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Digital Gaming => Computer Wargaming => Topic started by: Mad Russian on June 30, 2017, 08:49:05 AM

Title: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on June 30, 2017, 08:49:05 AM
Burden of Command (BoC)was announced today. I'm happy to bring it to Grogheads as well as being a part of the team putting this game together.

BoC is a leadership simulation, that centers on the battles the 7th Infantry Regiment participated in, during WW2. Land in North Africa, fight on Sicily, take part in the slugfest of Italy, land at Anzio, take Cisterna - one of the toughest assignments ever given to a US Infantry Regiment, participate in the amphibious landing in Southern France and on into Germany to take Berchtesgaden.

It's a very different kind of gaming experience. This is all about the burden of leadership. Can you complete the mission? Will you get you or your men killed? What does your superior think of how you're doing your job? What do your men think of you? Is their morale high or low? Do you need to lead by example and charge forward? Fix bayonets, flanking moves, pull back (we never retreat - we only advance in a different direction), accept the enemy surrender, stop at the objective or keep fighting? You need more resources for this attack? Fine, but you better get results if you ask for them.

The game follows the exploits of the 7th Infantry Regiment as laid out in the book "American Courage, American Carnage" by best selling author John McManus. While the battles are historically accurate your actions, and the decisions you take, influence not only the outcome of the individual scenarios but also the overall campaign. Your ratings increase or decrease by the actions you take and the results you get.

The game is still in development and playtesting but is progressing rapidly.
The home page:

http://burdenofcommand.com/


The YouTube video:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6D1rHMFvqsVM1ICFVQFXOA


The first game review:

https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2017/06/30/the-flare-path-burden-of-command/

Look forward to seeing you on this battlefield soon.

Good Hunting.

MR




Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Steelgrave on June 30, 2017, 08:56:28 AM
It looks fascinating and a potential must-buy. I love the concept. Definitely a title to keep an eye on!
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Raied on June 30, 2017, 09:00:10 AM
Finally something like DC:B concept but in regiment level, I am excited about it.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Barthheart on June 30, 2017, 09:01:54 AM
Very cool! Looking forward to more info and game play. Day one buy.  O0
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: mirth on June 30, 2017, 09:02:05 AM
Will you get you or your men killed?

Most certainly.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Philippe on June 30, 2017, 09:04:28 AM
Really good concept. 

Easy for me to say because I don't have to program it, but having only two courses of action for each situation feels a bit limited.  You don't have time to think things over in those situations, but your instinctive reaction might not be one of the two that are listed.

The Great Whale Road uses a similar mechanic. Choosing from a menu of three or four choices seems best -- just don't make the choices too wordy!
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on June 30, 2017, 09:31:10 AM
Really good concept. 

That's what we thought. Although it took a little time for me to wrap my head around this game it has tremendous potential.


Quote
Easy for me to say because I don't have to program it, but having only two courses of action for each situation feels a bit limited.  You don't have time to think things over in those situations, but your instinctive reaction might not be one of the two that are listed.

The Great Whale Road uses a similar mechanic. Choosing from a menu of three or four choices seems best -- just don't make the choices too wordy!

The war comes complete with multiple choices for various things. Landing on a beach do you land on the left, right or center? 3 choices. Do you want additional forces? 2 choices - yes or no, very simple.
When you secure your objectives do you wish to continue to exploit your success or secure what you have? Again, yes or no - very simple. Will you go to the aid of a downed soldier, advance to him to be pulled back or do an all out assault to keep casualties down? 3 choices and far from simple.

And the war goes on around you while you are making your choices.

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: JasonPratt on June 30, 2017, 09:45:58 AM
From Morocco to Munich: squee!!!!  :smitten: :smitten: :smitten:
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on June 30, 2017, 09:59:39 AM
From Morocco to Munich: squee!!!!  :smitten: :smitten: :smitten:

You're in this fight for the duration soldier! The only way to get out of this fight is to have them carry your broken body off the field.  :knuppel2:

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on June 30, 2017, 10:14:42 AM
Hey Guys,
  Project lead for Burden of Command here. Thrilled to see some attention from Grogheads. Shocked no one has made the Ambush reference yet ;-) Come on grogheads ;-)
  Seriously, thanks guys. It's a particular delight for us to have the Mad Russian (Steve) on our team. Much to live up to there. And keep up the good advice. We're listening hard.
   Bit crazed today but I'll be back (to quote Arnold).
   Luke
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Barthheart on June 30, 2017, 10:45:46 AM
Welcome Luke1 Thanks for stopping by. It's always great to have the Dev people stop in to ask questions to.

The Ambush angle hadn't hit me until you mentioned it, but yeah it looks like it will have that feel.  O0
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Sir Slash on June 30, 2017, 11:17:39 AM
OK. I'm all-in. Allowing the player multiple tactical choices in any given situation as well as a few ethical or emotional decisions too would be Wargaming Heaven. You guys are going to be responsible for me missing many husbandly chores.  :bd:
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on June 30, 2017, 11:25:10 AM
Sir Slash!
  No! We can't take that kind of bad press when you get found out ;-) Now back to folding the laundry ;-)
   Luke
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: BradS62 on June 30, 2017, 04:08:36 PM
Keeping an eye on this one. Similar to GMT Combat Commander?
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: spelk on June 30, 2017, 04:38:56 PM
Excited to see this in development, and to have the lead dev and the Mad Russian on board!

Looking ahead to good things fellas!
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on June 30, 2017, 04:52:36 PM
More comments about the game:

http://www.awargamersneedfulthings.co.uk/2017/06/burden-of-command-by-green-tree-games.html

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on June 30, 2017, 05:00:04 PM
Similar to GMT Combat Commander?

BoC is a leadership simulation with normal battlefield chaos added. The leadership you give counts as to how your soldiers will respond on the battlefield. It will also influence their losses, morale and efficiency. The game doesn't come with a set of pat answers. Each choice will give you different results. Some of those choices, like Grandstanding - jumping up in full view of enemy soldiers and dragging your soldiers forward by the strength of your will and your American Courage into the American Carnage, could easily get you killed.

Where Combat Commander has totally random events BoC has situational events. In other words Combat Commander has events that are purely random. BoC has events that are based on the choices you've made and the results of your actions on the battlefield.

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: jomni on June 30, 2017, 06:39:58 PM
Good layer of immersion. But hope it doesn't get in the way of variety and replayability ?  The choices should be based on the situation (coming from the hex battlefield) and not scripted into the mission so that they are triggered all the time.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Apocalypse 31 on June 30, 2017, 07:12:19 PM
Will you get you or your men killed?

Most certainly.

Anyone can be leader when things are going right  O0
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on June 30, 2017, 09:21:00 PM
Good layer of immersion. But hope it doesn't get in the way of variety  and replayability ?

Let's take a look at replayability.

You actually fight each battle on a hex grid map with forces that will more than likely respond differently each time you play the scenario. As you progress into the campaign those differences will have a greater impact on the end result. So while the main choices will remain the same the campaign should never play exactly the same.

To give you some background, I've been making scenarios for computer games since the old Combat Mission days (HSG was a group I started for Combat Mission scenario generation), through Panzer Command Ostfront and then with Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm/Players Edition. I generally create historically based scenarios, Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm (Players Edition) being the sole exception to that rule. I strive to create scenarios that are both reflective of the actual fight and have choices that give the battle a high replay factor. I'm bringing that same gaming experience to BoC to the best of my abilities.

Good Hunting.

MR

Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: jomni on June 30, 2017, 09:33:59 PM
Ok. Let's see how things turn out.  Good luck on your project.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on June 30, 2017, 10:17:28 PM
In regard to an earlier post, Combat Commander is a significant influence. For its remarkable evocation of battlefield chaos and the stories that flow from that.  There are a lot of boardgame influences:
-- (A)SL -- of course!
-- CC -- chaos
-- Band of Brothers -- chaos extends to command
-- Conflict of Heroes -- push your luck and simplicity of design
-- Fields of Fire -- command points and focus on command
-- Ambush -- RPG
I'm hoping we'll stand on the shoulders of giants in that regard. I'm going to do a development blog on those influences eventually. I emphasized the PC inspirations on the website for the more general audience. But a lot of the creativity in design these days -- IMHO -- comes from the boardgame space.

For you guys I can't resist this John Hill (may he rest in peace) quote:
"Squad Leader was a success for one reason: it personalized the board game in a World War II environment. Take the "leaders," or persons, away from it and it becomes a bore. Though this may sound surprising, the game has much in common with Dungeons & Dragons. In both games, things tend to go wrong, and being caught moving in the street by a heavy machinegun is like being caught by a people-eating dragon. Squad Leader was successful because, underneath all its World War II technology, it is an adventure game, indeed Dungeons & Dragons in the streets of Stalingrad."
  We're going a bit more down the "historical experience of leadership path" than D&D but still the analogy has merit.

Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: FarAway Sooner on June 30, 2017, 10:55:02 PM
The concept sounds absolutely fascinating.  I like the notion that making the exact same choice won't trigger the same event:  An order to rush an MG nest might be ignored, or your men might crawl, instead of conducting the ordered charge, etc.  Having a bell-curve distribution of likely results for each such choice makes it a lot more fascinating.

For this game to absolutely blow my socks off, I only have one last hope:  Can we please dispense with the "Takes Objectives X, Y, and Z by Turn 9 to win a Decisive Victory, by Turn 11 to win a Strategic Victory, and by Turn 14 to win a Tactical Victory"?  That mechanic works well to introduce tension and a challenge, but after having played it in umpteen different games, having to face it in every scenario I play feels kinda tired to me.

Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on July 01, 2017, 07:01:40 AM

For this game to absolutely blow my socks off, I only have one last hope:  Can we please dispense with the "Takes Objectives X, Y, and Z by Turn 9 to win a Decisive Victory, by Turn 11 to win a Strategic Victory, and by Turn 14 to win a Tactical Victory"?  That mechanic works well to introduce tension and a challenge, but after having played it in umpteen different games, having to face it in every scenario I play feels kinda tired to me.

The objectives will be setup on triggers. Most of those will be timed for two reasons.
1) No battlefield commander has ever had as much time as he wanted to complete his mission.
2) Putting a gamer under a bit of a time crunch is one of the few ways to submit the gamer to the stresses of a combat situation. I'm hoping that you won't have people shooting at you while you are at your computer. That can't be killed if you make the wrong decision. That there won't be smoke in your eyes or mines set off that could maim you for life.

In lieu of all those issues I try to make the scenarios be a bit tight on the time scale so you get some stress. So that you feel somewhat like a leader that has to put up with the two stated issues above.

Having said that, the objectives are likely to be event triggered as to how well you do. It will be a combination of IF you accomplished your mission AND how many losses you took doing it.

And then there are the secondary objectives. The game is structured to have a reward system. What does that mean exactly? It simply means you can earn medals. So, if you do exceptionally well you could be rewarded. Taking and HOLDING secondary objectives are a part of that structure. But beware of the Germans. Are you an aggressive commander and are always looking to be an over achiever? To be one that always wants to clear the map? If you do you way well find yourself wearing a Bronze Star, Silver Star or Medal of Honor. You may well find yourself and your men dead too for trying to accomplish too much. The choice, of course, is yours. When you capture your main objectives you will be given the choice of whether to continue the attack or to consolidate and hold what you have.

Will you go home a live hero? Will you go home a live soldier? Will you go home a dead hero? The choices you make in the campaign will determine which outcome you get.

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Apocalypse 31 on July 01, 2017, 07:52:16 AM
Stress of combat, you say?

Add timers to the decisions then you'll see some real stress.

You have 5 seconds to make this decision:
(http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/images/17/jun/burden06.jpg)

Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Rayfer on July 01, 2017, 10:10:45 AM
Stress of combat, you say?

Add timers to the decisions then you'll see some real stress.

You have 5 seconds to make this decision:
(http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/images/17/jun/burden06.jpg)

Great idea....but maybe a little more than 5 seconds, it would take me that long just to read the choices!   :o
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Steelgrave on July 01, 2017, 10:14:50 AM
Ok, I want this game now. Geez, I don't want to be a fanboy for a game that's not out yet but it sounds like a day one buy for me.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on July 01, 2017, 12:07:43 PM
It's okay to be a fanboy for this game. It's fine. Even though we've just begun to scratch the surface of telling you what you'll find inside the game.

For example, the amount of historical research and accuracy should meet the most stringent requirements. The game development group includes veterans from all branches of the service and multiple time periods as well as from countries besides the United States. The game uses some after action reports and maps taken straight from the national archives. John McManus, the author of "American Courage, American Carnage", has supported the project from the beginning. Because the game is based on the actions he describes in his book he has given the project his support with all his research done for the book. We have extended that research out in multiple volumes of research books, as well as internet sites, ourselves. The results should speak for themselves when it comes time to fight in the game.

Selections for the scenarios include battles in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany. The battle they thought was their toughest was at a place called Cisterna di Latina. One of the toughest fights any US Infantry Regiment has ever been in.

So, go ahead, be a fanboy!

Start your career in North Africa and see if you have what it takes to get you, and your men, home alive at the end of the war!

Good Hunting.

MR

Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: bbmike on July 01, 2017, 01:00:13 PM
Stress of combat, you say?

Add timers to the decisions then you'll see some real stress.

You have 5 seconds to make this decision:
(http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/images/17/jun/burden06.jpg)

ONLY if it's an option. I would not want to play that way.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: FarAway Sooner on July 01, 2017, 01:40:04 PM

For this game to absolutely blow my socks off, I only have one last hope:  Can we please dispense with the "Takes Objectives X, Y, and Z by Turn 9 to win a Decisive Victory, by Turn 11 to win a Strategic Victory, and by Turn 14 to win a Tactical Victory"?  That mechanic works well to introduce tension and a challenge, but after having played it in umpteen different games, having to face it in every scenario I play feels kinda tired to me.

The objectives will be setup on triggers. Most of those will be timed for two reasons.
1) No battlefield commander has ever had as much time as he wanted to complete his mission.
2) Putting a gamer under a bit of a time crunch is one of the few ways to submit the gamer to the stresses of a combat situation. I'm hoping that you won't have people shooting at you while you are at your computer. That can't be killed if you make the wrong decision. That there won't be smoke in your eyes or mines set off that could maim you for life.

In lieu of all those issues I try to make the scenarios be a bit tight on the time scale so you get some stress. So that you feel somewhat like a leader that has to put up with the two stated issues above.

Having said that, the objectives are likely to be event triggered as to how well you do. It will be a combination of IF you accomplished your mission AND how many losses you took doing it.

And then there are the secondary objectives. The game is structured to have a reward system. What does that mean exactly? It simply means you can earn medals. So, if you do exceptionally well you could be rewarded. Taking and HOLDING secondary objectives are a part of that structure. But beware of the Germans. Are you an aggressive commander and are always looking to be an over achiever? To be one that always wants to clear the map? If you do you way well find yourself wearing a Bronze Star, Silver Star or Medal of Honor. You may well find yourself and your men dead too for trying to accomplish too much. The choice, of course, is yours. When you capture your main objectives you will be given the choice of whether to continue the attack or to consolidate and hold what you have.

Will you go home a live hero? Will you go home a live soldier? Will you go home a dead hero? The choices you make in the campaign will determine which outcome you get.

Good Hunting.

MR

I'm okay having a finite number of turns to do things.  I'm glad to hear that casualties also have a very real impact on how you do.  That was one of the biggest holes in Unity of Command, which I consider to be one of the best turn-based strategy games in the last decade.  I just hate games where it's a puzzle-solving exercise, and there's no way to win impressive victories or unlock lots of content unless you play it a couple times to figure out where all the enemy units will be.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on July 01, 2017, 01:50:47 PM
BoC is designed to have different command decisions. Many of them have no right answer, just one answer that, under the right circumstances, is a better choice than others.

The unique blend of storyline, choices outside the scenario, the scenario and the resulting changes to your leadership values will make this game a unique experience. Since I'll be expected to create scenarios that will support that formula I don't expect to make puzzles. My scenarios for previous games have all been about the battle itself. On only rare occasions have they been where it couldn't have been beaten in more than one way.

That's what I expect to find for these scenarios when this game is complete.

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on July 01, 2017, 04:15:23 PM
Regarding timers on decisions. Man we keep debating this. Like Telltale Game does. But it could piss people off in a turn based game. As an option would probably be the way to go. More opinions welcomed.
  Luke
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Barthheart on July 01, 2017, 05:01:47 PM
Regarding timers on decisions. Man we keep debating this. Like Telltale Game does. But it could piss people off in a turn based game. As an option would probably be the way to go. More opinions welcomed.
  Luke

Make it an option. Could be fun to play that way after a couple times through.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: jomni on July 01, 2017, 07:03:46 PM
For this game to absolutely blow my socks off, I only have one last hope:  Can we please dispense with the "Takes Objectives X, Y, and Z by Turn 9 to win a Decisive Victory, by Turn 11 to win a Strategic Victory, and by Turn 14 to win a Tactical Victory"?  That mechanic works well to introduce tension and a challenge, but after having played it in umpteen different games, having to face it in every scenario I play feels kinda tired to me.

You have to tell that to my project manager in real-life work.  My KPI relies on that sort of metric.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Apocalypse 31 on July 01, 2017, 08:57:47 PM
Regarding timers on decisions. Man we keep debating this. Like Telltale Game does. But it could piss people off in a turn based game. As an option would probably be the way to go. More opinions welcomed.
  Luke

Make it an option. Could be fun to play that way after a couple times through.

If that's the case, then make objectives based on turn limits optional, also. If the point of the game is to make decisions in combat then there needs to be an element of stress - in combat (based on my deployments), things happen in an instant and sometimes you don't have the time  to make the best decision.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: FarAway Sooner on July 01, 2017, 11:29:12 PM
For this game to absolutely blow my socks off, I only have one last hope:  Can we please dispense with the "Takes Objectives X, Y, and Z by Turn 9 to win a Decisive Victory, by Turn 11 to win a Strategic Victory, and by Turn 14 to win a Tactical Victory"?  That mechanic works well to introduce tension and a challenge, but after having played it in umpteen different games, having to face it in every scenario I play feels kinda tired to me.

You have to tell that to my project manager in real-life work.  My KPI relies on that sort of metric.

I get that timetables matter.  But having them be the only criterion for success is foolish.  I hope your PM at work is also measuring Scope and Cost, causing Timing is only one leg of the Project Management stool...   C:-)
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: ComradeP on July 02, 2017, 06:56:17 AM
It looks like a very interesting concept indeed, and I applaud you for trying it as hasn't been done in a quick to play manner before as far as I know (without boardgame bookkeeping).

I do have some questions and comments.

The most important one, as in any game where you want results to matter: what is the incentive to keep going when facing likely defeat? How do you stop players from reloading or replaying a scenario to get a good or the "best" result, particularly in a game where results are significantly influenced by statistical chance judging by the wounded Captain situation?

To phrase it differently: if the goal is to get as many of your boys in and out of the war alive, how do you keep the player from doing exactly that in the best way possible by replaying scenarios for as close to an optimal result as possible?

One of the main difficulties in designing interesting scenarios is to make them both interesting to play and not frustrating enough to require people to play them again if things go wrong.

As the scenario designer for the Unity of Command DLC's, I understand the puzzle-criticism as mentioned by FarAway Sooner. With limited pieces in play and yet a substantial number of variable moves tied to a time limit, a situation may appear where completing a scenario feels like a puzzle. Even though I designed and balanced every scenario in the same way (best victory condition were usually timed on when I could achieve them, plus one or two turns depending on how long the scenario is/how much randomness is involved). There is a certain number of turns where victory can be achieved, and a certain number of turns where it can't be achieved.

There are a multitude of bad or mediocre combat results leading to the eventual result of the scenario, but in most cases only a few good ones (though not necessarily a fixed "best" one as that depends on the situation). You don't want to force the player to accept bad results, but you do want to give some reward for picking the less ideal path. Otherwise he'd just keep reloading. Whether you go home a hero alive and well or in a box is, when push comes to shove, determined by die rolls or chance.

Another problem is the balance between punishing less experienced players/defeat and rewarding experienced players who truly understand the system/victory. In a game featuring statistical chance for single events, percentage modifiers become important (which might encourage min-maxing). Let's say the Captain in the example situation dies, and he would normally give some sort of advantage to unit performance.

You lose that (small?) advantage. Though each individual negative result might result in only a small penalty, those penalties combined can quickly make your force much less competent. Perhaps more so than some people would realize unless they keep track of their unit/formation performance statistics. On the other hand, a multitude of small bonuses will slowly but significantly increase unit/formation performance. That leads to the dilemma of having to walk on the thin line between not punishing defeat too much (otherwise players would reload the scenario) and not rewarding players too much whilst still encouraging players to perform well. This is something we're struggling with for UoC 2 as well at this point in the design process, so the dilemma is very familiar.

Mad Russian, for FC:RS you mentioned that NATO relied on everything being at the right place at the right time, leading to a situation where if that did not take place they would be likely to lose to Warsaw Pact numbers. That was very true, and the same applies to a certain extent to the Germans in World War II. The US armed forces ended up taking more of a "good enough is good enough" approach, where they might not have the technological edge or an edge in training and experience over particularly German mobile formations until late 1944-1945, but they still ended up being good enough for the task at hand. Even purely from that perspective alone, it will be interesting to see how such an infantry regiment "choose your own adventure" game will play out. The influence of losses on experience in particular will be educational to follow due to how infantry formations tended to take the bulk of the losses.

Another question is the way the scenarios are linked into a campaign. If a certain battle is covered in a certain scenario, it is assumed we're participating in the decisive moment that could lead to Allied victory in that battle. We're not launching spoiling attacks or softening up enemy frontline positions through infiltrations or taking limited objectives, of one battle equals one scenario. That would also mean that the results come down to victory or defeat. Though this makes sense from the historical perspective (you want to cover the major engagements fought by the regiment), it might make the campaigns in North Africa, Italy and pre-Cobra Normandy seem more dynamic because we don't get to see or influence the lengthy period in between major offensives, if I understand the intention correctly.

We potentially draw replacements, something might happen through automated training or whatever to cover the lull in the fighting/static period and then we're back in action for the next big battle. Again, understandable from a game perspective, but I'm curious to see how that works out for preserving the feel of truly leading your formation throughout the war, instead of the "highlights".

From that perspective, from the immersion I think I would personally prefer less very detailed decisions like sending a medic to a platoon or company leader, and more overall decisions on deciding my own moves and responding to enemy movements. It might feel somewhat like a bit of a disconnect from history if, as a regimental commander potentially one or more kilometres from the leading companies, I have to make decisions that in real-life would not be made by me because I either wouldn't know about them until it's too late (the Captain might be dead before the radio works or a runner gets to regimental HQ) or would not have the power to influence them. In that case, there's the balance between the game feeling like a leadership simulator and "babysitting" individual units. The unit density seems to be limited, so it might be a purely theoretical issue.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to it and I'd be happy to help with playtesting if that would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on July 02, 2017, 09:30:15 AM
It looks like a very interesting concept indeed, and I applaud you for trying it as hasn't been done in a quick to play manner before as far as I know (without boardgame bookkeeping).

It's one of the reasons I joined the team. This game is a chance to push the envelope on our hobby. I was told once, by a poster in the Flashpoint Campaign threads, that I seem to have a knack for getting on the best teams/projects. I feel like this game continues that aspect of my run of luck.


Quote
I do have some questions and comments.

The most important one, as in any game where you want results to matter: what is the incentive to keep going when facing likely defeat? How do you stop players from reloading or replaying a scenario to get a good or the "best" result, particularly in a game where results are significantly influenced by statistical chance judging by the wounded Captain situation?

To phrase it differently: if the goal is to get as many of your boys in and out of the war alive, how do you keep the player from doing exactly that in the best way possible by replaying scenarios for as close to an optimal result as possible?

I would think the incentive for a gamer, that would play this type of game, is the experience it brings. This isn't a 'high score' kind of a game. It's much more a simulation with a game element added.

For me personally, it's all about how well I can do without hitting the reset button. It's about me doing my best because the one I'm comparing myself to is me.


Quote
One of the main difficulties in designing interesting scenarios is to make them both interesting to play and not frustrating enough to require people to play them again if things go wrong.

Agreed.

With a game like Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm it was about making the scenarios tough enough to beat that you tried it multiple times. In BoC I have an entirely different criteria for the gamer. Here I want the smoke in your eyes. It can't be so easy that you walk through the campaign without ever feeling any of the stress that goes with the actual position, but, it can't be so hard the gamer is continually getting themselves killed and you have no chance of completing the campaign successfully.


Quote
As the scenario designer for the Unity of Command DLC's, I understand the puzzle-criticism as mentioned by FarAway Sooner. With limited pieces in play and yet a substantial number of variable moves tied to a time limit, a situation may appear where completing a scenario feels like a puzzle. Even though I designed and balanced every scenario in the same way (best victory condition were usually timed on when I could achieve them, plus one or two turns depending on how long the scenario is/how much randomness is involved). There is a certain number of turns where victory can be achieved, and a certain number of turns where it can't be achieved.

Victory in BoC is tied to more of a reality situation than scenario based games. The battle in the scenario is only a part of the overall picture. In most games you take the objectives you win. The faster you take them the better your score. It rarely matters if you kill every pixel truppen you own along the way. BoC is very much against your taking losses to obtain an objective. You ask, "how that can be"? The reason is because of the simulation part of the game. You are expected to get your men home too. This creates the situation all leaders face. What is the risk reward for this mission? Do I take the objective and take the loss in men? Do I pull back and not take the objectives because the cost is too high? If I don't take the objective now will the cost be even higher the next time we have to try it?

This is exactly what BoC is trying to make the gamer experience. We want you to be the boots of a small unit commander. And SOMETIMES those boots get really tight on you!!


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There are a multitude of bad or mediocre combat results leading to the eventual result of the scenario, but in most cases only a few good ones (though not necessarily a fixed "best" one as that depends on the situation). You don't want to force the player to accept bad results, but you do want to give some reward for picking the less ideal path. Otherwise he'd just keep reloading. Whether you go home a hero alive and well or in a box is, when push comes to shove, determined by die rolls or chance.

Because BoC isn't only scenario driven, but the choices the leader takes this should be part and parcel to the experience. There are often no "Best" results. Each situation is different each time you come upon it and you could get vastly different results for the same actions.

Let's take a real life situation and see how it could be applied. In WW2 General Rose was killed by SS troops near Paderborn Germany. For weeks after that the 3rd Armored Division didn't take prisoners. Before that event US forces prided themselves on the numbers of Germans they took as POW's. But for that time period they weren't interested. The exact same situation affected by the psychological events of the battlefield and the mindset of the soldiers involved.

BoC has that same situational awareness added into it at times. Same exact action will get you kudos from your men one time and disdain another. The same exact action will get you approval from higher up the Chain of Command one time and a rebuke the next time. BoC is not set up solely on the actions of the leader or the results of the battle or the welfare of your men but all three.


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Another problem is the balance between punishing less experienced players/defeat and rewarding experienced players who truly understand the system/victory. In a game featuring statistical chance for single events, percentage modifiers become important (which might encourage min-maxing). Let's say the Captain in the example situation dies, and he would normally give some sort of advantage to unit performance.

There is no doubt that the premier experience of playing BoC will come the first time you play it. That's the time you have no idea what is coming next. Yes, the Captain may die. If he does he will be replaced with another officer with his own skill set. That new officer may be you, or it may not be. In either case, if he's replaced the new commander will be challenged with the completion of the mission. The war will go on. With our without you. With or without a good leader at the helm.


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You lose that (small?) advantage. Though each individual negative result might result in only a small penalty, those penalties combined can quickly make your force much less competent. Perhaps more so than some people would realize unless they keep track of their unit/formation performance statistics. On the other hand, a multitude of small bonuses will slowly but significantly increase unit/formation performance. That leads to the dilemma of having to walk on the thin line between not punishing defeat too much (otherwise players would reload the scenario) and not rewarding players too much whilst still encouraging players to perform well. This is something we're struggling with for UoC 2 as well at this point in the design process, so the dilemma is very familiar.

That's one of the key balancing acts this game presents to the developers. In my experience, and I'm not a combat veteran, this is one of the places where BoC will shine. The team has a group of veterans that are relied upon heavily for their experiences in command situations. In all aspects of small unit leadership. If we can keep the game true to their experiences then I think we will have gamers come away with their own experiences like nothing they've ever seen before.


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Mad Russian, for FC:RS you mentioned that NATO relied on everything being at the right place at the right time, leading to a situation where if that did not take place they would be likely to lose to Warsaw Pact numbers. That was very true, and the same applies to a certain extent to the Germans in World War II. The US armed forces ended up taking more of a "good enough is good enough" approach, where they might not have the technological edge or an edge in training and experience over particularly German mobile formations until late 1944-1945, but they still ended up being good enough for the task at hand. Even purely from that perspective alone, it will be interesting to see how such an infantry regiment "choose your own adventure" game will play out. The influence of losses on experience in particular will be educational to follow due to how infantry formations tended to take the bulk of the losses.

This is where scenario selection and design skill comes in. The scenarios were chosen for their ability to portray the changes of men's attitudes and abilities as the war progressed. From the "Citizen Soldiers" that landed in North Africa, to the combat veterans that beat the German Army at it's own game. All the while keeping it's civilized outlook on life and not dropping down into the barbarism that is constantly calling. You still must win, but how you win matters.

As an officer in the United States Army you are expected to uphold certain ideals. One of those is to show your enemy as much force as is required to beat him but no more. Another is to show a respect for the lives of your men, so you don't make decisions that get them killed needlessly. Winning is important, keeping your men alive is important, looking yourself in the mirror at the start of everyday is also important.

That's the ultimate goal of BoC. To show you just how difficult the balance between the lives of your enemy and those of the people assigned to can be.


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Another question is the way the scenarios are linked into a campaign. If a certain battle is covered in a certain scenario, it is assumed we're participating in the decisive moment that could lead to Allied victory in that battle. We're not launching spoiling attacks or softening up enemy frontline positions through infiltrations or taking limited objectives, of one battle equals one scenario. That would also mean that the results come down to victory or defeat. Though this makes sense from the historical perspective (you want to cover the major engagements fought by the regiment), it might make the campaigns in North Africa, Italy and pre-Cobra Normandy seem more dynamic because we don't get to see or influence the lengthy period in between major offensives, if I understand the intention correctly.

You are an officer in the United States Army. Yes, you are expected to win your battles. You will be briefed on your objective just like any junior officer in any army. You will be given choices as to support levels, etc..., just like in any small unit action.

For example, you take extra support, you better win. If you don't your superiors and your men will lose a certain amount of faith in you. Resulting in tougher choices and responses later. If you win but lose a lot of men, your superiors liked the results but your men didn't. Now it's easier to get things from higher HQ but your men don't want to follow your orders so quickly.
Don't take the objective but don't lose a lot of men and you will find HQ not so ready to support you in the future but your men responding to your orders more rapidly. Everything has a cause and effect in BoC.


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We potentially draw replacements, something might happen through automated training or whatever to cover the lull in the fighting/static period and then we're back in action for the next big battle. Again, understandable from a game perspective, but I'm curious to see how that works out for preserving the feel of truly leading your formation throughout the war, instead of the "highlights".

You have a unit that resembles any team ever put together to accomplish much of anything. You have veterans and you have inexperienced men. It's up to you how you use them. Do you send the veterans on patrol and use their special skills? Or the new guys so they can learn those skills and not get any veterans killed? The Burden of Command falls squarely on  your shoulders.

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From that perspective, from the immersion I think I would personally prefer less very detailed decisions like sending a medic to a platoon or company leader, and more overall decisions on deciding my own moves and responding to enemy movements. It might feel somewhat like a bit of a disconnect from history if, as a regimental commander potentially one or more kilometres from the leading companies, I have to make decisions that in real-life would not be made by me because I either wouldn't know about them until it's too late (the Captain might be dead before the radio works or a runner gets to regimental HQ) or would not have the power to influence them. In that case, there's the balance between the game feeling like a leadership simulator and "babysitting" individual units. The unit density seems to be limited, so it might be a purely theoretical issue.

We are still a ways from having all the mechanics, situations, etc. set in stone. That's why we are still taking playtesters. The decisions you will be making will be at the company or platoon level. The game is very much a small unit experience. You will be given choices of force multipliers and command options in accordance with that pay grade!  :D


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Anyway, I'm looking forward to it and I'd be happy to help with playtesting if that would be appreciated.


You can sign up as a playtester at

http://burdenofcommand.com/contact

Thanks for a very thought provoking post and the interest you've shown in the game.

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Con on July 02, 2017, 10:43:19 AM
Excuse the short post writing this on an iPhone so probably will have some weird autocorrect errors
1 like the concept very much. Reminds me of old beer and pretzels (BAPS) tabletop skirmish game rules. Each soldier had to draw a chit for their actions which was influenced by the commander. Better commanders could counter bad individual soldier decisions but only within command range and only so many.
2. For stress instead of timers on turns etc how about timers on decisions when events occur like witcher 3. If player doesn't choose them random choice made for them.

Con
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on July 02, 2017, 10:52:25 AM
Thanks for your comments Con.

Stress application is still being worked out.

All recommendations are being considered.

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on July 02, 2017, 11:59:48 AM
ComradeP great questions. I feel your pain because I'm feeling it for myself right now. I would be a filthy liar if I said I had good answers to some of those mind benders LOL.   Luckily I have a Mad Russian to be coherent here. Part of my leadership style is letting the smart guys take the bullets LOL. Seriously these are big issues. I won't repeat Steve much but one key here is that this game is about the experience of leadership more than 'winning.'  Therefore, we get some novel ways to approach some of the problems you so eloquently raise.
  Also, scenario designer for UoC?! Wow. Hats off. Love that game. Brilliant design (though jeez the original Stalingrad campaign start was a tough one).  Been following UoC 2 closely.  Love UoC too because written in part in Python (our base). Gives us hope! 
  We'd love your experience as a playtester potentially. Please signup if you haven't already at the button at http://burdenofcommand.com/contact  so you're in the proper pipeline 8-)
    Great substantive conversations here, like the commentary just posted by Con. Hmm better get Steve up front again!
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Richie61 on July 02, 2017, 12:01:42 PM
Burden of Command looks like a must buy for me. Guess I need to find a job now to buy more games!  :D
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on July 02, 2017, 12:08:47 PM
Burden of Command looks like a must buy for me. Guess I need to find a job now to buy more games!  :D

Hello Richie!!!

Seems like you've been either playing my scenarios or buying games I've helped develop for most of my life now!!!  :notworthy:
It's been awhile since the old CM days!

Nice to see you join in the discussion with this group!

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on July 02, 2017, 12:14:36 PM
Richie I want your Avatar. what's that from? Shame on me for not recognizing it I bet.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: ComradeP on July 02, 2017, 12:26:26 PM
I applied for playtesting. For clarity's sake: I designed the scenarios, aside from one or two hypothetical ones, for the UoC DLC's. I tested, but otherwise had no influence on, the original game.

When it comes to decision making, removing the percentages (or having an option to do so) would already help to introduce stress. Though you are, in a way, always gambling with the lives of your men and yourself as a commander, it might be more immersive if it's not done so openly through a percentage chance of something happening. It would also, over time, train you to get a feel for which choices are unlikely to work, but which might be benificial if they do, and which choices are more likely to work but bring their own consequences into play.

QTE's are the main reason why I don't play any of Telltale's "choose your own adventure" games, so I'd have some difficulties in dealing with a strict timer.

Also: for some reason I keep forgetting you were attached to the PC:O team as well Mad Russian, I just read it on the Team page on the BoC website. That was one game where I enjoyed trying to find an optimal strategy, with the highlight being knocking out a few KV-1E's with Panzer 38(t)'s firing APCR ammo from spitting distance for the AAR I posted at Matrix.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on July 02, 2017, 02:21:03 PM

Also: for some reason I keep forgetting you were attached to the PC:O team as well Mad Russian, I just read it on the Team page on the BoC website. That was one game where I enjoyed trying to find an optimal strategy, with the highlight being knocking out a few KV-1E's with Panzer 38(t)'s firing APCR ammo from spitting distance for the AAR I posted at Matrix.

Yes, I've got some scattered out through the community. PCO was my first computer game design team effort. I learned a lot from that group. Hopefully I can bring some of those lessons to this game series.

Thanks for supporting that game with an AAR. I always appreciate when gamers give back. Helps make our hobby better.

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Richie61 on July 02, 2017, 03:39:02 PM
Richie I want your Avatar. what's that from? Shame on me for not recognizing it I bet.

It's from the board game Old School Tactical II. Shayne Logan the designer of the game made it for me  O0
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on July 03, 2017, 09:35:40 AM
The scenarios range from amphibious assaults, hard not to have those for the most experienced unit in the US Army with amphibious operations, mountainous terrain, attacking fortified lines and towns, defending against counterattacks and more.

Think Close Air Support will help? It probably will, but not if it mistakes your unit for the enemy.

Will there be a difference between fighting Vichy French, Italian or German units?

Will there be humanitarian moments?

How much difference will your choices make?

The Burden of Command will weigh all of these issues. Each scenario has it's own flavor.

Those that  have played my scenarios for other games will be familiar with the '20 seconds of terror' I try to instill in each fight. That moment, or sometimes more than one, where the situation is doubt! In fact, the situation may be more than in doubt...you may be watching it deteriorate right before your eyes!

This all falls within your pay grade. It's time you stepped up and took command. Shoulder the 'Burden of Command'!

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on July 04, 2017, 01:58:53 PM
In case folks are interested in some further commentary we have a thoughtful youtube analysis now at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HpzNuusjw0 
If this is somehow an inappropriate post please school me. Because it not just a retread but new thoughts I thought it might be of interest.

  Happy Fourth to the Cottonbalers, only US Regiment to serve in all US wars,
    Luke
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Greybriar on July 04, 2017, 05:12:44 PM
A concept so intriguing that I will purchase Burden of Command just to try it out. Thanks for the heads-up. O0
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Steelgrave on July 04, 2017, 05:47:46 PM
A concept so intriguing that I will purchase Burden of Command just to try it out. Thanks for the heads-up. O0

It's nice to see developers thinking out of the box, so to speak. 
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on July 04, 2017, 06:07:26 PM
GreyBriar,  have I mentioned you are a man who sets a remarkably fine example in all things ;-)
Plus I am partial to your avatar, being Virginian myself.

  Thank you.

steelgrave, thank you. Though I confess your avatar is slightly more intimidating ;-) Love your taglines LOL.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Boggit on July 06, 2017, 03:15:33 PM
The concept sounds absolutely fascinating.  I like the notion that making the exact same choice won't trigger the same event:  An order to rush an MG nest might be ignored, or your men might crawl, instead of conducting the ordered charge, etc.  Having a bell-curve distribution of likely results for each such choice makes it a lot more fascinating.

For this game to absolutely blow my socks off, I only have one last hope:  Can we please dispense with the "Takes Objectives X, Y, and Z by Turn 9 to win a Decisive Victory, by Turn 11 to win a Strategic Victory, and by Turn 14 to win a Tactical Victory"?  That mechanic works well to introduce tension and a challenge, but after having played it in umpteen different games, having to face it in every scenario I play feels kinda tired to me.
I pretty much share this view too. The game concept sounds really interesting though.  :)
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Steelgrave on July 06, 2017, 03:58:57 PM
GreyBriar,  have I mentioned you are a man who sets a remarkably fine example in all things ;-)
Plus I am partial to your avatar, being Virginian myself.

  Thank you.

steelgrave, thank you. Though I confess your avatar is slightly more intimidating ;-) Love your taglines LOL.

You should've seen the avatar before this one   8)  And quoting mirth for taglines is an instant win.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Greybriar on July 06, 2017, 07:24:45 PM
GreyBriar,  have I mentioned you are a man who sets a remarkably fine example in all things ;-)
Plus I am partial to your avatar, being Virginian myself.

  Thank you....

You're welcome. And thank you for the compliment. As for my avatar, I have always admired "Marse Robert" and consider him the best general to come out of the Civil War.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on July 06, 2017, 09:47:49 PM
With you there. Though General George Henry Thomas deserves more credit.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Sir Slash on July 07, 2017, 09:19:52 AM
Now you've started it. With this bunch.... :knuppel2:
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on July 07, 2017, 10:53:47 AM
Sir Slash, no problem I am a specialist in foot in mouth disease.  :uglystupid2:
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on July 07, 2017, 12:38:23 PM
Well, the best general to come out of the ACW is a debatable issue.

I believe, whether you can survive as a green Lt. in BoC to promote up and survive the war is just as debatable. That question is going to be answered sometime in 2018.

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on July 09, 2017, 05:58:38 AM
One of the most interesting features of game for me personally is the fact that the maps aren't all the same size. The maps were created to fit the tactical situation. They aren't a 'one size fits all'. That makes each situation unique. That and the fact that there is such a tremendous variety in terrain. From landing on African beaches, assaulting down Sicilian coastal roads - with a mountain on one shoulder and a beach on the other, the fight at Cisterna - where 96% of the town was destroyed, on into France and Germany. The scenarios reflect the types of missions over some of the bitterest fighting. Whether they are on the attack or the defense, it's my job to make sure these same battles are intense and full of action.

My scenarios all have one goal. To produce at least one point in them that creates 20 seconds of terror. The action may have been a historical walkover, but even then, there was a point in the fight where the outcome was in doubt. We focus on those moments to have your own outcome in doubt.

You shouldn't feel that it doesn't matter if you win or lose as long as  you stay alive. That's the normal  'game' answer. This is much more of a simulation, and as simulation - as in real life, if you don't do at least competently you could be relieved of command. Then it would no longer be your burden.

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: bayonetbrant on July 11, 2017, 05:18:02 AM
(http://grogheads.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/TuesdayInterviewSPLASH-Burden.jpg) (http://grogheads.com/interviews/15577)
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: FarAway Sooner on July 11, 2017, 11:15:14 AM
Brant, for a moment I feared that the link above would take me to the Dreaded Front Page, but that's a great interview.  Thanks for posting! 

 O0
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: bayonetbrant on July 11, 2017, 11:32:47 AM
Brant, for a moment I feared that the link above would take me to the Dreaded Front Page, but that's a great interview.  Thanks for posting! 

 O0

Damn smartass Okies!


Oh wait, I used to be one of those too
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Con on July 11, 2017, 04:03:33 PM
Any plans extending the 7th infantry Regiment to their Korean War service?
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on July 11, 2017, 08:20:56 PM
Lots of plans to extend the series. The Korean War would be a natural extension of their WW2 service.

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Boggit on July 15, 2017, 06:14:00 PM
One of the most interesting features of game for me personally is the fact that the maps aren't all the same size. The maps were created to fit the tactical situation. They aren't a 'one size fits all'. That makes each situation unique. That and the fact that there is such a tremendous variety in terrain. From landing on African beaches, assaulting down Sicilian coastal roads - with a mountain on one shoulder and a beach on the other, the fight at Cisterna - where 96% of the town was destroyed, on into France and Germany. The scenarios reflect the types of missions over some of the bitterest fighting. Whether they are on the attack or the defense, it's my job to make sure these same battles are intense and full of action.

My scenarios all have one goal. To produce at least one point in them that creates 20 seconds of terror. The action may have been a historical walkover, but even then, there was a point in the fight where the outcome was in doubt. We focus on those moments to have your own outcome in doubt.

You shouldn't feel that it doesn't matter if you win or lose as long as  you stay alive. That's the normal  'game' answer. This is much of a simulation, and as simulation - as in real life, if you don't do at least competently you could be relieved of command. Then it would no longer be your burden.

Good Hunting.

MR
Of course staying alive can just be down to good or bad luck, being in the wrong/right place when a mortar shell lands, or when going near mines. As a simulation it must leave the player feeling somewhat out of control - at that scale anyway. Not saying it is bad, but just saying you're at the whim of fate a lot of the time.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: MengJiao on July 16, 2017, 09:09:18 PM
One of the most interesting features of game for me personally is the fact that the maps aren't all the same size. The maps were created to fit the tactical situation. They aren't a 'one size fits all'. That makes each situation unique. That and the fact that there is such a tremendous variety in terrain. From landing on African beaches, assaulting down Sicilian coastal roads - with a mountain on one shoulder and a beach on the other, the fight at Cisterna - where 96% of the town was destroyed, on into France and Germany. The scenarios reflect the types of missions over some of the bitterest fighting. Whether they are on the attack or the defense, it's my job to make sure these same battles are intense and full of action.

My scenarios all have one goal. To produce at least one point in them that creates 20 seconds of terror. The action may have been a historical walkover, but even then, there was a point in the fight where the outcome was in doubt. We focus on those moments to have your own outcome in doubt.

You shouldn't feel that it doesn't matter if you win or lose as long as  you stay alive. That's the normal  'game' answer. This is much of a simulation, and as simulation - as in real life, if you don't do at least competently you could be relieved of command. Then it would no longer be your burden.

Good Hunting.

MR
Of course staying alive can just be down to good or bad luck, being in the wrong/right place when a mortar shell lands, or when going near mines. As a simulation it must leave the player feeling somewhat out of control - at that scale anyway. Not saying it is bad, but just saying you're at the whim of fate a lot of the time.

Yeah.  This would be more interesting at the Corps or Army level.  More of a time managment focus (how much time do you spend checking up on things yourself?  And how much time do you spend at the teletype or on the phone with STAVKA: sure in the US army Sarge didn't call STAVKA all that often, but surely being a Captain was more blood and guts than telephone time as opposed to Corps or army command where you could completely blow things by going up to the front at the wrong time or by not going up to the front, or by not paying attention to radio security etc. etc.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on August 06, 2017, 11:21:57 AM

Yeah.  This would be more interesting at the Corps or Army level.  More of a time managment focus (how much time do you spend checking up on things yourself?  And how much time do you spend at the teletype or on the phone with STAVKA: sure in the US army Sarge didn't call STAVKA all that often, but surely being a Captain was more blood and guts than telephone time as opposed to Corps or army command where you could completely blow things by going up to the front at the wrong time or by not going up to the front, or by not paying attention to radio security etc. etc.

Down at this level you have a lot of choices to make. Not the least of which is dealing with the tactical battle and managing personnel losses to your unit.

While a different level could be interesting this level should leave no stone unturned for intensity of the dilemma's that face a junior officer in  the US Army in WW2.

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on August 08, 2017, 08:14:21 AM
Just got back from a week at the WBC Con and now leaving tomorrow to take a break from all this stressful gaming. Heading up into the Wyoming Rockies to visit family and friends from the land of my birth and upbringing.

If it snows on me I'll be home early!!!! :D

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on August 08, 2017, 08:57:44 AM
MengJiao are you aware of Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa?  Leadership eastern front WII at strategic level. Smart designer Cameron Harris (friend of Burden of Command as it happens too :-) ).

  Luke
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on August 08, 2017, 09:00:36 AM
BTW Steve is being modest. He was at the WBC because he was showing off his very well received tactical board game "Fire Team Red Eclipse":  http://forums.lnlpublishing.com/forums/fire-team-red-eclipse.101/
 Poor Steve had to suffer from a lot of brutal feedback like "how soon can I buy this?"

  Check it out,
   Luke

p.s. updated. First screenshot from his boardgame showing finished counters.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on August 09, 2017, 06:54:47 AM
In danger of overstaying my welcome with multiple posts  :idiot2: so will be brief. I realize failed to mention our first dev blog is out:  "Making the Characters Come Alive" shows how a character goes from a single row in a spreadsheet to a Mariusz portrait.
Have we done our job? Hope you'll take a look at the blog and let us know. I realize this is on the soft human side of tactical combat for your hard nosed grognards. Maybe this portraiture crap is only for sissies who don't really know how to push cardboard or animated sprites? ;-)

http://burdenofcommand.com/blog

  Luke

Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on September 07, 2017, 06:40:30 AM
Just got back from vacation and they threw me back in the trenches.... at ANZIO!!

The battlegrounds this unit fought in are some of the toughest of the war. You can just imagine what choices you will be called upon to make there.

If you can't imagine it on your own I'll do it for you as we create the scenarios for your to fight on.

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on October 04, 2017, 12:16:44 PM
Grogheads has an interview with Luke Hughes, the project leader, and should be made available soon.

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: bayonetbrant on October 06, 2017, 04:05:25 PM
Interview with Luke on today's GrogCast :)
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: FarAway Sooner on October 06, 2017, 10:38:25 PM
Fascinating the way you talk about Mindsets and Crucibles.  The only thing that might really ruin that is making an Option vague or confusing, so you don't know what you're really choosing (e.g., "Run as fast as you can" without specifying whether that's a charge or a retreat).

It only takes one or two episodes where you're role-playing and confusion over which option your role-playing just leaves a horrible taste in your mouth.  So long as the quality control is good on script writing, you should be fine there.

I'd also want a little mystery around the character development.  Maybe give folks the options to suppress Tooltips telling them what a given choice will do?
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on October 07, 2017, 04:29:45 PM
Listen to Luke's interview on the podcast.

http://grogheads.com/podcast/grogcast-season-5-episode-13-luke-hughes-of-burden-of-command

Good Hunting.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on October 07, 2017, 06:52:27 PM
Fascinating the way you talk about Mindsets and Crucibles.  The only thing that might really ruin that is making an Option vague or confusing, so you don't know what you're really choosing (e.g., "Run as fast as you can" without specifying whether that's a charge or a retreat).

It only takes one or two episodes where you're role-playing and confusion over which option your role-playing just leaves a horrible taste in your mouth.  So long as the quality control is good on script writing, you should be fine there.

I'd also want a little mystery around the character development.  Maybe give folks the options to suppress Tooltips telling them what a given choice will do?

Fair enough.

I'm a wargamer. Been around for awhile. Had, what some consider to be, a small modicum of success in creating tense battles for wargames. I've created battles/scenarios for PanzerBlitz, SL/ASL, Fire Team, The Operational Art of War, Combat Mission and Flashpoint Campaigns to name a few. In all those battles/scenarios I did my own briefings, maps and Orders of Battle. When I was approached to work on this project I was in a holding pattern waiting for the next iteration of Flashpoint Campaigns to get to the point where they needed my skill set. (Coding computer games is not part of  my skill set so they were in no hurry to use me at the time.) I took long enough to make up my mind that I believe Luke had decided I was going to reject his offer. I was taken back by just how different this project is.

As you say, a few wrong steps and this will blow up in our faces. I took a LONG TIME to make up my mind if I was talented enough to keep that from happening. I finally decided that there is a good chance that my skill set is strong enough to do what I thought I was going to be asked to do. Luke and I had discussed the fact that he had two, not one but TWO professional writers as part of the team to do the interactive historical writing. That fact went right by me. I'd never had anyone else do my writing for me and didn't know how that would work so I discounted it out of hand.

That was my first mistake and I believe it will be for most hard core wargamers mistakes with this game as well. This interactive historical game is a different animal than I've ever seen. I don't do interactive fiction so I wasn't duly impressed. I am after all an accomplished wargame and scenario designer with decades worth of experience. I mean, just ask anyone, they'll tell you. Why would I need writers to do what have proven I can do. The answer to that is simple. They can write, and believe me they do!!

So, then what do they write? They write the history of the campaign. They tie the string of battles, we felt were representative of what the 7th Infantry Regiment took part in during the war, altogether.  They do that with the help of the rest of us. We are all researchers first and secondary team members second. Once the volume of historical data is compiled they sift through it to glean the most interesting facts about the fight being presented. Then we have a meeting and go over what they have come up with. What is relevant historically to the battle and just as importantly what is relevant historically to the leader YOU are portraying. The choices the leader makes impact the game. YOUR boots on the ground are important. Each specific battle situation is different and your choices are always changing.

Sometimes the choices are the same with different results. You have to take a farmhouse. Do you:

- send scouts and get more information?
- assault from the front/left/right?
- ask for additional support?
- grand stand (put yourself at personal risk to give your men a morale boost but have a higher chance of personal injury or death)

In this case you asked for additional support and got a  mortar barrage added to your forces and then you assaulted from the right. The attack failed. You ran into a hidden MG42 that inflicted heavy casualties on you. As you started taking casualties you called the attack off. You lost the confidence of higher HQ because they gave you extra support and you didn't take the objective. You gained the confidence of your men because you cut the attack short and reduced further casualties. Every decisions outcome is not always simply positive or negative. Each decision can at times have asymmetrical results.

Three scenarios later you have a similar situation. But this time higher HQ doesn't offer you additional support because the last time you got it you didn't take the objective. This time your men attack quicker because they trust your judgement where their well being is concerned. This time you take the objective. Restoring higher HQ's faith in you but you took so many casualties that your men have lost some of their faith in  your leadership skills.

And so the campaign goes. It's a series of battles/scenarios that test both your tactical skill and just as importantly your leadership skills.

The writers - Allen Gies and Paul Wang - are the ones that tie all of this together. In my personal opinion, they are unsurpassed in their ability to create situations that draw you into the action, bring you nose to nose with the gritty choices you have to make to both win the battles you are thrust into and to get you and as many of your men home safely as possible. This is WW2. You've heard it said that "War is Hell" and when you play this game they are going to prove the truth in that to you with every scenario you go further along your path. It will be YOUR boots on the ground and it will be intense enough to crack your computer monitor. From the opening sequence to the last battle!!

In my opinion this is going to be a benchmark game. One that sets the standards for all those that come after it for decades. If I hadn't thought that I wouldn't have joined the team.  Now all that's left is to see if I'm right and these writers and this team is as talented as I think it is.

Good Hunting.

MR   
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on October 07, 2017, 07:09:48 PM
Luke here (project lead),

  As Steve so eloquently expresses it, it is both the promise and the risk of this novel endeavor to try this crossing of fields and skills. But hey life requires some risk taking right? And key I believe to our success, should we have it, is that we spend a lot of time listening to feedback like yours. In fact every piece of interactive history that will be tied into a scenario eventually is gone over in fine detail by two waves of around 12 readers each wave. These readers are a mix of wargamers, veterans, outside professional writers, team members, and a few non wargamers (we will get more of those in future).   It is this kind off feedback process that I hope will allow us to catch the mistakes you wisely point out. You can help us by continuing to voice your concerns. Also encouragement ;-)

  cheers,
   Luke
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Father Ted on October 08, 2017, 04:59:19 AM

I'd also want a little mystery around the character development.  Maybe give folks the options to suppress Tooltips telling them what a given choice will do?

I'd second that - make it an RPG that doesn't feel like one when you're playing.  Thus the choices you make should be unprompted.  Rather than have a message saying, "Do you press on or cancel the attack to evacuate the wounded?", the player just plays out the scenario as he sees fit and the results of this then manifest themselves in his ongoing relationships with superiors and subordinates - all "hidden under the hood".

For instance, if you call it a day and evacuate the wounded, there is gamey no indication of what this means ("+2 to morale of your platoon"), there just is more chance that they'll follow your orders next scenario.  Or perhaps there's a chance they'll think you're a coward and be less receptive.

Another thing that I think would help with immersion is to have a huge collection of fairly random between-scenario events.  Things will feel more real if the same things don't keep popping up again and again.

This project does sound very exciting, and I wish you all the best with it.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on October 08, 2017, 07:53:30 AM

I'd also want a little mystery around the character development.  Maybe give folks the options to suppress Tooltips telling them what a given choice will do?

I'd second that - make it an RPG that doesn't feel like one when you're playing.  Thus the choices you make should be unprompted.  Rather than have a message saying, "Do you press on or cancel the attack to evacuate the wounded?", the player just plays out the scenario as he sees fit and the results of this then manifest themselves in his ongoing relationships with superiors and subordinates - all "hidden under the hood".

For instance, if you call it a day and evacuate the wounded, there is gamey no indication of what this means ("+2 to morale of your platoon"), there just is more chance that they'll follow your orders next scenario.  Or perhaps there's a chance they'll think you're a coward and be less receptive.

Another thing that I think would help with immersion is to have a huge collection of fairly random between-scenario events.  Things will feel more real if the same things don't keep popping up again and again.

This project does sound very exciting, and I wish you all the best with it.

We are doing our best to give you random events. If this project was interactive fiction our options would be greater. Working with a set of historical situations limits the 'huge collection of fairly random between-scenario events' that can be done. The goal is to give the player as much randomness as possible, while at the same time staying true to the historical event.

What that means is that we give the player as many realistic choices in each particular situation. The same choices that the leader with boots on the ground would have been capable of making. When and where to attack, when and where to stop attacking, do you ask for additional support or not, do you make a grand standing action to motivate your troops - do you get killed or wounded in the effort, etc, etc...

The goal is that you feel the intensity of the moment. My goal, as the scenario designer, is for you to feel that 20 seconds of terror. I want you yelling at your monitor trying to interject yourself into the action. I want your heart rate up and when the action stops for you to have to take a moment for your heart rate to return to normal.

Here's to the effort to make that happen. Time will tell if we are successful or not.

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Father Ted on October 08, 2017, 12:08:10 PM
Thanks for the prompt reply MR.  My comments/questions should not be read as criticism, BTW, I'm just trying to get handle on what sort of beast this game will be.

So, if we're tied into history, the player's choices don't have an effect on subsequent events (i.e. you can't change history) - is that right?
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on October 08, 2017, 12:48:31 PM
I didn't take your comments negatively. I fully understand how hard it is to get a handle on this game. It took me a long time to decide if I was going to join the team or not.

We aren't tied to historical results. We are tied to the historical chain of events. I wouldn't have anything to do with a scripted campaign. That would be worthless to me.

You will fight the battles they fought in order. We aren't going to fight in North Africa, go to Southern France and then come back to Sicily or Anzio. But you are also not going to go to the Normandy Beaches or fight for Rotterdam. The battles are in order and they are historically based. Your results are your own. You can lose battles, make the wrong choices - or the right ones, etc...just like any small unit leader.

Just like any small unit leader the choices you make have consequences from that moment forward. It's a big deal if your men trust you, they respond quicker - if at all. It's a big deal if HQ trusts you, they will support your mission or not by how well they think you do in the field.

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Father Ted on October 08, 2017, 03:12:44 PM

We aren't tied to historical results. We are tied to the historical chain of events. I wouldn't have anything to do with a scripted campaign. That would be worthless to me.

Ah, good to know.

OK, so to change tack slightly, I'm interested in how the game will actually play.  I imagine a sort of X-Com-type deal where you play out tactical battles and then sort out unit-management in the "down-time" between combats.  Would that be a fair guess?
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: jomni on October 08, 2017, 07:21:05 PM
Does that mean battles lost by the Allies are still lost. It’s just how you handle your men during the situation. Can lost battles turn to victories?  Will they affect the next battle?
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: ComradeP on October 09, 2017, 03:24:26 AM
Like Mad Russian, I'm involved with scenario research and design for Burden of Command.

This isn't a strategic or operational level game, so you don't influence the success of entire battles or the war. It's a big war and you're a small unit leader.

What you cán influence are the decisions on the tactical level. You can decide how to take a certain objective and, through player actions and events, you may or may not succeed. As you're commanding a (reinforced) platoon up to about a company, objectives will mostly be along the lines of "take that hill or village", but they will all be at least 90% historical.

The 10% are for situations where the writers and scenario designers make the situation more interesting by slightly changing historical parameters like battalion/regimental/divisional boundaries or availability of reinforcements. There's no convenient row of lights or the like to indicate where the boundary was on the battlefield, so it's not a stretch that your men sometimes end up on the other side.

As the formation we use is hypothetical within a historical higher formation (as in: the company you belong to didn't exist, but you're part of an existing battalion) we have some flexibility when it comes to positioning. Generally speaking, historical starting positions as mapped out (if available) or researched guesstimates as to where the formation would be form the base for scenario design. You'll encounter historical individuals, but one of the main arguments for not using a historical formation is not being tied to a very specific chain of events that would limit player choice in terms of being railroaded towards a certain conclusion.

As was the case in the real war, there will be battles that can't really be "won". You can succeed in taking your objectives, but that won't win you the overall battle. Example: Rome won't be captured before June 1944, you'll be stuck at Anzio with everybody else during a muddy, wet winter just like the 7th Infantry Regiment was historically. If the 7th missed the part of a battle that was, with hindsight, more interesting from a military/historic perspective than the part it was involved in, it will still miss it.

Randomness comes both from player choice and from actual random events in the narrative. By and large, the game is narrative driven in the sense that in each mission you move from A to B and will encounter a number of fixed and a number of random narrative events along the way, with events caused by - or in response to - your actions thrown in along the way. We're currently doing our best, with the feedback we receive, to make that as interesting as possible whilst keeping in touch with the historical situation.

At this scale, randomness can have just as much impact or maybe even more than on the operational level or above. The arrival time of reinforcements is just as important, but many little things that are abstracted on higher command and control levels have a strong impact on the way a fight develops.

A theoretical example: you're tasked with taking a certain hill, held by an unidentified German formation. Based on your previous performance, you may or may not have the option to get (additional) fire support. That fire support may or may not be effective and may or may not hit your own men. Friendly fire happens more often than the army likes to admit in this war, and the 7th wasn't particularly lucky to say the least.

Based on previous battles, your men may be experienced, green or anything in between. Squads might be full strength or degrees of depleted. Combat and squad mechanics are still being finalized, but the idea is to give the player an idea of the advantages and disadvantages of how a certain leadership style influences the behaviour of your men. Based on "real" behaviour, experienced troops fight well but don't like to take clear risks unless they know they can trust you. Inexperienced troops are more enthusiastic but need more supervision to prevent them from getting themselves killed when encountering their first Germans. Your NCO's and fellow officers also have certain feelings and ideas about you, which change based on your behaviour.

The German formation holding the hill is historical, on your next playthrough it won't randomly morph from a crack Panzer division to some Ost battalions who surrender at the first shot. The defenders will respond to your moves, and also face some randomness of their own.

Your men get going and encounter a log bunker. Your bazooka teams are alive and well and manage to blow the bunker and its occupants to bits. Without bazooka teams, this would require careful flanking and a close assault. Or maybe you picked tank support and a Sherman platoon from the divisional tank battalion is able to help out. Or maybe you decided to go around the log bunker and make the defensive position untenable.

The losses you may or may not have taken directly influence the capabilities of your squad, the support assets you may or may not have used may or may not be available later. Your squads won't magically heal during a fight, dead men remain dead and wounded stay wounded.

You get to the bottom of the hill and start moving up the slope. From your right, you're taking fire from a gun masked by the terrain. There's an FO team following you which is able to call in artillery. The gun is silenced, but you don't know if it's knocked out. Or maybe you can clearly observe a direct hit on the gun. Or maybe the FO team was sniped moving up. Or maybe the shells drop short, hitting your lead squad.

You move to the top of the hill, finding it unoccupied. The Germans seem to have left. Or maybe they're on the reverse slope. Or maybe they ran based on earlier losses. Or maybe they're preparing for a counterattack. Or maybe they wére planning for a counterattack, but were caught by some P-47's as they were forming up. Or maybe battalion HQ decides to send you after the next hill, seeing as how this is all going so well, and you run into a dense network of strongly held trenches.

The situation will be different every time you play the scenario, though the overall quality of the Germans and your objective will be the same, as will be your decision as to how far you want to push your men.

The uncertainty (and replayability) comes from not knowing what will be around the next corner, beyond the next treeline, in the farmland up ahead. There's a lot you don't really know, because you're not in a position to know. If some P-47's pasted the German counterattack, you wouldn't know there was going to be a counterattack to begin with. If there was a counterattack the previous time you played the scenario, you might be preparing for something that will never happen but which does make your advance more cautious. The game will never be unfair unless the historical situation was "unfair" in the sense that the 7th was rather outmatched or had totally unrealistic objectives.

The mixture of a narrative and the tactical combat we're all familiar with from various tactical games can lead to results that neither a pick your own adventure (no real action) or pure tactical game (only, potentially rather "dry", action) can achieve by themselves, and we hope to get that mixture just right.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: MengJiao on October 09, 2017, 07:04:07 AM
I didn't take your comments negatively. I fully understand how hard it is to get a handle on this game. It took me a long toime to decide if I was going to join the team or not.

We aren't tied to historical results. We are tied to the historical chain of events. I wouldn't have anything to do with a scripted campaign. That would be worthless to me.

You will fight the battles they fought in order. We aren't going to fight in North Africa, go to Southern France and then come back to Sicily or Anzio. But you are also not going to go to the Normandy Beaches or fight for Rotterdam. The battles are in order and they are historically based. Your results are your own. You can lose battles, make the wrong choices - or the right ones, etc...just like any small unit leader.

Just like any small unit leader the choices you make have consequences from that moment forward. It's a big deal if your men trust you, they respond quicker - if at all. It's a big deal if HQ trusts you, they will support your mission or not by how well they think you do in the field.

Good Hunting.

MR

   I keep saying the same thing: this is a great idea, but for better comic interactions (such as phone calls and visits from STAVKA) an army level would be far more interesting.  I very much doubt that the commanders of reinforced companies ever got to pick their support whereas at army level (at least in Russia in the Russian army) EVERYTHING WAS YOUR FAULT (fuel, ammo, recon, cooperation etc.)
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on October 09, 2017, 06:20:54 PM

   I keep saying the same thing: this is a great idea, but for better comic interactions (such as phone calls and visits from STAVKA) an army level would be far more interesting.  I very much doubt that the commanders of reinforced companies ever got to pick their support whereas at army level (at least in Russia in the Russian army) EVERYTHING WAS YOUR FAULT (fuel, ammo, recon, cooperation etc.)

I'm not saying this wouldn't be interesting at about any level you would like to fit the pieces together and make it work.

The commanders of reinforced companies do get to pick their support sometimes. The key is that they get to ask for more support everytime and the outcome of you taking extra support had better be you fulfilling the mission. If that wasn't what happened your boss is going to be less than happy. At which point EVERYTHING WAS YOUR FAULT! After all it was just as  much your mission as any Army Commander ever had handed to him.

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Moreb on October 10, 2017, 08:02:52 PM
Ive read through this topic and must admit I'm highly intrigued about this title. It is so refreshing to see new ideas come to the genre. Good luck.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on October 14, 2017, 08:27:16 PM
The target for release is 2018. So, we'll see how we do.

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: AndyBrown on October 15, 2017, 05:32:32 PM

Three scenarios later you have a similar situation. But this time higher HQ doesn't offer you additional support because the last time you got it you didn't take the objective. 

This kinda highlights the incongruity of taking something that is essentially unpleasant (like the world is full of former small unit commanders happily reminiscing about all the times they sent people to their deaths!) and attempting to turn it into entertainment.

Much more likely outcomes of the above scenario are:

"It's Smuck's platoon.  Better give him even more support next time to compensate for his lack of experience.  Or at least attach a forward observer so it gets used properly." or

"Put Smuck's platoon on Headquarters security detail and give the next job to someone else.  Once he's built up a bit of experience and regained his confidence, we'll see about something more challenging."

Of course, if Smuck is already pretty experienced and enjoys the confidence of his senior commanders and staff, it could simply be a matter of:

"Sorry boss.  They moved another MG out to the flank during our preliminary bombardment.  Stopped us dead.  Could have happened to anyone."

Should be a good game, in a Rat Patrol/Tour of Duty sort of way

Cheers,

Andy Brown
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on October 16, 2017, 09:09:58 AM

This kinda highlights the incongruity of taking something that is essentially unpleasant (like the world is full of former small unit commanders happily reminiscing about all the times they sent people to their deaths!) and attempting to turn it into entertainment.

Cheers,

Andy Brown

I would agree that most of the games I play, are set in the realm of taking something essentially unpleasant, war, and attempting to turn into entertainment. The key to the whole thing is not so much entertainment value, for me personally, as it is trying to understand the situation and choices the junior leaders had to survive in. I want to get as close to 'wearing their boots' as possible. If we can do that I believe there will be a fairly large group of gamers that will want to try that as well.

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: AndyBrown on October 16, 2017, 09:11:47 PM
... I want to get as close to 'wearing their boots' as possible ...

I guess my point is that if you want to do that, you should probably debrief some former company and battalion-level commanders and staffers to develop realistic options for the situations you want to recreate.  Witholding assets from a current mission to "punish" a junior leader for previous mission failure was not doctrine in most WW2 armies and certainly isn't doctrine in modern militaries of any competence.

Andy
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: ComradeP on October 16, 2017, 11:41:24 PM
Support assets were and are limited in any army. As seen in WWII, in Normandy for example, over reliance on support assets can also have negative effects on performance, like extreme caution or unwillingness to assault.

You shouldn't see it as being punished, but rather that regiment/battalion HQ thinks the assets might be of more use elsewhere, in part based on how you handled the assets previously. As a platoon/company commander, you can make requests, but you don't have any control over if you actually get it. A faulty radio or the FO team being killed were also real problems, just like vehicles getting stuck in the mud.

If battalion has a tank platoon at its disposal, and your company has a history of handling itself well in combat but an adjacent company is struggling to get going, you might not get that tank platoon. If you're struggling, but an adjacent company has a more important mission, you might not get that tank platoon either.

Due to the uncertainty of war, it was not unusual to receive more support than would normally be assigned compared to the resistance encountered, or too little. 

When you read first hand accounts of the battles of the Cottonbalers, you'll find many situations where support assets are handed out in illogical ways, are entirely ineffective or end up shooting American troops.

This is the command level where you take what you get, not pick what you take.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: MengJiao on October 17, 2017, 03:53:34 AM


This is the command level where you take what you get, not pick what you take.

  But that suggests that the real dynamic of decisions is at a higher level and (as with many games) you and your sources are more
involved with constructing a narrative than conducting operations.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: ComradeP on October 17, 2017, 06:15:42 AM
The missions you play are fixed in the sense that they follow historical operations, the variability comes from interacting with the narrative and the game responding to previous decisions.

The tactical gameplay as it's being envisioned now shouldn't be too different from industry standards where you and the enemy get a certain number of units, with some reinforcement variability thrown in. You're more or less at the end of the command chain for officer ranks, so you decide how to accomplish a broadly defined mission (take a certain point and make a decision whether or not you will immediately exploit the enemy retreat for example), but don't pick the mission as you're following historical examples.

The game follows a master narrative of sorts through the Cottonbalers' involvement in WWII, but it is our goal to introduce enough actual replayability to missions to make a different playthrough, with a different leadership style entertaining as well. Aside from random or "responsive" events, availability or lack thereof of support assets is how we're trying to accomplish that, as the support assets change the way you play a scenario. Our decision is always based on historical availability and the problems with that availability (such as equipment being lost during amphibious operations or river crossings) if we can find information about it.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Philippe on November 02, 2017, 02:28:53 PM
This has probably been asked before, but how does Burden of Command address the S.L.A. Marshall theory of combat?

He shouldn't be taken too seriously because his research methods were questionable and his results may have been fabricated.  But I think he may have been on to something and shouldn't be completely dismissed out of hand.  The 25% fire ratio was probably the result of an overactive imagination, and if I remember correctly it was shown to be closer to fifty percent in a later war.

But from a wargame design standpoint it's very interesting, because even if you don't drink SLAM's coolaid it highlights the fact that in a game, every unit you have will do something every turn, whereas real life simply doesn't work that way.  A bit like a soldier having to pass an initiative test before he can attempt to do anything.

By the middle of the twentieth century if they could see you they could probably kill you, which creates a powerful incentive for keeping your head below the rim of your fox hole unless the platoon sergeant is standing over you yelling at you to shoot.

Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on November 12, 2017, 10:11:00 PM
Hi Philippe,
 
 My take on Marshall is he was right qualitatively if not quantitatively. And yes it apoears he created false stats but aligned to real observations.

 To that end a *core* mechanism is what you call an initiative check.  You might gind thus new blog illuminating in this regard: “The Heart of War: Emotional Authenticity in Burden of Command”
http://bit.ly/HeartOfWar

For a bit more on battlefield mechanics an earlier blog:
“cardboard inspirations.”
 http://bit.ly/BoC-blog2

Finally of general interest I hope, we received a thoughtful article from Canada’s Bational Post newspaer this week on the topic of “Can a War Videogame ever be Truly Respectful of Its Subject
http://bit.ly/NationalPostAndBoC


 As always interested in your thoughts,
    Luke Hughes (project lead)
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Zulu1966 on November 13, 2017, 06:40:19 AM

Three scenarios later you have a similar situation. But this time higher HQ doesn't offer you additional support because the last time you got it you didn't take the objective. 

This kinda highlights the incongruity of taking something that is essentially unpleasant (like the world is full of former small unit commanders happily reminiscing about all the times they sent people to their deaths!) and attempting to turn it into entertainment.

Much more likely outcomes of the above scenario are:

"It's Smuck's platoon.  Better give him even more support next time to compensate for his lack of experience.  Or at least attach a forward observer so it gets used properly." or

"Put Smuck's platoon on Headquarters security detail and give the next job to someone else.  Once he's built up a bit of experience and regained his confidence, we'll see about something more challenging."

Of course, if Smuck is already pretty experienced and enjoys the confidence of his senior commanders and staff, it could simply be a matter of:

"Sorry boss.  They moved another MG out to the flank during our preliminary bombardment.  Stopped us dead.  Could have happened to anyone."

Should be a good game, in a Rat Patrol/Tour of Duty sort of way

Cheers,

Andy Brown

This is an interesting point. I for one have never looked at wargaming as "entertainment". I enjoy it because I find the subject and history fascinating. Therefore my enjoyment is derived from making the game as realistic  as possible in relation to translating what I read and watch into a "game" and at various points being able to relate the challenges experienced it he game to those faced historically. It's one of the reasons I find the scant attention  most games play to logistics so annoying. It may be "boring" from a pure entertainment point of view but the more I can relate it to deal world challenges and what I read ... the more "entertaing" the game is to me.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Philippe on November 13, 2017, 11:51:07 AM
Hi Philippe,
 
 My take on Marshall is he was right qualitatively if not quantitatively. And yes it apoears he created false stats but aligned to real observations.

 To that end a *core* mechanism is what you call an initiative check.  You might gind thus new blog illuminating in this regard: “The Heart of War: Emotional Authenticity in Burden of Command”
http://bit.ly/HeartOfWar

For a bit more on battlefield mechanics an earlier blog:
“cardboard inspirations.”
 http://bit.ly/BoC-blog2

Finally of general interest I hope, we received a thoughtful article from Canada’s Bational Post newspaer this week on the topic of “Can a War Videogame ever be Truly Respectful of Its Subject
http://bit.ly/NationalPostAndBoC


 As always interested in your thoughts,
    Luke Hughes (project lead)

I used to own a copy of Sandhurst Wargames, a set of four interesting situations with unusual treatments.  The game became a casualty of a move several years back so I have only the haziest memory of how things worked, but the fourth game in the set didn't use a map (!) and showcased S.L.A. Marshall's theory of combat.  You might want to glance at the rules if you can find a copy online (Boardgame Geek has some kind of listing).

The modern combat scenario showed a platoon or squad-sized assault on a Japanese position on an island in the Pacific that was really designed for miniatures play (Donald Featherstone on drugs).  If memory serves (and the last time I read the rules was back in the late 'eighties or possibly early 'nineties) most of your men had little or no combat capability, and you couldn't really do anything with them.  The fighting on both sides depended on what were in effect Homeric heroes -- lose one of them and your attack or defense would fall apart.  If nothing else it provided an interesting antidote to the writings of Classical scholars who don't take Homer's descriptions of warfare seriously.

The rules for Sandhurst Wargames that were available in the last century were rife with glitches and often required interpretation to play (one of the reasons I started playing computer games).  But some of the ideas behind each of the four treatments were fascinating.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: fabius on November 13, 2017, 11:59:59 AM
Hi Philippe,
 
 My take on Marshall is he was right qualitatively if not quantitatively. And yes it apoears he created false stats but aligned to real observations.

 To that end a *core* mechanism is what you call an initiative check.  You might gind thus new blog illuminating in this regard: “The Heart of War: Emotional Authenticity in Burden of Command”
http://bit.ly/HeartOfWar

For a bit more on battlefield mechanics an earlier blog:
“cardboard inspirations.”
 http://bit.ly/BoC-blog2

Finally of general interest I hope, we received a thoughtful article from Canada’s Bational Post newspaer this week on the topic of “Can a War Videogame ever be Truly Respectful of Its Subject
http://bit.ly/NationalPostAndBoC


 As always interested in your thoughts,
    Luke Hughes (project lead)

Nice blog, my interest is growing.

If no effort, can you remember the source for this quote:
"In WWII approximately 8000 bullets were fired per casualty inflicted" ?
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: FarAway Sooner on November 14, 2017, 07:50:35 AM
ComradeP, I get what you're saying about the uncertainty and chaos around requesting and deploying support units.  But I think you're missing AndyP's comment.

If an officer requested support and got it and still failed in his mission, it seems more plausible that subsequent requests for support would cost more "prestige" than that he'd be denied.  In contrast to wargames, my bet is that not getting their (American) soldiers killed in unnecessary numbers was a higher priority than is detailed in most wargames.  Of course, that depended a lot on the commander...
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on November 18, 2017, 01:36:34 PM
Hi Grogheads!
   First, we have a new feature out courtesy of Tim Stone of the Flare Path at Rock, Paper,Shotgun. Would love to hear your thoughts: http://bit.ly/FlarePathEmotAuth

  Second, now to prior thoughtful thoughts (hmm I think the Stout I am drinking is starting to take hold, LOL).

-- Philippe -- thanks for the pointer. Homeric heroes -- Brains and Bullets talks a lot about the key import of "follow me" leadership examples so that does sound most apropo.

-- Fabius -- thanks for your growing interest!  Brains and Bullets by Leo Murray discusses this a decent bit including has that stat has *risen* to quite absurd levels in say Afghanistan.  Very interesting read, and the book is a tactical gamer's history and theory dream IMHO. Hope you'll pick it up. Don't have pages off top of my head sorry.

 -- FarAway Sooner (<-"viking?" excellent, Swedish descent here, wife Danish descent) -- definitely my reading impression is that Yanks depended on artillery to save casualties.  This raised interesting Burden of Command moral decision in the war. For example in Morocco, a General decided to spare a town bombardment due civilians (and probably wanting to win hearts and minds of the French) though it probably cost some US lives. I think you can guess we might bring this kind of issue up for you in the game. Being ruthless and all.

  Please give us a follow or like on Twitter or FB should you feel so inclined and spread the word. Sure helps a small indie in this game saturated market.

 cheers,
   Luke
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Philippe on November 18, 2017, 02:54:30 PM
The other book I should mention (in the unlikely event you aren't familiar with it) is boring, turgid, and badly written.  But buried away among all the dross are some great insights into what WW II infantry combat was really like, and as far as I know it doesn't manufacture evidence to support correct but over-stated theories.  Fortunately it's fairly easy to find copies.  This link is to Amazon, but you can probably get it cheaper at American Book Exchange, or maybe even find it in your local library (NY Public Library has it).

https://www.amazon.com/Closing-Enemy-Fought-1944-1945-Studies/dp/0700607447







Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on November 19, 2017, 04:42:36 PM
Guess I am too into my subject but I thought that book was fascinating! Great t commendation Philippe!

 Lukr
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: undercovergeek on November 19, 2017, 04:49:36 PM
Excellent write up on RPS - thanks for the link
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: mirth on November 19, 2017, 04:51:08 PM
Excellent write up on RPS - thanks for the link

+1
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: fabius on November 21, 2017, 02:45:45 PM
....-- Fabius -- thanks for your growing interest!  Brains and Bullets by Leo Murray discusses this a decent bit including has that stat has *risen* to quite absurd levels in say Afghanistan.  Very interesting read, and the book is a tactical gamer's history and theory dream IMHO. Hope you'll pick it up. Don't have pages off top of my head sorry.

Thanks !! just added Brains and Bullets to the cart.

Yeah, I was aware of the huge ammunition and ordinance expenditure in Afghan. Seems to have gone up exponentially.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Father Ted on November 21, 2017, 03:16:44 PM
Just watched "12 o'clock High" - could have easily been named "Burden of Command".  If any haven't seen it, well worth a watch (I found it on Netflix)
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on November 23, 2017, 01:37:14 PM
Excellent  recommendation! I had the writers watch some of the briefing scenes for how to make a briefing compelling!

  Any other leadership movie recommendations anyone? I’d be most interested.

   Luke
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Hot lead and dirty talk! on November 23, 2017, 06:03:55 PM
Excellent  recommendation! I had the writers watch some of the briefing scenes for how to make a briefing compelling!

  Any other leadership movie recommendations anyone? I'd be most interested.

   Luke

The Thin Red Line.

If you can sift through the artsy fartsy stuff, there is a pretty good story underneath it. Unfortunately, it took me about 15yrs and several attempts watching it to arrive at this conclusion.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Father Ted on November 25, 2017, 02:10:02 PM
The Thin Red Line.

If you can sift through the artsy fartsy stuff, there is a pretty good story underneath it. Unfortunately, it took me about 15yrs and several attempts watching it to arrive at this conclusion.

Actually the book is the more interesting look at men in battle - the rivalries, jealousies, felonies, even love affairs, which rumble on between combatants who are ostensibly on the same side.

I had the writers watch some of the briefing scenes for how to make a briefing compelling!

   Luke

I was putting it forward more as a take on how those in command have to make decisions which deplete their courage.  FWIW, Edward Fox as Lt Gen Horrocks delivers a fantastic briefing in "A Bridge Too Far".

Another film worth checking out for command-strife issues is "Attack!" (at least I think that's the title).  It's of a similar vintage to "12 o'clock High".
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Philippe on November 29, 2017, 02:17:38 PM
I've been thinking about what might be useful writing models for the Burden of Command decision process, and three games that come to mind are This is the Police, The King of Dragon Pass, and Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa.

This is the Police isn't a wargame, but you spend much of your time assembling teams to deal with situations or potential situations.  Sometimes when something pops you have to make a tactical choice and the right answer isn't obvious, if it even exists.  During the course of a day you'll see a half dozen multi-option situations, and after a while your choices will begin to pile up.  It's on Steam and it's worth taking a look at.

Dragon Pass is a great for confronting the player with ambiguous branching choices, and I'll always love Barbarossa because it puts you in a position where you have to make the wrong choice, know that it's the wrong choice, but do it anyway for political reasons.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on January 02, 2018, 09:07:17 AM
It's time for the 'end of the year looking back - beginning of the year looking forward' post.

Early in 2017 I joined the team of BoC. At the time I'd not been active on the design team for Flashpoint Campaigns for more than a year. They were continually doing updates and bug fixing. I have no skill set for writing code so I was simply waiting on them. Not seeing movement toward something I was qualified to do on that team I was in limbo when Luke came calling. He sent me an invitation to look at 'The Dream'.  What turned out to be 'Burden of Command'.

While I wasn't actively involved with a computer game project at the time I was gearing up to get my own board game series published. BoC would have to dovetail in with the plans I had for that if it was going to be worthwhile for both their team and myself. I took a couple of months to look the game over, and to see what my own requirements for time were, at that time. Luke actually thought I'd forgotten him and wasn't interested. Most of the time I took was to try to determine if this project would be something I would support. In my 'career' in the hobby, I've had a single rule; make what I like and share that with others. That must work because I had one gamer comment that I had an uncanny ability to get myself in the best game projects around. I don't know about that, but, I do consider myself to be lucky with regards to what I like seems to be what many other gamers like as well.

My scenario expertise hasn't yet come into play with BoC. It will this year. So, all this past year I've contributed by researching the battles, armies, time period, etc...which let the writers do the scenario briefings!! YES!!

All water under the bridge as 2017 begins to fade in the distance...

In 2018, I will actually do what I was brought to do with the team. I'll create the scenarios. I'll help cram as much history into the game as we can get there, with the support of the rest of the team, we are all researchers in one form or another.  To the point, hopefully, that you will all have the game by the end of the year.

I traveled more last year than I have in decades. That's not in my future at this point for 2018. I should be more grounded. Which will be a good thing because, of course, my schedule is rapidly filling up. BoC is set for release this year, as is Flashpoint Campaigns: Southern Storm, as is Fire Team: Red Eclipse.  That should mean very little time left for running around the country. I still intend on going back to the WBC con and a trip to the Rocky Mountains again but that would still cut my travel in half for this year.

The progress on all my projects is gaining momentum. I am excited for all the possibilities for this coming year.

The BoC team has been evolving, with more talented members having been added. This is very much a 'Dream Team' to be on. Which should show up for you gamers in the way the game looks, acts and immerses you!

So, here's to a great gaming year in 2018!!

From us to you, sooner than later.

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Barthheart on January 02, 2018, 09:13:44 AM
Thanks for the update MR. Looking forward to all those projects becoming reality.... even if my wallet isn't....
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on January 02, 2018, 09:31:07 AM
*Double post.*

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on January 02, 2018, 09:31:51 AM
The latest DevBlog...

http://burdenofcommand.com/building-empathy

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on January 02, 2018, 09:43:06 AM
This recent originally unsolicited quote from one of our playtesters a former US Army Captain who served in Iraq made my and the team's day...

 "As a former Armored Cavalry officer and Iraq veteran, I have been continually impressed with the effort put into ‘getting it right’ by Luke and his team…You will actually know and care about the men you send into harm’s way. You will be forced to weigh their lives against the mission. You will win or lose their trust... “
R.A. Mathis:  Author,  Armor Officer,  Iraq Veteran

You can find I Rob if you care to reach out at @RA_Mathis on Twitter. Here's the original post there:
https://twitter.com/BurdenOfCommand/status/942815980845121536

Luke (project lead for Burden of Command)

Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on January 02, 2018, 09:46:23 AM
As a further update we are thrilled to find out yesterday that:
https://twitter.com/BurdenOfCommand/status/947998795719098368


The direct video link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1011&v=OkLi0uvFNiM

OK hope I've not gotten to aboard my own hype train 8-) But hard not to get excited by these as a little indie!

Happy New Year everyone,
  Luke
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Jarhead0331 on January 02, 2018, 10:06:43 AM
Can you please provide photo details for the image attached as .png to your post? Its one I don't recall seeing before and the youth of the soldier in the foreground is striking (seriously, he looks 12 years old). He also seems to be the only one not smiling, as if he is the lone soldier who knows that they are all about to take a bite of a huge $hit sandwich.

Sorry for the non-sequitur, but thanks.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on January 02, 2018, 10:21:16 AM
"Judge Advocate General, Administrator, Longbowman"  and JarHead. ... OK I'm intimidated!  :notworthy:

So to your question, the image is from the US Torch landings in 1942. I believe this particular image is not our Cottonbalers but maybe Big Red One? (different landing). Let me see if I can do better by you...
OK found it.. yeah Oran landing:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_African_Campaign#/media/File:American_troops_on_board_a_landing_craft_heading_for_the_beaches_at_Oran_in_Algeria_during_Operation_%27Torch%27,_November_1942._A12661.jpg

We actually had a colorizer rework the image with care for our teaser video. That version attached.
And yeah, that soldier is shockingly young. Reminds us so many of them were just boys. That's why we made one of our Lts feel just as young on the right in the twitter collage of prior message.


Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on January 02, 2018, 10:30:38 AM
rereading your comment Jarhead0331 made me stare at that image again. Gives me the shivers frankly.
We have some of the AAR reports from the junior officers involved in the Cottonbaler landings at Fedala (I hired an archivist to go into the US national archives and get them as well as other AARs throughout the campaign). It is something to read them. Really puts you there. Let me see if I can post a sample for you.

  As the son of an historian and WWII vet this reaches deep within me.

First image from Colonel Moore in command of 7th at Fedala Morocco. Second from one of the Captains. The writers drew on these reports in creating the Burden of Command experience. The second one in particular gives you some sense of the chaos... which naturally we do not spare you from ;-)

Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Jarhead0331 on January 02, 2018, 11:52:14 AM
Fantastic! Thank you!
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on January 03, 2018, 01:18:54 PM
Things to announce...

Some items that are set for tentative inclusion in the game...

Flamethrowers
Satchel Charges
Vehicles on both sides
US mis-identification of German units
As many command decision points before, during, and after, actions as is reasonable and not overwhelming
Historical research down to the nuts and bolts level.

That list is by far not all inclusive. There are far more items we are working to include but these are some of the ones that should get everyone's attention...

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Sir Slash on January 03, 2018, 05:27:38 PM
Attention gotten in spades.  O0
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Tripoli on August 14, 2018, 11:08:33 AM
Here's the latest update on Burden of Command (BoC). I'm working on the BoC team along with Mad Russian and lhughes42 in putting this game together.  Today's update is the release of a short video highlighting some of the RPG and tactical decisions the player must make as they lead a company of the 7th Infantry Regiment through the ETO in WWII.

https://twitter.com/BurdenOfCommand/status/1029406194962595840

See also the Steam page: Steam Page: http://bit.ly/BoCSteam
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Zonso on August 14, 2018, 11:21:58 AM
Ugh, did I just see a Squad bum rushing a MG Team?!?  :o
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Michael Dorosh on August 14, 2018, 11:55:53 AM
Ugh, did I just see a Squad bum rushing a MG Team?!?  :o

I think the idea is that they jazz up the gameplay with dramatic music and wartime film footage and you're not supposed to notice?
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Sir Slash on August 14, 2018, 12:11:58 PM
I will check it out on Steam. Thanks for the heads-up.  O0
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: acctingman on August 14, 2018, 02:21:15 PM
This still a 2018 release? (looked here and on Steam)

This looks pretty good.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on August 14, 2018, 02:55:57 PM
Hey Zonso and Michael.
 Lead developer here. So glad you picked up on that!  Yes yes yes! Exactly. So what happened to our brave greenhorn LT?  :-(
   He failed to observe the 4Fs didn't he?   And so the result was predictable. Following his tactics in Burden of Command will lead to a short career.  We heavily reward following the 4Fs (in BoC terms you suppress first, ideally with combined arms (rifle fire, automatic, explosive etc) and then you flank and finish).  Typically not with an actual melee (those were relatively rare) but with a surrender. Or a failure of morale on your side to assault.

 We'll have some future videos not so formal where we'll go over those mechanics. But we had to keep simple for this pass and human.  Plus I somewhat perversely wanted to show the outcome of a lack of good tactics. As opposed to one more "win win win" game sequence ;-)

 Always a great pleasure talking to Grognards and so glad you called us on. But hope maybe assuaged a bit?.
  Luke
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on August 14, 2018, 03:14:57 PM
(besides replyl above) Ack! Your comment just made me realize the really clever way to do that teaser would have been to have the final assault *FAIL* at the end! No need for a 4F tutorial in a teaser but the point comes across more clearly. Doh!

  Well hopefully you guys see our tactical hearts are in the right place if maybe my movie direction isn't perfect LOL. Though if I'd done that maybe I would be sitting here today feeling virtuous and everyone would be finding the teaser too much of a downer and not sharing. Ha. Who knows.

 looking forward to your further comments!
  Luke
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Steelgrave on August 14, 2018, 06:19:13 PM
Added to my Steam wish-list   <:-)
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: JasonPratt on August 15, 2018, 01:41:06 PM
WISH LISTED HARRRRD!  :smitten:
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Jarhead0331 on August 15, 2018, 01:51:16 PM
WISH LISTED HARRRRD!  :smitten:

Sounds like moist loins to me.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: JasonPratt on August 15, 2018, 06:31:09 PM
Between this and Close Combat's relaunch, and Panzer Strategy (quite a different type of game of course) coming out of EA Sept 1...  :smitten: :D
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Steelgrave on August 16, 2018, 06:02:14 AM
It's a good time to be a gamer  <:-)
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Sir Slash on August 16, 2018, 08:22:02 AM
Amen Brother! Amen.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Tripoli on August 24, 2018, 12:10:03 PM
Ugh, did I just see a Squad bum rushing a MG Team?!?  :o

Rock, Paper, Shotgun just published an article on Burden of Command featuring lead developer Luke Hughes.  It is located here:

https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2018/08/24/the-flare-path-no-place-for-cowards/

In the article, Luke describes some of the psychological and tactical mechanics of the game that are illustrated by in the video, including the "bum rush" of the MG team and why that didn't work out so well.   
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Mad Russian on August 24, 2018, 01:13:04 PM
Ugh, did I just see a Squad bum rushing a MG Team?!?  :o

I think the idea is that they jazz up the gameplay with dramatic music and wartime film footage and you're not supposed to notice?

I think the idea is that there are times when you have to make a hard decision as the leader. Do you take that MG out even though it will cause you casualties or not?

You don't know what the full context of the situation is at all times. In wargames we are used to being in 'God Mode' we are used to knowing the entire situation, the enemy forces, our forces, etc....

In real situations much of this is not known.

So, do you take that MG out as you  have been ordered and lose some men? Do you refuse to attack it frontally only to find out it flanks the platoon on the other side and kills 12 of them and wounds another 23.  How do you feel about your choices? Not good....

The Burden of Command is never light.

Make your choices wisely. The war is far from over.

Good Hunting.

MR
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Steelgrave on August 24, 2018, 01:34:28 PM
Great response, MR, and makes me want to buy the game even more  O0
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Michael Dorosh on April 04, 2019, 11:36:17 AM
Necroposting to see if there is any news. Steam page still has TBA and the game website has nothing in the press section.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: ArizonaTank on April 04, 2019, 12:44:03 PM
Necroposting to see if there is any news. Steam page still has TBA and the game website has nothing in the press section.

I am interested in this one as well.  I believe there are some fairly recent dev notes on the Steam community site. Project does appear to be moving.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Michael Dorosh on April 04, 2019, 02:18:20 PM
thanks AT
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on April 04, 2019, 02:34:04 PM
Hey Luke here, project lead. We are alive and kicking ;) We post pretty regularly on our Twitter, FB, and Steam accounts. Or if you just want the occasional update (every few months) subscribe to our newsletter.
  Thanks for your interest!

http://bit.ly/BoC_newsletter_signup
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Steelgrave on April 04, 2019, 06:04:52 PM
I subscribed to the newsletter but stalled when the "I am not a robot" captcha came up, because honestly....if I were a robot, would I know?   8)   
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Sir Slash on April 04, 2019, 08:40:42 PM
Probably there to confuse Cylons.  ;D
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: al_infierno on August 03, 2019, 07:45:57 PM
New video related to this game -- a 20 second demo of a random event so I don't think it really warrants its own thread...



To copy my YT comment:  I'm a bit confused by this demonstration. Is this just a random event that can happen to any unit at any time? Is this specific to the scenario? Not sure that "units randomly running out of AP because they got overheated" is my idea of enjoyable tactical chaos.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Jarhead0331 on August 03, 2019, 08:15:13 PM
^especially for units that appear to have just hit the beach.  There is a fine line between modeling the burden of command and just being burdensome to the player. Removing all APs for the unit doesn’t present the player commander with a challenging decision to make...it removes all decision making from the equation.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Sir Slash on August 03, 2019, 08:42:18 PM
The Burden of Dehydration.  :hide:
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: BradS62 on August 03, 2019, 09:18:10 PM
That was quite a peek. Why do I sense we're at least a year away.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on August 03, 2019, 10:41:57 PM
Hi folks,
  Project lead here. Good critiques. The primary intent was to illustrate the chaos events outside of your control can happen. Whether this one is the right kind  it seems is demonstrably debatable ;). That being said maybe two points of interest:
 — credible event?  — well had this interesting comment today from a vet regarding on Twitter: “I am glad you included this scenario. As a former medic, I can tell you a lot of times, the medics would be look at as being at fault for dehydration. But in reality, avoiding heat injuries is definitely a command issue.”
— good gameplay event or not because little you can do about — Excellent critique because removing any player agency is usually not fun whether realistic or not. Happily we do give you recourse. There is a Press leadership command which can restore an Action at cost of Stress to unit plus one of your leader command points. So you command decision is whether this situation merits that costly fix.
  Thanks for thoughtful constructive critiques. Love it.
  Luke
   Luke
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: al_infierno on August 03, 2019, 10:48:43 PM
Thanks for the reply, Luke.  I'm glad to hear that you can remedy the situation at the cost of unit stress.  My concerns are laid to rest    :peace:
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Jarhead0331 on August 04, 2019, 06:12:20 AM
Thanks for the reply, Luke.  I'm glad to hear that you can remedy the situation at the cost of unit stress.  My concerns are laid to rest    :peace:

+1. So long as these random events are credible within the framework of what is actually happening in the game, and there is the ability to influence the event through player action, it should be good to go.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on August 04, 2019, 06:55:18 AM
Thanks guys! You realize you have encouraged me to provide more Chaos LOL
  Long live the spirit of SL and Combat Commander ;)

   Luke
 
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: JasonPratt on August 04, 2019, 11:17:02 AM
Thanks for the reply, Luke.  I'm glad to hear that you can remedy the situation at the cost of unit stress.  My concerns are laid to rest    :peace:

+1. So long as these random events are credible within the framework of what is actually happening in the game, and there is the ability to influence the event through player action, it should be good to go.

Ditto. Dehydration from heat crippling a unit just after hitting the beach, doesn't sound plausible. Unless the unit is a bunch of absolute rookies maybe?

(In honor of the recently departed Richard Berg: maybe they didn't get their pasta ration.  >:D )
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on August 04, 2019, 01:59:20 PM
You are probably right :) There will be limits to our having a stable of random events and articulating their trigger conditions well. Something like this will be tuned to say summer in Med or Morrocco. Not clever enough to to track with more subtle care  :'(
   Hope you cut us a bit of imperfection slack for at least trying these things. :notworthy:

 Luke (Burden of Command lead)
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: FarAway Sooner on August 04, 2019, 10:24:27 PM
Thanks for the reply, Luke.  I'm glad to hear that you can remedy the situation at the cost of unit stress.  My concerns are laid to rest    :peace:

+1. So long as these random events are credible within the framework of what is actually happening in the game, and there is the ability to influence the event through player action, it should be good to go.

Ditto. Dehydration from heat crippling a unit just after hitting the beach, doesn't sound plausible. Unless the unit is a bunch of absolute rookies maybe?

(In honor of the recently departed Richard Berg: maybe they didn't get their pasta ration.  >:D )

Surely  nobody was ever stuck on a ship at sea for a week, waiting to go ashore, when they couldn't do it?  And surely there was no lack of exercise, or food, or adequate drinking water, when they were stuck onboard their transport for what was supposed to do a 3-day trip?

The challenge with events like this, I think, is to make it credible within the framework of the game.  Stuff like this happened all the time in WW II.  You just can't drop it on players out of the blue without any context, or it seems incredible.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: JasonPratt on August 05, 2019, 06:15:38 AM
That's the point: there needs to be context.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Sir Slash on August 05, 2019, 10:03:50 AM
I don't know, this kind of thing could get out of hand. You know if one guy's buddy gets killed and then it spawns a 'Rage Reaction' event and he charges an enemy MG nest without orders or maybe a soldier gets a 'Dear John' letter from home and then becomes suicidal or something. Context is the key I agree.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: JasonPratt on August 05, 2019, 11:44:16 AM
I like that they're trying to add flavor, tho.  O:-)
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on August 05, 2019, 11:48:46 AM
Thanks Jason. I can’t argue with any of the points. Sadly reality is rather complex to simulate. All I can say is we will try to do our best but no doubt fall far short of what should be done.
  Thanks for all the insights,
     Humbly,
       Luke
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Michael Dorosh on August 09, 2019, 07:34:40 AM
It is common for game designers to factor out many of the "command problems" that the medic mentioned above alludes to. Ammunition resupply, water, food - yes, shortages of these things can and did have an impact on combat operations.

Would heat exhaustion really affect an entire unit within the 20 minute span of a tactical game scenario? I suppose it is *possible* however I would have to believe it was rare.

But the bigger question - if you really want to make this a command problem, then how do you do this? Does the player have to tick a menu every turn - "supply 1st squad with ammunition" "2nd squad drinks water" etc. There's no real simulation there. It might make sense in the context of an operational game.

For example, the ENTIRE 1st Canadian Division was halted soon after landing on Sicily - the reason? Heat. They had come from the UK while the other British divisions had come from North Africa. The Canadians needed an extra day to acclimate. The entire division - nine rifle battalions, three field artillery regiments, an anti-tank regiment, an anti-aircraft regiment, a reconnaissance battalion and a machine gun battalion. Montgomery stopped them for 24 hours to get used to the baking sun and managing their hydration, etc.

Operationally, makes sense. At a tactical level? Interesting idea and I will reserve judgement to see how it is handled, but the potential is there to come off as rather silly. Okay for a game like, say, Ambush! where the gravitas is lower. We'll see how it works out here.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on August 09, 2019, 07:49:52 AM
Hi Michael,

  Thanks for weighing in. Thoughtfully and knowledgeably as ever. You’re right it would become only irritating to simulate all the logistics at this scale, however realistic. Instead our goal is to convey such surrounding contexts that were part of the experience not by deep simulation but akin to Ambush (albiet more soberly) by:
1) occasional random but still targeted triggered events
2) deliberate events both particular to a scenario and between scenarios via the narrative interactive fiction.
 
 For example, one of the most intense moments I personally had late in the campaign narrative was worrying about some dicey decisions I had too casually made about procuring desperately needed gas. Logistics made compelling! Similarly, you do on occasion worry about paper work (hey Papers Please made a whole successful game around!). trench  foot etc. Much like Atkinson’s Liberation Series  seeks to convey the experience via anecdote (as well as formal history).

 In other words, we strive to convey the experience of being a company leader, not simulate every aspect. Hope that helps,

  Luke

P.s. interesting Candian example.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Michael Dorosh on August 09, 2019, 09:14:29 AM
That's the point: there needs to be context.

I can think of a successful implementation of something like this in the ASL boardgame. Their Arnhem historical module has rules for British water shortages. To reflect the lack of fresh drinking water suffered by British troops at Arnhem, units are prevented from double-time movement and their broken morale level is reduced by one. (There is an exception for days in which it rains - they think of everything). Historically, British commanders ordered that the water in the river not be used out of fear of dysentery and German SS units remarked on the level of dehydration among their prisoners after the collapse.

I like this sort of thing for several reasons:

a) it's universally applied
b) it's not a surprise - to either player
c) it provides the right amount of flavour without being cumbersome
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on August 09, 2019, 09:24:55 AM
Nice example. We do somewhat similar things. For example, in the march out from the initial landings in Morocco there were logistical issues getting supplies etc forward. The US Army was pretty new to it all (when doing for real).  So I believe we start all units with some fatigue effects (lowered morale).  I can't recall specifics right now but in the spirit of your example.
  Unfortunately novel rules outside of existing mechanics are hard to pull off in software.. So normally we need to translate a given scenario effect or event into a change say in: experience, morale (which changes effectiveness across the board), action points, orders, casualties, Trust, etc. Boardgames have an advantage in this regard.
 
 Luke

p.s. I wrote this guest blog at ThePlayersAid on the heavy boardgame influences on Burden of Command for those interested. I hope it is ok to post a link? Please advise if not: https://theplayersaid.com/2018/10/29/guest-blog-tactical-board-games-on-your-computer-screen-a-look-at-burden-of-command-by-luke-hughes/

Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: Michael Dorosh on August 09, 2019, 11:02:10 AM
Great stuff, Luke, thanks for posting here and interacting with us.
Title: Re: Burden of Command Announced
Post by: lhughes42 on August 09, 2019, 11:47:58 AM
Thanks Michael. You guys are great. We all share a passion for military history and getting it right. Which means we disagree a lot LOL.