Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: Variable leader attributes? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Mike Windsor
United States
Fort Worth
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In reading about the ACW, it strikes me that the abilities of many leaders (1) was unknown until the leader actually commanded an army at a specific level, and (2) could vary at any particular point in time. For example, Hood was a capable division commander, but a terrible army commander; Jackson and Lee were both the victims of some bad days.

In games, the counters clearly show a leader's abilities, but in real life, it seems that a leader's performance might be worse (or better) than expected. In Silent War you had cups with hidden counters that you drew to determine the type of encounter your sub would have. Would it be feasible in an ACW game to use a type of random draw system to assign leader values when a leader is promoted or goes into battle? Or is such a system too cumbersome?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
flag msg tools
Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
badge
Hey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think you could probably MAKE it feasible. But many would take umbrage at Bobby Lee not being god-like, or Butler not being a ponderous mover.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
roger miller
United States
California
flag msg tools
publisher
For the off day problem why not just let the die rolls handle it. When I am using Lee in a game and he stinks up a die roll despite his values then it is clearly an off day for him. If Butler rolls well despite his bad numbers then that covers his one moment of brilliance.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Lavoie
United States
Nashua
New Hampshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This very subject has been discussed on the CSW board for Mark Simonitch's new "The U.S. Civil War" game, now on GMT's P500.

It certainly could be done, but as Wendell noted some results could enrage the purists. If it were an optional rule, that might make it more palatable. I think it would be fun to try, just to see which leaders got to be good this time around and which ... did not. Once the abilities shake themselves out and become known, however, you're back to the usual strategy of only using the good ones and hiding the bad ones as far away from the scene as possible.

The old SSI PC game No Greater Glory used random leader abilities as an option (you could always play with the generals rated historically if you wished). This was one of my favorite aspects of the game. Adding to the fun was the fact that the program never told you the actual ratings; it was up to the player to infer from the battle results. Did you just lose that key battle because of random chance (that is, a bad "die roll") or was it because Grant is a bungler this time around? You had to try using the questionable general again, just to be sure.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Windsor
United States
Fort Worth
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
rmiller1093 wrote:
For the off day problem why not just let the die rolls handle it. When I am using Lee in a game and he stinks up a die roll despite his values then it is clearly an off day for him. If Butler rolls well despite his bad numbers then that covers his one moment of brilliance.


That's a really good point I had not thought of.

Think there is still the issue of promotion in a strategic game. Given the choice, I will not promote a commander I know will be bad. But in many cases, who knew how a promotion would turn out. Maybe the solution is random promotion. In a strategic game, Hood would not show up until he gets an independent command; he will always be bad at it; you just don't know whose counter you are going to draw when promotion time comes along. That might make the purists happy and solve what I see as a problem.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew N
United States
Rochester
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
One thing that's often kicked around is that players don't promote generals that they know are bad (or don't want to, if it's an option). I think it should be considered that generals were often promoted for political/personal reasons during the American Civil War (among other wars).

Did Jefferson Davis really think Theopilus Holmes was a good general despite evidence to the contrary and the former's own protests, or did he just look out for his friends? Did Lincoln really think all the political generals he appointed/promoted were going to be good generals? Nathaniel Banks had screwed put plenty before he was put in charge of the Red River campaign. Butler continued to receive important assignments despite lackluster performance. I think there needs to be mechanisms to force players to use these dogs in a strategic game, to keep things realistic.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Powers
United States
Marble
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As mentioned above, the good day/bad day variance can easily be covered by the die roll assuming you're using one to resolve combat.

Maybe just generate a new value upon promotion? Or better yet upon the first *use* of said value after promotion?

If there are certain leaders you want to tweak one way or the other that would have to be built into the promotion system, but it could be doable.

For example...

Simple version:

A leader gets promoted. Then you use him for the first time. At that time you draw from a pool of chits to assign a value.

Wrinkles:

-Certain leaders could draw twice and discard the better or worse chit depending on which way you want to shift them. Or maybe all leaders do that, and the better ones draw 3.

-The pool doesn't have to be fixed. You could add to the mix as time goes on to increase or decrease the average values. This could be based on a simple schedule or even based on the results of battles. Win a big one, put another good leader chit into the pool, etc.


EDIT:
If the draw upon promotion is completely independent of the previous rank you'd be promoting all of your bad leaders hoping for better values.

So maybe make promotional draws based on the current rating. Then a better leader has a better change of being good at the next level up, but it might be worth promoting some of the scrubs too. This would somewhat simulate the political promotions.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Moore
United Kingdom
Buckland Monachorum
Devon
flag msg tools
badge
This is the Spitfire of Geoffrey Wellum DFC, the youngest Battle of Britain pilot. 1921-2018. RIP my friend and blue skies forevermore
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Lincoln's War has a system like this.

You don't know what a general is going to be like, so you draw a chit and find out whether he has good or bad traits once you assign him for the first time.
You are then stuck with him until killed or removed by you at the cost of political points.

It gives a great feel as to what it was like being CinC during the Civil War, after all, hindsight is a wonderful thing!
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.