Author Topic: Something isn't quite right  (Read 527 times)

ecka65

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Re: Something isn't quite right
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2017, 07:49:07 PM »
I think it started getting a bit testy and I accept responsibility and openly apologise for that.  It wasn't my intention to start a drama.  I think I misread "smart-assy question" sort of like I react to "with all due respect".  :)

I've seen a lot of rules go through several iterations.  There's nothing like public playtesting to really strain and test anything, let alone wargame rules!  I admire the effort and patience involved in trying to design and write a set of rules for such an ecclectic bunch as us figure gamers... ;)  If I didn't like the game I wouldn't have played it so many times - let alone paint up Armies in 3 F*&king scales for it!  If I had zero respect for Sam I wouldn't own 4 of his rule sets.

But none of the above will stop me from providing considered feedback if I think something might be out of whack.  I'm pretty sure the designer doesn't want it to be out of whack.  If no one says anything....

Plus it is difficult to explain a series of games in words for all concerned, particularly the author.  The only way I can try is to propose that if player A goes for max epic points via charges, player B won't close the gap WITHOUT counter charges.  If a player can conduct - on paper seemingly ridiculous moves (like shoot and retire out of range, or charge veterans behind cover) - and gain advantage or reward then perhaps that was NOT ever intended and could use some retrospective analysis.


Le Grand Fromage

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Re: Something isn't quite right
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2017, 02:12:19 AM »
Quote
I think I misread "smart-assy question" sort of like I react to "with all due respect".

No, I really meant: it's hard to make the following suggestion without it coming across as Smart-Ass.  But it's still - in all honesty - in my mind at least the most obvious thing to ask:

If you're playing in a way that you don't think is historically correct...  then isn't the simplest solution just to play in a different way?  Why go to all the extra trouble of creating, testing, and adding more rules and procedures, in an attempt to restrict yourself and prevent yourself from playing in a certain way, when you could just as easily choose to play differently without needing to change the game at all?

Or, if you really do feel that there's an incentive in the game that you just can't ignore, why not simply remove that incentive?  For example:  get rid of the rule that awards an Epic Point for a grand charge.  Or limit it to no more than 1 such reward per player, per game?

Experience has taught me that - whenever possible - a problem should be solved by removing rules, not by adding them.




ecka65

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Re: Something isn't quite right
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2017, 08:06:07 PM »
Thanks for that.  It'll work at home but at club level rules as written and official optional rules tend to trump.

For home play we've taken on board your advice and are now going to trial using the rules available rather than add or eliminate them.  We're going to add 4 DYO interupt cards that allow the defender to invoke a fire phase at charging units.  That should add some psychological trauma to charging...  ;)  Particularly frontal assaults.

Maybe 4 is too many.  My mates idea was to offer 4 and the player deals out cards from the top of the deck for each one he adds.  Either way, I think it will encourage the safe option of shooting and make epic points earnt from charges just that little bit more "epic".

***EDIT***

After discussion 4 defensive fire cards is too many.  Replaced by 2 with consideration being given to a "Hesitant" interupt card - cancells charge, phasing player conducts movement instead.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 11:44:03 PM by ecka65 »

DaveWoodchuck

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Re: Something isn't quite right
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2017, 06:45:12 AM »
It my current ongoing campaign, the majority of our casualties are actually the result of musketry and artillery fire.  With the attacker only moving 4BW and a firing range of 6BW, the attacker almost always suffers at least one full volley of defensive fire before being able to charge home.  Also, copious use of field defenses (which seem to be ignored as a possibility in most AARs I read) is both historical and really dissuades piecemeal charges.

Two examples - one of a successful charge and one... less so.  In a battle a couple months ago, I was defending a rail line with plenty of cover and wide open fields of fire.  My father moved up to around 4BW out, having been hurt a bit by artillery on the approach.  I was ready to really let him have it when he played "They couldn't hit an..." and I predictably rolled a six.  He followed that up with a Charge Bayonets (that's the fire and charge one, right?) and knocked my troops back hard.  With all that perfect combination of factors, he still lost a few bases from successful defense I had at some sections of the wall, but he threw my army in disarray.  His line was heavily disordered afterwards, too, but he now had the cover of the rail line in most cases and won the day handily. Even then, I lost only ten bases to charges that battle.  He lost three or four in his attack and a couple to some cavalry I threw in to buy some time and take advantage of his disordered line.

Now the less successful one.  The battle after the one I mentioned was heavily wooded on one flank.  Most fighting was in garbage terrain at less than 2BW with streams going through the woods and ravines all over the place.  The other flank had some open fields and then broken terrain right in front of some field defenses I threw up early in the approach.  My father, probably still with visions of his previous success, tried charges without the ridiculously favorable combination of circumstances he had earlier.  Once his troops got into range, I was able to really tear them up.  He tried to press home, but his attacks kept "bouncing."  Bad terrain and defenses really make a charge a costly proposition in both cards and bases.  I took very few casualties (mostly artillery) on that flank.  I used his charge moves as an opportunity to move around in the woods and jockey for position.  His focus on the charge was defeated by terrain.

I guess what I'm getting at is that charges don't really work well against defenses in my experience.  If it is too easy to make a grand, sweeping charge, maybe you should toss in some more terrain and elevations.  Make it look a little more like a hideously broken battlefield like Shiloh or Stone's River instead of "Pickett's Charge, but with cover for the troops all the way in so they are not subjected to six turns of essentially unanswered artillery fire"

mikepfanenstiel

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Re: Something isn't quite right
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2017, 09:06:00 AM »
I think a lot of casualty by musket fire is probably the norm for most players. I know it is for our group. It had to do more with style of play, if both players want to line up there forces to max out EP then that is their style of play. Other players will try to deny those EP charges by use of terrain, use of forces, deployment, etc much like defending an objective.
I don t see much of an issue with some brigades have more casualties due to charge. His original statement was for the whole war and hundreds of brigades, I am sure that there were exceptions when looking at a single brigade.
Mike p


ecka65

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Re: Something isn't quite right
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2017, 10:19:20 PM »
The "issue" has largely been solved by removing Epic Points alltogether and measuring victory with a straight out "first to 5".

Like has been said by Capt Darling, we (gamers) always have to make trade offs to keep a game fun and practicable.  I have played some very "accurate" rule sets that just haven't been much fun.

With LS, it wasn't so much "group think" or some infectious like player style.  It was born from the simple question "how do you win and how is it measured?"  One of the original Confederates (first campaign) soon joined the dots.  Charges generate EP's.  Charges with "Rebel Yell" can smash defenders.  In that first '61 battle he threw his troops forward ala converged Grenadiers of the 18th Century - no shooting, just shock tactics.  It was not only very effective, he generated 10 Epic points in the first battle!  Everyone else (including is compatriot) was on 3-6.  It had a double whammy effect, his opponent lost elan across the board while his troops maintained elan.

Long story short, he did almost exactly the same thing in the first '62 battle and drew out to a 10 epic point lead.  We couldn't yell and criticise, he was winning the battles as well as churning out points.  How else could the rest of us wear that deficit down with 7 battles remaining?  Not by winning and taking objectives.  The ONLY way was to respond in kind.  The seemingly unintended emphasis on charging plus the effect was enough to break the game.  Absolute suicidal charges regardless of how well defended, terrain, use of forces ect ALWAYS go in and ALWAYS generate VP's.  Cards used and bases lost are inconsequential to the guaranteed reward gained.  The only pause was if atleast one charge combat couldn't be won - then you'd be handing a VP to the enemy.  But not even that was a problem if you could scrape together 20 bases to gon in.  Still a profitable exercise.

mikepfanenstiel

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Re: Something isn't quite right
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2017, 04:13:47 PM »
What I was trying to suggest by the words “player style.”

The campaign card deck favors the Confederates in the early years and the Union in the later years.

Most gamers will gain EP with the Confederates thru charging in the first few runs through the campaign and develop a point lead that is impossible for the Union to overcome.  It is easy and simple to do and your initial point was that the game was not balanced, because of it.

Most of our campaigns today are won by the Union, using the EP rules as is. That’s because our style has evolved to minimize the EP that are gained by the Confederates in the early years. Both sides start with the same quantity and quality of troops, it is just the cards that are different. The Union player has to develop a plan on how to minimize the obvious Confederate early advantage. I think that is a reflection of the actual war, the Union had to figure out how to minimize the Confederate advantages and maximize theirs.

Of course, you can enjoy it without the EP as you are doing.

Mike P