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Fuel, Food, and Ambushes

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:20 pm
by Philippeatbay
There are three game mechanics that I am not entirely comfortable with because they feel a bit gamey.

It's possible that they don't work the way I think they do, or that they're bugs, or that I'm simply wrong about what's happening.


Fuel consumption for ground vehicles should be tied to movement.

Helicopters should probably burn fuel whenever they haven't landed at a base, but ground vehicles shouldn't use fuel if they're outside a base and don't move.

So keep things the way they are for helicopters, but exempt ground units from fuel consumption if (and only if) they don't move.


Infantry seems to be immune to needing supply when loaded in a vehicle. This doesn't feel right if the MRP's aren't mobile candy stores.

The supply clock should keep running on a unit when it's inside a ground vehicle or a helicopter.


I'm only uncomfortable with this if it wasn't the designers intention.

As things are now, an ambush-capable unit can effectively use it's ambush ability to move and attack an enemy unit from a distance.

I can't help wondering if it's really a good idea to allow a unit to fire its claymores in the same turn that it moves.

Re: Fuel, Food, and Ambushes

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:38 pm
by Be Small
Hi P,
For me the choices made are okay (not saying good, nor bad, but okay); probably they are consequences of the playability vs realism choices made.
Fuel consumption could be seen as an abstraction of not only fuel, but also wear and tear and ammo, averaging to a number of turns your vehicle can stay out.
Something can be said in favour of having some food available in your transports; if you would load your infantry after every turn, you would end up not making a lot of progress with your infantry (one could even say that this behaviour would be gamey).
Ambushes: I would be pulling out the abstraction card again.

Your points make total sense. I guess the designer has to make some decisions on how far realism has to go for them. For me the simplicity of the game is what makes it stand out. There are several more complex, more "realistic" games out there.

Re: Fuel, Food, and Ambushes

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:46 pm
by Philippeatbay
When you're designing a board wargame, you often have to throw a lot of realism out the window because adding a couple more routines will sink the system. I happen to like a lot of the optional rules for House Divided, but when they're in force the game ceases to be the clean design that makes it so unusual.

Computer games are different. Your mainframe won't get tired if it has to do two or three more sets of calculations and its attention span won't frazzle (though the developer might begin to burn out when he has to write the extra instructions without gumming up something that already works).

I realize we're all bears of little brain, but I don't think this would introduce much complexity for the player. For the guy who has to write the program, that's another story. I had assumed something like this was already in there, and anybody who's played a lot of board wargames would probably make the same assumption. So for me the added complexity is coming from having to discover that a feature you'd expect isn't there.

It's possible to be simple and realistic at the same time, and when a design does that people think of it as elegant.