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Rifles in the Ardennes» Forums » Rules

Subject: Paralyzed Units & Countdown Timer? rss

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I'm having trouble with this game's combination of a countdown timer and rolling for action points.

In every scenario played so far, I've had MULTIPLE turns where my units were paralyzed. Either I had to spend my action point recovering (no idea why Rally is on the army tracking sheet since I can't find it in the rulebook) or I had only BAPs or no action points earned.

As a result, particularly in a few games where I've had larger groups of enemies show up, my troops just get hammered while I patiently await the ability to fire back.

What am I doing wrong or is that how the game is played?
 
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Steve Fliss
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The word "Rally" on the Unit Roster is probably a typo as that action is referred to as "Recovery" in the rules on page 6 to get rid of suppression on a unit.

Not sure what you mean by "paralyzed" but suspect you mean suppressed. A suppressed unit can still move and fire, but incurs a -1 DRM when it fires. The biggest down side to a suppressed unit is that it will be eliminated if hit while it is suppressed.

The BAP (DR = 6 when you roll the Action Dice) is an Action Point like the other Action Points (DR = 3 thru 5) but with a bonus. The Actions listed on p. 6 marked with "*" enable the bonus to be applied if you spend a BAP on that action.

Maintaining units in groups allows you to maximize your Action Points. You need spend only 1 Action Point on a group to have every unit in the group fire or to move. I've found that sometimes it is better to have all the units in the group fire individually rather than as a Fire Group.

Hope this helps. Rifles in the Ardennes is a surprisingly fun and challenging game with lots of decisions to be made on how best to use the limited supply of AP and BAP you have each turn.
 
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I understand APs and BAPs. Rally exists in addition to Recovery on the player card.


I’m saying in a 10 turn game it is not uncommon for me to roll 2,2,6 or 1,1,2 or 3,2,6.

In those cases I get either no APs, solely a BAP, or 1 AP. Even with 2 groups which is based on guidance in the rule book my units end up unable to do much of anything let alone advance!

In every single game, I have been in firefights when this happens and I’m stuck just getting pounded on by the enemy with no options to fight back. As a result, I just randomly lose units because I can’t recover or fire or flanking action.

If there was no countdown timer, the turn limit, then it wouldn’t matter so much. But losing 20-30 percent of your turns to action dice rolling is super lame.
 
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Steve Fliss
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I've had similar missions where the APs are insufficient for my needs and end up losing the scenario. I've even had a couple turns in one game where I rolled no APs or BAPs. I interpreted this situation as walking into a well-planned enemy ambush. But I've also managed to win under these circumstances.

Although it might unbalance the game, why not try expanding the AP die-roll range to 2 thru 5.

If there was no timer countdown I don't think there would be any challenge or suspense.

As noted earlier, Rally is the same thing as Recovery and the card's use of Rally is an editing/proofreading oversight.

Adding the campaign aspect to the mix makes this game even more enjoyable for me. It is very difficult, not to mention totally unrealistic, to win every mission scenario. If you walk into an ambush, victory is extricating your troops to fight another day.
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My expectation isn't that I win every time or even the majority of the time. I don't think I've made it off the beach more than a handful of times in my dozens of playthroughs of D-Day at Omaha Beach. In that game player skill and difficult choices are at the forefront of the design.

In fact, most other solo games are hard without leaving you absent of choice for 20-30 percent of the game. There's a big difference between difficult by design and poorly designed. Sadly, this game falls into the latter.

I've played 9 games of it now and the farthest I've made it in the patrol scenario is the 3rd band. That's obnoxious. It could be unreasonably poor rolls, but statistically speaking you get a 50/50 chance of getting the ability to do something.

One thing that might make it better is converting BAPs at a 2 for 1 swap for APs if you have a turn without APs. This wouldn't unbalance the dice too badly and it would make those BAPs a little more versatile.

I'll probably give it a few more tries, but I had some high hopes for this game because I love the quick pick-up-and-play aspect of it.
 
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Gottardo Zancani
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gamesontables wrote:
.... statistically speaking you get a 50/50 chance of getting the ability to do something.


Statistically with 3 dice you have 216 different outcomes: in 208 outcomes (96,3%) you get at least one AP, so you should get no AP in just 3,7% of the cases. You've got 74% of probability of having 2 or 3 AP/BAP: the chance to being completely unable to do something should then quite limited, definitely not in the 20-30% range.

The proposal to convert one BAPs into 2 APs if you have a turn without APs is definitely interesting to playtest.
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If it is a 96.3% probability that I'll get one AP, then there's NO way across that many games I should be seeing 20% - 30% of my turns failing to get even one usable AP.

Remember that each individual die only has a 50% chance of getting an AP. So regardless of how many outcomes there are, you still have to roll the dice and on any given die your chances of landing a single AP is 50%.
 
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Christian van Someren
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gamesontables wrote:
If it is a 96.3% probability that I'll get one AP, then there's NO way across that many games I should be seeing 20% - 30% of my turns failing to get even one usable AP.

Remember that each individual die only has a 50% chance of getting an AP. So regardless of how many outcomes there are, you still have to roll the dice and on any given die your chances of landing a single AP is 50%.


Actually 66.7%, you get an AP/BAP on a 3-6 (there was a typo in the first version of the rules I believe).
 
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BAPs are not APs, and I don't see in the rules where they're interchangeable. Would love to be wrong on that though!
 
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Jim S.
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Please see Rules section 3.2:
"You can now spend AP to activate your units. BAPs can
always be spent as AP
, but they can also provide extra
effects for some actions,..." (emphasis added).
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Gottardo Zancani
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gamesontables wrote:
Remember that each individual die only has a 50% chance of getting an AP. So regardless of how many outcomes there are, you still have to roll the dice and on any given die your chances of landing a single AP is 50%.


To get one AP/BAP you have 4 results out of six (66.7%).

The math behind the 96.3% (at least one AP) is quite simple:

- With 3 dices you have 6x6x6=216 possible combinations
- Only 8 combinations produce zero AP.
- The other 216-8=208 combinations produce at least one AP/BAP. 208/216=96.3%

The 8 combinations not producing AP/BAP are

1 1 1
1 2 1
1 1 2
1 2 2
2 1 1
2 1 2
2 2 1
2 2 2

In every other combination you get at least one AP or one BAP (and BAP can always be spent as AP).

 
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With BAPs being interchangeable it should make life far better. In most games I was sitting on one or two BAPs while my forces where idle.

Thanks for finding that rule reference.
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Peter Olson
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Plus if you use a BAP to move, you gain an RP.

I've mostly used the RPs to re-roll AP dies.
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