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Subject: Lower luck rss

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Geo
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Fog of war and some random elements add variety to a wargame. But the large amount of randomness in CC makes tactics useless more often than not, which i don't like. Card counting can slightly improve things but i like to play a wargame and not a memory game.


Dice rolls

First, using cards for dice rolls is a bad thing for me. Why? Because not all cards are going to be played as dice rolls.

If my starting hand or subsequent card draws contain cards with good dice rolls, i am less likely to roll high when i need to resolve dice rolls and i am at a disadvantage.

I prefer to use a pair of real D6 dice to resolve dice rolls and draw a card just to resolve events, time advance, etc. The most probable result using two D6 is a 7 meaning that extreme results will be less frequent during a scenario.


Events

To cut down on the number of events that many times can disadvantage a player to the point of losing the scenario, use a coin (or a spare counter or a double-sided marker with different sides).

When you draw an event, turn the coin/marker upside-down. Execute the event only if Heads is now showing (Time advance is always executed).

That way you will cut the number of event appearances to half.

You can use other methods if you want: roll a D6 and execute the event on 1-3 or 1-2, e.t.c.



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David Brown
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You may prefer the Pacific version - this appears to have less lcuk and as such does play diferently. Some don't like it because of that though
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Christoph Haeberling
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Quote:
But the large amount of randomness in CC makes tactics useless more often than not ...


Sounds like a Commander in Combat.
When the opponents are on a par with all things, tactics have always a countermeasure. Consequently luck plays a great role. Only when you have an advantage in men, material, ammunition and so on, tactics succeed more often then not. So the Art of War in small unit tactics (and big units for that matter) is always to have more possibilities than the opponent at the right time and the right place .
After all Combat Commander is a game and not an exercise in small unit tactics. If you don't like the randomness you can change everything in the rules as long as your gaming buddy concurs with it.
BTW the randomness in this game enhances the solitaire playability immensely.
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Adam Ruzzo
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GeoMan wrote:

Fog of war and some random elements add variety to a wargame. But the large amount of randomness in CC makes tactics useless more often than not, which i don't like.


I don't find that to be true at all, especially in light of the fact that the same people seem to keep showing up at the top of the CC tournies at WBC...


Quote:
Dice rolls

First, using cards for dice rolls is a bad thing for me. Why? Because not all cards are going to be played as dice rolls.

If my starting hand or subsequent card draws contain cards with good dice rolls, i am less likely to roll high when i need to resolve dice rolls and i am at a disadvantage.


You have, I think, a problem understanding probability. The deck is a perfect 2d6 curve. the fact that you draw some cards into your hand instead of using them for dice is irrelevant. All this means is that you know ahead of time that you will maybe get some bad rolls because you have a lot of good rolls in your hand.

Consider it this way:

Most games with a dice deck will force a reshuffle before you get to the end of the deck, because dice decks often strive to create a more fair dice distribution, not a perfect one.

In CC this is also true, but not always. Sometimes you never get the time triggers as a roll. So instead, some of the cards wind up in your hand or being drawn for events.

So think of it like this. Lets say that in a typical dice deck, you reshuffle when there's ~20% of the deck left. In CC, you often do not get to reshuffle before going through the whole deck. The cards that you draw into your hand, and the cards that you play for non-dice events are equivalent to the 20% of the deck left undrawn when you reshuffle the dice deck.

Quote:
I prefer to use a pair of real D6 dice to resolve dice rolls and draw a card just to resolve events, time advance, etc. The most probable result using two D6 is a 7 meaning that extreme results will be less frequent during a scenario.


So from this I think you are saying that you roll a pair of D6 dice and then also draw a card. You resolve the dice numbers for the roll, but the card for the triggers. This will certainly work, but is much more random than the dice deck. It is improbable, but entirely possible that your dice will roll five 11s, seven 10s, and nine 9s before you reshuffle the deck. This is impossible with the dice deck built into the game.

Dice (properly proportioned) are always going to be more random than a dice deck, even if you reshuffle that dice deck with a small amount of cards un-rolled.


In addition, the initiative card is specifically designed to cut any really wild swings of luck. I find it does a pretty good job.


Quote:
Events

To cut down on the number of events that many times can disadvantage a player to the point of losing the scenario, use a coin (or a spare counter or a double-sided marker with different sides).


FWIW, over 20 games, I think only one or perhaps two were decided by events, and even then, it was only because both players were fairly equally skilled. Most of the time, the events that give advantages are fairly evenly distributed to both sides (since most events on your deck give you some kind of potential bonus and both sides roll events on ~ the same amount of cards).

Quote:
When you draw an event, turn the coin/marker upside-down. Execute the event only if Heads is now showing (Time advance is always executed).


Sorry, nitpick here, but a time advance is a trigger, not an event. Sniper, and Jammed! are also triggers. So are you only using this method to halve the "event!" trigger? or also the sniper and jammed? Just curious.

In addition, I think you are actually making things more random rather than less random. Lets say you and I are playing a dice game. If the dice comes up 1-4 you win, and if it comes up 5-6 I win. If we roll one die and it comes up 5, yay I win! But if we play best out of 3, the probability of 5-6 coming up two times is lower than the 1/3 probability of rolling a single die.

If we roll 100 times, the distribution will very likely resemble you winning 66% of the time and I winning 33% of the time. If we roll 1000 times it will most likely be even more perfectly distributed.


So essentially, given any "random" distribution, the more often it happens, the more it will approach the most probable distribution. This is why a game in which you roll 1 die every round to resolve combat is going to be more random than a system that has you rolling 10 dice per round(assuming the same combat system is used). Maybe in the crucial round you have a very high chance of winning, all you need to do is roll a 1-5. But you roll a 6. This is a 16% chance. If you rolled 10 dice and counted up all the 1-5s vs the number of 6s, there's a much much lower chance of the 6s winning.

Probability normalizes the more times you roll. I figure that applies to favorable events since they seem to be evenly distributed throughout the decks. Even if the soviets get more negative events than the germans, that is part of the game balance, and more events will move the game more in line with the actual ratios of the decks, rather than having only a few events throughout the game be representative of the decks.
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Brian Workman
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Interesting reading, but I will not be playing this way. Ever.
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David desJardins
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GeoMan wrote:
The most probable result using two D6 is a 7 meaning that extreme results will be less frequent during a scenario.


This doesn't make any sense. The probability of "extreme results" is exactly the same with the cards as with dice, because the distribution of results on the cards exactly matches the probability distribution of the dice.

You can say that holding 1-2 in your hand makes your rolls very slightly larger on average, and this is true but completely negligible in the actual game. If you're spending your time thinking about insignificant factors like this, rather than the actual strategy, you're wasting your mental energy.

Quote:
To cut down on the number of events that many times can disadvantage a player to the point of losing the scenario, use a coin (or a spare counter or a double-sided marker with different sides).


If you want fewer events, this seems reasonable enough way to do it.
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James
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I enjoy playing CC or games such as Memoir 44 because of the luck and randomness involved. When I want to play a wargame that has less luck I play ASL, and if I want to play a game with no luck I play Chess.It's nice being able to have your cake and eat it to.
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Geo
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It seems that you all forget that a player can discard his hand.

So if you discard cards frequently, many cards get in the discard pile without being used as dice rolls.

As an example if most of these discarded cards are high dice rolls you are disadvantaged for your next rolls until the card deck is reshuffled. Using 2xD6, the bell curve remains the same no matter how many cards you discarded. So i don't think that it is so negligible in the actual game.

I can see that a person counting cards will know what to expect but i don't like to turn this into a memory game where the player with better memory has more chances to win.

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Borat Sagdiyev
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GeoMan wrote:

I can see that a person counting cards will know what to expect but i don't like to turn this into a memory game where the player with better memory has more chances to win.


Counting cards will be useless half of the times (at least) as a Time trigger will happen before a deck gets exhausted.

Besides, and most importantly, by not using the cards for your dice rolls you will make the decks last much longer and completely alter the length of your games. Something that might break the design balance of many scenarios.
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Geo
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harzal wrote:
Besides, and most importantly, by not using the cards for your dice rolls you will make the decks last much longer and completely alter the length of your games. Something that might break the design balance of many scenarios.


I am still drawing cards normally when i have to resolve a die roll (to check for events) but instead of using the dice on cards i roll 2xD6. So i do not change the number of drawn/discarded cards.

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Richard Pardoe
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I am not at all bothered by the use of cards to get die roll results. In fact, it was one of the things that attracted me to the game - everything is so neatly contained in the cards without needing much more. But while intrigued by your suggestion, I'd be more interested if there were some data behind it all. For say 25 games - what is the count for die rolls per side per game. What was rolled on the cards vs. what was rolled using 2 die? And is there really any difference? (And yes, the scenario choice probably is another factor here as well.)

At first blush (and with a complete lack of data), I find it interesting that you title this thread "lower luck" when in reality it appears you are trying to increase the luck of the die rolls to (as you claim) better match the theoretical distribution. Without data of the results in each case, hard to say how much impact this really has other than a perception of some sort of change.
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David desJardins
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I can confidently say that keeping track of whether the average value of the dice rolls in your discard pile is high or low is completely useless in this game. You're trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. Could it, in theory, affect your moves? I guess so. As a practical matter, is it worth thinking about? No.
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David desJardins
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P.S. It is somewhat useful to track whether the two Time triggers are still in your deck (or your opponent's deck). But you're not even addressing that.
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Chick Lewis
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Is there a smiley for "GIANT YAWN" ?

Regarding rolling dice instead of using the cards, Walt and I tried it, because he loved to roll dice. We quit after only ten or twenty turns because both rolling and flipping a card to check for triggers was just too much fiddly work.

Chick
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Borat Sagdiyev
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GeoMan wrote:

I am still drawing cards normally when i have to resolve a die roll (to check for events) but instead of using the dice on cards i roll 2xD6. So i do not change the number of drawn/discarded cards.


OK, sorry for the misunderstanding.

In any case, I still disagree with most of your original reasoning. I've got more than 120 games of CC under my belt and I would dare to say that luck has had a significant impact in no more than half dozen of those games.

I don't think that events are so powerful once you know how to deal with them. Maybe the only exception would be Battlefield Integrity and it can be easily tweaked by just awarding 1 VP total (instead of 1 VP per unit).

The more you play the game and learn its multiple nuances, the more you will realize that skill and savvy tactics will win over luck almost any day.cool
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David desJardins
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harzal wrote:
I don't think that events are so powerful once you know how to deal with them. Maybe the only exception would be Battlefield Integrity and it can be easily tweaked by just awarding 1 VP total (instead of 1 VP per unit).


Airstrike can be decisive. Sometimes you have plenty of Recover cards and are in good cover, but you get broken by fire (or even sniper) and then broken again by airstrike and your key leader is gone.
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Borat Sagdiyev
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Airstrike can be decisive. Sometimes you have plenty of Recover cards and are in good cover, but you get broken by fire (or even sniper) and then broken again by airstrike and your key leader is gone.


I've only seen something like that happen in two or three games out of 120+.cool
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Mark Christopher
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harzal wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
Airstrike can be decisive. Sometimes you have plenty of Recover cards and are in good cover, but you get broken by fire (or even sniper) and then broken again by airstrike and your key leader is gone.


I've only seen something like that happen in two or three games out of 120+.cool


Wow, you're lucky. Or my opponent and I are unlucky. In 106 games, it's happened plenty.
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Borat Sagdiyev
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Are you saying that an Air Support event has killed a previously broken key unit/s in many of your games? surprise

Seriously, I think that is very very unusual situation as most players will always try to rally their most important leaders and units as fast as possible (in the very same turn or the following one or two turns).

So, that leaves a very narrow window of opportunity for Air Support to take place. And even if it happens, there is an even smaller chance that the closest random hex will be the one where your broken key units are placed.

Edited for language corections
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David desJardins
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harzal wrote:
Are you saying that an Air Support event has killed a previously broken key unit/s in many of your games? surprise


Yeah, I would agree with Mark, I think that might happen as often as one game in ten, if you also count the converse possibility, the Air Support breaks the unit and then I get to fire at it and kill it before the owner has any chance to play a Recover card.
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Borat Sagdiyev
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My personal experience (which comes not only from the games that I've played but also by watching many other games in my wargaming club and being the GM in an online tourney where almost 50 games were played) is that such an occurrence happens way less often that one game out of ten.cool

First of all, the chances of drawing an Air Support event are extremely low (4.16% with the US deck, 2.77% with the British, Russian or German decks, and 1,38% with both Minors decks) and, in fact, I would say that in half the games that I've played or seen no Air Support has happened at all.

Then, for the Air Support to inflict some serious damage quite a few things must coincide in time. Let's see all the possible options, assuming that a competent player will discard as much and fast as possible in order to get a Recover order in his hand and thus a key unit/leader won't remain broken for very long:

1. It is not your turn and a key unit/leader breaks due to enemy fire or other events (for example, a sniper shot).

Then, an event trigger takes place during the next few turns while you don't get any Recover order, Air Support happens and the closest random hex drawn is the one where your broken key unit/leader is located. I've only seen this happen once or twice.

2. It is not your turn and a key unit/leader breaks due to an Air Support event.

Then the enemy has a powerful enough fire group with LOS to your broken unit/leader and which has not yet been activated, your units are in poor cover, the dice are nice to your opponent and you don't have any Concealment actions to play. OR during the following couple of turns you don't draw neither a Recover or an Advance/Move card (so you can try to get out of enemy LOS) or manage to supress the enemy firegroup or throw smoke to protect your broken unit/leader. I don't think I've ever seen this happen.

3. It is your turn and a key unit/leader breaks due to enemy fire or other events (for example, a sniper shot).

You don't have a Recover card at hand and then an event trigger takes place during that turn or the next few turns, Air Support happens and the closest random hex drawn is the one where your broken key unit/leader is located. I've seen this happen only once or twice.

4. It is your turn and a key unit/leader which is currently moving breaks due to an Air Support event.

You don't have a Recover card at your disposal and the enemy fires at your units with a powerful enough firegroup activated for op fire, your units are in poor cover, the dice are nice to your opponent and you don't have any Concealment actions to play. OR during the next couple of turns you don't draw neither a Recover or an Advance/Move order (so you can try to get out of enemy LOS) or manage to supress the enemy firegroup or throw smoke to protect your broken unit/leader. I've seen it happen once and remember it very clearly as it costed me the game.

All in all, I don't see any one of the above four options hapenning more than one out of 30 games or so.

Edited for language correction
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Mark Christopher
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harzal wrote:
Are you saying that an Air Support event has killed a previously broken key unit/s in many of your games? surprise

Seriously, I think that is very very unusual situation as most players will always try to rally their most important leaders and units as fast as possible (in the very same turn or the following one or two turns).

So, that leaves a very narrow window of opportunity for Air Support to take place. And even if it happens, there is an even smaller chance that the closest random hex will be the one where your broken key units are placed.

Edited for language corections


I was thinking about an event breaking a leader or other key unit, allowing my fire to kill it, or an event breaking an already broken unit. I can't reliably give numbers but it's happened more than 3 times in all games I've been in; I'm certain it's much closer to Dave's 1 in 10. Heck, in my first game I fired on a Russian MMG that was making my life miserable. The fire card was a sniper event that ended up breaking that Russian MMG, and the fire attack itself killed it.

When on defense, my opponents and I tend to send a lot of weak fire at groups, hoping to exhaust the decks quickly, and that does bring out lots of events. I'm mildly surprised that, seeing how many breezes that we sometimes get, I've only had one game with 30+ blazes in it, though I've had plenty with 5 - 10.

This thread makes me want to start recording notable events, just to start tracking how often some of them happen...
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Borat Sagdiyev
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markus_kt wrote:
I was thinking about an event breaking a leader or other key unit, allowing my fire to kill it, or an event breaking an already broken unit. I can't reliably give numbers but it's happened more than 3 times in all games I've been in; I'm certain it's much closer to Dave's 1 in 10. Heck, in my first game I fired on a Russian MMG that was making my life miserable. The fire card was a sniper event that ended up breaking that Russian MMG, and the fire attack itself killed it.


I have often seen something like that happening. But most of the times the unit affected has not been a key leader or a good unit holding an important weapon.

As I've already said, whenever I see a key unit/leader broken I search as fast as possible for a Recover card, though a Move/Advance order or a Concealment action can also be good enough more often than not. Even a Light Wounds action can be really helpful if I'm trying to save a good weapon carried by a squad. Or a Rout order against my own units if they are not too close for comfort to my side of the board.

I also stop firing at the enemy (unless it is absolutely necessary) and thus I reduce the chances of any kind of unpleasant event taking place.

Quote:
When on defense, my opponents and I tend to send a lot of weak fire at groups, hoping to exhaust the decks quickly, and that does bring out lots of events.


That's precisely why my first priority when attacking is trying to avoid the defender gets clear LOS to any of my big stacks, as well as only fire when my chances of breaking a defending unit are at least of 50%. Playing like this the defender cannot exhaust the decks as quickly as he would wish and the number of event triggers is also significantly lower.

On the other hand, when playing as the defender I tend to keep a Recover, Advance or Move order handy whenever I see a powerful attacking firegroup getting into position to fire at any of my key units/leaders. In this way I can keep as many options as possible at my disposal if such a unit/leader gets broken.
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