Thursday, 22 April 2010

A problem with the card-driven turn sequence

As readers of this blog will be aware, whilst I was on my recent cruise I read and re-read both the latest draft of the 'Modern' wargames rules that I have been developing from Joseph Morschauser's original rules and WHEN EMPIRES CLASH! As a result I realised that the card-driven turn sequence I had developed for the former had a basic flaw.

The flaw is quite a simple one, and only comes to light when armies of significantly different sizes are deployed on the battlefield.
  • If a large army (e.g. 24 Units) commanded by a ‘Good’ commander faces a small army (e.g. 12 Units) commanded by a ‘Poor’ commander, it is almost unbeatable because the larger army will be able to activate far more of its Units each turn that the smaller army (i.e. an average of 20 Units per turn for the large army and 4 Units per turn for the smaller army).
  • If a large army (e.g. 24 Units) commanded by a ‘Poor’ commander faces a small army (e.g. 12 Units) commanded by a ‘Good’ commander, the outcome should be fairer as the number of Units activated by both armies will be reasonably balanced each turn (i.e. an average of 12 Units per turn for the large army and 10 Units per turn for the smaller army).
  • If a very large army (e.g. 36 Units) commanded by a ‘Poor’ commander faces a small army (e.g. 12 Units) commanded by a ‘Good’ commander, the outcome should be in favour of the very large army as the number of Units activated by very large army should be much higher than the number activated by the smaller army (i.e. an average of 18 Units per turn for the very large army and 10 Units per turn for the smaller army).
In light of this I have been giving the matter some significant thinking time, and I am looking at ways in which the number of Unit activations that a commander can make each turn can be limited without creating a very cumbersome game mechanism. I am almost there … but I still have a bit father to go before I have what I consider to be a working solution.

2 comments:

  1. Two thoughts:

    1) Allow more cards for a larger army but more activations per card for a better commander.

    2) Use a logarithmic type function to determine number of cards for an army size. A 24 size army gets 1.5x the number of cards as a 12 size army - not 2x.

    A third which I like less: Allow good commanders to store activations. As the horde grinds forward, the superior commander can pick the right time to move his smaller force. He can react more decisively and with more coordination.

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  2. Pat G,

    Thank you for your ideas. I had not considered the first of them and the second is similar to something that I have been working on.

    Like you, something along the lines of the third suggestion does not appeal, especially as most of the battles fought will be solo ones and it might lead me to skew the results inadvertantly.

    All the best,

    Bob

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