LTDave wrote:Oberon - the problem with Combat - Defence = Hits is that it is possible to build a stack with Defence so high that no casualties are ever taken. We've encountered this in the Battle for Gobwin Bump series, 1 through 4. You end up with a single big stack in a hex, rather than multiple stacks of 8.
Well, first off remember the "8 in a stack" rule. We could interpret that as meaning only 8 units at time can contribute their attack/defense to the whole. And there should be a mechanism such that singular units with extremely high defense must have low hits, or something like that. I would put it in the pricing, such that the points cost would be something like Att*Hit, or (Att+Hit)^2, rather than just Att+Hit.
LTDave wrote:The problem (as I see it) with the Erf-sim games (from NewErf to Titanic Mandate to the team vs team games run by Bland and others) is that it is all way too complicated for the GM's to run. The rules have got to be simple - it's the players that make the game fun by interacting with each other.
That's why I think we should find a way to let the computers do some of the paperwork. I propose we come up with a system such that the computer can simulate all the combat in a hex, but that we can intervene in with warlords and/or thinkamancy (or other C3 magics).
Lord of Monies wrote:
Complexity does belong in an important battle, I agree. I've probably just made it more complicated by looking at the part from book 0 where clay explains how luckamancy works. Maybe I'm still confused like Wanda, but it seems like the best explanation we're going to get for combat and it seems to suggest that a single roll would count for anything. So no 2d6 or 4d4 to ensure a good minimum roll still, but everyone is capable of a critical fumble. A lowly piker could take out someone like Ossomer, if luck decreed it. Although the piker could still only do as many hits as he could while the likes of Ossomer would easily have plenty more hits in reserve, so there must be more to it than I first thought. Perhaps, if I think of this in dnd terms, the die roll that describes the event rather than determines it is equivalent to the attack roll of dnd. What is rolled allows the GM to describe what happens whether it mean your arrow missed by miles, your sword hit but scraped along their armour harmlessly, or you stab your rapier through their eye.
The die roll, then, doesn't have anything to do with increasing or decreasing damage. Any unit's stats are fixed as anyone else can see them. Combat - defense = hits dealt, pretty simple mathmancy. Luckamancy is expanding the odds, allowing a unit to have a wider variety of choices that may or may not include good choices, such as parrying the attack instead of trying to strike but failing. This is dnd then. Combat is simple, if my interpretation of the erfworld flavour here is correct. All damage is fixed depending on the combatants, even crits which I imagine to be a simple multiplier of damage, and the rolls are an attack roll against an opposed defense roll. The type of unit in question determines how many sides it has, translating to how many options it has available to it, with alterations depending on circumstances like sneak attack or environmental factors.
Let's take, as an example, Countess Artemis' attempted shot at Sylvia here
. Artemis is a lvl 8 Warlord in a position of cover holding a clear shot at Sylvia's exposed back. Sylvia herself is a lvl 6 Warlord, so right off the bat Artemis is going to have a higher sided dice, however Sylvia is also benefitting from a Decrypted bonus as Wanda is in the same hex. This might be enough to balance out the negative she would receive from being in an exposed position, meaning that in all Artemis still has the higher-sided die. For argument's sake, let's say Artemis has a d20 while Sylvia is a d16. Take away the environmental factors and on her next shot she gets the crit she suspected, so she could have rolled a 20 and got her crit on sylvia, but sheer amounts of luckamancy decreed that her role was instead, say, 15 while Sylvia also had some great luckamancy and rolled a 16. The one number difference is what saves Sylvia by the narrow margin of the arrow flying in front of her eyes and making her aware. Luckamancy is all in the attack roll, not the damage.
I think I understand where you're trying to go with this, and if so then you're actually heading back to the wargaming roots of RPGs.
All right. I have a semi-radical proposal here:
The computer should handle everything inside individual hexes under most cases. The exception comes when one player spends "C3 points" (C3 = command, control, & communications) to directly intervene. Each side gets some C3 points every turn, and additional points are generated by casters, mainly thinkamancers (although some other casters do so as well). C3 points are also used for changing orders and commanding your troops on a strategic scale. Extra C3 points can be gained from spell scrolls, or generated spontaneously at a very steep price (courtesy of Charlescomm Telecommunications Services, of course).
In-hex combat should involve some abstract maneuvering. Stacks can be in one of three positions: front line, reserve, or airspace. Generally speaking, the computer will put melee units in the front line, archers in the back, and command units (plus designated bodyguards) in reserve. The number of stacks that can fight on the front is limited, so the computer will cycle out the wounded to the reserve and replace with fresh units as the battle moves along. Archers firing from the reserve either target specific units in the air or random ones from the enemy reserve. Stacks in the airspace are paired off each round, with leftovers making runs on selected enemy reserve units. Airborne units with ranged attacks are not allocated separately from those without. Non-airborne archers in melee cannot use their ranged attack, even in 'mixed stacks' of infantry.
A unit's attack and defense should only be for determining a hit, not the damage. Exactly how is sill up for grabs. The damage should be determined by the roll of a die. What die/dice to use might be specific to the unit, specific to its class/type, or be the same for everyone.
Casters do not have a 'hard limit' of juice every turn, and spells can be cast that bring the juice total into the negative -however this is very risky as your caster can fizz out and not be able to cast for a few turns, or worse... As the exact amount of juice left is not known to the players (whom get qualitative descriptors) it's wise not to press them unless you really need to.
All spells are cast spontaneously, when and where you need them; as long as the caster's in range they can do it.
Of course, this is all in the ideal case. It might take a really long time to actually set such a system up, especially if I have to give players leeway to intervene in the in-hex combat.