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General outline of the game...

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General outline of the game...

Post  rogg on Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:54 am

I have purchased the Reisswitz rules and I am working now on my first game. However I have problems to work out the general outline of the game. I give you the outline as I have understood it:

1. Umpire introduces the players to the General idea of the scenario at the main map.

2. Umpire issues orders, troop strength, information about the enemy to the players.

3. Each player works out on his map the disposition of his troops and gives the umpire a sheet with the disposition and with the orders for the units.

4. Umpire places all troops on the map, or only those which are visible for the players?

5. The game starts. Are the two minutes moves done step by step: 2 minute move player red, 2 minute move player blue, 2 minute move player red etc or move both players in one move?

6. During the moves: The umpire moves all the troops etc. Does the umpire give after every move a report to the player? (What has changed, happened etc.)

7. Combat: If infantry fires on the enemy, do both units have the possibility to fire during the same move?

I hope someone can help me!

merry christmas to you ! Very Happy


rogg

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Re: General outline of the game...

Post  Tim Carne on Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:26 pm

rogg, in its original form the map with the blocks would normally only be visible to the umpire. The players would receive reports. I quote from sample game described by Schmidt in 1873. "The player only sees the enemy troops represented on the map when they are in a position from where they could be seen or known about from reports".

This suggests calling the players to the maps and covering invisible items. This is not ideal in practice as it takes time.

The game progresses on a WEGO or simultaneous movement of both sides but it is only the umpire that sees the details. He just reports the outcome to the players. Reporting can be event-driven so if nothing is happening in for a couple of turns then there is no need to report anything.

Hope this helps


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Re: General outline of the game...

Post  rogg on Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:43 pm

Thanks for your help!

Ok, the umpire is moving both sides during one 2 minute move. If there is something noteworthy, he gives the players a report.

Is there an interception of the game? If yes, how much time has each player between the moves to make decisions, write orders etc. ?

rogg

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Re: General outline of the game...

Post  Martin on Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:09 pm

Hi rogg. I agree with Tim. Here are a few other points, using your numbering.......

1. Umpire introduces the players to the General idea of the scenario at the main map.

He can do this, or he can provide players with a written briefing before the game. This has the advantage that the 2 sides (or even individual players on one side) can have different briefings. For example, the objectives of one side do not have to be the mirror image of the other side. It also means you can ask for initial orders a few days before the game, work out positions in a calm & unhurried atmosphere, and perhaps run the clock forward so that time is saved on the day. Let me know your email address and I'll send you an example.

2. Umpire issues orders, troop strength, information about the enemy to the players.

Yes. Either verbally or in writing as above.



3. Each player works out on his map the disposition of his troops and gives the umpire a sheet with the disposition and with the orders for the units.

This will depend on the scenario. The umpires will sometimes have specified starting positions.

4. Umpire places all troops on the map, or only those which are visible for the players?

All troops. I think the 19th C military often played the latter stages of the game with all players around the main map, so that junior officers could receive commentary from their betters as combat took place. It was after all a training exercise. We find it better to give players their own smaller versions of the map, and reserve the main map for umpire use. You can cover up portions of the map and call individual players to it if say there is a particular situation where you are looking for precise deployment instructions from them, but as Tim says this does slow the game for everyone else, and is best avoided.

5. The game starts. Are the two minutes moves done step by step: 2 minute move player red, 2 minute move player blue, 2 minute move player red etc or move both players in one move?

Simultaneous. Again I suspect that the 2-minute turn was driven by the training need to understand what happened in precise increments. We find that for gaming purposes a 15-minute turn covers most situations. Indeed we will occasionally run two of even more turns together if little is happening, and all players are waiting on events.

6. During the moves: The umpire moves all the troops etc. Does the umpire give after every move a report to the player? (What has changed, happened etc.)

The players are told exactly what they would see or otherwise know had happened and nothing more. This means for example that moves of friendly troops out of their LOS would not be reported to them as a matter of course.
7. Combat: If infantry fires on the enemy, do both units have the possibility to fire during the same move?

Yes. Everything happens simultaneously, and also continuously.

I'll expand a bit on that last word, as it is key to a successful game. Let players have as long as they like to think, or discuss matters directly with anyone from the same side at the same location. Just as long as they are conscious that time is passing as they ponder or chat. Do not be afraid to move the game on a turn if some folks are taking a long time. My feeling is that a sluggish game is the worst sin. It should not be allowed move at the pace of the slowest, or everyone else will find time weighing heavily.

Hope that helps, but do feel free to ask more questions.

Martin

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Re: General outline of the game...

Post  Martin on Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:23 pm

rogg wrote:Is there an interception of the game? If yes, how much time has each player between the moves to make decisions, write orders etc. ?

See my previous post. Play is continuous as well as simultaneous, so there is no time between moves. While players are thinking, any troops ordered on both sides are moving.

Sometimes it is a good idea for the umpire to say to a player that an instant decision is required. For instance the player may be riding over a crest and sees a regiment of enemy cavalry heading straight towards him. He has no time to think it through, he needs to just give an answer. Has happened to me.

Another example. In a recent game, one player on a team had ordered an infantry attack on a defended position. Shortly after that he met up with the team commander, and both sat down to debate whether this was actually a good idea. Of course the troops were still advancing while this was going on, and were eventually recalled only with some difficulty and loss. I fear this has happened to me too Embarassed

Martin

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Re: General outline of the game...

Post  Wittmann on Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:31 pm

If so, then how do you represent troops to the players if they can't actually see the board? I think it would become quite a pain if you had to manage two boards. Also, what about when the commander is away from a location where they could issue orders. For example, an infantry company is advancing down a road when it is charged by cavalry, how do they react? Do they form square, retreat, etc?

How do you determine the results of combat, especially equally matched combat, two infantry platoons at an equal level of terrain, skill, etc. Fire on each other, who wins?
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Re: General outline of the game...

Post  Martin on Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:30 pm

Wittmann wrote:If so, then how do you represent troops to the players if they can't actually see the board? I think it would become quite a pain if you had to manage two boards. Also, what about when the commander is away from a location where they could issue orders. For example, an infantry company is advancing down a road when it is charged by cavalry, how do they react? Do they form square, retreat, etc?

How do you determine the results of combat, especially equally matched combat, two infantry platoons at an equal level of terrain, skill, etc. Fire on each other, who wins?

Players have their own smaller maps. Occasionally we give them their own troop blocks or counters. More often the maps are covered with plastic, and players can mark them up with washable pens, based on reports. A liaison umpire will brief them at regular intervals about what they can see & hear, and on what any patrols have found.

If a commander is not with his troops, the umpires will take any decisions in respect of combat. Wherever possible they will do this in accordance with any orders previously given to those troops. This is why it is a good idea to not only give orders, but also say what you intend those orders to achieve. This gives a context within which the umpires can make such decisions in your absence. In the specific example you gave of an infantry company advancing down a road, charged by cavalry, such context would actually not be much help. It’s a case of quick decision in an emergency. The umpires would therefore take a decision based on the doctrine, morale and state of training of the infantry, and also the nearby terrain and how much time they have before the cavalry will close.

To resolve combat, you can use the tables in the rules set you bought, or any other set appropriate to the period. We use various combat routines, and different umpires each have their favorites. The key thing is that whatever is used needs to be quick to resolve, or the game will slow.

As you get into Kriegsspiel you are likely to find that the mechanics of combat, and the die-rolls, are not as crucial as they are in most games. That is because battles are normally won due to such factors as manoeuvre, the impact of fog-of-war, the winning the initiative, bluff, concentration of force etc. The lack of knowledge of the strength and objectives of the enemy, of their location (and even on occasion of friendly forces), allows such factors to come into play.

Hope that helps.

Martin

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Re: General outline of the game...

Post  MJ1 on Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:32 am

Wittmann wrote:How do you determine the results of combat, especially equally matched combat, two infantry platoons at an equal level of terrain, skill, etc. Fire on each other, who wins?

As Martin says you can use any method you wish to resolve combat but the key is that it has to be quick. Players get bored sat waiting for feedback so any minutes spent at the umpires table can seem an age for the players. Keep it simple and quick. I have never seen the combat system used from the book and we as a group tend to use a far more simplistic system.

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