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trumpetman52
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ending a game Sat, 14 March 2009 16:02
Hello everyone,
I have a nagging question in my mind. I have been playing war games for years and it doesn't matter which game it is, the answer is always the same. When we play a game there are victory conditions. Obviously, to win these must be met. I am as guilty as the next person. I see the end very near and what do I do? I make an all out, close to suicide attack on the enemy, just to get my last one or two points. My die rolls agree and I win, even if I take major losses in the attack.

Last night my wife, daughter and son in law were playing Wings of War miniatures (Sorry DOW - I also like to fly) One of the allied planes was destroyed and we were battling at 2 to 1 infavor of the Axis. In real life the Allied plane would have high-tailed it to the western front and allied protection. In this game if you leave the playing area you sacrifice your plane and victory. The other Allied plane had to stay and battle and was eventually shot down.

When we play a game, in a stand alone scenario, we play it as if there were no tomorrow. I guess in reality, a stand alone game is just that, stand alone. However, I have never been able to comfortably come up with a viable, workable solution to play a stand alone game as if there were a battle waiting tomorrow.

I know that the game winning points are supposed to take this into consideration, but I'm sure we have placed out troops/planes in vicarious situatons that were unrealistic, just because we were playing a single game with no concern about tomorrow.

I know the campaign book will help this and if we were to play several games using the left over units from the previous game it would also help.

All this being said, My question is: Does anyone have any thoughts about this and ending games as if there were a tomorrow???

thanks for your thoughts

Trumpetman52
      
Clexton27
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Re:ending a game Sat, 14 March 2009 16:28
Wow, that is a deep philosophical question. And I am not saying that in jest.

The reality is that your human gut instinct is too play for all the marbles and risk everything so that you can win. And you do this because you feel if you don't you may lose.
Now certainly a saner character in a "real life" situation would do otherwise. Unfortunately or fortunately for us, human behaviour belies this. Otherwise we would not have heroes who decided at the moment, "there may be no tomorrow - let me give it my all".
What would life be like if everyone thought,"heck, there will always be a tomorrow" - the reality is - none of us is promised that!
I am not certain that this type of ending is truly unrealistic. The human behaviour certainly isn't.

No wonder this is nagging at you!
      
sam1812
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Re:ending a game Sat, 14 March 2009 17:08
Hi, Trumpetman --

I've thought about that, too. One of the wonderful things about Memoir is its strong historical connection.

At the same time, underneath it all, it's still an abstract strategy game (with a historical theme). Your freshly supplied 4-figure tank can be attacked by an exposed 1-figure infantry that has no retreat, and if you don't have the right card, you can't counter-attack it.

So, yes, I will make the moves necessary to win the game, even if they might not make sense in the real world.

Will the Campaign Book lessen the incentive for the British to do an all-out banzai charge? Since there are rewards for winning each battle, I wonder if it actually might reinforce the incentive to use such tactics. I have a hunch that the Objective Tracks will have a meaningful impact on in-game strategy, though.
      
The MarshalUK
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Re:ending a game Sat, 14 March 2009 19:14
I know that feeling of making the right choices for the wrong reason in memoir and several other war games i play. Maybe if the subject matter was WW1 it wouldn't matter as the British Army's lack of strategy had them pushing "Tommy's" over the top and into the jaws of death... Sorry got sidetracked...

I think onereason for this feeling is that so few games either use or have found a way to incorporate unit moral into the game mechanic. Yes i know that we have the flag on dice for retreats in memoir but it doesnt change the last ditch medal grab that usually happens near the scenarios end.

I play legends of the west and in that there are basically two game features that stop you throwing your gunslingers into an all out suicide strategy. First of is moral which will see even the bravest or fool hardy gunslinger "head for the hills" if the scenario goes off the rails or the leader of the gang dies or the gunman is stuck away from his friends. The second being the continuity factor. If you lose gunslingers you will have to dig deep to buy in some more guns for hire. The experience and devolpment of the gunmen also leads to you "getting the hell outta dodge" rather than loose an experienced unit you have been improving over the course of several games. Are these features possible in the structure of Games like Memoir ? truth is I don't know and wouldn't presume to tell the the writer of such a great game otherwise Smile

My hope i guess is that when the campaign book finally hits my door mat it will have a level of continuity that maybe incorporates some the things used in skirmish type table top games. Either way I still love Memoir and a few other board games. With me its a case of how im feeling as to the type of game i want to play.


Thought i would share a Picture of the 1st "Cowtown" a Friend and Myself made. Its grown a heck of a lot since this very early picture probably due to motherlode of gold being found in them there hills Smile
http://www.daysofwonder.com/uploads/userpages/528373/_1813_web.jpg

My nickname The Marshal came from my love of cowboys and the old west but my love of memoir may yet see it change to the Field Marshal Smile

I love Memoir and you folks here on the forums make it all the more special. thank you Smile

[Updated on: Sat, 14 March 2009 19:17]

      
trumpetman52
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Re:ending a game Sat, 14 March 2009 21:50
Very interesting points to ponder. I hope to hear more thoughts from others. When you are so close to winning, it is extremely hard to not incorporate an "all-out banzai charge" to put a Win in your column. Another point I heard is that of carrying forward the abilities of a prior game, which I feel is a very good encentive. I have no idea how that could be brought into a game of "Hey buddy, lets sit down and play a game of Pegasus Bridge today." "Okay".

I am a military history buff and I read and hear at times the phrase "fight to the finish" or "hold at all costs". I can understand it here, but lets say that, in the case of Midway, if the Americans chose to pursue the Japanese to totally annihilate them we probably would have had much greater losses. Many times it is better to retreat, regroup and return another day.

I think I am all out of breath for now.
trumpetman52
      
Marc1
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Re:ending a game Tue, 17 March 2009 17:43
Hi Trumpetman

In my group, we do like to win, and there are times that we have gambled to get that last medal and I've done it where I'm down by two medals and my opponent needs one to win and if the cards are right I'll try to get the two medals. Even if it means that I would not do this realistically. My opponents have done the same.

I know I would play differently if the consquences of my gambles would be reflected in subsequent games but I think I would still gamble but probably not as often as I do now.

Having said that, in our group having fun is the priority. We'll point out strategies or opportunites that our opponent may have missed before they launch their attacks or completed their moves and I know that it's cost me medals and a few games as a direct result however our games have always been fun with the good natured teasing that goes with it. Very Happy

I have to say I'm lucky that the group I game with have the same attitudes towards playing as I do and our games are rarely ever lopsided. Is that a direct result of the way we play? I don't know but it would be a factor sometimes.


Marc

      
rasmussen81
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Re:ending a game Tue, 17 March 2009 18:15
Interesting thoughts, guys. I haven't actually done much wondering about this element of the game but I see where you're coming from and I know that I've done some foolish moves before at the end of the game in an effort to win! Rolling Eyes

I don't know that the Campaign Book system will address this. It's simply a part of playing a board game that has a final ending. The only way I could see fixing this 'problem' would be to somehow have the next battle in a sequence reflect the positions that were left on the board at the end of the game. But I have no idea how you could achieve that effect! Confused

I think it may just be the nature of the beast and like Marc said, my goal is to have fun so I don't worry too much about it.
      
ad79
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Re:ending a game Tue, 17 March 2009 20:58
I think the ending problem is interesting. How can we make the ending of each scenario more realistic. I don`t know how to do that under the current system, but I have thought about a variant where it is possible to have one scenario reflected in the next scenario.
Mind you, this is not playtested and only my first thoughts.
1. It would be a game where one player tries to achieve a campaign goal, and the other tries to stop him.

2. Have 5 scenarios that suits together. Winning the fifth scenario(or taking an objective in the fifth scenario) is the campaign goal.

3. Player one(say Allies) have a given number of units of each type. Lets say 20 infantry, 10 tanks and 5 artillery.(Numbers just put in as example.) He chooses how many to put into play(on the board) in the first scenario and placement. Must be set up on hex rows one and two. Units left of the board(reserves) can be put into play in later scenarios.

4. Scenarios have set number of Axis units for each scenarios. So Axis don`t choose their number or positions.

5. The Allied player must meet medal count and/or objective count to advance to second scenario.

6. Allied player if succesful can bring with him any surviving unit that has managed to get to the third hex row. Any units left on first or second unit is left behind. This to reflect the fact that advancing to fast is sometimes not the best thing, with regards to supply lines and such.

7. Scenario two. Allied player sets up units that follows from scenario one. Weakened units can, if allied player chooses to, be put together to form full units. Plus he places any reserves he has left of initial units that he wishes to put into play in this scenario. (20inf,10arm,5art.)

8.After setup of second scenario. Allied player rolls 1 die for every medal gained in the last scenario. Use simple scenario rules for die roll results. The Axis player does the same.

9.Second scenario is played. If allied player meets medal and/or objective count follow same procedure and advance to third scenario and so on.

10. Special objectives could yield extra reserves for the allied player. For example if an airfield is held at the end of a scenario it could give the allied player 3 more infantry units to use in following scenarios as airdrop. If Axis held it Axis player gets 3 more infantry in next sceanrio as airdrop. Or something similar.

11. If allied player meet medal/objective count in fifth scenario he has won the campaign. If Axis eliminates all allied units in any scenario the Axis win.(Would probably be hard for Axis to stop Allied in first couple of scenarios)

These are my thoughts about how to give the game some relation from scenario to scenario. I think it would make the Allied player think more about strategy since he has limited reserves and need to bring them with him.

If this campaign type is to be playable my ideas will need to be tested to see what the right number of units for a given campaign would be and which scenariosto put in and so on and so on.

Scenarios that could be used for this type of campaign could be the five scenarios from Med. Theater that forms a campaign now or the five Italian campaign scenarios made by Rasmussen81.

As mentioned before, just my thoughts.
Any comments?
      
rasmussen81
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Re:ending a game Thu, 19 March 2009 00:40
ad79, I would be curious to see if this sytem works.

I would say that both sides should function the same way so that it's easy to remember the rules. It looks like the scenario in your example could be over after 1 battle if the Axis team wins, so you might think about following the example of the Campaign Book and having the next battle happen no matter what but with some limitations for loosing or something.

It's a lot of work trying to see if the idea works but if you have the time, I'd be interested to know how it turns out.
      
Boddekker
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Re:ending a game Thu, 19 March 2009 19:23
I've noticed this "game ending" phenomenon too, but I look at it in a different way.

During my lunch hour duel today, I was the Allies in Capturing The Flank, part of the Flanking Caen campaign. The score was 5-2, and I had the Axis right flank on the verge of collapse. I had the cards to finish the job, too: two Left Attacks (3) and a Left Probe (2).

As I was about to put that plan in motion, I caught sight of another opportunity - I sent a single piece armor unit out of hiding to attack a single piece infantry unit caught out in the open, knowing that with 3 dice, each with a 1 in 3 chance of a kill, odds were good it would finish the game. And if it didn't, I also knew all those Axis armor and infantry units in the neighborhood would happily come after me. I might lose the unit, but it wouldn't cost me the battle.

So it was a good gamble. I could have gone ahead and collapsed the Axis flank over three turns, but it would have meant a narrower margin of victory - more losses on my side that would reflect on my ability to fight future battles.

I guess what I'm basically doing is translating this into the terms of a commander: take a risk for a quick end to the battle/war, or stick with a sure thing that might draw things out and use up precious resources (and lives)? Sometimes the gamble works (the atom bomb) and sometimes it doesn't (Operation Market-Garden).

So I don't have a problem with this. And I think the Campaign book reflects this well with the addition of reserves and objective points. You have units to fight your battles - but you have to try and fight them in the most efficient way possible.
      
SirKirby
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Re:ending a game Sat, 21 March 2009 07:26
Not sure if I've suggested this here before but -- to some extent -- we get round the farce of a last-minute suicide charge to win that vital last "medal" by using a house rule that you "have to win by 3".

We play virtually always Overlord, with 12 being the normal sort of medal count, some of which MUST be certain terrain objectives (a bridge, a vital crossroads...).

However, to win, you must be 3 medals ahead. If it's 11:10, grabbing that last medal won't win the game -- it will be a draw.

We do then go on to 15 medals, extending the game. If, at any point before or when someone reaches 15 medals, one side goes 3 ahead, they win -- so 13:10 or 14:11 or 15:12 would be a win.

The "honorable draw" seems so much more satisfying and enjoyable a way to end a game between friends (or me and my son) than a cowardly, sneaky little win by other means; and, besides, it's more historically realistic -- you lost (say) 33% of your force but wiped out 37% of the enemy; can you really claim to have "won"?

Two other things that make a difference: (1) a "you can't win unless" rule -- so for example, the Brits can't win at Arnhem unless they hold the bridge and have passed a unit of XXX Corps over it, otherwise the best they can get is a draw; the Germans can't win Market Garden scenarios unless at some point that cut the main Nijmegan-Arnhem highway. Or you can't win unless you exit at least half of your armour units off the western edge of the map towards Tobruk..., for example.

And (2) a "turn and flee" rule, under which any infantry unit reduced to one figure has an immediate option to retreat one hex. Often it doesn't in fact put them totally out of harm's way (like out of LoS) but it does make it just that slightly harder to just grab that easy medal.
      
trumpetman52
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Re:ending a game Sat, 21 March 2009 15:03
Sir Kirby

eureaka

Absolutely great thoughts.

I love your ideas. I am not one for playing many house rules because I figure the playtesters of a game have tried just about everything at the birthing stages of a game. However, I think you are on to something here. Thank you for your input.

Keep the information coming. I am making notes and taking up green stamps. Laughing

trumpetman52
      
SirKirby
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Re:ending a game Sat, 21 March 2009 15:48
Well, those ideas do seem to produce a more satisfying experience for both players.

I wonder if the next expansion for M44 shouldn't be one that brings in a set of such house rules and standardises them as the "Advanced Rules Expansion", for players wanting slightly great complexity and greater realism...?
      
rasmussen81
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Re:ending a game Mon, 23 March 2009 20:49
SirKirby wrote on Sat, 21 March 2009 07:48

Well, those ideas do seem to produce a more satisfying experience for both players.

I wonder if the next expansion for M44 shouldn't be one that brings in a set of such house rules and standardises them as the "Advanced Rules Expansion", for players wanting slightly great complexity and greater realism...?


Players in the past have asked for an "Advanced Memoir '44" rules expansion with more complex rules and different types of units. With the introduction of the Campaign Book system and the new Supply Trucks and Tiger tanks, it looks like DoW is slowly moving that way.

But I don't think we'll ever see an expansion that outlines more complex rules. Even with these additions, a main focus is to keep the 'simple' feel of the rules and not create a whole new system. I would guess that we'll see more things like the SWAs (Special Weapons Assets) and maybe some other fun units that add to the complexity of the game. But new ways to end the game may have to just be house rules.
      
nemesszili
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Re:ending a game Mon, 23 March 2009 22:09
I'm proud to have the game and many expansions of a company, which created a simple, fast, historical, and a wonderful game. Also, I agree with Rasmussen (Happily, I will get my hands on the Campaign book on this week, or the next week Very Happy ).

[Updated on: Mon, 23 March 2009 22:10]

      
rasmussen81
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Re:ending a game Tue, 24 March 2009 00:29
nemesszili wrote on Mon, 23 March 2009 14:09

(Happily, I will get my hands on the Campaign book on this week, or the next week Very Happy ).


Nice! It's worth it because the Campaign system makes the whole game feel like it has new life. The campaign adds a great feeling of pressure to win the battles in order to help your future conflicts! Have fun when you get it!
      
trumpetman52
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Re:ending a game Sat, 23 May 2009 04:04
I've still been thinking about this issue of ending games, many times, myself included, a last ditch thrust at the enemy to get that last victory point, even though I know that if I were in a real battle I would never commit myself and my men to such a suicidal attack.

I was wondering what if all games had a specific objective to obtain and the game was not over until the objective was achieved. OR Maybe have the games limited to a certain amount of turns. OR Maybe have the victory points concealed until the point total is reached and then the game is over, without the opposing player knowing how close the enemy was to winning.

I see some of the scenarios have a specific objective. That is what got me to thinking, AGAIN.

Any thoughts from anyone?????

trumpetman52
      
JJAZ
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Re:ending a game Sat, 23 May 2009 08:45
I think the answer is simple , in memoir we play up to a number of medals , after this the battle ends.
So in the real war they got in to a battle to take or defend terrain and not to battle for an amount of medals.
Maybe an option would be that a player can surrender a unit.
It would be played like this , when the enemy attacks and before he throws his dice , you can surrender with your unit , giving the attacker the medal , but not the figures left on the unit.
options could be that the unit must already have taken casualties before he can surrender.
(maybe reduced to 1 figure?)


      
yangtze
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Re:ending a game Sat, 23 May 2009 09:04
Hi Trumpetman 52 Smile

Two quick contributions:

1. My rationale for the battle ending suddenly after the last medal is captured is based on the idea of morale. I.e. the enemy's morale can be seen to be wavering, and the last unit lost tips them into a demoralised state at which point they break and run. I'm also ok with the idea of friendly units leaving cover to try to take that last unit, which would be inadvisable if the game were going to continue, because in WW2 wherever possible, and as soon as possible, a counter-attack was ordered against a position just lost to the enemy. This is probably because the best time to try to retake a position is before the enemy has a chance to dig-in on it. I just think of that 'last medal rush' as being part of one of those counter-attacks, knowing that enemy morale is shaky.

2. One of my variants for the Hill 112 scenario (CB1) had the following additional Victory Condition: "The British player must capture Hill 112 or he cannot win the game. The game ends when the British medal total is at least 6 and a British unit occupies the Hill 112 hex. The total number of medals scored by the British is the first tie-breaker in match play." This ensures some desperate moments around the hill! You may want to apply that as an alternative. I'm sure I've seen some other scenarios with similar conditions.

[Updated on: Sat, 23 May 2009 09:04]

      
RonB
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Re:ending a game Sat, 23 May 2009 14:53
This question has been handled in other wargames with a casualty limit. You need to win while taking no more than "X" casualties. The number varies by the scenario and can be determined by the real world situation. How many casualties did the Germans suffer while trying to take The Factory? In that scenario, that's the German limit. If you can take the objective while losing fewer men/machines than the Germans did in real life, then you win the game. No more suicide attacks just to get a medal, unless you can accept the casualties.

[Updated on: Sat, 23 May 2009 14:53]

      
rasmussen81
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Re:ending a game Sat, 23 May 2009 15:12
RonB wrote on Sat, 23 May 2009 05:53

This question has been handled in other wargames with a casualty limit. You need to win while taking no more than "X" casualties. The number varies by the scenario and can be determined by the real world situation. How many casualties did the Germans suffer while trying to take The Factory? In that scenario, that's the German limit. If you can take the objective while losing fewer men/machines than the Germans did in real life, then you win the game. No more suicide attacks just to get a medal, unless you can accept the casualties.


That's an idea I've never heard of. Interesting, but I don't know if it would work for Memoir '44 since the units don't always translate into exact numbers of real life. Sometimes a unit represents a platoon and other times it represents a much larger group of men.

For the "x" casualties idea to work, each battle would have to outline how many men are in a unit so it could be determined when the battle should be 'over'.
      
RonB
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Re:ending a game Sat, 23 May 2009 22:28
The ratio would change from scenario to scenario. If a unit represents a regiment in a scenario, each figure could represent 250 or so men. So, if the casualties in the real event were, say, 1,500, that would mean you couldn't lose more than 6 figures. If it represents a division, each figure might represent 3-4000 men. Then if the total casualties were 6,000, you couldn't lose more than two figures.

I think we might find that our game is a lot bloodier than real combat. The Fourth Infantry Division suffered 411 total casualties on Omaha Beach on D-Day. In our game, that would probably mean you couldn't lose any figures at all. This makes a case for the concept that the loss of a figure isn't really a "dead man", but rather is an indicator of combat effectiveness. A unit can be disoriented, disorganized, out or command control and a whole host of other reasons why it would be less effective due to enemy fire.

But, it is a game after all. You could set whatever limits you want.

Or not.
      
trumpetman52
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Re:ending a game Sun, 24 May 2009 03:18
This is great, I love to glean ideas from other experienced players. After receiving my Campaign Book and seeing the way some of those scenarios end, I think the games are beginning to take a different form. Personally, I like the idea that an objective must be reached before the game can be completed and I also like the idea that certain medals must be reached before a win can occur.

In real life, many battles were not won or lost by either side. Draws and marginal victories occurred all the time and still do. If any other ideas are out there, I am still open to information.

trumpetman52
      
Achtung Panzer
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Re:ending a game Sun, 24 May 2009 09:12
RonB wrote on Sat, 23 May 2009 21:28

This makes a case for the concept that the loss of a figure isn't really a "dead man", but rather is an indicator of combat effectiveness. A unit can be disoriented, disorganized, out or command control and a whole host of other reasons why it would be less effective due to enemy fire.


This is exactly how I see the game and why I'm comfortable with the idiosyncrasies of some of the rules outcomes. Removing figures is more of a "combat effectiveness counter or gauge" than a real head-count of killed, wounded or MIA.

[Updated on: Sun, 24 May 2009 09:13]

      
    
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