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Hidden Movement

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Joined: 12/01/2008

In a tactical wargame, I am working with a mechanic to represent hidden units, and movement.

I have some ideas that work, and some that don't. The ones that don't have a problem in that a lot of thought seems to be spent by the player trying to "game the mechanic" in an unatural way.

What I want to accomplish, is the idea that a deffender can set up places to suprise and ambush an attacker. Not just a modifier to combat, but an actual way to attack from previously unknow locations. (as a known location will change the attackers strategy, even if the unit can't be fired upon for whatever reason)

Then, if everything went as planned, the defender can manuever behind blocking terrain to set up another hidden ambush point, etc.

First, what works.
Initial placement of units. The defender of a particular scenario gets to place defenders in hidden locations.

This is done by writing down the location on a seperate page, and then placing the unit counter over the written location. For each unit, the defender gets to place two dummy units on the map, one of which is in the real location.
When a defender wants to take action, it is revealed and placed on the map, also revealing the written location confirmation in the process.

There are rules in place that dictate how close one can come to men or vehicles before they are automaticaly spotted. The counter sizes differ between men and vehicles, so there are two sizes of dummy counters or tokens. Once a dummy counter is spotted, it is removed.

The deffender doesn't have to keep track of all the dummy counter once placed, just where the real units are. If he forgets, he can peek under the off-map units and check. It's the attacker who is concerned with whether he is in range to identify if a unit is real or a dummy unit. A spoted dummy unit is then taken off the map.

Then what doesn't work too well:
I wanted units to be able to move while hidden (if they were out of LOS)
So I began tinkering with ideas. Currently, if a unit is out of LOS (behind a hill or in a forest or something) instead of moving the counter, a number counter is place upon it. As the unit gets more moves, the number grows to represent how far it can go. Then at some point during its movement, it may be placed in a location within the distance shown by the number.
This is limited by a LOS factor:
The starting space, and the spaces between the staring and ending space must all be out of LOS from all opposing units. (otherwise it would have been seen moving)

This can get a little wacky because of timing of potential spotters.
If the opponent can get into a position to eventualy see the starting space of the hidden unit, then all the potential movement is lost as there are no longer any chain spaces out of LOS.

If the poential watching units are elminated as the hidden move number builds, then suddenly the hidden unit has full access to the potential areas.

This may end up being a wash advantage-wise, but you can begin to see how this adds a level of complexity into the strategy that doesn't seem all that desirable.
The hidden movement player has to calculate not just if he can make it to the next place of cover in time, but has to worry if an attacker will get to see ANY part of the movement path before the hiding unit is done.

So I don't think it's workable this way.

I thought of giving the option to turn a unit out of LOS into multiple dummy counters. As a dummy counter is spotted, it is removed. But this can make for alot of units to move around the map.

Any ideas here?

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