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Simultaneous action selection + chit-pull activation

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Blake
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About five months ago I posted this idea for a wargame combing simultaneous action selection with chit-pull activation over on BGG. Lately I've been thinking about it some more and wanted to put it out to see what people here on BGDF think about it.

ORDER PHASE: Players secretly place the corresponding chit to each of their units face down in one of three marked piles (MOVE, ADVANCE, or FIRE) hidden behind a player screen. Once all of the chits have been placed, everyone simultaneously removes their screens.

MOVE PHASE: The MOVE piles are combined and chits are drawn at random. An activated unit may move up to it's fast distance and then assault. (Note: any unit damaged by an assault that has been given an ADVANCE or a FIRE order must immediately withdraw it's chit from its respective pile and that unit will not activate for the remainder of the turn).

ADVANCE PHASE: The ADVANCE piles are combined and chits are drawn at random. An activated unit may both move up to its slow distance and snap fire once in any combination.

FIRE PHASE: The FIRE piles are combined and chits are drawn at random. An activated unit may perform concentrated fire once. (Note: concentrated fire is marked by placing the chit of the active unit on top of the unit it is targeting. All concentrated fire is resolved at the end of the phase, and its effects are simultaneous. Should multiple chits be paced on one unit, a form of concentrated fire called cross fire occurs.)

*OPPORTUNITY FIRE*: At any moment that an active unit enters a hex, any unit that has been given a FIRE order may perform opportunity fire upon any enemy unit. (Note: the firing unit's chit must be immediately withdrawn from its respective pile and that unit will not activate for the remainder of the turn.)

Any thoughts, ideas, or impressions would be much appreciated.

Black Canyon
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A problem with random chit-drawing?

Admittedly, I am not very fluent with wargaming, but this is something I noticed with your system:

Randomly drawing from the face-down unit chits to decide the order in which units take action means that you make no distinction between fast and slow units. You would have no initiative system.

I love your idea of simultaneously deciding your actions, but I think the face-down part is unnecessary. Both players are using a screen to prevent the other from knowing how many chits are going into each pile, but I say that the chits go in face up, and after the screens are removed, action order is based on some kind of initiative system.

SiddGames
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Uncertainty of Combat

I believe the goal of chit-pull in wargames is to simulate uncertainty (of many things). A game in which units have initiative works on the assumption that men in combat behave exactly the same every time they are given an order - they execute it with speed X. In a chit-pull game, you can order 3 of your units to advance on the enemy position, but you don't really know for sure which one will act first and if it will be before or after the enemy has a chance to reinforce that position, for example.

I haven't played a TON of wargames, so I don't know how original your idea is, but I like the way it combines sequential actions (movement comes before firing) with traditional chit-pull activation. My only concern from a gameplay perspective is if it would be unwieldy having three different stacks of activation chits, and randomizing three times in a round.

What do you seek to gain, from a gameplay and/or simulation perspective, with using this hybrid method rather than regular chit-pull (unit activates and does whatever you want it to do on its turn)?

Blake
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Some reasons I like this idea

SiddGames wrote:
What do you seek to gain, from a gameplay and/or simulation perspective, with using this hybrid method rather than regular chit-pull (unit activates and does whatever you want it to do on its turn)?

My primary hopes are (1) to decrease downtime (everyone gets to choose their orders "simultaneously", and units have only a limited number of choices once they do activate), and (2) increase dramatic tension by forcing players to develop plans that must incorporate a high level of uncertainty.

Here are two examples I've thought up that intrigue me:

(1) Unit A wants to charge unit B, but unit B isn't entirely sure this is the case. Unit B can assign an ADVANCE order which will allow it to move as it wishes, improving it's long-term positioning. However, should A charge B there will no longer be any chance to perform opportunity fire. But should B be given a FIRE order and A does not charge, B won't be able to improve it's positioning. The tension revolves around not knowing what order A is going to commit to.

(2) Unit A wants to ADVANCE between two buildings, fire at unit B, and then continue on to hide behind the next building. Unit B could be given a FIRE order so that it can perform opportunity fire at the moment A reveals itself, but if A guesses this is what is happening it will abort this plan of action.

A lot of what has inspired me to want to incorporate simultaneous action selection is playing Diplomacy, and also reading about an old game called Space Marine that used a very similar action selection mechanic (but without the chit-pull aspect). Ultimately, my biggest concern right now is that all of this will be too fiddly. Having piles is sort of a pain in my mind, and matching chits to the units they represent seems slow and monotonous.

SiddGames
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Try it?

Blake wrote:
Ultimately, my biggest concern right now is that all of this will be too fiddly. Having piles is sort of a pain in my mind, and matching chits to the units they represent seems slow and monotonous.

Yeah, that's what I meant by unwieldy. Have you done any solo or multiplayer testing of the general idea yet? Just grab some chits from another (war)game and a piece of map and give it a shot. Don't worry about the actual fire resolution, just see if it really is or isn't fiddly with the stacks, etc. It sounds like your rules fit your design objective, so try it out.

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