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TGIF 2016: scenario list, discussion, and house rules

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INTENT:

We are trying something new this year and we put all the "battle tested" scenarios into a list, and then randomly shuffled that list to create a TGIF play list. We are going down that list in order, choosing the next scenario to play from it rather than picking on a whim.

Rather than post the list here (because the list can/will change throughout the year), a post will be created here before each Friday mentioning the scenario that will be played. You can then download the scenario and decide if you want to CO (post here if you want to take it), otherwise whoever volunteers on Friday will be the CO.

CO GUIDELINES:

Basic guidelines as to who can volunteer as CO from week to week. The intent is solely to afford everyone the opportunity to CO:

  • No one may volunteer to be a CO back-to-back TGIFs. That is, if Mr. X volunteers to CO this week, he cannot volunteer to CO next week, but he can volunteer the week after that (every other TGIF). EXCEPTION: if a scenario requires more than two COs (i.e. because it has more than two sides) then there is no restriction on volunteering back-to-back with the previous TGIF.
  • If no one volunteers to be the CO, then anyone can CO at the time of the event. So, in the example above, Mr. X can CO again that next TGIF if no one volunteers during the week.

TGIF HOUSE RULES:

There will always be bugs in software and Steel Beasts is no exception. More-so, functionality that exists in the Pro version which has carried over into Pro PE often creates unforeseen situations which allow for abuse and unrealistic behavior. To counter this, there are "TGIF HOUSE RULES" which are basically a set of ethical rules to allow "fair and realistic play" to keep scenarios from bogging down into the morass of shame. The House Rules are as follows (and the list may grow over time):

  1. DO NOT adjust the number of rounds per tube when calling off-map artillery strikes, because they currently have unlimited ammunition so it creates ridiculous situations. (Using number of rounds per tube with on-map artillery is fine because they are delivered differently and have finite ammunition.) If you want a long off-map artillery strike, just keep repeating it.
  2. DO NOT adjust the duration when calling off-map artillery strikes -- for the same reason as rule #1. Also, like rule #1, setting the duration for on-map artillery strikes is OK. If you want a long off-map artillery strike, just keep repeating it.
  3. DO NOT use support vehicles (supply vehicles, bridge layers, maintenance vehicles) for reconnaissance.
  4. DO NOT intensely study the enemy's side in the scenario in the Mission Editor. You can open it and look at both sides, but do not touch anything or evaluate the reinforcement criteria, events, conditions, routes and waypoints. Looking at the enemy side to get an idea of what they have is acceptable, especially since you have to do this to figure out which side to CO anyway.
  5. DO NOT use helicopters with the intent of causing a distraction for the AI. Everyone knows when this is happening, like when empty transport helicopters repeatedly return to "buzz" (fly over) enemy units at top speed again and again. Flying in on troop insertions and back out again is acceptable, as is engaging targets from a battleposition.
  6. DO NOT hover helicopters at maximum ("Normal") height in battle positions, to use as an ATGM platform or to act as a recon satellite or an AI distraction. This is unrealistic at the moment since the Scenario Designer currently has no way to restrict/limit/cap flight height because he may want to represent certain types of conflicts where long range air defense and air superiority fighters exist. At such time, if ever, that the Scenario Designer can specify a maximum flight height, then we can remove this house rule.

NOTE: Failure to abide by the house rules will result in drastic measures by the TGIF coordinators, such as not posting the scenarios in advance, removing features from scenarios (like artillery and aircraft), or in the case of repeated violations, barring certain users from CO'ing. Also, the CO should strive to have all users on his side play within the guidelines of the house rules.

DISCUSSION:

*AFTER* the scenario is played, feel free to post constructive criticism about the scenario here, so that it can be improved. All constructive criticism will be taken into account, but pissing and moaning will be ignored.

Constructive criticism = complaints with specific suggestions

Pissing and moaning = complaints with no suggestions

DISCLAIMER:

Keep in mind that:

  • The scenario may change at the last minute depending on TGIF turnout.
  • Any plan file that you may create may be rendered invalid by last minute adjustments to the scenario (if you are going to CO, it is better to save a plan AND take a screen shot of the plan as backup).
  • Sometimes this list may not get updated due to real world situations.
  • This list will continue until we point in time that it is deemed "too much trouble", which is the moment in which we determine that no one new is CO'ing, or the situation is no different than before, or that the matches are becoming unfair (due to both sides studying the enemy situation in advance).
  • If this list turns into a mud flinging contest, because someone was sour about losing or in order to insult a scenario designer then posting the scenario early will end.
  • The scenarios that appear in this list are either new, classics, or at least played frequently and deemed "balanced". If you have a scenario that you think should be added to the play list then PM or create a post here about it.

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8 JAN scenario:

The Three Sisters 2013-USvEU-3025bOMU

Blue: US vehicles

Red: EU vehicles

Both sides moving to a meeting engagement to capture three objectives located in the center of the map. Friendly map updates.

NOTES:

  • Avoid studying the enemy's side; only gather intel from the briefing and exposed enemy unit icons (enemy intel), and briefly looking over both sides to figure out which one you want to CO. Anything beyond that ruins the fog of war element.
  • To avoid passwords, open the scenario in Network Session as HOST and choose the side you want to play and go to planning phase. You may briefly look at both sides like this to see which side you want to play or CO on. As CO, once you choose a side, go to that side and create your plan.
  • Remember to play within the TGIF House Rules and SB.com community rules.

Edited by Volcano

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Good job 12Alfa, CO'd a masterpiece. :luxhello:

Also, good job Blue as well. It is easy to get frustrated in that one, but we put up a nice fight across the map. That scenario is definitely one of the better ones (lots of options and variation). :drink:

Edited by Volcano
typo

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Good job 12Alfa, CO'd a masterpiece. :luxhello:

Also, good job Blue as well. It is easy to get frustrated in that one, but we put up a nice fight across the map. That scenario is definitely one of the better once (lots of options). :drink:

Thanks, but is was the crew I had working for my plan. Thanks guys, a great effort.:luxhello::luxhello:

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This was a really enjoyable, intense mission that went right down to the wire. Well played by all. We fought hard, and I'm tempted to attribute our win to a little bit of luck on our side. (Not to diminish anyone's effort, mind you. It was just that close.) This was one of those seemingly rare times when everything came together just right so that it was never too imbalanced.

During the last few minutes we stormed the center objective with as many units as we could spare. But some cleverly placed mines took out a large portion of our force. I had been tasked with marking the minefield on the map after we discovered it when one of our units accidentally drove through it, getting destroyed in the process. Unfortunately, I failed to realize that there was another minefield adjacent to the first. Consequently, half our units believed it was safe to move north around the first minefield, charging right into the second. This left us severely crippled and desperately clinging on right up to the end.

What a great start to TGIF 2016! Thanks, everyone! :cvcsalut:

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This was a really enjoyable, intense mission that went right down to the wire. Well played by all. We fought hard, and I'm tempted to attribute our win to a little bit of luck on our side. (Not to diminish anyone's effort, mind you. It was just that close.) This was one of those seemingly rare times when everything came together just right so that it was never too imbalanced.

During the last few minutes we stormed the center objective with as many units as we could spare. But some cleverly placed mines took out a large portion of our force. I had been tasked with marking the minefield on the map after we discovered it when one of our units accidentally drove through it, getting destroyed in the process. Unfortunately, I failed to realize that there was another minefield adjacent to the first. Consequently, half our units believed it was safe to move north around the first minefield, charging right into the second. This left us severely crippled and desperately clinging on right up to the end.

What a great start to TGIF 2016! Thanks, everyone! :cvcsalut:

Yes I haven't lost a command this year! :wink2:

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15 JAN scenario:

Border Dispute 2013-3025

A small, quick, usually exciting scenario where Red and Blue are on opposite sides of a border running across the map. Objectives on both flanks, with a primary central objective behind the lines in both areas. Both sides have same equipment (a wide mix of vehicles). Own party map updates.

NOTES:

  • Avoid studying the enemy's side; only gather intel from the briefing and exposed enemy unit icons (enemy intel), and briefly looking over both sides to figure out which one you want to CO. Anything beyond that ruins the fog of war element.
  • To avoid passwords, open the scenario in Network Session as HOST and choose the side you want to play and go to planning phase. You may briefly look at both sides like this to see which side you want to play or CO on. As CO, once you choose a side, go to that side and create your plan.
  • Remember to play within the TGIF House Rules and SB.com community rules.

Edited by Volcano

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Good job 12Alfa, CO'd a masterpiece. :luxhello:

Also, good job Blue as well. It is easy to get frustrated in that one, but we put up a nice fight across the map. That scenario is definitely one of the better ones (lots of options and variation). :drink:

Perhaps a bit late given that the details for the coming week has been published but just some feedback (do with it what you will).

Not taking anything away from Red or Blue's performance but I think trying to run a Bn (-) [2 x Companies + Recon + Guns + Log Spt] with say five or six players, without map updates is pretty ambitious.

Players need to be agile and jump from unit to unit to listen and observe and report back to provide the needed SA and of course Murphy's Law ensures that while we risk manage and most players are lurking in say A Coy, the action happens with the skeleton staffed B Coy (or vice versa).

Yes you can do it if all five players are well skilled and know how to use the system to the best advantage to give the AI the best chance (right tactics, right orientation, right "embark if ..." type routes) but with the spectrum of experience we usually get there will be someone who "drops the ball" (usually through no fault of their own).

Arguably this is less of an issue for an attacker as they can load up the attacking forces with humans and skelton staff the remainder.

Solution / suggestion?

1. Well you could stick with the larger scale activity but get people to record their attendance here prior.

Adv: Organisers can get a feel for whether a given scenario is suitable for the planned attendance.

Disadv: A. Not everyone will nominate and your decision maybe based on incomplete data. B. COs have less time to develop their plan as mission size would be confirmed after nominations were received (perhaps the nomination process begins straight after the current mission ends).

C. increased admin burden on organisers.

2. You can have two versions of the scenario (enemy updates on or off). Low attendance means updates "on".

Adv: A Lot of the spotting and SA is done for you.

Disadv: COs plans would useless (or they would need to create a plan for each variation).

3. Go with smaller scenarios so the "stretch" is not as severe. Perhaps more of the ones with 2nd and 3rd waves.

Adv: Units are adequately manned.

Disadv: If attendance is high the you might need have units heavily manned (e.g. Coy has a OC/CO and a 2IC/XO. Each Platoon has two players) and then if/when the 2nd and 3rd waves spawn those extra people are "promoted" to Company / Platoon commanders in the new force?

I also thought about triggers with say A Coy becoming human controlled vai Trigger if the CO had enough people but that would require A Coy to be scripted if it remained computer controlled, which is an additional burden on the Mission Designer.

Option 3 might be the most workable (least worse) but may not appeal to all and probably reduces the list of missions for the rotation.

Anyway, a few thoughts.

Edited by Gibsonm

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Not a bad idea, but the only problem is that swapping to version B of the scenario will render a CO's pre-plan obsolete. However, that would not have been an issue here.

Personally, I would just rather see more people (in general) step up and CO. It is not like anyone can do much worse than my plan in that one. ;) But seriously, one plan is just as good as the next in most missions; I guess we will just have to start playing more scenarios were no one is in the CO slot and just have that side figure it out.:men_ani:

I prefer to avoid that though, of course.

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Well another idea that was used just recently was after the mission starts (5 min) the info bar states which vel/unit will become the CO.

Tango29 drew the straw it this method and pull out a great plan:luxhello:. We were all sweating:confused: till his unit was selected though.

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Perhaps a bit late given that the details for the coming week has been published but just some feedback (do with it what you will).

Not taking anything away from Red or Blue's performance but I think trying to run a Bn (-) [2 x Companies + Recon + Guns + Log Spt] with say five or six players, without map updates is pretty ambitious.

Players need to be agile and jump from unit to unit to listen and observe and report back to provide the needed SA and of course Murphy's Law ensures that while we risk manage and most players are lurking in say A Coy, the action happens with the skeleton staffed B Coy (or vice versa).

Yes you can do it if all five players are well skilled and know how to use the system to the best advantage to give the AI the best chance (right tactics, right orientation, right "embark if ..." type routes) but with the spectrum of experience we usually get there will be someone who "drops the ball" (usually through no fault of their own).

Arguably this is less of an issue for an attacker as they can load up the attacking forces with humans and skelton staff the remainder.

QUOTE]

Part of the challenge of Co'ing TGIF's is the unknown of who Your teammates will Be. As a Co You must assign tasks based on the skill level of the random teammates You May have. The positions that require the most experience for a particular plan must be given to the those that the Co deems a best fit. This has always been task #1 for Me as players assemble and pick positions. Sometimes You realize that Your plan may be to ambitious for the players You may have. Sometimes You are surprised how players that You may not have thought would be fit for the position, step up with a solid performance.

That said I miss picking teams, like was done in the distant past. The Co's go into a separate chat with Volcano or Sean. Teams are picked people are told where they will be and You go. The positive is Co's can have some control of who is on their team. The Negative (which has been the reason this idea died) is that players might not get the vehicle they want or teammates they want and Cry about it. IMO I believe the positives outweigh the negatives.

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A random CO mission could be fun.

At one time we did have a "CO Challenge" going where we cycled through everyone available for TGIF to CO (basically picking the person who hadn't done it yet). If you won, then you CO'd next week again until you lost. But unfortunately this died when someone won twice refused to do it a third time. :(

I think we need to bring it back...

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Just throwing something out here...

I have an idea to work on something for TGIF. Basically, about mid way into the year, I was thinking running a one month event where two COs volunteer and I give them a picture of the map, and a brief description of objective, and a certain amount of "points". Then an excel sheet with unit formations and the cost of each platoon/formation. COs buy their force in secret, send it to me, then I build the scenario with the units purchased. It would be sort of like Combat Mission's quick mission feature.

This would be a good way to construct missions and keep both sides in the dark about what the enemy force will actually be (until the assembly area of course).

How many people would be interested in CO'ing something like this (if I am able to do it)?

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22 JAN scenario:

6k Front 2013-3028-M1A2-OMU

Red has Leo 2Es and CV90s versus Blue with M1A2s and M2 Bradleys. Meeting engagement with objectives in the center across a neutral zone, and objectives in the rear on both sides. Own party map updates.

NOTES:

  • Avoid studying the enemy's side; only gather intel from the briefing and exposed enemy unit icons (enemy intel), and briefly looking over both sides to figure out which one you want to CO. Anything beyond that ruins the fog of war element.
  • To avoid passwords, open the scenario in Network Session as HOST and choose the side you want to play and go to planning phase. You may briefly look at both sides like this to see which side you want to play or CO on. As CO, once you choose a side, go to that side and create your plan.
  • Remember to play within the TGIF House Rules and SB.com community rules.

Edited by Volcano

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29 JAN scenario:

FEBA Madness (M1A1 v Leo2A4) v. 0.67

US (Blue): M1A1

Germany (Red): Leopard 2A4

This one is a very unique tank-only scenario where both sides fight a meeting engagement to establish and maintain momentum to push towards a mutual objective located in the enemy's rear area. Own party map updates.

NOTES:

  • Avoid studying the enemy's side; only gather intel from the briefing and exposed enemy unit icons (enemy intel), and briefly looking over both sides to figure out which one you want to CO. Anything beyond that ruins the fog of war element.
  • To avoid passwords, open the scenario in Network Session as HOST and choose the side you want to play and go to planning phase. You may briefly look at both sides like this to see which side you want to play or CO on. As CO, once you choose a side, go to that side and create your plan.
  • Remember to play within the TGIF House Rules and SB.com community rules.

Edited by Volcano

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29 JAN scenario:

FEBA Madness (M1A1 v Leo2A4) v. 0.66

US (Blue): M1A1

Germany (Red): Leopard 2A4

This one is a very unique tank-only scenario where both sides fight a meeting engagement to establish and maintain momentum to push towards a mutual objective located in the enemy's rear area. Own party map updates.

Oh yeeeah, it's ON! :gun:

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