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Subject: Bridge Emplacement Rule - A Game Breaker rss

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Agustin Kapuno
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I played the INS historical campaign this weekend with some wargamer friends and have some positive and negative impressions. The system is simple as wargames go and easy to learn. It is missing some details that wargamers often expect like combined-arms modifiers and divisional integrity rules.

However, the bridge emplacement rule is the one that lowered my esteem for this game. The Allies have a limited number of turns and there is only one victory condition for them which can only be accomplished by getting the XXX Corps to Arnhem through a contiguous road network. Even at the best of chances where no bridges are blown up, this is a tall order for the XXX Corps. Now add even one blown bridge and all the Allied effort can go for naught.

In our game, as XXX Corps commander, I was able to clear Einhoven quickly but got stopped by a blown bridge. It took two attempts to place the bridge (even with two of them rolling in the same place) but I told myself we can make up for lost time. Then the next bridge got blown up and I spent three unsuccessful turns trying to place the bridge. There was a huge traffic jam before the bridge. I was able to gain a bridgehead by landing units via ferry and using the 43rd units with DUKWs. But without the bridge, I cannot effectively advance my units to get to Nijmegen, clear it of Germans, dash to Arnhem, and hopefully save the 1st Airborne before they get annihilated in their shrinking pocket.

At this point with 5 turns left, we the Allies admitted defeat and ended the game. This is quite frustrating since all the effort and planning went for naught because of luck. I don't abhor luck in games especially in wargames, but I think in this particular one it detracts from the experience.

There should be modifiers added to the bridge emplacement roll (like +1) after each failed attempt to mitigate luck or a set number of turns in order to get the player's focus on planning and tactics rather than fretting if the bridge engineers can get their act together this time. The Allies could conceivably spend the entire game rolling for bridge emplacement as the Germans sit back and laugh deliriously at the Allies' bad luck shake
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Darrell Hanning
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I'd be inclined to agree that a cumulative modifer for failed attempts at the same bridge makes sense.
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Perry Cocke
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JonasK wrote:
At this point with 5 turns left, we the Allies admitted defeat and ended the game. This is quite frustrating since all the effort and planning went for naught because of luck.


You did say you were playing the historical campaign.

Sounds historical to me.

Apologies in advance; I don't mean to make light of your frustration or of any attempts to "improve" the game via additional chrome, but I couldn't help noticing the apparent parallel.
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Agustin Kapuno
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perrycocke wrote:

You did say you were playing the historical campaign.

Sounds historical to me.

Apologies in advance; I don't mean to make light of your frustration or of any attempts to "improve" the game via additional chrome, but I couldn't help noticing the apparent parallel.


I didn't even make it to Nijmegen so it was worse than the historical outcome.
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Todd Reed
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On CSW someone said bridges were too easy (fast) to build.

I don't know which it way it plays...'cause I've not played it yet.
 
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Agustin Kapuno
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mojayhawk wrote:
On CSW someone said bridges were too easy (fast) to build.

I don't know which it way it plays...'cause I've not played it yet.


It will be easy if lady luck was with you. When you have an area clear of enemy units around the bridge, truck in the bridge during the Road March phase and have it in place at the start of the Movement Phase (IF you roll right). Just make sure you have an empty road all the way to the blown bridge.
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mojayhawk wrote:
On CSW someone said bridges were too easy (fast) to build.

That was me.

In INS, a bridging unit can move adjacent to any river using road march, then build a bridge (50% chance of success) which can be used in the same turn by the allied player to pour troops over the river.

Historically, a 110 foot Bailey Bridge built over the canal at Son in 12 hours, which was considered good going at the time.

For comparison, the bridge at Grave was 640 feet long. The Waal river was 500 to 1000 feet wide and fast flowing. Bridging either of these rivers would have been a massive undertaking, and we can only speculate how many days would have been needed.

The INS bridging rules might be fine for a game where bridge-building plays only a minor part. However, given that Operation market Garden was all about crossing rivers, I think this rule is overly simplistic and seriously hurts the realism of the game.
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Todd Reed
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John, thank you for giving your perspective of the situation. My lame attempt at summarizing your point was, well, lame.

Seriously, it's nice seeing the two perspectives.
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Agustin Kapuno
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jrd23 wrote:
mojayhawk wrote:
On CSW someone said bridges were too easy (fast) to build.

That was me.

In INS, a bridging unit can move adjacent to any river using road march, then build a bridge (50% chance of success) which can be used in the same turn by the allied player to pour troops over the river.

Historically, a 110 foot Bailey Bridge built over the canal at Son in 12 hours, which was considered good going at the time.

For comparison, the bridge at Grave was 640 feet long. The Waal river was 500 to 1000 feet wide and fast flowing. Bridging either of these rivers would have been a massive undertaking, and we can only speculate how many days would have been needed.

The INS bridging rules might be fine for a game where bridge-building plays only a minor part. However, given that Operation market Garden was all about crossing rivers, I think this rule is overly simplistic and seriously hurts the realism of the game.


I agree that Operation Market Garden was all about seizing bridges and and crossing rivers.

Making a rule that hangs the whole game on luck is a bad design IMHO.

It is possible that the Allied player can spend the entire game rolling for bridge placement and failing with no apparent effort on the Germans (other than making the bridge demolition roll).
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JonasK wrote:
I played the INS historical campaign this weekend with some wargamer friends and have some positive and negative impressions. The system is simple as wargames go and easy to learn. It is missing some details that wargamers often expect like combined-arms modifiers and divisional integrity rules.

However, the bridge emplacement rule is the one that lowered my esteem for this game. The Allies have a limited number of turns and there is only one victory condition for them which can only be accomplished by getting the XXX Corps to Arnhem through a contiguous road network. Even at the best of chances where no bridges are blown up, this is a tall order for the XXX Corps. Now add even one blown bridge and all the Allied effort can go for naught.

In our game, as XXX Corps commander, I was able to clear Einhoven quickly but got stopped by a blown bridge. It took two attempts to place the bridge (even with two of them rolling in the same place) but I told myself we can make up for lost time. Then the next bridge got blown up and I spent three unsuccessful turns trying to place the bridge. There was a huge traffic jam before the bridge. I was able to gain a bridgehead by landing units via ferry and using the 43rd units with DUKWs. But without the bridge, I cannot effectively advance my units to get to Nijmegen, clear it of Germans, dash to Arnhem, and hopefully save the 1st Airborne before they get annihilated in their shrinking pocket.

At this point with 5 turns left, we the Allies admitted defeat and ended the game. This is quite frustrating since all the effort and planning went for naught because of luck. I don't abhor luck in games especially in wargames, but I think in this particular one it detracts from the experience.

There should be modifiers added to the bridge emplacement roll (like +1) after each failed attempt to mitigate luck or a set number of turns in order to get the player's focus on planning and tactics rather than fretting if the bridge engineers can get their act together this time. The Allies could conceivably spend the entire game rolling for bridge emplacement as the Germans sit back and laugh deliriously at the Allies' bad luck shake


Sounds quite historical, and quite frustrating.

I have yet to bring this to the table, so I appreciate your critique.

 
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jrd23 wrote:
mojayhawk wrote:
On CSW someone said bridges were too easy (fast) to build.

That was me.

In INS, a bridging unit can move adjacent to any river using road march, then build a bridge (50% chance of success) which can be used in the same turn by the allied player to pour troops over the river.

Historically, a 110 foot Bailey Bridge built over the canal at Son in 12 hours, which was considered good going at the time.

For comparison, the bridge at Grave was 640 feet long. The Waal river was 500 to 1000 feet wide and fast flowing. Bridging either of these rivers would have been a massive undertaking, and we can only speculate how many days would have been needed.

The INS bridging rules might be fine for a game where bridge-building plays only a minor part. However, given that Operation market Garden was all about crossing rivers, I think this rule is overly simplistic and seriously hurts the realism of the game.


Having participated in building several bailey bridges, that is VERY good time! If your construction effort hits even one little snag, you're sunk.

I'd be very interested in everyone's house-rule to alleviate this, since I'm eager to get this game on the table.
 
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Agustin Kapuno
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essayons7 wrote:
jrd23 wrote:
mojayhawk wrote:
On CSW someone said bridges were too easy (fast) to build.

That was me.

In INS, a bridging unit can move adjacent to any river using road march, then build a bridge (50% chance of success) which can be used in the same turn by the allied player to pour troops over the river.

Historically, a 110 foot Bailey Bridge built over the canal at Son in 12 hours, which was considered good going at the time.

For comparison, the bridge at Grave was 640 feet long. The Waal river was 500 to 1000 feet wide and fast flowing. Bridging either of these rivers would have been a massive undertaking, and we can only speculate how many days would have been needed.

The INS bridging rules might be fine for a game where bridge-building plays only a minor part. However, given that Operation market Garden was all about crossing rivers, I think this rule is overly simplistic and seriously hurts the realism of the game.


Having participated in building several bailey bridges, that is VERY good time! If your construction effort hits even one little snag, you're sunk.

I'd be very interested in everyone's house-rule to alleviate this, since I'm eager to get this game on the table.


Implement a cumulative +1 to the bridge emplacement roll for every failed attempt would be the simplest remedy.
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I didnt run into the problem with bridges. But if it bothers you, then (like every game) you should just change the rules on the fly.

Just tell your opponent it feels a bit silly and you think the bridge should be built this turn.

We did this with the corps supply rule. It felt a bit silly that the entire airborne formation was out of supply just because one of its minor units bumped into the main force. So we just ignored it for that turn and got back to playing.

Great game and a lot of fun imho!
 
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John Davis
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essayons7 wrote:
Having participated in building several bailey bridges, that is VERY good time! If your construction effort hits even one little snag, you're sunk.

So how long do you think it should take to bridge a river like the Waal, assuming no enemy action and plenty of engineers and equipment to hand?
 
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jrd23 wrote:
essayons7 wrote:
Having participated in building several bailey bridges, that is VERY good time! If your construction effort hits even one little snag, you're sunk.

So how long do you think it should take to bridge a river like the Waal, assuming no enemy action and plenty of engineers and equipment to hand?


For the game, I think I would make it a little more difficult for the Germans to blow bridges. Either:

1) a more difficult roll to succeed (maybe a result where the bridge is damaged but doesn't fall and is open to foot traffic, but not vehicles—something akin to what happened at Remagen)

2) more stringent conditions for making the roll (Allied infantry company adjacent or Allied armored unit within two hexes)

3) or both.

By illustration: In my one game, I was 1st British Airborne and moved a jeep team into Arnhem and drove by both bridges on Turn 1. The German player immediately decided to blow the bridges and succeeded on both of his rolls.

Problem was, no other Allied unit ever made it into the town.

We joked that Model (or somebody) making a tour of the area exclaimed:

"You kept the Tommies out, did you? Excellent! Now we can send the panzers over the... Where are the bridges? What happened to MY bridges??? WHO DESTROYED MY BEAUTIFUL BRIDGES WITHOUT CONSULTING ME?!?!?"
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Agustin Kapuno
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rodvik wrote:
I didnt run into the problem with bridges. But if it bothers you, then (like every game) you should just change the rules on the fly.

Just tell your opponent it feels a bit silly and you think the bridge should be built this turn.

We did this with the corps supply rule. It felt a bit silly that the entire airborne formation was out of supply just because one of its minor units bumped into the main force. So we just ignored it for that turn and got back to playing.

Great game and a lot of fun imho!


There are a number of rules (or lack of) that feels silly in this game.

There is no rule about combined-arms or defensive capabilities so a bunch of tank companies without infantry support can overwhelm an infantry company defending a city hex.

There is no rule about divisional/regimental integrity so players can scatter their units far and wide or have units from different regiments and divisions attacking a single hex with 100% coordination.

The CRT table maxing out to 5:1 without a die modifier for attacks that exceed those odds.

The Germans being able to trace supply without worrying about connections to roads.

These are just some of the issues I have with this game.

Hell's Highway is still the best depiction of this operation IMHO.
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JonasK wrote:
Hell's Highway is still the best depiction of this operation IMHO.

A decent game but suffers from an awful OOB and serious play balance issues. I'd love to see an updated version with better research and proper play-testing though.
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JonasK wrote:
There are a number of rules (or lack of) that feels silly in this game.

There is no rule about combined-arms or defensive capabilities so a bunch of tank companies without infantry support can overwhelm an infantry company defending a city hex.

There is no rule about divisional/regimental integrity so players can scatter their units far and wide or have units from different regiments and divisions attacking a single hex with 100% coordination.

The CRT table maxing out to 5:1 without a die modifier for attacks that exceed those odds.

The Germans being able to trace supply without worrying about connections to roads.

These are just some of the issues I have with this game.

Hell's Highway is still the best depiction of this operation IMHO.

SCS is meant to be a quick, easy-playing game system. If you're looking for that level of rules detail you're in the wrong game system.

Agreed that Hell's Highway is a great game, and one of my favorites, but the rules are many times the length of SCS. Each is excellent at what it what it attempts to achieve.
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JonasK wrote:
rodvik wrote:
I didnt run into the problem with bridges. But if it bothers you, then (like every game) you should just change the rules on the fly.

Just tell your opponent it feels a bit silly and you think the bridge should be built this turn.

We did this with the corps supply rule. It felt a bit silly that the entire airborne formation was out of supply just because one of its minor units bumped into the main force. So we just ignored it for that turn and got back to playing.

Great game and a lot of fun imho!


There are a number of rules (or lack of) that feels silly in this game.

There is no rule about combined-arms or defensive capabilities so a bunch of tank companies without infantry support can overwhelm an infantry company defending a city hex.

There is no rule about divisional/regimental integrity so players can scatter their units far and wide or have units from different regiments and divisions attacking a single hex with 100% coordination.

The CRT table maxing out to 5:1 without a die modifier for attacks that exceed those odds.

The Germans being able to trace supply without worrying about connections to roads.

These are just some of the issues I have with this game.

Hell's Highway is still the best depiction of this operation IMHO.

Look at the series. This is not supposed to be strict history. its a light game.
HttR has its own issues.
Try Devils Cauldron.
 
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mcdeans wrote:
JonasK wrote:
There are a number of rules (or lack of) that feels silly in this game.

There is no rule about combined-arms or defensive capabilities so a bunch of tank companies without infantry support can overwhelm an infantry company defending a city hex.

There is no rule about divisional/regimental integrity so players can scatter their units far and wide or have units from different regiments and divisions attacking a single hex with 100% coordination.

The CRT table maxing out to 5:1 without a die modifier for attacks that exceed those odds.

The Germans being able to trace supply without worrying about connections to roads.

These are just some of the issues I have with this game.

Hell's Highway is still the best depiction of this operation IMHO.

SCS is meant to be a quick, easy-playing game system. If you're looking for that level of rules detail you're in the wrong game system.

Agreed that Hell's Highway is a great game, and one of my favorites, but the rules are many times the length of SCS. Each is excellent at what it what it attempts to achieve.

very well said.
 
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mcdeans wrote:

SCS is meant to be a quick, easy-playing game system. If you're looking for that level of rules detail you're in the wrong game system.


Since the SCS's tactical simulation is on the company level as opposed to HH's battalion level, I was expecting a more granular representation of the situation.

Why bother representing each piece with a unit symbol if all combat types are going to function the same way? They might as well make it blank and save some ink since the NATO symbols don't mean anything in terms of game combat functions.

hipshot wrote:

Look at the series. This is not supposed to be strict history. its a light game.


I will not be so picky if this wasn't a monster game. It took about 20 hours to play the historical campaign. If one is going to invest that much time in playing the game, a little bit of chrome shouldn't have much of an impact.
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JonasK wrote:
mcdeans wrote:

SCS is meant to be a quick, easy-playing game system. If you're looking for that level of rules detail you're in the wrong game system.


Since the SCS's tactical simulation is on the company level as opposed to HH's battalion level, I was expecting a more granular representation of the situation.

Why bother representing each piece with a unit symbol if all combat types are going to function the same way? They might as well make it blank and save some ink since the NATO symbols don't mean anything in terms of game combat functions.


hipshot wrote:

Look at the series. This is not supposed to be strict history. its a light game.


I will not be so picky if this wasn't a monster game. It took about 20 hours to play the historical campaign. If one is going to invest that much time in playing the game, a little bit of chrome shouldn't have much of an impact.


I think the part highlighted by me is worth pointing out. I think that SCS is a light system is a thin argument. The system is not so light, in my opinion, to preclude that "chrome" necessary to the battle in question, and indeed why there are game-specific rulebooks.

If we as wargamers don't simply want to go through the motions of just about exactly replaying the historical battle, and want to play what-ifs and see how we might have done things differently, then the game really needs to address the most salient aspects. Specifically, managing the bridges and bridging is a mission-critical aspect of Market Garden. Differentiating between infantry and armour is another.

Yes, one can say, well then just play a different game of Market Garden. Fine, but then along with that goes legitimate criticism of It Never Snows.
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isaacc wrote:
JonasK wrote:
mcdeans wrote:

SCS is meant to be a quick, easy-playing game system. If you're looking for that level of rules detail you're in the wrong game system.


Since the SCS's tactical simulation is on the company level as opposed to HH's battalion level, I was expecting a more granular representation of the situation.

Why bother representing each piece with a unit symbol if all combat types are going to function the same way? They might as well make it blank and save some ink since the NATO symbols don't mean anything in terms of game combat functions.


hipshot wrote:

Look at the series. This is not supposed to be strict history. its a light game.


I will not be so picky if this wasn't a monster game. It took about 20 hours to play the historical campaign. If one is going to invest that much time in playing the game, a little bit of chrome shouldn't have much of an impact.


I think the part highlighted by me is worth pointing out. I think that SCS is a light system is a thin argument. The system is not so light, in my opinion, to preclude that "chrome" necessary to the battle in question, and indeed why there are game-specific rulebooks.

If we as wargamers don't simply want to go through the motions of just about exactly replaying the historical battle, and want to play what-ifs and see how we might have done things differently, then the game really needs to address the most salient aspects. Specifically, managing the bridges and bridging is a mission-critical aspect of Market Garden. Differentiating between infantry and armour is another.

Yes, one can say, well then just play a different game of Market Garden. Fine, but then along with that goes legitimate criticism of It Never Snows.
.


I recant.
You guys are right. For the investment chrome would not have hurt. Lord knows Essig is the master of module specific rules. I wonder what drove the decision?
I realized I am in no hurry to play again on a physical board- too much work for too little return. I realized that last nite and the ROI is driven by the inability of the system to capture a level or two more of chrome.

maybe some smart dude will publish some Chrome Errata for us?
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It's hard to say. Adding chrome makes a long game longer. But if the commitment is there to see it through, it's understandable that folks should want to make the most and get the most out of their time at the table.

I've only played once and thought the game overall was fine. The Allies had an SCS whizz pushing XXX Corps., so he knew the system well enough so that the corps was securing Nijmegen when we decided to call it. There were plenty of turns left, however, so it's not like the Allies gave up. The allotted time that the players had committed to playing the game was at an end.
 
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Sorry I'm late to the party fellas. Just picked this up in recent auction and have it all set to play solo campaign.

As Kev can attest, as I've espoused on other sites, my gut reaction is this game calls for more detailed rules. I can't speak to the bridge situation until Ive played it. However, as I read different posts and comments about the game, I can't see me not implementing some house rules after I play with the RAW. I am a big fan of Highway to the Reich (SPI)and the amount of detail left out of INS is almost painful. I'm also a big fan of The Battle for Normandy and I can see some of the rules from both of those games really polishing this one up.

I think the SCS is a good system and produces good games. This game is probably a great game as is. I just know myself and there is detail that I'm gonna want when playing.
 
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