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Ogre» Forums » General

Subject: Hidden Units rss

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wolf90 (Drew)
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I'm working on updating the rules for a variety of issues, and need some help. Most notably, the concept of hidden units has been a thorn for years. This can relate to mines, LADs, camouflaged units, etc. Does anyone have a method that has worked well for them?

D.
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Andrew Walters
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All the hexes have numbers.

I write down the hex numbers for my mines, hidden objectives, camouflaged units, etc. When I move them or you move within X hexes of them I show you the paper and put the units on the board. Lots of scenarios use this method. It's not fancy, but it really works.
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Chris Dieckmann
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Did you try using blank dummy tokens over units to at least feature some fog of war? Personally i think that in the setting future war satellites giant robotic war machines and such wouldn't really allow so much for hidden forces? Maybe for defense in set-up until activated.
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Jeremy Fridy
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Kent
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Actually, it's highly likely that satellites could be easily blinded. It might be hard to hide an Ogre, but given that a laser tower could easily shoot down aircraft, there is a chance to hide units.
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Andrew Walters
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The standard background says that satellites are shot down within hours. So they might put one up before or at the start of a major operation, you get some recon but the enemy knows you're up to something - but you don't have it day to day or for small scale tactical operations.
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John Labelle
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Speaking from experience, the "two board" method works well.
One example is Avalon Hill's Classic "Midway".
Or a variation of this is a "Map" of the board on a piece of paper for hidden movement. Examples for this are Avalon Hill's "Jutland" and Parker Bros. "Clue The Great Museum Caper". Although I'm somewhat biased for the paper map method. whistle
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wolf90 (Drew)
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All great ideas. The numbered hex method, Andrew, is currently the baseline, and as you mentioned, works. I just wanted to see if there was a better way.

John, could you explain what you mean by the 2-map or paper map method? I've been playing around a bit with that concept, and would be interested to know your take on it.

D.
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John Labelle
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Sure!
Well, it usually involves a (inexpensive) pad of printed black and white pages of a smaller representation of the game board.
Jutland (that has no board) uses such a pad of maps for the area of the ocean the fleets maneuvered in for the "search" portion of the game.
You draw with pencil lines your fleet's movements until the opponents meet.

Museum Caper (which I'm one of the designers of the prototype) uses a small "Thief pad" that has maps of the "Museum Display" board that the Thief plays on behind a shield by drawing his moves square by square so his movements are kept secret from the characters playing on the Museum Display. Originally this pad was a full duplicate board, (like "Midway") but Parker Bros. converted it to the easier to produce pads.
The Thief gives clues to his whereabouts when certain actions are performed and loses if a Clue character deduces his position and lands on him.

This system works real well if only one player is hidden in the gameplay. Ambush type scenarios, hidden defenses , etc.
If both players are hidden in a game, then you have to come up with search type rules that reveals somewhat the location of a unit such as one of the adjacent hexes. Or, there can be a third person "Referee" that informs the players when contact is made. Although referees are rare to have around so two player search procedure rules are more common. Numbered hexes play into all this for easy vocal reference.

I could see a map pad system work with Ogre. The pads are cheap to print with just black ink so cost should not be a problem. Or, just one black and white map "template" is provided with the standard line printed on it that says "Permission to Photo Copy". Although I know you guys are a bit skittish about stuff like that more so than other game companies so I'd go with the printed pad.
Hope this helps!
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John Labelle
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You could use the Ogre Mini set as your "Paper Map" played behind a shield. So, you pretty much have everything you need already.
 
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David Rock

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I have to say the idea of having multiple maps sounds really horrible to me. Not only is that the extreme case of extra bookkeeping (moving multiple things in multiple places for what's supposed to be a simple game), but it adds a significant amount of real estate overhead. I don't know what kind of playing surface you have available, but the ODE sized map is hard enough to find space for on its own without introducing the need for even more tabletop space.

And if you are playing a scenario that uses multiple G.E.V. maps??? No way.
 
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John Labelle
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Hidden units/movement always makes a game more complicated. It's the nature of the beast.

I guess the most basic scenario in Ogre would be a map with the positions of the units that do not move. Howitzers and the Command Post. Write the positions down, fold the paper up and tuck it in your pocket. No additional space required.

The Ogre searches for the hidden Command Post while the hidden Howitzers blast away. You can play that once they fire they are "Spotted" if the Ogre is within a certain range

A single "Stealth Ogre" scenario would also be a fairly simple scenario to play out. The more hidden units...the more complexity especially if the units "move" in the game.
Heck! I think I know what I'm doing for my next Ogre session! ninja
 
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Ken
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The idea of a PDF we could down load that is 8.5" x 11" and is a scaled version of each standard full map is a good way to note hidden units.

If, and this is a big if, units do not move after that. That is where a paper version falls down.

The other way it so double or triple dummy units and have, again, a side sheet showing which unit is real.

If you do it this way you could add, for fun, these units can be attacked, and can attack until reveled. All infantry units are tread as xxx until revealed, all Ogres are treated as xxx until revealed. Of course there must be some kind of range limit forcing reveal.

So you have both hidden and FOG of war.
 
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Stephan Beal
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Ken at Sunrise wrote:
The other way it so double or triple dummy units and have, again, a side sheet showing which unit is real.


Perhaps simpler: flip non-real units to their Disabled side before covering them. When revealed, any unit which is Disabled is a dummy. For infantry, perhaps use a proxy unit, like Marines, as the dummies (assuming there are no Marines in the scenario), or use an armor unit which is otherwise unused in the scenario (hovertrucks... i've got two full handfuls of hovertrucks i'll never use...).
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