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Cameron Taylor
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For modern warfare wargames (i.e. WW2-onwards), which of your favourite games are missing elements you'd dearly like to see in them?

For example, does your WW2 game include a Tiger Coy as a generic unit (e.g. OCS Tunisia II) and wanted Tiger special rules (e.g. Normandy '44)? Or perhaps your contemporary era wargame include a naval component (e.g. Next War: Taiwan) but no missile exchange rules (e.g. South China Sea)?.

Additionally, if you were to introduce these missing elements, how would you go about house ruling them?
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Robert Stuart
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The only missing element I can think of, at the moment, is something akin to the Armored Reaction Cycle (ARC), in squad- and platoon-level games, which was introduced by Mark Mokszycki in his company-level system.

The ARC was introduced to simulate the different tempo between the operation of armor and infantry, and makes sense in a 90 minute turn, since a lot of shells can be fired in 90 minutes. Would it make sense in a 6-minute turn (squad), or a 15-20 minute turn (platoon)? If so, how would one incorporate this effect on that level?
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Cameron Taylor
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bob_santafe wrote:
The only missing element I can think of, at the moment, is something akin to the Armored Reaction Cycle (ARC), in squad- and platoon-level games, which was introduced by Mark Mokszycki in his company-level system.

The ARC was introduced to simulate the different tempo between the operation of armor and infantry, and makes sense in a 90 minute turn, since a lot of shells can be fired in 90 minutes. Would it make sense in a 6-minute turn (squad), or a 15-20 minute turn (platoon)? If so, how would one incorporate this effect on that level?


This sounds interesting. Can you explain the ARC in more detail?
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It's not a missing element, as such, but in my view the past few years have seen major overhauls in squad-, company- and battalion-level WWII combat in systems like Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles, Operation Dauntless: The Battles for Fontenay and Rauray, France, June 1944(*) and the new Battalion Combat System (BCS; e.g., Last Blitzkrieg). I'd like to see an equally thorough overhaul of platoon-level action.




(*) I haven't played GTS or Adam Starkweather's modified version, CSS, so can't compare them with the system used in Dauntless.
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Missing Elements in Your Favourite Modern Warfare Games


Interesting topic.

Elements that are not "missing" are frequently given inadequate attention in the rules.

For example, in many Cold War designs a significant portion of the rules was devoted to nuclear weapons; probably because players expected to see this and because the designer needed to reflect the danger of escalation. However, rules for chemical attacks (both lethal and nonlethal with different levels of persistence) were given scant attention in spite of the fact that these weapons were more likely to be used in battle.

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I'm not sure that I really even have any favorite modern warfare games, but maybe that's because of the missing elements.

One important element that's mostly missing is that the decision-makers sometimes had very little idea of how well their weapons were going to work. Everything is super-lethal and everybody expects a quick and decisive result in their favor. They can't all be right.

For example, I have it on excellent authority that in the 1974 Arab-Israeli War, at least one side had no idea how effective the various Egyptian SAMs were going to be against Israeli aircraft. And just about any electronic-warfare innovation is a gamble until it is used, whereupon it becomes a one-sided success, one way or the other.

I once a cup-and-counter method (see also The Awful Green Things From Outer Space) of creating untried SAM capabilities in Yom Kippur, which evoked an interesting rebuttal: in a historical game, it's wrong ("abhorrent," actually) to create capabilities that, by intention, differ from the best available assessment of what the capabilities really were. I deemed this argument significant, and added it to the list of reasons that wargames have a hard time putting the players into the positions that the real participants were in.

[Edited for typos.]
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One important element that's mostly missing is the the decisionn-makers sometimes had very little idea of how well their weapons were going to work.


So true!
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pete belli wrote:
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One important element that's mostly missing is the the decisionn-makers sometimes had very little idea of how well their weapons were going to work.


So true!


This is really a big one. I have not seen any games that put you in the shoes of the leaders for this. In our games we always know precisely how good new weapons will be. At the start of World War 2 many experts thought:

1. bombing would be 5 to 10 times more destructive and able to win wars on their own.

2. tanks would not be very effective except as support for infantry.

3. battleships would be much more important than aircraft carriers.

How about a WW2 game where you are not sure how effective any of these systems will be in advance? So you have to prepare for each possibility or else you can take a chance and gamble. For example you don't know before the war whether each bomber counter will do 1, 2, 5 or 10 damage. So you don't know whether to build a few or lots.

In all WW2 games that I have seen the Germans can crush the french army in 1940. But at the time it was not so certain. If the game has a 50-50 chance that tanks can be stopped, then that changes how you place your units.

We often criticize decisions that were made in the past but we have massive amounts of hindsight. A game with a realistic amount of uncertainty about weapon effectiveness might make us understand more what influenced past leaders.
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SeriousCat wrote:
For modern warfare wargames (i.e. WW2-onwards), which of your favourite games are missing elements you'd dearly like to see in them?

Additionally, if you were to introduce these missing elements, how would you go about house ruling them?


Answering the 2nd question first, I don't use house rules. Playing remotely via Vassal most of the time, it is too hard to find opponents to go along with house rules. I'd just as soon find a game that has the missing elements in the first place.

That said, here are some games which used to be/still are favorites, but have serious problems:

Midway

Love the double blind system and the Battle Board, but the CRT is an unmitigated disaster. Attacks vs ships bear no resemblance whatsoever to historical results. 3 Dauntlesses attacked and sank the Akagi with one hit and one near miss-- Midway cannot come close to replicating that. Attack resolution in Carrier can give you historical results. I've never tried playing Midway with the Carrier attack rules, but it has to be better than straight Midway.

Pretty much every squad/platoon system outside Tactical Combat Series.

I love Band of Brothers, but there are no rules that make a player keep their squads in any sort of platoon/company order. If I have 3-5 tanks (say a platoon), I can send them in several different directions, same with infantry and gun batteries. That's not to pick on BoB, ASL, CoH et al are all pretty much the same as far as organization goes. I've never played the Tank Leader series, but from what I've read there is some sort of organization in those games.
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rubberchicken wrote:
pete belli wrote:
Quote:
One important element that's mostly missing is the the decisionn-makers sometimes had very little idea of how well their weapons were going to work.


So true!


This is really a big one. I have not seen any games that put you in the shoes of the leaders for this. In our games we always know precisely how good new weapons will be. At the start of World War 2 many experts thought:

1. bombing would be 5 to 10 times more destructive and able to win wars on their own.

2. tanks would not be very effective except as support for infantry.

3. battleships would be much more important than aircraft carriers.

How about a WW2 game where you are not sure how effective any of these systems will be in advance? So you have to prepare for each possibility or else you can take a chance and gamble. For example you don't know before the war whether each bomber counter will do 1, 2, 5 or 10 damage. So you don't know whether to build a few or lots.

In all WW2 games that I have seen the Germans can crush the french army in 1940. But at the time it was not so certain. If the game has a 50-50 chance that tanks can be stopped, then that changes how you place your units.

We often criticize decisions that were made in the past but we have massive amounts of hindsight. A game with a realistic amount of uncertainty about weapon effectiveness might make us understand more what influenced past leaders.


I tried to do this in my game Summer Lightning: The Invasion of Poland 1939 about the Poland campaign, when they were not exactly sure how well the Blitzkrieg was going to work. It's an optional rule, one among many in the game, but worth a try because sometimes it works better than expected, sometimes not.

Other games have made attempts at this too: John Prados' games Seeds of Disaster in Four Roads to Paris and Codeword Barbarossa in Four Roads to Moscow catch some of this uncertainty.

Brian
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SBGrad wrote:
Pretty much every squad/platoon system outside Tactical Combat Series.

I love Band of Brothers, but there are no rules that make a player keep their squads in any sort of platoon/company order. If I have 3-5 tanks (say a platoon), I can send them in several different directions, same with infantry and gun batteries. That's not to pick on BoB, ASL, CoH et al are all pretty much the same as far as organization goes. I've never played the Tank Leader series, but from what I've read there is some sort of organization in those games.


Couldn't that be easily achieved by imposing a command radius (i.e. all units must be within x hexes of each other)?
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ltmurnau wrote:
I tried to do this in my game Summer Lightning: The Invasion of Poland 1939 about the Poland campaign, when they were not exactly sure how well the Blitzkrieg was going to work. It's an optional rule, one among many in the game, but worth a try because sometimes it works better than expected, sometimes not.


I think the uncertainty around the Case White campaign, was more to do with the ability to coordinate the different arms of the military. For example, the Heer learnt early on during the war that greater coordination was needed between the Heer and the Luftwaffe, something they (partially) fixed in time for the Case Yellow campaign. They also found that their armoured divisions were too tank-heavy (e.g. 2/3 armour, 1/3 infantry), though I don't think they fixed that until after Case White (I'm not sure about this one, please don't quote me on it).

The main issue with Case White games is supply interdiction through rail destruction. In his book Supplying War, Martin van Creveld writes that the German supply lines were close to collapse because of widespread rail destruction and the German advance was only saved by the complete collapse of the Polish army before the supply situation worsened. I'm not sure how you would incorporate that element into a game, however.
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SeriousCat wrote:
ltmurnau wrote:
I tried to do this in my game Summer Lightning: The Invasion of Poland 1939 about the Poland campaign, when they were not exactly sure how well the Blitzkrieg was going to work. It's an optional rule, one among many in the game, but worth a try because sometimes it works better than expected, sometimes not.


I think the uncertainty around the Case White campaign, was more to do with the ability to coordinate the different arms of the military. For example, the Heer learnt early on during the war that greater coordination was needed between the Heer and the Luftwaffe, something they (partially) fixed in time for the Case Yellow campaign. They also found that their armoured divisions were too tank-heavy (e.g. 2/3 armour, 1/3 infantry), though I don't think they fixed that until after Case White (I'm not sure about this one, please don't quote me on it).

The main issue with Case White games is supply interdiction through rail destruction. In his book Supplying War, Martin van Creveld writes that the German supply lines were close to collapse because of widespread rail destruction and the German advance was only saved by the complete collapse of the Polish army before the supply situation worsened. I'm not sure how you would incorporate that element into a game, however.


The way I did this was to have the German player roll on a table the first time they did something "blitzkriegy" (use air support, designate a mech unit for exploitation, choose the Blitz attack mission). Depending on what it was they did, it could work well or poorly.
E.g. you mentioned air-ground cooperation, results went (roll on d10):

1-2 Air-ground liaison trouble. Each time during the game when the Axis player uses an Air Support Point, he must roll 1d10 to see if it is effective. Odd number it is and has its CCT effect; even number it isn’t and doesn’t.

3-4 Bombing and reconnaissance tactics ineffective. Halve Axis ASP to 4 in Clear weather, 2 in Poor. Rule 6.31/9.22 is cancelled; Polish units may use Strategic Movement in any weather condition.

5-0 No change from standard rules.

You also mentioned about the armour divisions being tank-heavy: I do know that the four "light" divisions they used in Case White were too light for the job and were beefed-up/ converted to standard Panzer units before the French campaign (the 1st to 4th Light became the 6th to 9th Panzer divisions respectively).
This was also reflected in the table where the light armor units were more or less limited in the shock and awe department.

Finally, as for the rail destruction: I admit I did give the supply rules in this game a light touch, though all units were definitely tied to the (rail)road net.
Not sure how you could reflect this without a big section of Europa-style rail cut and rail repair rules; I recall from games of Fire in the East and Scorched Earth long ago that this almost became a (less interesting) game within a game.

Brian
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SBGrad wrote:
I love Band of Brothers, but there are no rules that make a player keep their squads in any sort of platoon/company order. If I have 3-5 tanks (say a platoon), I can send them in several different directions, same with infantry and gun batteries. That's not to pick on BoB, ASL, CoH et al are all pretty much the same as far as organization goes. I've never played the Tank Leader series, but from what I've read there is some sort of organization in those games.

I find this is more-or-less automatically covered in the Band of Brothers scenarios I've played which have enough tanks to be equivalent to two or more platoons per side. One hex in Panzer Grenadier: Elsenborn Ridge equals 25 hexes in Band of Brothers. Keeping a platoon together, then, means keeping 3-5 tanks within five hexes of each other.

I have found that tanks are most effective when they support each other in small groups of 2-5, with each group clustered within five or so hexes.

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SBGrad wrote:


Pretty much every squad/platoon system outside Tactical Combat Series.

I love Band of Brothers, but there are no rules that make a player keep their squads in any sort of platoon/company order. If I have 3-5 tanks (say a platoon), I can send them in several different directions, same with infantry and gun batteries. That's not to pick on BoB, ASL, CoH et al are all pretty much the same as far as organization goes. I've never played the Tank Leader series, but from what I've read there is some sort of organization in those games.


This is one of my biggest bug bears and it is quite easy to overcome too. Combat Commander allows you a limited number of orders each turn, typically 3 or 4. Only one unit may be activated by an order, but if that unit is a leader he may activate any non activated units within his command radius. This means it is beneficial to keep your units within command of a leader but does allow you to keep, say, an HMG in the rear for support fire.
On set up the first thing I do is to sort my units into platoons.
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pete belli wrote:
Quote:
Missing Elements in Your Favourite Modern Warfare Games


Interesting topic.

Elements that are not "missing" are frequently given inadequate attention in the rules.

For example, in many Cold War designs a significant portion of the rules was devoted to nuclear weapons; probably because players expected to see this and because the designer needed to reflect the danger of escalation. However, rules for chemical attacks (both lethal and nonlethal with different levels of persistence) were given scant attention in spite of the fact that these weapons were more likely to be used in battle.


SPI's Mechwar 2 has a very detailed treatment of chemical weapons.
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Hoser wrote:
SPI's Mechwar 2 has a very detailed treatment of chemical weapons.


Can you please describe the way chemical weapons work in MechWar 2? I can't find anything on BoardGameGeek describing its use and there are no rules online.
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rubberchicken wrote:
pete belli wrote:
Quote:
One important element that's mostly missing is the the decisionn-makers sometimes had very little idea of how well their weapons were going to work.


So true!


This is really a big one. I have not seen any games that put you in the shoes of the leaders for this. In our games we always know precisely how good new weapons will be. At the start of World War 2 many experts thought:

1. bombing would be 5 to 10 times more destructive and able to win wars on their own.

2. tanks would not be very effective except as support for infantry.

3. battleships would be much more important than aircraft carriers.

How about a WW2 game where you are not sure how effective any of these systems will be in advance? So you have to prepare for each possibility or else you can take a chance and gamble. For example you don't know before the war whether each bomber counter will do 1, 2, 5 or 10 damage. So you don't know whether to build a few or lots.

In all WW2 games that I have seen the Germans can crush the french army in 1940. But at the time it was not so certain. If the game has a 50-50 chance that tanks can be stopped, then that changes how you place your units.

We often criticize decisions that were made in the past but we have massive amounts of hindsight. A game with a realistic amount of uncertainty about weapon effectiveness might make us understand more what influenced past leaders.


Those are extremely good ideas. Probably too much alt-hist for most people even though it would be more historically accurate in many ways.
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(1) combat density or force to space effects (ways in which just "bringing more" can be harmful or vulnerable rather than all upside, beyond just having an upper stacking limit; too many combat systems are Lancaster square in their effect and make it far too easy for attackers to limit their own losses by bringing the whole army to each little fight)

(2) discrete equipment and personnel quality effects (this kind of tank is superior to that kind of tank; this unit is green while that one isn't) that are different from just a different numerical rating by size

(3) arms differentiation between armor light armor infantry artillery specialist defensive etc, throughout the system. (Example of what doesn't do this - making a panzer regiment a 7-7-10 while and infantry unit is a 3-4-6 with no other differences)

(4) defensive oriented capabilities and schemes, like reserve movement before enemy exploitation (to plug holes), defensive artillery fire, retreats before combat or that reduce losses (offensive and maneuver capabilities are frequently super-modeled and their counters ignored); recognition of the role of defensive stance on losses (e.g. defender firing first or attacker losses proportionate to defender strength, perhaps modified by terrain)

(5) realistic but playable logistical limits tied to routes (more than just unable to trace because surrounded) with some player ability to allocate or maneuver but still a meaningful constraint on every unit frantically moving and fighting continual or huge forces supplied over one road also packed with forces etc)

(6) wear fatigue attrition systems (even just step losses will do if done right) that model the limits on over-using small best portions of the army at ridiculously high intensity (interacts with 1 and 5)

(7) intel state and command limits or confusion / cohesion modeling, limiting godlike over coordination of forces with perfect information. This can include formation limits in combat, division integrity effects or requirements, activation systems or limitations, hidden information systems (perhaps including cards etc), but also global / theater modifiers, differentiation of achieved surprise from its absence, located enemy artillery or HQs or heavy weapons or their being unlocated, interaction with first fire or movement rules (infiltration effects from poor enemy intel state e.g.).

(8) Tempo effects can belong here, too - some times one side is flat out faster than the enemy and game systems should force an imagined equality that doesn't really exist. This can sometimes be in activation systems or intel systems or interact with type of unit or formation/unit quality, but it could also be its own thing.

Some games have a few of these systems. Few games have most of them, and none do a good job at all of them. Despite the wish list, there is still a need to design them all in so light weight and intuitive a manner that they don't make the game too complex to play nor remove effective control of their forces from the players, who need to be able to readily master all of them and manipulate them actively and strategically, not be passively forced about by the designer or by game subsystems.

One man's wish list...
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As I get older, I really want my games to be simpler. But I also want them to be more realistic. So I want to games to be a better simulation but with less rules !

Not easy to get both.

And bigger counters (my eyesight is not what it used to be).

And quick play with less downtime.

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JasonC wrote:

(1) combat density or force to space effects (ways in which just "bringing more" can be harmful or vulnerable rather than all upside, beyond just having an upper stacking limit; too many combat systems are Lancaster square in their effect and make it far too easy for attackers to limit their own losses by bringing the whole army to each little fight)

(2) discrete equipment and personnel quality effects (this kind of tank is superior to that kind of tank; this unit is green while that one isn't) that are different from just a different numerical rating by size

(3) arms differentiation between armor light armor infantry artillery specialist defensive etc, throughout the system. (Example of what doesn't do this - making a panzer regiment a 7-7-10 while and infantry unit is a 3-4-6 with no other differences)

(4) defensive oriented capabilities and schemes, like reserve movement before enemy exploitation (to plug holes), defensive artillery fire, retreats before combat or that reduce losses (offensive and maneuver capabilities are frequently super-modeled and their counters ignored); recognition of the role of defensive stance on losses (e.g. defender firing first or attacker losses proportionate to defender strength, perhaps modified by terrain)

(5) realistic but playable logistical limits tied to routes (more than just unable to trace because surrounded) with some player ability to allocate or maneuver but still a meaningful constraint on every unit frantically moving and fighting continual or huge forces supplied over one road also packed with forces etc)

(6) wear fatigue attrition systems (even just step losses will do if done right) that model the limits on over-using small best portions of the army at ridiculously high intensity (interacts with 1 and 5)

(7) intel state and command limits or confusion / cohesion modeling, limiting godlike over coordination of forces with perfect information. This can include formation limits in combat, division integrity effects or requirements, activation systems or limitations, hidden information systems (perhaps including cards etc), but also global / theater modifiers, differentiation of achieved surprise from its absence, located enemy artillery or HQs or heavy weapons or their being unlocated, interaction with first fire or movement rules (infiltration effects from poor enemy intel state e.g.).

(8) Tempo effects can belong here, too - some times one side is flat out faster than the enemy and game systems should force an imagined equality that doesn't really exist. This can sometimes be in activation systems or intel systems or interact with type of unit or formation/unit quality, but it could also be its own thing.

Some games have a few of these systems. Few games have most of them, and none do a good job at all of them. Despite the wish list, there is still a need to design them all in so light weight and intuitive a manner that they don't make the game too complex to play nor remove effective control of their forces from the players, who need to be able to readily master all of them and manipulate them actively and strategically, not be passively forced about by the designer or by game subsystems.

One man's wish list...



The GOSS system gives you the things above that you are looking for.
Hurtgen: Hell's Forest, Atlantic Wall: D-Day to Falaise

You see the different with tanks and how effective they are against other tanks or infantry. You also see how ineffective they would be in wood, Forrest, towns, city.

You have units being green and seeing how they hurt your group.

Units stay together due to command boundary and supply range to Division HQ and Corp HQ.
Ie: if I have have an army HQ they command my two corps. Those two Corp are responsible for the division under them. A command boundary splits the two corps area in half so each Corp with their division handles their area only. Division HQ now have their own subformations under them.
So you see how there is a breakdown of units following their commander and not Willy nilly all over the map.

Supply, fuel and ammo is supplied to each HQ to fuel them.

Artillery is done outside of ground attacks, meaning you have a segment where each side barrages each other to soften the other side up before coming in with their ground combat.

Fatigue, units besides step loss and retreat also take fatigue hits. Moving too much or attacking at night is fatigue hits as well.

There is more but I just wanted to throw some out there.



My point is it's refreshing that there is some game systems out there that give a more simulation effect of a realistic war. People talk about they like it to be historical but miss out on things that make a war simulation system real.

...
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bob_santafe wrote:
It's not a missing element, as such, but in my view the past few years have seen major overhauls in squad-, company- and battalion-level WWII combat in systems like Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles, Operation Dauntless: The Battles for Fontenay and Rauray, France, June 1944(*) and the new Battalion Combat System (BCS; e.g., Last Blitzkrieg). I'd like to see an equally thorough overhaul of platoon-level action.




(*) I haven't played GTS or Adam Starkweather's modified version, CSS, so can't compare them with the system used in Dauntless.


Tactical Combat Series introduced vehicle impulses to represent this. This allows vehicles like Tanks to do three times as many activities as infantry and other types of units.
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I agree that the GOSS system does have many of the items I asked for above, not all but more than most. It also gets a 4.9 out of 5 game weight rating as a result, and most of its titles are in the monster category as to scale of one unit vs scale of represented conflict.

That is exactly the cup of tea their target market wants, I am sure, but it is a level above my own playability desires, which are more at the Simonitch "year games" (Ardennes '44, Ukraine '43 etc) or SCS scale of things.

I realize most consider those incompatible desires - a certain playable simplicity and unit count along with a certain mechanics realism. I continue to want both, and these days I normally seek them by adding bits more mechanics complexity to simpler titles, rather than by trying to streamline or focus in scale the more complex ones. But it would be a perfectly valid approach to "start at the other end", so to speak, and do GOSS up a step size in terms of units while keeping its systems, say.

And I still want intel effects. The only good examples I can think of are (1) how in Battle for Stalingrad (John Hill) one rolls for battle type with surprise, normal, or ambush determining things like who fires first and where losses are allocated - but even that idea doesn't much change the chances, only "ups the variance", so to speak.

There are some card driven games that do it, too - e.g. (2) Mark Herman's Empire of the Sun system has an "intelligence condition" for every operation that determines how the enemy gets to react and so forth.

I think those ideas deserve to be generalized, simplified, streamlined for playability somehow (I don't claim to have the answers as to the best way to do that) - then included in an operational level game. This battle isn't like that one, because in this one A surprised B and in the other the reverse happened. And which was more likely depended not just on a uniform die roll but on global intel things - who was reading whose mail, who controlled the skies, who did better at battlefield intel gathering and hum-int, etc.

FWIW...
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Jason Cawley
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Carl re "armor does 3 times as much", even SCS does this sort of thing with a mechanized exploitation phase and overruns and so forth, and chit pull games sometimes do it with activation systems. But there tend to be two problems - one, the "faster" becomes too uniform as to unit type, and/or two, it always favors the attacker because that's how the sequence of play implements it.

Sometimes faster means a reserve reacts into the hole before the attacking tanks get their second move. And sometimes faster means a command paralyzed side's tanks sit still or do the wrong thing in an uncoordinated manner while even the other side's infantry shifts deftly by them using infiltration tactics or whatever.

There is sometimes sheer unequal military skill in pure speed of execution (not in miles per hour, but in decisions per catastrophe) - plain being "first-est" - and this race is not always to the motor, it is sometimes just to the more agile staff or mind.

In France '40, the Germans get to place command paralysis counters on a few French stacks every turn and 2/6 of them are randomly removed; those so effected move only 2 hexes and can't attack. As the campaign progresses some of those are permanently removed; French command paralysis starts large and gradually lifts. In A Victory Lost, the Germans sometimes get only 3 chits a turn and sometimes they get 6, as their sheer "op tempo" rises as they fall back on their supply sources and so forth. In Red God of War (Operation Mars), the Russians only get to activate a varying number of HQs for attack each turn, well under all of their armies.

There should be more things like this, less ad hoc and afterthought, and more core to systems, is what I am saying. Something like overall command speed should be as game or scenario specific and modeled as a unit's movement allowance.
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Clay Stone
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JasonC wrote:

I agree that the GOSS system does have many of the items I asked for above, not all but more than most. It also gets a 4.9 out of 5 game weight rating as a result, and most of its titles are in the monster category as to scale of one unit vs scale of represented conflict.

That is exactly the cup of tea their target market wants, I am sure, but it is a level above my own playability desires, which are more at the Simonitch "year games" (Ardennes '44, Ukraine '43 etc) or SCS scale of things.

I realize most consider those incompatible desires - a certain playable simplicity and unit count along with a certain mechanics realism. I continue to want both, and these days I normally seek them by adding bits more mechanics complexity to simpler titles, rather than by trying to streamline or focus in scale the more complex ones. But it would be a perfectly valid approach to "start at the other end", so to speak, and do GOSS up a step size in terms of units while keeping its systems, say.

And I still want intel effects. The only good examples I can think of are (1) how in Battle for Stalingrad (John Hill) one rolls for battle type with surprise, normal, or ambush determining things like who fires first and where losses are allocated - but even that idea doesn't much change the chances, only "ups the variance", so to speak.

There are some card driven games that do it, too - e.g. (2) Mark Herman's Empire of the Sun system has an "intelligence condition" for every operation that determines how the enemy gets to react and so forth.

I think those ideas deserve to be generalized, simplified, streamlined for playability somehow (I don't claim to have the answers as to the best way to do that) - then included in an operational level game. This battle isn't like that one, because in this one A surprised B and in the other the reverse happened. And which was more likely depended not just on a uniform die roll but on global intel things - who was reading whose mail, who controlled the skies, who did better at battlefield intel gathering and hum-int, etc.

FWIW...


Lol, I hear you.

It's seems, and it's just my observation, that in today's wargaming it's about people wanting a wargame to be simple and play quick. You see it in the threads when people are looking for a game to play when they describe what they want and that translate to wargame designer's to design games that are going to be more abstract. Taking out the things that make it have more realistic simulation. All game system should be made but I just hope that a more simulation game system doesn't become obsolete, because there are us gamers who hunger for more simulation than just quick play.

It seems sometimes playing these less complex games makes people crave for more realistic wargame system...

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