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Subject: Gas Attack - under powered? rss

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Thomas Tompkins
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After several plays now I have come to the conclusion that the Gas Attack card is too underpowered.
I'm not sure what the designers had in mind for gas attacks but just forcing retreats (at such a high use cost to play the card) does not seem to reflect just how deadly gas attacks were in this era.
I am considering a house rule where the Gas Attack would cost only 3 to play and besides being forced to retreat on flags, the unit would also suffer the lose of 1 figure when it retreats. This would be a bit more like gas attacks in Dire Heroes. Dire Heroes: Gas Attack at Ypres

I would like to see this card modified in future expansions or if the cards are ever reprinted.

Anyone else tried experimenting with house rules for Gas Attacks?
Any other suggestions?

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Kevin Duke
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I haven't played the game nearly enough to consider any house rules yet.
It is a costly card, but I have seen others that seem to offer less value per high HQ token cost.

But the timing on this makes all the difference. There could be times when you're about to make a big push and terrain is critical. Taking defenders in trenches from being able to ignore 2 flags to zero flags could be a big deal if you really want that terrain.
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Mark McG
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on the whole, I'm not sure that gas was that effective a weapon. It was an irritant, phosgene had delayed effect and unreliable due to wind.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_weapons_in_World_War_...

I could probably see a extra card for Mustard gas be more effective, and maybe the odd special rule for initial use of gas.



I can see two uses for gas, dislodging enemy units out of Trenches to take subsequent attacks, and with Reserve Artillery attacks. Only works with ranged attacks.
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Todd Rewoldt
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A nod to Kevin's response, I've only gotten 4 complete games in, but with an awful lot of C&C experience as well, I have trust that the game plays as intended. I don't think this is saying anything mind-blowing, but the game is all about pushing the soldiers out of the trenches (or, conversely, goading them into coming out on their own ), and to that end, a well-timed gas attack could be invaluable, though in the majority of instances it is going to be an undervalued play/tokens better spent elsewhere.

I have yet to make a play involving gas attack, but could certainly foresee playing it alongside an Assault or Infantry Assault to aid a trench raid - may even be worth it, as Mark suggested, to play alongside an Attack, where one of the orders is given to the reserve artillery, though would probably want to be in a very strong position HQ token-wise if making that expensive of a play for potentially very little gain.
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Thomas Tompkins
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I would disagree on some of the comments regarding the use of mustard gas. It was certainly much less deadly later on, once the forces were prepared to deal with gas attacks, but the early use at Ypres was horrendous. It was not always about killing the opponent but inflicting wounds & demoralizing others which caused more resource problems than outright death. The loss of figures in C&C games represents all of these aspects.

Having played the Gas Attacks card and having used against me (as others have suggested it should be played to drive out strongly entrenched units), has shown to me that it is nearly ineffective to push out units. Maybe it has just been bad luck on dice rolling and not the card itself.

However, I do agree that there should be a wind component to this card. Maybe there should be targeting like reserve artillery and a roll for wind direction.
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Mayor Jim
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tantalon wrote:
I would disagree on some of the comments regarding the use of mustard gas. It was certainly much less deadly later on, once the forces were prepared to deal with gas attacks, but the early use at Ypres was horrendous. It was not always about killing the opponent but inflicting wounds & demoralizing others which caused more resource problems than outright death. The loss of figures in C&C games represents all of these aspects.

Having played the Gas Attacks card and having used against me (as others have suggested it should be played to drive out strongly entrenched units), has shown to me that it is nearly ineffective to push out units. Maybe it has just been bad luck on dice rolling and not the card itself.

However, I do agree that there should be a wind component to this card. Maybe there should be targeting like reserve artillery and a roll for wind direction.

While I haven't played a great many of the scenarios yet; and while I tend to not "fiddle" with a game until I feel pretty confident with all the rules, etc. I think that the idea of having a gas attack coupled with an "accuracy" roll and possibly incorporating wind direction (the accuracy roll could account for the wind direction) may have merit.
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David Groves
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Hi All

I've played this game a lot and from my experience this is one of the few cards that I really dislike. Whether or not it parallels the reality of a First World war battlefield or not is for somebody more expert on WW1 weapons technology than me to decide.

From the game's point of view it is an expensive and high risk card. Yes, a card that dislodges enemy troops from highly defendable positions at the start of a risky assault could provide a great tactical asset. However, the card relies on the attacker rolling flags to be of use for one thing and since the card only counts with ranged combat attacks rather than close combat attacks it means that the enemy positions cannot be taken by friendly troops taking ground when the enemy has been dislodged. The enemy player then simply retakes the positions (provided a suitable sector card is in hand)on his next turn. If the card forced enemy units to retreat, say three hexes, which may stop them getting back into a trench on their next turn and open to artillery fire, it might be more useful.

Compared to a more useful card, such as Butt and Bayonet, which costs a mere 1 HQ token (Not 5) and can certainly give your opponent a bloody nose or the Short of Supply card, which forces an opponent to withdraw some distance from the target objective, the Gas Attack card is one that I trade out when my combat card hand is full. In short, I find no use for this card what so ever.

By contrast, Battlelore 2nd edition has a combat or Lore card, as they are called, named Assault, which is useful for dislodging troops from defendable positions and guarantees one hit and one retreat in addition to the dice roll. Yes, it is an expensive card but, boy, is it useful. If the Gas Attack card had these qualities in close combat to enable a position to be taken it would be a most worthwhile card and would, perhaps, warrant an even higher cost than 5 HQ tokens.

Dave
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What if the Gas Attack card counted all Flag and all Skull results? Flags would be retreats as normal (not reduced by trenches etc.) and skulls would be further casualties, representing troops disabled or made otherwise ineffective combatants by the gas attack. Two increased results on the die seems plenty powerful.
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Thomas Tompkins
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Galadrin wrote:
What if the Gas Attack card counted all Flag and all Skull results? Flags would be retreats as normal (not reduced by trenches etc.) and skulls would be further casualties, representing troops disabled or made otherwise ineffective combatants by the gas attack. Two increased results on the die seems plenty powerful.


I like this idea. I will try it.
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Minot
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I think, though, that over-represents the power of WWI chemical weapons, which were more disruptive than lethal.
 
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Thomas Tompkins
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This is true but remember losing blocks or figures in C&C games does not represent simply lethality (i.e. death or attrition). It also represents demoralization, shortage of supplies, wounds (etc) that need additional resources, fear, etc.
 
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Plus, there's something kind of cute about using that skull to represent sick soldiers... Reminds me of the old warning stamp they used to put on rat poison with a very similar skull icon.
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