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Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles» Forums » General

Subject: Morale rss

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eric magill
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Let me preface by saying I love the game. Just finished first scenario and I feel all tingly in a way I haven't felt since first playing guards counterattack in sl. I once thought sl/asl was da bomb but over the years realized the game(s) was just too complicated and and didn't encourage historical behavior. BOB is a breeze of fresh air and captures much of what other tactical war games such as squad leader/advanced squad leader,advanced Tobruk systems,comp of heroes,lock n load, combat commander seem to miss. I should probably play bob more before passing judgement but I've played the others enough to know they missed the mark (for me).
At any rate, I do question how suppressing a squad does not take into account the training/status of the target unit. An untrained squad of conscripts is just as likely to be suppressed as an elite squad of paratroopers all things being equal (terrain, firepower and so on). Sure, once suppressed, the elite paratroopers are more likely to be able to act, I get that. But given that many squad kills probably come from fully suppressed units failing a rout check while in the same hex as enemy units, it seems odd that conscripts would suppress as easily as elite paratrooper squads- IMHO. Could designer clarify a little, please? At any rate the game is very promising and I hope it transfers well to east front and pacific. In meantime I am going to get back to playing. Also would love to see some France 1940 action!
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Ilias Sellountos
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fishboy73 wrote:
But given that many squad kills probably come from fully suppressed units failing a rout check while in the same hex as enemy units, it seems odd that conscripts would suppress as easily as elite paratrooper squads- IMHO.


That is not as often as you may think. The initial scenarios are more like this but once you start adding vehicles and guns and artillery, most kills come from ranged fire rather than melee/same hex morale checks.

And as you said the stats do play a role, a critical one actually, because an elite unit is much more likely to be able to do final defensive fire and prevent the situation of being in a position to be eliminated in melee/same hex morale.

Additionally, of course, elite units are much more likely not to fail that morale check and so avoid elimination.
 
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eric magill
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Rolling a 1 or 2 still not so easy on a 10 sided die. Read tank and artillery rules while in deer stand yesterday. Will either try tonight or thanksgiving. Game holds much promise. Would like a little more chrome to game perhaps - residual fire, fire lines, op sheets (tcs) maybe? I suppose designing a war game is a little like making chili though. You never get it just right for everybody. It's always going to be too spicy for someone and not spicy enough for someone else. Anxiously await other nationalities . . .
 
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Ilias Sellountos
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fishboy73 wrote:
Rolling a 1 or 2 still not so easy on a 10 sided die.

No but having to roll 1 or 2 is twice more probable than having to roll a 1.
 
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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:
Could designer clarify a little, please?


My pleasure!

Quote:
BOB is a breeze of fresh air and captures much of what other tactical war games such as squad leader/advanced squad leader,advanced Tobruk systems,comp of heroes,lock n load, combat commander seem to miss.


Awesome.

Quote:
At any rate, I do question how suppressing a squad does not take into account the training/status of the target unit. An untrained squad of conscripts is just as likely to be suppressed as an elite squad of paratroopers all things being equal (terrain, firepower and so on).


The morale value is slightly better on better troops (as you mentioned later), but all troops duck under fire. It doesn't matter if they are Airborne or not, they are going to duck / fire less / become unresponsive. That is what Suppression represents. Any troops, put under effective fire, become very vulnerable.

When thinking about a unit being Suppressed, don't think of them being "broken". It is NOT that they broke morale and are cowering in a foxhole, afraid of their life, useless until a leader comes and whips them back into shape / gives them a motivational speech (was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?! ) so that they start fighting again. It's that they have been put under such effective fire so that they almost can't respond. Once the fire slacks off, they will be able to be more active in the firefight. That is why Suppression wears off rather quickly in BoB (no leader is required for that). You have to keep a unit under effective fire every turn to keep them Fully Suppressed.

The broken/shaken model has at it's heart that the fire causes the mental state of the troops to change so that they become unresponsive until a leader fixes their mental state. In the Suppression model, the mental state does not change as dramatically. They are still the same troops, but the effective fire coming at them is preventing them from responding like they normally wood. When the fire slackens they naturally have the opportunity to start firing/moving again.

I think the Suppression model is what best represents what tactical combat was truly like in WW2.
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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:
Would like a little more chrome to game perhaps - residual fire, fire lines, op sheets (tcs) maybe?


My background is SL and ASL so I know what you are talking about. However, some of the things that are considered chrome in other systems really don't add things to the game or detract from the realism while adding complexity.

In my "Why BoB?" series, which I recommend you read (see the file section for download) because it explains a lot about the design philosophy, I said this:

Quote:
#20 It doesn't include the kitchen sink

Sometimes less is more. This may have been the hardest part about the design - what do I not put in? Everything added may improve the game, but it may also detract from it. Some possible ways adding something can actually detract:

- The thing added could interact with the system in an unrealistic way. You can never just look at the realism of a particular rule, you always have to think about how that added rule will impact the realism of the system.
- It could add gamey tactics.
- The rule itself could be unrealistic or overly complicated.
- The thing added can detract from the focus of the game.
- A rule might be fine, but in my book it needs to pull its weight. Another way of saying it is that rules, themselves, actually detract from a system. A rule needs to be valuable or it just becomes dead weight. For me, adding rules is always a cost-benefit analysis.


Another reason why I took that point of view was so that I could have the freedom/room to add things that I thought were worthwhile. There is some "chrome" coming in Ghost Panzer. It's needed to best represent a Panzer Division and I can do it because the system is clean enough so that it can be added without a lot of complexity.
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eric magill
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Thanks for response! Played some more and still love the system! Suppression doesn't occur so quickly when defending in stone buildings. Plus i didnt pick up how you can regain concealment markers. When moving out of line of sight.
I guess my real concerns re suppression are for ghost panzer. I imagine the Russians will have more squads in several scenarios and in the villages many of buildings will be wood. Thus it may be easy to suppress the Germans. I guess I'll just have to be patient and see how you handle that! At any rate I shall keep playing. If you can keep pumping out modules as good as this game I may have to sell my asl, ats, lock n load games that are collecting dust! Before that though, I may have to try using your rules and pieces in an asl scenario and see how it works. Hmmm, maybe paratrooper up there on the closet wall . . .
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