Matrix Games Forums

Forums  Register  Login  Photo Gallery  Member List  Search  Calendars  FAQ 

My Profile  Inbox  Address Book  My Subscription  My Forums  Log Out

Scenario Design Basic Questions for Beginner

 
View related threads: (in this forum | in all forums)

Logged in as: Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> The Operational Art of War IV >> Scenario Design Basic Questions for Beginner Page: [1]
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
Scenario Design Basic Questions for Beginner - 8/3/2019 7:11:11 PM   
Hellen_slith


Posts: 1727
Joined: 10/10/2005
Status: offline
In my effort to make lemonade out of my lemons, I was wondering if there are any good tutorials about how to make scenes?

I made one attempt many years ago at creating a scene, and now during this my current playing downtime I would like to make another stab at it.

Ideally I would like to know how you think is best approach to go about making some sort of rough sketches and outlines for what I would eventually like to accomplish ... I would like input from experienced designers about how they go about their research and planning for getting that scenario created?

In the book "Colossus Reborn" the author mentions many many "lesser known" Soviet counteroffensives that took place in WWII, that he pegs at lasting a few weeks or so. I was thinking about tackling one of those, or, I was also thinking about looking at some old SPI board games that haven't yet seen any TOAW treatment (taking information from the old MOVES magazine as basis.)

Another idea I had, was modeling the Texas War for Independence ("Capture the Cannon" or "Alamo"). Anyway, nothing huge, I was thinking a small scale, maybe half day turns, for a week or two week scenario. Or one day turns up to a month in turns (no more than 30 turns for sure).

Any suggestions about the best way to approach? Map first, then OOB? How do you plan your efforts?

Well, thanks for helping out a newbie at making game scenarios! PS I am lucky to have a local university that allows me library access and borrowing privileges, so research is not a problem, I am just wondering about the mechanical and procedural side of how best and most easily make it come to life.

Thanks for your kind inputs!
Post #: 1
RE: Scenario Design Basic Questions for Beginner - 8/3/2019 8:57:35 PM   
Lobster


Posts: 3999
Joined: 8/8/2013
From: Third rock from the Sun.
Status: offline
cathar1244 has some stuff in one of the sub forums. Bob aka Curtis Lemay does too. Zovs could help you. Give them a hollar.

_____________________________

http://www.operationbarbarossa.net/

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

(in reply to Hellen_slith)
Post #: 2
RE: Scenario Design Basic Questions for Beginner - 8/3/2019 9:26:02 PM   
Hellen_slith


Posts: 1727
Joined: 10/10/2005
Status: offline
Thank you! That is very helpful!! Before I contact them in the meantime, I think I will just sketch out a map in pencil of the proposed area of operations, then fill in units / OOB that I would expect to be there at that time, expected reinforcements etc., and research how they acted in real time, figure out what kind of flexibility they should have in the game setting, and then just see if the idea itself will float.

So, for a map that will accommodate between from 15 to 30 turns, what would be ideal size for one day or half day turns? For 30 turns game at this level I would think 5km per hex, for half-day turns I would think 2km per hex? or whatever is the smallest scale.

I am thinking now that a Texas War for Independence scenario, titled "Come and Get It" (starting w/ the "war of the cannon") would be a good learning point to start with ... but I am a bit confused w/ how to model the people involved vis-a-vis the scale of the map to use.

I envision (for e.g.) a HQ unit for the main players, w/ some swords and rifles for their main support. Mexicans will have cannons, but which to use? This is really hard. Just thinking out loud how to model a TX "War for Independence" and the battles etc.

Thanks for helping me!!!

(in reply to Lobster)
Post #: 3
RE: Scenario Design Basic Questions for Beginner - 8/3/2019 9:43:37 PM   
Hellen_slith


Posts: 1727
Joined: 10/10/2005
Status: offline
Ok, so now I have this list of battles in the Texian War for Independence, so that is a good start. I think to map the map now, but what scale??

If I can get the map made for this scene, then figure out how to model the units, then that will give me a firm basis of not only how to make ONE scenario, but also ANOTHER (modern) scenario, based on the same map and scale, that I shall call ... MODERN "Texas War for Independence" (circa 2018) ... the TX Guard v. the NWO. Man, this is SO complex. I'm having more fun NOT playing the game and just figuring out a scenario to make!

Texian chits w/b blue and white. Maybe other state color chits, based on flag colors (e.g. Arkansas red and white?) Mexican ****s s/b green and white? Help me out here, cathar. Need some color ideas. Thanks!!!!

(in reply to Hellen_slith)
Post #: 4
RE: Scenario Design Basic Questions for Beginner - 8/3/2019 10:11:35 PM   
Hellen_slith


Posts: 1727
Joined: 10/10/2005
Status: offline
LoL something censored me...was just asking, which colors should represent the Mexican forces? I was thinking green and white. Change my mind.

Thanks!!

(in reply to Hellen_slith)
Post #: 5
RE: Scenario Design Basic Questions for Beginner - 8/3/2019 10:50:16 PM   
Lobster


Posts: 3999
Joined: 8/8/2013
From: Third rock from the Sun.
Status: offline
You don't have to worry much about ranged fire in that time frame so you can do most any scale. Yeah he has a boat load of colors doesn't he?

_____________________________

http://www.operationbarbarossa.net/

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

(in reply to Hellen_slith)
Post #: 6
RE: Scenario Design Basic Questions for Beginner - 8/3/2019 11:15:24 PM   
Hellen_slith


Posts: 1727
Joined: 10/10/2005
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster

You don't have to worry much about ranged fire in that time frame so you can do most any scale.


I didn't think about that (ranged fire) so that for me is a wash ... so I am going to focus on the map for now, trying to define the area to be used and at what scale.

I am hoping that the library will have some old maps for me to look at, from them I will sketch out the area to be defined w/ TOAW. Once I get the map set up, I will be able to envision better how the units will go.

Thanks again! That is the kind of valuable input that helps me so much!

(in reply to Lobster)
Post #: 7
RE: Scenario Design Basic Questions for Beginner - 8/4/2019 12:10:16 AM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 12526
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: offline
I have a tutorial here:

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4387350

_____________________________

My TOAW web site:

Bob Cross's TOAW Site

(in reply to Hellen_slith)
Post #: 8
RE: Scenario Design Basic Questions for Beginner - 8/4/2019 1:36:20 AM   
Raindem

 

Posts: 638
Joined: 7/15/2000
From: Arizona
Status: online
FWIW, when I design a scenario, the TOAW editor is the very last place I go to.

First I research. Books, websites, whatever. If you are basing the scenario off of a boardgame that's fine, but you still need some independent research.

Then I sketch out a game, as if I was designing a boardgame from scratch. Special rules, victory conditions, objectives, whatever makes that particular battle/campaign unique. If there's nothing unique about it (i.e. just another eastern front battle), then this step should go pretty quick.

Then I research the OOB/TOE. I prefer books over websites for this part of it. I then lay out the entire OOB on paper, including replacement rates and equipment upgrades.

For the map, I pull up samples from whatever sources I can find and go through them, keeping those that best represent what I want the battlefield to look like. This might be challenging for the period you are considering.

At this point the entire scenario is sketched out. There shouldn't be any unanswered questions. You can sketch it out in Word, Excel, or simply pen and paper if you want. I used to use ODD (Opart Design & Debug) to sketch out the whole scenario. Nowadays I just use it for maps. For everything else I tend to use spreadsheets.

Then, and only then, do I open the TOAW scenario editor and start putting the pieces together. I do the map, OOB, and events in that order. I'll conduct a few solitaire play tests, and then call on some wargaming buddies to help me test it further. I save the PO for the very last, after everything else has been play tested and balanced. The PO can be a real challenge to get right, so it helps to have a rock solid PBEM scenario in place before you start in on that.

Hope that helps to get you started.

_____________________________

Grab them by the balls. Their hearts and minds will follow.

(in reply to Curtis Lemay)
Post #: 9
RE: Scenario Design Basic Questions for Beginner - 8/4/2019 5:25:46 AM   
cathar1244

 

Posts: 727
Joined: 9/5/2009
Status: offline
quote:

So, for a map that will accommodate between from 15 to 30 turns, what would be ideal size for one day or half day turns? For 30 turns game at this level I would think 5km per hex, for half-day turns I would think 2km per hex? or whatever is the smallest scale.


Echoing Raindem's comments here. Get a general feel for the conflict. How far, on average, did the forces march in one day? Then think about how many hexes you think an average unit should be able to move in a turn. That will suggest a scale for the hexes. The hex scale, in turn, indicates the size of the units -- companies, battalions, etc.

Determine each side's starting area and objectives to be attained. Compare that distance to hex scale and reckon how many turns, unopposed, it would take a force to reach its objectives. That amount of time is less than the minimum number of turns (advance will be opposed in the game). Start with maybe 1.5X or 2X that number of turns and see how that works when playtesting.

So, first order of decisions will be scale issues: hexes, units, time.

As to colors, that is more chrome than anything else. It can be done at any time after you've built an OOB. For the earlier conflicts, uniform colors were important as an identification attribute, and as a symbol upon which unit traditions and pride hinged. So my suggestion is to check the colors of the uniforms. Some views here:

https://juniorgeneral.org/index.php/figure/figureList/19thcentury#27

An example from this site (Mexican soldiers):



One other note. Since this earlier warfare, suggest that headquarters units be used. If a force of that era loses its headquarters, that should have bad effects.

I'll be away from the 'net for about a week. Be interesting to see how this goes for you, it is an interesting scenario topic.

Cheers

(in reply to Hellen_slith)
Post #: 10
RE: Scenario Design Basic Questions for Beginner - 8/4/2019 5:02:41 PM   
Hellen_slith


Posts: 1727
Joined: 10/10/2005
Status: offline
Thanks everyone for the great tips!! Looks like I have my work cut out for me, so this will keep me busy until I can get the game running again. So far I have a book now, "The Alamo and the Texas War for Independence" by Albert Nofi with maps, info about weapons and forces, history of all the battles etc. which will be my source for an OOB and ideas for events.

Also found a ref. to this game Texas Glory: 1835-36 so that will also provide lots of inspiration, too. Will be going through all those sources and the tutorial and making lots of notes and sketches.

Thanks again millions!

(in reply to cathar1244)
Post #: 11
RE: Scenario Design Basic Questions for Beginner - 8/5/2019 3:28:14 PM   
Zovs


Posts: 5076
Joined: 2/23/2009
From: United States
Status: offline
Late to the party and what everyone said before is spot on.

The way I have approached things is a little different. In the past as in all things, before I ever designed any scenario I play the game systems for a number of years. This allowed me to get familiar with whatever system it is that I was interested in. Once I figured I had a good handle on that then what I typical do is start to investigate (snoop or spy) on what other scenario designers did and how. So basically this is the poking around stage. Once I got to that point then I would generally find a scenario that interested me and then I'd start by making some basic modifications to it just to see what and how things are possible. At about the same time I look for posts or things in the manual on how to build scenarios to help me out.

Next once I am comfortable with all that, I find a scenario that I'd like to create. Generally, only because this is me, I start with what has others have done before, mainly standing on the shoulders of giants. So for a very basic example lets say I was new to all this and what I would do is look in my board game library and find something small and easy to build. So in this case I (way back when I did this) I picked a game from a company called 3W and the game was entitled East Front Battles I: Blitzkrieg in the South. I choose the first scenario called Scenario 1 - Siege of Kiev, which was a very small introductory scenario.

So the first thing I do is to set the environment variables up for example, basic number of turns, day month year and hex scale.

Now for me what I next did was to create the TOAW map based of a portion of one of the main maps (it came with three) and essentially I mimic the terrain on the paper map to what TOAW had (at that time) and had to do some adjustments to make things fit that the paper map did not have in direct relation to the tools that the TOAW map making editor had. This process takes a while (and this is just copying an existing map by eye/by hand that already has the basic work done, custom maps or ones you create from real satellite images or photos from books can be even more time consuming).

After the map is done what I do is create all the counters (units) in the game, since I generally use a board game as my main reference, generally all the counters are right their to be had. Sometimes you may need to do a little more research to add some chrome, but I'd save that for the last part. I would just get the map done and over with and then make the base units so that you can test to make sure things are not out of whack and feel the way its suppose to feel (i.e., if you are designing an east front game you don't want the Russians in '41 to act and behave like '44 Russians). So for each counter (unit) you create you'll need to find a source for the TOE. There are tons of websites out there for free and there are tons of books that you can purchase. Since you probably know most board war games did a set of some king of calculations to arrive at the combat values for the counters. Sometimes the original designers may have had access to detailed TOE's but most times not, so they would count rifles and guns and tanks and come up with a base number (say 4) and then based on how the unit preformed historically or if they had other sources indicating under/over strength they would adjust from there and then lastly they would adjust for play balance (recall most board war games were designed from 1958 to 1980, from 1980 onward there has not been that much more innovation then since essentially the 1970s. So in some board war games from the early years (AH for example) you would see in D-Day all Allied infantry divisions are showing as 4-4-4 and all armored divisions as 5-5-4 while the Germans are various shapes of 3-4-3, 4-4-3, 5-5-3 for infantry divisions and 1-2-2 for static divisions and 6-6-4 to 3-3-4 for panzer divisions. So just based off that info, you can do some research to find out the TOE's of the various divisions and then fill them in and adjust per above.

Warning note here, if you use the stock db then you can go below, if not you'll need to find or create your own db (TOAW-DB-5.1 is excellent, for pre WW1 there may be some db out there, check Bob Cross's pre-WW1 scenarios).

Once the map and the units are all built up, then you have to make formations, these are the key to playing the game. Also there is more detail that I did not mention such as unit supply, proficiency and readiness. You'll have to set these for the formation as well. There were / are two PDF's that give a good guideline on what to set these to (the one I posted was from the COW or TOAW I) and someone else posted another. Now your ready to set up the Events.

Events is beast in and of it's self and I have run out of time ladies and gentleman.

After the events you have to setup all the PO objectives.

Then you play test it solo. See if it feels right.

Lastly, you add chrome; recolor counters, make documents, scenario briefings, make an image).

I am sure I am missing 30-40% of something or other and details, a lot of trial and error and asking questions when things go south...

hope this helps a little...

_____________________________


War in the East/War in the East II - Alpha Test Teams
WarPlan Beta Tester
DG CWIE2 tester/SPWW2 and SPMBT playtester/scenario & campaign creator

(in reply to Hellen_slith)
Post #: 12
RE: Scenario Design Basic Questions for Beginner - 8/6/2019 4:44:38 PM   
Hellen_slith


Posts: 1727
Joined: 10/10/2005
Status: offline
Thank you for all the great tips! I *think* I have successfully re-installed and updated the game on another computer (at least it opened the tutorial Kasserine scene so far), and I logged in to the slitherine server to check on my server game, and so far, so good.

Now back to Texas:

I think what I might do now is create the OOB, and just put the pieces on a blank map to see how the forces interact in sandbox run. My idea is, to test the force interactions in the sandbox environment before I go much further with it, esp. b/c it is using such limited and virtually Napoleonic forces.

My idea for events (so far) is, "capture" [destroy] the Santa Anna HQ unit equals a Texian victory, and "capture" [destroy] the Sam Houston HQ unit equals a Mexican victory. Seems like an easy enough event conditions to test in a sandbox.

Later, I will work out the map and more objectives / events and "port" the oob if I can to a more realistic map, easy enough to recreate if not b/c they are so limited in scope.

This is going to be difficult to model into a not more than 30 turns, given the scale and timeframe I am trying to acheive. With one-day turns, that will cover the last month or so of the war, so I am aiming for that so far.

It will only be quasi-historical. Great learning experience! Wish me luck! Any ideas / hints / suggestions are greatly appreciated!!


(in reply to Zovs)
Post #: 13
Page:   [1]
All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> The Operational Art of War IV >> Scenario Design Basic Questions for Beginner Page: [1]
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.141