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Mass Combat Rules Constraints
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violence in the media
Duke


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Why has this whole discussion thus far skipped the possibility of the players having an army they send out to fight without them being there to take heroic actions?

Sometimes you have the ability and desire to send out a smaller force of troops to deal with something while you are otherwise occupied with the Dark Lord's main army. If I dispatch 2 companies of rangers to squash the bandit uprising in the south while the party is gathering forces to oppose the invasion from the west, what is the MC going to roll to determine whether they succeed or not? What information am I going to have so that I can evaluate whether 1 company would be enough, or that really 3 companies are necessary?
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

violence in the media wrote:
Why has this whole discussion thus far skipped the possibility of the players having an army they send out to fight without them being there to take heroic actions?


Because while it's entirely possible for a cooperative story to involve wars being fought off camera, it's also trivial to implement. You can just have the MC narrate some backstory about Orcs marching around. Or you could play a side game of Warhammer or have some completely self contained mini-game.

If you don't need to preserve the ability to switch back and forth between the scale of the player characters taking heroic actions and the scale of armies clashing, there's no design challenge at all. You could just have two game systems that work on their appropriate scales and be done with it. There are lots of game systems that work at whatever scale you want to talk about, and if you don't demand transparency between the different scales you can just pick a different system for each. Problem solved.

The issue is that in an RPG it is entirely possible that players will want their characters to do things that materially affect the outcome of battles. And that means that a Mass Combat System for an RPG should be able to accommodate creating outputs that can be used as inputs for the heroic scale system and also accepting inputs that can be the outputs of the heroic scale system both before and during the progression of the battles.

Quote:
Sometimes you have the ability and desire to send out a smaller force of troops to deal with something while you are otherwise occupied with the Dark Lord's main army.


Sure. And if that was all you had to do, the design challenge would be trivial. But sometimes you want the player characters to do things that materially affect the battle with the Dark Lord's main army, and then you need a system for resolving the battle with the Dark Lord's army that accepts inputs from the actions taken by the heroes.

-Frank
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MGuy
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mask_De_H wrote:
The problem is still the overall conclusion of the battle is produced by fiat/MCEGS chart production.
Except it's not. Perhaps reread what I've written?
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Zinegata
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chamomile wrote:
No one (ignoring blatant bad faith actors) disagrees that convincing the fire giants to show up to your side and fight should make a real difference to the fight, and that it should do so in a way that players can predict in advance (the same way that players can predict the result of an attack on an ogre - they don't know what numbers will come up on the dice and for that matter they don't even know that the ogre isn't secretly rocking a deflection bonus to AC, but they can be pretty confident that they have X% odds of hitting for an average of Y damage). What, then, is the benefit to the ladder of having a bunch of fire giants show up?


Just making a few clarifications here and not really trying to jump back into the argument:

I'm well aware that what I've written up thus far doesn't really detail how adding Fire Giants to the army adjusts the ladder or the army strengths.

But that's because I'm not about to design in detail a system that I'm not going to be personally using any time soon, without clear context as to the setting's overall theme and tone, especially for a crowd that isn't convinced of the core premise to begin with.

That said, those who are interested to see how detailed a ladder could take a look at Chains of Command again.

The game has a couple of campaign game supplements - each based off real battles and are quite accurate thanks to a lot of research - that nonetheless play very simply at the "campaign" level.

For instance Operation Martlet was a British attack against the German defenders of the village of Fortenay in Normandy 1944. The Brits win if they get to the top of the ladder within a certain time limit, while the Germans win if they hold off the Brits.

The campaign actions were very simple - the Brits could only Attack or Rest while the Germans could only Rest, Withdraw, or Counter-attack. After selecting the actions simultaneously both sides determine if a battle would occur and minis need to be placed on the table - with the map being pre-determined based on the British position on the ladder. Early fights for instance are for outlying farms or roads, while the "top rung" maps tend to be of the village itself.

After the battle casualties suffered by both sides were tallied and reflected in future battles. This is also why there's the option to choose Rest or Withdraw actions at the campaign level - as these allow losses to be replaced.

Both sides also have one special event each that they could use at any point in the campaign. The British special event completely replaced all losses without resting, while the Germans could suddenly deploy a large number of heavy tanks; albeit these heavy tanks would only stick around for a single battle.

I note these special events because they could easily be seen as "DM bullshit" in an RPG, where something happens out of the blue. But for a wargame these events actually represent adherence to the historical facts. In the British case, the full replacement event reflects the deployment of a brand-new reserve platoon in place of your original attack force, reflecting how the Brits had more manpower in reserve. The German counter-attack meanwhile reflected the real-life intervention of a German panzer company during a single day of the fighting, before it was forced to relocate to deal with a different British assault elsewhere.

That should again demonstrate how wargames - even those that put a lot of level of detail in their research and systems - do not necessarily need to make the campaign resolution system overly complex; particularly if it's not the game's focus. Indeed, I would argue that even the "unfair" events often become the highlight of the campaign and a major part of its flavor - the German tank counter-attack for instance is often the highlight of the Martlet campaign precisely because it suddenly turns the tables on the British player for once.

In short, sometimes, players want to be suddenly reinforced by a troop of Fire Giants at the last minute to turn the tide of the battle. Whether or not they think it's DM bullshit at the end of the day isn't just a function of the system, but also of the DM and the playgroup's ability to come together and find a reasonable justification for the appearance of said Fire Giants (e.g. "These are the Fire Giants we helped in an earlier quest!"). Real historical battles are certainly full of these moments in the first place.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Zinegata, the Chains of Command example you just gave is wholly unacceptable as an RPG subsystem. And obviously so. An RPG subsystem has to do the following:

  • Give outputs for the battle if the PCs don't intervene. Both so that the intervention of the PCs can have meaning and because the PCs might decide to go quest for a sword or some fucking thing instead of involving themselves in the battle.

  • Be handlable in a short period of time. Sometimes battles aren't actually very important or you have a lot of them to resolve.

  • Accept literally any input that the RPG gives it. Giant Eagles? Mind controlled forest worms? Fucking whatever.

  • Create outputs that are immediately and easily interpreted by the RPG. Because that is the entire fucking point.

  • Accept that the players could simply vote to have a different goal right now. Maybe they decide that they want to stop conquering Frost Giants and want to go quest for flail snail eggs. Fucking whatever, because it's a cooperative storytelling game and the players have the right to switch gears at any moment if someone has an idea that the rest of the players take a shine to.


Like honestly, I think your suggested system does none of that.

-Frank
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

While all of that may be true, I don't really see anything moving into development that can handle adding 14 Frost Giants or adding 42 giant eagles. Or anything that even handles a mixed group of 133 hobgoblins, 42 skeletons, 91 troglodytes and 14 grigs.
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Zinegata wrote:
assorted stupidity


Your answer to the question of "what happens when we recruit the fire giants" cannot be "don't care, not my problem, fuck off," because that is ceding the argument that your system cannot actually handle one of the most important inputs for an RPG mass combat system. You don't have to be able to detail the impact of every single possible unit, but you do have to prove that your system is in principle capable of handling the idea that players recruit new units, and recruiting those units has reasonably predictable effects on the upcoming battle, and also that there is some kind of meaningful distinction between recruiting fire giants and elf archers. Giving lame excuses why you can't be bothered is the same as admitting that you can't actually do that.
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Zaranthan
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

How did all three of you not notice that Zin was holding up Chains as a possible output of the mass combat system we're trying to make here, not as an example of the system that PRODUCES said output?

Our very own game test includes this as a preliminary step in designing your heartbreaker: what do you want a game session to look like? Zin wants it to look like a round of Chains of Command. He wants a system that produces a line with X steps on it (troop strength comparison), and the players make decisions and dice rolls that determine whether you move forward a step or backward a step, and one side or the other loses if they don't get to step number X before Z turns have passed. Some part of the system produces gotchas that each side can use to turn the tide (recruiting the fire giants grants you the panzer strike).

This is a target that can be worked toward. It's just as valid a contribution to the topic as the various half-assed resolution mechanics that have been put forward so far.
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Zaranthan wrote:
How did all three of you not notice that Zin was holding up Chains as a possible output of the mass combat system we're trying to make here, not as an example of the system that PRODUCES said output?


I did? And my response is that such an output would be unacceptable, because it cannot model the things we need it to?

Quote:
(recruiting the fire giants grants you the panzer strike).


There is no interpretation of this statement that isn't stupid. How do you expect this "panzer strike" to show up in actual play? As a bunch of fire giants that show up to help in a specific combat? That can work when it's fire giants, but what about when you've recruited a few thousand elf archers instead of twelve really big, beefy fire giants? If you model that as just putting a dozen elf archers on the table, that means that having elf archer backup is basically irrelevant because a dozen level 0 doods means nothing to a fight between level 10 heroes and villains. They're crit-fishing to begin with, barely deal double digit damage on a crit (if we're being generous and assuming they get a +1 or +2 to damage from a feat or something, bog standard level 0 3.X archers get 1d8 and that's it, averaging 9 damage on a crit - nothing with ten hit dice cares about that), and they're so fragile that a standard fireball that guys with 5th level spells only barely care about expending can clear out most or all of them (depending on formation) with the expenditure of a single standard action. To have a functional mass combat system, there should be an amount of elf archers (or orc berserkers or hobgoblin infantry or whatever) that you can put on the field that will counterbalance the enemy having a couple dozen fire giants, even though that number is going to be massive. In order to actually reflect one side having a small number of mid-level troops and the other having 2+ orders of magnitude more level 0 mooks in skirmish combat, you need to actually give that one side 2+ orders of magnitude more level 0 mooks in that skirmish combat. If recruiting a dozen fire giants gets you one fire giant ally, recruiting 1200 elf archers needs to get you one hundred elf archer allies, and then oh, shit, our skirmish combat is broken again.

This is the least stupid interpretation I can think of. Otherwise, what, are you assuming that we are playing out individual rungs as a wargame where we get a fire giant unit, something which again and still has been discarded as a possibility because it scales horribly? Are you assuming that the "panzer strike" involves some kind of rules other than actual panzers showing up to help out on a certain day of the battle, and if so, the fuck do you think those rules are? Are you just assuming that whatever the panzer strike is, it can be ported from a platoon-level wargame to a squad-level RPG system with no problem, even though you have no idea what the rules for that actually look like in Chains of Command? Like I said: All of these are stupider than the non-functional version I posited in the above paragraph.

While we're talking about how thoroughly Zinegata has failed to adapt his pet wargame to RPGs, let's talk about that whole "start in the middle" thing. That works fine for a wargame where one side or the other can expect to lose one match and still be able to fight in the next, but in an RPG, losing a skirmish combat means that either you retreated - very likely after already expending most of your healing and possibly with one or more party members dropping, hopefully stabilizing, and having their unconscious bodies dragged to safety - or else you TPK'd. If you retreated, you are pretty much done for the day. You cannot go on fighting until you have restored your resources, and that is probably going to take eight hours, by which point the battle is probably over (D&D battles are overwhelmingly going to be decided in a day like Agincourt or Helm's Deep, not over the course of months like Stalingrad). The party's first defeat very likely also represents their final fight of the day. There is no point in having rungs below the starting point because it is extremely unlikely that you will actually reach any of those rungs. Even if you could make the ladder system work (and note: no one has demonstrated any capability to actually do this), you would still obviously start the party at the bottom and have them work their way up. Zinegata's suggestion to do otherwise is very obviously a result of blindly applying a system he likes from a completely different context to RPGs with minimal alteration, so it should not be at all surprising that his proposed system is non-functional.
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MGuy
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chamomile wrote:
Zinegata wrote:
assorted stupidity


Your answer to the question of "what happens when we recruit the fire giants" cannot be "don't care, not my problem, fuck off," because that is ceding the argument that your system cannot actually handle one of the most important inputs for an RPG mass combat system. You don't have to be able to detail the impact of every single possible unit, but you do have to prove that your system is in principle capable of handling the idea that players recruit new units, and recruiting those units has reasonably predictable effects on the upcoming battle, and also that there is some kind of meaningful distinction between recruiting fire giants and elf archers. Giving lame excuses why you can't be bothered is the same as admitting that you can't actually do that.
He specifically gave a reason why he wasn't detailing the numbers for the system (I.e. he's not trying to make one) and then gave an example of how you could have a special 'switch' that allows new specific things that players can bring to the battle for whatever reason and your big come back is that he didn't also cover a specific example you pulled right out of your ass? That seems pretty weak. Adding archers to your army could just add to your army numbers. It really is that easy to introduce something as piddly as that. He can't answer the question of what happens when fire giants because what the fuck are fire giants in this hypothetical game? How can he tell you how each and everything works even hypothetically if all the details on settings and stats aren't there to say? Fire giants could also easily just add numbers to your army count as well but it could instead be a special event players can trigger because they recruited the giant and said giant can be used to trigger all events that require 'is big' and/or 'breathes fire' but he can't cover that because again what the fuck is a fire giant to him in a system that doesn't exist?
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Zinegata
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
Zinegata, the Chains of Command example you just gave is wholly unacceptable as an RPG subsystem.


Lol. Well, thank you for agreeing with one of my core points that much of what's in wargames is incompatible with RPGs.

I'm again not belaboring to change the minds of people who just want to shout that "Zine is wrong" and basically ignore the actual points I'm making - especially since there are other people who are already noting how ridiculous the objections to my points are, but I do have to make a few points about this, because it's a really bizarre requirement:

Quote:
Give outputs for the battle if the PCs don't intervene. Both so that the intervention of the PCs can have meaning and because the PCs might decide to go quest for a sword or some fucking thing instead of involving themselves in the battle/


Firstly, Chains of Commands does provide an output without the players intervening. It's called "the events of the actual historical battle" - the history of which is included in every campaign booklet. Even if the players don't play the game we already know what actually happened with the real soldiers.

Of course RPGs don't have this luxury; but that's why both the DMs and the players must collectively make up the narrative they want to make for the battle. This is why I keep harping on how the army is more than just a collection of soldiers, but an institution that interacts with the players and the world. Without its context you're not going to have very meaningful outputs - basically it may as well be a random battle generator where Ninjas fight Roman Legionnaires.

Secondly, demanding that the DM play a solitaire game to resolve a battle that the PCs are not interested in is bizarre.

Basically, you're saying that the DM should sit in a closet and roll to see who wins the battle. Or worse, since mini-games have been discussed, you're demanding that the DM play the mini-game on his own.

And in the mini-game, what's to stop the DM from deciding to play one side incompetently while the other is played well? He wants Empire X to win over Kingdom Y. So he makes Kingdom Y's army put archers in front and footmen behind so they get slaughtered. Does he *really* have to play a solitaire game session just to find to simulate this? Why can't he just say "Kingdom Y had a stupid king and they lost" because the players are apparently apathetic to the battle event and want to look for treasure instead? It certainly would save an awful lot of time and effort.

More to the point, what's to stop the DM from throwing the battle by employing the most incompetent tactics in an actual "battle encounter" with the players? This may be in part caused by the DM's incompetence and unfamiliarity with battle mechanics, but the DM could just as well be trying to make sure the PCs win so the campaign doesn't end.

It's counterpoints like the one I highlighted that is really making it difficult to believe that there can be a usable output from this exercise. You're making another collection of rules but the criteria for success doesn't actually have anything to do with how players and DMs actually play and enjoy the game. Instead it's an increasingly arbitrary and self-selected criteria that seems to be premised on "The DM is an asshole who cannot be trusted". DM competence cannot be legislated or codified in the rules.


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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Zinegata, you have a serious epistemological problem. For a change to have meaning, the starting state has to be defined. That's not negotiable. That's the definition.

For a battle system to have any relevance for an RPG, it has to allow the PCs to affect the course of the battle. Because fucking obviously it has to do that. But for the PCs to have any affect on anything, the starting state has to be defined. Because that's just how cause and effect work and what it means for things to affect other things in this or any other context.

You aren't allowed to say pish posh to the idea of the battle system generating results without player character input. It fucking has to do that. Literally nothing about the system matters or is even capable of being evaluated as something that even might matter unless and until it can do that.

-Frank
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MGuy
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

While I mostly agree with Zin in that the focus for creating a Mass Combat sub game should work with whatever existing combat minigame you have and should therefore produce encounters that PCs can partake in to push the battle one way or another I do not agree that being able to settle the numbers when the PCs aren't there doesn't matter. The point of having a Mass Combat thing in an rpg is to give players a chance to participate in and influence wars and shit. The MCEGS itself doesn't need to do this though. That can be a function of whatever you set the army stats as and just do some pittance rolls behind the screen. Just nix strategies and combat events and go with whatever numbers you have for the armies and their forces.

The point of the MCEGS should be to generate interesting battles the players are involved in and doesn't have to really spice up fights the pcs aren't interested in. That can just be deterministic. To be clear, I believe that coming up 38th the framework for the off screen fights and force numbers etc is the easy part, provided you are not trying to make a war game like Frank seems to desire to do.
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

MGuy wrote:
He specifically gave a reason why he wasn't detailing the numbers for the system (I.e. he's not trying to make one)


Stating his reasons for not answering the question does not magically mean that he has answered the question, nor does it make his posts anything other than a waste of space if his ultimate conclusion is "I have no intention of actually solving or even really engaging with the problem that is the topic of discussion." Even if his reasons for not wanting to do that are perfectly valid, that still means the correct course of action is for him to make exactly zero posts in this thread.

Quote:
and then gave an example of how you could have a special 'switch' that allows new specific things that players can bring to the battle for whatever reason and your big come back is that he didn't also cover a specific example you pulled right out of your ass?


No, my comeback is that his system is incapable of modeling it at all, because the "switch" he pointed to was panzers showing up on the battlefield, which, and I'm getting real tired of bringing this up again, is something that was considered and rejected as a potential answer pages ago.

Quote:
Adding archers to your army could just add to your army numbers.


I brought this possibility up before you or he did, including why it's not a very satisfying answer:

Quote:
So okay, let's assume the enemy army and at least a rough idea of its ladder size and what players need to do affect it (i.e. nine rungs, you need X troop power to shift up by one the rung you start on come day of the battle) are determined in advance and available to players either by fiat or as the result of some reconnaissance. That still means that it makes no difference whether players recruit the fire giants or the orc hordes, except in that one or the other is going to be worth more troop points. There is a lot of value in being able to say something like "warg cavalry will be effective in the initial charge and in chasing down routing enemies to prevent them from regrouping and rejoining the battle, but they're much less effective in a potentially decisive melee. Ogre heavy infantry are more vulnerable to missile attacks during early skirmishes, pretty effective during the charge, and also pretty effective during the melee. Hobgoblin infantry are disciplined, which makes them less vulnerable to breaking up to flee or hunt down skirmishers during those early missile attacks and by far the best option in the melee, but they're not very good during the shock phase and might be crushed outright when the armies first meet if the enemy is bringing lots of cavalry and monsters."




Quote:
He can't answer the question of what happens when fire giants because what the fuck are fire giants in this hypothetical game?


A CR10 creature with 142 HP, 23 AC, and a +11 BAB that I've been using as the example of what a mass combat system must be able to model since November 17th. That is just about three weeks ago and ten days before Zinegata's first post in the thread. Expecting him to be able to answer to the challenge I posed and have been repeatedly referencing for several weeks is not moving the goalposts, it's just having actual design goals.
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MGuy
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

1: The reason him giving perfectly valid reasons for not answering your questions is important and given your last point you actually walk right into why that is so I'll save the that for last.

2: I thought I was being generous with that interpretation of what you wrote. I didn't want to boil down your entire rejection of the idea into "I don't like these potential answers because they don't detail answers to other distinctions he never said he was or wasn't going to make". The fact that you don't like the problem to the giant thing being a special triggered event with specific results while more archers just bring more numbers is as really personal issue.

3 I read your complaints but arguing that would get me started on how big the distinction between archers and giants should be and I really don't care about your feelings on it. I don't think it is wrong to place a certain weight on that distinction but it's not worth getting bogged down in another argument about it. If I wanted to do that I wouldusing save those that want to play a dnd skinned game of warhammer fantasy.lain in the other thread about Frank wanting too much detail in this subsystem but I don't care that he wants that much stuff in it. And This does also tie in with...

4: The system in question isn't necessarily DND. I've made mention of that, Zin made mention of it, and Frank came out the gate saying it would be a ground up thing. So likely Zin doesn't care about your 3e base stats and even if he does I certainly don't because I don't think 3e is good for the idea at all. So while telling me to learn to read via picture is funny I would like you to take your own advice.

I'm not going to meme picture you over it though because right now I don't have a dog in this fight. I like Zins idea because it is what I think it's better for getting mass combat set pieces to work in line with squad based combat focused games like DnD with minimalb use of new fiddly systems. However I don't see the ground work to build such a thing as something I am capable of and since he's not going forward with it it's not going anywhere. The overdone new minigame I'm sure you're on board with sounds like it's going to need more dedication than having it be a simple vestigial branch of the game. Every time someone writes a suggestion I see a multi number riddled mess that in my experience most tables won't bother using
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

MGuy, could you stop posting gibberish? It's super annoying that you keep shit posting this thread.

-Frank
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
MGuy, could you stop posting gibberish? It's super annoying that you keep shit posting this thread.

-Frank
I am not shit posting and I'd appreciate it if you didn't make dishonest posts about my posts thank you.
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

MGuy wrote:
1: The reason him giving perfectly valid reasons for not answering your questions is important and given your last point you actually walk right into why that is so I'll save the that for last.


You have completely failed to address this at all in your last point, beyond this vague suggestion that the two points are somehow related. This is the "gibberish" Frank is referring to: It's completely unclear what the Hell you're actually trying to say here, and I'm like 70% sure you're drunk.

Quote:
2: I thought I was being generous with that interpretation of what you wrote. I didn't want to boil down your entire rejection of the idea into "I don't like these potential answers because they don't detail answers to other distinctions he never said he was or wasn't going to make". The fact that you don't like the problem to the giant thing being a special triggered event with specific results while more archers just bring more numbers is as really personal issue.


"I can't actually solve this problem, so I'll ignore it and tell everyone who wants it solved that it's their fault for wanting systems to produce interesting and believable outputs." I can't even give you points for originality here. "It's your fault for wanting a functioning system" has been the default bullshit in the industry for at least half a decade.

Quote:
3 I read your complaints but arguing that would get me started on how big the distinction between archers and giants should be and I really don't care about your feelings on it. I don't think it is wrong to place a certain weight on that distinction but it's not worth getting bogged down in another argument about it.


"My counterargument hinges on you being wrong about this thing, but I don't want to bother explaining why you're wrong about this thing. Just assume one of your critical premises is incorrect, please."

Quote:
If I wanted to do that I wouldusing save those that want to play a dnd skinned game of warhammer fantasy.lain in the other thread about Frank wanting too much detail in this subsystem but I don't care that he wants that much stuff in it. And This does also tie in with...


Again: Gibberish. You make a vague reference to playing D&D skinned Warhammer Fantasy, which is something I've been saying is a bad idea since that November 17th post of mine, which is still nearly three weeks in the past, but then you also have some weird spliced sentences with bizarre capitalization that I can't really describe. Where's Orion? I think he's the poet they should've sent for this. It's a "frontiers of punctuation science" moment. Also:



Quote:
4: The system in question isn't necessarily DND. I've made mention of that, Zin made mention of it, and Frank came out the gate saying it would be a ground up thing.


Here's what Frank said:

Quote:
But unfortunately it means that there's no easy way to fit a mass combat minigame of any sort into 3rd edition D&D. Many spell casters gt access to abilities that invalidate armies at shockingly low levels and there just isn't a way to integrate phalanxes of Hobgoblins in a way that makes sense.


Emphasis mine. You can't backport a mass combat minigame into 3rd edition D&D, no, however this is still very definitely a conversation about an edition of D&D, and don't even try to pretend that this forum is somehow a stranger to the concept of talking about hypothetical future editions while still adhering to 3.X as a basis. If you want to argue this is somehow fruitless you need to make that argument, because doing that and expecting results is the current default state of the board. You can't just declare it to be a bad idea and expect that to stand.

A ground-up remake of 3.X is required because wizards and wizard-like monsters invalidate entire armies, but fire giants don't. You can make a mass combat compatible edition update for 3.X without changing one single number in the fire giant's statline. You might want to fiddle with those numbers a bit anyway, depending on what you want your fire giant to accomplish, but that fiddling isn't relevant to the challenge I've issued, which is that something needs to happen when you make allies with the fire giants. If your only answer to that challenge is to say "I dunno, it'll be like the panzer strike or something," then you have failed, because the panzer strike is an event that only makes sense in the context of wargames. If your only answer to that challenge is to say "how should I know what fire giants are capable of?" then you have failed, because we all know what fire giants are capable of. Hell, I could give you the 5e stats or the 2e stats or whatever and it would still be functionally the same challenge, because even if the exact number of hit points and attack bonus has varied, the basic idea of the fire giant is unchanging, and determining what happens in principle when they show up to the battlefield is going to be the same across literally every edition of D&D yet published even if the exact numbers will vary. 3.X numbers are as good as any, but if you want to use 5e or 2e or numbers you literally just made up right now, those will all work too. The fire giant can be whatever the Hell you want it to be, so long as it is recognizably a fire giant, a task force of them can be recruited by the PCs, and that task force can meaningfully influence the subsequent mass combat in reasonably predictable ways.
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MGuy
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'll address the last thing first. I'm aware that Frank said that. My first suggestion was to not use 3e as is since he is doing a ground up thing. And assuming he was sincere about keeping things sane plugging fire giant stats into what's supposed to be a sub subsystem is madness. Just looking at Dead's version looks like a hot mess from Hell so I wouldn't think anyone wanting to make this thing work would expect the fire giant's stats to port into whatever warfare attachment you want getting resolved at the table in decent time. If I'm wrong and that's what you actually want to do I think that's insane but I'll admit then that I overestimated his sanity.

Now back in order...
1: It goes into my last part because as I mentioned at the end Din and myself (he can correct me if I'm wrong about his words he can correct me) are thinking that the stats you're going to want to actually use don't exist yet. That the value of x amount of archers vs giants hasn't been worked out and the number of archers you want to require to kill mentioned giant has yet to be determined. So when he says he doesn't want to rattle off numbers partially for that reason then his reason for not answering the question still stands.

2 Your problem is that you don't like my solutions because they aren't as detailed as you'd like. They don't show the two different squads as being distinct enough for yourc taste. You and I desire different levels of abstraction. Do you really just want to argue about that?

3. people say a lot of things but when Frank is producing long lists of details that is quickly making it seem like he wants to build a while war game then I will say it looks like he wants to build a war game. I don't think that is bad necessarily but it is not fit for dnd so I don't go to that thread or start arguments in this one about Frank and your desire to have more details inn this side project than I think anyone will use. Partially because he's decided upon going that route already and partially because I truly believe neither of you are playing in games with 'regular' players so clearly your experiences are way different than mine and the tolerance of your groups for that kind of carp are unknown to me.

So yeah.. Hope I cleared the gibberish up and thank you for being specific about what you thought I was being unclear about because fuck that's a lot more constructive.
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Here's where I'm stuck...

In the skirmish game, bringing one Fire Giant against a squad of 20 archers is pretty well defined. In the mass combat scale we can have anywhere from 200 archers to 20,000 archers. Clearly the 'numbers' for two orders of magnitude is going to matter. If 200 archers is 'Force 10' then 20,000 archers is going to be 'Force 50' or 'Force 200' or SOMETHING - bringing more archers makes your army better in some tangible way. Likewise bringing 100 Fire Giants is going to have a different impact than bringing 10 Fire Giants.

If Side A brings 100 Fire Giants and Side B brings 20,000 archers, we need a way to determine what happens. It might be that one side has such overwhelming force that the answer is 'one side is obliterated' meaning we're going right off the RNG and there is a point where the minigame stops mattering.

It would also be possible that you don't have any defined numbers until you start comparing them against the opposing army. That is, 20,000 archers doesn't have any force rating at all - but you can somehow compare 100 giants to 20,000 archers and deduce meaningful force values. This still seems crazy hard especially if you want to say that the force of 100 fire giants is meaningfully different if you add 1 red dragon.
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

MGuy wrote:
I'm aware that Frank said that.


You have officially exhausted my willingness to believe that you are aware of things you have previously strongly implied you were unaware of, because this isn't even the first time you've done that. I'm calling bullshit: You can't actually keep track of the conversation (I point again to the drunk theory) and are ad-libbing explanations for previous stupid things to try and cover for it.

Quote:
My first suggestion was to not use 3e as is since he is doing a ground up thing.


No, it wasn't. A suggestion is a thing that you actually state. If you think something in the privacy of your own mind, it isn't a suggestion, it is a thought, and it is ludicrous to assume that everyone else has read your mind when you make the leap from "D&D requires serious redesign in multiple classes and monsters for mass combat to be workable" to "we have to completely redesign D&D first before we can even talk about what a mass combat system will look like." It doesn't help that the specific thought you are thinking is lunatic, but even if it weren't, no one could have deduced it from nothing. You asked what a fire giant is so I gave you exact stats for the specific version of the fire giant that is most popular on this forum. Now you're whining that I supplied you what you asked for and are instead suggesting that before we talk about how a mass combat system should work even in principle we should first rebuild all of D&D from scratch in a new version that is built to support the subsystem except oh, shit, your entire argument is that we shouldn't even figure out what the subsystem is or how it works until after we've already rebuilt D&D, so whatever we rebuild it into is going to be just as useless as the 3.X stats.

You know what a fucking fire giant is. Pretending to be too stupid to figure that out is not a counterargument. If for some reason you think using exact stats would be helpful, you can use the 3.X ones or the AD&D ones or whatever, I don't care. If you don't think using exact stats would be helpful, then you can just keep talking in terms of basic principle like the entire conversation was up until you asked for exact numbers on a fire giant. If you think that we need to build a system from scratch before deciding what system we're building it for, then fuck off, because that is a clearly disingenuous demand and exactly the reverse of how design works. It's on you to tell me how a fire giant works in your system, because that is what you claimed to be able to do when you came here.

Quote:

1: It goes into my last part because as I mentioned at the end Din and myself (he can correct me if I'm wrong about his words he can correct me)


Just going to point to this redundancy as further evidence that you should be sleeping off your hangover instead of shitposting right now.

Quote:
are thinking that the stats you're going to want to actually use don't exist yet. That the value of x amount of archers vs giants hasn't been worked out and the number of archers you want to require to kill mentioned giant has yet to be determined. So when he says he doesn't want to rattle off numbers partially for that reason then his reason for not answering the question still stands.


Hey, remember back like a few hours ago when I said this?

Quote:
Stating his reasons for not answering the question does not magically mean that he has answered the question, nor does it make his posts anything other than a waste of space if his ultimate conclusion is "I have no intention of actually solving or even really engaging with the problem that is the topic of discussion." Even if his reasons for not wanting to do that are perfectly valid, that still means the correct course of action is for him to make exactly zero posts in this thread.




Quote:
Your problem is that you don't like my solutions because they aren't as detailed as you'd like.


My problem is that you do not actually have solutions for the problem presented, which was presented in both the OP and the post you quoted when entering the argument. Walking into a thread just to declare that you do not care if the problems it revolves around get solved is not helpful, and that is so obviously true that you are clearly just trying to find some way to dig yourself out of the hole you're in. You walked into this conversation quoting my post, not the other way around, so after it turns out that everything you've said is stupid and your proposed system functions only on copious amounts of mind caulk, you cannot pretend like I'm walking over and pissing in your cheerios because the system you like isn't good enough for me. You came to me with the claim that your system could meet my challenge. Your entry into this conversation was quoting my claim that Zinegata had failed to meet the challenge that he was, in turn, quoting when he made his idiot tangent of a post. You walked in here claiming that you could answer that challenge, and what you delivered is a bunch of whining about how you can't possibly be expected to have had advance knowledge of something I've been talking about for three weeks and four pages, that you can't possibly expect to know what a fire giant is until we rebuild all of D&D around a system that you refuse to discuss even in principle until after we have already created an entire game system that can support it (which we are somehow supposed to do without having even an outline of what that system will accomplish, since your claim is that we can't talk about that outline until after we've finished building specific units for it), and also implying that you couldn't possibly have known that Frank might be referring to the incoherent paragraph of sentences spliced together seemingly at random when he told you to stop posting gibberish, because apparently "use complete sentences" and "periods go at the end of a sentence, not the middle" are arcane rhetorical arts to you which you don't think you could possibly expect to know in advance people would expect.
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MGuy
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I figured that once the pictures started coming out that things would get more ridiculous from you but if you're just going to start taking parts of single sentences out of my responses and take no time to review anything I've actually said I'm just going to stop talking to you. You've decided on making a dnd warhammer and I'm not really so dedicated to an idea that's not going to get done to continue watching you talk mostly to yourself.
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MGuy wrote:
Finally a thread about fighters!


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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

MGuy wrote:
I figured that once the pictures started coming out that things would get more ridiculous from you but if you're just going to start taking parts of single sentences out of my responses and take no time to review anything I've actually said I'm just going to stop talking to you. You've decided on making a dnd warhammer and I'm not really so dedicated to an idea that's not going to get done to continue watching you talk mostly to yourself.


Please follow through with your threat to stop posting in this thread. Please. It's very frustrating having you post in this thread because you are Tussock levels of wrong but you are also a cock about it.

Take this flippant remark about DnD Warhammer. You understand that the idea of Warhammerization was discussed and rejected on the first page, right? I mean, obviously you don't understand that, because you are very very thick. But that happened. First page. Chamomile, the person you are nominallly accusing of just wanting to play Warhammer in DnD has personally reminded you that that is not going to work three fucking times.

I have nothing more to say to you on this subject. I have more things to say on this subject. But not to you, because you don't seem capable of actually understanding any of the points under discussion and you are an asshole about it.
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MGuy
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

My "threat" was to stop talking to him. He is only reading parts of my posts and acting as if previous posts don't exist saying I've provided no solutions while having complained about not liking my solutions. There's no arguing with that. The Warhammer thing? Yea. He said that to. Saying you don't want that and then turning around and making plans that will inevitably lead to the thing you say you don't want will have me saying you want that thing. Now of course I already said this but hey you end up repeating yourself when people stop reading posts.
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MGuy wrote:
Finally a thread about fighters!


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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Some restrictions that come to mind, borrowing a bit from Dominions, a bit from Kriegesspiele/Battle for Armaggedon, a bit from Sonshi

Elemnents of an Army

Spirit/Thumos/Morale

The resiliance to enemy action, and its combat ability, of an army is represented by it's component Formations Morale.

The morale of a Formation of personnel is equal to the total of all formation member's [{Function-modified} CR] (i.e. Morale could equal CR x5 of all personnel in a formation, or 1 or 3 or 10). If the personnel within a Formation are Immune to Mind-effects, their Morale is calculated as [{Function-modified} CR x {Mindless-modifier}] (i.e. Mindless units have higher morale, but they still takecasualtiesand lose combat effectiveness when damaged).

When a Formation suffers 10% Morale loss; it's personnel will automatically withdraw, unless its Leaders are able to Rally the Formation; or the unit is Mindless.

If a Formation suffers >10% Morale loss in a battle, it must attempt to Rally (A roll-under Check of the highest CR personnel remaining within the formation), if it succeeds it suffers 50% of it's starting Morale in casualties. If it fails to Rally it loses 90% of its starting Morale in casualties.

The Roles of Personnel
Personnel in an Army are one of three roles, and the leader sub-role
  • Assault (Medium/Heavy Infantry, Ogres, Clerics, Fighters, etc.)
  • Shock (Elites, light infantry, cavalry, Paladins, Druids, etc.)
  • Missile (Archers/Crossbows, Giants/Calapults, Rangers, Wizards, etc.)

    Assault Units get a {Assault-modifier} Bonus when in Vanguard, Column, and Rear Formations; and a {Assault-modifer} penalty when in Right Flank or Left Flank formations

    Shock Units get a {Shock-modifier} bonus when in Left Flank, Right Flank, and Vanguard; and a {Shock-modifier} penalty when in Column and Rear formations

    Missile Units get a {Missile-modifier} bonus when in Column and Rear formations; and a {Missile-modifier} penalty when in Left Flank, Right Flank, and Vanguard formations.

    Note: "Mixed" type units (e.g. Horse Archers (Shock/Missile), Pomegranadiers (Assault/Missile)) count as either one or the other when placed in a formation, and remain a single type for the duration of a battle {Player Characters can change the type of role mixed units in formation will act as, but only once the battle has begun, and only once per battle)

  • Leader (Must be equal to, or more powerful than, the personnel of the formation it leads)

    An army is limited by it's Leaders, in the amount of formations it may have.

    {Player Characters may become leaders of a formation, even if they are less powerful than the personnel they lead}

    Formations
    The potential formations that an army can have are:

  • Left Flank
  • Right Flank
  • Vangaurd
  • Column
  • Rear

    {Player Characters may lead secondary, tertiary, quaternary, &etc. formations of any type, if they have a formation of that type already formed}

    Actions of an Army in Battle

  • Formations declare an enemy formation they wish to target; this must be done before the battle begins

    Legal targets for each formation are:

  • Left Flank: Right Flank, Vangaurd, Column, Rear
  • Right Flank: Left Flank, Vangaurd, Column, Rear
  • Vangaurd: Right Flank, Left Flank, Vanguard, Column, Rear
  • Column: Vangaurd, Column, Rear
  • Rear: Right Flank, Left Flank, Vangaurd

    The exception to this are Missile units within a formation, which may apply only their Morale value against a single formation of their choice.

    {Player Charcters in/leading a formations may change their formations targets once the opposing forces are arrayed before each other; instead of the formation attacking it's pre-determined target. This is important if the pre-determined target doesn't exist among the enemy army}

  • Damage dealt by attacking formations is based on the Morale ratio between Attacker and Defender

    Defender:Attacker [Dice roll: Results*] *:see below for details
    3: 1 [1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: ]
    2: 1 [1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: ]
    1: 1 [1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: ]
    1: 2 [1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: ]
    1: 3 [1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: ]
    1: 4 [1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: ]
    1: 5 [1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: ]
    1: 6 [1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: ]
    1: 7 [1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: ]

    Results
    Attacker Routed (60% casualties)
    Attacker Broken (40% casualties)
    Attacker Retreats (30% casualties)
    Exchange (20% Casualties for both)
    Defender Retreats (30% casualties)
    Defender Broken (40% casualties)
    Defender Routed (60% casualties)
    Defender Eliminated (80% Casualties)

    Casualties

    Casualties suffered by a formation are always taken from their weakest members of the formation, unless the members of the formation are too powerful to be removed as casualties.

    {A Player Character that part of the formation can declares more powerful personnel as casualties instead of less powerful ones}

    Rally

    Units which have suffered sufficient casualties to force withdrawl may attempt to Rally

    {Player Characters who are part of a formation add their CR to their formations when calculating Rally attempts (this makes splitting the PCs among all formations critical in making potential rallies successful}




    Essentially, the formations in each army attack their targets; and are attacked by enemy formations targetting them. Then casualties are taken away, and formations that are badly hurt have to rally, or suffer further casualties.

    Something like 5 [plus # of PCs] Dice Rolls for the PCs, and 5 Dice rolls for the NPCs; followed by potentiall 5(+?) dice rolls for potential rallies.

    Ideally, a "major engagement" can be used to calculate the results of a conflict, and be short enough that it won't take much more than a regular combat session (ideally the "major battle" mechanics will take less time than regular combat sessions, and you can have several in a single game session to represent a stage of an ongoing war without having to take weeks of game sessions).
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