When You’re Dealt An Impossible Hand

The cargo function released as part of Chains of War has given me an idea for a highly dubious air and helicopter assault scenario, one that I’ve nicknamed “Operation Superstore Garden”. This plan involves putting almost every air-qualified NATO soldier into almost every transport, and then unleashing them in a drop near the [East] German/Polish border to cut off WARPAC troops in the “mother of all vertical envelopments”. I talked about it in the latest Kushan Gaming stream I guest-starred in, and the conclusion was that it would make its namesake look perfectly thought out in comparison. Granted, it was inspired in part by a RAND report that theorized a weaker but intact Soviet Union and not it at the height of its strength, but still. Airborne troops against armored forces and an air defense system is not exactly an even match.

Superstore Garden itself is probably too big to actually do in a reasonable time, but the concept brought something lurking in my mind to the forefront.

How should a Command scenario designer model an inherently dubious, if not impossible operation?

Have it canonically fail (especially if in a formal campaign or multi-scenario series) and just give the player points for doing their best? Or just set extremely strict criteria for it succeeding, and if the player can meet that through skill and luck, then they can get the victory? Or be sly and make it a virtual Kobayashi Maru?

For assymetric scenarios when the player’s side is on the low end of the scale, I tend to just minimize if not leave out point losses for units destroyed but give the player gigantic point gains for any enemies taken out. It’s good enough for gameplay purposes, but I’m thinking of how I can be more sophisticated.


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