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Subject: Rules change in TOI rss

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bill jaffe
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hey fellow players we are discussing this rule change in Tide of Iron and we would like your feed back


We need your feedback on a potential system-wide rules change:

Each player may only make combined fire attacks throughout the Game Round equal
to the number of actions he or she is allowed per Action Turn.

Please let us know what you think. The intent is to reduce the lethality of
combined attacks.


Bill Jaffe and Craig Robertson
1A Games
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John Di Ponio
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I would like to see that rule envoked.
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Matt Siegel
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I thoroughly enjoy this rule change. In fact, this makes me want to replay numerous scenarios, especially some of the alleged 'broken' ones from the original release.
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bill jaffe
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thanks matt and john, have you both been to the new website www.1agames.com? there are more questions their in our polls section

Bill Jaffe
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Sean
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Sounds better balanced. Would there be a mechanic or component for keeping track of executed combined-fire attacks, or rely upon players' memories, paper-n-pencil? Because, even if worth it, it will increase bookkeeping.
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Kris Miller
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Hi Harrelson,

I don't think you would need to record it. When a unit supports an attack by combining its fire with the main attacking unit, it becomes exhausted and cannot take any other action that round.

Kris
 
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Ray
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skinsfan wrote:
hey fellow players we are discussing this rule change in Tide of Iron and we would like your feed back


We need your feedback on a potential system-wide rules change:

Each player may only make combined fire attacks throughout the Game Round equal
to the number of actions he or she is allowed per Action Turn.

Please let us know what you think. The intent is to reduce the lethality of
combined attacks.


Bill Jaffe and Craig Robertson
1A Games


Bill, I'm all for that change, however, the number of actions per turn is a variable (usually 3 and 2 per), so I was thinking of something that reflects "team work". That is, only units in the same hex and adjacent hexes from the "leading unit" unit may contribute.

For example, on page 29, the rule could be changed easily by adding "and must be either in the same hex or in an adjacent hex to the leading unit".

"To support an attack with combined fire, a unit must be eligible to attack the target – that is, be within range and LOS of the target and must be either in the same hex or in an adjacent hex to the leading unit. Only fresh units may support a concentrated attack, and only units in Op Fire mode may support an Op Fire attack. When resolving an attack with combined fire, the leading unit adds all of its firepower to the attack strength, while each unit supporting with combined fire adds half its firepower (round up) to the attack strength.
"

What does everyone think?

Poll
To support an attack with combined fire, what would you prefer?
Limited by the number of Actions per Action Turn.
Only units in the same hex and adjacent hexes my contribute.
Only units up to two hexes away may contribute.
Other, please explain.
      40 answers
Poll created by RayGuns
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Robson Santos
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I thought the change to the number of action stylish and functional
 
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Chris Hillery
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travellerne wrote:
Hi Harrelson,

I don't think you would need to record it. When a unit supports an attack by combining its fire with the main attacking unit, it becomes exhausted and cannot take any other action that round.

Kris

I think you missed the point. If we're now only allowed to take (say) three Combined Fire attacks in a given round, we have to keep track of the number of such attacks that we have made. The units being fatigued doesn't really matter.
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Chris Hillery
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skinsfan wrote:
Each player may only make combined fire attacks throughout the Game Round equal
to the number of actions he or she is allowed per Action Turn.

My humble opinion: I don't like it. It's way too "gamey", and it seems quite arbitrary. Plus as mentioned it introduces a new and unwelcome bit of bookkeeping.

This is also the first time I've heard it be suggested that Combined Fire attacks potentially overpowered. In fact, I wrote an article some time ago where my conclusion was that in many cases, you're more likely to score more hits by performing several consecutive single attacks rather than one combined attack. They're really only practical when you need to overcome a relatively large number of cover or armor dice, and I have to think that this isn't something that comes up super-frequently. Limiting it to only 3 combined-fire attacks per round really wouldn't be limiting it at all.

What basis is there for the belief that there's a need to "reduce the lethality of combined attacks"?

If indeed something to limit Combined Fire is required, I would much prefer something like Ray suggested using proximity of units to allow combined fire. I'd actually suggest borrowing something from the 4-player rules, where you need to use Command Points for combined fire between the two divisions. Perhaps something like this:

"If any Supporting Units are more than one hex away from the Leading Unit (two hexes if there is an Officer in the hex with the Leading Unit), you must spend one Command Point for this attack."
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Paul Leigh
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For combined fire, I think it would be best if some system could be worked out for flanking fire.

Perhaps, a unit could provide supporting fire (as part of a combined fire attack) provided it shoots through a different hex edge from that of the lead shooter. That would limit the power of combined fire and vastly improve the benefit of 'getting on the flank'

However, I'm also wary of adding too many extra things to keep track of. I really enjoy TOI at the moment - and really don't mind the inbalanced scenarios.
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Chris Hillery
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trouvere wrote:
Perhaps, a unit could provide supporting fire (as part of a combined fire attack) provided it shoots through a different hex edge from that of the lead shooter. That would limit the power of combined fire and vastly improve the benefit of 'getting on the flank'

I kind of like that suggestions... however, I have a hard time figuring out a justification for saying that you can't perform a Combined Fire attack with a unit that's in the same hex with you, or right next door.
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Hss Hss
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When does combined fire make sense, when does it not? When is it to powerful, when is it ok?

It does makes sense when squads surrounds an enemy tank at point blank. Even a tiger should not be fearless of regular squads. It kind of make sense when shermans targeting a tiger at short range, especially if firing from different angles. It can also make some sense when storming a pillbox/bunker. However all these are best used at closed range. Using combined fire at long range, is kind of strange to me.

Thus, I would rather see combined fire be limited to range to target.
Only units within 2 hexes of target may contribute to combined fire.
This will also help game play as getting into position to target a tiger/panther would be more important. Likewise, taking out a pillbox/bunker simply by stand & shoot would be harder. You have to advance. Which I kind of enjoy.

Combining fire only by units in same or adjacent hex could also work. But then, I feel that 4 infantry squads surrounding an enemy tank should be able to do combined fire, regardless.
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bill jaffe
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well i like to stir up debate. the complaints on combined fire come from many different places but very much on the TOI forum on FFG's site.
everybody here has raised great points and everything will be weighed before we issue a blanket change. we will take all response's into account.

Flanking fire will be an advanced rule.

Bill Jaffe
1A Games
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Chung Chan
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Ceej wrote:
This is also the first time I've heard it be suggested that Combined Fire attacks potentially overpowered.

I'm surprised by this too as I've played many times where combined fire had exhausted so many units that individual fire may have been better.
I don't think I've ever used combined fire more than 3 times in a round anyways.

Perhaps the issue becomes larger in scenarios with more units? It really is only useful to bring down a tough or dug-in unit.
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Sean
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Ceej wrote:
travellerne wrote:
Hi Harrelson,

I don't think you would need to record it. When a unit supports an attack by combining its fire with the main attacking unit, it becomes exhausted and cannot take any other action that round.

Kris

I think you missed the point. If we're now only allowed to take (say) three Combined Fire attacks in a given round, we have to keep track of the number of such attacks that we have made. The units being fatigued doesn't really matter.


Right. This is what I meant. It's the bookkeeping that I'm hesitant to embrace.
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bill jaffe
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yeup i hate book keeping to but if it fixes the play balance of the scenarios i like it more.
we can make it a scenario special rule very easily
I'm not upset if in some scenario's one side can make more combined attacks per round than another that reflects reality

Bill Jaffe
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John Di Ponio
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skinsfan wrote:
thanks matt and john, have you both been to the new website www.1agames.com? there are more questions their in our polls section

Bill Jaffe
1A Games


Sure have Bill!!! I am excited that you are taking the project over and keeping this gem alive and kicking!
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Hss Hss
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skinsfan wrote:
yeup i hate book keeping to but if it fixes the play balance of the scenarios i like it more.
we can make it a scenario special rule very easily
I'm not upset if in some scenario's one side can make more combined attacks per round than another that reflects reality

Bill Jaffe
1A Games


I like it already. Fixing scenarios is a very good thing and a big plus in my book. My experience is that playing a great scenario improves the game drastically.

I also remember writing an detailed feed-back from designers series I on the FFG forum. There are lots of small issues there which is easy to fix.
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Bob Gibson
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I don't believe this rule is necessary. Combined fire exhausts units. Too many exhausted units make it more difficult for that side to counter opposing ensuing actions. This freedom to determine when to apply combined fire works very well into the tactics of the game. I'm always reconsiling if I should use combined fire versus having active units later to respond to counter attacks.

Don't make more rules unless the game is truely broken - which it is not.
IMO, having the flexability to combine fire with anyone on the FOB makes this a better game.
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Willem Boersma
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I believe that the current RULE governing combined fire (no restrictions, apart from LOS obviously) is fine. The problem lies in certain SCENARIOS. For example, In Omaha beach (Normandy expansion), a standard move is to line up a certain number of squads and make three combined attacks against the bunkers, with or without the help of a Sherman. even though this is actually one of the relatively few really balanced scenarios I've played, it just feels wrong: "OK, guys, listen up! let's all line up at the shoreline and aim ourv rifles at the bunker over there! Fire away!". What they actually did is either try and get the h*** off the beach and/or take cover from incoming fire. I believe that this particular scenario, rather than a blanket change to combined fire, needs a scenario specific rule (or perhaps a blanket change to the terrain in question): units (squads?) may not participate in a combined fire attack while on a beach hex.

In other scenarios setting up in bunkers and or buildings (Piercing the Siegfried line from the Normandy campaign expansion book) is suicide. the US start with quite a large number of Shermans and have the initiative. Combining two Shermans each using concussive firepower is a sure kill or at the very least will take any MG right out of op-fire. Consequence: Germans set up BEHIND pillboxes and buildings??? Solution for this specific scenario? US moves onto the board with an advance or move and fire action. In addition,I guess here then indeed a rule like each supporting unit taking part in a combined fire attack must spend one command could also really help (I.e. command point they might not have until the end of round 2, so no sooner than round 3 could the Shermans then use combined fire against the pillboxes and buildings, giving the German units a chance to take out some infantry before actually being under threat themselves. If you then also set a strict round limit on the US forces, they will still have to advance aggressively and will not be able to just sit and wait till they do have the command points they need).

BTW, what I do think would be a good BLANKET change would be: Each unit taking part in a combined fire attack expends an action to do so (Currently, only the lead unit expends an action and all the others, although fatigued, can join in leaving the controlling player usually with one or two additional actions).

Anyway, my point is: I like (nearly) all suggestions I've read in this thread. IMHO, the scenario in question should determine which one(s) are the best approach for handling combined fire. This could be done by (new) op cards and/or scenario specific rules. 1Agames have stated officially that they will be having a look at all existing scenarios and address balance issues once Stalingrad is "finished". In the relatively small number of cases-though in some I do think combined fire, usually in combination with holding the initiative on round 1 and some other factors like mandatory set up hexes- in which CF is scenario-breaking, just finetuning these scenarios might be enough rather than a blanket change.

What I'm also interested in is why was the current CF rule designed the way it was? What was the reasoning behind it?
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Bob Gibson
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I would agree that a very few scenarios might need an additional restriction based upon their specific scenario setup. I would have to believe (based solely upon my game decisions) that the game designers (and they are quite accomplished at that!) intended combined fire to add tension to the game. For example, "Do I apply overwhelming combined fire now and attempt to take out a stronghold, or do I hold back a few units for later needs if the stronghold, or flank move, or whatever, counters my approach." Remember that these combined units are then fatigued, and a good player will take that advantage and roll over them unmolested with their "actives" in the later portion of the turn.

As an analogy addressing new rules in general, in my profession, I often see an engineering solution made by associates to simply add more weldments to a given assembly, instead of sometimes thinking out of the box and possibly coming up with a stronger, but lighter design. It's the simplicy of a design that makes it elegant, and adding more to what already is more often doesn't add value.

I hope this makes sense in any consideration in re-packaging this game. IMO, this game doesn't need much to make it a better game, but I don't see this additional rule making the game any better.
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Nathaniel Beck
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I dislike that rule change.
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Stacey Hager
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Bill -

The chief complaint of my game group when we played the game was this: there were only six scenarios in the base game, and all but one we played was unbalanced in a bad way.

I would consider giving much scrutiny to the the scenarios included with the game - and there should have been more than 6 considering the price tag.
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bill jaffe
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Nathaniel would you care to elaborate more,if not that's cool

Bill
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