Playing Historicals with points.

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Playing Historicals with points.

Postby Mac » 01 Apr 2014, 17:47

Okay gamers of the historical persuasion. Let's discuss points.
I know the argument. Points allow both sides an even chance to win (Never saw me roll dice have ya bucko?), and have a fun time because we are supposed to be having fun. *whew*
My argument, is this: Historical. "Tut tut General Eisenhower, you cannot put that many points on the board at Normandy! Are you daft man?"
Now, I am not a rivet counter, or a history major (or minor), but to me, points leads to list building and list building leads to bending rules a bit, and looking for every loophole and dotted i and crossed t you can in order to not just win, but demolish your opponent. That is no fun. Trust me, been on the receiving end of that far too often.
I like to play Historical Historically. No better chance to see if I have the right stuff than playing as the underdog.
My uncle served in the 95th Infantry in WWII. The Iron Men of Metz. using the google machine and a very tenacious Senator, I managed to find out some interesting things about him. Researching his unit and finding the 95th Infantry web site brought me to meet many of his fellow soldiers. Who pointed to more and more until I finally made contact with two who actually served with, and remembered him.
Through these men I have accumulated Michelin maps of France and Germany with their movements on them and memories of events week by week. Sometimes it doesn't jive with "book" history, sometimes it does.
So that is what I want to do with my historical figures. Simulate actions of the 95th Infantry, 378th Regiment, L company, 2nd Platoon, 1st Squad. No points to make it fair.
What do you guys say?
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Re: Playing Historicals with points.

Postby Lonnie » 01 Apr 2014, 17:49

Points are a way to not just even the odds but to see how well you do. There are no rules anywhere that say both sides have to be equal in points value. But, for a quick pick-up game, points rule!
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Re: Playing Historicals with points.

Postby Mac » 01 Apr 2014, 17:53

Point taken.
But for the usual "casual" game, "let's do 500 points" is the way of it.
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Re: Playing Historicals with points.

Postby smithsco » 01 Apr 2014, 19:20

It is a really easy system for casual games.

I do think it can help make better historical scenarios for those of us that can't afford to have every single company on the field at Waterloo when we're recreating a battle. It is easy to use points to create accurate proportions for the make up of an army to keep it in balance.

I also think it ensures non-historical scenarios keep some level of balance. For example, when assaulting a defended position as a scenario, setting point limits in proportion to what has to be done will give each side a fighting chance. After all, who wants to assault a bunker that has 10 MG-42s inside of it. If victory wasn't possible for each side, there are very few games that would be entertaining to play. The major exception are seeing how many waves you can eliminate before you're wiped out (points are still an easy way to measure) or seeing if you can last longer than a defender did historically.

Overall, I think points are a very useful mechanism for historical wargaming.
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Re: Playing Historicals with points.

Postby Strawhat » 01 Apr 2014, 20:34

Mac wrote:Now, I am not a rivet counter, or a history major (or minor), but to me, points leads to list building and list building leads to bending rules a bit, and looking for every loophole and dotted i and crossed t you can in order to not just win, but demolish your opponent.

I disagree, and quite strenuously. This is a function of an individual's personality. People with that kind of attitude will still seek to destroy you without points values by seeking whatever loopholes exist in any set of rule books, by trying to baffle you with dice shenanigans, "fudging" terrain setup or troop deployment, etc. There may be more of that type of person in games that are more points-centric, but that's another argument for another day.
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Re: Playing Historicals with points.

Postby mrinku » 01 Apr 2014, 21:44

Both sides have their - excuse the term - points.

All wargames are simplifications of the historical situation; in almost all cases that involve pushing miniature figures around a terrain board you're representing a small fraction of a battle, let alone the wider picture. By definition, you're making choices about what to exclude and what to include. Research is involved in all historical wargaming - though with points games that's usually conducted by the authors.
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Re: Playing Historicals with points.

Postby Luoshangzhi » 01 Apr 2014, 23:46

mrinku wrote:Research is involved in all historical wargaming - though with points games that's usually conducted by the authors.



Yup. And even the authors can be wildly wrong or even unpleasantly intellectually dishonest. Exhibit A: Chinese armies in WRG 6th edition army lists, whose morale was deliberately lowered to sub-par levels across the board because as the following quote attributed to Phil Barker explains, "Well, we didn't really know a lot about them so we wanted to discourage people from playing them."

The Han Dynasty list was the most egregious of the lot IMHO, the vast majority of the troops being miserably rated as "Regular D" meaning poorly motivated and poorly drilled regulars that could just about march in step without tripping over their own feet too often. Sufficient variance in the option to upgrade troops was included for the vast majority of the troops in the Han list, which would have taken into accounting the varying degrees of efficiency at different points in the Han Dynasty's timeline. About all the list did really was indicate when they stopped using chariots in favor of cavalry, and did not IIRC allow for an all-cavalry force that the Han Dynasty is on record for employing against the Northern horse nomads(!!!). Even the best cavalry heavy units were desperately limited in number and fighting efficiency, being overwhelming rated "Regular C" as in Joe Average drilled troops, nothing to write home about. Yikes. The whole list basically was good for producing easy wins for any other army list in the series, but that was about it.:roll:
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Re: Playing Historicals with points.

Postby Mac » 02 Apr 2014, 14:35

I still stand behind what I originally posted. Not trying to change any ones mindjust my opinion on historical play.
And, believe it or not I have played a few 500-1000 point games and had fun.
You all make good arguments, but taking the same amount of points is like a game of chess or checkers, We are all the same.
Strawhat, go to any forum, or even FaceBook page and lurk a bit. "Can I bring two bazooka teams in with only one squad if I. . ." "Why yes you can, all you have to do is. . . " "The rule is one team per squad, but if you add a second lieutenant. . . " I am not talking cheating out right, as you say that is a topic for another thread, I am talking points lawyers. Why take two MG34's? Historically they were there, but if your style of play doesn't fit the historical order of battle, why then, anything goes? Tiger tanks in a France 1940 scenario, the historian would protest, but hey, if you have the points. So, there is a limit?
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Re: Playing Historicals with points.

Postby Lonnie » 02 Apr 2014, 14:51

That's not quite how points systems works except in maybe GW tournament games. Often times there are scenario restrictions or time-line restrictions (no Tigers before 1943, limitations on MG42's, etc.). And if you're playing a squad level game (28mm mostly) then it is more likely that, as has been previously stated, you are representing a small slice of the battle and that the opposing force is going to be, more or less, equal in points but not necessarily in numbers.

Points give one a starting place but it is up to the players to determine the ending place. Some play strictly by the rules, others use the rules as a guideline. It is up to you to determine what kind of player you are.
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Re: Playing Historicals with points.

Postby Mac » 02 Apr 2014, 17:32

:oops:
I get the idea of points, simplified nicely by SAGA, Donnybrook, et al. Your 6 points may get you 36 figures while my 6 get me 28, it's all good.
Yet I see and hear historical games turning into the GW free for all, the rules do not come out and prohibit it, so if there is no rule, why would anyone have a problem with it? (Errata be darned).
Specifically, here is one instance of what I am talking about. Medics that are armed, or used to shoot vehicle mounted weapons. In Bolt Action, there is no rule in the rule book against it, in fact there is no rule that says a medic cannot be used to crew a two man gun team, replacing a casualty.
To me that is not a historical game, that is a game using historical figures.
Which, is what I am/was trying to say, (quite poorly obviously).
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