Author Topic: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- game complete  (Read 20286 times)

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Offline Nefaro

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2016, 10:25:16 PM »
Would prefer to use TTS, or Vassal if need be.  We'll see.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2016, 08:54:59 AM »
Nef does obliquely raise the question of how feasible this project is.

For that purpose, how about I set up a test round to play a few early turns, with AzTank (as evidently the most experienced) going first, B_C (as evidently the next most experienced) going next, then Nef, then either me or Jomni if you're still interested testing player 4.

Since I'm setting player order for test purposes, this means factions (and consequently teams) will be randomly assigned according to the first (and maybe second) card draw. (I'll explain that for fellow noobs once I get going.)

ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

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Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2016, 08:57:02 AM »
I don't care which side I play - just understand I'm going to be flippant and a smart ass. :)

Offline mirth

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2016, 09:03:05 AM »
just understand I'm going to be flippant and a smart ass. :)

Really gonna mix things up aren't you?
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Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2016, 09:50:54 AM »
Depends on the faction I get.  8)

Offline Nefaro

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2016, 09:54:34 AM »
He'll obviously be the ARVN player.

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2016, 10:02:18 AM »
Don't get me started, roundeye.

Offline Nefaro

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2016, 10:07:55 AM »
Don't get me started, roundeye.



  ;D


Who was the Asian-American comedian that used to joke about, "you want cheeseburger, Roundeye?!" while peeling his eyelids back?  Long time ago.

Hilarious.

 :2funny:

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2017, 09:10:00 AM »
Working on board setup this morning. You guys who have the physical game: how many US cubes should there be? (I mean the total number of "division" cubes, not the spec force cylinders nor the bases.) The TTS module has 46, but a comment on the mod thread says there should be 40. The final instructions don't say. They refer to a Force Pool on the Spaces List sheet, but I can't find a copy of the Spaces List (or the Force Pool) on the internet anywhere, including on BGG and the GMT page for the game.

I suppose strictly speaking, I ought to get a full Force Pool list just to double-check the mod numbers. I assume that would be easy to type out. (X US cubes, Y Specfor, Z Bases -- although bases are obvious, they're marked on the board.)
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #24 on: January 01, 2017, 12:12:59 PM »
Okay, while a quick Force Pool check would still be a good idea, I did confirm from the process of deduction (based on the full game deployment schedule in the rules, comparing the starting US Vicpoints with the starting Saigon support + available bases) that there should indeed be 40 green cubes in the bag, not 46.

The first test turns will start soon!
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline PanzersEast

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #25 on: January 01, 2017, 12:53:33 PM »
Did you get a 4th person?

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2017, 04:22:01 PM »
Not solid yet, no. Possibly not a solid 3rd person yet either, so if you stake a claim you've got room!

I plan to start the first test posts tonight, see how it goes. If we can't make it work well this way, I won't pursue it farther.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline Nefaro

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #27 on: January 01, 2017, 04:24:34 PM »
I shall relinquish my spot.

I really have way too much on my gaming plate to do.  Not just digital gaming but tabletop too.  Shouldn't be adding more to it.  So backed up.   :buck2:   

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #28 on: January 01, 2017, 06:52:54 PM »
Okay, let’s run a few test hands, to see how well (or not!) the setup will work. Since I'm explaining things for new players and guests who don't know the game, this will take rather longer than a report normally would.

For this purpose, I’ve created a random 12 card 1964 deck plus one random Coup shuffled in -- if we decide this method works well enough, I’ll start over with a new random deck of course.

For testing, I’m letting the most experienced players who have signed up so far (at the time of this test) go first; consequently, the factions (and thus the teams) will be decided randomly on how the first and maybe second cards turn up.

Turn One commences! -- the first card is drawn and made active; the upcoming card is also revealed.

 


(The board has room, as shown, for players who prefer to put the upcoming card off the deck; but with my short-term memory I prefer the visual reminder of keeping it on the deck.)

The currently active card is LRRP (Long Range Recon Patrol); upcoming will be Brinks Hotel.

The tiny numbers in the upper left and upper right are the deck-year and the number for the printer to check that no duplicate cards were included. They have no gameplay value otherwise, and we shall never speak of them again. ;)

Next across the top are icons representing the factions: Green for US; blue for Viet Cong; yellow (with red star) for ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam, i.e. South Vietnam); and red (with yellow star) for NVA (North Vietnam Army). The two teams are represented with squares and circles -- but remember, the team members are competing against each other, too!

The order of play for the turn runs left to right; so this card says the US will get to make the first choice of how to proceed. This also means AzTank will be playing the US faction, and Banzai_Cat will be playing the Viet Cong.

The US starts with 38 Victory Points, and needs at least 51 to trigger a win during scoring. The US scores and loses VPs by proportion of support or opposition for the Saigon regime (whichever one is in power, which on the full game always starts with Duong Van Minh -- a fact that mostly affects the ARVN player). The US also scores and loses VP based on how many divisions and bases are available or deployed (or lost). Ideally the US player wants South Vietnam to have a stable government that can protect itself without more than US advisory involvement: special force teams are fine, but not divisions and HQs. The US faction actually starts with two bases and ten divisions “out of play”; ideally he’ll want to get those into being “available” but not deployed, if he can, which would represent the US growing in military power that can be deployed somewhere other than Vietnam.

Let’s take a look at the US player’s (and of course everyone else’s) starting positions on the map.
 


First, some quick errors: I know the Trail marker should be on 1; I simply forgot it. This will be fixed on a proper game start. Also, all those little colored circles with stars on the map, shouldn’t be showing the stars -- those are the special force troops of the four factions (the Viet Cong are only specforcs), and they always start “underground”. That’ll also be fixed. However, it does make them a little easier to notice for a first time viewer.

Next, the US mostly ignores the point track going around the top and right edge -- except to steal resources from the ARVN! :D The colored cylinders represent the starting resources available to everyone for doing military operations and some other things. The US doesn’t get one, because the US is super-rich and so doesn’t have to be frugal with its resources (all its operations cost nothing in game terms).

My joke about stealing resources from the ARVN was true, though: the US can often take command of ARVN yellow troops (not the orange ones, though, so far as I recall), and doing that usually costs ARVN resources. So that yellow cylinder in the top right (on 30 points) is important for the US, too. The stronger South Vietnam is economically, though, the more they can resist the US spending their cash! So that little “Econ” chit on point 15 (top center of the snapshot) is important to the US, too: AzTank can only spend ARVN’s money down to wherever that marker currently is.

(It’s sharing the 15 point square with a chit for “Aid” and, slightly offscreen, “Patron”, which are important for the ARVN. The red “NVA Control” isn’t part of that group; it just happens to be sitting nearby.)

I suppose I should talk about the map layout, too. There are provinces (the big irregular map areas); cities (the big circular areas); Lines of Communication (dashed black and white lines of various thicknesses, typically on the borders of provinces) which represents roads mostly and (down south) the Mekong River branches; national borders (black and yellow dashed lines that can be mistaken for LoCs but which don’t have their own little numbers); towns (small black circles at the joints of LoCs -- cities also act as LoC joints); and the ocean (which is one big blue thing to the east).

Each province and city has a name, two status squares, and a population number. Each province also has a terrain: dark green for jungle; light green for fields; brown for mountains. (Cities have a city terrain.)

Each LoC has a name (the most northern one is Route 9, between “North Vietnam” and Quang Tri) and a number. They don’t have status squares, and bases can’t be built on them, but they can have Troops and Specs put on them. None start the game on LoCs, though. By default, the ARVN player will get income from those LoCs during scoring rounds, if Team North forces aren’t parked on them: that’s what the little numbers (mostly 1) on the LoCs are for.

Each town has a name, and that’s all. No military forces can be put in them (at this game’s scale), but they can act as portals for Troops and Specs to get on and off roads. For example, those NVA special forces in Northern Laos could get on the Route 9 LoC by means of that little black dot (Khe San) and march to the city of Hue; ARVN troops (both military and police) in Hue could invade North Laos by the same route.

The two status squares above the population number in each province and city, indicate (left to right) support for Saigon and faction control. If Team South has more forces (of any kind) in a province or city than Team North, then the province or city will get a “COIN Control” marker (short for Counter-insurgent). If Team North has more forces of any kind, the area gets a “NVA Control” marker -- unless only VC forces are in the area. The VC can only help the NVA take control, or help deny control to Team South; they can’t take control.

We can see two examples of this in the snapshot: look one province down from “North Vietnam” (which is just the southernmost NV province of course so doesn’t need more distinction in-game), to “Quang Tri - Thua Thien”. (About half the provinces on the map are combined from smaller pairs of provinces treated as one for the game. For brevity, often only the first name on the map is used.) AzTank as the US starts with a division (green cube) and a spec-ops group (green circle) in that province, but the VC player starts with a base and two specs. 3 to 2, the VC would take control except (in this game) the VC simply can’t. But they’re denying US and thus COIN (Team South) control. Bihn Dihn is another example toward the bottom of the snapshot.

So six areas (provinces and cities) on the upper half of the map start with COIN control -- in no case thanks to the US (in those cases)! Only two areas start with even passive Saigon support, near the bottom of the snapshot -- also not thanks to the US, but military presence per se isn’t what wins those hearts and minds anyway. More on that later.

The NVA has control of three areas in this snapshot (and one more in the next one), but you may be surprised to see the support is “neutral”. That’s because none of those areas has any significant numbers of South Vietnamese population, so their opinion about the Saigon regime(s) doesn’t count for or against support. Consequently, they also have a 0 pop. Theoretically either side could waste time and resources putting control in 0 pop areas, but no 0 pop area can provide practical support (used mainly by the US and the VC for victory points). Control of those 0 pop provinces does have practical uses, though! -- many of the NVA’s few starting VPs come from controlling those areas!

(While I’m near the topic, Team South can never control that “North Vietnam” province at the top of the map, because no Team South forces can move there in the game. VC and, obviously, NVA forces can. It is entirely possible for the NVA player to lose control of that province by moving out all NVA forces from it! -- assuming Team South somehow used an event to get rid of the base there.)

Phew, okay! Caught up on understanding the map so far? Let’s look at the bottom half.

 


Yeek! Somehow this half is even worse!! (Note: the circles, as before, should all not show their stars, being blank and thus “underground” instead. Future snaps will adjust.)

Notice that the US starts with no forces at all in the southern half, except in Saigon (and outnumbered there by ARVN divisions, three orange “police” units and two yellow “military”). The VC don’t just control the jungles north of Saigon, they “Active control” those areas -- that means the population numbers there count double for VC scoring (and some other purposes). Team South can get “Active support”, too, but all their support starts out passive (where it exists at all) due to bungling by the regime(s) prior to 1964.

You can see the one NVA group down here, at the Parrot’s Beak (named if I recall correctly for that salient jutting into South Vietnam from Cambodia). Also notice, in the middle of those jungle areas north of Saigon, is the province of Phuoc Long. Technically that’s still South Vietnam, but it has a population of (in effect) zero, so while controlling it would be useful for some purposes trying to get support or opposition for Saigon would be impossible. My guess is that this is why their jungle is colored a little differently than other South Vietnam jungles (like those next door).

So, is that all clear enough? Next time I’ll be going back to the first card, and explaining how the turn orders work, which has relevance to that rectangle down at the bottom of the map called “sequence of play”.

(By then AzTank may already have decided what he wants to do, but if not that’s okay.)
« Last Edit: January 01, 2017, 07:07:34 PM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2017, 07:08:37 AM »
For this purpose, I’ve created a random 12 card 1964 deck plus one random Coup shuffled in -- if we decide this method works well enough, I’ll start over with a new random deck of course.

I suppose I should clarify for veterans of the game, that I know I'm supposed to have two coups in there, for a total of 14 cards -- each coup shuffled randomly into half the deck. The remaining two larger decks get coups shuffled into quarter-decks, consequently a total stack of six small 7-card decks, each with a Coup card for potential scoring. This arrangement keeps the Coups from clumping up too much, so that it's also impossible to get more than two Coups at a time. In the event of any clump of two Coups, the event plays on the second Coup of the clump but not the scoring phases.)

I just didn't want to risk having a Coup in our test turns. Although, being stupid  #:-) L:-) , I didn't simply not put in a Coup at all, I only put in one Coup. Because in my head I was thinking of minimal risk instead of no risk.  :uglystupid2:

So I'll find and remove the coup from the test deck and reshuffle it (under the cards already revealed of course).


Also, I'm going to work on making the forces in the Available boxes more clear. Right now they're mostly in stacks or (even less visibly) in bags.

Also, when I go back to talk about the active and upcoming cards next time, I'll take snapshots of each independently so I can zoom in farther: the resolution on the card gfx isn't the best to begin with, which gives them a nice faded pseudo-used look, but that isn't so great for our purposes.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.