An outline for a skirmish wargame.

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An outline for a skirmish wargame.

Post by Tevelyn on Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:53 am

(Mv) (ATT/DEF) (STR) (AIM) (TGH) (HLTH)

Movement: The distance this model may move in inches.

Attack/Defense: This model's skill with a melee weapon.(defense is ATT+7)

Strength: This models raw ability to hurt enemies with a melee weapon.

Aim: This models skill with a ranged weapon.

Toughness: This models toughness, armor etc counts.

Health: The ammount of damage this model can take before dying.

Command: A general's ability to command and inspire the troops. Also a measure of the generals tactical prowess.

Generic Stats:
Human
(Mv) 5
(ATT/DEF) 7/14
(STR) 7
(AIM) 8
(TGH) 7
(HLTH) 5

Elf
(Mv) 6
(ATT/DEF) 8/15
(STR) 6
(AIM) 7
(TGH) 6
(HLTH) 4

Orc
(Mv) 5
(ATT/DEF) 8/15
(STR) 8
(AIM) 9
(TGH) 8
(HLTH) 6


Assumptions: Skirmish level an "elite" army will have 5-8 units in his army and a (CMD) of 8-10, a "swarm" army will have 8-15 units in his army and a (CMD) of 5-8. The game will be played on a 4'x4' table. Scenarios will dictate terrain for the battle.

Setup and first turn:
Your commander will have a Command score(CMD) take this number and subtract the number of units in your army. Add 2d6 and compare to your opponent. The player with the higher number may elect to go first. Both players take any units with the (Scout) trait and set them aside, they will not be used until the end of the first turn. Each player then takes turns "activating" a card and moves the units that card represents onto the table, starting with the player who won the (CMD) roll. Their movement begins at the table edge and they may take any special move actions that are applicable upon entering the table. When the first player moves a unit onto the table he "chooses" that table edge, the rest of his models must come in from that table edge. The next opponent must use the table edge opposite him.

Scouts:
Once the first turn of actions is over both players take turns activating their scouts. A scout maybe be placed anywhere on the board at least 20" from an enemy model, the scout may "activate" immediately after it is deployed.

Activating:
When a unit activates, the player announces what action it will take. Unless the action specifies otherwise the unit is allowed to move its full movement and perform the action. You handle models in the unit one model at a time, moving it and performing its actions completely before moving on to the next. Note that a unit may move half its move, perform its action the move the other half. In this manner a unit can move out of cover, shoot, and then fall back into cover. The model may elect to perform its action anywhere along the movement it chooses.

Actions:
Charge: A model may move up to twice it's movement score and then make a single melee attack.
Swing: A model makes a single melee attack.
Shoot: A model makes a single ranged attack.
Run: A model may move twice it's movement. May not be announced when an enemy is within 6".
Movement:
Difficult terrain: Halve movement.
Shallow water is difficult terrain.

Impassable terrain: terrain that cannot be reasonably negotiated during a battle, including but not limited to, cliff sides, deep water and dense forest. Unless a unit has special rules it may not pass through this terrain.

Combat:
After a model has moved to 1" or less of an enemy model it may make an attack. When making an attack roll 2d6 and add your units (ATT), if that number is higher than your opponents (DEF) then you successfully hit. Next roll 2d6 and add the (STR) off of your models weapon profile, subtract your opponents (TGH) and that is the total damage done. Mark that many boxes off on that models entry on the units card. If the model is reduced to 0 wounds then remove it from play.

Shooting:
Shooting is a simple affair, Simply roll 2d6 and compare it to your (AIM), apply any necessary modifiers, if you rolled higher, then you hit! After that it's a simple affair, roll 2d6 and add the (STR) off of your weapon profile, subtract your opponents (TGH) and that is the total damage.

Shooting modifiers:
-1 to the roll(cumulative):
You moved
Your target moved
You're firing at a small target
Every inch of cover between you and your target is(up to 3)
-2 to the roll(cumulative):
You're target ran
You're firing at a very small target
Your target is engaged in melee.
+1 to the roll(cumulative):
You're firing at a large target
Line of Sight:

Your models draw line of sight from a line bisecting their base across the middle. They may see 180degrees in the front arc of this line, you should denote this with markings on your base. You may not target units that are not in your LOS with actions.
We are using a LOS style called area terrain. Basically if you place a base on the table with 2 trees sticking out of it, painted green then hte entire base is considered to be a forest. Some types of area terrain, such as trees, provide cover. If a model is trying to draw LOS to another model and it passes through more than 3" of cover then that model may not see him and may elect to perform a different action or select a different target.


Faith:

Priests and paladins are those among us act as avatars of the divine. They can channel the faith of their army into great feats and bless their armies. Paladins are more militant than priests and often will have abilities that buff themselves or smite the enemies of their god, while the priest will normally heal and protect nearby allies.

When a priest/paladin gets ready to activate clear all unused faith tokens off his card and place a number of faith tokens equal to his faith score plus 1 for every "faithful" unit you choose within his command range. "Faithful" units may only contribute 1 faith token per turn so you want to choose carefully who you reap from if you have more than 1 priest/paladin in your army. Your priest/paladin may then activate each of his blessings once during his activation. Note: The blessing will be his action part of his activation, so he can move and use a blessing but not shoot or attack, unless the blessing specifies otherwise.

Blessings:
Armor of Faith: (Faith): X+2 Target: 1 unit per faith spent.
All units targetted by armor of faith gain +2 to (TGH) until this model activates again.

Divine Strike: (Faith): 4*paladin only* Target: 1 enemy model
This model makes one melee attack. He gets a free raise on his hit roll and an extra die of damage.



Magic:

Mages are beings of power who draw energy from the lay lines that surround them. Their powers are generally more elemental in nature than priest spells.

When a mage activates first clear all mana tokens off of his card. Then roll 2d6 and add his (MAGE) score, he gains that many mana tokens for use this turn. A mage may cast one of his spells during his activation. Unlike a faith-user, he may activate it as many times as he has mana to power it.

Spells:
Chains of Earth: (Mana): 2 Target: 1 unit
Halve target unit's movement.

Fireball: (Mana): 2+X Target: 1 Model
Target model takes a hit at str 10+X2


a basic outline I drew up last night. not detailed out yet with a couple of basic statlines for UNARMED/UNARMORED units. Missing, "Hero" rules, Morale rules and then getting into hardcore fleshing out the rules. I think this is more or less the best way to build a system for a unit by unit skirmish wargame.

Tev

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Re: An outline for a skirmish wargame.

Post by Kane on Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:04 pm

Sounds like a very good start. Let us know what else you come up with.

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Re: An outline for a skirmish wargame.

Post by sucramreverse on Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:59 am

I like the priests and mages. and generally like the system for hit and damage rolls you have there, might I ask how you came to that idea? it works out perfectly that any unit versus itself will have to roll a 7 from 2D6. hmmm...ideas are forming...
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Re: An outline for a skirmish wargame.

Post by Tevelyn on Sat Dec 19, 2009 8:48 am

the idea behind an "attack" rating score is your skill with a weapon, thus theoretically your ability to defend yourself against someone of equal skill should be roughly 50/50. Thus unless we're talking a bezerker or a defense specialist then att/def should always be x/x+7. Theoretically you don't need to actually have it in the stats but, the less things you have to figure out during the game the better, so having a defense stat even if it will always be 7 higher than attack, on the card means less math/faster play, secondly, for instances like paladins and bezerkers, where lopsided att/def might be necessary.

As for system ideas... I've been playing wargames for a 12+ years. I played 2nd,3rd,5th w40k, 2nd, 3rd, 4th confrontation. 5th,7th warhammer fantasy, deadlands great rail wars, warmachine, hordes, probably a few others I have forgotten and this system is a distilled "model by model" system, kind of what confrontation wanted to do except with more efficient book-keeping and dice mechanics.

Basically, the confrontation 4th ed turn "activation" structure, combined with WM*2d6* style rolling but without the absurd problems that WM has with ranged combat. And a few bits and pieces of other systems thrown in. What I'm trying to sort out right now is the "Hero" part of the system. Basically, in every game out there that I've played, non-caster heroes are boring, I mean, solos in WM are more interesting "heroes" than characters in warhammer or confrontation. Heroes need a set of "spells" that can be a command(CMD) based set of melee and unit buffing abilities. Think sword maneuvers and orders kind of thing. I really loved in 2nd/3rd confrontation they had the "duelling" mechanic where players played "paper rock scissors" with their dice, but the system was so unwieldy that it brought the game to a crawl when you got into melee.

*the confrontation 2nd/3rd system was basically characters get 2 dice and can put them in attack pool or defense pool so if you attacked with 2 and he defended with 2 then it would be harder to hit him. Eventually it simply devolved into everyone all out attacking because it was more efficient than trying to defend which really tipped the game into tough/strong monster type troops and away from att/def skill type troops.

ug rambling, I think the priest/mage system concepts are good, you just have "hero" priest/mages who break the limit rules. So you can have a minor mage who can spam magic missile and a minor priest who can buff/heal multiple units and then you're hero casters will be more heroic by comarison because they'll be more utilitarian. One of the cool ideas behind the setup is that it allows for multiple units of non-hero mages and priests without allowing them to be overpowered by virtue of too much utility.

wow long post. Thanks for the attention

Tev

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Re: An outline for a skirmish wargame.

Post by SpaceMonkey on Fri Dec 25, 2009 3:58 pm

I think you need to add two new stats to the mix like a Bravery/Moral and a Fear Causing stat.
Moral is very important in any army. A lot of the time you are not out to kill everyone but break their moral and make them run away. This is a well documented technique. In historical battles a weapon or unit that causes fear or affects the opponents moral is very important. Elephants were used to cause fear in cavalry and men; artillery is know to wear down moral before a fight; and the Romans even had incendiary pigs. They had a whole group of pigs coved in fat that they ignited and sent into the opposition to break up their formation (I know if I was confronted with a screaming flaming pig coming directly at me I’ll step aside). In a fantasy game fear and moral is very important. Imagine a sorcerer that conjures up a demon. That demon is going to cause fear in the troops around it. So I think a stat that measures the units moral and the fear it causes is a good idea.

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Re: An outline for a skirmish wargame.

Post by Tevelyn on Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:17 pm

there's an actual new thought. Should morale be a spendable commodity in a wargame? You have banners that can generate morale, fear and casualties can hurt morale. Maybe instead of morale being a static value it can be something that ebbs and flows through the battle and units can "spent" morale in order to improve their combat abilities. When a unit runs out of morale it "squabbles" or some other appropriate behavour, and if a unit is forced to lose morale when it has none left then the unit breaks and flees...

I like the idea because it has the potential to elegantly add mechanics to infantry and represent units taking a "heroic stand" or similar heroics.

So what you're looking at is a boost/morale combat system combined into 1.

Each unit will have a Morale stat and a set of boxes equal to that stat. You have special abilities and equipment that can generate morale every turn, so regiment banner generates 1, a musician generates 1, a general's banner might generate 2 or even 3, We'll go with a unit has a maximum morale of 7. Units that cause fear with have a (FEAR) stat of say 14 for a skeleton. To charge a unit that causes fear you'd test your (Morale) against his (Fear), and you can spend morale points in order to reroll? the check.

Just a very very basic concept, I'll brainstorm about it, hit me up with any ideas

Tev

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Re: An outline for a skirmish wargame.

Post by poet on Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:28 am

Check out my combat system:
http://herebedragons.darkbb.com/rules-development-f5/combat-system-t33.htm

My idea is that morale is like damage. You suffer it throughout the combat, and once you run out, you flee.
It may also get you a -1 penalty to all dice rolls (not armor) if you've lost half your morale.

Also, I feel that if an attack didn't do any damage, or even if it didn't hit, it should deal some psychological damage.


P.S I'm curios about why you feel the shooting in warmachine is not good, and why you rather have shooting be completely independent of your target's ability to hide/dodge incoming missile weaponry.

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Re: An outline for a skirmish wargame.

Post by Tevelyn on Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:00 am

to be simple, shooting is enormously more dependant on the shooter than the shootee, it's not like swordfighting where with skill you can parry, you can jump around a whole lot but you'd have to have supernatural reflexes to effectively dodge a bullet or arrow. Thus warmachine's ranged system is the worst part about the game. Try getting into it and dealing with some of the warcasters with 17+ defense, you simply can't HIT them, even if you're talking a 7 foot tall behemoth who killed a warjack and wore it as armor*pbutcher* is still supernaturally dexterous enough to dodge bullets... It's absurd, it really is.

Tev

and before anyone who thinks they know what is going on argues pbutcher has a spell called iron flesh that increases his defense... not his armor, but his defense, making him all but impossible to hit by most models in the game.

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Re: An outline for a skirmish wargame.

Post by poet on Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:47 am

I agree for the most part.

A few thins though, warmachine is a fantasy setting, as as such, supernatural dexterity isn't that ridiculous. Maybe nimble elves can dodge bullets?
Iron flesh is a spell, is it that far fetched that a spell will make someone dodge bullets?

DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert, correct me if I am wrong.
If you look at history, you see that for the most part ranged weaponry became far better than melee. Once a ranged weapon can kill you from 50 yards, it really doesn't make much sense to get up close and personal with your target, no matter how insane your damage output is in melee.

If you want your game to have a melee element in it, you must tone down ranged weaponry in some way or another, or they will make melee simply obsolete.

LoTR for example, tones down ranged weaponry by only allowing 33% of your force to have archers. If there was no such restriction, you'd see plenty of 90% ranged weaponry lists doing a bit too well.

But if this system wants to represent a realistic setting, then by all means, you should use a target-independent shooting system.
If this system wants to have melee as a large part of it, I'm not sure that's the best route to take.

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Re: An outline for a skirmish wargame.

Post by Tevelyn on Sun Dec 27, 2009 1:20 pm

Well, you also have to think, historically you're talking shots going the distance of a football field or longer depending on the type of bow/gun. The ranged elements for wargames is a balance issue. In most games your assault rifles have a range of something like 24" in a scale where 1" is between 1 and 2 yards. so around 40 yard range for most assault rifles. I can kill an animal with a 20 gauge shotgun from that distance*if not terribly reliably* and thats a reasonable shot with a pistol. True rifle range for accurate fire from an experienced hunter is something between 100 and 150 yard range. If we ran this scale on a tabletop you're talking what 60" is long range on a rifle? So 30" would be long range on a longbow? If you're dealing with ranges like that then reasonable stats would make guns/bows dominant in any setting they were included in. Thus why when we're balancing a game you keep your weapons to have unrealistically short ranges to maintain the tactical variation between melee and ranged combat.

The argument can be made that if you're going to skew ranges to make the game more interesting/tactical then why not skew dodging, which I really can't disagree with without being a hypocrite, but I prefer a more "realistic" shooting scenario thats variation depends on movement, speed, cover, and range rather than a characters ability to dodge arrows/bullets. It "feels" more realistic to me and, at least in the writeup I have atm, it makes it so that you have to deal with less numbers than a WM like system. IE in a WM system you have your opponents defense, plus modifiers for being in combat, behind cover, etc. With this system you simply have the modifiers to your roll. So it SHOULD run smoother in an actual game and, again, be a more realistic system.


Your thoughts on morale/fear btw. I like the idea of morale being a huge factor for a "realistic" large scale wargame. Historically, morale made as much of a difference in large battles as dead enemies, often an army would capture more troops than were killed in a large battle. A REAL challenge I haven't even considered would be a truely large scale minis game, where a good morale system would be the defining feature. I'll have to look over your system when I get some time tonight, but I really think morale belongs in large games, after all in a skirmish game if you had a unit book it off the board in a skirmish game that could be a deal breaker, and would keep some units off the table on a conceptual level.

Tev

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Re: An outline for a skirmish wargame.

Post by poet on Sun Dec 27, 2009 1:48 pm

Well the implication can only be found in playtesting. You can also tweak the power of ranged weapons to make them less devastating.
As long as we're on the same boat, that ranged weapons shouldn't be completely realistic, I'm happy.

My morale system is actually intended to make sure there aren't just two states of morale a unit can be in, like say warmachine.
In warmachine your troops are either "fine" or "gone" (in MK1, at least).

Tracking morale as damage allows you to make sure there are varied states of morale, along with the ability to heal the "psych" of the troopers. So they start taking morale damage, make sure they get a banner nearby, or an officer to encourage them.

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