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Subject: Board wargames that require a GM rss

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Confusion Under Fire
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I am in the middle of running an email man to man WW2 wargame and while thinking about wargaming in general, wondered if there were any war boardgames that required a GM to play. I know many true mini games often use the resources of an umpire. This way a true fog of war could be initiated. This would bring up it's own problems of downtime and it would be interesting to see how this would be overcome.

Mike
 
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Hunga Dunga
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Diplomacy

Ideally you want someone who isn't playing a country to be GM, but the game definitely requires a GM.

The GM is pretty powerful, too. Amongst other things, he decides whether or not an order is clear enough to be acted upon.
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Jeffrey D Myers
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As a teen, we played double-blind Sniper! (first edition) with an umpire a time or two. My best gaming buddy was quite good at being the umpire. Required three copies of the game, one for each player and one for the umpire. Quite fun....
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Kent Reuber
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The GDW Double-Blind games (and see http://www.boardgamegeek.com/tag/double-blind) could probably be played with an umpire.

That reminds me that I should try playing Memoir '44 with a couple of friends double blind.
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Greg Moore
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Greg Moore
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Here is a geeklist called Double-Blind Land Warfare Wargames
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/1483
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Mark Buetow
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Close Action really needs one for games with large numbers of players. The designer, Mark Campbell GM's large games a couple of times a year or more. I'm in an online (Cyberboard and ACTS) game with 43 players. We have one GM and several Admirals coordinating everything. Very fun.
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Dan Owsen
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I've played several games double-blind, usually the strategic campaign. Battles would then be fought with more tactical systems.

For example, we played Operation Crusader and played out battles with Advanced Tobruk.

My dream is to play or run an umpired game of Fifth Frontier War. Could be fun.
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Skip Franklin
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I'm in! Haven't played Fifth Fontier war yet but I have played Imperium.

mummykitty wrote:
I've played several games double-blind, usually the strategic campaign. Battles would then be fought with more tactical systems.

For example, we played Operation Crusader and played out battles with Advanced Tobruk.

My dream is to play or run an umpired game of Fifth Frontier War. Could be fun.
 
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Hungadunga wrote:
Diplomacy

Ideally you want someone who isn't playing a country to be GM, but the game definitely requires a GM.


I'll bite. Why?
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William Barnett-Lewis
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Darksan wrote:

My dream is to play or run an umpired game of Fifth Frontier War. Could be fun.
[/q]

Ohh... now that sounds like fun. Can I play the impy's? I just wanna be Norris
 
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Paul Timms
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My favourite was NATO Divisional Commander, I remember some great games of that.
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Hunga Dunga
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Neopeius wrote:
Hungadunga wrote:
Diplomacy

Ideally you want someone who isn't playing a country to be GM, but the game definitely requires a GM.


I'll bite. Why?


Why a non-player as GM? Because there's no skin in the game when looking at orders that are unclear.
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Confusion Under Fire
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Hungadunga wrote:
Neopeius wrote:
Hungadunga wrote:
Diplomacy

Ideally you want someone who isn't playing a country to be GM, but the game definitely requires a GM.


I'll bite. Why?


Why a non-player as GM? Because there's no skin in the game when looking at orders that are unclear.


I agree that a GM has to just GM a game, any game. In the game I am running one player never showed from the start and it really is hard to be partial when moving his character when you know everything that is going on in the game. Luckily for me someone died early on so I was able to hand over the unused character before he got too involved in the fighting.
 
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Confusion Under Fire
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peacmyer wrote:
As a teen, we played double-blind Sniper! (first edition) with an umpire a time or two. My best gaming buddy was quite good at being the umpire. Required three copies of the game, one for each player and one for the umpire. Quite fun....


The rules I am using closely resemble Ambush. In the PanzerBlitz guide book there are rules for playing double blind. I guess any wargame could be played double blind with little adjustment.
 
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Russ Williams
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Hungadunga wrote:
Why a non-player as GM? Because there's no skin in the game when looking at orders that are unclear.

Unclear in the sense of illegible handwriting, or in the sense of bad syntax? Is this actually a problem very often?

I've not played much Diplomacy at all, but in other games with written orders I never found it to be a problem, certainly not requiring some GM to sort out. Either we play seriously/strictly (bad syntax means bad order that's ignored) or friendly/loose (if you wrote a brainfart "3" when you meant "4", OK, it's a "4"), and either way I don't recall ever having problems or disagreements.

I guess I can imagine disagreement about handwriting legibility, which is subjective, more than about syntax, which seems pretty objective. But in practice, is it a problem?
 
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Richard Maurer
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Here I Stand and Kingmaker especially with eight players. I have had to GM in order to avoid confusion over rules or game play and to keep the game moving along.
 
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Dan Owsen
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Here's another upcoming game with a GM that I forgot to mention: Nightfighter. I'm really looking forward to this one. It's almost to 500, so pre-order it!

As for umpired Fifth Frontier War... I don't currently have time to run it, but maybe some day! Of course if someone else ran it I'd play.
 
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Hunga Dunga
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russ wrote:
I guess I can imagine disagreement about handwriting legibility, which is subjective, more than about syntax, which seems pretty objective. But in practice, is it a problem?

I think everyone feels more comfortable with a GM that's not in the game.

One example is adjudicating a situation where the order is unclear, but where the board situation restricts interpretation. ("But its OBVIOUS!" "No, it's NOT!")

In some cases playing a country and being GM can create ill feeling and affect the game.

So an independent GM is preferable.
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Lance McMillan
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I've been running a series of PBEM matches of Markus Stumptner's "Solomon Sea" game for several years now. While the game doesn't *require* a GM, it is immensely improved by having one, making it truly double-blind (and with the additional benefit of helping to keep damage results rather vague too).
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Hungadunga wrote:
Neopeius wrote:
Hungadunga wrote:
Diplomacy

Ideally you want someone who isn't playing a country to be GM, but the game definitely requires a GM.


I'll bite. Why?


Why a non-player as GM? Because there's no skin in the game when looking at orders that are unclear.


Interesting. I've played many games of Diplomacy and haven't had that kind of problem. Are you talking about unclearly written orders or weird mixtures of support between players?
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Doctor X

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Supremacy. It's not a game that gets a lot of love here, but we played it many times in our salad days, and we found it worked best with an impartial Field Marshall. There were tons of blind bidding options in the game that worked best with an ump. We also used the ump to regulate market dumps and keep the game balanced.
 
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Doctor X

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Also, BattleTech doesn't technically require an umpire, but big games work better with moderators. We tried a twelve-lance scenario once that absolutely bombed because of all the number crunching. On the other side of the coin, some friends of mine played in a huge space-port battle at a con that went very well with moderators despite the size... until the mods screwed up and allowed a hidden unit that shouldn't have been on the board to come into play. Umping with this game allows the players to focus on the game and less on administrative paperwork; it also keeps everyone honest. To this day I am admittedly terrible at tracking heat.
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Russ Williams
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Hungadunga wrote:
russ wrote:
I guess I can imagine disagreement about handwriting legibility, which is subjective, more than about syntax, which seems pretty objective. But in practice, is it a problem?

I think everyone feels more comfortable with a GM that's not in the game.

One example is adjudicating a situation where the order is unclear, but where the board situation restricts interpretation. ("But its OBVIOUS!" "No, it's NOT!")

In some cases playing a country and being GM can create ill feeling and affect the game.

So an independent GM is preferable.

It seems to me this isn't a particular issue with Diplomacy per se but with the players themselves. I can't imagine someone I've played with flat-out lying about what they wrote, or not knowing what they intended to write.

The same sorts of arguments you're describing could come up in many games, e.g. in Conflict of Heroes: "Which side is this unit facing? It seems to be facing against the hex corner, not one of the sides?" "It's obviously facing north!" "But it was moving northwest! I think you're just saying he faced north since it's clearly in your interest now that my hidden unit to the north was revealed!" In Stone Age: "Did you put your workers with the stone or the gold? They are between them..." Blah blah blah etc.

(Nor do I see it as having anything to do with written orders per se, since over many years I've played 2 de Mayo, StarForce, Sniper, Barbarian Kings, and various other games with written orders and we never felt the need for a GM to resolve any issues with written orders.)
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Hunga Dunga
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My point is that if there is an adjudication needed by the GM, and you think it's unfair, that can carry on into the game if the GM also plays a country.

Only rarely have I played a game where we've started with an independent GM, but each game where we go to one (the first player knocked out becomes GM), players seem happier.
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