Sunday, July 26, 2020

Wargaming Tactics: You Go & I go

One of the things that we tend to see in Legacy Wargaming- systems from the 1980's or built on the DNA of the 1980's like Warhammer 40,000 is this idea of you-go-I-go in the turn phase.

We both set up our toys, roll to see who goes first, and one player moves, shoots, assaults, powers, etc. followed by the second player.

Back and forth over a number of turns.

This makes for an easy to navigate system, but in 2020 is it still engaging?

Dated.

Very dated.

Two big problems with this simple system is first turn abuse and lack of player engagement.

The first turn, first player, if building a list for it, can *alpha-strike* the other player- deal enough damage, so the opposing army is reduced and crippled before the game even starts for the second player.

Fun?

Other problem is that such play is boring- where is the immersion and narrative, especially since we are playing with miniatures and terrain.

Where is the fun with one player moving models around for twenty minutes while the other player just sits there.

Modern games must and can do better.

Interrupts, action points, unit-by-unit activation, or alternating unit activation are a few basic ideas as a start.

If chess can do it, wargaming can do it.

One new game that I have been enjoying recently is Pacific Rim: Extinction- giant mechs vs. kaiju.

PR has an impulse die activation system- the player with the least amount of models, or if a tie, the kaiju monster player rolls a custom dice, getting to activate 0, 1, or 2 models before passing to the next player- a simple single die system that keeps both players involved quickly, and planning based on what has activated, and what are the changes of activating.

In our own games, how can we push that alternating activation level?

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