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Subject: Designer Jim Krohn Leaks Some Details on the Next Module rss

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Christopher O
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Jim Krohn wrote:
I suppose I can leak some information now...

First, as WG announced, they are not going to put something up for pre-order until they are sure they can deliver within a pretty specific window - which is why you are not seeing a page for pre-order for Ghost Panzer yet.

Second, after extensive conversations with the Worthies, we decided to make Band of Brothers: Ghost Panzer a stand alone game. Without going into all the details, there are some good reasons for us to do this - it is something that WG felt strongly about. Future games in the series will likely be dependent on one or both of Screaming Eagles and Ghost Panzer, but Ghost Panzer will be independent (you wont need Screaming Eagles to play it).

That was a change that tied me up a little because I needed to redesign scenarios, come up with a couple of new boards, etc. I had originally planned Ghost Panzer as dependent. I'm completely done with the redesign and I am just playtesting the modified scenarios.

Also, I (hope I) have grown as a designer and I am incorporating some new features into Ghost Panzer:

There will be two training scenarios - one for infantry and one for tanks. They are quick scenarios that are meant to teach new players the system, but are surprisingly fun to play.

I have added "Force Exchanges" to the scenarios. In each scenario, one or both players may trade part of their force for something else (before the scenario starts). For example - trading squads for an AT gun and decoys. The possible change is almost always such that your opponent wont know that you made the exchange until they encounter it. The idea is to add more variety and more unknown.

I have added two optional rules for additional realism. I don't normally play with them, but I like them enough to put them at the end of the rule book. BoB is kind of at a sweet spot for me right now in terms of complexity. However, I know that tastes vary and these are some rules that I like (and work well) so I thought I would include them for others to use if they desire.


(cross-posted from this post at CSW by Jim Krohn)

Ahem.

*squeeeee!!!*

*clears throat*
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Jens Hoppe
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Sounds great! I love the idea of force exchanges.

What are the two optional rules about?
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Nathan James
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Excellent. Force exchanges sound like they can add a LOT of replayability and excitement to the scenarios. I know I'm not the only one that wants to play BoB as more of a sandbox for WWII tactical combat. This can go a long way towards that.

The biggest thing I'm looking forward to in expansions is simply to get more various unit counters. Eventually I hope there are some standard US Army squads available. It was really a shame to get half a sheet of blank counters in the box. Maybe after Ghost Panzer we can get small expansions with just unit counters and boards.

I also hope that Ghost Panzer will be better at communicating the rules and modifiers. The guns + vehicles rules were really hard for me to work through. The trouble was not being able to clearly see what the differences are between all the different attack types. It feels like the exceptions are scattered throughout the section. Now that I've written step-by-step instructions for them, I know none of the processes are complicated.
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Jonathan Harrison
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NJames wrote:
I also hope that Ghost Panzer will be better at communicating the rules and modifiers. The guns + vehicles rules were really hard for me to work through. The trouble was not being able to clearly see what the differences are between all the different attack types. It feels like the exceptions are scattered throughout the section. Now that I've written step-by-step instructions for them, I know none of the processes are complicated.

Interested in posting these? hint, hint
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Sean McCormick
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Excellent news. The force tailoring sounds like an excellent way to inject some critical randomness into proceedings, which can be a real bugbear for tactical games with set scenarios. I would also love to see you incorporate some of the variable and shifting victory conditions and turn endings that Combat Commander uses to such good effect.
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Jim Krohn
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Quote:
I would also love to see you incorporate some of the variable and shifting victory conditions and turn endings that Combat Commander uses to such good effect.


It's probably too late in the game to do anything with that in this module, although it is an interesting idea.
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Sean McCormick
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Jim Krohn wrote:
Quote:
I would also love to see you incorporate some of the variable and shifting victory conditions and turn endings that Combat Commander uses to such good effect.


It's probably too late in the game to do anything with that in this module, although it is an interesting idea.


Yeah, I figured. It's the one area where Combat Commander stands head and shoulders over every other tactical game in the market, though the implementation can sometimes lead to gamey decisions (like firing low odds shots in an attempt to run out the clock).

Anyway, Ghost Panzer is a day one preorder.
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Jim Krohn wrote:
Second, after extensive conversations with the Worthies, we decided to make Band of Brothers: Ghost Panzer a stand alone game. Without going into all the details, there are some good reasons for us to do this - it is something that WG felt strongly about. Future games in the series will likely be dependent on one or both of Screaming Eagles and Ghost Panzer, but Ghost Panzer will be independent (you wont need Screaming Eagles to play it).


This poses an interesting question that I'll direct at Jim.

Do you intend BoB to be a complete series like ASL or more of stand alone games? I gather from your response above you're leaning towards the series answer.

The reason I ask is that I would love to have BoB develop a community that does third party mods and scenarios like ASL. I just think you need to give us more "toys" before we can get there.

One other question that's really just a pipe dream. Do you ever envision doing something like a HASL scenario/campaign like Red Barricades complete with experience gains and losses? I think if you did this you would easily be looking at a game that would break the top ten war games.
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Jim Krohn
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You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
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Quote:
Yeah, I figured. It's the one area where Combat Commander stands head and shoulders over every other tactical game in the market, though the implementation can sometimes lead to gamey decisions (like firing low odds shots in an attempt to run out the clock).


Yeah, that's the rub, isn't it? I'm familiar with what you are talking about in CC. It is very difficult to do a variable ending without making it gamey.

Maybe I just need to think about it more. Of course, if anybody on BGG has an idea, I'm open. I always listen to ideas.

Quote:
Do you intend BoB to be a complete series like ASL or more of stand alone games? I gather from your response above you're leaning towards the series answer.


I would love to make this complete. I always felt that BoB could cover anything from the Spanish Civil War up thru Korea. However, I recently had a series of epiphanies on how to do modern combat with some alterations to the BoB system. It is still too early yet and I haven't done really any playtesting on it (Ghost Panzer first), but that should confirm that I would love to expand the system.

Quote:
The reason I ask is that I would love to have BoB develop a community that does third party mods and scenarios like ASL. I just think you need to give us more "toys" before we can get there.


That I would support. I'll keep working on toys.

Quote:
One other question that's really just a pipe dream. Do you ever envision doing something like a HASL scenario/campaign like Red Barricades complete with experience gains and losses? I think if you did this you would easily be looking at a game that would break the top ten war games.


Red Barricades is a great example. BoB is a very robust system that is easy to hang things on. I would love to do that - however, as you say, the toys need to come first.
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David Janik-Jones
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Great War Commander, Cats were once worshipped as gods and they haven't forgotten this, Combat Commander Europe, The Raven King (game publisher) ... that's me!, Combat Commander Pacific
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Happy, happy, happy! My pre-order money is already set aside and burning a hole in my pocket.
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Stand alone...yeah! This approach will keep the set up quick even as the system grows.
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Quote:
However, I recently had a series of epiphanies on how to do modern combat with some alterations to the BoB system. It is still too early yet and I haven't done really any playtesting on it (Ghost Panzer first), but that should confirm that I would love to expand the system.


AWESOME! The BoB model should make it relatively easy to show modern combat, as the casualty numbers can be increased to show the greater dispersion used since the increase in firepower due to more automatic weapons.

I eagerly await any post 1945 BoB title, and would like to vote for either Vietnam, Falklands or Arab-Israeli wars
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brian asklev aursen wrote:
Quote:
However, I recently had a series of epiphanies on how to do modern combat with some alterations to the BoB system. It is still too early yet and I haven't done really any playtesting on it (Ghost Panzer first), but that should confirm that I would love to expand the system.


AWESOME! The BoB model should make it relatively easy to show modern combat, as the casualty numbers can be increased to show the greater dispersion used since the increase in firepower due to more automatic weapons.

I eagerly await any post 1945 BoB title, and would like to vote for either Vietnam, Falklands or Arab-Israeli wars

Vietnam and Arab–Israeli wars would do it perfectly for me.
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seanmac wrote:
Jim Krohn wrote:
Quote:
I would also love to see you incorporate some of the variable and shifting victory conditions and turn endings that Combat Commander uses to such good effect.


It's probably too late in the game to do anything with that in this module, although it is an interesting idea.


Yeah, I figured. It's the one area where Combat Commander stands head and shoulders over every other tactical game in the market, though the implementation can sometimes lead to gamey decisions (like firing low odds shots in an attempt to run out the clock).



Agreed. Gamey and tedious.
 
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Colin Houghton
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I'm not sure I really have the passport to contribute to this thread as I haven't yet got BoB Screaming Eagles in my hot little mits yet (it should be delivered in next few days).

However I too am looking for a game system which hits the spot. I've been a devotee of ASL, but it became a monster, and Conflict of Heroes became just too unrealistic in some respects, despite excellent boards and counters. I don't want figures, so Tide of Iron and Memoir 44 are out- hence my purchase of BoB.

I do like the proposed amendments planned for Ghost Panzer. Trading some of your forces for different forces sounds like a good way to extend scenario life, and let you experiement with different counters in a scenario you like, and maybe get a force that works well with your own preferred tactics.

Will the counters and/or the boards of BoB Screaming Eagles be compatible with Ghost Panzer, or is Eagles just going to be a one-off closed game, that was a stepping stone in development, and we should all focus on Ghost Panzer for the game system of the future?

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Jim Krohn
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You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
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or is Eagles just going to be a one-off closed game,


No, the plan is to make a unified series.
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Brian Berg Asklev Hansen
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Jim: Could you reveal some details of Ghost Panzer? I am very interested in how the Soviet infantry and tanks are rated.

Brian
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Jim Krohn
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You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
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The Soviet tanks are quite formidable in terms of firepower and armor. However, their Proficiency rating is lower than their German counter parts. This is partially due to training and doctrine and partially due to deficiencies in their vehicles. Early Russian tanks often had no radios and had small turrets so that the tank commander had to do double duty.

There are several different flavors of Russian infantry. In general they have the same morale rating as German troops, but are poor in the other ratings. This really makes an impact in how you play the game. Russian infantry often outnumbers the Germans. I'm very pleased how it plays out. You really do get some massed charges and some atrocious casualties. It is a different feel from the Western Front.

Some of the additional flavors of Russian infantry include two different types of late war squads (the Russians worked toward having half of their squads having an extra MG), submachine gun squads (a quasi-elite within the Russian line infantry), and ATR squads (they have minimal ability to kill tanks, but they are more important in scenarios where Germans have half tracks).
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Brian Berg Asklev Hansen
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sounds very cool Jim, but could you reveal some specific unit stats instead of teasing us with cool background info?
 
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Jim Krohn
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Soon, but not yet.

I can't imagine that I would make any changes at this point, but as I am still playtesting, I suppose I shouldn't reveal them yet.
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Colin Houghton
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Jim, you take your time mate! Don't want anything rushed or not play-tested sufficiently.

There are 16/18 scenarios in BoB to work through, and I'm hoping to see some others created by fans of the game soon!

 
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Quote:
I have added "Force Exchanges" to the scenarios. In each scenario, one or both players may trade part of their force for something else (before the scenario starts). For example - trading squads for an AT gun and decoys. The possible change is almost always such that your opponent wont know that you made the exchange until they encounter it. The idea is to add more variety and more unknown.


This kind of system (will it be point based ?) will be really a great help to create new scenarios !
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Brian Berg Asklev Hansen
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I have recently played scenarios 5,6 and 7 from Screaming Eagles after a (too) long break from BoB.

It reminded me about how much better BoB is than any other tactical series I play, and made me more impatient with the release of vol.2 :)

How is Ghost Panzer progressing?

Do you have any scenario previews to satisfy us impatient nagging gamers? :)

Brian
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brian asklev aursen wrote:
I have recently played scenarios 5,6 and 7 from Screaming Eagles after a (too) long break from BoB.

It reminded me about how much better BoB is than any other tactical series I play, and made me more impatient with the release of vol.2

How is Ghost Panzer progressing?

Do you have any scenario previews to satisfy us impatient nagging gamers?

Brian


Jim is busy getting Close Encounters ready - do NOT distract him!
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