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Re: Pluck Playtest Questions

Posted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:32 am
by Richard
We played it with both this week and the players felt it totally transformed the game. For the better I should add.

With some scenarios it is key, Rangesorthy Heights and Colenso were both abandoned even though the British were making progress, because the commander's called the attack off.


Re: Pluck Playtest Questions

Posted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:21 pm
by Charles Eckart
I've only done Talana Hill so far so I may be wrong about applying Force Morale on top of the Clock and effects of Shock.

My impression is that Force Morale is a case of the majority of the troops deciding "it's over" for themselves. It seems to me that time running out and Shock covers this.

Weren't Rangeworthy and Colenso more cases of senior command deciding to call off the attack?

Since my second game is coming up I don't have enough experience yet to have a real "feel" for using Force Morale in the Boer War so I am just questioning it's use here.

Re: Pluck Playtest Questions

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:56 pm
by Charles Eckart
I now understand the use of Force Morale in the context of the Boer War. My initial questioning was based on difficulty in seeing British and particularly English troops giving up the fight without superior orders while undisciplined Boers might stay the course.

One question: Do machine guns move as infantry or artillery? Weren't they usually mounted on carts for movement?

Re: Pluck Playtest Questions

Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:43 pm
by Richard

I had an interesting chat with Neil today at Vapnartak. You may be right, the clock could well suffice on its own. Certainly the force morale test points need working on if it stays.

You are also right that the force morale for ge british refers to the commander's personal morale (or poltical morale) rather than the force as a whole.

Legs see how it runs.


Re: Pluck Playtest Questions

Posted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:25 pm
by Charles Eckart
Yes, to me Force Morale represents the attitude of the troops. I know the (Victorian "hot blooded") Highlanders were rattled in one fight but don't know of this happening with the (again Victorian "cold blooded") English troops.

Calling off a fight seems to me to be a player as CIC decision.

Yes, perhaps a rework of Force Morale would make it better represent the Boer War.

Re: Pluck Playtest Questions

Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:55 am
by Nellkyn
The reasons for the loss of Force Moral points needs to be looked at, if we are to keep it as a mechanism. We had a number of incidences that I felt could have effected it but didn't. In particular, one battalion was nearly wiped out but as the player was keeping it as a single group this didn't cause even the possibility of a Force Moral decrease.

Exactly what it represents will also affect the reason for a reduction. Taking it as being the force commanders view would help refine what would cause a loss. In our last game the loss of a battalion should have had the commander seriously considering his future in Her Majesties Armed Forces. My reading on the period suggests that British commanders had to keep an eye on the political aspect of any battle, the expectation of an easy victory, certainly in early period.

The clock deck really racked up the pressure in the closing turns of the game. It’s a mechanism that could add something to other games as well.

Re: Pluck Playtest Questions

Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:13 am
by agent_pumpkin
Ok Managed to get my first Pluck Test done... with half painted figures I admit. but still!

Anyway.. I found it to be very enjoyable and found the rules to be very good as they are. I of course have some questions/thoughts so here we go...

I take it that Tactical Initiative cards stay in play after the turn ends (the same way that Grasp the Nettle cards to in SP)?

Can Vedettes be grouped together and then that group use a single TI card to either move or fire together?

Can groups split their fire if the situation makes sense for them to do. For example a group of 10 Boer bases are using an inverted v shaped wall for cover.. half on the left half on the right so they would have a different field of fire?

Casualties on troops in a column.. are the removed from the rear?

Pluck modifier in close combat - is this the Force Moral rating or will units have individual pluck ratings? (Or even a left over from when they did?!)

In my first game the Force Morale didnt really get low enough to effect the game. So I can perhaps see why in some games in may feel like its not needed. However, I can see situations where it will be another good form of pressure - especially on the British General. As has been said the British Generals were indeed very worried about how their actions would be viewed back home.. something which made them very hesitant. As this should be represented then, in my opinion, the FM should stay but perhaps it could be modified further.

Using Nellkyn's example from above, perhaps we need a chance of FM loss on % losses as well as entire groups.

Anyway, all in all I find the game to be very good indeed and would buy it now, even in its early stage! :)

Right, I had best get on with some painting. :)

Re: Pluck Playtest Questions

Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:21 pm
by Charles Eckart
It seems we view Force Morale differently. To me it means the troops morale is dropping and they are going to ground or edging away from the fight without their unit leaders able to motivate them.

Purposely calling off a battle is for me a decision made by the senior commander (the player) before Force Morale drops to zero and the decision is made for him by the troops.

With regular forces on both sides as in CoC Force Morale could work the same for both sides. The Boers really aren't regular, disciplined troops and I haven't read of English troops giving up a fight on their own in any of the large battles in Pluck.

If Force Morale is retained there should be different conditions for British and Boers. If politics are to be considered perhaps something like the political victory used in CDS should be adapted. Politics might influence the CIC (player) to end the battle but the decision should not be taken out of his hands.

I hope Rich looks in and comments on his view of Force Morale to clarify it.

Re: Pluck Playtest Questions

Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:50 pm
by agent_pumpkin
I really like the idea of a political edge to Pluck in the same way as it appears in CDS.