Monday, April 2, 2012

What Worked and What Didn't: Weeks 4 + 5

The last two campaign games gave me opportunity to fiddle with mechanisms to allow me to make one side "mine" while the other would be my "opponent", as opposed to playing both sides with limitations of various sorts applied to each.

The Good

Mythic and IN-RADIC, as expected, proved useful for making decisions for the "other side" or even for my own side when I wanted to make a decision "in character" for a given commander.

Example (IN-RADIC, for Mythic see this post):
Even though it would block fire from troops  in the fort, does Baudrillard position the walker in front of the fort? above avg (i thought this was a good idea for someone with a defensive disposition and given the unreliability of the walker to start- but i compromised it to above avg because maybe there was a better option i wasn't seeing. i rolled and got a fail, which i equate to no. apparently Baudrillard sees something i don't.
Does baudrillard believe that the walker isn’t reliable for movement? (this is based on the previous battles - and i figure it's a near certainty) perfect. This is the equivalent of the Mythic exceptional yes. Not only does he realize it, he plans to capitalize on it by positioning it with a lane of fire across the hill front(which does seem a better choice than my original idea).
Does he place a high value on protecting the walker? It cost the army quite a bit - he knows it's too valuable - if not tactically then politically - to risk it. Above avg. Yes
Will he send his right flank to the left hill to protect the walker from infantry attack? His other lizard units were in field works to be held in reserve so i figure there's not much other choice. Dead certainty. I get a Perfect result and decide that he sends them at full speed and they wont test for orders again until contact w/ Riesling is made.
 I felt like I got reasonable tactics based on logic and not my whim

Random events that negatively impact my side in week 4's game only came into play on 1 turn, but had the desired effect of forcing me to deal with an unanticipated event - in that case, it was that one unit of lizard folk turned on their nearest friendly unit and started attacking.

Similarly, the list of enemy beneficial events (not random, more on that in another post) I created for week 5, worked to give my opponent more favorable dice rolls (when I remembered to apply the rule).

I used a movement modifier for each side in week 5 by rolling one red die (negative) and one green die (positive) and adding the values to the base movement rate. This made it more difficult to plan where a given unit would end its movement. While not a complicated mechanism, it was another variable to handle that could possibly impact my decisions.

In the week 4 game, I tried a 2x2 table (3" grid). Compared to my usual 3x3 table (3" grid), I had about half the space to maneuver. Given the scenario, an entrenched defender vs an attacking force, that was fine, and, as intended, reduced the time until contact.

My attempt to have a more "realistic" break point was a miserable failure. On turn 2 of week 4's battle, I scrapped the idea and returned to my original values. I could tell the game would end far too quickly otherwise. I believe this made for a much more enjoyable game.

The Bad
I failed to account for the smaller board when setting the turn limit for week 4. A smaller board should have had less turns because combat starts much sooner and casualties start piling up that much quicker. Sauvignon-Blanc may have won had this been the case.

Similarly, I should have tested for random events in week 4 on every turn - just as in Chronicles of Blood (the game I took that idea from). Every other turn was not as effective in throwing a wrench into my plans.

I forgot to apply some of the positive modifiers for my opponent in week 5. Although it had no effect on the outcome other than perhaps slowing the speed at which "his" victory occurred, it could have. There may be a point when there's just too much to keep track of once the game is in motion.

The ambush advantage I gave to Sauvignon-Blanc in week 4 seemed like a good idea in my head, but placing two bases so far out front meant that, after their attacks on Riesling, Riesling would return the favor before the ambushing units could retreat out of range. And so, they were destroyed almost immediately. I should have just done this as an off-table pre-battle encounter and simply taken the damage as per my random event list for that game.

I totally forgot the weather in both games - again, maybe too much going on to keep track of. At least not without a better system of organization/presentation (I currently keep my netbook handy while playing to look these things up - which is proving ineffective).

The Ugly

My own tactical choices were probably worse than when I used Mythic to decide!

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