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Balancing games in unbalanced universe

From: Scott Siebold <gamers@a...>
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2004 13:22:12 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Balancing games in unbalanced universe

While playing WWII micrarmor games the one thing that
I found most unrealistic was when both sides came in
with units at full strength. After the battle 2/3 of
the loser could be gone while 1/3 of the winner was
out of action and this was a victory? The game was
isolated in time with no beginning and no end. What I
developed was what I refereed to as a balancer which
was to assign a percentage to each unit and then
inflict “casualties” before the game.

As an example the Germans are defending in July of
1944 with an armored bn and a motorized infantry bn
against a US armored bn and mechanized infantry bn. If
you played this at full TOE it would be a blood bath
with victory in all likelihood going to the Germans
unless the forces are rebalanced. Let the German
armored bn be at 35% strength while the German
infantry bn be at 40%. For mortars and internal
artillery give an extra 10% but have it test by the
section. The US has both bns at 95% strength (the
advantage of all those replacement depots). Now dice
off and if failed then remove the piece before the
game and let the Germans reorganize (CinC advantage
for the Germans). Thus a US/British advantage never
before seen in a game and a feature of the German Army
is simulated.

In GZG universe this could be represented by a set of
percentages based on the situation. A regular unit in
garrison on a quite planet might be at 70% strength in
personnel and 80% strength in vehicles(and support
weapons). The militia unit on the same planet might be
at 95% strength in personnel but only 50% vehicles(and
support weapons). The off world reinforcements might
be at 110% strength when landed but little or no
chance of replacement of casualties.

Now the militia may not be the best of troops but they
do get regular replacements (of personnel) so guess
who has more staying power in a long campaign. The
regulars may get some reinforcements and return of
casualties (personnel after R and R and vehicles after
recovery) but you still may be reluctant to send them
into a death-or-glory battle knowing that they may go
into the next battle after it at reduced strength.


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