British Cromwell hunts Whittman!

British Cromwell hunts Whittman!
A pic from a Fireball game at Fall In 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The verdict on the new ranged fire rules

Well, last tuesday night we played a Hurtgen Forest scenario that was full of infantry and tanks. The new armor and infantry fire rules were used and we had a very interesting playtest experience. We had players that were very familiar with the new rules and players that were brand new to them. There was some unease as the game went on for two main reasons. 1. Players had no concept of the chances of a kill with the new rules. 2. The new rules meant we would have to totally rewrite the spotting rules.

The first point means that players had no idea how to implement proper tactics. The US armor commander (Tom Garnett) had no clue as to what range he should engage the German armor. He was right to feel that way. The older system used a handful of d6s needing 6s to cause damage. A player rolling 8d6 basically would know he would probably get at least one damage result. This simpler handful of d6 mechanic means that players know the effectiveness of their weapons without having to take a course in calculus. That is more in keeping with the philosophy of the rules.

The second point about changing the spotting really drove home that the new firing rules were basically changing the entire concept of the game. It was becoming one more reliant on exacting measurements and parceling out particular situations. This is a major point as we basically would be creating an entirely new game.

We all came to the conclusion that the original system was how we want the game to play. Simple rules that allow players to focus on tactics. So....when Jonathan returns from out of town we will sit down and figure out how to work his excellent data into our original handful of dice armor system...and the infantry fire will stay as it has been played since the beginning.

Thanks so much to all the playtesters. Not only did this help me understand how the game is helped me understand how gamers approach their hobby.

These new rules looked promising but in the end they were taking the game in an entirely new direction. Ultimately I hope to create a miniatures game that has the feel of the old Avalon HIll games 'Napoleon', 'Victory in the Pacific' or 'War at Sea.'


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