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Nuklear Winter '68» Forums » Variants

Subject: Bringing infantry capabilities closer to reality rss

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Kris Vezner
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Skokie
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Judging this game as a simulation, I'm not understanding infantry unit capabilities as they appear on the counters.

At the game scale of 150 m/hex, one mile is about 10 hexes.

This means that the ranges for personal antitank weapons like the LAWS are way off. Basic research indicates that at the game scale the effective range for a LAWS (or its analogs in other armies) is at most two hexes. For informational purposes the LAWS' maximum range is six or seven hexes and by this I mean the furthest that the round will travel under its own power, not the furthest range at which you can realistically hope to hit something.

Also the range of infantry small arms seems off. At the game scale you are effectively engaging targets at 450 meters and taking a minor penalty to engage targets out to 900 meters. With M16s only, no LMGs. This is unrealistic.

A closer simulation of reality would state that all HE weapons with a range of 3-5 hexes have their range reduced by 1. And all LAWS-type weapons should be reduced to simply range 1.

Also the LAWS-type weapons have far more penetration capability in the game than IRL. A LAWS is a 66 mm weapon. It is not equivalent to a 105 mm main tank gun and generally could not defeat main battle tank armor. A closer simulation of reality would reduce the firepower of all LAWS-type weapons by 2.

I don't know how playing with these rule changes would affect the game, though obviously it would affect it. Nor do I know how this would affect game balance in the various scenarios, since whatever game balance the scenarios have is based on the current rules.

One could ask why simulation matters, after all this is a game with mutant ogres and dragons. That is true, but I feel that the science fiction elements make it more important to get the parts of the game that mirror our reality right. The NATO forces for example are using real-world Vietnam-era weapons. When you are fighting with NATO, it should feel like Vietnam-era guys taking on mutants and Nazis. For it to feel like that, it has to work like that on the board. At a range of a half-mile, you can't be gunning down the enemy like they were 50-100 yards away and you can't be sniping main battle tanks with LAWS rockets.

Thoughts.
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Christian Sperling
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I'm ok with the ranges and I think they simulate reality pretty well.
More so when you consider that the units are Platoons. This means that they are already equipped with LAWs, MGs etc.
I just see a support weapon more as an abstraction, which simply gives a Platoon even more firepower, ammunition etc. or simply the capability to fight enemies more efficiently.

Maybe you could treat the AP support weapons as non fixed range weapons or as a hybrid between non and fixed range weapons: Attacks against targets at 2 or 3 hexes away are executed with the normal firepower, but if the target is more than 2 or 3 hexes away apply an extended range modifier, -2 to AV.

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Ken Warren
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Good question! I don't have a good answer, but I do agree with Christian's thinking that these are platoons of infantry we're talking about. I would imagine they would have mortars, recoilless (spelling?) rifles, LMGs, LAWs, etc as part of the unit.

I'm good with the abstract-ness for this kind of game. I haven't played any of LnL's World-at-War or Nations-at-War games yet, so I don't know if there are similar "reality" issues. I would imagine those games seem more "realistic" than the sci-fi feel of NW.
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Kris Vezner
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The problem is, and using NATO as an example, M60s and LAWS rockets are separate counters in this game that you stack on top of your infantry counters. The weapon counters have their own, separate ranges and additional firepower. The M60s have a longer range than the infantry counters, but also need to lose a hex of range and I was proposing that too.

If an infantry counter represented a platoon with full combat loadout and all the squad support weapons were just abstracted into that counter's firepower, then I would probably agree regarding LMGs. But, squad support weapons aren't incorporated into the infantry counter and so the problems begin.

The range and armor penetration of the LAWS-type counters would still be a problem either way unfortunately.
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