Command-based game?

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Command-based game?

Post by Squig on Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:40 pm

Hello everybody. I always had the idea that Tabletop as we know it today does not quite simulate command decisions (but then again my knowledge of games is quite limited to GW-systems). I thought it would be interesting to change that:
Before every round every general has to give orders to his troops, and they react accordingly (or according to their own brightness if there is no order received). The orders are given simultaneously in secret (I think card based would be easiest), orders then are revealed simultaneously and then unit for unit the orders are executed, alternating, and each player can chose which unit is following commands next (you could change this part in the sense that first all walking commands are resolved, then shooting and then meele).
The commands should be rather complex, and work with ifs (Example: If you don't see any enemy, walk cautiously toward that tree line, if you do at long range, shoot at him, if at short range, run from him.)
Another way to make it more interesting (and much more complicated) would be to try to resolve it in real time. You are allowed to give new commands every 5 time phases, or you are only allowed to give so many new commands every time phase (ie can't give new commands out to every unit at once).
I have no idea if such a system could work, and if it is balanceable, but I would love to give it a try.

Constructive criticism is very welcome: Any thoughts?

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Re: Command-based game?

Post by Kane on Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:53 pm

That actually sounds somewhat similar to Piquet. I do like the idea, but have never played it.

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Re: Command-based game?

Post by S W Dickson on Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:08 pm

I like it as an idea. Certainly in the 10mm range. It may throw up some interesting play. And plain funny if you end up charging an enemies position they have just marched away from!

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Re: Command-based game?

Post by sucramreverse on Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:15 pm

It is an interesting concept, not my cup of tea, but I can see how that could be a fun game. I just personally don't like my game to be quite that random, and more of a contest of skill than rock-paper-scissors. I am thinking something similar could be incorporated into a classic wargame though, just not sure how.
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Re: Command-based game?

Post by S W Dickson on Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:25 pm

Well, it could just be an alternate way to play. The base concepts of movement and attacking are always required, no matter how the decisions on how and when you move stuff is made. It could be a satisfactory "plug-in" - and if the base game is solid enough, then it should cope with such embellishments.

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Re: Command-based game?

Post by Squig on Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:32 pm

Re sucramreverse:
Dunno how random that would be to be honest. Yes, you don't have as much direct control as in classic 'my turn - your turn' games, but it would sort of simulate how in Computer RTS games you can't do everything at once (and army of Zerglings tends to take more time to command than an army of Protoss Berzercs to do the same amount of harm). The time pressure would be removed, but it would bring certain other elements of skill into the game, and would certainly make it more important to predict what your enemy does.
But in the end it's a matter of taste and how well whoever does it is able to actually write rules for this. I'll have a look at Piquet and see if I can make more specific examples of rules and the different variants I have in my head.
Thanks for the feedback so far!

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Re: Command-based game?

Post by sucramreverse on Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:42 pm

well as SW pointed out, it could be a simple "plug-in" that a well written game should be able to handle. I actually like that idea. Play a normal game and then whip out your 'command' cards to play a game of pretty different style, but using the same basics and minis.

As for an RTS, you're still reacting to what your enemy does as it's happening, not really issuing commands beforehand (not always true of course), albeit with fog of war. In fact, I'd be interested in how fog of war could be simulated on a tabletop...seems impossible though...
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Re: Command-based game?

Post by Squig on Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:53 pm

You'd need an impartial referee (like you need for rolegames like D&D or DSA) and a sheet or something similar for FOW, and even then it would be hard to do. But one thing at a time :-)

Really like that plug-in idea actually. Hmmmhm

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Re: Command-based game?

Post by S W Dickson on Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:11 pm

FOW - maybe tokens representing "something" until you come within range?

Obviously goes out the window if they go back out of range, but, it's still a close without the need for a referee.

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Re: Command-based game?

Post by poet on Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:51 am

There is a game called battlegrounds, I think, that works in a much simpler version of what you're talking about.

You get x+1 commands each turn, where X is the game size divided by a certain number.
A command is basically, to take over a unit of troops/monster and manually control it, like we control most things in tabletop wargames.
Every monster/unit that didn't recive a command, does one of 3 basic actions. stand and shoot, advance and shoot, advance/charge if in range.

I have played this a long while back, so I'm not 100% sure on the details. Basic idea though is that instead of having very complex commands written on cards, when you give commands to your troops, you can manually control them. If you don't they do one of 3 very basic actions.

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Re: Command-based game?

Post by Lanrak on Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:58 am

Hi folks.
I have been developing a game turn mechnic that allows the maximum tactical interaction with the minimum amount of rules and book keeping.

ALL orders are made up of 2 actions.
Move, shoot, assault , ready.

Move;- move up to the elements movement stat.

Shoot ;- make ranged attacks .

Assault ;- engage target in close combat/firefight.

Ready;- lets units maximise cover, and fire weapons with long or complex set up-reload proceedures.
(All weapons that are 'move or fire' could be classified as 'fire support' , to make it clear a Fire support order is needed before use.)

This gives the following orders.

Advance..(A) move then shoot.

Charge..(C) move then assault.

Evade..(E) shoot then move.

Fire support..(F) Prepare then shoot.

(It is possible to add more order types if needed... Smile )

The basic game turn runs like this...

Start of turn .
Attempt to rally elements on poor moral.Place order counters FACE DOWN,(Only elements with OK moral.)Order off table support,(Artillery -air strikes reserves.)

Actions Phases.
Player A reveals orders , by turning them face up,(one at a time,) and taking the FIRST action ONLY.
Player B reveals orders , by turning them face up, (one at a time ,)and taking the FIRST action ONLY.
Player A covers orders , by turning them face down , (one at a time ,)and taking the SECOND action ONLY.
Player B covers orders , by turning them face down , (One at a time ,)and taking the SECOND action ONLY.

End of turn phase.
Resolve assaults. Resolve moral.Plot arrivals.

I suggest players roll for who gets 'first turn' each game turn.

All the book keeping is placing counter for each element (model or unit or unit group, depending on scale of game.)
And flipping the counter over as you take actions.

In the simplest representation of moral damage and loss of command and control, any element that is not on 'OK moral' , can not be given orders, but follow the actions listed for 'supressed' or 'neutralised' as suggested below.

Supressed (Shaken) MUST retire to cover at full speed , or move up to half speed towards interveening cover.
A unit that is supressed and in cover will NOT move , but counts as taking an advance order and already moved.(Miss a turn then shoot)

Neutralised (Stunned) WILL NOT take any actions untill rallied .But will fight back if assaulted.Neutralised elements become supressed after sucessful rally attempt.


This is a very generic game turn idea.It is up for discussion.
Ill detail anything that is not too,clear.(I am not that good at explaining my ideas. Embarassed )

TTFN
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Re: Command-based game?

Post by sucramreverse on Fri Dec 18, 2009 4:19 am

You detailed it quite well Lanrak, and in fact, I might be persuaded to play with that system. It seems rather more intuitive than I envisioned a 'card based' system. 16 different command possibilities, and pretty much everything is covered.

I'd like to make a point that your morale element is VERY GOOD. having the units take cover as fast as possible and not doing anything else is how low morale units should react. running completely off the table is silly. And with two levels of morale status it makes morale really more important than it normally is.

-should look at using the morale bit in any system Exclamation

(the exclamation point was to get your attention, did it work?)
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Re: Command-based game?

Post by poet on Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:37 pm

Lanrak, I really like the general feel of what you're proposing, I will take a deeper look later, and make comments.

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Re: Command-based game?

Post by poet on Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:47 am

Ok, I put some more thought into this. Rereading the rules, and really understanding what you're proposing.
I'll keep on thinking as I write out my thoughts, so it may seem like I don't have much of a point Wink



I love the combinations of orders, they give a LOT of versatility, in fact, they give a little more than 16 options since moving towards your enemy and away from them is the same order, but can be applied to feel like a completely different command. For example:
Assault -> Move can be:
Assault then fall back.
Or Assault then advance further.

Some problems:
If I put in a move-> shoot actions and my opponent has a move->assault action.
I move my models, he moves his into melee. Now it doesn't really make sense for me to shoot.

Possibly we can have assault and shoot as the same order? called combat or something?

What if 2 units are within walking distance of one another.
Unit A has: Shoot -> move - with the intent of shooting and falling back.
Unit B has: Move -> assault - with the intent of a charge.

If A starts, he will get to shoot before getting charged. If B starts, unit A does nothing?


I would like to see a way to make this feel more simultaneous. Since both players place orders face-down without the knowledge of their opponent, all is needed is to find a way to resolve them in a more simultaneous way.

For example (and its just an example, I'm not proposing this as I haven't put enough thought into it):
In the above situation, unit B reveals a move action. If the player wants to enter melee with the unit B, he was declare so. If he does not declare it, he will stop just short of unit B.
After declaring intent to enter melee, his opponent may reveal the first order of unit B (because it is essentially being charged) if its a shoot order, the unit can "stand and shoot" before unit A gets to them.
If its a move order, the unit can fall back, or meet unit B halfway.

Need to think about it more...

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Re: Command-based game?

Post by Squig on Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:54 am

I don't know if that would complicate matters too much, but it would be important to have different speeds for different units, ie the normal assault unit should be faster than a shoot unit. Also, a unit that falls back and shoots should be slower than a unit that just falls back (facing the enemy and such). Maybe such a 'race' between unit, one charging, the other one falling back, could also be resolved by a dice.
I think this stand & shoot order should also happen. And a unit standing and shooting should be able to shoot better (ie either hit better or shoot more often) than one falling back or attacking.

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Re: Command-based game?

Post by Lanrak on Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:59 pm

Hi folks.
Thanks for the feed back.
As reguards sequencing, as both sides get to take actions 'almost simultaneously', who ever gets priority (changes each game turn,)takes thier singular actions first.

During actual conflict you have to second guess what your enemy is about to do, and the action set represents real time desicions,that elements/ units decide on then perform every few seconds.

Real time battle orders...'clear out that location, follow me, give covering fire,withdraw in good order...etc'

Not 'Get em lads, oh hang on a minute, are you fellows going to move out of our charge range? if so let us know and well just trot back to where we came from, or we can come to some othr arrangement if it ok by you?'

The charge reactions ,and decleration of charges used in WHFB, are conditional modifiers to inject tactical interaction into its ridged game turn.

'Interleaved actions' give this level of tactical interaction 'naturaly.'

However as Poet points out an attacking unit moving into assault could have enemy unit simply moving out of assault range before the attacker can assault.

As unit shoots.
Bs unit moves into contact with A.
As unit disengages(moves away.)
Bs unit can not perform assault action on unit B,if it is out of unit As weapons range.


If you concider this to be a problem,here is an alternative,.Take assaults out of the normal order set.If we assume moving and shooting are 'immidiate' and resolved quickly.And assume that assaults would be more time consuming to resolve.

We could simply say any unit that moves into 'base to base contact ' with enemy unit , they are said to be 'locked in assault'.And BOTH units do not perform any other actions until the assault is resolved at the end of the game turn.

This way the primary focus is on mobility and fire power,BUT well planned assaults cancel out the enemies ability to do either.

This leaves orders as.
Advance (A), move and shoot.
Charge (C), move then move. (Replacement as assault action removed from orders.)
Evade, (E) shoot then move.
Fire support,(F) ready then shoot.

This way ANY unit moving into base to base contact initiates an assault, even if they do so by accident.(I class an assault as getting up close and vilolent, short ranged fire fights that close into hand to hand combat.)

I was assuming that all elements/units would have a movement characteristic.The distance the unit MAY move up to when they take a movement action.

As ALL orders are taken by units on OK moral and under player control , and any units suffering moral damage take compulsory actions for supressed or neutralised.

I dont think that changing the movement rate based on orders is a valid argument.

However, a reduction in in game performance due to PHYSICAL damage , eg reduction in mobility and fire power as elements/units take damage, would make more sense and would be easier to implement and keep track of.
Unit data cards that track a units mobility and firepower damage capacity are easy to use.(As used in many games.)

If you want to load the order sequencing ,so pro-active orders take precidnece in the sequnce over reactive orders,and revert to alternating single unit activation, you could base the game turn on Epic SM II, turn sequence.

Ill go into more detail offer more alternative if you like?

TTFN
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