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Subject: Combat system rss

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Andreas Persson
Sweden
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The combat system in Empires in Arms looks really interesting but wondering if it's just rock paper scissors in the end? Do you go through a real decision process depending on your force composition compared to that of your opponent when choosing tactics? Any other game with a similar system?
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Martin Åkerlund
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Stockholm
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There's definately an element of rock-paper-scissors. That said, there's much more to it than that. Leader ratings, nationality, relative strength, morale and terrain will also play a big role in your decision.

It's been a very long time since I played EiA but I clearly remember liking most aspects of it, including the combat system.

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Fred Buchholz
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Middleton
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The tactics choices take away the pure mathematics of combat system, many war games "way back then" made it so 3-1 odds and there was at best a 1/36 chance of failure, or usually you would succeed just a matter of casualties. I grew up on those games, In came Empires in Arms, and now you don't win so much by pure "killing" of units as by breaking morale, and all sorts of ways to change the morale equation depending on risks you take etc. One of the better simulations of a "battle" of the period that you can finish in 5 to (if agonizing over tactical choices, and reserves etc.) 15 minutes. And you usually only have a handful of these in any given turn (if that many, often it's just one or 2)

IF ever I can get my house built out and settled I plan on reengaging in this and some other "monster" strategic games, like VG's Vietnam or Civil War, and World in Flames (another ADG product and IMO the best simulation game of WWII in global terms) Problem is they take multiple sessions and I don't have a "safe place" to leave them up in between.
Vassal just isn't the same.
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Jordi Cairol
Australia
Brisbane
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Quote:
Any other game with a similar system?


Not quite. I don't know any other game with this system. However, 1776 also uses a combat matrix, but in this case it only provides a die roll modifier rather than resolving the whole battle.
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Alan Richbourg
United States
Arlington
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1805: Sea of Glory has a tactic selection based combat system.
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Andreas Persson
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Thanks for your comments, will check the other games how they handle it. Agree that it's an interesting system
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Jason Johns
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Brastias wrote:

There's definately an element of rock-paper-scissors. That said, there's much more to it than that. Leader ratings, nationality, relative strength, morale and terrain will also play a big role in your decision.

It's been a very long time since I played EiA but I clearly remember liking most aspects of it, including the combat system.



Also, Napoleonic combat was a bit of paper-rock-scissors with infantry fighting in line till one side broke, unless there was cavalry around when they would form square which was a great target for artillery, which could be terrible vs. cavalry and was terrible to defend against infantry (unless the infantry broke before they closed), etc. It went in there ad nauseum. I think the EIA combat choices work pretty well to model this AND they are fun.
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Warren Bruhn
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Roseburg
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Dren608 wrote:
IF ever I can get my house built out and settled I plan on reengaging in this and some other "monster" strategic games, like VG's Vietnam or Civil War, and World in Flames (another ADG product and IMO the best simulation game of WWII in global terms).


Ah! A player with taste in wargames! I've got a VG The Civil War game going now...

Yes, the EiA combat system has a lot to it. Try reading my long set of session reports for the Portland game from 2010 through 2014 to get some of the flavor.
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Don Peterson
United States
Haltom City
Texas
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The best part of EIA is deciding what chit to pull before combat. This can sometimes take a long time, so our group has a two minute time limit for the players to make their decision. The system lets both players roll dice during combat, and that somewhat limits the luck factor. If there's any downside to the system, it's that it only uses 1d6 on the combat resolution chart. But in my opinion, it's one of the best systems out there.

Our group is playing tomorrow! We're exactly halfway thru the 1792 Campaign Game.
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