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Author Topic: [Krasnoarmeets] Ronnies feedback  (Read 8978 times)
James Holloway

Posts: 372

« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2006, 06:38:54 PM »

Totally unrelated:

the first draft of Krasnoarmeets was filled with Soviet WWII propaganda tone; lots of GLORY TO THE DEFENDERS OF THE MOTHERLAND and SMERT FASHISTAM and ZA STALINA! ZA RODINA!* and so forth. In the end, I took it all out except for the rather mild "Glory" poster on the front page. I'm not sure how I feel about this stuff.

The thing is that part of the whole point of the game is to humanize the war and focus it on the experience of the infantryman, alternating long periods of boredom and misery with sudden flashes of terror and, er, misery. On the one hand, putting in the glorious propaganda stuff might tend to reduce that, and the WWII wargaming market is already flooded with that kind of imagery. Much as I love, I dunno, Call of Duty, I'm not sure that I'd like this game to become one about heroic struggle, unless it's about the mundanity and difficulty of any one person's part of a heroic struggle. On the other hand, this kind of stuff was a real part of the strelets's life, with soldiers being encouraged to write letters about exactly what terrors they were going to inflict on the Fascist beasts and so on.

I think that one of the scenarios has got to involve what happens when the squad captures some Hiwis. My guess is that 90% of players will shoot them on the spot and would bill their families for the bullet if they could. Which is not so far from the history, I guess.

*Rodinu? Rodinu, I think. All these years and I don't understand the first thing about Russian grammar.

Posts: 462

« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2006, 07:07:50 PM »

Well, yeah, OK, a company is probably overkill. There should be a company's worth of variety, but you're never going to field more than three rifle squads against the PCs, and seldom even that.

Hunh. That's still larger than I'd imagined. Pardon me while I go all gamist for a second: How many characters and not-quite-pcs will the players have on the board at a time? I guess I'd envisioned 1 character to 1 player as the norm, at least until the final push. 3 squads, even using the small 4 man german-style fire teams as squads is still 15 active germans against a player group of what, 4-5? Ow! Even with surprise and local superiority, that's some kinda bad odds for the players!

Were you thinking of an option where players start with one fleshed out character initially, then they get to optionally refocus on a different character after a mission, until a whole platoon worth of relationships was built? Sort of like troupe play in Ars Magica?

If I knew, I'd be a happier gamer. But in all the wargames clubs I know (which isn't many), if you want to get everyone into something, you're responsible for handling it. I guess that's the attitude I'm bringing to the game, but there's no real reason for it; it's an artifact of my situation and not anything inherent in the game rules.

Well, Ben (?- I'm hoping I'm remembering correctly) tackled some SC/organization issues in Scarlet Wake, something I found interesting. In that, he took the bull by the horns and straight out said that to play his game, people had to get organized and set play dates and so forth. That's one possibility.

Another possibility is breaking up what everyone has to do, and how often they have to do it. At minimum, everyone will need a painted figure and a character sheet. At minimum, the rear area will need at least one hut/bunker/cp. At minimum, there should be at least one painted enemy figure for every player character and at least one piece of terrain for the no-mans-land and the enemy zone.

I don't know- could a player start developing a second ( or third, etc) character if they contributed one of those things? Could a player engage in a little meta-gaming to reduce character stress by providing another painted enemy or enemy position (nasty little cycle right there)? Is there a way to move the game forward time wise based on the amount of terrain and enemies that are now available ( defined as fully modelled)? That would be a sort of critical mass of figures+terrain. When it hits a certain number, bigger missions start taking place in preparation for the Big Push.

For that matter, could you make it that the players, when presenting the GM with new badguy stuff to use had to collectively decide how the metagame destressing was distirbuted amongst the characters? Sort of one or two player's talents/finances being used for the good of the group? What if the group discussed it openly, but then the contributors turned in the destress point divisions secretly? Oooo...intrigue! What will the politcal officer think?

The rear area also intrigues me. I'm getting the impression that the base is the only area that truly has any solidity. I mean, it could change as new huts/canteens/etc were added, but I got the idea that the no-mans-land and enemy zones might change up to represent slightly different areas that the troops were active on.

BTW- what are the axis troops up to at this point? Are they still infiltrating/prisoner snatching/raiding? Is there a chance that they'll come hassle the comrades on their own turf? That could be cruel, too, especially if base/rear area terrain had de-stressing qualities...

As for the GM doing the painting-why?

No reason, really. Tradition.
Heh. In all fairness, a lot of Forge aided designs ask players to pick up other elements of a game, so why not directly tackle the physical parts, too? By tradition, rpg GMs write the story and the players toddle along with their characters following the rails. A whole bunch of folks have taking shots at that sacred cow, so why not the minis-are-the-GM's-responsibility one? Hell we'd have probably have seen more minis rpgs by now if someone axed that particular bovine.
In a way, the game represents the gap between my California and Cambridge game groups. It aspires to the first, but when I discuss it here I kind of assume the second, although there's no real reason to.

Tell me about the California group's play style and approach to minis games, please. I think it may be the basis for techniques you could use.

I think that one of the scenarios has got to involve what happens when the squad captures some Hiwis. My guess is that 90% of players will shoot them on the spot and would bill their families for the bullet if they could. Which is not so far from the history, I guess.

How does it affect the characters, though? Is it a gamble, where they might gain or lose stress or even gain/lose connections to the other characters? I suspect murdering prisoners might have any of the above effects, or even a combination.

Robert Earley-Clark

currently developing:The Village Game:Family storytelling with toys
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