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Subject: Wargames without (or only minimal) luck factor. rss

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Sven Kaiser
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Hello,

I'm a huge fan of Bonaparte at Marengo and its great luckless system (that little luck used for setup doesn't count).
I own Napoleon's Triumph as well although I've never had the opportunity to play it yet.

I wanted to know if there are more wargames whith a system that uses no (or almost no) luck for their combat resolution.

Recently I've come across Strike of the Eagle which seems to rely on cards only to modify combat strengths.

Are there any other wargames with systems comparable to these 3 games?
If those games use fog of war and maybe secret unit deployemt, then I would be more than happy to read more about it.

Please do NOT post totally abstract games like chess and the likes which are not at all my cup of tea.

Many thanks!
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Doug Palmer
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Engage isn't based on any specific theatre of battle, but uses no luck (no dice, no cards) in its battle resolution. And is quite enjoyable and a nice change of pace.
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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Battle: The Game of Generals

Then there's War at Sea (second edition), which according to the cover description has 'no random luck elements'.
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p55carroll
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The Complete Brigadier is a tactical-level miniatures wargame that's notorious for its unusual "diceless" nature. I own a copy but haven't played it. Those who have always say good things about it.
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Edmund Hon
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3W's Ancients I & Ancients II have a dice-less optional rule where the combat results are fixed depending on the odds ratio, essentially assuming that a 3 or 4 (forgot which) is rolled on the CRT. For ranged shooting, it is assumed 1 in 6 shots will score a hit (assuming you needed to roll a 6) or 1 in 3 shots will score a hit (assuming you need to roll a 5 or 6), with the shooting player chooses which shot is successful.

Not sure if the VPG version (Ancient Battles Deluxe) kept the same rule.
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Enrico Viglino
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deadkenny wrote:


Then there's War at Sea (second edition), which according to the cover description has 'no random luck elements'.



gulp

I'm not convinced that a game without luck CAN be a wargame.

Simulations always include randomizing factors.
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Eric Walters
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Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan. And it works so well because not only do you have the uncertainty of the blocks, but the uncertainty of the cards each player has in their hands and how they will play them. This kind of card play I don't see as being more than "minimal" luck factor--other card-assisted games (like the Combat Commander Series) have the cards taking the place of dice which to me is just like having dice.

Of course, I like them all. But these kinds of games where luck is minimized sure makes for more interesting gaming!
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Jim F
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ericmwalters wrote:
Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan This kind of card play I don't see as being more than "minimal" luck factor--other card-assisted games (like the Combat Commander Series) have the cards taking the place of dice which to me is just like having dice


True up to a point. The range of results are limited by those on the cards which are determined by the designer. The roll of the dice is far more random.
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Clausewitz compared war to a game of cards. In other words, luck plays a role...
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Lucius Cornelius
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D-Day at Omaha Beach uses diceless combat resolution.
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Pelle Nilsson
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Ashiefan wrote:

The range of results are limited by those on the cards which are determined by the designer. The roll of the dice is far more random.


Not true for any meaningful definition of "more random" I can think of. Depends on the game, not the type of randomizer used.
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Carl Paradis
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This one:

Kriegspiel
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Combat Commander: Europe
 
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wifwendell wrote:
Clausewitz compared war to a game of cards. In other words, luck plays a role...

True, but I think the essence is that you don't know in advance how things will turn out. NT has no luck element, but its emphasis on fog of war has the same effect on the players. It doesn't really matter whether your uncertainty is based on a die or lack of knowledge about the opposing force; either way it takes nerve to launch the attack, and leads to the same elation / frustration upon resolution.

Why people worry so much about the source of that uncertainty fascinates me. There are games that do it with dice, games that do it with cards, and games that do it with unknown unit values. The fact that it happens is what is important. No boardgame is truly like real war, but so long as the uncertainty exists, it can model it satisfactorily.
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Sam Carroll
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pelni wrote:
Ashiefan wrote:

The range of results are limited by those on the cards which are determined by the designer. The roll of the dice is far more random.


Not true for any meaningful definition of "more random" I can think of. Depends on the game, not the type of randomizer used.


I agree; the range of results on dice or cards is determined by the designer. One difference I see is that dice have no memory, where a deck of cards (as usually employed) does. For example, if you draw a low card, the average card value of the deck increases. Many such games will use a reshuffle card to introduce more uncertainty.

Speaking of low-luck games, you might look into A Game of Thrones (first edition), which is more Ameritrash than true wargame. However, the combat is luckless. The main uncertainty is that each player secretly plays a card from his hand to modify his total combat value.
 
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John
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Maybe this one ? Apocalypse has a random chit pull start, after that no RNG.

Not sure whether or not guessing an opponents number could be listed as lucky or not. If you're a bit of a Cal Lightman then its all science...

As far as I recall - the combat mechanics are guessing a number your attacker has chosen on a dice. If you guess wrong you lose an army. If you guess right the attacker loses the number of armies that he chose - he can only choose a number up to the number of armies he has attacking. If an attacker eliminates an area he gets to move in a number of armies equal to the dice - or if its a 6 as many as he likes. There are also rules for things like only being allowed to use the numbers 1 to 3 when attacking mountains, and when attacking from sea to land the defender gets two guesses.

Played lots of enjoyable games of this back in the day, and the number guessing starts to get very psychological - plus given the numbers are not all equal and have tactical implications, theres some bluff and counter bluff going on in choosing a number. I have seen some players lose their nerve entirely and just start rolling the dice to choose a random number for them, so they cant be out-psyched. Of course you could rule this is against the spirit of the guessing game and allow no dice rolling.
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Enrico Viglino
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wifwendell wrote:
Clausewitz compared war to a game of cards. In other words, luck plays a role...


So does stacking the deck.
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Judy Krauss
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licinius wrote:
This one:

Kriegspiel



Yep, Kriegspiel.
 
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p55carroll
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Elcomandante wrote:
I'm a huge fan of Bonaparte at Marengo and its great luckless system (that little luck used for setup doesn't count).
I own Napoleon's Triumph as well although I've never had the opportunity to play it yet.

I wanted to know if there are more wargames whith a system that uses no (or almost no) luck for their combat resolution.

Can you say why you like this sort of wargame? I'm just curious.

Do you think it's more realistic somehow? Or do you just not like rolling dice? Or what?
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Bob Roberts

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wmd8tc wrote:



Seriously? No luck involved? You must play a very different version of the game than the one I am familiar with. whistle
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Bob Roberts

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Patrick Carroll wrote:
The Complete Brigadier is a tactical-level miniatures wargame that's notorious for its unusual "diceless" nature. I own a copy but haven't played it. Those who have always say good things about it.


Complete Brigadier had some excellent ideas for representing marching troops around in formation, something a brigadier was supposed to be familiar with, but the combat system quickly became predictable to the point of making the game no fun. We house ruled it in fairly short order.
 
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Sven Kaiser
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First, big thanks to all for your posts! I really appreaciate your advice and will look into the games I don't know yet.
Concerning Kriegsspiel, I had the huge opportunity to play an Air Force Kriegspiel on a very large 10mx10m floor map of central Europe (modern-day forces) during my General Staff school a few years ago.

Patrick, what I like in Bonaparte at Marengo is the elegance of the system:
- it has fog of war
- it uses Kriegspiel-like red and blue unit markers
- the combat resolution system is just brilliant (no combat resolution table, damage when retreating, a single piece of artillery forces prioritising)
- the rules are really not intuitive on some points but once you have played a few turns, they become so logic and the key of the game (as far as I have identified, please correct me if there are other opinions) is movement! Basically you win through clever moves, especially of your cavalry and by using wisely the roads on the map.

I remember holding back the Austrians until the very last round when I oversaw a small road which my brother mercylessly used to flank me and win by that little difference of 1 point!

The only 2 things I regret is the absence of other maps or scenarii and the absence of a computer version (I've read about a similar game recently on Android and are following its discussion but I own no Android device yet).

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