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Subject: Decision Making? rss

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Erik
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Heidelberg
Baden Wurtemburg
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So let me preface this with I have not played the game yet and will play it in the near future (this weekend or next) But I have spent the last couple nights (after receiving the game) digesting the rules.

I am not fully through all the rules (through section 5.0) but my impressions are there is no real decision making but rather a series of dice rolls on table to table....

I am hopeful that there is more to come as I finish the rules and play my first game.

I am very excited to get this to table and optimistic as well that it will be very enjoyable.

How much decision making and strategy lies within the game? I welcome thoughts.
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pax domina
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I posted the following on another thread regarding this game:


My suggestion to the uninitiated is to set the game up on a table where you can leave it out to wander back to as your schedule allows. Don't try to read the whole manual(s) through, but, rather, jump right in and set up your scenario while referencing all the manuals along the way. It only makes sense 'in progress'. You'll only reference many sections of the rulebook and associated tables if and when you need to utilize them.

I love me some dice and tables. In fact, I never knew what I was missing! I never would have guessed that books of charts that tell a story through dice rolls could be so fulfilling. This is really as much RPG as board game.



I'm not sure that I can even address your question as to decision making because it doesn't feel like the right question to ask about this game. This game is about living through a newly created experience. Do you enjoy learning the ins-and-outs of a complex and well thought out system? Do you enjoy unearthing layers of richness while exploring a new, yet prior, place in time? Do you revel in a sense of accomplishment in cross referencing several data points (i.e. books, tables, chart entries, and dice rolls) to develop a whole new outcome? These are some of the questions that beg to be asked.

In all honesty, this game is more about careful bookkeeping and intelligent referencing than it is about 'making' decisions. The decisions are more about how deeply you would like to delve into the story of these people, 'your' people, and the obstacles and victories, small and life-changing, that they encounter.

This is different than other games. That's good. If you want to make decision after decision to dynamically influence an overall strategy, play Chess, Shogi, or Go. This game is for developing emotional investment in the outcomes. For me, it works. Only you can decide if this experience, rather than task, works for you.

Enjoy!
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Erik
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Thanks for the reply - and yes, I would agree having it setup and playing as time allows would allow for a rich story to develop. I am looking forward to this experience.

I am completely fine with a story developing and becoming engrossed in the narrative. I can see how this would develop over time and the strength of it lies with the "campaign" side of the adventure. Having played RPG before I do enjoy allowing the story to develop.

In this case, by decision making I am wondering what impact 'I' have on the outcome. Even in an RPG, I can still make a decision if I want to proceed with an action or event...from my decision then the story develops.

Again, having not played through yet only digesting the rules for playing this weekend, these are just thoughts....
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Mark Cicero
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Thematically, in this game you represent a bomber crew, so you are not making any strategic decisions. All of those -- what targets to hit, what groups to send, how much fighter cover to allocate, etc. -- are made "above your pay grade".

The decisions you are making are in response to the situations you are faced with. How do you allocate guns among attacking fighters? Do you conserve amunition, or go all out? If you take crew losses, which guns do you leave unmanned? If you lose suit heat in a position, do you break formation, or risk frost bite? Do you push on to the target despite damage, or abort?

And yes, there is a lot of dice rolling, and thus a lot of chance involved. Sometimes, despite everything, it all goes pear shaped and there is nothing to be done about it. And sometimes, you somehow manage to make it through a massed fighter attack, through no fault of your own.

In my first game, I had my bomb sight taken out in the first Zone, which meant that even though I pushed on, I only got 5% of my bombs on target. Nothing I did "wrong" per se, just how things went. Still had fun, though.

Hope that helps you a little bit.
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Erik
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Mark - thanks for the reply. It does help out a bit. For me I just need a bit of mindset change, I think some of it comes from the fact I have been playing B-17 Flying Fortress Leader a fair amount lately and that is at a Strategic Level.

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Michael Knarr
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Erik,
I have just gotten in my first game with a friend of mine and I've been frustrated at first because I thought the missions would be a lot shorter (judging by the amazing videos Stuka Joe made from his B-17 playthroughs).

I have since come to the opinion though that it can go significantly faster when you have some of the combined tables sheets that are in the files section here, also we took more time due to me not having completely read the rules before starting. I highly advise you to read everything before you make your first mission, especially if you are not playing the game alone or you are not in the mood for a segmented playing session. We took 4 hours on our first flight (including generating the bomber, crew and a lot of rules look-up!).

As a lot of others have already pointed out, this game is a lot more about the narrative you generate and a few key decisions you make when the going gets tough. Personally I found although they add even more playing time, espcially the tables that have no in-game effect (fighter damage, crew wounds) make the experience a lot more enjoyable.

If you want more decision points, I'd wait until I have a few games under my belt and then introduce the lead bomber option (10.7) or occasionaly adding a stow-away (10.6), although both only add one decision (Lead bombing: do you go around? stow-away: when do you put the "useless" crew member where?).

If you're interested in the subject matter, this game will definetely be a great experience to play through. And if you ever find yourself in northern Germany, I'd happily take you on a few flights in Target For Today!
 
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Lou Correia
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Some missions may require few decisions,while others have the potential for very stressful choices.Once you've run some missions and grown attached to your crew members there is even the potential for more fateful decisions.

Here is the narrative of one of my missions. Some zones involved just a few die rolls, and then I moved on to the next zone. Others had serious questions: Do I abort the mission? Do I move crew around? Too many attackers - who to shoot? Do I leave the formation when heat was lost?
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1810100/last-stand-great-ex...
 
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Mark Russo
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LnL's new A Wing and a Prayer: Bombing the Reich has player decision making during several key points of the game.

How to assign your bombers to the formation, which crews (all different experience levels) to assign to the bombers. Lead bombers and crews are most important their modifiers being used throughout the mission.

You must decide how to allocate escort fighters against the German attackers, if/when to engage at first or hold back a reserve for the moment the attackers head in to the bomber formation.

You decide the exact route to the target taking into account your escort fighters range, do you fly a direct route over possible flak sites or to you take a longer safe route and lose escort cover on the way home.

There are a few more like if/when to use "Lady Luck" markers to counterattack any possible negative game effects.
 
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Erik
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So update after my first game - just a short Bombing Run to Lille by Bunker Buster.

From a Game Standpoint - it was tough going in the beginning, and a bit fiddly as going from table to table...taking the results of the dial roll and reviewing the modifiers was a bit of a slugfest and really took away from any game. But after two zones - things were moving faster and a quick die roll and check of chart the answer could be determined. The only impact that I saw that I had on the scenario was the allocation of my Guns. Everything else was "given" to me...so frankly, I felt that there was no significant decision making in this game.

I was turned back just before the bombing Lille - 100% Cloud Cover just before reaching the target aborted the mission. Turning around, the Luftwaffe was waiting for me over Belgium as the clouds thinned a bit. Some minor damage (intercom and rafts) was taken by Bunker Buster, but the crew was able to land safely at home. Living to fly again another day.

Looking back - it was like reading a book, in fact, a book whose ending can change with each different read. Getting pass the "dice" rolling and becoming engrained in the story is the key to TfT. I sat down after the game and envionsed the entire story, how it would play out, how it would debrief. It was deep and very narrative.

After the game, I started developing each member of the Crew of the Bunker Buster with names and small back stories. This further draws one into TfT and I think is a necessity. The game itself needs to be played over several times with the crew members taking a life of their own.

The experience is different than other games, one needs to know that going in. For me TfT (is about building a story and not about "game".

More to follow....

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vicente carlos insua arnay
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this is lust for dice rolling :-)
 
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