Spreadsheet: War Gamers friend

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Spreadsheet: War Gamers friend

Postby 50th » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:36 am

I remember when I first used a spreadsheet with a game, it was for the Star Trek Starship Tactical Combat Simulator game. I designed a spreadsheet for designing ships for the game. They had a ship construction manual that had rules for constructing your own starships for the game. I spent many hours putting the various tables and charts into a spreadsheet. Then, when I "discovered" Battletech, I again turned to the spreadsheet to enter my mech designs. There was a time when I played around with RPG, and discovered again, the spreadsheet was my "gamers friend". I could use it for character and NPC creation. Spreadsheets could do the "rolling" for the stats, that I found tedious with random number generators. And now, with Tide of Iron, I have again discovered the spreadsheet as the answer to the scenario generator problem. The problem was that the "official" scenario designer only covered the base game. But this wasn't a big problem, as I only own the base game. Although I once bought some pieces from the Normandy expansion on ebay. But another problem is the amount of ink the scenario generator uses. It prints everything on a dark background. So I again turned to the spreadsheet. And wow, a spreadsheet TOI scenario generator! To use, download the spreadsheet and select the expansion on the top left of the input screen. The excel spreadsheet keeps track of how many bases you are using, how many of each troop type you have left, and specializations on the input workbook. Then on the output workbook, you select who has starting initiative, units activated per action phase, any card decks and operations cards, and enter the other information about the scenario. Then print this out, and use tileset to make a map and print that on the back. Vola! a spreadsheet scenario editor! And you will notice that the specialization tokens and card sets change with the expansion used.
Scenario Template.xlsx
Tide of Iron scenario spreadsheet
(32.84 KiB) Downloaded 54 times


There is also an instruction workbook to modify for expansions you have (as I don't have any expansions, I didn't add Russian troops, but left a place for them so you can enter the number of each type and use the editor with the FOTB, or Stalingrad expansions). I don't have DOTF, but bought some British troops from ebay, so the number of each British troop type is what I have. If you have DOTF, you will need to change to how many of each you have (how many standard infantry, elite infantry, officers, ect). But this is easily done and explained in the instructions tab (workbook).
"It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle but in the home repeating with him our simple daily prayer, 'Our Father who art in heaven." Douglas MacArthur <><

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Re: Spreadsheet: War Gamers friend

Postby josta59 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:08 am

It's impressive, and while I don't totally understand it, I can see how it would be very useful. The work you put into it is inspiring.

An instructional video would be really cool. Thanks for sharing this. Any thoughts on how something like this could be applied to wargaming in general? Because I wouldn't know how to begin making something like this for a Lock 'n Load game, or if it would even be helpful.

Scott
"...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: Spreadsheet: War Gamers friend

Postby 50th » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:17 pm

I don't know much about L&L, but you could use a spreadsheet to come up with a list of units in the scenario, and like this one, subtract the units from the total number of units as you put them into the list.
You could also use a spreadsheet to keep track of damage to units, and any effects of damage (such as decreased firepower, used in some games). They are great for unit creation for RPG or miniatures games, because it is a great way to keep track of the attributes of each unit and damage. When I get home from work, I'll upload some examples.

TOI Example.xlsx
example spreadsheet
(11.96 KiB) Downloaded 51 times


I just worked up an example spreadsheet for a Tide of Iron infantry squad and a couple of tanks. Under #/Damage you select either to reduce the number of units, or the damage applied to the tanks. As you do, the armor, firepower, and possibly movement changes. To take damage on the infantry squad, select fewer units (as you would remove units). Vehicles are either lightly damaged or heavily damaged or destroyed. As you select different damage factors from the drop down lists, the stats change. This is just an example for one infantry squad and a couple of tanks. Think about what you could do!
"It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle but in the home repeating with him our simple daily prayer, 'Our Father who art in heaven." Douglas MacArthur <><

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Re: Spreadsheet: War Gamers friend

Postby 50th » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:24 am

I found a mistake in my TOI Spreadsheet editor and corrected it last night. So, for those who play TOI, here is the updated copy. The first specialist badge on the Division Two German side didn't copy over from the input page to the output page. So, now it does. If you find any other mistakes, please let me know. This spreadsheet is fairly easy to use. Use the drop down lists to select units and number of units. Like the "official" editor, it lets you know if you have any peg holes left in the bases you are using, so that you will know when you have them all full. As TOI players know, there are four peg holes in each base, Infantry, Elite Infantry, and Officers each use one. Mortar team and machine gun teams each use two. The spreadsheet keeps track of how many bases you need. It also keeps track of the number of each tank you have available. I bought some units from ebay and have put those in as well (M10, Jagdpanzer IV, Stug III, Panther, and Tiger II tanks. If you don't have those, you can eliminate those in the lists on the input page in the green (for American) and gray (for German) boxes. I hope this helps. You then just select the specializations below where it tells how many pegs are left, and how many of each. Then on the output page type the information in the boxes provided for scenario name, your name, historical background, deployment boxes, reinforcement box, terrain box, and select actions per action phase for each side. Select any strategy decks and operations cards from drop down lists. These change as you add expansions in the upper left of the input sheet. Like I said before, use tileset to make the map and print that on the back.
Scenario Template.xlsx
Scenario Editor 1.5
(32.9 KiB) Downloaded 50 times
"It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle but in the home repeating with him our simple daily prayer, 'Our Father who art in heaven." Douglas MacArthur <><

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Re: Spreadsheet: War Gamers friend

Postby 50th » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:18 pm

Back when I was playing a lot of Battletech, I used Microsoft Works spreadsheet. So most of my Battletech stuff was for that program. I may try to import some of that into excel tonight, if I have time. I had typed the weapons tables, engine tables, and any other tables related to mech construction, into the spreadsheet. I then used the spreadsheet to do all of the necessary calculations of weight remaining, critical hit locations, armor on each location, and the physical locations of all weapons and equipment. I would print this on the back of the Battletech mech sheet that I prepared for that mech that I created. I used to have almost as much fun creating the spreadsheets as playing the game. When they came out with the Battlemech Value System, I created a spreadsheet to figure that out as well. You would think that as much as I have used spreadsheets, I would have a job where I use them, but in my job, I barely ever use one. I am on the computer for six hours that I work per day, but my job is doing surveys and such over the phone using a VOIP phone system.

Tonight I'll upload some more examples of how spreadsheets are useful to gamers (if I have time, otherwise keep watching this space!)
"It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle but in the home repeating with him our simple daily prayer, 'Our Father who art in heaven." Douglas MacArthur <><

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Re: Spreadsheet: War Gamers friend

Postby 50th » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:52 pm

Now I've included a spreadsheet I updated from a solo RPG game that I haven't played in a long time. I updated this spreadsheet as I imported it over to Excel. I also made it easier by making armor and weapons choices from drop down lists instead of typing them in. This spreadsheet doesn't calculate random numbers for you, I wanted to roll the stats. If I find the game again, I'll change that. But notice how the stats for the armor and weapons change as you select from the lists. Scroll down and look at the simple tables where the stats come from. I hope this gives you some ideas of how useful a spreadsheet can be in a game.


Orc Mountain.xlsx
Orc Mountain spreadsheet
(13.83 KiB) Downloaded 49 times
"It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle but in the home repeating with him our simple daily prayer, 'Our Father who art in heaven." Douglas MacArthur <><

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Re: Spreadsheet: War Gamers friend

Postby 50th » Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:08 am

Scenario Template.xlsx
TOI scenario template version 1.6
(32.89 KiB) Downloaded 49 times
I found some spelling mistakes in my scenario template and corrected them. Now this is version 1.6. If you play Tide of Iron, check this out. There are three spreadsheet pages,. the input page, where you select your units, specialties, and which expansion you are using, if any. Then there is the instructions page for customizing the input page for any expansions you own. Then there is the output page, where you type in other information and select the strategy and operations cards, which side has initiative, and how many actions each side plays per round. You then print out the output page, use tileset to make the map, and print it on the back.

Scenario Template.xlsx
TOI scenario template version 1.6
(32.89 KiB) Downloaded 49 times
"It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle but in the home repeating with him our simple daily prayer, 'Our Father who art in heaven." Douglas MacArthur <><

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Re: Spreadsheet: War Gamers friend

Postby Whiterook » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:58 pm

:shock:

Cool idea. My brain can't process how I would use something like this, but I too think it's inspiring!
If you can't be a good example, be a horrible warning

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Re: Spreadsheet: War Gamers friend

Postby 50th » Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:23 pm

Here is a new excel scenario editor for Tide of Iron. I have corrected some mistakes, and Next Wave is now treated like an expansion. This is because there was a strategy card that came with NW. Since I have gotten Fury of the Bear, I have put the Russian units in the Russian box. This sheet now changes the base colors with the nationality!

Blank Scenario Template.xlsx
Scenario Editor for Tide of Iron Version 1.11
(35.79 KiB) Downloaded 37 times
"It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle but in the home repeating with him our simple daily prayer, 'Our Father who art in heaven." Douglas MacArthur <><


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