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Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42» Forums » Variants

Subject: Damage chits and rally rss

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Stig Beite Løken
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I recently played CoH for the first time. Although I had lots of fun, the most frustrating part of the game, for me, was the fact that a damaged squad could rally (an incredibly important dice roll) and remove the damage chit in one roll. I the scenario I played, the game had arrived a critical junction. I had to capture a house occupied by a soviet squad. So I had 2 LMGs all their actions points and all my CAPs to remove the soviet squad (enemy was in heavy +2 def cover, but within range of my LMGs). I fired 6 times, and used all my CAPs to give bonuses. I only rolled equal to or above 8, one time. (8 was the number I needed to damage the squad.) The enemy squad received a random damage chit, and it turned out that the negative effects of the chit didn't harm hit it all (I think it was that he couldn't move, but he being the defender had no intention to move anyway). So what did he do? He aced the rally roll, restoring the squad back to normal health and morale, and then he used a riflesquad to shoot at my approaching riflemen. He hit, even though he needed to roll a 9, and when I draw damage chit, I drew a "instant kill" chit. So, the game turned completely and I had more or less lost. Later, the same soviet squad that I had damaged, got damaged 2 more times and each time succceeded on rallying.

I'm getting frustrated with the randomness and dicerolling in this game. My first house rule that I'm contemplating, is to remove the "instant kill" damage chit. The second is to make it so that squads that have already rallied once, increase their difficulty of rallying later by 1. What do you think?
 
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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Having been hit with the %#$@!! skull-and-crossbones three times in two games, I feel your pain. Here's what I did:

I bought 19 more copies of the game, and made a "special" bowl of all skull-and-crossbones chits. When it's my buddy's turn to draw, I distract him and swap bowls. "Aww, you drew it this time? Man, tough luck!" The second time, "Man, what are the odds! Ha, ha, remember last week, when I drew that twice in a row, and you laughed your ass off? You were right, it is pretty funny!" The third time, "Wow! Well, there's no arguing with fate." Around this time you'll need to be ready to swap the original bowl back in without him noticing again, because he's going to want to inspect the bowl's contents.
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Stig Beite Løken
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kuhrusty wrote:
Having been hit with the %#$@!! skull-and-crossbones three times in two games, I feel your pain. Here's what I did:

I bought 19 more copies of the game, and made a "special" bowl of all skull-and-crossbones chits. When it's my buddy's turn to draw, I distract him and swap bowls. "Aww, you drew it this time? Man, tough luck!" The second time, "Man, what are the odds! Ha, ha, remember last week, when I drew that twice in a row, and you laughed your ass off? You were right, it is pretty funny!" The third time, "Wow! Well, there's no arguing with fate." Around this time you'll need to be ready to swap the original bowl back in without him noticing again, because he's going to want to inspect the bowl's contents.

Excellent advice! How many bowls will I need?
 
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Dean halley

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Stig,
What you described is what happens in real life. I can think of numerous battles in which defenders should have been wiped out "on paper" by a far stronger attacker, but they held out anyway. The one that come to my mind is the Russians in the wheat silo in Stalingrad (or what ever it was... my east front knowledge is rudimentary at best sometimes) where two dozen+ soviet soldiers held out for days against determined German attacks supported by tanks. And how about the 300 Greeks?

I think CoH models this unpredictability of combat very well, and I think it would be a shame to modify the system based on the playing of one firefight. The dice rolls tend to balance out over the long run, and what you described is an anomaly most of the time. But its a fun anomaly for a game, and the possibility of it happening again (as in real combat) is what keep the firefights fresh and repayable.

Wait until you see the Japanese in Guadalcanal. They have their own hit pool to draw from that includes a "No Effect" hit counter (there is no damage inflicted on the unit and it is considered a non-hit if the unit is hit again). So you can keep pounding away at the Japanese positions will very little to show for your efforts at times. Frustrating for the American player... yes... historical... yes! The Japanese literally died to the last man in many battles. The key for the U.S. player will be to adjust her tactics to counter the Japanese fanaticism. And that is part of the fun of CoH too... Solving a tactical puzzle.

Keep at it and you'll find that the system rewards good play most of the time. And when it doesn't, well maybe you'll be the one that beats the odds and then it wont be so bad.

Take care
Dean Halley

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Stig Beite Løken
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down range wrote:
Stig,
What you described is what happens in real life. I can think of numerous battles in which defenders should have been wiped out "on paper" by a far stronger attacker, but they held out anyway. The one that come to my mind is the Russians in the wheat silo in Stalingrad (or what ever it was... my east front knowledge is rudimentary at best sometimes) where two dozen+ soviet soldiers held out for days against determined German attacks supported by tanks. And how about the 300 Greeks?

I think CoH models this unpredictability of combat very well, and I think it would be a shame to modify the system based on the playing of one firefight. The dice rolls tend to balance out over the long run, and what you described is an anomaly most of the time. But its a fun anomaly for a game, and the possibility of it happening again (as in real combat) is what keep the firefights fresh and repayable.

Wait until you see the Japanese in Guadalcanal. :) They have their own hit pool to draw from that includes a "No Effect" hit counter (there is no damage inflicted on the unit and it is considered a non-hit if the unit is hit again). So you can keep pounding away at the Japanese positions will very little to show for your efforts at times. Frustrating for the American player... yes... historical... yes! The Japanese literally died to the last man in many battles. The key for the U.S. player will be to adjust her tactics to counter the Japanese fanaticism. And that is part of the fun of CoH too... Solving a tactical puzzle.

Keep at it and you'll find that the system rewards good play most of the time. :D And when it doesn't, well maybe you'll be the one that beats the odds and then it wont be so bad.

Take care
Dean Halley


Wow, thanks for an excellent response. First of all: This obviously isn't reality, this is a game. I play to have fun, not to simulate real conditions in WW2. I agree with you when you advice me to play more games before I house rule anything. Normally I would, but that "instant kill" counter frustrates me to no end. Also that squads can shake off hits (rally) without any longterms consequenses. I want to make it a little more difficult for a squad that has "rallied away a hit" to rally in the future.
 
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Thomas Büttner-Zimmermann
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Vicar in a tutu wrote:
Also that squads can shake off hits (rally) without any longterms consequenses. I want to make it a little more difficult for a squad that has "rallied away a hit" to rally in the future.

Well, first of all: The unit uses 5 APs of their 7 APs to rally - this reduces them to do nothing else in this turn - except they are germans; they could still fire.
Second: There IS no longterm consequence; if they rally, they shake of the horror of the attack and act again normal. If they don't rally, they break an flee as soon as you attack again successfull.

I think to decide when to rally, and when to fight on despite the hit marker is one of the key decisions in this game.
Also, you will find, that tanks cannot rally most of the time. This is quite handy if you finally make a hit against a Tiger!! :-)
 
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Quote:
This obviously isn't reality, this is a game. I play to have fun, not to simulate real conditions in WW2.


Fun and simulative character do not mandatorily exclude each other. In the wargaming scene, many (if not most) of the players find it fun to simulate real conditions. The quality of a wargame is often measured by how realistic a game recreates reality, in relation to its rule's complexity.
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Lowell Drake
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Yalnin wrote:
Quote:
This obviously isn't reality, this is a game. I play to have fun, not to simulate real conditions in WW2.


Fun and simulative character do not mandatorily exclude each other. In the wargaming scene, many (if not most) of the players find it fun to simulate real conditions. The quality of a wargame is often measured by how realistic a game recreates reality, in relation to its rule's complexity.


I absolutely concur.
 
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Stig Beite Løken
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Yalnin wrote:
Quote:
This obviously isn't reality, this is a game. I play to have fun, not to simulate real conditions in WW2.


Fun and simulative character do not mandatorily exclude each other. In the wargaming scene, many (if not most) of the players find it fun to simulate real conditions. The quality of a wargame is often measured by how realistic a game recreates reality, in relation to its rule's complexity.

I agree that they don't mandatorily exclude each other, but they can often be at odds. I was responding to Dean Halley's response regarding the instant death counter. He said that combat in real life can be unpredictable. That doesn't at all change the fact that I had a sucky and anti-climactic end to my game of CoH because my opponent got an insanely lucky instant death counter at a crucial point in the battle. Both me and my friend felt it "cheapened" the experience. Also, I'm not a part of the wargaming scene, my favorite game is Through the Ages, not ASL. (Although ASL does seem very cool and I wanna try it some day.)

However, it is very easy to just remove the instant death counter. I find I get enough unpredictability with the variation in the "normal" damage counters. Also, I ready another house rule here on BBG where it was suggested that the dice roll could be 3d6 (keep the lowest and the highest) to reduce extreme rolls and make them a little more in line with the average. I'm not a math guy, so I can't say if it works like that, but I wanna try it out a few games and see how it goes.
 
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The designer recommends to remove the instant death counter if playing with beginners or if you just do not like the heavy impact of pulling one. More experienced players however prefer to keep it in the pool, since they like the "lucky shot" element that is also quite often seen in real conflicts. You would be amazed to see how many battles were decided by just a lucky shot on the right unit in the right moment.

After all, it is up to you and your game partner. Of course you can houserule everything in the game, even up to the extreme of removing dice rolls completely, if you prefer a more chess-like experience.
 
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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Another thing you could do, borrowed from Combat Commander: Europe, would be to have one or two markers which let cause the dice to be rerolled or a different damage chit to be drawn. When you use yours, you pass it to your opponent, who now gets to use it. (Or, forget a token--you can reroll/redraw any time, once per attack, by giving your opponent a VP.) That might help reduce the occurrence of crippling early-game lucky shots.
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R Hilton
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I play with the "instant death" counter, but I question what it adds to the game. It strikes me that it is somewhat redundant to the Critical Hit rule that says a unit is immediately eliminated if the attack value plus the die roll exceeds the modified defense value by 4 or more. Playing with the "instant death" chit really just seems to be akin to increasing slightly the odds of a Critical Hit result occuring, rather than introducing any new element to the game.
 
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Jesse LeBreton
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Vicar in a tutu wrote:
[q="Yalnin"]
Quote:
This obviously isn't reality, this is a game. I play to have fun, not to simulate real conditions in WW2.


...That doesn't at all change the fact that I had a sucky and anti-climactic end to my game of CoH because my opponent got an insanely lucky instant death counter at a crucial point in the battle. Both me and my friend felt it "cheapened" the experience...


I get that feeling at times too. Everything is down to the wire, no one knows who is going to win and then bad luck strikes. Makes me want to back up at times and say to my opponent do you want to pretend that didn't happen? Investing hours and then having a bad ending is no fun. I used to play Axis and Allies with 3 mulligans for each player. If you didn't like your roll use a mulligan to reroll. But you had to use them wisely. Introducing mulligan rerolls in dicey games goes a long way toward making you feel better about the end result whether you won or lost.
 
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