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Old 01-13-2018, 10:09 AM   #11
tbeard1999
 
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Default Re: Hold Fire in Ogre/GEV

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Originally Posted by FJCestero View Post
I'd say that the interactions that tbeard1999 uses to justify Hold Fire overlook that all of that is 'baked into' the rules. They're *supposed* to work that way and if a unit can 'interrupt' and fire on any enemy the moment they come into range then just exactly how are we to simulate a GEV doing hit-n-runs on a Missile Tank?

Yes, the You-Go-I-Go nature of Ogre introduces artificialities as tbeard1999 rightly points out. However, it's the only way to keep certain realistic tactics (hit and run with GEVs) without making the game really complicated.

That said, I could see Hold Fire or 'interrupt' rules for, say, fixed defenses: gun bunkers and fortresses that supplement howitzers in the back. There might be a place in OGRE for fixed defenses that don't open a 17 hex gap in your line when taken out. But to do that, they need shorter range, and so that their not easy meat they'd need to attack at the same time. This can be justified as them having huge magazines to shoot from. So imagine a 4/3 D4 Gun Bunker that can interrupt fire at any enemy in range. Just a suggestion.

Also, what did you have in mind for Hold Fire rules? A simple -1 on the CRT with mutual destruction being very possible, seems the simplest idea, not have to remember if you moved, etc.
Well, remember that the Hold Fire is NOT an "interrupt". The GEVs will get to fire, but so will the target (if it was eligible to fire in last turn and didn't do so).

The question is "when are the Hold Fire results applied". There are 4 options:

1. Applied first. This is simplest, but may swing too much in favor of the defender. If you took this option, I'd definitely impose the -1 modifier to discourage gratuitous use of Hold Fire.

2. Simultaneously. This is my preference. No modifier is necessary to discourage gratuitous Hold Fires. A player would not select Hold Fire if he could shoot at the target in his turn. If you still want to encourage the attackers, you could apply the -1.

3. Alternate. An interesting notion - let hold fire unit(s) fire at one target. Then let the phasing player fire at 1 target. Alternate. This is slower but could be interesting.

4. Apply at the end. No real point in taking this option. You might as well just let the nonmoving stand shoot in its next combat phase.

The Ogre/GEV game system was devised for Ogre - Hold Fire in that kind of game is a needless flourish in my opinion. (And playtesting the first edition revealed that GEV second movement needed to be reduced and the heavy tank movement needed to be increased).

But when you have lots of non-Ogre units on both sides, the normal sequence can produce artificial results.

Now please understand that I (as I said) I consider both Ogre and GEV to be as nearly perfect as wargames can be. But modding wargames is an ancient and integral part of the hobby. As always, your mileage may vary.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 01-13-2018 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 01-13-2018, 10:48 AM   #12
ianargent
 
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Default Re: Hold Fire in Ogre/GEV

I think of it as a gamist notion to support the GEV's "too fast to target" nature. Maximum Effective Range in Ogre is determined not by the physical range of the weapons, but by their targeting/sensor ranges. The GEV can make a speeding firing pass in on their target, fire at their target as they bear, and go speeding out again before the target can localize the GEV close enough to damage it.

It's certainly a gamist concept that breaks down if you think too hard about it, but it simplifies and speeds play; and the entire rules set is balanced around (among other things) GEVs being invulnerable to anything with a strike range less than 5. Once you add terrain in, you start having to factor the different effects of terrain vs unit type; and there's a reason that LTs are more strongly affected by terrain than HTs (otherwise 2x LTs would be better than 1xHT, and as it is I've seen strong arguments than 2x LGEVs are better than 1x GEVs, because they are impacted the same by terrain).
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:14 AM   #13
tbeard1999
 
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Default Re: Hold Fire in Ogre/GEV

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Originally Posted by ianargent View Post
I think of it as a gamist notion to support the GEV's "too fast to target" nature. Maximum Effective Range in Ogre is determined not by the physical range of the weapons, but by their targeting/sensor ranges. The GEV can make a speeding firing pass in on their target, fire at their target as they bear, and go speeding out again before the target can localize the GEV close enough to damage it.

It's certainly a gamist concept that breaks down if you think too hard about it, but it simplifies and speeds play; and the entire rules set is balanced around (among other things) GEVs being invulnerable to anything with a strike range less than 5. Once you add terrain in, you start having to factor the different effects of terrain vs unit type; and there's a reason that LTs are more strongly affected by terrain than HTs (otherwise 2x LTs would be better than 1xHT, and as it is I've seen strong arguments than 2x LGEVs are better than 1x GEVs, because they are impacted the same by terrain).
The problem of course is that even today, MBTs can engage helicopters (which move about 50% faster than the ~70 mph GEVs move) flying nap of the earth. Indeed, as far back as the 1970s, the US Army trained to engage helicopters with wire guided AT missiles and apparently expected some degree of success.

The main problem in engaging helicopters is line of sight, which is explicitly not an issue in the Ogreverse.

So while GEVs are tactically very fast, their speed wouldn't seriously degrade a 2010-era AFV fire control system, much less a 2085 one. In 2085, the only reason an undamaged friendly unit shouldn't be able to fire at an enemy unit that moves within range is if the friendly unit is already engaging another target. The hold fire rule reflects that - a unit can only hold fire if it didn't fire in its previous combat phase (and if it was eligible to do so).

And by the way, the problem exists with other units besides GEVs. They're just the most extreme.

In 70 years, I'd expect sensors to become much better, not revert to World War 2 levels. They actually can't. The indirect fire capability integral to all Ogre units requires a very capable sensor suite; one far better than today's sensors.

The complaint raised by my friend - that I have to agree with - is that the current system sometimes rewards unrealistic tactics on the game table. Particularly in meeting engagements, which would be the most common type of engagement in a fully armored environment.

And he feels (and I do too now) that these artificial tactics seriously damage the verisimilitude that good wargames create.

The problem is that we know how AFVs act in real life. We know the scale and assumptions implicit in the Ogre universe and how they change the way AFVs act (i.e., not much at all really). So when a game tactic seriously violates that understanding, some folks don't like it.

All I'm saying is that IF you have a problem with this, then the Hold Fire mechanic is the easiest way I can think of to address it. If you don't have a problem, then keep playing GEV like you have for the last 40 years or so.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 01-13-2018 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:16 PM   #14
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Hold Fire in Ogre/GEV

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
The problem of course is that even today, MBTs can engage helicopters (which move about 50% faster than the ~70 mph GEVs move) flying nap of the earth. Indeed, as far back as the 1970s, the US Army trained to engage helicopters with wire guided AT missiles and apparently expected some degree of success.
Successful AA capability versus NAE targets at 4 km? I doubt it.

Quote:
The main problem in engaging helicopters is line of sight, which is explicitly not an issue in the Ogreverse.
This is because the principle weapons in Ogre are indirect fire. Contemporary MBTs are primarily direct fire platforms.

In real life counter-battery fire can fail because the target artillery is able to decamp fast enough.
Quote:
So while GEVs are tactically very fast, their speed wouldn't seriously degrade a 2010-era AFV fire control system, much less a 2085 one. In 2085, the only reason an undamaged friendly unit shouldn't be able to fire at an enemy unit that moves within range is if the friendly unit is already engaging another target.
They can fire at targets that move into direct fire range, during overruns.
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:37 PM   #15
tbeard1999
 
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Default Re: Hold Fire in Ogre/GEV

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Successful AA capability versus NAE targets at 4 km? I doubt it.
<shrug> US Army tank crews have trained to engage helicopters for 40 years. And if 1970s era fire control systems could do it, I find it hard to believe that fire control systems 110 years later couldn't engage a vehicle moving about 60% the speed of a helicopter. Particularly when you start using visually targeted - amd therefore jam-proof - fire and forget weapons (widely available in 2018).

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This is because the principle weapons in Ogre are indirect fire. Contemporary MBTs are primarily direct fire platforms.
And why does that matter?

Quote:
In real life counter-battery fire can fail because the target artillery is able to decamp fast enough.

They can fire at targets that move into direct fire range, during overruns.
Again, so what?

You apparently are arguing that an AFV fire control system in 2085 can't effectively engage an enemy AFV moving about 70 mph at most.

And curiously, you seem to be arguing that somehow a stationary tank can't engage a GEV, but one that moves can.

Sorry, but logic suggests that if a GEV can engage a functional, unengaged tank, then that tank should be able to engage the GEV. Assuming comparable weapons, fire control and range. None of the points you've raised rebut this presumption.

This artifact is strictly due to an artificial sequence of play. One that existed in the first popular tactical wargame, Panzerblitz. It wasn't much of a problem in Ogre because of the nature of the engagement and the relatively open ground.

I think it IS an issue in GEV because it compels players to use tactics that would not work in reality (based on the assumptions we've been given about the Ogre universe). As I said, we know how tanks work in the real world. We know the assumptions in Ogre and how they change armored combat (i.e., not much except that everything can use indirect fire and infantry is now as fast as slower AFVs).

My response, if I didn't consider it a problem, would be that "it's a game and I can live with this particular abstraction."
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:53 PM   #16
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Default Re: Hold Fire in Ogre/GEV

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
Breakthrough scenario. Lt tank was occupying the 1 hex of clear terrain between the swamp and wood hexes. Hex 2007 on color map; 1608 on original map. Occupying that hex was critical because it was the GEVs only clear route on that end of the board. (I’d have put a heavy tank there, but I digress). The GEVs came up the river into the lake, then “strafed” the light tank.
I would have not placed a lone LT there in 1608, but rather, say, one at each hex 1806 and 1906. Your opponent in that game merely had bad tactical location. The GEV's have to be at the water's edge to move off it, so then the LT move up and blast the GEV as they are trying to come off the water. The LT then in perfect location to force the surviving GEV to overrun through the bottleneck.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:54 PM   #17
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Default Re: Hold Fire in Ogre/GEV

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
<shrug> US Army tank crews have trained to engage helicopters for 40 years. And if 1970s era fire control systems could do it, I find it hard to believe that fire control systems 110 years later couldn't engage a vehicle moving about 60% the speed of a helicopter. Particularly when you start using visually targeted - amd therefore jam-proof - fire and forget weapons (widely available in 2018).
This is all direct fire. That visual targeting requires line of sight should be self evident.
Quote:
And why does that matter?
Because indirect fire is not inherently very responsive.
Quote:
Again, so what?
You seem to be ignoring the existing rules for defensive fires.
Quote:
You apparently are arguing that an AFV fire control system in 2085 can't effectively engage an enemy AFV moving about 70 mph at most.
Contemporary FDC can't effectively engage targets moving with any appreciable speed at all (with the exception of smart munitions).

Quote:
And curiously, you seem to be arguing that somehow a stationary tank can't engage a GEV, but one that moves can.
No. I don't even know where you are getting this from.

Quote:
Sorry, but logic suggests that if a GEV can engage a functional, unengaged tank, then that tank should be able to engage the GEV. Assuming comparable weapons, fire control and range. None of the points you've raised rebut this presumption.
Does logic suggest that a functional unengaged mortar section be able to fire immediately on batteries that are firing on them? Because I can tell you from experience, logic would be wrong in that case. You need data from counter-battery radar to shoot back (and you need to get the guns up on that target) You would be doing very well to have rounds down range within an Ogre turn.

Quote:
This artifact is strictly due to an artificial sequence of play. One that existed in the first popular tactical wargame, Panzerblitz. It wasn't much of a problem in Ogre because of the nature of the engagement and the relatively open ground.
Sure, but your argument for why that is a problem seems to be based around treating indirect fires as responsive as direct fires.
Quote:
I think it IS an issue in GEV because it compels players to use tactics that would not work in reality (based on the assumptions we've been given about the Ogre universe). As I said, we know how tanks work in the real world. We know the assumptions in Ogre and how they change armored combat (i.e., not much except that everything can use indirect fire and infantry is now as fast as slower AFVs).
We also know how counter-battery fire works, and it isn't anywhere near as fast as you are suggesting.

Quote:
My response, if I didn't consider it a problem, would be that "it's a game and I can live with this particular abstraction."
My response is that Tac-Air was an excellent game about the kind of warfare you are talking about, at roughly the same scale as Ogre. Go play that.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:55 PM   #18
tbeard1999
 
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Default Re: Hold Fire in Ogre/GEV

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Originally Posted by Mack_JB View Post
I would have not placed a lone LT there in 1608, but rather, say, one at each hex 1806 and 1906. Your opponent in that game merely had bad tactical location. The GEV's have to be at the water's edge to move off it, so then the LT move up and blast the GEV as they are trying to come off the water. The LT then in perfect location to force the surviving GEV to overrun through the bottleneck.
I agree that the deployment was sub-optimal. But it hard to reply when he says, "Okay, my tank is sitting there just waiting for them. It can't fire when they close the range? Then they can move out of range after taking a shot? I can't be in some kind of overwatch? How is that reasonable?"

All I could say is that the game abstracts certain things. Not the greatest answer. Hence my suggestion for a Hold Fire mechanic. It solved this very problem in A Fistful of TOWs so I figured it would work with GEV.

I also began to think about the artificial tactics GEV rewards. It makes no sense for a stationary tank not be able to fire at an enemy tank when it moves into range, until after the enemy tank has fired(!) If the stationary tank is engaging another target - i.e., it fired in its last combat phase - then finem I have no problem with denying it the ability to shoot at another enemy until its next combat phase. And the hold fire mechanic reflects that.

But what happens is that enemy tanks moving on a defensive position can force the defenders to retreat (or launch an attack despite being badly outnumbered) without ever firing a shot.

The attackers move to a position that is out of the defender's range, but close enough to move into the attacker's range next turn. This is 3-5 hexes if the target and attackers are heavy or light tank.

If the defenders stay in their position, they will be attacked and possibly wiped out by the attackers in the attackers' next turn and the defenders won't be able to fire until they've absorbed this attack. If the defenders are outnumbered (the usual case with defenders), they may be wiped out or badly damaged.

So, the defenders can withdraw so that they cannot be engaged by the attackers on the next attacker turn. Poof, a defensive position has been eliminated without the attacker firing a shot. Worse, the attackers can use the exact same "tactic" next turn.

"We have to retreat sir; they're gonna attack us on their turn!"

Or, the defenders can launch an attack (also giving up their defensive position).

Either way, the defenders are forced out of a defensive position solely because of the artificial turn sequence. Such "tactics" resemble tactical armored warfare about as much as chess resembles ancient warfare.

Sorry, but that stretches my willing suspension of disbelief too far.

Fortunately, the hold fire mechanic will solve the problem at very little cost to playability.

Wargames are filled with compromises. If this is a compromise that doesn't trouble you, then you don't need the Hold Fire mechanic.

Unfortunately, some folks seem bound and determined to rationalize this artificial occurrence.

But the the real world nature of AFVs and the known assumptions and extrapolations of the Ogre universe make these explanations most unconvincing.

Oh, and we were playing an older version of the rules where GEVs didn't have to stop when they leave the river. Of course, requiring the GEVs to stop doesn't address the problems I identified above. I do like the beach rule though.
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:00 PM   #19
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Default Re: Hold Fire in Ogre/GEV

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
I Such "tactics" resemble tactical armored warfare about as much as chess resembles ancient warfare.
Yes. Does this make chess a bad board game?
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Sorry, but that stretches my willing suspension of disbelief too far.
Maybe you shouldn't play chess then?
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:07 PM   #20
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Default Re: Hold Fire in Ogre/GEV

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
Sorry, but it’s real. I used it to defeat another wargamer awhile back. He was unhappy that such artificial tactics worked.
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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
I agree that the deployment was sub-optimal. But it hard to reply when he says, "Okay, my tank is sitting there just waiting for them. It can't fire when they close the range? Then they can move out of range after taking a shot? I can't be in some kind of overwatch? How is that reasonable?"
Two snips there. Your opponent wasn't playing Ogre then, he was playing some other game, then complaining Ogre wasn't that game.

Ogre plays differently than ASL, or Memoir '44, or some Ancients game. It's a different format, one that has it's own nuances and rules. Adding rules to turn it into something else makes it "not Ogre".
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