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TGIF: scenario list, discussion, and house rules


Volcano
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Also, just FYI:

 

The plan is to start a new campaign on SEPTEMBER 24th. Basically, it will play very similar to Firefight 79 in that a series of scenarios will be played with a running score comparison, and the final winner being determined based of that final score.

 

Go here to read more about it:

 

https://www.steelbeasts.com/sbwiki/index.php?title=MBT_87

 

MBT87.png

 

Description

MBT 87 is a simple linear multiplayer campaign created by Volcano. MBT 87 is a set of scenarios based on the Avalon Hill and GMT Games boardgame "MBT".
 

The scenarios are all stand alone battles, with each taking place on a specific day in the campaign in sequence, and following the flow of the hypothetical conflict. Also, the scenarios cover different sectors along the front, covering US, West German (FRG), and British (BAOR) forces.

Scenario Information

 

Theme: Cold War, 1987
Scale: One or two companies per side (4 to 6 players per side)
Time limit: 120 to 180 minutes maximum
Scenario complexity: Moderate

Additional Information

The scenarios are scaled to the boardgame so that the scenario time limits are as correct and realistic as possible. This means that scenarios typically have long time limits (from 120 to 180 minutes), but always have early termination possible. This allows for a more realistic battle to develop, where the attacker can properly develop the situation rather than rush into it recklessly, but still allowing the scenario to typically end earlier if too many losses are sustained.
 

Unlike the Firefight 79 campaign, the conversion of the MBT scenarios into SB scenarios was done very carefully and faithfully, at a 1:1 scale of the units and time scale.

Any units that are not playable (like the T-80U) or available (like the M2A1) in SB are then compensated for by adding or subtracting appropriate strength to that side, using the MBT boardgame's integral "points" system (where each vehicle type is worth a certain amount of points), converted into SB's "unit cost calculator". This helps to increase the likelihood to remaining faithful to the boardgame's original scenario balance.
 

The scenarios feature real world equipment that was available in 1987, being faithful to the boardgame scenario TOE as much as possible. Also, somewhat unique are the scenario's scoring conditions which, like real life, places more emphasis (points) on friendly and enemy losses. Additionally, somewhat unique is that the points for losses will often differ for both sides, being based on the forces involved (the superior side has more points to lose from losses).
 

Morale is modeled, faithful to the boardgame scenario, where a side will break if a certain level of losses are sustained. This is translated into a % strength condition, based on the unit's quality (in the original boardgame scenario) so that a side will retreat if the "Break Point" is achieved, resulting in an early termination of the scenario (an "end if" condition, allowing the scenario to end before the time limit). The scenario will typically end before the time limit due to losses.
 

Given the later Cold War time setting, NATO forces are technologically superior but the Soviets also have use of FASCAM and ICM, and good quality ammunition. The Soviets typically have superiority in numbers and also (or at least even parity) in ammunition, fire support, and supporting assets.
 

Just like in the Firefight 79 campaign, the scenarios are set to (intentionally cheesy) 1980s era Cold War movie theme music.

Scoring

In the MBT 87 campaign, a set of Cold War scenarios set in 1987 are played in sequence, and a score is totaled at completion to determine a winner. The NATO side accumulates positive points, while the Soviet side accumulates negative points, and these cancel each other out. By the end of the campaign, if the final score is +500 or greater, then the result is a NATO Victory, or if it is -500 or less it is a Soviet Victory, and anything in between is a Draw.

Scenario List

As of 2021, there are 9 scenarios in the MBT 87 campaign:

  • MBT-S01-02-First Clash: A reinforced US M60A3(TTS) tank company and a reinforced Soviet T-72AV tank company (MRR) conduct a meeting engagement at a a river crossing.
  • MBT-S02-14-Lightning (FRG): A reinforced West German detachment with a reinforced platoon relief force defends an airfield against a Soviet T-72AV recon company and a reinforced T-72BV tank company.
  • MBT-S03-03-The Gap: An understrength US M1(IP) and M3A1 cavalry troop defends to prevent a breakthrough of a reinforced Soviet T-80BV tank company with recon detachment.
  • MBT-S04-15-Advance (FRG): A reinforced West German Marder mechanized infantry company defends objectives in sector against a reinforced Soviet T-72BA tank company and a reinforced Soviet BMP-2 motorized rifle company.
  • MBT-S05-04-Breakthrough: A reinforced US M2A1 mechanized infantry company defends an objective in depth against a reinforced Soviet T-72BA tank company and a reinforced Soviet BMP-2 motorized rifle company.
  • MBT-S06-25-Op Market (BAOR): An understrength British Warrior mechanized infantry company conducts a desperate delaying action to allow time for a reinforced British Challenger 2 company relief to arrive, against a reinforced Soviet T-72BA tank company with extra infantry support.
  • MBT-S07-05-Exploitation: An understrength US M60A3(TTS) cavalry troop with a reduced strength mechanized infantry company (supported by M1(IP) prevents a breakthrough against a reinforced Soviet T-72BA tank company and a reinforced Soviet BMP-2 motorized rifle company.
  • MBT-S08-26-Power Strike (BAOR): An understrength British FV432 mechanized infantry company conducts a delaying action around river crossings to allow time for an understrength British Challenger 2 company relief to arrive, against a reinforced Soviet T-80U tank company with air assault supporting assets.
  • MBT-S09-07-Head-to-Head: A reinforced US M1 tank company and a reinforced US M113A2 mechanized infantry company conduct a confused meeting engagement against a reinforced Soviet T-80BV tank company and a reinforced Soviet BTR-80 motorized rifle company.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Keep in mind that this has never been played before and will likely need some rough edges ironed out. All we can do is try to have fun, play it, and then I will of course adjust it based on feedback for further refinement.

 

(Also, I don't want to burden the same person with CO'ing, so the first scenario will be volunteer or draft (if no one volunteers), but every scenario after that will be randomly determined from those on that side unless someone volunteers to do it each week.)

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On 8/17/2021 at 3:31 AM, Bond_Villian said:

And definately looking forward to this (from the WIKI page);

"Just like in the Firefight 79 campaign, the scenarios are set to (intentionally cheesy) 1980s era Cold War movie theme music. "

 

Nice work on the WIKI page by the way, very cool.

 

Thanks, yeah, we know how everyone likes the jingles. 😆

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On 8/18/2021 at 9:18 PM, Volcano said:

Thanks, yeah, we know how everyone likes the jingles. 😆

 

Suggestions for future iterations of 80s nostalgia:

"You're the Best" - Karate Kid I

"Hearts on Fire" - Rocky IV

"No Easy Way Out" - Rocky IV

"Eye of the Ti..." (nah, that song gets too much love already)

Intro score for Conan the Barbarian

"Conan, what is best in life?" dialogue from Conan between one of the Khans and Arnie.

"Red Dawn" speech from the Spetsnaz commander (Strelnikov?) about the new strategy

Edited by Valleyboy
fixed Rocky version
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Quick stats from our last mission, I'm changing it up here, on a future iteration I will try to get it into pdf to do less chumming up of the forum here.  On balance, given our performance vs. the previous results on this same mission, I think we probably overestimated the threat from ATGMs (despite losing  around 33% of our tanks to that weapon type) and probably should have seized the town early and dug in.  Also, I think as CO I was too slow to get our infantry moving to try to engage the center and forgot that this attack was divided between two users.  I shoulda woulda coulda taken over those units and let people concentrate on what they were doing, e.g. the tank battle in the south where we got bottlenecked.  Much credit to the whole team for great input on where to lay the FASCAM and artillery, which was probably one of the more successful parts of our attack.

 

Red Team Kills - Tanks - Vehicles Used - % Breakout
Tank (Leopard 2A5)  -  60.0 %
personnel (Rifle squad)  -  30.0 %
Tank (T-72A/M1 m.1982)  -  10.0 %

 

Blue Team Kills - Tanks - Vehicles Used - % Breakout
Tank (M1A1(HA))  -  62.5 %
PC (M2A2(ODS))  -  25.0 %
PC (M113G3-DK TOW)  -  12.5 %

 

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Edited by Valleyboy
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On 8/19/2021 at 4:09 PM, Valleyboy said:

 

Suggestions for future iterations of 80s nostalgia:

...

 

Yeah, trying to keep it at war movies during or about the Cold War, but there isn't much to choose from. Still, I have an idea (and no, no the beach volleyball song from Top Gun). 

🏐🍆🏐 💪☀️

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Looking at the AAR, I had kind of a head-slap moment when I saw all that infantry take the central objective in the first few minutes.  Once that happened, it kind of mooted a lot of our northern attack, given we weren't ever going to dig those guys out of the center without those assets.  Lesson learned.  Zerg rush next time!

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Well, the idea surely was to take the rear objective, which would give you 600 points (300 for yours, 300 for ours), and then you would not need the center objective. This would be giving up the center the objective, going "all or nothing". This option is built into the score as an option, because its risky (its a guaranteed win if you can pull it off). While taking the center and holding your own isn't guaranteed, as we saw -- because we lost by 4 points or so due to losses (making it a draw).

 

I assumed that is what your side was doing, which isn't a bad idea - its just risky and it almost worked. But if the idea instead was to take both the rear and the center objective, then yeah, not enough units to do that, given our reaction to the attack, but you wouldn't know that until after it played out.

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17 SEP 2021:

 

TGIF Watan Saraf Ekhlas V9-smaller_4265a

(We were going to play this back at the beginning of July but the person who made it didn't show up.) 🙄

 

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS:

  • Draft? Yes.
  • Random CO selection? Yes.
  • Minimum # players: 10 (Red [4] vs Blue [4] & Green [2])

NOTES:

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24 SEP 2021:

 

MBT-S01-02-First Clash-4265

The first scenario in the MBT campaign. Yes, it has M60A3 TTS in the first scenario. No, every scenario will not have them (just this one and one other has a mix of "some" + M1s; the NATO side has different types of vehicles across the scenarios: M60A3, Leopard 2A4, Challenger, M1, M1IP, M1A1). 

 

NOTE: The scenarios can have long time limits in the MBT campaign (some up to 180 minutes), but scenarios will seldom play to the full time limit. We should try to limit planning to 30 minutes.

 

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS:

  • Draft? Yes and No. We will let everyone choose their side, but if it is determined to be "out of balance" (such as, more people are on blue than red) then we will need to have a draft. The side you play the first mission on, will be the side you remain on for the rest of the campaign.
  • Random CO selection? Yes and No. We will allow two COs to volunteer for the first mission. If no one volunteers then there will need to be a random selection from each side, each scenario. This does not mean they will CO the entire campaign. Ideally a different person on that side should CO one, two or three missions (see the Awards section on the MBT 87 SBwiki page).
  • Minimum # players: 8 (Red [4] vs Blue [4])

NOTES:

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BTW, for anyone wondering (or not), regarding forum award for CO'ing, since it looks like we might have multiple COs in this campaign - I think we will only give the forum CO award to the person that COs the majority of the scenarios in the campaign, if any. So it would be for the one person that CO'd 5 of the 9 missions, which might be no one by the time we finish. 🤔

 

So, something to consider if that matters. ;)

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Both sides should make sure to save their Map Overlays, not the actual plan - because it might be that I notice and fix any bugs at the last minute before game time.

 

I also suggest that both sides consider having a planning session with their teammates who want, or are able, to meet together. Now obviously we do not know the exact teams yet in the first mission, but I am referring to after this Friday.

 

I think one of the noticeable differences in FF79 campaign is that Red started planning in the latter half of it (when they were down 1500 points or so), and it showed (but certainly some luck was also involved too). So, if possible, both sides should at least consider meeting an hour before TGIF game time to review the scenario and plan and share ideas. Or not! But its probably not the best idea for everyone to rely on a CO to do all the planning themselves throughout the campaign, alone, and just showing up at game time. It can certainly work, but may not be the most reliably successful. 😎 


(It is just that when we are giving AAR feedback then the scenario always bears the brunt of the criticism, when we need to be able to realize that often it is more to do with one side possibly developing a better pre-planned rehearsal.)

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One more thing regarding the campaign...

 

One idea I want to experiment with is during-campaign "Awards". These don't mean anything, other than adding a small amount of points to the side's total score (so yes, they can affect the outcome of the campaign, but at a small level).  The idea is to reward positive behaviors and good performance. Also, the points earned by each side will cancel out the other side, just like the scenario score does - so I don't see a large amount of points being awarded, overall, in excess, but certainly there will be a small margin (estimated at maybe 100-250 points at best).

 

https://www.steelbeasts.com/sbwiki/index.php?title=MBT_87#Awards

 

Now the whole thing is really an experiment, as far as number of points awarded, the conditions, and so forth, all subject to change. But again, the main takeaway here is that it is an experiment to see if any adjustments or needed. Along with the fact that the scenarios have never been played either - then you can consider the entire campaign an experiment, technically.  So everyone keep this in mind -- only by playing it through can it be refined and improved. (I am saying this to cut down on the potential crying -- play it to have fun, and to contribute to a more refined 2nd version, at least!)

 

And yes, I am perfectly fine if one side gets a vary narrow draw or win, and the Awards cause a side to push a draw into a win, or a win into a draw. It is essentially giving the nod to the more awarded side in this situation, and in a result that narrow where it would affect the outcome, then its a good thing. 

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