A question of scale

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A question of scale

Post by S W Dickson on Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:04 pm

Not too hard a question, but it has to be asked?

28mm heroic scale good for a start?
Perhaps at a Skirmish level?
Heroes and a few henchmen types?

My reasoning is the ready availability of models at this scale, and the size of battle isn't as important as much as how it plays.

Thoughts?
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Re: A question of scale

Post by sucramreverse on Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:52 pm

IMO, 28mm would be best as that is what most miniatures are made at. Though, I'm sure any rules/measurements could be scaled to fit the model sizes if a change is decided.

(Though I'm not exactly a fan of heroic scale as I find it harder to sculpt, but that is just personal preference)

Skirmish with heroes and a few henchmen sounds fine too. better to start small and work our way up to larger battles, I think. I'm no professional though Razz.

Bit OT; are you thinking separate basic rules for fantasy and sci-fi then?
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Re: A question of scale

Post by S W Dickson on Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:55 pm

I figured from a presentation point of view, it'd be better to make it separate - just for now. It's all up for debate. I quite fancy working on a fantasy skirmish affair first, as it may prove to be a winner for other genres - if you made it to include heavily armoured steampunk vehicles successfully, then I'd see no reason not to use that to bring together the modern/sci-fi into the fold. It's also because so many people make heroic fantasy style minis (for RPing) that don't have a great way to use them.

Just when I was configuring the forums I saw a need to explore an independent set of universes - and I don't fancy trying to make sci-fi "fit" with fantasy - it seems to generic. I like the idea of sharing lore - such as races, mystic arts, etc. but not a fan of having space elves just for the sheer heck of it.

My current vision is of one base ruleset (for all your standard troopers and heroes) with bolt-on rules for however you need to play. If you need a transport - check. If you need something to fly - check. If you need to blow up a tank with an arrow - check.

It just helps to focus the mind if you have a base "look and feel" to the battles you are trying to develop for first. So figured, as fantasy stuff can draw from historical, mythical and fictional sources, it tends to be a quicker draw.

Plus - the fantasy genre needs another skirmish battle system. To focus on Sci-fi at the start would be like David picking a fight with a squad of Goliaths. With one pebble.
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Re: A question of scale

Post by sucramreverse on Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:08 pm

like David picking a fight with a squad of Goliaths. With one pebble.

I'm sure he could pull it off if his attack stat was high enough, lol.

I think you sound like you have a pretty good idea of how to go about this, so I'll follow your lead Razz. Though I don't even have any fantasy miniatures myself...but I might have to get some if I can have tank exploding arrows of doom Cool .
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Re: A question of scale

Post by S W Dickson on Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:37 pm

Nothing wrong with tank exploding arrows of doom mate.

That's what Aetherite is for!
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Re: A question of scale

Post by Zinkala on Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:53 am

I'd love to see another fantasy skirmish game. I also always liked the idea of rules that can be scaled up or down to handle different levels of combat. If the basics are sound they should be workable as the core to more than just one type of game. The "bolt on" concept that SW Dickson mentioned. I wouldn't worry a lot about what scale of minis to use to begin with because it's real easy to switch between 28mm(my preferred scale) and 15mm. Smaller scales work better for massed battle though. One of the things I often go on about is adaptability. I like seeing games that can be quickly modded and adapted to whatever a player wants as well as having the "official" cores armies and such.

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Re: A question of scale

Post by Kane on Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:50 am

28mm absolutely. Especially if going for a heroic system. 15mm is much more epic and characters have less impact I think. 20mm is right out since you really can't find fantasy minis in that scale.

Anyway, I'd like to see a single, unified system personally. Think of HeroScape. Fast, fun system that mixes fantasy, sci-fi and historical characters in one big battlefield of crazy. The story is slightly above Quake 3: Arena, but at least it gives you an excuse to fight!

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Re: A question of scale

Post by CCotD on Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:23 am

Thought I'd chime in here.

Skirmish and LBS games play totally different and Skirmish systems do not scale well when trying to Emulate LBS.

While it should be possible to have the same stats for the Mini's. Skirmish systems are usually more detailed, taking the same time slot as an LBS would because the LBS deals with more mini's so the details of what each mini can do would be scaled back.

Now creating a system where it spoke of units, not based on size but the units could be of any size and the details are left to the heroes (single figure units) or specialists attached to a particular unit (still only a single figure that can have special abilities). This would keep the system from bogging down with only the number of dice being thrown is larger and moving the miniatures takes more time because there are more of them.

I think it would be critical to define what a Skirmish game is and what an LBS (Large Battle System) is and how this game falls into each category.

Of course there could always be one rule book with both Skirmish and LBS in one but two different systems with some shared basic components. Unfortunately in this scenario you will have players that "have to have Skirmish rule X" in their LBS game, which totally blows the balance.

ON Scale:

Scale shouldn't matter. Scale is distance between models. 15 models shooting arrows is 15 models shooting arrows. While the selection's of models may be different, with an open source or freeware system with no dedicated models, the build system for those would be WYSISWYG, so scale again is no issue as long as the mini reflects what was stated on the stat card.

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Re: A question of scale

Post by Zinkala on Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:10 am

CCotD wrote:Thought I'd chime in here.

Skirmish and LBS games play totally different and Skirmish systems do not scale well when trying to Emulate LBS.

While it should be possible to have the same stats for the Mini's. Skirmish systems are usually more detailed, taking the same time slot as an LBS would because the LBS deals with more mini's so the details of what each mini can do would be scaled back.

Scale shouldn't matter. Scale is distance between models. 15 models shooting arrows is 15 models shooting arrows. While the selection's of models may be different, with an open source or freeware system with no dedicated models, the build system for those would be WYSISWYG, so scale again is no issue as long as the mini reflects what was stated on the stat card.

I agree with you about the style of play differing between skirmish and LBG but I still believe that you can adapt the basics to either. Melee, shooting, movement and morale should be easily translated between them. I also agree that a skirmish game should have a much higher level of detail. When you only have a handful of minis on the table it's not much fun if they all die in 15 minutes. What can be added is things like wounds affecting performance instead of just being a straight kill, more movement options and positions such as running, crawling, hiding in your hole that don't necessarily need to be included in a large scale game.

I agree with you 100% on the scale thing.

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Re: A question of scale

Post by Lucas on Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:07 am

I'd like the bookkeeping to stay minimal if not even nonexistent. I know some people like to crunch on numbers, but when the mini has as many stats as an average player character in a lite RPG, that's off the charts for me. I'd rather have a game finished in half an hour and be able to play a mini campaign if I have enough time, then to have an absolute minimum of an hour or two of gameplay pre-set for a satisfactionary game, played to some conclusion.

If stat cards for keeping wounds and other stuff are used, I'd like to have them only if they make things more simple and improve on the experience (i.e. by cool graphic design and illustrations), instead of givng you more stuff you have to check for in the rulebook.

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Re: A question of scale

Post by sucramreverse on Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:30 pm

I also agree that it should be fairly simple to scale a skirmish game up to LBS. Of course you'd have to drop certain details and rules as you scale up, but you'd have to add rules as well. Either way the basics should be the same, with individuals and heroes taking more of a back seat in a LBS.

And stat cards might be a good idea, or even a small stat booklet for each army to prevent the need for looking stuff up in a large book of rules. And business card cardstock is readily available, so we could make PDFs specifically for printing those out.

I had a brief vision of a stat card with dry erase section for tracking wounds, but I think I was going crazy Razz
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Re: A question of scale

Post by S W Dickson on Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:47 pm

I'm definitely for the "Simple is good" method. The ins and outs of certain types of play fall by the wayside if it needs a total rethink every time. For the traditional "slightly bigger than RPG" skirmish I think some of you are thinking of, then that, I reckon, should be covered at a core level by the first outing of the rules. The extra components that make many of these games more entertaining, and a lesser bodycount, tend to be in the realm of a campaign system tacked on at the end. More wounds for lesser heroes and henchmen, knocking down, knocking out. You have a lot less in the way of nasty cannonfire coming your way as well, so it tends to be muskets at worst.

My point being that the "plug-in" universe is what generally adds to the game, not the game itself.

My own reasons for sorting out Skirmish level first, is purely for the cross-genre nature of the project. If the one core gamesystem can handle individual heroes, loose squads, full regimental units, as well as tanks and monsters, then hopefully any army from any "plug-in" universe should be able fight each other (if they have decent weapons). It also means a lot less worry about people learning a whole new game every time they want to collect a Zombie horde or a Napoleonic force, or a super powered Alien Insectoid from the planet Zaarg.

The game itself should be flexible but simple enough to cope with anything you want to throw at it. A skirmish "plug-in" is probably what would be required for the gang vs gang type campaign setting you're talking about. I reckon having "necro" in the title would be a bit cheeky though.

It'd be cool if it was flexible enough to cope with other scales too, but that my friends, is a pipe dream.

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Re: A question of scale

Post by poet on Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:22 pm

I say aim high, and adjust as we go.

The fact nobody has made a game that scales well from 15 models to 150 models, doesn't mean we can't!

If we can make a core rules system that is very simple, and low on detail, that can scale, then we can indeed add the details as a plug-in.

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Re: A question of scale

Post by Lanrak on Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:41 am

HI all.
If we keep the basic rule set focused on generic game mechanics and resolution methods,we could simply scale up the elements used.

EG .
Individual, unit, unit group.

How do we define the elements in the game?

Here is my suggested rough draught.

Mobility.(Movement range and type of movement.)
Assault .(Close combat and/or short ranged weapon effects.)
Ranged .(Range weapon effects.)
Stealth.(How easy the element is to see.)
Awarness.(How well the element can spot targets.)
Moral.(How willing the element is to keep on fighting.)
Command.(How well the unit gives and recieves information.)

Just a few ideas please feel free to modify.

I belive a few simple modifiers can cover varience in situation /interaction.


What level of interaction do we want the game turn to have?
This depends on the setting of the game, (IMO,)as more modern -scifi game tend to have higher levels of interaction due to better communications.

Ill stop there for C&C.
TTFN
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