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Unofficial FAQ for Designer Series I


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#1 Grand Stone

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 04:47 AM

Rat Patrol:

"specialization tokens may be assigned to  British/american Machine Gun Crews."

Question Does this include an AT specilization? (thats insane)

Solution: recon or alpha specilization may be given to Machine Gun Crews.

 

Dash To the wire:

Question: in round 1 only the british conduct actions, but what about command points? Is it so that only the british gain command first round since the germans aren't on the board to collect any?

Solution: German gets 4 command 1st round.

 

Bloody Lindern (an great scenario by the way)

Question 1: Technically, the US & German can setup in the same hex?

Solution: Units cannot setup in halfhexes.

Question 2: A squad which starts next to an enemy squad, does can it start concealed 1st round if it is in an entrenchment, building or foores hex?

Solution: ???

 

Night Hunt (another great scenario)

Question: When reading the description of the scenario it seems like the setup for the american troops is wrong

Solution: switch setup for division one and two

 

(i'll take the rest soon)



#2 Grand Stone

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 05:16 AM

(cont.)

 

Hell Week

Question: Again, half-hexes. It seems like placing an flamethrower squad in the half-hexes between 4B and 11A is an realy powerfull setup. Should this be so?

Solution: Once again, dont allow setup in half-hexes.

 

So near and yet so far

Question: Division two of the german forces either has to use a squad with two marchine gun crews, or drop the medic spesilization.

(Personaly, I hate two marchine gun crews in one squad)

Solution:  Allow the medic to be placed on a squad with an MG weapon.

 

New Mission:

Background: in this scenario the two US division is not allowed to talk to each other, and there are strict rules on which division acts when.

Question: However how should the US command phase be played?

Solution: The player controlling division 2 is also in charge of the command phase. (I like this solution as it illustrates the rasism )

 

Neck of the gap

Question: The victory points. It says that you get 1 victory point per unspent command point. However, as the US can collect 10-20 or even more command every round, and it last 12 rounds, the US can easily get far above 100 victory points simply by command. Is this realy how it is supposed to be played?

Solution: I dont have any solution, and In my personal opinion this scenario is unplayable untill victory points is completly revised.

 

Ring Around Aacehn

Question 1: Not all german units can be placed on the board.

Question 2: The us can easily win round 1 simply by walking into the victory hex on map 3A.

Solution to both problems: Allow the german to set up in a few hexes on map 3A.

 

To save Basstogne (great scenario)

Question: The US cannot use both spesilization in division 2 unless they use a mortar+ MG combination, which is incredible stupid.

Solution: Allow the engineer to be set up in the MG or Mortar squand. (but not the AT spesilization)

 

Crisis At Kasserine

 

Question: In the spesial rules it says that you are suppose to use the longest range regardless of target type.  Does this realy mean that all infanteri get a range of 4 versus tanks? All infanteri are essensial anti-tank spesialist? For me this is to strange.

Solution: Vehicles (and vehicles only) may use their longest range regardless of target type.

 

The road to oosterbeek

 

Question: What is the effect of Panzer Ausf. E card? The british has no vehicles?

Solution: Ignore the card and the problem.

 

 

 

 

 



#3 Grand Stone

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 06:01 AM

If someone could be so kind and type this FAQ and the unofficial Fury of the bear FAQ in a pdf file, this value would be far greater. Instead of having to answere all the same questions over and over again. Ofcourse, if you disagree with some of my solutions (or questions) so fire away.



#4 Latro

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 06:22 AM

Scenario: 2 on 2, round one

I did some playtesting and a review on this one a while back and during the discussion with the designer it turned out that there should be a few minor tweeks in this scenario. This is from memory (don't have the e-mails anymore), but the following changes should be made for a more balanced battle:

- the lvl-2 hil on maps 12B and 5B should just be a lvl-1 hil (to prevent very easy line-of-sight almost all across the board)

- the command points on map 12B should be German instead of US (to prevent US command overkill too early)

- the US can't use the Air Support strategy deck during turns 10 and 11 (no tactical bombing at night)

 

By the way, I agree that  putting these FAQ's / Errata's in PDF would be best ... but for now it should be an open thread where everybody can chip in to get it as complete as possible.

 



#5 Grand Stone

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 02:44 AM

Latro:

Is it suppose to be a level 1 hill for both 12A/5Bs combos or just the one on the US side?

(sidenote, are these changes enought to balance the scenario?9



#6 Latro

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 04:44 AM

Grand Stone said:

Latro:

Is it suppose to be a level 1 hill for both 12A/5Bs combos or just the one on the US side?

(sidenote, are these changes enought to balance the scenario?9

 

LOL! ... never saw that the map had two exactly the same map/hill combos!

It's only for the one on the US side: because it is so far out of reach for the Germans, the US can simply park a truck on it and have the perfect spotter for the entire map. If you want the full review and possible balance suggestion, look for the thread: 

http://www.fantasyfl...&efpag=0#216297

Unfortunately I can't find the full review and mail-discussion I had with the designer (maybe I still have a forgotten old back-up CD somewhere ... I'll have a look).

The changes mentioned here do help, but the scenario still favours the US.

 



#7 BJaffe01

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 01:43 PM

hmm since that scenario is mine i'll look at again. it should favor the Americans as the 2nd Armored was one of our oversized Divisions in the Tank assets.

also the German commander of 2nd Panzer had never seen so many Air Planes as the allies commited since the Russians never gather planes quite like we did and he had been on the Russian front for most of his time in service

BJaffe01



#8 Grand Stone

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 10:07 PM

Many of these scenarios use the "heavy fog" operation card giving you +1 cover.  I have allways assumed that the card work for both parties, and not only one side. If this can be confirmed, that would be great.

 



#9 Latro

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 12:04 AM

BJaffe01 said:

hmm since that scenario is mine i'll look at again. it should favor the Americans as the 2nd Armored was one of our oversized Divisions in the Tank assets.

also the German commander of 2nd Panzer had never seen so many Air Planes as the allies commited since the Russians never gather planes quite like we did and he had been on the Russian front for most of his time in service

BJaffe01

I was able to dig up the review-report I did (back-ups for teh win!), but the e-mails are gone.

Here it comes!

 

First of all, a big thank you for giving us this great (in more ways than one) scenario to fight over! Besides actually playing strategy games, I also really enjoy play-testing various games and this one really gave me something to sink my teeth in!

Now down to business …

Looking back at it all, I think the main balance issue does not come from one clearly defined part of the scenario, but from the synergy between a whole list of seemingly small things. On their own, none of these presents a major problem … but add them together and suddenly the US side has a serious advantage that is (IMHO) almost impossible to overcome for the Germans.

 

Units:

The US has the advantage in both quantity and quality. There’s not much to say about this really, they simply have more units on the table and also have a higher ratio of elites and heavy support. The traditional German advantage of better panzers is largely compensated by the operation cards and the two special tanks the US starts with. With those cards in play it suddenly becomes a lot easier for the “humble” Sherman to score that single hit for a light damage result on the panzers while the Germans do not gain enough from it to reliably score heavy damage as a result (which needs 3 hits). Lowering armour all across the board favours the side with the lowest attack values in this case.

Side note: It’s usually not a real problem for the attacker to have the advantage in quantity and/or quality, because this can be compensated by the advantage of being the defender (terrain/obstacles, op-fire) and a time limit to reach the objective … but in this scenario these equalizing factors don’t have very “balancing power”.


Command points:

This is also a clear advantage for the US. Both sides can capture 4 command points during the first round, but Germany has starting initiative so will have to spend his points first and can’t hold on to initiative if the US side wants to have it … a tie means the US wins. During the next round the Germans have already reached their limit, but the US can capture another two points and perhaps another two with a push towards the central mountain. In short: the US can grab and hold on to the initiative for the entire game without too much trouble (they also have strategy cards to make this even easier).

Now one of the bigger problems for the Germans becomes clear:

- by losing initiative, they need to start with several units in op-fire mode to prevent being rushed every round before they can do anything about it
- because they need to start with units in op-fire and also have less units than the US on the table, they will run out of actions each round before the US does
- because the US still has a reserve of fresh units each round after all the German units have been spent, they can make their important moves/attacks when the Germans can’t react anymore (except for a few op-fire shots)
- because the US will win initiative again, the units that made “the final push” previous round, can now attack again before the Germans can act … and op-fire doesn’t do anything against units that are just shooting

Example:

Germans have two panzers in op-fire, four Shermans advance with a move-and-fire order. On average a panzer will score 3 hits and 1 will be saved, leaving the Sherman lightly damaged. The Shermans move into position and open fire: that’s 4 chances to score a hit with 4 attack dice against 3 armour dice.

US wins initiative and has now 4 Shermans in range of the two panzers who can do nothing about it but pray. The Shermans can go for single shots if their previous shots had already scored some hits, or combine for two 12-dice shots if the panzers are still full strength.

As you can see, the advantage in units is made much stronger by adding the advantage in command points (and operation cards) to it.


Strategy Decks:

All strategy decks chosen for this scenario are good decks and certainly have their uses, but not all of them work very well in this particular scenario. The US can use both air and artillery support. The things is, with access to air support, no (experienced) player will ever use the artillery deck. The air support deck is much better for one very simple reason … you don’t need line of sight to the target (no drift!), once you get contact the payload will hit the target anywhere you want them to. With the 20-round limit there’s also plenty of time to collect those handy remain-in-play cards to enhance the effects of the air attacks.

The Germans can use both ground support and artillery support. Though trumped by air support, the artillery decks can still be used very effectively in certain situations. It is most effective if you have the time to get the remain-in-play cards to enhance the effects and save several artillery attack cards to launch a big barrage on enemy defences followed by a ground attack … or to disrupt an enemy attack for one or more rounds. Unfortunately for the Germans, chances for a serious attack are very limited and disrupting an enemy attack for a few rounds means very little in a 20-round battle … so besides being a small nuisance, the deck can never really do what’s it supposed to. It also doesn’t help that the US has cards that can strip all but one card from the German carefully saved-up artillery reserve.

Side-effects:

- the US can concentrate their mortar units into very effective double-mortar squads, while the Germans are “forced” to spread them into single mortar squads due to the risk of air attacks all across the battlefield

These are only minor issues though and personally I think that both the air support for the US and the ground support for the Germans have been very well chosen. The threat of air attacks reflects the Allied air superiority very well and forces the Germans to use cover and spread their units. Meanwhile the Germans use their very cheap ground support deck to hamper and disrupt enemy operations and pump the rest of their command into initiative … not enough to win it, but enough to force the US to make a choice between either keeping initiative or calling in non-stop air attacks. Eventually the US gains so much command that all hell breaks loose for the Germans anyway, but during the first day they still have some control left … but never enough to break that devastating initiative-lock the US has on them.


Map:

I very much like the variety the big map offers, but there are a few things that have a very big impact on the tactics available to both sides. The buildings are very important for the Germans to hang on to, they are a victory objective after all. The thing is, with a so much enemy tanks driving around, being inside a building is very bad for your health. Every time a squad takes cover inside a building, every enemy tank gets a 3-hex range-bonus and +3 attack-dice for free … you might as well stand in the open! The US units however have a very large and ideally situated forest available in the centre of the battlefield to operate from … that’s +2 cover for every unit. It would help if the panzers could keep the Shermans at a distance, but with the combination of good cover, superior numbers and initiative-lock, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

The US has also a very handy lvl-2 hill on their side. The only thing they have to do is park a truck on it (or a squad) and they have almost unlimited line-of-sight over the entire battle-field. Remember that line-of-sight is not restricted by range and that a spotting unit on a lvl-2 hill means that there will only be a 1-hex blind spot behind all obstructing terrain.

Side-effects:

- the German units can’t take cover inside the building due to the enemy tank threat (which the panzers can’t stop, see previous points)
- the US double-mortar squads can come very close due to the map and the high risk for the German units to engage the enemy (see previous points)
- the US spotter on the lvl-2 hill can direct mortar-fire almost everywhere on the map, greatly increasing their effect on the battle and limiting German defensive options


Put all of those things together and you will end up with a US force that:

- has a very powerful initiative advantage that allows them to attack after the Germans are all out of actions, followed by another attack before the enemy can react to it in the next round.
- has long-range fire support able to strike anywhere on the battlefield
- has nothing to fear from counter-attacks as long as they keep their forces concentrated
- is under no pressure to move fast … though their squads can still move at the double!

… meanwhile the Germans have:

- to defend a town they can’t risk occupying due to overwhelming enemy tank forces
- to keep in cover as much as possible everywhere on the battlefield
- to avoid enemy contact basically every time the US concentrate their units

There’s a lot more to be said about this … I could go on all day if you let me (I just love to talk tactics!), but this should give you a pretty good idea of the situation I ran into while testing this scenario. I tried and/or considered the following options to get some more balance between both sides:


Units:

I don’t think the choice of units presents a real problem in this scenario. The US has the advantage, but not by such a large margin that victory is guaranteed. It should be enough to downgrade some of the “synergy” mentioned earlier:

- Remove the lvl-2 hill from the US side of the map (restricts the effect of the US double-mortar teams)
- Make the operation cards “Elite tank crew” and “Tank ace” German only (to create a clear quality v. quantity situation)
- Make the operation card “Double time” available for both sides (it encourages mobile play and the Germans certainly need it more to run from cover to cover)


Command points:

This is where the biggest problem lies IMHO. Fix this and you limit the US option having a guaranteed first round of attacks … which is especially deadly when it comes after their free final attacks the previous round:

- Change the command hexes on maps 10A and 1A to 2 points each (this gives the Germans an early command point lead while leaving the US the option of gaining more later in the game)
- Give the Germans access to the Supply deck (command benefits), Command deck (initiative benefits) or Morale deck (combat benefits) to offset the stronger US command point potential


Minor details:

A few minor changes I have thought about, but not tried yet:

- No air attacks during night rounds (for obvious reasons … we’re not carpet-bombing here!).
- Trucks (empty) can’t claim objective or command hexes and can’t be used as spotters for mortars or artillery cards. (they’re transports, not special-ops units!)
- Both sides have a fixed amount of trucks available, they can either stay on the battlefield and transport troops around, or return off-board by road and help transporting the next wave of reinforcements (the US should of course have a clear advantage here).

With the limited resources I have (that being just me and my evening hours to be precise), I couldn’t go into details about every little detail, but I think this should give you some idea of the problems I ran into, what (IMHO) caused this and how I tried to fix it. If there’s anything you would like to read more about, please feel free to ask.



#10 BJaffe01

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 10:49 AM

Hey i remember reading that like what 2 years ago. i'll look at the scenario again and see what we can change to make it better. i'll print out your write up,which is excellent by the way,to use as a guide for the issues.

BJaffe01



#11 Grand Stone

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 11:00 PM

I just made this comment so that it should not be forgotten.

Please, give us updated FAQs.

(and if some scenarios are fixed, please publish the fixed scenarios also)



#12 Kingtiger

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:28 PM

Any "official"news on the question regarding the range of units in Crisis at Kasserine pass?



#13 Grand Stone

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:59 PM

Looking back at my original post, almost all scenarios in the book have some unanswered questions, and a few of them large enough to make the scenario completly unplayable. I havent seen any off them ansered officially. Which is a pitty.

 

If you do play: Crisis at Kasserine pass. Please tell me how you played it and how good the scenario was. Cuz I will not play it as it is written now.



#14 Kingtiger

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:15 AM

Grand Stone said:

Looking back at my original post, almost all scenarios in the book have some unanswered questions, and a few of them large enough to make the scenario completly unplayable. I havent seen any off them ansered officially. Which is a pitty.

 

If you do play: Crisis at Kasserine pass. Please tell me how you played it and how good the scenario was. Cuz I will not play it as it is written now.

 

It's scheduled to hit the table this very evening.Either we're going to only allow vehicles to use their maximum range (mostly meaning that they can hit infantry from further away than normally) or try it first without this particular special rule. It seems outright rediculous and game-breaking to allow infantry to fire at tanks up to 4 hexes away (normal range) or even 8 hexes away (long range). Hits can still be scored then. I do seem to remember, though that there is also additional cover provided in that scenario by a modified heavy fog card. Of course if your squads are supposed to beat a tank's armor along with 3 or so cover dice for the fog, then it becomes quite impossible to take it out.

 

I will propose using option 1 first and see how it plays out!



#15 Grand Stone

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:26 AM

I agree. 4 attack dice versus 5 or 6 in armor is still fairly large probability of lightly damaging a tank, and I dont thing infanteri should be able to do that at so large distances.



#16 Kingtiger

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:44 AM

Grand Stone said:

I agree. 4 attack dice versus 5 or 6 in armor is still fairly large probability of lightly damaging a tank, and I dont thing infanteri should be able to do that at so large distances.

 

What the intent of the rule as written could also be is that the standard ranges of e.g. infantry against tanks still apply but that they can still hit a vehicle at long range up to 8 hexes away (so 1 hex away is short range, 2-8 hexes away, rather than only 2 hexes away, is long range). I don't think this is likely, but infantry hitting tanks up to 4 hexes away as if it were normal range really appears broken without having even tried the scenario, the more so as the Germans need to exit tanks off the board. If regular infatry stand a good chance of destroying them up to 4 hexes away, this makes it seem impossible.



#17 Grand Stone

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:35 AM

Yes, it obviusly a misstake somewhere.

But when I read the scenario now, and start to think about it, I doubt the germans have a large probability of winning regardless. Cuz it seems like the victory condition is difficult for the germans, and it does seem like the german force is strong enough. But please, prove me wrong :D






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