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One Most Overlooked Asset
04-21-2010, 08:19 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-21-2010, 09:35 PM by Riley D. Smith.)
One Most Overlooked Asset
Most ya'll who have played me know that I am generally about 1/2
braindead (due to my rapidly advancing age and the simple slipping of mental faculties resulting from raising 4 eleven year olds...3 being the female variety).

With all that being a given, I must take advantage of every "friendly asset" at my disposal while commanding troops on the cyber battlefield. The one that I most often seem to overlook is the very one that should be first and foremost in each of our minds...the scenario victory conditions.

Remember that the real goal here is to play to win. That means playing directly to the victory conditions. If you need to hold point "a" and exit 2 men from hex "b" then your focus should be that and only that.

I recently was involved in an ES game. As the Germans my real goal was to exit as many units from the exit hexes on the Western edge of the board as possible. No victory hexes or any other victory conditions existed (or if there were some they would have been inconsequential). After an initially successful attack into the center of the enemy lines, my assault was quickly ground to a halt (in no small part due to some very nasty converging fires and a very well played defense). Instead of trying to slide off the attack the either the North or South, I kept slugging it out head-on until my attack was punished to the point of stopping and not being able to retreat safely. All this while an escape route on the southern edge was wide open in plenty of time for me to exit more than enough units for a win. Bad on me. The central attack, after its inititial slight success did nothing but bleed off VP's. Live and learn.

Another game, this one in Africa at War, another debacle due to me not paying close attention the victory conditions, and, in this case, some special rules covering specific units that were able to cross open water hexes. Too late I realized the entire mechanized column I was sending in a flanking move to secretly cross a river at a remote spot, thereby suprising my opponent, was not going to be able to even cross at the crossing due to a special rule in the scenario (only amphibs can cross there). My opponent also had not noticed this rule. He crossed some light armor which I ran smack into. Long story short....had I read the rules my entire game strategy would have been vastly different. Not to mention at least have a chance to succeed.

I find, again and again, that success in Squad Battles lies in paying very close attention to the details. It's easy for even experienced wargamers to forget how vastly different the Squad Battles series plays from any other on the site. Reading the scenario description and paying close attention to the victory conditions...and then playing directly too them. Also...with the many mods we are playing there are often special conditions and rules that come into play.

When it comes to Squad Battles, the devil is truely in the details, but don't overlook the obvious.
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04-21-2010, 12:13 PM,
RE: One Most Overlooked Asset
I'm the A@W opponent Riley is talking about... Didn't read the briefing thoroughly and I sent my Ratel ACs across the river, blasting away until Riley very politely asked me if we were following the designer's rule or not. Which is another good point, if we had agreed to ignore that rule, we would have had a spectacular shootout at the ford, and no harm done.

I'm a hussar, I'm a Hun,  I'm a wretched Englishman
Routing Bonaparte at Waterloo
I'm a dragoon on a dun, I'm a Cossack on the run
I'm a horse soldier, timeless, through and through

Corb Lund - Horse Soldier, Horse Soldier

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04-21-2010, 06:14 PM, (This post was last modified: 04-21-2010, 06:15 PM by Ozgur Budak.)
RE: One Most Overlooked Asset
Excellent post Riley. I believe the very detail aspect you mentioned is the main reason many operational level players (PzC for instance) have difficulty in adapting theirselves to SB world. They sometimes play very little attention to small details that may turn out to be life and death matters on tactical level. I know many PzC players who play SB and put it away as a result of frustration after losses even against AI. I must admit I too had dusted my first SB game (Nam) for a year. Looking back now I see that the main issue was playing SB with PzC mentality.
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04-21-2010, 08:39 PM,
RE: One Most Overlooked Asset
Good post Riley, I ve been caught out many times by Sqb special rules though in my defence. As someone who likes to play a scenario totally blind the small but vitals details of sqb can be easily missed
244 games with legend that is Richie61
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04-21-2010, 09:44 PM, (This post was last modified: 04-21-2010, 09:45 PM by Riley D. Smith.)
RE: One Most Overlooked Asset
It's taken me some real practice to even be proficient at the tactical level. But in SB titles you just have to put yourself in a real life situation. Can I stand up here? Can that sniper hold out one more turn for a shot on the squad leader? Can I get 3 "pinned" results vice taking one chance on a big attack against 1 hex?

This game engine really does allow for very customized, individualized play. It takes a while to really figure out the many, many, intricacies(sp) of these games.

That is why I like the WaW mod....the maps and weapons really fit this scale absolutely perfect. I have played several damn good scenarios....all extremely good games for either side I think. I cannot say enough about the maps...a tacticians dream/nightmare. Ha.
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04-22-2010, 10:11 AM,
RE: One Most Overlooked Asset
Excellent couple of posts Riley.

I know I have been guilty of not reading (or at least understanding) the introduction and paying the price later.

It is really important that you determine the scenario objective right from go. Then when you open up that first turn you match the scenario objectives with the correct tactics. That's what makes our little hobby so much fun.

Of course when I play finding the 'correct' tactics is more of a hit and miss approach!

In saying that if I am faced with a scenario that has a mix of exit objectives and the normal objectives, I will tend to go for the normal objectives first. This is more for the fun of playing. Plus I sometimes feel that if I did just go for the exit objectives it would take some of the fun away from my opponent.

Riley are you still just behind me on the ladder? You are really getting me worried with some of this heavy thinking. Laza is there for the taking ;)

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04-22-2010, 11:18 PM,
RE: One Most Overlooked Asset
I often struggle with both over and under analyzing a scenario as I play.

Sit around and click on every terrain aspect, looking at LOS and the like, and you mentally bog yourself down into inaction. Move too quickly with not enough planning and you end up with your men in an exposed area ready to get whacked. Every game I play I still go through this, although I think I'm getting quicker about things with more experience.

I do tend to over-analyze turns against really, really good players. My turns against Oz take me way too long and I end up getting crushed anyway. I call it the Ozgur Factor.


Since I've done a great deal of playtesting over the past couple of years, I've found that my PBEMing has actually gotten a little worse because I know what I can do to defeat the AI as an opponent. Trying to finish the testing as quickly as possible has led me to push through scenarios, and I feel that my overall game has gotten a tad sloppy. Having two little kids and less time to focus on SB also doesn't help....

There have been scenarios where I completely missed the objective of the game and hence never quite got to where I needed to go. It happens.
Site Commander: Task Force Echo 4
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