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""Skirmish C2"?" Topic

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Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Aug 2022 12:09 p.m. PST

I use a design principle I call "skirmish command and control" for games. The basic idea is one "figure" (a mini, base with several mins, chit, or whatever) for each command decision space for the player. So, in an actual skirmish where a player has ten soldiers for which he makes individual maneuver and engagement decisions, there would be ten minis. But where one order is issued to a five-man fire team, there would be two. All ten with one mini for squad level C2, and so on.

This is obviously not an "absolute and immutable law of the universe" for the game. There are subtleties and dynamics to span of command. It's a principle or general guideline to not have minis on the board unless a player is actively doing distinct things with them for a reasonable part of the game.

This approach has an effect on ground scale. If I am playing a company level game, then the base of a mini reasonable represents the area occupied by a company. And the terrain would reflect that. If the company level game were played with 28mm figures on 1" bases, I wouldn't necessarily dictate a different scale for buildings, but I would use terrain that represented the effect on decision making – open lanes of transit, congested areas, and places to get bogged down.

This also makes it easy to fit a lot of different types of game on a 3'x4' table.

On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like this approach?

1 – I want a bucket of minis on the table, no matter the command situation

5 – A few extra minis for table dressing is OK, but don't overdo it

10 – I like the Spartan nature of a game without lots of clutter

7 for me. It's a good approach that has lots of benefits to me, but it's not the be-all, end-all.

Gauntlet02 Aug 2022 2:26 p.m. PST

Personally, I'd rather drop the scale than drop the number of figures on the table.

I wouldn't want to play a 28mm game where each figure represented more than one person.

jwebster Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2022 4:06 p.m. PST

I'm a 7 on the scale

However, the size of the playing surface and terrain makes a difference too

It might be possible to create a formula for how many independent "units" one player should command, depending on length of game, how how complex the decisions for each "unit" are. I think this is the most important thing to get right. After that, a balance between figure size, table size and unit size could be made.

An example is xRampant rules. Roughly 4-6 units, 40-60 28mm figures on a 3'x4' mat

Another example is "Ronin". 6-12 individually controlled 28mm figures. This also works well as a game and visually


advocate03 Aug 2022 1:07 a.m. PST

So you'd play a game like DBA with 12 figures? No thanks. In Napoleonic games I want to see a battalion in line, column or square. And the breadth of a battalion in line approximates to the musket range. Unit footprint matters.
And units lose casualties and cohesion, they don't get eliminated immediately (as an individual might) so you could end up with that single figure carrying several markers for status – no thanks.
Beyond that, aesthetics matter, or I'd play boardgames.

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