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Here, Ray Weiss opines and makes probably incorrect assumptions about wargame design.

Destroy All Monsters!

Introducing the Destroy All Monsters Operational Series of Games

A Sub-Series of Conflict Simulations LLC’s 2140 Series.

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The Destroy All Monsters Operational Series (DAMOS) is a rules-engine for simulating WW2 at either an operational or strategic level. Each game by itself covers a theater, or period of WW2. Nearly all of the games will be stand-alone except for some of the campaign specific games that will tie disparate parts of the series together. The first in this sub-series of games is on Operation Barbarossa, Army Groups North, Center and South. When combined together, it simulates the entire 1941 campaign on the Eastern Front. A later expansion will cover years 1942-1944. Eventually, we would like to cover the entire war on both sides of the globe.

The main goal of this series is to create an intuitive, quick playing series that would appeal to the vast diaspora of WW2 wargamers that is neither too large a footprint nor a fortune. Players would be able to purchase games on the theaters they are interested in and pass on others. The following is a discussion of the combat mechanics which simulate engagements between forces (note, that a force is defined as a unit or a stack, most wargamers can follow what I’m talking about, sorry if you can’t.)

Combat in DAMOS is a straightforward process that involves both players totaling the number of opposing Strength Points (SP) in a single hex (all combat is in-hex at a scale of around 25 miles per hex) and then both rolling on a Combat Result Table (CRT). Those of you familiar with the combat procedure in 1812 will find this system to be similar but nevertheless different in several key ways. Both players roll 1-3 six-sided dice depending on the number of SP present in a hex modifying the roll in 2 different ways.

The attacker modifies dependent on the Movement Points (MP) spent on attack planning, during the movement phase, a step loss marker is temporarily used to mark either 1 or 2 mp spent on an individual combat. The defender modifies his die roll dependent on the terrain they are occupying and any hexside terrain the attacker is crossing. Attacking across a bridge generates positive CRT shifts for the defender possibly allowing them to roll more dice on the attack. Air Support grants a CRT shift for either side along with allowing the player to reroll a single d6 during combat. Individual games may also grant additional combat shifts or DRM for various aspects of support and auxiliary attachments.

    Design wise, this is done to introduce a full spectrum of probabilities to combat. Lower numbers of units will grant a more unpredictable result (1d6) whereas higher numbers of units generate bell curves (2-3d6). CRT results are given in Loss Points (suffered by the highest SP unit in a force) which players mark with Step Loss markers (each SP is the equivalent of 1 step). A winner/loser is determined by comparing losses (defender winning ties unless a ♥ or ♦ card suit symbol indicates otherwise). The loser is forced to retreat 2-3 hexes, but if defending across a bridge or in a major city, they may absorb those retreat results through further step losses.

Working CRT

Working CRT

This approach allows for the game to accurately and quickly simulate maneuvers at an operational level by using strategic pacing. In-hex combat also cancels an Enemy Zone of Control (EZOCs) allowing units to run buckwild passed engaged units. Using otherwise established movement and supply rules allows players the freedom of operational games while encouraging players to follow similar strategies that were used historically. As with most of my games, I strive for an immersion in-game that allows players to forget they are playing a game and presented with the same choices, problems and considerations as their historical counterpart (army level commanders).

Once I figure out how, I will be putting up a poll to determine the next games in the DAMOS series. So far, we are still on track for a late Jan release, at worst early Feb. A special thank you to all of you who have pre-ordered the game so far and I hope this gets you excited about what is to come.

With love

Ray Weiss - CEO of Conflict Simulations LLC

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