Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
4 Posts

EastFront» Forums » General

Subject: Tim Taylor on VPs & game balance rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Rusty McFisticuffs
United States
Arcata
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In one of my many conversations with world-famous game designers and former Mayhem drummers, I mentioned to Herr Niemand (Tim Taylor) that in 10 or so games, my friends & I had never seen the Germans win the Barbarossa scenario. He had some interesting comments about victory points and game balance.

(The rest of this is mail from Tim Taylor, posted with his permission.)

By no means am I an expert, but I've gotta agree here. In the first (S'41) scenario I've seen only a handful of German Major victories -- in hundreds of games played!

The problem is one of continuity and historical reflection I think.

Continuity because the game will go on (theoretically) after Nov'41, even if you stop playing. Often the Soviets do so poorly in '42 that the bad Nazi showing in S'41 kinda balances out the Tournament Points score

Historical Reflection comes in due to the design of the game. The only yardstick for victory -- especially early on -- is how well the historical counterparts fared. Since historically, the Soviets got their asses toasted and damn near lost by Sept'41, the Germans are under a barrel right from the git go. To actually do better than your historical counterpart, a Nazi player in EF must be brilliant, lucky, and facing an opponent who is not on the ball. Pretty tall order, no?

That's why I advocate not playing a single isolated scenario. My own opinion is that the Victory Points method to determine victory by scenario are pretty funky (I really don't use them anymore! I just play until one side loses).

I have an interesting session replay from 2000 that illustrates this point nicely. Nazi's rack up the VPs with marginal and major wins until S'44 when their whole front vaporizes and the Soviets take the map. In that game, the Soviets lost bigtime according to VPs and TPs, but they won the game more convincingly than historically.

[...]

Anyways, the only German flat-out victory I ever saw in S'41 was against a top-notch player. He felt so confident as the Soviets that he placed his HQs too near the front. I'm an old-fashioned "two-pincers" kind of German tanker and so put the majority of his line OOS in Sept'41 -- including everyone of his HQs (even STAVKA brought forward for the airstrike). The dude conceded in October, much to my surprise.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rusty McFisticuffs
United States
Arcata
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Herr Niemand wrote:
By no means am I an expert [...] in hundreds of games played

(Just so everyone knows--if I play hundreds of games of EastFront, I'm going to insist that everyone refer to me as an expert.)

Herr Niemand wrote:
The only yardstick for victory -- especially early on -- is how well the historical counterparts fared. Since historically, the Soviets got their asses toasted and damn near lost by Sept'41

(Could it be that the historical outcome, at least for that one scenario, would be a German Minor or possibly even barely Major victory? I don't know, since I haven't actually seen the German player achieve the historical result yet.)

Herr Niemand wrote:
That's why I advocate not playing a single isolated scenario. My own opinion is that the Victory Points method to determine victory by scenario are pretty funky

We always play single scenarios, because usually the amount of time which passes between games is too long for us to remember what we were doing. (We always talk about playing a longer campaign... as soon as so-and-so finishes his garage, etc...) We do count up VP's, but mostly that's so that the Soviet player in Barbarossa can feel good about having been kicked across the map for several hours, ha ha.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rusty McFisticuffs
United States
Arcata
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
On this point:

I wrote:
(Could it be that the historical outcome, at least for that one scenario, would be a German Minor or possibly even barely Major victory?

Tim said: "it is my understanding that each and every scenario ended in a Draw in the historical match-up, with the exception of Summer '44, which ended with a Soviet Decisive victory at the end of the Nov'44 turn. That's what I meant about the Victory Points solely reflecting how well you're doing compared to your historical counterparts. By definition, historically each scenario ended in a Draw (until the end of S'44)."
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Miikka Rytty
Finland
Helsinki
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't play with VPs myself. The side with non-functional army has lost, and if the both sides can realistically fight back, then it is a draw. I think that EF is much better game that way, without counting any VPs.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
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.