Video game map as virtual table

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Video game map as virtual table

Postby josta59 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:03 pm

One of my THW buddies just played a virtual game using a map from the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. There are a few easily found with a Google search that lend themselves well to virtual wargaming. Following his lead, I just set up a game that I'll play using my Showers of Blood rules:

Modern Warfare map.jpg


I have two fireteams (green) on the south side who are after three objectives in red. There are thirteen enemy pieces (tan), identities unknown. I'll roll for what they are when they come into sight. Should be fun!

This scenario is on the man-to-man scale, which I've done before with these rules, but this will be my first game of SoB without hexes. This will demonstrate the rules' utility for miniatures games. Translating hexes into inches should be very easy.
"...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: Video game map as virtual table

Postby josta59 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:31 pm

Wow, big time fail. I thought that with eight elite soldiers I could get through a few regular troops and at least get the first two objectives. I didn't even reach the first. Enemies got the drop on me and caught my guys out of cover, and they had a tank. They even managed to initiate in the final turn against the odds, ending the game quite abruptly.

I don't think I can make this scenario any easier for myself. I'll just have to try again. Losing that quickly is no fun. But a good challenge is more fun than a game that's too easy. I may have struck gold with this scenario.

I'm coming up with miniatures rules as I play this game. Questions of who's in cover, who gets to fire from cover, and who is damaged during an attack are the biggest ones. Another good reason to play it again.
"...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: Video game map as virtual table

Postby josta59 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 4:02 pm

Trying this again with a new "table" setup and new "models" (actually the models I used for my THW campaign, repurposed). Inspired while browsing The Miniatures Page. Just wanted to show it off. Watch out for the BMP behind the building, you Yanks!

Mini SoB table.jpg
"...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: Video game map as virtual table

Postby josta59 » Mon Jun 29, 2015 7:21 pm

What bothered me about the miniatures version of this game is that allowing pieces to move and then fire at this smaller skirmish scale seems less fair and less realistic than at the larger, more tactical scale. I spent a while reading fora and blogs about reaction systems and overwatch, IGOUGO vs reaction systems, Force on Force vs THW vs Flying Lead, etc.

Finally I returned to Portable Wargames and found an archived rulebook for 20th century battles that I'd somehow missed before. I noticed that units on this chessboard version can either move or fire in a turn, but not both. I thought maybe that could be a simpler solution to my problem.

When I tried it, I noticed the dynamic was completely different because soldiers would move into a hidden position rather than an in-cover position, which could mean certain death when play switched to the other player. Giving the kids a bath now and haven't got far, but I'm wondering what kind of interesting game I'll have when no one comes into sight until they absolutely have to, and will they just be cut to pieces. I'll have to play with this. I want it to be as simple as possible but have enough back-and-forth risk to be fun and challenging.
"...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: Video game map as virtual table

Postby josta59 » Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:20 pm

Yeah, that didn't work at all. So I got back on TMP and someone gave me the idea to simply allow any inactive unit without a fired marker to fire at an active unit coming into LOS before the active unit fires. That might be more realistic and fun, though the casualty rate might be just as high. I'll give it a try.
"...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: Video game map as virtual table

Postby josta59 » Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:12 pm

Another guy in the same thread suggested allowing opp fire with a 50/50 chance on a die roll. Seems almost too easy. That was the ticket. I tried that and it was really fun. There's not much to keep track of. If it seems like a model should be able to react to seeing someone come into LOS, and he hasn't fired yet, let him try. Elite units get to roll twice. It could even work in the larger scale games, which would allow me to keep my rules consistent.

I feel like I've really got something now. The gameplay is so fast and easy that I could put dozens of models on this map and fight a huge battle in little time. Isn't that what we all want? :D
"...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: Video game map as virtual table

Postby josta59 » Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:32 am

Been posting AARs with this game turn by turn over at this link: http://www.militarywargaming.com/viewtopic.php?f=86&t=1878&sid=721fd1fe50da9ab8ff225ee8e3e3332a

Other rules have come to mind as I play, but only very simple ones.

I'm thinking about fitting them onto one page, like the FUBAR rules. Mine might take even less space, on an 8.5" x 11" sheet (FUBAR is on the longer kind).

I was excited about FUBAR in concept when I discovered it a couple of years ago. But it didn't take long before I realized it doesn't work for me. Vehicles constantly stall out due to the activation system requiring a roll equal to or greater than a unit's activation number. Imagine trying to operate a tank in a game, with a seasoned driver, and you're required to roll a 4 or above just to keep the tank going from one turn to the next. If you have several tanks on the table, you'll have different ones stopping at random times, often for no apparent cause. Very annoying.

SoB, on the other hand, uses the Portable Wargames system for activation. You roll a certain number of dice based on how many units you have and how many leaders. The dice tell you how many you can activate, and you choose which ones will activate, similar to the game Firepower. A tank will stall only if you need other units to activate and don't have enough activations to keep your tank going.

Another thing about FUBAR that didn't thrill me is that multi-man units are targeted, and the targeted player chooses which of the unit's individual figures are suppressed or made casualties each time a hit is taken. Nothing wrong with that, and I know a lot of people play miniatures that way.

But I prefer a more man-to-man style, as in Two Hour Wargames, or Firepower, or Infinity, or a host of other examples. SoB is superior to these in terms of simplicity. One target, one die roll, one table, and you get the result. You can have multiple targets with grenades, but it's still one die roll on the same table.

Maybe I'm not the only one who will enjoy this one-table game. FUBAR has tables for unit experience, unit actions, types of cover, weapon ranges and firepower, personal armor types, and vehicle armor types. Much of this is accounted for in SoB using my one table, which is my one true creation and is central to the game. The rest has been simplified to a point that a table isn't necessary.

So look for the Showers of Blood miniatures rules here on the forum some time in the near future.
"...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: Video game map as virtual table

Postby Whiterook » Sat Oct 03, 2015 5:14 pm

My brain hurts!!!!! That is some innovative stuff, there.

I believe Opportunity Fire is critical to use in what you present here. Street fightling at the squad-level is brutal, in all cases, so it doesn't surprise me that you ran into those issues of cover. Curious to see where you end up with this!
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