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I have never seen this as an advantage. I have not played on a round table, but we have considered playing corner to corner on an 8ft by 6ft so a simuilar effect minimal enty and exit area but a “wider board ” in the middle”. It has always been rejected as not offering any advantage and in effect being worse. However our own rules (Maneouvre Group) allows faster play and larger momement distances than standard rules so outflanking and defence in depth are more critical which means the reduced width off the center is a definite negative.
With more standard rules where movement is more restricted I could see the access advantages would be usefull.
Not being a computer games fan sing the Spectrum 48k then only for a short time I would see no point in emulating a computor game and to me they would have no place in a serious simulation. I think ther is no general answer it depends on your audiance.
If its hidden minefield then a map is best. For modest areas can and we have used Minfields marked underside of say a ploughed field in a key position. Also we have marked minefields that are marked but some may be dunmies,. I suspect you solutions are a bit random for most mines and its important to be able to ratinalise how big an area of mines is being represented. Booby traps for instance were often placed to catch troops actually touching/removing booty, if that is not the case the employment may be unrealistic, typicaly maines will be at choe points like doorways of key houses so even on a skirmish game it sould be easy to map them. I have seen lots of games where the representation of mine/mine fileds is completely unrealistic detracting rather than adding to the games.
Woods, Forest and Jungles class as soft cover.
This list what we say about Jungle in our rules:-
Forests and Jungles are either major obstacles or impassable to vehicles and may restrict infantry movement and line of sight if defined so in the scenario. They are treated as 4 to 15 contours high. A greater weight of artillery shell is required to impact troops within them.
Elements moving in Forest or Jungle if not in “Move to position Mode”. Line of sight is limited to a maximum length of 40m (4”) if originating outside or within woods.
Elements on the edge of a Forest or Jungle can see out without obstruction while remaining in soft cover.
Under artillery we add. – Note Troops in Heavy Forest or Jungle double these Stonk rates. (i.e double the ammo usage).
Not realy a terrain that interests us,so I have not done any major reasearch on any other tactical impacts. I did read Sir Williams Slim’s Defeat into Victory recently and saw nothing that jarred with what we do in our rules.
Good or bad frortune can sway a battle. if it was a close run thing.
A playoon of infantry in the open asleep if attacled by a company will die , there is a poosibility if the weaker side rolled a 50 consecutive ” 20″ on a D2o it might change but that is extreemly remote, but mathermatical possible.
The other example is, is ther any free will in the general. I won an English Civil war battle. Turns ou it ran klmost too the book except at the very end I was not inclined to follow up routing troops as that would be unsafe in my judgement. In the real world my side did and were cut to pices by the cavelry.
Often there are unexpected bits that shape a battle that are out of control of the rules.
Like the man said the outscome should sit within the statictical scatter of the rules provided all unusual events are accounted for, but the answer will never be identicale.
Even in the first example the results would be a win but the result will not be identicle betwee re runs, as the statistical bit will vary (statistics of small numbers).
The best one can ever expect from a simulation is that in rewards historic tactics but by definition it is a ststiscical model so repeatablity is not perfect.
Seems to me the narrative games here are really just RPG’s played with more figures. The larger real games with lifelike commanders with say a western background (e.g wwII or cold war) fight as part of a big war and most often do not have the sort of story that is being defined here. The story is about the commander, his briefing and how he defeates his enemy or loses slowly (he hopes). There is no need of the extra rules, the senario is defined in no more or lesser way than the real world. Similarly the background for the protagonist needs no more than the real world briefing to do so results in an implusible scenario which in being so loses its appeal instantly, nothing worse than playing an implusible scenario. The story unfolds as the game progresses. Any decent rules have fog of war so why extra rules.
What is being described in much of this thread is a very “Hollywooesque” approach that does not cover certain types of wargame with a greater affinity to the real world.
proably gives one of the best definitions too me of a Narative wargame in some cases. However in our own games, most of the talk is about where where one or othereof us went wrong. That is about tactics, identifying or not doing so key terrain or failing to bring reserves in in a timely manner. However is that realy just a narative game? or is it that some miniatures games have less flexibility to do anything novel. My own experience is that may games once deployed fail desperately to allow any individualism in play. The classic 6″ infantry 12″ horse/tank does this. There are better examples DBM with the book level of points and regular armies does allow for tactical surprise by both parties.
I see no real reason more randomness or event cards are needed to make a narrative game IF the game allows credible flexibility to the opponents to write there own creativity into the play.
I see no reason whatsoever why rules really feature in the definition of narrative play provided.
- the rules allow credible decision making and a credible scenario. Two sides lined up seems the most boring and no amount of story telling or event cards can substitute for an interesting and challenging scenario with lots of credible solutions. These complex and stories allow the threading of not just a story but a Saga for which the skilled among us could torn into a saga
- The players have a credible understanding of the period (real or fantasy) and the rules so that they can concentrate on what they need too, the management of the strategy and not on die rolling and daft often un-representative events. Beginners are never going to cope initially with truly interesting games they do not have the experience.
Shameless plug us:-
However not wanting lots of negative feeback we are for seroius players. There is no points system, as they don’t work on real maps, they need lots of terrain and they take time to learn to play. Like Chess the rules are simple but the game is complex. If you intend to play only a couple of times a year they may not be the ideal set. The flexability that makes them what they are also gives far more options to think about to hard if you only play a few times a year. I have left perhaps the one true Horror till last! Vehicels are best left unbased and worse still, the turrets must be able to rotate, like in the real world!***!!! This to many Lead Pushers is the ultimate transgression, requireing touching your painted mode!
I always think 28mm and above is really for painters. They do play games but generally they are games not simulations. At my persoinal limit, about 5 to 7 to 1 ground to figure scale the ground represented by a 28mm game is far to small to be of interest or to allow a good simulation of othere than VERY dence Urba areas. However I am a self confessed simulator not a Lead pusher and spend more time playing than painting so am not a “normal” wargamer. By one mans definition I would class as a Boargamer (perhaps gone Rouge).
My prefered scale nowdays is an actual scale 1/144, but I do modern, this is small enough with about a 7:1 figure to ground scale to give a plausible game in open(ish) rural area games. If its abig urban area then 1/72 at about 5:1 Model to ground scale is better. “15 mm” seems OK if it is actually 15mm men in stokinged feet and no hat. In addition 1/144 is ideal for those of us that have 3D printers as you can sculpt your own modela and terrain and markers and print them out without excessive time or cost, but that is secondatry to the above.25/10/2019 at 09:03 in reply to: Boardgame and Miniature games where do you draw the line? #125126
John D Salt, I had not thought about it that way. Your wargames list is to me the worst ever wargames except Lionel Tarrs and pehaps Phil Barkers WWII, all epitomise the worst (to me) wargames. What you state as the diffrence minatures to board games, to me is just a definition of awful wargame to a decent one.
To me a boargame is when the board is like a map, the terrain on a tile is characterised for the whole of that area. I start thinking a game is a boargame in the Moderbn period, where the figure to groundscale is out by more than about 10:1. For Ancients I guess 20:1 is more relevant as models don’t pack as close even at 1;1 model to gound scale. Most 1/72 minis won’t fit through a 1/72 scale door.
Admittedly there are strange ones. Advanced Squad leader is to me a minatures game in essence as the hex is not uniform, placement of the Fig/marker is key within the hex so is to me a minature game.
The standard of measurement does not to me destinguish board to minature game. Though personaly I dislike hex movement in minatures. Again Advanced Squad Leader gets away with it but at a high price in complexity (ASL is too hard for me, by the time I was on the second page, it was no-longer English but almost phone text, so many acronyms. But again TLR’s are nor directly a Boargame feature,
Who Askled this Joker,
I have a soft spot for the card model. We do Fold flat builings for 1/144 and more for 1/72 and I did some card models (not fold flat). The half track is really good, better than mine. Are the front wheels actaly card? I can see the rest is and its great. I think the tracks are gerat as well. I wounder is an alternative for folk with small printers, like my small one, card with 3D add on bits?
Mark, you were unfortunate. I have a cheap Monoprice Select Mini V2 and it rarely clogs.
You realise you have turned to the dark side. Everything from LEGO men to spare parts for gadgets at home.
I even print some of my own 12mm figures. Not to everybodies taste as there is minimal detai,l as there should be at 1/144. However they don’t look stupid as do many metal ones when lined up against the vehicle they are supposed to climb in. Mine look like they might just be able to get in. With metal figures ist looks farcical. 3D printing lets you do wargameing the way you want too.
In the last week I have printed 20 odd vehicles 10 T72’s and 10 APC’s so about £70 in metal for the price of maybe £5 in plastic. You know what they say “Onece you have had plastic you never go back”.
No I first must delcare my bias I am at the simulation end of the wargame hobby. Inevitably whatever you are simulating, be it flow modelling or warfare there are limitations. To me there is an optimum of about 5 to 1 on figure to ground scale. Ground scale to me is a critical requirement. Theater of the mind is OK but it becomes improvisation, it may be OK, but to some it lacks the craft put into a Shakespear play. Without a Groundscale a Machine gun cannot outrange a rifle in the practical military sence so you canot model basic tactics. If that is not your thing then perhaps its imaterial. Figures would idealy be at groundscale but as said even that is not practical. Its more about what items are key. In our own games we play with 1/144 tanks on relatively open battlefields so the key is modelling sight lines and ranges similar to real wolrd maps. At 1/144 figure and 1/1000 ground scale we can represent generally all linear features (walls, hedges, roads, streams and rivers all be it oversize, but as has been said buildings are much harder at this scale. We can just about model the road pattern in an urban area that is not VERY dence, but the houses are far to few. The best we can do generally is put on houses with no gardens packed a tight as practical. Its the equivalent of a wall function in Flow modeling, the Mesh is far to corse to model the boundary layer, you use a function knowing that in some cased this is fine in others its a daft assumption. It depends what you define as key parameters in your simulation. To me its always the game, the modelling aspect is simply for me a 3D board with tolerable reperentations, which makes understanding the situation quickers and more accurate.
In some wargames the needs of accurate groundscale are subsumed by the desire to put modles on the table that in the real world would not be in such close proximity, neither is right or wrong they represent different requirements folk have for ther gaming.
At last sombody else has seen the light and don modular hills. Extra credit for that.
Me I am abbandoning Metal, most of my stuff now is 3D printed. One of the great things about 3D printing, vital to folk like me is generally it bounces and remains untouched. Drop metal and you have had it BIG TIME damaged paint and broken appart metal.
The other great advance to a Dropper/Loser like me is the new Twist lock Turrets on AOTRS Shipoyards stuff (I cajoled him to make this change) now I drop less turrets, its not that they break but you can lose them or tread on them when you drop them.
My buildings are card, again drop proof as well as taking up no space. None is a cure but all help to mitigate the effects of dropping.
Me I hate painteing, at best I colour. Being a Wargamer no need for great painting its invisible at 4ft. Russion Cold 1/144 war is great, green and black for the tracks and its done. Time to get on with the real part of the hobby, playing and scenario writing of reading up on Cold war tactics.
Its an interesting thread. As I am writing it I recall imperfectly whare I think it was Zenathon noted the Athenians were beter at directing wars in areas they understood than areas they had little understanding of.
I should declare I am a wargames writer (Maneouvre Group) so you are aware and can ajust if you see fit.
Seems to me that a matrix game would be at its best when the arguments ate put forward by experts in the field so the irrational or impossible are screened immediately. Aguing your horse drawn column moves 100 miles in a day is fine its just not credible. That may not seem so to one who’s experience is to watch horse racing and understands little of logistics. Perhaps why my limited experience of matrix games is not terribly positive.
The cards vs die and tables is purely personal preference, it must be, cards seem a waste of time to me. However it may also be how you play. I play regularly one game so I know the rules by heartmore or lerss so the data on a cards is uneccessary. As for event cards they are often ill thought out, the excellent worn out rifles quote epitomises the failures off the author to be even vaugely logical. Many envent cards are inappropriate at times and the card would often need seceral paragraphs to ensure they wer applied logicaly so again they do not in my opion add to the game narrative or not. There also occours the “too often” X gets brave, VC medals are offerd to very few. 1 card every ten games seems more appropriate in most cases, that a rate not worth the time.
As to narrtive, I long ago abandeoned equal points systems as boring and unrealistic.
ALL my games have a brief that ma,y but not all the time contain. The brief to both parties, who get an Overall SIT rep, specific tasking for the protagonoists, objectives, timescales and allocated forces. This sets thre scene for the stories. Personally I do not give name to my leading characters as it adds nothing to the game for me.
To be honest the best games I play are long complex things that are a cross between a campaign in thre more generally accepted standard and a super long game, imagine a board (virtual in my case) 16 ft long and 6 ft wide at 1mm-1m groundscale. Within that there are multiple routes. This adds uncertaintay in a logical way. For instance an enemy takes a crossroads, only he knows which way he will go and if he is clever his rece will have been in all directions so as to give which way he will go, again no card/event system can come close to this level of credible and exciting uncertainty. Such systems create a riveting story. In other cases such a game gives a hold untill relieved situation a credibility no written narative could ever achive, if you know the campaign hangs in the balance it adds massively to the excitement. It also allows for massive missjugements again impossible to refect is a simple narative.
So to me narrative is a boundary condition of a game not anything to do with the game mechanisms.
I does oiccour to me that the only other “narative” game I have played and “lost” with great entertainment was with a an ex cold war soldier who not knowing the ruules simply told us what he wanted to do and we implemeted it as best we could. This worked perfectly but it relied on him having a good understanding of the real world situation and a rule set that models reality in a passibly credible way. Such even this needed 3 folk, my co-autor as the protagonoist and me as the “military advisor” and the player. It would never make a credible multi player game where the protagoists did not have an clear understanding of the period.
You are correct it can work, but even RPG’s and kriegsspiel need a lot of basline “rules” even if the players are not party to them. The brief to the payers may not need rules but the DM has to be brilliant or a real expert to avoid needing rules.
Excellent advice on the briefing
I think its sucess will be dependent on, your knowledge , how well you can DM and especially your players. It does not bode well if your decisions go against a well read opponent and you are making arbitary decisions not based on knowledge of the period, if the players are steeped in history and wasnt a fair preproduction of historic engagements they may be dissapointed.
It will work if the players understand its an RPG(ish) type game where decisions are not/should not be compared to real world issues, to RPG players as it is fantasy and its accepted that its the DM’s Fantasy and nede not nor cannot be referenced against real tactics and behaviours.
Perhaps you need to stress its not a historic game but a bit of a caper and connection to reality is at best via Hollywood, and possibly in places not good Hollywood, then you will get them in the right frame of mind. It will also discourage “historians” from joining in as they well may find it a negative experience. Me I am not an RPG players and its not my sort of game so you would not want me as a player and need to makesure the type of game it is. ;-). Neither of us would have a fun game.
To some extent its also about groundscale. We play lots of skirmish/low level reconnisance in force, probe (I guess fighting patrol would be the equivalent) and the like which feature few elements. However its far easier to do this in some cases, particularly with vehicles with a ground scale of about 1mm+1m. machine guns and tanks then are out of range and become usefull as hand held RPG’s are little threat beyond 250m to a moving target. So the issue is what groundscale(s) are you interested in?
The smallest skirmish I have done so far for a friend who wanted a different game, had 2 fireteams on one side and 2 BMP’s on the other. It was at 1/144 on a 6 by 4 board at 1mm+ 1m. It was smaller than I would normaly do but was an interesting reconnisance game. It needed the board side to maintain the pressure to move “quickly” while doing the job effectively.
We use ours
Of course :-).
You can make your own specs or buy army lists.
WARNING this is for players. You need to turn the turrets of the tanks (just like the real thing)! I add this warning as some folk are alergic to that level of realism, despite it make the rules better and less complex.
One of the reasons we wrote Maneouvre Group was the very pooor way tanks are portrayed in wargames. With our rules the tanks buttoned up see only a narrow arc where the barrel is pointing and a poor view directly infront of the driver. If the vehicle is stationary so the commander has a bit more time, he’s not directing the driver, he can observe another narrow section. In addition his gun elevation limits the altitude that the gun can shoot close in. An early example is in WW2 Stalingrad where to all practical purposed the Russians were invulnerable to tanks and Morter fire if the moved on the 3rd floor. Close in the tanks could not elevate enough and the upper stories and roofs detonated the mortars too high to be a major risk. More devastating air powere can help to eleiminate this latter issue but you need an almost limitless arsenal. One US manual notes that from many aspects once within about 30m in some cases its impossible to see prone infantry, you are looking out over a shallow angle from inside the edge of the turret some 8ft or so above ground.
All 3D printed on the home printer. At some point I may pass to AOTRS Shipyards to put in his shop so other folk can get a version. I have considered selling the STL file but it needs a lot of support on an FDM printer and not all printer software is equal to the task. So you could be in a position where you bought the file and were unable to print it in a satisfactory manner.
Bit supprised about the attcak, usualy the Infantry are about 400 yds ahead of the BMP’s, which even at this scale I think would not look like this. This would protect them from the RPG’s, while still being fully effective with its automatic weapons at the enemy. I can proably fing the relevant document on the net if you want.
Not sure about the fuels stored outside thing. The S tank used diesel cans on the outside to reduce the impact of RPG rounds. The argument went and there were trials I rcall, was that if hit the vehicle could drive on and leave a flaming but harless (to the thank) puddle of burning fluid behined. Effectively the diesel works as a spaced plate. My reading of the RPG effect is that its damage is a function of its over penetration. In vietnam M113’s penetrated had the effect of about the same as a rifle bullet but they did not have a big overpenetration, much of the gass stream was used in penetrating.
Stephan, sorry for the delay I have been on holiday.
So our rules are relly designed for 1:1 but infantry in teams and or squads. Vehicles are 1 to one.
So our rues are designed to be optimum with about a platoon in defence and a company in attack. These daft games that have equal sides are just games. They need random as really in a battle you need at least 3 to 1 t superiority to press home an attack. Encouner battles did occationally happen with equal sise but most end up in stalemate.
Now our rules differ in that vehicles are not an after thought. They are delt with in a modestly plausible way. They have limited vision if buttoned up and are capable of moveing very much faster than infantry but have limitations in such movement to keep it plausible.
Command and control is based on the command network. Each element has its own activation each bound and also some may get an extra one from its command element. So having command elements do their job is important. These command actions have some limitations to keep the model plausible but it is very much a copmmand and control game.
After 10 years we are still improving it. We now have machine guns behaving correctly with at least grazing fire now being better represented. (we have not formaly issues a bullatin yet but we can send an advaced copy).
The system is an element by element activation system with some exceptions. i.e you move an element then the opposition moves one. The player with least elements activated being able to “pass”.
The game needs thought, the rules are simple but the game is not (a bit like chess). Its not toy soldiers so figures are not removed, as in the real world units genrally fail with10 TO 15% casualties so figure removel is again daft and makes it just a game.
I always suggest players go to Wargames Vault and download the bulatins and the QR sheets. Ifthat seems to much you are not going to like the rules. Again a key feature is the need to turn the vehicle turrets (like real vehicels, that why they have turrets). If that level of realism is not for you then again we are not for you.
If you want to be a company commander and have to make at least some decisions as the real wold it may be for you.
You need plausible terrain, not too hard in 1/144. we do do some houses as well but you can use your own. Again you need to be able to depict which floor the infantry to get the best out of the rules. You can start off with a platoon vs a couple of squads to get the hang of it.
We do not have a ponts system that is becuse they only work on serile ballanced terrain. We suggest you get Goole earth pich a bit of ground and have a go at reproducing it. similarly in the UK 1:25000 series maps are good. You realise just how much terrain is in a couple of square kilometers. you wong get the hills right but it gives you an idea where to put crest lines.
Hope this helps, feel free to as more questions.
Please sir I don’t play pretend soldiers, I simulate real soldies in some aspects as does any simulation, so it Not a Pretend Game (stamps feet righteously as any 5 year old does. After all, young folk know it all :-).
I realised afterwards we do have sort of a saving throw. In Anti-Tank fire there is a throw to hit and then a penetration roill. Even with a D20 it was not possible to make it simple enough to do it all on one roll. Not sure if its a saving throw really, except that it is a further roll to se if you do damage dependant on diffrent parameters to the first roll. I guess if we used a D100 we could do it in one roll but you are already throwing two di so no gain against say rolling a red die to hit and yellow die for armour penetration. We don’t do it that way as a hit is not guaranteed.
why would you hand sculp? Slow and a one off or needs lots of extra work to cast. Only worth it if you want to make hundreds. I CAD sculpt simple figures and vehicles, much better than the old days, trying to find stuff to canabise and then you only get one. Perhaps its just who you are and how you view life and the digital age.
It really depends on whether you are addicted to throwing die I am very adverse to throwing die it slows the game. Statisticaly you can do in one random draw what you can do with using a saving throw system
. Adherence to a D6 is one of the reasons its crops up. We use a D20 so you can better resolve a situation in 1 die roll.
If you believed you had “control” of a random factor then you are advocating cheating as its supposed to be random. If its not random get something that it. so owning a role is an illogical premise. Personally I fine nothing more irritating than some idiot continually shaking the die and screaming come on “6” etc. he should be playing LUDO or something else. Needless to say I play such folk only once, usually they lack the disapline to control an army with any credibility anyway.
We do modern wargameing and have the seme problem. After may moons and cogitation we concluded that its not really a wargame thing. We have played our own proably unique long games. We then found that our reconnisance units were doing what the Long Range desert Group complained of doing. Sitting for hours counting vehicles passing. In effect the reconnisance was doing the work of the wargames table, they were saying here is where the enemy are, not 5 miles further back. Thus the acual troops remain hidden but you know they are on “table”. Now you can then send off scouts from your force to act as point men to explore potential ambushes, as many as you want to trigger an ambush. HOWEVER as Montgommery complained, expert units take the best men from the army. Therefore your scouts need to be taken from the best troops leaving the rest poorer for their loss. You may be able to put a few pickets out of “normal troops” provided they remain in sight, if they go out of sight they may not have the motivation to look hard and risk death.
A quote from a friend dad who drove an armouerd car. “If they shoot at you, you know they are there. If no one shoots they are either good troops or they are not their”. For beginners troops are deployed as blinds with a few spare if they cannot be seen. For proper players you deploy on a map and the none moving player stays hidden untill bumped into or he makes a visible action.
Our own system (Maneouvre Group) which is “modern” for company level uses alternate elements activation but include a unique reaction phase and a spoting element. This means that elements cannot go straigt round a corner and shoot first unless the enemy is not looking their way. It does, as noted in the blog, allow simultanious moves by multiple elements provided they are in the same communications net. However this limits the movement somewhat so it is not the same as giveing all the elements individual move to do as they wish. It is an ideal system for serous players who put the time and thought into there planning and tactics.
For the open a six plck and play another game its unsuitable, but I do not aspire to such gamse I play Dominoes under those circumstances.
We use the paper drop or throw chits onto the table. Gliders could have their landing point defoined. Some glider pilots could navigate well. It proably depends on the troops that are landing and how critical cohesion or lack of it features in your scenario. If its a newbie we let him drop a few chits as practice (pathfiners dropping first).