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Confusion Under Fire
United Kingdom
Warrington
Cheshire
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The Other Road To Arnhem is an entry into the Wargame PnP Contest 2016-17

The "Other" road is the route that the 1st British Air Bourne (AB) division took from their landing zones, some, over 7 miles away, to their main objective, the bridge over the Lower Rhine in Arnhem. At the outskirts of Oosterbeek the division met with German resistance.
This first part of the game represents a forward company of Paratroopers who were sent to find an alternative route through Hartenstein woods, it is your job to lead these Paras and find a safe route through the woods.
The game itself has been modelled on the Ambush system of solo games but I have simplified everything. For those of you who have never played Ambush you are in for an experience unlike any other in a board wargame. Just because you cannot see the enemy doesn't mean they are not there! For those of you who have played Ambush, I know several of you have yearned for a simplified version and hopefully this is it. I have included 5 scenarios listed A through to E, the victory conditions remain the same throughout but there's a surprise or two with each scenario.

The image below is from a playtest map, this is to keep information from the actual game a secret.


During the design of TORTA I have kept one eye on the number of components and although there is a bit to print out there is very little 'making' to do. Just one single sided sheet which contains all the units and markers used in the game. Half of this sheet is generic so you could scrounge components from other games. EG A German LMG counter has just an image of a German MG34 and no stats. You could use any German LMG from any game to replace the German LMG units on the sheet. The map is on 6 sheets which need printing and joining together.
Players will be required to add 2D6 and a deck of playing cards.

Playing time: Around 3 to 4 hours

Number of Players: 1, it is a solo game but there are 3 distinct allied platoons, so it is possible that 1,2,3 or 4 players can participate, each with their own role. Best with 1 player.

Categories: Best Solitaire and Best Tactical and Most original concept with the CRT/order of targets attacked.

At the outset I made a tree to organise the paragraphs, this was a system of using a grouping for all related paragraphs. So the first paragraph of a group might start with A1, the paragraph might open up some more options so you would get A1a and A1b and so on. Some groups intermingled with each other and it took lots of concentration to make sure nothing was misplaced. Mistakes were back trackable but with lots of cross referencing and to further confuse the situation to make sure players could not link unchecked paragraphs together all the paragraphs had to be renumbered. As per usual an easier method was discovered after all the paragraphs had been created and I can see why the Ambush system has gaps in their paragraphs!! It was the first playtesting session that uncovered all the paragraph errors. I have fixed and tested the paragraphs away from the map so the next stage is to playtest each scenario with the maps.

The next large change in rules was with the flow of the game. It was just too slow. I needed a better system that was more fluid, this also meant a change with the combat procedure. This lead to the target order system which I quite like. You will find that suppressing units is more important than eliminating them and you will also find that eliminating units is quite hard to do especially if they are stacked with 'Good Order units'. I have found during gameplay that using true tactics will help you win the game.

The stance markers used within the game attempt to make players think of the overall actions before making a move. For example a unit with a Hold stance will be better in combat than a unit with an Advance stance. A unit with a Hold stance will not move. The stance of a unit also determines how well they spot hidden enemy units. If you rush about the battlefield with an assault stance you are going to end up in an enemy hex, in a minefield or wire, or worse still all three! An Assault stance can allow a unit to move and enter into combat within the same turn. Use the stances sensibly and you should be ok.

The Fog of War is created by the paragraphs, hopefully some of the events will have you cursing, wowing, laughing and blowing out your cheeks as well as being rueful.


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Pelle Nilsson
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Very interesting! You probably remember some of my old posts about wanting a simplified Ambush!? I believe we have discussed that topic a few times.

Regarding ordering paragraphs I also noticed how difficult and error-prone that was, which was one of the reasons I made my DIY Ambush! scenario generator script, that you probably saw many years ago (DIY Ambush! Missions). If you start working on many scenarios for a game like this I can really recommend you take a little time to set up something like that to save time (and reduce errors) in the long run! You might actually have found my latest, sort of, incarnation of that Ambush! tool useful, even if everything Ambush!-related is removed, but it still does the job of ordering paragraphs and more (and is much more sane than the old tool, and with more output format options): https://github.com/lifelike/gamebookformat

Anyway looking forward to print and play this!
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Confusion Under Fire
United Kingdom
Warrington
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Thanks Pelle, and I do remember the discussions we had. I find it quite amusing at times that the solution to a problem is often similar to the Ambush way of doing things. You get to understand why they did certain things. I do have ideas about how to arrange the paragraphs but I will look at your programme, it can only help.

I have learnt a lot while making TORTA and unfortunately much of it was too late to add into this game. If this is well received I would be tempted to make more of this type of game and make it more refined. I wanted to use an Action Round Track the way Ambush uses it but there were too many units to make it feasible. In the end I had to use stance markers and make each unit check a paragraph after each action type had been executed, this helped to give recently found German units two actions before the allies could react. Anyway I am waffling on now.
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