Yeah Magazine #10

GameTalk: Random Events

Byron Grant

Hitting “Random” on the Event Table

Some games include random events tables, some don’t. What do people think of RE events in a game, and why? Is there a game “scale” (tactical, operational, strategic) where RE make or don’t make sense? Does the randomness of random events take away from the careful planning and execution in a game, or does adding unplanned events add to the realism?


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2 Responses to GameTalk: Random Events

  1. Mark Brownell says:

    I like random events in tactical games, as long as they are “realistic”, and not out
    of the range of normal probability. I think it does add to the realism and puts that little extra spice into the most carefully laid plans. I have played with random events at the operational and strategic level, but I do not find that as enjoyable.

  2. Allen Dickerson says:

    Sore point with me at the moment. 🙂 Am just wrapping up a VASSAL PBeM game of GMT’s Cedar Mountain from the Twin Peaks set.

    This battle seems to me to be very unbalanced, no matter how you look at it, but, in true SuperChicken fashion, I took the job of Banks, trying to take and hold objectives that are juuuust out of reach, and then, facing a much larger force under Stonewall Jackson, have to try and retreat over a field with no good defensive cover on it!!

    Best’s artillery was one of the few bright spots I had going all game; they were taking gouges out of Early’s aggressive troops in the woods near Crittenden’s Gate and also taking out opposing Rebel guns on the opposite ridge line.

    Once the handwriting was on the wall, my goal changed to seeing if I could save *anything* of Banks’ corps. And this after several really nice counterpunches that routed oversized Confederate regiments. Still, they had more and more of these cornfed units, and each time I countered, I would still lose a few hundred mean I could ill afford.

    Anyway, my goal was to create a big hedgehog bristling with guns, on the Union controlled cornfield and hope to turn the Rebel assault. I had begun evacuating Best’s batteries one at a time from the forward slope of the Union position, and one 10-gun battery was holding down the fort. Then: Random Event!!! Friendly fire!! The Zouaves d’Afrique lost the plot and turned and fired pointblank into the flank of the gun crews, taking out the position and allowing the Rebel floodgates to open, belching forth waves of freshly arriving A.P. Hill regulars.

    The game was still going to be a Rebel victory, but that one key event made the result much worse!!!

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