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Re: The spontaneous intensity of a wargame published immediately after a contemporary conflict
As always, excellent.

I dug out my quads this weekend (thinking of trading out Blue and Gray I and II) and fiddled around with the Crusader game.

Not only can you jump inside Quads with great ease, but all the WW2 and later quads use almost exactly the same rules.

The typical adds are the Assault CRT along with the standard retreat/mobile one, and the introduction of infiltration for mech units (Modern Battles IIRC) or Japanese troops in the Island War Quad.

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Looking at these old games, one thing that you do not see is a mech phase - in the North Africa Quad you would thingk you would need it.

But then you do the CRT and find you sort of do have a mech phase; it just is not coordinated - a 4 hex adavance in the clear is like spending 8 MPs and you ignore ZOCs doing it.

You do advance movement on a per incident basis, so it is not a coordinated Mech Phase - one can justify this "uncoordinated mech phase" as more 'realistic'.

The SPI Quad games have great artillery rules - why DG messed that up with a support points mechanism in the re-released folios is beyond me.

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slight diversion on the new DG Quads (I have a review comparison in the works between SPI Arnhem and DG Arnhem)

Imagine this - you take all the artillery points from all the units you get in a quad and turn it into support points without units - you basically take an artillery unit, turn into a matching chit of X strength points, remove it from the map and then have the ability to support any combat at any point on the map from a cup of chits you randomly draw from. There are no limits on placement, so artillery has basically become capable of either infinite range or unlimited MPs.

They also add a mech movement phase; it is basically the Island War Quad infiltration rules rewritten in the worst possible way.

and the list goes on....

Best I can say about the new DG Arnhem game is the map - it was removed and placed in my quad box.

============================
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Kim Meints
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Re: The spontaneous intensity of a wargame published immediately after a contemporary conflict
Chinese Farm like all the Mod Quad I games have a special place in my heart still after all these years.

Great write up as always Pete!
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Re: The spontaneous intensity of a wargame published immediately after a contemporary conflict
Nice write up, Pete. Thank you.
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Brian Train
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Re: The spontaneous intensity of a wargame published immediately after a contemporary conflict
Excellent write-up Pete, thank you.

Bill, I agree with your comments on the Quads and it's obvious that DG is trying to bring that kind of quick-to-get-into fun back to the table with the Folio games (though at almost 20 bucks each - on the other hand in 1975 SPI sold the original MB Quad for $12 and you could buy separate titles for $4 each, so that means about 4.7% inflation compounded annually to reach that quintuple price point by now, I guess that's reasonable?).

I'm guessing the reason why DG went for the Support markers was to address a couple of game processes in the original designs: as games went on, the front line combat units would be chewed up, leaving only artillery units on one or both sides to finish off the fight. There was also the fiddliness of maneuvering and positioning artillery units so as to be able to cover the most ground, or stack them up to give a huge amount of support to an offensive - anyway, I thought that DG probably thought that with the markers, this would all come out in the wash and they could dispense with a level of detail they thought players wouldn't want anyway. Oh, and let's randomize the amount of firepower you might actually get - another wrinkle.

Agree with your comment about the needless mech movement phase; that's going back a step too far, to when almost every game SPI designed was another variation on the Kursk: Operation Zitadelle, 4 July 1943 or The Game of France, 1940: German Blitzkrieg in the West system.

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Re: The spontaneous intensity of a wargame published immediately after a contemporary conflict
Quote:
When a unit suffers the rare "DE" result the attacker only advances one hex. A breakthrough is probably likely in that situation, so why can't the attacker exploit it? I seem to remember some official SPI rule change that allowed a lengthy advance, but I can't find it now.
The rare DE could be those situations where the plucky defender held out to the bitter end; the actions of the 110th dealing with 2nd Panzer comes to mind (Bloody 110) as one of many examples.

Often something designers write rules for today can be found hidden in these old games as CRT results.

Even some contemporary games have this - Bitter Woods (fourth edition).

What is missing perhaps is the wipe out early and then advance - the overrun does not exist in the Quads.

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So, I have all those rules in front of me, and here is another subtle difference:

Westwall Quad - if the retreat cannot be completed, the retreat path ends. Advances can only follow the retreat path.

North Africa - You can leave the Retreat Path and advance as far as the stated result even if the unit could not retreat that far.

Simple things like that change the games just enough to model two different theaters.

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Brian Train
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Re: The spontaneous intensity of a wargame published immediately after a contemporary conflict
We like what you do Pete; you should be stroked for it.

Unfortunately I cannot recall any such rule change, but considering how hard it was to score a DE, there should be some kind of breakthrough result. I liked the two-CRTs idea that popped up in the Modern Battles II: Four Contemporary Conflicts quad, one more bloody than the other.

Artillery rules: A DG apologist would say that there is potentially just as much tension in their Support Marker system, without having to move or position all those artillery units (and also getting rid of Air Point systems and rules). But the rule of using the lower-valued markers first (8.1, which personally I ignore) and the limit of two per side per battle (which I do follow, since I thought it silly in the original Quad games to have potentially a motor rifle battalion with an attack factor of 1 backed up by 30 or 40 points of Barrage artillery) cut into that somewhat.

(I can't recall right now if any of the modern Folio games besides Showdown: The Coming Indo-Pakistani War have rules for nuclear weapons - think this is the only one that does, and it's an everybody's-dead mechanic instead of the more nuanced treatment in e.g. Bundeswehr). )

Brian
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Re: The spontaneous intensity of a wargame published immediately after a contemporary conflict
pete belli wrote:


People who scoffed at the SPI quads might not have examined the method behind the simplicity.
thumbsup

Thanks for a nice review Pete.
 
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