Operational wargame? (Full Version)

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Larry Holt -> Operational wargame? (6/2/2003 3:18:22 AM)

Does anyone know of a good operational level wargame?

I mean one that you can strike deep to disrupt your enemies resources, isolating the battlefield then mop up; have airborne insertions for the same effect; need to plan the placement of reserves in advance, etc.

OAOW is too canned for me. I'm looking for a kind of SPWaW on a Bn/Bde scale I guess.


Jim1954 -> (6/2/2003 3:44:00 AM)

Russo-German War 41-44 is pretty decent, although it is division/brigade scale. Lots of different phases and unit types. For instance, there are about 8 different actions you can take with your air units alone. A western front game of basically the same format is under way at Schwehrpunkt right now.


This is a link to an AAR that gives you an idea of how the game can flow. Bear in mind that there have been numerous improvments via patches since this was 1st posted.


Fallschirmjager -> (6/2/2003 4:02:08 AM)

I wanted to buy Russo German war...but why doesnt it go past Oct 44?...I cant understand why they would do that

Les_the_Sarge_9_1 -> (6/2/2003 4:40:55 AM)

Operational games are hard to tie down as a type.

Some are a bit more and some are a bit less.

Korsun Pocket will be a good item to look into.

I also think the Computer East Front game from Columbia Games


There is currently a demo to check the game out (I find it a nice game, not to mind bogglingly detailed).

Jim1954 -> (6/2/2003 5:14:37 AM)

Fallschirmjager, IIRC the reason was related to the size of the map needed. Somehow or another there were size limitations due to the scale being used, I don't remember the specifics. Heck with the campaign game being weekly turns, that comes out to 176 turns! That's a lot of playing.

I have heard possibilities about AGW and RGW somehow being linked into one mammoth game at some point in the future and that one would go all the way to the end.

Raverdave -> (6/2/2003 2:42:33 PM)

I also like the look of Korsun Pocket.....but whats with the dice? If I had wanted dice I would be still playing board games!

Les_the_Sarge_9_1 -> (6/3/2003 12:23:25 AM)

Raver dice are just a mechanical numerical randomiser function of chance in wargames.

Now if you look closely, a computer is a mechanical construct. And every time you play a computer game, you are in fact employing a game that employs a mechanical numerical randomiser using tool.

That said, my comment is why do you care if the game employs dice concepts?

Raverdave -> (6/3/2003 9:37:59 AM)

It is simply that I would like to have the illusion of the battle being won or lost because of my great tactical brilliance....or lack of..... rather than just a die roll.;)

Fred98 -> (6/3/2003 9:49:05 AM)

And this is a point I have tried to make under threads titled “getting rid of hexes” and the like.

Now we have computers, a dice doesn’t need to have 6 sides. It can have 10 sides or 20 sides or more.

I have no objection to “dice” or their replacement as a graphic on the screen.

But as Raverdave has hinted, a brilliant move can be ruined by that one chance in 6 that I bowl a “1”.

If there were a 20 sided dice, the chances of ruining my brilliant move are much reduced.

And yet the calculations remain totally transparent – a point that Les loves.

KP will be a great game and I will enjoy it (am still playing its predecessor PBEM).

And yet I already have thoughts on improvements for the next game in the series.

Les_the_Sarge_9_1 -> (6/3/2003 7:24:10 PM)

Math isn't my thing just so we all know, so when I say, the probability options of a 1 thru 6 randomiser is different from the probability options of a different randomiser, I want everyone to know, I know the basic principle, but don't expect me to start quoting exacting specifics.

That said, if it was an 8, 10 sided dice, or a 12 sided dice, or a 20 sided dice (all of which are commonly used in games, and have been actively used since the late 70's), I dare say, people would still be commenting on the need to use dice somehow.

I honestly think there are those among us, that don't realise, computers are always "just rolling dice". The only difference is, a computer accomplishes it without the need to worry if the physicality is questionable in the same manner ie is the dice genuinely square as a 6 sider, and therefore not marred in it's role.

The six sided based combat table in A3R for instance, lacks something according to some, yet not according to others. It's all opinion though, and has nothing to do with the adequate application of chance. On a 1 to 1 attack, you get 6 possible results.
If the person does not like the "odds" then it falls to the person to elect to create the conditions for a 2 to 1 based battle.
Creating 10 different results for a 1 to 1 battle, only makes the column longer if done right. It doesn't make a 1 to 1 attack any safer (if done right).

Being able to see that a 1 to 1 attack has a higher chance of failure, or unacceptable losses, is what it is all about. It illustrates that in order to yawn and assume your attack will succeed, you have to realise your "odds" must achieve a measure of force realistic to achieve that result.
In real life, if you always send your forces into 1 on 1 competitions, you will effectively beat the snot out of your forces.

This is one of the more significant reasons I don't enjoy RTS games. It's less about simulating intelligent use of force, and more about intelligent use of resources. If I make X units, and swarm X defenders with them, I will wear down my opponent in X minutes.
I don't know about the majority of you guys out there, but I never did have much respect for our leaders running the First World War. And I don't routinely get off on games that systematically transform any game into a WW1 attrition contest. And RTS games are all basically attrition contests.

Some detest turn based game's hexes. It's understandable, those turn based games reward planning and deliberate actions. They also force you to fully learn the game, or fail miserably. RTS games do not fail when you refuse to read the manual nearly as much as turn based games. This explains why some will balk at playing games like The Operational Art Of War. Because if you don't spend the effort to plan out a decent attack, you ain't going to get far.

And all things considered, modern warfare back to WW2 made it very apparent, lack of planning caused you to lose the battle.

So in a wargame, it is not whether tha game uses a 6 sided dice, it is whether the gamer realised, it's all about chance, and how much chance is enough to accomplish the mission based on how much risk you are prepared to suffer.

In A3R, you look at the map, you look at your forces, you look at your opponents, you examine your objectives, and you decide how best to achieve them.
That is exactly what each and every general must do.

Claiming the battle was lost because you had insufficient variables available in the roll of the die, is just a concession to the fact some players can't or won't plan.

Fallschirmjager -> (6/4/2003 1:18:15 AM)

Belive it or not..."Dice" are used in pretty much every game in existence

When I fire a rifle at someone is Fallout 2 with a %50 chance...dice are rolled on whether or not the bullet will take their head off
When I throw a pass in NCAA football 2003....Dice are rolled on if they catch it
When I play Warcraft 3 and somehas has an evasion Aura on....dice are rolled on whether or not my fireball will hit them

So if you want to replace dice...then tell me what you will replace them with?

Tbone3336 -> (6/4/2003 1:38:11 AM)

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Joe 98

If there were a 20 sided dice, the chances of ruining my brilliant move are much reduced.

I see where you are coming from however I would think two things would apply to this situation.

1) with 20 outcomes it would probably relate that there would be an equal amount of poor outcomes giving the same relation (3 poor outcomes out of 20 compared with 1 poor outcome out of 6).

2) Good or bad rolls are only related to how the CRT is setup. You can have a 100 sided die and have such a poorly laid out CRT that no matter what odd syou attacked with you come up with results that do not fit.

I am not blowing the sail of KP, just having dealt with the CRT on TAO2, it works very well, and opens up situations as in real life where a possible 10-1 attack is less desirable than two 5-1 attacks simulating a delayed attack from a flanking postion.

I do like games with a totally different feel also such as Airborne Assualt. Figuring out the odds on an attack or Def is no where near as exact as KP. And where that leads to are outcomes that we have to trust that the numbers behind the scenes are working correctly. Like why did one company of Para's hold off half a divison in one area and another company buckle under minor pressure in another. I would take it for granted that given the terrain, odds, morale and random chance of luck along with whatever else goes into making the decision for the outcome, was working correctly. Neither way is right or wrong, just a different feel that everyone has to judge if they like or not I guess.

Les_the_Sarge_9_1 -> (6/4/2003 2:03:06 AM)

This will sound off topic initially.

Has anyone here ever seen the rolegaming product labelled The Saga System that was released based off of the Dragonlance setting? This was released about the same time TSR went under for the last time I think.

The game was interesting because it had no dice. Dice were never used at all. The game employed cards.
I really was gungho for this game. In fact sufficiently gungho I sold all of my TSR 2nd edition materials assuming I had found the perfect game.
Pity I sold the stuff, for other reasons actually. All that 2nd Edition stuff is worth a lot to collectors now.

But anyway, I thought I had found the perfect game. No more dice worship by the players. No more cheating on the dice rolls. The game used a modest manual and the magic spell system appeared so revolutionary.

Well it didn't work. It took me about a year of trying it to find out though. I played a number of fun game sessions with it, but in the end, the system is junk. Fatally flawed concept when you reeeeally got under the hood.

The problem was, a player would just refuse to acknowledge a low card, and would do idiotic or pointless actions just to play the low card just so a new draw might allow for a higher card value to be drawn. For those unknowing, the cards served the function of randomiser. 8 suits with numbers 1 through 9.

The flaw was, players were intentionally wasting bad cards, and only performing meaningful actions when they had the odds stacked in their favour. Then you add to that, the fact that in some cases, nothing the player did mattered. If the needed result was 30, and it was physically impossible to pass 25 as a result of cards played, the player was stymied.

Dice on the other hand, never allow you to manipulate chance. There is ALWAYS a chance to roll each and every result on the dice in question. That was what killed the Saga game for me.
I currently champion the Alternity design. Sure it is just another scifi based dice chucking rolegame, but it is a lot more functional.

And it is the dice that make it work. Dice are not the enemy here. The enemy is people that can't understand, fate is a "****-happens prospect. The attack that failed when it had a 90% chance of success, and the attack that succeeded when it only had a 10% chance of succeeding. The cases of when 3 attacks of 10% only success all succeeded in a row, or the cases of when 3 perfect chances of 90% all failed one after the other.

But that's random chance for you. No absolute garantees.
It's about watching a 2-1 attack on Warsaw fail and turn into a 1 to 1 counterattack where the Poles win. Darned unlikely, but always a hoot to watch it happen. Because remember, war is hell.

Thats yet another reason I don't like RTS, you never get to see those mind blowing results you get to discuss with buddies over and over again.
I have never gained a fond memory from any non turn using game for just that reason.

Raverdave -> (6/4/2003 6:07:05 AM)

Very good posts one and all.............I have no problem with the fact that there is a randomizer (electronic dice) built into every computer game...my beef is that I don't want to [I]see[/I] it displayed. As I said, it destroys the illusion for me.

Mad Cow -> (6/4/2003 6:21:43 AM)

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Raverdave
[B]Very good posts one and all.............I have no problem with the fact that there is a randomizer (electronic dice) built into every computer game...my beef is that I don't want to [I]see[/I] it displayed. As I said, it destroys the illusion for me. [/B][/QUOTE]

I agree. There should at least be the option to remove the "dice" from the game visually.

Les_the_Sarge_9_1 -> (6/4/2003 8:08:04 AM)


Fred98 -> (6/4/2003 8:21:29 AM)

Tbone336, I understand your points.

The first is that, in a given situation, if the odds were 66% then it doesn’t matter how many sides the dice have, the odds would remain at 66% because that’s the way the designer designed it.

The second is that to increase the odds requires an understanding of the game, skill and planning.

And I agree with both points.

And yet I would like to take advantage of computers to make the game even better. Examples from TAO2 could be:

If units had more steps, perhaps as many as 10
If there were a greater number of terrain hexes.
And both of the above could lead to – a 20 sided dice.

It means that results would be smooth rather than abrupt. It means that a brilliant tactical move might be damaged by bad luck but it can’t be destroyed by bad luck.

I am currently playing what will probably be my last PBEM game of TAO2 and I look forward to Korsun Pocket.

Les said:
Thats yet another reason I don't like RTS, you never get to see those mind blowing results you get to discuss with buddies over and over again.”


"I have never gained a fond memory from any non turn using game for just that reason.”

When my brother and I saw these exact results in Third Reich we despaired and dreamed of the day computer games would take over from board games.

I am trying to get my brother to purchase Matrix products and he says “I don’t want a board game that is converted to PC”. By that he means he wants to take advantage of computers to make better games.

As for fond memories, I played Close Combat online for about 5 years. Mostly I played against 2 regular opponents and we had a great time discussing the game afterwards.

I now have more fond memories of TAO2 and UV – each turn based games and sometimes that can get very tense.

Randy -> (6/4/2003 1:43:27 PM)

Larry I think the best game for this will be CL. With the large size of the maps you will be able to conduct deep strike ops. Also I think you will also be abe to do multi Bn level ops. I think the only thing missing will be the ability to attack a nation's resources. I think you can do this on a limited scale with SPMBT with the wider map size (200 x 160). Hope this helps.

Les_the_Sarge_9_1 -> (6/4/2003 8:51:52 PM)

I think what you are requiring Joe is scale in your game.

In A3R a counter is basically an army corps/group sized counter in the case of a land unit. It is fighting in a single turn over a period of a 3 month time span.
As such, a roll of the dice is going to generate a result that will be indicative of an army corps succeeding or failing.

Whether or not you employed your anti tank weapons efficiently is immaterial at this scale. With that said, it is possible you are just not into grand strategy wargaming (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that).

My game The Longest Day, employs fully 21 separate counters for just the Hitler Youth division alone. Specific armour type, anti tank, pioneers, mech, truck borne even the replacement unit. With that level of scale, yes you can foul up one attack, maybe cost yourself one of your mechanised regiments, and not have a sudden major breakthrough disaster.

I don't mind playing chess, but frankly there are just to few moves available, so it does tend to bore me. I can recognise though, one bad move, and kiss your game good bye. But that is just the way it is.

I find ASL infinitely satisfying because of the total immersion in detail. But that detail is to some just way to much detail.

Steel Panthers allows you to play much the same game as ASL. You don't need to master a massive manual in the process though. And the computer makes mincemeat of some aspects of ASL that slow the game down for ASL. You click on a unit, and you get a shaded region telling you all of your possible movement choices (assuming nothing disturbs the move).

In spite of how much of the work, the Steel Panthers program does for the gamer, there are still plenty of gamers out there, that will take one look at it, and state, way to much work having to move each and every unit each and every turn.

So in the end, it's just about how much effort is the gamer willing to put out. What's their threshold of work load.

Making A3R with more steps and more levels of result in a combat results table is not required to make it better. The fact is the game is already great. If it wasn't, people would have stopped playing it years ago.
The game is even now still on sale. Modified tweaked rewritten to weed out errata, but it is essentially the game it began as.

A player merely has to decide, what level of gaming is it I actually want. And not insist on playing games, they should have been able to understand, were outside of their own personal interest tolerance level.

This is again why I don't care for RTS. The games are outside of my interest range. If next month the best RTS game ever, is released, odds are I still won't care. I am after all, not interested in RTS. Very little point to me trying to like what I categorically don't like.

That's also why I can't understand people trying to remove edit eliminate replace the various elements of design from turn based games. None of the turn based gamers really want them removed editted eliminated or replaced. That explains why even with all the power of computers, you still see people making them that way.

I like dice with 6 sides.

Larry Holt -> (6/10/2003 9:58:52 AM)

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Randy
[B]Larry I think the best game for this will be CL. With the large size of the maps you will be able to conduct deep strike ops. Also I think you will also be abe to do multi Bn level ops. I think the only thing missing will be the ability to attack a nation's resources. I think you can do this on a limited scale with SPMBT with the wider map size (200 x 160). Hope this helps. [/B][/QUOTE] I do think CL will be it but I was looking for something for this summer. Thanks

pasternakski -> (6/10/2003 10:31:21 AM)

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Raverdave
[B]Very good posts one and all.............I have no problem with the fact that there is a randomizer (electronic dice) built into every computer game...my beef is that I don't want to [I]see[/I] it displayed. As I said, it destroys the illusion for me. [/B][/QUOTE]

Ah, living your life behind a wall of illusion again, eh? Never glimpse the truth 'til it's far too late when you pass away...

pasternakski -> (6/10/2003 10:46:23 AM)

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Les the Sarge 9-1
[B]I like dice with 6 sides. [/B][/QUOTE]

And 10-sided die have succeeded sometimes, too.

I don't know about you, Les, but I have yet to see a computer wargame that has given me as much value as many of the old "dinosaur" paper-and-cardboard games. Try Victory's "Civil War" as a primary example of excellent wargame design.

Les_the_Sarge_9_1 -> (6/10/2003 11:55:26 AM)

How often was it actually played.

About the best yard stick by which a truely good game (in the eyes of the owner), can be measured.

I can measure the time spent playing various forms of Squad Leader through Advanced Squad Leader as well as Third Reich through to Advanced Third Reich, into the hundreds and thousands of accumulated hours over more than one decade.

While I have played some games a lot in some cases, I have played those two sufficiently, that I feel no hesitation in considering myself an expert in their designs.

So many computer games today, seem to have a run of fascination measured in a few months, and then the next "thing" comes along, and the previous game becomes just a dead issue.
I am sure that happened with some board games as well I suppose, but it seems to be so much more distinct with computer games.

Fred98 -> (6/10/2003 12:19:45 PM)

I have owned Third Reich now for about 24 years.

I have read everything there is to read up about the game to try and improve my play.

When I first got online the first search I did was for fan sites of that game.

How many games have I played? Maybe 10.

Only 10

And that’s because it takes sooooo looooong to play. And it is so hard to find an opponent.

That amounts to about 140 hours (at 14 hours a game).

Then I discovered Close Combat 1. I played all 5 games of the Close Combat series and each game was an improvement over the last.

I played the games online regularly for 6 years.

One hour per game, three games a night for at least 3 nights per week spread over 300 weeks (conservatively 250 weeks)

That makes 2,250 hours and easily another 250 hours against the AI.

That makes easily 2,500 hours – perhaps as high as 3,000 hours.

The fact is that a PC game requires less effort to set up and it’s easy to find an opponent.

Les_the_Sarge_9_1 -> (6/10/2003 8:22:06 PM)

Set up is indeed easier, but being the whacko I am known to be, the setting up part was actually just part of the fun hehe.

Yeah I am also one of those guys that would give ya the creeps, because he systematically snipped off all the fuzzy corners off of all his wargame pieces hehe.

I have not played CC like you have, but I think I can see, that it will be a looooooooong time before any of the "cute" RTS titles out there can rival the play value so many have gotten out of CC.

Fred98 -> (6/11/2003 6:25:07 AM)

As for Third Reich, I photocopied the map at 120% and pasted all the pages to heavy cardboard.

Then I used texta to paint all the rivers, beaches, mountains etc.

With a map that large the counters fit easily in each hex and your fingers do not bump the counters in the adjacent hex.

And I too cut off the fuzzy corners of each counter.

I am soooo glad PCs were invented.

Les_the_Sarge_9_1 -> (6/11/2003 7:32:23 PM)

Joe have you ever seen the awesome A3R map in person done by Charlie Kibler (sp?). It is an incredible creation (not to mention they corrected a number of vexatious hexes).

Nice colour and the hexes were substantially increased in size (was likely the size you ended up with).
Alas the map was unmounted in this case.

Buit the trade off was they also removed the charts from sections of the map, the players were wanting to use in the middle east as well.

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