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Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe» Forums » General

Subject: Preorders < 500 rss

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Paolo D'Ulisse
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I've just read the rules for this game and they look cool!...
So my question is: why The Supreme Commander made the cut and this one is still at 367?!
What does tSC have that is cooler than this one?! cool
 
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Salvatore Vasta
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collezionista wrote:
I've just read the rules for this game and they look cool!...
So my question is: why The Supreme Commander made the cut and this one is still at 367?!
What does tSC have that is cooler than this one?! cool


Grazie, Paolo. I believe SC has been on P500 for at least one year longer than USE. As for any other reason, it would be speculation on my part.

Sal
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Paolo D'Ulisse
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svasta wrote:
collezionista wrote:
I've just read the rules for this game and they look cool!...
So my question is: why The Supreme Commander made the cut and this one is still at 367?!
What does tSC have that is cooler than this one?! cool


Grazie, Paolo. I believe SC has been on P500 for at least one year longer than USE. As for any other reason, it would be speculation on my part.

Sal


Di niente Sal... origini italiane?
This game really seems great!... and, by the way I've just bought TK and DS (I've followed their developing in the last years...) and those games are great too! Now if only I could fully understand the "Support" mechanic... cool
 
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Salvatore Vasta
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collezionista wrote:

Di niente Sal... origini italiane?
This game really seems great!... and, by the way I've just bought TK and DS (I've followed their developing in the last years...) and those games are great too! Now if only I could fully understand the "Support" mechanic... cool


Si, family origins are from Sicily. Look at Sicily on the USE map. And given Sicily's history, I probably have ancestors from all over Europe and the Middle East.

The learning curve for TK/DS can be high because there are a lot of nuances in the definitions of certain words and mechanics. The mechanics, themselves, are fairly easy.

Sal
 
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Sean McCormick
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I'll be preordering shortly, as I'm intrigued by what I've seen of the design. That said, I'd like to set up a Geeklist where the designers of the different upcoming ETO games (there are at least four that I'm aware of) can come on and explain what is unique about their approach to the subject matter. These titles are invariably going to compete with each other for gamers' limited dollars, and it would be nice to have that information handy.

I know that if a game is going to run as long as USE's playtime suggests, it needs to have something dynamic in its modeling of ground combat to justify that. What does it provide that a more theater-specific approach does not?
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Salvatore Vasta
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seanmac wrote:
I'll be preordering shortly, as I'm intrigued by what I've seen of the design.


Thank you.

seanmac wrote:
That said, I'd like to set up a Geeklist where the designers of the different upcoming ETO games (there are at least four that I'm aware of) can come on and explain what is unique about their approach to the subject matter. These titles are invariably going to compete with each other for gamers' limited dollars, and it would be nice to have that information handy.


Having the titles and their descriptions in one place would be nice. It will help to inform gamers of other options out there.

seanmac wrote:
I know that if a game is going to run as long as USE's playtime suggests, it needs to have something dynamic in its modeling of ground combat to justify that. What does it provide that a more theater-specific approach does not?


Hmm, when I think theater-specific, I envision an operational level game of corps and maybe divisions. USE is entirely army level. Germany has some armies that do not have an historical equivalent which probably represent corps more so than armies, but that's the exception. I decided to label them armies for uniformity across the game.

I find USE to be very dynamic because of its integrated combat/movement and single army activation systems. Consider the opening of Barbarossa. After the German air has suppressed their Russian counterparts, the Axis player now activates one of its armies to move and fight.

What does it choose; an infantry army to open a hole for a panzer army to later exploit and penetrate deep into Russia, or a panzer army to put a hole in the line and then try to roll up the Russian line with a series of attacks against trapped Russian armies?

Whichever it chooses, that army does its all its movement and combat actions before the next German army activates. So the Axis player may have one army be very successful, but it doesn't know if the next one can keep up. This means a player must be flexible in their plans as the ground action unfolds before them.

What keeps it uncertain and dynamic is the interactive combat system and CRT, which, for every combat, has 36 attacker/defender die roll combinations to arrive at one of five possible combat results. Accomplished very easily by having the attacker and defender each roll 1d6 and cross-referencing their rolls on the CRT.

The combat system is interactive in that for each attack (and an army may attack multiple times in a single activation), both players have the chance to add additional elements into it, e.g. air support, ULTRA, tanks. So even within an attack there is tension in the decision making.

Now a Germany panzer army with air support is likely to cut through a Russian infantry army, but it may not. That Russian army may survive long enough to keep a panzer army from achieving its objective, or may even end up with an heroic defense that stops the panzers cold. USE's combat has no guarantees (well, except in extreme cases).

Not sure if this answers your question. If not, please ask in more specific terms.

Off topic: Where in Brooklyn, Sean?

Sal

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Sean McCormick
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Was Windsor Terrace, is currently Gravesneck, and as of next month will be Philadelphia. Whereabouts are you?

My issue with scale is this. You are dealing with very different campaign scales in the ETO--obviously Russia is a whole different animal from North Africa or Italy. I think that many ETO games try to handle all the theaters with a one size fits all approach, which is fine, so long as they have a reasonable playing time. If you end up with an ETO game that has a very long playing time, and where one of the draws becomes the availability of a lot of scenarios covering different campaigns, then on some level I begin to wonder what that approach offers over a theater level game. I say that in part because, as you have remarked, a lot of the ETO games are essentially operational in nature, even though the scale /timeframe isn't particularly suitable. USE uses the Army as the basic unit, which is a good decision at this scale. In that case, the scenarios should model the decision making processes one up the chain at the Army Group level. You think, "What considerations does an Army Group commander have to make?" and then take it from there.

One area that I think can get lost in ETO games that is really important is the logistical model. How does it work in USE?
 
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Salvatore Vasta
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seanmac wrote:
Was Windsor Terrace, is currently Gravesneck, and as of next month will be Philadelphia. Whereabouts are you?


Used to live in Bensonhurst some time back, now in Woodstock, VA (not that concert place in NY).

seanmac wrote:
My issue with scale is this. You are dealing with very different campaign scales in the ETO--obviously Russia is a whole different animal from North Africa or Italy. I think that many ETO games try to handle all the theaters with a one size fits all approach, which is fine, so long as they have a reasonable playing time. If you end up with an ETO game that has a very long playing time, and where one of the draws becomes the availability of a lot of scenarios covering different campaigns, then on some level I begin to wonder what that approach offers over a theater level game. I say that in part because, as you have remarked, a lot of the ETO games are essentially operational in nature, even though the scale /timeframe isn't particularly suitable. USE uses the Army as the basic unit, which is a good decision at this scale. In that case, the scenarios should model the decision making processes one up the chain at the Army Group level. You think, "What considerations does an Army Group commander have to make?" and then take it from there.


I see. Hmm, how to address this? In my mind, a USE player mainly operates two levels above the ground scale. Rather than Army Group commander, it's more like a Front commander or High Command. USE players decide where to project force, what intensity, and how to respond to counter moves while considering a whole front.

Yes, you have to move armies around to take ground and keep in mind what the enemy can do, but it is mainly at a high level because in a game in which Army Group North for Barbarossa is only three ground units and one air unit, there is not of small unit decisions to make.

In a theater scenario such as France 1940, USE isn't very detailed. The space is tight and the armies plentiful. However, the France 1940 is a fairly quick scenario to play. The long playing time listed for USE is an estimate for the whole war scenario.

The multiple scenarios in USE are there for players to experience the game before trying the campaign scenario, or to provide shorter playing time alternatives. I'm not going to try to make a case that playing, say the Balkans 1941 scenario, is going to give players a rich taste of the complexities of that campaign. No one is going to play the invasion of Norway in USE and come away with a true sense of how that campaign was fought.

USE is, foremost, designed around the campaign scenario. In that regard, it does follow a one size fits all philosophy. My take is that I just tried to use a different size than most other games. It also tries it with relatively unique and simple mechanics. The hope is that players quickly learn the game and feel they are fighting each other rather than the rules.

seanmac wrote:
One area that I think can get lost in ETO games that is really important is the logistical model. How does it work in USE?


The logistics are simple. If one is looking for OCS style supply, look elsewhere. I'm not knocking OCS, it's just that when I tried a more complicated system in USE, it didn't work well with its scale.

A unit traces to a rail or road line and then back to a city in its home country (or if it is close enough, traces directly to the city). If it can trace, it has full supply.

If a unit cannot trace, it drops from full supply to low supply (resulting in decreased movement allowance, a negative combat DRM, and cannot receive replacements). From low supply it goes to no supply (resulting in worse combat effects, attrition, and eventually elimination).

If tracing supply across the sea, it requires the use of a convoy. As a naval unit, the convoy has a finite number of activations within a turn, which are tracked with Sorties markers. Basically, once a naval unit hits 6 Sorties, it can no longer activate in the turn.

Each ground or air unit that uses the convoy to supply, requires a separate activation by the convoy. Assuming no combat occurs, each activation incurs 1 Sortie. If combat occurs, that is applied as additional Sorties upon the convoy (thereby reducing the number of units it can trace supply for).

The catch with the Sorties system is that the most Sorties that can be removed in a turn is two. So a fresh convoy starting with no Sorties and not being intercepted at all could supply six ground units in that turn (at which point it will have accumulated 6 Sorties) . However, recovering only two that turn means for the following turn the maximum number of units it can supply is two (again assuming no interception).

With the above, the Axis could send Army Group South to Africa, but good luck trying to supply them. And that's before one considers the effort it takes to naval transport them there in the first place. Which is basically the same way it supplies them. Each army requires a convoy activate and ship them across. So on the turn one German ground unit leaves Italy to land in Africa, a convoy incurs 2 Sorties (one for transport and one for supply - again, assuming neither action is intercepted in any way by the Allies).

Sal
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