"CCG" ideas for military battles

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"CCG" ideas for military battles

Postby josta59 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:07 pm

(Also posted on The Miniatures Page)

Hi all, I've gotten interested in collectible trading card games (CCGs/TCGs) recently and have had some thoughts about how to bring that flavor of gaming into miniatures wargaming, particularly for ranged warfare in more modern times (or sci-fi).

One thought I have is that it wouldn't work well to have a lot of individual character cards in a deck. The reason is that in a real battle situation, it's rare for soldiers to show up to a scene individually. So to have a player introduce one soldier after another would be unrealistic.

Therefore, it would be really hard to use cards for a military skirmish scenario. Maybe that's why I haven't seen it done.

So I propose that CCG-type decks introducing new soldiers to the field should be used for company-sized scenarios. Rather than have cards introducing individual soldiers (though this could be done for leaders, heroes, medics, etc.), the bulk of the "character" cards should introduce squads or preferably fire teams with unique characteristics.

There are game systems already set up to do this, such as Two Hour Wargames and FiveCore. For example, I have the FiveCore Skills Companion, which outlines 100 different skills that individual characters can be given. Simply grant these skills to fire teams rather than individuals, and now you can introduce a new, unique fire team to support those already on the table.

To these "character" cards you could add cards with random events, such as the 19 events in the FiveCore Company Command rules (although my copy doesn't say what the "Confusion" event is supposed to do). Some events may have to be adjusted (weaponized) so that players can use them to their advantage rather than just being random events.

I'm envisioning each player with five cards in their hand, randomly drawn from their own unique deck, playing whichever fire team or event they think might help them on each different turn of the battle.

Thoughts? Any way you might improve on this design? It would be very difficult to test as a solo player, so I'll probably never do it, but it sure sounds fun.
"...military glory, that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood—that serpent's eye that charms to destroy..." --Abraham Lincoln, 1848

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Re: "CCG" ideas for military battles

Postby Green Commander » Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:40 am

Sounds like a great start, especially the part about having full fire teams (or even sections, if you want a couple of big-gun game-changer cards in there). You could also add cards for off-board fire support, like air strikes, field artillery, or intelligence (that would make an opponent show a random card from his hand).

For pre-game setup, it might also be worth considering to add terrain cards, kind of like the game Dixie. IIRC, players put three random terrain cards between them at the game's start, and the players had to attack through the terrain and fight against whatever units the opponent placed on the far side of the terrain. For a miniatures version, the cards could determine the basic terrain types and where they are located. Your game could also include terrain features that a player could put on his own side of the table, like bunkers, buildings, tank traps or slit trenches. Different unit types could have different combat modifiers in different terrain, plus some of your "skill cards" could add terrain-based capabilities; like a "bridge" card that would enable units (or even armor) to cross rivers, trenches or tank ditches, or smoke that could cover an advance or withdrawal.

The idea that players will be working from their own unique deck is awesome. That opens up the door for you to create force-specific decks for real military forces, enabling re-creation of real conflicts or playing out what-if scenarios, like a North vs. South in Korea or US/USSR Cold War turned hot.

Great work so far, please keep us posted!
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Re: "CCG" ideas for military battles

Postby josta59 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:55 am

Oh man, those are great ideas! Wish I could try this! I've kind of stopped thinking about it now because I can't even playtest these ideas without an opponent. Glad you got inspired!
"...military glory, that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood—that serpent's eye that charms to destroy..." --Abraham Lincoln, 1848

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Re: "CCG" ideas for military battles

Postby Green Commander » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:43 am

I think you could probably playtest the mechanics solo - If you're just trying to see if the numbers work or if there are enough cards of a certain type, it doesn't matter which side wins. For a game I am writing/playtesting, I pick the winning side in advance, and will consciously play that side to win during the test. For the losing side, I create a strategy they will try to execute (like fire and maneuver, or movement to contact) regardless of what the predetermined winner does. The funny part is that, when friction intervenes (bad rolling), the predetermined loser occasionally wins.

Granted, that doesn't make for an exciting solo game, but I've found it useful in tweaking rules.
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Re: "CCG" ideas for military battles

Postby josta59 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:50 am

You're right. More accurately, I should've said that I don't have time or desire to playtest a game I'll never play. Unless you want to help me develop it into something that could sell. Don't care to try that on my own.
"...military glory, that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood—that serpent's eye that charms to destroy..." --Abraham Lincoln, 1848

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Re: "CCG" ideas for military battles

Postby Green Commander » Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:53 am

Sorry, misunderstood you. Haven't worked on my own game in weeks, so I get where you are coming from.
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Re: "CCG" ideas for military battles

Postby josta59 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:52 am

Just wanted to update you guys because I decided to try this out as a solo game (thanks to Green Commander and people at The Miniatures Page for the encouragement).

I didn't make actual cards because I wanted something I could save on my computer and not worry about whether my kids were getting into it. Instead, I rolled for team skills and wrote out their names and skills in a single Word document. It would've been really hard to write all the text on cards anyway.

And as it turns out, this is working really well. The order of battle tells me how many squads of two teams will be allowed to end up on the table. But the squads enter the table one game turn at a time. So I'm getting that CCG feel. At the start, I roll for which teams are available, similar to the card draw at the beginning of a CCG battle. Each turn, I decide which of my side's squads enter the table (like choosing two of the cards in play), whereas the enemy's entries are decided by die roll.

Another thing I'm doing is using the number of skills as a parallel to the units' experience. All units already have an experience stat, but I build on their in-campaign experience by allowing them to use more of the skills I rolled for them as I go along. So in the first game, even though I rolled for three skills for each team, I'm only allowing my inexperienced rebels to use the first skill that was rolled, while the more experienced enemy troops get to use their first two skills. In the next games, any team that shows up again (with the new "card draw") will be more experienced and will get to use an additional skill. So my "cards" get "leveled up" with experience. Cool, eh?
Last edited by josta59 on Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"...military glory, that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood—that serpent's eye that charms to destroy..." --Abraham Lincoln, 1848

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Re: "CCG" ideas for military battles

Postby Whiterook » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:48 am

This is, really cool, actually. Very clever ideas at work here.

I'm still wrapping my head around it but, it remains me a lot of games I am see gaining in popularity, such as Dan Verrsen Games (DVG), Warfighter http://www.militarywargaming.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=2316&sid=c4830f8e392ee152f9f32416fbef39d3
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Re: "CCG" ideas for military battles

Postby josta59 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:31 pm

Thanks Em, I appreciate the feedback!
"...military glory, that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood—that serpent's eye that charms to destroy..." --Abraham Lincoln, 1848


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