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"Wargaming Without Dice" Topic


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Bolingar20 Jul 2023 1:07 a.m. PST

I've just started a wargaming blog that focusses on diceless wargaming with special reference to my diceless Ancients system Optio. But the blog will cover a great deal else besides – except painting. I'm useless at painting.

Link here.

14Bore20 Jul 2023 2:06 a.m. PST

Being I have only played at home Empire and its 2 dice only not seeing its a issue. All odds can be done with them.At conventions been playing Carnage & Glory with no dice but the computer just does it instead.
So not opposed to losing dice though the bucket of dice to get a decision does puzzle me.

Edge of Empires20 Jul 2023 2:53 a.m. PST

Awesome, thanks for composing and posting this. I will follow with interest.

Fitzovich Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2023 3:02 a.m. PST

I play One Hour Skirmish Wargames Rules that use a card system and no dice. It works very well. Wings of Glory is also a good system with no dice that Is very enjoyable. It really depends on the game.

John G20 Jul 2023 3:07 a.m. PST

Fitzovich, please tell, I'm intrigued. whether using numbered cards or something completely different.

OSCS7420 Jul 2023 4:24 a.m. PST

I have been accused of using "mind control" to roll the numbers I need. I love throwing a pair of 6Ds.

Bolingar20 Jul 2023 4:36 a.m. PST

@Edge of Empires: ta for the thumbs up. I hope you find the blog interesting.

@Fitzovich: are cards drawn at random? If so chance plays a part just like dice.

Col Durnford20 Jul 2023 6:19 a.m. PST

RE One Hour Skirmish

Two decks of cards are drawn at random. First to determine who goes first, how many actions, to hit with defense, end of round, and result of hits.

It's a very clean system.

My own house rule uses custom decks to model troop quality.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Jul 2023 6:28 a.m. PST

I think this system has very few random elements at all.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Jul 2023 9:10 a.m. PST

One question I have is whether you dislike dice as a randomness generator, or if you dislike randomness (just downloaded your rules). To the Strongest uses cards in place of dice, which means you both get the same number of 10s, so luck is about *when* you get your 10s.

I know a boardgame where combat results are dictated by orders. You pick a defense chit and I pick an attack chit. We cross reference on a grid. Units then take losses (which still use dice) and retreat.

For me the variability makes wargaming better. I can do all the right things and make all the right decisions and still lose by rolling all 1s (or whatever). Some may hate that. But games without that kind of chance feel sterile to me.

Andrew Walters20 Jul 2023 9:28 a.m. PST

We use dice because George Leopold von Reisswitz determined it was the best way to introduce the unpredictability of war into Kriegspiel. The custom dice he used are a marvel in their own right. Like many ideas in wargaming, it has continued nearly unquestioned through the centuries.

I believe dice are a really, really good way to introduce uncertainty into games. Cards might make sure everyone gets their share of good and bad luck, but not all die rolls are equal by a long shot, and it invites people to count cards. You don't try something risky if you know your critical failure die is still in there, etc.

It would be good to experiment with alternatives, always, but dice, correctly used (don't get me started) do a really good job for us.

Joe Legan20 Jul 2023 10:48 a.m. PST

Chess is a good wargame without luck as you state. I don't see too many posts about it here though. I think any endeavor with humans needs a random element attached. More realistic and certainly more entertaining. How you introduce that is up to you. As others have stated dice, well done, can be effective.

Joe

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2023 1:51 p.m. PST

Dice isn't even on my list of things I dislike about wargame rules or customs, but I do admire an eccentric who sticks to his guns. Good luck!

jurgenation Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2023 2:31 p.m. PST

He's a Witch burn em..LOL..To each their own ,fun is the main thing.

MajorB20 Jul 2023 2:38 p.m. PST

Cards are just another way of introducing a random factor and are equivalent to dice if you shuffle after every draw. Though you don't usually do that in rules that use cards.

TacticalPainter0120 Jul 2023 4:05 p.m. PST

I think the OP assigns too much randomness to dice. Dice results do not have to be totally random. Rolling 1D6 is totally random and the OP uses this to show how it can create wild swings in combat results. I agree. Roll 2D6 and then the outcomes are much less random with a 1 in 36 chance of a 12 or 2 but a 1 in 6 chance of a 7. I'd suggest that it's not the dice that are the problem but the way the rules use them. If you don't want an entirely swingy, unpredictable outcome don't leave it to a 1D6 to determine. I don't think using dice is broken, I'd say it's the rule set that has an issue.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Jul 2023 6:23 p.m. PST

I know --use a 1-6 spinner if you don't like dice?

Best Regards
Russ Dunaway

Marcus Brutus20 Jul 2023 7:43 p.m. PST

I disagree with the OP on pretty much every facet he mentions in his July 19, 2023 post. For the record, I like dice in wargames not because I love to hold them and roll them. I think dice best produce the contingency of battle. In large battles the player, representing perhaps the overall commander, has limited effect on the pacing and outcome of specific unit to unit clashes. The dice represent this contingency and the inability of the commander to fully anticipate every possible outcome.

It is precisely the ability of dice to thwart my best laid plans that makes their use a game enhancer. First, it reminds me just how precarious any decision to fight was in the ancient world. Even the best laid plans can easily fall to pieces. Second, the contingency of melee makes it absolutely necessary for commanders to have reserves. Most armies had them and most gamers don't bother but a good design, built around contingent results, should reward players for doing so.

Bolingar20 Jul 2023 11:04 p.m. PST

Let me make a few general points to clarify my position:

1. I dislike dice, cards or any random generator in a wargame because I prefer that skill play a 100% role in the game. Many – if not most – wargamers prefer to have only partial control and let dice confirm or ruin their plans. That's fine – virtually every wargame out there caters for them. Wargames are not simulations: they are exercises in imagination and skill where only enough realism is required to make the storyline plausible for the player (and the historian be damned).

2. On the realism front I dislike dice because they introduce a variability in a unit's performance that it wouldn't have in real life: on a given day a unit is good or bad. It can't be good for 15 minutes, then be awful for the next 15 minutes, then be so-so for the following 15 minutes, and so on. Not initially knowing an enemy unit's capability is fog of war (this is what is meant by unpredictability). But once the unit is engaged its capability becomes clear and doesn't change for the duration of the fight. Dice are no use for simulating this. You either represent fog of war by concealing information about the unit from the owning player and/or opponent or you don't represent it at all. I don't represent it in Optio, letting the impossibility of determining the outcome of a battle stand in for it. This is a playability choice – in a tussle between playability and historical accuracy playability always wins out. But for sure concealing information – implementing genuine fog of war – is ideal for PC games.

3. There is a difference between squad level combat and combat at a bigger scale. In a squad level game, where a tank represents a tank and an infantryman represents an infantryman or a section of infantry, there are so many factors influencing combat that it is impossible to represent them by a list of modifiers and one has no choice but to fall back on dice. In a game at a bigger scale however, the individual variabilities even out and it becomes possible to assign a fixed combat factor to the unit.

For example, all sorts of things determine whether one infantryman hits or misses his target: his shooting proficiency, the sun in his eyes, his target moves at the precise moment he shoots, etc. But if 200 infantry men shoot at 200 targets, it is possible to determine how many targets will be hit with enough accuracy to assign a fixed number to it. This is what Optio does. but I do use chance to determine the fate of individual commanders: a die is thrown each time they engage in combat (unless they have a good combat rating and are with a good unit): a 6 wounds them and another 6 kills them.

Dexter Ward21 Jul 2023 2:06 a.m. PST

A unit won't fight the same at the start of a battle as it does at the end.
There are many imponderables in combat which we know nothing about; not all commands are followed, sometimes subcommanders do things on their own initiative. Combats can turn on random events. A bland statement that everything evens out is not supported by the evidence; where we have detailed accounts of mass battles (rare in the ancient period, but not for later eras) we can see how much chance plays a part.
That is not to say that there is no skill, or that a better unit will not win most of the time, but nothing is guaranteed in war.
Von Reisswitz, who had actually fought in battle, thought dice essential to simulate it; I think that says it all

Bolingar21 Jul 2023 2:26 a.m. PST

A unit won't fight the same at the start of a battle as it does at the end.

Optio caters for that. Units start with firm morale and eventually drop to shaken morale with a -1 combat modifier.

Gamesman621 Jul 2023 3:23 a.m. PST

I don't dislike dice in and of themselves
But i do dislike how they are too used in wargames and their offspring ttrpgs.
Same with cards etc…

Real life especially war is full of unquantifiable elements that affect events or why a unit is good one day and runs another or changes from 1 hour to ththe next. We could try to define them but I've books of the theory of war and no one knows or agrees on them…. so we try to define what we feel more certain of and then let the uncertainties be dealt with by dice cards etc.. numeric dice or playing cards. Now i think they can work but it's where they are used or how they are used. And I'm more often looking at using custom dice or cards

My issue with most rules is I feel km playing a war GAME… I'm playing a dice game that I pretend is about "war". Rather than questioning how to find something that reflects what we are trying to replicate. We use dice because.. we've always used dice.

But really war is about uncertainty, prediction, making choices. That all creates a seeming randomness. But sitting at a table with more informstion than we'd have in real life much of that is removed to we have to create or replicate uncertainty in other places.

The bigger question is that we should not question dice or cards or whatever randomiser but how we think about wargames more generally.
Are wanting to play a game that reflects aspects of war or do we want to play a game which has some details from war.

I look at many wargames and really it's like playing chess but dice roll when I try to take a piece…

But that's not why I personally do this.

UshCha21 Jul 2023 6:25 a.m. PST

Some form of random is required in places as the data is statistical. Even machine tools have a statistical analysis done to check if a tool is working out. Real ammunition is often variable, snipers don't use standard ammunition if at all possible as its too variable relative to there skills.

Now there is an issue with statistics of small numbers but die or cards can't overcome that, its just a fact of life. My son's space game in the end used charts for thr results of a "buckets" of die system as the results become vary predicatable in large samples, so no point having them. A 1 in 4000 000 chance has no place as far as I amm concerned in a proper wargame it adds nothing to the game.

Some folks seem to like games with much random as a leveler, better players lose due to the randomness overriding the skill component, that OK if that's what you want but it's more a game of cghance than wargame representing reality.

Cards to be honest seem more of a gimmic. They could encourage card counting certainly, unrealistic so have little to gain save being a known population. In for instance anmmunition variation its not a known population so using a card deck would not improve accuracy of interpreting the actual data.

Card may help players unfamiliar with the riules by prompting them on the card. This is only any good for players who do not play enouigh to learn the rules properly. For me they would add nothing if we changed our rules from die to card.

I view some random element wher its use can be at least in some way validated essential, but too often its just a metafore for "I can't be bothered". Rules can create traffic jams inherantly if the player doies not plan. Why would you want instead to roll for them instead, Answer no need to try and avoid them, so planning is overidden as the planner would be equally suceptible as the none plannber, counter productive and unrealistic.

My opinion some limited use of dire is required for small scale games but overuse is basicly a contrivance I have never understood.

Marcus Brutus21 Jul 2023 10:05 a.m. PST

Some folks seem to like games with much random as a leveler, better players lose due to the randomness overriding the skill component, that OK if that's what you want but it's more a game of cghance than wargame representing reality.

Both Napoleon and Julius Caesar opined that they preferred lucky commanders to skillful ones. I think there is a good reason for their assessment.

Marcus Brutus21 Jul 2023 10:13 a.m. PST

On the realism front I dislike dice because they introduce a variability in a unit's performance that it wouldn't have in real life:

I think this comments represents your misunderstanding of what dice do in many game systems. It is not a question of unit variability so much as the ability of higher command to understand and predict how specific units will respond to specific circumstances outside the command horizon of that leader. I remember a unit of Norman knights charging a militia unit of infantry in a game. The Norman player rolled very poorly for several rounds of combat before eventually routing the militia. This delay contributed greatly to the Norman loss. What was the poor dice rolling representing. It was certainly something outside the Norman commander's command horizon. Perhaps the militia was behind a small ditch or had other favourable terrain that was not shown on the table. This ditch frustrated the Normans attack. Perhaps the leader of the Norman knights harness broke and there was a command hiccup for a period of time. Who is to say? From a commanding general's point of view it doesn't matter. All he knows is that the knight failed to close as hoped.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Jul 2023 11:31 a.m. PST

Tactical Painter
The roll of any number of dice is as random as the roll of a single die. What you describe is not reduced randomness by combining 2D6 but varying the pattern of randomness.
Trying to explain this has always got to be down to using mathematical terminology and the fixed meanings of those terms. You will very rarely see words like 'chance' or 'random' used without clear indications of their context.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Jul 2023 11:36 a.m. PST

Sorry Bolingar, I really can't accept your argument for the predictability of any real-world human activity. If that were so then it wouldn't be so dammed hard to produce socio-economic models that gave usable results even for smallish populations.

Your shooting example has been stated many times before and thrown down just as often – it simply isn't true.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP21 Jul 2023 2:17 p.m. PST

Cards are not actually random; they merely appear to be so.

First, as others have pointed out, cards guarantee certain outcomes will always happen, for good or ill. The only way this is prevented is to have more cards available than can or will be used in the game. But even with that, cards can be counted, and the smart player does so (this ain't no casino, y'all).

Second, cards always occur in a pattern. What that pattern will be is determined by the shuffle, but once the deck is shuffled that pattern is fixed— this 5 will always appear after that Jack— which means that you end up with a game whose outcome is essentially predetermined. If you flipped the entire deck over and fanned it out, you would see who would move when and have which advantage according to the order of the cards and the pattern in which they would necessarily be drawn— this is not truly "random." Predetermined outcomes are not random, they are predetermined.

Third most people fail to shuffle cards to a sufficient degree to break the pattern which the deck holds before it is shuffled. It is possible thus, if you know the pattern, to make reasonable assumptions as to which cards will be where in the deck, and plan accordingly. Also, in a "true riffle" pattern, where cards are perfectly shuffled so that each card of one half of the deck is overlapped by a card from the other side of the deck, the entire pattern of cards is always predictable— in fact, after a certain number of "true riffle" shuffles, the order of cards in the deck will return to the pattern the deck had before it was shuffled the first time!

Now, fortunately (or unfortunately) human beings rarely produce a true riffle— cards often remaining in clumps of 2 to 4 cards (or more) before an overlap occurs. Thus, the initial pattern can be broken to a degree that it is unlikely to reappear (though not actually impossible). However, many, many shuffles are still required to create a pattern unlikely to be predicted by a human being. For example, let's assume that one is specifically trying to guess where the Ace of Spades will likely be in a deck. If the Ace of Spades is the top card in the deck, after one shuffle it is only likely to be among the top 3 or 4 cards in the deck— most likely either 1 or 2 (and if you watch the shuffle you will even know which of those it is). If the deck is cut, you will now know that the Ace is in the exact middle of the deck— roughly 26 cards down, give or take. Either way, you can base your play on that prediction. If the deck is shuffled 3 times (probably the standard for most people), then that Ace will most likely be in the top third of the deck. If the deck is cut, it will be in the middle third.
Mathematical studies show that in fact, for any given card to have a location unlikely to be predicted by a human, a standard 52 card deck needs to be shuffled 11 to 15 times.

Folks, I submit to you, that ain't likely to happen in a wargame. You're playing with a stacked deck, even if you don't mean to be. And since it is highly unlikely that a group of players is patient enough to sit through repeated shuffles of 11 or more in the middle of a game, you're gonna wind up with a deck that any reasonably savvy person can begin to predict the outcome of, even without being a card shark. Paying attention is all it takes. (Card tricks rely on this sort of thing.)

Physical* dice, however, are truly random, to the extent that high order Newtonian operations in the Universe can be called random. For all intents and purposes it is impossible for a human being to predict the outcome of a truly open dice roll, except by dumb luck. You can bet the odds, but you cannot predict what will happen. (Although we all know that jinxes are REAL, dang it. wink)

*Not digital dice— they aren't random, for reasons of how computers work— computers cannot create a random number. Ever. They can only produce a pattern. Computers just choose the point of that pattern based on an "external" seed number— either provided by a user or taken from data input such as the time on a clock down to fractions of a second. The result may appear random to the user, but it's not and never can be.

14Bore21 Jul 2023 2:57 p.m. PST

Good argument Parzival

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP21 Jul 2023 4:49 p.m. PST

Dice are players' weapons to strike the enemy with. Chess lacks the randomness that is in all wars. Players want to use dice. This is why dice-less rules will never be as popular.

UshCha21 Jul 2023 11:28 p.m. PST

Parziva a most excellent dissatation.

Old Contemptible – it depends on who you are. I most certainlyt DON'T WANT to USE Die. A friend plays a set of Dieless Napolionics at his club that do not use die. I suspect that Gamplers like die, folk who want skill are less keen on them.

Martin Rapier22 Jul 2023 12:04 a.m. PST

I've just been playing Phil Sabins old "Phalanx" game. It was originally designed to be diceless, and I have to say, that I'm apparently quite capable of mucking up attacks even without a dice to throw a spanner in the works.

Wrt the predictability of combat, real military Wargames view combat as a stochastic event. Ie there is a (considerable) random element within bounds.

coopman22 Jul 2023 7:56 a.m. PST

No dice is generally a "no go" for me.

Bolingar22 Jul 2023 11:46 p.m. PST

Reading over the last few posts it seems to me the same argument is being repeated:

There is a substantial variability in a unit's performance on the battlefield from one moment to the next, and this can be represented only by dice.

Real life especially war is full of unquantifiable elements that affect events or why a unit is good one day and runs another or changes from 1 hour to the next
Real ammunition is often variable, snipers don't use standard ammunition if at all possible as its too variable relative to there skills
I really can't accept your argument for the predictability of any real-world human activity. If that were so then it wouldn't be so dammed hard to produce socio-economic models that gave usable results even for smallish populations.
Chess lacks the randomness that is in all wars

My reply is that at an individual level there is a variability that cannot be reproduced by combat modifiers as there would have to be far too many of these. But if 500 or 1000 individuals are doing the same thing then the variability averages out and it becomes quite possible to quantify the group's performance. If one musketeer shoots at an enemy soldier 50 yards away, he will probably miss but there's a chance he will hit him. But if a line of 1000 musketeers shoot at another line of 1000 musketeers a certain percentage of musketeers will be shot, and that percentage will approach a fixed number (with a slight variation) the more often the musketeers shoot. It becomes possible to assign a combat factor to the musketeers that doesn't vary and which is accurate enough to sufficiently replicate the musketeers' historical performance. Anything that substantially affects that performance can be represented as a handful of separate modifiers: musketeers are raw, it's raining, the weapons are substandard, there's mist, etc. The effect on the target will also vary depending on whether the targeted musketeers are green recruits or hardened veterans – another modifier.

At the end of the day I am convinced that wargamers like dice because a) they grew up with them, and b) they add an irreplaceable thrill to the game. Watch a room full of chess players and a room full of wargamers and you'll see what I mean. Attempts to affirm that dice replicate historical conditions are really just moonshine – ;-) – since no wargamer will admit that a wargame is about gameplay first and historical accuracy a distant second. I mean, if you want to begin introducing serious historical accuracy into a wargame then you have to take wargamers away from the gaming table into an adjacent room and let them know through messengers (who are encouraged to be unreliable) what is going on. Fun? Sure…

UshCha23 Jul 2023 12:02 a.m. PST

Bolingar, No way are die addding an Irrepplaceable thrill to the game in my experience. To be honest watch an amature tennis or football game, are they laughing all the time, NO, are they there for fun YES. Look at a wargames competition, are they laughing all the time NO. Are they there for fun YES.

Your experience is clearly limited to s self selecting group, as is mine, neither I suspect is 100% correct.

If you are a platoon commander you would be aware of much that is going on. Ceasar was always said to be close to where the critical areas were and ready to intervene if neccessary.

Commanding an entire war, yes you would not be close in and if its pre-steam ships orders could take weeks (if you are lucky) to get orders across any distance of sea.

Bolingar23 Jul 2023 2:21 a.m. PST

UshCha, if that's your experience of wargamers then you have my sympathy.

Dexter Ward23 Jul 2023 2:28 a.m. PST

Kriegspiel, which was designed by someone who had fought in mass battles, and understood them, was designed as military training aid.
It uses dice, not because of thrills or because they dominate the combats, but because von Reisswitz understood that there are many imponderable factors, even in mass combats. Dice are the simplest way of simulating that.
You keep repeating the strawman arguments that dice turn the game into a random thing, or that wargamers like dice because they give a thrill. Neither of those things is true in most wargame rules, and most wargamers I have met want skill to count but also accept that random factors are important in mass combat.

Bolingar23 Jul 2023 2:50 a.m. PST

Kriegspiel, which was designed by someone who had fought in mass battles, and understood them, was designed as military training aid.
It uses dice, not because of thrills or because they dominate the combats, but because von Reisswitz understood that there are many imponderable factors, even in mass combats. Dice are the simplest way of simulating that.
I suspect it used dice because they couldn't think of any better way of simulating the effects of fog of war – inasafar as they bothered simulating fog of war (actually reading the Wiki article, Kriegspiel did focus on it: units hidden from the enemy were not placed on the battlefield and C&C was not godlike). Military wargames also had umpires who (I believe) could overturn the results of a die throw (as Admiral Matome did during the Midway game). In fact, the later version of Kriegspiel dispensed with dice altogether and let the umpire adjudicate combat outcomes.

You keep repeating the strawman arguments that dice turn the game into a random thing, or that wargamers like dice because they give a thrill. Neither of those things is true in most wargame rules, and most wargamers I have met want skill to count but also accept that random factors are important in mass combat.
I did not say dice turn the game into a random thing. That's obvious from the start since dice are random. I said that dice do not adequately represent what they are supposed to represent and what they are supposed to represent can be better represented by deterministic mechanisms – except in the case of squad level games.

To make things clear, every dice driven wargame has some element of skill and a better player will defeat an inferior player in most games. How dice are used determines the degree of chance in the game but obviously it's never 100%.

Dexter Ward23 Jul 2023 8:21 a.m. PST

Evidently you have never played the original Kriegspiel. Each player has their own map and sees only what their troops see. You cannot see where rest of the enemy is; plenty of fog of war there. Written orders are used. The dice are only used to simulate the vagaries of combat; later iterations replaced them with umpire decisions, but the original version used dice, the combat results being based on extensive research into the outcomes of actual combats. There is what amounts to a board game style CRT with results depending on the odds

Bolingar23 Jul 2023 8:28 a.m. PST

Evidently you have never played the original Kriegspiel. Each player has their own map and sees only what their troops see. You cannot see where rest of the enemy is; plenty of fog of war there. Written orders are used. The dice are only used to simulate the vagaries of combat; later iterations replaced them with umpire decisions, but the original version used dice, the combat results being based on extensive research into the outcomes of actual combats.
Don't see the problem. I said all this.

UshCha23 Jul 2023 9:21 a.m. PST

Bolingar-No need for sympathy we have a great time. The guys are still around since before our own rules, so over 15 years and some guys come almost every week.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Jul 2023 12:44 p.m. PST

I have always used dice as the mode for "random unaccounted for events,"
In every game we played (primarily Napoleonics) the dice never was a significant cause for victory or defeat. Most of the time the determining factor was initiall deployment, bad movement decisions, or poor tactical choices such as forgetting the "MAIN OBJECTIVE" -- and doing things such as engaging in counter battery fire just for the fun of knocking out one of you opponents guns every once in a while
I always considered a player who was always being "ruined by the dice" was usually guilty of putting himself in the position to allow the dice to decide his fate.
A game should indeed be skill oriented, but there must be a random factor included.
The random factor must be there -- whatever path one chooses to represent the possibilities in any given event.
Who would have thought that Cossacks would soundly defeat French regular cavalry-- which did happen on multiple occasions counter to what many think?

Best regards
Russ Dunaway

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP23 Jul 2023 10:01 p.m. PST

In the late 1980s there was a Black Powder/18th Century set of rules that had NO dice or chance involved, even with combat, The Complete Brigadier It worked, the chance elements being provided by the players decisions.

Bolingar23 Jul 2023 10:49 p.m. PST

@McLaddie:

In the late 1980s there was a Black Powder/18th Century set of rules that had NO dice or chance involved, even with combat, The Complete Brigadier It worked, the chance elements being provided by the players decisions.
Looks interesting (nice to know I'm not alone in this cruel world). How does the combat mechanism work?

Edit: saw a review here. Looks like my kind of game.

Second Edit: I love this part in the review: "Probably the hardest thing for most wargamers to get used to is the lack of any luck element." Yep. Trying to get a drug addict off the dope…

Bolingar23 Jul 2023 10:51 p.m. PST

@Old Glory:

Who would have thought that Cossacks would soundly defeat French regular cavalry-- which did happen on multiple occasions counter to what many think?
How exactly did the Cossacks defeat the French cavalry?

Marcus Brutus24 Jul 2023 6:27 a.m. PST

I love this part in the review: "Probably the hardest thing for most wargamers to get used to is the lack of any luck element." Yep. Trying to get a drug addict off the dope…

Nice try Bolingar but no matter how hard you work at mischaracterizing the use of dice in wargames or the motives for gamers preference for them it won't work. You are simply wrong headed on both accounts.

Bolingar24 Jul 2023 7:22 a.m. PST

But I will not go gentle into that good night….

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Jul 2023 12:34 p.m. PST

Bolingar,
There are enough incidents of Cossscks routing French regular cavalry.
I can't be bothered to go look up a bunch of information but anyone well read on the subject would know this.
--1812 at the battle of Ostrovno Cossacks routed the French 16th chasseurs.
--at the battle of Hagelburg, 1813 they actually routed French Curraisers and hussars
-- there were events where they routed French hussars and Dragoons as well, but as mentioned I cannot be bothered too find the exact info.
I am not suggesting that Cossacks are regular "battle cavalry"
But when put in a favorable position (results of deployment and movement) they can preform quite admirably -- or at least have a random factor for that possibility.

Regards
Russ Dunaway

Bolingar24 Jul 2023 12:41 p.m. PST

Hi Russ,

Fine. My question is whether their successes over French cavalry were due, as you say, to a favourable position, or pure chance. I would think favourable position which means external modifiers rather than just random luck.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Jul 2023 12:52 p.m. PST

Combination of both,with the 1st being the most important of course..
"favorable conditions" created is to me the most important and fun part of wargaming--- my initial deployment (as Napoleon himself often stated) and my decisions as to movement of my troops and reserves and support supplied -- after that is just a factor of how the troops preform --
Random luck or situations are involved in most violence and Kaos. It MUST be considered.
Favorable situations we put ourselves effect all of our lives-- but sometimes it's "who you know and not what you know."

Regards
Russ Dunaway

I say that as a USMC veteran, 18 months in Nam, battle of Hue -- whole thing utter Kaos.

Russ Dunaway

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