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Subject: Stalingrad Campaign Questions rss

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Les Haskell
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Finally got around to playing something from Battle Pack #2. We've played a few games using RSG and have had a blast. My opponent asked if I wanted to play a scenario or do another RSG and I suggested Stalingrad because I thought that playing in a factory or some other city environment would be a nice change of pace from hills and open ground. Then he suggested the Campaign Game and I thought that sounded great (I hadn't read the rules for it yet). So we set up for the first battle on the hill with all that open ground (not that I'm complaining - it's just the irony).

We're almost finished and I'm winning by a large margin (casualties x 2vp) and it looks like I have a pretty good chance of decisively winning on the second game (if I don't it will probably be a long, grueling campaign which will be fun, too).

I have a couple of questions, though.

First, on the Campaign Forces table the German Command Platoon has an Initiative of 1. This seems low (a German Rifle Platoon with the second lowest initiative?). Is this a typo or is it supposed to be 1?

Secondly, I assume that Captains Vogel and Melekhov cannot be picked as reinforcements since they are the Leaders of the Command Platoons. Is that correct?

And thirdly, the first sentence in Section C3.5 says "one or more Campaign Platoons", but the rest of the section makes it clear that you are only picking one platoon. Is the first sentence incorrect?

Thanks in advance for any answers. Having a blast with this.
 
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Chuck Meeks
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I can answer the initiative part of your question. The "1" initiative is your base number to start figuring out who starts the game with the initiative. As you add units to your forces, you add the "+#" to the total. The highest total gets the card.

Example Using Germans:

Command Platoon 1

Add in Rifle Platoon B +6

Add in Pioneer Platoon +10

Total 17

The Russian player gets the initiative card if his total is higher.

It is talked about in 9 on page 8 of the rule book.

I believe you are correct about the Command Platoon.

The question regarding the picking of only one platoon, I think is saying that you can get only one per scenario but you can save them and deploy multiple platoons in later scenarios. Not so sure about that though.
 
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Les Haskell
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Yeah, I know how Initiative works. To me it seems unrealistically low. In just about every Eastern Front game I've ever played, with everything else being relatively equal, there always seems to be at least two general situations that are consistently consistent all the time every time. One is the that there are always more Russians than Germans, and two, is that the Germans have a higher initiative rating. To me this is as strange as giving the German platoons five squads and the Russian platoons only three squads. So I was wondering if this is a typo or a design decision.

Rolling to add Campaign Platoons to the Divisional Resource Pool is a distinctly separate step from choosing Campaign Platoons from the Divisional Resource Pool.
 
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Chuck Meeks
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Sorry I misunderstood your question about initiative.

Maybe it is modeling that the Russians had a more centralized command structure, ie the Russian troops were not going to do anything without orders from the cammand platoon. High Command Platoon initiative and low platoon initiative.

The Germans were less centralized and a command platoon was not going to go out on its own, but when combined with other platoons it became a lot more brave and effective. Hence, low Command Platoon initiative and high platoon initiative.

Or maybe it is like that just to keep things somewhat equal to maintain game balance.

I am not sure what you mean about the Germans getting five squads and the Russians getting only three. My table has that the other way around.

I read the one or more Campaign Platoons for use in a future battle to mean you can accumulate them over multiple scenarios. But you only get one added per scenario, if they are available.
 
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Les Haskell
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I was pointing out that it would not be consistent with what we know and what we usually see modeled in an East Front war game to have German platoons with more squads than the Russian platoons get.

When we were first setting up the game we weren't surprised that every Russian platoon had more squads than their German equivalents. What surprised us was that the German Command Platoon had an initiative of 1. I would have expected it to be a 10 (the Russian Command Platoon has an 8). So I figure that this is either a design decision to give the Russians the initiative when there are fewer or equal numbers of German platoons (it IS Stalingrad) or a simple typo. Having worked in the printing industry most of my life I know how easy it is for everybody to miss a typo.

I should work for every game company as a proof-reader to ask these questions before the games go to production. I guarantee there would be fewer typos.
 
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Cindy Nowak
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ZombyDawg wrote:
I should work for every game company as a proof-reader to ask these questions before the games go to production. I guarantee there would be fewer typos.


I think you will find that this is not a typo. I'm sure Chad will chime in with the explanation you are overlooking. First and foremost, this is NOT
ZombyDawg wrote:
just about every Eastern Front game I've ever played, with everything else being relatively equal
.

Chad has very detailed and rationalized reasons behind every element of the game.
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Les Haskell
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scoutmom wrote:
ZombyDawg wrote:
I should work for every game company as a proof-reader to ask these questions before the games go to production. I guarantee there would be fewer typos.


I think you will find that this is not a typo. I'm sure Chad will chime in with the explanation you are overlooking. First and foremost, this is NOT
ZombyDawg wrote:
just about every Eastern Front game I've ever played, with everything else being relatively equal
.

Chad has very detailed and rationalized reasons behind every element of the game.


Combat Commander: Europe is one of the games I was referring to. If you use the RSG you will see that when everything else is equal, the Germans have fewer troops and higher initiative than the Russians. Even on the rest of the Stalingrad platoon chart, the German equivalents of the Russian platoons all have higher initiative. Except the Command Platoon which has a 1.
 
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Les Haskell
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My guess is that if this is not a typo it is some sort of "Battlefield Integrity" (to borrow a term from another game), or in other words a way to show the degradation of the morale of an entire force (specifically the Germans) over the course of the campaign.

When the German resource pool gets depleted and they can field little more than the cadre of the Command Platoon, they will rarely have the initiative in individual battles. As I stated parenthetically earlier, this IS Stalingrad.
 
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Chad Jensen
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You're reading too much intent into what initiative represents. Initiative on OBs is simply a function of what percentage of the whole number (rounded to the nearest tenth) remains after all the point values for the individual pieces have been added up and divided by 100. Initiative is not an assignment of combat effectiveness (though values greater 9 do indicate a nudge in that direction: "10" for example translates into "0" with +1 point value).

In the case of the Command Platoon, because *every* battle begins with this formation, it needs no Point Value -- thus both Command Platoons have a set "value" of zero, with their Initiative values representing the net difference in actual point value between the two formations.

Another function in this particular case is that one side needed to start with an odd-numbered initiative and the other even-numbered so that there could never be a tie.
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Chad Jensen
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ZombyDawg wrote:
When the German resource pool gets depleted and they can field little more than the cadre of the Command Platoon, they will rarely have the initiative in individual battles.

Indeed. The German player may wish to end the campaign before it gets to that point....
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Les Haskell
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Chad Jensen wrote:
You're reading too much intent into what initiative represents. Initiative on OBs is simply a function of what percentage of the whole number (rounded to the nearest tenth) remains after all the point values for the individual pieces have been added up and divided by 100. Initiative is not an assignment of combat effectiveness (though values greater 9 do indicate a nudge in that direction: "10" for example translates into "0" with +1 point value).

In the case of the Command Platoon, because *every* battle begins with this formation, it needs no Point Value -- thus both Command Platoons have a set "value" of zero, with their Initiative values representing the net difference in actual point value between the two formations.

Another function in this particular case is that one side needed to start with an odd-numbered initiative and the other even-numbered so that there could never be a tie.


Call me dense, but I'm not quite getting the math behind the net difference. How do you determine the "actual point value".
 
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Les Haskell
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Komodo wrote:

I read the one or more Campaign Platoons for use in a future battle to mean you can accumulate them over multiple scenarios. But you only get one added per scenario, if they are available.


C3.5 lets you attempt to receive one more Campaign Platoon to be available in the Regimental Resource Pool (but there is no "or more"). C1.5.4 lets you add as many Campaign Platoons already available in the RRP as you want.
 
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Les Haskell
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Chad Jensen wrote:
ZombyDawg wrote:
When the German resource pool gets depleted and they can field little more than the cadre of the Command Platoon, they will rarely have the initiative in individual battles.

Indeed. The German player may wish to end the campaign before it gets to that point....


Good thing it is a game so that the "German" can actually end the campaign at that point.
 
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Chad Jensen
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ZombyDawg wrote:
How do you determine the "actual point value".

*You* don't need to -- that work's already been done for you.

If you want details, though, refer to pages 6-7 in the CC:Med playbook.
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Chad Jensen
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ZombyDawg wrote:
Good thing it is a game so that the "German" can actually end the campaign at that point.

It seems to me you are waaay over emphasizing the importance of the Initiative number. Unless I've forgotten something, all it does is determine which side begins a game in possession of the Initiative card: an altogether minor part of a much greater whole -- hardly worth conceding over.
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Les Haskell
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Chad Jensen wrote:
ZombyDawg wrote:
Good thing it is a game so that the "German" can actually end the campaign at that point.

It seems to me you are waaay over emphasizing the importance of the Initiative number. Unless I've forgotten something, all it does is determine which side begins a game in possession of the Initiative card: an altogether minor part of a much greater whole -- hardly worth conceding over.


You misunderstand me. This comment is comparing the fate of a German player facing a deteriorating situation in the campaign game to that of a real German soldier in the actual battle. The real soldier couldn't "concede" to make it end no matter how bad it got.
 
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Tim McCarron
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ZombyDawg wrote:

This comment is comparing the fate of a German player facing a deteriorating situation in the campaign game to that of a real German soldier in the actual battle. The real soldier couldn't "concede" to make it end no matter how bad it got.


Huh?

So according to history nobody ever gave up until after a campaign was totally over is what you are saying then? That's news to me! Somehow I don't think you are being clear in what you mean
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Les Haskell
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travillaintim wrote:
ZombyDawg wrote:

This comment is comparing the fate of a German player facing a deteriorating situation in the campaign game to that of a real German soldier in the actual battle. The real soldier couldn't "concede" to make it end no matter how bad it got.


Huh?

So according to history nobody ever gave up until after a campaign was totally over is what you are saying then? That's news to me! Somehow I don't think you are being clear in what you mean


No. I'm saying that the German soldiers were stuck in Stalingrad and did not have the luxury of conceding to escape the hell they were in. Out of the whole 6th Army barely 6000 ever got out of Russia. Even surrendering didn't ease their suffering. Unless you want to count suicide as "conceding".
 
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Les Haskell
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ZombyDawg wrote:
Komodo wrote:

I read the one or more Campaign Platoons for use in a future battle to mean you can accumulate them over multiple scenarios. But you only get one added per scenario, if they are available.


C3.5 lets you attempt to receive one more Campaign Platoon to be available in the Regimental Resource Pool (but there is no "or more"). C1.5.4 lets you add as many Campaign Platoons already available in the RRP as you want.


I think we are both getting this wrong. I've looked at this quite a bit and I think the designer's intent is clearly shown in the Campaign Overview where it says:

Next, they decide either to draw upon immediate resources from the "Regimental Resource Pool" or make a request for future resources from the "Divisional Reserves".

I think that as we are looking for the step-by-step procedure of things to do between battles we only go to the numbered sections to find out what the next step is. It doesn't help that the next step is actually in two separate sections and the unifying concept is in the overview. While it is incumbent on the game-player to read all of the rules, I think an editing choice that would better facilitate the players' understanding would have been to incorporate Section C3.5 into Section C1.5.4 and include the above sentence from the Overview. I may catch a firestorm of crap for having the audacity to make such a suggestion, but I think that would communicate the designer's intent more clearly. I think a lot of players may be missing it.
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Les Haskell
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I am continuing to assume that Captains Vogel and Melekhov cannot be picked as reinforcements since they are the Leaders of the Command Platoons. I can't see how that could be otherwise. However, should they be counted in the number of "survivors" used to determine reinforcements?

Since they are "survivors" I count them, and then I remove them.
 
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Les Haskell
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Chad Jensen wrote:
ZombyDawg wrote:
Good thing it is a game so that the "German" can actually end the campaign at that point.

It seems to me you are waaay over emphasizing the importance of the Initiative number. Unless I've forgotten something, all it does is determine which side begins a game in possession of the Initiative card: an altogether minor part of a much greater whole -- hardly worth conceding over.


You forgot to include your own quote where you suggest that the Germans concede at that point.
 
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Chad Jensen
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ZombyDawg wrote:
Chad Jensen wrote:
ZombyDawg wrote:
Good thing it is a game so that the "German" can actually end the campaign at that point.

It seems to me you are waaay over emphasizing the importance of the Initiative number. Unless I've forgotten something, all it does is determine which side begins a game in possession of the Initiative card: an altogether minor part of a much greater whole -- hardly worth conceding over.


You forgot to include your own quote where you suggest that the Germans concede at that point.

*sigh* no; I didn't. The post was a reference to trying to win the campaign sooner rather than later (read: the more protracted the campaign the less one or both sides is going to have to work with)
 
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Les Haskell
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Chad Jensen wrote:
ZombyDawg wrote:
Chad Jensen wrote:
ZombyDawg wrote:
Good thing it is a game so that the "German" can actually end the campaign at that point.

It seems to me you are waaay over emphasizing the importance of the Initiative number. Unless I've forgotten something, all it does is determine which side begins a game in possession of the Initiative card: an altogether minor part of a much greater whole -- hardly worth conceding over.


You forgot to include your own quote where you suggest that the Germans concede at that point.

*sigh* no; I didn't. The post was a reference to trying to win the campaign sooner rather than later (read: the more protracted the campaign the less one or both sides is going to have to work with)


*sigh* That was the point that I had made.
 
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Les Haskell
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Chad Jensen wrote:
ZombyDawg wrote:
When the German resource pool gets depleted and they can field little more than the cadre of the Command Platoon, they will rarely have the initiative in individual battles.

Indeed. The German player may wish to end the campaign before it gets to that point....
 
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Les Haskell
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Chad Jensen wrote:
ZombyDawg wrote:
How do you determine the "actual point value".

*You* don't need to -- that work's already been done for you.

If you want details, though, refer to pages 6-7 in the CC:Med playbook.


Thanks. I was using the wrong values to figure it out and was ending up with nonsense.

You are correct in saying that I was putting way too much emphasis on Initiative, but I was really searching for "conceptual continuity". Your answer has provided that.

By the way, I agree with you on Mary Ann. I bet you liked Bailey better, too.
 
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