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Desert War: The Monster Stack? - 8/4/2018 4:59:06 AM   
bcgames


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An emerging theme from observers of Desert War is...some folks are against "monster stacks". As I look at setting the conditions for success of an Eastern Front game, I realize I don't know what defines a "monster stack". How many units in a hex creates a monster stack? Is stack size more important than unit type differentiation? What problems would you like to solve--or skip--in how you stack a hex? What are your thoughts on these questions?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

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RE: Desert War: The Monster Stack? - 8/4/2018 12:42:44 PM   
FTW7

 

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I cant stand the way stacking >looks< in the game.
Towers of units is just a turn off to me.
I would just like to see the top unit on the map like V4V and most all other games

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RE: Desert War: The Monster Stack? - 8/4/2018 2:06:50 PM   
Royal Fusilier

 

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Never was a fan of the monster stack. I agree with FTW7 and think only showing the top unit is best. Maybe include an indicator on the unit shown for how many other units are in the hex for easy awareness.

< Message edited by Sol Invictus -- 8/4/2018 2:07:19 PM >

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RE: Desert War: The Monster Stack? - 8/4/2018 2:18:23 PM   
zakblood


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it all depends on what size the hex represents and on how many of a given type of units can stack per hex,...

i'm happy with a couple as per WITE/W etc

but any more than a given number like 3 or more can at times mean it's harder to use or takes longer, but saying all this, again it all depends on what the units represent as well regarding sizes in a giving map and game being played or talked about, so i'm saying it all depends on some known variables before i could make a correct answer, imo

so stack size is only equal to units portrayed in a given battle.

eg Eastern Front game equals less per stack, as hexes are bigger same as units involved etc

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RE: Desert War: The Monster Stack? - 8/4/2018 10:20:07 PM   
76mm


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Some games show 3-4 counters if there is a stack, even if there are actually more counters; you can cycle through what appears on top. My biggest pet peeve is with arbitrary stacking liits based on the number of counters, rather that the size of the units (ir, no more than three counters, no matter if they are platoons, companies, or battalions. Much better to have stacking density rules that penalize overstacking in terms of men/vehicles, not counters.

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RE: Desert War: The Monster Stack? - 8/4/2018 10:28:57 PM   
wodin


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I personally don't like stacks. I'd rather the hex scale fit one or max two chit size.

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RE: Desert War: The Monster Stack? - 8/5/2018 3:21:07 AM   
bcgames


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Is El Alamein the problem scenario? This is what "Monster Stacks" look like in that scenario:

http://www.matrixgames.com/products/676/screenshots/Desert.War.1940-1942

Maybe "Monster Stacks" is better described as too many units on the board. I don't see "Monster Stacks".

What say you?

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RE: Desert War: The Monster Stack? - 8/5/2018 4:40:39 AM   
zakblood


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i don't see 4 being so big an issue no





or even 5 as the biggest, it's just takes longer to play with and makes a easier game become more epic

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by zakblood -- 8/5/2018 4:43:10 AM >

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RE: Desert War: The Monster Stack? - 8/5/2018 5:37:10 AM   
bcgames


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The Slice...

Back in the day, commanders believed if they hadn't received their "slice" of support units, they were somehow being slighted--a transgression of the first water that had to be corrected at the next orders group. So...how do you remain true to the "Salami Slice", "Fair Share", approach to task organization often seen in other than German organizations during WWII? How in Desert War do you reduce the number of counters in the game and still get "your slice"--your fair share of capabilities? Maybe the following:

* Eliminate regiment/brigade HQs...except for the Germans.
* Eliminate Direct Support artillery battalions, anti-tank and anti-aircraft batteries from the game; roll-up the values of these units into the battalion/task force teams they support...to wit:
--x1 artillery battery per battalion
--x1 anti-tank platoon per battalion
--x1 anti-aircraft section/platoon per battalion
* 8 stacking points per hex remains the standard.
* Increase battalion stacking point value from 3 to 4 (this increases the AA value and reflects the larger number of units in the battalion/task force).
* Increase company stacking point value from 1 to 2. Why? This limits a max of four companies per hex (instead of the current eight).

The Slice Method can slash the number of units in the game at least by half. Stacks in The Slice Option would average one or two units per hex and math would compensate for the disappearance of capabilities like direct support artillery, AA and AT batteries by rolling these values into the battalion/task forces's attack/defense factors.

Or maybe ditch unit differentiation all together and go with infantry and armor regiments--one per hex. And corps-level HQs. Makes AI a snap!

Dunno.

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RE: Desert War: The Monster Stack? - 8/5/2018 11:32:51 PM   
Deathtreader


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Hi,

I still think that keeping all the unit types and sizes that DW has today, coupled with changing hex sizes from 2 km to 1km or even 1.5km might be the best way to go, of course I'm sure that will have a significant ripple effect on everything else. Damned if you do and damned if you don't I suppose.....
Still love the game though!!


Rob.

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RE: Desert War: The Monster Stack? - 8/6/2018 10:42:29 PM   
jack54


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PLEASE don't change this game too much... I really like the scale and design.


I think the stacking method in this game is fine,4-5 counters and a side unit window works for me. My only suggestion would be adding some 'HotKeys' that correspond to the 'K" hex info pop up ; at a glace you could get quick info-

hit a key and see the 'defense rating' for each occupied hex... hit another key and see attack or shock strength... (just a thought).



I remember playing a game with BIG stacks and no unit window; you had to cycle the hex on screen. I usually forgot which unit I started with and kept going round and round.





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RE: Desert War: The Monster Stack? - 8/7/2018 3:34:33 AM   
bcgames


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jack54

PLEASE don't change this game too much... I really like the scale and design.


The post heard 'round the world. Thanks.


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RE: Desert War: The Monster Stack? - 9/30/2018 1:17:49 PM   
RockKahn

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: jack54

PLEASE don't change this game too much... I really like the scale and design.

+1


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RE: Desert War: The Monster Stack? - 10/1/2018 1:47:41 AM   
76mm


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I'd add one other thing: I don't like arbitrary stacking limits and don't mind if there is an monster stack here and there. But if every hex has 5-6 units, unit scaling should probably be addressed...

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RE: Desert War: The Monster Stack? - 10/1/2018 5:09:23 AM   
bcgames


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bcgames

The Slice...

Back in the day, commanders believed if they hadn't received their "slice" of support units, they were somehow being slighted--a transgression of the first water that had to be corrected at the next orders group. So...how do you remain true to the "Salami Slice", "Fair Share", approach to task organization often seen in other than German organizations during WWII? How in Desert War do you reduce the number of counters in the game and still get "your slice"--your fair share of capabilities? Maybe the following:

* Eliminate regiment/brigade HQs...except for the Germans.
* Eliminate Direct Support artillery battalions, anti-tank and anti-aircraft batteries from the game; roll-up the values of these units into the battalion/task force teams they support...to wit:
--x1 artillery battery per battalion
--x1 anti-tank platoon per battalion
--x1 anti-aircraft section/platoon per battalion
* 8 stacking points per hex remains the standard.
* Increase battalion stacking point value from 3 to 4 (this increases the AA value and reflects the larger number of units in the battalion/task force).
* Increase company stacking point value from 1 to 2. Why? This limits a max of four companies per hex (instead of the current eight).

The Slice Method can slash the number of units in the game at least by half. Stacks in The Slice Option would average one or two units per hex and math would compensate for the disappearance of capabilities like direct support artillery, AA and AT batteries by rolling these values into the battalion/task forces's attack/defense factors.

Or maybe ditch unit differentiation all together and go with infantry and armor regiments--one per hex. And corps-level HQs. Makes AI a snap!

Dunno.

The Slice Idea has been shot dead. The game system will remain the producer of battalion-level "Grand Tactical" games. Short, Corps or less, limited objective scenarios is the requirement--heard loud and clear. Thanks for the feedback. Keep it coming!

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RE: Desert War: The Monster Stack? - 10/9/2018 3:22:57 PM   
governato

 

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Could you make the smaller support units attachable to battalions/regiments ala WITE?

This could be done at the beginning of the scenario and the arrangement kept for its duration.

Units that have not been attached to larger ones could exist as individual ones..

This way users would have the flexibility to have monster stacks or a low counter count depending on scenario/skills/frontline etc.

How 'd that arrangement correspond to the usage of such units in reality?




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RE: Desert War: The Monster Stack? - 10/10/2018 12:01:17 AM   
wodin


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WHy can't you have it that a hex is just the right size for a Battalion if that's the largest unit in game? That way reducing stacking substantially.

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RE: Desert War: The Monster Stack? - 10/11/2018 3:18:47 PM   
Saint Ruth

 

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Hi Wodin, yes I think that's what we'll do. 1 Battalion + 1 company per hex.
So hexes will cover a smaller area so more hexes and units will therefore be spread out more.
Cheers,
Brian

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RE: Desert War: The Monster Stack? - 10/11/2018 3:19:35 PM   
Saint Ruth

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: governato

Could you make the smaller support units attachable to battalions/regiments ala WITE?

You mean like Split up units into? E.g. battalion into companies?

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RE: Desert War: The Monster Stack? - 10/11/2018 11:19:02 PM   
governato

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Saint Ruth


quote:

ORIGINAL: governato

Could you make the smaller support units attachable to battalions/regiments ala WITE?

You mean like Split up units into? E.g. battalion into companies?


Sorry for being unclear. I did NOT suggest to split up units into smaller ones, that would increase the number of counters on the map.

Rather, I offered a solution to reduce the number of counters on the map: allow the player to *attach* small units to battalion or regiment sized ones, making the smaller counter effectively disappear for the scenario duration, while the capabilities of the battalion/regiment would be upgraded to include the abilities of the attached unit(s)

For simplicity this should be done only during the set up phase. This way the counter density would depend on the player needs and desires.
This approach would also allow the player to create ad hoc kampfgruppen for the duration of the scenario.

Great War in the East uses such an approach to great effect. This works especially well for AT, scout, tanks used in direct support of infantry (Russians in 1941!), engineer units and mortars/short range artillery.


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RE: Desert War: The Monster Stack? - 10/12/2018 1:05:50 AM   
wodin


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Sounds perfect!


quote:

ORIGINAL: Saint Ruth

Hi Wodin, yes I think that's what we'll do. 1 Battalion + 1 company per hex.
So hexes will cover a smaller area so more hexes and units will therefore be spread out more.
Cheers,
Brian



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