Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Flames of War Tournament App 2.01

With the permission of Joe Krone and with his guidance, I have begun work on a new official Flames of War Tournament app.  Yes to go along with the other umpteen FoW projects I have on the go.  Do I love this game or what?

The reason being is I could never get the old one to work on a windows 7 machine.  And even when I did get it to work on an old XP machine, there were...issues.  Plus it uses access...who develops with access anyway?  Actually whom ever did it, this was probably they only "database" (i use the term loosely when talking about Access) they had available.  No offense to whom ever took the time to build it, but I've never liked access.  And since I'm a professional developer, I might as well put my skills to use for the game I love.

What I'd really like to see in the long run is a web based one, where clubs can log into, and battlefront could keep a central database for all tournaments run around the world.  But I'll start with a stand alone app for now. 

I've even been talking to Greg who built the AWESOME Easyarmy app.  There could be some potential to integrate the 2 apps in the future. 

I've got a pretty good start on it.  I'm going by the old app as much as I can as a model.  Then I will change and add features.  Hopefully when I'm done we'll have something that Battlefront will be proud of, and we can all use.

The tricky part is a portable database that isn't Access.  I have a lot of experience with SQL, and you can't exactly have a portable version of SQL Server...or can you? Why yes you can.  I spent the past weekend setting this all up.  So, we are off and running.

What I would like to do is hear what people liked and hated about the old one.  Maybe even some suggestions of what people would like to see.  If some people would like to even be testers, you could send me your e-mail address.  Just remember Battlefront and Joe Krone have final say on everything.  And I realized a long time ago you'll never make everyone happy.  Your lucky if you ever make one person totally happy.  So, please don't take offense if your ideas aren't used.  I'll always do whats best for the app.

One of the biggest issues for developers is things never work in deployment the same as they do in development.  So half the battle is just getting the app to install on different machines.

Post ideas and suggestions here and/or send me your e-mail address.

ckopciuch (at) sasktel (dot) net

I'd especially like to hear from Steve and the WWPD guys.  I know they have some development experiance in their group and have lots of tournament experience.

Once Joe gives me the go ahead I will also start looking for testers. 

You can follow the progress on the FOW App Page.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rules Nazi Q&A

Well I didn't realize you couldn't post comments on a separate page.   You can only put comments on a post.

So thought I better start a 'Post', where people could ask me rules questions.

If its a quick answer, I'll stick it on here, if its worthy, I'll make an entire episode.
If you would like to see something covered here, then let me know.

I may have to do Artillery next.

Some people seem to think you can stack all your hits on to one target, and that you can't apply hits to bailed out vehicles first, when in fact you can.  They seem to think ALL regular shoot rules apply, when they don't. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Campaign Part II - Weather System and Turns

This is just a starting point.

So far, looks like I'll do 6 turns per year.
I'll expand it as I iron out how things work.

2d6 Jan/Feb Mar/Apr May/Jun Jul/Aug Sep/Oct Nov/Dec
2 Storm/Blizzard Storm/Blizzard Rain/Snow Storm/Blizzard Rain/Snow Storm/Blizzard
3 Storm/Blizzard Rain/Snow Windy Overcast Rain/Snow Rain/Snow
4 Rain/Snow Windy Overcast Clear Windy Rain/Snow
5 Windy Overcast Clear Clear Overcast Rain/Snow
6 Overcast Clear Clear Clear Clear Overcast
7 Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear
8 Overcast Clear Clear Clear Clear Overcast
9 Windy Overcast Clear Clear Overcast Rain/Snow
10 Rain/Snow Windy Overcast Clear Overcast Rain/Snow
11 Storm/Blizzard Rain/Snow Windy Overcast Rain/Snow Rain/Snow
12 Storm/Blizzard Rain/Snow Rain/Snow Storm/Blizzard Rain/Snow Storm/Blizzard

Weather Effects
Clear - no effect
Overcast - Roll 2 aircraft dice for number of planes, take lowest.
Windy - Start with 2 fewer air support dice, -12" from Arty Range
Rain/Snow - No Aircraft, Reduce Terrain by 1 level*, Night Fighting Rules (-1)**
Storm/Blizzard, No Aircraft, Night Fighting Rules (-2)**, Reduce terrain by 1 level*.

* If Terrain is Road - becomes cross-country.
Cross-country - becomes difficult
Difficult - becomes very difficult
Very Difficult - Becomes Impassable.

** Use Night fighting rules, but British Night Attacks abilities have no effect.
NEW - (?) number in the brackets is the penalty to visibility dice roll. 

EDIT - removed the arty range penalty after some comments on the forum.  added a shorter visibility instead.

Feel free to make suggestions.  Again this is just a prelim to get things started.
try to keep simple for now. 

For those  that maybe don't play many other board games, I'll explain why I didn't give high dice rolls the better weather.  With 2 dice, the odds are you more likely roll in the middle of the 2-12 range.  2 and 12 probably being the most rare rolls.  Thus increasing the chances of getting clear weather.


I like the idea of real time where guys can declare battles any time they want.  But then you run into problems where some players have more time then others.

So thought I would take a page out of the European board games and rotate turn order.

Turn 1
Player 1
Player 2
Player 3
Player 4
Player 5

Turn 2
Player 2
Player 3
Player 4
Player 5
Player 1

and so on.

Each player could declare 1 battle per turn, or spend VP's to pass.
Maybe even spending VP's to move up or down positions. 

You could also add the real time in for diplomacy and such.  Give players a week to talk to each other.
But so far it looks like it will be 6 turns per year....think I said that already. ;)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hetzers Phase 3

Here is Phase 3.  Adding the green

And then the Great Reveal.  This was a bit tricky.  But no paint really pealed off with the sticky tac.  Except maybe a bit on some edges where highlights will go anyway.

Now I just have to add the triangles.  Here is a sneak peak at Phase 4  I tried using a "stamp" idea with an eraser, but it didn't work very well.  So, i'm down to using a brush.  This is going to take a while. But, this is working pretty well, so I may try this on some Panthers.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Rules Nazi Episode IX - More Turret BS

I'd just come across a very disturbing rule regarding Turrets.

I'm sure we all know already how much I hate the 180 turret rules. I'm actually OK with them now for simplicity. I'd still prefer the 90 degree arc.

But whats disturbing, maybe even more so then Phils use of 'another', is I came across a rule I hadn't realized before. Probably because there is almost never a reason to turn your turret and it just doesn't happen.

I was paroozing the forum, and came across a question about slow traverse. The person who answered said it was measured from the hull. I KNEW he was totally out to lunch. But figured I'd better look it up just to be sure. To my shock, he was correct. You measure the penalties for both Slow Traverse and Limited Vision from the front of the HULL, and not the Turret like I'd assumed.

So what you say?

Well, lets say there is a target behind my Tiger tank. I decide to rotate my turret to shoot at him, exposing my flank because of a rotated turret. I suffer a +1 to hit for slow traverse...ok fine.

Slow Traverse Penalty

Next turn. I can do 1 of 2 things. #1 - I can turn my turret back to the front shooting at the target in front, and NOT receiving a +1 penalty for slow traverse. (yes apparently the turret turns faster going back to the front)

#2 - I can keep my turret facing and shoot at the same target (or another one behind), but I would STILL incur the +1 slow traverse penalty.

Makes absolutely no sense to me.

Penalty should change to IS-2

I even checked the MALFTF, and sure enough Phil says working as intended. I can't fathom how.

One response I imagined someone claiming is that the game is in constant motion its not static...
(After i wrote this the very next answer was in fact this)

yes, I'm all for that...but then on my enemies turn he should not get a flank shot for a turned turret.

Someone's actually response was KISS...I think we are beyond KISS when are 'mini' rule book is 164 pages and our 'errata' is 143 pages. Plus you already have to measure turret angles with the flank shots.

The other thing I noticed is that the Slow traverse attribute is listed on the Main Gun, and limited vision is listed under vehicle attributes.

Almost like they were suppose to be different even though they are the exact same rule. I'm not even sure why they would be listed in different spots. Hull mounted guns can't shoot behind the 180 arc anyway.

Maybe limited vision would work with the hull.  Maybe they can see frontwards better because the driver and radio man face front or something?
But Slow Traverse should most definitely be from the front of turret, since what they are saying here is the turret turns slow.
Thats my guess as to why they are listed differently.

I can't imagine why this shouldn't be the turret 180 arc...if anyone else knows please enlighten me.

Someone suggested to me the other day that I should rewrite the book as a side project. I'm pretty sure I can make a clearer rule book in less then 307 pages with out changing any of the rules.

Hetzers Phase 2

Began phase 2 of the Hetzers.

Applied 2nd color (Dunkelgrau).

And Applied 2nd layer of sticky tac.

I'll probably add the green (Olivgr├╝n) tonight.

Then the tricky part of pealing all the sticky tac off. Little bit nervous. If this wasn't for commission I wouldn't care.