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 Post subject: While we are at it... Turn vs. Phase rules
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:08 pm 
Our Artillery Effectiveness discussion contains numerous references to the relative merits of the Turn based and Phase based rules. I did not realize until recently just how little some players like the Turn based model. There was also mention of a simultaneous execution game engine. I myself have used the Turn based model exclusively since its introduction in the Campaign series.

The presence of the two systems does complicate the arty effectiveness issue. Any potential modification to the Campaign Series resulting from the arty effectiveness discussion will have to account for both systems. Nevertheless, the topic probably deserves its own thread. More importantly, there is enough going on in the Artillery Effectiveness thread that it does not need a separate tangential discussion buried within the main topic. So folks, how does everyone feel about Turn vs. Phase based play? What is the basis for your preference?

General Thomas Callmeyer
4th Bgd.
1st Div.
XV Corps
AoT
USA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2001 7:20 pm
Posts: 134
Location: USA
General Callmeyer,
Whow! Will this thread create a "discussion"! For me, I play only Phase-based. Turn-based is exceptionally flawed (forget about parameters, this is a game engine problem). The impotence of artillery is one matter, when it only randomly fires. I have had a couple of instances where the game engine did not fire at a unit in an adjacent hex, rather using its "intelligence" to fire at one 3 hexes distance. It is non-sensical, following no logical pattern. I say this with all due respect for those such as yourself who choose to play this method. Unless there is a massive rewrite of the game engine, I will continue to play Phase-based.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 1:09 pm 
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Posts: 444
Location: USA
Gentlemen,

I started out using the turn base system in Campaign Corinth and Campaing Gettysburg. I have found it favors the offensive at the detriment of the Defense. The weak defensive fire and the ability to use "panzer" tatics (melee and advance and melee into the second echelon) allows you to just run over the defenders. I find it very non-historical (which favored the defense - Gettysburg, Fredricksburg, ect.), especially when combined with the isolation rule as it stands now. I have since, switched over to use the Phase Based System and I am finding it much more to my liking. More balanced and yielding a stronger defensive posture.

Col. Joe Mishurda


Joe Mishurda, The Cast Iron Division
2nd Div. XXV Corp, AoJ


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 1:48 pm 
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Both single & multi-phase modes have some advantages and some disadvantages - but unfortunately the basic <i>turn based</i> gaming system is seriously flawed and should really be replaced by some kind of simultaneous plot + move system. After all, on a <i>real</i> battlefield no general would have ever been able to address his troops with such heartening words:

"Now boys, it's our <i>offensive</i> turn, so you lot go here, you lot there and you lucky fellows can take out that battery on the hill head on and clock up lots of cheap victory points. Don't worry about anything the enemy might do in the meantime - it's only their <i>defensive</i> turn so they're completely paralyzed for the next twenty minutes and can't run away or bring up reinforcements, so you'll easily be able to run rings around them, driving back their flanking units and then isolate them and capture them with a convenient ZOC melee. Besides, all they've got is a few pea-shooter cannon and the choice between a crappy ADF that can't hit a wall with a can of beans at 3ft range, or else they'll just sit and drink tea while watching you advance and then (having at last finished their tea break) they'll get a "proper" defensive phase while you're hiding behind a convenient bush or have moved scotfree right across their front and taken up position on their exposed flank. Then, when you lot have take out their front line, I'll send in the second wave and they can stetch out this elastic twenty minutes and deal with any surviving bluebellies. If necessary, I can send in a third wave -of course still well within the same twenty minute turn - and behind these some mounted cavalry are waiting patiently, just in case those precious twenty minutes need stretching out just that little bit more to perhaps gobble up a previously undetected battery that the second wave may unexpectedly run into."

Col. Rich White
3 Brig. Phantom Cav Div
III Corps ANV


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 2:29 pm
Posts: 191
Location: USA
Wow Rich! You really dislike the games this club supports, huh? The BG games really were just a computer managed version of the SPI Civil War board games I grew up playing, and enjoying. It was a huge improvement just in the ability to have fog-of-war (as well as a computer opponent). Sure there's a place for the simultaneous movement you talk about, but that's always going to be done by assigning "orders" that a computer AI must carry out. That seems to be the biggest downfall of the simutaneous movement games that have been released up to now. Some folks actually like to move those little troop counters across the board too. After all, it is a game and the more the computer takes over the less involvement a player has. If you prefer games like Sid Meier's Gettysburg that's fine, but this game system (BG and HPS) can never be converted to such a system I'm sure.

Major General Dirk Gross
CAV DIV/XIV Corps/AoC


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:00 pm 
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Location: USA
Really have to agree with Dirk. Occasionally at BGG I meet an ace and get crushed and it all seems un Civil War like. On rare occasion I find a young shavetail and do the same to him. But, between even opponents it sure feels like a Civil War battle to me and amazingly it often follows the actual battle almost to a T. Now doing the HPS version (turn based) and while the strategy is not as compliant the tactics seem more realistic. I am not above "gamey" tactics if no rules are broken but it seems if both guys follow realistic Civil War fighting than things work out better, If a guy(or me) leaves a flank hanging, holes in his line, no support units than yes disaster follows but the real Generals tried not to let this happen and I sure as heck try not to either.

Major General Tony Best
AOJ


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 7:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 11:25 am
Posts: 777
Location: USA
General Callmeyer,

I much prefer the newer turn-based rules. I realize they allow blitz-type tactics, which were not historical, but the phase-based rules allow a player to have entire regiments hop from cover to cover so they can never be fired at, or to send a unit marching in the open all along an enemy's front without being fired at, both of which also are not historical for the period we wargame.

I play both, but my preference is turn-based.


Your humble servant,
LGen 'Dee Dubya' Mallory

David W. Mallory
ACW - Lieutenant General, First ('Grey Line') Corps, AotM
CCC - Corporal, Georgia Volunteers, Southern Regional Deaprtment, Colonial American Army


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 9:18 pm 
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Despite what I wrote in my last post, I do enjoy the games - both BG & HPS - but I'm also aware of their faults and sometimes get rather frustrated that I can't program in the changes I'd like to see that would improve the game engine.

I have some "real time" games like Sid Meier's Gettysburg and the Waterloo that uses the same engine, as well as the three Total War titles, but I rarely play these. The "real time" system's just too awkward to handle more than a handful of units at a time.

What I'd really like to see is HPS moving over to some kind of plot & move system, where both players plot all their movement in advance and then the computer resolves that 15 or 20 minute turn. This would still be very similar in certain respects to the current system - the players would still <i>move</i> all their units, although they'd probably need to assign fire & melee orders in advance - except that the two player turns are combined, so neither player will know what his opponent will do that turn, and what the opponent decides to do will have a good chance of messing up your own <i>planned in advance </i>move. I suppose there'd have to be a system where the players would need to order each unit in advance whether to start firing as soon as they spot the enemy or come into range, or whether to hold their fire until closer (Age or Rifles can do something like this). Movement and fire would need to be linked in an "action point" system (like East Front, etc), so that the more a unit moved the less times it would be able to fire that turn. Using up the full movement allowance would count as forced marching and would result in fatigue (it's in AoR, but surprisingly absent from the BG/HPS games). There'd also need to be a system where units can get pinned down under fire mid turn or even routed, perhaps taking nearby units with them, while - more relevant for Nappy than ACW - mounted cavalry might get impatient and charge without orders. (Again, this is in AoR, although that's also a turn based game) Melees would occur when units of opposing sides attempted to enter the same hex and neither side chickened out - again there'd also need to be a "melee" button that a player would need to press in advance, otherwise the troops would just halt in the adjacent hex and then fire. But the BG/HPS typical reliance on ZOC melees will be a rarity - units won't usually stick around long enough to allow themselves to get isolated and captured, while with a We-plot, We-go simultaneous movement system, players won't find it anything like so easy to co-ordinate their various units' movement each turn in a very chess-like manner to be able to achieve a series of ZOC melee eliminations.

We already have a "replay" feature to view the opponent's turn, as well as the "command control" system where players assign orders that the A/I then carries out, so maybe a simultaneous plot & move system could be developed from that - perhaps still as an optional system so that players can still chose to play the traditional I-go, You-go turn based (either single or multiphased) method if they prefer.

Col. Rich White
3 Brig. Phantom Cav Div
III Corps ANV


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 4:39 am 
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Posts: 112
Location: USA, New Jersey, Ocean County
Since this thread has some turn based vs real time movment discussion, I'll throw in my 2 cents.

First, I'm sure everyone recognizes that as the time of turns gets shorter, a turn based system approaches the characteristics of a real time system. Also the "plot and move" systems are probably fine for real time play, but for email exchanges I think they will significanly increase the number of exhanges to do a turn in part because of what is required and also because such systems usaully have both a "plot and move" as well as a "react to move" phase.

I know the real time systems are much more popular, but I like the turn based systems. Probably because I can keep better track of what is going on and secondly because I don't have to be glued to watching and tracking all the action or have the characteristics of 30 unit types and 50 buildings in my head. I did not like the Sid Meier Gettysburg game at all.

But as for new formats, I actually go the other way. I would like to see something that allows you to make the grand tactical moves of a battle (maybe at the Brigade level) and then have the computer resolve the details considering some characteristics about the unit, it's leadership, etc.. Not like the HPS campaign process for battle resolution, which is nothing more then a guess.

So turns would represent hours and individual engagements could be strung together to fight major campaigns, even the entire war in perhpas a year's worth of file exchanges.

Lt Gen Bob Breen
Commanding 4th Bde, 2nd Div, VI Corps, AoS
"Where we lead, the Army follows" - VI Corps


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