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Subject: So hard to create scenarios for. rss

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Confusion Under Fire
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Ambush is one of those games that is almost impossible to have fan based scenarios. I know some dedicated fans have created scenarios but at a large cost in time and checking every enemy move, firing etc.
I was wondering if anyone has ever created an easier system that is similar, maybe German activation and actions are determined by a different means. Remember those fantasy adventure books by Steve Jackson that were paragraph driven, something like that with the interaction of the board.
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Martin Gallo
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It is an interesting idea, but I think that would just drive the paragraph count up because you would need a different paragraph for every german for every hex on the map.
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Luke Hughes

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Speaking from memory only i feel like there were some threads here about someone creating software to ease tge process. Not sure if it ever went anywhere. Secondly, i think there is software out there for creating the steve jacson paragraph style games ( i think one might be "choice of games") which perhaps could be adapted or do part of the work. Finally Conflict of Heroes is coming out with a solitaire module that might be of interest to you (i think there are events.. But not sure how much story).
O and there is a choice of games freelance game on Guadalcanal called "Marine Raider" free on ios. No map but choose your own adventure WWII.. Albiet brief.
There is a lot of choose your own adventure out there these days and like i said i think several piece of software (some web based).
You I'm sure realize there were multiple Ambush games published.

P.s. I just went and searched on "choose your own adventure software" and found multiple links. You could probably use software as is as long as it allowed you to have many different "start" paragraphs each corresponding to a map hex. I know the "choice of" games also allow maintenace of state (e.g. Hitpoints, wounds, equip etc)
Good Luck!
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Lucius Cornelius
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Ambush Variant might be of interest to you.
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Pelle Nilsson
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lhughes41 wrote:
Speaking from memory only i feel like there were some threads here about someone creating software to ease tge process. Not sure if it ever went anywhere.

That someone would be me, and the thread is here: DIY Ambush! Missions

It went somewhere in the way that I spent 6 months of free time working on it, making (unpuslished) example missions, printing, testing, fixing bugs etc, and I'm quite sure it is good enough. Then I lost interest for various reasons. There are some examples and download links in that other thread, so I'm not going to derail this one.

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Secondly, i think there is software out there for creating the steve jacson paragraph style games( i think one might be "choice of games")

Never heard of SJ paragraph games (unless you mean the British SJ and the Fighting Fantasy books, but I guess not (and yes, I know the American SJ also wrote one or more books in that series, just to confuse everyone I guess)).

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which perhaps could be adapted or do part of the work. Finally Conflict of Heroes is coming out with a solitaire module that might be of interest to you (i think there are events.. But not sure how much story)

Would be surprised if there are paragraphs in that game like Ambush! though, even if it is by the same designer?

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There is a lot of choose your own adventure out there these days and like i said i think several piece of software (some web based).

I bought about 15 gamebooks in 2013 (some old, some reprints), not counting about 5 actual CYOA books (those are so bad we should forget about them), or one app gamebook, or several free PDF gamebooks. Have been following some blogs and forums and thanks to tablets there really has been a revival of gamebooks in the last 2-3 years. No paragraph-driven games so far. But there are talks of reprinting the Blood Sword books soon, and those at least include tactical maps for the battles, so they are somewhere in-between pure gamebooks and boardgames like Ambush!.

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P.s. I just went and searched on "choose your own adventure software" and found multiple links. You could probably use software as is as long as it allowed you to have many different "start" paragraphs each corresponding to a map hex. I know the "choice of" games also allow maintenace of state (e.g. Hitpoints, wounds, equip etc)

Yes, many such tools, but I ended up writing my own anyway for several reasons. The most important reason perhaps being that I needed an easy way to integrate my gamebook with a boardgame (for prototyping this: [not really WIP] Solo PnP 2014: Devil Dogs (paragraph-driven wargame) Another reasons that typically those systems are for only making games that can be played on a computer (or in a browser), not printed to be played manually with a boardgame, and especially not for both. I wanted both. Script is here:
https://github.com/lifelike/gamebookformat

Wrote a bit about it and provided a small example in a thread here on the geek:
Re: 2013 Solitaire Print and Play Contest Discussion and Feedback Thread
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Pelle Nilsson
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Back on topic: I think we don't really need a game it is easier to make scenarios for. It makes more sense to me to make a game that is faster and easier to play, and to make sure there are good developer tools available for scenario designers. It would be great to have a graphical editor where the designer can place events and such things on the board, and then have as much magic as possible done in software so that complex events end up represented as simple instructions for the player.

Ideally imo the resulting scenarios should be playable both as a boardgame and as an app/web game, to increase the number of potential players (not to mention how much easier that makes playtesting).

Of course I would use the gamebookformat tool I mentioned above as a starting point (and possibly as the backend for doing the formatting). For my Devil Dogs game (also mentioned above) I actually have a second game-specific (but text-based) tool that generates the text-files I then feed to gamebookformat.

To come full-cirlce, gamebookformat is based on scripts I wrote a few years ago to support a game I worked on with another bgg user that started as a project to "make ww1 Ambush!" but then morphed into some other simpler game-system (but still similar to Ambush!) before we put it on hold. Good learning experience (and I hope we will get back to that game in the future).
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Confusion Under Fire
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martimer wrote:
It is an interesting idea, but I think that would just drive the paragraph count up because you would need a different paragraph for every german for every hex on the map.

It could be possible to have just one table for all German actions which would be modified by their Initiative, status, Hex cover, other friendly soldier actions, number of enemy units in LOS etc etc and modify with a die roll so you do not know exactly what they are going to do.

Paragraphs could be reserved for Perception checks and narrative thus lowering the paragraph count and look up for German actions and movement. Because German actions become more random the re-playability of the scenario would increase.
 
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Confusion Under Fire
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Pelle, Yeah I meant the British Steve Jackson who made the fighting fantasy books, but this was just the closest thing to what I was imagining. They would be too simple for what I had in mind. Unfortunately my programming skills are very limited so it would be at the most a boardgame or at the least an idea floating around in my head. Probably the latter!

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Pelle Nilsson
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whatambush wrote:

Paragraphs could be reserved for Perception checks and narrative thus lowering the paragraph count and look up for German actions and movement. Because German actions become more random the re-playability of the scenario would increase.

I agree about this. It is also compatible with my ideas of focusing on making the game faster.

I like the Open Fire short-cut of placing event markers rather than having to look up paragraphs for every hex entered. You can have random events or triggered event-markers place new markers, or move existing markers around, to avoid some of the problem with markers making the scenario too predictable. Not quite as powerful as what Ambush! has, but a compromise for much faster play.

When we played a lot of Ambush! we always liked the operations way more than action rounds. Our main motivation during rounds was just to get back to operations so we could keep exploring the map and find stuff. Of course there has to be combat and some rules for that and tracking equipment etc, but I would be happy to keep that much simpler and faster and focus more on the story/exploration. That would also remove a lot of need for complex time-consuming enemy AI movement strategies.

On the other hand it is possible that by zooming out enough you get so few hexes on the board that it is OK again to look up paragraphs for each hex all the time (both for friendly and enemy moves).
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Confusion Under Fire
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I didn't like Open Fire, but I could understand what they were trying to achieve. I like the human aspect of war, how each individual soldier feels and at the time when I played Ambush I wasn't even into squad level games so moving up a step to a platoon of vehicles was probably not doing it for me back then.

If I was to remove the German actions from the paragraphs then a good action table would be required, maybe in the form of a flow chart to keep things simple. There is a possibility that the flow chart could also replace Condition changes and the Initiative table by incorporating them into the flow chart. This could mean omitting Event markers??
 
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