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New GCM "Super Blind" Format
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TOPIC: New GCM "Super Blind" Format

New GCM "Super Blind" Format 5 months ago #1

  • exp101
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I've been thinking of a new format for GCM battles that attempts to preserve the essence of "blind" games while minimizing potential house rules violations, intentional or unintentional. This structure also addresses other issues including GCM's anomaly of "scout guns", strives to reestablish infantry as the "queen of battle," strikes a new balance with vps and, in its mechanics, establishes a function for reserves and refitting regiments. Most changes are baked into host settings so house rules (notoriously problematic for us) are kept to a minimum. I'm hoping this makes for fewer disputes and frustrations. Here are the essentials.

VP's

Background Note: The challenge in vp setups has always been in striking a balance between player convenience (the motivation behind the original introduction of vp holders/wagons & low 10-man control requirements), and having a meaningful way to represent vp control. Unfortunately, the mechanics involved have also carried some unintended and occasionally bizarre practices from a Civil War historical point of view.

In Super Blind Games there are:
-no vp holders, vp wagons or ordnance wagons (armies are limited to issued ammunition);
-vp's will be fewer and more tightly placed around the center of the battlefield*;
-vp value will be bumped a bit (initially to 30%), but the control radius is also expanded (either 200 or 250 yards) to make them more difficult to secure**;
-a minimum 200 man garrison will be required to control.*

*The idea here is that players will want to detach small, beat up, exhausted, or reserve regiments for vp garrison duties. By keeping the vp's relatively close, it should be easier to rotate these regiments from back areas into the line and vice versa, which introduces a sort of reserve or R&R area concept to our battles
**vp's will carry lots of potential value, but are also going to be more difficult to truly secure. Look for objectives to be more easily contested and remain neutral for longer periods. This should, in turn, give back a portion of game emphasis to the infliction of tactical damage as a path to victory

House Rules
New...
1) Gun batteries may not use road movement in the first 10 minutes of the game

As before...
2) Officers may not move ahead or to the side of friendly infantry or guns
3) Officers may not move to rally regiments that break or retreat behind enemy lines. Such regiments may not interfere with enemy objectives in any way unless/until they are able to come back within friendly lines

This is a first pass and will no doubt require some tweaking. Let's see what happens!
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Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 5 months ago #2

  • Mark
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The gun restriction is not practicable. It sounds good in theory but with random spawns if I start in heavy woods, like I did last game, I'm going to use the nearest road to get my guns out. If not, then the guns will be exhausted and unusable for the first half hour of game time while I have to rest them, and that's a major burden. If I have 12 guns and the army only has 36 that would be a 1/3 of one team's guns out of action simply because of the terrain feature that one randomly started in. That doesn't seem fair. If you modify your gun rule for a player to use road commands if his guns are in the heavy woods or in woods, or in a creek, well, then, we are right back to where we started

Additionally, I personally do not have my guns on autofire so moving them off road (IE in open fields) is what I do regularly, as with the artillery speed bonus it then doesn't really matter if you are off the roads. So I don't see how your limitation would have a practical effect on my ability to use my guns to scout, because no one, well at least no one who wants to keep their guns, sends artillery on a roadway through any type of woods near or in the apparent potential location of the enemy unless you don't want to have 'em any longer. I find the closest hill and send my guns there for the best view.

Finally, I feel scouting with guns is auto-correcting; those that do usually lose one or two guns every game. Instead of learning they do the same thing. Collectively, as a group, I don't know how you regulate better play from individual players?


Anyway those are my two cents. Catch you on the battlefield.

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 5 months ago #3

  • exp101
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I think you have a good point about getting your guns out of heavy woods, if using a road command would help. A common sense exception might be in order.

Other than that, the road restriction for the first 10 mins is designed as an easy way to have infantry lead the way into battle instead of guns. You are probably in the minority (along with me) in deliberately refraining from putting guns on the road in the lead. A number, if not most, players do this, which is pretty crazy in Civil War terms. And I beg to differ about scouting guns being self-correcting. I can think of a few players who don't seem to mind leading with guns and getting them frequently shot off. Doesn't deter them. But more to the point, guns were not used to scout. If we want to play a game here and there with more robust scouting, the better way is to add a regiment of two of cavalry to the OOB. I'm not attempting to correct bad play -- just unrealistic play that also happens to mess up the blind effect.

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 5 months ago #4

  • shrader
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Obviously I am new here, but having a regiment of cavalry would help with the scouting issue wouldn't it? Not sure how hard it would be to have that added to the OOB, where perhaps each division has 1 small regiment?

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 5 months ago #5

  • exp101
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Cavalry is always an option and GCM host settings offer wide latitude to put them in. Some players enjoy playing with cavalry (significantly nerfed in Garnier's mod as to power). I put a regiment or 2 in my games every once in a while for variety, but I personally don't like them because of the skew they bring to infantry-centric battles. Blind games are efforts to achieve more fog of war and are fundamentally at odds with bringing much cavalry.

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 5 months ago #6

  • Mark
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I agree with everything said. I was just trying to be polite

I wouldn't use artillery as a forward scouting unit. Lose two and its, what, 120 points? That can easily lose a battle.

Plus, if you're smart, you don't need to lead with guns, that is just silly, you find a good over-watch points and move em there with the fire button toggled to off so that if you're closer to the enemy than you like you don't unlimber. Should be interesting anyway.

To battle.


PS. That is why I send regiments all over the field, in what appears to be a willy nilly fashion (it ain't). I mean, you can usually tell the general direction of the enemy but I like to move regiments all over in order to scout, but, more importantly, block roadways and intersections and force people to deploy.

PSS. One last thought (I'm a lawyer so sue me hahaha). The only time I really put guns on a roadway in the lead is if I am, say, stuck in the southeast corner of the map and I can see five allied divisions in front of me. Then I will simply give road commands to all of my units and wander away

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 5 months ago #7

  • States
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I hate leading with guns and love it when the enemy gives me advance warning of where their entire division is at with scout guns. Heavy wood patches are never that big but if you're closer to the road than open ground I don't see any problem with temporarily using the road. If spam melee becomes a problem, obj value can be altered but it wasn't a problem today, I like the general idea of troops holding objectives.

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 5 months ago #8

  • KG_Soldier
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Rather than restricting gun traffic the first ten minutes, which doesn't prevent players from scouting the flanks later in the battle with guns, wouldn't it be easier to simply not allow guns in front of the infantry while marching?

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 5 months ago #9

  • exp101
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I thought about that and we talked about this option some after today's battle. The two potential problems are that it doesn't address when a player sends his guns out on a scouting flank march and I also wonder if it would be any more successful than asking players not to lead with officers, vp holders and wagons.

I'm open to anything that makes the scout gun phenomenon more difficult or at least slows them down.

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 5 months ago #10

  • KG_Soldier
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Well. . . it would be a violation if there weren't infantry in front of the guns on the flank.

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 5 months ago #11

  • exp101
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Do we want to prohibit unaccompanied guns on the flanks? Guess I was focused more on guns scouting ahead of infantry than generally whether they can be used by themselves independent of the foot soldiers. No doubt it's a hair-splitting distinction much of the time, but it does seem like two different situations. To reduce argument, I'd like to keep the interpretive elements to a minimum.

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 5 months ago #12

  • Mark
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duplicate post...

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 5 months ago #13

  • Mark
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No absolutely not. When I am an Army's flank I routinely secure my exposed flank with a battery 4-600 yards away from the last of my infantry. Usually unsupported if on open ground. There are strong practical reasons for doing this; namely the guns can overwatch and still keep a flank eye out. If you stick an infantry regiment out there it is wasted.

GCM wasn't that broke in my opinion for a drastic rewrite of the rules.

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 5 months ago #14

  • KG_Soldier
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We all know what scouting the flanks with guns means. There is, of course, nothing wrong with posting guns on the flanks. Sending guns down a road or across a field to scout a flank is a completely different thing.

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 5 months ago #15

  • exp101
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After last night's battle a short discussion began about the relative advantages/disadvantages to attackers and defenders as they are required to maintain real garrisons at VP's. This is a good conversation to have as we look for that settings 'sweet spot'.

The settings in the first two super blind battles used 200 man garrisons, 30% objective values and 200 yard vp radii.Objective spreads have been tightened slightly to 1 or 1.3 miles and limited to 5 to reduce garrisoning burdens.

A few general considerations about these levels and their relative impacts:
-the team defending (i.e. garrisoning more vp's) probably assumes a slight disadvantage - at least until the attacking team is close enough that the garrison may be used;
-conversely, the attacking team (with fewer vp's) carries some slight advantage) - at least until their success translates into increased garrison burdens of their own
-the relatively high vp values (I've used 30% so far), translates into considerable points beginning at 11:00a that typically should more than offset the need to commitment a 200-300 man regiment (especially one beat-up in combat). The offset advantage would decrease if a lower vp value is used;
-the larger vp radius should mean that objectives near the front will often be neutralized for significant periods by attackers;
-early in the battle teams should consider their garrison strategy. For instance, it probably doesn't make sense to commit a 450-man regiment to garrison duty before vp points expand at 11:00. After that, both armies typically have spent regiments that can take on those chores.

Overall, I'll admit that the introduction of garrisons does come with some impacts, but I'd also suggest those impacts and relative advantages/disadvantages shift with the ebb & flow of the battle. Comments are welcomed about whether this is an overall positive or negative addition to our battles, or suggestions about further adjustments.

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 5 months ago #16

  • KG_Soldier
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With the higher objective point values, this makes the luck of the spawn even more important. Not a fan.

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 5 months ago #17

  • exp101
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What would make it better?

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 5 months ago #18

  • KG_Soldier
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I prefer the lower point games we've been playing, putting more emphasis on casualties rather than random victory locations.

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 4 months, 3 weeks ago #19

  • Willard
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I won't be playing in any games where gun movement is restricted from road use during the first 10 mins. I understand that several players use guns to scout but it is limited to the same players all the time. Instead of punishing those players, everyone is punished. Guns have been nerfed enough in GCM that further diminishing their movement or adding an additional arbitrary fatigue malus by requiring to move through woods/ground is not a solution to the problem.

There are multiple instances of guns legitimately being deployed ahead to a strategic point unsupported at the discretion of the commander. Day 1 at Gettysburg, the Union battery's forced the Rebs to deploy slowing up their advance into Gettysburg. At Fredricksburg a battery deployed on the far Reb right flank slowing down the Union advance.

It is a risk-reward decision to deploy batteries forward with strategic ramifications that has been removed from the commander because Wales can't stop scouting with guns. A better solution is to prevent Wales from using guns because he gets them all killed anyway.

As for the VPs, I would suggest a different format if GCM allows it. 3 VP games with 1 one major VP and 2 minor VPs. The two minor VIPs would be at opposite sides of the map and represent each armies base/line of advance. In order to win you need to hold that position to secure your avenue of advance/withdrawal. A lose of this VP, results in an automatic defeat, as the opposing army has "cut your army off" from supply, etc. The 3rd VP would be in the middle of the map and represent the strategic objective for the armies. This could be done also with a supply wagon that could placed by the Army Commander at the start of the game. Either would limit some of the pinwheel battles as both sides would need to focus forces to defend those "supply" minor VPs or wagons.

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 4 months, 3 weeks ago #20

  • KG_Soldier
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Enjoy your self-imposed exile while we try to make the games better.

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 4 months, 2 weeks ago #21

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After playing super blind for a week I feel I have a new perspective different to my original impression.

Limiting artillery road movement for 10 minutes has not penalized me in any way. I've never had to move guns through woods for extended periods of time. There is always a way to move your guns on open ground for at least the first 5 minutes, then I just wait at the road for another 5 minutes and my guns have never arrived late to a fight.

I never used artillery for scouting to begin with so I don't see it as a penalty. To the contrary, I find myself scouting MORE now on the flanks which contradicts the point of this rule. I suggest limiting all artillery movement for the first 5 minutes to correct this problem and then use roads. It's kind of unrealistic to be moving artillery cross country when you have a road at your disposal, but I don't see the status quo as a big deal since you're unlikely to scout an enemy position on the flank in the first 10 minutes anyway.

I like using regiments to hold objectives. I like objectives being neutral more often, it adds depth to the game. While objective values are higher, I still find holding objectives not as important. Simply keeping an objective neutral while having full force on the front line is a good compromise if you're holding at least 1 objective in a 5 objective game. People also now have more incentive to send back regiments on the route line.

Wagons/holders can be a pain and I like the new aspect of strategic ammo wagon placement. Harmon delivered ammo to me at a crucial point with perfect timing which was kind of new and cool. I also think having 40 wagons/holders gives too much visibility on the map, I like the slightly increased ability for ambush.

Overall I like both the old and new formats, but I like this new format just to mix things up. I think officers are more of a problem with scouting than wagons/holders were, but it does help the problem. Super blind doesn't change the game that much honestly, it's a nice twist for now IMO.
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Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 4 months, 2 weeks ago #22

  • exp101
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Thanks for the comments. The 'Super Blind' adjustments weren't really intended as major alterations to the game. Rather, the hope was to tweak away a few annoying & recurring habits developed by some over time (e.g., scouting with wagons & vp holders; leading with guns). It also seemed a good opportunity to make a few subtle 'realism' enhancements (new new vp holding criteria, expanded vp radius, etc.). Experience has taught that for any house rule to work, it needs to be straightforward and minimally invasive -- otherwise games can quickly degenerate into arguments and hard feelings. And it's far, far better whenever possible to bake adjustments into host settings so there is no opportunity for quibble.

The guns using roads in the first 10 minutes is working out about the way I thought. It's a simple guideline, easy to follow that discourages, without prohibiting, batteries leading a division into combat. Bottom line is that (I think) we're seeing proportionately more first sightings by infantry rather than guns. Guns still pop up unexpectedly on hills, etc. to cover flanks and gain good shooting positions, as they should. Gun scouting hasn't been eliminated, but diminished IMO.

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 4 months, 2 weeks ago #23

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Super blind seems to be working, Nice Change Mr. Palmer.

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 4 months, 2 weeks ago #24

  • Wales
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You My GCM friend, should seek help. @ Willard

Re: New GCM "Super Blind" Format 4 months, 1 week ago #25

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Wales wrote:
You My GCM friend, should seek help. @ Willard


Roger That!

Interesting fight this evening: www.sowmp.com/gcm/battles/battle/51372
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