a river along the length of the table, and one side has to secure the fords. However, no-one knows where the fords are (invent your own favourite explanation for this …). There are 6 possible ford locations indicated by randomly placed markers on the table (2 of which are the actual fords). Whenever troops come close, you can turn over the marker and see whether it’s a fordable location. Of course, once you start crossing, the enemy knows that location is a ford as well. IIRC, the original scenario idea is from Scenarios for All Ages (CSGrant).

    I have repeated this scenario many times, and it always gives new situations, depending on where the fords turn out to be.

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    #81167
    Avatar photoOtto Schmidt
    Participant

    I’ve tried this both in randomized or in letting players pick their objectives from a list. It all falls apart after turn one and a half. After that  all players want to do is push lead, roll dice, and kill things, preferably the closest enemy unit. When I mention “ummm… your objectives?” they invariably say “Uh yeah.. oh that… ”  Then someone else says “hey Dave, you have to roll for morale for this unit!” and it’s gone out of their mind and it’s back to “kill da wabbitt, kill da wabbit!!!
    It’s like a puppy dog romping in he park and across the way a little girl is spreading bubbles from a hoop. The puppy sees the bubble, snaps at it, it bursts and the dog has a “brain fart” for a moment and then goes back to romping  around.  Now I Just let them do what they want. No one complains and everyone believes they have attained their objectives– which they have–  roll dice, push lead, kill things, and have a good time with their buddies.

    #81174
    Avatar photoDeleted User
    Member

    It all falls apart after turn one and a half. After that all players want to do is push lead, roll dice, and kill things, preferably the closest enemy unit. everyone believes they have attained their objectives– which they have– roll dice, push lead, kill things, and have a good time with their buddies.

     

    I can’t say I’ve ever seen this personally. I’m probably the most frivolous of our group & even I realise that to win a game, you need to achieve the stated objectives. Indeed, in our 6 person group, we have 2 ex-British army officers, 2 ex-Australian army officers & an engineer (!!!) & I can tell you that the discussion & planning is pretty focussed. Not to say we don’t have fun (why would you wargame if it isn’t fun?!?) but it’s a game with rules for us.

     

    donald

    #81180
    Avatar photoRoger Calderbank
    Participant

    A very interesting idea; I must try it soon, perhaps with a Lasalle game. I think the people I play with will keep the stated objectives in mind.

    RogerC

    #81198
    Avatar photoMike
    Keymaster

    Not really a fan.
    For me they fill the same space as points values.

    I would rather plan out the scenario than either turn up with a 500pt army and or have random objectives.
    However, I can see how they could be very handy for a last minute game.

     

     

    #81199
    Avatar photocmnash
    Participant

    What do you think? Too “gamey”? Too lacking in context/back story? Or a neat mechanism for a game? donald

    I think it’s a great idea & a neat mechanism. If you have cards with nothing on the back, the player can keep it/them on or beside the table as a reminder.

    You could put a reason for the objective on the card – e.g.

    Objective: Bridge
    Reason: Only crossing suitable for wagons/trucks for 10 miles in each direction, so need for supply

    Thank you for sharing this idea! Consider it stolen & filed for future use

    .

    #81202
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish
    Participant

    Seastrike used to have (still does come to think of it) ‘sealed’ envelopes with the commanders orders for the operation.

    Neither side knew the others objective until the end or when one of them declared victory (unless espionage revealed the objective)

    I don’t think your version is too gamey if you are setting up the scenario AND playing in it (you need more objective cards than are chosen then – otherwise you know what your opponents have draw by elimination). If you are just setting up the game, then I think, like Mike, I would rather have a scenario drawn up which would contextualise each sides objectives.

     

    #81203
    Avatar photoPatrice
    Participant

    I don’t do that for large planned games (for which I prefer detailed scenarios, not random) but I’ve been doing it for short demo games.
    (28mm, 1:1, each player being in command of a small troop of 12-15 or 15-20 characters).
    Perhaps I’m slightly off-topic as it’s very RPG-inspired but here are two examples I have been doing in the last couple of years:

    — Historical-legendary “arthurian” 5th century game. 3-4 “Sub-Roman British” players. Players enter table from different places not far from the village:

    Each player draws two sheets of paper at random:
    1) People say that a large bronze dragon is buried in the hills. Its possession would give a great prestige to its owner. (x2)
    2) A terrible giant terrorizes the country and has kidnapped young maids. It would be a great feat to kill him and cut his head off. (x2)
    3) There is suspicion that a British chieftains secretly talks with the Picts or the Saxons. He might be a traitor. He probably is one of the other chieftains (players). (x2)
    4) Your patrols have noticed that the Picts have moved their cattle to the north. They do that when war is near. It’s important to protect the village. (x2)
    5) People say that a witch from the Coraniaid mythical people lives in the area. (x2)
    6) There was an old Roman temple in the area. (x2)
    7) All the other chieftains despise you, and you hate them. You need to ally with the Picts to rule the area. (special)
    and/or 8) The other chieftains refuse to recognize your rights to rule the area. You need to ally with the Saxons to get power. (special)

    Players who will ask questions to villagers can get more informations, one by one and separately, from the GM (at random or following GM inspiration):

    – “A hunter from the village said he had seen a red dragon when he was drunk …but he disappeared”.
    – “My grandmother believed there was a dragon under a temple”.
    – “The village monk has gone to the hills”.
    – “The Coraniaid have a druidess”.
    – “The Coraniaid live in a house underground”.
    (…and more during the game if events or necessity boost inspiration).

    One or two groups of Picts and/or groups of Saxons (depending on number of players) will interfere and attack whoever comes near them, except the player who is allied with them; they will try to attack the village if possible (they are NPC unless more players want to take part for a while). The so-called “giant” is a very strong warrior with a few servants. The hunter has been taken by the Picts (/or the Saxons). The so-called “Coraniaid” are a small forgotten local tribe who lives in a hidden half-buried house; their “witch” has no power except healing but knows everything secret that’s going on in the area. The dragon statue is buried under a ruined temple hidden in the bushes. (…and the GM can change or mix all this at will to maintain suspense in his next games!)

    – Fantasy game for 2-3 “human” players. Players enter table from different places not far from the village at the far end of the pic below:

    Each player draws one of the sheets of paper at random:
    1) You are victim of a bad curse; you heard that there is a magician in the village, perhaps he knows a cure.
    2) Your village (off-table) is threatened by werewolves. You need to buy silver and to find someone who could make silver arrow points.
    3) Some merchants in a big city (off-table) will pay a good price for furs. You heard that it’s possible to buy furs from a Goblin tribe in this area. A guy in the village inn will tell you how to contact them but it must be secret.

    This leads players to a second mission, also at random: The magician says to the “cursed” player that he cannot do anything he must go to see a witch on the moor; and the witch will ask him to fetch something for her (some flower in the mountain, or a shellfish on the seaside). The player who looks for silver arrows will probably go to ask the village smith …who will answer that he doesn’t work silver he must go to see the Dwarfs in the mountain.

    Then on these missions they will meet Goblins on the moor (who will attack anyone except the player who wants to trade with them), pirates on the beach, Dwarfs ready to attack anyone (except the player who wants to trade with them), King’s guards who will attack anyone trading with the Goblins, a handful of thieves in the village attacking anyone if it’s worth it, etc. These adversaries are NPC (moved by the GM) or can be player characters if more players want to take part (in that case they can be given more things to do).

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    #81221
    Avatar photoDarkest Star Games
    Participant

    We used secret objectives and missions extensively for pick-up games of various genres.  Depending upon who you are playing with they can be a real hoot.

    For instance:  played a game of Full Thrust with some added rules (which I will be using for a convention game with 3′-6′ long ships in somewhat 15mm scale) including boarding and shipboard fighting.  Each side drew a card at the start of the game for main mission, and 2 cards for secondary missions.  Side A had the main mission of capturing the commander of the enemies largest ship as he is a war criminal wanted for trial.  Secondary objectives were to destroy any enemy logistics ships and to push a scout type ship to exit the enemies side of the board.  Side B had the mission of destroying any enemy ships that carried secondary craft (fighters, shuttles, dropships), with the secondaries of capturing the enemy command ship and scanning all enemy ships for intel.

    we had 3 players on a side, each side chose their fleet from a pool of “ready available” ships, and side B found they only had 2 small ships that could act as scouts, while Side A had 1 ship that was “fast”.  The game was bonkers, with both sides basically tying their command ships together for a seasaw board/counter-board action while side B ran their scouts around with a herd of defending destroyers trying to protect them.  At the same time Side A was trying to keep their 2 carriers away from the scout thinking is was some sort of suicide boat while picking off the destroyer screen.

    At one point both command ships has enemies aboard, and Side A had their engines destroyed and Side B had their FDC, Screens, and soem batteries trashed by marines.  In the end, Side A lost 1 of 2 Lt Carriers, got their scout across (he almost made it unscathed but decided to try a strafing run against the enemy command ship and lost his weapon to show for it!) and killed the enemy CO instead of capturing him.  Side B Scanned everyone and killed 1 enemy carrier, but lost 5 destroyers and their command ship, giving side A the win.

     

    We do this sort of thing even with WW2.  We’ve had games where one sides objective was to kill as many enemy tanks as possible, break their tanks through the line and exit, totally reduce the enemy infantry, take and hold a specific house (or defending said house) for 3 turns before withdrawing, punch at least 1 tank through the enemy defenses and keep it there for 1 turn before withdrawing, assault an enemy position and capture some enemy… not only keeps games fresh but also keeps your opponent on their toes trying to figure out what is going on and why their opposition is doing something that seems to make no sense.  Can be a really good time, but we have had a couple of games where both sides had missions that they both completed easily with very little action and gave a sort of anti-climatic game.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #81564
    Avatar photoPaul Howarth
    Participant

    It all falls apart after turn one and a half. After that all players want to do is push lead, roll dice, and kill things, preferably the closest enemy unit. everyone believes they have attained their objectives– which they have– roll dice, push lead, kill things, and have a good time with their buddies.

    I can’t say I’ve ever seen this personally. I’m probably the most frivolous of our group & even I realise that to win a game, you need to achieve the stated objectives. Indeed, in our 6 person group, we have 2 ex-British army officers, 2 ex-Australian army officers & an engineer (!!!) & I can tell you that the discussion & planning is pretty focussed. Not to say we don’t have fun (why would you wargame if it isn’t fun?!?) but it’s a game with rules for us. donald

    I’ve occasionally seen it from a handful of gamers, but that seems to be an awfully large brush being used there, reflecting limited or very unfortunate experience. Funny, that. I like historical objectives but it’s also nice playing a game with a bit of backstory that encourages you to come up with your own objectives sometimes too. The original post seems a handy suggestion for pick-up games too.

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