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Opinions regarding Historical Detail wanted - 12/28/2006 8:53:20 PM   
Dabbs

 

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Arguing back and forth with myself is getting nowhere - so will post here in the hopes of someone may break the stalemate...

Given a large scenario depicting the historical situation at a given point in time, but offering players the opportunity for other than historical deployments - the scenario under development starts with a 2 turn cease fire for selection of theater options and redeployments as desired

Is it better to:
a) place units in their historical positions for the sake of historical accuracy?
b) place formations in their historical area of operation but let the player decide re/deployment on a hex by hex basis?

It should be one or the other, IMO - on one hand I appreciate historical detail, but on the other with scenarios of a certain size and set of parameters, I also think players should have the opportunity to "create their own lines" so to speak.

All feedback greatly appreciated...thanks!
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RE: Opinions regarding Historical Detail wanted - 12/28/2006 9:23:43 PM   
Boonierat


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Given the choice, I always go for historical accuracy.

That said, nothing stops you to make two separate scenarios, one with historical placements and the other with alternate placements.

< Message edited by Boonierat -- 12/28/2006 9:33:54 PM >


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RE: Opinions regarding Historical Detail wanted - 12/28/2006 9:59:59 PM   
Telumar


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Ditto, Boonie.

Or a TO 'historical deployment'. Look at Wintergewitter 42, it allows both sides to deploy their troops freely or historically.

I am curious - which battle or campaign deals your scenario with?

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Don't Sweat The Details - 12/29/2006 8:48:50 AM   
rhinobones

 

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I have read your posting from a couple of days ago, and I expected that there would have been quite a few more responses from the Historical Scenario Development Community.

As for your scenario, I suggest that you make one scenario that encompasses both historical realism and the hypothetical. The default setting should be designed with historical accuracy. Then there should then be an Opponent #1 “Theater Option” that provides the opportunity for alternative deployments.

I think that in this way you can capture both the historical accuracy that is enjoyed by many players and give an opportunity for players to also experience alternatives.

Regards, RhinoBones

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RE: Don't Sweat The Details - 1/1/2007 12:45:40 PM   
Dabbs

 

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Thank you for your input gentlemen - will go with the historical deployment then. Until it is complete, I prefer keeping details vague as I don't want to raise hopes or interest until I'm satisfied with it. I would only say that it is large.

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RE: Opinions regarding Historical Detail wanted - 1/1/2007 4:27:06 PM   
TOCarroll


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It depends on the scenario. I would opt for a variable deployment option for a War in the East (WW2) type scenario. With Case White (Poland), I'd give the Poles a choice of alternate deployment, but not the Germans. For D-Day, no alternate deployment unless the allies can invade elsewhere. Some scenarios would become very unbalanced if you have a optional deployment.

The short version is how it effects the outcome of the scenario.

Good luck with it.

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RE: Opinions regarding Historical Detail wanted - 1/3/2007 2:52:08 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dabbs

Is it better to:
a) place units in their historical positions for the sake of historical accuracy?
b) place formations in their historical area of operation but let the player decide re/deployment on a hex by hex basis?


Have two versions.

In the scenario where the player is allowed freedom of movement, you should consider if there were any historical limitations on the deployment. For example I considered such a setup for my Poland scenario. In that case, the number of units which can be deployed to East Prussia was sharply limited by a number of considerations. Certainly this same consideration would apply in the case of the scenario I'm thinking of- unless you have some other project in hand that I'm not aware of.

< Message edited by golden delicious -- 1/3/2007 3:11:53 PM >


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RE: Don't Sweat The Details - 1/3/2007 2:58:39 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rhinobones

As for your scenario, I suggest that you make one scenario that encompasses both historical realism and the hypothetical. The default setting should be designed with historical accuracy.


Doing it all in one scenario presents a couple of problems. It consumes extra events (admittedly less of a concern now that we have 1,000 of them) and it means that either the hypothetical scenario will start at a later date (if one is simulating Barbarossa, you can imagine that this might be a problem) or else the players of the historical scenario will have to sit through a period of four or five turns whilst nothing happens. Again, the former consideration would be relevant in the case of the scenario to which I believe Dabbs is refering.

Also, allowing free deployment might radically change the play balance of the scenario, requiring substantially different sets of events. To return to my Poland example, it was clear that the Poles were not going to be quite so overwhelming beaten in the eight turns of the existing scenario if they were allowed to redeploy freely.

< Message edited by golden delicious -- 1/3/2007 3:12:51 PM >


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RE: Opinions regarding Historical Detail wanted - 1/3/2007 3:08:03 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TOCarroll

It depends on the scenario. I would opt for a variable deployment option for a War in the East (WW2) type scenario. With Case White (Poland), I'd give the Poles a choice of alternate deployment, but not the Germans.


I'd be extremely reluctant to give only one side a choice of deployments. In your example, the Pole knows exactly where the German schwerepunkts will be delivered and can design his defence accordingly.

If anything, the Poles were constrained more than their opponents, as their mobilisation was less rapid and the reserve divisions and home guard battalions were raised and fought in their home districts.

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"War Studies"
"War? Huh. What is it good for?"
"Absolutely nothing."

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RE: Opinions regarding Historical Detail wanted - 1/3/2007 3:48:26 PM   
cantona


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historical accuracy always

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RE: Opinions regarding Historical Detail wanted - 1/3/2007 3:56:59 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: cantona

historical accuracy always


Thing is, a hypothetical scenario can still be historically accurate. Indeed, by playing a game at all rather than just reading a book, you're already indulging in a hypothetical. So why not extend it back a little ways before the scenario? If one side could have placed the emphasis of its effort elsewhere, why not give the player the option to do so? One could even argue that depriving him of that option is less historically accurate, if it straightjackets him into making a certain set of moves which were not written in stone until the deployments were chosen.

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RE: Opinions regarding Historical Detail wanted - 1/8/2007 5:11:54 AM   
r6kunz


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I wrestled with the same question in the Ardennes 1944 I recently submitted. If US units such as the 7th Armored Division, the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions that entered the battle area on the second or third day of the campaign, were allowed to enter at appropriate map edge, they would not proceed to the appropriate historic defensive positions. On the other hand if they were programmed to arrive at their historic position it is quite possible the position could be overrun before they are deployed. So I programmed these units to arrive at assembly areas slightly behind their historic battle positions. I found that the PO would generally maneuver the units to the historic positions, but a human opponent would have some flexibility in how he deploys these units.
Rob Kunz

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RE: Opinions regarding Historical Detail wanted - 1/8/2007 11:47:06 AM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: HPT KUNZ

I wrestled with the same question in the Ardennes 1944 I recently submitted. If US units such as the 7th Armored Division, the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions that entered the battle area on the second or third day of the campaign, were allowed to enter at appropriate map edge, they would not proceed to the appropriate historic defensive positions. On the other hand if they were programmed to arrive at their historic position it is quite possible the position could be overrun before they are deployed. So I programmed these units to arrive at assembly areas slightly behind their historic battle positions. I found that the PO would generally maneuver the units to the historic positions, but a human opponent would have some flexibility in how he deploys these units.


This sounds like the best approach for the situation

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RE: Opinions regarding Historical Detail wanted - 1/8/2007 4:10:04 PM   
Graymane


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Well, as the scope of a scenario gets larger, "historical accuracy" makes less and less sense. I think for scenarios that restrict themselves to small campaigns and battles and short timelines, "historical accuracy" makes more sense. For larger campaigns, it doesn't really make sense, because the biggest challenge will be to decide on which date to actually start an operation since the OOB can change so drastically during a campaign. If you wanted to do a France 1940 scenario, do you start it on may 10th? If you do, what do you do about "historically accurate" formations like the Manstein's 38th corps that is made of up of troops in various other formations on May 10th? Does a "historically accurate" 38th corps really add to the flavor of the scenario or are you adding it just for the sake that it was there at a later time? Maybe the choices the player has already made have invalidated its historical use. Of course, maybe there is a way to do both, I'm not really a scenario designer so maybe a good one could make 38th corps appear on the proper date, but I still don't think it makes sense.

In those bigger scenarios, I'd much rather see some different deployment options maybe choose by theatre options, especially for things like bringing in various follow-on formations.

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RE: Opinions regarding Historical Detail wanted - 1/8/2007 6:26:55 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Graymane

Well, as the scope of a scenario gets larger, "historical accuracy" makes less and less sense. I think for scenarios that restrict themselves to small campaigns and battles and short timelines, "historical accuracy" makes more sense. For larger campaigns, it doesn't really make sense, because the biggest challenge will be to decide on which date to actually start an operation since the OOB can change so drastically during a campaign. If you wanted to do a France 1940 scenario, do you start it on may 10th? If you do, what do you do about "historically accurate" formations like the Manstein's 38th corps that is made of up of troops in various other formations on May 10th? Does a "historically accurate" 38th corps really add to the flavor of the scenario or are you adding it just for the sake that it was there at a later time? Maybe the choices the player has already made have invalidated its historical use. Of course, maybe there is a way to do both, I'm not really a scenario designer so maybe a good one could make 38th corps appear on the proper date, but I still don't think it makes sense.


I'd say the thing to do in this case would be to make it so that co-operation levels between corps and army troops and the line combat units is good across the board. Thus one could form a XXXVIII Corps just by putting the relavent units together. The only loss would be cosmetic.

Anyway, this points to an oft-requested potential feature for TOAW III: flexible formation assignments.

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RE: Opinions regarding Historical Detail wanted - 1/8/2007 7:17:53 PM   
Dabbs

 

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I'm still taking notes, though proceeding along historical lines to the extent that I can.  My debate wasn't so much for using TO's for deployment options, but of placing formations in their general area of operations vs. units in their specific historical hex -- leave it to the player whether to grab every hex they historically possessed, opt for a shorter more defensible line, make it stronger in one area vs. another, etc.  Though initially planning on starting with a 2 turn cease fire, I'm trying to phase that idea out completely - and emphasize the starting historical situation and let both players really feel the gravity of the opening turns. 

Achieving full historical accuracy, IMO, is an exercise in futility - especially if one is a perfectionist - which I can be and also find tends to result with low productivity and project completion; simply strive to get as close as one can and live with the errors.  Point of relevance with TOAW is that as designers we are way the hell far more open to making errors than just about any game system out there.  Up through TOAW, the vast majority of games represented units as as 6-4 or a 8-4-2, saying nothing of what went into this tank brigade or that infantry division.  At times historical data may not be available, may be unreliable, may offer multiple interpretations - so we can only make an educated guess, ask others who know better, or when the deadline is hanging...wing it.

Graymane brings up reasonable issues on the basis of size of a scenario - and really, when comparing all of the really, really large wargames out there - almost all of them try to paint the picture at the historical start, but most everything in the way of reinforcements is based upon Player Buy Options...and that's been something of a dilemma, too, for what I'm trying to do.  Unit reassignment from one formation to another makes historically accurate formations almost impossible in long scenarios.  Anyways, watching discussion and continuing to work...

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RE: Opinions regarding Historical Detail wanted - 1/9/2007 6:16:12 PM   
a white rabbit


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dabbs

Arguing back and forth with myself is getting nowhere - so will post here in the hopes of someone may break the stalemate...

Given a large scenario depicting the historical situation at a given point in time, but offering players the opportunity for other than historical deployments - the scenario under development starts with a 2 turn cease fire for selection of theater options and redeployments as desired

Is it better to:
a) place units in their historical positions for the sake of historical accuracy?
b) place formations in their historical area of operation but let the player decide re/deployment on a hex by hex basis?

It should be one or the other, IMO - on one hand I appreciate historical detail, but on the other with scenarios of a certain size and set of parameters, I also think players should have the opportunity to "create their own lines" so to speak.

All feedback greatly appreciated...thanks!



..b..


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