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 Post subject: Single vs Multi phase
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 2:18 am 
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I and, I think the other designers, playtest all our games using the Single phase system.

Do you think the scenario balance is different depending on which you use?

Rich

P.S. I personally haven't played a multi-phase game since I stoped playing BG games.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 2:20 am 
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 5:41 am
Posts: 873
Location: Somewhere between D.C. and the battlefield
Haven't we just discussed this 80 posts long in the "Getting Frustrated ..." thread?

http://www.wargame.ch/board/acw/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=8359

No reason to repeat all the arguments ...


Gen. Walter, USA
<i>The Blue Blitz</i>
AoS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 2:37 am 
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Posts: 564
Location: USA
Rich,

To answer your question directly, yes.

Scenario balance is different between playing single or multi phase. Also, scenario balance is different between solitaire and head-to-head play, whether it be PBEM, Hot Seat or On-line.) Furthermore, scenario balance is different depending upon the type of Optional Rules used.

I realise play testing time is limited, but as many different situations that can be tried should be.

My biggest recommendation to all HPS designers for John's EAW, ACW and Nap engines is two-fold. First, take the time to make a set of scenarios that are balanced playing against the AI as either side. This is time consuming because of the AI scripting, but with a more robust solitaire capability sales will improve, and secondly at the bottom of each scenario description indicate how the scenario was play tested, either single or multi phase, and list which optional rules were used. This will tell players where 'balanced' can be found. Then they can veer away from that point to their own taste.

MajGen Al 'Ambushed' Amos
3rd "Amos' Ambushers" Bde, Cavalry Division, XX Corps, AoC
The Union Forever! Huzzah!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 3:43 am 
While I prefer single phase, I'll play which ever way my opponent likes. I figure it's just another challenge to be able to adapt to the situation. As far as balance though, vs the AI my guess is that if it seems balanced in single phase then it probably is in multiphase. But against the human that is another story. As Gen Walter said, it's been hashed over in another thread.
And as Gen Amos said, which optional rules are used can affect things as well, but to a lesser extent in my mind.
I'd just say that when putting a game together, in the designer notes maybe touch on what sort of playtesting was done to check on balance. Then people will have that in mind when they play. And if players see blatant balance troubles after release then we will likely pass that on and if HPS agrees then I'm sure a patch will tweak things.
I think us wargamers should be more than happy when the company at least considers the players views and puts out patches when they think necessary. Some companies have put out wargames and that was it, no patch or further effort was likely.


MajGen, 2/VIII/AoS
"Beer! It's not just for breakfast anymore!"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:49 am 
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Lt. Walker,

Now that you've joined the club, you may use your rank and unit affiliation in your signature line! [:)]

And, by the way, I for one am very glad to have you with us. (My wife finally gave me my Shiloh game for my birthday last night -- only 9 days late!)


Your humble servant,
Gen 'Dee Dubya' Mallory

David W. Mallory
ACW - General, Chief of the Armies, Confederate States of America & Cabinet Member
CCC - Sergeant, Georgia Volunteers, Southern Regional Deaprtment, Colonial American Army


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 7:51 am 
Until the engine compensates for the blatant offensive advantages in the Turn Based (single turn) system, I won’t touch it with a ten foot pole. I only play multi-phase, which takes the same amount of emails (one per person per turn) if ADF is on. And frankly, it seems the multi-phase ADF is no worse than the single-turn ADF, and is probably better. I would prefer to be able to change formations at any time like in turn based, but if I have to put up with a few inconveniences in order to have a more balanced and historically accurate setting that gives the defender a slight advantage (all other things being equal), then I can do so.

Regards,
Lt. Col. Alan Lynn
3rd Battery "Jacksonville Greys"
4th Div, II Corps, AoA
God bless <><


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 11:48 am 
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Posts: 356
Location: USA
As I read the other thread I thought I would NEVER use the shoot while moving mode as a lot a fellas thought it could be "gamed" and I do agree that in certain situations it certainly can and really good players might have a field day with it.

However, all my oppononents seem to like it so I am currently using it and I have to admit it seems more realistic. Defensive fire is fickle but as one sometimes gets fired at several times while advancing and then again before melee I actually think that casualties may be HEAVIER than the move then fire mode.Is this possible or is my percetion skewed? Now, this only applies to infantry on the front lines and Arty some distance back as indeed one should not keep Arty on the front lines.

As to balance I think many many more battles will need to be fought as there are so many more scenerios that balance will take longer than the fewer BG scenerios. As a result "purists" might actually prefer this as in real Civil War battles the Generals certainly did not have the option to only fight "balanced" battles. Now dont get up in arms[:p] as I am a VERY strong proponent of balance but we have what we have and they are TERRIFIC fun so since the club really isnt about winning and losing per se I think we should let out hair down a bit and just see what happens.[:)]

Field Lt. Tony Best


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 1:15 pm 
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The single phase system <i>ought</i> to be the standard system, yet I find more and more players - especially experienced players - moving back to the old multiphase system of the Battleground games. The fact that this is happening indicates that the single phase system needs some modifications to run smoothly and persuade players to move back to this way of playing.

Both the single and multiphase modes have their advantages and disadvantages. Both are playable, but the single phase system is too biased towards the attacker, with weak ADF and the possibility of blitzkrieg tactics to exploit breakthroughs with fresh troops. Artillery is far too vulnerable with the single phase mode, unless there's going to be a fix to allow guns to be recaptured by the defender.

Of course play-testing a scenario in single and multiphase mode is very different and a scenario that's balance with one system may well prove unbalanced in the other mode.

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 2:05 pm 
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Thank you Gen.

I don't think I've been assigned a unit yet, so I was waiting for that information. I hope you enjoy Shiloh! [:)]

Rich



<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by dmallory</i>
<br />Lt. Walker,

Now that you've joined the club, you may use your rank and unit affiliation in your signature line! [:)]

And, by the way, I for one am very glad to have you with us. (My wife finally gave me my Shiloh game for my birthday last night -- only 9 days late!)


Your humble servant,
Gen 'Dee Dubya' Mallory

David W. Mallory
ACW - General, Chief of the Armies, Confederate States of America & Cabinet Member
CCC - Sergeant, Georgia Volunteers, Southern Regional Deaprtment, Colonial American Army
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 2:06 pm 
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Location: USA
I think that there are very few people who can answer your question. If you only play campaigns then there can be so many variants that you never play the exact same scenario variant twice, thus you have to play a lot in order to have a viable opinion. Almost the only way to ensure that you're playing the same scenario is to play non campaign scenarios. Recently, the method for filing game reports on HPS campaign games was stabilized but how many club members are following that guidance is unknown to most of us. There is no longer a Master Game File that shows the results and if there becomes one, it will either be huge due to all of the variants that are offered or worthless because it doesn't differentiate between the variants.

(Famous last words) I am playing my last single phase game and it will be multiphase for me from now on. Is it because the multiphase is so much better than single phase? I can't honestly say that, but I'm more used to playing multiphase and am doing a lousy job of playing/adjusting to single phase. The bottom line, balanced or unbalanced, I enjoy the multiphase version and thus will play it much more.

Brig Gen Ned Simms
2/VI/AoS/USA
Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 3:18 pm 
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Rich Walker</i>
<br />I and, I think the other designers, playtest all our games using the Single phase system.

Do you think the scenario balance is different depending on which you use?

Rich

P.S. I personally haven't played a multi-phase game since I stoped playing BG games.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Balance of scenarios and whether "Single Phased" is so screwed up as to be useless are two separate questions.

"Single Phased" system favors the attacker over the (passive) defender. Whether this shifts a particular scenarios balance depends on the situation and whether both sides can execute local offensive tactics. Since in theory at least both sides get to exploit "Panzer Blitz" tactics on each other equally its balanced. It just isn't Civil War.

Also if I remember correctly one of the campaign game designers stated that they tested game balance with all options off since in their opinion since these were options they shouldn't be considered as part of standard game play. Unfortunately, I can't remember who and it was sometime last year that I saw the post.

BG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
III Corps, AoM (CSA)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 2:56 pm
Posts: 112
Location: USA, New Jersey, Ocean County
Everything effects play balance and I defy anyone to provide a "comprehensive" answer as to how to achieve "balance" in these games.

For me the ideal situation is where there are lots of variables to consider, with three important considerations.

The impact of "dice rolling" -- good or bad - should be minimized.

The more the game plays like it could have in an historical context, the better.

You judge the results from the overall perspective of the overall scenario outcome, not what may happen in each individual event.

With that said, I think there could easily be differences in a particular scenario between single and multiphase play. One example would be small unit defense. In a multiphase game, I think you could routinely employ the BG tactic of sacrificing small units to slow down and disrupt an advancing enemy. In a single phase game, such units can be more easily swept away and the break exploited. I think the same would be true for an every other hex defense with a wide line -- more likely to work in multiphase then in single phase play, where you typically need more depth.

So for me, I think single phase is more of a challenge, and except for the problem of non historical 1 hex wide breakthough tactic, I prefer it.

I do have a question for the Campaign designers. In setting up the campaign structure, you have to assign a number indicating the likely outcome for the scenario. It is my assumption after looking at a couple of situations that these numbers are completely arbitrary. If not, how does a designer assign such numbers. Which in effect is an estimate of the scenario "balance". And if these are assignd in some non-arbitrary way, do you use the information to "balance" the design of a campaign?

Lt Gen Bob Breen
Commanding XIX Corps, AoS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 3:57 pm 
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Single phase is fun to play, but as implemented favors the tactical attacker, which isn't historical. I think the play balance in many scenarios is profoundly affected by the type of system you play, but many scenarios are unbalanced no matter which system you use. After playing the single phase since Corinth came out, have been playing strictly multiphase since about the beginning of the year.

MG Mike Mihalik
1/III/AoMiss/CSA


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