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Subject: Orders Cubes rss

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Gian Carlo Ceccoli
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Hello everyone. I have the early FF games, but I immediately had some doubts about the "arrangement" of orders cubes .

In fact, a scenario down early game that the cubes are arranged in precise order; example, the scenario N. 1 provides 3,3,7,7,7,7, R, R, R, R. Rule 21.12 f) establishing, in the end turns, rolling a D10 for each order cube; then for the second round of each scenario, the arrangement of possible orders is completely random.

I think that is a choice of the designer, but I would like to make some considerations: - The clear choice in the first round of orders is very interesting, it allows you to "direct" the actions of the scenario. Very useful for recreating historical actions. For example, scenario No 1, 18 points of initiative and the established order, following the Russian historical development, that is a surprise attack on German forces.

- Provide that any subsequent turn, purchase orders are random other hand, seems limited.

Why not leave, for each scenario, the original provision? It would not be "historical"?

I would add that perhaps the most interesting is that of a cube on each table order: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10.

I know what I mean?

Thanks, and congratulations to Chad; and the game play is very interesting (but at the moment I still prefer Combat Commander .........) .
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John McLintock
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GC58 wrote:
I think that is a choice of the designer, but I would like to make some considerations: - The clear choice in the first round of orders is very interesting, it allows you to "direct" the actions of the scenario. Very useful for recreating historical actions. For example, scenario No 1, 18 points of initiative and the established order, following the Russian historical development, that is a surprise attack on German forces.

- Provide that any subsequent turn, purchase orders are random other hand, seems limited.

Why not leave, for each scenario, the original provision? It would not be "historical"?

I think you've answered this question yourself Giancarlo: the initiative and the cubes at the start set the opening of the scenario according to the historical situation. Why would we expect the situation to stay the same once the battle had begun?
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I would add that perhaps the most interesting is that of a cube on each table order: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10.

I've only played one game so far, but what I found most interesting was when the cubes were as far as possible from being evenly distributed; eg. one turn in my game saw a lot of the cubes at 7 or above.

Placing the cubes randomly is a key feature of Chad's design because of the way it affects access to orders and the initiative cost of those orders. So far it's living up to its initial promise for me.
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Igor Kwiatkowski
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GC58 wrote:
I would add that perhaps the most interesting is that of a cube on each table order: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10.

With all due respect I find it the least interesting distribution. I have only played the game half a dozen times but most of them were scenario 0 with the straight 1-10 setup and these turns usually boiled down to going bottom to top. If later turns were fixed too it would be a huge boost to the player acting first on a turn. You could plan to leave the initiative pawn on space 2 on your side, then play your asset for 1 and then do something else etc. Now you can't because you don't know how much Asset is going to cost.

I also think that the development team tested all the possible ways to reseed the matrix: fully random, fully fixed, part random (and perhaps more that I can't think of), and that they picked the random option is no coincidence.

Edit: John beat me to it
 
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Gian Carlo Ceccoli
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I think you've answered this question yourself Giancarlo: the initiative and the cubes at the start set the opening of the scenario according to the historical situation. Why would we expect the situation to stay the same once the battle had begun?


Why game on this scale, that is 75 meters, a few minutes to turn, the situation can change very ..........
It 's the classic problem of a scenario on ASL: 5 / 8 turns seem a lot, but in reality it is 10/15 minutes to simulate real life .....



Igor Kwiatkowski
I also think that the development team tested all the possible ways to reseed the matrix: fully random, fully fixed, part random (and perhaps more that I can't think of), and that they picked the random option is no coincidence.


I have no doubts about the quantity and quality of tests carried out by teams GMT!
Mine is just an opinion; with orders placed at random cubes a game / scenario will never be the same as the previous one, is clear.
I try to understand what the situation is better for a historical development of the clash.
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John McLintock
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Hey Giancarlo, no one can take your opinion away from you. More than that: I can understand that it must be frustrating to raise a question and then the first thing that happens is that people just jump in and disagree with you. It's not very constructive is it? I've often thought I should do better myself. Sorry I didn't. whistle

So, to start again: what exactly is it you're suggesting about changing the way order cubes are placed? And why do you think it'd be useful?
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Adam Ruzzo
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The random distribution allows you to play the same scenario but make different choices each time. If every turn was choose a 3 or a 7 (for example) you'd stop thinking real hard about it after a while. Since every turn is different you get to make a novel choice each turn (for the most part).
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Darrell Hanning
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Nobody is going to be upset if you choose to set up the orders matrix any way you want.

If, for example, you're trying to play the same scenario many times (perhaps to see if the results are consistent), I can understand removing the variable of random assignment of order cubes, and going instead with a fixed arrangement of them, every turn.

But I think most will tell you that for the purpose of getting the most enjoyment out of the game, a random distribution of the order cubes is probably best.
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Gian Carlo Ceccoli
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Hey Giancarlo, no one can take your opinion away from you. More than that: I can understand that it must be frustrating to raise a question and then the first thing that happens is that people just jump in and disagree with you. It's not very constructive is it? I've often thought I should do better myself. Sorry I didn't.

So, to start again: what exactly is it you're suggesting about changing the way order cubes are placed? And why do you think it'd be useful?


But you do what you're talking about?? I'm talking about a game, I express my opinion. Are no personal or other thing .........
You got it wrong ........

But we talk about FF, please.
No criticism from me, I try to understand the reasons that have addressed Chad on these choices.
Thanks.

GC
 
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Chadwik
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The set starting cubes represent the starting historical situation and each side's capabilities. But we are here to play out an historical situation in game form, not recreate it whole-cloth like when reading a book. Once forces engage and the true historical narrative starts to break down to the vagaries of the dice, card draws and player choices, it is up to we armchair generals to tell our own version of history. The victory conditions of each scenario will certainly steer us towards historically viable outcomes, but we are free to perhaps explore options not taken by the real forces on the field of battle -- or, indeed, are forced to due to fate interceding -- and to do so under the contant contraints and unpredictabilities associated with a random reseeding of the Order Matrix each turn after the first.

But if you want to reseed 1-through-10 every turn, go for it! It's your game. I will continue to suggest folks play with random reseeding according to the rules as written, as I believe it is the better option overall.
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Doug Cooley
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I think of the original cube distribution as starting with the original battle plan. As we all know, no plan survives contact with the enemy, and thus the random cube distribution after the first turn (and sometimes at the start of the turn) emulates those aspects of the battle that are unexpected. It's possible (but highly improbable) to end up with a distribution that makes operations impossible other than playing asset cards. Maybe it's weather, maybe it's aircraft flying over the battle, maybe it's something completely different.

I could definitely see there being situations, especially when planned reinforcing units enter the map, where some subset of the order cubes could be predetermined. There is no question that I find the game to be more entertaining (through tension) when the order cube distribution can have a major effect on your plans for the following turn. Like all wargames with a random element, you still must hope for the best but plan for the worst, and the randomization does a great job of throwing the proverbial spanner into the works. Unlike Combat Commander, which does this through card draws, FF forces both players to work with the environment they are given, not the environment they wish they were given, and it makes for good fun.
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Chadwik
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I can certainly see non-random seeding of the matrix after turn 1 as a viable tool in the scenario designer's toolbox. A couple examples off the top of my head:

1) To emphasize a Stalingrad-esque sniper duel, a special rule could say that the first three cubes automatically go on 7, the next three on 5 and the rest are random.

2) To emphasize the use of division and corps level assets, an SR could stipulate the use of d12's or d20's for the reseed rolls (note that the top row of the matrix says "10+" -- this is no accident).

3) Or vice-versa, deemphasizing assets: re-roll all 1, 8, 9 and 10 results after/before turn X.

Just because this sort of thing didn't happen in this first game doesn't mean it never will. This system has a great deal of design space left in it for future titles to exploit as and when needed.
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Gian Carlo Ceccoli
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Absolutely agree with Chad and Doug!!
Thanks, that's what I meant!

I add one other observation:
If the initial position of the cubes does not provide for order Order # 8,9,10 it is conceivable that, in terms of the historic, the asset of any kind are not occurring. Again, perhaps, it is better to prevent a solution, in the following rounds, for "the no" orders of that kind.

Chad, great game, congratulations.



 
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Chadwik
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GC58 wrote:
If the initial position of the cubes does not provide for order Order # 8,9,10 it is conceivable that, in terms of the historic, the asset of any kind are not occurring.

Not necessarily: usually those historical assets will have already been assigned to the players in the scenario setup instructions (the "Asset Cards" box).
 
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Doug Cooley
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GC58 wrote:
Absolutely agree with Chad and Doug!!
Thanks, that's what I meant!

I add one other observation:
If the initial position of the cubes does not provide for order Order # 8,9,10 it is conceivable that, in terms of the historic, the asset of any kind are not occurring. Again, perhaps, it is better to prevent a solution, in the following rounds, for "the no" orders of that kind.


Easier to simply disallow the types of assets that didn't take part in the battle. Scenario 1 prohibits Sniper actions, and there is no sniper (because it was largely a tank battle and they were buttoned up with the command staff inside of them), and also prohibits barrage and counter-barrage assets from being used, but allowing air assets.

In a scenario like this, you have to consider what the asset cards are good for. For the Soviets, while there are useful cards in the deck (even air assets, which will temporarily deny German air assets), the chances are good that you'll end up with a card that is only useful (in this scenario) for deploying the APCR special action. As such, the calculation you make to decide if expending that much initiative on asset cards is a little different from other scenarios where asset cards are arguably more versatile and therefore more valuable. For the Soviets in particular, who already have extra expenses because of the radioless tanks, that kind of expenditure with relatively little gain isn't going to make nearly as much sense, although there will be times when it does.

In software we'd call this type of solution "elegant", meaning that it gets the job done in a very simple yet effective (and cool, something that's harder to measure) way. A very simple special rule (can't use barrage and counter barrage asset cards for their card text) drives behavior in an appropriate way for the action.
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Gian Carlo Ceccoli
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Doug

In software we'd call this type of solution "elegant", meaning that it gets the job done in a very simple yet effective (and cool, something that's harder to measure) way. A very simple special rule (can't use barrage and counter barrage asset cards for their card text) drives behavior in an appropriate way for the action.

Of course, thanks Doug.
I think I can be satisfied, the theme Cubes Order is important and I was not convinced.
With the clarifications made​​, the situation seems acceptable.

Now, I will open another post on another very interesting: The Hidden Force.
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I'm just before my first game and maybe I missing something but what if reseeding matrix order you roll all 1s? Or worse all 2s?

Did you have this kind of situations?
 
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Richard Pardoe
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Palladinus wrote:
what if reseeding matrix order you roll all 1s? Or worse all 2s?

Since the seeding is done by die roll, the chances are low. But it could happen and the game won't suffer as a result.

If all 1's are rolled, I suspect it would likely be a very quick turn and the matrix reseeded again quickly. Remember, a player can always remove a cube paying the initiative cost then forfeit (or pass).

And why would all 2s be worse than all 1s? The Germans would fire or play an asset card. The Russians would move or play an asset card. And if the Germans do fire, the Russians can trigger Return Fire so aren't without defensive capabilities.

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Chadwik
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Palladinus wrote:
...what if reseeding matrix order you roll all 1s? Or worse all 2s?

a 1-in-10,000,000,000 occurrence. Your odds of dying from a catastrophic asteroid strike are about 1-in-2,000,000,000. I wouldn't worry.
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Chad Jensen wrote:
Palladinus wrote:
...what if reseeding matrix order you roll all 1s? Or worse all 2s?

a 1-in-10,000,000,000 occurrence. Your odds of dying from a catastrophic asteroid strike are about 1-in-2,000,000,000. I wouldn't worry.

ANY other combination has the same probability (1:10000000000), so...?
 
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RPardoe wrote:
Palladinus wrote:
what if reseeding matrix order you roll all 1s? Or worse all 2s?

[...]
And why would all 2s be worse than all 1s? The Germans would fire or play an asset card. The Russians would move or play an asset card. And if the Germans do fire, the Russians can trigger Return Fire so aren't without defensive capabilities.


If you get all 2s German could fire, op fire, ret fire and if they don't move (I wouldn't) Soviets can only ret fire. I see the difference, don't you?
 
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Richard Pardoe
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Palladinus wrote:
I see the difference, don't you?

I see a difference. That doesn't mean the situation is better or worse as you initially stated. That subjective decision will depend upon the position on the board, the current initiative, etc. Managing the order cubes is part and parcel of the game.

By extension, any combination of order cubes could be better or worse for a player based upon the game situation. My response is not to worry about it ahead of time, but to play the game and move on.
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That is why I think it could be too random and this mechanic doesn't reconstruct real battle situations as I would like to see in wargames.

But my question is does it make you feel that not you are playing the game but game plays you? (I think the grammar in this sentence is wrong but I hope you know what I mean)
 
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Richard Pardoe
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Palladinus wrote:
That is why I think it could be too random

While there is randomness in the order cubes, my experience in the game is that the available combinations of cubes are much more varied than all 2's or all 1's. As you point out above, each specific permutation of the cubes is equally likely, but we don't really care about permutations. We care about the available combinations of orders. In practice when playing the game, you will find that there are varied orders available.

Quote:
But my question is does it make you feel that not you are playing the game but game plays you?

Managing the initiative track is a key part of the game. Players spend initiative to select orders, but also to activate units. Reactions by the non-active player (eg OpFire or Return Fire) also cost initiative by the non-active player. A skilled player will manage how much initiative to give up in an effort to keep the momentum on the battlefield for as long as possible.
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Chadwik
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To add a bit to what Richard said above, the die permutations aren't all that important. After rolling to reseed the order matrix you will have ten cubes at various points on the matrix, each of which sits on a sliding scale of capabilities.

For example, any of those cubes will give you the option of performing a card action; roughly 90% of them will allow you to play a card or fire/move (if playing Germany/Soviets); about half of them will allow a German player the choice of an Advance, Assault, Rally, Move, Fire or card.

What you will find is that the most common activities in the usual wargame become most common in this one, and vice versa. Will you sometimes have a cube distribution that doesn't fit neatly with your plan of action? Yes, and intentionally so -- both to model the real-world occurrences of such unforeseen obstacles and to impart to the players a bit of angst in their decision-making process.
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Mark J
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I'm here just to figure out what the "r" means in scenario 1. Does it mean random? Where is this in the rules?
 
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