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  1. #1
    Member madman's Avatar
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    Been thinking, that is what the smell of burning rubber is

    So, since getting back into gaming I have been rather distracted by skirmish gaming, both WWII and modern. But, my primary love has been and still is 6mm (or whatever you want to call it) gaming covering the period from between the wars through modern to the far future. So all the while, while doing all sorts of miniature and board gaming, I have been always thinking on and sampling (buying, reading and playing) rules which could be used and/or modified for use in 6mm gaming. I have come to some conclusions and wonder if anyone else out there gives a damn. As in, their own interest in micro armour gaming means they might like what I have concluded with an eye towards using it themselves. I am also keeping skirmish in mind, either using the same rules suitably modified, or more likely with a different set more suited to individually mounted figures. I have a small collection of 15mm figures, some buildings and vehicles for pursuing that avenue.

  2. #2
    Administrator Whiterook's Avatar
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    I’m surprised no one has responded yet... so allow me to be the first Well, a couple thoughts:

    First — I think MANY would ‘give a damn’, because on the one hand, any insightful gaming opinion, observation, guidance, and so on, is what pay’s forward knowledge in the wargaming hobby; and on the other hand, your posts always show a high degree of knowledge and thought, and push the bar higher, so yes...we give a damn, my friend

    Keep in mind that all of the forum threads/posts have very healthy ‘view’ counts, so someone out there is watching and reading....they just happen to not want to actually join the forum, which is sad, but that’s OK too. The point of this forum is to actively contribute to the hobby of wargaming (with a small bit of model building) and pay forward what we have to say and present, for the benefit of a greater audience. So what I am saying is, don’t judge Lack of responses solely — yess, I wish more people would join and participate, but social media pretty much fucked us over quite brutally.

    Secondly — I hear you on the skirmishing interest. I too have somehow found my way into this level of gaming (man-to-man, for those that are wondering what Skirmish Gaming is all about), first with Axis & Allies Miniatures, WWII wargaming, which was skirmish... and then with Battlefield Evolution, DUST Tactics and then DUST Warfare... and others, including a game of my own invention based on Stargate SG-1. But I have never played skirmish at as small a miniatures scale as you prefer...I hover around 15mm and 28mm for my skirmish games. For me, and this is only my preferential divide, the only reason I would go to 10 or 6mm would be for cost or space considerations. That’s just me. But even with my personal view of liking the look and feel of 15 and 28mm, I also realize and admire those folks that love 10 and 6mm love that scale for the Sam reasons I do mine. In fact, it was Scott, Mike, Derek who so impressed me initially, that I started to pick up 10mm minis, and later, you. The difference being, I use them for platoon or higher.

    So, again, yes, I for one am interested in what you have to say, and I am sure I am not alone.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." - George S. Patton.

  3. #3
    Member madman's Avatar
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    Sorry for the delay in my reply to your reply. I kept looking in on this thread for a while until it seemed a dead end (frankly I didn't check views just replies). I also somehow missed your reply despite the fact I look in on this site a few times a day using the "new posts" sorting (screening?) function.

    Since the original post I have done a lot of thinking, but little work or gaming, on my 6mm ideas. I have also been contemplating my approach to skirmish and have been making inroads in that direction more.


    First skirmish. It seems to be of two bents.

    One is platoon plus support per side or player and the other almost individual to a squad per side. As an example of the former, and the rules I like the most, is Chain of Command. I like the activation system (roll dice to see who and how many "units" are available for that phase), the reliance on real world unit organization (as opposed to purely buy what you want or have painted) but to me the best part of the game is the pre-game patrol phase. This allows units to start on the game board, usually in or near contact and eliminates the ofttimes interminable moving of units from the table edge until contact is made which usually results in a waste of hours before a game gets going. There are other games in this "genera" but many use abstract and in my mind irrational "buy your unit systems" (which despite claims to the contrary always seem to degrade to only elite groups making the game table-SS panzer grenadiers with only Tigers, US rangers and British airborne or SAS as examples of games I got stuck in) or use rules which remind me of 1970s designs which have been eclipsed by so much better concepts and mechanisms (the only reason I can see gamers using these rules is the plethora of miniatures, from the same company often times in some unique and bizarre scale) is lazy gamers who can't or won't think and do research on their own to create accurate or even reasonable forces. Oh BTW it is "name your month" and edition X of the rules is out and all the force points are changed and new "better" ones have been introduced so you MUST buy all over again. Blech!

    The other scale is the one I am tending towards, where each player controls anything from a fire team to a couple squads. I also do not see it for any period but cold war, including imaginations, up to ultra modern and even sci fi. I cannot, at this time, see playing Russian Civil War, Spanish Civil War or WWII at this scale. For whatever reason my mind immediately wants to go to my preferred 6mm game scale for those periods. I have read of people playing this scale at 6mm but they seem to be very space sensitive or really committed (in both senses of that word) to 6mm. As I said I had some 15mm left overs from my Traveller days and supplemented them with some ultra modern, and recently imaginations stuff, I have picked up in the past year. I have a couple buildings but for now suitable sized boxes will do for much terrain! One of the neat (to me) things about the units in use scale of this game is with many rules the troopers are detailed to an extent as individuals almost like very simple RPG characters. I am thinking mostly Skirmish Sangin here. From back in the day you could take Traveller characters and play them in Snapshot, Azhanti High Lightning or my personal favorite Striker. I have been following AARs by a fellow called Just Jack, and discussing my 6mm ideas and thoughts with him, from a few sites and his preference is Black Ops. In his case he has a small group of special operations troops performing missions as opposed to equal troops doing combat actions. Since this special sort of action is what I envision both for this scale and for how to perform these types of action within a larger game "environment". What I mean is if I am going to perform a spec ops action it is not going to involved a couple companies going at it but rather a very small group. Again I have tried a few sets of rules one of which I like a lot is Force on Force and Ambush alley (FoF is a development of AA). Instead of treating individuals as single "units" by themselves they are played as members of a fire team. This results in many game aspects and parameters being team dependent to the point where I would rather play the game using bases of troops arranged the same as same as my 6mm game. But game mechanics still require game rolls to be made as individuals not the group. The same kind of schizophrenic handling both forms of "skirmish" games tend to degrade to. I have copies of a few other rules which I have to review and see if any suit my ideas better as well as review Black Ops.


    Frankly I only played and got interested in these skirmish scale games as getting back into the hobby a few years ago games in the scale I am primarily interested in seemed non existent. Since than I have found a lot of rules and board games which cover gaming at that level. Some I already have like Squad Leader and ASL which still have followings, some like Conflict of Heroes which scale the same as SL/ASL but with very different mechanics and many others I either bought, gamed (only a couple) or found pdfs of the rules on pirate sites so I could review them for suitability. There are still a couple out there I would like to learn more about or try but after receiving little or no specific info on their game mechanics combined with the very high cost to acquire (primarily Mein Panzer which would be about $100 US plus shipping) have kept me from picking them up "just to see what I could use". Frankly I WANTED to find a set of rules or game I could just hang my hat on and not have to develop for myself as I have done that is the past and really didn't want to go down that rabbit hole again.


    One thought for both skirmish and 6mm is what I am looking for in game systems.

    I like some form of mechanism which limits your all seeing control of your units. I believe this is called friction. It might mean the order units activate in, whether units activate at all, whether you activate leaders and they activate or control units or how many activations or actions units can perform may vary dependent on your "roll". Some systems allow you to either activate out of sequence, such as units on overwatch being able to preempt units in LOS or an ability for an activated unit to swap it's activation with another unit or hold it's activation for later in a game turn. In a similar vein units which have not activated can interrupt other units' activations (FoF/AA) often this is adjusted by units which perform this either being unable to activate again that turn, being limited to only movement activations or by reduction(s) in their quality of actions in future activations that turn (elite snipers on overwatch can continue performing activations but each additional one reduces their chances to hit).

    Next thing I look for (no real sequence, just next I thought of) is a clean sequence of play. Anyone who has played ASL and to a lesser extent Squad Leader should be aware of the seemingly endless sequences involved in what I consider now a poorly executed sequence of play.

    http://texas-asl.com/download/ESSENT...0OF%20PLAY.pdf

    How about that for complex. One page just for the sequence of play chart! In my opinion a simple sequence of play with the ability of units to activate outside of their normal sequence solves so many issues cleanly. As an example in Conflict of Heroes each unit has 7 action points. A units keeps playing it's action points one action at a time (some actions take a single AP while some take all 7) with the opposite side being able to perform one action after each one performed by the friendly side. So with this system no need for reemption or convoluted sequences as units will rarely move more than a single 50 meter hex before their opponent can react and perform their action thus eliminating many rules for interruptions, overwatch etc.. There are some exceptions such as vehicles can move multiple hexes with single APs (I don't know if each hex can be interrupted as I haven't gotten to vehicle rules yet) and the use of some cards also allows units to move more than one hex (again I don't remember if these actions can be interrupted) but I can live with it if you cannot as these action cards are limited and you would be holding on to potentially useless cards hoping for "that one ideal situation" where it could be played.

    Next is leaders and their effect. I am still kind of on the fence wrt how they should work. Originally I wanted them on the table much like squad leader or chain of command. Each would have specific effects and the potential for taking them out, by luck or sniper would immediately effect your opponent. (spoiler alert) Presently one of my, originally least favorite mechanisms, now mechanism I am leaning towards is abstracted leaders as in CoH. Here leadership is totally abstracted and instead of specific leaders you have an effect cloud. This is presented in two mechanisms, one an action points pool which can be used to reduce the cost of a unit performing an action, or allow a unit with insufficient actions to perform one, they can also modify various rolls (say allowing easier attempts to rally, acting as help when making attacks or improving defense by detrimentally modifying your opponent's attacks) or a few other specific functions. The other "potential" treatment of leaders is represented by the various cards. Many allow additional actions to be performed some with the use of APs (unit's actions only) some with CAPs (Command or leader action points only), some with either, some give additional or specific free actions with no cost and some provide additional weapons. In the version of this game I am familiar with, 2nd edition, snipers don't exist except as cards and their only effect is to reduce for the turn the number of CAPs that game turn. In any case whether as on board or off board assets leaders should be able to activate units, allow for and modify attempts of units to recover from adverse morale effects, improve defense modifiers, improve offense actions and a few other functions I can't think of right now.

    I want a game system where historical unit organizations are what are used and followed for games. Whether a collection of TOEs exist within the game or from outside doesn't matter. Some form of points or "dollar" system is OK in order to either balance scenarios or create forces for imaginations but they need to give reasonable units. That was one of the great things about the old Striker rules. Since it was sci fi a large part was designing your own units and equipment. The system had very well developed rules for organizing units into what would hold for real world comparisons as well as the ability and requirement to design all your own equipment above individual's or a squad's inherent small arms. You could create and cost (in common Traveller terms) all sorts of equipment. Combine that with the campaign rules and creating and equipping real world units was very possible.

    Next is a simple combat resolution system which handles the unit at a time as opposed to each individual trooper who is part of that unit. One die or dice roll with minimal modifiers. One modifier for defensive terrain, one for range, one for the effects of supporting units and possibly a bonus for leaders' effects. Say each unit has an attack factor and a defense factor which is either on the unit's base (like a counter) or all units have the same values so no need for charts and tables. Again a derisive nod to ASL's use of interminable tables. Combat results would be only a couple levels of effect. No effect where the combat unit continues to perform as before, an intermediate level where the unit either has reduced capabilities or cannot perform some actions until it has recovered and lastly the unit is eliminated. One of the prime factors in this reduced range of results is to limit markers or counters on the table. I have a few rules which have so many conditions as to be unmanageable. The other end is the unit is either fine or dead leaves too little variation. One system I like is the effect of the hit is a randomly drawn chit which states the limitations imposed by the "damage" to the unit. Maybe it cannot move, fire or will be easier to damage next time. The effect of the chit is only presented to the opponent when the damaged unit either attempts to perform some action or comes under fire again. A second chit eliminates the unit while a successful rally removes the chit and all it's effects. Not as nuanced as many systems but again I want to play with between one and three dozen units so getting too far into the weeds doesn't appeal to me.

    My exception to this would be armour. My background is the very detailed system from Tractics. I like the simple to hit system mentioned above but after a "hit" is achieved I would like to see more detail in the effects. This may be modified after real world gaming results give me feedback. This is also part of my assumption that gaming, like real life, is going to be massively infantry based with only a few armoured supports being present in game terms. If no more than 1/4 of your units are vehicles then some additional work may be acceptable. The alternative would be very much the same as above, fully functional, a random combat result and it's inherent limitations or eliminated. Since the result of even my method of determining combat results will give basically the same effects then maybe a simple draw of a chit will suffice. Have to play it and see.

    My mind is starting to wander and I am having difficulties keeping on track so time to hold for now. This was supposed to just explain my thinking towards skirmish gaming but once started my whole philosophy has poured forth. I still would appreciate SOME feedback, even if just "thinking on this" or "looking at your ideas" would be appreciated. Again this is to keep me moving forward and reporting here. I will be moving forward but want some indication someone here wants to come along.

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