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TGIF 2014: scenario list, discussion, and house rules

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Well, the problem with that idea is that everyone who picked "none" would be forced into observers on Bllue side. So, it wouldn't work for Red. It is probably better to just have everyone pick to be observer of co/A actually, but you should test that out with other people to be sure.

I didn't express myself clearly.:c: What I meant was, if every BLUE player were to occupy the "None" slot on the Blue side, would it work properly with the Blue CO's loaded plan, as I stated above? Likewise, could any other party's CO do the same with his teammates in the "None" slot of whichever party it may be? Or, did you mean to say that occupying the "None" slot for any party will always cause you to become an observer on Blue?

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I didn't express myself clearly.:c: What I meant was, if every BLUE player were to occupy the "None" slot on the Blue side, would it work properly with the Blue CO's loaded plan, as I stated above? Likewise, could any other party's CO do the same with his teammates in the "None" slot of whichever party it may be? Or, did you mean to say that occupying the "None" slot for any party will always cause you to become an observer on Blue?

Picking the "none" slot doesn't do anything other than temporarily taking you out of all positions. "None" isn't really an assignment, rather it is the lack of an assignment -- so it isn't a valid position. You can try it yourself, if you select "none" then you aren't assigned to red or blue (your name appears in white text), and once the host starts it just forces you to blue observer as if you just selected the observer position on a blue vehicle.

In any case, the short answer is no it is not a good idea because like I said in the previous post, it just takes all users not assigned to a position and forces them to Blue observer positions -- it would possibly work as the blue side, but not other sides. You are better off just having everyone get into the same platoon, or support vehicles, or several platoons that aren't going to get extensive routes, or (side effects unknown) tell everyone to pick observer position of the co/A vehicle. Again, you just have to experiment on your own and if you have everyone jumping through hoops picking observer positions and such, then you are responsible for the outcome if it aggravates people. :gun:

Personally, as commander it is better to just have people take recon vehicles or non-essential vehicles and avoid most of the issue, then load your plan and assign vehicles out, that way at least most of the vehicles will get moved and routed as you want. If some platoons don't get moved or routes in the planning phase because people own them then so what -- that is what delegation and orders are for. I just wouldn't worry about micro managing every single platoon; give the people on your team something to do and orders to follow rather than putting the scenario on rails. Anyway, that is just my opinion on the matter. It is probably a good idea to discuss this issue in another thread though, because it can potentially get long winded with observations and ideas -- I want to try to keep this thread on the subject of the TGIF scenarios. ;)

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Picking the "none" slot doesn't do anything other than temporarily taking you out of all positions. "None" isn't really an assignment, rather it is the lack of an assignment -- so it isn't a valid position. You can try it yourself, if you select "none" then you aren't assigned to red or blue (your name appears in white text), and once the host starts it just forces you to blue observer as if you just selected the observer position on a blue vehicle.

In any case, the short answer is no it is not a good idea because like I said in the previous post, it just takes all users not assigned to a position and forces them to Blue observer positions -- it would possibly work as the blue side, but not other sides. You are better off just having everyone get into the same platoon, or support vehicles, or several platoons that aren't going to get extensive routes, or (side effects unknown) tell everyone to pick observer position of the co/A vehicle. Again, you just have to experiment on your own and if you have everyone jumping through hoops picking observer positions and such, then you are responsible for the outcome if it aggravates people. :gun:"

I wonder if it will also work to have everyone on your party pile into the party CO's observer position? I'll have to test that.

. . . If some platoons don't get moved or routes in the planning phase because people own them then so what -- that is what delegation and orders are for. I just wouldn't worry about micro managing every single platoon; give the people on your team something to do and orders to follow rather than putting the scenario on rails. Anyway, that is just my opinion on the matter. It is probably a good idea to discuss this issue in another thread though, because it can potentially get long winded with observations and ideas -- I want to try to keep this thread on the subject of the TGIF scenarios. ;)

Yeah, my goal was not to assign initial routes or even specific vehicle positioning, let alone have a plan "on rails." Auftragstaktik, etc. I just wanted to get the geographical deployment into our three separate AOs done as per my task organization. Plus, I'm not nearly good enough as CO to micromanage execution.

Attached is a screenshot of my OPORD graphics. It consisted of the following:

> The three geographic areas of responsibility (Company Teams Owerri, Calabar, Akure) plus the location of the Quick Reaction Force (QRF)

> a task organization chart (upper left)

> the enemy OOBs, strictly for convenience purposes (lower left & upper right)

> identification of enemy high-value targets (OOB list, in orange). [in my initial confusion sorting out the ownership/deployment issues, I forgot to brief my team on this.]

> the deployment of CT Owerri, CT Calabar, CT Lagos, and QRF units into their respective AoRs (specific positioning per TM COs' discretion)

> Checkpoint graphics at each road entry point for each CT AoR, to facilitate SPOTREPs and execution [also forgot to brief my team on this];

> the location of our four obstacles [i acceded to CO CT Lagos' request for repositioning];

> 2 or 3 dismounted OPs (purple) to be occupied by each CT [this, as well as the obstacles, was the only instance where I dictated a specific unit position];

> [edited to add:] a route identifying a 500m off-road detour on the main Lagos-Calabar road offering a bit more cover than the main road; and

> a single on-order BP (vic. 476104).

(Additionally, I had to recreate this entire plan after the late-breaking mission modification [i know, fair warning was given :) ] My earlier plan also identified two possible river fording areas, and had a chart listing the fording/amphib capabilities of each friendly and ENY vehicle type. I didn't have time to add these to my re-created plan.)

So, IMO, preparation but not micromanagement. Also, as you may see, I had to send one of my Fuchs hustling across the no-man's land between CTs Calabar and Owerri because the Fuchs were deployed in 2 platoons and, therefore, I could only deploy Fuchs in two of the three AoRs. The initial intel indicated ENY forces in close proximity. The Fuchs never made it.

SS_11_34_25.png.89f081999b5eb88707d07a5d

SS_11_34_25.png.89f081999b5eb88707d07a5d

Edited by MDF

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I should add that the plan worked fairly well, the UN placing 2nd out of the three sides. I think we might have won had the mission lasted another 10 minutes. My basic CONOPs was:

> give ERF and WFF free passage through all of UN Safe Zone except CT AoRs -- let them attrit each other.

> Units on hold fire orders, except for VBIEDs and ENY physical entry into TM AoRs. Entry into AoRs would be met with measured response, try to encourage ENY to disengage and bypass north/south to take on opposing faction instead.

> If WFF or ERF positioned to capture opposing faction's key objective, UNFORA engages capturing faction from rear. (Hopefully, both factions will have been severely attrited by that point.)

> QRF (Leo2s) held in hide position in CT Calabar AoR. To be deployed only if CT Owerri/Lagos threatened with overrun or if sizeable incursion into Calabar.

> If one or more CT AoRs overrun, and CO UNFORA judges recapture impossible, UNFORA takes to eastern hills to just have fun trying to plink WFF/ERF forces from surprise flanking position.

After viewing AAR and Rotar's mission video, I think this mostly worked. We resisted the temptation to respond to ERF/WFF attacks by fire into CT LAgos' AoR, in the hopes that they would end up fighting each other. Sure enough, ERF and WFF mostly exhausted their respective combat powers in the mini-Prokhorovka in the east. ERF initially tried to attack Calabar from NNW, but were met with measured response (including brief appearance of QRF) and backed off. A late and small WFF attack into Calabar zone was destroyed.

ERF did succeed in overrunning Owerri. I dispatched the QRF to deal with that but they were initially recalled to respond to the WFF incursion (mentioned above) and then mission time ran out as they resumed the Owerri mission. So the question is, given an additional ten minutes of time, could two fully-loaded Leo2A5-DKs (each with a human operator) have destroyed 4 x T-62 (operated by a single, if very capable human player in Rotar) holding Owerri? ERF also had two TOW technicals overwatching some of the approaches into Owerri, but probably not the approach the QRF was using. My money was on the Leos.

The one area we almost completely failed at was the VBIEDs. Two managed to detonate (in Owerri and Calabar) without us having any inkling before or after. Assuming Volcano used the "Explode combatant if..." logic, shouldn't there have at least been a gigantic "boom!"? There was a text message informing that the UN had been attacked and ROE restriction was lifted, but that was a generic one and could have been triggered by any kind of attack.

Edited by MDF

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You guys in the 101st Chairborne Division know your stuff! :luxhello:

If only. I still haven't managed to give a coherent briefing in my four CO efforts so far or to get a grip on C2 in the Execution Phase. I do enjoy the pre-mission planning, though. That's why I bleated so loudly a few weeks back in favor of resuming advance notice of TGIF missions. Unfortunately, only a handful of people have volunteered. I hope that will change. You should give it a try! There's absolutely no requirement to pore over the mission plan like I do.

Chairborne Division...first time I noticed that. LOL!

I recently added an attack helo unit insignia (C/1/101 Aviation Bn) as my avatar (because the unit nickname is "Paladin" and, in another incredible coincidence, the unit is part of 101st Air Assault Division, which was alluded to in the "101st Chairborne Division" in my siggy.) I have never served in the military, let alone that unit. So, hopefully, "chairborne" will dispel any mis-impression arising from my use of the insignia.

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I'll Co Blue. Beta or no Beta? I'll check to see if a save plan on beta will work with 3.11

Right, the plan should work between both, in theory, but in practice that might not be the case. :(

It would be nice if we can play the Beta this TGIF, but I guess we will just have to see how many people have it.

I'll Co Blue.

OK, got it, now we just need a Red CO.

COs from last week can volunteer on Friday if no one takes it by then.

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I have a suggestion.

In the past The Co's would pick their teams on game night. Co's and the Organizer would drop to a different channel and pick teams. The Organizer would pick a number from 1-10, The Co that chose closest got first pick.

This is good to force players that usually only play on one side, or with certain players to change it up. Also the extra strategy the Co can employ by picking certain players or not.

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This "drafting players" approach might also be helpful with missions featuring a significant numerical disparity between the forces. For example, assuming 30 T-72s versus 10 M1A1s is a fair fight in the abstract, 10 humans controlling 30 T-72s versus 10 humans controlling 10 M1A1s is not a fair fight. So, give the T-72s CO three "draft picks" to every one for the M1A1 CO. If there is a concern that the T-72 CO will hoover up the few "elite" players (whoever those might be, and certainly not myself), you can stagger things a bit. Maybe one round of 1:1 picking, then the 3:1 kicks in.

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I'd be very careful of drafting players in a scenario that doesn't have similar equipment or you run the risk of annoying players who came to play a game and ended up having to control something they dislike. No fun in that.

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I was going to say, this sounds like its drifting away from what I thought was the intent of TGIF, namely an entertaining relaxing session on a Friday night after work.

I have no say in it, but it seems to be veering towards being a very structured affair.

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Drafting was originally done for the first 4 or 5 years of tgif. We would only be going back to the roots of tgif, not starting something new.

This was done to prevent the Veteran stacked teams that practiced the scene all week from dominating against newer players, and turning them off to SB.

The structure of drafting was done to increase fairness, and make the battles more competitive. Also to make it more fun for newer players who get crushed by the vet team every week.

As far as players not wanting to or unable to use a certain vehicle. That is just something that the Co will have to keep in mind when choosing. If the Co chooses players that He knows hate the vehicles He will be using then oh well. The Co will have to deal with the consequences of His choice.

If players are complaining that they got picked to a team with vehicles they don't want. Well honestly I don't care. They can complain to the Co that picked them and I'm sure they won't do it in the future for the teams sake. Or they can learn to operate a new vehicle. There area many options. I don't think scrapping picking teams should be one of them.

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In fairness, it doesn't seem to me that we have blocs of tank aces ganging up on newbies with regularity, but I know that you (Brun) are long-time member of the SB community and I defer to your knowledge of who's who.

As for overly-structured, I don't think that either the pre-mission planning or drafting really shifts much in that direction. Choosing to CO is still an option, so from the perspective of the "casual" SBer there's not much of a difference: you show up, get briefed on someone else's plan, and try to carry out your orders. Hopefully now with advance planning, the plans will be better or at least disseminated more quickly. I would think that a plus for everyone.

The drafting doesn't really make it any less casual, does it? Again, other than being told what team you're on, not much of a change for the guy who shows up without wanting to engage in much prior effort. The point about creating disaffected players is well taken. But one has to ask "how many?" and "can we achieve improved gameplay/better mission type/etc." by using the draft procedure and, if so, is it worth the possible loss of participants?

I would imagine that other SBers, like myself, have preferred vehicles and maybe even some "dislikes." But, this is a team game, and when I have been asked to switch from a coveted slot that I grabbed to something else, I don't grumble. Moreover, because there are usually many more vehicles than players, and "waves" of reinforcements, one usually gets to control a variety of vehicles over the course of a mission. Sure, sometimes you'll be "stuck" on a side that has no equipment to your liking. I doubt many are going to abandon TGIF because of this prospect, but who knows?. Maybe we can take a poll on the website, and perhaps re-poll every 6 months or so?

Maybe a bigger practical problem with drafting is the case of a new player who has experience only with a single vehicle.

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If both COs want to pick teams then that is fine with me, if they don't care then that is fine too. I don't think we will set requirements on how TGIF will be played, we just take it week by week and see what happens. If both of the COs don't want to pick teams then we will just do like we usually do (and let people choose, then Sean and I pick our team last to balance it out).

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Just as some players wont show up if they cant CO that week or if they dont like the sce that was announced for that week, Im sure there are players who wont play if they are stuck with a player / vehicle they dont like. IE: I have to have an M1A2 if its in the sce.

Thats just the way things are now.

I dont remember a draft in every one of the early TGIFs but I could be wrong. Im certain it wasnt done for every sce for the first 4 or 5 years. Its been tried on and off and predominantly off. There is probably good reason for that. Some people like to play with / against their friends or whatever the case. We are just reinventing the wheel if you ask me. The same applies for prepicking COs and preposting the sce. It been done before also. I dont see that the plans are any better or faster.

To me it doesnt matter. Ill play whatever sce is put out there with and against whoever shows up that night.

Mog

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Just as some players wont show up if they cant CO that week or if they dont like the sce that was announced for that week, Im sure there are players who wont play if they are stuck with a player / vehicle they dont like. IE: I have to have an M1A2 if its in the sce.

Thats just the way things are now.

I dont remember a draft in every one of the early TGIFs but I could be wrong. Im certain it wasnt done for every sce for the first 4 or 5 years. Its been tried on and off and predominantly off. There is probably good reason for that. Some people like to play with / against their friends or whatever the case. We are just reinventing the wheel if you ask me. The same applies for prepicking COs and preposting the sce. It been done before also. I dont see that the plans are any better or faster.

To me it doesnt matter. Ill play whatever sce is put out there with and against whoever shows up that night.

Mog

I don't have a strong opinion on the draft-pick issue, except insofar as this would facilitate a numerical player imbalance which, in turn, would facilitate scenarios with sizeable force imbalances, which, in turn, would actually allow us to play an attack-versus-defense mission for a change. I guess you can create numerical player imbalances by just telling individuals to switch sides, but I wouldn't want to put the TGIF organizers (or whomever) into the uncomfortable position of having to cajole or argue with people.

As for the pre-planning, I CO'd two of the the five missions to date under that regime. Due to my inexperience/poor judgment, etc., we didn't achieve much in the way of time savings. For the same reason, the Blue plan definitely was not of better quality in my first CO outing (Symmetrical Attack mission). In my second (UN Safe Zone), I would say that the plan was much better than it would have been had I been chosen as CO in ad hoc fashion. I'm hopeful that as I learn the ropes, I'll be better able to both devise good plans and brief my team promptly.

Also, I think you're overlooking three other selling points for pre-planning:

  • a relatively inexperienced player might be willing to CO if he has time to think things over in advance. Granted, there haven't been any new volunteers in the five weeks of the new regime (or maybe Rotar was new? But still, that's just one). I think with some more encouragement/proselytizing, that may change.
  • the enjoyment factor: at least for me, the pre-planning is enjoyable. Conversely, I dislike the spur-of-the-moment CO gig (as I mentioned in that "plea" thread a few weeks back; others voiced similar opinions). So, at least for me, I'm not going to volunteer to CO on game-night without some arm-twisting. (Not that I'm doing anyone any favors by giving in, but it is often the case at TGIF that the organizers are asking for volunteers and nobody raises their hand. So someone has to do it.)
  • Having two (or more) extra people with a fresh perspective reviewing the mission helps to identify and fix bugs or other problems prior to play.

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4 APR scenario:

!OBJ PV - MP_3011

Disclaimer: this scenario hasn't been played in ages, it likely has rough edges.

NOTE: To avoid passwords, open the scenario in Network Session as HOST and choose the side you want to play and go to planning phase.

Edited by Volcano

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BTW, a concern here:

One problem with posting the scenario a week ahead is the temptation/tendency for the CO of the other side to meticulously study the enemy's side. This should NOT be done, do NOT look over the enemy's side. If we find that this is happening from this point onward then I will stop posting the mission in advance because it will have proven detrimental to fairness.

Maybe it has happened to this point because scenarios were not password protected, or perhaps there was a bit of unknown whether it is accepted or not, but forget about the past -- this applies from this point onward: please do not study the enemy's side as it just isn't fair (password or not). Everything you need to know about the enemy is revealed in the briefing and/or through on map enemy map contacts in the Planning Phase.

Edited by Volcano

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