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"IGOUGO WW2 Skirmish systems?" Topic


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Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP30 Oct 2018 7:41 a.m. PST

I'll have to agree this has been a good and mindful discussion!

Something I want to relate too, is that as a GM I want contestants to be playing my scenarios, and when I'm playing, I want to play a game also. This is where having "the game" makes some of this consideration of "realism", or activation "narrative" which we may have come to enjoy with a particular game system needing some down-to-the-tabletop scrutiny. Here's my example -

Three guys come to my game, or it's a con-presentation and have driven 60 or say 300 miles to get to it. Because the game's activation system is based largely on luck [whether pulls or dice rolling, etc.], these guys who decide to sign up and play together on a side see their chance to play wither away when encountering a swing of poor activation occurrences (this happens, and it's happened to me at a con).

So now as the GM of said game, I've seen this disadvantaged team (these three guys who drove 300 miles to have some fun), not having a chance to actually play a game. This is the consequence that can occur at the "front end" of games with random activation mechanics. As the GM, all I can do is apologize to these con goers (and I care about the experience my players have), that they really never had much chance to impact the game (to actually play it), nor did their opponents need to display much skill to win it either.

Now what I've related here actually occurred. The bottom line, is when I'm doing the work to construct a scenario, and the time and effort to present it somewhere, that I need a game to come off, and I'm not going to risk sabotaging my presentation by risking players never get a chance to play the game because of activation vagaries.

Respectfully, we can be fascinated by the nuances of one random activation system to another, and delve into the portrayed degrees of validity of them, but I give highest priority to needing a game to go off, and I want players to be activating and playing in my games (and that's what I come to expect when I'm playing in others).

wargamingUSA30 Oct 2018 9:28 a.m. PST

The game reality noted above by @FlyXwire is why I almost always have some small reserve or reinforcement written into a scenario I put on for folks outside my closest gaming pals… or in my hip pocket. Not that it mitiagates the worst case scneario but it can provide some players a measure of re-engagement.

Verily01 Nov 2018 4:36 a.m. PST

I've also had a similar experience to what FlyXwire described. My experience has been that random activation becomes problematic in games where there are 2+ players per side – one player can end up doing virtually nothing, while others can get too much freedom. IGOUGO shines a lot more in these types of games – every player gets to activate and have an active contribution.

TacticalPainter0101 Nov 2018 1:56 p.m. PST

I completely understand the desire to have players involved and engaged but isn't there a danger you are distorting the history to suit the needs of the game? Or trying to turn a two player game into multiplayer, when it's not designed to be that? But I don't think this is an inherent flaw with random activation systems rather a flaw with how you approach these with 2+ players.

In multiplayer games I think you need to consider modelling friction at two levels. One is that between the players themselves (ie as commander and subordinatesj and the other is that each player experiences their own lower level friction trying to command the men under their direct control. It should be possible to find a way to model both with some historical plausibility giving an engaging game with lots happening at both levels of command for all players.

Lee49401 Nov 2018 3:24 p.m. PST

Good Grief Charlie Brown!

Captainbrown03 Nov 2018 10:30 a.m. PST

Ever seen a gamer keep a reserve?

That's why wargames are all flawed.

That and boring people pushing "realism" and their pet theory on columns, or panzer kiels, or whatever they drool over in bed.

jdginaz03 Nov 2018 11:59 a.m. PST

Ever seen a gamer keep a reserve?

Yes I have, quite often as a matter of fact.

Vis Bellica03 Nov 2018 3:39 p.m. PST

I always try to keep some form of reserve.

I would even go as far as to say that in the last game I played (of IABSM) my reserve saved the day.

TacticalPainter0103 Nov 2018 7:12 p.m. PST

That and boring people pushing "realism" and their pet theory on columns, or panzer kiels, or whatever they drool over in bed.

Or, on the other hand, those tedious people posting in the World War II forum, complaining about people who want their World War II games to play like, well…. World War II.

Lee49404 Nov 2018 3:48 p.m. PST

I wrote several sets of rules because I didn't like the way other rules played. Gamers using my rules quickly learn to keep Reserves, not because the rules require them, but because if they dont they lose. I believe good rules, for any period, should reward the tactics of that period.

Realism is always very subjective, but rewarding the use of historical tactics can be achieved with well written rules.

The terms realism and simulation have become overused and perhaps correctly treated with some degree of skepticism by those on TMP. All I can say is that when various military and para military groups use your rules for training they must have some redeeming features. At least for training.

And that is not boasting. I've seenb various military groups use publicly published wargame rules for training dating all the way back to First Battle/Fulda Gap during the Cold War. After all didn't the Germans "invent" Kriegspiel for just that purpose??

So hats off to all those seeking a "realistic" gaming experience! Cheers!

UshCha13 Nov 2018 3:34 p.m. PST

Excellent thread.

We have not seen in 10 years of playing Maneouver Group a problem with dissimilar sized forces, indeed it is rare we have even numbers of elements in each force.
While I read that any system can be changed to IGOUGO I would dispute this. We have spent an enormous amount of time optimising, fire,movement and command and control to achieve as seamless as possible system. Our own system is not a fully Rigid IGOUGO system. If you are advancing a unit in skirmish, I.e rushes while covered by others of the team you need the IGOUGO. However this makes it near impossible to move as a group such as a column, so command levels can initiate group moves. However one the lead starts to fly the ordered chaos that is IGOUGO takes over.
My reading is that this gets about as close to accounts as I can get at the moment.

While we have dabbled with random activation we decided against it. At the level we play any advantage of going first is small in most cases, it's only one element typically and just because the enemy starts his action in one area, while you are allowed to react, you may chose to concentrate on another area so neither players will have a clear view of what the other can or will do other than in the broad terms you would expect. Hence random activation turns it into chaos not organised chaos which is what we aspire to, and it's yet more rules, I hate rules but they are a necessary evil.

Now Interestingly one of the issues of IGOUGO as seen in our system is that it presents a vast number of options. Which element and or group to move, fire, call artillery, change turret bearing, vehicle speed etc. ALL are fairly qualitative decisions, just a lot of them and hence planing is required regardless of enemy action. This generates lots of organised chaos but is definitely not for the occasional player wanting a company level or higher command.

However this level of detail means that a player with better planning skills will almost inevitably get inside the decision loop of a more reactive player. Personally this is the ultimate but can lead to poor games if players, scenario and forces are not matched to allow the less able player to have a reasonable time. Yet another reason why points systems are not credible in other than tournament games whose aims are wildly different to mine.

UshCha13 Nov 2018 3:34 p.m. PST

Excellent thread.

We have not seen in 10 years of playing Maneouver Group a problem with dissimilar sized forces, indeed it is rare we have even numbers of elements in each force.
While I read that any system can be changed to IGOUGO I would dispute this. We have spent an enormous amount of time optimising, fire,movement and command and control to achieve as seamless as possible system. Our own system is not a fully Rigid IGOUGO system. If you are advancing a unit in skirmish, I.e rushes while covered by others of the team you need the IGOUGO. However this makes it near impossible to move as a group such as a column, so command levels can initiate group moves. However one the lead starts to fly the ordered chaos that is IGOUGO takes over.
My reading is that this gets about as close to accounts as I can get at the moment.

While we have dabbled with random activation we decided against it. At the level we play any advantage of going first is small in most cases, it's only one element typically and just because the enemy starts his action in one area, while you are allowed to react, you may chose to concentrate on another area so neither players will have a clear view of what the other can or will do other than in the broad terms you would expect. Hence random activation turns it into chaos not organised chaos which is what we aspire to, and it's yet more rules, I hate rules but they are a necessary evil.

Now Interestingly one of the issues of IGOUGO as seen in our system is that it presents a vast number of options. Which element and or group to move, fire, call artillery, change turret bearing, vehicle speed etc. ALL are fairly qualitative decisions, just a lot of them and hence planing is required regardless of enemy action. This generates lots of organised chaos but is definitely not for the occasional player wanting a company level or higher command.

However this level of detail means that a player with better planning skills will almost inevitably get inside the decision loop of a more reactive player. Personally this is the ultimate but can lead to poor games if players, scenario and forces are not matched to allow the less able player to have a reasonable time. Yet another reason why points systems are not credible in other than tournament games whose aims are wildly different to mine.

David Brown14 Nov 2018 3:12 a.m. PST

Wolfhag,

To Activate or Not to Activate that is the question.

There is I think, a design dichotomy, does a WW2 rule set use either an activation system for all units or direct orders to units where the number of orders may vary or the timing of orders varies, but the order always gets through.

Personally I don't see the activation mechanism quite as binary as you describe. Activation can mean your platoons, which I agree with you already have their battle orders, are either:

Activated = getting on with their orders quickly and effectively or

Not Activated = doing things more slowly or simply not carrying out their orders at all at the moment.

Activation being a measure of Time and how long it takes a unit to do stuff.
(In my very short time doing infantry work, I did seem to spend a great deal of time hanging around not doing much I think it was called being "Tactical"!!grin)

However I can see the down side of an activation system, especially if no one activates and coordination, i.e. implementing your plan, becomes problematic.

On the other hand a direct order system where the delivery of an order will guarantee activation falls foul of the "Tiger syndrome" i.e. if a player receives a varying number of orders each turn that guarantee an action then the player is always going to use them on his Tiger tank or 17pdr or similar killer squad/tank.

We need to overcome the downsides of these two systems or come up with a new over-arching method?

DB

UshCha14 Nov 2018 4:14 a.m. PST

It's important to my mind that to recognise that some extent the first and last activation in a bound are close to simultaneous. Take our rules, a bound is ten minutes. Only a few units will be actively doing something all the time. Most of the time is rush and rest.
Nobody has the ammo generally to fire continuously for ten minutes at a high rate, it will be just a few bursts. Individual activations sort of cover the busy bits for them in the period. However they may anyway react to stuff going on even if it's not "their go".

One thing that could be said is the IGOUGO structured as in our game is not really multi player friendly. However to me that is no loss. A multi player game generally lacks expert players and hence they use unrepresentative or poorly thought out tactics, so serous challenging simulation games become impossible. Folk want different things from their rules so absolutely one size cannot fit all. DB I think K we are a long way to getting it right. However the real world requires a lot of decision making, not everybody wants that.
Gs

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP15 Nov 2018 3:28 p.m. PST

David Brown,
You bring up some very valid points. I'll attempt to respond.

Activated = getting on with their orders quickly and effectively or
Not Activated = doing things more slowly or simply not carrying out their orders at all at the moment.
Activation being a measure of Time and how long it takes a unit to do stuff.

Your definition of "Activated" is my approach that all units are active to respond during any turn. Even when not actively engaged, in reality, a combat unit is observing and ready to react and do something or change a current order. Using timing of actions to execute an order, while waiting for the game turn to be called to execute your order the crew is really "active" performing their duties to carry out the order without additional actions or efforts from the player.

Your definition of "Not Activated" is my definition of an Engagement Delay in responding to threats because of poor SA, friction, suppression, FoW or SNAFU's. This can also slow down the crew or even prevent them from carrying out their orders. Realistically, units do not react, issue an order and execute it in the same turn. An order takes time to effectively be carried out.

It appears we are both in agreement about the timing aspects of this. Timing also prevents that "Tiger Syndrome" and it brings out the inherent weakness of the Tigers historical shortcomings better than just using die roll modifiers.

(In my very short time doing infantry work, I did seem to spend a great deal of time hanging around not doing much I think it was called being "Tactical"!!

In the Marines, we called if goofing off and was taken to a very high art form. In the game, the units are in an active engagement with the enemy and not just hanging around.

I'll try to address the downside of an activation and chit pull system and the "Tiger Syndrome" by discussing replacing them with the timing of actions in an IGYG game sequence.

Game Turn Sequence: The whole idea of a turn sequence is to get playable/believable interaction between friendly and enemy units while allowing some decision points for the players and the ability to use real tactics. Ideally, it is a system that does not give players complete control over their units, allow him to decide the sequence of actions and units will not always perform the way you want them to. Suppression, friction, Fog of War and mistakes/accidents should play a role in delaying or stopping your opponent from performing his action before yours.

In order for it to simulate the Decision Loop, it should allow some way for better crews to perform their actions more quickly with all other things being equal. In an active battlefield, all units are going to be "active" and at least attempt to react even if it just being static and observing. That means they should have the ability to react to enemy activity in their LOS during any turn but reacting and executing an order at the same time does not allow timing to enter the picture.

The timing of an action to shoot would first take into account the initial spotting and crew reaction which could be variable depending on the units Situational Awareness, suppression and being flanked/surprised. It's what I call an Engagement Delay. Next would be getting the gun on the target/turret traverse time which I use historic rates (20 degrees/second = 3 turns to traverse 60 degrees). The last is aim time and the player can choose to use less aim time but shoot sooner but with an accuracy penalty. Smaller guns and better optics allow lower aim times. Better crews are faster and have better accuracy with the same amount of aim time as a poor crew. In a 1:1 shootout each second counts and sometimes you need to outguess your opponents. Of course, the final Action Turn for both sides is unknown creating a Fog of War and uncertainty.

As the one-second turns are called out sequentially all units that have an action for the current turn to perform do so and then determine their next action and timing (no orders phase). If there are no actions for the turn play proceeds immediately to the next turn. The game flows from turn to turn being interrupted only for actions being performed (I can explain how simultaneous second-by-second movement works later).

That's the short version. I hope you can see how the game would have a more natural flow to it with all units on the table synchronized to the same turn. The timing of actions eliminates the need for activations (binary or not), random chit pulls, initiative determination and special opportunity fire rules so it can actually speed up the game. It's still an IGYG sequence but it uses action timing to determine the future turn the action takes place. Using one-second game turns allows split second results in 1:1 combat which is actually pretty cool. Your split-second decisions put you inside your opponents Decision Loop to seize the initiative.

Basically, I go before you go because I'm faster. You can go after me if you are still alive.

Wolfhag

Lee49416 Nov 2018 2:25 p.m. PST

So with one second game turns how long does it take to finish a battle? Even a 5 minute ambush would be 300 turns! What am I missing?

TacticalPainter0116 Nov 2018 3:10 p.m. PST

Wolfhag I understand your theory but have trouble translating that into a playable game sequence. As Lee494 points out this could be 300 turns for a five minute period. With multiple units in play, how does the sequence of play actually work?

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2018 6:45 a.m. PST

This is one of those times where it's easier to visually show than verbally explain. Your first impression is typical of experienced gamers. When I explain it to a 25 year old that has never played a war game before they get it. Experienced war game players ALWAYS get hung up on what a "turn" really is. Once you understand that most turns do not contain an action that slows down the game or needs the player to perform an action and how "Virtual Movement" works it should become clear. Maybe I should be using a different term or explain it differently.

A playable game can accommodate a reinforced company of 20-30 vehicles per side. I've seen new players controlling 12 tanks at a time. We've played a N. Africa scenario with 8 new players having 4-6 tanks per player in 3 hours. I think it took 250 game turns.

Even in an intense action not all tanks are engaged and firing. There is rarely someone shooting each and every turn which is OK because a game turn is used for action timing. Normally half of the tanks are maneuvering and half are firing. A small anti-tank gun might fire every 5-7 turns, 8-12 turns for 75-90mm guns up to every 25 turns for 120mm+ two-part ammo guns. Switching to a new target will take a little longer.

Orders are not executed in the same turn they are given like traditional activation and reaction games. This forces players to plan ahead. It takes a certain amount of game time to execute an order, that's what makes this different than other games. I'm attempting to use historical action times modified by factors like suppression and crew training to get a good interaction between all units and the Decision Loop because better crews will act more quickly than poor crews.

As the one-second GAME turns are consecutively called out all units that have an action for the current turn to perform do so and then immediately determine their next action and timing (no orders phase).

If there are no actions for the current GAME turn play proceeds immediately to the next GAME turn.

The game flows from turn to turn being interrupted only for actions being performed (I can explain how simultaneous second-by-second movement works later).

Example: An order issued on turn #25 that has an Action Time of 8 turns will execute on its Action Turn of turn #33. If you understand that and not get hung up on game turns it should become clear.

An important concept to understand in the game is simultaneous "Virtual Movement" and is critical to give a playable way to coordinate and synchronize movement, shooting and artillery impacts on a turn-to-turn basis. This eliminates the need for special opportunity fire rules. Videos show it better.

virtual movement example

The sequence of allowable actions in a game turn:
Each Turn: virtual movement along the movement marker, artillery impacts, direct fire, Situational Awareness Checks (respond to threats, engage new target)

Each 5th turn: physical movement moving the model to the end of the movement marker with new direction, artillery impacts, direct fire, Situational Awareness Checks (respond to threats, engage new target)

Each 10th turn includes an Admin turn: physical movement moving the model to the end of the movement marker, artillery impacts, direct fire, Situational Awareness Checks (respond to threats, engage new target), Small Arms fire results, Rally, Bail Out success, Progressive Damage from fires, communication attempt results, SNAFU Recovery

Definitions:
Action Time: is the number of turns of abstracted crew activity it will take to execute an order.
Action Turn: is the game turn # that the order given in a previous turn will execute after the crew Action Time. The Action Turn is equal to the current turn # the order is issued + the Action Time to carry out the order.

Game Time/Game Turn: each turn is one second but used is used to determine Action Time. There is a sequence of actions that can happen each turn.
Earth Time: The real/physical amount of time a player spends in performing an action in the game. A game may take 3 hours of Earth Time to play a game that took 300 turns or 5 minutes of Game Time. Using game time compression a 1000 game time turn could be played in 2-3 Earth time hours depending on the maneuvering and tactics players use.

Here is an example from the Basic game that is a little easier to understand:
It is turn #47. Three tanks are engaging G1, G2 and R1. Tank G1 and G2 are firing at R1. Tank R1 is firing at tank G1. They rolled a D20 to determine their "Action Time" (the amount of time of crew activity to execute the order) of the one-second game turns it will take to shoot. Adding the Action Time to the current game turn is the Action Turn when the order will be executed.

In the Basic game, the Action Time for the shoot is an abstracted combination of the crew Situational Awareness + Turret Traverse Time + Aim Time + Crew Training (the Advanced game goes into more detail with these factors). It is loosely based on the amount of time it would take for a tank to fire in WWII assuming a round already in the chamber and crew ready for combat. Targets to the flank and rear and tanks with poor crews will have a longer Action Time and consequently, their Action Turn will occur later making them slower.

Let's examine an interactive shooting example:
Each of the three tanks rolls a D20 to determine their Action Time. Here are the results of the three tanks initial Action Time and their Action Turn starting on turn #47:
Tank G1 will take 15 turns to fire so his order to fire will execute on turn #62 (47+15)
Tank G2 will take 17 turns to fire so his order to fire will execute on turn #64 (47+17)
Tank R1 will take 12 turns to fire so his order to fire will execute on turn #60 (47+13)

Neither player knows the Action Turn of their opponent, that's the Fog of War. The sequence they will shoot is pre-determined. They cannot interrupt another vehicles turn but at any turn they could respond to a new threat, cancel their current order and issue a new one.

Now the game turns are called out consecutively and stopped only when a player signals when an announced game turn comes to his Action Turn (the turn the order executes). That means turns #48 through #59 are called with no player actions to perform taking about 10 seconds of Earth time. On turn #60 the player with tank R1 signals he is firing at tank G1. During turns #47 to #60 the crew of R1 was "active" performing the tasks to engage the target, estimating the range, get the gun on the target, aim and fire just like a real tank crew would but the player is not worried about each crew member in the game. He's only worried about the Action Turn to shoot.

To shoot on turn #60 he first turns his tank towards the target G1 (the Advanced uses turret traverse). Referring to the vehicles data card, he rolls a D20, hits, penetrates and destroys G1. It is still game turn #60 and R1 can issue a new order to move or engage G2. He needs to issue his new order IMMEDIATELY just like a real tank commander, there is no orders phase to wait for. He decides to engage and shoot at G2. He rolls the D20 to determine his Action Time for how long the next shot will take and the result is a 9. His Action Turn to execute the order to shoot given on turn #60 will execute on turn #69 when he will shoot again.

Now we go back to announcing game turns sequentially until another unit has an Action Turn. When turn #62 is announced G1 cannot shoot because he is dead, his crew was a little too slow. When turn #64 is announced tank G2 shoots at R1 and misses. He decides to try his luck again (he could decide to move/evade) and rolls the dice for an Action Time of 10 turns. He'll fire again on turn #74, if he is still alive.

Now we go back again to announcing game turns sequentially until another unit has an Action Turn. Turns #64 through #69 are announced as quickly as needed taking about 5 Earth seconds. Tank R1 fires at tank G2 and misses. He wants to shoot again, rolls the D20 and his Action Time for the next shot is 8 seconds/turns so his Action Turn to execute the order is turn #77. Hopefully, this is becoming clear now.

Now we go back to announcing game turns sequentially until another unit has an Action Turn. Turns #70 through #74 are announced taking about 4 Earth seconds. Tank G2 fires at tank R1, hits, penetrates and destroys it. Tank R1 was destroyed as his crew was going through their reloading and shooting tasks but were too slow.

So the above action took 27 game seconds or turns and would have taken about 2 minutes or less of real Earth time for the players. Each vehicle has a customized data card for players to refer for that shows what their variable Action Time is to shoot as it varies from tank to tank. It also has their gunnery chart, hit location, armor, etc.

So let's examine what happened. First of all, there was only a pause in announcing the game turns when an order given in a previous turn was to be executed (Action Turn). There were no activation rolls because everyone was active. They were not rolling command dice to see what actions are available to them. There are no artificial game mechanics, cards or dice to that tell him what he can or cannot do. There was no initiative determination because faster vehicles shot before slower ones in an orderly, timely and playable process that delivers split second results. This gives a good simulation of the Decision Loop. There could have been two tanks firing at each other during the same turn, no problem. Players were not waiting for their "turn" to do something because after issuing an order the crew is really performing their duties until the Action Turn. They can always respond to a new threat, cancel the current order and issue a new one but that will take additional time and time delays get you killed. There was no need for rules like turn interrupts because the game is already interactive. If you want to "interrupt" a player be quicker than he is. A game turn does not "magically" end because there is no traditional game turn but a SNAFU can cause an order not to be executed and suppression will extend the Action Turn to a later game turn.

Units will almost always carry out their order but the player does not have complete control over exactly when the order will be executed or if a 5% chance of a SNAFU will prevent it from happening at all or have an undesirable outcome.

The most common new player mistake is not issuing a move or fire order immediately after firing, probably because they are waiting for the ref to tell him it is his sides turn to fire like most games. The bottom line is the players are focused on the action, decisions and how the battle is developing. They are not waiting for their "turn" and need to pay attention to every turn and action of other units around him are performing just like a real commander.

Game Time Compression: When there is no mutual LOS the players can by mutual agreement speed up movement by moving in 10-20 game turns increments until a mutual LOS is established and play can proceed to a turn-by-turn sequence. A formation moving at 20kph would move about 30m every 5 game turns. Moving in 20 turn increments would be 120m until LOS is established would speed up the game. Game Time compression is normally how a game starts off with both sides determining each formations path before the game.

To get the most out of the game you need to think and act like a real tank commander and ask yourself, "What do I want to do right now and how long will it take me". In tank warfare you are either shooting or moving, that simplifies it. That forces the player to evaluate the field on what will most likely occur in the next 10-15 game turns, issue an order that can realistically be executed in 10-15 game turns and determine how long it will take to execute the order. He also must evaluate any Risk-Reward Decisions. During any game turn, he can always cancel an order and issue a new one. That's all the game really comes down to. Too much thinking will complicate it.

Regarding playability, I've been playing/testing it mostly at conventions almost always with a group of new people so I had to keep it fairly easy and intuitive to understand. I give a 2-3 minute overview, demo a few moving and shooting turns and familiarize them with the vehicle data cards and we start the game. Anything longer and peoples eyes start to glaze over. No one has ever read the rules before the game. I think if they did it might just confuse them. I plan on short videos for the game mechanics.

Normally after about 45 minutes there has been enough shooting and moving that I can sit back and let the players that have caught on call out the turns and help other players (they still have not read the rules). The players will normally have questions about the data cards or how to perform certain maneuvers or tactics. I've had 5-6 former tank crewman play and they recognized the game mechanics and terminology and were up to speed quickly even playing the Advanced game.

I also have former tank crewman helping me and people at Kubinka that can answer technical questions about Russian vehicles. I've developed the rules mostly from technical and training manuals, after action reports, and advice from people with military experience. Since the game system does not use any traditional game turns or sequences there was not much I could borrow from other published games.

I think this type of game system would be a different type of IGYG but it may also be a phased activation turn system or even a We Go. I'm not sure. I'd be interested in how others would classify it.

Wolfhag

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2018 7:36 a.m. PST

Looks similar to AH's Mustangs impulse moving system?

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2018 8:10 a.m. PST

FlyXwire,
That's what it appeared to me at first too but some people have told me it's not true impulse movement. In a 10 impulse game turn, a speed of 3 might physically move in impulses 3, 6 and 9.

What I'm calling "Virtual Movement" is that each and every turn a moving vehicle will move a certain distance along their movement arrow which is 1/5 of their movement in 5 turns. I call it "virtual" because the player does not have to move the model a fraction of an inch each and every turn. Faster speeds have longer arrows so each turn faster vehicles will move a little further and in proportion to other speeds.

At the end of every 5th turn, the vehicle has actually moved to the end of the movement arrow so the player needs to physically move the model up to the end of the arrow and place it to show the new direction and where it will be in the next 5 turns.

Wolfhag

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2018 8:22 a.m. PST

Ah yes, that is different in Mustangs (and this is from recall), there were impulse times when slower/different airspeed aircraft didn't move at all.

I bet this is pretty fluid in practice (and I commend you for putting this here into writing) probably lots easier just to understand/visualize by doing.

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2018 9:54 a.m. PST

FlyXwire,
In a game, it's really transparent to the players which makes it playable. What people seem to like, even spectators is that the movement arrows lengths determine the speed. This adds a visual dimension of action to the game because it will show some units moving faster than others.

I'm not sure if I made it clear but every 5th turn all moving units are moved simultaneously but only to the end of the movement arrow. Players cannot game the movement. This technique alone immensely speeds up the game. Immediately after movement if no one is firing or no artillery is scheduled to impact (no actions to perform) we immediately advance 5 turns and move the vehicles and arrows again. The game moves quickly to the action and does not get bogged down although it seems as if it would.

In the image, the arrow colors are different shades of green. When moving the arrow, the technique is just to flip it over to the opposite side. All players should be showing the same color so it's easy to determine who forgot to move. It also eliminates the need to measure the movement length too. This idea came from a new player at a convention.

In fairly dense terrain, players can determine their chances of moving from one covered location to another. To move across a 100m gap in the open at 20kph would take about 12 turns and most guns would be able to get a shot off at you if they had their gun pointed at the gap (overwatch). However, if you were on his flank it could take an extra 4-8 turns to notice and engage you and engage to shoot. This could force him to use less aim time which brings an accuracy penalty (Snap Shot).

Moving at 40kph would take 6 turns and an overwatching vehicle may be forced to take a Snap Shot even if overwatching the open gap. You get a real feeling and appreciation for speed in the game. It presents more real-world time and space problems for the player rather than abstracted ones driven by chance or random.

I admit it does generate less chaos but that can be rectified by SNAFU's and equipment breakdowns.

Wolfhag

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2018 3:27 p.m. PST

This sounds very intuitive Wolfhag so this is basically a turn-less system, and action progression just continues on a "time track" with tasks occurring when the time needed to prepare/complete them has been "spent"?

Did you have to explore typical response time(s) to communicate, prepare, and effectively fire weaponry and for remote things like supporting fire requests, etc. is this where you arrived at the "time spacing intervals" along the "time track?

(and please bear with me with all the " ", because I'm not assuming my definitions jive with your design atm)

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP19 Nov 2018 4:22 p.m. PST

FlyXwire,
Yes, I guess it would be a turnless system. I do use a turn track or a unit status sheet to track Action Turns for vehicles. Placing a units Action Turn chit along the Turn Track makes it pretty easy to handle multiple vehicles.

So what type of turn sequence would you call it? Is it some type of IGYG?

Every 10th turn is an admin turn to determine the success of radio communications, bail out success, results of small arms fire volume, and determining the artillery impact turns are determined. I'm not trying to time every single action, just the most important ones.

I've done a lot of research in finding the data to determine the amount of time to perform different actions, unfortunately some of it is conflicting. The training manuals, videos, narratives and after action reports have really helped. The British did some good research and trials for reload times for German Panther and Tiger tanks that can be applied to other tanks with the same ammo storage configuration. The US Sherman has manual with good information on training standards for engaging targets. The Germans have good documentation on minimum training standards for tank crews.

The method to my madness was take the ideal performance times and then degrade them based on crew training/experience, suppression, Risk-Reward Decisions, situational awareness, SNAFU, etc. and then compare them to real combat accounts and actions. They do NOT perform as in peace time except maybe the first shot firing from a concealed ambush position. There is always the 5% chance of a SNAFU too.

Most actions are somewhat randomized too. So actions your enemy performs can be somewhat predicted within a given range but they are not totally random. There are enough unknown variables and options it make it dangerous to try and guess. Just don't become predictable.

Aim times (typically 4-8 turns) are variable with 0-1 turns simulating a Snap Shot with a large accuracy penalty. 1-3 turns less than maximum time simulating Battlesight Aiming with a small accuracy penalty. Smaller guns and antitank guns take less time to aim. Larger guns and guns in a casemate or two man turrets take longer. Aim Time includes range estimation error and bracketing adjustments.

Spotting and reaction presented a problem. At first, units could attempt to spot once in a 5 turn segment. That didn't really work. Eventually I settled on a system that a unit can react to a threat on any turn by performing a Situational Awareness Check with a D20 roll. Depending on a number of factors, it will take a number of turns for the crew to notice and respond to the threat which I call an Engagement Delay.

During the delay time the threat is not noticed and you continue with your current order. Better crews and unbuttoned will respond faster. Poor crews and buttoned up will take longer. A threat to your front (over watch) will be quicker to respond to. The delay factors are variable within a range and are somewhat arbitrary based on what I can find and talking to tank crews.

Situational Awareness Check: a D20 roll the player makes when wanting to engage a new target. It determines how quickly the commander and crew notice the threat and issue an order. It normally results in a number of turns of an Engagement Delay as crews do not react immediately.

The game assumes the tank commander and crew have a 360 degree awareness with the best chance to respond to their front and worse to the flank and rear. Turreted tanks that are engaged and shooting can only respond to threats in their front 90 degrees and are blind in their rear 270 degrees. Some buttoned up tanks also have their historical blind spots too.

Engagement Delay: is the result of a Situational Awareness Check. It is the number of turns a unit must continue performing their current order before they notice a threat to issue a new order. If the unit is knocked out during the Engagement Delay time that means he never saw the enemy that hit him. The delay simulates a threat appearing and the amount of time for the crew to detect it. The reasons could that the moment the threat appeared the Tank Commander was looking in the wrong direction, talking on the radio, talking to a crewman in the turret, etc. You don't select sectors to search like some other games.

I use a customized play aid that you can hold over the reacting vehicle to determine all of these factors. The Advanced game has 3 steps to determine the Action Time for a first shot at a target: Situational Awareness Check (variable Engagement Delay time) + (Pivot/Move to face target time or Turret Traverse Time) + Aim Time (variable). The Basic game abstracts the range of these 3 results with a single D20 roll making it better for large engagements and solitaire play.

The German Panzer III crews claimed that if they flanked a buttoned up T-34/76 they could often get off up to 3 shots before the T-34 could get off their first. I have not run across games that can simulate that. However, using the processes described above it can be recreated pretty easily and I have examples.

Wolfhag

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2018 6:22 a.m. PST

Wolfhag, it wouldn't be IGOUGO, but you could coin it something like a "Dynamic Time-Trigger" turn sequence. :)
(and dynamic after reading about some of the quasi-battlefield conditions you've incorporated, and listed in your post above).

wargamingUSA20 Nov 2018 9:48 a.m. PST

My Christmas wish is that all TMP threads were this good and this civilized!

UshCha21 Nov 2018 3:14 p.m. PST

I was thinking a bit more re about why I like IGOUGO. To be honest I first met in Stargrunt II and decided I loved it, perhaps not having really analysed it too much. I had not started the long trek to wargames designer them. However in hind site what does it give you? Perhaps an example is with tanks fighting in defence. If you deploy tanks in defence against a route you will select in many cases a window of terrain to shoot through that limits the amount of return fire. As the enemy comes in sight you need to shoot and then retire out of harms way before too much comes back. This sort of tactic is asynchronous so lends itself to IGOUGO. It could be done in a standard one side moves then the other but the system would need to be far more complex as you work through this asynchronous attack and respond OR you shorten the bounds so that they only cover one of the asynchronous events. Wolfhag does this well. However if you are doing combined arms covering a battle some hours long. This is impractical even 3600 sec (is too Long to be practicable).

It interesting that perhaps we have taken one step further. We move in a 1/2 move sequence, so player moves half, any reactions take place and then complete the move. We find this very quick, again surprisingly quick and helps as it allows a bit more move distance to be used without upsetting the model. Even with that ther is a limited reaction IGOUGO loop, again like Wolfhag 1 second interval player have no trouble with this and it is quick to resolve. Sort of IGOUGO inside a larger IGOUGO loops. Supriseingly most beginners get this bit within a bound. Grasping the need for planning even if only in their head is what the beginners really struggle with. Plus to my surprise command structures are something the standard alternate move player seem to struggle with as command and control is much more limited in these type of games.

Munin Ilor21 Nov 2018 4:35 p.m. PST

As an aside, move (or act) -> call for reactions -> move (or act) is exactly how Infinity works, and that game is fantastic for sci-fi tactical firefights. And if someone is reacting to you, the resolution rolls are generally opposed – meaning it is absolutely possible to get shot and/or killed during your own activation/turn.

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2018 8:47 a.m. PST

…..and if those reactions are based on "limited issue" interrupts ones enabled via a scenario's design, or granted by a unit's experience/ranking, there's actually a toolkit presented where a limited pool of these reactions need to be managed by players during the course of a game.

To me, this is the "chaos" that can be interjected into the IGOUGO system(s), where important command moments can receive attendant reaction response(s). The "chaos" comes with the phasing player not being able to predict when such enemy interruptions [to their orderly activation process] will be intervened upon. Not only can this ramp up decision tension and anticipation, but focuses players on considering when to partake in these "command decision" [interrupt-reaction] moments.

This is like taking Wolfhag's seconds, any making some of those seconds more important than the others they're suddenly "mad minutes" instead, where the opponents are expending their ultimate capabilities in attempts to sway the action's outcome to their favor.

Lee49422 Nov 2018 11:41 a.m. PST

Congratulations FlyXwire. You have exactly described the CAC Interrupt Command in my Combat Action Command rules. You ought to try them sometime. Cheers!

UshCha22 Nov 2018 1:48 p.m. PST

FlyXwire, well put it is a good description. One of the things that it can do, having the mad minute simulation. It can take more simple long term moves. For instance a truck driving down a road continuously. In the typical Turn based game you cannot leave it to drive for 10 minute as it would get too far as the reaction systems don't cope. It a standard joke in Maneouver Group when asked how far something can move if not observing, ten time round the board. However the IGOUGO system we use means if seen all hell breaks lose in a credible way. This means troops on fast safe routes get their quickly and reserves get to where they are wanted in time. This makes long route ambushes possible as you have a lot of terrain to cover but can do it quickly in time on the board.

bly
,

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP23 Nov 2018 6:43 a.m. PST

For 6 months I struggled to get the gunnery timing right using typical IGYG turns with reactions to simulate the gunnery procedures from the US M60 tank manual:

The game does reflect that 3 second difference between the fire control types. If you think that goes overboard on detail I won't disagree with you but it's what I like and it remains playable with no burden on the player. Most importantly the player makes the same exact Risk-Reward Tactical decision as their WWII counterparts so there is more reliance on decisions and less on the dice.

Here is the overall experience for the players I wanted to I was recreate:


The IGYG wasn't working using 2, 5 10, 12 and 15 second turns. However, the only timing worked with one-second timing turns and even going to 2 seconds did kind of work but could not give the split second results that occur in real combat so 1 second it was.

I was discussing my frustration with a friend that is also a game designer that I could not get the system to perform as desired with IGYG and to use one second turns seems ridiculous, could never be playable and only a moron would attempt it (sound familiar?). He told me I fit the description and should give it a try so I did.

As the game developed, the more we played the 1-second timing and Action Turns the more we discovered some really cool results that the system generated naturally without special rules or die rolls. The use of Action Turns gave a natural and realistic progression of the game as the synchronized action unfolds in slow motion across the board as game turns with no action being skipped over to get to the next action being performed. All players were kept busy and games with up to 10 players progressed pretty well.

I included Time of Flight in on the gunnery charts. Why, a player could determine his chance to get out of LOS before his opponent could shoot. Also, because a shot at a target at over one-second time-of-flight could get to shoot back if his Action Turn is on the following turn. So at 1000m, a shot at 800m per second would still be about 200m away and the target would get to fire on the next turn following he was shot at. It would be two turns at two seconds time of flight, etc. No special rules or die roll needed. The ToF is also an accuracy modifier for moving targets too as higher muzzle velocity have a better chance of firing. I used a moving target formula the British developed.

Using Action timing, a player could easily and correctly simulate a Reverse Slope Defense by acquiring the target while turret down and getting the turret rotated to it, moving to hull down so the gunner could fire and then immediately reversing to turret down again while reloading. Unless the enemy had their gun pointed where he emerged (overwatch) he needs to reduce aim time (Snap Shot) to shoot before he disappears.

I found it much easier to implement new features and tactics using Action Timing rather than special rules and exceptions that can impact current ones. So I don't add "rules" I add new actions and tactics with their associated time to carry out and their effect on movement, situational awareness, accuracy or crew performance. The bonus is I don't have to worry about recreating the Fog of War and the OODA Decision Loop, the system covers that naturally.

I think the Phoenix Command system has a similar type of action turn and timing system (I'm not going to discuss playability) so my system is not exactly new, just a slightly different approach. It uses a Combat Phase of 8 seconds (you could say mine is 10) and 4 Turn Phases of 2 seconds each (mine is 10 turns of 1 second). During each Phase, all crew members perform their actions but I abstract the entire crew's effectiveness. I didn't use any of their action times because I used historical references. We both use ToF in tenths of a second. It uses 20-yard megahexes I use 1" = 25m.

Personally, I like the Nuts! Reaction system for small unit games. Larger battalion and above games would use a different action timing mechanism (maybe minutes) for platoons instead of single vehicles as one-second timing would be inappropriate as UshCha said. A vehicle moving at 25kph would move about 425m per minute but should probably be a little variable. A tank-tank engagement would take about 1-2 minutes of 3-6 rounds of abstracted firing with who gets off the first shot being the most important. You wouldn't need the level of level as one-second timing and probably use 1" = 100m rather than 1" = 25m. It could work but probably not have any advantage over an IGYG / reaction system. I do have a WWI & WWII naval system designed that uses Action Timing.

Wolfhag

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP23 Nov 2018 12:18 p.m. PST

After re-reading the posting it seems one part generated some confusion, at least for me.

Dodging out of LOS: Knowing the approximate amount of time it takes for the enemy to shoot plus any additional time of flight lets the player estimate if he can successfully move out of LOS before the next shot. Moving at 24kph will allow movement of 70m to 85m in 10-12 seconds (about the average rate of fire for most medium tanks) which may or not be enough as the shooter can shorten his aim too.

We had an example of this in a game. A T-34/85 was firing at a hull down Tiger I at a range of 1100m. They exchanged shots with the T-34 hitting the Tiger mantlet and failing to penetrate. He reloaded again to try his luck on a second shot. Before his second shot, the Tiger fired and barely missed with the round going between the hull bottom and ground.

The Russian was faced with two decisions: Get the shot off before the Tiger and hope for hitting a weak spot or dodge out of LOS towards a nearby building. The next Tiger shot was sure to hit and most likely penetrate or cause spall damage. If he took the additional time to fire he may not have enough time to dodge. That's the same problem and decision a tank commander would have in WWII or even today.

He decided to cancel his current fire order and attempt to get out of the LOS but needed to move 80m and would have about 10-12 seconds before the next shot arrived to do it. His movement arrow for his 44kph speed shows a movement of about 13m/second. He figures he has enough time to dodge the shot and cancels his fire order and places his movement arrow towards the edge of the building. The end result was he did go into hiding before the Tiger got the shot off with a few seconds to spare.

Using timing values of 1 second is the only way you can get this level of playable detail. It does not involve any additional die rolls for activations, turn interrupt, command dice or initiative rules.

Wolfhag

UshCha23 Nov 2018 2:34 p.m. PST

Tacticalpainter01, looks like the gremlins got your last post. Maneouver Group does not have a video. We did try taking lots of photos to do an action by action report but that got too messy. You could ask a question in rules here or on this thread or my email is at the end of the rules. Ironic I am in Australia (Canberra tomorrow night). We are updating the rules at the moment, no big changes just trying to make them clearer, ironic really. We would love to understand what is not making sense.

BRIAN

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP08 Dec 2018 3:56 a.m. PST

Lee494 and TacticalPainter01,
I'm not sure if I answered your questions about the game sequence being unplayable. Since each unit with an action (shooting or artillery landing) to be performed is plotted for a future turn, game turns with no action plotted are skipped over. The game moves quickly from one action to another skipping turns with no action but there are used for the timing of actions.

The game may progress with up to 10-12 turns with no action with some turns having 2+ units firing. Every 5th turn all moving units are simultaneously moved to the end of their movement marker (this speeds up the game). Every 10th turn is an admin phase to handle small arms fire, progressive damage, bail outs and other actions in a more abstracted manner.

By the end of December I'll have a free beta version of the basic game rules and augmented reality videos programmed to the rules and data cards.

Wolfhag

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