To contact us:

Wednesday Night Gamers of Alexandria

Del Stover (President for Life)

DelStover@WNGA.org

WEDNESDAY NIGHT GAMERS OF ALEXANDRIA

More on our Historicon Games

Here’s a little background of some of the games we’ll be hosting in July.

Silence on Rigel VI

T-160, Thurs 7 p.m.

 

Players: 4, Hours: 3, Scale: 25mm, Period: Sci-fi, Rules: Tabletop Battle System, GM: Del Stover, Sponsor: Wednesday Night Gamers of Alexandria

 

Uh, oh. Your Imperial Guard squad must have ticked off a senior officer. A scientific outpost of the Adeptus Mechanicus has gone silent. That spells trouble. Almost as bad, a tech priest of Mars is joining the mission, and your orders are to provide “all assistance possible.” Life is grim in the 40th Millennium. Play will take place on a dedicated, diorama-quality game table seen in the February 2010 issue of Wargames Illustrated and accompanied by video briefings, movie clips, and other special effects. Learn more about our game—and table—at www.wnga.org.

 

 

Less Dice—And More Tactics

 

Our sci-fi game at FALL IN! 2009

worked well. Part movie adventure,

part role-playing game, and part

wargame, the three-hour event needs

little fixing. The games went right to the

last turn, with some groups surviving

and others completely wiped out.

 

The best part was that tactical decisions

played a huge role in how the games

ended.

 

Still, there’s always room for improve-

ment. At FALL IN!, we used a simple combat system: assuming no modifiers, a human soldier required a 4+ on a d6 to hit his target—and a 4+ to wound it.

 

After hours of play it struck us that, after a bit of sophisticated third-grade math, that the likelihood of causing a wound was 1 in 4 (25%).

 

That got us thinking. Could we

simply our combat system even

more? Could we halve the die r

olling of players (and move our

games along more quickly) by

modifying the combat rules to

combine both rolls into a single

d8 roll?

 

The answer was Yes. If we

require a soldier to roll a 7+ on

a d8, then that also is a 1 in 4

chance of wounding.

 

A public education is a wonderful

thing.

 

When we started playing with

our modifiers, the probabilities

didn’t convert quite as perfectly.

Under the old system, players

received a +2 to the d6 roll to

hit if the target was at close

range. That mean you needed

only a 2+ to hit and a 4+ to wound, which if my math is correct (5/6 x 1/2 = 5 out of 12) works out to a 42.5% chance of wounding.

 

Using a d8 system, and a +1 modifier, then rolling a 6, 7, or 8 is a 3 in 8 chance (37.5%) to wound.

 

Okay, that’s not equivalent. But the two reults are within 5%. And, as there’s no historical data to prove me wrong, I now say the accuracy of a 41st Century lasgun is 37.5%. Sue me.

 

Also, the point of any rules set is to encourage tactical thinking by players. So, if you’ve a 25% chance of killing a nasty 15-foot-tall bug at long range—and a 37.5% chance at close range, which do you choose?

 

Personally, I’d fire at long range—if I’ll also get to shoot again at short range. The more the merrier, I say.

 

But what if I only have five rounds left—and the bug is in cover? I might decide I need to conserve ammo and wait for the best shot I can.

 

A similar decision-making dilemma surrounds our modifier for firing while moving. If two figures move, they suffer a -1 to wound on a d8. That means each needs an 8 on a d8. Together, they have only a 1 in 4 (25%) chance of wounding a bug (1-in-8 chance x 2 = 2 in 8 = 1 in 4).

 

But if they leapfrog through one another—with one moving while one stands back, the odds increase to 37.5% (1-in-8 and 2-in-8 = 3-in-8).

 

So the new system does its job. It eliminates half the die rolls that players will make. And the modifiers reward players for certain tactics; it forces them to make decisions.

 

And that, ultimately, is what wargaming is all about.