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How much planning? - 4/10/2019 12:10:09 AM   
mirrorshades

 

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This is probably more of a general wargaming question, but since FPCRS is what I've been playing lately I'll frame it here.

When you start a new scenario, how much time do you spend reviewing your OOB, analyzing the map, and trying to come up with a strategy to meet your objectives?

On the one hand, it's pretty trivial to just give a quick look through everything, come up with a quick idea to get started, toss some units out on the map, and go. Once you get a feel for the "flow" of the scenario, you can just start over and refine as you go. This works pretty well for me, as I tend to play the smaller scenarios for now (Black Horse is my current favorite).

Alternately, I've been reading the recent threads in the AAR forum, and I'm super impressed by the amount of initial planning that goes into some of them (I assume they are larger scenarios). Obviously, the more time you spend with a specific game and map, the more efficient you become. But in general, the first time you crack open a new scenario, how much time do you spend planning vs. playing/restarting?

I enjoy the pre-planning aspect, but for someone with almost zero actual military experience (thanks, asthma) and who pretty much sucks at wargaming in general, my concern is that I could spend a few hours coming up with a master plan, only to have it invalidated by something I didn't anticipate on my second turn. :)

Reading AARs and watching Let's Play videos on YouTube helps me see how other people do it, but usually by the time someone is ready to post something, the plan has already come together. Just trying to figure out what makes sense for a game like FPCRS.

Thanks for any opinions!
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RE: How much planning? - 4/10/2019 12:52:27 AM   
CapnDarwin


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Planning is done to have a good idea of a number of the possible courses or action (COAs) both you and your enemy have in a particular fight. The odds of a plan being 100 right is slim, hence the axiom "no plan survives contact". What planning does is give you an idea of where the fights are going to be, when to change your plan, good cover, better lines of fire, and area of interest to cover with recon or fires. Our game allows you to plan as you see fit. Most games start a scenario with little prep and other spend a fair amount of time as you see in the AARs. Over time, you should start to see some of the planning aspects fairly quickly. If you are new to Cold War weapons and tactics there is a learning curve on how best to use the weapons and units and also how to understand the threats of the enemy platforms. My best advice, do what makes you comfortable and allows you to enjoy the game.

_____________________________

Work on Southern Storm continues! Very busy times right now.

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations LLC

(in reply to mirrorshades)
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RE: How much planning? - 4/10/2019 6:56:44 AM   
StuccoFresco

 

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Bigger scenarios require more planning, it's obvious. More troops to handle, more ways to get to the objective, more terrain to take into account. It increases pretty proportionally the scale of the scenario.

I generally spend much of my planning deciding what kind of troops send where, because having the right units in the right place is extremely important. You can recover from mistakes or an enemy's smart move only if you have the right tools at hand. If you send mech infantry alone and a tank pops up, you are done for.

The actual "plan" is quite barebones, i very rarely plan around the enemy moves or forces: I just focus on how to get X troops there through the safest/fastest way. Very rarely I plan ahead the first "move". Mostly playing WP I have long command cycles so my plans must be very generic and broad-minded, and having a strong and mobile reserve is almost mandatory since NATO will react faster.

(in reply to CapnDarwin)
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RE: How much planning? - 4/18/2019 3:01:55 PM   
IronMikeGolf

 

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Let me share how this happens at the Orgins Staff Exercises

1. 30 minutes or so teaching the Military Decision Making Process (players are mostly civilians ranging from teens to retirees, some with neither military nor wargaming experience)
2. 1 hr for COA (Course of Action) development. This is coached.
3. I usually coach the Intel Officer player. I provide that player a MCOO (Mobility Combined Obstacle Overlay) and coach the player in identifying enemy axes of advance and key terrain. From there, we develop enemy COAs (3 of them) and determine most likely and most dangerous. This is passed to the Operations player and their coach.
4. Ops develops COAs to counter each of the enemy COAs.
5. Intel player gets coached on R&S (Recon and Security) planning (NAIs, screens, counter-recon, etc)
6. Ops, Fires, and Aviation players get coached on EAs and TAIs as well as decision points.

We do have the players put together and brief a short Operations Order (Situation, Mission, Execution). Obviously, the more you do this level of planning, the quicker you can do it. And, as a single player, you have more hats to wear.

_____________________________

Jeff
Sua Sponte

(in reply to StuccoFresco)
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RE: How much planning? - 4/18/2019 5:09:54 PM   
mirrorshades

 

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Thank you -- that's definitely helpful, if a bit complicated. :)

Any chance something like that gets recorded and uploaded to YouTube?

(in reply to IronMikeGolf)
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RE: How much planning? - 4/18/2019 8:30:42 PM   
MikeJ19


Posts: 2464
Joined: 1/29/2014
From: Ottawa, Canada
Status: online
Mirrorshades,

As you have seen in my AARs, I like to take the time to do planning. The thought process is something that really brings me enjoyment. I go through the different stages that CapnDarwin mentions above. It helps me come up with an approach that is likely to work and that most of the bases are covered. I still forget things, but I have fun doing it!

Have a good day,

_____________________________

Mike

Retired Gunner

(in reply to mirrorshades)
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RE: How much planning? - 4/19/2019 12:16:33 AM   
mirrorshades

 

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Hi Mike, yes reading your AARs impressed me with the amount of forethought that you put into it. Do you find that you print out the materials, flip through the maps, and whatnot... or do you just scroll around on the game screen a bit until you get a sense for the layout?

(in reply to MikeJ19)
Post #: 7
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