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Non-Traveller Gaming A forum specifically for discussing those other games we like to play.

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  #11  
Old May 21st, 2018, 05:28 PM
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Future weaponry (spacecraft weapons if not personal weapons) will easily give range to target though. The characters will have an exact number, so the players should, too.
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  #12  
Old May 21st, 2018, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by aramis View Post
1) you've got the relationship backwards
2) The two types of games are now very distinct from each other.

Minis games with eye based ranging date back to about 1910.
The earliest one using minis that I have found is the Jane's Naval Game from 1898. I have a complete photocopy of it. The U.S. Army Coast Artillery Corps picked up the idea and used if for training games starting in 1913.

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Counters on map were a downscale from minis-games, and started in the 1950's; they created a new niche, and were pretty distinct markets by the mid 60's.
That is about right, although you also had the Milton-Bradley Broadside Game, which I have, that used miniature ships.

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Non-wargame boardgames date back millennia.
I guess that depends on how you view chess. Some view it as the first war board game.
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  #13  
Old May 21st, 2018, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timerover51 View Post

I guess that depends on how you view chess. Some view it as the first war board game.
As an abstract with a war theme.
Same for Shogi, Xang Qi, and the indian one with the larger board.
Go, as well.
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  #14  
Old May 22nd, 2018, 05:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dray View Post
Future weaponry (spacecraft weapons if not personal weapons) will easily give range to target though. The characters will have an exact number, so the players should, too.
Well, you count hexes, so why not measure distances? Imagine doing a Snapshot scenario without a grid map on one of the ACSes. Say you've boarded a type-S, and there's a machinegun nest in front of the iris leading to the bridge. There's no grid on the map, but you kind of have an idea of the range, and nearly everything in Snapshot is at medium range anyway, so everytime you fire you're going to be firing at medium range with whatever DMs.


To me, in the modern post 20th century gaming vernacular, and for a game developed in the mid 1970s, disallowing any kind of measuring because it's a minis game, seems provincial in my book. It's like you're doing it for the sake of it. I don't hold with it, but it's like I dont' want to step on anyone's toes at the next minis game I go to.


...way back in the early 2000s I used to do a mini WW2 game with some locals, and we measured all the time...crazy stuff. Oh well. Just my thoughts on the matter.
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  #15  
Old May 22nd, 2018, 01:21 PM
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There are quite a number of ways to break the spirit of the rules, the most notable one that I recall is measuring the length from your elbow to the tip of your index finger, and hovering over your unit, and indicate physically the direction of fire.

I tended to make ad hoc maps as the opposing player started setting up their forces, then note how far they moved their units in their turn, as well as mark down where the geographic features were.

I was very accurate.

In space, you ping your targets with your laser pointer.
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  #16  
Old May 22nd, 2018, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timerover51 View Post
My guess it is a left-over from the Fletcher Pratt Naval Game, where tape measures were barred, and you had to estimate range. This in turn was derived from the original Jane's Naval Game, where again you had to guess your range. While that made sense for the Jane Game from 1898, it really did not make sense for the Pratt game, as by World War 2, except for very small ships, range finders were widely carried.

Now, for World War 2 miniature armor games, I can see the reason, as tanks were not carrying range finders, and much of the range was a guesstimate based on the apparent size of the target through the periscope sight. The same would hold true for artillery forward observers.

Basically, it reduces the hit rate, resulting in longer games, with more chances for maneuver and luck to play a role.
Interesting, but I've seen reticules in tank gunner's periscopes. Particularly for Germany in WW2. I have no idea how accurate they were.

Maybe the WW 1 4-piper ( 4 steam plants, 4 stacks) destroyers and destroyer escorts didn't have range finders, but the ones in the later part of WW2 had them. I think the Fletcher class DDs had a mount up on the forward mast that could use radar range finding ,and a visual range finder if the radar lost power.

No idea if they were retrofitted or not, but I did see some WW2/Korean War DDs after I joined the US Navy, and they had the visual/radar range finders just above the signal bridge. This would have been about 1970. By the time I got out in 1972 I no longer saw them. Most likely being replaced by newer ships.

The early DDG I was stationed on definately had them. It was build in the early 1960s.
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  #17  
Old May 22nd, 2018, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
Well, you count hexes, so why not measure distances?
It's really up the the mechanics and flavor of the game being played, what they're trying to model, and how they're trying to present it to the user.

For example, in Squad Leader, you can count hexes all you want, but, in the end, when you make the attack, only THEN can you check LOS (line of sight) with a thread from center to center to see if you have a clear shot. While the map has hexes and what not to regulate movement, the actual buildings/wall/trees, etc. painted on the map were "real" game elements, and these were NOT regulated by the hex grid.

So, when you went to check LOS, after you called the shot, if the thread, say, crosses the corner of a building, then you couldn't make the shot at all.

Why add this mechanic? Perhaps to introduce some of the uncertainty that's intrinsic in all warfare, but particularly difficult to model in a game with a "god view" like a generic hex based war-game.

Now, I don't recall all the details. Pretty sure, for example, that the shot it not taken, not that it missed (which means if LOS isn't clear, you don't "fire anyway", you don't roll, which can have all sorts of ramifications like gun breakdowns and other things). I don't know if it broke concealment, for example.
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Old May 23rd, 2018, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timerover51 View Post
Now, for World War 2 miniature armor games, I can see the reason, as tanks were not carrying range finders, and much of the range was a guesstimate based on the apparent size of the target through the periscope sight. The same would hold true for artillery forward observers.
The optical system could yield some good results.

Tankers apparently acquired rangefinders on an adhoc basis and did use them- just not standard equipment or built into the tank.
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Old May 23rd, 2018, 03:10 AM
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It depends.

If you re sitting in a King Tiger or a Jagdpanther, accuracy over distance can be very valuable.

If you're attacking in a Tiger, speed combined with accuracy, by setting the sights at about four hundred metres, and estimating if the target is below or above that.

For the Allies, they had to close the range in most cases anyway, and were mostly used in infantry support.
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  #20  
Old June 13th, 2018, 05:01 AM
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Well, I left my measuring tape on the kitchen table for this year's convention. If I go to gobblecon, then I may take it with me (if I remember).


Back in the 80s when I went to gaming or scifi conventions, there was a strong commercial element. But now that games have been predominantly dumbed down many shades, it's all big business, and not the guy or group of friends who pool their money together to get some rules, a map and a sheet or two of counters printed up, and packaged in shrinkrap at the local hobby store.

Those days are over.

And so, as I poked through the archive, I saw my posted experience with a games sales person trying to sell me Star Wars' Rebellion, and how he tried to sell me on the idea that it was a new and unique game where the players play against the GM. Ho hum.

I've not played Warhammer 20k, nor Magic nor much of any other collector card game, but, it strikes me that serious hard care war simulations and scifi RPGs with real science (like Traveller), are things of the past, and that WH20k and Magic and others like them have tilted games in a much different "big business" direction.

Ergo, I didn't see a lot of tape measures this year, nor much of what I would call arguments nor issues regarding game etiquette. Again, largely because a lot of the games aren't simulations anymore, but slimmed down versions of whatever for the masses.

Sorry for getting off topic, but I'm kind of bummed out about that. Back in the 80s hotel rooms were crammed with serious science minded or literary minded gamers that liked the complexity of the rules along with the fantasy offered by the authors of those games. I just don't see that anymore. I saw a lot of die rolling and card playing, but little in the way of real intricate game play.

Oh well.
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