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Band of Brothers: Ghost Panzer» Forums » General

Subject: Good system but poor scenarios rss

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Nicolas Le Roux
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Hello everyone,

I'm coming here as I'm facing a dilemma. I really enjoy the BoB system and find it leads to interesting decisions.

However, all the scenarios we played so far felt very scripted. One side had to reach a point that the other had to defend. Worse, the Russians troops are so underwhelming that the Russian player felt like there weren't many decisions to be taken. In the end, these would have been good solo scenarios but, as it were, one player got bored.

Are there other people feeling the same? Did you find scenarios where both sides had meaningful decisions to make? Would Texas Arrows or the Battle Pack change that?

Thanks.
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Fernando Robert Yu
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genji256 wrote:
Hello everyone,

I'm coming here as I'm facing a dilemma. I really enjoy the BoB system and find it leads to interesting decisions.

However, all the scenarios we played so far felt very scripted. One side had to reach a point that the other had to defend. Worse, the Russians troops are so underwhelming that the Russian player felt like there weren't many decisions to be taken. In the end, these would have been good solo scenarios but, as it were, one player got bored.

Are there other people feeling the same? Did you find scenarios where both sides had meaningful decisions to make? Would Texas Arrows or the Battle Pack change that?

Thanks.
Huh? How can any game with dice rolls be scripted?
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Nicolas Le Roux
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Interesting point. Though dice rolls can change the immediate outcome, we felt the strategic decisions were laid out from the beginning: one side has to rush, the other has to "delay" (this was scenario 25).

I would have appreciated more freedom into the overall strategy to use, especially for the defender. For instance:
- Which objective should we defend first?
- Do we wait for the enemy or attack head-on?

In the aforementioned scenario, unless we misssed something obvious, the first question does not arise until the very end (as the Germans need to cross the first two boards) and the second also seemed obvious given the poor performance of Russian units.

So, in that scenario, it felt like all decisions had to be taken by the Germans and the Russians was only there to react, thus making for a dull time.

Looking at the other scenarios, I had the impression that they would be of a similar flavor but I'm happy to be proven wrong.

Is my point clearer?
 
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Si Brooks
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Hi,

I have played a lot of solo games and quite a few ftf, but not to the same extent as play-testers. I found the GP scenarios to be much better than the SE ones. I also think you need to play differently to be successful as the Russian. For me it's part of the attraction of the game. I also think the Russians get a much better deal in this game than CoH for example. I stopped playing that due to the extreme discrimination against Russian troops and equipment(IMHO).

The only GP scenario which didn't work out well for me was the armour training one. But I think that's the point, you come away from it knowing the armour rules.

The others all have their challenges and as the Russian I found you need to be a bit canny. All my ftf games have been enjoyable because they come down to the last turn.

I've also found the that the battle pack scenarios have been good. I haven't got round to any TA ones yet, although I have the game. I certainly recommend the battle pack.

As I see it, each iteration of the system has improved on the last.

Hope that is useful to you. The last thing I can say is that I've sold ASL, LNL Tactical and CoH to keep BoB. I dip in and out of this and other games and the low rules overhead make this the best tactical squad system by a long shot in my view. Plausible outcomes without over stacking the odds in favour of one side too far.

Best,

Si
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Nicolas Le Roux
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Thanks for the detailed answer. Note that I didn't say that the odds were stacked against the Russian, rather that their options seemed much more limited than that of the Germans, almost as if it could be played solo.

Otherwise, I agree that the system is both simple and tactically pleasing, which is why I genuinely want to find scenarios that suit my needs.

I note your recommendation for the Battle Pack. Do you confirm that it works even if one only has GP or SE (so no need to own both)? That's what I gather from the rulebook.

Thanks again.
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Niko
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genji256 wrote:
Thanks for the detailed answer. Note that I didn't say that the odds were stacked against the Russian, rather that their options seemed much more limited than that of the Germans, almost as if it could be played solo.

Otherwise, I agree that the system is both simple and tactically pleasing, which is why I genuinely want to find scenarios that suit my needs.

I note your recommendation for the Battle Pack. Do you confirm that it works even if one only has GP or SE (so no need to own both)? That's what I gather from the rulebook.

Thanks again.
BP1 comes with 8 scenarios, 4 of which will require both SE and GP (one of the four will also require TA) Those are the extra scenarios unlocked during the KS and since they use the Geomorphic maps they require both base games.

The 4 scenarios that were created specifically for BP1 are playable with either SE or GP.
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Austin Richards
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I don't get a "scripted" feel, but the small maps of BoB are a disadvantage as far as trying out vastly different approaches.
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Niko
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AA41 wrote:
I don't get a "scripted" feel, but the small maps of BoB are a disadvantage as far as trying out vastly different approaches.
That is somewhat intentional though I think: If the objective is a village and your forces are south of it then you do not have the time, and probably option due to other forces, to relocate and attack from the north.
Even if there isn't a clearly localized objective like that your forces are part of a larger front and your flanks are secured, or even simultaneously attacked, by other forces.

At the end of the day this is a tactical scale game with historical scenarios. Given a player too much freedom is IMO as much a detriment as too little freedom, though for other reasons.
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Fernando Robert Yu
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Ze_German_Guy wrote:
AA41 wrote:
I don't get a "scripted" feel, but the small maps of BoB are a disadvantage as far as trying out vastly different approaches.
That is somewhat intentional though I think: If the objective is a village and your forces are south of it then you do not have the time, and probably option due to other forces, to relocate and attack from the north.
Even if there isn't a clearly localized objective like that your forces are part of a larger front and your flanks are secured, or even simultaneously attacked, by other forces.

At the end of the day this is a tactical scale game with historical scenarios. Given a player too much freedom is IMO as much a detriment as too little freedom, though for other reasons.
Yeah, Band of Brothers is NOT the Combat Commander Series series after all. That's why I won both systems (and others) since each portrays similar situations so differently..one is all about realism while the other one is about chaotic storytelling.
 
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Mike Hoyt

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I have not played ALL of the scenarios, and not played them enough to be immediately conversant with them, but

Screaming Eagles - as noted, Jim may have tried too hard to tell the story of the 101st instead of making good scenarios, but I've had a lot of fun with this. The Orchard is a very interesting double surround situation, sort of a mini Alesia. Road Cut is very well balanced and both sides have some good options. Black Friday is a longer scenario, very fluid with reinforcements coming to both sides.

Ghost Panzer - introduces a hill terrain that is a lot of fun as it creates blind spots and the possibility of a reverse slope defense. Vayzma Pocket is another very fluid situation and Take Dubno plays very fast

Texas Arrows Grapes of Wrath and Million Dollar hill are both a lot of fun

Battle Pack - If you want options, the big map gives you plenty. as the defender you'll have plenty of option for a forward defense, or a layered defense with optimum LOS, or interlocking fields of fire or a mobile reserve or... As the attacker you have the usual problems of needing to trade off caution and speed, and of course the possibilities are a multiple of the choices both sides make.

And of course you can always DYO. Meeting engagements tend to offer lots of options to both sides.

Yes, some of the smaller scenarios are pretty straight-forward and it seems like the defender has little to do once set up. But the set up can be interesting. I know I've had a tendency when defending a village for example to site my guns with the best possible field of fire, right at the edge of the village. And then seen them smashed by the attackers artillery. If I pulled the guns back a row of houses, yes they couldn't shoot at the attacker coming over open ground, but they also couldn't be spotted for artillery until the attacker is in close, and then we can rule the streets...until we get close assaulted...

I think BOB has correctly concentrated on getting the mechanics right and I find lots of fun scenarios to play. Looking forward to Band of Brothers: Old Breed South Pacific
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David Yomtov
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With the exception of the training scenarios, we have found almost all of the scenarios are nail-biters down to the last turn.

Since this is a tactical game, we are presented with situations that must be handled ... tactically. This means we don't have the many options available, as we might with an operational or strategic level game.
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