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    Type 97 Te-Ke playtesting

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    Tenente
    Lance Corporal

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    Join date : 2018-02-23
    Age : 24
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    Type 97 Te-Ke playtesting

    Post by Tenente on Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:32 pm

    Okay, first bat-rep in which I test one of my creations. These will appear much slower than any card creations, since not only do I need to find time to get a solo game done, but then also to look at the data and write it up somehow. First, there are no photos, simply because out of all models, the only existing ones I have is the IS-2 and the T34/85. Buildings, brush and the Type 97 Te-Ke were represented by flat cardboard markers (cheap-man way of doing things, but it works if you want to test something quickly).

    Turn 1, the deployment was as follows:



    The green is the brush, grey is buildings. Map and markers are not to scale. The situation quickly reached status quo by turn 3 as follows, and all other turns presented variations of the basically same disposition:



    I quickly realised that for the Soviet side, it was more beneficial to remain stationary and by thus deny the Japanese extra defence dice, while the T34/85 getting the better aim and giving a plus one to firepower of the IS-2 due to the "coordinated fire" rule. Contrary to their adversaries, the Japanese player however was kept up in performing a continuous dance around with all their 3 movements to get the full 5 dice base to defence and firing at the T34/85, combining fire upon at close range and at the sides of the T34/85. So I won't present any more pictures to save space, since they won't give anything new really here.

    So turn 3 - exchange of shots, all Te-Ke's going at the sides of the T34/85, but not doing enough to do any damage, in return, both the T34/85 and the IS-2 fail to do any damage at the dancing horde.

    Turn 4, the T34/85 does 2 hits upon one of the Te-Ke tanks, but the Te-Ke tanks having 4 dice in defence manage to stall all those attacks (5 defence dice from all the movement, with a minus 1 due to close range). Te-Ke tanks return 5 hits (all combine fire using the "mobile mass" rule), scoring 2 hits, whilst the T34/85 having 2 defence dice (1 base, +3 from enemy movement, -1 for close range, -1 for side shots = 2 defence dice) fails to save, getting 2 hits. However, this is where the comfort zone for the Japanese ended, the IS-2 opened fire upon one of the Te-Ke with a whopping 7 hits into the side of one, scoring 4 hits, the Te-Ke had only 4 defence dice to work with (5 from all the movement, accounting the "dashing" rule, -1 for side shot), only managed to save 2 hits, and hence received 2 hits in return - one Te-Ke is destroyed.

    Turn 5, the T34/85 happens to fail to hit anything, all hits blocked yet again. Te-Ke return fire manages to dish out a staggering 2 hits and 2 critical. With just 2 defence dice, it manages to roll a 6, cancels one of the critical hits, but in gets 2 normal hits, plus and engine damage, the T34/85 sums up damage to a 5 and is therefore out. IS-2 opes retaliation fire, with 7 shots, scoring 2 normal hits and 3 critical hits. With just 4 defence dice (the targeted Te-Ke was subject to a side shot again), it managed to cancel one critical and one normal hit, taking as a result 5 hits in total - result, another Te-Ke destroyed. So tow down for the Japanese, two to go.

    Turn 6, the Te-Ke now begin dancing around the IS-2, the Soviet side elect to perform the most optimal tactic, and the IS-2 now becomes stationary. The Te-Ke concentrate fire upon the IS-2, firing 4 shots, scoring 2 hits and one critical, while the IS-2 having 4 defence dice (2 base, +3 for opponent movement, -1 for close range), saves two normal hits, but gets a critical hit, which turns out to be a "crew wounded" with 2 damage points. The IS-2 returned fire with 6 shots, scoring 2 hits, whilst the Japanese having 4 defence dice managed to save 2 hits (notice that no side shots now, as soon as they turned their attention to the IS-2, they oriented themselves such that they could not be hit from the side).

    Turn 7,the Japanese side scores one hit and one critical from 4 shots, whilst the IS-2 only managed to save a hit from the 4 defence dice it had - okay, that was really bad luck, but it does happen from time to time, so didn't elect to re-roll here. The critical hit turned out to be a "lucky hit" - doing a further 2 hits upon the IS-2.  Return fire was not impressive, out of 6 shots, only two hit, one normal and one critical, whilst the opponent having 4 defence dice, manages two save two hits. - Summary, IS-2 is down by 4 HP's, the Japanese has still 2 healthy tankettes.

    Turn 8 was the turning point. Even though the Japanese managed to score 3 hits out of the 4 shots they had, scoring two critical hits, of which one normal and one critical shots was saved (doing another 2 damage upon the IS-2), the Soviets managed to score 5 hits out of the 6 shots upon one tankettes, doing 3 normal and 2 critical hits. The Japanese only saved two normal hits and then suffering engine damage with lucky-shot, taking 5 hits on one tankette - third Te-Ke destroyed.

    Turn 9 was the culmination point, the lone Te-Ke managed to score one last hit upon the IS-2, however, return fire from the IS-2 dished out yet another 3 hits out of the 6 shots, destroying the last Te-Ke.

    Summary:

    Soviet lost a T34/85 and 7 out of 8 HP's on the IS-2.

    Japanese lost all four Te-Ke.

    Japanese points value: 15*4 = 60 points

    Soviet points value: 38 + 25 = 63 points

    From this game, I got the feeling that the Te-Ke really are worth their salt for those 15 points. However, they may need more play-testing. So if anyone just happens to play-test them, let me know of the results, this will help balancing things out quicker. If you have any critical points to make about this bat-report, let me know, always keen to hear comments and criticism. Anyway, "over and out" for the report. Watch the "tank cards" space for new designs for tank cards soon.
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    OCDPaul
    Tanker

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    Re: Type 97 Te-Ke playtesting

    Post by OCDPaul on Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:04 am

    That was beautiful! That battle just feels right for the two sides as far as the realism goes. If a duel like this happened towards the end of the war I could see the Japanese forces charging into battle and putting their all into it, so close range attacks, maybe even some Molotov cocktails getting thrown by the commander, all from a starting ambush location.

    I really love the detail you gave for the report, but for your own sake you may want to simplify it some unless you enjoy keeping track of the individual dice rolls. I did a playtest of the T-35 vs two Panzer III's a while back and took pictures to go turn by turn with it, but the results were so expected that I lost the vroom to type it all up to post. (It was similar but less exciting than yours, about 3or4 turns long, the panzers swarmed the 35 trapping it in a corn field and its paper thin armor was torn to ribbons while only dishing out minor scratches. Hoping to do a more realistic early war fight soon as the Soviets really are team fighters and not so much a loner like this battle shows too)

    I love seeing the tankettes showing some practicality for full games, like you, I have a soft spot for them for sure. Also very much would like some matches of a swarm vs a Maus like the wrestler vs a dozen dwarfs from decades ago.


    One possible thought that I tried with the T35 too, do you think the outcome could have changed if you had parked the soviets so that at least a corner was in the woods giving them cover defense from the swarm but possibly leaving some of the tankettes still fully exposed?
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    Tenente
    Lance Corporal

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    Location : Australia, Adelaide

    Re: Type 97 Te-Ke playtesting

    Post by Tenente on Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:56 am

    Before I proceed to actually looking at the combat model in the theoretical space, I think it is best to summarise the battle strengths through two graphs as follows:

    First is the health points of each side, by turn basis:



    Which by turn 7 has a clear indication when the Te-Ke began to engage the IS-2 - an intersection, this is where the IS-2 lost advantage of being able to shoot at Te-Ke tanks from their sides.

    Next is the firepower capability for the sides:



    Which must be viewed from the perspective that the Japanese side had conistently 4-5 defence dice, while the Soviet had 2-3 defence dice. Just as an illustration...
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    Tenente
    Lance Corporal

    Posts : 68
    Join date : 2018-02-23
    Age : 24
    Location : Australia, Adelaide

    Re: Type 97 Te-Ke playtesting

    Post by Tenente on Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:08 am

    OCDPaul wrote:
    I really love the detail you gave for the report, but for your own sake you may want to simplify it some unless you enjoy keeping track of the individual dice rolls.

    One possible thought that I tried with the T35 too, do you think the outcome could have changed if you had parked the soviets so that at least a corner was in the woods giving them cover defense from the swarm but possibly leaving some of the tankettes still fully exposed?

    Yeah, keeping track is tedious and boring, but I think is necessary for a proper playtest and analysis - which is why I had the solo game in the first place. Also, this is why proper playtesting from my side will be very slow, if I do something like this, I try to do it as meticulously as possible and to do this, I will generally need to find a night, on which depleting my sleep won't affect me much on the next day. This however, is part of the fun for my design work. Also, someone on the Board Game Geek forums has said that I need to playtest my creations to get the points right - and they are completely correct in saying so, I can't expect others to do it for me in the general case. If these details drive people nuts, I understand, from now on, I won't post raw data (it general really doesn't say much unless graphed), but what I will do is a graph of data to illustrate the point better, along with a free-flowing description of the battle.

    As to the second question, yes, that would be so I think - backing into a corner to get a side protected would work better, even more, if you can "dig in" into some ruins (or back into them to protect your sides), it may work even just better (they did dig in tanks during WWII for that same reason). When you get time, would be interested in reading your report, will be interesting to see how it went. It will also give me a play-test result that I may not have time to do for the next few months...

    With regards to points, further thoughts:

    Points are fidgety things... say you have 100 points worth of infantry. But is it operationally the same 100 points within prepared positions (trench, town) as opposed to as being in the open? This question is not constructed well enough, it is missing another half of an important part - against what? Against other infantry, storm aviation or armour, in town is better. But, if they are shelled by mortars, napalm bombs and etc. - the town that gave them haven, now becomes hell on earth, whereas they would be safer in the open from those weapons - no flying brick and glass debris and fiery hell will be more dispersed, when it is more concentrated in the same town.

    So, realistically, points are an assumption, a gut-feeling number that we hope represents the unit battle effectiveness. But one that is seriously altered and distorted depending on operational situation. Hence, points are not rigid but dynamic. That is why we can never really hope to balance out the points, because, always the question goes to - you are balancing against what weapons/tactical situation....

    Also, the problem with these games is that we do not incur the human sense of self-preservation. The Japanese would have routed from 50% casualty rates, and if they know they have the speed and agility to get away, they would. The IS-2 being better armoured would instill more confidence into the tank crew - urging them to be more risky in their tactics. More-so, if the crew know they won't run away (out-paced, out-gunned, etc.) they will have the sense of cornering and will fight to the last (or at least bail out and dash for it). But, if the situation is desperate, and they can run, they will run. Hence, Guderian's saying of "there are no desperate situation, but desperate people" should be altered and willl become more like - desperate situation creates desperate people. This is another thing which will hugely impact points values, but one which we can't put into our games - we don't die by pressing on with huge casualties, we just hit the reset button (redeploy), and go back to battle. Also, we don't have wars of survival on our games tables (and thankfully so for sure!) - hence we don't have the urge to always give our all... but this is just a thought on points values as such...

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    Re: Type 97 Te-Ke playtesting

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