Fabs -> Scenario design questions: play balance vs. historicity (7/24/2000 10:08:00 PM)
I enjoy designing scenarios and have designed a number for my own use, mostly fictional affairs for quick play.
I have worked on some historical situations, developing two scenarios in Steel Panthers 1, through to SPWW2 which I am now trying to convert to SPWAW with the help of Frank Chalanda's excellent Wavmap utility.
This posting is about the first of these scenarios.
It represents the abortive attack by 6th Green Howards in the Cristot area on June 11th, 1944. I have several accounts of this fight from both sides, and a modern 1:25,000 map of the area.
Earlier versions were simply not accurate enough, mostly because of game limitations, to make me confident of posting it on the game depot, but with Spwaw's new capabilities I think it could be knocked into good shape.
Here are the dilemmas that i would like to share with the more experienced scenario designers that participate in this forum, in the interest of producing an enjoyable scenario.
1) The map. Some of the map areas are covered by really dense bocage. To represent it faithfully I would have had to run parallel hedgerow lines with no open ground in between them.
This looked a bit silly, so I compromised and played around with the layouts until I felt that I achieved a suitably claustrophobic feel.
As a result, there will be less hedgerows to defend. I would be interested in knowing if other designers have encountered similar problems when dealing with bocage, and their way of dealing with them.
Historical OOBs/deployment vs. a fun game.
Historically, the brits got whipped at Cristot because their infantry-tank co-operation was bad.
The tanks got going 20 minutes later than the infantry and fought mostly independently.
Eventually, after heavy infantry losses, a counter-attack by 4 Panthers of 12SS PzRegt triggered a British withdrawal.
Modelling this in the deployment of the scenario would ensure a frustrating game, with an almost certain outcome.
I am opting for deploying less infantry and more armor at the outset (only two infantry companies supported by one squadron of tanks), but to deploy them together so they fight combined. They are re-inforced later by the other two companies and one more squadron of tanks.
I am not featuring the third squadron because at this point and with the Brits fighting tanks and infantry properly the scenario becomes heavily weighted against the Germans.
My first attempt at playing the 30 turns through produced a result where the Brits took all the objectives and won a marginal victory against the German AI (4,573 - 1,444)
having suffered heavy infantry and tank losses.
The German counter-attack is modelled faithfully, with the 4 Panthers coming in on turn 15. Handled in the usual, ham fisted way by the AI and with little infantry available to support them, their impact was not exactly determining (they did knock out four Shermans, but three of them were destroyed).
At this point, I clearly need to do something to get more balance into the scenario, but whatever I do will be at the expense of historicity. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
It would also be greatful if someone would help me with testing the scenario.
[This message has been edited by Fabs (edited July 24, 2000).]