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Breaking the Boundaries - operational or strategic game generating tactical ones

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Author Topic: Breaking the Boundaries - operational or strategic game generating tactical ones  (Read 422 times)
Calandale
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« on: July 18, 2014, 12:32:04 am »

I loved doing this with Fed Space or Fed & Emp for SFB scenarios. It seems quite easy with air or naval games.

But what about land? How do you go about deciding the terrain that it will be fought on?
Minis systems sometimes have good solutions - I did an Age of Reason game where players
got a random selection of features to construct the battlefield with. This gets rougher
with fixed boards though.
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« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2014, 06:52:28 am »

At the lowest level I think ASL would work fairly well. Lots of different boards (and overlays) would allow you to select just about any terrain to fight over and there are enough different nationalities covered you could pretty much do any WWII scenario.

The obvious problem is getting down to that level from just about any operational game. Say we ignore specific games (basically ignoring terrain and OB concerns) within a system and just try to work our way down from operational all the way ASL using existing systems. What system(s) would fill the gap between say OCS and ASL?
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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2014, 07:56:51 am »

Not sure just what you can represent with the units from PanzerBlitz/Panzer Leader in regards to units larger than a regiment, but their geomorphic boards would provide terrain flexibility.

I think it would be easier to link them with ASL than going in the opposite direction.

Regardless, it would require a special type of madness to attempt it. Plus a lifetime's supply of free pizza.    Roll Eyes
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2014, 08:25:17 am »

What system(s) would fill the gap between say OCS and ASL?

I might say TCS, but platoon level is too close to squad level. Ideally some company-level system, then. In fact, SASL missions are usually generated with a company being the base overall organizational unit. A company would give you about 10-12 squads in ASL, which seems appropriate for a typical scenario.
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Calandale
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2014, 09:33:42 am »

OK - trying to do this with 20th century warfare, where battles no longer mean what they once did, at squad level is NOT what I meant.

But there ARE analogous layers which present the same problem - like taking a hex in WiF, and fighting out the attack on it (I guess) using
a more operational system.
It's just that combat in 20th Century tends not to be discrete, so it can always be extended (an issue in some 19th century situations too -
and a very few earlier).
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2014, 11:14:43 am »

Ever since reading a few chapters about several wargame minis campaign in one of Donald Featherstone's books, I have thought trying something similar would be fantastic.

There were several types of these campaigns, but they all generally involved playing operationally on a map. When two forces met, the small portion of the map at that location was duplicated on a miniatures table. Where, of course, the battle took place.

Other than being uber cool, what also comes into play is the need to determine how to leave the battlefield if things are no going so well. (Aside: Remember that discussion some time back Enrico?). What such a system should allow would be the very real difficulty the losing side would have in unsticking themselves from the foe and not letting a tactical loss turn into a rout. And, of course, the notion of how much loss is acceptable in a battle comes into play too.

I think such a playing experience would be extraordinary. And really it could be done for any time period I suspect. Taking it one step further and placing it, say, in the early-to-mid 19th century, imagine being able to use cavalry in the reconnaissance role for which much of it was intended? Possibilities ....

***********

About the closest I have been able to come to this type of system was with operational-ish Napoleonic games like L'Armee du Nord and Jena. If I recall, the infantry units are .... divisions I think. So you are prancing about three maps trying to get your army in the right place at the right time. Ideally, you concentrate at the point you desire and flight it out over a relatively small number of hexes (it will vary, but I think something like Quatre Bras would be roughly 5 hexes by 5 hexes; about 25 hexes). The overall impact is to get have the operational game with just enough terrain detail suggestive of the tactical battlefield. Kind of.

I suppose something like CWBS would provide a similar experience, but really only when playing the full, nine map 7 Days to allow for maneuver / concentration? The units there are brigades which would better allow for the tactical feel, but the scope there might be too small.
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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2014, 11:45:08 am »


There were several types of these campaigns, but they all generally involved playing operationally on a map. When two forces met, the small portion of the map at that location was duplicated on a miniatures table. Where, of course, the battle took place.

This is the optimal, but requires tactical level maps for the whole campaign. I guess that would be easy with computer assistance.


A tactical design like Up Front would be the easiest to cope with this actually. But, I'm interested in choices of making the terrain work
for games with maps to maneuver on. That's what I want to see.



Quote
I suppose something like CWBS would provide a similar experience, but really only when playing the full, nine map 7 Days to allow for maneuver / concentration? The units there are brigades which would better allow for the tactical feel, but the scope there might be too small.


That does give a lot of room for broad strokes, but it still is a pretty limited campaign.

I want MOAR!
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2014, 01:35:01 pm »

This is the optimal, but requires tactical level maps for the whole campaign. I guess that would be easy with computer assistance.

I think these guys, long before the PC came into usage, drew their own maps over a grid system. Each square formed by the grid would correspond to a mini's table. Or some such.

Then there was the non-third party blind campaign using a grid pattern of stacked (rows and columns) glued matchboxes ....    Shocked  Each side moved on a map over layed with a grid pattern matching the boxes (and numbered accordingly). When their forces moved into a new area, they opened up the matching matchbox and placed a note in it. Then it was the other side's turn and they did the same while the first side left the room. Whenever a matchbox ended up with notes from both sides in it .... voila, a battle commenced.

But I digress ...

The advent of Google Maps and other easily accessible terrain information makes for some interesting possibilities.
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2014, 02:54:35 pm »

I think a combination of geomorphic maps and GCACW would be amazing.  We have good OOBs for the divisions and the campaigns that are covered.  It seems like you could really market a product like that too.  Orders would be pre-gen from the type of engagement which could be interesting as well.
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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2014, 02:58:11 pm »

This is the optimal, but requires tactical level maps for the whole campaign. I guess that would be easy with computer assistance.

I think these guys, long before the PC came into usage, drew their own maps over a grid system. Each square formed by the grid would correspond to a mini's table. Or some such.



Definitely could be done - but you need to cover the whole campaign area at the tactical scale.
Seems impossible to say do the Napoleonic Wars that way.
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Calandale
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« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2014, 05:32:44 am »

New thread: http://thegamebox.gamesontables.com/index.php?topic=32.0
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