Monday, October 24, 2011

Combat System

I don't know the answer yet, still thinking of the questions.

For a fast, clean system with a lot of kit on the table, this is where the rubber meets the road.
  A winning system should be:
  • Fast:  Few rolls, few exceptions
  • No "game tactics":  real world tactics should pay off, but there should be no temptation to tweaking the action of the individual stand.  Infantry, especially, should be operating by the battalion.
  • Minimal record keeping.
The cycle of decide-act-resolve should be fast and lead to a clear conclusion quickly so the players can get on to the next decisions.

"One mechanism" sounds good, and BKC actually manages that, but it does not necessarily simplify the visualization of what is happening.  Players  (IMHO, YMMV) accept that tanks, guns and infantry act and interact differently.   Having multiple mechanisms does not seem to harm Command Decision for example.

The simplest system would have two results at least on a stand basis, pushed back and destroyed; a battalion who's attack was broken up by push backs would have to concentrate on keeping together or accept the loss of capability.  Strict distance rules might count the pushed back units as effectively lost until the attack had been re-organized.

Also, add factors and one roll,or handful of dice?  Single-die stats are certainly simpler to work with, but it is not hard to do Monte-Carlo analysis of  "handful" results.  The curve shape I have in mind would be to increase central tendency as the volume of fire increases, but to reduce the incidence of "low effect" events while allowing an increasing tail of "high effect" events.

Also, given one hour turns, I think it would make sense to provide rewards for effective combined arms "from above" rather than try to have it fall out of a "bottom up" model.

Are tables evil?  It might be interesting to look at using a nomogram of some sort as a play aid to integrate comparative firepower, protection and morale effects into a single roll without using tables or formulas in the familiar sense.

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