Beyond the Roman Road
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Thread: Beyond the Roman Road

  1. #1

    Default Beyond the Roman Road

    The Roman Road thread got me thinking about scenario design. So I wanted to make a general comment about how we approach scenario design. Rather than hijack his thread, I will start a new one.

    I once did a WW2 micro armor scenario named Turmerfassen, which is poor German for capture the tower (church steeple). The church was in the exact center of a 4x12 foot game table that was exactly the same on both sides. It was a totally balanced game both in terrain and forces. In 35+ years of wargaming that is the only balanced scenario I ever created. One of the complaints I would get (usually from the same guy) was that the game was not balanced (his specific whine was there was no way to win). I would always respond if you want "fair", play checkers. Yet even there somebody has to move first! In real warfare no general says I will wait until my enemy has forces equal to mine so that this is a fair fight. Local superiority and taking advantage of superior terrain are fundamental military tactics.

    I am relatively new to boardgaming so many of you may not agree with my philosophy. I am hoping that we do not see the majority of our Rivet War scenarios looking like checker boards where everything is "fair", balanced and symetrical. We need to play with non-symetries in our board arrangements, rivet points, spawn levels and objectives. That may mean one side is going to have a rougher go of it and may be potentially doomed to lose. Yet if you look at gaming as more than just winning then you can play to see how well you can do against some form of imbalance. I love a game where my opponent should crush me but I am able to withdraw and escape or make him pay too dearly for his victory.

    The other thing to consider is a campaign system. One of the things I hate in wargaming is the fact that we play as if there is no tomorrow. With no context for a battle a player will often do things that were completely non-historical. Campaigns make us cherish our little Rivet infantry more and make us less likely to just let them get killed off. Again, this may not fit with the style of pure boardgamers.

    I say all this because Ted is creating a version of the game that will not use terrain tiles but actual terrain. That means at same point Rivet Wars may take on the option of playing more like a wargame than a boardgame. I love this game so much, I want to do both.

    Comments?
    Sky

  2. #2

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    Yup agreed, would defo like more scenarios where the board is not a mirror image, but these do need playtesting a lot more to get a balance.

  3. #3

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    Sounds like torturous sweaty work to me!!
    Sky

  4. #4

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    I think there is a time and a place for offset scenario. I also think there are games where people need to be ok with that. Not everyone wants to play games to escape reality and be in a situation which is set up for their ultimate demise. Life is already like that...

    But I do admit there are only so many ways we can set up the nine tile boards we have and only so symmetrical at that. So... yeah.

  5. #5

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    I expect to see a lot more variety (both symmetrical and otherwise) once everyone receives their Tile Pack Omega. I expect that many more people ordered one of those than a second copy of the game, and it will allow for some awesome scenarios!

  6. #6

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    War is not fair. There's plenty of scope for non-symmetric scenarios. Most of the Eastern Front campaign missions have different starting positions for Allied or Blight and different DPs. Symmetry makes us think the map is fair; but we know Blight and Allied units are very subtly (and if I might say: cleverly) balanced. I'm working on a scenario now, which I play tested over the weekend, which was miserable because of map symmetry (Mark 2 is tonight's objective).

    I've yet to play the Eastern Front Scenarios backwards (eg: Allied and Blight swapped)...does that become the Western Front?

    Ultimately we want scenarios either-side could win, generally through tactical decisions rather than lucky/unlucky dice rolls.

    I'm keen to capture people's opinions on scenario making - I'd like to include an article on the Scenario Editor site to help people get started.
    Rivet Wars Scenario Editor - http://www.tehill.net/RivetWars

  7. #7

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    I have created scores and scores of scenarios in my decades of wargaming. And frankly, I could play them out in my head (rather than play test them) because I knew the period, units and even my game group so well. I have done a few Zombicide scenarios but that game is pretty linear in flow and repetitive in the turn cycles. But I admit to some trepidation in making scenarios for Rivet Wars. I have heard it refered to as a rock paper sissors (I suppose Liard Spock should be thrown in as well) game. If that is true, the problem is that my paper is different from your paper, my sisssors etc. Then throw in heroes, buffs and the occassional house rule and scenario generation is not so easy. Play testing is the right approach but with an ever growing pool of units and heroes what might play right with a certain combo of units may wind up a mess later.

    I agree this game is well balanced. I hope it stays that way.
    Last edited by Lance King; 03-11-2014 at 03:56 PM.
    Sky

  8. #8

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    Those tiles are the same as the base game right? Or are there different ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by donnbobhardy View Post
    I expect to see a lot more variety (both symmetrical and otherwise) once everyone receives their Tile Pack Omega. I expect that many more people ordered one of those than a second copy of the game, and it will allow for some awesome scenarios!
    Sky

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance King View Post
    Those tiles are the same as the base game right? Or are there different ones?
    Pretty sure that they are the same. But it will let us use both sides.

  10. #10

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    I fully agree that sometimes the "balanced" scenario is not what is required in every case, the same strategies seem to get layed each time and the games start to get a little stale.

    Like you I have been wargaming for a long time (lets just say a few more than you admit to) and some of the best games have been driven by thescenario and the storyline behind it. A forlorn defence line that will inevitably be overrun but how long can it hold out, a small force trying to find a the missing warplans while infiltrating the larger forces lines etc. One idea rather than mission cards is to have secret scenario/story cards, with their own victory conditions, that also have varying resource to carry out that mission.

    Another suggestion is o design scenarios with some other victory conditions rather than straight points, sometimes it is enough in a friendly game to have the story/scenario and at the end of it both players decide who won - if you both enjoy a game does it matter?

    Of course it is when you can create a series of linked games (not just campaigns) that this is seen best. No longer can you throw caution to the winds if you need resource for later games, possibly some form of experience system could be built in to enhance some troops for later fights.

    RW is finding its feet and already has a solid friendlly fanbase here and I am sure when Wave 2 hits and everyone who is inclined to gets the hang of the scenario editor there is going to be plenty of scenarios of all types.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by donnbobhardy View Post
    Pretty sure that they are the same. But it will let us use both sides.
    Or duplicates.
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