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Subject: NVA/US Cube on Cube Combat, how? rss

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Ernie Blofeld
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It's very interesting to see the evolution of the COIN system. Fire in the Lake would appear to have a lot of new concepts.

One mechanic that will no doubt be important is how clashes between conventional forces will be handled, i.e. the NVA vs. US or ARVN forces.

Will NVA forces have to be 'swept'? The great disparity in firepower would make the NVA conventional forces appear to be very vulnerable unless they are somehow hidden.

Modeling conventional battles (even in an abstract way) is a big step forward for the system and so I'm very curious how it will be handled conceptually.

The three guesses that come to my mind are die rolls, cube loss ratios, or having NVA forces screened like bases by guerrillas. My money's on screening, but then again I'm the guy who cancelled Firefly...

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Thomas Billaud
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My money is on a die roll !
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Brian Berg Asklev Hansen
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My money are on different casualty ratios depending on which faction is attacking
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Brian Berg Asklev Hansen
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The introduction of cube vs cube fighting opens up alot of other conflicts to the COIN series, so I have hopes for a Yugoslavian Civil War in the 90ties COIN game somewhere in the future.
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Volko Ruhnke
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An issue we worried a lot to be sure! Thanks for raising. It works like this...

The NVA have Guerrillas--representing lighter NVA infantry as well as actual Northern-led guerrillas--and also have a much larger number of Troops. NVA and ARVN Troops on the offensive remove 1 enemy per 2 Troops (ARVN 1 for 3 in Highland). US remove 1 for 1, 1 for 2 in Highland. NVA in a given space may either Attack with their Guerrillas (per standard Attack rules) or their Troops (leaving Underground Guerrillas Underground).

NVA Troops are always Active and shield Guerrillas, not the other way round (the heavier forces protect the activities and presence of the lighter). So red Troops are very vulnerable to losses when in contact with the enemy. Moreover, any US Troop cube removed in an NVA/VC Attack costs the Attacker 1 Attacking piece in Attrition (whether Troop or Guerrilla), representing the US firepower advantage on the defensive. (Ambushing avoids this penalty but is not as deadly to the US/ARVN, removing only 1 piece per space.)

So why don't the NVA Troops just get wiped out? Well, they often do -- NVA losses historically were severe. But there are always more coming from the North; that is, if the Trail is in good shape, the NVA player can infiltrate a lot of Troops in to makeup for those losses.

Second, the NVA can remain out of contact in their semi-sanctuaries of Laos and Cambodia. There are political risks to COIN forces venturing there, and Ben Air Strike typically requires a COIN piece to be in the target space.

So the NVA player's decision of when to march into South Vietnam and start ducking it out for control of the. Population becomes very interesting!

Volko

PS What is Firefly ?
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Brian Berg Asklev Hansen
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Where is my prize?
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Volko Ruhnke
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Have a coin!
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Jason Maxwell
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Volko wrote:

PS What is Firefly ?
Joss Whedon's (Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dollhouse) best work. A rag-tag crew on board a Firefly-class spaceship surviving on the edge of the system/galaxy controlled by the Alliance after a civil war where the captain of the ship fought for the losing (not wrong) side. Actors Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Adam Baldwin, Alan Tudyk, Jewel Staite, Summer Glau, Ron Glass, Morena Baccarin, and Sean Maher star.
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Volko Ruhnke
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Thanks!
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Ernie Blofeld
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The guy who cancelled Firefly is a lot like the guy who cancelled the original Star Trek, not someone you'd trust to make a wise decision...
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Volko Ruhnke
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Ah, now you're speaking to my generation!
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Nathan Lee
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Very interesting. And I presume the Americans lose credibility back home as the losses mount?

Also, just wondering why a COIN piece would have to be in a space targeted for bombardment...was that historical? Obviously on this scale they aren't spotters, are they?

Nathan

PS Firefly is a short-lived but excellent TV series by Joss Whedon. Here is the imdb link:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0303461/
 
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Igor Sangulin
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brian asklev aursen wrote:
I have hopes for a Yugoslavian Civil War in the 90ties COIN game
Brian, why would you think that Yugoslav wars were COIN operations? Only Kosovo War was insurgency, conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia were frontline warfare operations.
 
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Joel Tamburo
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Actually it would be interesting to do WW2 Yugoslavia in COIN - the problem is trying to clearly delineate four factions.

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Noiseman wrote:
It's very interesting to see the evolution of the COIN system. Fire in the Lake would appear to have a lot of new concepts.

One mechanic that will no doubt be important is how clashes between conventional forces will be handled, i.e. the NVA vs. US or ARVN forces.

Will NVA forces have to be 'swept'? The great disparity in firepower would make the NVA conventional forces appear to be very vulnerable unless they are somehow hidden.

Modeling conventional battles (even in an abstract way) is a big step forward for the system and so I'm very curious how it will be handled conceptually.

The three guesses that come to my mind are die rolls, cube loss ratios, or having NVA forces screened like bases by guerrillas. My money's on screening, but then again I'm the guy who cancelled Firefly...
Good lord man, that's a brave thing to admit if true. Just about any sci-fi discussion I've followed in the last ten years have devolved into, "Whar Firefly, whar???".

It almost has its own subsection of the Godwin's law.
 
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Igor Sangulin
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Joelist wrote:
Actually it would be interesting to do WW2 Yugoslavia in COIN - the problem is trying to clearly delineate four factions.
Yes, actually you could consistently do WW2 Croatia in COIN. Most of WW2 partisan and Chetnik insurgency and Axis/Croatian counter-insurgency were on its territory and its borders.
GMT wouldn’t have too much orders but it would be very interesting game.
 
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Ernie Blofeld
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Originally I was just going to write, "...I'm the guy who cancelled Star Trek" but I decided to contemporize instead because the whoever cancelled Star Trek must be pushing 95. I should just accept impending fogeydom and stick to the familiar jokes...

Back on topic, thanks for the explanation Volko.

One followup question though, the US offensive ratio is 2:1 in highlands terrain. Does this also hold for jungle/forest since it doesn't take two cubes to sweep as in Andean Abyss?

The first Vietnam book I read was The Thirteenth Valley, a novel about a battalion of the 101st Airborne searching for the NVA in a jungle valley. No simple task. I'm guessing this searching is incorporated/abstracted into the 'must be a unit in contact for an airstrike' rule. But we all know how skilled I am at guessing...
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Volko Ruhnke
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Quote:
Does this also hold for jungle/forest since it doesn't take two cubes to sweep as in Andean Abyss?
It does. Sweep in Jungle Activates 1 Guerrilla per 2 cubes/Irregulars/Rangers.
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Joel Tamburo
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Wait!

You mean cube combat doesn't consist of the players involved throwing their cubes from the space at each other? Casualties determined by cuts/bruises on the opposing player...
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Volko Ruhnke
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Well, it can ... There can always be house rules ... GMT assumes no liability, I believe.
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Andre Oliveira
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Hi Volko,

Thanks for clarifying!
Do you guys have the Operations and Special activities defined for each faction? Even if the specific mechanics are not yet designed, at least the list of operations and activities would be a very interesting thing to know!!

Thanks
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Volko Ruhnke
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Hi Andre! The mechanics are designed, we are already in playtest! All that is missing is the solitaire system, which will wait until the mechanics are validated and decent strategy is understood.

The Ops menus are standard as in the other volumes with a few twists. So for US and ARVN they are Train, Patrol, Sweep, and Assault. For NVA and VC, Rally, March, Attack, Terror. These Operations will be quite familiar to execute for players of any of the other volumes.

The Special Activities are:

US -- Advise, Air Lift, Air Strike.
NVA -- Infiltrate, Bombard, Ambush.
ARVN -- Govern, Transport, Raid.
VC -- Tax, Subvert, Ambush.

None of these Special Activities work exactly the same as counterparts in other volumes, but several are similar, again with twists. The ones that are completely different are:

US Advise, which enables the US player to maneuver and strike with allied ARVN forces and indigenous counter-guerrillas and augment aid.

NVA Infiltrate, which is the main means of infiltrating Laos, Cambodia, and South Vietnam with NVA regular troops.

NVA Bombard, which is long-range harrassing fire to cause casualties to concentrated US and ARVN troops from within an NVA sanctuary.

ARVN Raid, which is movement and attack by ARVN Rangers (more counter-guerrillas).

Thanks for asking! Best regards, Volko

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Andre Oliveira
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Hi Volko
Thank you very much for your prompt and complete answer.
I think the decision to use the same basic operations from previous games in the series was a very good one, for it provides some measure of familiarity for the fan of the series (like myself).
This is probably the game that I am most anxiously expecting to arrive at my doorstep. Thank you for that too.

Best

Andre
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Scott de Brestian
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Does the COIN system absolutely require four factions? I don't see any particular reason why the system wouldn't work with three, or five factions.
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Volko Ruhnke
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Ah! The question is untested.

There was a COIN Series design in work (not by me, and currently shelved) that involved only 3 players: three main factions, each also controlling a minor faction as well.

Should someone design one for 3 or 5 factions and it works, we'll know!

vfr
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