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Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! (second edition)» Forums » General

Subject: A couple of things that bug me rss

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Øivind Karlsrud
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I played firefight 9 today (at least I think it was 9, the one with the KV-2 in the middle). I realized that the generous CAP allowance for the defender (USSR) in that scenario, is a good way to deal with the lack of defensive fire in CoH. It has bugged me that you can run around with impunity if the opponent is all spent. The generous CAP allowance gave the defender a lot of flexibility. He can spend CAPs instead of activating, and wait to activate until it is worth it. Of course, the KV-2 needs 6 APs to fire, so I guess it needs a generous CAP allowance to be effective. The fact that the attacker has few CAPs just makes for a more interesting puzzle for the attacker, so I think a generous CAP allowance for the defender, and not so generous an allowance for the attacker, is a good idea in general. In fact, I think this scenario could be even more interesting with less CAPs for the germans, but that would have to be balanced somehow.

However, as the USSR I still managed to empty the german player of both APs and CAPs, and could run my truck with an infantry unit loaded up to 21 hexes with no possibility of getting shot at. The defender can sometimes do that, because he can afford to pass. I've said this before, but what this game needs the most, is some kind of way to end the turn prematurely. There should be something like the sunset die-roll in area-impulse games. When one side is completely spent, there should be a good chance the turn will end. I know we're supposed to imagine things happening simultaneously, so I can accept that my truck running right past a tank, is running past the position the tank will end up in, not the position it was in when the truck ran past. Still, driving right across the map on a road in the middle of an open field, in the middle of enemy territory, feels kind of stupid.

Another thing which bugs me (and I know I've said this before too) is that there are too few suppression (or similar) results, so that the probability that a hit unit will fire at you is too high. Combine this with victory points for killing units, and you have a recipe for always choosing to score a second hit instead of advancing, i.e. fire and maneuver with use of suppressive fire doesn't really work. Victory points for killing units is such a lousy idea, but you can't just remove it without unbalancing scenarios.

One of these things could be fixed with a different mix of hit counters for infantry (I think it's realistic that you would try to score a second and fatal hit against a tank). One could be fixed with a sunset die-roll. The rest is just scenario design. Design scenarios with a generous CAP allowance for the defender, and no victory points for killing units. Balance the scenarios with this in mind.
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Øivind Karlsrud
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Actually, there is one more thing that bugs me. The variation in blue defensive and firepower values is too high. Some guns, like the 88mm with FP 12, will automatically kill smaller tanks. If the lowest armor value is 11 (some tanks have flank defense 11), no gun should be higher than 8, so that there's still a chance it will miss. This limits how high the defensive ratings should be at the most. If we say the best gun (8 in this case) should still have a chance of hitting, even with DM+2, the highest frontal defense should be 18.

This problem arises because defensive ratings and firepower primarily reflects armor thickness and ability to penetrate. The fact that a huge gun might still miss a small tank is not reflected. This only becomes a problem if one makes a scenario with monster tanks against small tanks, so it may not be a problem in many scenarios. If it was a problem, one could say a die-roll result of 2 (maybe even 3) always misses.

It may sound like I don't like CoH, but I do. It's such an elegant system, and that makes me want to make house-rules for those things I'm not completely happy about.
 
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Walt MacEachern
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I agree Olvind. I love the game but have the same issues. The automatic kill on a second hit for a victory point seems to drive the game play instead of the 'story' of the scenario. I never feel immersed in a battle the way I should, instead gaming for double hit kills. I think the second hit kill should have a point delta check, like maybe you can't kill unless the second hit is +2 over the defensive number, otherwise they don't die but must retreat X hexes?

I also have concerns about the finite number of hit counters and the mix, with fewer suppression results. I've toyed with the idea of combining Storm of Steel and Awakening the Bear hit counters (20+20) and then perhaps adjusting the mix.
 
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Øivind Karlsrud
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Come to think of it, a better solution would be for each unit to have a maximum firepower which can be used against it. Let's say 5 less than it's defensive rating, so with front defense 13, any gun with firepower over 8 is 8. The number (5 in my example) could even be different for small, medium and heavy tanks, since they are harder to hit. This would mean that a powerful gun which can penetrate anything will actually have a smaller chance of killing a small tank than a big, heavy one.

A +1 Or +2 DM against moving vehicles (let's say if their last action was to move) could be nice too. Moving and being small is one way to increase your chance of surviving on the battlefield, but not in CoH.

Edit: I went through the scenarios of Storms of Steels and Awakening of the Bear. I found two scenarios in AtB and three in SoS which has cases of automatic hits in open terrain (no DM). In two of these scenarios there are even cases of automatic kills when shooting at the front armor. But I guess most scenarios avoid things like matching a gun with blue firepower 12 with a tank with blue frontal defense 13 (automatic kill even with DM+1).

Anyway, I'm actually happy with my idea, if it could be balanced in some way in the scenarios. But maybe the rule could be something like this: When firing against a unit, the effective firepower is at most 3 less than the flank defense of the unit which is fired at. So a tank with flank defense 12 has a maximum effective firepower of 9. Anything above that is wasted. You can still add to this by creating a fire group and CAPs.

I was concerned my first rule would mean there was no difference between being fired from the rear or from the front, so you might as well turn the rear towards that 12 firepower 88mm, and the front towards a Pz II. With this new rule, the 88mm still has a better chance of hitting the rear than the front.
 
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Øivind Karlsrud
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waltermac wrote:
I agree Olvind. I love the game but have the same issues. The automatic kill on a second hit for a victory point seems to drive the game play instead of the 'story' of the scenario. I never feel immersed in a battle the way I should, instead gaming for double hit kills. I think the second hit kill should have a point delta check, like maybe you can't kill unless the second hit is +2 over the defensive number, otherwise they don't die but must retreat X hexes?

I also have concerns about the finite number of hit counters and the mix, with fewer suppression results. I've toyed with the idea of combining Storm of Steel and Awakening the Bear hit counters (20+20) and then perhaps adjusting the mix.


One idea I've also been toying with, is simply to remove the rule that says a second hit is a kill, and say that you must always score a hit 4 above what's required, at least against infantry. I try to think of ways to keep it as simple as possible.
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Ryan King
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Don't worry, I'm sure we'll be getting a 3rd edition soon
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Øivind Karlsrud
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ryanking wrote:
Don't worry, I'm sure we'll be getting a 3rd edition soon


I have only three different versions of AtB counters, so it's about time.
 
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Juhan Voolaid
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I too don't like the CAP mechanic. It creates the layer of meta-game of who can save more CAPs. And if you waist all the CAPs, then outright comedy mode kicks in. Wish there were a good alternative for CAP system.
 
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Peter Karis
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oivind22 wrote:
Combine this with victory points for killing units, and you have a recipe for always choosing to score a second hit instead of advancing, i.e. fire and maneuver with use of suppressive fire doesn't really work. Victory points for killing units is such a lousy idea, but you can't just remove it without unbalancing scenarios.


If something should be removed, it's the victory points for victory hex control. That's the more unrealistic of the two.
 
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Øivind Karlsrud
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MacKaris wrote:
oivind22 wrote:
Combine this with victory points for killing units, and you have a recipe for always choosing to score a second hit instead of advancing, i.e. fire and maneuver with use of suppressive fire doesn't really work. Victory points for killing units is such a lousy idea, but you can't just remove it without unbalancing scenarios.


If something should be removed, it's the victory points for victory hex control. That's the more unrealistic of the two.


Realism is overrated, IMO. Taking ground is more fun than just shooting from afar, that's the point.
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