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Platoon-sized WW2 wargame by Joe (Design blog) :: Part 04 - Combat mechanics ideas pt. 2 (AT combat)

Joe Kundlak
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First a small addendum to AP combat (which will also apply to AT combat, as included below; I also updated Part 03 as per that):
- Artillery will be the first thing to fire on a player's Turn and it will not require LOS by itself, but rather a spotter, that has LOS to the target unit. The combat procedure remains the same.
- Artillery units do not use the second roll for Elimination when attacking AT units in a hex, the game assumes those bigger shells either smack you down when they hit you, or they miss. With Artillery you basically attack all units in a hex the same way, so if a hit in a hex is achieved, AT units are eliminated, while AP units suffer CPs as per the regular AP Combat procedure.
- Mortars and direct fire guns are used during the regular AP/AT combat, so they use normal LOS rules etc.

------------------------------------------------

Continuing from Part 03. I want to keep AT combat resembling the AP combat, with a small twist. That would be the separation of hitting and doing actual damage (or not). Thus AT combat will consist of two consecutive checks, from which the first one will be similar to the one in the AP combat. The second one will simply be based off of the difference between attack strength vs. the defense strength.

Both the attack strength and the defense strength will have all the "real-life" factors included in them, such as better guns, armor thickness, sloped vs. more traditional armor etc. I of course do not plan to make a scientific trip to WW2, dig through technical manuals, compare numbers at different speeds and ammunition type and make statistical analysis or anything. That could very well take 5 years and at the end I might not be that much further than I am right about now. You need to understand I am nor a mathematical genius, neither an analyst, I usually go by gut and adjust on the fly. And the projected desing of this game does help in that field - given the simplicity of the planned mechanisms I can chuck much of the "chrome" and replace it by "playability and approachability by simplicity". There, paint it on a wall

AT combat affects hard armored targets / Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) / buildings / structures / planes (possibly, but this might go the route of Panzer Leader by having a few dedicated Anti-Aircraft units, so that planes are only affected by those, although the resolution mechanics would stay true to AT combat). For one, a shell or a salvo has to hit first and only then can it either penetrate (i.e. eliminate the target) or deflect (and thus keep the target intact). I will not bother with partial results (like lost tracks on tanks, immobilization etc.) to keep the game reasonably simple and at the same time more deadly.

Instead of targetting a hex by the AT combat a single target unit has to be selected by the attacker, even if multiple attacking units are used. The reductions for subsequent attacks vs. the same unit will be retained from the AP combat procedure.

This small mechanism might get cumbersome, as it will require remembering what targets were chosen in the Turn already, or it will need additional "Target" counters on the map... I will mull on this yet and ultimately decide based on the real-world tests, if this is actually needed, or the differences between reducing further attacks and not reducing them will be so negligible in light of the whole game).


Anti-Tank (AT) combat
- Attacker decides on the target unit and chooses his units to attack it with (they have to have LOS to it).
--- In case of indirect fire the Artillery units do not have to have LOS to the target hex by themselves, but instead can use a friendly spotter, that has LOS to the target unit.

- AT Combat procedure steps:

1. Combine Anti-Tank Strength (ATS) of all units attacking a unit
- 1a. First attack against a unit in a Turn: Add +1 for each attacking unit above the 1st to the ATS (i.e. 3 units with combined ATS of 11 get +2 added)
- 1b. Each subsequent attack against the same unit in a Turn: instead of applying the bonus to the total ATS from 1a. you keep accumulating a -1 subtraction in each subsequent attack from the ATS (i.e. 2nd attack = ATS -1, 3rd attack = ATS -2 etc.)
- 1c. Subtract -X for target Terrain Cover (as detailed in the Terrain Chart)
2. Computing Step 1 = Total ATS (TATS)
3. Roll d6 equal to the number of attacking units and total the dice results = Total Roll (TR)
4. If you roll under TATS, you achieve a general HIT on the target unit[/b]
5. If the target unit is hit, TATS - TR = bonus to the Elimination roll
6. A single d6 is rolled for the target unit (i.e. the Elimination roll) and the bonus from point 5. is added (if any).
7. If the roll+bonus > DS of the target unit, the unit is eliminated. Otherwise the target unit keeps fighting.

Elimination = unit is eliminated and removed from the game board. There is no Dispersion/Immobilization in the game, which makes it slightly easier to keep track of unit status (given the Infantry already has a Dispersed side/status).

Note to hitting and eliminating units in AT combat: The "general HIT" means that there were one or more hits achieved on the target unit. Without making this a simulation the simple mechanism of "subsequently having the difference between TATS and DR being the bonus to the Elimination roll" allows to reflect the increased probability of eliminating a target unit when more hits are accumulated at once.
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Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:47 pm
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Platoon-sized WW2 wargame by Joe (Design blog) :: Part 03 - Combat mechanics ideas pt. 1 (core concepts and dice rolling)

Joe Kundlak
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Thoughts:

I am still mulling over unit activation - whether it should mimic the original Panzer Leader (and many other games) in that all units from one side activate and act in Turn X, then the other side gets their Turn X, or if a different system should be used (for example units grouped into formations and an alternating activation system would be used etc.).

The former has an advantage in simplicity and less bookkeeping, plus it promotes easier/faster Play-by-email play with less back-and-forth moves between players for a single game. Also, in this case the aim would be to minimize reactions from the non-acting player as much as possible - the ultimate goal is just CP assignment at the beginning of (a form of) the Defensive fire segment for the defending player (see the Turn Sequence for Valor & Victory for reference).

The latter has an advantage in more modern (better?) C&C application and a flatter combat/kill distribution between sides and Turns, removing that "Turn 1 barrage" effect with good dice rolls.

For the below mechanics option 1 is considered so far (players alternating Turns instead of Formations).


Premises for Combat - i.e. Design goals:


1. Roll all attack dice for a group of units shooting at once to resolve quickly (no sequential rolling, unit by unit...).
1a. No defense rolls - the defense is already factored into the attack roll (via Terrain) and CP application (no partial results are applied, only Dispersion and Elimination)
2. No CRT, all the needed numbers/calculations should be done by looking at units, little addition/subtraction where warranted and factoring in the dice results.
3. Just two combat types - Anti-Personnel (soft unarmored targets / vehicles / guns) and Anti-Tank (hard armored targets / Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) / buildings / structures / planes ?) with no special ammunitions or anything to keep things simple. Only some bonuses of +/-X would be allowed for some special cases, to be consistent across combat resolution.

Anti-Personnel (AP) combat
- Attacker decides on the target hex and chooses his units to attack it with (they have to have LOS to it).
--- In case of indirect fire the Artillery units do not have to have LOS to the target hex by themselves, but instead can use a friendly spotter, that has LOS to the target unit.
- All AP-prone units defending in the target hex are subject to AP combat.
- AP Combat procedure steps:

1. Combine Anti-Personnel Strength (APS) of all units attacking a hex
- 1a. First attack against a hex in a Turn: Add +1 for each attacking unit above the 1st to the APS (i.e. 4 units with combined APS of 14 get +3 added)
- 1b. Each subsequent attack against the same hex in a Turn: instead of applying the bonus to the total APS from 1a. you keep accumulating a -1 subtraction in each subsequent attack from the APS (i.e. 2nd attack = APS -1, 3rd attack = APS -2 etc.)
- 1c. Subtract -X for target Terrain Cover (as detailed in the Terrain Chart)
2. Computing Step 1 = Total APS (TAPS)
3. Roll d6 equal to the number of attacking units and total the dice results = Total Roll (TR)
4. If you roll under TAPS, you achieve Casualty Points (CPs)
5. TAPS - TR = CPs applied
6. CPs are distributed to the AP-prone units in the defending hex by the Defender in any manner he wishes
- 6a. any partial results (i.e. not enough CPs for Dispersion or Elimination on a unit) are discarded after CP assignment is completed
7. A defending unit may:
- 7a. suffer Dispersion when CPs applied = its Defense Strength (DS)
- 7b. suffer Elimination when CPs applied = 2x its DS
- 7c. a unit cannot have more CPs assigned than 2x its DS

Dispersion = units are basically pinned to the ground and unable to move or attack in their owner's next Turn. This is signified by flipping the counter back-side up, showing the Dispersed side with just the DS.
-- All Dispersed units are flipped back at the end of their owner's next Turn.

Elimination = unit is eliminated and removed from the game board.


AT combat

Coming soon...



TO-DO:

AP Combat

- compute DS to be such that the defending player can decide to apply say 1 CP to each unit (and "spread" damage to actually not affect any unit with Dispersion or Elimination if there are not enough CPs), but also such that this can only be done in the minority of cases and in the majority of the cases he will need to Disperse or even Eliminate units as the result of combat - it should after all be a deadly affair and not a sunday walk on the field

- check how the bonus for the first attack vs. a hex applies overall to the results of subsequent attacks and if the +1 for each additional unit over the 1st is substantial (as a bonus) or not

- check if the formula TAPS - TR = CPs applied can have wild results or if they center around a particular number from the mathematical point of view, so as to give a more consistent CP range instead of wild results

- decide on the APS ratings of AFVs; with the above system they should come close to the Infantry APS ratings to not produce a wild result if Infantry is supported by tanks, but on the other hand to give some bonus over just the regular Infantry fire - and also to promote a Combined Arms approach

- check if presence of AFVs in the defending hex can warrant a cover bonus (-1/-2 for instance)? This would be a nice way to promote and incorporate a certain aspect of Combined Arms as well...



VARIOUS NOTES:

What about HQ/Formation counters? Would they be a usefull addition to the (simple) combat system? And how much would their introduction require changing the above combat system?

Combined Arms - try to incorporate it into Defense, Attack and perhaps even other areas

Original Panzer Leader game scale:

1 hex = 250m
1 Turn =~ 6 minutes
1 counter = infantry/tank/gun platoon
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Thu Apr 9, 2015 12:06 pm
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Getting my body in shape (finally), a.k.a. Joe's YAYOG endeavor! :: Update - 5th week of Basic Program started...

Joe Kundlak
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Hi folks,

do not fear, I did not abandon YAYOG It is just the fact that I decided not to pursue daily updates, but rather smaller updates from time to time, just to document the progress.

Week 5 just started yesterday (continuing today) and I feel pretty good. The old enemies (Pull Ups, Side Lunges...) are still there and still kicking me into my teeth, but I go onwards anyway

My food control is still not good enough to simply lose weight that way, have to get better at that.

And I am still contemplating a way to make myself a simple tool for Pull Ups, so that I do not have to utilise my kitchen table (which has sharp corners, hence my fingers quite hurt when I get a grip on the edge. I will either get a wooden bar and place it between the table and the couch, or make myself a metal structure of sorts... We shall see.

Take care!
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Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:59 pm
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Getting my body in shape (finally), a.k.a. Joe's YAYOG endeavor! :: A small update

Joe Kundlak
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I have decided, upon reflecting a bit more, to redo the WHOLE Basic Program.

Mostly because I now feel that it will not slow me down in my progress (as with many of the exercises I could not get to the prescribed form at all and was lacking, even though with others I already felt comfortable).

So what I will do is I will redo all 10 weeks and adjust the easier exercises to be a bit harder than the given version for the week (say push-ups now with hands on the ground vs. elevated hands before, or Let-Me-Ins with a pause in the extreme positions etc.).

This is (again) due to my body weight and the need for the muscles to move more mass, than a man with 80 Kg of raw weight would need to do. And in the end I feel pretty confident that I will thank myself retrospectively for doing it all over again and in that way strenghtening my muscles even more before tackling harder exercises, as well as giving my body more time to lose some weight inbetween.
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Wed Jan 7, 2015 8:57 pm
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Getting my body in shape (finally), a.k.a. Joe's YAYOG endeavor! :: Christmas/End-of-year-2014 update

Joe Kundlak
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Hi folks!

I have been off this blog for the last weeks in 2014, mainly because of time constraints and some issues with working out on Week 7. I finished it eventually and also Weeks 8 and 9.

I am currently in mid-Week 10, but that was left unfinished, due to Christmas and all related activities.

What I decided upon because of that is to have a week off (so in effect nearly 2 weeks off counting Christmas etc.) and then repeat Weeks 7-10 from the Basic Program. I definitely feel the improvement in my muscle strength and endurance since I started YAYOG (and maybe even the loss of an inch on my belly - did not check that before so do not have any reference other than the fact that I think I can button up my wedding dress pants slightly more easily now ). However I still do not feel comfortable stepping up to the 1st Class Program and will definitely appreciate another 4 weeks of building up muscle strength/endurance.

Someone might ask why not repeat the whole Program then? That is what I thought about at first, but after reading a bit on the official YAYOG forums it was mentioned there that as a middle-point between Programs it might be good for folks (that do not yet feel comfortable with the jump up) to repeat just the Undulating block (i.e. Weeks 7-10). And it's also quite logical, as each of those 4 weeks contains the whole range of exercise types - Ladders for endurance, Interval Sets for strength building, Supersets for power and Tabatas/Stappers for intensive workouts.

Thus I will stick to that and redo Weeks 7-10 and after that, somewhere in mid-February, start the 1st Class Program, if all goes well.

Wish me luck, and...

... Happy New Year to everyone in advance!!!
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Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:23 pm
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Getting my body in shape (finally), a.k.a. Joe's YAYOG endeavor! :: Day 27 (Week 7) - One all-day workout replacement, thank you!

Joe Kundlak
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Yesterday I did physical work that replaced the workout for that day - I dug up a ditch for the new water supply pipe for my grandma-in-law (they are replacing the old steel pipe with the newer rubber pipe). The ditch is around 40cm wide and up to 80cm deep (so that the water is deep enough to not freeze in the pipe) and around 15m long or so.

The activity lasted from 9am to roughly 4pm with roughly 2 hours of breaks in total.

This was an interesting experience, as it was the first such major "muscle" activity after I have started working out at home, so I was also eager to find out if the workout so far would help and/or show and in which way.

The result?

I really felt that my previous weeks did indeed help me during the physical work and most importantly - I do not currenly feel any muscle pain! Before, when I was engaged in such physical work around/on our house, I often felt muscle ache the day after each such work and it usually took say a week of such activities to get better and not feel it afterwards.

I also felt the relevant muscles engaging at some points/body positions, especially the abdomen muscles and shoulders/hands.

The only negative from yesterday is that I got (most probably) a slight inflammation of the higher glute muscle on the left side (Gluteus Medius I guess). The most probably cause is a cold shock from sleeping without a cover after our children came to our bed early in the morning (which they luckily do not do). This manifested itself only when I started working on the ditch, so not entirely sure about all the connections and causes, but I guess it all connects to each other (strain from the work withou enough warm-up, after the initial cold shock maybe). Of course if I am blabbering about what I do not know, feel free to correct me on the above

Will have to see how that muscle performs before I can go ahead with workouts this week. Will leave today out and if all goes better/well, I will try Saturday and Sunday for Days 28 and 29.

Wish me luck!
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Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:45 am
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Getting my body in shape (finally), a.k.a. Joe's YAYOG endeavor! :: Day 26 (Week 7) - Superset me

Joe Kundlak
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Day 26 was Supersets again. And feet this time My least favorite set as you might already have gathered - mostly because of Side Lunges. These are tough, especially if you do not have a firm boot-to-ground grip. I took on good shoes for the second exercise pair so the rep count for the Side Lunges rose (confirming the claim in the previous sentence).

Toyotas were also demanding, but I managed a bit more than last time.

Calf raises? I could have done more of these I felt, so I slowed down a bit.

All-in-all, a good workout. Onwards to brighter future!

Workout summary
Supersets - exercises are given in pairs and each pair is performed for a 4-minute interval in total. First exercise in the pair is performed for 1-5 reps in a way to not get to failure, while using a slow negative movement and a fast concentric movement. The second exercise in the pair is performed at a decent pace, but controlled (no rushing), for 6-12 reps. The remainder of the 4-minute interval is rest. This repeats twice for each exercise pair and there are 3 exercise pairs, so the total workout duration is 24 minutes (slightly less as for the last interval you basically lose the rest period).

Back Lunges + Toyotas - 5/10, 5/12 reps
Lunges + Side Lunges - 5/8, 5/12 reps
One-Legged Romanian Dead Lifts + Calf Raises - 5/12, 5/12 reps
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Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:23 am
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Getting my body in shape (finally), a.k.a. Joe's YAYOG endeavor! :: Day 25 (Week 7) - Walking up the ladder

Joe Kundlak
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Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 7 starts the cycle of different workout types each day until the end of Week 10, the so-called "Undulating block". What this is is basically alternating workout types with different exercises for that type. So for instance one day you may do Ladders for Military Press or Push Ups, the next day Superseries for Back Lunges or Toyotas and the day after Interval Series for Let Me Ins or Let Me Ups (of course there are more exercises during each day, this is just an example).

If you followed my blog for some time, you might already have an idea of how many exercises go with each type of workout, so in essence Weeks 7-10 are a mix of Weeks 1, 3 and 5 with Tabatas and Stappers added as new exercise types (I will describe these when they first show up).

Day 25 is about Ladders, so memories get back to Weeks 1 and 2 and how it all started. I initially thought that this day would not be that hard, but it proved me wrong ! This is most likely because of the exercises used and the fact that you have classic Push Ups and close-grip Push Ups one after the other. I was sweating pretty heavily (a good sign!), but managed a good set of reps for each exercise. It's hard co compare the isolated numbers, mainly because of a different mix of exercises in Weeks 1/2, but at least I performed at roughly the same level individually as before.


Workout summary

7.5 minutes for each exercise, Ladder system (description here)
2 minutes rest between exercises

Military Press (hands knee-height) - 58 reps
Classic Push Ups (hands knee-height) - 55 reps
Close-grip Push Ups (hands knee-height) - 46 reps
Seated Dips (knees bent) - 64 reps
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Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:50 am
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Getting my body in shape (finally), a.k.a. Joe's YAYOG endeavor! :: Day 23b + the rest of Day 24b (Week 6) - Pull up, driver!

Joe Kundlak
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Sunday, November 09, 2014

Wait, where is Day 22? Well, Day 22 was spent working around the house and on a short trip with kids, so I left out the workout for that day. Yes, my legs got mostly an endurance training that way, but better than nothing. My bad for not finding enough time for it otherwise.

Day 23 went ok. Assisted Pull Ups were quite hard due to my weight, but when I tried one the day after, I could manage a single full Pull Up on my own. This is a slight improvement, as before I could not do it fully upwards.

The other exercises were fine, even though all those Let Me Ins (one in each Superset pair!) started to get demanding on the arm muscles, but I managed in the end.

As on Day 21b I added the rest of the Core exercises from Day 24 to fininsh Week 6 on schedule. As those were aimed at different body parts I never felt exhausted performing them right after the regular Day 23 exercises. I cannot be an authority on whether this is good or not, but from my POV if you just cannot find time for a two-day workout, you can squeeze two days into one with Supersets, providing you are training different body parts - mainly Core+Pull/Push. Combining Pull and Push might get more difficult, but feel free to try and report back


Workout summary
Supersets - exercises are given in pairs and each pair is performed for a 4-minute interval in total. First exercise in the pair is performed for 1-5 reps in a way to not get to failure, while using a slow negative movement and a fast concentric movement. The second exercise in the pair is performed at a decent pace, but controlled (no rushing), for 6-12 reps. The remainder of the 4-minute interval is rest. This repeats twice for each exercise pair and there are 3 exercise pairs, so the total workout duration is 24 minutes (slightly less as for the last interval you basically lose the rest period).

Pull Ups (assisted) + Let Me Ins (underhand) - 5/12, 5/12
Let Me Ins (overhand) + Towel Curls - 5/15, 5/12
Let Me Ups (overhand) + Let Me Ins (knees only slightly bent, underhand) - 5/12, 4/12

Hyperextensions + Swimmers - 5/12, 5/12
Supermans + Leg Lifts - 5/12, 5/12
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Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:00 am
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Getting my body in shape (finally), a.k.a. Joe's YAYOG endeavor! :: Day 21b + part of Day 24b (Week 6) - Push and shove redux

Joe Kundlak
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Friday, November 07, 2014

The restart of Week 6 went well. I could perform Seated Dips better and I finally feel my hands strenghtening in that area and though things like Pull Ups are still in the hazy realm of distant future (mainly due to my body weight being what it is and posing the biggest issue for the hands to pull my body up that way), I will get there eventually.

I added V-Ups and Russian Twists from Day 24, as I only had 3 days left in the week (Friday, Saturday and Sunday).

Workout summary
Supersets - exercises are given in pairs and each pair is performed for a 4-minute interval in total. First exercise in the pair is performed for 1-5 reps in a way to not get to failure, while using a slow negative movement and a fast concentric movement. The second exercise in the pair is performed at a decent pace, but controlled (no rushing), for 6-12 reps. The remainder of the 4-minute interval is rest. This repeats twice for each exercise pair and there are 3 exercise pairs, so the total workout duration is 24 minutes (slightly less as for the last interval you basically lose the rest period).

Push Ups with feet elevated + Shove Offs - 5/12, 5/12
Military Press + Thumbs Up - 5/12, 5/12
Close Grip Push Ups + Seated Dips - 5/12, 5/10

V-Ups + Russian Twists - 5/8, 5/8
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Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:46 am
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