Friday, 21 September 2012

Malikastan Escalation VASSAL Campaign Module nearing completion

Spent the last two evenings making the VASSAL module for the up coming escalation of the Malikastan Campaign.  The module is nearly finished, will rewrite some rules and then let it bake for a day or two and then finish up.

The idea behind the Escalation is to move the campaign to a more symmetric conflict, with an underlay of asymmetric warfare.  The campaign will concentrate on the trapped UN forces in Malikastan.  The campaign will produce missions which will hopefully allow us to use our full array of minis over time.  Average mission will be strengthened platoon strength.  At the beginning of each mission the player rolls a TQ for each team in the platoon, a success means the team is available for the mission.  "Company Support" is available to the player by building a support deck of cards and drawing the permissible number of support cards.  Some "Company Support" is available in the platoon structure itself, for example ATGMs or SAMs.
On the above map the coloured zones represent artillery (orange) and air defence (blue) ranges, if a location touches this zone a mission in that location can benefit from artillery or AA support.  Air interdiction within areas protected by AA are less effective.  Air support for missions which are covered by unfriendly AA may be lost as per Force on Force AA rules.

Each counter has a fatigue number (red on yellow), TQ (white on red) and Morale (white on black).   Fatigue controls how units setup and enter in missions, and govern team availability.  Fatigue ranges from 1+ to 9+.  A mission defender sets up and rolls the teams TQ vs. Fatigue, if the score is >= to the fatigue the unit sets up in a building or field fortifications (the higher the roll the better the fortification).  If the TQ fails the unit sets up in the open, unprepared.  In the case of the attacker each team rolls a TQ to enter each turn, failure means the team is delayed and has an opportunity to enter on the next turn. 
In the campaign all units will be hidden (see unit at top of above map) until recon or contact shows the units. False units will also be available.

Critical to the campaign is the destruction and repair of bridges and airfields.  Unit types range from various infantry types (for example: infantry, wheeled mechanized infantry, tracked mechanized infantry, mountain infantry etc.) through armoured platoons to long range AA (the S-300 I am cobbling together :) ).  All unit stats on the counters can be toggled up and down.  So the units are placed as the base TQ6-MOR6, and by using a hotkey or shortcut their actual values are set.  Fatigue goes up and down based on a units actions, TQ and MOR drop only if the platoon suffers a major defeat.

Nationality can be toggled, so once a unit is played in a mission the unit gains that nationality.

The black dots on the top of each counter represent how far the unit can move, on the map the arrows joining the locatons indicate the movement cost, 1, 2 or 3.  If a unit expends all of its movement allowance it gains a fatigue point.  Fighting a mission gains another, losing a battle another, losing a battle badly another...etc.  Fatigue can be removed by supply and rest.

Staff planning allows units to behave more efficiently (these are the counters with a UN symbol and 1 to 5 black dots.  These add to a units available movement to allow long movements with less or no fatigue.

Tracked vehicles suffer more fatigue when gaining movement fatigue.

Units with a solid blue bar means the unit can strike anywhere on the board, this is usually SF, insurgents, recon and airstrikes.  Paradrop units can also land anywhere, but will need supply, gaining an extra fatigue each turn they are out of supply.  Units with blue dots pay 1 movement point per move no matter the ground cost, these are all helicopters or heliborne transporters.

I think I will run a few test startups with Mark and balance the beginning.  Then we can start the real campaign.

EDIT: 22/09/2012
Well, had a lazy day working on the game.  Should have been out weeding my lawn :)  Here is the first beta test map with the the test units.

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