Long games?

A place to discuss Desert Fox from Shenandoah Studio.
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thedudeabidez
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Long games?

Post by thedudeabidez » Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:49 am

I know some people complained about DoM being a long game but it never bothered me. This one, though, since purchasing it, I have yet to finish a single campaign. At a couple of moves a day, it just goes on forever. The culprit seems to be the week end mechanic. Most CW players seem to have not read the rules carefully and have no idea that by attacking in the first impulse they are prolonging the week and ruling out the possibility of refit. So every week gets played out with every day. Then there are the CW players who, roghtly perhaps, think that they are better off without refits and giving the Axis a breather. Either way, the games just go on and on, especually when minus supply, the Axis player has very little that he can do on a lot of these turns.

Ryvin
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Re: Long games?

Post by Ryvin » Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:40 am

This game obviously takes longer than DOM for sure. However, speaking about week and cycle mechanic: as CW player if I choose an offensive I try to fight as much as possible because upgrading is out of question this cycle because I choose the offensive so don't bother about it, moreover if the cycle stops for instance after 3 days I lost as CW 11 days of reinforcement and considering that CW reinforcements are larger than Axis-Italian ones (especially in later cycles) it's much better if my troops are in good shape to do my best and continue the fight all days of the cycle.

PGEddington
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Re: Long games?

Post by PGEddington » Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:00 pm

I agree that a full campaign can take quite awhile, and having played several to conclusion I definitely prefer it that way--particularly if I am the CW player. A longer game gives you more chances to recover from early mistakes/bad breaks. One change I would like to see is actually having individual CW artillery units vice only having the artillery bonus in/around El Alamein for the first half of the game and then having it spread out generally for the second half. Also, if they were individual units it would give the Axis player a chance to get at them. Overall though, this is hands down my favorite of the three produced by Shenandoah to date. I would actually love to see them come out with an expansion module that would allow for the campaign to start when Rommel arrived in Africa, or perhaps individual battle modules like the Gazala campaign. Regardless, I am absolutely addicted to this game--it's the old Avalon Hill "Afrika Corps" brought to digital life and updated. :)

thedudeabidez
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Re: Long games?

Post by thedudeabidez » Sat Aug 23, 2014 11:42 am

I have yet to get to the end of a campaign due to the length, most players drop out before getting close, and I have two in progress that are still nowhere near conclusion.

sa_gibson
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Re: Long games?

Post by sa_gibson » Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:14 pm

thedudeabidez wrote:I have yet to get to the end of a campaign due to the length, most players drop out before getting close, and I have two in progress that are still nowhere near conclusion.
Are you playing random pick-up opponents? I've been able to get through a good number of campaign games, but I'm mostly playing other committed players I know. There's a CinC league on the quartertothree.com forum where you can connect with other players and compete to win a round of games. We're just starting up a round now.

I do agree the game is long & some long games are not fun. Others are despite their length. I think the CW tactic of preventing refits is often the right thing to do, particularly in the early game where you can conceivably cripple the Axis, and in the later game when the Axis accumulates 14-28 VP for each two-week refit cycle. It's often better to try to grind him down with what you have.

I also agree that a slow turn rate makes the game really long. I try to play quickly, and I'm happy to give you a game. My GC handle is scottagibson, send me a game request if you like.

thedudeabidez
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Re: Long games?

Post by thedudeabidez » Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:56 am

I'm not arguing that the CW no-refit strategy doesn't work, only that it results in very long games which are, as you said, attritional grinds. Can't say that's a lot of fun to play as the Axis. Ruweisat scenario is the most enjoyable, I think.

thedudeabidez
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Re: Long games?

Post by thedudeabidez » Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:59 am

Although all in all, I have to wonder why Shenandoah went with El Alamein (which was an attritional grind) instead of something like Kasserine Pass, which was pretty much Bulge in north Africa.

sa_gibson
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Re: Long games?

Post by sa_gibson » Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:05 pm

This is a fair question. The three CinC games in my view represent progressively greater realism at some cost in complexity and some loss of playability. BOTB presents an Axis objective which is hard to achieve but still achievable even against a good opponent. DoM adds more realism, complexity, and scope, and the objective is achievable but in my experience not as achievable as BOTB. I'd guess there are many fewer Moscow capture wins than Meuse crossing/ exit wins. El Al presents an Axis objective - exit in force to Cairo - which is in my view nearly impossible against an experienced player. I'd guess there are fewer still wins by that method. And I enjoy them in that order, BOTB most of all and El Al campaign least of all. I also agree that RR is the most playable of the 3 scenarios, while I think 2nd Alamein is the least playable.

s_nkarp
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Re: Long games?

Post by s_nkarp » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:29 am

Some good questions on this thread. Frankly, Desert Fox was the one title we committed to do before extensive in-house paper testing. It's an important historical turning point, but posed lots of challenges to implement within the CiC framework (while maintaining historicity).

sa_gibson
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Re: Long games?

Post by sa_gibson » Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:27 pm

For what it's worth I've played some very enjoyable El Al campaign games. When you're playing with an opponent that matches your pace of play (mine tends to be faster) the length is not as much a challenge. The no-refit games can be very exciting despite the exhausted forces on both sides and the way the game length is extended. Similarly the games with regular refits can be exciting, and I've often found that a timely refit changes the balance of a particular game dramatically.

On the other hand, some games seem to drag on without any real chance that the balance will change at all. I've taken to resigning losing games rather than trying to play them out, because they can't be played out quickly.

One thing I would consider is some mechanism for an early end. This could be VP thresholds, though I imagine that's hard given the wide range of VP swings in the game. The one existing early end mechanism - the Axis exit of 6 in-supply mobile units - basically can't be done. Should the threshold be lower? Can there be a mechanism for early CW victory, e.g. Exit along the western edge?

Another thing which drives game length is the fact that the Axis earns 14 or 28 VP in every 2-week cycle from mid-game on. This isn't so bad when these days are played out, but it makes refit a very expensive choice for the CW player. In practice I imagine CW players avoid late-game refits, which of course further extends the game.

thedudeabidez
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Re: Long games?

Post by thedudeabidez » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:35 am

The other aspect of the CW no refit approach is that it also tends to discourage Good, Rommelesque axis offensive play. If the Axis player is reasonably sure that his oppoenent tends to keep playing through, and that he can expect one or maybe no reifts, then when the supply runs out it may be gone for a long time, which tends to encourage more cautious, defensive play from the outset. This is clearly another factor contributing to long, grinding games....

sa_gibson
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Re: Long games?

Post by sa_gibson » Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:25 pm

I'm in a no-refit game right now, on day 2 of the 3rd week. The Axis have advanced as far as a line running roughly from Sidi Omar in the north to Abu Shawahid in the south, exited 1 unit (4 VP), eliminated 7 VP of CW forces, and isolated several pockets of CW forces. The CW have in turn eliminated 7 VP of Axis forces and seem poised to eliminate quite a few more. The Axis might exit more units, or it might collapse when its thin shell is broken. The CW may break the Axis and start a rout, or it might be flanked and swamped. At this point, it's hard to say who has the upper hand, and it's not boring. The ability to move when OOS and the random resupply can mean that the Axis can press an early advantage quite far.

Kavomatovlbat
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Long games

Post by Kavomatovlbat » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:17 pm

Hey yall. I am going to Amsterdam in a week and am looking for some engaging games for the plane ride 8hrs ish. Any suggestions for iPad?

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