I wander if any of you, has experimented with Fog of War in this serie and how it worked out.
From one side, I think is must add quite a bit of complexity, on other hand, the lack of it, seems to me, a real pity. When I read the historical account, of those campaigns, they are full of events, based on it and that determined, quite a lot, the historical outcomes.

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I surely do, but not right now as I'm playing something else ( for a change from ACW it is old John Hill's "Eastern Front Tank Leader" which in turn brought me to finally read von Mainstein's "Lost Victories", which in turn triggered to finally learn MMP's "A Victory Lost", which in turn... Well you know the drill...).

 

If you are keen to be patient a couple of months, I surely want to go back to GCACW ( and ACW games in general). Beside GCACW I'm also very interested to play other ACW games on operational scale. In particular Clash of Arms games, which I start to prepare the Vassal modules and already got permission to upload.

That's fine. Keep me in mind. I keep a lot of things going. I am currently playing Case Blue and a few games of Paths of Glory all on vassal. My email is tawhicks at gmail dot com.

Actually with a buddy, we made up our own FOW rules exploiting a Vassal 'invisible unit' feature. A unit with this trait will be completely invisible to the enemy player and rendered with some transparency to the own player.

What we did was to use sort of force markers which were just showing the respective national flags and only the owner knew what actually was hidden under them. The fact the unit markers are invisible, bought us the extra layer of FOW consisting in not revealing how many markers (and in GCACW they can be a lot...) may lay under this custom force markers, while they being plain visible to own player.

We decided that each of these force markers should contain at least a detachment, otherwise it would be cumbersome to handle situations where dummies of both sides would meet.

A downside arose from the implementation of this 'invisible unit' trait in Vassal. That is due the transparency that units show to the own player conflict with counters bearing data on both sides of the counter, as they tend to overlap each other. Unfortunately who wrote the code for this feature, must not have considered this case, as I couldn't find a way to get rid of the transparency and just having the counter view for the owner just normal plain counters (possibly using some other graphical clues to indicate the unit is currently invisible to the enemy). 

One way maybe to solve this issue is, in the Vassal module, to edit the units so to display the back side information not on the 'back' side of the marker, but using layers triggered by the right click menu.

In conclusion, we have had lots of fun  and in my opinion using Vassal to enhance FOW for GCACW (and possibly for lots of other games for that) is currently the best option beside having an umpire (real or software implemented). Vassal module editing has a bit of steep learning curve, but not that bad. Best way to learn is by peering modules that has been created with the features you would like to use.

 

One more thing: being the perverted players I and my buddy are, we also introduced an army level command, which goal has been to limit the God view players enjoy. We did it by having at the beginning of each turn army leaders producing orders for corps. After a few trials we limited them to be a location hex as center of hexes area, a corps is limited to operate in (I think we went for a 2 or 3 hex radius). That is, if you want the 3rd corps to advance in a certain area (or remain in one) you will put a marker representing this objective and bearing the 3rd corps ID, in that location. This 'corps order' marker is invisible to the other player and implies players honesty, as the other player will never see it. We found that using this further command layer associated with our FOW implementation, resulting quite realistic, forcing the players to really plan ahead based on limited information.

A further benefit of limiting the available information, speed up the game. We were able to play a turn per real time hour on average I think.

BTW, we used it with RTG campaign scenario.

Hope it may help and in case, I can pass to you the custom Vassal module of RTG if you wish. I waited to upload it in the Vassal repository as it needs some cleaning/corrections, which I haven't yet done (sigh..).

 

Cheers

Forgot to mention what information we decide to disclose to the enemy player, when stacks were inside scouting distance (if I remind it right cav radius was 3, but right now I seem to remember maybe it was up to 5. Have to ask Joe to remind me about it. I'm pretty sure an only infantry stack scouting radius was just the next hex).

However whatever was that radius we decided the adversary was revealed only  Infantry total strength and/or Cavalry total strength. They were given as separate amounts and in any cases using the organized side of the strength markers even if units would actually be disorganized.

 

I'm pretty sure we considered cavalry screening and other features, but given all other custom rules introduced, we decided for the time being to just stick with what we got till there.

 

Surely we have had lots of fun in the process.

:)


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