The group I play with generally put one or two games on at local conventions and we take great pride in those games. The scenarios that we run are generally play tested twice and sometimes more then that. Nothing is worse then participating in a convention game and realizing that there is no way that your side can possibly achieve the victory conditions.
We got together this past Saturday at our local game store, Acropolis Games. We were play testing a scenario that was originally published for Face of Battle. We figured that we could tweak it a bit for the rules we were using, Force on Force by Ambush Alley Games. And we were using the Vietnam supplement, Ambush Valley. One of our group is one of the Jims that is mentioned in the thanks at the front of Force on Force. Our group also play tested the Ambush Valley supplement.
The scenario was an extraction on a hot LZ. The Marines have heavy WIAs(this means in game terms that they were not walking wounded) and KIAs that have to be loaded up on the helos and troops to protect them also. The WIAs were incapacitated, so we determined that it would take two figures to manhandle each WIA into a Huey. Of course the same would be true for KIA for obvious reasons.
The second game we reworked the chart, we interchanged the weapon damage with the withdrawal results. We then made the determination that if a Huey was forced to withdraw twice, it would have to RTB. Then the Marines would have to roll on what turn the next Huey would show up. The first game all three Hueys were Medevacs. The second game we rolled to see if there were gunships and two were Gunships. We also made it easier for the Marines to put wounded into the helos.
On the second turn I received this Fog of War card.
With the above card and coupled with the outstanding dice rolling on my part. It was a a slaughter
This is what the table looked like this after three turns. One of the helos were driven off and would have to make a moral test to land again.
In the next turn, all but two of the standing Marines were down and one more Huey was driven off.
At that point the Marines had absolutely no way they could win. The Vietnamese got too many reinforcements The quantity of those troops were determined by a dice roll and I received reinforcements ever turn.
Now onto the main part of this entry. You might be thinking, wow those games did not last long and you would be correct. We have on many occasions used scenarios designed for a different game system with some adjustments as I have said earlier. I am not sure if we will be able to do so with this scenario.
I have done some research on Face of Battle and here is a blog entry describing the game play.
I have not played Face of Battle and from dhc wargames blog description of Face of Battle it is extremely different from Ambush Valley. As I understand it, Face of Battle uses single figures as units. While Force on Force is a squad based game. So when reinforcements were rolled, I rolled for movement onto the table for the unit and not each individual soldier. On first two turns reinforcements were five figures on the first and the next turn I got seven figures. I rolled well enough that each unit could engage the Marines on the very turn they came on the board. That was a big problem too. Again, as the North Vietnamese I could put devastating fire on the few Marine units. When we try the scenario again. The North Vietnamese will only get reinforcements every other turn.
In the first game we determined that there was just too much for the Marines to do. They had to defend the LZ and get all the WIA and KIA onto the choppers. If everything went perfectly, it would take five or six turns to get all the WIA and KIA. And then the living would have to be extracted too. We made it easier for the Marines to get incapacitated units onto the Helos.
We played two games in three hours, but neither was satisfying. We have played Force on Force a lot and enjoyed it. It seems that Face of Battle has a strong following too. Because each rule system is so different, I do not think the scenarios are compatible.
We have on many occasions used a different rule systems scenario, but never have we had this result and having to do as many changes to achieve balanced play. We are going to try it one more time to see if we can make the scenario work for Force on Force. I am not optimistic that we will be able to fix it.
Let me know if you all have had similar problems with scenarios from different rule systems and not working very well.
Thanks for reading,