Looking for Game! I have questions...

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Re: Looking for Game! I have questions...

Postby Nnelg » Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:11 pm

Well, maybe if you could give a rough overview of how your game's gone so far it'd help. Reading the rules has helped me to come up with some theories of how the game would play, but I'm by no means sure how it would pan out in practice.
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Re: Looking for Game! I have questions...

Postby 0beron » Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:12 pm

We have finished our first turn and haven't even made it to dawn of day two yet....so no I can't help you at all there hahaha.
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Re: Looking for Game! I have questions...

Postby Lord of Monies » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:45 pm

In practice, perhaps the only thing I predict being difficult (or best case scenario, just long) will be any kind of major confrontation. It's gonna take a while before it happens, especially at our current rate, but any capitol fight is going to be a drawn-out complex affair considering by that time there'll be a considerably large force with multiple warlords, I'd imagine. Actually, I'm not entirely certain on all the logistics of any combat encounter. Being a barbarian side, I figure this is something I should find out.
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Re: Looking for Game! I have questions...

Postby Nnelg » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:55 pm

Yeah, that's why I usually prefer my Hex-and-Counter wargames. Combat boils down to adding up the numbers on the counters, rolling the dice, and checking the result on a table. A simple and efficient system, onto which all manner of complexities can be added as desired.
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Re: Looking for Game! I have questions...

Postby 0beron » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:07 pm

I personally like the system I came up with some time ago that's specific to Erfworld:
Add up Stack A's Combat, subtract the sum of Stack B's Defense. The result is the total hits dealt to Stack B, distributed evenly.
Repeat in reverse
Remove croaked/incapacitate units from both sides, repeat until victor emerges or Leadership orders withdraw.
Also, the Combat and Defense scores are multiplied by a random number between .9 and 1.1 for example to represent chance and luck.
Orders like Screen and Focus just affect how the hits are distributed.
In a huge Capital Battle, this could get a little drawn out or complex, but it would be more efficient then being 100% true to the comic and resolving every single attack individually. And I personally like some degree of complexity when the stakes are so high anyway.
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Re: Looking for Game! I have questions...

Postby Lord of Monies » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:06 pm

Warning: I am about to ramble on.

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.



Man, that took me a while to figure out and type. Feel free to debate with me on this. Let us sit and have tea like they do in Faq.
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Re: Looking for Game! I have questions...

Postby 0beron » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:46 pm

I think you're searching for more detail than we will likely every know. Recall that different kinds of casters have described the same or similar phenomena in different ways, so taking the word of a single caster as canon on everything is a dangerous bet. If we were to try and perfectly recreate the combat "physics" of erfworld, yes it would very likely be as complex as you describe, with a similar system of the die roll determining effectiveness.
The system I described however "approximates" that in a faster manner with less legwork. By adding all all the units' Combat scores, and then multiplying the result by a decimal fairly close to 1, you simulate the overall effectiveness of the stack's attack. A number like 1.1 would mean one or more of them crit, and nobody missed, whereas a number like 0.9 means a few units missed. Using this "aggregate multiplier" is in my opinion the easiest way to simulate Erf-combat in an expedient manner. And you can further vary the Aggregate Multiplier to simulate special situations like screening, or spells, or the like.
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Re: Looking for Game! I have questions...

Postby LTDave » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:38 pm

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.

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.
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Re: Looking for Game! I have questions...

Postby WaterMonkey314 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:34 am

As an alternative, if you can come up with some clever way to reduce the work on the GM, then you could have immensely complex games with detail both at the macro and the micro levels. I sort of tried this with the Arkentool War series, but that ultimately fell through (again) because it was too much of a demand on me. Pen and paper simply can't cut it at that level of complexity (we only had several dozen units actually being used, though there were plenty more in places that didn't quite become relevant.)

I still believe in automation - a computerized system to manage the game system (the side-level TBfGK / TAW rulesets would probably be the best starting points). Conversely, you could choose the reductionist approach, as games lately have been going. But I've yet to see a GM-run side game not choke and die.
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Re: Looking for Game! I have questions...

Postby Lord of Monies » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:36 am

0beron wrote:Recall that different kinds of casters have described the same or similar phenomena in different ways, so taking the word of a single caster as canon on everything is a dangerous bet.


Maybe so, but I'm still inclined to defend my idea as, to me, it doesn't seem complex in the long run. Sure it would take some time to create initially, assigning sides of dice to the various outcomes of units and levels, but only the GM needs to know these details so they sit down for maybe an hour or so and make a chart with all the details. Modifiers like leadership, dance-fighting and luckamancy could be as simple as +2 or +4 to the roll, hence how piling podifier on podifier is the way to go.

It's not like I'm thinking of saying every single unit roll an attack die in combat either. You have a stack of pikers charging an enemy stack of pikers? Roll one die for each stack to determine how the charge goes, then rinse repeat for the following rounds until croaked or new orders. It is as simple as roll dice, work in the modifiers, and see who wins. When used in practice, I don't see the issue. It just takes time to come up with the system is all.
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Re: Looking for Game! I have questions...

Postby Nnelg » Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:52 pm

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.
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Re: Looking for Game! I have questions...

Postby Nnelg » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:55 pm

How about instead we just go for simplicity; say an "Axis and Allies"-type system?
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