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Sergeants Miniatures Game: Day of Days» Forums » General

Subject: Soldier cost, tactic module and scenario's rss

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Maxime Noel
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Ok, so the logic go as this : US and Red Devil soldiers cost more than German's because they have better tactics module and everything will be balanced once you use the module.

BUT, scenario's doesn't have both side start with the same amount of VP per side.

So my question is, are scenario's starting VP's balanced with or without the tactics modules?

I will admit that this is not a life or death problem but I'm curious.

Thanks
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Charlie Theel
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No one knows. The idea that a tactics module is balanced with the base VP of a soldier is one of my biggest gripes with SMG. It makes no sense in any school of game design as I would guess the vast majority of games of SMG that have been and will be played will be without tactics modules.
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John Di Ponio
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I ditched using the tactics modules just for this reason.shake
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Jeff Pseudonym
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My guess is that the chapter missions up to this point are more or less balanced without the Tactics Modules. I think you would see the cost discrepancy more if you lined up and compared two 100 point armies.

Just my guess mind you but I'll ask JB next time I see him at convention.
 
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Damen Parker
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Tactics modules give a considerable advantage. If you lose the men in the team you end up with dead cards in your deck/hand but from my experience that is the only drawback.

Being able to move and shoot amongst other things while your opponent is looking unbalances the game. Both sides need to have them or neither.
 
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George Anderson
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I used tactics modules in the Fall In tournament while others did not. It did give me some useful options, but it did not seem that anyone without was seriously disadvantaged - and in fact the cards really did not contribute to any memorable moments for me, whereas some of the specialist equipment and cards really did have an impact.

That said, I think as time goes on if folks really sit down and plan a force very carefully in tune with the tactics module, then yeah, it could be a factor.
 
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Bill Wallace
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If only the designer had really sat down and planned game development and progression carefully, since...

Quote:
US and Red Devil soldiers cost more than German's because they have better tactics module and everything will be balanced once you use the module.


...is one of the most asinine statements in the history of game development. The modules didn't come out for two years after the game was released. Of course, there are other bizarre elements too (like folks with long range that is shorter than short range) which all 'make sense' inside the convoluted mind of one person.
 
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Mayor Jim
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Yep, Jeff's comments on the RDs was pretty lame.
 
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Jeff Billings
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Why? I would like to know.
 
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Mayor Jim
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MayorJim wrote:
Yep, Jeff's comments on the RDs was pretty lame.
i believe that the comment was (paraphrasing here)...the computer program caused all the RDs to be Lance corporals...

The game is still fun...but some privates would have been more realistic vs all LCs.
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Jeff Billings
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Glad Sergeants is fun.

I guess the comment above was somewhere near that. I like out of context. Can I use that standard for quotes here in the SMG threads? Is that OK?

Jim I have no problem with your honest gripes... Tom Hanks said this is the Army gripes go up to the designer. well sort of and out of context and paraphrased... so it meets the standards of this forum right.

Thank you for playing SMG. And thank you for helping new people enjoy the warmth and welcome of the Sergeants community.
 
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Jeff Billings
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charlest wrote:
No one knows. The idea that a tactics module is balanced with the base VP of a soldier is one of my biggest gripes with SMG. It makes no sense in any school of game design as I would guess the vast majority of games of SMG that have been and will be played will be without tactics modules.


I can understand your point of view... Most games are straight odds comparisons... For example S. Craig Taylor Jr. believed in using simple logarithms in his designs. Sid Meier while working on Railroad Tycoon used sparse arrays and semaphores for the rail routing system.

In the case of Andy Hollis and F-15 Strike Eagle he used cube theory to direct enemy interceptors. And Daryl Dennis used unwound design loops to handle low angle engagements in GS2000. Theory of game design is a passion of mine, one that I have spent a vast amount of time and professional effort engaged in. I am sure I can always learn something new.

So given a 27 dimensional continuous integration how would you solve the problem of balance in a sealed system with trillions of possible outcomes?
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Mayor Jim
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Jeff Billings wrote:
charlest wrote:
No one knows. The idea that a tactics module is balanced with the base VP of a soldier is one of my biggest gripes with SMG. It makes no sense in any school of game design as I would guess the vast majority of games of SMG that have been and will be played will be without tactics modules.


I can understand your point of view... Most games are straight odds comparisons... For example S. Craig Taylor Jr. believed in using simple logarithms in his designs. Sid Meier while working on Railroad Tycoon used sparse arrays and semaphores for the rail routing system.

In the case of Andy Hollis and F-15 Strike Eagle he used cube theory to direct enemy interceptors. And Daryl Dennis used unwound design loops to handle low angle engagements in GS2000. Theory of game design is a passion of mine, one that I have spent a vast amount of time and professional effort engaged in. I am sure I can always learn something new.

So given a 27 dimensional continuous integration how would you solve the problem of balance in a sealed system with trillions of possible outcomes?
I'd roll a d6 My undergraduate degree is in Industrial Psychology...time motion studies, etc. I can tell you the best way to leave the building. Sometimes we over complicate things whistle
 
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Charlie Theel
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Jeff Billings wrote:

So given a 27 dimensional continuous integration how would you solve the problem of balance in a sealed system with trillions of possible outcomes?


Jeff you've designed a system many of us love and I apologize for my harsh criticism.

Concerning the question in application to the tactics modules I would have made them cost victory points. I then would have reduced all of the American GIs cost appropriately instead of baking the cost in.

I think the fact that you have a 27 dimensional sealed system with all of those outcomes means we see enough randomness for things to be close enough and even out.

Here's the thing though - many of us that have played with tactics panel forces vs. an opponent without tactics panels can speak to how powerful the panels are. I'd rather have one MG panel than 50 grenades/shovels/panzerfausts/binoculars.

I just don't understand how I can have an MG that fires every single phase while my opponent doesn't get to and our forces are supposed to be balanced. The thing is, they're not balanced and the force with the panel should be more VPs.

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Mayor Jim
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charlest wrote:
Jeff Billings wrote:

So given a 27 dimensional continuous integration how would you solve the problem of balance in a sealed system with trillions of possible outcomes?


Jeff you've designed a system many of us love and I apologize for my harsh criticism.

Concerning the question in application to the tactics modules I would have made them cost victory points. I then would have reduced all of the American GIs cost appropriately instead of baking the cost in.

I think the fact that you have a 27 dimensional sealed system with all of those outcomes means we see enough randomness for things to be close enough and even out.

Here's the thing though - many of us that have played with tactics panel forces vs. an opponent without tactics panels can speak to how powerful the panels are. I'd rather have one MG panel than 50 grenades/shovels/panzerfausts/binoculars.

I just don't understand how I can have an MG that fires every single phase while my opponent doesn't get to and our forces are supposed to be balanced. The thing is, they're not balanced and the force with the panel should be more VPs.

I believe that if one side has a tactics panel you should add one for the other side. Generally speaking, that should even things out. I also like the idea of assigning a VP cost to them...but that hasn't happened.
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Charlie Theel
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But that's my point Jim, if you feel the other side needs them too it shows the fact that they need to cost VP.

VP is the currency of the game and if the cost of things is not to be relied upon on an individual basis then we begin to mistrust the currency.

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Greg
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charlest wrote:
Jeff Billings wrote:

So given a 27 dimensional continuous integration how would you solve the problem of balance in a sealed system with trillions of possible outcomes?


Jeff you've designed a system many of us love and I apologize for my harsh criticism.

Concerning the question in application to the tactics modules I would have made them cost victory points. I then would have reduced all of the American GIs cost appropriately instead of baking the cost in.




Agreed, love the system for sure.

But as Charlie said, I would have preferred the Americans to have their cost totally based on their stats in the same manner as the Germans were. That way they aren't relying on anything like the tactics panels to bring them up to appropriate value.

The tactics panels don't come with the base set and most, if not all people buying Day of Days didn't buy into it thinking they'd have to buy the tactics panels to balance things out. Heck, the tactics panels didn't even exist publicly early on.

Considering this is an expensive system/hobby, a lot of people have to be more discriminating in what they can buy. RTC is certainly up there as a priority, as are more soldiers at $10+ each and then LFB, Red Devils, X-Terrain etc. etc. So the tactics panels kind of don't have the same appeal in a sense because to me, I'd rather have more map tiles/scenarios/equipment, or more variety of soldier, or some cool buildings. So then having to buy the tactics panels to make things balanced (need all tactics panels for all to have same chance), is taking away money some people would rather spend on something else.

If the Americans' cost was only based on their stats, then the tactics panels could have come later (like they did) but have VP's assigned to them like Charlie suggested. They could have been tested to see how much VP's they should be. They could have been treated in the way the equipment cards were with cost to adding them to your VP total allowance.

Then, in a situation that Charlie describes with one side having a panel with a MG shooting pretty much all the time, the player with the panel for that might have had to spend an extra 8VP's. That's like the cost of a leader, or a panzerfaust soldier with the panzerfaust card, two good American soldiers, or 3-4 German soldiers. So then there would have been a tradeoff where the panels give you something cool but at a cost of some of your forces.

Anyway, I'm just a painter with no college degree (though was in the Marines for 4 years '85-'89), so I don't know anything about fancy formulas or anything and am totally lost in that regard.

Not wanting to be negative, but just trying to have constructive dialogue and comments.

I love the game and know that there is a massive amount that went into it. So considering that, as with any massive undertaking in a game system, there are going to be some nitpicks. But anything I've ever said one way or the other born out of passion for the game.
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Stephen Meyers
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kilukru wrote:
Ok, so the logic go as this : US and Red Devil soldiers cost more than German's because they have better tactics
module and everything will be balanced once you use the module.

BUT, scenario's doesn't have both side start with the same amount of VP per side.

So my question is, are scenario's starting VP's balanced with or without the tactics modules?

I will admit that this is not a life or death problem but I'm curious.

Thanks



I'd like to know the answer to this Question or is it already answered?



.
 
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Jeff Billings
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Thanks Steve that is why I designed tactics like they are.

Assume 4 + a = 22

The 4 is the tactics module. In highly dimensional space it is a constant. If the center of the space is Origin it does not change a thing in totality.

When playing Sergeants players spend actions creating mini equations that only have a subset of dimension. So they matter in terms of the local space or the local minima, but not in terms of origin. They are in the moment meaningful and allow you the player to shape the outcome. In systemic terms they are a constant and don't effect the systems balance. Especially because the Tactics modules are a +"0" to the system. But in the moment of the play the Tactics Modules have meaningful outcomes.

If you all would do me a kindness and publicly congratulate the D-Day backers on a successful release I will spend more time here and continue supporting my first game in this system. After all it has my ugly illustrations in it.
 
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Jeff Billings
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charlest wrote:
But that's my point Jim, if you feel the other side needs them too it shows the fact that they need to cost VP.

VP is the currency of the game and if the cost of things is not to be relied upon on an individual basis then we begin to mistrust the currency.



Actually Charlie the Soldiers are the currency of the system. The VP is a single dimension in the system of Sergeants.

Say you have all the money but none of the food. In the end the guy with the food has the money the girls the cars and is playing you to be the gardener. Currency is a systemic convenience not a value.

In game design many people use math in simple ways that can be handled in a single spreadsheet. They get the outcomes by trail and error. This limits the success to the testable cases. However what happens when you have an untestable number of outcomes, how do you design that game?
 
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Charlie Theel
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Jeff Billings wrote:
charlest wrote:
But that's my point Jim, if you feel the other side needs them too it shows the fact that they need to cost VP.

VP is the currency of the game and if the cost of things is not to be relied upon on an individual basis then we begin to mistrust the currency.



Actually Charlie the Soldiers are the currency of the system. The VP is a single dimension in the system of Sergeants.

Say you have all the money but none of the food. In the end the guy with the food has the money the girls the cars and is playing you to be the gardener. Currency is a systemic convenience not a value.

In game design many people use math in simple ways that can be handled in a single spreadsheet. They get the outcomes by trail and error. This limits the success to the testable cases. However what happens when you have an untestable number of outcomes, how do you design that game?


Sometimes I feel like you make things more complicated than they need to be Jeff in terms of discussion and thought processes. It can obfuscate the core of what we're talking about and leads to more confusion.

Are you saying there are too many outcomes to properly balance the tactics modules via the victory point cost system? You can apply a victory point cost to them with the same methodogloy you apply to everything else. There are a million outcomes to what could happen to my squad if I hand Weber a grenade yet it's been assigned a cost of a half a victory point.

Look, if a piece of equipment could be assigned to a soldier and let him fire his MG with his spotter every single round, it would certainly have a cost. I mean, I have to pay 5VP just to have a one shot explosive weapon which more often than not doesn't kill 5VP worth of troops, yet for free I can take a panel which lets my MG fire every single phase.
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Jeff Billings
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Hahma wrote:
[q="charlest"]

...

The tactics panels don't come with the base set and most, if not all people buying Day of Days didn't buy into it thinking they'd have to buy the tactics panels to balance things out. Heck, the tactics panels didn't even exist publicly early on.

Considering this is an expensive system/hobby, a lot of people have to be more discriminating in what they can buy. RTC is certainly up there as a priority, as are more soldiers at $10+ each and then LFB, Red Devils, X-Terrain etc. etc. So the tactics panels kind of don't have the same appeal in a sense because to me, I'd rather have more map tiles/scenarios/equipment, or more variety of soldier, or some cool buildings. So then having to buy the tactics panels to make things balanced (need all tactics panels for all to have same chance), is taking away money some people would rather spend on something else.

If the Americans' cost was only based on their stats, then the tactics panels could have come later (like they did) but have VP's assigned to them like Charlie suggested. They could have been tested to see how much VP's they should be. They could have been treated in the way the equipment cards were with cost to adding them to your VP total allowance.

Then, in a situation that Charlie describes with one side having a panel with a MG shooting pretty much all the time, the player with the panel for that might have had to spend an extra 8VP's. That's like the cost of a leader, or a panzerfaust soldier with the panzerfaust card, two good American soldiers, or 3-4 German soldiers. So then there would have been a tradeoff where the panels give you something cool but at a cost of some of your forces.

Anyway, I'm just a painter with no college degree (though was in the Marines for 4 years '85-'89), so I don't know anything about fancy formulas or anything and am totally lost in that regard.

Not wanting to be negative, but just trying to have constructive dialogue and comments.

I love the game and know that there is a massive amount that went into it. So considering that, as with any massive undertaking in a game system, there are going to be some nitpicks. But anything I've ever said one way or the other born out of passion for the game.


I went to Lunch with Don Greenwood several years ago, remember Upfront was done on his watch at Avalaon Hill. I described the design and he laugh and said you have built IT, for the old gamers here you know what I mean. He told me that he made a mistake in how he productized the game. He put everything in one package. Its not about how much money we can squeeze out of each of you. It is about the develop cost to design and build each piece. Each illustration has a cost, the design work the manufacturing, all has cost to invest, prefect and recover.

We offer value and choice. Remember that Tactics Modules are a +"0" (and fun). If you don't buy them they don't cause you to lose. I am able to use a tactics module clean out Kevin Collins - the #2 player in the world - and with the same troops and tactics modules lose to Ron Fisher also a good player. Again the design is a SYSTEMIC "+0".

Remember we were in this for the long haul.
1) Purchased FAA Figures - Buy Out. All theaters of WWII.
2) Perfected Unique manufacturing in Games - Entire Production Plant designed.
3) Sergeants is concept birthed by Craig Taylor and Myself years before SMG.
4) Repeated support of you all by free upgrades and replacement without question.
5) We have fought through tragedy and catastrophe and haven't quit.
6) We have told all of you where we are headed and when we said it caught a lot of flak, and some outright maligning.
7) I have always got to my targets but not my timelines.
8) Rules writing is not my strength which I have admitted. So I have asked many of you to help. Some have others didn't and then work hard to lead a digital lynch-mob. (I am sure the mayor knows that a community needs order and fairness.)

Tactics Modules are my favorite part of the design because they pencil out in the system as a constant. It is how you form each function of the continuous integration that creates local effects and fun. You devise a plan that may work for you or against you, or do nothing.

A final thought, Magnitudes are not Scalars and POSSIBILISTICS are not PROBABILISTIC. I never criticize other designers. I have worked behind some of the greatest designers of our time and I paid attention and learned everything I can, and I still do. I never think I have all the answers. I have a vision I am building. Thank you for playing Sergeant and please ask questions and respectfully support the players that are coming into a game to whom many of you are the trail blazers. And if you have some cuts and scrapes wear them as a badge of honor email Debbie and she will see that it gets an appropriate band-aide.
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Jeff Billings
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charlest wrote:
...

Sometimes I feel like you make things more complicated than they need to be Jeff in terms of discussion and thought processes. It can obfuscate the core of what we're talking about and leads to more confusion.

Are you saying there are too many outcomes to properly balance the tactics modules via the victory point cost system? You can apply a victory point cost to them with the same methodogloy you apply to everything else. There are a million outcomes to what could happen to my squad if I hand Weber a grenade yet it's been assigned a cost of a half a victory point.

Look, if a piece of equipment could be assigned to a soldier and let him fire his MG with his spotter every single round, it would certainly have a cost. I mean, I have to pay 5VP just to have a one shot explosive weapon which more often than not doesn't kill 5VP worth of troops, yet for free I can take a panel which lets my MG fire every single phase.


Except the VP is not a CONSTANT... it s a function result.

It is like saying A + B = 17 instead of A + 4 = 17 in one case it is deterministic and solvable.
 
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Jeff Billings
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The next obvious question is to ask what about Tactics cards that have -VP or equipment.

Those functions have scalars that tend to be less volatile so I take either a probability of mass or another gravity based function to determine the VP results. Those QUESTIONS expressed as FUNCTIONS are stable and predictable.
 
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Jeff Billings
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I have to go back to the Roster system now that I am getting over the flu. I also get to go do the snow removal here at the office.

Here is a relevant question to maybe help all of you understand why you are asking questions that don't align with the game assumptions.

What is the difference between EASY and SIMPLE?
 
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