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Author Topic: Is there a large skirmish game for Greeks and Romans?  (Read 11326 times)

Offline olyreed

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Re: Is there a large skirmish game for Greeks and Romans?
« Reply #30 on: October 15, 2014, 01:42:56 PM »
Now theres an idea. Thanks James

Offline Whitwort Stormbringer

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Re: Is there a large skirmish game for Greeks and Romans?
« Reply #31 on: October 15, 2014, 07:06:02 PM »
Looked at SAGA?   Not sure if there are any unofficial battle boards out there.

Sounds like the OP has settled on (or at least is leaning towards) Sharp Practice, but I thought I'd answer this just in case anyone else is interested.

I've seen some custom battle boards for Ancients over on the SAGA forums (link[/url]), but I also think you could get away with just proxying most of them pretty easily.  I might lean towards Scots for Greeks, since their Hearthguard are equipped with spears and many of their battleboard abilities key off of that, but they also have lighter archers which could be replicated by peltasts.  Romans are a bit trickier, but you could do them as an Anglo-Dane warband with Hereward the Wake and plenty of Flemmish Mercenaries, essentially functioning as a slow-moving, well-armored warband.  Most barbarians would probably be best-suited to Welsh or Irish, but maybe also Vikings for their aggressive playstyle, or maybe Norse-Gaels.  Really lightly armored barbarian enemies, like some of the Germanic tribes, could maybe be represented by Skraelings.

Offline Lardy Rich

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Re: Is there a large skirmish game for Greeks and Romans?
« Reply #32 on: October 17, 2014, 08:52:38 PM »
olyreed.  You may fancy a look at Dux Britanniarum, it is, essentially, an ancients version of Sharp Practice.  Certainly Saxon Dog (Dave Imrie) used them for a game at Salute a few years ago which was Romans versus Caledonians in about 50AD. 

The reason we stalled with the ECW variant was not the push of pike, that was pretty simple to bring into Sharp Practice, it was the lunatic cavalry of the era.  I wasn't happy with the way that aspect of the rules worked, and consequently set them aside for a bit.  I'll return to them one day and crack that aspect. 

Push of pike put more emphasis on shock rather than kills, so you didn't see large numbers of men getting killed, just ground being won/lost until one side got so disordered they decided to run off.  It's an over simplification of how it worked, but the essence is there. 

Maxxon, good evening!  I'm going to quote you at length and then reply to your points individually.  I tend not to get too involved in forums; some people like what we do, some don't.  I have make no claims to be perfect, but I do note that you are happy to criticise a set of rules which you state you neither own nor have read.  I feel, in that situation, that it might be best for me to point out what you are missing out on!  Hopefully you won't take this as a criticism, but purely as me simply attempting to provide assistance.  Let us begin:
   
You say:  This is getting off topic, but that's not at all it. Caveat emptor: I don't own CoC nor have I read them, I was taught the rules by a friend who has them.

I say:  Nice to know your pal enjoys them enough to show them to you.

You say:  I didn't like CoC because it felt so rigid and tasted like paper.

I say:  I can honestly say that I have never tasted any of our rules, but they are printed on paper, so I'm sure that's what they'll taste like.  Rigid?  That's a shame, as the very intention when writing them was to find a mechanism which encouraged flexibility. 

You say:  All your squads are always paper strength, there is no option for depleted squads. Thus if you're missing one figure from a full squad, you can't use them at all. Really?

I say:  No, not really at all.  You can field a depleted force if you wish.  The lists in the rules simply show you the organisational structures which we appropriate for the historical forces shown.   When you fire six men with rifles you roll 6D6.  If you only have four riflemen you roll 4D6.  And that is it.  The rules more than deal with that without any issues whatsoever.   You'd have know that if you'd read the rules. 

You say:  Missing historical options: E.g. I have these very nice Russian scouts. But they all have SMGs. In CoC, half your scouts have to have rifles, so I can't use them. Really? Russians never had a scout squad with all SMGs?

I say:  You're right!  I have not listed EVERY historical op[tion for every army in the world during WWII.  I have also not specificlly tailored the lists to suit the collection of one chap in Finland, i.e. YOU!  lol However, the rules have absolutely no problem with you fielding a completely ad hoc unit equipped with ten different weapons.  You'd have know that if you'd read the rules.   


You say:  The activation mechanic heavily favors organizations that have "all the slots filled". Playing Russians I often had to throw half my dice away as unusable. I agree that Russians are not the most flexible of armies, but this is bordering on ridiculous.

I say:  Half your dice?  I find that really hard to believe.  A roll of 1 activates a weapon team.  You don't have a lot of them because the Soviet tactical doctrine was not to break sections/squads down into teams; it's a very Russian feature and does make them less flexible than most force.  However, this also means that you will tend to get more support options than other nations, and they are lots of teams just waiting for you to roll a 1.  A roll of 2  means you activate a while squad/section, the same as other nations.  A roll of 3 means you activate a junior NCO, a squad leader.  That's the same as all other nations too.  Ditto with a roll of 4; it's a senior leader, the same as other nations.  Sure, you don't have a lot of them, but you have just as many as late war Germans.  5's and 6's are universally the same.  So, in truth, as a Soviet player you have a bit of a clunky structure which reflects the way your actually fought.  Please do remember that 1's are not wasted though; they can be used to add up to make other numbers.  If you found that, over a five hour game, you were discarding half your dice then I can only assume that you were rolling dice so far from the norm that any game would have appeared broken. 

You say:  The turnover mechanic is broken. Out of three test games I played, two never really managed to get to turnover -- despite one running over 5 hours! The dice just didn't turn up (and no, chain points were not used for other things). This wouldn't be so bad, if several other mechanics weren't dependant on turnover (unpinning, morale breaks etc.)

I say:  Why do you need a turn to end?  A turn represents a significant break in the action.  Each turn is broken down into an unspecified number of Phases.  I have played plenty of games where we have remained in the first turn throughout.  It never caused a problem.  I should stress that you CAN end a turn at your discretion, provided you have sufficient Chain of Command points.  But more on that in a moment. 

You say:  Chain points sound interesting, but in practice you barely manage to get one in a game and can use it to move your useless anyway sniper?

I say:  When you roll your command dice, every 5 rolled gains you a Chain of Command point.  Six of them gives you a Chain of Command dice which you can play, almost as a trump card, during the game.  You typically roll five command dice in each phase.   In five hours you should be clocking up any number of these.  They are designed to provide significant but momentary interventions om the player's part.  So, maybe you interrupt your opponent's move to open fire, maybe you end the turn to remove that smoke, maybe you spring an ambush.  If you feel, as you seem to, that your sniper is "useless", then maybe moving him is not the best use of the Chain of Command point? 

You say:  There's just too much rolling, too many separate little tables. Did your NCO get hit? Was he wounded or what? What is the effect on force morale? Roll, roll, roll... some people love these little random tables for everything, but I sure don't.

I say:  You say this is for "everything", but in fact you are only talking about a roll when an leader can possibly get hit.  It is a semi-skirmish game, and your Corporal getting hit is important.  The number of casualties tell you what the chances are (if you lose two men killed then a 1 or 2 means the Corporal gets hit) and a quick roll for effect is the important as the game revolves around the importance of battlefield leadership.  It is a simple effect table, the same every time, and can be memorised after just a single game.  To counter-balance that, you do not take a morale test when units get hit, only if something terrible happens.  So the amount of testing is kept very simple.  Fair enough, you don't like that. I would suggest that if you played the game more than once you'd realise how unintrusive this actually is, and what a key part of the game it is. 

You say:  The kill mechanics are wonky. You score 3 kills on a squad remnants of 3 guys. Just clear them off and continue? Oh no, the sarge might be hit! Why do I need to dice for this if there's already a kill per man? Results in squads being reduced to lone wounded sergeants running around the table with nothing to do.

I say:  Or it may just as easily result in a section which has lost its NCO and needs leadership to get it to function properly.  This is the same point as above and I have covered it there, but again I think your experience is a-typical. 

You say:  There's no incentive to move. Don't get me wrong, I totally agree with unlimited rifle range. But the movement is so slow and pondersome that it seems that in most cases after getting in cover you're better of just staying put and shooting. (Which is realistically what many troops did, but boring to game).

I say:  I disagree with that.  Capturing your opponents territory is the most effective way of breaking his morale.  The rules are designed entirely to mimic the doctrine of fire and movement in WWI tactical manuals.  That is absolutely what the game is all about.  It is very easy to stand still and fire, it is equally easy to move and get shot; this game is about learning to combine both and thereby achieve your objectives.   

You say:  Splitting squads and splitting fire against split squads are just weird and confused (maybe my friend just never managed explain it).

I say:  I truly don't understand that statement.  Chain of Command is designed to allow the player, you, to structure your forces however you want.  The game is derivative of a WWI set which allows the player to put together a trench raiding team to his own specifications.  So, if you want to combine all of your Bren teams into a massive fire group under the Platoon sergeant and all of your rifle teams into a massive movement element under the Lieutenant then YOU CAN DO IT! There are no special rules, they aren't needed, the system allows you to do all that with ease.  Which, again, you may have discovered if you'd read the rules. 

You say:  National special rules -- have I ever mentioned I hate special rules? If your game is not good with just the basic rules, I'm not interested.

I say:  We are possibly going to disagree on this one, but in broad terms I hate rules which say "All Japanese are mad psychos" or "All Germans eats sausages", by which I mean I dislike rules which are based on stereotypes.  The national characteristic rules in Chain of Command represent tactical doctrine.  So, for example, the Germans are rewarded when they base their firepower around the MG42, because that was their tactical doctrine.  They are rewarded when they emphasis the use of hand grenades in the assault, because that was their tactical doctrine.  Are they obliged to use these?  No, not at all.  You can choose to ignore these, but all they do is reflect the way your troops have been trained and reward you when you fight like that.  They do not penalise you when you fight in a different manner.  I think that is a subtle but critical difference between the way we handle such characteristics in Chain of Command and the stereotypes one can fine elsewhere. 

You say:  There's loads of single dice rolls that are super-important for the game, like the reinforcement roll at the beginning. It can make or break a Soviet force whether they can get a commissar or not. Likewise a couple of bad rolls on the morale effects can wreck your force while the other guy waltzes through rolling "no effect" all the time. Where's the skill? Why bother playing if it's down to one D6 roll anyway?

I say:  But it is never down to "one D6 roll".  You ALWAYS get multiple D6's and, with each phase representing ten seconds of real time, are we really suggesting that your commissar may not be ten seconds late turning up, or twenty seconds?  That is a fundamental difference between rules which allow you absolute control over every aspect of your forces (i,e, total control), and a set which obliges you to react to the fact that someone may not turn up perfectly on time.  Remember, if you are having such issues, so is your opponent.  He is not playing with absolute control while you are not; you are both faced with the obligation to make the best out of every phase of play.  I won't apologise for that, this is precisely what the rules were designed to represent.

In each turn you have up to five opportunities and you can play them in whatever order you like.  How you put those together is all about reflecting the command decisions the man on the ground can make:  I cannot do everything I want to do in the time available, so what are my priorities.  That's what command is all about.  I'm sorry if you don't enjoy that type of game, but that is what the rules are designed to reflect. 

Quote
Apart from that, it absolutely can be played with fewer figures per side. It probably won't adapt to micro-action of 2 to 10 minis in total (though I'm crazy enough to try something similar for epic duels where combatants have unit stats). But we played it with 30-something models per side and reduced unit sizes, like 8 men making up a company (here's proof).

You say:  Ok, it seems that Rich is mispresenting his own ruleset and losing customers...

I say:  Our web site says, in the product description for the rules "Sharp Practice transcend the gap between wargaming and role playing and allow the gamer to fight large scale skirmishes between 30 and 120 figures per side."  That is precisely what I think the rules are good for.  Yes, I have played games with 24 figures, but I would suggest that 30 or more makes for a great game. 

I hope that at least explains my view of Chain of Command.  I can only apologise for interrupting the talk of ancient stuff, but I did feel that I should reply to what was essentially a pretty damning commentary on a set of rules which I not only wrote, but also absolutely love to play. 

To return to the OP, if I can be of any assistance with your attempts to work with Sharp Practice, then please don't hesitate to ask.

Best regards

Richard

Offline Poiter50

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Re: Is there a large skirmish game for Greeks and Romans?
« Reply #33 on: October 18, 2014, 01:59:02 AM »
Well, said, Chief Lardey. I too was quite stunned by the statement "played but not read the rules" and then proceeding to bag portions of the rules, processes etc despite not knowing rule content. I have now played 3 or 4 ChoC games, watched 3 or more others, provided forces for several and the rules are gathering a following at our local club. To me, the rules are far better and realistic than other WW2 sets.

Slightly OTT, so really anyone looking for Geeks and Roman clashes should give Dux Brit a run and IIRC there was a game in one of TFL Specials that pitted Romans against Germans in a very successful way, showing the adaptability of the rule set.
Cheers,
Poiter50

Offline Lardy Rich

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Re: Is there a large skirmish game for Greeks and Romans?
« Reply #34 on: October 18, 2014, 03:00:49 AM »
Thanks Poiter,

Good to hear you're enjoying the rules! 

Anyway, I still feel guilty about doing WWII on an ancients list, so I've dug out this link to Dave Imrie's game at Salute a few years ago:

http://adlastofthefree.blogspot.co.uk/

Hopefully it'll prove helpful.

Rich

Offline olyreed

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Re: Is there a large skirmish game for Greeks and Romans?
« Reply #35 on: October 18, 2014, 10:14:52 AM »
Thanks for all the info guys, I really like Dux, had many a good game with it down the club, just need to get some ancient greeks and will delve into it over the winter along with far to many other periods that im doing at the mo...Thanks Rich as well for the comments, much appreciated

Offline Mad Doc Morris

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Re: Is there a large skirmish game for Greeks and Romans?
« Reply #36 on: October 19, 2014, 09:29:15 AM »
Sorry, Rich, got that bit of "pike blocks" wrong then. In that case I hope you'll find a way to depict caracole &c one day.
Still think Ancient and Medieval battles are better done with DuxBrit than SP. I'm not convinced advanced formations were a strength of all those people back then – despite most rulesets (and military historians) making a fuss about chequerboard maniples or hoplites in oblique order for example.

Regarding SAGA I'm with Whitwort Stormbringer here. We've played Romans as Anglo-Saxons (better in large formations) and Germans as Vikings (tough individual warriors) – worked reasonably well. Just don't expect any kind of 'historical feel' since it's first and foremost a game rather than a simulation of real warfare. Then again, 'hallmark soldiers' like hoplites in full panoply or heavily armed legionaries wouldn't necessarily be seen fighting beyond larger engagements anyway. Raids or foraging were probably undertaken by more lightly equipped soldiers, and so you could be better off using peltasts/antesignani/any skirmisher-type warrior for this kind of 'small wars'.

Offline axabrax

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Re: Is there a large skirmish game for Greeks and Romans?
« Reply #37 on: October 19, 2014, 05:54:35 PM »
Why would you want to use a Black Powder system for Ancients? Dux B makes more sense to me as Rich suggests.

Offline Mad Doc Morris

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Re: Is there a large skirmish game for Greeks and Romans?
« Reply #38 on: October 19, 2014, 06:19:04 PM »
Why would you want to use a Black Powder system for Ancients? Dux B makes more sense to me as Rich suggests.

No one's said otherwise since. :) However, there are already fan-made adaptations of SP for the Medieval period like jimbibbly's or a WotR set and maybe others. Guess that's where people are coming from.

Offline eilif

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Re: Is there a large skirmish game for Greeks and Romans?
« Reply #39 on: October 19, 2014, 08:55:33 PM »
Is that going to be substantially different than the other Song games?

I have Drums & Shakos and it's a bit weird how much space they use talking about brigades and divisions when the game is really meant for half a dozen models per side.

And given the way Song works, upscaling works even less than with traditional games that just get painfully slow with too many models.
If it uses the "Of Gods and Mortals" mechanics, then it's significantly different.  OGAM has squad-type mechanics for open order and closed order units of 4-8 soldiers.  OGAM also has a simple reaction mechanic that gives your opponent the some reaction options when you roll failed activation dice. It's a very nice system that builds on SBH without over-complicating it. OGAM plays only slightly slower than SBH, but accommodates 3-5 times as many miniatures.

Of course, we don't know yet if it will use the OGAM features.  You could just use OGAM without Gods.

Offline maxxon

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Re: Is there a large skirmish game for Greeks and Romans?
« Reply #40 on: October 20, 2014, 10:19:21 AM »
I would split this off to a diffirent thread if I knew how to, sorry.

Rich, I've no interest in arguing this. I feel you misunderstood a couple of my points and I'll try to adress them.

And yes, I am happy to offer comment on rules that I have actually played, which seems to be more than many reviewers bother to do.

I say:  No, not really at all.  You can field a depleted force if you wish. 

This is not at all what I got from the force selection process. All I saw was a list of set choices with no options.

Yes, I understand that all possibilities can't be covered. Yes, I can write a scenario with set forces. But for "list style" play it feels very rigid.

Quote
I say:  Half your dice?  I find that really hard to believe.

Yes, I frequently had to trash 2-3 dice out of a roll of 5. A single 1 does nothing if you don't have weapon teams (as I didn't). A single 6 does nothing for anybody. A 4 does nothing if your only senior leader is still off the table herding men onto the table. If you roll more than one 4 later in the game, the extras are wasted for the same reason. Even with a full platoon on table if you roll five 2's, some of those will be unusable.

Quote
I say:  Why do you need a turn to end? 

Because I want to unpin my squads! Even if I rally the shock off, they're not actually unpinned before turnover. Or did we misunderstand this bit somehow?

Quote
I say:  When you roll your command dice, every 5 rolled gains you a Chain of Command point. 

Yes, I know. Maybe our dice shy away from 5's, but they've just never been an abundant resource in our games.

Quote
I say:  You say this is for "everything", but in fact you are only talking about a roll when an leader can possibly get hit. 

You are familiar with the concept of an example? I think the game would be better if a number of those small 1d6 tables were eliminated and replaced with set results. If your sarge gets hit, THIS happens, no rolls or tables.

Quote
I say:  Or it may just as easily result in a section which has lost its NCO and needs leadership to get it to function properly.  This is the same point as above and I have covered it there, but again I think your experience is a-typical. 

So we did not play it wrong? If I score 3 kills on 3 guys, can you please tell me in which way the game is better by not just removing them but instead resulting in a lone wounded sarge left on the table? He can't command anyone else anyway (unless we missed something, which is admittedly very possible).

Quote
It is very easy to stand still and fire, it is equally easy to move and get shot; this game is about learning to combine both and thereby achieve your objectives.   

Well, the test scenarios were pretty bland and did not force movement. But I just didn't see the need to move in a basic firefight. Why move? If I close range to improve firepower, it's going to improve his firepower also, and I'm disadvantaged while moving. Move to a flanking position? There is no flanking/crossfire bonus in the game.

Quote
I say:  I truly don't understand that statement. 

I guess I didn't communicate that very well. I meant the splitting of squads during the game. My squad shoots your squad, fine. Then you split your squad into teams, WITHOUT MOVING THEM, and magically one half becomes immune to fire directed at the other or I have to go through some split fire procedure that's very confusing. The way I see it, my guys are shooting at the same bush, your guys are still at the exact same spots, why should I need to know your organizational structure to shoot at you?

Quote
The national characteristic rules in Chain of Command represent tactical doctrine. 

What I meant that a guy with a rifle is a guy with a rifle. I feel that in a good game design this is an interesting game. Too many games (just to be clear not speaking specifically of Chain here) are rock-paper-scissors -designs. The problem with that is that rock vs. rock is a very boring game.

I'm glad that you said that national rules can be ignored in Chain -- we mostly did anyway. It's just that it seems to me that without them the extra activation potential of the junior leaders is somewhat wasted. If I don't have split teams or shock to rally off, what am I going to use the second activation point on? National specials, I was told.

Quote
I say:  But it is never down to "one D6 roll".  You ALWAYS get multiple D6's and,

I think you misunderstood. I meant things like the one roll you get to determine your support level. Like rolling for your initial morale. Rolling for the morale effect of losing a leader or squad. Those are all single d6 rolls that can have significant impact on the game. I would rather have seen set effects or bell curve rolls.

In Car Wars there was a pre-game roll called reaction roll. It was a single d6 roll that essentially gave you a permanent bonus if you rolled a 5 or 6. In other words, if you did NOT roll a 5 or 6 at the start of the game, you were screwed. They quickly changed it for the competition rules that everyone was assumed to roll a 5...


Quote
I say:  Our web site says, in the product description for the rules "Sharp Practice transcend the gap between wargaming and role playing and allow the gamer to fight large scale skirmishes between 30 and 120 figures per side."  That is precisely what I think the rules are good for.  Yes, I have played games with 24 figures, but I would suggest that 30 or more makes for a great game. 

I'm sorry, I must have missed something there. Somehow I got fixated on having to paint shako cordage on 120 models per side... shudder... I have to give Sharp another look.

P.S. I'm sorry if I didn't remember something correctly. Factual errors result most likely from my limited recollective faculties.
Small Cuts - a miniatures webzine - www.smallcuts.net

Offline Lardy Rich

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Re: Is there a large skirmish game for Greeks and Romans?
« Reply #41 on: October 20, 2014, 02:24:22 PM »
Looking at the original question, one of the things we do in Dux Raiders is introduce the spear hedge.  This is essentially a formation which bristles with spears for its own protection.  The perceived advantage is that holding together as a body increases the unit's cohesion.  As a result it ignores the first point of Shock inflicted on each group in the spear hedge in any round of combat.  That is a quite significant advantage, especially for Raiders who are quite easily shocked generally.  Would that have any relevance for the type of formation you're thinking about? 

Rich

Offline olyreed

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Re: Is there a large skirmish game for Greeks and Romans?
« Reply #42 on: October 20, 2014, 02:54:00 PM »
I competely forgot about that rule in Raiders, I must re read that tonight, the rule(i would think) would work for ancients and also thinking about it my samurai, Thanks Rich

Offline Lardy Rich

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Re: Is there a large skirmish game for Greeks and Romans?
« Reply #43 on: October 20, 2014, 02:57:55 PM »
Maxxon

Like you, I'd prefer to take this conversation somewhere other tan the ancients board.  Unlike you, I can't do those clever quote boxes, so this could get confusing!

You say:  This is not at all what I got from the force selection process. All I saw was a list of set choices with no options.  Yes, I understand that all possibilities can't be covered. Yes, I can write a scenario with set forces. But for "list style" play it feels very rigid.


I say:  Well, the game is all about exploring real world tactics and the best starting point for that is real world formations.  That's the premise from which the game begins.  However, you can field what you like if you want to change things.

You say:  Yes, I frequently had to trash 2-3 dice out of a roll of 5. A single 1 does nothing if you don't have weapon teams (as I didn't). A single 6 does nothing for anybody. A 4 does nothing if your only senior leader is still off the table herding men onto the table. If you roll more than one 4 later in the game, the extras are wasted for the same reason. Even with a full platoon on table if you roll five 2's, some of those will be unusable.

I say:  1's are not useless as you can use them to add them up to other numbers.  However, ultimately the system is designed to oblige you to make choices about what you can do with what is available.  If that ain't your gig then the system won't suit you.  No problems there.  

You say (in two answers):  Because I want to unpin my squads! Even if I rally the shock off, they're not actually unpinned before turnover. Or did we misunderstand this bit somehow?... Maybe our dice shy away from 5's, but they've just never been an abundant resource in our games.

I say:  I wrote with rules on the bedrock that, over a period of reasonable time (like the duration of a game), one in six dice rolled would be a 5.  However, like the command dice, the game is all about operating in an imperfect environment and making the bets of what opportunities come your way.  That's the reality of command, the rules attempt to mirror that.  

You say, again in two posts:  You are familiar with the concept of an example? I think the game would be better if a number of those small 1d6 tables were eliminated and replaced with set results. If your sarge gets hit, THIS happens, no rolls or tables....If I score 3 kills on 3 guys, can you please tell me in which way the game is better by not just removing them but instead resulting in a lone wounded sarge left on the table? He can't command anyone else anyway.

I say:  But that is to ignore the very fact that command and control, embodied in the handful of key leaders on the table, is absolutely at the heart of the game.  It make a huge difference is your sergeant is killed or slightly wounded.  For the vast majority of figures on the table they get shot, they die.  Simple as that.  But when one of the four key people in your Soviet platoon get hit, we test for the result then.  And only then.  You seem to assume that the NCO will always be the last man left as a result.  This is, in my experience, usually not the case.  If a squad loses their NCO in the game that has a large effect on its abilities during the game.  It's a key design component.  If you don't like it then these are not the rules you are looking for.

You say:  Well, the test scenarios were pretty bland and did not force movement. But I just didn't see the need to move in a basic firefight. Why move? If I close range to improve firepower, it's going to improve his firepower also, and I'm disadvantaged while moving. Move to a flanking position? There is no flanking/crossfire bonus in the game.

I say:  This is for the very reason that soldiers have been taught fire and manoeuvre tactics since the 19thC.  Winning on the battlefield is not just about killing all of your opponents.  To take such an approach is to simply line up and rely on the Gods of war to allow your thirty odd blokes to shoot better than your opponent's thirty-odd blokes.  In reality, soldier attempt to manoeuvre in order to put their opponent at a disadvantage.  That is precisely what Chain of Command replicate.  

You say:  I guess I didn't communicate that very well. I meant the splitting of squads during the game. My squad shoots your squad, fine. Then you split your squad into teams, WITHOUT MOVING THEM, and magically one half becomes immune to fire directed at the other or I have to go through some split fire procedure that's very confusing. The way I see it, my guys are shooting at the same bush, your guys are still at the exact same spots, why should I need to know your organizational structure to shoot at you?

I say:  I think you must be getting this wrong.  If you have a Soviet squad on a hedgerow and I am shooting at that, all the hits are on that squad.  If you decide to split your squad into two teams as you plan to fire with the LMG and move with the rifle team, then my fire is just split, half and half, between the two teams.  Nobody becomes immune from fire and dividing hits between two adjacent units is something all wargames rules involve from time to time.  I don't see the issue.  

You say:  What I meant that a guy with a rifle is a guy with a rifle. I feel that in a good game design this is an interesting game. Too many games (just to be clear not speaking specifically of Chain here) are rock-paper-scissors -designs. The problem with that is that rock vs. rock is a very boring game.

I'm glad that you said that national rules can be ignored in Chain -- we mostly did anyway. It's just that it seems to me that without them the extra activation potential of the junior leaders is somewhat wasted. If I don't have split teams or shock to rally off, what am I going to use the second activation point on? National specials, I was told.

I say:  You're missing a trick, in my opinion, if you simply ignore national doctrines.  They were very important in reality.  

You say:  I think you misunderstood. I meant things like the one roll you get to determine your support level. Like rolling for your initial morale. Rolling for the morale effect of losing a leader or squad. Those are all single d6 rolls that can have significant impact on the game. I would rather have seen set effects or bell curve rolls.

I say:  I wouldn't   :D  The range of force morale is already on a small curve.  1/2 =8, 3/4 = 9, 5=10, 6=11.  This is all part of representing the uncertainty of war.  If you roll 6 and your men are gung-ho and up for it, you can take a very different approach then if their Force Morale is at 8.    I like that, it adds an additional challenge.  The alternative seems rather vanilla to me, where everyone starts off at a very average point, and then you really may as not bother in the first place.  

You say:  In Car Wars there was a pre-game roll called reaction roll. It was a single d6 roll that essentially gave you a permanent bonus if you rolled a 5 or 6. In other words, if you did NOT roll a 5 or 6 at the start of the game, you were screwed. They quickly changed it for the competition rules that everyone was assumed to roll a 5...

I say:  And that is not the case here.  

Ultimately, I am not attempting to persuade you to play Chain of Command, it sounds like there are many aspects of the rules which don't suit you.  No set of rules suits everyone, and maybe something which is less rooted in historical reality may suit you?  Personally, I am intrigued by the importance of leadership in action and by the way infantry tactics developed and varied.  As a result, these two issues form the foundations for Chain of Command.  

Have you tried Bolt Action?  I think they may be more up your street as fewer grey cells seems to die in action.

Rich

Offline emosbur

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 522
    • A COVA DO TRASNO
Re: Is there a large skirmish game for Greeks and Romans?
« Reply #44 on: October 22, 2014, 07:20:33 PM »
Sorry, Rich, got that bit of "pike blocks" wrong then. In that case I hope you'll find a way to depict caracole &c one day.


Caracole? What caracole?

http://wapenshaw.wordpress.com/2007/04/30/cavalry-charges-part-drie/

 :D :D :D

Emilio

 

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