How Men of Quality Resolve Differences

How Men of Quality Resolve Differences
Pudel and Peper attacks - an ugly but inevitable part of any 17th C. British Civil War, "Oh! The Shame of it All!"

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

More on Inter-active Turn Sequencing

"Hah! They think they will be permitted to use anything but IGO-UGO...kill them all!"
Image result for generals planning
the more tyrants change, the more they stay the same...

Periodically I return to a critical aspect of game design mechanics, the turn sequence. I've learned a lot from using Neil Thomas' "One-Hour Wargames" and other game designs of his. I previously posted on this concept HERE where it was inbedded in a post that was mostly focused on a more gamey [but fun] use of playing cards for a turn sequence.

At the moment, I am working on a re-think of one of my favorite inter-active turn sequences, the Roll-Off. The Roll-off works like this:

Each side rolls off using 1D6 and the winner gets the differences in Actions for his Units. With 6 Units per side in OHW, this usually takes about 5-7 roll-offs, depending on the values. Once one side has finished, having Acted with all 6 Units, the other side finishes the turn by acting with all not-yet-activated Units of his own.

There are several things I like about this sequence:
1. It is a bit unpredictable - you don't know how many Actions you will [won't] get until the roll-off. If you win, you don't know if you'll win again, so you have to carefully consider that the Actions you are presently using may be followed by opposing Actions.
2. It is not wildly unpredictable - you can be pretty sure that the winner will normally get about 2 Actions, and that the winner will change every couple of dice rolls.
3. Even if you lose and your opponents Acts with all his Units before you've Acted with any, you still have SOME sort of an advantage in that your Actions can now all be Counter-Actions to the winner's activities. As the turn now ends, all Units have another chance to go again, and you "may" be able to act again with a couple of your units in a productive way that furthers a critical part of your battle plan.
All of which really remind me a lot of reality!

For Ancients through Pike and Shotte [at least] warfare proceeded at a pretty stately pace in larger battles, mostly due to the difficulty of controlling large bodies of Soldiers. I'm therefore OK with the single-side combat of those periods [either melee or shooting] altho there may be some tinkering needed to fully adapt this to OHW.

The Cycling Turn effect is also helpful, in that it allows a simple mechanism and player decisions to shape events that are faster - or slower - than a rigidly structured turn sequence permits. So an IGO-UGO says something like "Infantry can move 6" per Turn, and Cavalry can move 12" a Turn." In between your alottment of 6" or 12", the opponent is allowed to do the same, providing a constant action-reaction of those move increments.

The above Turn sequence introduces a more dynamic flow of actions by permitting a player, through the combination of BOTH the dice rolls [has to lose most of the turns initial roll-offs, then win the initial roll-offs next turn] and planning [has to save the Units he wants to move last, i.e. counter-move, for the end of the turn] to get two Actions before the opponent can Act. 

This could be a big deal in the original OHW mechanics where combat is one-sided; I inflict Hits on you thru shooting or melee, and you inflict none. In effect, I could shoot or melee you twice before you can fight back. This could certainly end some combats earlier and with few casualties to one side. So if your combat is one-sided, then you can probably only use the roll-off Actions WITHIN the phases of a turn, e.g. Movement Phase, Shooting Phase, etc.

In my Modern Combat adaptation, I'm using a simultaneous roll-off mechanic, so taking two shots without being able to fight back is not an issue. It does help to win at the beginning of the turn as you get to set the pace of Action. Also, engaging an OPposing UNit -OPUN- in a fight usually takes away its own turn.

I hope these thoughts give you some more perspective on the critical aspects and issues of the Turn Sequence. Interactive is not automatically "better" than "IGO-UGO" but it is different and has different strengths and weaknesses. I happen to prefer it for anything past WWI or lower than a squad-level game, i.e. Skirmish games, but get informed and tinker so you learn what you prefer. Most of all, HAVE FUN!!

That's an order.