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Axis Empires: Totaler Krieg!» Forums » Rules

Subject: Support units and delay box rss

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Yves Michel
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This might be more of a question for the developers of the game.

The use of the delay box for air and naval units is not really logical. If there is a fight between planes and/or ships, they go directly in the delay box. If the same naval or air unit is used for escort mission or as support for a ground attack (for planes obviously), they have to wait on more turn and then take more "casualties" than the units that "really" fought against each other. Wouldn't it be better to give support units that didn't really fought (stayed in a hex or in a box) a -1 (or -2) for the die roll to reflect the less lethal combats or activity ?
 
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Uwe A. Redjac
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Has nothing to do with logics - It's all image
That will first just add one more situational modifier to remember later during the end of turn phase and as such not only an additional rule, but also additional bookkeeping.

And for what?

So that your personal interpretation of the results (which you preferred to label "logics", but rest assured: it is only your personal opinion on what the rolls stand for) is matched.

Thing is though: Other interpretations of the rolls work nicely without the extra modifier and the extra book keeping of which unit entered the delay box in what fashion. Like: The Delay Rolls do not represent casualities formost. They represent delay. E.g.: How long does an invasion fleet need to be ready again to establish another Beachhead. If an previous invasion was abortet, this may be faster than if that previous invasion had been carried out.

Nothing against your additional +1 modifier if you really like it better that way. And if you do not mind the extra rules clutter, add it as a house rule with your group of opponents. Just do not fool yourself that there is something inherently more logic about it than the current system. It is just matching your image of things more.
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Marc Hanna
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I think the overall sense of abstraction and, for some, dissatisfaction wrt the delay roll system (results only known after the fact) will be relieved with the integration of the Schiffskrieg expansion, which DOES take into account battle loss effects. The support markers themselves will now seem to represent accumulation of supplies, fuel, pilots, etc. that can be difficult to plan for fluctuations of capacity to wage war, even if the ships and planes are themselves available.

The OP does have a point about non-contested usages -- sometimes it takes one turn to re-prep for an invasion and sometimes 6 turns -- huge disparity if both are uncontested. However, Schiffskrieg still puts the ships and planes on delay, too. I guess for rest and refit after a concerted campaign. The difference is the +3 for damage.

 
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Tom Swider
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I hope the expansion includes this modifier printed directly on the counter as a reminder when conducting delay box rolls.
 
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true cricket
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This is your perception of what reality should like you are trying to put on the game. But how close to the facts is your perception?

You forgot two things :
-this is not a simulation, this is a game. What is important is that the game works fine, without adding too much ahistorical impact on one or an other strategy.
-who is able to characterize the time needed for a fleet to reconfigure after conducting an amphibous landing? There is no link between the "logical" of each person (and each one has his own logical perception of the same matter) and the truth : we only see the world through the prism of our knowledge, meaning that we miss a lot of things we do not simply imagine the existence.

In the end, this system is quite elegatn since it is a very simpel way to take into account an infinite number of possible combinaisons of local elements having strategical impact. I like the current system (even as a naval officer), and I think I won't play with the Shiffkrieg add-on.
 
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Marc Hanna
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Not sure if you were addressing OP or me,

I appreciate your philosophical angle here, but don't forget that this is a game simulation of WW2 at the strategic level. It is not some abstract game like GO or Parcheesi. Hence, anyone with a sense of history can cast aspersions about fleet reconfiguration time-frames. The designers themselves have done so. They didn't make the delay roll go out any further than a certain amount -- according to your comment, they should not be able to characterize that.

As for your discussion of the perception of reality, it is not so that we MUST cast our mental prism upon our worldly observations, though it is true that we most often do so.

The schiffkrieg is entirely optional, you have free will. That is if you know you have free will, rather than perceive it to be so



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Yves Michel
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Waow, I have the feeling I broke a taboo or something like that !

Bookkeeping : the game is quite complicated anyway, sometimes you have to go through various rolls on tables just to eliminate one ou two steps at the end, so I don't see why a -1 or -2 counter on a support unit would make it much more complicated.

Delay box is indeed not only casualty and can represent the time that is needed to establish another beachhead as you mentioned but your argument doesn't counter my logic (or my image of reality as you stated) : when two air or naval armies fight against each other, they statistically take more casualties then on escort duty. So my point was that you cannot hide behind the inherent abstraction of the system to justify a mechanic that was - according to me - a little poor. If the developer would have liked to stick to the pure abstraction, why would they have invented the "big six" die roll for the naval support units ?

By the way, we all have an image of reality, stating this is not an argument in this discussion, I'm afraid. I could just say the same about your point of view.

Interesting to read you anyway.
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Yves Michel
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This game is also a kind of simulation, it is not only a pure mechanism of fun. The simulation is also obvious int he different cards which represent historical facts or even historical possible facts and the game is already quite complicated anyway, so one more marker wouldn't make the difference.

Maybe nobody is will ever able "to characterize the time needed for a fleet to reconfigure after conducting an amphibous landing" as you stated but if I follow you, how could anybody be able to represent a whole war with a map, a few bits of paper and a book of rule? Obviously, we all see the world trough our own knowledge and experience but, in my opinion, this doens't mean we cannot try to propose changes in the vision of other people.
 
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Salvatore Vasta
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Yves MICHEL wrote:
This might be more of a question for the developers of the game.

The use of the delay box for air and naval units is not really logical. If there is a fight between planes and/or ships, they go directly in the delay box. If the same naval or air unit is used for escort mission or as support for a ground attack (for planes obviously), they have to wait on more turn and then take more "casualties" than the units that "really" fought against each other. Wouldn't it be better to give support units that didn't really fought (stayed in a hex or in a box) a -1 (or -2) for the die roll to reflect the less lethal combats or activity ?
I very rarely visit this board given my hobby time has been mostly taken up with my game Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe, so pardon me if I don't become too heavily in this thread.

The delay roll is an abstraction that represents anything from actual losses of men and equipment to anything else that might otherwise erode mission availability, e.g fatigue, lack of supplies, in-fighting among local commanders.

When a support unit is unopposed, i.e. it sits on the map for a turn, it is fully engaged for the whole turn completing its mission. It is burning through supplies, getting tired, fighting combat (represented below the scale of the game), etc.. The extra turn it takes to become available again is a minimum recovery time from performing that activity.

When a support unit is contested, the enemy has made a concerted effort to prevent that mission. That effort cancels the mission. The cancellation may happen immediately for fear of losses or a lack of numbers (delay roll of 1) or only after intensely fighting to try to complete the mission (delay roll of 6). In either case, all the elements in the support unit are not fully engaged for the whole turn. Their recovery time is, therefore, possibly shorter.

As for the big six delay for naval units, that attempts to simulate that naval ships and crews take longer to replace. If a catastrophic and rapid loss is suffered, it goes beyond the normal replacement time to recover from.

In addition to the above, the extra turn also serves a game design purpose of preventing a stroke of good luck allowing a player to use a support unit on the map several turns in a row. In this regard, we're considering the game play more than the simulation.

Having said that, the designers have maintained (at least when I was involved) that a player is welcome to make any changes that wish. The delay roll is certainly a mechanic that is easy to modify to one's preferences. However, please don't complain the game is broken if you are playing it with House Rules.

Sal
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Marc Hanna
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Sal,

very interesting to read your insights, especially the explanation wrt the potentially shorter delay times as a result of contesting rather than placing a support unit. Broad strokes of luck aren't necessarily "game-y;" we have all heard of Napoleon wishing for lucky rather than skillful generals.
 
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Yves Michel
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Thank you very much for the quick answer.

I now understand better your system although I'l only partially convinced. I still think the interception of enemy air or naval units is potentially more lethal but your argument that a relatively long and complex mission makes it normally last longer than interception makes a lot of sense. The only thing though is that - with your system - air or naval combat statistically requires less means than escort but I can live with that.

By the way, it always give a bad impression when somebody criticizes your work and that's it. So I also wish to say that AE TK an DS are really excellent games, quite sophisticated and at the same time fun to play with a lot of different possibilities. Almost anything is possible : germans go to the Urals, Turkey invades Persia, Japan conquers the eastern russian coast etc...).

Great work !


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Salvatore Vasta
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Thanks for the support and compliments. I know explanations help. I know they aren't always accepted. As designers at some point we have to make a decision and go with it.

Above all else the TK Team wants players to have fun with the game. If that means playing it as written or with your own modifications, just enjoy it.

Sal
 
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Thomas Prowell
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I'm coming in late to this thread, but I'll just underscore the points Sal made. To our mind, the game works better as is, but players are certainly free to add house rules to season it to their taste.
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Uwe A. Redjac
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About the effort involved
Yves MICHEL wrote:
We all have an image of reality, stating this is not an argument in this discussion, I'm afraid. I could just say the same about your point of view.
Which is why I instead prefaced with something more tangible, like added book keeping and the like.

Quote:
Bookkeeping : the game is quite complicated anyway, sometimes you have to go through various rolls on tables just to eliminate one ou two steps at the end, so I don't see why a -1 or -2 counter on a support unit would make it much more complicated.
It is true that the game is detailed and complex. However: The game cuts back on book keeping and memorizing what was done when.

This is one outstanding feature of TK / DS: No book keeping, no tallies, no written records, etc. The various rolls on tables you mention: Those are carried out immediately when called for, their results implemented on the spot ... and then you can forget about them. If there is any ongoing effect, then there will be a marker to remind you of it. The game is very consistent in that respect: You do not need to tally or recall anything that happened a phase ago. You can always read it from the map, the markers and the cards at any moment.

The change that you suggest now requires to remember during the End of Game Turn Phase what happened during the Support Unit Placement Segments of the three previous Player Turns of the current Game Turn. So how are you going to implement that? Add another Delay Box akin to the Naval Delay Box? Issue additional markers to keep track? Or break with one of the streamlining principles of the game and require players to keep a memory? I can think of some more ways to implement it, but right here I just like to point at the 'cost' side of your idea.

And then compare it to the other side: The 'benefit' aspect. Is it worth that extra effort? Because all that is gained for it is that it suits one image of what should matter with regards to the delay rolls. But you already said it yourself: Your image of that is not necessarily more 'right', 'wrong' or 'accurate' than others.

So all that remains then is that it is more cumbersome to implement. The question for you to answer then is: How much is it worth to you to add as a house rule?
 
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