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Combat Commander: Europe» Forums » Rules

Subject: Overstacking concepts CC: E / CC: P rss

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El Comandante
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I would tend to play CC:E with the overstacking rules of CC: P (and particularly when playing CC: R). I feel the rule is more realistic, and allow players to take risks to enforce local superiority.

Reading discussions on various forums, I understand we are far from having a consensus on this point.
What I couldn't find clearly (and I apologize if I missed the precise thread on this matter) is :
- was there a clear opinion on this from the author(s) ?
- in the case CC:E and : P are bound to different overstacking rules, why is that ? Why is the concept different between both theaters of operations ?

Thanks.
 
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Richard Pardoe
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El_Comandante wrote:
I would tend to play CC:E with the overstacking rules of CC: P (and particularly when playing CC: R).

If anything, I think this makes the Partisans stronger as well as missing out some tactical decisions when using the Partisans. (See my comments here: Re: How would this work with the overstacking optional rule?)

Quote:
- was there a clear opinion on this from the author(s) ?

As overstacking remains a variant in an article on suggested variants and not part of the living rules for CC:E/Med, I believe the authors have expressed their opinion already.

Quote:
- in the case CC:E and : P are bound to different overstacking rules, why is that ?

Different games based on the same card driven engine. You also have Recover vs. Revive; Artillery Request (Denied) vs. Asset Request (Denied); a leader's ability to carry a weapon with a negative movement modifier. In fact, there is a whole page of differences between the two games included in the CC:P rulebook. My point being that overstacking rules is but one of many differences between the two games.

Quote:
Why is the concept different between both theaters of operations?

I suspect it has to do with the overall environment. Afterall, one is allowed to overstack in the Stalingrad Battlepack to reflect the higher than normal density of fighting forces at times.
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Cyrus the Great
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Overstacking was offered as an official CC:E variant (among many) in C3i #21, so it is endorsed.
 
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Richard Pardoe
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Renaissance Man wrote:
Overstacking was offered as an official CC:E variant (among many) in C3i #21, so it is endorsed.

Don't forget the article in C3i begins:

The variant rules that follow are entirely optional; they are NOT to be considered official errata, or changes to the originally published rules .... Be forewarned, however, the following items were not tested nearly as much as the published Rules As Written, so play balance could become skewed should an unforeseen issue raise its ugly head.

My completely unscientific poll: Popularity of the Variants published in C3i #21 shows that overstacking is the variant that really sees any appreciable use. The next two in popularity are Critical hit (instant kill) and Mortar Spotting.
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David desJardins
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El_Comandante wrote:
I would tend to play CC:E with the overstacking rules of CC: P (and particularly when playing CC: R). I feel the rule is more realistic, and allow players to take risks to enforce local superiority.


My games with this rule all seem to end up with wildly unrealistic results, like a giant stack of 5 squads and a leader with huge negative morale but in a place where it can't be fired upon.
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Chick Lewis
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When CC:R was released, Donna and I immediately began playing it using the optional overstacking rule. This caused all sorts of subtle problems, and seemed to skew the game towards the Partisans.

Have you noticed that in CC:R neither the axis not the Partisans (by the core rules) can overstack in melee, because melee is delayed until the beginning of the axis turn? This means you must eliminate units down to seven silhouettes at the end of the turn BEFORE the beginning of melee.

Have you noticed that this is also true in CC Pacific for the same conceptual reason?

After we went back to the purity of the original stacking rules, the Partisans could be defeated and the scenarios seemed much more balanced. We now never play CC:E, CC:M, or CC:R with the optional overstacking rules.
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Jim P.
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When playing CC:E about a week ago, my opponent overstacked a hex for melee by using leader radius to 'bring a crowd.' He won the melee, then had to forfeit a rifle squad. I suggested this unit should not be placed on the casualty track but rather tossed back in the counter tray because I had nothing to do with eliminating him -- the rules took care of that.

We searched the rule book and found nothing explicit, other than the statement that overstacked unit(s) must be eliminated after melee...it does not say 'placed on the casualty track. I wonder how others have handled this.
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Henrythesecond
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DaviddesJ wrote:
El_Comandante wrote:
I would tend to play CC:E with the overstacking rules of CC: P (and particularly when playing CC: R). I feel the rule is more realistic, and allow players to take risks to enforce local superiority.


My games with this rule all seem to end up with wildly unrealistic results, like a giant stack of 5 squads and a leader with huge negative morale but in a place where it can't be fired upon.


Whilst I'm undecided on whether I'm comfortable with the Overstackng variant as written (we currently limit it to only two units + Leader, with the negative for 8+ silhouettes), a case can be made for large stacks. They could be viewed as Rendezvous Points, Jump-off Areas or Staging Areas.
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Mark Buetow
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My regular opponent and I play with Overstacking and Double-kills in CC:E but we omit those optional rules when playing Resistance for the reasons already stated. Personally, I'd like to go back to the rules as written, and my buddy would probably do so, but I know he enjoys those two optional rules.

It really gave me a headache tonight as there were two or three instances when I lost units on the first shot to doubling. But I gave it back to him at a key moment in another scenario.

The times either of these come up tend to be rare rather than frequent so it's never a huge deal.
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Cindy Nowak
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InvisibleRobots wrote:
When playing CC:E about a week ago, my opponent overstacked a hex for melee by using leader radius to 'bring a crowd.' He won the melee, then had to forfeit a rifle squad. I suggested this unit should not be placed on the casualty track but rather tossed back in the counter tray because I had nothing to do with eliminating him -- the rules took care of that.

We searched the rule book and found nothing explicit, other than the statement that overstacked unit(s) must be eliminated after melee...it does not say 'placed on the casualty track. I wonder how others have handled this.


4.2 Casualty Track
Whenever a non-Hero unit is eliminated, it (and its possessed Weapon, if any) is placed on the Casualty Track

8.2 Unit Stacking
Unit stacking limits are enforced at the end of every Turn. At that time, the owning player must eliminate sufficient units in order to
bring any hex found to be overstacked back into compliance.

Nowhere does it place any caveats or restrictions on the method of elimination. In fact, it says "whenever" which would seem to cover things quite succicntly.
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Jim P.
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scoutmom wrote:

4.2 Casualty Track
Whenever a non-Hero unit is eliminated, it (and its possessed Weapon, if any) is placed on the Casualty Track

8.2 Unit Stacking
Unit stacking limits are enforced at the end of every Turn. At that time, the owning player must eliminate sufficient units in order to
bring any hex found to be overstacked back into compliance.

Nowhere does it place any caveats or restrictions on the method of elimination. In fact, it says "whenever" which would seem to cover things quite succicntly.


Ah, YES! I missed the Casualty Track rule. You are so right. blush

I thank you.
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El Comandante
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Thanks to all for your answers. I think the best explanation regarding authors' choice was made by R. Pardoe - CC:E living rules haven't been changed in this way, so play as written.
But the option exists, and finally gamers will do according to what they want to play, as usual, without altering so much the balance of the game. Even if it is possible to stack 5+ units (well, if they are all crews, that's not so much, and if they are all out of firing opportunity, that's not so interesting), you still suffer the risk of a huge negative cover.

Finally I'm still wondering about the design concept which is behind this choice. R Pardoe mentioned troops concentration, which may be a good explanation. But was it less at Omaha than in Northern Burma (CC: P, scenario B) at the same time ? Less in Cassino than in Stalingrad or Empress Bay ? Honestly, I don't know, but I'm still curious if any of the designers had the Definitive Answer.
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William Garramone
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Malacandra wrote:
My regular opponent and I play with Overstacking and Double-kills in CC:E but we omit those optional rules when playing Resistance for the reasons already stated. Personally, I'd like to go back to the rules as written, and my buddy would probably do so, but I know he enjoys those two optional rules.

It really gave me a headache tonight as there were two or three instances when I lost units on the first shot to doubling. But I gave it back to him at a key moment in another scenario.

The times either of these come up tend to be rare rather than frequent so it's never a huge deal.
Was going to post almost this exact sentiment. +1
 
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Simone dalla Chiesa
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El_Comandante wrote:
Finally I'm still wondering about the design concept which is behind this choice. R Pardoe mentioned troops concentration, which may be a good explanation. But was it less at Omaha than in Northern Burma (CC: P, scenario B) at the same time ? Less in Cassino than in Stalingrad or Empress Bay ? Honestly, I don't know, but I'm still curious if any of the designers had the Definitive Answer. ;)


Of course I don't know the Definite Answer, but I believe I've come to a set of satisfactory answers, at least to me.

Stalingrad melee is "Urban Melee", it models troops hidden in buildings.

Why no overstacking in Ortona? Because such a Special Rule would have been too much for a single scenario. Adopting it in #17? Definitely interesting.

Why no overstacking in Cassino? Because there is no scenario about Cassino. Would a overstacking SR be good in a Cassino scenario? Absolutely yes.

Why no overstacking in Omaha? Sandy beaches.

Why there is overstacking in Pacific? Jungles.

But then why allowing it on the beach of Map B? A SR introducing a Europa-like overstacking would be useless here: who would overstack on the beach, with such a little cover?

So we come to the core question. If a Stalingrad/Pacific-like overstacking rule makes unfit and selects out the massing of huge stacks of units in usuitable terrain, what's the reason for limiting overstacking explicitly as in Europe? My answer is: To force players to resolve melee attacks on the basis of skills and well played cards rather than by sheer FP count. Just as David said in different words.

I find the game system runs smoothly just as it is, has a strong rationale, and betrays a very intelligent design!


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El Comandante
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Malacandra wrote:
The times either of these come up tend to be rare rather than frequent so it's never a huge deal.

+1.
 
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tito kiza
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How do you solve melee overstacking if using the optional rule?

I was playing scenario 110 as Germans. My opponent leaded norwegians and we agreed to use overstacking optional rule.

He brought four squads and one leader against one of my squads and leader into melee. He won melee and he kept alive the whole stack.
In this scenario there is an inherent random hindrance every turn that, at the time of melee, was 8. So the penalty for firing his stack was only a net -2 (if i could fire the following turn). Scenario was completely broken after this melee.

After this example i feel that overstacking optional rule can make many scenarios really unbalanced, specially favouring mass attackers againts better quality defenders.
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Mark Buetow
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(1) If you start seeing lots of guys getting close, shoot them.
(2) If you can't kill them, start holding on to your ambushes.
(3) If he survives, blast away at his overstacking group which likely has little or no cover.
(4) Remember that if due to Hindrance, Firepower for the attack is 0 or less, the shot cannot be attempted. Lets say you had an 8 FP unit, plus leader bonus of 2. That's 10 and you add in another 3 for additional units, that's only 13, which is a 5 after Hindrance. Even that's not terrible. But if your total FP was -2 after Hndrance, you can't take the shot at all.

But if all that is too much, just don't play with the optional rule. If there is an advantage you want to gain by playing with the optional rule, just be ready when it goes against you.
 
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tito kiza
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Thank you for the tips.

My point was not to complain about bad luck. In fact, in CC i don't feel that i'm losing by bad cards but just by bad play.
My goal was to point out that overstacking optional rule may completely change the way you play some scenarios and situations.

Thinking on your tips: in my example, squad+1 leader had a FP of 7. Per scenario rules, point blank can add +1 if discarding a card. That ends in 8 FP just to make the attack roll but expending two cards (of a hand of four). Not sure if it is worthy.

So, let's accumulate ambushes. But even with four ambush cards if enemy arrives with 4 squads and a leader you only can kill two units and, probably, will lose the melee. With the standard rules, only a squad and leader could survive and attacker forces are terrible weakened for assaulting next objective and the defender has options to win. But with optional rule, everybody survives. So attacker has no a strategic dilemma there.

We have played many times with overstacking optinal rule (mostly 8-9 figures in same hex) with no difficulties but after this particular case i have more concerns on using it or not.




 
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Mark Buetow
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titokiza wrote:


We have played many times with overstacking optinal rule (mostly 8-9 figures in same hex) with no difficulties but after this particular case i have more concerns on using it or not.






We don't use it for Partisans as that jacks with the way they work too much.
 
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