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Subject: CoH, BoB, or LnL? rss

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MICHAEL MCGUIRE
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Which is the best system and why?
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Martin Gallo
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It depends on what you are looking for. Truly.

BoB seems to shine with its accurate portrayal of suppression (and MG use).

LnL has a command system and use of hidden unit effects that makes it great for solo play as well as two-player. I believe it has the "densest" rulebook and overhead of the three. LnL feels the most "puzzle-like" to me - Once I have "solved" a scenario the replay value for that scenario drops a bit. It can take a while to "solve" any of the scenarios and they really never play out identically.

CoH is sort of in between those two. It uses a command point system that take doctrine in to account, so the sides play little differently.

I have never played them side by side with similar scenarios to see how they compare directly.

So, what are you looking for? All three will give you lots of bang for the buck tactical squad to squad action. Lots of decisions.
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Christopher O
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CommanderMcG wrote:
Which is the best system and why?


There have been a couple of threads which compare the systems and go into a lot of detail.

Tactical infantry games are my specialty. I've gone out of my way to try to play as many of them as I can. As as result, I own all three of the games you mention.

I like all three for different reasons. Here are the pros and cons of each.

CoH

Pros: Has a new, apparently quite good solitaire system. Excellent map art. Allows use of euro-game-like management of APs and CAPs to control and command units. Some very different mechanics than other systems which are essentially ASL-descendents. Chit-based secret damage counter system is excellent.

Cons: Some people don't like the counter art. The "game-y" aspect of management of activation points bothers some people.

LnL

Pros: Excellent map and counter art. System covers a lot of hero and SMC (single-man counter) rules which allow for very individual-based combat cinematic-style of play. Allows for use and transfer of individual squad weapons. Interesting combat system - one of the few which uses opposing rolls to get results. Handling of AFVs is one of the best outside of ASL, and simpler than ASL to boot. Definite ASL-descendant (which is a pro for some). Lots of expansion modules.

Cons: Rulebook is somewhat convoluted. Some rule cases hard to remember. Complexity of interactions of SMCs and MMCs can be hard to remember (still easier than ASL). Definite ASL-descendant (which is a con for some). Extremely low granularity in unit firepower and quality of units.

BoB

Pros: Best (IMO) verisimilitude of WW2 infantry combat - proper fire and manoeuvre and suppression tactics. Quick, simple system that also allows for realistic-feeling combat. Graduated learning system (which CoH also uses) allows for slow introduction to rules. Tense, balanced scenarios. Simplified AFV combat allows for quick resolution of scenarios with large numbers of AFVs. Simple changes to casualty numbers, ranges, and morale checks allow for a very wide range of national qualities with little system overhead.

Cons: Some people don't like original map art, other do not like style of counter art (described by some as "cartoony"). Important caveat: New map art was introduced in Kickstarted second edition versions. AFV rule can feel "too simple" at times, especially compared to ASL and LnL. Relatively few expansion modules at the moment (lots in the design pipeline, though!)

If you said to me - you can only pick two of these systems, I would pick BoB and LnL. If I was restricted to only one, I would pick BoB.

Again, all of them have their pros and cons. All of them are good and complete systems and you would do well with any of them.

Me, I prefer BoB over the others. Your mileage may vary.
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Jim Krohn
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Here's a good thread:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/728052/comparing-bob-co...

Quote:
AFV rule can feel "too simple" at times, especially compared to ASL and LnL.


In a similar way to how the simple infantry combat system captures WW2 in a much more realistic way, the simple vehicle combat system does the same. ASL is so detailed that it *seems* more accurate, but the vehicle combat system misses the forest for the trees. The BoB proficiency system, move marker, etc. they all encourage realistic behavior and results.

BoB may be simple, but it is hands down the most realistic depiction of WW2 squad combat, by a wide margin.
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Brian Berg Asklev Hansen
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I have played all 3 systems intensively.

CoH: Is the best game in terms of mechanisms and excitement level due to its near simultaneous action. But in terms of realism sometimes suffer as players are thinking very much in game terms of AP and CAP optimization.

BoB: is by far the best game in terms of realism, and is also very fast playing which makes it very possible to play large scenarios which is rarely the case with CoH and LnL. When playing I never think in game terms but "feel" and plan like a company commander.

LnL: is by far the most complex of them. It has leaders and heroes which give it a VERy cinematic feel and a great narrative, but very often at the cost of very gamey stuff happening. The extra complexity doesnt give much return in enjoyment value and the rules could easily have been simplified.
The system has many post WW2 modules which is a big plus in my book.
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Doug Click
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Kozure wrote:
[q="CommanderMcG"]
<snip>

CoH
<snip>

Cons: Some people don't like the counter art. The "game-y" aspect of management of activation points bothers some people.




That "game-y" aspect has been removed with the SOLO rules option and these tokens: Spent Check Tokens

Makes the game much more dynamic.
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Brian Berg Asklev Hansen
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Yes that is mostly true, and it has really improved the feel and realism of CoH (IMO, although it could be argued that is has lost some of its finesse from a pure game point of view).
 
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Jim Krohn
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Quote:
CoH: .... But in terms of realism sometimes suffer as players are thinking very much in game terms of AP and CAP optimization.


It is not just that. Correct me if I am wrong as I sometimes get other systems mixed up....squads are still causing casualties at distance against troops in good defensive terrain. There is a damage chit system, so units draw damage chits and the incentive is to fire at a damaged unit so that it is eliminated. That's how it works with vehicles too, right? To me that sounds like something out of a video game like Battlefield. Vehicles didn't keep taking damage until destroyed. By and large a vehicle in WW2 was going to be either destroyed or unharmed by a shot.
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Martin Gallo
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Jim Krohn wrote:
Quote:
CoH: .... But in terms of realism sometimes suffer as players are thinking very much in game terms of AP and CAP optimization.


It is not just that. Correct me if I am wrong as I sometimes get other systems mixed up....squads are still causing casualties at distance against troops in good defensive terrain. There is a damage chit system, so units draw damage chits and the incentive is to fire at a damaged unit so that it is eliminated. That's how it works with vehicles too, right? To me that sounds like something out of a video game like Battlefield. Vehicles didn't keep taking damage until destroyed. By and large a vehicle in WW2 was going to be either destroyed or unharmed by a shot.
There are plenty of games out there that model limited damage to vehicles - usually in terms of mobility or armament "kills" and some "suppress or button up" the vehicle (to stop or slow it).

I am not an expert on this so I do not know the statistics but it seems reasonable to me to have these effects on a vehicle.

It also seems reasonable that from an effectiveness perspective a vehicle is either working or not. I have had some fun games in other systems where a vehicle got immobilized in a good firing position...
 
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Ruben Rigillo
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I play many tactical systems. Though enjoying all of them, At the moment my favorites are ASL(SK) and LnL.
BUT I 'm anxiously waiting for the kickstartered BoB serie
 
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Brian Berg Asklev Hansen
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Quote:
Correct me if I am wrong as I sometimes get other systems mixed up....squads are still causing casualties at distance against troops in good defensive terrain.


No that practically never happens as a typical squad would need to roll 11+ on 2D6 to do that. But of course it can happen if you boost the roll with cards/CAPs or just roll really lucky.

Quote:
There is a damage chit system, so units draw damage chits and the incentive is to fire at a damaged unit so that it is eliminated.


Yes that is correct and I agree that this is not always realistic. Some of the damage chits do however boost defense values and limit firepower which gives a strong incentive to close the range to units with damage chits.

Quote:
That's how it works with vehicles too, right? To me that sounds like something out of a video game like Battlefield. Vehicles didn't keep taking damage until destroyed. By and large a vehicle in WW2 was going to be either destroyed or unharmed by a shot.


For vehicles there are more damage chits that kill the unit outright and some that represent the morale of the crew inside (which I find very realistic - Most tank crews find it unnerving to hear round after round hit their hull even though they dont penetrate or only do minor damage)
Also some of the chits make the unit become immobilized (something that never happens in BoB), and which would surely have happened in reality.


I know you are very proud of the BoB system Jim and with very good reason as its a fantastic set of rules, but you sometimes come of very hard and self-rightous whenever someone points to positive aspects of other game series.
If I should point to a negative aspect to BoB it would be that gameplay sometimes feels generic and repetitative as you do more or less the same thing in many of the turns. I know this is very realistic but it just isnt always as exciting as CoH (for example).

A feature in BoB that is seldom praised but which I find very cool is how routing works. I have never before tried a game which so elegantly and effectively show how pinned down troops in the open tries to fall back to safety. Most ofter systems are either "stand where you are until you die" unless the player decides to move the units elsewhere.


(BTW I rank both the CoH and the BoB game systems very highly and have played nearly a hundred games of each)
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Jim Krohn
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Quote:
I am not an expert on this so I do not know the statistics but it seems reasonable to me to have these effects on a vehicle.


Sure you can have these effects on a vehicle, but accumulating damage until it destroys you is something out of Battlefield or an RTS game. It is very much not how AFVs were destroyed.

Quote:
I know you are very proud of the BoB system Jim and with very good reason as its a fantastic set of rules, but you sometimes come of very hard and self-rightous whenever someone points to positive aspects of other game series.


I feel that is unfair. I don't hang out in the forums of other games and I have been very kind in this forum. However, what makes BoB stand out is its modeling of WW2 tactical combat. I had to reject much of what had gone before and I modeled it based on research. If I can't point out that superior attribute inside the BoB forum, then I am giving up what I feel to be the most important distinction of my game.

Let's take ASL for example. Many consider that to be the most realistic depiction of squad combat. Just look at the rule book! Yet an ASL player will normally not even deploy his troops anywhere close to how a real commander would have. If you are not even deploying your troops correctly, how can it be the most realistic? I have to be able to point that out inside a BoB forum.

The dirty secret is that many war games are built around mechanics and not around research. A designer found a mechanic that they liked and superimposed it upon a topic, maybe without even picking up a book. As a designer, that bothers and frustrates me. There is a part of me that even feels like that is dishonest on some level. To be clear, I am not applying that last statement to any particular game discussed here.
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Jim Krohn
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Brian, I also wanted to say a big "thank you" for your support.

Let me also add that I am not against playing other tactical systems. Sometimes a person's mood or opponents come into play. Would it be bad of me to admit that I have a couple of other tactical games on MY shelf? Although, admittedly, I almost never play them. However, that might be more because design time often eats up fun gaming time.
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Having played and enjoyed the 1st edition of CoH, I chose to go with BoB instead of 2nd edition CoH, because I liked Jim's earlier games (Space Empires:4x and Talon) and trust Jim's design philosophy.

I hope it will turn out to be the right choice.
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MICHAEL MCGUIRE
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Well, I'll just have to receive a free copy to try out the system to be able to write a review of how I think the mechanics work. That sounds like a good idea.
 
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Kyle
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I've played all three, BoB most extensively. Best rules-to-realism ratio out there, hands down. And for me, the most fun.
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Sayburr wrote:
Kozure wrote:
[q="CommanderMcG"]
<snip>

CoH
<snip>

Cons: Some people don't like the counter art. The "game-y" aspect of management of activation points bothers some people.




That "game-y" aspect has been removed with the SOLO rules option and these tokens: Spent Check Tokens

Makes the game much more dynamic.


Dynamic and randomized activation does not remove the gamey ness of activation. Our group played close to fifty games of CoH with activation point randomization or tracking variants but still found ways to exploit activated units by 'burning'actions in areas of the battlefield you don't care as much about. I think it's much more likely the game can be saved with an action reaction activation system like The Last Hundred Yards.

My 2c is that CoH is charming when played as a historical experience, but broken when played competatively.

LnL, and ASL are the same game effectively but one is faster to play though you won't find opponents for it (ASL players are everywhere though is basically video game that while it meticulously includes all the guns, and plays nothing like history).

I can't compare current BoB because I've only played the first edition. The suppression system was excellent at feeling historical while being quite novel. However I found the inverted success system counter intuative and the 1st set of scenarios and units a bit dry. I'd give it another shot but I have The Last Hundered Yards ahead in the purchase/play queue... Which I am getting around d to quite a bit slower than to Talon, (my Star Trek Mod for it) and recent Armada releases... whistle

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J Emmett
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I was in and playing with all the rules BoB offered, infantry and vehicles, in two scenarios.

I never finished CoH's multi-scenario homework before selling it (to make room for BoB).
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Jeff Smith
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Jim Krohn wrote:

BoB may be simple, but it is hands down the most realistic depiction of WW2 squad combat, by a wide margin.
And for me, this is the reason why BoB is my favorite of the bunch. Even if someone used the BoB system as a starting point for a more detailed system, I think the result would very much be an exercise in diminishing returns in terms of increased realism versus increased complexity.

I love the fact that even though I had not played BoB since last September, when my Kickstarter arrived I was up and playing the training scenario in about ten minutes, and have relearned pretty much everything (I've finished the first four scenarios) with very minimal effort.

I contrast that with my experience with Squad Leader, where after a brief break from the game it would often take me 30 minutes to refresh myself on infantry, and another hour or two to work through Chapter 3 (the armor and vehicles rules) again. As someone who plays a lot of different games, and different genres of games, the combination of high realism and low(ish) complexity is fantastic.
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Jim Krohn
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First four TA scenarios?
 
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MICHAEL MCGUIRE
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How about the sending me a free copy to play and reveiw idea?
 
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Jeff Smith
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Jim Krohn wrote:
First four TA scenarios?
No, I wanted to start with SE again and work my way through the whole series. I'm actually saving TA as a Christmas gift for myself. I havent played for a while now, but I'm about halfway through SE.
 
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