Capt. Winters
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## EDIT 26.9.16: Adding Persistent AP as a variant.

As an owner of AtB, AtB Solo, AtB Firefight Generator and now Guadalcanal, I 've been playing a lot and really enjoy the games. In my opinion a perfect mix between tactically depths, enough rules to make it challenging and a fast paced thriller of a game. I am also working in the editing team for the COH-series and enjoy helping out with developing these games.

I always like to analyze games to see if there are variants that could work better, or at least give game play enough variation and excitement, in certain scenarios. I believe I have found a new way to use AP, which gives a few interesting benefits. But first a summary of the different ways of using AP's:

1. Classical 7 AP per Unit; a predictable but a fair way of playing. It gives the enemy too much info about what you are able to achieve with each Unit, each turn. The upside is that it gives both sides the same amount of AP's.

2. 2D6/3D6; using two or three dices to decide what each Unit
has got each turn. Gives an interesting element of randomness and therefore insecurity among the military leaders on the battlefield. The downside is that it can be too unbalanced in terms of AP given to one side. Even if statistically it will normally even out during a game. But I have played games where there has been big differences in AP given.

3. The fog of war; using a cup to hide the AP numbers given by method above. It really adds to the insecurity (and fear) among the players.

4. Solo Order cards; using the cards from the AtB solo expansion game for AP check, to see if your Unit is spent. I think it can be used when playing solo both sides but I think in general it gives too much randomness and the Unit is often spent after 2-3 Ap's, which gives you too little room for actions, and therefore the tactical planning element is hurting. In the AtB Solo version playing against the AI, it works superb of course.

5. Persistent AP's; using small dices to track each unit as they use their AP, without needing to spent a unit to activate other units. I like the idea and have to try it out more.

###

So, what is the new variant I have tested and found very interesting? It manages to combine number 1-3 above and also added a new tactical decision making layer, which I really enjoyed. Each Player has got 5 small pieces cut out of cardboard with one AP number written on it. I went with 5,6,7,7,and 10. In average the AP pieces has a value of 7, and this is the AP numbers a player uses when choosing his Units.

When he picks a Unit he secretly chooses one AP piece, places it close to the AP track and start to count AP from "1" and up. The enemy don't know how strong the active Unit is and thematically describes to me how strong the squad is equipped for action, this actually Round. As a commander you get the opportunity to play an active role in deciding which Unit will be better equipped than the others. "Which squad gets this extra rounds with ammo?" When the AP is spent the player shows the opponent the chit with the AP number. Now, he knows what the other has spent and what is still left... Each AP piece must be used before you gather all 5 again and the process starts all over. When next Round starts you always start with 5 pieces again to choose from.

In play testing solo both sides it worked great and it can only be better when used in a 2-4 player game, I believe. The benefits are:

1. A fair way of using AP's since both sides has got 35 AP (7 in average), before you start all over again. You're not seeing a 3 and a 12 here which can be devastating an unbalancing a whole Round and therefore the game. A 3 is 4 times lower than 12. In my system 5 AP is the difference between the lowest and the highest AP given. I think that is enough.

2. Saves time and give faster game play without the need for constantly dice throwing and cup hidings

3. Gives the randomness and the uncertainty of fog of war.

4. Gives new dimensions of tactical decisions you as a commander have to take. "Do I equip my Marines with 10 AP or only 6, and how strong is this berserk Japanese infantry running towards me...? That's a cool new way of decision making I think.

So, I really recommend it for a try and will definitely use it more myself. I'd like to hear others experiences with this on the battlefields...


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David
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This looks excellent. Presumably once the AP is spent, it must be shown and the enemy will then have an idea what AP you have left for other units. A minor point as the spread of 5 is not that great but if you use the 10 early then you kind of lose the 'Ace up your sleeve' a little?
 
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Capt. Winters
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Yes, that is correct. You'll have to show the opponent what AP chit you used. I will add this in my post as I forgot to mention it.
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Kevin L. Kitchens
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I would change this as follows.

Double each chit so you have two sets of them.
Add a "replenish" chit (value = 7AP) that when drawn forces all the chits back into the cup.
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Russ Williams
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klkitchens wrote:
I would change this as follows.

Double each chit so you have two sets of them.
Add a "replenish" chit (value = 7AP) that when drawn forces all the chits back into the cup.

The OP doesn't sound like they're randomly drawn, but rather that you choose which of your chits to play.
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Kevin L. Kitchens
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russ wrote:
klkitchens wrote:
I would change this as follows.

Double each chit so you have two sets of them.
Add a "replenish" chit (value = 7AP) that when drawn forces all the chits back into the cup.

The OP doesn't sound like they're randomly drawn, but rather that you choose which of your chits to play.


Yeah, missed/forgot that (getting older!). However, the comment here (or in his other thread) about it becoming clear when the 10 had been played for example that it was no longer available made me think of this. I think the choice is the weak point of this variant.

Now if you assigned them to units up front (face down on the counter) then that would be a good solution.
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MICHAEL MCGUIRE
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Can someone make up counters to use for this? It sounds great!
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Barry Miller
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Subscribed... will be looking to see where this goes. I have a thing about (not) using homemade variants or house rules (a personal problem!). But If this garners solid community support or better yet, gets Uwe's or Gunter's blessing, then I'll employ it in my games. Sounds intriguing!



 
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Capt. Winters
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klkitchens wrote:
russ wrote:
klkitchens wrote:
I would change this as follows.

Double each chit so you have two sets of them.
Add a "replenish" chit (value = 7AP) that when drawn forces all the chits back into the cup.

The OP doesn't sound like they're randomly drawn, but rather that you choose which of your chits to play.


Yeah, missed/forgot that (getting older!). However, the comment here (or in his other thread) about it becoming clear when the 10 had been played for example that it was no longer available made me think of this. I think the choice is the weak point of this variant.

Now if you assigned them to units up front (face down on the counter) then that would be a good solution.


My intentions was to give the commander a more hands on feeling with how to distribute the squad resources(AP). Therefore no cup draws here. Opinions are many of course but I don't think it is a weak point but rather makes a new excellent decision making layer in the field, which I really enjoyed during my solo play.

Your suggestion of assigning all units beforehand could also work, but you'll loose what I mention above. Still, I think the idea of assigning all 5 units with a AP also is interesting. There is also the option to mix the two ideas into different rounds, to create a nice tactical mix.

I will communicate with Uwe and Gunther on this to hear what they think about it.

Anyhow, I think this way of handling AP makes the game shine even more.
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Kevin L. Kitchens
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strategigeniet wrote:
klkitchens wrote:
russ wrote:
klkitchens wrote:
I would change this as follows.

Double each chit so you have two sets of them.
Add a "replenish" chit (value = 7AP) that when drawn forces all the chits back into the cup.

The OP doesn't sound like they're randomly drawn, but rather that you choose which of your chits to play.


Yeah, missed/forgot that (getting older!). However, the comment here (or in his other thread) about it becoming clear when the 10 had been played for example that it was no longer available made me think of this. I think the choice is the weak point of this variant.

Now if you assigned them to units up front (face down on the counter) then that would be a good solution.


My intentions was to give the commander a more hands on feeling with how to distribute the platoon resources (AP). Therefore no cup draws here. Opinions are many of course but I don't think it is a weak point but rather makes a new excellent decision making layer in the field, which I really enjoyed during my solo play.

Your suggestion of assign all units beforehand could also work but you'll loose what I mention above. Still, I think the idea of assigning all 5 units with a AP also is interesting. There is also the option to mix the two ideas into different rounds, to create a nice tactical mix.

I will communicate with Uwe and Gunther on this to hear what they think about it.

Anyhow, I think this way of handling AP makes the game shine even more.


That's cool. Everyone seeks different things. Personally I like the randomness and unknown factor to keep things interesting. The even distribution of APs over the chits is a good idea, but the fixed choices to me is a weak point as mentioned before especially with two players as the opponent knows what you have left. Now compared to the always 7 points standard that's not a problem. But compared to the roll for APs or the solo card draw, the lost unknown variation of APs is a weaker option.

My preference is still the solo card draw as it allows each unit to take an action in any order then determine if spent. Some could do minimum actions a turn and others could be heroic and pass a lot of spent checks getting more done that turn. If the chance of being spent too soon is a factor than simply make it that the first action (if 3 APs or less) each turn is free with no draw.

Regardless kudos for thinking up a way to handle APs that makes things more to your tastes!
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Human Beem
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This sounds really great and makes me wish I had more opportunities to play this game face to face to test it out. I've always felt the strength of this series was its predictability (relative for tactical wargames of course) and chess-like nature.

I tried the various rolling dice for AP's, both hidden and open, and found that it added way too much chaos. When I want that level of chaos I just crack open the brilliant Combat Commander. Your variant, on paper at least, seems like it suits what I think is the real nature of this game. I'm looking forward to hearing about how people like it.
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Tim Densham
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Great idea Capt Winters!

Regarding adding randomness, how about this:

1. Double the number of chits as Kevin suggests.
2. Make a "hand" of 3 randomly drawn chits.
3. Choose one of these from the hand to use on a unit.
4. Draw another chit to bring your hand back to 3 chits.

Players still get to make decisions, but there's now a random element.
While I expect players will normally want to play their highest number, there may be times using the 5 to rally a unit might be the best call. Or you may just want to play the 5 to get it out of the way, anticipating the need for high value chits later.

Very interesting...
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Kevin L. Kitchens
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densham wrote:
Great idea Capt Winters!

Regarding adding randomness, how about this:

1. Double the number of chits as Kevin suggests.
2. Make a "hand" of 3 randomly drawn chits.
3. Choose one of these from the hand to use on a unit.
4. Draw another chit to bring your hand back to 3 chits.

Players still get to make decisions, but there's now a random element.
While I expect players will normally want to play their highest number, there may be times using the 5 to rally a unit might be the best call. Or you may just want to play the 5 to get it out of the way, anticipating the need for high value chits later.

Very interesting...


Good alteration!

I would also say that the pool is replenished when no more chits are left to draw. So when you have two in your hand and cannot take a third

Congrats to the OP for getting their idea suggested by Academy Games on Facebook too!
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Danick Cloutier
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Here is a simple variant to the 3d6 Fog of War method.

Make the min. rolled number possible 5, and the max. rolled number possible 10.
Ex: You rolled 2, 1 and 3. You got 5 action points not 4. You rolled tripple 6? You get 10 pts. That's more than enough!

It's not fun when you get 2 or 3 action points and your opponent got 11 or 12...
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Capt. Winters
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Yep, I thought about that option when creating the AP chit version. It is not the same system since you'll have more randomness with the dices, but it is better than normal 3D6, in my opinion.

I wanted to make a system not depending on dice rolls and cups and less randomness.
 
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Capt. Winters
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klkitchens wrote:
densham wrote:
Great idea Capt Winters!

Regarding adding randomness, how about this:

1. Double the number of chits as Kevin suggests.
2. Make a "hand" of 3 randomly drawn chits.
3. Choose one of these from the hand to use on a unit.
4. Draw another chit to bring your hand back to 3 chits.

Players still get to make decisions, but there's now a random element.
While I expect players will normally want to play their highest number, there may be times using the 5 to rally a unit might be the best call. Or you may just want to play the 5 to get it out of the way, anticipating the need for high value chits later.

Very interesting...


Good alteration!

I would also say that the pool is replenished when no more chits are left to draw. So when you have two in your hand and cannot take a third

Congrats to the OP for getting their idea suggested by Academy Games on Facebook too!


If you want to add a random element into this AP chit system, I think it can work fine. If you want to have a random element without making too much out of it and keep it simple, I would suggest:

1. Draw one of the AP chits blindly and assign it to an already chosen unit, and a secret to the enemy, of course.

2. When unit is spent, show the enemy and put it back to the original AP pool. Then play with five AP chits as normal. When those five are spent, start all over again.

When creating this I wanted to make a system which easy and fast to use. With my suggestion you get 1 out of 6 random AP chits and can be even more adjusted, if people like to have less control. I don't think you need to make a double set of chits to attain this feeling, but that is also one of the things that this system brings; tweaking abilities to your own liking
 
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John Prewitt
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maedhros wrote:
Here is a simple variant to the 3d6 Fog of War method.

Make the min. rolled number possible 5, and the max. rolled number possible 10.
Ex: You rolled 2, 1 and 3. You got 5 action points not 4. You rolled tripple 6? You get 10 pts. That's more than enough!

It's not fun when you get 2 or 3 action points and your opponent got 11 or 12...


Wouldn't it be easier to treat your base AP value as "4" and then roll a die? So 4+die value (5-10). 1 die instead of 2 and less finnicky
 
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Jon Pessano
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79strat wrote:
maedhros wrote:
Here is a simple variant to the 3d6 Fog of War method.

Make the min. rolled number possible 5, and the max. rolled number possible 10.
Ex: You rolled 2, 1 and 3. You got 5 action points not 4. You rolled tripple 6? You get 10 pts. That's more than enough!

It's not fun when you get 2 or 3 action points and your opponent got 11 or 12...


Wouldn't it be easier to treat your base AP value as "4" and then roll a die? So 4+die value (5-10). 1 die instead of 2 and less finnicky


It is not the same, with 1 die, you have equal odds of getting 1 to 6 (thus equal chance of getting 5 through 10).

With 2 dice, 7 is the most likely number to come up on any roll (a tad greater than 16% with each number above/below slightly less).

Thx
jonpfl
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John Prewitt
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You and your math/statistics. I personally don't like the concept of just throwing away the roll because it's under 5 or above 10, but I can see how it would balance things out more.
 
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Capt. Winters
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So, I have been testing out the system more playing Guadalcanal (solo both sides), FF 2 and FF 3. I tried 3 different versions;

A: Having full controll over the AP chits 5, 6, 7, 7 and 10.

B: When starting with five AP chits, the first AP chit is choosen randomly by throwing a dice were 1-5 decides the AP chit in order low - high.Ex: you throw a "3" which gives the spcific unit choosen 7 AP, since it is number three in order low - high, 1 being 5 AP. After that you choose from the four other AP chits which is unused.

C: Start like B but alter between randomly pick a AP chit and deciding yourself. Ex: Roll a dice and get "1" which activates 5 AP. When this unit is spent you pick one unit and equip it with the amount of AP you decide. When this unit is spent you go back to roll a dice again.

All three versions are really cool and gives the player different layers of controll with AP distribution on the battlefield. You can also change versions between FF rounds.

I believe this is the easiest and best way to handle AP distribution without making things too complicated and detailed, so you end up not wanting to use it. Personally, I like to have more controll over the units and which one I equip to reach different tactical goals. But a little randomness is also cool, so B is maybe my favourite.
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Stephen Glenn
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Nice idea. I like it. I'm curious why you went with 5-6-7-7-10 instead of 5-6-7-8-9. Not that there's much difference, but the latter seems more obvious. I'm a new player to CoH so your inclusion of a 10 may be for reasons unbeknownst to me. Or maybe you just wanted two 7s

I think I'm going to make 10 tokens for each player.
5-6-7-7-10 (in homage to you)
5-6-7-8-9 (in homage to me)

so that's
5-5-6-6-7-7-7-8-9-10 per player. Still averages to 7 per token.
Perhaps when the 10 is drawn, the tiles are reshuffled?

Fun stuff. Thanks for the idea.

edit: Did you not want to use a line to differentiate the 6 from the 9? Sorry, I'm reaching here but that occurred to me while making my tiles
 
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Capt. Winters
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Stephen Glenn wrote:
Nice idea. I like it. I'm curious why you went with 5-6-7-7-10 instead of 5-6-7-8-9. Not that there's much difference, but the latter seems more obvious. I'm a new player to CoH so your inclusion of a 10 may be for reasons unbeknownst to me. Or maybe you just wanted two 7s

I think I'm going to make 10 tokens for each player.
5-6-7-7-10 (in homage to you)
5-6-7-8-9 (in homage to me)

so that's
5-5-6-6-7-7-7-8-9-10 per player. Still averages to 7 per token.
Perhaps when the 10 is drawn, the tiles are reshuffled?

Fun stuff. Thanks for the idea.

edit: Did you not want to use a line to differentiate the 6 from the 9? Sorry, I'm reaching here but that occurred to me while making my tiles


Hi, when making this numbers I wanted to use 5-10 as min and max, and put an emphasize on 7 with two counters. This made "6" my only choice left. Of course, your numbers are also good, but I wanted to "unbalance" the AP distribution with two "bad"(5), two average (7) and one great (10), which I think makes it a bit more interesting. Which unit is given lesser AP equipment? Would it be dangerous? Questions like that are cool to analyze during game play.

Lately, I have been trying to add two more numbers (5 and 9), so it works really well no matter how you choose to play. Then I start trowing a dice 1d6 which decide the AP given to the first selected unit. A "1" is 5, a "2" is 5 and so on... It gives some randomness.

I like your cards, any chance to put them on the File section?
 
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