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Combat Commander: Europe» Forums » Variants

Subject: Multi-Player and Multi-Game Combat Commander rss

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Mike Smith
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Apologies if someone has already suggested something similar. Here is a simple sketch of how you might run 2 or more games in parallel. Special rules could refine this basis further e.g. by giving a side a pool of assets at the start that have to be allocated by the overall C-in-C amongst the different scenarios that will run in parallel.

Multi-Player and Multi-Game Combat Commander
You may set up several games next to each other. It is possible to have each game with its own separate pair of opponents, or to have the same player command all the games of his side. Each game is a separate game, except that players may transfer units between adjacent games. No other interaction between parallel games, such as combat, is possible.
Each Turn in each parallel game happens simultaneously, even though each game has its own Time Track, as normal. Where the same player commands in more than one game he can choose the order in which he resolves his Turn in each separate game.
In parallel games you may exit the map via a flank that lies next to an adjacent game, but only within your original deployment zone. Once a game ends no units may be transferred from it or to it. Any units that exit the map are placed on the Time Track of the adjacent game a number of spaces further on than the current position of the Time marker in that game. When a unit or stack of units exits calculate how many spaces further on it will be placed:
Make a die roll in the game where they move from.
Add 3 if the units exit from a Marsh hex
Add 2 if the units exit from a Woods hex
Add 1 if the units exit from a Building hex, Brush hex, or Gully hex (unless the Gully leads directly off the exit mapedge)
Subtract 2 if the units exit via a road (replaces, not cumulative, with above modifiers)
Add the movement modifier of any weapon with the exiting stack (i.e. if the movement modifier were -2 than add 2)
Subtract the Command numbers of a Leader with the stack.
Result:
Less than 3 = next space
3-6 = 2 spaces later
7-9 = 3 spaces later
10-12 = 4 spaces later
13-15 = 5 spaces later
16 or more = 6 spaces later

The units will arrive as reinforcements when the Time marker enters the space where they are placed. However, they enter on the appropriate flank within the deployment zone of their side in the game moved to. If there is no stacking room for them all, then place the excess in the next space on the Time Track.
Units that have transferred in this way still count as in the counter mix of the original game they came from. Heroes cannot transfer.

Edit 26th July to make some small adjustments to Leader modifier and terrain modifiers.
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Steve Bishop
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Some interesting thoughts Mike, I have often pondered on the possibility of a 'Battalion' level game with perhaps three 'Company' level CC games going on at once. The battalion commander would be a fourth player on a side and would distribute the battalion assets as he saw fit.

Although the three company commanders are nominally on the same side they would also be competing against the other ‘allied’ company commanders to achieve the best result; this to make them more competitive for the battalion resources. Needless to say the two battalion commanders would also be in competition.

The battalion commanders would also not be able to see the table(s) and so would get reports from their subordinates with perhaps the option to send out one of the battalion staff to get an up to date picture at any one map. Battalion assets might also include an extra order that can be given to one of the Company CO’s but is redistributable, again perhaps representing battalion staff or other resources.

I haven’t really thought much deeper than this but other considerations might include;

• Do all of the companies have the same posture, i.e. the whole battalion is either on attack, defence or Recon (not to mention CC Pacific – Invader & Banzai!).

• If they receive reinforcements do they get a compensating increase in their order levels, or just if a leader is also transferred.

• The timing between games (as you have alluded to) could be a problem if the turn counter in one game is whizzing along and is static in another; perhaps some method of keeping the games in synch would be required such as all games move forward on every second time trigger (I still see problems here with faster and slower players, perhaps they just have more dynamic leaders!).

• Once the battalion CO is out of assets, what part does that player then take in the game might be a bit boring from that point on.


Needs a bit more thought but an interesting topic.
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Mike Smith
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Not sure there would be enough for the Battalion commander to do in your proposal Steve. I think he would need to directly command one of the 3 games. That would work fine and would be resonably historical - at Battalion level he would probably be close to the action and not in a static command post. You could still limit his ability to oversee the other games and have a limited messaging system between the games routed through him.
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Steve Bishop
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Go on then sort it out and we'll all come up to Cumbria for the weekend.

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T. Dauphin
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bishuk wrote:
Some interesting thoughts Mike, I have often pondered on the possibility of a 'Battalion' level game with perhaps three 'Company' level CC games going on at once. The battalion commander would be a fourth player on a side and would distribute the battalion assets as he saw fit.

Although the three company commanders are nominally on the same side they would also be competing against the other ‘allied’ company commanders to achieve the best result; this to make them more competitive for the battalion resources. Needless to say the two battalion commanders would also be in competition.

The battalion commanders would also not be able to see the table(s) and so would get reports from their subordinates with perhaps the option to send out one of the battalion staff to get an up to date picture at any one map. Battalion assets might also include an extra order that can be given to one of the Company CO’s but is redistributable, again perhaps representing battalion staff or other resources.



Great ideas.
I agree if one game affects another keeping them on the same time track is a challenge.
|Another thought, here, is that you might want to add a set of off board reserves that the battalion commander can throw into whichever battle may be in need.

Mantuanwar wrote:
Not sure there would be enough for the Battalion commander to do in your proposal Steve. I think he would need to directly command one of the 3 games. That would work fine and would be resonably historical - at Battalion level he would probably be close to the action and not in a static command post. You could still limit his ability to oversee the other games and have a limited messaging system between the games routed through him.


Great solution!

Since this is a gamemastered variant with blind components, I thought I'd refer you to this thread where some sites and resources were mentioned where some similar things are happening. You might find some good ideas.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/998294/any-in-print-doub...


Also, you may notice that this is of particular interest to me, and when I have more time on my hands, this summer, I'm hoping to put together a "gathering place" for ideas such as these. The focus is on blind play, but that comes in many guises, such as this one.
I can keep you posted if either (any) of you are interested.
I will be putting out a general call for interest or expertise later, once my 'busy' vacation time is over.


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T. Dauphin
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bishuk wrote:
Go on then sort it out and we'll all come up to Cumbria for the weekend.



I just noticed where you guys are.
Included in the thread I referred you to is this site, which you should definitely check out.

http://www.megagame-makers.org.uk/


 
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Jim F
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bishuk wrote:
Go on then sort it out and we'll all come up to Cumbria for the weekend.



+1
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Michael Lind
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Very much like your idea and we've tried playing multiple maps with 4 players at PREZCON and WBC a few times.

FWIW, our (limited) experience seemed to say we needed to somehow add objectives common to both of the players on the same side as the games quickly became nothing more than 2 games being played on the same table.

I like the idea of 2 players on each side and really like the idea of 3 players on each side even better. An overall commander for each side would need to have something to actually do to keep him/her interested in the game.

What if an overall commander was the only one to know the actual objectives (open known by both overall commanders on each side and secret known only to the overall commander on that side), controlled the initiative card use when his/her side held it and controlled any Asset Requested/Asset Denied cards any subordinates held(or maybe there could be only a single asset for a side versus a map and the overall commander could allocate it between maps)? The subordinate commanders would only follow the overall commander's instructions rather than actually knowing all the details and would have to request use of the initiative card or assets from the overall commander when desired.

The potential for a multi-player version is great so long as it doesn't adversely delay play or mess up the subordinate commander's ability to command too much.
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Thomas V
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I wonder, what if the overall commander would have to draw the cards and divide it over each game without sight on the game and subordinates screaming for that move card against each other?

Subordinates have to win their own game, overal commander has to win all games ?
 
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Francis K. Lalumiere
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TVG01 wrote:
I wonder, what if the overall commander would have to draw the cards and divide it over each game without sight on the game and subordinates screaming for that move card against each other?

Subordinates have to win their own game, overal commander has to win all games ?

M44 did something similar, and it's boring as hell for the overall commander. I would rather do away with that role.
 
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Oh, one other thing.

Years ago we played SPI's War in the East as a team game with 3 players and an overall commander on each side. The game map was set up in one room where the players were and each team had a team room with a full map on the wall covered in plastic where the overall commander kept track of the action by marking up the map with grease pencils.

Overall commander never saw the actual map and communication could be done with subordinates in writing or in person with the subordinates coming to the team room as desired.

Worked pretty well and provided a great fog of war effect. Of course, our gaming club was fortunate enough to have a permanent space with 5 big rooms to use...
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Confusion Under Fire
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I have thought about a similar thing and came up with this idea for the passing of time. If you have say, 4 games in progress then after every 4 Passing of Times would equate to each game having one passing of time. This would keep each game in step and it should average out to a similar number of turns as if playing just one game.
 
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Michael Lind
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whatambush wrote:
I have thought about a similar thing and came up with this idea for the passing of time. If you have say, 4 games in progress then after every 4 Passing of Times would equate to each game having one passing of time. This would keep each game in step and it should average out to a similar number of turns as if playing just one game.


How would you handle Sudden Death?
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Gareth Cooper
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Hi Mike - we tried a 3-a-side tournament (custom 'Groesbeek Heights' 'hill 90' 'Nijmegen outskirts' scenario) with 3 linked maps at Border Reivers in Newcastle a few years ago, including possible reinforcements granted to teammates when troops exited off the map.

It worked out ok, despite lack of much preparation, though I never had chance to develop it beyond the game you played.

These all sound like excellent suggestions I'd like to try, enjoying the dicussion.
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Michael Lind
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strangecolours wrote:
Hi Mike - we tried a 3-a-side tournament (custom 'Groesbeek Heights' 'hill 90' 'Nijmegen outskirts' scenario) with 3 linked maps at Border Reivers in Newcastle a few years ago, including possible reinforcements granted to teammates when troops exited off the map.

It worked out ok, despite lack of much preparation, though I never had chance to develop it beyond the game you played.

These all sound like excellent suggestions I'd like to try, enjoying the dicussion.


Hmmmm! I hadn't thought of that aspect. What if an overall commander could re-allocate units leaving one map but having them re-enter on an adjacent map? And I agree this is an interesting discussion.
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T. Dauphin
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Aardvarkius wrote:
strangecolours wrote:
Hi Mike - we tried a 3-a-side tournament (custom 'Groesbeek Heights' 'hill 90' 'Nijmegen outskirts' scenario) with 3 linked maps at Border Reivers in Newcastle a few years ago, including possible reinforcements granted to teammates when troops exited off the map.

It worked out ok, despite lack of much preparation, though I never had chance to develop it beyond the game you played.

These all sound like excellent suggestions I'd like to try, enjoying the dicussion.


Hmmmm! I hadn't thought of that aspect. What if an overall commander could re-allocate units leaving one map but having them re-enter on an adjacent map? And I agree this is an interesting discussion.


Yes, great idea. Reentering another map would have some logistical issues, which brings us back to Mike's original post, where he talked about how some of those might be handled. I like the idea of leadership influencing how well organized that movement would be.

So far, most of this conversation seems to consider everybody in the same location, which would be great, but something like this could be done by email. Many of the technical difficulties would be resolved, like turn time, for example. I would think gamemastering would be easier with time to sort out the details. Would an email (VASSAL) version of something like interest anyone?

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tanik wrote:
Aardvarkius wrote:
strangecolours wrote:
Hi Mike - we tried a 3-a-side tournament (custom 'Groesbeek Heights' 'hill 90' 'Nijmegen outskirts' scenario) with 3 linked maps at Border Reivers in Newcastle a few years ago, including possible reinforcements granted to teammates when troops exited off the map.

It worked out ok, despite lack of much preparation, though I never had chance to develop it beyond the game you played.

These all sound like excellent suggestions I'd like to try, enjoying the dicussion.


Hmmmm! I hadn't thought of that aspect. What if an overall commander could re-allocate units leaving one map but having them re-enter on an adjacent map? And I agree this is an interesting discussion.


Yes, great idea. Reentering another map would have some logistical issues, which brings us back to Mike's original post, where he talked about how some of those might be handled. I like the idea of leadership influencing how well organized that movement would be.

So far, most of this conversation seems to consider everybody in the same location, which would be great, but something like this could be done by email. Many of the technical difficulties would be resolved, like turn time, for example. I would think gamemastering would be easier with time to sort out the details. Would an email (VASSAL) version of something like interest anyone?



I did attempt this path and one of the things you have to sort out is the interaction between attacker and defender in the same turn. CC has a lot of defender actions which to me is part of the appeal for the game. The way I planned it actually worked out quite well as the defender has to select an action for each card he holds for that turn. This means the defender has to think about the following turn and not just slap down that op fire action because the enemy has moved.
I have to also point out that I had planned a multi player game on one map and not multiple maps as discussed here.
I did make a list of all attackers orders and possible actions and the actions that a defender could reply with. I think I still have that knocking around somewhere on an excel sheet if anyone is interested. Oh yes I do but I was also experimenting with a cardless system but using the orders and actions on the cards and offer the same chance of them appearing, but this information on the sheet can be ignored.
It also depends on how much FoW you want to inject. If you want to have terrain which is unseen unless your units can actually see the terrain then you need to make new maps and have someone make Field of Vision Maps for every hex on the map. This is both time consuming and brain sapping too.
I would be interested in participating in something like this. I am currently deep into my own double blind game and hopefully will be starting a new game soon. This will mean I wont be available for making any CC maps but would love to get on my boots and Move Out!
 
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Aardvarkius wrote:
whatambush wrote:
I have thought about a similar thing and came up with this idea for the passing of time. If you have say, 4 games in progress then after every 4 Passing of Times would equate to each game having one passing of time. This would keep each game in step and it should average out to a similar number of turns as if playing just one game.


How would you handle Sudden Death?


Sudden Death would not be a problem as in effect you are playing with one time track, or at least all time tracks should be on the same space. Using the above example, if 3 Times were passed then the marker would still be on the original space but when the 4th Time was passed then the marker would be moved one space. The problem might arise with the casualty pile, too many killed units on one map might cause the casualty level to be reached. Again an average tally might be the best bet.
 
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Mantuanwar wrote:

Each Turn in each parallel game happens simultaneously, even though each game has its own Time Track, as normal.


Wouldn't this possibly make one or more of the games go really slow ? Or are you saying that the players dont need to wait to play their Orders until there is a "Time!" event upon which they wait for the other games to have a "Time!" event ? .... ?
 
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Mike Smith
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I think some of you are misunderstanding my proposal for handling time. Time runs separately in each game. Each game has its own Time track. the only thing in synch between each game are Turns.
 
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Mike Smith
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I thought about the time issue a little before making my variant proposal.
There is something to be said for letting each game run independently at its own speed, without even Turns in synch. That way nobody is waiting around while fire attacks are resolved in one of the games. This would still work using the rules as proposed.
In the end I came down in favour of having Turns in synch. But I have not tried this yet so I don't know how frustrating it would be to wait for all games to finish before moving on to the next turn.
 
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bishuk wrote:
Go on then sort it out and we'll all come up to Cumbria for the weekend.



Well Paul, Lawrence and I suddenly have more potential opponents up here, since two more of the Cumbria Board Gamers (see Guilds) have learnt the game and are playing avidly. This means we really could organise a CC mini-con up here with a solid core of players already in being.
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Mike Smith
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Additionally +1 if exiting from a Brush hex, or a Gully hex unless the Gully leads off map.

Note that it can't be "Leaders" modifying but only a Leader, since 1 Leader cannot activate another to move. (If using my CC Variant rules that are posted on another thread it would still only be "Leader", since under those although one Leader can activate another to move, only one Leader per hex can use his modifiers in all situations.
 
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Michael Lind
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Mantuanwar wrote:
I thought about the time issue a little before making my variant proposal.
There is something to be said for letting each game run independently at its own speed, without even Turns in synch. That way nobody is waiting around while fire attacks are resolved in one of the games. This would still work using the rules as proposed.
In the end I came down in favour of having Turns in synch. But I have not tried this yet so I don't know how frustrating it would be to wait for all games to finish before moving on to the next turn.


As soon as you say "wait" I'm thinking it will immediately become frustrating as any wait for another game stops any momentum someone may have. You don't let the other guy off the ropes once you have him on them.
 
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Mantuanwar wrote:
bishuk wrote:
Go on then sort it out and we'll all come up to Cumbria for the weekend.



Well Paul, Lawrence and I suddenly have more potential opponents up here, since two more of the Cumbria Board Gamers (see Guilds) have learnt the game and are playing avidly. This means we really could organise a CC mini-con up here with a solid core of players already in being.


So get on with it already--and take good notes.
We all want to know how it goes.


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