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House rules for double moves and single sixes.

Posted: Thu May 02, 2019 5:25 pm
by Iorwerth
A recent game got us thinking about some possible house rules to do with rolling meaningless single sixes for activation dice, double moves, and also the need to roll a 1 for bringing on support teams from the 'O' group. It would be great to get some feedback on the house rules to see if there are elements of the game we have not thought about or rules we have not played properly and so on, which make these rules problematic.

The house rules we are thinking of are:

1. When you roll a single 6 or a double 6 for command dice, you can choose to turn one or both of those sixes into fives, to gain Chain of Command dice pips.

Reasoning for this is that having a single six being a wasted number seems to introduce a bit of randomness that the game doesn't really need - in the course of a game one side could get far more single sixes that the other and so get less activations/chain of command dice, and so be punished for simple bad luck. Being able to turn a double 6 into two pips on a command dice is to try and present the player with a decision they have to think about when they roll a double - get two chain of command die pips or have a double move - and ties in with our second change to do with double moves.

2. When you roll two or more sixes and get a double move the amount of dice you roll for the double move is equal to your normal command dice number minus an amount of sixes you rolled to get the double move (perhaps with a minimum of two dice for the second move roll, in case you rolled four or more sixes on your first roll).

e.g. if you had five command dice and rolled a double six, then your double move roll would only be three dice. If you had rolled three sixes, then your double move after the turn ends would be only two dice.

The reason for this change is that we feel double moves can be too swingy in the game. While luck obviously plays a part in the game, we feel there is no need to encourage it when you don't have to.

3. Lastly, and nothing to do with rolling sixes on your command dice, if you roll a 4 on your command dice and have a senior leader or adjutant still in your 'O' group, then you can use this to deploy a single team on to the battlefield.

We thought of this to stop a situation where, due to continually failing to throw a 1, you find you just cannot bring on that support team you purchased. We saw no point and no real fun to be had from being hit over the head by this bad luck, so allowing a 4 to deploy a single team if a senior leader is still in the 'O' group seemed a reasonable way to deal with it. Not a big problem, to be honest, but this simple house rule seemed a non-overpowering way of dealing with it if the problem does crop up (which is did in our last game!).


I know that many people don't like house rules that much, and also embrace the bad luck as being part and parcel of combat, which is fair enough, but I am posting them up to get some feedback about effects they may have that we haven't contemplated or other ideas that might do the same thing in a better way.

Re: House rules for double moves and single sixes.

Posted: Thu May 02, 2019 6:45 pm
by Archdukek
Can't say that I feel the need for any of these house rules particularly the first and third. Both are part of the friction present in the game and rarely dominate the outcome in my experience.

On the first, you are conferring a potentially significant benefit on the player who rolls a single '6' to convert it into a '5' and gain a Command Dice faster to replace a pretty modest rationing of the number of command dice in a phase. That could prove significant in a game, such as limiting the impact of a pre-game barrage for example or facilitating an ambush.

As for the third option, it is probably rare for no '1' ever to be rolled. What's more common in my experience is that a player wants to use any '1' to improve his other dice rolls to a '3' or '4' perhaps. So you would be creating a double benefit to replace a tactical choice the player has to make at present.

As for the second option, that would seriously impair the benefits of one side seizing the initiative represented by a double phase, particularly if you factor in the potential for one of the 3 dice he's left with coming up with a '5' or '6'. I understand why some players prefer to limit the number of multiple phases rolled, but the current system is already self-regulating to the extent that rolling a double '6' means you have fewer usable Command Dice already. Your house rule would compound that.

John

Re: House rules for double moves and single sixes.

Posted: Thu May 02, 2019 7:41 pm
by andyskinner
There are scenarios very dependent on the number of CoC dice you get. You'd have to consider whether any of them get unbalanced by handing out extra pips.

andy

Re: House rules for double moves and single sixes.

Posted: Thu May 02, 2019 9:52 pm
by Seret
The option to turn a single six into a pip on a CoC dice is already used in some of the Pint Sized Campaigns. It's used to give superior troops a bit of an edge over normal regulars. It's a nice little bonus and removes a bit of "argh" from the game, I know I find the lonely six disproportionately annoying.

It's not going to break anything fundamentally if you roll that bonus out to all troops, but it's not really going to fix anything that was particularly broken IMO, and it will slightly mess you up if you want to play one of those PSCs where it's supposed to give one side a slight edge.

Re: House rules for double moves and single sixes.

Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 7:09 am
by Greg Bradfield
1 and 2 a I don't care for 3 could work if all playing at that stage agree to it, I don't think it would impact the RAW in any adverse way.

I agree with you all if it is not broken why try to fix it. Yes wargaming involves dice therefore luck and yes ones luck is not always on par. It is not tournament play so it is ok to loose now and then, many famous leaders lost battles.

I know many dislike the double phase rule when it goes to into a third phase and many have house ruled it but another option house rule is to turn those 2 sixes on the second phase roll, that would lead to a third phase, into CoC points thus not being a total loss to the rolling player and playing the phase out and ending it there. Some might even be playing it this way not sure can't recall seeing it. What I have seen is they ignore them and just play the phase out and revert to opponent next turn.

Too many house rules can kill a game. First prize is to keep rule as written and if your opponent does not like it then house rule but keep it fun and in good spirit.

Re: House rules for double moves and single sixes.

Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 7:40 am
by Iorwerth
Thanks as always for the replies. Some thoughts I had based upon the feedback:

Chain of Command Dice –
in the games I have played the amount of Chain of Command dice that are generated vary hugely from game to game. Some games seem to have a load of them being generated and some, like my last game, only had one generated, and that only near the end. This wide variance is down to a number of things, but rolling more single sixes rather than fives often plays a meaningful part. It just doesn’t sit right to me to penalise a player who, down solely to reasons of ill-luck, roll far more single sixes than their opponent. All the other command dice rolls can be managed by the player’s skill e.g. having their leaders positioned sensibly to use those threes and fours, and you can add dice together to create new numbers etc. Rolling a single six is useless and is a random factor that I think can be got rid of without too much change to the game. At least that is the hope!

Also, Chain of Command dice are fun, and if both sides have an increased amount of them over the course of a battle, then things should roughly even out I would think. I also think the change won’t really boost the numbers of Command dice you get compared to those battles with the normal rules that generate a lot of them. Rather it will increase the amount of Chain of Command dice in those games where the rolls have tended to generate few, if any, Chain of Command dice during the course of a battle i.e. the change will most often just remove the chance of having a game where Chain of Command dice become as rare as hens teeth.

As to those Pint sized campaigns that give superior troops a Chain of Command pip for a six, I think you would just raise the bonus to two pips for each six for these superior troops. It may result in a slightly different slant, but should still be fine in simulating the difference.

As a friend of mine said while playing, the game is called Chain of Command, so why are Chain of Command dice so bleedin’ hard to get! I think I will try out the change and then see if the increased amount of these dice in an average game starts to prove problematic. My gut feeling is that it will work out ok, and that getting rid of the bad luck of a player rolling many single sixes over the duration of the battle is worth it. I actually think having slightly more Chain of Command dice on average might be fun and create more dynamic battle at times anyway.

Double Moves –
I do get that double moves can shift the momentum of the battle and allow a side to grab the initiative. However, the results of double moves can be a bit too swingy for me (and even more OP if you manage to get triple moves). I have been playing with each additional move reducing the amount of dice you roll for the next phase by one die, which does work. It is just that the feeling around the table was that the swing in battle fortunes from these double moves could still be too large, especially in certain situations, and as it just depends on a lucky roll, it still seemed a bit problematic at times. The proposed rule of every six rolled to create the double move not being rolled for the double move, reduces what you can do with them to a more manageable level – you can still swing things in your favour, but not by such a large amount on average.

Deploying a team with a 4 –
John, I am not so sure that the change does get rid of a tactical choice, but seems to add one so far as I can see, though I may not be seeing the wood for the trees. If a player could use a 1 to create a 3 or 4, then this proposed rule change makes no difference to that – the rule allows a 4 to be used as a 1 for deployment, not turn a 1 into a 4. Using a 1 to add to another die to create a 3 or 4 wouldn’t be done to bring on a single team from the ‘o’ group, but to activate a leader on the field, or bring on a section/team with a leader, both of which situations the proposed rule doesn’t touch. What the rule would do is present the user with an additional tactical choice if they rolled a four – do they want to activate a senior leader in the field, do they want to deploy a senior leader, OR do they want to bring on a single team with the 4? This single team would not be coming on with the senior leader, as the rule is just turning a 4 into a 1 for deployment purposes (and obviously if you turn a 4 into a 1 to do this, you cannot then use the die as a 1 to add to other dice i.e. if you turn a 4 into a 1 it is for deployment purposes only and cannot then be combined with other dice).

I think what drives some of these changes for the players I play with, is that we want to remove some of the aspects of the game that punish players who have unlucky command rolls, especially when this occurs multiple times in a single battle. We don’t play enough for this to really even out in the long run, so we don’t want someone cursing their luck if this can be avoided. Obviously there is still a big element of luck in all the other rolls a side makes, but the player has more control over manipulating things to mitigate such things to one degree or another with these rolls. I know that many see the command roll luck and ill-luck representing ‘friction’ on the battlefield but, for me, this is represented enough by all the other rolls the player has to make – movement, shooting, saves and so on – as well as the use of Chain of Command dice.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback so far – it is much appreciated!

Re: House rules for double moves and single sixes.

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 6:57 am
by redmist1122
Again???

Re: House rules for double moves and single sixes.

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 8:10 am
by Iorwerth
My mistake for not putting down the reasons I went for the house rules i suggested, rather than go with house rules already put forward in earlier threads. For completeness sake I will do so now, as I don’t want to annoy people who just throw up their hands and say ‘again???’

I may have missed a few ideas when I did my searches, but these are the main ideas I came across. Sorry if I don’t attribute the ideas most of the time to who came up with them, but I forgot to note it in most cases.

1. Remove a single die from each additional phase you get by rolling double sixes

That is the rule I used before, but found it was not really limiting enough from the games I had with it.

2. John’s flip card/plastic bullet idea

This is where once you have had your first double phase you get a card/bullet. When you have it it means the next time you get a double phase, you don’t get to roll it but instead get a different bonus: roll 2x6 then get a CoC point, roll 3x6 then get a Coc Point and turn ends, roll 4x6 and turn ends, a random event, and you get a Chain of command dice. You lost the card/bullet when your opponent had a double phase, and so you passed it to your opponent, freeing you up again for a normal double phase. Another option was to have two cards/bullets that don't get passed between the players i.e. each player has their own card/bullet. I think this works that once you have received and used your card/bullet, it is put away, freeing you to have another normal double phase again, after which you get it back, and so on i.e. the next time after playing the card you got a double phase as per normal.

I do like this idea, but felt that the proposed rules I put forward had more decision making for the player as to what to do with the sixes they rolled (i.e. use them to have a double phase, but with dice rolled for that phase reduced by the number of sixes you rolled to get the double phase (so 2+ dice removed)), or not take the double phase at all and convert those sixes into CoC points. I liked the decision making it required, as well as keeping the ability to have multiple extra phases, but the command dice for them being much lower, so that you can do less with them. It also removes the problem of when you have the card/bullet, your opponent knows you cannot have a double phase.

Still, I think this idea is a good one.

3. Allow the opposition player to cancel a double phase by playing a CoC dice.

As CoC dice can be a bit rare in some battles, I didn’t think this really reduced the effectiveness of double phases by enough.

4. When a player gets a double phase then all the opposition troops are considered to have the benefits of being pinned/being tactical. Can be combined with all troops being given overwatch as well.

Again an interesting idea, but it seemed a tad complicated. I would need to play-test it to see.

5. An idea by Saltflats1929 - Don't reroll the 6's on the following phases.

This is part of the house rules I mentioned above. I think it does an excellent job of reducing the effectiveness of these extra phases while still allowing them to occur.

6. Cap players to three consecutive phases. More so, if two+ sixes are rolled on the third phase, then the opposing player gets a full Chain of Command die.

This doesn’t really reduce the effects of the first double phase, which can be very powerful in certain situations. I like the idea of getting a full CoC dice, but that is not needed with the house rules I suggested.

There may be other ideas out there I missed. If that is the case it would great if someone could let me know what they are.

The house rules I suggested cover more than just the double phases, as they also cover the bad luck of rolling too many single sixes in a battle, plus there is the tacked on bit about using a 4 as a 1 for deployment purposes only. One of the strengths I think of the rule on turning sixes into CoC points is that it presents the players with an interesting decision if they get two or more sixes – do they take an extra phase, though it would be a phase with less than normal command dice, or do they take the CoC points instead. I think that makes those rolls more interesting for the player.

Re: House rules for double moves and single sixes.

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 10:20 am
by Derek H
7. Just play the rules as written.

Re: House rules for double moves and single sixes.

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 11:05 am
by Iorwerth
Derek H wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 10:20 am
7. Just play the rules as written.
I don't like the double phase mechanic as written, nor the ill luck imbalance that can arise from the single six rule, so why would I just play the rules as written? It is not that I want to change things for the hell of it, but because the rules as written can lead to situations that I find problematic.

However, I do agree that playing the rules as written is an option for those not troubled by these things, I just didn't view playing the rules as written as a form of house rule :D