Author Topic: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- game complete  (Read 20288 times)

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Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2017, 07:51:33 AM »
Good Morning.  How do I access the game board? I will play the event.

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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #31 on: January 02, 2017, 02:25:14 PM »
Well, I'm testing how feasible it is to access it just from reading screenshots and data reports. I don't know of a way to keep it running on a persistent server (other than keeping my computer on constantly 24 hours a day with this game running in the background so players can log in, check things out, do their move, and leave).

I'm hoping you can basically say, "Okay yep there are the pieces I have on the map, and in Available, and out of play," (only the US and ARVN get out-of-play pieces, for those who don't know yet); "there's the card this turn, and the upcoming card; so I can choose to pass this turn, or to activate one of the card's two events or play an operation from my nation's list; annnnnd I choose thus, with these areas and those pieces as my targets for the action."

Then I report the results, adjust the map accordingly, you and whoever you affected jot down some quick notes to remind you of what happened on the track perhaps (e.g. you reduced three ARVN resources but the card says you increased their Aid by two immediately). I remind the next player what his options are since you chose X, and show him the currently adjusted map, maybe remind him of his current stats, he makes his choice, rinse and repeat for the next turn.
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 ArizonaTank

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #32 on: January 02, 2017, 04:57:28 PM »
OK, got it. Too bad we can't "save state" somehow and pass that back and forth.

Anyway, my turn:
-play event LRRP
-place 2 US irregulars in southern laos
-place 1 US irregular in Parrot's beak
(the playbook description for this card defines "the South" as Laos or Cambodia)

-Free airstrike
-reduce trail to 0
-kill everything in Southern Laos (2 NVA and 1 base)
-hit Quang Tin for three hits. (2 VC, VC base).  increase opposition by 1

That will shift to COIN control in Binh Dinh

Several victory point markers shift.  VC lose one because of destroyed base, but gain it right back (so a wash) because of increase in opposition in Binh Dinh.  NVA lose one because of lost base. My ARVN friends gain 2 because of COIN control of 2 population in Bihn Dinh.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2017, 05:04:06 PM by ArizonaTank »
Honus Wagner
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Rated as the 2nd most valuable player of all time by Bill James.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #33 on: January 02, 2017, 07:05:44 PM »
Heh. Turn one nuke!  :notworthy:

I know that seems overpowered -- and it kind of is, he's the US -- but each player gets to use their operations to affect any and all valid targets they choose. Unless they're going second in a turn, as B_C is about to do, in which case they sometimes have to limit their operational effect -- if they choose that -- to one area, be that a province, a city, or a road. (I'll be calling Lines of Communications "roads" sometimes until players and guests get used to what LoCs mean; but LoCs also include three portions of the Mekong river.)

B_C won't have this limit, however, because since AzTank chose to play an event, B_C must choose an operation -- and B_C won't be limited to only one valid target. Also, he can add a free Special Activity at his discretion (somewhat dependent on the operation he chooses).

I'll explain what AzTank is doing in more detail in my next post, and also show the adjusted map after his action.
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 ArizonaTank

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #34 on: January 02, 2017, 07:32:55 PM »
Heh. Turn one nuke!  :notworthy:

I know that seems overpowered -- and it kind of is, he's the US --

:)   A couple of things about this game...  military victory is rare...  in the end, it's all about victory points.   So very asymmetric.  The game is also a marathon, not a sprint.  The best players I have seen usually stay with the pack, hitting down the occasional nail that sticks up, but then sprinting that last lap at the end. 
Honus Wagner
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Shortstop: Pittsburgh Pirates 1900-1917
Rated as the 2nd most valuable player of all time by Bill James.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #35 on: January 02, 2017, 09:50:44 PM »
The best players I have seen usually stay with the pack, hitting down the occasional nail that sticks up, but then sprinting that last lap at the end. 

Worth noting: he means hitting the teammate, too! -- where that's safe (and possible) to do without endangering one's own lead. For reasons I'll explain soon, he couldn't target ARVN troops this turn, but there are ways.  :knuppel2:


That said, before I resolve the turn I'll have to question a couple of statements:

-hit Quang Tin for three hits. (2 VC, VC base).  increase opposition by 1

That will shift to COIN control in Binh Dinh

Several victory point markers shift.  VC lose one because of destroyed base, but gain it right back (so a wash) because of increase in opposition in Binh Dinh.  [etc.]

1.) You couldn't have meant targeting Quang Tin, because there are no COIN forces there (no troops, specs, or bases from either the US or ARVN). Not coincidentally, Quang Tin also already has maximum opposition to the Saigon regime! The VC forces you mention are indeed in Binh Dinh, and if you destroyed the VC forces there it would shift both opposition and control as noted.

2.) The Air Strike special activity forbids targeting hidden/underground pieces, and all spec forces start underground. (I explained I had forgotten this as a map error when setting up; not your fault.) You can still blow that base off the map -- the LRRP actually forces you to hit any bases in selected target areas first, instead of normally last -- but you'll have to select other valid targets.

3.) You're limited to destroying 6 enemy forces with your Air Strike, and there are three specs (not two) and a base in Southern Laos (where you sent two of your specs per card event choice). You can't target the spec forces currently: they start underground (my starting map error, fixed in subsequent maps including for the 'real' game if we decide to go for it), and I can't find in the rules where a special force deployment like the one in this card automatically reveals them to active. Nor does this card indicate that's a result of moving your Irregulars into an area. You can still smack the base of course!

Since this could easily make a difference in your choice of deployment, you're free to choose where to put those three Irregulars again: I'll repost the two snapshots for convenience, or rather new ones with the special forces properly hidden. Since you were basing your choice partly on my previous map error, you may also rechoose your main action for the turn if you want (i.e. a general operation instead of the card event, although personally I can't imagine you wouldn't choose the card! -- I'm just trying to be fair.  O:-) )






Those snaps show the newly updated pre-move map, with hidden specs (no stars on the light colored smaller circles. I should probably try to make those proper hex cylinders someday, but this is what the map modder has gone with for now. In TTS itself it isn't a big deal, since players can zoom in and flip pieces around to check by 'hand'.) I haven't degraded the trail yet since those are the new fresh start snaps, but I remember that's an option you wanted to take for the strike package.  O0


I'll explain to new players how and why AzTank can make these choices tomorrow. Meanwhile, take note that absolutely none of that combat was random! -- which is very normal in this game. If you want to fight, you don't have to guess about the results, you can calculate them precisely according to various factors.

...usually.  >:D There are many special modifications, some permanent some semi-permanent, which can eventually be put into play, and a few of those require a random 6-sided die roll to resolve.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2017, 09:56:27 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 ArizonaTank

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2017, 09:40:20 AM »
Good Morning, sorry I meant Binh Dinh....  but you rightly bring up that all guerrilla's (VC and NVA) start as underground (rule 1.4.3)

So about the only thing I can hit with airstrikes at this point are non-tunneled bases.  Good enough!!!

So this would change my move.  I'll put the 1 ea of the three US irregulars in Parrot's Beak, Southern Laos and Central Laos.

I will take out the bases in

Parrot's Beak, Southern Laos, Central Laos, Quang Tri, Binh Dinh and Pleiku.

Pleiku, Binh Dinh and Quang Tri will shift towards opposition.  So a pretty big hit on ARVN score.  Also a hit on VC and NVA scores for lost bases. 

hopefully got it right this time.

« Last Edit: January 03, 2017, 09:52:34 AM by ArizonaTank »
Honus Wagner
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Shortstop: Pittsburgh Pirates 1900-1917
Rated as the 2nd most valuable player of all time by Bill James.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #37 on: January 03, 2017, 05:37:24 PM »
Banzai_Cat (Biet_Cong?  >:D ), your turn will be coming up soon once I validate Az's move. I should get an email for you (or you should register it live on the forum, like Az and I have) so I can send you a turn alert when the time comes.
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 BanzaiCat

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #38 on: January 03, 2017, 06:58:30 PM »
Banzai_Cat (Biet_Cong?  >:D ), your turn will be coming up soon once I validate Az's move. I should get an email for you (or you should register it live on the forum, like Az and I have) so I can send you a turn alert when the time comes.

Sorry JP, I was going to do this tonight but I got sidetracked. I gotta go in the office tomorrow and then the gym so I won't be back until later tomorrow night.

What do you mean by register live in the forum? Do you mean another thread? I've not read through everything but I will.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: FIRE IN THE GROGS -- a proposal to fight the Vietnam War
« Reply #39 on: January 03, 2017, 07:52:13 PM »
What do you mean by register live in the forum? Do you mean another thread? I've not read through everything but I will.

No, I mean your forum profile doesn't have an email registered as visible, so unless you send me an email (you can click the email envelope under my avatar to do so) I can't send you an email to alert you your turn is ready.

Your turn is ready now, btw! I'll be posting your initial information downthread though, after some discussion for new players about AzTank's move (and the US faction more generally -- and the Viet Cong's faction more generally!) I'll come back here and link down to it for your convenience once I've posted it.

http://grogheads.com/forums/index.php?topic=18567.msg492914#msg492914
« Last Edit: January 03, 2017, 08:10:09 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 #40 on: January 03, 2017, 07:57:53 PM »
Lots of posting to catch up on, so let's do this!

TESTING TURN ONE -- USA FACTION OVERVIEW
----------------------------------------

So, as noted, AzTank will be playing the US faction for our test, nominally teamed with whoever plays the ARVN faction for this test run. What does it mean to play the US?

1.) The US forces (except bases) have by far the most favorable combat rules. Not surprisingly!

2.) The US scores Victory Points by troops being home. And by Saigon being supported in South Vietnam areas, but having troops at home is a unique US scoring factor.

3.) The US has the third most numerous forces in the game, with 40 troops, 6 specs, and 6 bases. But they start with the fewest troops on the board (in a full game). They (and the ARVN) can have out-of-play troops, but the US alone can have casualties (reflecting their advanced hospital systems). Casualties in a roundabout way hurt their score, too.

4.) As mentioned previously, they don’t need to ever spend resources on their abilities. (In effect they have bottomless resources so there’s no point tracking the cost and expenditure.)

5.) They can often take command of ARVN forces. (Technically US specs are “irregulars”, meaning native Vietnamese, like the Montagnards, who are being permanently led by US SpecForces.) This requires spending ARVN resources down to the limit of ARVN’s Econ strength, which represents their ability to resist the US spending their money! -- but the ARVN gets most of its money in “Aid” from the US anyway.

6.) The US has the most permanent and “momentum” (semi-temporary) bonuses in the game, by far. But, each of those bonuses has an EEEVVILLL DARRRRK SIIIDDEEE! Which can be inflicted on the US by their enemies! (Including by the ARVN player!) So the US also has the most hurtful penalties in the game by far.

7.) Primarily to score, the US uses “Pacification” operations to increase support for the Saigon regime, and sends pieces home (to “Available”) during the scoring rounds. For balancing purposes, the US can only do this after the victory check at the start of the scoring round! But this also means, if the game goes to the final Coup without a clear winner yet, the US can send a lot of troops home to rack up their points before the Final Score. There are also some events the US can play to accomplish similar scoring setups. This includes taking forces from “out of play” to “available”! -- basically building up new divisions back home.

8.) The US helps their ARVN teammate by doing military things to achieve COIN (Team South) Control in provinces and cities. This typically involves doing combat and strategic maneuvers; it also often involves bringing US troops out of Available and so lowering the US’s score! On the other hand, the US can screw over the ARVN by evacuating areas and fighting ARVN “Patronage”. (The ARVN has a game mechanic where they convert US “Aid” to “Patronage” -- they win by becoming more politically corrupt and less dependent on the US!)

9.) Like all four factions, the US gets a special event card, called “Pivotal Events”, that only he can throw:

 

There are restrictions printed in red, so he can’t play it on the first turn: specifically not until after at least the second Coup card is drawn; and not unless his Victory Point total is more than 40. (Also not if there’s any Coup card upcoming, and not if he played the previous turn, as all four Pivotal Events are restricted.) Once those conditions are met, which could be pretty early in the game, he can opt to throw this on top of any active card, so long as the first player that turn (including possibly himself) hasn’t started resolving his choice. (I think Pivotals can be declared once a choice has been declared, but I’ll have to check. The rulebook text is a little unclear on this point: it only says the Pivotal thrower doesn’t have to wait for the 1st player to make a choice on the new turn.)

This card makes the NVA choose two bases to sacrifice; reduces NVA resources by 15; and brings the US player’s choice of forces back from one of those locations to Available (thus increasing his score). It also forces the NVA to skip the next turn.

Players can use Pivotal Cards to trump Pivotal Card events, too, except for the US; so the NVA could throw his Pivotal Card to beat this (if he still has it).
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 #41 on: January 03, 2017, 08:00:47 PM »
TEST TURN ONE -- USA OPTIONS
----------------------------

So, now that we’ve had that US faction overview, let’s go back to look at AzTank’s options. I’m posting this after he has already made his choices, but this will explain for newcomers what he chose between.

For that purpose, let’s take a look at the Sequence block:

 


This is at the bottom right corner of the mapboard, and gives a reminder of basic player options.

At the start of the game (and after each scoring round), all players start in the Eligible box; but the active card determines which player gets to make the first move this turn -- and only two players can move on any turn!

In this case, that means unless AzTank (playing the US) and/or B_C (playing the VC) choose to pass this turn, the other two players will have to wait until next turn. (Theoretically all four players could pass!) But whichever players don’t pass, will be ineligible to play next turn.

So, as the player with first initiative this turn (thanks to the active card), Aztank’s choices are:

1.) Pass. This is no small choice, because he can see the next card coming and he might see a way to take that event instead -- or prefer to avoid an enemy playing the upcoming event against him, compared to the currently active event! AzTank could try betting that the VC player will take the current event and so be ineligible to play next time, leaving the US with the initiative. As it happens, Az won’t be doing this, so I haven’t put his little cylinder marker there.

Any player who passes receives 1 resource, if they’re Team North, or gives 3 resources to the ARVN if they’re Team South. Someone desperate for cash might choose to pass for this reason, too -- though not likely the US unless they reeeaaallly want to move ARVN troops for some reason. Possibly to screw the ARVN player over and reduce his score! -- remember, only one player can win!

2.) The player with prime initiative (currently the US) can choose to do one of their general operations and not the card event. The US and ARVN share the same four general operation options, and to move things along I’ll talk about those later.

3.) The “1st Faction” can also choose to do a general op plus a special activity (unless restricted by an event). Special activities are free (for the US regular ops don’t cost anything either), and naturally they add to that player’s power to affect the board! So why wouldn’t a player do that every time instead of no special activity?! There’s a reason but I’ll have to get to it later.

4.) Last, the “1st Faction” player can choose to play one of the events on the active card. This is what AzTank chose to do, so I moved his tracking cylinder there in the snapshot.

Now, once a player decides to be the 1st Faction to act in a turn instead of passing, the second player to choose to act this turn instead of passing must follow the 1st Faction’s choice over to the second column. In this case, B_C (playing the VC) will either choose to pass or play one of his general operations.

It basically goes like this: choosing a general op with no special activity, limits the next active player to also playing a general op with no special ability -- and further limits that next player to having only one area targeted for his op. (I’ll get back to this soon.)

Choosing a general op plus a special ability, means the next active player has the option to play an event off the card instead of an operation with only one target area. Most players will go with the card events in that case, which are very powerful (but sometimes come with consequences).

Choosing to play a card event (as AzTank did), means the second active player this turn won’t be limited to one target area for playing his operation, and the second player can add a free special action (unless otherwise restricted).

Once two players have chosen to act rather than pass this turn, no further players can choose to pass, and the one or two active players will be moved to the Ineligible box.


In summary:

AzTank was told by the active event card for Turn One that he had first choice about how to act this turn;

and he chose to act instead of to pass;

and he chose to play an event from the card. Next turn, he won’t have the ability to act (or pass). The turn after that he’ll be eligible again. (Assuming events don’t alter this.)

Got it? Now let’s look at what he chose to do.
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 #42 on: January 03, 2017, 08:06:33 PM »
TEST TURN ONE: USA’S CHOICE
---------------------------

Okay, AzTank chose to play an event off the active card this turn, effectively ceding his option to maybe play the upcoming event next turn. (Which is fine because the next event would only help the ARVN, and only one player can win: naturally Az wants to be the winner!)

What was this first turn’s card? I’ll repost with a zoom for convenience.

 


This card, like most event cards, has two options. (I think only Coup and Pivot Events have one.) The player choosing to play the event, can choose either option, shaded or unshaded; once chosen, that locks the other option out for the game. The “shade” is simply an easy visual way to distinguish between the two options; and sort of signals that the second option will usually hurt someone on Team South. The two options will be linked topically, in this case the fate of three Irregulars, US special force chips. If AzTank was stupid, he could choose the shaded option and so could take up to 3 of his Specs off the map and put them into the casualty box (to be dealt with later in various ways)!

Far more importantly, the ARVN player could choose this, too, if he thinks the US player is getting too far ahead! REMEMBER, ONLY ONE PLAYER CAN WIN!! But usually Team North players (NVA and VC) would choose the shaded option, which in this case would represent North forces (probably VC implied) ambushing and eliminating US specs, giving any South Nam populations in those affected areas (even cities, even Saigon!) a little more reason to think Team South is losing. This would affect the US and the VC scoring potential.

Naturally, AzTank chose the unshaded option. So he took up to 3 Specs from his Available box (where he happened to have 3), and deployed them on the map. There’s a rule where (usually) if forces can be brought by and event or an op from available but the available box is empty, relevant forces can be teleported across the map any distance instantly to fulfill the event! (This can be a huge strategic redeployment move -- but risks instantly weakening an area.) AzTank can’t do that this time, because he has the available specs; if he didn’t have one or more available, he could move the unavailable ones around on the map but he’d have to seriously rethink whether he wanted to activate this event: of course, he could choose the event and then not move anyone, just go straight to the next part of the event, so as to block Banzai_Cat from getting access to a deadly event against him! -- the shaded version of this event would target US specs (Irregulars), not ARVN ones (Rangers).

(If no forces are “available” at home nor on the map, however, new ones can’t be generated and deployed this way.)

Where can he put his Irregulars? The card says “outside the south”, which is short for “in any of those dark green provinces on the left edge of the map”, specifically Cambodia or Laos.

Az chooses to put one each in Southern Laos, Central Laos, and the Parrot’s Beak (Cambodia):
 



That’s just a quick snapshot for map context. (Note: the NVA score is wrong, it should be 8 not 4.)

The “LRRP” event card is meant to represent sending Long Range Recon Patrols out to the Ho Chi Minh trail to scout for air attacks, so the card also gives AzTank a free Air Strike operation.

Air Strikes are one of the three US special activities. Here they are, but I’ll only talk about that one (Air Strike) one for now:

 


AzTank can now choose any number of up to 6 active enemy forces on the map sharing any space (road, city, or province) with any of his forces (base, troop, or spec) or the ARVN player’s, and wipe them off the map -- as long as those enemy pieces aren’t underground, and as long as he first targets (not-underground) bases in any selected areas. Normally this special activity would require him to remove troops (the cubes, representing divisions) and specs first before bases, but this card’s event actually forces him to remove bases first. (The text of the operation also signifies he can’t target ARVN forces! -- they’re on his team, so technically not the enemy.)

So, to be clear, Az doesn’t have to choose those provinces where he placed his Irregulars. He can choose anywhere that members of the two Teams are opposing one another, as long as there are active targets (not underground) -- which on the first turn means he can’t target any VC specs at all, as they’re hidden. Nor can he target NVA specs, also hidden at the start of Turn One.

Annnnnnd... actually, that means he can’t target anything other than bases on Turn One! -- because the NVA doesn’t have any divisions in the field yet in whatever vague date of 1964 this turn represents, and the VC never will have any divisions at all. (One of Banzai’s VC bases starts underground, too!) Sometimes, an operation means that the acting troops will detect hidden enemy troops and “activate” them; but neither the Air Strike nor this Event allows that detection. It’s supposed to represent US spec-ops sneaking up on a mountain or somewhere and stealthily calling down the strikes, so they aren’t working to find hidden forces. Similarly, neither are AzTank’s Irregulars revealing themselves to do this! -- but then again, he can use any force from the US or ARVN factions to spot for his strikes!

Anyway, Az calls out the six bases in Parrot's Beak, Southern Laos, Central Laos (all where he just moved some Irregulars), Quang Tri, Binh Dinh and Pleiku. Those last three are northern provinces where he happens to be facing the VC -- in fact at game start, only the US is opposing any Team North in the field!

Az also has the option to degrade the Ho Chi Minh trail one notch, which he takes. (I honestly don’t know why the US player wouldn’t take it, unless this was a two player game and players were keeping the freaky political goofiness by each playing a faction from North and South!)

This very much nukes NVA’s Victory points -- I instantly deduct 3, and he only had 8 to start with! Why? Because his points are scored by NVA bases and NVA control: and he started with exactly 4 controlled territories, and 4 bases (in those territories, not coincidentally). He still maintains control there until and unless Team South can figure a way to remove the troop balance in Team South’s favor (which is hard on the western provinces, outside South Nam, and even harder in “North Vietnam” where Team South troops can’t go at all!) Anyway, as shown in the new snaps, NVA’s score has dropped to 5. This also happens to be how many resources the VC start the game able to do ops with, coincidentally, so there’s a blue cylinder there, too.

Because Air Strikes on South Nam territory are so traumatic, the local populations each move one notch toward opposing Saigon; and since they started at neutral, now all three of those provinces passively oppose the regime! This improves the VC’s score, but he also loses exactly three for losing a base in each province, so the result for Banzai_Cat will be a wash.

Whoever ends up playing ARVN for our test could have had his score hurt by this action! But as noted, those areas all started neutral so that player hasn’t lost anything yet.

(And there are no significant pops in Laos and Cambodia to support or oppose Saigon in any practical way; they all have populations of 0, so even though I could put “passive oppose” on them for interest’s sake it wouldn’t mean anything for scoring.)

With that, AzTank’s first turn comes to an end. I’ll save the new snaps for introducing Banzai_Cat’s turn, so he’ll have a more convenient reference.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 01:08:43 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 #43 on: January 03, 2017, 08:07:28 PM »
TEST TURN ONE -- VIET CONG INTRODUCTION
---------------------------------------

Since Banzai_Cat (or B_C) is our second player, he has randomly gotten assigned the second spot from the first turn’s active card, and that’s the Viet Cong, nominally teamed (as Team North) with whoever plays the NVA faction for this test run. What does it mean to play the VC?

1.) The VC forces are the weakest in the game; not only because they have no divisions only special forces (little light round circles), but also because they only have 39 total forces (30 specs and 9 bases). However, all their forces have stealth capability, including their Bases; and they can be highly destructive when not engaged in a conventional fight.

2.) The VC scores Victory Points by putting bases on the board (anywhere, even Cambodia or Laos I think if they can finagle it), and by moving South Nam provinces to oppose Saigon. They start with 27 Victory points, and need at least 36 to trigger a potential win. (AzTank’s first move could have shifted B_C’s current score, but as it happens there was no result: he’s still at his starting 27.)

3.) The VC, like their teammates the NVA, can never permanently lose forces. Any lost forces (like the 3 bases Az nuked with Air Strikes on his first turn) go back to being “Available”.

4.) The VC starts off as the poorest faction, with only 5 resources to do operations with. They can grow to have a higher income than the ARVN’s economy, though (partly by hurting the ARVN economy). That takes work, but the VC player has plenty of time in the long game.

5.) The VC can’t “control” a province or city; they can deny control to Team South (aka COIN, the counter-insurgents). But they start out well-lodged into a lot of South Vietnam, and wherever they are unopposed (which is several provinces) they start with active opposition against Saigon which generates them double victory points based on the province population! (AzTank’s first move has handed another three provinces over to passive opposition, i.e. points for VC’s score although those points were equally nerfed by other actions. For now: B_C, or even the NVA player, could magnify that lead!) Where they do start with opposition, they are only facing US forces, not the ARVN. But then again, the US has the strongest fighting capabilities in the game.

6.) The VC has nearly the fewest permanent and “momentum” (semi-temporary) bonuses in the game: only three. But, this also means they have only three hurtful penalties in the game.

7.) Primarily to score, the VC uses “Terror” operations and “Agitate” special activities to increase opposition for the Saigon regime, and “Rally” operations to build bases. But Rally takes time, because it needs VC Guerillas to turn into Bases, and requires no support in the areas to start with. This also means the VC player will be looking to capitalize on these kinds of (shaded) events; on the other hand, the VC player faces hard choices between reliably building up their score with ops and letting the ARVN or US use devastating events (like AzTank’s “LRRP” deployment!)

8.) The VC helps their NVA teammate by rallying up and maneuvering specs into areas to help achieve NVA Control. Sometimes this involves using special events and abilities to whack US and ARVN troops without fighting: the VC can “attack” but aren’t strong against Team South, and anyone attacking the US loses at least one of their own forces automatically from defensive fire! On the other hand, the VC can screw over the NVA by evacuating areas, too.

9.) The VC earns resources by the “Tax” special ability; but because this is a special ability the VC doesn’t get to use it often! They also earn resources from how many bases they’ve got on the map during scoring rounds.

10.) The VC are the only faction not required to redeploy during the scoring rounds.

11.) The VC player will win the game if sharing any tie!

12.) Like all four factions, the VC player gets a special event card, called “Pivotal Events”, that only he can throw:

 

There are restrictions printed in red, so he can’t play it on the first turn: specifically not until after at least the second Coup card is drawn; and not unless he has deployed more than 20 of his specs in South Nam: Cambodia, Laos, or North Nam don’t count. (Also not if there’s any Coup card upcoming, and not if he played the previous turn, as all four Pivotal Events are restricted.) Once those conditions are met, which could be pretty early in the game, he can opt to throw this on top of any active card, so long as the first player that turn (including possibly himself) hasn’t started resolving his choice. (I think Pivotals can be declared once a choice has been declared, but I’ll have to check. The rulebook text is a little unclear on this point: it only says the Pivotal thrower doesn’t have to wait for the 1st player to make a choice on the new turn.)

This card has three stages: first, any hidden VC specs (must) run as many Terror operations (at no cost) as possible (until Terror cards run out, VC player’s choice on where to put the ops); second, 6 VC specs (must) be placed in any cities of VC player’s choice (moving them around the map if he runs out of Available pieces -- this partly represents the NVA’s secret plan to neuter the VC a little); and third, all VC and/or NVA specs must launch attacks where they share any spaces (provinces, cities, or LoCs) with Team South forces. If attacking US Troops (cubes) or Bases results, VC will be the ones suffering the attrition losses if possible. (Also partly representing the NVA’s secret plan to neuter the VC a little!)

Players can use Pivotal Cards to trump Pivotal Card events, too, except for the US; but the VC Pivot Card trumps any other Pivots!
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 #44 on: January 03, 2017, 08:09:35 PM »
TEST TURN ONE: VC OPTIONS
-------------------------

So, now that we’ve had that VC faction overview, let’s go back to look at Banzai_Cat’s options. I’m posting this before he has made his choices, but this will explain for newcomers what he can chose between.

For that purpose, let’s take a look at the Sequence block:

 


This is at the bottom right corner of the mapboard, and gives a reminder of basic player options. I’ve put the player markers in descending order for this turn (based on what the active card dictated), and AzTank’s US faction has already gone.

B_C, being the VC, gets the next choice of action, and being second initiative he has fewer options. He can pass and be eligible to try for next Turn’s event -- and he has the first initiative on the upcoming card!

 


There’s the upcoming card again for Banzai’s convenience. If he opts for an operation on this first turn instead, he’ll have to risk the ARVN player using that event -- but, that particular event only helps the ARVN, it doesn’t hurt the VC (or the NVA). There’s some chance that Banzai’s NVA ally will get to play that event instead, so Banzai might want to take full advantage of his operational opportunities this turn to set up VC troops in some cities (implicitly preparing to “bomb the Brinks Hotel” or the equivalent thereof).

This leads to VC’s other choice, which is to follow AzTank’s lead on the sequence track: since Az chose to use one of the events on this turn’s card (the one that helped him, obviously), Banzai can consequently choose to fully play one of his four general operations (affecting any or all valid targets), plus any valid subsequent special activity.

Here is the VC general operation sheet for Banzai’s reference:

 


Since B_C is a vet of the game I won’t explain all those unless he asks for some clarification; I’ll only explain what he chooses (unless he passes). But he must choose either to pass or to play a full op (plus a special activity at his discretion).

If he passes, he gets one resource; if he ops, he has to spend at least one resource (and he only has 5 to start with). But -- really, he might as well play an op: passing to get initiative on the upcoming Brinks Hotel event only works if he has VC in any cities, which he doesn’t right now (at game start). Whereas if he ops, then he can not only put VC into some cities (by Rallying would be the safest method), he could follow that up with a Subversion special ability and remove one or two ARVN cubes! Then he’s prepared to take advantage if he lucks out and his NVA ally can and does play the Brinks Hotel event next Turn.

So, Banzai, here are the two map halves for reference:

 


 


To recap AzTank’s move, he put his remaining 3 specs into Cambodia and Laos, and then Air Struck 6 bases off the map, including three of yours (Quang Tri, Binh Dinh and Pleiku) thus also ramping up those province to passive opposition to Saigon (thus in your favor).

(Note: I should have reduced the NVA score from 8 to 4, not to 5. This will be fixed in the next snapshot whenever B_C makes his choice.)

That’s it for now until B_C makes his test move.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 01:10:09 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.