Author Topic: MMP OCS series  (Read 439 times)

bayonetbrant

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on: November 08, 2021, 03:59:36 PM
It's also the operational combat system, one of the more complicated rules sets out there for large operational games

What's your opinion of OCS?

Only poked around it casually, and that was almost 15 years ago.

It does a lot of the right things for the right reasons (proficiency adjustments for unit quality, need to amass necessary supplies before large ops) but there aren't many small scenarios to dip your toe into.  Most folks just dive in and hope they learn to swim.

Probably worth opening a separate OCS thread at this point, huh?



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bayonetbrant

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Reply #1 on: November 08, 2021, 04:00:44 PM
some videos to check out





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bob48

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Reply #2 on: November 08, 2021, 04:19:02 PM
One of many vids by a close buddy of mine. he also covers a lot of the BSC games.


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bayonetbrant

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Reply #3 on: November 08, 2021, 08:28:08 PM
What does SCS and BCS stand for?

BCS is supposed to be OCS down at the battalion level, so it is a little more complicated
What's OCS? Overly Complicated Series?  ;D


Gary's livestream from tonight talked about the differences btw the three, starting around the 26-minute mark or so.

« Last Edit: November 09, 2021, 10:08:32 AM by bayonetbrant »

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Tolstoi

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Reply #4 on: June 11, 2022, 08:57:19 PM
Full credit goes to JD for inspiring me to provide a brief summary of OCS. I’ll provide an AAR for a couple turns from a game I’m currently playing by next weekend. If you don’t want to read a wall of text, move on to the next thread!  ;)

I’ve been learning how to play OCS for the past couple of months via Vassal with a friend and I think I’m at a point that I can comment this game. Here are my impressions so far:

It is a complicated game. I laughed when I read JD’s statement, “Is it Overly Complicated Series?” However, it isn’t so complicated that the game is unplayable. Learning the game requires a fair amount of time and effort; however, the more you play, the more you learn, and the turns go faster.

There are standard rules that apply to all the games. Each game has their game specific rules too. I’m learning with Reluctant Enemies, and RE has specific rules that don’t apply to the other games. As with most games, the turn sequence is very important. If you follow the sequence step-by-step, you’ll be fine. Each turn is comprised of the 1st player and their actions, followed by the 2nd player and their actions. 1st player determination is accomplished by rolling 2d6 and highest roll gets to select who is 1st player. Here is a very brief overview of a turn sequence.

Each turn is comprised of phases and segments. You start off with bookkeeping. Aircraft Refit and  Reinforcement Phases allow you to ready your air power and bring in scheduled reinforcements, bring back units lost in combat if the scenario allows it, and to rebuild or consolidate damaged units. Finally you determine how much supply will be brought in for that turn, usually by rolling dice and consulting a table. Supply plays an extremely important role in this game. If you ignore your lines of supply or don’t manage your supply properly, you will lose, no matter how powerful your units are on the map.

Next up is the Movement Phase, which is broken into a Breakout segment, a Movement segment and an Air/Naval Barrage segment.
  • The Breakout segment is for units that might find themselves no longer in Trace Supply, (I’ll get to that later). You have an opportunity “breakout” those units, remove them from  the map and bring them back during a future turn, or more likely, you’ll permanently lose them while trying to breakout.
  • The Movement segment is straight forward. Units either have Leg, Truck, or Track movement. Terrain impacts how many movement points you use. Leg movement is slow and doesn’t require supply. Truck and Track movement are faster and requires supply. Sometimes units don’t move because you don’t have enough supply. There are different modes, (Combat, Movement, Strategic, etc.), units can be in, which affect how far they can move and how effective  they are in combat. You can move supplies around and you can use railroads to move both units and supplies. There is an option to attack during the Movement phase by Overrunning enemy units while you move. The combat that ensues requires supply points too, so again, manage your supply carefully. Air units can conduct different Air Missions if the scenario allows.
  • After that is Air and Naval Barrage. If you have ships they can provide off shore support, or attack other ships. If you have air units with barrage points, you can attack by bombing. If there are enemy fighter aircraft withing 10 hexes, they can conduct an Intercept mission, which may or may not stop the Air Barrage attack.
Supply Phase is next. Supply is abstracted two ways: Trace Supply and Supply Tokens. Trace Supply is meant to be a combo of general supply, (abstracted beans, bandages and bullets), and to a certain extent your lines of communication. Players use Trace Supply to determine if their units are in supply during the Supply Phase. If a unit isn’t in Trace Supply and it can’t consume Supply Tokens from a nearby supply source, (called Eating Off the Map), it is marked as Out of Supply and you then roll for attrition. That usually means the unit is eliminated, so don’t let that happen. Supply Tokens are used to fuel vehicles to move, or to allow artillery to barrage, or units to attack and defend in combat. If you don't have enough supply you either can't attack, or defend at half strength. There is an option to use a units internal stocks, which is helpful and expensive supply wise to replenish.

The Reaction Phase is next and this is when your opponent gets a say in what is happening. There is a Movement and Barrage segment for the other player. They can release units that are in reserve mode and attack with overruns. Artillery can barrage to disorganize units that might be prepping to attack.

After that is the Combat Phase for the Active Player. Both artillery and ground combat takes place. Units have both attack factors and Action Ratings. Action Ratings tell you how effective a unit is in combat, the higher the number, the better the Action Rating. In some cases, an attack is successful enough to allow units to move and attack in the Exploitation Phase.

Then it is Clean-up, Clean-up, everybody Clean-up Phase, when you do a wee bit more book keeping and remove certain counters, such as Disorganized and Exploitation markers. The 2nd player is now the active player and you rinse and repeat. After both sides have gone, that the end of the turn.

I'm enjoying myself so far. RE doesn't have a large counter mix, so the game is manageable. The eastern front games with their large counter mix must require large amounts of time to play. I've only begun to scratch the surface of this game and I know I have tons more to learn. If you like games that limit your movement due to supply lines and which require on map supply points as well as detailed movement and combat, this is a game system for you. If you don't like complex games and you want little or no supply considerations, then look elsewhere for a game to enjoy.



bob48

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Reply #5 on: June 12, 2022, 11:18:36 AM
I've played Reluctant Enemies, Sicily and some Tunisia II, and yes, its not so much complicated as involved. The air rules can add quite a bit to the turn time, but again, its not that they are complex and do give some satisfying results. I never did, however, feel very comfortable with the supply system.

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Tolstoi

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Reply #6 on: June 12, 2022, 11:46:04 PM
After I get my bearings with Reluctant Enemies, I'd like to try Tunisia or Sicily. I know OCS is probably best suited for the operations on the eastern front and those are the operations in which I am the least interested.

On map supply made sense to me fairly quickly and trace supply did not. I took me a wee bit longer to understand and appreciate how trace supply works and the limitations it puts on planning. I have a great example of that for the AAR, which should prove to be entertaining and a good cautionary tale for those new to the game.  ;D