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"A review and summary of Carnage and Glory 2" Topic


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1,940 hits since 19 Jan 2016
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Madmac64 Supporting Member of TMP19 Jan 2016 4:21 p.m. PST

For pics and review:

madmacsattic.blogspot.com

vagamer63 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2016 12:35 a.m. PST

I think you've pretty much hit the nail on the head with your review Mac! When it comes to Computer Moderated Rules C & G II leads the way, and is head and shoulders above all the others. The support offered by it's originator through the C & G II Yahoo Group is pretty much second to no other group out there!

davbenbak Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2016 4:36 a.m. PST

Great review. I find this system work wells at conventions where most players are familiar with the tactics of a given era and they are able to focus on that, instead of learning a lot of rules. Everything they need to know to play the game (turn order, movement distances, ranges) fits on one sheet of paper. I have GM'ed games for ACW and ECW and played the Napoleonic version. As mentioned also great for solo games since you can leave the table set-up and come back another day as the computer remembers everything and you can pick-up exactly where you left off.

The only learning curve involved is that most players are not used to accounting for fatigue and ammo use. They tend to "blaze away" since usually when rolling dice there is always chance to "hit" and rarely any negative consequence for taking the chance. They tend to get upset when their artillery is too tired to continue firing or infantry units are low/out of ammo right when the enemy is in close range. You think they would get the hint when 600 men or an eight gun battery fire at long range at a moving target and only cause 1 casualty! The system does issue warnings about ammo, fatigue and morale levels.

Can't recommend Carnage and Glory II enough for historical gamers. Figure count and scale is fairly irrelevant, so no need for the dreaded rebasing, since all you need to focus on is trying to match unit frontage to your chosen ground scale. The game could be played using wooden blocks! Also as mentioned there is great support to be found on a very active yahoo site.

Madmac64 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2016 4:58 a.m. PST

Thanks guys…….yes I did forget to mention the active Yahoo group, in which there is a ton of resources, updates, and OOBs.

Nigel is constantly monitoring for questions, etc

Thank you for the kind words…..

Madmac64 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2016 5:20 a.m. PST

Here's the yahoo group web address. For any CG2 players out there, I highly recommend checking it out:

link

idontbelieveit Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2016 7:14 a.m. PST

We've had a lot of great games of C&G doing SYW, ACW, and a couple of Napoleonic games. It produces some great results. I wish there were a command system that went with it. People can pretty much do what they want command wise and that seems a let down compared to the detail put into the combat system.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2016 7:50 a.m. PST

While C&G does keep track of fatigue and ammunition for the players, the bottleneck that slows the game significantly is having to funnel all weapons firing and close combats through the computer operator. We just had a MexAm War game on Monday in which we only played about 4 turns using C&G. If using our standard dice driven game we would have played 8 or 10 turns. For me, using C&G just slows down the game to much and takes away the fun of throwing dice.

Jim

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2016 9:41 a.m. PST

Ken: It was likely all from the setup in your army list. The British were likely 2 rank vs American 2 rank. Also the fire factors/troop quality mattered. May take a little tweaking to get it where you want it.

Jim: Speed of play comes when folks know the system, but especially from a very experienced GM. I find I can run games with a bunch of inexperienced players to the system faster than a standard rules set with any complexity. Also, I dislike referring to charts, figuring fire factors and then rolling dice. The computer does it faster in the end in my mind. I actually prefer the computer to rolling dice. One less thing to mar the look of the table/game.

Doug

Madmac64 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2016 10:26 a.m. PST

Hey Ken, I want to echo what Doug mentioned…..it might take a bit of tweaking when it comes to initial data input to get the right results. I haven't played the AWI system, but I do know that Landwehr would never stand up to Regulars or Elites in the Napoleonic system when it comes to multiple vollies. So the question is….how did the Americans use tactics to beat the British….artillery pre-bombardment, multiple lines, etc.I would start there and then tweak unit ratings to get the historical results on a regular basis. After some experimentation, you will get the results. For example, we noticed that Napoleonic cavalry holding in place had too powerful a defensive volley versus charging cavalry…..we tweaked the defensive volley to a "moving fire"…..the results fell in place.

marshalGreg20 Jan 2016 10:28 a.m. PST

When organized, the time to call out two numbers and give feed-back can be fast. The ratio of that vs x players trying to review Y # of charts plus factors and throw the dice is not known to me yet but would be a good thing to have an estimate off since there is a limit to size/number units per contact surface of table in play ( contact being the number of opposing units making contact per table length).
I have played both types ( C&G / dice rules )with results going either way. But for a small tactical game with new players at a convention like venue it can give a very historical expected result for a player (who knows the period) like second to none.

I GM'd the historical Quatre Bra, with added double blind play, with 3 players per side, and screamed through 4 historical hours at 15 min turns ( 16 turns in 5 1/2 hrs), then did the same game with a different 4 players added, so 2 were experience and the new 4 were not and we only finished 1 1/2 hours of historical play in the same duration.
I was a "green" as a GM and much more experienced by game #2, which had the less familiar players….
Issue was clear to be the players getting what they wanted done (who to move… who to fire… and how best to fire etc.)and not the computer.

MG

Madmac64 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2016 10:29 a.m. PST

Ken….I also feel your pain against British in 2-rank lines…..my upcoming scenario of French vs British portrays that…..they are very tough to beat. So the French have to use artillery and heavy skirmishing to counter the power of the British volley…..that and mass at the point of attack, so if the first unit gets thrown back……others will follow.

Madmac64 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2016 10:31 a.m. PST

Idontbelieveit…..as far as a command system goes……there is one. You input orders into the system initially (some still don't go into effect on Turn 1) and then input courier distance for subsequent orders…..we typically don't use it for large games, but I have definitely used it for smaller games. It does work and, just like historically, it can be very frustrating when orders take forever to go through.

Madmac64 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2016 10:36 a.m. PST

Hey Jim…..yes, this "bottleneck" problem can be a challenge….especially for large games. In our group, we are very quick when we input shooting and melee…..and we have run battles up to 80,000 combatants in the past. It does depend on a veteran GM. That's why I recommend to start with small actions and then gain data input experience before moving on to large games…..I also play General de Brigade (mostly solitaire or with my son), and the dice games are quicker…..it's very difficult to beat the computer for accurate results though. So it ends up being a question of balance. In our games, we can run through a turn almost as fast as a die rolling game.

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2016 11:17 a.m. PST

Another thing that came to my mind about potential differences between volleying units (other than that mentioned above) includes the range, movement, opening volley and fatigue . The best time to shoot is always under 75 paces without any movement (or under 75 pace movement which counts as none in most instances). The greatest mistake that I see new players make is to start firing too early at long ranges, and then firing too much at this longer range (just creates un-needed fatigue for limited results).

Glenn Pearce20 Jan 2016 1:15 p.m. PST

Hello Jim!

That's been my experience as well and I've played it a number of times with experienced GM and players and without. If there are new players you can almost break for lunch between turns. Most conventional rules play faster and give most players a better sense of their in control.

Watching the dice roll is actually a lot of the excitement in a game. Take that away and the game just feels bland.

The set up time is also a lot longer with C&G. If the GM sucks that up that's his loss. On some occasions I've seen they have not been prepared and the time lost by the players is huge.

Until C&G starts using hand held scanners/computers for every player I'll leave it at the bottom of my list of games to play.

Best regards,

Glenn

marshalGreg20 Jan 2016 3:50 p.m. PST

Yes that is the excitement for the GM KP, the style of how to give to the players the description of just what happened. I really enjoyed that part.
yes it still keeps a fog of war and sense the player is witnessing things as did the actual CO!


To engage the players with dice the double bind process used 2 to 3 D6 that each player rolled during the start of their maneuver.

MG
MG

tshryock21 Jan 2016 11:07 a.m. PST

Is there still a campaign system in development for this system?

Madmac64 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2016 12:18 p.m. PST

I think I saw an email from Nigel that he was planning a July release for the campaign system.

coopman21 Jan 2016 3:59 p.m. PST

The one and only time that I tried this, I fired my infantry for several turns and basically wore them out. Something that never happens in any other wargame that I've ever played. It might be realistic, but I didn't like it.

davbenbak Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2016 5:45 p.m. PST

I'm sorry to hear of some folks having a bad experience with C&GII. Yes, the bottleneck at the computer can be frustrating. The more players you have per side, the fewer units they should each control. At conventions I usually cap the limit to six players/3 per side and only give them about 5 or 6 units to command. Each turn of C&GII is set to reflect 15 minutes of time. I find that I can usually get through a turn in about 15-20 minutes. The first turn or two may take a little longer as new players get used to the rhythm and cadence of the computer inputs. I would also hope that those who had a bad experience would ask themselves if it was caused by poor GM's, slow or disruptive players or other factors that would occur regardless of the rule system used.

oldnorthstate22 Jan 2016 7:31 p.m. PST

"While C&G does keep track of fatigue and ammunition for the players, the bottleneck that slows the game significantly is having to funnel all weapons firing and close combats through the computer operator. We just had a MexAm War game on Monday in which we only played about 4 turns using C&G. If using our standard dice driven game we would have played 8 or 10 turns. For me, using C&G just slows down the game to much and takes away the fun of throwing dice."

The "bottleneck" issue is usually a conventional excuse that inexperienced players use and/or the all too often example of a poor GM. Experience with the system does help but is not critical to running a game in almost real time. As has been pointed out, with new players the first couple of turns can be slower but once they get familiar with the system it goes much faster.

The size of the game does play a role but impacts any game system…the more units/players the slower the game…it is not unique to CG.

The problem with a CG game in which one side inflicts casualties and the other doesn't seem to is a problem either with the way you rated the units and/or a misunderstanding of the mechanics of the system.

The GM being disciplined with the CG system is critical because the game does move much quicker than the traditional dice system. In those systems there is plenty of time for players to yak in between figuring out fire tables, chasing dice across the floor and doing the math for casualties and morale. In CG, at the end of the turn there is a natural tendency for players to waste time since the turn moved so quickly and if the GM doesn't enforce some semblance of control and make them begin the next turn you can waste time herding the cats back into the game.

The other requirement of the GM is to enforce a rigid process for processing the information…start at one end of the line and require the players to resolve their fire or formation changes in order rather than allowing everyone to shout out their orders at once.

It also helps if you discourage players, particularly inexperienced players from doing things that take up time and are a disadvantage to them. During the fire phase, unless there is an extraordinary circumstance I don't allow infantry to fire at more than 100 paces…it just tires the firer out, inflicts few casualties and slows the fire sequence.

And for those who don't like fatigue getting in the way of your imaginary world where men can move, fire and melee without regard to real work impacts, this is not the rules for you.

I will challenge any GM who wants to pit his traditional rules set against CG…we'll run the same scenario, you use your experienced players and I'll use mine and I am convinced I would keep pace with you at a minimum and probably could play my game in less time.

Rawdon13 Mar 2016 8:17 p.m. PST

I have now played seven games of Napoleonic C&G. After I get one or two more under my belt, I plan to write (and post) a review. For now, I have a few comments.

1. The system shines brightest in convention games or games between groups of random players. It removes the need for "new" or relatively "new" players to keep looking up tables.

2. It is the only Napoleonic (or AWI, for that matter) ruleset I have personally experienced, that can reliably deliver 12 turns of completed action between a total of 2 to 3 players, and 20 to 30 maneuver units, per side, within 4 hours. While the so-called "bottleneck" of the computer operator means that players spend a significant portion of their total game time uninvolved, my personal experience has been that the overall flow of the game is faster than any non-computer-assisted game system I have played. There are systems that I consider to be much better simulations, but they DO require a full day – 6 to even 10 hours – to achieve a result.

These are the positives. There are, in my opinion, some negatives.

1. Many reviewers overstate the role of the computer. There are many, many rules – over 80 pages of them in smallish type – regarding movement, charges, etc. They are complex and, frankly, not always clear. As with any other system I have played, veteran players can use their rules knowledge to great advantage, and the extensive non-computer-generated parts of play have all the inter-player friction of any non-computer-assisted system.

2. I find the results to be frequently, even usually, at odds with my own reading of Napoleonic military history. Historically successful tactics rarely succeed. Casualty rates are often far too high. Squares have ridiculously unrealistic movement capabilities – including attacking! Combined arms attacks on infantry units have never succeeded. The effectiveness of artillery fire increases in literally ridiculous proportion as the weight increases. The physics of artillery bounce and small-arms fire-through effectiveness are simply wrong. (These are the highlights; I could go on).

3. With seven games under my belt, under no other system have I ever felt still so far from understanding what this system rewards and what it punishes. This is due in most part to the fact that the system author does not share the basis for any the underlying algorithms, secondly to my assumption that the element of randomness is too high.

4. You cannot import orders of battle. The GM must spend hours painstakingly creating the OB for each game / scenario. This is quite simply inexcusable. While I spent many hours creating a painstaking OB of my units in Excel, it takes me only a few minutes to create a new OB for a new scenario by pulling from my spreadsheet. It is, I repeat, inexcusable that the program does not support imports from Excel, and I would never consider purchasing this program until this flaw is corrected.

Lastly, I have some some injections of personal opinion.

1. I have stated above that this is a ruleset for conventions and odd-fellows. For games between like-minded gentlemen, I personally detest alternate-move rulesets. "At home" I use simultaneous-move.

2. Contrary to a couple of comments above, this ruleset has absolutely no meaningful command-control. This is a matter of taste: for me, command-control is one of the things that separates the men from the boys – BUT you WILL NOT finish a command-control game in 4 hours.

3. This ruleset allows "perfect moves" in the sense that every turn, a player may move any unit whose morale allows it to move, in the optimum manner with God-like clairvoyance and balloon vision. As #2 above: This is a matter of taste: for me, disallowing perfect moves is one of the things that separates the men from the boys – BUT you WILL NOT finish such a game in 4 hours.

4. The ruleset gives insufficient weight for my taste to situational factors, e.g. enemy on flank, suffer first casualties, etc.

Final comment: PLEASE, do yourselves a favor, if you want to use these rules, stick to the Napoleonic set. If my one experience with AWI is anything to go by, the efforts to modify this ruleset to other periods are hopelessly flawed.

Houdini14 Mar 2016 5:02 a.m. PST

Sheesh! This is not my experience Rawdon. As an ACW gamer of many decades experience, playing many different rule sets I simply cannot agree with you that historical tactics are not successful for ACW the version. I have played a lot of large and not so large historical games on purpose built and scaled terrain boards using C&G with blokes who know their ACW history and the outcomes are invariably uncannily consistent with historical results.

I had some doubts about the artillery impact until I spent a good deal of time researching period documents with numbers that gave some guesstimate breakdowns of specific battle report casualties, and they were not easy to find. I averaged them out and then I changed my opinion. Squares are not really an issue for ACW so that comment has no impact on the ACW version.

As for point number 3 I simply do not understand. The impact of fatigue and morale absolutely does not permit "perfect moves". I don't think you are using the system properly. If I play most rule sets figures are being plucked off the units one by one as they go down. We don't deplete the units on the table every move and this gives less "God-like clairvoyance" than any other system I have played. There is less of this "gamey" logic "hmm if my unit shoots at them I only need one more figure for them to break whereas if I shoot at those I will need three figures – okay so shoot at them it is."

Final comment: I like aspects of several ACW rule sets and I like C&G. PLEASE, do yourself a favour, do not pay too much attention to Rawdon's point of view – you will risk missing out on a quite special gaming experience that adds to the diversity of approaches and provides a very satisfying historically consistent result for the ACW version of C&G. "hopelessly flawed" ….pshaw I don't think so!

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2016 8:45 a.m. PST

Eighty pages of rules? Did not expect that. I was expecting a short learning curve with these rules. I hope there are a ton of diagrams in those rules that cause them to be eighty pages. I expected less than 20 pages. So other than not using charts, I don't see the point.

Any good GM can keep a game moving long at a pretty good clip. A lesser GM will result in getting two turns done in three hours with or without a computer. I think the GM is far more a factor than computer software.

49mountain Inactive Member14 Mar 2016 1:55 p.m. PST

All very interesting.

BUT where can you get (buy) these rules? Could someone please enlighten me? Please?

Houdini14 Mar 2016 2:08 p.m. PST

80 pages is another stretch to the credibility of Rawdon's comments. Sure, the ACW rule set is 102 pages BUT that includes the computer software instructions, tactical rule supplements, pre loaded army lists and bibliography. The actual rules begin on page 35 and finish on page 74. That is 40 pages. Many of the pages are one third to one half filled with copies of the relevant computer screens, there is a comprehensive contents section at the front and the text is an easy read – not like a DBA/legalese approach. I had very little trouble understanding or adopting the table rules for this game. I had some difficulty getting familiar with the software side of things but I am a techno illiterate.

Rallynow you are correct about the GM needing to know what they are doing (with or without a computer) but with the computer you have tracking of a greater diversity of units (weapons, experience, fatigue, morale, ammunition levels, weather, Officers etc.) than any other system I have played.

C&G is different. It takes a bit of a commitment in coming to terms with it. You don't get to throw dice. It will not be for everyone. I do not use it for throw down games because of the setting up but to suggest it is hopelessly flawed is a ridiculous overstatement.

Houdini14 Mar 2016 2:31 p.m. PST

Bill, the rules are available from the web site carnageandgloryii.com. The fellow who sells them (Nigel)provides strong backup for explanations/help.

Do some additional research before you buy to make sure they will fit what you want a set of rules to deliver. The presentation does not align with the current trend of glossy picture books. It is unlikely you would use these rules exclusively for a period. The size and nature of the scenario and the venue at which you will use them will impact your desire to adopt them in any given situation.

pancerni2 Inactive Member14 Mar 2016 3:53 p.m. PST

CG has been and will continue to be the most played rules system at any given HMGS convention on a consistent basis for Napoleonics, AWI and ACW, not mention Great Northern War and Renaissance.

There is always the latest flavor of the month for which there will be a flurry of games but that enthusiasm wanes quickly. Some are more satisfying than others, but CG has been a centerpiece of East conventions for the last 20 years. That is not the sign of a flawed, unhistoric approach.

Rawdon15 Mar 2016 12:30 p.m. PST

Dear Houdini,

I have only experienced the Napoleonic and AWI versions (as noted in my post).

My detailed comments are based on the Napoleonic version which I have played seven times. I have played the AWI version once. My comment could be restated as follows: The Napoleonic set has pluses and minuses. There is quite a bit to query about its accuracy as a simulation, but it delivers a decent game experience in a comparatively short time and I believe this is why it is so popular at conventions. The AWI set is simply terrible.

I have no direct experience with any of the other era sets. Perhaps the ACW version is the so-called jewel in the crown.

It is my understanding that the Napoleonic rules were the first set developed, and that rules for other periods are no more NOR less than modifications to the base set (i.e. Napoleonic). I am not a C&G expert and I would welcome being corrected by someone more knowledgeable. But if this is so, then I will remark that other rulesets I have tried, that attempt to cover multiple eras within the same basic structure, have not done so successfully.

Rawdon15 Mar 2016 12:45 p.m. PST

Dear Houdini,

Excuse me, I also wanted to respond to your comment about "perfect" moves. Please note my original language: "any unit whose morale allows it to move". I repeat that the ruleset allows players to make the optimum move IF morale allows their unit to move. I will add that all players know during their movement and fire phases, the state of morale of all units. In other words, there are no situations in which a player tries to make a move and learns on the spot that morale is not good enough – the player knows during his movement and fire phases exactly what units are and are not capable of.

Note that I carefully called this a matter of taste, not a criticism. The majority of rulesets allow "perfect" moves and tactical decisions. I have personally experienced that the majority of miniatures gamers have a different taste than I and dislike being prevented from making optimum turn-by-turn tactical decisions. As I said – a matter of taste, not right versus wrong. I also commented that rulesets that have extensive command and control features, and / or non-optimum tactical movement, will always take longer to play.

I fully agree with your comment in a later post that no single ruleset is suitable for every type / size of scenario.

49mountain Inactive Member15 Mar 2016 3:10 p.m. PST

Houdini – Thanks for the information. I've played the Napoleonic version and enjoyed it. I have terrible luck throwing dice (ha ha).

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