7 thoughts on “Blocks and Combat

  1. Why do artillery blocks fire? Obviously, because if they didn’t no one would have ever had the thought to ask why they do it that way.

  2. I tend to think that Besinque’s designs cast a long shadow and everyone tends to follow his lead in the block realm. There appears to be a slightly different market for block games that hex and chit. There’s a view that block games are for newer war gamers or people who don’t like chits and crts and all that crunchy stuff and so we have fist full of dice and use special abilities of individuals to drive the action rather than crts. If you have a crt you can do column shifts and stuff with the arty or aircraft, if you are simply rolling hits, then having everything roll hits perhaps makes more sense.

  3. I have a bit of a different take on this. I do think that Besinque’s design cast a long shadow as well. However that doesn’t mean he was wrong. In fact I think from a combat perspective he was very right. Artillery does come before any other combat in a battle and is used to soften up the enemy before the troops go in. The way he does it the casualties come off and give the assaulting troops a better chance going in. In MOST block games we are dealing with larger size formations than in TCS or even SCS.

    FAB is an exception but the artillery here is not a block. It is a supporting counter. I do not remember how this works and I am not saying that in every type of game that you should use artillery as a loss before combat HOWEVER the effect of artillery should hamper your opponent in some way in his counter attack or his assault. Artillery on the modern battle field can be used to break up an attack to great effect. It is frankly terrifying to come under Arty fire in the open or even in light cover when assaulting. As a platoon Sgt. this is where your Leadership skills are put to the greatest test.

    • agreed, but why are defenders defending first… in fact why is this not the same in hex and counter. How did block games branch here and why?

      • 1. Defenders not defending first. Artillery is not something you can counter until it hits you. It is coming from range and is a surprise. You can counter battery but this will come after the initial artillery fire.
        I am not sure which block game you are looking at but not all of them have the defender shooting first. I think if they are this would be incorrect depending on scale and situation. Again not all block games are the exact same. Many miniature games do this as well though. Static fire comes first. Which I can see a point for again when making an actual assault as opposed to a ranged attack.

        2 Why is this not the same in Hex and Counter war Games? I think the best way to answer that is that hex and counter games are usually modelling combat at a different scale. I think the way they handle artillery is not done very well though and would argue that block game model it better.

        3. The following is not completely fact but what I think is fact because I don’t know every block game ever designed. Columbia Games is the largest of the Block Manufacturers. Their design opinion is, I know this to be true, lets not reinvent the wheel here. If you submit a design to them it will follow many of their basic block combat principles or not get published by them. Other designers have looked at that formula too. But besides Tom Dalgliesh there just aren’t that many block game designers out there. I think he really started this trend and people have followed him. How Tom came up with the formula I do not know. I only know the things I have gleaned from his son Grant which I have shared.

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