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Eastern Front Tank Leader» Forums » General

Subject: Remake of Tank Leader by Spielworxx rss

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Oliver Lach
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Spielworxx announced a remake of Tank Leader, release in Spring 2013.
Look at http://www.spielworxx.de/news/ (german language).
They will cooperate with the french Publisher Hexasim and try to get an US-Partner.
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O B
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Oh that's very exciting!

New components (ahem, maps) and slightly more streamlined combat resolution could make this a real hit!
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Martin Gallo
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Holy cow!
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Sean McCormick
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It's a system that thoroughly deserves a reprint. Glad to see it, and I hope they actually provide multiple maps this time (preferably non-geomorphic ones, but I won't be picky).
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Uli Blennemann
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We are aiming for a spring 2013 release. The new edition, with all new graphics, will be printed in Europe.

More news soon!

Uli
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Martin Gallo
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If you are able to print an "English edition" I will buy it.
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Uli Blennemann
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Martin,

There will be an English edition - either by Spielworxx or by a partner.

Uli
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O B
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Uli Blennemann wrote:
We are aiming for a spring 2013 release. The new edition, with all new graphics, will be printed in Europe.

More news soon!

Uli


Oh can't wait!

Any rule changes coming? John Hill involved at all?

Please, please, consider maps with fixed terrain. Or overlays, or at least a graphic design that makes the variability of the terrain easier to keep straight in your mind. It sounds nit-picky but it actually put off my regular wargame opponents!

Also please consider streamlining combat a bit to stay competitive with newer systems like WaW, CC, FF:GD, Band of Brothers, etc. Some of the modifiers ended up feeling quite fiddly IIRC.

I guess WaW is probably your biggest competition so my ideal re-release would be comparable in combat resolution complexity (in keeping with the game's focus) while providing the more realistic and interesting C3 system of the cards.
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Uli Blennemann
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John will be involved.

The rules will be surely somewhat "tweaked" - it is a little bit too early to go into details yet.

However, please keep your suggestions coming - thiis is most important!

Uli
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O B
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Uli Blennemann wrote:
John will be involved.


Wow! Great news!

Where's the pre-order page? :-D
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Uli Blennemann
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Thank you for your confidence - however, the game won´t be ready for preorder before the fall.

Uli
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dj johnson
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Great news. This one replaced PBlitz/Leader as my favorite platoon level game and I have oft-lamented getting rid of this one back in the day. Eagerly anticipate the resurrection of this overlooked beauty. The only problem I ever had was with the variable terrain maps, too much mental gymnastics to keep track of changes in heat of battle etc. Would also like to see more unit types.
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Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
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Uli,

Here are my suggestions:

Geographic maps for all titles in the series I think would great.

Streamlining the rules is nice, but please don't dumb it down. I thought the West Front rules and presentation the best of the series.

I don't want to fish through overlays to play scenarios. My opponents and I had no problem with reviewing the rules of a scenario and noting the different types of woods, hills, and towns that were represented.

I'm glad to hear the original designer will be involved. Desert Steel felt like the weakest of the series and I imagine it suffered because Hill wasn't directly involved.
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Jack Stalica
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Who cares? This was one of the worst games I've ever played.

The concept was good: Germans get the command advantage and the Soviets get the numbers advantage.

Problem was that in most scenarios the Germans had the command advantage and the Soviets DIDN'T have the numbers advantage! I also thought the excellent and tough T-34 didn't get it's proper due (even in the later scenarios).

It ended up being a Soviet turkey shoot and frustration-fest for the Soviet player.

I heard the later installments were improved - but the bad experience soured me on the whole series and I dumped it.

The fact is massed, innovative, and mass produced (if rough) Soviet armour won the war in Europe - not German fancy dancing with overly complex (i.e. that broke down just as often as they worked) shiny, pretty toys. Any game that doesn't reflect (in at least some scenarios) this is a failure in my book.
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Steve Duke
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Well, maybe.

The reality is that small units of well led Germans often beat the dog snot out of larger, better equipped units of a variety of nations, not just the Soviets.
Ultimately numbers did win out. And there were some excellent units that were on par with the very best Germany had to offer. And many others that were fodder.

So how to make a game that is 'fun' and simulates this is a challenge, imo.

The fact that I've got 10 tanks to your 1, and your 1 is a super panzer with superior wermacht crew training (this is where I use a German accent)compared to my conscript crew and no gunner doesn't mean that it is a fun game experience for me as the Soviets to sit there while you play 5 cards in a row and kill half of my tanks with no response from me.
That it happened, we should all agree that it did. That other examples where it didn't happen occurred, sure. How to capture that in a game?

Challenging....


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O B
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I agree the system is great but some details of the execution really bring it down (maps, combat procedure, scenarios). The heart of the system is the command and activation rules and they are delightfully elegant. However the combat system I feel detracts from the essence of the game.

Peter motivated me to finally get around to posting my specific criticism of the combat procedure. In short I find it too fiddly and I can't help but imagine a much quicker and simpler system could return statistically equivalent results.

To summarize the procedure quickly:
1) Spotting check
a) Check range.
b) Multiply or divide it depending on terrain.
c) Add or subtract modifiers
d) Roll to beat or meet the spotting number
2) Hit check
a) Subtract defense from attack strength
b) Add or subtract modifiers
c) Roll and check results on a table
3) Morale check
a) Add or subtract modifiers
b) Roll and check results against unit value

So that's three steps, three die rolls (once against a calculated value, once on a CRT, once against a fixed value), three sets of modifiers and one potential multiple/divide operation.

How could this happen? Well without a good understanding of the mathematical model I'm not going to suggest anything, but as general strategies I can think of a few end states goals which would improve the 'ergonomics' of gameplay.
- Fewer steps. Somehow combine two procedures (or even all three) by using a CRT with column shifts or something.
- Fewer rolls. Even if there are the same number of steps eliminate the die rolls from some of them.
- More consistent procedures. Make all of them use a CRT, or all of them roll to beat a number.
- Fewer overall modifiers. Eliminate all the ones that are not absolutely essential (or have negligible statistical effect).
- More consistent modifier types. Eliminate the multiply and divide modifiers. Recalibrate the baseline so that all modifiers are positive or all are negative.
- Fewer or more consistent modifier cases. Recalibrate the baseline so all modifiers are base on the attacker's state (or defender's)

I find that today's games have done a terrific job of cleaning up the 'ergonomics' of wargames and I hope the reprint project here considers some of these factors. I think with ergonomic improvements that reduce playing time, this system could easily become the holy grail of "playable after dinner, realistic, and fun WWII tank game"!
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Martin McCleary
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...and clean up the rules about units being "shaken". In EFTL the rule/text was confusing. Not sure what they did in later volumes. Looking forward to seeing the update.
 
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Andrew Tucker
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I would buy it
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Warren Wawrosch
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This system was the natural successor to PanzerBlitz and Panzer Leader. I can't wait to get this.
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Andrew Tucker
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I would buy it too. I made my own desert steel version. I found one cool thing was making my own cards for each scenario i made with actual unit details on each.
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Jay Townsend
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I am looking forward to this game!
 
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Jay Townsend
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Any updates on the new version game?
 
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Jay Townsend
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Uli mentioned early summer as maybe the new release date on CSW for this game!
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Jay Townsend
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Uli latest from CSW:

Hexasim will do both the French and english edition of the game. Projected release date now: October.
 
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M St
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adorablerocket wrote:
I agree the system is great but some details of the execution really bring it down (maps, combat procedure, scenarios). The heart of the system is the command and activation rules and they are delightfully elegant. However the combat system I feel detracts from the essence of the game.

It's an armor game. The essence of the game is to work out how to use your force under the constraints of the soft factors to beat up the other side's tanks. Most of the aspects you criticise below are factors that serve that particular purpose.

Quote:

Peter motivated me to finally get around to posting my specific criticism of the combat procedure. In short I find it too fiddly and I can't help but imagine a much quicker and simpler system could return statistically equivalent results.

Actually, half your suggestions involve getting rid of situational modifiers. It is mathematically impossible to produce statistically equivalent results if you remove those. The only aspect that could remain unchanged would be the average loss. If that were all that's needed we could just impose the average loss by fiat and get rid of dierolling entirely.

Quote:

To summarize the procedure quickly:
1) Spotting check
a) Check range.
b) Multiply or divide it depending on terrain.
c) Add or subtract modifiers
d) Roll to beat or meet the spotting number
2) Hit check
a) Subtract defense from attack strength
b) Add or subtract modifiers
c) Roll and check results on a table
3) Morale check
a) Add or subtract modifiers
b) Roll and check results against unit value

Actually, rather than summarizing it quickly it seems you're going out of your way to make it look cumbersome. What I see are three dierolls with modifiers. As tactical armor games go, this is pretty much par for the course, and it gives a wide range of outcomes. The inclusion of spotting is an unfortunately rather rare thing in armor games - this games gives it the right weight.

Quote:

How could this happen? Well without a good understanding of the mathematical model I'm not going to suggest anything,

It seems that's exactly what you're doing.

Quote:
but as general strategies I can think of a few end states goals which would improve the 'ergonomics' of gameplay.
- Fewer steps. Somehow combine two procedures (or even all three) by using a CRT with column shifts or something.

This makes no sense. There is no gain in effort or complexity by replacing a DRM with a column shift except that the table grows larger.

Quote:

- Fewer rolls. Even if there are the same number of steps eliminate the die rolls from some of them.

I'm no more fond of the idea of automatic spotting than I'm of the idea of automatic hitting than I'm of the idea of automatic morale failure/success. The system gains its extraordinary suppleness from the fact that formations have an extraordinary amount of "character." You can have everything from a cocksure green unit in monster tanks that goes to pieces with the first loss to a veteran group that is cautious but can take everything. I see no benefit in losing that.

Quote:
- More consistent procedures. Make all of them use a CRT, or all of them roll to beat a number.

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." - Emerson.

Quote:
- Fewer overall modifiers. Eliminate all the ones that are not absolutely essential (or have negligible statistical effect).

Most modifiers are +/-1, therefore have exactly the same statistical effect...

Quote:
- More consistent modifier types. Eliminate the multiply and divide modifiers.

These modifiers are in exactly one location, and what are they for? For a particular effect. If you delete them, you remove that effect. Doesn't sound right to me.

Quote:
Recalibrate the baseline so that all modifiers are positive or all are negative.

- Fewer or more consistent modifier cases.
Recalibrate the baseline so all modifiers are base on the attacker's state (or defender's)

That would like again blow up the size of the table, and would not make anything easier. In fact it would make things harder.

Just as an example, with the system as it stands now I trivially know that a veteran crew changes the fire roll by 1 either way, a green one by 1 the other way, and a seasoned one (by far the most common situation) not at all.

With your system the baseline would be a green firer against a veteran target (modifier +0). What?? A veteran firer against a green target would get modifier +4, and other combinations everything in between (a seasoned fire against a seasoned target would be modifier +2). Essentially you have turned every single situation into a special case, the asymmetry and memory/modifier table requirements are mind boggling.

I must conclude that you have not thought the effects of your suggested changes through at all.

Quote:
I find that today's games have done a terrific job of cleaning up the 'ergonomics' of wargames and I hope the reprint project here considers some of these factors.

I think this system is actually extraordinarily clean compared to virtually all other platoon level games out there, and I have played pretty much all of them. The only arguably exception would be LNL's Nations at War, which is essentially completely random (to the point that they had to introduce serial mulligan chit generation to rein in the effects).

Quote:
I think with ergonomic improvements that reduce playing time, this system could easily become the holy grail of "playable after dinner, realistic, and fun WWII tank game"!

Well, it is that now. I played one of the advanced scenarios in 90 minutes last week. However,what you suggest seems to cut out most of the "realistic" part based on abstract, Euro-like design restrictions.
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