Monday, 21 January 2013

Rules Tweak: Return to 'Alternate'

After much agonizing I have decided to admit defeat and go back to an alternate turn sequence.

As a solo wargamer, using a simultaneous turn sequence created a lot of work trying to keep track of which elements had fired, or indeed, moved. This in addition to any other complications I decided to build into the rules!

Some rule sets restrict movement to half speed if firing; others apply a large penalty if moving at greater than half speed. (I guess the half-speed rule of thumb is an easy one to remember, not entirely unreasonable and simple to calculate). I tried to amalgamate all ideas into one by allowing most elements to do two actions each turn: fire twice, move twice (a 'doublemove' in other words) or 'fire and move', 'move and fire' or 'fire on the move'. That way, stationary elements get more rounds down towards the target whilst those opting not to fire at all can concentrate on going as fast as possible. So it is possible to 'fire and move off' or 'come to a halt and fire', all within the structure of the turn sequence. Communicating may also preclude firing and single-man turrets (eg French R35, H39 etc) would only get one shot per turn, irrespectively. Unfortunately, to do all this, one must remember (or record it somewhere) which elements might still have a shot left if it is all to happen in the correct order according to the turn sequence. For example, a hidden ambushing element which has watched its prey approach, should have first shooting priority whereas an ambushed tank may well fire last in an encounter after taking evasive action and traversing the gun onto target.

Using an "I fire then move, you fire then move" system, defenders will get reactive fire against any targets which have moved into view and attackers will be prevented from charging towards a target and opening fire at close range without first receiving fire.

In spite of the attractiveness of turn sequence innovations ('initiative through success', it has been described) used in games like Crossfire, I am returning to a more structured method (I was going to say 'simpler' but there isn't anything easier than...not having a turn sequence at all!). By doing only the absolutely necessary number-crunching (which has to be done by me for both sides), I will hopefully be more able to be impartial in my decisions and rulings and have a fuller enjoyment of the game itself.