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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 5:46 am 
Hi everyone,

Doing some cleanup in my old 3¼" disks, I found this really cool wargame from the early '90s: <i>Gary Grigsby's War in Russia</i>.

Basically in this turn based game, you had to set your moves (including attacks) by litterally giving orders to your units<b><font size="5"><font color="red">*</font id="red"></font id="size5"></b>. When this phase was ready, you could launch different sorts of airstrikes (interdiction, AA, etc.), artillery barrage and then watch your units perform like you had set them to. Some times, your brigades would advance exactly the way you had set them to but at other times (with the fog of war option), they could be stopped by ennemies that you were unable to see during the setup phase.

Did anybody ever tried this specific game (or any other game that used to work this way?) I think this way of splitting the orders to your units and how they do perform on the battlefield addresses many problems that the BG and HPS engines have.

One of those problems is the possibility for any players to coordinate attacks in some kind of "chirurgical" way. You can melee unit A and if succesfull, melee unit B and if succesfull again melee unit C to eliminate the ennemy by ZOC. If one melee fails, no problem, you can hold the attack until next turn. I am afraid this is not the way napoleonic leaders used to conduct battles.

Many threads on this board mentionned the possibility to launch some kind of blitzkrieg by rushing commandos behind the front line to take control of roads, capture leaders and supply. There are also many many other flaws that make HPS and BG games ahistoric (to say the least)![:I]

The feature that makes "issuing orders" and the "movement/melee" two different phases allows many advantages over the old systems. Some that I could think of would be the possibility of the game engine to "manipulate" your orders according to different factors (quality of units, fatigue, LOS, quality/proximity of leadership, morale etc.). Thus, in game terms, your units could simply not receive your orders and stay still; receive orders but obey it partially; receiving the wrong orders. They could fall in ambushes (wich is almost impossible to set at the moment because after sending some skirmishers, someone can always find the "interrogation marks" telling the exact locations of the ennemy before moving the rest of your troops)

It could also add the possibility of stragglers when someone would push his units too strong (example: disordered skirmishers would pop out of the advancing formed battalion).

There would be no need for fixed units or worst (as I read in a previous thread) re-fixing units after a couple of turns. Moves would always be "uncertain".

I speak for myself but, as a French player, have the tendency to launch all-out attacks in hope that I will catch my allied opponent off balance at some point and rush every units available through a gap in his defense line. I know this not napoleonic in spirit. Not being sure on how exactly each and every individual units would obey my orders I would certainly make me think twice about throwing everything in the battle.

Any feedback on this?


<b><font size="5"><font color="red">*</font id="red"></font id="size5"></b><font color="yellow"> In fact, the orders given are quite similar to those of the BG system. Using the keypad, you would "dial" the movements (8, 9, 6, 2 would mean North, North-East, East, South); as opposed to the Command Control feature that orders a unit to attack or defend a position). Once you have launched the execution of what you had set, it gets like watching a BG replay.

This kind of system also allows multiple melées. Thus, if facing a units at the North-East, you would "dial" 9, 9, 9, 9 to make (almost) sure that you don't get upset by a smaller opposing force. </font id="yellow">


[url="mailto:pyguinard@hotmail.com"]Lt Pierre-Yves Guinard[/url],
6e Division, II Corp
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 6:21 am 
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Pierre-Yves

You raise some good points in your message.

It is possible to play the BG games using the Command Control feature. Sadly, this does not appear to include Fog of War and the number of actions that can be performed are limited.

I have found that this is best played against yourself just to see what happens if...! But it is not very satisfying.

Naturally, all games are only simulations and, no matter how good the game, players that are playing to win, will try to find every trick within the game engine to use to their advantage - no matter how historically implausible the move might be.

To achieve the goal of recreating battles using period tactics requires the commitment of all participants, with or without a host of house rules, to try to simulate historic manoeuvres / tactics and be receptive / open to challenge on any suspect moves.

Clearly, such a game must be played in the spirit of "Who cares, hwo wins?" but with the right opponent could be very rewarding.

The only other option, is to play a two player hot-seat game against yourself, but knowing the battle-plan for both sides can make this a futile waste of time, especially since the French should always win these games [:p]

Regards

Mark


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 7:25 am 
Mark,

In a nutshell, my point is that the current systems allows you to micro-manage while being absolutely sure that every single battalion will behave exactly the way that they were be told. 50 skirmishers will attempt to melee a formed battalion of 600+ men, or will stand in the open while ennemy cavalry is clearly visible, routed units will move in the direction that they are told (as long as it is not in the direction of the ennemy), melees will be "over-synchronized" and so on...

In order to add a little more realism to the games, scenario designers feel oblidged to fix some parts of the armies while players have to set artificial rules!! [xx(]

The game I was mentionning can be found [url="http://www.the-underdogs.org/game.php?id=445"]here[/url]. It is worth a try if someone can find some time to it. The principles are a lot more sophisticated than the Command Control feature that still totally relies on the worst artificial intelligence ever seen in computer gaming!!



[url="mailto:pyguinard@hotmail.com"]Lt Pierre-Yves Guinard[/url],
6e Division, II Corp
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:00 pm 
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Yves:

Jean Tessier came up with a system that involved a moderator. The commanders from the two sides would send the moderator orders and the moderator conducted the movement and attacks after consulting some tables about whether the orders were recieved, how the sub-commanders might react, etc.

I played a game of Quatre Bras under this system with Jean as the moderator. There were at least a dozen officers involved in the game -- down to division command. It was great fun and played very well. Of course the moderator has a lot of work to do.



FM Sir 'Muddy' Jones, KG
2nd Life Guards, Household Cavalry
CO, Cavalry Corps
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 5:40 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 Sir Muddy</i>
<br />Yves:
I played a game of Quatre Bras under this system with Jean as the moderator. There were at least a dozen officers involved in the game -- down to division command. It was great fun and played very well. Of course the moderator has a lot of work to do.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
I still have good memories of this game, I was playing Jerome Bonaparte[8D]... It was 2 or 3 years ago or was it more?
Did jean kept his website with the after action report?

<font color="green"> <b>Général de Division David Guégan</b>
11eme division Co.
III Corps, AdN
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 7:17 pm 
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May I suggest you find a partner and start to play multiplayer games.
You will be surprised at the lack of keen coordination you speak of.

I think and adaptation of Atomic/Avalon Hill's W@W series featuring Stalingrad is the best because each side plots their moves and they are combined to play a turn.
Your are plotting your men to move into space not knowing if anybody is there until the turn is run.

Lt. Malcolm
Chef D'Etat-Major
I Corps D'Artillerie Reserve
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 2:32 am 
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Sir Muddy</i>
<br />Yves:

Jean Tessier came up with a system that involved a moderator. The commanders from the two sides would send the moderator orders and the moderator conducted the movement and attacks after consulting some tables about whether the orders were recieved, how the sub-commanders might react, etc.

I played a game of Quatre Bras under this system with Jean as the moderator. There were at least a dozen officers involved in the game -- down to division command. It was great fun and played very well. Of course the moderator has a lot of work to do.

<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Sir Muddy,

This moderator system looks really interesting and is not incompatible with the one I was mentionning. In fact they would be complementary!! [:D]

Please, from my first post, see my edition (in <font color="yellow">yellow</font id="yellow">). I am afraid that I wasn't as clear as I should and it seams that many guys thought that I was describing some kind of high level tactical game.

The WiR (War in Russia) system is <u>very</u> similar to the BG and HPS. The only difference is that your army doesn't move during the movement phase but after, in some kind of replay!



[url="mailto:pyguinard@hotmail.com"]Lt Pierre-Yves Guinard[/url],
6e Division, II Corp
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 9:44 am 
Bonsoir,

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">I still have good memories of this game, I was playing Jerome Bonaparte... It was 2 or 3 years ago or was it more?
Did jean kept his website with the after action report?<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

surely 4 years ago my friend. It was a bad day for our side.

<b>ACW
Brigadier général Ghislain Krygier
Commandant 2nd Division
III Corps AoA

NWC
Général de Brigade Ghislain Krygier
Commandant 2nd Brigade
11°Division III Corps AdN

Baron d'Empire
2nd DIV <font color="blue">JEUNE</font id="blue"> GARDE <font color="red">IMPERIALE</font id="red"></b>


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 2:30 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 G.Krygier</i>
<br />Bonsoir,
surely 4 years ago my friend. It was a bad day for our side.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Already...[:D]

<font color="green"> <b>Général de Division David Guégan</b>
11eme division Co.
III Corps, AdN
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 4:10 pm 
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I have played WiR many times over. Great game, but every once in a while, an infantry unit would get stuck in my panzer corps and become next to useless very quickly.

As far as an application for other eras, simultaneous execution of orders is definitely the way to go. The issue becomes one of AI. Units would have to be able to react to the enemy moves. For example, both sides attempt to take a village. One gets there first and then must repulse the other or retreat. Building an AI smart enough to handle secondary orders and react to threats is a must.

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11eme Regiment de Cuirassiers
"Toujours au chemin de l'honneur"

Comte de Toulouse,
Duc de Castiglione
Commandant de la Vieille Garde
Marechal de France
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 5:24 pm 
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The game we played with Jean Tessier as moderator was The Battle of Quatre Bras and it is eloquently described in the NWC Newsletter --- beginning in Edition 12 (December 2000). The midgame report appears in Edition 13 (March 2001) and then Jean recounts the battle in its entirety in Edition 14 (June 2001). Unfortunately, the link to Jean's site describing his game system is no longer operational. Does anyone know Jean's whereabouts?

FM Sir 'Muddy' Jones, KG
2nd Life Guards, Household Cavalry
CO, Cavalry Corps
Allied CiC


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 10:01 am 
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Is there anyone interested in helping to organize such a game? I volunteer myself to help get it organized but would need help from perhaps 2 moderators to actually perform the moves for each side. The flow of activity in a HPS game would start with a quota of action points alloted for that turn using a random number generator and communicated to the moderators allowing for movement of 50% to 100% of the forces available for example 45 so the moderator could move 45 units counting say 1 1/2 times for melees or cavalry charges (this could be decided later)
1.The phasing players view the oppositions replays and issue orders to their own formations(by e-mail to the moderator)and respond to orders from higher HQs.The communication between players would be limited to couriers whose movements are also controlled by the moderator who would be responsible for holding the messages until delivery time.
2. The commander of the phasing team saves and sends the file to the moderator for their side with the replay already viewed.
3. The moderator moves,melees and charges with the alloted number of units in accordance with the orders issued and their best judgement of the situation as they can view it(having not seen the replay only visible units positions can be seen and would not be aware of movements the enemy performed to hidden positions to simulate a fog of war).
4. The moderator would end the phase and send the file to the opposing team who would then begin their phase at step 1

I think if we could get 2 moderators and 3-4 other players per side it could be quite interesting. I would also volunteer to write up the action report for the newsletter and provide a running commentary on the forum here as well!

Maréchal Drew Stone
Comte de Garonne
AdC II Corps, ADN
Cmdr. Division d'Infanterie de la Jeune Garde


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