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Subject: SMG as a collectible card game. rss

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Damen Parker
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Help me out here with an argument for getting one of my buddies to invest in SMG.

We have played SMG a few times and JD likes it but refuses to buy the game. I know the $ required can be off puting but his main concern was that he who spends the most money will always win as they will have a better base of soldiers to pick from.

We have both suffered in the distant past when playing CCG's and facing an opponent with a killer deck because they 'bought' it. The same happened on a lesser scale with axis & allies mini's.

I have been trying to convince JD that this is not the case with SMG especially at the casual gaming level we are at and likely to remain at, not to mention the fact that we would give each other access to our units anyway when building units.

Any thoughts on how I can convince him to join the SMG community?

Cheers
D.
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Eric Lai
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You could just pool the characters between the both of you and make scenarios balanced that way.
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Kevin Duke
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Eric has a point that will always work for reasonable people.

Well, as a bit of background, Jeff Billings has some history in the 'granddaddy' of Collectables-that-can-be-abused, Magic the Gathering. Early on, when he was talking to me about what he wanted this to be, he very specifically said it was NOT to set up a situation where people could spend and work and come up with a "super-squad" that they could bully others with at conventions. He aimed for checks and balances built into the system.

I think it's there.

Certainly one can make a stronger squad with lots of figures and lots of study to understand their strengths and weaknesses, but many 'strengths' can turn out to be problems too-- the fact "Kill" cards can be good for you or bad for you is one example...blast hits are another. Too much of anything can bite you.

And, at least in Jeff's competition systems at conventions, you bring your squad in "locked" without knowing what the objectives are, and you don't get to swap around after you see the scenario and get your orders. That's another specific intention of his. He knows a lot of folks like to tweak their forces after they know what the job is, and that's fine for their private games. But when the points really count, a person had better bring a balanced force...or feel really lucky with one that is overly specialized.
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Damen Parker
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Thanks Kevin

I hope after a few more plays he gets to appreciate the strategy more and the points you make in your reply. Living in the UK, tourney games are but a distant dream for us. Maybe one day I'll try and organise one or at least a weekend gathering of SMG players dedicated to structured SMG plays.

It is good to hear to that Jeff considered this concern during game design. I love the uniqueness of each man and although I have my favourites I don't have any lemons or super heroes - a testament to the balancing formula used.


The offer to pool men is always there and while only one of us owns the game currently it is obviously the default for now.

Cheers
D.
 
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Chris Ganshaw
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Although I am a huge fan of SMG, one of my biggest concerns was the possibility of someone building a "killer" squad. I like the idea of coming to the table with a locked squad ready to play. Maybe not necessary for a friendly game, but in a competion....
 
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Martin Gallo
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What got me involved was the concept of the VP rating. Better soldiers would be worth more VP and there was a secret magic formula to ensure that all would remain balanced. I am smart enough to realize that there would be errors in the formula and that the formula would not cover all aspects. I also have qualms with the order of magnitude of the VPs produced, but so far the game does not seem to be geared towards super-soldoer-syndrome. The game does feel like a few purchases beyond the basic DoD set are required to attain this nirvana, however no minis-gamer should balk at that!
 
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AMOS BURKE
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DeviousDamen wrote:
Help me out here with an argument for getting one of my buddies to invest in SMG..

Any thoughts on how I can convince him to join the SMG community?


Just get him to build and then look at a couple of squads and see how the stats look.

I can build a squad with a 90% hit at long range
I build a squad that bullet proof (no kills)
I can build a squad that hide well (all 1 or less cover)
I can build a squad that can run for miles (80% move cards)

But with this comes loads of bad stats.
So to build a killer squad is not so easy.
 
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Kevin Duke
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Quote:
I build a squad that bullet proof (no kills)


Let me close combat them!
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Mayor Jim
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These are good points. I try to first build a squad, and then see what the mission is rather than build a squad specific to the mission. But on a related note, I'm not so keen on the seemingly randomness of the sculpts. I'd rather be able to maybe be able to pick the poses I want vs getting 5 figs all in the same pose. If there are 40 different sculpts for the Americans, I'd like to pick what I get. Make sense? ...early for me...need to get some coffee and a cig, sorry for the rambling. yuk
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Jerry Tresman
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kduke wrote:
Quote:
I build a squad that bullet proof (no kills)


Let me close combat them!


Yep manipulating hit results by "deck Building" is possible , this would be possible even if the hit results were pulled by the firer. The only alternative would be chits wit multiple values based on a self preservation
stat which I think Jeff has alluded to. So each chit could have values like A-Z, B-P,C-P or
A-P,B-P,C-W or ALL-KILL etc.... with self preservation class of ABC.

Then again we could just play it as written and set a rule for minimum KILL, WOUND,PIN,ZIP ratios for a player deck if someone brings one to a competition , if non competition just dont invite him to play.

Now Kevin probably has an inside track to build Sgt. Rock led super tough squad
 
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Charlie Theel
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MayorJim wrote:
These are good points. I try to first build a squad, and then see what the mission is rather than build a squad specific to the mission. But on a related note, I'm not so keen on the seemingly randomness of the sculpts. I'd rather be able to maybe be able to pick the poses I want vs getting 5 figs all in the same pose. If there are 40 different sculpts for the Americans, I'd like to pick what I get. Make sense? ...early for me...need to get some coffee and a cig, sorry for the rambling. yuk


Ideally you'd get to pick the art as well so that your MG42 doesn't have a Mauser and your Mauser doesn't have a picture of a guy with an MG42.
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Jerry Tresman
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I swapped around my soldiers a bit once I had a reasonable no.I found the glue spots can facilitate that sort of manipulation.
 
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Curtis Thornock
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I'll echo what's been said previously. I'm relatively new to SMG and have 11 US and 11 German soldiers with 10 more Germans and 15 more Americans arriving Monday. And more Brits and Jerries than Kellogg's has Cornflakes arriving in May (Courtesy of a large Red Devils Kickstarter pledge, lol).

Prior to getting into SMG, I had the same concern. Reading the rules and seeing how the cards would actually balance vis-a-vis Kills & Wounds being good for CC but bad for being shot at, and the soldiers with big stats and good cards costing more, my fears were allayed.

Now, having seen my guys, I've no worries at all. I don't have any, "auto-includes" (but I do have favorites and a few who become instant targets, lol - mostly ones with longe shoot range), and I don't have any, "I'll never use him" types (Soldat Schulze is close, but at only 2 VP for another rifle-toting bullet shield who can escort prisoners, it's amazing how often I fit him in a list, lol).

Perhaps the guys I've got are anomalies, but outside of characters I have about 90% of my guys as either 3 or 4 VP. Schulze is 2 VP, and I might have 1-2 5 VP guys, but so far I find my forces are very balanced.

Have your friend try to fit a 10-11 VP guy into an 18-20 VP per side scenario, and then you'll find out why the Fulda Gap defense plan of circa 1965-1987 would have resulted in either an Overun or Tac Nuke exchange...

Quantity has a quality all it's own, and your 11 VP super soldier will have to shoot eventually, and then soak up return fire from 3-5 guys, nearly guaranteeing the loss of said 11 VP. If he never fires, he'll eventually be fighting hand-to-hand with half a squad or more.

I'd play up the fact that unlike most CCGs, quantity of lesser VP troops is as deadly or more so than quality of a minimum force. I've yet to see an Audie Murphy who can single-handedly take out an entire platoon reinforced with MG nests.
 
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Mayor Jim
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charlest wrote:
MayorJim wrote:
These are good points. I try to first build a squad, and then see what the mission is rather than build a squad specific to the mission. But on a related note, I'm not so keen on the seemingly randomness of the sculpts. I'd rather be able to maybe be able to pick the poses I want vs getting 5 figs all in the same pose. If there are 40 different sculpts for the Americans, I'd like to pick what I get. Make sense? ...early for me...need to get some coffee and a cig, sorry for the rambling. yuk


Ideally you'd get to pick the art as well so that your MG42 doesn't have a Mauser and your Mauser doesn't have a picture of a guy with an MG42.


Yes! The artwork, while nice, doesn't really match the soldier sometimes.
 
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Mayor Jim
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Shadow4ce wrote:
I'll echo what's been said previously. I'm relatively new to SMG and have 11 US and 11 German soldiers with 10 more Germans and 15 more Americans arriving Monday. And more Brits and Jerries than Kellogg's has Cornflakes arriving in May (Courtesy of a large Red Devils Kickstarter pledge, lol).

Prior to getting into SMG, I had the same concern. Reading the rules and seeing how the cards would actually balance vis-a-vis Kills & Wounds being good for CC but bad for being shot at, and the soldiers with big stats and good cards costing more, my fears were allayed.

Now, having seen my guys, I've no worries at all. I don't have any, "auto-includes" (but I do have favorites and a few who become instant targets, lol - mostly ones with longe shoot range), and I don't have any, "I'll never use him" types (Soldat Schulze is close, but at only 2 VP for another rifle-toting bullet shield who can escort prisoners, it's amazing how often I fit him in a list, lol).

Perhaps the guys I've got are anomalies, but outside of characters I have about 90% of my guys as either 3 or 4 VP. Schulze is 2 VP, and I might have 1-2 5 VP guys, but so far I find my forces are very balanced.

Have your friend try to fit a 10-11 VP guy into an 18-20 VP per side scenario, and then you'll find out why the Fulda Gap defense plan of circa 1965-1987 would have resulted in either an Overun or Tac Nuke exchange...

Quantity has a quality all it's own, and your 11 VP super soldier will have to shoot eventually, and then soak up return fire from 3-5 guys, nearly guaranteeing the loss of said 11 VP. If he never fires, he'll eventually be fighting hand-to-hand with half a squad or more.

I'd play up the fact that unlike most CCGs, quantity of lesser VP troops is as deadly or more so than quality of a minimum force. I've yet to see an Audie Murphy who can single-handedly take out an entire platoon reinforced with MG nests.


Yes, you get a team of 8 or so and the stats tend to balance out. I had a super Sgt Carter who got picked off early on and so was useless. Could have had 1 or 2 more "grunts" instead! On the other issue...I have a Pvt Pack who will always be guarding the off-board DZ cry
 
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Damen Parker
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Thanks for the various discussions. As JD doesn't own the game he has yet to experience the joys of deck building. My approach for next time then is to send him my soldiers stats (they are all in a spreadsheet) and ask him to build his unit and see how he gets on.

My goal is to get him to buy the game himself so I have a more local gaming buddy for SMG. Hopefully I will play it it more often then as well.

Next time we have the same conversation I'll apply the VP arguements and the balanced troop strategy that Jeff has implemented and see how far I get.

I quite like the idea of not being able to see the mini's beforehand and buying blind in that respect. It gives a certain surprise element when opening the box.

 
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Quote:
I build a squad that bullet proof (no kills)


2 wounds = 1 kill
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Mayor Jim
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DeviousDamen wrote:
Thanks for the various discussions. As JD doesn't own the game he has yet to experience the joys of deck building. My approach for next time then is to send him my soldiers stats (they are all in a spreadsheet) and ask him to build his unit and see how he gets on.

My goal is to get him to buy the game himself so I have a more local gaming buddy for SMG. Hopefully I will play it it more often then as well.

Next time we have the same conversation I'll apply the VP arguements and the balanced troop strategy that Jeff has implemented and see how far I get.

I quite like the idea of not being able to see the mini's beforehand and buying blind in that respect. It gives a certain surprise element when opening the box.



Exactly...if you build a squad and discover that you needed more grenades or maybe an SMG...you still need to provide a work around. My thoughts on this are that as troops arrive, they may know their general objective...but maybe the MG got lost or the super leader got hung up off board, etc.
 
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Allan Doyle

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Don't underestimate the randomness of the story deck and the draws to your hand. You could build a deck designed for Close Combat with lots of Kill results. But if the Phases turn all Looks and Shoots you will be picked apart by your own Kills. On the inverse, You could build a shooting squad with no Kills, but if the phases turn all Moves and Hides you will get run down and beat in CC. Over all you want to build for a well rounded squad.

From my experience so far though, the most powerful squads are built with lots of 2 point soldiers and the cheapest Draw 3 Leader you can place in the squad.

Good luck and enjoy.
 
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Brian
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Yes. They nailed it. Squad building projects an illusion of control. Yet there is a high degree of uncertainty inherent in the system and every squad has its antithesis. The question is always, after planning the work and working the plan, what do you do when that completely fails?
 
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Rob Koch
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R M Chair General wrote:
Yes. They nailed it. Squad building projects an illusion of control. Yet there is a high degree of uncertainty inherent in the system and every squad has its antithesis. The question is always, after planning the work and working the plan, what do you do when that completely fails?


Duck and cover?
 
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Damen Parker
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The good news is JD is in. I have switched my pledge to the buddy level and am subsidising him a little but it is worth it if I can get a few more plays of SMG closer to home.

I will happily take a bet that a couple of months after receiving the base game and the KS extras associated with the buddy level he will be placing an order for more men.

Job done

 
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DeviousDamen wrote:
The good news is JD is in. I have switched my pledge to the buddy level and am subsidising him a little but it is worth it if I can get a few more plays of SMG closer to home.

I will happily take a bet that a couple of months after receiving the base game and the KS extras associated with the buddy level he will be placing an order for more men.

Job done



Job well done! thumbsup
 
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