And in this corner...

Oh No, Not Again Safehouse

Moderator: Mac

Postby Mac » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:39 am

All right. This post is going to be the status of your current army's power. The following post will be a record of the initial army (it will take me a little while to build it). The third post will begin me explaining the process. This is for two reasons. The first is so that if anyone has any objections, if they think it would be reasonable for the army to be built a different way, they can inform me and I will consider adjusting. The second is so that you have, in loose terms, an idea for how I am going to construct the opposing force, though as it stands you won't have any of the initial knowledge beyond the absolute basics.

Okay I'm gonna jump right into the numbers now, cuz going forward that's what people will need. For an explanation of the rules, please look to the third post.

Troop 01: Trained, Metalborn, Well-Armed
Strength 6

Troop 02: Experienced Metalborn*, Well-Armed
Strength 6

Troop 03: Trained, Well-Armed
Strength 5

Troop 04: Trained, Metalborn, Well-Armed
Strength 6

Troop 05: Trained, Metalborn, Well-Armed
Strength 6

Troop 06: Trained, Well-Armed
Strength 5

Troop 07: Trained
Strength 4

Troop 08: Trained, Well-Armed
Strength 5

Troop 09: Trained, Metalborn, Well-Armed
Strength 6

Troop 10: Trained, Well-Armed
Strength 5

Troop 11: Trained
Strength 4

Troop 12: Trained
Strength 4

Troop 13: Trained
Strength 4

Troop 14: Trained, Well-Armed
Strength 5

Troop 15: Trained
Strength 4

Troop 16: Trained
Strength 4

Troop 17: Trained
Strength 4

Troop 18: Trained
Strength 4

Troop 19: Trained, Well Armed*
Strength 6

Troop 20: Trained, Well Armed*
Strength 6

Troop 21: Trained, Well Armed*
Strength 6

Troop 22:
Strength 3

Troop 23:
Strength 3

Troop 24:
Strength 3

Troop 25:
Strength 3

Troop 26:
Strength 3

Troop 27:
Strength 3

Troop 28:
Strength 3

Troop 29:
Strength 3

Troop 30:
Strength 3

Troop 31:
Strength 3

Troop 32:
Strength 3

Troop 33:
Strength 3

Troop 34:
Strength 3

Troop 35:
Strength 3
Last edited by Mac on Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:08 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby Mac » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:40 am

[Space reserved for a record of the Initial Troop Strength once it has been calculated]
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Postby Mac » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:12 am

Okay. I'll try to keep this succinct. But this is me. So sorry in advance.

Vetitan city was able to muster a thousand men to fight the koloss. I'm going to say that, as a fledgling settlement, Teriosin is far smaller, but with a much higher percentage of able-bodied men. As such, I am giving you 700 troops, though that's a bit of an over-statement. They are 700 men and women able to hold a weapon and poke it at koloss. I'm going to declare that each squad of people is made of 20 humans, so you've got a total of 35 squads. The base "fighting power" of any individual squad is 3. I will now randomize various bonuses. Most bonuses will be a flat +1 to that troop's fighting power; I have ideas to make things more complicated, but for a first attempt I think simpler will usually be best.

The way I will grant bonuses is the following: I will decide how many troops are "eligible" for that particular bonus. I will decide how high on a die they will need to roll in order to qualify. (I'm breaking standard MAG rules here; a 6 will count as the number 6, though it will also grant that bonus to another troop.) So, first, I'm going to see how many of the troops have combat veterans in them. It doesn't take much for someone to have more combat experience/training than the average mook, but in a civilization that hasn't known a war since the last time the world ended, it's still pretty rare. I'm going to decide that only the first 20 troops are eligible for this bonus, but you only need to get a 3 on the die to qualify.

Out of Character. Click to reveal.
e.g., if the first few numbers I roll are 6, 2, 3, 1, 6, 5, 1. That's a total of four successes, but the 6's count double. So the first troop has a veteran. The second troop didn't get one on its own, but the 6 before it casts a shadow that acts like a bonus, so the second one gets the bonus, too. The third gets the bonus on its own, the fourth fails. The fifth gets a bonus "plus," but the next one already has its own bonus, so the shadow ends up cast on the 7th, which didn't get the bonus on its own.


Without further ado, here are the 20 rolls. From the example, it is hopefully clear that I consider the rolls to be in sequential order; so whatever shows up on the 14th die applies to Troop 14.

Out of Character. Click to reveal.
Mac rolled 1d6:
5

Mac rolled 1d6:
4

Mac rolled 1d6:
4

Mac rolled 1d6:
3

Mac rolled 1d6:
5

Mac rolled 1d6:
6

Mac rolled 1d6:
5

Mac rolled 1d6:
6

Mac rolled 1d6:
3

Mac rolled 1d6:
4

Mac rolled 1d6:
3

Mac rolled 1d6:
1

Mac rolled 1d6:
5

Mac rolled 1d6:
4

Mac rolled 1d6:
1

Mac rolled 1d6:
6

Mac rolled 1d6:
3

Mac rolled 1d6:
4

Mac rolled 1d6:
3

Mac rolled 1d6:
4


Out of Character. Click to reveal.
So... literally all of the first 21 troops have veterans. I... am going to have to make bonuses far more difficult to achieve going forward.


Next. Metalborn. Metalborn can make it big out here... but they can make it big anywhere, and in the city, or even closer in the roughs, they can have plenty of excitement and freedom with far greater rewards. The area is not currently rich enough to attract most metalborn.

Only the first ten troops might have metalborn, and they must roll at least a 5 to have one.

Out of Character. Click to reveal.
6
4
4
6
2
3
4
4
5
3


Erm... can you not roll, period, if you're editing? Or, after your first roll, or something? Will I have to make a new post for each roll? This is... irritating. Okay I'm going to just roll in person. Fingers crossed you all trust me not to cheat.

Out of Character. Click to reveal.
Okay you guys are still getting fairly lucky, I believe. Half your eligible troops will have metalborn.


Alright, most of them are making due with pitchforks or gran-gran's rifle. Some people came to the Roughs with superior firepower and have kept it in good working condition. Fifteen of your troops might potentially be well-armed. Anyone with at least a 4 is.

Out of Character. Click to reveal.
2
6
6
1
4
4
1
3
6
4
1
2
2
4
2


Out of Character. Click to reveal.
Man you guys are rolling well. Bear in mind, the koloss bearing down on you will have superior numbers and stats, so don't necessarily think you're out of the woods just yet. So your well-armed troops will be 1-6, 8-10, and 14.


Okay. There are five troops that have both Trained and Metalborn. I'm going to roll to see how many of those are combining into the single trait*, Experienced Metalborn, meaning the veteran and the allomancer/ferring are the same person. This is actually a mild disadvantage, since mechanically it's the same, but it means there's a chance that when you take damage you'll lose both traits at once.

Rolling for all 5. 1-3 means they remain separate. 4-6 means they combine. No "crits" rolling over this time.

Out of Character. Click to reveal.
2
5
3
1
2


So, only Troop 02 has a single Experienced Metalborn*.
Last edited by Mac on Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Herowannabe » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:41 pm

Erm... can you not roll, period, if you're editing? Or, after your first roll, or something? Will I have to make a new post for each roll? This is... irritating. Okay I'm going to just roll in person. Fingers crossed you all trust me not to cheat.


I think you are limited in the number of dice rolls you can make in one post, and 20 rolls sounds right. You are also capped at 20 dice per roll, IIRC. So basically you could have just made one 20d6 roll and been fine, rather than 20 1d6 rolls.
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Postby Mac » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:38 pm

Can anyone else think of any innate advantages your own army might possess I can roll for? Keep in mind, whatever I do here, I plan to make the koloss army strong enough that, without your intervention, they will surely win, so even if we do add more to this army, that's just a bit more weight I'll give the koloss. Three potential advantages seems like enough.

Okay. Rules of combat.

Every trait grants +1 die. Every trait* grants +2 dice. (You'll see why this is important in a minute.) I think I'll just have all rolls happen simultaneously. I'm not necessarily going to tell you the rules for the koloss army, but for the human army, they will default to: anyone with at least 4 dice will split them between attack and defense, the half favoring offense (i.e., a troop with 5 will roll 3 attack, 2 defense). 3 or fewer dice and they simply commit everything to attack. Every troop, on your side or the koloss, will simply attack.

By default, troops will match off 1-1. The army with more troops at the time gets to choose if they commit the additional troops to attack or not. Any troop that didn't attack last time gets the Fresh Troops trait and +1 die. You lose this trait if you were part of combat last time. Additional troops must be applied evenly, so if you have five extra troops you can team up five 2-on-1 battles, you can't have one 6-on-1 battle. Any troop not being attacked, regardless of their dice pool, will commit fully to attack and ignore defense.

I need to come up with some system so you don't just keep pairing up your best troops... I'm gonna say you guys don't have full control of the armies like that, and they will default to a more even spread which I will explain below. You can do things during prep-work or possibly during the attacks to get enough control, influence, whatever to adapt the battle strategy to an extent.

To begin, each army will take every Fresh Troop they have, numerically, and commit them. They will match up, first to first, second to second, and so on. Let's say the side with the most Fresh Troops is Side A. Side B will then commit all of their troops which do not have the "fresh" trait. If Side A still has more troops, the excess will then automatically start again at the top of the order. If Side A ever has twice as many Fresh Troops as Side B has troops, period... well I might at that point just declare victory, but for now I'm going to say that due to logistics you cannot have more than two troops gang up on any one troop, so every excess troop will be forced to rest. If a Fresh troop is resting I might come up with some sort of bonus they can apply to the fortifications or something.

So. Backtracking a bit... Side B has just committed their entire army. If they do now have more Troops than Side A, Side A commits enough troops to match. If Side A doesn't have enough troops to match, Side B will by default let excess troops rest. If Side A does, any extra troops will rest by default.

Hrm... I might need to put more thought into this. I'm already seeing glaring flaws in my plan that allow for some crazy rules gerrymandering. I think I'll say that if any troop is matched against more than one enemy troop, they by default attack the one with the higher dice pool; that might mitigate some of the worst of the problem.

Every successful attack does one damage, nudges for more damage. Every troop has 3 health. Rather than Burdens, every point of "health" lost reduces troop strength by 1. In addition, when any troop takes damage, they have a 50/50 chance to lose one of their traits. If they fail that roll (1-3 is failure, 4-6 is success, i.e., resisting losing a train) the lost trait is randomized; so you can lose a trait* if you're unlucky. If prep work involves any medical stuff, I will come up with rules for patching up partial troops. I should prolly allow for troops that have only 1 "damage" remaining to coalesce, but only a maximum of 3 at once. They keep traits but they won't stack, so if you have two troops that are both 1 health left and each have the Metalborn trait, they can combine into a single troop with 2hp and the single trait metalborn for a total of 3 dice.

Kay... on balance I think those rules should cover basic combat. As I re-read this hopefully I can truncate it, make it more succinct and more clear. Does anyone have any thoughts or concerns?
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Postby Herowannabe » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:51 pm

I like a lot of your ideas, but I think it would be simpler (and probably more realistic) to have a basic map overlayed with a grid or hex pattern (I'd prefer hex pattern), and let each troop occupy one space. Only one troop can occupy each space at a time, and each round can attack one enemy troop in an adjacent space. Instead of attacking, troops can move one space (or more, depending on how you want to work the scale).

Building off some other things you outlined. Troops can be "fresh", "tired" or "fatigued"
Fresh = +1D
Tired = +/- 0D
Fatigued = -1D

Attacking or moving causes you to drop one level. Resting causes you to go up 1 level. If a troop is fatigued and drops another level... up to you. You could say nothing happens, or you could say that troop stays fatigued and takes 1 damage.

Fairly simple, but allows for a lot of strategy and covers a lot of issues you were noticing above, like ganging up on individual troops- yes, in this version ganging up would be possible, but ONLY if you manage to outmaneuver and surround the enemy troop with several of your own (in which case, ganging up is both reasonable and realistic).

It could also allow for a few extra traits to add to troops:
- Long ranged weapons: can attack 1 extra space away
- Horses: can move 1 extra space (and/or can move the regular amount AND rest in the same turn).
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Postby Mac » Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:05 am

I think this is great. I do wonder however if we are running before we can walk. For trying out a system for the first time, I think I would rather stick to the absolute basics.

Herowannabe wrote:have a basic map overlayed with a grid or hex pattern


So, an advantage of my prior suggestion is that it will keep both individual turns and the game as a whole moving swiftly. If the default is simply that most troops attack each turn, we'll proceed quickly toward the victory condition. If we start allowing for people to evade and drag out combat, I worry that we'll run into the problem that somewhat plagues this site, of scenarios that last beyond someone's attention span.

As I mentioned, I don't think it's either realistic or helpful to simply grant your characters full and direct control of the armies. Among other things, I want to give the people who made more social-centric characters something to do... if the enemy army just acts by default, and you guys are able to influence your armies to act, in some measure, in a more tactical manner, that will give you the advantage. Otherwise, I'm not sure how much the social characters will get to do.

In addition, decisions being made by committee is sorta iconic for slowing things down. Asking five people to reach a consensus on the movements/actions of 35 individual troops in the context of a long-term strategy... I suspect we could do fifteen or twenty rounds of army combat in the time that would take once, which is more time we can spend on the character-centric set-pieces. I believe this will be what most people will enjoy in the game.

It could also allow for a few extra traits to add to troops:


Yes, I had considered adding more complicated benefits, but I decided against it. I think it will add more complication than it will add strategy. We'll have to start worrying about how many extra dice are worth how much extra damage are worth how long range are worth how much armor... it might be a little frustratingly simplistic, and hopefully if idiosyncratic things come up I'll be able to adjudicate to everyone's satisfaction, but it's also, I hope, going to keep things going. Also, this is a bit of a test-run for us, so I'd rather see what needs to be improved when we have the mechanics a little on the simple side before we start adding frills.

I think you've come up with some great ideas that we should all keep in mind as we play this time, so when we deconstruct this play-through we can do so with an eye towards what we should improve for next time.
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