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Bitter Cold Bastogne Battle Report

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  • Bitter Cold Bastogne Battle Report

    The last battle report from this year's GenCon.

    http://www.armchairgeneral.com/artic...&page=1&cat=59

  • #2
    Another excellent AAR, thanks for posting. Is Paul Glasser a member of the forum here, too?

    Question... how is something like fog of war emulated in a battle like this? It seems to me that all the players are sort of in "god mode", where they can physically see everything else on the board. Honor system aside, you can't really "un-see" that company of commandos sneaking up on your flank.
    "I am not an atomic playboy."
    Vice Admiral William P. Blandy

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    • #3
      Yes, I don't post much but I do read the forums from time to time.

      At least in the games I played with Pete there wasn't any mechanism for fog of war. As you said, players can see everything at once. Overall, Pete's system was mostly about action, and he wanted people to roll a lot of dice all the time. He also did a scenario on the eastern front with an SS panzer corps but I didn't play that one.

      I also had a couple huge Flames of War reports from an El Alamein scenario and one from Axis and Allies: Minis.

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      • #4
        Ah, I see. Well sounds like a lot of fun -- the pics are great.
        "I am not an atomic playboy."
        Vice Admiral William P. Blandy

        Comment


        • #5
          A follow-up to my own question... I found an article on wargamer.com that discusses FoW in boardgames and (to a lesser extent) miniatures. Interesting read:

          http://www.wargamer.com/articles/bat..._3/Default.asp
          Last edited by mirrorshades; 05 Oct 07, 13:12. Reason: r/extend/extent
          "I am not an atomic playboy."
          Vice Admiral William P. Blandy

          Comment


          • #6
            Fog of War

            Just have to jump in here and spout off an opinion on "fog of war." (Guess I'm turning into an opinionated old grognard.)

            IMO, the lack of any FOW mechanism in the typical board wargame (or miniatures wargame) is much less of a problem than many gamers make it out to be. But if you start out on computer wargames, where FOW is no problem to implement and is therefore a typical feature, board wargames can look primitive and unrealistic.

            I've read a fair bit of military history over the course of a few decades. And I've read Clausewitz and other theorists too. Based on that, I'd point out a few things:

            1. Often, the location and strength of enemy units is known. Armies do try to mislead and mystify the enemy, but it's rare that armies successfully sneak around and pull off giant ambushes. The outbreak of the Battle of the Bulge was a surprise attack, but that just meant the Germans had amassed more troops in the Ardennes than the Allies realized, more than they were prepared to defend against at that time. Yet, it was known all along that the German army was there, in some strength or other.

            2. Sometimes a commander doesn't know exactly where his own units are, or what their strengths are. So, it can be just as "unrealistic" to let a player see all his own units as to see all the enemy's.

            3. In wargames, there are various mechanisms that can account for FOW without portraying it explicitly. If you advance a couple units adjacent to an enemy unit, attack, get a bad die roll, and end up repulsed -- that could mean that the enemy unit was hidden and ambushed your attacking units. Even though, as a player, you see the enemy unit there in that hex, down on the actual battlefield, your units might not see the enemy.

            If you want to see how crazy -- and fun -- a wargame can get when FOW and command-control problems are factored in in a big way, check out the Piquet miniatures rules by Bob Jones.
            http://www.piquet.com/news.php

            But IMO, even highly stylized games like chess are really wargames. They may not make everything as explicit, or "realistic," as what we normally think of as wargames, but they do get players planning and executing strategy and tactics -- and some of the strategy and tactics has a real military flavor.

            The more a wargame attempts to be detailed, explicit, and realistic, the more sharply its gaps and flaws and shortcomings show up.
            --Patrick Carroll


            "Do all you have agreed to do, and do not encroach on other persons or their property." (Richard Maybury)

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            • #7
              The wargamer article did a lot for me as far as helping to define what it really is -- being a computer gamer, I had really only thought of it as whether or not you can see the bad guys. Things like terrain/weather affects, inept subordinate commanders, and ammo/supply shortages are just as much a part of it all, and are often addressed (as far as I have seen).

              Currently, I also am enjoying wargaming in the American Revolution era, where I expect that intelligence as to an enemy's size and disposition would be far less reliable than even a WWII era conflict.

              I don't really consider the lack of an implementation a failing, it just seemed to me that the players in a miniatures game command an astonishing God-mode view of the battlefield that might make it harder to out-maneuver the bad guy. (Of course, I still get my tookus handed to me every time I play chess, so I guess you still need a good foundation in the game strategies whether or not you can see the enemy pieces.)
              "I am not an atomic playboy."
              Vice Admiral William P. Blandy

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