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First Playtest


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Ok, finally got to playtest a little bit last night up at the Asylum with Mad Pat and Tobascoman.


Took us a while to get started (cause we were to busy talking). And unfortunately, we only got in a few rounds because my wife decided that me being home to help put the kids to bed was more important (I'll have to figure out a way to get around that one in the future meets).


So, obviously, my observations are going to be limited at this point, but since I did get to pick the brain's straight from Pat while we did the playing, I did forma few opinions.


First, to let you know we playtested with the following changes:


1. no back arc

2. all models got a +1 DV to see how much it changed things.

3. we played without the defensive fire against Indirect attacks.


Ok, with that in mind, my thoughts (some will have opinions, others just observations):


1. With all shots doing only one point of damage (before SAs or instances) the game starts out much slower since you can't just rush across the board and make a kill right away.


2. Since linked counts for defensive fire, you still have to be very careful who your little guys attack. Oh and don't forget about the units with counterbattery too.


3. There needs to be a rule that states that you cant use strike instances in the first 2 turns of play. Otherwise I see rules abuse with everyone throwing out a free 12 inch battery strike the first turn against the enemy's starting edge. Tobasco man called in a battry strike right away before my units really had a chance to disperse and if it weren't for bad rolling could have seriously hurt me before I had even really started the game. It also brought up the question (that Pat will be discussing with the rest of the CAV masterminds about) related to if you must layout the proposed marker (and not just the impact point) before rolling drift or after. In this case, it was a 12 inch shapeable battery strike marker. Had he laid out how he wanted it shaped before he rolled drift, it could have saved several of my units from even having to make a roll due to the length of drift that he missed the impact point. But, since it was 12 inches (with a 3-inch buffer for AoE) and we had it where he could lay it out after determining drift, he was still able to encompass all my units in the area.


4. I have mixed opinions on some of the DV values, but I think that was effected by our using the +1DV across the board. I don't feel that infantry should have that high of a DV value, but then again I don't feel that they should be a one hit and kill either.


5. It takes a while to remember that if you fire indirect, you get +6 inches to your listed range band.


6. I am so used to pre-measuring to decide on my victim, that it was strange to play without it. But, I can see where that is a possible timesaver. And don't really have any beefs with it.


7. Adding to #4, I still think that something needs to be addressed related to the "little guys" being able to attack the big guys. We noticed al thru our short game that the little guys, infantry all the way thru the lighter CAVs really couldnt attack a Super. They pretty much had to have perfect 10s every time as the only way to do it. Not saying that they need to be able to hit all the time, but needs to be a little better than what it is. And no, I don't know what the correct way of doing it is.


8. Don't make a big deal out of the unlimited range bands. Unless you are a super, or are taking advantage of an SA or instant (like Thumper), you aren't ever really going to hit anything outside of your listed range. We were only hitting about 25%-30% of the time as it was inside our primary range band, so trying to hit something in further bands would have been laughable. Of course, like I said we were playing with the +1DV tho too.


9. Although, personally, I like the idea of having the back arc, I would say the +1 bonus that you get for attacking someone's rear arc, should only be if you are attacking with a direct fire weapon. Indirect weapons drift too much (or are purposefully aimed for the rear). With the reduction of action phases down to 2 instead of the 3, it makes a huge difference. Even with the RaG, you only get a single shot instead of multiple shots, and its at -2. So, for those few tacticians who are able to get there smaller guys (see #7) in the rear arc of an enemy, I think that direct fire should get that small bonus. The only problem I see is the rules lawyers who will be pulling out their protractors to make sure that you are within the 60-90 degree rear angle.


10. Rally should take an action, but should not take a combat action. I had 3 different troops that disembarked out of their transports, get that auto-shaken token, and really never had a chance to rally because I needed them to shoot from the get-go. If I didn't want to drop them inside of their first range band to the enemy (which I don't see me ever really doing) then I could waste the turn rallying.





Overall, I had a blast. I think its going to be a great game. There is defnitely more learning curve and the game is definitely slower (in terms of both more thinking required and less kills per round) than CAV 1, but looks like once you get used to it, that it is probably going to be more enjoyable because even though it keeps (and maybe even enhances) the attitude of rock, paper, scissors, it also increases dramatically the on field tactics that are required.

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Here is a question for other playtesters...


For the RaG (Run and Gun), do you think it is enough of a penalty that the unit doing the RaG can only fire a single shot? Or do you like the -2 penalty that also comes with it.


Especially when the defensive fire shot coming back wil be at full strength (the defense has a better chance to hit the attacker than the attacker has of hitting the defense)



I am still a little on the fence with this one.


The question is in regards solely to opinions on the -2 penalty, not the other parts of RaG.


I think I would like to playtest at a -1 instead of -2 and see how that makes a difference.


The reason being, as stated above, we were playing slow enough as it was and missing enough that it seems that the only way to hit anything (unless you are a super or have a beneficial SA like Hunter) is to basically do a half move, sit still and fire.

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3. we played without the defensive fire against Indirect attacks.


This is actually not true, I personally chose not to take a few of my defensive fire shots when attacked by indirect to help speed things up abit. And poor Tabasco had the math of range/shooting at a T-Bird going against him. He actually wanted to take his defensive attacks against the T-Bird, but after figuring the range mod of -2 to his 3 rav gave him a rav of 1, attempting to beat a DV of effectively a 14 after modifiers meant he had to roll a perfect 10 which wouldn't have worked sense he was outside his first range band.


Mad Pat

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1) That just makes concentrating your firepower even more important than it was in CAV1. Choose your targets wisely.


2) While we initially had some concerns that a single defensive fire attack would be very limiting, we've also found that some of the special abilities makes those single attacks very much worthwhile.


3) No One has been that sneaky yet. I think that you should probably lay out areas of effect before drift as those coordinates will be determined when the fire mission is called in Battery strike is very powerful. It has a maximum of 72 sq. in. of table coverage if it's layed out in a straight line, and essentially a base RAV of 5. The only Model that even begins to approach that kind of indirect firepower has an AOE that only covers a little more than 28 sq. in. The biggest non-strike AOE's are only about 2/3 the size of Battery Strike and most of those are relatively low RAV's. I have a felling this is going to need to be toned down or cost a great deal of points.


4) Bear in mind that increasing DV by 1 essentially lowers your chance to hit by a flat 10%. It might be worthwhile to start considering which individual units need to be adjusted.


5) We actually have a big sign in red marker on the tablle reminding us of this.


6) That all comes from experience. Most of the games I play don't allow pre-measuring, so it wasn't a big change for me. CAV was the exception before, now it's just falling in line.


7) I think that calling a Super-Cav the same thing as a Light Cav in terms of Cover and Line of sight is silly. I've been considering instituting a maximum cover bonus for supers of +1.


8) See my point on #4. That 10% change makes a big difference here as well.


9) I'm against the rear arc on principle, but I'm finding it doesn't make a big difference in the games we've played. If one of the goals of the new edition is to speed up play, why add the step to check for that small bonus.


10) I would agree if it wasn't for the Assault special ability. There are plenty of choices to let you take infantry that don't have to worry about it.

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3. we played without the defensive fire against Indirect attacks.


This is actually not true, I personally chose not to take a few of my defensive fire shots when attacked by indirect to help speed things up abit. And poor Tabasco had the math of range/shooting at a T-Bird going against him. He actually wanted to take his defensive attacks against the T-Bird, but after figuring the range mod of -2 to his 3 rav gave him a rav of 1, attempting to beat a DV of effectively a 14 after modifiers meant he had to roll a perfect 10 which wouldn't have worked sense he was outside his first range band.


Mad Pat

That brings up an interesting question. How long does "Scan to fire"Stay in effect? Just for the platoon in question's attacks or for the duration of the overall action phase. I aske because if the T-Bird had been the subject of Scan to Fire, the Range band would have doubled and that -2 would have gone away.


Also, for run-and-gun, since that's you're only attack action, I would think that being in motion during the attack Could also provide some sort of modifier against defensive shots. The way it stands now I don't see Run-n-Gun being worthwhile unless you also combine it with a salvo which could give you up to three direct attacks at -2.

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You and I were having a discussion and I really couldnt figure out the best way to say what I had on my mind. I still don't know what the best way to get to the results that I would like to see, but at least thru writing the posts above, I have been able to figure out how I wanted to say what I meant last night....


Here goes...


You had said that one line of thinking is that on an even scale (super vs super, heavy vs heavy, inf vs inf etc....) there was the line of thinking that there should be about a to hit ratio of about 30%.


I said I thnk it should be about 40%. But, then I couldn't really justify the rest of my jumbled thoughts, until now..


First, disclaimer, I am not a math or statistics guy, so these are all generalities, no one get hung up on the numbers I use, but instead concentrate on the spirit with which I use them..


The reason I feel that it should be 40% is for the same reason that I kinda ranted up in those posts above. The Big guy is always going to have an advantage shooting the little guy, both from the point of view of the RAV values, as well as the DTs difference (only has to hit a infantry once to kill it etc.). I understand that, and don't have a problem with that. They should since of course thats why they are the big guys and cost more points to get....



At 30% flat line (little guy verses little guy before Ranged Combat Sit Mods), the ratio of little guy hitting the big guy would be 10-20% (due to the difference of little guy's RAV vs big guy's DV). Throw in those RCSMs and most of the time (as was the case with our game last night) that ratio goes down another 10-20% meaning that the little guy gets to hit a big guy only about -10 to 10 % of the time.


Sure infantry against infantry will would be that 30% going down to 10-20% which as long as it were true on both sides would remain fair and even.


For big guys shooting infantry, they start at about 40-50% due to higher RAVs for the shooters, lower DVs for the targets, etc... After the figured in RCSMs they would still have a 25-35% of hitting the little guy (and really killing it too since they have less DTs).


The higher ratio for the big to little verses little to big is always going to hold true, and I know that. My arguement is that the percentage of hits little guys against big ones should be in the 20-30% AFTER the RCSMs come into play, not before. So that they have atleast a chance, that without SAs they really dont have now.



So, my end result is, somehow need to figure out how to boost little guy's percentages up about 10-15% while keeping the big guys in the same place.


And that is my $0.02



Hope that I kept my head straight thru all of that...

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couple things as far as artillery goes to me it seems right, the first hit helps gauge the wind and drift allowing the subsequent hits to be on target. as far as small cavs against big ones, i think its fine. thats why there are superiority cavs, dictators eat big cavs thats their job. just gotta use the right tools for the right jobs.

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You are right, Dictators work well. But I don't consider a Dictator a "little guy". You are talking more about the flat line that I mentioned at the beginning.


And don't get me wrong. I think overall everything played well, and enjoyed it.


Like I said in my summation, my thoughts were on how we could raise the little guy vs big guy percentages just a little without changing any of the other ratios.


I guess that all comes thru the SAs and instants. Hey, can you RaG but instead of firing a weapon, invoke an SA (wrecker, sniper, barrage, etc..) or even instants in the case of infantry?

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We've been playing that Run-n-Gun is like an attack action in all respects except you may only make a single basic direct fire attack, based on something Pat said in one of the original CAV 2 Beta threads.. All of your Special Abilities should still be usable. The only thing I wouldn't allow during run-n-gun is using Invoke Special Ability to activate an Instant, because that's technically not an attack.

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