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Target: Iran» Forums » Variants

Subject: Making it more challenging--tweaking oil prices rss

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John Harvey
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Fort Worth
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I really like the way this game flows, but I found it (as others have mentioned) a bit too easy. So, I changed things up a bit:

1. Start oil price at $105.
I like this because we begin the game with a marginal Iranian victory--that's why we are moved to intervene! If we do nothing, we lose.

2. Oil jumps by $30/barrel at the start of open hostilities (i.e, operational turns).
I cannot imagine that this would not have a decisive impact on oil prices. Plus, it offsets the huge advantage the Coalition has in military strength. Sure, you are about to run roughshod over Iran, but you are going to have to take out three WMDs just to break even.

3. Automatic defeat now occurs at $200 and is triggered the moment oil prices reach that level (not at the end of a turn).
The above tweaks will obviously drive prices higher in general so that the old $151 cut off isn't going to work. And this is still well off of what actually happened in the first embargo in 1973, where prices ended up quadrupling.

4. All other victory conditions remain in place.
While automatic victory is set higher, the end of game requirements are the same. For a minor victory, prices have to be taken down to at least $80. Before, that meant (on average, given the variable starting point for the price of oil) a net reduction of $7/barrel was necessary. Now, with the higher starting point and penalty for the shooting war, it's $55!

I have only tested this one, but for the first time I didn't win. The final price of oil was $94/barrel, in the draw range and $14 too high for a win. For the most part, I think my luck was pretty average, but then I left points on the board, too. Were I going to adjust it, I might make the starting price $95/barrel or the open-war penalty $15. I would then have lost by $4 instead of $14. But, for now I'll stick with what I tried at first and see how it works out. After all, the game isn't much fun if you aren't agonizing over every die roll!


P.S. I also used Walter's rule on strikes into Israel even if Israel is not activated:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1124204/optional-rule-for-ss...
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Mike Hoyt

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I like your ideas John, but I dunno if I'm going to try them.

Here's the thing. Changing the oil statistics around will certainly help balance the final victory conditions, but it doesn't do anything about the game play. Which, after just two games is already seeming pretty repitative to me.

Strategic Turn 1 - Lot's of ISRP missions, some CW to crash any C2's (otherwise crash Defense units in cities with airfiels), SpecOPs to kill C2 Targets, otherwise place rebels

Strategic Turn 2 - Same as above. Assuming you've revealed some juicy Targets, launch operational attack. Otherwise do Strategic Turn 3

Operational Turn 1 - Lots of ISRP. Cruise Missile targets like crazy to get oil down away from the automatic lose threshold. At least 20 points below just in case Iran closes the strait

CW against C2 targets or defense units. SpecOPs to kill C2 Targets, otherwise place rebels

Start conventional forces into attack.

Hope Iranians roll poorly on Reaction Table. If not, deal with it.

Operational Turn 2 thru 12 - Same as turn 1, except no more cruise missiles.

And that's it. At least I think so, maybe I'm missing something. But the relatively few decisions (which targets, allocating conventional forces to which cities are pretty obvious, then just roll the dice and see what happens. Repeat.

So, sorta fun a couple of times to see how it works. And your changes would make it harder to win. But the actual game play is not really exciting me to do it again and again.
 
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John Harvey
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No, I think that's pretty much it. It's not a game I'm going to return to over and over as the years go on. But, a)it's a quick set up, b)it plays fairly fast, and c) you can try out a few variable approaches.


Of course, to some extent, any WWII Russian front game is repetitive in the sense that you 1) experience wild victories as you drive about as far as Smolensk, 2) you pick whether you are going to push north, center, or south, 3) you get stopped, 4) you game a few more small victories and see your hopes rise until you slowly but surely find yourself back in Poland again!

I know that's not quite the same thing as Target: Iran, but the terrain, forces, and victory conditions are going to make every game follow a script at some level.
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Stephane Martin
Belgium
Mont Sur Marchienne
Hainaut
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Before to play the game, i suggest you go on web to find the oil price of ... the day. This price becomes the starting value for your game ...

NB: this 19 feb at 12:20 pm gmt, the price is: 102.99 $

source (in french):
http://prixdubaril.com/

or: http://www.oil-price.net/
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