OCS games

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Anyone play OCS games by The Gamers?


What do you think of the system?

Any Favorite games? Any games to stay away from?

I am thinking about getting into OCS but want to do some research first.

George
 

Chris Milne

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Loquitor said:
Anyone play OCS games by The Gamers?
Just got into them six weeks ago. I now own Tunisia and GB2.
My only regret is that they're tricky to play by email, and I don't have enough space to have the entire GB2 map laid out permanently :)

The rules are pretty straightforward, but, as everyone will tell you, you need to be able to plan. Off the cuff play doesn't work. In particular, you need to learn how to manage your supply situation - transporting and stockpiling supplies in the right place, making sure that advancing units won't get cut off.
Some people will find it too much like beancounting, others love it.

Give Tunisia or Korea a go to start with - they're more manageable than the big East Front ones. Korea in particular is meant to be a fine intro OCS game.

Bear in mind that you can download the rules from the MMP website for free to have a look at them.
 

SamB

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What you need to do is use the VASSAL engine and create a module for the OCS games... ;)
 

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The OCS is a very complicated operation level set of rules. It compares favorably to its closest competitor, the Europa system, in that it in general has a more state-of-the-art set of game mechanics. It also allows a more in-depth scale. It compares unfavorably in that the map and Order of Battle research is generally not as good, and in that way too much of the system concentrates on supply and logistics (probably its biggest flaw). It also compares favorably in terms of more scenarios being available, but unfavorably in that there is no OCS "community" the way there is a Europa community.

In terms of GMT's "Army Group X" system, the mechanics are about equally good, but the maps are nowhere near as pretty as those in the GMT system (just as Gamers graphics in general are not as good as GMT graphics in general).
 

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pitman said:
...too much of the system concentrates on supply and logistics (probably its biggest flaw).
Well, they do say that the amateur concentrates on tactics and the professional on logistics.Maybe its good practice. :D :D
 

Chris Milne

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SamB said:
What you need to do is use the VASSAL engine and create a module for the OCS games... ;)
You know, I do actually think about it every week or so. I hate seeing those boxed sitting there not being played. It'd be an immense task, though, and I suspect MMP would want to commercialise it (given that if it existed for free, no one would need to buy anything to play the game). Maybe when some of the titles go OOP they might consider it. Pbem is also probably one of the only ways in which most players could ever play the bigger games.

I'm also not sure how to handle the units, all of which are unique, without either having an insane number of counters or requiring the players to label each and every one. Probably the latter while providing initial set ups to save everyone time.

And, of course, the very thought of trying to do GBII fills one with dread... :)

That said, I think there is some ADC2 stuff out there for OCS, but I've no idea what ADC2 is like.
 

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I've played a lot of OCS recently.

The biggest flaw is the limited of interaction between the players. Serious OCS players even have the other side leave the room while they do their move. Basically one side pushes pieces and rolls dice and then the other side does so. The limited intel rules make it difficult to PBEM.

A couple of times, my game evening (5 to 6 hours) was literally do a few air to air combats and spend a few supplies for defensive combats. The other guy had a double turn and had all the actions. 6 hours spent to do such minimal activities is not a rewarding game experience in my mind.

Some OCS players recommend that you bring reading material or work to fill up the time while the other guy is moving. That is not gaming to me.

Other flaws are that the side on strategic defense (Axis in Sicily) usually have very few options and have to play flawlessly.

I really want to like OCS as it has some really cool features. The logistics element is really good and it really illustrates the issues in operational warfare.

I'd get the OCS games on topics that you are interested in and play them solitaire. For actual FTF gaming play ASL. It is a more interactive experience.

Adrian
 
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well, after talking to many people, checking out the games and getting other comments, I have decided to pass on these games
 

SamB

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I'm about to play some of the "Standard Combat Serices". These are strategic level, but much simpler games.

Think "Afrika Corps" or the original "Battle of the Bulge".

I'm about to start Crusader, which looks interesting. Units start on top of each other and it looks to be a large desert battle.

Anyone else play these?

I have a couple dozen Gamer's titles. A mix of Civil War Brigade series, OCS and SCS. I sold almost all the tactical series - I play ASL after all.

Sam
 

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I haven't personally seen the SCS series, but my regular ftf partner has some experience (I think he wrote an article for Operations or something), so I might see if he has any recommendations.

At the moment, I'm picking up the CWB series - pretty simple apart from the order rules, but I think they're just a matter of getting the right angle on them before they become clear. Interesting stuff thus far...
 

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My main gripe about the SCS system is that too many special rules are very heavyhanded; i.e., the German supply rule in Ardennes or the "French can't move past this line" rule in their 1914 game.
 

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The gamers OCS and SCS I both highly reccommend. I think it is very nice maps with very nice counters. The rules for both systems works very well and as far as I know in a good way shows the possibilities and reflects the way the different armies was fighting.
I have enjoyed all of their games and since the OCS games is rather big I have played many of them by using a software called ADC 2 which can be obtained from HPS. www.hpssims.com
If anybody is interested I could very well play you in a game.

Peter
 

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I have all of them, but I like them less than I used to. And I have grown increasingly tired of the same darn graphic style in game after game--and am unhappy to discover it appearing now in MMP non-Gamers games.
 

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I have some SCS (Crusader, Ardennes, Stalingrad Pocket II).
I appreciate such "beer & bretzel" games, as I don't want to have to swallow down a heavy load of rules...
Of course, SCS is not as "realistic" as more sophisticated games, but at least one doesn't have to do deepdiving in the rules' book...
Besides, The Gamers offer a very good customer's service, answering quickly to all questions...
 

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Does anyone have an opinion on TCS they'ed like to share? As a Kiwi, I've always been tempted but never taken the plunge - into getting the Maleme airfield game. (Can't remember the name of it for the life of me). Is it so different from ASL as to be worth a try?

Thanks
Gary
 

SamB

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The TCS games are very different....

units represent platoons, not squads...
Time scale is different (varies with game?)

The games us "Op Sheets" which are reduced versions of the maps. You write your orders for your units and mark their positions / movement on the map. You then are supposed to try to follow your "orders" to accomplish your VC.

Its almost like a military map exercise... and the rules (combat resolution, etc) is much more abstract than ASL.

Very different.

Sam
 
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