Game Proposals

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Re: Game Proposals

Post by DaveM1 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:25 am

I'm likely to be Allies for Atlantic Wall.

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Re: Game Proposals

Post by tombeach » Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:22 pm

Thanks for the update, Merv. Sorry you've been sick.

Presume Dave N. and I will be Germans while you, Shawn and Dave M. will be Allies.

Not surprised to hear of the problems with A-Mod. I will check the BGG forum, but would instead recommend you post those questions on Consimworld as they both get much more attention and generally, faster replies. Not sure JY even visits BGG.

Yes, I agree. The rules writing is consistently sub-par with Joe's games and more alarming, with DG games in general. Not quite sure where this comes from exactly. Sure, his games are chrome-laden and as such they are exponentially longer in form and as such more prone to mistakes etc. But I have grown weary of such excuses. I made allowances with WaR and Hurtgen as they were first editions. And to be fair, I think this latest version of GOSS is much improved, as it should've been. And I think great advancements have been made regarding organization, exceptions, important notes and cross-refferencing. That said, there are still far too many glaring holes and contradictions in this his second pass at it. And such ridiculous ones at that.

EX: In 15.1.0 General Supply (GenS), we are told the chain of Supply trace goes top-down, ending with Formation HQ's to actual units. Then, in 15.2.2 bullet point two, he reaffirms in one paragraph that the HQ traces down to it's units only to be followed immediately by stating that units can trace to their formation/BG HQ's. Is this reverse trace an exception? Or is it a typo? Clearly it's an exception as evidenced by supply rules further on. Still, there should be a clearer writing of ALL of the supply rules to reflect such. Here's another good one on the same issue. 15.2.4e Units to Formation HQ contradicts itself yet again by stating that HQ's trace to units, only to be followed by allowing corps or army assets to trace in reverse! And then, the Example which follows is completely incompatible with the image it refers to. Geesh!

There is no excuse for these kind of contradictions which create confusion or debate between players not to mention untold detours from the game itself. It's obvious to me that either DG rushes to get product out the door or, there is either not enough playtesting and/or poor development. I think it's all of the above. I don't wish to be seen beating up on Joe or Doug. I realize how much free time and effort goes into this kind of a production and have complete respect for them and the process and the hours of enjoyment the games bring. However, there can be no doubt that the product would be much improved with more pre-production time spent on the game before it's release. That is why by the second edition of a rules set I make very little allowances for such boners.

This was also the case with EFS. When our group played K2R, we repeatedly found ourselves asking how such terrible organization and rules writing could still be this rampant after what?... ten games in the series? So Vance Von Borries and GMT are just as guilty as Joe and DG.

Dave and I get together again tomorrow for a Caen scenario. So it will be some time before we are able to deal with either the A-Mod or Airborne-Mod. I will re-read the rules and try and catch up with the posts by yourself and others as suggested and see what I can come up with.

Tom

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Re: Game Proposals

Post by TEJ » Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:00 pm

The GOSS straw that broke my back was the weather roll, of all easy things. Is 2d10 a roll of 0-18, 2-20, or 01-100? It depends on which rule you believe takes precedence. And the table was ambiguous, with it plausibly being 2-10 or 1-100 (really, I thought it implausible that either could be correct).

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Re: Game Proposals

Post by MTierney » Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:38 pm

Tom,
Joe Youst did answer our questions on BGG, and we figured it out for the most part. The rules definitely do not have the answers. I agree with all you say above, but will preserver as the game is worth it in the end. Joe did thank us for sticking with it.

We will for sure have to get through the June 6th turns before Winterfest or you guys would have very little to do the first day! It will also take off the pressure to do those turns quickly and end with mistakes made. The way we are playing it now is I am the US player at Utah and Shawn is playing German. In addition we are discussing best options for the Germans when in doubt (least advantageous to the Allies) and doing that. Not sure this will be part of the official game, but so far we don't think we have made any major mistakes. Pretty historical so far.

Merv

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Re: Game Proposals

Post by Madison » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:28 am

I'm not sure why the game has so much appeal that you guys continue... It's poorly written and a tragedy actually. Considering the look of the game components and unparalleled cartography it retains a huge black eye because of poor writing and a tangle of rules contradictions. I wonder how long it will take you gents to play without putting more time looking at rules as opposed to looking at counters. When I learned A3R I felt overwhelmed but after a few ass whippings I quickly became intuitive with that game.

With the burden the GOSS rules are, unless that is all you happen to play year round, reaching a game play level of 'mastery' may never be achieved, given the scale and complexity and poor rules craftsmanship.

Anyways, I don't feel EFS is written so poorly, by any margin in comparison to GOSS. But I am curious about your comment Tom about the EFS? I've never been stumped on rules for that system and they seem to flow rather well IMO. The EFS suffers from poorly drafted charts, but those improved considerably when you compare early versions with Crimea, but there is still room for improvement.

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Re: Game Proposals

Post by tombeach » Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:14 pm

Merv,

Glad to hear you got your reply from, Joe. He is big on thanks for persevering if not admissions of glaring problems at times. While I absolutely agree that you need to complete the landings before WF, I am inclined to request our involvement should the game move from solitaire to German activity. I don't want to contradict myself. But if there are choices to be made by Germans, and given those choices will have outcomes to both sides, I would like to think we can make our own choices in that situation. What might you propose? Anything we can do to influence our own situation should it become available to us? How much playing time is involved from your experience in completing the landings? I ask because not only of the aforementioned involvement in decision-making, but because I am also somewhat of the opinion that making decisions in real game time can produce the kind of mistakes that can be expected while under fire. Just as I'm sure we Germans will make similar types of mistakes given the pressure of game time. All that said, I will refuse to hold the game up for the sake of what I've expressed. We will step in as required if that's how it turns out. I guess I'm just trying to avoid the German's being under immense pressure to quickly take in the board, unseen until we arrive and react without the same kind of time needed to formulate our own plans and not be forced into hasty decisions to make our own resultant blunders. Just think on it and let me know what you think. If we can't work anything out we'll just accept the situation as is with the caveat that we Germans are given as much time as necessary to study the board and discuss our plans. I'm sure you can appreciate that.

John,

It's now been two years since my first and only EFS experience. So I have forgotten much about not only the game but our gripes with it. In that context...

We all thought the air rules sucked.

We found the Replacements rules a complete mess. The rebuilding rules even messier, especially recalling the massive pile of dead Russian units stacked upon each other in heaps on the card to the point we could hardly read the replacement columns. And the Replacments Arrival Table was confusing at best, and maddening at worst.

Cross-referrencing was poorly executed when it existed at all.

Rules organization was terrible.

K2R special rules were poorly coordinated with standard series rules. They were also extremely convoluted regarding the city rules, with all their interconnected tentacles and exceptions.

The Tutorial was about half useful, the remaining half clarifying little.

The examples of play were near useless, especially concerning artillery.

Those are my remembrances.

All that said, I remember when I bought both K2R and Crimea in advance of playing, I was very excited about the system and went in with great expectations of fun. It admittedly was the collapse of the fun factor that probably helped form my other opinions. Simply put, it is no fun to play Russians in June, 1941. A game filled with delay and retreat tactics with no real expectation of a major counterattack while watching the dead pile grown to pyramid level is not fun for me. Add to this the absolutely unbearable asymmetric SOP for Germans and Russians and you compound the problems exponentially. I respect and understand Borries goals of reflecting Russian doctrine of the time. But what I remember most distinctly was the fact that no matter how hard I tried, I was never able to mount attacks of any kind due to the SOP for Russians. That is unless I simply wanted to throw bodies at Germans for fun. When the Russians are forced to make attacks after Mech movement but before non-mech movement, you are intentionally punishing the Russians beyond reality IMHO. You've removed the last vestige of fun in a game by effectively telling one side, you are not permitted to attack, but only defend. Realistic? Perhaps. Fun? No. Any game which does not permit opportune counterattacks is a poor game design IMHO. That's what EFS was for me. And I confess I met a dedicated group of EFS'ers at Expo who not only played much better than we did as Russians in our game, but were hard core enthusiasts.

I also remember leaving that experience promising myself I would take another stab at the game in the future. So perhaps one day I will. But I think it's very telling that Dean Essig has modeled all of his eastern Front games beginning in late '41/early '42. After all, the Russians have a chance to do something!

And while I won't disagree that GOSS is a mess at times and in many areas, I think EFS is indeed on the same level of mess as GOSS. I honestly feel I could ask the same questions of those who desire to play EFS as those of us who find GOSS worth the effort. Seriously. I do.

Worked another session of GOSS today and had a blast! A few more stupid things such as : Uh... I wonder why, in the complete breadth of the Armor/AT Comparison rules for Ground Combaat, they forgot to mention at all what the base DRM value of each Armor advantage point is worth!... forcing me to pull out the old Player Aid Card from Wacht!... was forgotten in GOSS v2.0? I took the advice of a player today and am using a small recorder to make cheat sheet notes for compiling a quick reference card.

Bottom line? I love the GOSS system and feel, like Merv, it is worth the extra effort.

Tom

PS -- Hmm... in re-reading this post it strikes me I may have come off bashing EFS. Just want to say that was not the intent of my post. I have a habits of both brutal honesty, being opinionated and sometimes not translating well in written posts. No offense intended, John, I assure you.
Last edited by tombeach on Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Game Proposals

Post by MTierney » Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:09 am

Tom,
Understand you wanting to play AW out from the get go. I am not against starting it at the Fest if that is your desire but it will take a full day at least to get through all the invasion stuff. If we do that it is interactive with some German reaction during the air drops, then all solitaire for the first three beach phases. After that we would be playing the AM turn normal. If any beaches remain uncleared (Omaha for sure and possibly one Brit) we revert to the solitaire for another three beach phases and on it goes. In writing this out, it may just make sense to start there.

Nothing in stone yet. Hope to pick up some more play this weekend and will keep you posted. Possibly email some photos of the situation for discussions sake. I am excited about this more so then any game in many years. It truly will be worth the effort.

My only real concern at this point is without hands on practice face to face this is very hard to pick up. Dave Morse wants to join us and possibly Rich Sutton. They both played in our WaR game two years ago and know the basics. This isn't for the faint of heart for sure and if we are starting at the Fest would require all the Allies at least to be up to speed on the invasion rules.

Dave, Rich,
Your thoughts would be welcome here. If you think you could master that in time it works. If not we get off to a rough start like we did with WaR. Hoping to avoid a repeat of that.
Merv

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Re: Game Proposals

Post by tombeach » Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:15 pm

Merv,

I had overlooked the air drops as the precursor to amphibious invasion. Hmm... yes, that present more issues. I am in complete agreement that we don't want to waste a day as it were on this stuff. Yet, giving up the German interaction in the non-solitaire Air Module is rather difficult for me to do. Especially since it appears the Cotentin will be my primary area of responsibility. I dunno. Hard to picture just stepping into the post drop situation cold. I think I agree that in the end, regardless of the day spent on it, it might be best to play it out from the beginning, together. Still, I will await your further thoughts as well as Dave and Rich's feelings and your final decision and be ready to accept it as you see fit.

Tom

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Re: Game Proposals

Post by DaveM1 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:12 am

Personally I'm not a fan of dead time, especially early in Winterfest. At the same time, I certainly understand why the Germans don't want someone else (even fair, smart someones) making decisions for them.

Tom, would Vassal or email interchanges during the key landing and airdrop phases address your concern? I've not played the key portions so I don't even know if this would work, but I wonder if pre-playing the invasion and airdrop while running one board at Merv's place and one at your place. When a point is reached requiring German input, an email with a board snapshot and request for input could be sent?

Just a thought. It's awkward and clunky but since we have time in the lead up I wonder if it might work.

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Re: Game Proposals

Post by MTierney » Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:26 pm

Dave,
I don't know if there is a Vassal mode for this, but even if there was, we do not have room here to set up all the areas that would be in play. Not by half. That precludes that option. As to email. There are just too many decisions to be made and with the time lag between questions/answers I don't see that working. This thing is just too big for that and there is not that much time remaining. We also don't get that much play time here, weekends being the only real time to play.

The more I think this through, the more I realize that starting at the Fest is the only option if the Germans want involved in the 6th June play. That also means it will go somewhat like the following.....

Airborne phase: (estimated length, 1-3 hours)
Brit player lands 6th Abn, German Caen player reacts.
USA Omaha, German Bayeux, nothing to do this phase.
USA Utah lands 82nd, 101st, German Cherborg reacts.

AM Amphib phases 1,2,3: (est length, 3-4 hours)
Brit player lands forces. Limited or no German interaction.
USA Omaha lands forces. Limited or no German interaction.
USA Utah lands forces. Limited or no German interaction.

AM Regular turn: (est length, 1-2 hr)
Normal turn. Some Allied units (other than para) may be in play. Limited German reaction.

PM Amphib phases 1,2,3: (est length, 1-2 hr)
Brit player likely still clearing one or two beaches, German Caen limited interaction.
USA Omaha most likely still on beach. German Bayuex limited interaction.
USA Utah likely nothing to do as this beach should clear in AM. German Cherbourg nothing to do.

PM Regular turn: (length, 1-2 hr)
Normal turn. All Allied players involved. All German players still limited movement.

Night Amphib phase: (length, 1 hr)
Only if beach still not cleared. Omaha?

Night Regular turn: (length, too late to matter!)
Normal for all sides.

I guess the point in all this is that it will be LONG and VERY tedious for the players not actively involved the first day. Some like the German Bayuex player will have very little to do. That makes for a frustrating first day for some and that is what killed our WaR game two years ago. My estimates on time could even drag out further and that would mean this carries into Day 2.

Knowing all that I would like input from all of you who may be playing. That list is not firm yet. Here is how the tentative list goes.
German: Tom Beach, Dave Nelson
Allied: Merv, Shawn, Dave Morse
Showed interest but not certain yet: Lee Hamer, Rich Sutton.

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