[messages] [Opponents Wanted] Turning Point: Stalingrad & Breakout: Normandy

Gryff ml_berlin at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 14 22:53:44 CEST 2018


Hi Peter,

I didn't play both games for 15-20 years, my face to face opponents
married and got children, or new jobs and moved to other cities or
both:-). At that time live-play was technically not possible, and I
tried cyberboard for some PBEM attempts, but gave up on it, later. 
Then I found 'Paths of Glory' a card-driven game about the Great War in
Europe, which I could play live in wargameroom.com, all games there have
rules enforced,too. It is in many ways the successor of TP:S and B:N but
added much more levels of decision making and a very interesting grand
strategy design. It's actually the successor of two brilliant AH design
concepts( Hannibal and TP:S/ B:N). 
While Hannibal suffered from a too big amount of luck involved (for a
game of such length), by the simple fact, that both players draw their
cards from the same deck ( if I draw all the good and high-value cards,
you won't! ), PoG has a deck for each player and is so balanced that I
would call it 'Chess with cards and dice rolls'. This means, no matter
how bad the dice rolls or card draws, a beginner will never beat an
expert in this game. 
Each card can be used in one of 4 ways: 1. As the event( then it will be
removed from your deck). This could be new units as reinforcements, the
entrance of a neutral country into WW I, or other historical events of
the Great War 2. To activate as many areas as it's operation value 3.
Getting an amount of replacement points to rebuild armies and corps at
turn end 4. To 'strategically redeploy' units( let them move by train or
ship) It became my favourite game for the next 10 years, and probably
still is.

So after many years I re-found Vassal in February and the option for
live-play of the great AH games.
I started several TP:S and one B:N game, which is only sporadically
played live, but daily per PBEM and while TP:S is smooth and
straightforward, B:N rules are a pain in the ass! There is no other way
to describe it! No Joke, I think I spent more time reading rules and
posts in consimworld forum for B:N than I spent time for learning ASL !
And that for a game, I 've played already about 20 times, and won at a
con, even if that was 20 years ago. AH was my favourite game company,
and I played about 80% of their games at least once, and there was one
thing which, besides some brilliant game designs, was always outstanding
to other game companies, the high quality rules. Which was very
important in the pre-internet times. So I can say, the rules for B:N are
the worst written of all AH games, I've ever played! Since the start, 2
weeks ago, I have been spending 2h per day, for reading posts in
comsimworld and rules again, for every impulse and action, almost. Let
me quote that from today: 'Again, I must critizise the way the rules are
written, this part is 'hidden' in the weather section and is not in the
advantage section of the rules! Of course you don't want to repeat all
rules again in every section, but at least a hint in 11.23 like: ( read
18.42 for details of execution) would have helped. As I said before, I
practically read 30%-40% of all rules again, for every action, and the
new question that arises from that'.
So to make a long story short, I'm not sure if I am ready to start
another, until I comprehend and know all rules again. For TP:S you could
me wake at 4am, and I would able to explain the rules. I can only
recommend TP:S, same pressure, 'what is most important now?!', but
without the hinderance of obscure, unclear and even sometimes misleading
rules.
Michael

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Read this topic online here:
http://www.vassalengine.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=55139#p55139


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