Recommend
15 
 Thumb up
 Hide
35 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: No Cardboard Widows rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
HMS Iron Duke
United States
Bartlett
Tennessee
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I used to play a lot of historical minatures games. There was a guy in my group who was gauranteed to push all his troops in at any time. He had no concept of force preservation or anything outside of the scenario in the game. His reasoning for this was that there are no lead widows. If half your figures meet their maker in a game and you still win, well that is a win. No one has to go home and tell Seargant Major Knickerbocker's widow that her husband died in the best tradition of the Army.

I bring this up because when I posted my "To the Bitter End" thread I realized that in at least one of the example games I called it because continueing to fight would be wasteful of my soldiers lives for little or no actual gain. So what about you? In your play do you think about the situation outside of the board? Will you throw everything you have at your foe in a death or glory rush or do you try and preserve your forces, spending them carefully? Are you the sort who will push a unit into a 1:4 attack because you think it is "necessary"? To paint with a broadly generalizing brush, are you Patton or Montgomery?

Generalizing...I didn't mean to do that, but it is kind of funny.arrrh
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jack
United States
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I see no point in sparing my cardboard armies, but I used to game with a guy who was at the other extreme. He was so enamoured with certain units (such as the Irish Brigade), that he would try to preserve them even when it could cost him the game.

We were playing a WWII scenario once where his victory conditions required him to break my defensive line, and exit a certain number of units off of the opposite map edge. It was going to be a tough proposition for him, but if he concentrated his best troops against one section of the line, he could probably break through, albeit with heavy casualties. He began to do just that, but would not go beyond a very slow and methodical (and cautious) reduction of the line. I told him he was never going to break the line in time, as he had a limited number of turns to accomplish his goal, but he would not expose his troops to "excessive" (to him) casualties. Needless to say, I won the game.

The only reason I can think of for preserving units is if you are playing a campaign of linked scenarios, or if the victory conditions are linked to casualties in some way.
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nathan James
United States
Covington
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmb
I think about it, but victory comes first. In actual military operations, force preservation is important, but you need to know the larger context to ascertain the importance. Some missions are so critical that force preservation can be nearly disregarded. If the scenario designer thinks that force preservation needed to be kept in mind he should included it in the victory conditions.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Willows
United States
Woburn
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah, I don't think I ever thought about it in quite that way. Conservation of force is usually important for game reasons and no need to think of more than that.

I'll admit though, as Jack says I'll sometimes grow fond of a particular unit. Never because of its name or historical reputation or anything. It's more about on map performance.

Which means, I'll usually expect more from such a unit. I wouldn't "tuck it away" so to speak.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
It's just a ride...
England
Bury St Edmunds
For now.
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
My wife would say that she's something of a cardboard widow...
41 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Leo Zappa
United States
Aliquippa
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I am a competitive player, and I play to the rules. So, unless the designer has built in a mechanism (generally via the victory conditions) that tempers the level of victory depending upon the casualties suffered, I'm not going to concern myself with losses in the midst of an operation. Again, I believe it really falls upon the designer to account for such factors when they fashion their victory conditions.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
Shauneroo wrote:
My wife would say that she's something of a cardboard widow...


That is what I thought the thread was about too.

Ya know, I have found myself practicing Anthropomorphism with Chits when I was younger.

I say:

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! now.

15 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ocean Druen
United States
Buffalo Grove
IL
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I do not believe in cardboard windows, it would be easy to make a win condition that states you need to limit casualties - or that if you have too many casualties then it is a limited win.

As Leo mentioned, the designer should take stock of such issues, otherwise how do you keep track of it in a game (outside of tactical games)? The operational strength of the chits doesn't just represent casualties but moral and equipment.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Willows
United States
Woburn
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DarkTori wrote:
The operational strength of the chits doesn't just represent casualties but moral and equipment.


Excellent point. Logically it follows then that a unit's elimination is not necessarily about casualties.

Further, such "disorganized" forces do actually have a place in a lot of games. Especially on the tactical level.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Vista
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jackolantern wrote:

We were playing a WWII scenario once where his victory conditions required him to break my defensive line, and exit a certain number of units off of the opposite map edge. It was going to be a tough proposition for him, but if he concentrated his best troops against one section of the line, he could probably break through, albeit with heavy casualties. He began to do just that, but would not go beyond a very slow and methodical (and cautious) reduction of the line. I told him he was never going to break the line in time, as he had a limited number of turns to accomplish his goal, but he would not expose his troops to "excessive" (to him) casualties. Needless to say, I won the game.


It took me a little while to get into Winter War because of that. As the Soviets, you *have* to take enormous losses. There's no way around that. And as a player used to being conservative and sensitive of "my boys," it was hard.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Enrico Viglino
United States
Eugene
OR
flag msg tools
Slowed - BGG's moderation policies have driven me partially from here
badge
http://thegamebox.byethost15.com/smf/
Avatar
mb
Most games stop being simulations if you discard the context
to such an extent that losses simply don't matter.

This is a problem I have for something like Panzer Blitz or Squad Leader
though - there's not the context to really discern the point at which
sacrificing men is more expensive than the goals of the scenario warrant.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Stearns
United States
Houston
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In The Battle for Normandy there is an optional rule for the Allies that once a division reaches a certain casualty level it must be pulled from the line and cannot return until brought back to full strength. I believe the rule also says that if for some reason the division is not pulled at the right time or engages in combat prior to being full strength the division is lost for the game. I think this is a good way to force the allies to consider casualties and force preservation, as the did during the war.

In my recent finish of a game of TBfN I was playing the Germans and surrendered on July 27, because a chunk of my forces were cut off and surrounded with no hope of getting out and the rest of the army was simply going to get pushed off the map. The game had reached the point where the outcome was no longer in doubt. Though my surrender could be construed as life saving it was more a matter of practicality.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon
United Kingdom
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
played SPI's Arnhem the other day. That game has force conservation written into the win conditions. Depends on the scenario for me. I prefer games that either in the victory conditions or board position encourage conservation of forces.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Enrico Viglino
United States
Eugene
OR
flag msg tools
Slowed - BGG's moderation policies have driven me partially from here
badge
http://thegamebox.byethost15.com/smf/
Avatar
mb
DukeofChutney wrote:
played SPI's Arnhem the other day. That game has force conservation written into the win conditions. Depends on the scenario for me. I prefer games that either in the victory conditions or board position encourage conservation of forces.


There are a lot of games which take losses into effect.
The problem is that the players tend to be far more willing
to destroy their armies, in order to have a chance of 'scoring'
more. It resides more in thinking of win/loss as a binary condition
than in anything that the victory conditions can control.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kyle Seely
United States
Carmel
IN
flag msg tools
badge
Winner of the C. Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jackolantern wrote:
The only reason I can think of for preserving units is if you are playing a campaign of linked scenarios, or if the victory conditions are linked to casualties in some way.


1914: Twilight in the East awards VP's for every prepared attack you make with your troops. Thus, in the finest WWI tradition, you are encouraged to send wave after wave of your men into the machine guns! Attacking at 1-3 odds? Who cares? Victory points ahoy!

This facet of the game also combines nicely with the Strategic Objectives, which, when employed, prevent you from moving your armies in any direction other than directly towards the objective hex. Need to dress that giant gap in your line? Too bad - attack attack attack!

9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
calandale wrote:
DukeofChutney wrote:
played SPI's Arnhem the other day. That game has force conservation written into the win conditions. Depends on the scenario for me. I prefer games that either in the victory conditions or board position encourage conservation of forces.


There are a lot of games which take losses into effect.
The problem is that the players tend to be far more willing
to destroy their armies, in order to have a chance of 'scoring'
more. It resides more in thinking of win/loss as a binary condition
than in anything that the victory conditions can control.


Ya know, some Real Life guys who made the History behind the games acted like this....
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steven McBride
United States
Oakland
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wilhammer wrote:
calandale wrote:
DukeofChutney wrote:
played SPI's Arnhem the other day. That game has force conservation written into the win conditions. Depends on the scenario for me. I prefer games that either in the victory conditions or board position encourage conservation of forces.


There are a lot of games which take losses into effect.
The problem is that the players tend to be far more willing
to destroy their armies, in order to have a chance of 'scoring'
more. It resides more in thinking of win/loss as a binary condition
than in anything that the victory conditions can control.


Ya know, some Real Life guys who made the History behind the games acted like this....


Yep. Sending your troops off to certain death simply for the sake of "victory conditions" is often more a reality than we like to think. See: Peleliu, September 1944.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Doe Gibson
United States
Chicago
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Many years ago, I would feel bad about sacrificing a pawn while playing chess. I'm a peaceable person by nature, and believe everyone has the right to live regardless of obvious societal value. But I got over it. Lol, this probably around the time I came to the conclusion that the death penalty was in order for certain viscous people. Anyway, my point is that personality plays a big role in how we play our games. So even though I am now willing to sacrifice units to achieve victory, I could not play the side of the Nazis.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Enrico Viglino
United States
Eugene
OR
flag msg tools
Slowed - BGG's moderation policies have driven me partially from here
badge
http://thegamebox.byethost15.com/smf/
Avatar
mb
Wilhammer wrote:
calandale wrote:
DukeofChutney wrote:
played SPI's Arnhem the other day. That game has force conservation written into the win conditions. Depends on the scenario for me. I prefer games that either in the victory conditions or board position encourage conservation of forces.


There are a lot of games which take losses into effect.
The problem is that the players tend to be far more willing
to destroy their armies, in order to have a chance of 'scoring'
more. It resides more in thinking of win/loss as a binary condition
than in anything that the victory conditions can control.


Ya know, some Real Life guys who made the History behind the games acted like this....


Yes. It's a fairly rare thing though. In wargaming however, it
seems to be more common than taking the situation in perspective.

I guess this is why most of us ain't entrusted with an army, IRL.

doelion wrote:
So even though I am now willing to sacrifice units to achieve victory


This is just a factor of good generalship. And why one can't write
rules (usually) to enforce context on the players. I'm perfectly fine
playing the way I do, even facing someone who will risk their nations
fate on a chance of changing a minor tactical loss to a minor victory.

I get off on rubbing that aspect of their behavior in, during the post-mortem.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Maxwell
United States
Arvada
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
stemcider wrote:
Wilhammer wrote:
calandale wrote:
DukeofChutney wrote:
played SPI's Arnhem the other day. That game has force conservation written into the win conditions. Depends on the scenario for me. I prefer games that either in the victory conditions or board position encourage conservation of forces.


There are a lot of games which take losses into effect.
The problem is that the players tend to be far more willing
to destroy their armies, in order to have a chance of 'scoring'
more. It resides more in thinking of win/loss as a binary condition
than in anything that the victory conditions can control.


Ya know, some Real Life guys who made the History behind the games acted like this....


Yep. Sending your troops off to certain death simply for the sake of "victory conditions" is often more a reality than we like to think. See: Peleliu, September 1944.

Odd that you mention that. I just finished Part One of With The Old Breed by E.B. Sledge which covers his experience on Peleliu.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Korchnoi
United States
Richmond
Virginia
flag msg tools
badge
My Little Man's first real wargame play: Barbarossa Solitaire
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
doelion wrote:
Many years ago, I would feel bad about sacrificing a pawn while playing chess. I'm a peaceable person by nature, and believe everyone has the right to live regardless of obvious societal value. But I got over it. Lol, this probably around the time I came to the conclusion that the death penalty was in order for certain viscous people. Anyway, my point is that personality plays a big role in how we play our games. So even though I am now willing to sacrifice units to achieve victory, I could not play the side of the Nazis.


Interesting. I love to sacrifice my pawns in chess but that is mainly because one of my strengths is active piece play so I play dynamic openings like the Sicilian and Benoni.

I have always been interested in military history and I do firmly believe that war is necessary at times, but I really have a hard time gaming World War One on land and I guess it is because that, IMO, of all the military conflicts I can think of, this one always struck me as organized murder. If I was a general at this time I do not think I could've sent those men "Over the Top" in good conscience knowing what would happen. Surely they could've waited until there was some development that gave those men a fighting chance? 60,000 British casualties in one day during the Battle of the Somme? Sorry, but I cannot wrap my head around then saying, "Okay, let's keep attacking!" Madness to me. But other than that I cannot say that I really think much about my cardboard troops mainly because the very reason to push around cardboard troops is to try strategies and save lives in the real world....unless you cheat like the Japanese in their Midway wargame whistle


When I used to teach and run simulations in class I would let the students have military forces and they could use them. But at the end of each simulation I would always tally up a death toll for them just to drive home the point that wars do have human costs.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sim Guy
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I console myself with the rationalization that, in most games, an eliminated unit is not necessarily wiped out to the last imaginary man, but ceases to exist as a coherent fighting force and is thus removed from play.whistle
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Cpl. Fields
South Africa
Hopelessly Surrounded
Isandlwana, Zululand
flag msg tools
<insert something pithy here>
badge
<insert something clever here>
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I tend to think about casualties more when I'm playing a tactical game, especially ones like Ambush where 1 counter = 1 person.

Once you get to operational or strategic levels, losses become increasingly abstract and impersonal.

This is not dissimilar to actual military thinking, I suspect.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steven McBride
United States
Oakland
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
zuludawn wrote:
I tend to think about casualties more when I'm playing a tactical game, especially ones like Ambush where 1 counter = 1 person.

Once you get to operational or strategic levels, losses become increasingly abstract and impersonal.

This is not dissimilar to actual military thinking, I suspect.


Ambush is the game that I care the most about my casualties, but mainly because half the fun of the game is getting into the story and narrative. Naming your soldiers helps the caring process too, as well as the campaign game. Your soldiers need to live if you want your squad to improve.

I play more competitively when playing tactical games and thus am more willing to make a dramatic, life endangering push towards the end of the game in an attempt to win. I think its because exploring tactics for the sake of exploration (and not to win) isnt as fun as exploring various strategies in an operational or strategic level, just to see what happens, win or lose.

At the same time, I am much more willing to make sacrifices throughout the game in an operational/strategic game, as opposed to a tactical one where I try to avoid casualties like the plague. This has to do with reinforcements/replacements rates. In operational games you tend to get many more replacements and reinforcements than in tactical ones, so each individual unit is more expendable. Obviously, this depends on the game and the scenario.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Enrico Viglino
United States
Eugene
OR
flag msg tools
Slowed - BGG's moderation policies have driven me partially from here
badge
http://thegamebox.byethost15.com/smf/
Avatar
mb
stemcider wrote:


Ambush is the game that I care the most about my casualties, but mainly because half the fun of the game is getting into the story and narrative. Naming your soldiers helps the caring process too, as well as the campaign game. Your soldiers need to live if you want your squad to improve.




My poor men are always doomed.

It's a good thing no one let me be an officer.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.