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"The Fortunes of War"

The Bitter Woods Combat Resolution Table (CRT) is unique in that it is not immediately discernable whether or not one side or the other is benefiting from outrageous luck.  The intent of this analysis is to provide a method for quantifying luck and applying it to Bitter Woods.  This analytical approach is results oriented and is not dependent or directly tied to the raw numerical die rolls.  The generated 'Luck Quotient' (LQ) can then be used to assess whether or not the die rolls have favored one side or another.

Overview:  Each combat can result in 1 of 6 possible results on the Bitter Woods CRT.

Die Roll 1-6 or less 1-5 1-4 1-3 1-2 1-1 2-1 3-1 4-1 5-1 6-1 7-1 or more
-1 A2 A1 A1 ENG D1 D3 D4 1D1 1D3 1D4 DE DE
0 A2 A2 A1 SU CA D2 D3 D4 1D2 1D3 1D4 DE
1 1A2 A2 A2 A1 ENG D1 D2 D3 1D1 1D2 1D3 1D4
2 1A3 1A2 A2 A2 SU CA D1 D2 D4 1D1 1D2 1D3
3 AE 1A3 1A2 A2 A1 FF CA D1 D3 D4 1D1 1D2
4 AE AE 1A3 1A2 A2 ENG FF CA D2 D3 D4 1D1
5 AE AE AE 1A3 1A2 SU ENG FF D1 D2 D3 D4
6 AE AE AE AE 1A3 A1 SU ENG CA D1 D2 D3
7 AE AE AE AE AE A2 A1 SU FF CA D1 D2
8 AE AE AE AE AE 1A2 A2 A1 ENG FF CA D1

Depending on the particular situation, a low roll might actually be bad; my system will bypass the value of the die in favor of an assessment of the battle outcome.  Admittedly, there is much more work in assessing the 'value' of each outcome.  I don't think this system would work in face to face play but I am going to apply it to my Campaign Game Series Replay with Randy in order to see if this 'luck analysis' has any merit.

How the "Luck Quotient" (LQ) system works:

-  Each combat is evaluated individually.

-  Each outcome is assessed a point score, from one (1) to six (6).

-  The sum of the all the scores of all six outcomes has to equal 21; this helps ensure that you can compare the LQ rating of one battle to another.

-  If there is one possible 'best' outcome' than it is given a score of ONE.  If there are two 'best' outcomes that are functionally equivalent, then they are each given a score of ONE AND A HALF.  

-  The worst possible outcome is given a score of SIX.  If there are two 'bad' results that yield the same functional outcome, they each are given a score of FIVE AND A HALF.

Outcomes are functionally equivalent if they can be exchanged with no possible difference in the combat results, including potential advances.  If the roll is for an event, let's say a Skorzeny infiltration event where a die roll of 1-3 is success and 4-6 is failure, a LQ rating of 2 is assigned to each of the three successful outcomes and an LQ rating of 5 is assigned to the failure outcomes.  Again, the sum of the LQ ratings is 21 for this particular game event. 

-  By assessing all your outcome scores, it now becomes possible to quantify how good, or bad, your combat results were.

Let's take an example.  Assume that on the 16AM turn the German player has a 4-1 combat against the 14AC in the Losheim gap.  Here is how I'd score the possible outcomes:  (Remember, the lower the LQ score, the more desirable the result!)

Die Roll 4-1 Results LQ Score
1 1D1 4
2 D4 1
3 D3 2
4 D2 3
5 D1 5
6 CA 6

In this particular battle, the German player desires a 2 hex advance or more.  Clearly, rolling low is not always the best outcome!  Note that some players may view the 1D1 result as more desirable than the D2 result because of the defender having to lose a step.  Other, more experienced players, will recognize that the reduced AC unit will be a perfect sacrificial unit on 17AM.  The 16AM 1D1 result will allow a unit of the 106th, which would otherwise be surrounded, to delay the Wermacht on 16PM.

By applying this process to every battle, and then averaging LQs together, it becomes possible to quantify and assess the combat results.  Lower is better when using the "LQ" system.  Assigning the LQ score to the different outcomes can be a subjective event when asking two different players to evaluate the outcome.  It may not be apparent to one player, for example, that a D4 might have a lower LQ than a D3 because the defender will be able to get his retreating unit into a better position on the subsequent turn.  Again, much depends on the outcome assessment but, with practice and experience, most players will be able to subjectively understand which outcomes are better than others and, more importantly, understand exactly why this is the case.

It is of critical importance to assess each battle at that particular instant in the game; prior results can and will influence the assignment of scores.  For example, if an earlier attack failed to surround a unit to be attacked subsequently, the attacker might want an ENG result instead of a defender retreat.  Conversely, if the earlier attack had succeeded in cutting off retreat paths for the unit attacked later, the attacker would want a defender retreat result.  The LQ system is not be applied to a battle in isolation!

Bear in mind that my primary goal on this turn is attrition or results that will enhance attrition on subsequent turns.  The LQ scores for a 4-1 on 16 AM will be very different from the LQ score assignments on a 4-1 on 16PM!  I will attempt to use this Campaign Game as a basis for generating LQ scores; I ultimately expect to justify my loss to Randy in the Series Replay on the basis of "Lady LQ" alone!