Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
 Hide
32 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: Why does every tactical game system always start with the ETO? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
John Spinello
United States
Virginia
flag msg tools
mb
It seems to me that every tactical system that I have played that ends up have several expansions, always starts with the Russians/Germans.
Why is that?

Squad Leader
ASL
Combat Commander (Americans were included also)
Conflict of Heroes
Fighting Formations
Etc.

These are examples, though there likely are others.
Any insight?

John S.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Iain K
United States
Arvada
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
ahrules wrote:
.
Why is that?


It is the most popular / best selling segment of the hobby.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Windsor
United States
Fort Worth
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think that people see the Pacific Theater as tending to have more static situations (Japanese attacking the American lines at Guadalcanal or the Americans attacking dug-in Japanese on any number of islands). That situation creates a tough double-wammy for sales: one side doesn't have much to do except roll dice, and the hidden movement mechanic can make the game more interesting but makes it solitaire-unfriendly.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff K
United States
Garner
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

All?

Tobruk: Tank Battles in North Africa 1942
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darrell Hanning
United States
Jacksonville
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
We will meet at the Hour of Scampering.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Perhaps it isn't even market-driven.

Perhaps it has to do with how many designers enjoy the study of the Eastern Front of WWII so much that they are inspired to design a tactical game that covers it, and subsequently cover other theaters, later.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
"L'état, c'est moi."
Canada
Vancouver
BC
flag msg tools
admin
designer
Roger's Reviews: check out my reviews page, right here on BGG!
badge
Caution: May contain wargame like substance
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
citizen k wrote:
ahrules wrote:
.
Why is that?


It is the most popular / best selling segment of the hobby.
Pretty much this.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steven Mitchell
United States
New York
New York
flag msg tools
badge
I don't know what you have to say, it makes no difference anyway: whatever it is, I'm against it!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It also has to do with design reasons. For better or worse, correctly or not, the ETO is seen as normative so far as tactical doctrine goes. Every other theatre is variations on that norm. So if you're designing a series, you want to start with the most normative setting, so that your ruleset is most approachable. Under this normative assumption, if you were to instead start with PTO, the series's first release would be rife with exceptions which complicate the series from the get-go.

That said, I have longed for a tactical ruleset which is built specifically for PTO, instead of being a PTO variant of an ETO-based ruleset. I've yet to find one that does this satisfactorily.

As for Tobruk, that's not actually a series. There are plenty of non-ETO tactical games out there, but almost every series begins in Europe, often the Russian Front. Yes, ATS eventually grew out of Tobruk, but that wasn't part of the original vision. In fact, if my memory of the relationship between the original game and the eventual series is correct, many of the changes to the ATS rules were precisely to 'de-DTO' the rules.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gary Averett
United States
Salt Lake City
Utah
flag msg tools
uh...whose turn is it?
badge
I spent 100gg for this?!?!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Tanks!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Val Ruza
Canada
Elmira
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
citizen k wrote:
ahrules wrote:
.
Why is that?


It is the most popular / best selling segment of the hobby.


Plus it rocks!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher O
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Summer grasses / All that remains / Of soldiers' dreams. - Basho.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ahrules wrote:
It seems to me that every tactical system that I have played that ends up have several expansions, always starts with the Russians/Germans.
Why is that?

Squad Leader
ASL
Combat Commander (Americans were included also)
Conflict of Heroes
Fighting Formations
Etc.

These are examples, though there likely are others.
Any insight?

John S.


When you say "ETO" - that's commonly understood to mean "European Theatre of Operations" - but then you specify Russians vs. Germans (East Front).

Do you mean specifically the East Front of the ETO, or do you mean more generally European?

If you're specifying non-ETO, the sole tactical squad/platoon-level system exception I can think of off the top of my head is the Lock n' Load System which started in Viet Nam, moved to WWII, and has subsequently gone to the Mogadishu battles, the Falklands and a hypothetical 1985 NATO vs. Warsaw Pact conflict.

Firepower is a skirmish level (man-to-man) tactical game which has no specific setting aside from being post-WWII, but it technically is descended from Close Assault, which was... ETO.

If you're just saying non-East Front, Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles started in the Normandy campaign. Also, Fields of Fire starts in the Normandy campaign, then goes to Korea and Viet Nam.

As for "why", other people have covered it. ETO generally and East Front specifically sells much better than other settings.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
PAUL OCONNOR
United States
Encinitas
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Because thirty-five years later, everyone is still trying to better the experience of playing "Guards Counterattack" for the first time.
28 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kent Reuber
United States
San Mateo
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Nations at War Series started with West Front.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ethan McKinney
United States
El Segundo
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Yep, ATS (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgamefamily/112/advanced-to...) started with the ETO ... Oh, wait, no ...

Seriously, Pacific battles are harder to sell. The island assaults are annoyingly complicated, but have static Japanese defenders, the fighting in Burma and China is little-known to most Americans and Europeans (few can name a battle), and Guadalcanal is, well an OK topic. But, not one I'd pick to try to launch a successful series.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff K
United States
Garner
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
patton1138 wrote:

As for Tobruk, that's not actually a series. There are plenty of non-ETO tactical games out there, but almost every series begins in Europe, often the Russian Front. Yes, ATS eventually grew out of Tobruk, but that wasn't part of the original vision. In fact, if my memory of the relationship between the original game and the eventual series is correct, many of the changes to the ATS rules were precisely to 'de-DTO' the rules.


I disagree. While I agree that ATS mostly departed the Med for ETO, there is no question that the first title in the series was still set in NA. Also, Ray was a huge fan of Hock's, and has described countless times how ATS grew out of the older AH title, so I think its a difficult argument to disconnect the two. Ray's entire vision for ATS grew out of his devotion to Hock's system, and I think any tinkering was more than anything else an effort to integrate infantry into a system which was almost pure armor.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Windsor
United States
Fort Worth
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Seriously, Pacific battles are harder to sell. The island assaults are annoyingly complicated, but have static Japanese defenders, the fighting in Burma and China is little-known to most Americans and Europeans (few can name a battle), and Guadalcanal is, well an OK topic. But, not one I'd pick to try to launch a successful series.


Even when discussing the Pacific, we hardly mention the fighting in the Philippines in 1944 or any of the fighting in New Guinea. I've become really interested in the New Guinea fighting (just the idea of trying to get supplies up mountain trials in the jungle, on the equator makes me feel tired), but there are just not many games on the topic. (The Combat Commander module is a noted exception, but I didn't take to the system).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steven Mitchell
United States
New York
New York
flag msg tools
badge
I don't know what you have to say, it makes no difference anyway: whatever it is, I'm against it!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Xookliba wrote:
patton1138 wrote:

As for Tobruk, that's not actually a series. There are plenty of non-ETO tactical games out there, but almost every series begins in Europe, often the Russian Front. Yes, ATS eventually grew out of Tobruk, but that wasn't part of the original vision. In fact, if my memory of the relationship between the original game and the eventual series is correct, many of the changes to the ATS rules were precisely to 'de-DTO' the rules.


I disagree. While I agree that ATS mostly departed the Med for ETO, there is no question that the first title in the series was still set in NA. Also, Ray was a huge fan of Hock's, and has described countless times how ATS grew out of the older AH title, so I think its a difficult argument to disconnect the two. Ray's entire vision for ATS grew out of his devotion to Hock's system, and I think any tinkering was more than anything else an effort to integrate infantry into a system which was almost pure armor.


Oh certainly. Advanced Tobruk was definitely the first game in ATS, but that was largely because of historical reasons: i.e., the non-series game (Tobruk) which inspired the series was a desert game. Once ATS had successfully redone Tobruk, it went straight to the Eastern Front.

Not sure how clear my point is, but basically all I'm saying is that ATS beginning in the desert wasn't exactly a conscious decision, per se. More a product of circumstance.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Dorosh
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Tactical Wargamer's Journal
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
patton1138 wrote:
It also has to do with design reasons. For better or worse, correctly or not, the ETO is seen as normative so far as tactical doctrine goes.


This isn't correct in a real world sense.

Tactics are devised for the environment. The U.S. Marines trained out of their own manuals, which were different from the U.S. Army, and developed it as the Second World War went on.

The Japanese Army developed different tactical doctrine for their island defences, as opposed to the fighting in mainland China.

The British Army based its tactics in Italy on what it learned in the desert, not the other way around, i.e. what was learned in the continental fighting in France in 1940.

From a game design sense, other environments (desert, jungle, amphibious warfare) provide cascading effects in terms of new rules for terrain, nationalities, vehicles, etc., that make the games complicated and expensive in terms of components.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steven Mitchell
United States
New York
New York
flag msg tools
badge
I don't know what you have to say, it makes no difference anyway: whatever it is, I'm against it!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Michael Dorosh wrote:
patton1138 wrote:
It also has to do with design reasons. For better or worse, correctly or not, the ETO is seen as normative so far as tactical doctrine goes.


This isn't correct in a real world sense. . . . From a game design sense, other environments (desert, jungle, amphibious warfare) provide cascading effects in terms of new rules for terrain, nationalities, vehicles, etc., that make the games complicated and expensive in terms of components.


Right. I didn't mean to imply a real-world sense. Only a game-design sense. Which I why I hope to someday see a tactical ruleset truly designed with PTO in mind.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brent Pollock
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Aside from 'sales', as has been mentioned, it also was the majority of the war based on numbers alone. I love the Normandy/Battle of Britain/Bomber Command stuff but it was small potatoes compared to the numbers involved out in the eastern ETO.

ahrules wrote:
It seems to me that every tactical system that I have played that ends up have several expansions, always starts with the Russians/Germans.
Why is that?

Squad Leader
ASL
Combat Commander (Americans were included also)
Conflict of Heroes
Fighting Formations
Etc.

These are examples, though there likely are others.
Any insight?

John S.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Was George Orwell an Optimist?
United States
Corvallis
Oregon
flag msg tools
Jackie McLean - Let Freedom Ring
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There seems to be an implicit assumption that any tactical systems of interest will be WWII-based. My own favored tactical systems are set in earlier eras.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David DeThorne
United States
Kalamazoo
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
ahrules wrote:
It seems to me that every tactical system that I have played that ends up have several expansions, always starts with the Russians/Germans.
Why is that?

Squad Leader
ASL
Combat Commander (Americans were included also)
Conflict of Heroes
Fighting Formations
Etc.

These are examples, though there likely are others.
Any insight?

John S.


You mean, other than the ones about paratroopers in Normandy in 1944?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David DeThorne
United States
Kalamazoo
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
mwindsor wrote:

Even when discussing the Pacific, we hardly mention the fighting in the Philippines in 1944 or any of the fighting in New Guinea. I've become really interested in the New Guinea fighting (just the idea of trying to get supplies up mountain trials in the jungle, on the equator makes me feel tired), but there are just not many games on the topic. (The Combat Commander module is a noted exception, but I didn't take to the system).


Seems to me it's not just the tactical level PTO that's not getting the love.

OP, I'm with you.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Enrico Viglino
United States
Eugene
OR
flag msg tools
Slowed - BGG's moderation policies have driven me partially from here
badge
http://thegamebox.byethost15.com/smf/
Avatar
mb
Sphere wrote:
There seems to be an implicit assumption that any tactical systems of interest will be WWII-based. My own favored tactical systems are set in earlier eras.


Even most of those are ETO-based first though. :D
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
stuart glanvville
United Kingdom
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
goldenboat wrote:
Because thirty-five years later, everyone is still trying to better the experience of playing "Guards Counterattack" for the first time.


this..
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Canada
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
Quote:
Once ATS had successfully redone Tobruk, it went straight to the Eastern Front.


Not exactly. D-Day Rangers and Against All Odds predated the release of any Eastern Front ATS, but not by much.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.