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The Campaign for North Africa» Forums » Rules

Subject: New solo game of the beast... a silly question on start-up rss

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Ciro Emmanuel
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Hello:

I am currently setting up / starting a solo game of this CNA beast with full options (i.e. full Air and Logistics Rules). I will also use some of the clever rules modifications (Air rules) that some other players have already envisaged. I will start recording everything on paper to get the full feel of this game (), but with the intention to progressively evolve into Excel recording and calculations. Not sure how far I will get (not very far, probably), but I just wanted to taste it...

My silly question is: the first scenario / campaign game starts "with Game-Turn 1, OpStage 1". Should I assume the following facts?

1) The phases "INITIATIVE STAGE", "STRATEGIC AIR PLANNING STAGE", "NAVAL CONVOY STAGE" and "STORES EXPENDITURE STAGE" have already taken place before the very start of the game (apart from the Axis convoy planning for the rest of September 1940 and pre-defined initiative results).

2) Every unit is carrying ammo for one first shot / combat at the start of the game (in addition to any ammo points loaded on trucks or present at supply dumps).

3) Every unit is assumed to have received the correct amount of required stores for this first Game Turn (in addition to stores points loaded on trucks or at supply dumps).

Are these assumptions right?

Or else should I start "from scratch" (units at "zero-ammo" / "zero-stores" status), starting with phase "INITIATIVE DETERMINATION PHASE" (well, this one is pre-defined by the scenario), and hence make do with whatever ammo and stores I could put before the start onto the trucks and supply dumps? (even for the first Op. Stage)

Thanks, regards,

Ciro.
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A D
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Hola Ciro

Es no quieres escuchar, pero...

IMHO you would be heading for serious trouble not only with the workload but with the game itself. I’ve done more post-production work on the rules and systems than anyone else, so I speak from considerable inside knowledge. I’ve also attempted many years ago, to do what you are proposing now. Playing through some little scenarios is very interesting to test the combat systems and everything but overall, my advice would be that it isn’t worth the trouble. However…

There is some hope. The group that I put together some time ago has been in the deep freeze for a considerable time now, mainly due to changes in my personal life. That is about to change imminently and, if you would like to play as part of the group (the only practical way in fact), you would be very welcome to join us.

If you have managed to get hold of the materials, including the rules rewrites that I did, that would be a big help to solo play without it, there are some intractable problems with all sorts of rules and systems within the game (particularly, as you rightly focus upon, the air war).

I would give you a link to the Proboards forum for CNA but I have a vague idea that it would be considered advertising by the powers that be here. Anyway, people who offer advice should be prepared for it to be rejected, so feel free! : )
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marc lecours
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Ciro, I gave you all my remaining geekgold because of your courage. Good luck in your endeavor.

A friend of mine has a copy of the game. A few years ago we took it out, looked at the map(s), looked at the counters. We smiled in awe. Then we looked at the rules, looked at the map and counters one last time, finally we put the game away.
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Andrew J
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"I'm going into the game room now; I may be gone some time."

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
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Luiz Cláudio Silveira Duarte
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Ciro, I believe your assumptions are right. IIRC, there is a rule somewhere that states that all units start/arrive with one full ammunition load in its weapons. This creates a serious problem, since different combats have different ammo expenditures. But this is much easier with stores and water.

Good luck, and let us know what happens in your game.
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Warren Bruhn
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I also gave you some as well, and a smaller bit to A D, just for the sheer lunacy of what you are undertaking. I had a friend who tried to play CNA solo back in 1979/80, before we had computers with spreadsheets!
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Ciro Emmanuel
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Hello, A D:

Thanks a lot for your wise advise.

Don't worry about the link of Proboards forum for CNA, as I already found it "googleing" some months ago I signed-up and found a lot of very useful information and resources therein. My intention is indeed to make good use of those resources, if you guys don't mind if I take advantage of your very hard work. Sorry I didn't say "hello", I am of the shy kind and just didn't want to annoy you guys blushblush

Regarding the offer to join the play group, thanks a lot indeed, that's very kind of you. But I feel I must decline, because I cannot guarantee a full and regular commitment to the task from my side, and I don't want to run the risk of being a hindrance to the progress of your game. I prefer to run it first (only?) time at my own pace. Fortunately, I now have the required room to start the game and leave it there for as long as I want (or for as long as I survive the experience ), so no pressure on me from that front.

If the group is being reactivated now, for sure I will follow your progress with interest in a "observer" role

Thanks a lot again, best regards,

Ciro.
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Ciro Emmanuel
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rubberchicken wrote:
Ciro, I gave you all my remaining geekgold because of your courage. Good luck in your endeavor.

A friend of mine has a copy of the game. A few years ago we took it out, looked at the map(s), looked at the counters. We smiled in awe. Then we looked at the rules, looked at the map and counters one last time, finally we put the game away.


Thanks a lot, Marc !!

Best regards,

Ciro.
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Ciro Emmanuel
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zxccxz wrote:
Hola Ciro

Es no quieres escuchar, pero...

IMHO you would be heading for serious trouble not only with the workload but with the game itself. I’ve done more post-production work on the rules and systems than anyone else, so I speak from considerable inside knowledge. I’ve also attempted many years ago, to do what you are proposing now. Playing through some little scenarios is very interesting to test the combat systems and everything but overall, my advice would be that it isn’t worth the trouble. However…

There is some hope. The group that I put together some time ago has been in the deep freeze for a considerable time now, mainly due to changes in my personal life. That is about to change imminently and, if you would like to play as part of the group (the only practical way in fact), you would be very welcome to join us.

If you have managed to get hold of the materials, including the rules rewrites that I did, that would be a big help to solo play without it, there are some intractable problems with all sorts of rules and systems within the game (particularly, as you rightly focus upon, the air war).

I would give you a link to the Proboards forum for CNA but I have a vague idea that it would be considered advertising by the powers that be here. Anyway, people who offer advice should be prepared for it to be rejected, so feel free! : )


Sorry... I "replied" instead of directly "quoting" your entry ;-)

<<
Hello, A D:

Thanks a lot for your wise advise.

Don't worry about the link of Proboards forum for CNA, as I already found it "googleing" some months ago I signed-up and found a lot of very useful information and resources therein. My intention is indeed to make good use of those resources, if you guys don't mind if I take advantage of your very hard work. Sorry I didn't say "hello", I am of the shy kind and just didn't want to annoy you guys blushblush

Regarding the offer to join the play group, thanks a lot indeed, that's very kind of you. But I feel I must decline, because I cannot guarantee a full and regular commitment to the task from my side, and I don't want to run the risk of being a hindrance to the progress of your game. I prefer to run it first (only?) time at my own pace. Fortunately, I now have the required room to start the game and leave it there for as long as I want (or for as long as I survive the experience ), so no pressure >>
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Ciro Emmanuel
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myrmex wrote:
"I'm going into the game room now; I may be gone some time."

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.


Thanks, Andrew. I suppose that writing some details of the progress of the game will not take a great portion of the overall time devoted to it. So I will try to get some record of it if I manage to get some deep into the game, and then put it under the sessions section.

Best regards,

Ciro.
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Ciro Emmanuel
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lclaudius wrote:
Ciro, I believe your assumptions are right. IIRC, there is a rule somewhere that states that all units start/arrive with one full ammunition load in its weapons. This creates a serious problem, since different combats have different ammo expenditures. But this is much easier with stores and water.

Good luck, and let us know what happens in your game.


Thanks a lot for your response, Luiz Cláudio.

Ok, that's fine, then. I am far from having finished the initial setup and data recording... but my feeling was that the front line trucks attached to the Italian divisions were not enough to carry the required resources, and I didn't feel that the other available trucks could finish the job either... so I thought the Italians would just sit and watch and during the very first operation Stage. I will try to be less impatient, and wait to see the overall final picture before asking again blush

Best regards,

Ciro.
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Ciro Emmanuel
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Warren Bruhn wrote:
I also gave you some as well, and a smaller bit to A D, just for the sheer lunacy of what you are undertaking. I had a friend who tried to play CNA solo back in 1979/80, before we had computers with spreadsheets!


Thanks, Warren !!

I fully agree to that "lunatic" tag...

Yes, I also think that the right approach for this task is to use every possible informatic tools at our disposal nowadays, because in the end, the decision of where to send your trucks and supplies is your own decision, with your computer acting as your clerk, just doing all the number-crunching for you.

But... you know... I just want to first try the monster just as it was conceived, with all that hell of record-keeping, calculations, five-roles, and the intercommunication of each role with each other.

Best Regards,

Ciro.
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Luiz Cláudio Silveira Duarte
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Ciro7 wrote:
Ok, that's fine, then. I am far from having finished the initial setup and data recording... but my feeling was that the front line trucks attached to the Italian divisions were not enough to carry the required resources, and I didn't feel that the other available trucks could finish the job either... so I thought the Italians would just sit and watch and during the very first operation Stage. I will try to be less impatient, and wait to see the overall final picture before asking again blush

I believe there is a rule that allows for all trucks to start the game fully loaded, over and above what is in the supply dumps. Hint: get some fuel and lots of ammunition.
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Ciro Emmanuel
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lclaudius wrote:
Ciro7 wrote:
Ok, that's fine, then. I am far from having finished the initial setup and data recording... but my feeling was that the front line trucks attached to the Italian divisions were not enough to carry the required resources, and I didn't feel that the other available trucks could finish the job either... so I thought the Italians would just sit and watch and during the very first operation Stage. I will try to be less impatient, and wait to see the overall final picture before asking again blush

I believe there is a rule that allows for all trucks to start the game fully loaded, over and above what is in the supply dumps. Hint: get some fuel and lots of ammunition.

Obrigado!!
Yes... I am realising about that as I slowly progress filling out the units' TOE sheets and calculating their supply needs in order to effectively operate Stores seem also to take a lot of truck space... and although those needs are by game-turn (as opposed to "by Op, Stage"), it seems to me that stores needs are no low, either surprise surprise
Regards,
Ciro.
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Luiz Cláudio Silveira Duarte
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Ciro7 wrote:
Yes... I am realising about that as I slowly progress filling out the units' TOE sheets and calculating their supply needs in order to effectively operate Stores seem also to take a lot of truck space... and although those needs are by game-turn (as opposed to "by Op, Stage"), it seems to me that stores needs are no low, either surprise surprise

Stores do take up a lot of trucking, but you can put units on half-rations. I suggest that you do what the real-life Italian commanders did: almost no supplies to lower quality troops, in order to concentrate available trucks and supplies on the better units. The Italian army has a lot of artillery units; take a guess on how much ammunition they will spend on two rounds of Barrage.
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Ciro Emmanuel
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lclaudius wrote:
Ciro7 wrote:
Yes... I am realising about that as I slowly progress filling out the units' TOE sheets and calculating their supply needs in order to effectively operate Stores seem also to take a lot of truck space... and although those needs are by game-turn (as opposed to "by Op, Stage"), it seems to me that stores needs are no low, either surprise surprise

Stores do take up a lot of trucking, but you can put units on half-rations. I suggest that you do what the real-life Italian commanders did: almost no supplies to lower quality troops, in order to concentrate available trucks and supplies on the better units. The Italian army has a lot of artillery units; take a guess on how much ammunition they will spend on two rounds of Barrage.

Thanks, Luiz !!
That seems like a good hint. Yes, somehow my idea is to initially calculate what the supply deficit is like, and then take some supplies out of the weakest units, so as to better serve the stronger ones (or maybe also the ones near the frontline, the ones more likely to see combat soon). I'm still far from that point, though... surprise surprise
Regards,
Ciro.
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Ciro Emmanuel
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Hi, guys:

Just to let you know I'm not kidding, here you are the proof...



Tried to post a new thread in "Sessions" where to put regular entries about my game, but it was rejected... I understand it, probably I need to get much more stuff done before being able to post there. I will keep a MS word file with those regular entries, so as sometime in the future maybe I could create a consistent entry under the "Sessions" forum (the pictures should be of better quality than the one pasted in this post).

Regards,

Ciro.
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Mike
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Hi Ciro,
This really is excellent to see it all laid out on the table and I'll certainly be looking forward to the session reports... I have to say that your first posts back in October have encouraged me to dig this one out and I've carefully been going over the rule books to see if I can follow along, and also try to set the game up myself.

Gosh but it really does take weeks to just get the initial setup and planning done... you really need to have lots of free time on your hands.

It is a shame that you couldn't start a session thread here as there is a lot of good detail that can be discussed before the game even starts. I'd be interested to know all about your initial setup... are you using the Advanced Air Rules (with any changes)? Have you modified the initial Axis air forces? Where are your supply dumps located? What initial supplies are you loading up on all those 2nd and 3rd line trucks? What Axis convoy runs have you planned for September?

You're really embarking on a grand campaign here, so I do salute you and wish you all the best of luck with it!
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Ciro Emmanuel
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Hi, Mike:

Thanks a lot !!

Yes, just setting up the game and making the initial planning take ages to complete. But the advantage of playing solo and (fortunately) having the available space is that I can do it at my own pace, as time becomes available (no lots of it in my hands, indeed ). I'm not in a hurry to progress with the game, just let it flow...

Regarding your questions (as you can see, I'm still in the very first stages of the game setup ):

- Advanced Air Rules: yes, I will use them, I still have to review some changes designed by other guys to improve the air rules, and will probably incorporate many of them.

- Initial Axis Air forces: I saw there are some alternative setups around, but I still have to thoroughly check them, see the rationale behind the changes, and make up my mind about it.

- Regarding supply: at the moment, I am just setting up the land units and filling out the logsheets of all those units in play at the beginning of the game. While I do this, I am also making some little changes to the logsheets to record some additional information that I feel I could need. Also, I am calculating and recording in those logsheet the basic supply needs (Ammo/Fuel/Water/Stores) for each unit to operate effectively, and summarising that into Suppy Requisition Forms (also made some little changes to this form). With this information (and the same for SGSUs when I set that up), I will be able to roughly calculate the expected needs of the army, and the necessary dumps and trucks to maintain the correct supply flow. Surely, it would not be enough trucks and supplies, so I will have to go back, establish priorities, and recalculate. The idea is to always work backwards, starting with the units' needs, then going into the second line trucks' needs, then to third line trucks, then to convoy lanes.

This is my first experience with CNA (obviously? ), so it will probably be an ever-evolving process.

Best regards,

Ciro.

porkbelly wrote:
Hi Ciro,
This really is excellent to see it all laid out on the table and I'll certainly be looking forward to the session reports... I have to say that your first posts back in October have encouraged me to dig this one out and I've carefully been going over the rule books to see if I can follow along, and also try to set the game up myself.

Gosh but it really does take weeks to just get the initial setup and planning done... you really need to have lots of free time on your hands.

It is a shame that you couldn't start a session thread here as there is a lot of good detail that can be discussed before the game even starts. I'd be interested to know all about your initial setup... are you using the Advanced Air Rules (with any changes)? Have you modified the initial Axis air forces? Where are your supply dumps located? What initial supplies are you loading up on all those 2nd and 3rd line trucks? What Axis convoy runs have you planned for September?

You're really embarking on a grand campaign here, so I do salute you and wish you all the best of luck with it!
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Ciro Emmanuel
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Hello:

Well, finally the Italians are ready for battle All the truck convoys are now defined and have their tasks clearly assigned, and the convoys from Europe planned for the first two game turns. It's taking ages, but I'm enjoying the process, and keeping a log of it.

When it comes to rules interpretation, I'm trying not to be too strict with that, I'm just writing down the conclusions I quickly arrive at regarding some rules possible inconsistencies, gaps and doubts.

I will next start the Commonwealth setup



Regards,

Ciro.
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