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Subject: Conditional Raid Command rss

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David Kennedy
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When you use a conditional command to select Raid!, you must roll against the Administrative Value of the National Military Advisor. I wonder why I'm not rolling against the Initiative Value of the Theater commander?

Raiding, like battling, seems like the pervue of the local commander. It also makes for interesting decisions with various commanders. Or historically was the decision to raid really a strategic decision?

Just wondering...
 
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Hans von Stockhausen

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Gosh,thats going back a ways. Don't really recall the rational behind that decision. Might have been something to with giving the NMA something to do for the big bucks he's making?

Actually you might try using Theater CO ratings and let me know how that works? something to consider for TLC2

Hans
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David Kennedy
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I already started doing that. I like how it makes for a slightly more interesting decision when you get conditional commands, particularly when Hood or Bragg are in command. It redeems them somewhat. Sure they are duds in battle, but they've got some moxy and daring.

In my mind, a good initiative rating correlates to raiding. However, I wasn't clear if history warranted this being a NMA responsibility. I didn't know if cavalry assets were handled at a strategic level and doled out accordingly.

So far, looking good. The only downside is Polk and Pemberton with their lousy initiative become real duds because they can't even get raids going. So late in the war, they need to be removed from command at the earliest opportunity.
 
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David Heldt
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Harper Woods
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Two panzer jocks in the South Seas hoping that soon they'll get lei'd--
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An interesting idea that fits right in with Hood's personality. Imagine Darla actually being useful--
 
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David Kennedy
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One more detail on making this work. In addition to using the local theater commander's Initative value to determine if the conditional command is successful, when making the Raid! command roll apply the local theater commander's Battle value modifier to the result. So Hood and Bragg can get raids going. But, their poor battle skills undermine the execution of the raid.

However, given the Battle value modifiers of the excellent Confederate commanders, the maximum DRM would have to be capped at +1 or -1. So Lee couldn't get a +2 DRM to raid, which would be ridiculous. Otherwise, in conjunction with the Decatur bonus, the South would do nothing but raid.

Also, toss the Union commander's Initative value to calculate the Raiding DRM. That way, Grant and Sherman reduce the utility of this option late in the game as the effectiveness of the South's cavalry assets erode.

Lastly, consider allowing only a single raid per event card or subsequent raids during an event card have a -1 DRM applied.
 
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Wes Erni
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You have to be extremely careful when fooling around with the Raid command — small changes have a dramatic impact on play. Right now, the simple +1 modifier for controlling Decatur dominates the play of Lost Cause — we have debated several ways to control this "ultimate" Rebel strategy, using Theater commander ratings flirt with making TLC even easier to win. Some thoughts:

1) I do agree there is a certain realism to using Theater commanders to initiate Raids — often Richmond would only be notified of their employment after the fact. Bragg and Hood were enthusiastic practitioners of Raids on a grand scale (about the only thing Bragg was truly successful at), and it would be nice if the game reflected that fact.

2) For game flow purposes, having the NMA Initiate Raids does work a little better. Having the Theater commanders be wholly responsible for battle, and the Advisor dealing with more strategic matters — offers nice game options concerning Leader deployment. Right now, Lee at NMA is a tantalizing option (at least until Smith appears) — get rid of the Raid command initiation, and the NMA is of little importance. Leader shuffles, and naval placements, don't begin to compare to the awesome potential of repeated "Decatur Raids" — and leader placements become "mathematically easy" to determine.

3) Play balance will be significantly affected if Theater commanders initiate Raids. Only the expansion leaders Smith and Hardee are better on their "Advisor" side, the 1861 Leader corps would love this rule change. Making the Raids even easier to initiate, is making the dominant strategy even more overwhelming. Consider:

The Army of the Cumberland sits in Chattanooga atop a Fort, AS Johnston is in command in the West, and the player has a Conditional Command. Given that Raid-Recall result pushes the AoC back 4 spaces (with Murfreesboro added as a space between Chattanooga and Nashville in TLC2) — using a Raid command averages 1.1 boxes of Union Retreat (+1 Decatur). Even if the incomparable Lee was the Army of the West commander, passing the Conditional command to Lee as a Battle command (a bread-and-butter Rebel strategy) would result in an average of .7 boxes of Union Retreat. Of course if Lee was present, I could launch a Conditional Raid with a whopping 1.4 Union spaces Retreat even if the actual Raid resolution die roll remained unmodified by any Commander Rating. If Lee (or Jackson) got to add even +1 to the actual Raid roll — the average yield would be a stunning 2.3 boxes of Union retreat. Remember Lee had only a .7 yield in battle (and AS Johnston only .3) — I could play this game on autopilot and get a stupendous victory. If I add the effects of the Rest and Refit Resource on top of all this — does the player need more advantages to win a game that was "broken" in the player's favor already?

Of course, you can completely overhaul the Raid structure from the ground up, and try to achieve game balance with the greater realism of Theater initiated Raids. Even then, Battle ratings should never affect Raid Resolution — Bragg may have ordered the Raid — but it was Nathan Bedford Forrest (or Van Dorn, Wheeler, Morgan etc.) that was usually responsible for the Raid "working". I have suggested only minor adjustments to limit the effectiveness of Raiding — I really don't want see the strategy completely "neutered". The whole Raiding concept was one of Hans' most inspired ideas — elegantly capturing a vital part of the Civil War, that other more complex games only clumsily simulate, if they pay attention at all. We just have to be VERY careful to find the "Goldilocks" zone, where it Raiding is a great strategy only SOME of the time.
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David Kennedy
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Wes, I gave some thought to your feedback. Here are my suggestions.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/890272/alternate-raid-co...

Let me know what you think.
 
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