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Combat Commander: Europe» Forums » General

Subject: Homebrewing the Winter War. rss

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Just to tide me over until the inevitable whistle release of an official Winter War Battle Pack for Combat Commander, I thought I'd start a thread for people who might also be "up for it" to get on board and also contribute some thoughts and ideas.

Going through the long list of official scenarios theres really rather a lot that could be directly compatible with the idea of winter scenarios, night time action etc. The conflict lends itself to a lot of infantry only skirmishing, and it seems like it wouldnt take much to put a bit of wintery goodness onto the frame that already exists.

What are the kinds of ideas you'd most like to see in such a "battle pack" or even downloadable fan based creation


I'll start with dedicated Finnish counters. I doubt this would be too difficult actually, Maciek did some great stuff with Poland, and I would imagine Finland having plain white counters with the iconic blue cross in the watermark background.

Obviously the WHite Death Simo needs to be in there, but there seems to be several SSRs that already influence how snipers would work, either by increasing their applicable hexes, I dont know if it would be easy to "beef" up Simo's amazing record by letting the fins have more control over the target (maybe even resolving a target hex like an OBA), or making all snipers only applicable to the finns even if the russian draws them

The Pucko knife should be included somehow, I guess just making finns have boxed melee would represent an increased hand to hand combat.

The finns would also have to get cover advantages out in the snow, in a way that the russians couldnt. Of course the russians would have numbers

I havent had time to read in proper detail but feel free to add any ideas if you can express them in a very sketchy outline way that you could see realistically being made into an SSR or variant rule. I dont want to overdo it, what with the real Winter War module surely on the way

Also, it would be neat to see some "winterized" maps, even if that was someone colorizing some of the existing ones. I love how the maps in Red Winter look for example. Maybe it would be possible to zoom in on some of the action in those scenarios and create some kind of link


anyway, I saw some comments on CSW also mention Winter War so I know I am not alone in being fascinated by the prospect of this, and I would absolutely love to see it in the Combat Commander universe.
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Paul Trad

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Some of this already exists in SSRs of scenarios you may not have read (yet).

CC lends itself to abstract solutions that are uber simple, unlike ASL, with its compendium.

In campaign modules there are SSR that apply to the entire campaign ( CSRs?) and any game can use these by simply agreeing beforehand, such as "Let's make this a Stalingrad scenario." This is done with any RSG before a map is picked.

For me, saying the Finn Sniper's range for selected hexes is 2 (not 1) would be a huge advantage for them.

As you said, they already excel at melee with boxed FP.

Sorry for no new thoughts, just my standard mumbo jumbo!
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ha, but you're right Paul, its incredible how much texture a few simple SSRs add. And you are right as well, I've only seen the first couple of dozen (and only experienced the base game - just a couple more scenarios to tackle). Its just oh, one more thing, that on its own is utterly fantastic but just a small part of the whole package. Really incredible.
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Len K
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BoJack Horseman wrote:

I'll start with dedicated Finnish counters.

Also, it would be neat to see some "winterized" maps, even if that was someone colorizing some of the existing ones.

I saw some comments on CSW also mention Winter War so I know I am not alone in being fascinated by the prospect of this, and I would absolutely love to see it in the Combat Commander universe.


thumbsupthumbsup for a Winter War Battle Pack. It's been far too long since the last themed one (Sealion). Hadn't thought about it before but winter maps would be cool. You could also use them for Bulge scenarios etc. Yes, the SSRs can always say 'treat Brush as snowdrifts' or the like but it's not the same as seeing it.
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Paul Trad

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Vassal could (easily?) amend maps to Winterize.

I recall some wargame about 25 years ago that had cut-outs of groups of hexes. These were placed on top of the existing map. If you were using plexiglass this made it easier when all the units were on top.

There are some very talented CC people that could do this. I'm an idea guy, not a technical guy!

Imagine simple hills or marsh on boards you have played on 100 times.

Easy enough to winter theme this, swamp theme, etc etc


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I think Conflict of Heroes has those hex group overlays. I've thought before that you could make a perspex overlay with the hex board and dots and references *on that* and then just overlay that on different maps and graphics. I really love the Combat Commander maps though, its so weird, probably not that long ago I would have argued that the CoHeroes style was much nicer, I mean they are lovely to look at in their own way, but not only is CC more functional, I just actually think they are very beautiful to look at. I think thats true of other games, I tend to prefer a cleaner more abstract look, and not just for function, I mean I prefer the aesthetic. I actually don't think it would be that hard to put together some wintery versions of the current maps or even find some decent enough copy and paste bits to put together an original map in the same style that looked passable.

Its definitely a project I would love to have a crack at, if I werent too busy playing the game I mean
 
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Michael Olsen
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BoJack Horseman wrote:
Its definitely a project I would love to have a crack at, if I werent too busy playing the game I mean :)


If this is something you actually do, please feel free to drop me a note. I have previously stated that the Winter Wars is pretty much my dream scenario pack for CC:E, and I would love to help out with what little I can offer.
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that is awesome to hear Michael, and food for thought over our hopefully many future repeat engagements via VASSAL (or indeed in person the next time you hop over the bridge)
 
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Jonathan Entner
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I'd be careful about monkeying with too many of the rules at one time, as they are fairly carefully balanced. Also, many of them (e.g. sniper) represent more than just actual snipers. Suitable maps sounds cool. I'm not as worried about the counters, the light green doesn't bother me too much I guess. A more fundamental change would be to create a new card deck just for the Finns, rather than the Italian/Axis-minor deck; one could capture more of their unique capabilities that way.

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Marty Sample
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You can increase their capability by re-purposing an existing deck. SSR may say allow an Artillery Denied Order to be used as a Move card or something along those lines.

I agree that the making Snipers go to 2 hex range from the Random Hex is a bit much. That nearly doubles the number of hexes they can affect. I'd rather see their frequency increase and keep the 1 hex radius - for instance, a Jam result also results in a Sniper Check .
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Michael Olsen
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In any case, with regards to the deck used, I think it is essential to keep the CC:M Finnish capability of discarding even when playing an order.
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Yeah thanks for the feedback guys, yes, I know the sniper event isnt specifically a sniper, I was more just thinking out loud how to use that event to increase the effect of the White Death, been reading some of those reports from both sides, my god that must have been something. And his face after getting hit, but then surviving for many decades after that. Incredible story. I would definitely be up for coming up with a scenario featuring at least one SSR that presents some kind of specially focussed action on just the russians advancing across the board while avoiding being sniped from afar. But also some cool ideas with a hidden unit being tracked somehow and being able to take long range shots etc etc.
In general it could also be just as easy as having Simo be the Finnish hero, and having a non standard hero counter, ie instead of 2/4/7 he'd be more like 8/10/1 or something, or even with 0 movement so he can only move with advance, and hed physically be huntable down by the russians (but not easily).

First off I would love to see just finnish counters, even if its just renaming the italians and recolouring them. But even cooler to perhaps come up with at least one uniquely finnish squad type

a finnish deck (at least with art to match) would be cool, even if it was just the italian deck, agree it needs to work in the same way as in CCM or at least the finns need to be good. Great idea by Martin as well that you can use the various defender actions or command confusions to do cool stuff.

To be honest, it feels like such a great fit for the system, but like I said, hehe, my evenings are kind of booked out well in advance with the rest of it so its more a sort of a hopeful yearning that one day it will either happen for real, or enough people would be interested enough to start making some ideas happen so that it could perhaps get going
 
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Preface: I'm one of the few outliers who like and play both Combat Commander and Advanced Squad Leader. I'd like to chime in to give my point of view.

I'm not sure if you know ASL, but everything you ask for is in there: Finns, Environmental Conditions, night, winter, map overlays, and tons of scenarios. ASL has this amount of chrome and then much more (every tank in ww2 is a big deal to me) but comes at a costy price both in terms of dollars invested (if you chase every module) and more importantly complexity of the rules/system.

With this said, I like Combat Commander fot what it is: a simpler, distilled version of ASL where the fundamental difference is in the use of the card deck which adds a great deal of uncertainty to the flow of the game.

But honestly, not every simplification in CC satisfies me (radios). I mean, if you have night scenarios it's because you want the flavour, but more importantly because you want it to change dynamics, and incorporate new mechanics that in the end add depth to the decision making process.

So, new elements to the game? Yes please, but only if they add new challenges in terms of gameplay, not just for the sake of it.
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Thanks for the insight, interesting Reading. I Think I can understand where you're coming from but I'm fascinated by the Winter war so to be honest, just a "themed" battle pack with Little in the way of extra rules would be more than fine with me. I really like the look of the Stalingrad and Normandy battle packs in particular and they didnt add a huge amount of "extras". The great thing with CC is the leanness of the rules framework and the way SSRs can inject loads of flavour at very low overhead.

So to me, proper finnish counters and deck, winterized maps, a handful (if any) extra rules to focus on the key aspects of the conflict, and then a Collection of SSRs (which probably exist already among the published one) and I would be all over it like a bad rash

Ive not gotten to the battle packs yet, but in general, most of them dont seem to add huge amounts of extra overhead, so I Think a Winter war "themed" battle pack is in line with how the series has been developed to this Point, or?
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Paul Trad

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This question of mechanical versus themed has come up in the module where England is invaded.

(my brain cannot access the name- part of FotW?)

It is amazing, high quality, well researched with superb production value.

Yet many people disliked it because 'that never happened.'



So I very much doubt that someone will devote another 2 years of hard labor for a seasonal variant.

Better to get permission (from Chad?) to do a player-created variant.
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Marty Sample
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I think you are comparing apples and oranges. Alt history vs historical module in this case. Certainly the ASL community had a positive reaction to the long awaited Finnish module.

I do think creating a new deck and counter sheet will be a bit of a challenge from a sell in standpoint. Both will add to the final price of the game. I'd start by trying to utilize the existing decks and counters first. Between the 6 European decks and all the different counters, you've got a lot to work with.

And while many will focus on the Winter War, a less covered aspect is the Continuation War , where a better prepared Soviet Army squared off against the Finns post Barbarossa. Then there is the Lapland War, when the Finns fought the Germans after they switched sides. This was relatively low intensity but will might offer some variety.
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@ Paul

Operation Sea Lion you mean?
I Think thats different though, thats themed around a "what if" which I Think was the main source of complaint from those who didnt care for it, as I read it anyway. With Winter War its themed around a conflict which did occur and had its own special flavour and feeling. I know Stalingrad and Normandy get all the laurels but I'd rate the Winter War engagement as more in line with those than Operation Sea Lion so I don't Think it would be a wasted effort, would you Think its less popular? I guess the series is getting on a bit now, but I know someone is working on a BP for Pacific, maybe its a Labour of love but I'll be buying anything and Everything in the series from now on so hope there will be more to come.

I know Bryan has asked for people to send him stuff for consideration for scenarios and battle packs. I guess one day it would be nice to come up with a couple of scenarios to try to put together. I dont Think it would be an insurmountable problem to knock up counters and cards either at least to share as a fan Creation. Long way off though, just something thats a twinkle in mY (and not just me by the sound of it) Eye.
 
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Chadwik
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Quote:
Better to get permission (from Chad?) to do a player-created variant.

No permission required. If somebody wants to take on the task of creating a Winter War battle pack, go for it. When you feel it's ready for prime time, submit the design to me and GMT for consideration. That's how several of the battle packs have gone before, as well as the Fighting Formations expansion that just went up for preorder a couple of weeks ago.
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Marty S wrote:
I think you are comparing apples and oranges. Alt history vs historical module in this case. Certainly the ASL community had a positive reaction to the long awaited Finnish module.

I do think creating a new deck and counter sheet will be a bit of a challenge from a sell in standpoint. Both will add to the final price of the game. I'd start by trying to utilize the existing decks and counters first. Between the 6 European decks and all the different counters, you've got a lot to work with.

And while many will focus on the Winter War, a less covered aspect is the Continuation War , where a better prepared Soviet Army squared off against the Finns post Barbarossa. Then there is the Lapland War, when the Finns fought the Germans after they switched sides. This was relatively low intensity but will might offer some variety.


great Points! Yes, its probably a lazy faux pas to interchange Winter War to mean a long and complicated conflict occuring in different phases, but you've highlighted some fantastic Points there, they already have decks to use, and as you say theres scope for the earlier russian assault, the whole guerilla warfare angle, then the later russian engagement and the turn against the germans. I reckon it could provide a rich backdrop for a few scenarios in each area that would be enough to provide a "battle pack" Worth of action.

Cobbling together counters and photoshopping a bit of stuff onto a card deck would be pretty easy to do as a fan download later.

Thanks for your input Martin
 
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Chad Jensen wrote:
Quote:
Better to get permission (from Chad?) to do a player-created variant.

No permission required. If somebody wants to take on the task of creating a Winter War battle pack, go for it. When you feel it's ready for prime time, submit the design to me and GMT for consideration. That's how several of the battle packs have gone before, as well as the Fighting Formations expansion that just went up for preorder a couple of weeks ago.


You make it sound so easy

Seriously you guys that make the scenarios are Amazing, and hopefully I will soon be able to post something that at least in a small part shows that Gratitude.

On the bus ride to work today I imagined a way to make a scenario where a russian force has to traverse a map under sniper fire and work out how to make that fun as a scenario. I just couldnt wrap my head around it. Perhaps some kind of fun solo challenge, but not at all easy to incorporate a working idea thats fun to play as both the Finns and Russkies.

I Think I'll try to get several hundred more games under my belt Before I start sending packages off to the Jensen Chateau under cover of smoke
 
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Paul Trad

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This whole time you were referring to THE Winter War.

I got it in my head this thread was about Winter fighting in general.

So yeah, apples and oranges.

ninja
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