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Subject: Alternative unit factors... rss

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Dennis Kochan
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Hello...

This post will probably replace some aspects of ongoing threads, hopefully.

I don't know if you are familiar with the series of games by John Tiller. The Campaign Series, which includes the following games...
East Front II, West Front and Rising Sun. These are all 'tactical' games and are essentially computer versions of PB and PL, with warfare in the Pacific thrown in for good measure.

Before getting to deep into the premise, here is a site for downloading the East front II manual. Its in PDF format, and as far as my antivirus anti spyware programs are concerned 'safe' to download. Which I have done. So, if you are interested in this post and want to have the same reference I'll be using go ahead and dl it for your own use. The date tables start on page 67(?).

Here is the link...

http://www.replacementdocs.com/download.php?view.8440

So, the basic premise is going to be to use the 'factors' for the various units as a base for future and replacement counters for the Pb/PL games.

Dennis
 
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Dennis Kochan
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Hello...

Okay, hopefully this endevor will produce some useful data and/or ideas for use with the PB/PL games. The 'source' for some of this is the data contained in the aforementioned 'manual' for East Front II. Hereafter refered to by me as EFII, you of course are free to call it whatever you like.

In various threads we have talked about 'new factors' for units, new unit 'sizes' and such. Using the 'data' in for this game series could give us a useful alternative and give us a data base reference for further discussion.

Now, I've been playing this computer game version of PB for quite some time. Is it perfect? No, but its a very good start. This game was made quite some time ago. Over the years errors and new ideas have made their appearance in the game. Some of which we can get into later as the discussion goes on.

One of the nice things that is done, as far as infantry goes, is its an 'apples and apples' situation as regards unit 'sizes'. Platoons are the basic unit 'sizes'. So, we have a base for the factors, which we can use to potentially address one the more frustrating situations (for me anyway) in the PB game.

Now, if we are going to have them as our base and then allow further unit 'breakdown' we may have to use multipliers to avoid 'fractions' being used for sub-unit numerical factors. No big deal really, it should be an easy exercise.

So, to give you an idea of the factors represented in the EFII game, I'll first list the attributes used in the game.

1.) Assault Value, 2.) Defense Value, 3.) Range, 4. Attack Strength vs. Hard (armored) Target, 5. Attack Strength vs. Soft (unarmored) Target and 6.) Movement Value.

To give you an idea of what a unit looks like in the game, here is a 1942 Russian Rifle Platoon...

1.) 3 AV
2.) 7 DV
3.) 1 for HT, 3 for ST
4.) 2 AS for HT (2 A 1)
5.) 5 AS for ST (5 I 3)
6.) 1 MV

Compare that to a German Rifle Platoon of the same era...

1.) 5 AV
2.) 7 DV
3.) 1 for HT, 4 for ST
4.) 2 AS for HT (2 A 1)
5.) 12 AS for ST (12 I 4)
6.) 1 MV

So, you can see some differences between the two game systems and some similatities. Of course the factors are a base and most certainly could/should be points of discussion.

I look forward to your feedback, as always.

Dennis
 
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Robert McConnell
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Dennis, I hope this doesn't sound like an echo chamber, but I have looked over the East Front II users manual and I like the values in there. I think it does a much better job of reflecting the capabilities of the different armies (Axis Allies and not just Germans/Russians). I am probably going to use those values for my VASSAL module of Tactical GameX or whatever I end up calling my tweeked "new" version of said game (PanzerBlitz4?). Comparing the Russian 1942 Infantry platoon vs. the German 1942 Infantry platoon ("apples and apples") is very telling in exhibiting the strengths and limitations of both armies. We should make this the East Front II thread.

Bob
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Dennis Kochan
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Hello...

Yes, I think that adopting the values/factors presented in the Campaign Series would make for a better, more playable game. It would also allow us to address some area's that wheren't addressed, but, can be now. As board-gamers we have the ability to easily modify any aspect of a game. And I don't see any reason not to. With the availability of the 'data' included in the various versions of the CS, we can look forward to some interesting variations.

There are of course some things to keep in mind. With the changes of the values/factors comes a variation in the outcome of combat situations. So, in some instances it may be 'easier' to destroy units or it may be 'more difficult'. When that is the case, it also would be easy enough to modify the Victory Conditions to take that into account.

If, a further modification of having sub-units of platoons is what you want, then you might want to consider doubling the related factors for 'soft' values/factors, both attack and defense. The reason for this would be to avoid having fractions in the various factors for units. Of course its not hard to deal with fractions... but, whole numbers keeps things 'clean', so to speak.

Also, there is a difference in the Combat Results table used in CS. Using the CS values/factors and the PB/PL CRT may have some outcome compatability problems. Just something to consider.

I look forward to your responses...

Dennis

 
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Robert McConnell
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Dennis, I will take a look at the CRT in East Front 2 and see how I like it- almost anything is better than the PanzerBlitz and Panzer Leader CRTs!
 
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Keith Plymale
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Highly recommend going to Consimworld and looking at the PB/PL/AIW thread. In the header are pdf's about the design philosophy behind PB before making such a major change IMHO.

http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX/.ee6def8/

Scroll down the page to the discussion.
 
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Dennis Kochan
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Hello....

Thanks for the link... its always good to consider facts, data and methods already used for the development of an existing game. It gives you valuable clues as to what could or should be addressed when considering mods for a game.

Dennis
 
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Robert McConnell
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Keith, I have read all of Alan Arvold's articles on the design philosophy of PanzerBlitz. He basically states the game is flawed (he doesn't say that directly) because it is reliant on every unit's anti-armor value essentially. One could argue, "Okay, it's a tank-based game, so that is a valid premise." I would argue that it is a flawed premise, because no WW2 army that was left standing at the end of the war would fight a tank-centric style of warfare. Were tanks the major maneuver arm? You bet they were, but most armies were fielding better antitank weapons. More importantly, all the victorious (and even the losing sides) armies changed their combined arms doctrine to reflect that you cannot win offensively in the majority of cases with just one combat force (pure infantry, pure tank, etc.). So we as wargamers need to be cognizant that the game's CRTs- and most unit values- don't reflect that "reality". I have redesigned a CRT for direct fire combat, suppressive fire/indirect fire, and simultaneous close combat (both attacker and defender suffer losses on a die roll). I think all of these are improvements. I am not trying to discount Alan or anyone else's views, I just disagree with the conclusions.

Bob
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