Frontline Control v2.0

dzc_frontlineControl_map2The Endgame Sept. ‘15 tournament was a major test for my competitive mission Frontline Control.  Here are some earlier version as well as the latest for your review

Both with and without me, it was tested leading up to the event and has received positive reviews.  No one has specifically talked about it post tournament, but there is much discussion over rural terrain which I will discuss at length in a separate post.  Though it was on a pure rural board at the tournament it received testing in cities as well leading up to it.  One hole in testing has been a lack of Scourge players.  As none turned up at the tournament, I have yet to hear about this scenario being played by Scourge.  I cannot see them having any problem related directly to the scenario, but still, it needs to be played.

Some results of this scenario from the Tournament are as follows:

  • Resistance vs Resistance 20-0
  • PHR vs Resistance 5-15
  • Shaltari vs UCM 16-4
  • UCM vs UCM 8-12
  • PHR vs UCM 5-15

The major goal of this scenario was to prevent the Shaltari from grabbing all the focal points at the last second and/or grabbing objectives faster than anyone else.  This goal has been accomplished.  By breaking scoring up into the second half of the game players have to commit earlier or their opponent will gain a significant lead.  This did not result in Shaltari unable to compete as with the 8” bands stretching across the table there was still plenty of room to gate about.  It also means big heavy units have to be confronted.  A typical strategy of playing against a Hades is to ignore and avoid, but when it can sit at the center of the table and contribute a lot to winning the central band, a player must devise a strategy of either outweighing its points or removing it.

There are some things I want to change, notably the scoring being stretched over 3 turns.  It may seem counter intuitive to change that which I just previously praised, but for this to really settle in with the game it has to happen.  Hawk is continuing to re-balance their game with key tenets in mind, one of which is the 6 turn game.  The score can get pretty high when things are scored for 3 turns rather than 1.  I got around this by having players halve the margin of victory, rounding down, and using this number to consult the Hawk Tournament scoring, but this is clunky and doesn’t fit with the rest of the scenarios.  I also feel that counting kill points for 3 turns rather than just the last one may act as a deterrent for others to give the scenario a shot.  In practice, determining who controls each 8” band is not difficult, but one less reason to try it will help it gain acceptance outside of my own locality.

So out with the old, but in with some new.  As mentioned previously, the original write up did not specify units to count as scoring, and this came up when it was being tested and I was not present.  Luckily, some there were familiar with the scenario having played me and cleared it up, and I was notified and made corrections to the sheet.  It had been a consideration of letting all units score like they do in Ground Control, and now I plan to begin testing that.  With the turn 6 scoring, and possibly aircraft scoring, I see this scenario as a descendant of Ground Control and Encroachment, which again should help it fit right in with the other scenarios given to us by Hawk.

I encourage all to give this a try.  It has been played by all factions, except Scourge, with even results and positive feedback.  It has been brought more in line with what already exists in the game by doing away with the 3 turn scoring and the clunky margin of victory calculation.  There is more testing to be done to see if allowing aircraft to score is an improvement or if it is good as is.  If you are looking for a new slobber-knocker of a scenario to test your might look no further than Frontline Control!

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8 thoughts on “Frontline Control v2.0

  1. I still think you can get a way with scoring in mid game. Focal points are only one aspect of the point system. All other are giving scores mid game if you succeed. I think you could do as the swedes do with scoring turn 3 and 6. Then just half it. It forces fast armies to commit while slow need to move by their dropships. We have found it works wonder.

    Regarding scoring in normal focal points if the focal points are not placed in buildings one player can get up to 10 points which is almost 5-7 points more than players tend to get in targets of opportunities. So we already have the missions that gives away lots and lots of points.

    We have come to a place in DZC where you actually can take a single mission and vary it with lots of options;
    Only infantry inside buildings can score.
    Dropships may score as well.
    All buildings are bunkers
    All buildings are armour 8.
    Rural terrain only.
    Scoring only in turn 6.
    Scoring in turn 3 or 4 and 6.

    My point being that you will most likely not change the game balance as much as the missions available in the tournament pack anyway (it is a very large difference playing a demolisher army in bunker assault Vs targets of opportunities) so I think the same mission can be varied a lot.

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    • Some of it may be from early tests where for a bit I was seeing margins of victory of 9 often. Though someone could win 5 FP and win 10-0 it isn’t likely. Perhaps it’s the same case here, where the more people play for scoring on multiple turns the less the difference in score becomes. I’ll admit part of it is pandering to get it more widely accepted, and possibly even stamped official. I did feel it was an issue for newer players who are still coming to grasps with the rules. Also the Hawk Tournament scoring isn’t readily grasped by all, so adding in another piece of arithmetic just confuses people more. Suppose it could be reworded to only give half points so the division is done by the end… but now I’m ranting.

      Thanks for the feedback and vote of confidence.

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    • Many want it to score on 4 and 6, I guess so there can be re-positioning during 5? I prefer 4,5, and 6 to decrease chance of draw, but drawing does seem to be an accepted part of the Tournament game, so maybe I should come off it.

      I’m not even sure if it will be run again, so anyone that is playing it can play it however they want. Until it gets stamped official it’s just some fanboy’s homebrew.

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  2. I like the idea of scoring on turns 4 and 6, too.

    What we’ve found with our “Battlefront” custom scenario is that while the scores can get very high scoring on turns 2, 4 and 6 (end of all Even turns), the difference in VPs between the players generally isn’t that high. So the resulting Hawk Tournament Scores won’t be too skewed, either.

    We’ll give this a try and see how it goes, and if folks like it I’ll run it in a future tournament with whatever scoring method we end up liking the best out of our internal playtesting…

    We’re always looking for new and different scenarios to mix things up a bit and eliminate the randomness of some of them; we run events so frequently that we end up churning thru the standard ones pretty fast, so to keep things fresh we’ve been incorporating some custom ones. I like the idea of your “Bunker Strike”, too, that’s a mild variation in the standard Surging Strike/Bunker Assault ones that could prove fresh…

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    • The early games probably got big scores b/c one player rushed forward too fast and got blown up.

      Besides your scenario, I’ve wanted to try things like Targets but use secure the flanks deployment. Or run Recon w/ all small buildings, or all bunkers. Those last two would be hard to implement for an event.

      thanks for reply

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