Now in various stages of delivery to retail stores all over the country are Avalon Hill's two new games: Kriegspiel and The Stock Market Game. Subscribers will soon receive complete descriptive literature on both titles in our annual Spring mailing. Direct orders will be honoured starting April 1 - not before. However, most stores will have these titles in stock during most of March.
The GENERAL Vol.7,No.2 The Question Box - Kriegspiel, The Battle of the Bulge
The GENERAL Vol.7,No.3 Kriegspiel – “Game Theory, Attrition, & the Kriegspiel Battle Tables” (Discussion) T.A. Brown
Many appealing features of Kriegspiel is the new Battle Table, which resolves combat with a matrix game in place of the roll of a die. Th: theory cf matrix games is explained very simply in J. D. Williams'. "The Complete Strategyst." (McGrew·1·1il1, 1954), and in more depth in M. Dresher‘s, "Games of Strategy. Theory and Application" (Prentice-Hall, 1961). In this article we shall apply this theory to analyse battles in which both sides are primarily interested in the difference between their losses and those of the enemy; in the relative attrition. of' course, in actual plays of Kriegspiel there are many other factors which affect the players’ decisions in a particular combat: Capturing a city,
annihilating special forces and airborne units, cutting a line of communication, capturing a key position, and speeding up or retarding the pace of combat may all affect a player's decision in ¤ particular combat. Indeed, the game would quickly lose interest if optimal play could he reduced to a mathematical formula Nevertheless, serious players should be interested in what constitutes optimal play in single battles from the standpoint of attrition only. Let's suppose that an armoured division (corn but factor 8) attacks an infantry division (combat factor 4) in the open. If "D-Elim" results then the attacker loses nothing and the defender loses 4 factors, so the net gain to the attacker is +4. If "A-Elim, D-Elim" results, the net gain to the attacker is -4; and so on. The net gains may be tabulated as follows:
Putting to use such "discoveries" has been one of the major benefits of organisations such as the IFW of which Gary Gygax is a long-standing member, Spartan International, St. John's UMSC, and Poultron Press. These organisations are well equipped and geared to consolidate bits and pieces of design ideas into amateur wargames of their own. Among the many respected games developed within the ranks of the IFW is "Fight in the Skys" which has been displayed annually at the Lake Geneva Conventions becoming an integral part of their tournament programs. Other amateur designs are so numerous that it would be difficult to name an historical area around which no one has designed a passable game. There is certainly no shortage of qualified wargame designers. Many such games, of course, follow traditional patterns of design. A few don'!. And it is these designs that have formed the basis of Poultron Press' (publisher of S&T Magazine) Test Series Games. Resident designers James F. Dunnigan and Redmond Simonsen, along with a host of qualified staff editors, are quite adopt at molding fragments of outstanding design ideas into games that are fresh and original. Not all of their games make it. But those that do are often germinated by amateurs who submit their own ideas at random.
As Gygax recently pointed out, "the next time you and your friends are discussing wargame ideas, make a note of the novel ones; who knows what will develop. Your notion about improving wargaming may be just the innovation a game Publisher is looking for." The Matrix matrimony has certainly proved this point for Avalon Hill . ..
The calculation of values and optimal strategies depends on the forces engaged and whether or not the defence factors are doubled. Such calculations are not always easy. Therefore Kriegspielers who wish to use the concepts of game theory in formulating their war-plans should End the accompanying table of values and optimal strategics fur various typical encounters quite useful. The optimal strategies are, in most cases. not unique. For example, if two infantry divisions attack a single infantry division in the open, any strategy which gives equal probabilities to "Ass:iu1t“ and “l31itz" is optimal.
Readers who detect errors in the table, or who have specific questions about the application of game theory to Kriegspiel. should write: me C/O Operations Research Branch, Land Combat Division, Fleet Air Arm, 4359 Camello Road, Woodland Hills, California 91364.
The GENERAL Vol.7,No.4 Kriegspiel – “Kriegspiel PBM” (Variant Discussion) L. Mitchell Wein
The last couple of months I've been using a PBM method that may interest Kriegspiel fans. This method eliminates the use of stocks and allows the defender almost the same strategic freedom as FTF. Attacker would fill in columns (a), (b), (c), (i), and (k) only. He would then record (d) for each attack No. on scrap paper and mail map sheet to defender. Defender would record actual defence A, B, C or D on map sheet in (e) for each attack No. The morning of the closing transaction date, simultaneously attacker would mail copy of (d) to defender and defender would mail map sheet to attacker. Attacker would then fill in (d), (g) and (h) and mail new map sheet (attacker's new positions filled in) to defender with the old map sheet. Units would be eliminated by attacker in attack No. l (defender units eliminated should match CRT results exactly if possible, otherwise units with lowest factors - but at least factors stated). Then attacker would execute movement for attack No. I. After resolving attack No. 1 completely, attack No. 2 would be started. Thus, even though attacker would know CRT results for all attacks before resolving any of them, each individual attack would be resolved in a manner similar to FTF. Required penalty - any letter postmarked one day later than the closing transaction date forfeits the game. Military mail should be mailed one day early due to late pickup.
The GENERAL Vol.9,No.2 The Question Box - Kriegspiel,
The GENERAL Vol.10,No.2 Kriegspiel – “Advanced Kriegspiel Theory” (Variant Discussion) Mike Shefler
Were forced to retreat two squares, or if it were already in its second step, then of course it would be eliminated anyway. B. Fortifications - Units flipped over to make a fort are not reduced in step (they may be turned right side up again if you decide to destroy the fort). For convenience in keeping track of which units have been reduced and which haven't, I suggest that units which have been reduced in strength not be permitted to make forts. Any unit may occupy a fort. C. Replacements - Replacements must be brought in at full strength. Thus, an 8-6 which had been reduced to a 4-5 and then eliminated must be brought in as an 8-6 at a cost of 8 replacement factors.
PRISONERS - The POW camp may be located anywhere in your home country on a non city square. If you capture your enemy's POW facility then your prisoners re-enter the game from that square, at their second step. Prisoners can escape from an un-garrisoned POW camp without outside help using the prisoner escape chart. However, if you roll the die for a prison break and it is unsuccessful, you must remove one of the prisoners to the dead pile. If there is an enemy unit on his POW camp, then your units cannot escape by themselves. Otherwise, use the following table. Prisoners which escape do so at the beginning of their turn and enter the game at their second step.
it was carrying are also destroyed. If the unit surrenders in battle, then it must also surrender the weapons to one of the attacking units, which may next turn carry these nuclear weapons back to their launching site. Captured nuclear weapons cannot be fired until the turn after they have been moved to their launching site.
Here are some optional rules which may be of interest to the wargamer who goes all-out for complexity.
Tactical Nuclear Weapons
Black 3-4's and Red 4-4's which are not special forces carry one short range tactical nuclear weapon (TNW) apiece. These TNW's have a range of three squares but may not be fired at a target which is in the zone of control of one of your units. They are fired after the movement portion of the turn. A die roll of 5 or 6 means that all units in the target square are eliminated and if it is a city square, it may not be used for supply or replacement purposes for one turn. A roll of 3 or 4 means all snits in the target lose one step and no movement is allowed through that square for one turn. A roll of 1 or 2 means the attack has no effect. Fortifications are protected enough from TNW's so that a roll of 1, 2, 5, or 6 has no effect, while a roll of 3 or 4 has the same effects as above. Each unit carrying TNW's may fire only once during the entire game, and if eliminated before they can fire, they lose the ability to do so, even if brought in again later in the game. To make up for the advantage that Red has under this rule (9 TNW's to 3 for Black), try starting both Red and Black with 14 units and/or giving Black one additional ICBM and two additional rockets in his initial nuclear inventory.
Each side accumulates, beginning with the first turn and provided his capital city is unoccupied by enemy units, four ABM's per turn. When a nuclear attack is launched by your opponent, he specifies only one target square. You may try to intercept his missiles before they reach their target(s) by using as many ABM's per nuclear attack as you wish, up to the number you have accumulated. ABM's may not be used against TNW's. Use the following chart to determine if the missile is intercepted (if not, then the attack was successful).