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Mass Combat Rules Constraints
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

MGuy wrote:
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.


Uh.... you are talking crazy talk. You should stop doing that. Neither Chamomile nor I am suggesting anything that will inevitably lead to a Warhammer scenario. "Not X" has been both of our positions for this entire thread.

It's fine to disagree with people about all kinds of stuff. But you're not disagreeing with peoples' positions, you're disagreeing with people about what their positions are. That's... creative... but also offensive and a giant fucking waste of time. When someone consistently says "Not X" and you say "Why do you support X!?" that makes you a shit poster.

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MGuy
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Saying 'I don't want X' and actually being able to avoid X are two different things. I have at no point disagreed with what your position is and if you spent time reading my posts you'd actually find I went on at length that I don't necessarily think you making Warhammer DND is necessarily bad. Just not what regular players are going to use because they want DND and not a war game. Clearly some people do. I suspect a number of people who like war games would love it so the idea isn't offensive to me.

So yes it would be odd for me to make up what you're trying to say and oppose it. That's more your thing whenever you can't argue against someone head on. I'm not interested in forum posturing and am interested in usable ideas. I don't want a war game in dnd. I thought about it. Tried it. I've seen others try it. Everything I see Judge and Dead post is not really anything new. The only person in this entire thread who hasn't suggested or presented some reconfigured version of practically every other war game in DnD attempt has been zin. I had never considered 'hey players don't want a war game so let's make actual big time battles into encounter set pieces' before and it is a damn good idea. Unfortunately he doesn't want to move forward with it so it's a good idea with no support.

But hey go on and make not!warhammer DND. I'd be pleasantly surprised if 'this' time you produce something when I've doubted you.
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Finally a thread about fighters!


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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

MGuy wrote:
But hey go on and make not!warhammer DND.


Warhammer has a fucking meaning. It's a specific way of doing things. It's not what's being talked about. No one is talking about this. We've told you pithily and also at length that this is not what's being discussed. The entire Warhammer methodology was rejected on page 1.

I'm fucking done with you. You go on ignore.

-Frank
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:28 pm    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.




The closest I've come to quoting fragments and treating them as your entire point is when I quote the thesis statement for a particular paragraph in order to refer to your entire paragraph in order to save space. If doing that has somehow excluded a critical component of your argument, you should be able to do the thing that I've done like four times now and answer one of my quotes with one of your own, answering my objection (or alternatively demonstrating that it's unrelated to your point) before I'd even raised it. The image macro is optional. If you can't do that, then your accusation is baseless. So let's see it.

Quote:
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.


Here is how Frank described the system he's working with in principle over in the related thread on December 3rd, i.e. five days ago:

Quote:
Consider the simplest case: we got 3 flanks (Left, Right, and Center) and we got three phases (Skirmish, Melee, and Shock). That's it, that's the whole battle. But we also got two sides, meaning that we have 18 tactic declarations, 18 die rolls, and 18 times however many calculations you need to make each round at a minimum. So if you're tracking Morale, Cohesion, and Casualties for each flank on each team, that's 54 calculations over the course of the battle. Again, minimum.


And here is myself, making fairly obvious reference to that system the next day (because I've mastered the esoteric art of comprehending paragraphs):

Quote:
At that point recruiting allies isn't a matter of making a list in descending order of who gets you the most points and getting as far down that list as you can before the battle starts, but rather a question of real decisions to be made based on the unknown factors of how strong the enemy is in different phases of the combat. You could exchange those phases for some other RPS sort of relationship between different units, although the thing I like about the phase approach is its simplicity in resolution. You don't have to give your cavalry a bonus based on the number of archers and monsters in the enemy force while also giving their infantry a bonus based on the number of your cavalry. Instead, each ball of troops just has a different value for each phase and you add those together to get the army's power in that phase. A horde of a thousand orcs might be worth 5 points in skirmish, 8 points in shock, 10 in melee, and 6 in routing/regrouping, and then it's easy to just add that to however many points your elves and centaurs are worth in those same phases and bam, army power complete.


This is completely unlike D&D Warhammer. To claim this is in any way similar to D&D Warhammer is either to misunderstand completely what the system is and how it works (and I picked up on it just fine) or else to have no idea what Warhammer even is. Seriously: Do you know how Warhammer is played? Are you even vaguely familiar with the rules?
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MGuy
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I've done the thing where I've pointed out where you've been wrong about what I've said several times. If it isn't going to work it isn't going to work.

Anyway, Frank explicitly stated his desires for the game in the other thread I keep referencing. So all your bluster about how this whole thing isn't an exercise in Frank wanting a war game in DnD kinda doesn't mean anything to me. Every suggestion I see isn't literally war hammer but the desires he has look like they will lead to people pushing around 6 to 8 groups of units around a battlefield in a war game like way. If he can pull off making a game that does all the things he's said he wants represented in this thing without going into war game territory I'll bee pleasantly surprised but it doesn't look like that will happen. It'd still be fine if her does come up with a war game that is even functional while sticking to 3e. Even that would be miraculous.
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

MGuy wrote:
I've done the thing where I've pointed out where you've been wrong about what I've said several times.


Cite even one example of this, with quotes.

Quote:
Anyway, Frank explicitly stated his desires for the game in the other thread I keep referencing.


You mean this thread? The thread I just pulled a Frank quote from to demonstrate how the system currently being considered is not remotely similar to Warhammer? The one where Frank refers to "the left flank" as a unit, which very obviously implies that we're looking at combat that looks similar to Crusader Kings 2 and thus involves exactly three units per side in all battles and involves absolutely no inch-by-inch or hex-by-hex positioning? The thread that clearly models a system entirely unrelated to Warhammer is the one you want to point to as modeling Warhammer? Are you sure about that?
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Getting back towards constraints on a wargame:

Illness-related casualties: historically, disease has been the greatest cause of death in the sort of non-structured militaries (i.e. not ancient China or ancient Rome, which had camp fatigues) that would like make up a fantasy kitchensink armed force

Should having larger armies put some sort of "Pestilence Load" wherein there's a percentage of an armies force that will be unfit for line duty, due to space cholera, necromantic dysentery, infernal lice, astral polio, etc.. That is to say, the greater your combat strength, the greather the chance that any formation would lose a sizable portion of it's combat strength

Alternately, should more "lawful" armies get a choice towards putting aside some of your combat strength (say 1-5%?) of your strength for battlecamp hygiene. Whereas more "chaotic" armies don't have such a choice, and in fact suffer greater portions of their combat strength being unfit for duty, due to Elves not giving a damn if their grass-dung has microbes that makes allies ill thus evacuating whenver they feel the need to relieve themselves, or Orcs farmers turning the war camp into a malaria /dengue breeding ground.

Also: Supplies
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Zaranthan
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Judging__Eagle wrote:
Alternately, should more "lawful" armies get a choice towards putting aside some of your combat strength (say 1-5%?) of your strength for battlecamp hygiene. Whereas more "chaotic" armies don't have such a choice, and in fact suffer greater portions of their combat strength being unfit for duty, due to Elves not giving a damn if their grass-dung has microbes that makes allies ill thus evacuating whenver they feel the need to relieve themselves, or Orcs farmers turning the war camp into a malaria /dengue breeding ground.

Short answer: No.

Long answer: This is the "Lawful is a virtue, Chaos is a handicap" thing all over again. Either Law's nice latrine planning means they get to put more boots on the battlefield and win more, or Chaos brings more orcs in the first place so by the time they're done dying of cholera the armies are evenly matched (in which case all you've done is doodle up a bunch of rules to overcomplicate things).
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MGuy
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

me wrote:
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.


Chamomile wrote:
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.


me wrote:
Ogres and Orcs are in a place, no details or strategic points of interest at all are given in the scenario because this isn't Zin's idea but whatever. So the players show up with some dudes and they fight the orcs and ogres. Both sides have numbers A, B, C that mean things. A Troop numbers, B The strength of those numbers (generated by 'ratings' of the units there in), and C for Morale. You start the battle. Zoom in. Players participate and kill some Orcs and ogres. Maybe once, maybe a few times. After the battle, tally up how many the players have killed, subtract those numbers from enemy side. Compare opposing numbers in whatever way (doesn't matter right now) and you get results. Now both sides have different numbers for A, B, and C. Rinse and repeat. That covers what you're complaining about. 1: Who won, 2: how much did they win by, 3: How did players directly impact those results.


Frank had those issues with Zin's proposal. That was my solution to the problems he had. There's your one. As for the 'didn't answer quoted question' I'm guess is your thing with the fire giants which I gave two solutions to:
me wrote:
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'...
Which you apparently didn't find satisfactory for whatever reason.

Now that that's been established... Yes, that 'is' the thread I'm referring to. The one where Frank lists his desired things for the side system to do all the things he wants. I don't believe he can check all the marks on it without inevitably making a war game. I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing but apparently mentioning my doubt in his ability to pull it off has gotten you all pumped up about this whole thing (and Frank is rather upset over it) and I'd say that a better use for all that extra energy is just to go out and produce something. That way once you make your subsystem with all the bells and whistles that are listed up in the other thread that satisfies all the bits that Frank believes needs to be in the game I'll be wrong and you can rub it all in my face and feel good about yourself. I'm really only interested in getting usable ideas so if you come up with something that works for me. If Frank comes up with something that works for me. If both you continue to produce nothing, that works for me to and I'll add it on to the list of things Frank couldn't pull off.
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MGuy wrote:
Finally a thread about fighters!


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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

MGuy wrote:
That was my solution to the problems he had.


Just ignoring for now how a solution must actually solve the problem in order to actually be a solution: That wasn't a problem presented in the OP nor was it a problem presented in the post you quoted upon entry. While it is incidentally true that the post you quoted scales too poorly to possibly be used as a solution, the problem it was responding to isn't actually one of the problems I was referring to in my post. In fact, that answer was given to an objection that I went on record as calling "weird bullshit," so not only have you failed to point to an actual solution at all, not only has your failure of a non-solution not been a response to any of the problems I actually claimed you had failed to specify a solution for, your non-solution was a response to a problem I specifically claimed was a non-issue nearly a week ago.



Quote:
Which you apparently didn't find satisfactory for whatever reason.


Specifically for this reason:

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."


You know, that reason that I brought up several weeks before you even mentioned the possibility. The one that I responded to your post with by quoting it to you again, in order to highlight how your alleged solution didn't actually solve anything, and therefore is not actually a solution, and how I had already explained why that proposal wouldn't actually solve the problem before you even brought it up. The one where, after your proposal turned out to not actually be a solution, your defense was that you didn't feel the need to actually solve my problem just because you had quoted my post and claimed you could solve my problem. And then I told you that hadn't presented any solutions for the actual problem, but had instead provided a failed attempt at one, and then claimed that you had solved it, and then when I pointed out that your proposal was a failure, you responded by abdicating responsibility for actually solving my problem despite having quoted me and claimed to be able to solve it.

You remember when you claimed I was quoting sentence fragments in order to avoid answering your question?



If you read the complete paragraph that you are quoting a single sentence from, it is very obvious that my point is that your proposed solutions are non-functional and that your only defense of your non-functional solutions is to claim they were never intended to actually solve my problem at all. Semantic bitching about how technically using a certain definition any attempted solution still counts as "a solution" is dishonesty, because my actual point is very clear: You quoted my post, you claimed you could meet my challenge, you failed to meet that challenge, and when I illustrated your failure, your response was to pretend that you had never tried.

The "allies trigger events" proposal is also something I'd refuted before you even brought it up:

Quote:
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.




I mean, damn, I was pretty harsh on Zaranthan for not thinking the "allies as events" thing through, but at least he was putting forward a new idea, even if it fell apart immediately upon inspection. He can read and comprehend paragraphs, which is more than you can say.

Quote:
I don't believe he can check all the marks on it without inevitably making a war game.


Hey, remember how I hashed out exactly how the system would work in principle?

Quote:
At that point recruiting allies isn't a matter of making a list in descending order of who gets you the most points and getting as far down that list as you can before the battle starts, but rather a question of real decisions to be made based on the unknown factors of how strong the enemy is in different phases of the combat. You could exchange those phases for some other RPS sort of relationship between different units, although the thing I like about the phase approach is its simplicity in resolution. You don't have to give your cavalry a bonus based on the number of archers and monsters in the enemy force while also giving their infantry a bonus based on the number of your cavalry. Instead, each ball of troops just has a different value for each phase and you add those together to get the army's power in that phase. A horde of a thousand orcs might be worth 5 points in skirmish, 8 points in shock, 10 in melee, and 6 in routing/regrouping, and then it's easy to just add that to however many points your elves and centaurs are worth in those same phases and bam, army power complete.


Remember how that's nothing like Warhammer at all? Have you noticed how the problem you're whining about has already been solved in principle and literally the only thing left to do is to attach exact numbers and actions to it? In fact, I can prototype it right now:

Archers: 2/0.5/1
Infantry: 0.5/1/2
Cavalry: 1/2/0.5

Numbers correspond to the force power of a single soldier in skirmish/shock/melee phases. You can put any amount of any type of soldier into each of your left flank, right flank, and center. One side's left flank fights an enemy's right, or if the right has broken the center, or if the center has broken the left. Same with the right flank attacking the enemy's left to start. The center fights the center by default, but if the enemy's center has broken, the center may choose which enemy flank to fight. During each phase, compare the total power for each formation to whichever formation it is fighting (i.e. by default, your left flank to the enemy's right, your center to their center, and your right to their left). You deal casualties to the enemy equal to 10% of your skirmish power, 30% of your shock power, or 20% of your melee power, depending on which phase you're in. In addition to inflicting casualties, whichever side wins the melee causes the enemy formation to rout. If there are any enemy formations left, a second melee phase ensues between remaining formations.

When two formations fight against one, the formation which is furthest away from the outnumbered formation gets a 20% flanking bonus. For example, if REDFOR's left flank has broken and BLUFOR is attacking with both their center and right flank, BLUFOR's right gets a 20% flanking bonus. However, if REDFOR's left flank has broken but BLUFOR's center has also broken, neither side gets a bonus, because although BLUFOR's right flank is one step over from REDFOR center's usual target (BLUFOR center), there is only one formation fighting one formation, and thus no flanking bonus.

Likewise, when three formations are picking on one lonely enemy formation, the formation of the three that is furthest away gets a 30% encirclement bonus, and the second furthest gets a 20% flanking bonus. For example, if REDFOR's right flank and center have broken, then only their left flank remains. If BLUFOR's center attacks, they get a 20% flanking bonus for being one step away from REDFOR's right flank, and if BLUFOR's right flank attacks, they get a 30% encirclement bonus for being two steps away. If the one formation fighting against three is the center, then the encircling side may choose which flank gets the flanking bonus and which flank gets the encircling bonus. For example, if REDFOR has only their center left, BLUFOR can choose to give the 30% encircling bonus to either their right flank or left flank, and give the 20% flanking bonus to the other.

Player characters can take exactly one action in each phase because this is a prototype and we'll figure the rest out later. In skirmish phase, they can defeat an enemy patrol which is a perfectly ordinary skirmish combat, in shock phase they can break an enemy front line which is a skirmish combat where the goal is to kill enemies faster than the back ranks can replenish them in order to create a gap, and in the melee phase the goal is to kill an enemy champion/commander, in which the goal is to kill a specific tough guy. Succeeding at any of these imposes a -25% penalty on the enemy formation's power for that phase. PCs are under no obligation to actually take an action in any phase, and can let a single phase or even the entire battle play out without them.

And that is it. That is a functioning prototype of the system. It's missing a bunch of units and you probably want more than just one option for PC actions per phase, it's probably wise to allow phases other than melee to go on for longer than one turn so you can have things like a good skirmish army trying to kite their enemy to death, and no effort at all has been made to balance the numbers (in particular, the infantry/cavalry/archer yomi is flawed in that the most dangerous unit, cavalry, is countered by the second most dangerous unit, infantry - normally you'd want the counter unit to the unit with the best payoff to pay for it by having the weakest payoff) but adding some extra options or unit types or switching the numbers around will not magically turn it into a war game. Fuck all the way off.
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MGuy
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So like I said way back the first time you disagreed with it, you want a different level of abstraction (IE less of it) and just as I said then, I do not. What you seem to want is for me to argue against your ideas but your ideas are shit to me because they don't do what I want. However, because I recognize you want something different altogether I don't care. It's not worth arguing about. Something I also said before, because clearly your taste for injecting multistage war game into your DnD is something you want. I do not want that.
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

MGuy wrote:
So like I said way back the first time you disagreed with it, you want a different level of abstraction (IE less of it)


1) Bitch, I told you already: You came to me. You do not get to back out by claiming that my system doesn't work for you, because I do not now nor have I ever claimed my system would do that. I don't give a single fuck what you think about my system, what I care about is your assertion that Zinegata's proposal can meet my challenge, and it cannot. When you say that you're only interested in seeing ideas that work for you, you're lying, because if that were true you never would've started talking to me in the first place. I said that Zinegata's system didn't meet my challenge, you disagreed. You walked in here with the goal of proving that Zin's system can meet my standards, not yours. Are you ceding that you were wrong about that? Because backing up into this "well I still like it" bullshit, like anyone gives a fuck about your feelings, sure sounds like you've given up on trying to prove Zin's system can meet the actual objective criteria you initially claimed it could.

Your original argument is that Zin's system would be able to answer my question of "what happens when we recruit the fire giants" with an actual, real, working solution if only he could be bothered to actually do so. Your current argument is that you don't care whether he can or not, and since nobody cares what you care about one way or another, that's just a waste of bandwidth. Your original argument, about the objective capabilities of Zin's system, is the only thing people might care about. Are you ceding that your original argument was wrong? Or are you going to do that thing where you gesture vaguely towards your original attempted solutions while refusing to acknowledge that I've already explained why they don't actually meet the criteria? Because that second thing is pretty much the same as the first.

2) It has been less than twelve hours, have you already forgotten when you made this assertion?

Quote:
I don't believe he can check all the marks on it without inevitably making a war game.


Are you still contending that it is impossible to make this system work without turning it into a war game, or are you admitting to having been wrong about that, too?
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chamomile wrote:
In fact, I can prototype it right now:

Archers: 2/0.5/1
Infantry: 0.5/1/2
Cavalry: 1/2/0.5

Numbers correspond to the force power of a single soldier in skirmish/shock/melee phases.


Rather than continue to bash our heads into the impenetrable wall of stupidity that is MGuy, I think this is an interesting thing to talk about and we can do that. I mean, he's just going to keep spouting gibberish. We know that, because even after being directly called out on how and why an analogy was bad, he kept making it without even addressing the fact that everyone had seen through his bullshit. It's obvious that at the very least he has no understanding of the wargames he's mentioning.

Anyway, a major element that I think is important is troop cost. I take it as given that Infantry cost more than Archers, and that Cavalry cost more than Infantry. So the rough triad of Cavalry, Infantry, and Archers should be cost-adjusted. So your typical Cavalry is probably going to have a higher Skirmish value than a typical Archer. But the cost difference is such that Archers are a better deal on Skirmish strength per gold spent.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
Anyway, a major element that I think is important is troop cost. I take it as given that Infantry cost more than Archers, and that Cavalry cost more than Infantry. So the rough triad of Cavalry, Infantry, and Archers should be cost-adjusted.


This is a good point. The values probably work better as being per gp, rather than per actual dood, so a 1gp archer (price arbitrary because the D&D economic baseline has been bonkers in every edition, so whatever) has exactly those stats, but a 5gp cavalry is 5/10/2.5, and a 2gp infantry is 1/2/4. It has also occurred to me that infantry might be paying a cost I hadn't considered for their relatively advantageous position of being, gp for gp, a counter to the unit that is, gp for gp, the most deadly of the basic triad: infantry don't get to shine until the very last phase of combat and are at their weakest in the beginning, which means they are most likely to be reduced to ineffective numbers before they get to rock. That may or may not actually be an issue with the 10/30/20% casualty ratio I pulled out my ass just to get a working prototype going, but I don't see any reason to believe there isn't some set of skirmish/shock/melee deadliness numbers that will leave basic infantry as an effective counter to cavalry, yet still players would rather have the same gp in archers all else being the same, because archers get to alpha strike instead of being forced to tank two phases of damage before you get what you paid for.

Three other things that occurred to me, and which I haven't really fleshed out:

-Race/culture-specific units are probably fine to just be a flat-out better version of an existing unit, so goblin archers can be slightly better in the skirmish phase on a gp-for-gp basis and maybe they're even worse in melee but you don't really care because archers always sucked in melee. It's fine if goblin archers are just a flat-out better deal than bog standard human archers because they have the prerequisite of having access to a goblin levy.

-There's probably room for units that are good at two out of three phases of combat, but gp-for-gp slightly worse than a standard triad specialist in the area of their specialty. Something like 0.5/1.5/1.5 per gp for something that's better than cavalry at melee and better than infantry at shock, but not as good as cavalry at shock and not as good as infantry at melee (coin for coin). Players are going to be constructing their army piecemeal while dealing with one new threat at a time, so if they're buying some ogre superheavy infantry, which costs 10gp and gives a statline of 5/15/15, they will be better off with regular infantry if the next dark lord over the horizon has a lot of cavalry and better off with regular cavalry if he's got a lot of archers, but they don't know in advance which he's got, so investing in flexible units can be justifiable even if they're coin for coin less effective than exactly the right specialist unit.

-Also, some means of generating a morale score would be good, and then that morale score is the thing that gets reduced by the enemy's total power in combat phases, with a rout phase at the end where we determine the actual casualties. Routs are where most of the casualties happen in real life, and that allows us to push casualty calculations into a phase where morale has already been decided and no longer needs to be tracked, so I see no reason to change that.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chamomile wrote:
It has also occurred to me that infantry might be paying a cost I hadn't considered for their relatively advantageous position of being, gp for gp, a counter to the unit that is, gp for gp, the most deadly of the basic triad: infantry don't get to shine until the very last phase of combat and are at their weakest in the beginning, which means they are most likely to be reduced to ineffective numbers before they get to rock. That may or may not actually be an issue with the 10/30/20% casualty ratio I pulled out my ass just to get a working prototype going, but I don't see any reason to believe there isn't some set of skirmish/shock/melee deadliness numbers that will leave basic infantry as an effective counter to cavalry, yet still players would rather have the same gp in archers all else being the same, because archers get to alpha strike instead of being forced to tank two phases of damage before you get what you paid for.


Yeah, the "goes first" ability of Skirmish is probably a pretty big deal, and there needs to be compensatory limitation on skirmish specialists. Whether it's a lower impact for the skirmish phase generally, a worse set of overall stats per koku for skirmish troops, various ways to turn the tables on skirmish armies, or some combination thereof.

Quote:
-Race/culture-specific units are probably fine to just be a flat-out better version of an existing unit, so goblin archers can be slightly better in the skirmish phase on a gp-for-gp basis and maybe they're even worse in melee but you don't really care because archers always sucked in melee. It's fine if goblin archers are just a flat-out better deal than bog standard human archers because they have the prerequisite of having access to a goblin levy.


A general principle is that troops that have prerequisites should be better than troops off the generic mercenary list. Things that you have because you completed adventures should be better than things you have just because. You should want Fire Giants over proportionately larger piles of rando heavy infantry. You should want special Unicorn Riders over generic cavalry. And so on.

And yes, getting developed populations of various races should give you access to elite troops that are better versions of normal troops. Rangers are better than Archers, and getting a developed Elf city gives you access to a certain amount of Ranger troops. Berserkers are better than Heavy Infantry, and getting a developed Orc region gives you access to a certain amount of Berserker troops. And so on.

Quote:
There's probably room for units that are good at two out of three phases of combat, but gp-for-gp slightly worse than a standard triad specialist in the area of their specialty.


Ideally you're going to be able to convert any troops you get from the RPG, because the entire point is to resolve the effects on the battle of actions your take in the RPG. And obviously, one of the actions you can take in an RPG is "Recruit X," where X is absolutely anything that exists in the game world and a considerable number of things that don't. One of the things that is easy enough to do when making new troop types is to make them especially lopsided or in-between two other basic troops.

So yeah, you have things like Horse Archers that are between Archers and Cavalry. You have Giants that are in-between Archers and Infantry. And you have Beasts that are in-between Infantry and Cavalry.

Quote:
Also, some means of generating a morale score would be good, and then that morale score is the thing that gets reduced by the enemy's total power in combat phases, with a rout phase at the end where we determine the actual casualties. Routs are where most of the casualties happen in real life, and that allows us to push casualty calculations into a phase where morale has already been decided and no longer needs to be tracked, so I see no reason to change that.


Morale is hard to do without a computer, I'll be honest. One thing is that if all troops add a morale strength and then basic morale damage is based on your own army's manpower, you effectively have created an average morale value for the army without asking the player to do long division.

-Frank
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Zaranthan wrote:

Short answer: No.

Long answer: This is the "Lawful is a virtue, Chaos is a handicap" thing all over again. Either Law's nice latrine planning means they get to put more boots on the battlefield and win more, or Chaos brings more orcs in the first place so by the time they're done dying of cholera the armies are evenly matched (in which case all you've done is doodle up a bunch of rules to overcomplicate things).


That's fine, except that "organized small army > unorganized giant army" is something that's cropped up time and again in historical accounts of conflict; and a few times in fictional/fantastic narratives of conflict. It's also more likely that the PCs in any conflict will be the smaller force in any campaign where there's sufficient narrative tension that the gameplay elects to use a "major conflict" resolution mechanic instead of simply handwaving it away.

I'm also not opposed to chaotic armies resolving inherent deficiencies in discipline by generals simply executing ineffective/lax sub-commanders, until the ones who are able to whip their sub-ordinates into shitting outside of the limits of the warcamp (and not in the mess area) end up taking their place.

In any case, "organizational level" might be a degree of realism/accuracy that's not necessary for this sort of mechanic.

I'm going to assume that there's no point in calculating "supplies" (both provisions, but also equipment, and ammunition) when individual personnel already have a gold/koku cost being calculated.

Regarding the costs of mercanries/troops, would it be reasonable to pay for mercenaries in silver instead of gold? Or does the fact that they're paid in gold calculate their costs in food, arms and equipment?

Also, pre-modern armies have had "pay stoppages" for equipment and food for personnel who can't supply all of their own equipment (i.e. "private" soldiers). Should outfitting your own troops give their leaders discounts while they are serving?
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chamomile wrote:
MGuy wrote:
So like I said way back the first time you disagreed with it, you want a different level of abstraction (IE less of it)


1) Bitch, I told you already: You came to me. You do not get to back out by claiming that my system doesn't work for you, because I do not now nor have I ever claimed my system would do that. I don't give a single fuck what you think about my system, what I care about is your assertion that Zinegata's proposal can meet my challenge, and it cannot. When you say that you're only interested in seeing ideas that work for you, you're lying, because if that were true you never would've started talking to me in the first place. I said that Zinegata's system didn't meet my challenge, you disagreed. You walked in here with the goal of proving that Zin's system can meet my standards, not yours. Are you ceding that you were wrong about that? Because backing up into this "well I still like it" bullshit, like anyone gives a fuck about your feelings, sure sounds like you've given up on trying to prove Zin's system can meet the actual objective criteria you initially claimed it could.

Your original argument is that Zin's system would be able to answer my question of "what happens when we recruit the fire giants" with an actual, real, working solution if only he could be bothered to actually do so. Your current argument is that you don't care whether he can or not, and since nobody cares what you care about one way or another, that's just a waste of bandwidth. Your original argument, about the objective capabilities of Zin's system, is the only thing people might care about. Are you ceding that your original argument was wrong? Or are you going to do that thing where you gesture vaguely towards your original attempted solutions while refusing to acknowledge that I've already explained why they don't actually meet the criteria? Because that second thing is pretty much the same as the first.

2) It has been less than twelve hours, have you already forgotten when you made this assertion?

Quote:
I don't believe he can check all the marks on it without inevitably making a war game.


Are you still contending that it is impossible to make this system work without turning it into a war game, or are you admitting to having been wrong about that, too?
1: Whoa, dude you need to chill out. No one came to you for anything. As soon as I realized you wanted to make DnD war game I went and said 'yea I see you want something I don't.' and seriously I've been saying that's fine. go ahead repeatedly since. It's your obsession to 'prove' otherwise. My solution resolves the question of 'what happens when X occurs' it just wasn't detailed enough for you. That's your issue and you're welcome to come up with whatever war game you want instead. Yelling angrily at me for not caring about your solution and telling you as much really hasn't advanced your idea.

2. Nothing I've said has violated that assertion. And if I'm wrong about it... Cool? Then I'll have something I want to use. So far you have something that's a 'bit' more than what I'd bother with but is still inoffensive. It doesn't tick all the boxes off on Frank's list of course but if you're worried I'll give it a look when you're done alright? If you do a good job I'll give you the thumbs up and tell you you did a good job.
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

MGuy, Chamomile hasn't even once outlined anything remotely close to a DnD "wargame". Most of what they've outlined thus far has been... closer to a 3e skill check mechanic than anything approaching a "wargame".

Which has been the point of this thread, to not make a game where you move chits/tokens/miniatures around on a board/map/grid. Thus when the scale of the conflict changes (up, or down), the mass combat mechanics doesn't suddenly fail to represent the scale of the forces being adjudicated.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Judging__Eagle wrote:
MGuy, Chamomile hasn't even once outlined anything remotely close to a DnD "wargame". Most of what they've outlined thus far has been... closer to a 3e skill check mechanic than anything approaching a "wargame".

Which has been the point of this thread, to not make a game where you move chits/tokens/miniatures around on a board/map/grid. Thus when the scale of the conflict changes (up, or down), the mass combat mechanics doesn't suddenly fail to represent the scale of the forces being adjudicated.
The statline, Shock/melee/skirmish phases, and making things work out through ratios(?), seems like a bit more than a skill check to me and more than I think people would like to deal with at the table. Getting into percentages that change mid battle alone seems like a recipe for disaster but if you start with the assumption that players and DMs will just deal with that between each phase of combat then who am I to say different? Including the considerations for formations suggests to me that you will have to have multiple different sets of units, each with 'their' own statline and considerations for positioning, unit make up, special abilities or whatever and likely is going to need to be upgraded to consider other things like various kinds of terrain, a whole thing for morale, reinforcing those formations, etc etc. That looks like the work that's going to lead into a war game where players are shuffling around different sets of units for advantage, being countered by opposing armies with all the same considerations. Even with all that is listed here it still doesn't tick off all of the things Frank listed in his other thread so my doubt is still pretty heavy.

Of course, he might not make considerations for things that aren't listed, like having a set of casters of various creature types be represented in anything other than more stats. It is also possible that he just won't hold himself to ticking all the boxes Frank set up and will be able to keep things sane just by doing that. I can't tell the future but I doubt he'll be able to resist the allure. I'll wait patiently for the final product. If I end up being wrong, and these are all imagined concerns that won't ever be fleshed out into anything that would creep more toward war game I will be pleasantly surprised. I'll give him all the kudos in the world if that's what ends up happening.

If it does end up doing all those things or even things that I couldn't imagine at the moment of writing but it is something functional, I'll also be surprised and mine the idea for anything that might be interesting to consider for a more abstract system. At present my doubt is still very alive.
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
One thing is that if all troops add a morale strength and then basic morale damage is based on your own army's manpower, you effectively have created an average morale value for the army without asking the player to do long division.

-Frank


Elaborate?
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chamomile wrote:

Elaborate?


A big problem that D&D has is calculating morale for mixed groups. I don't mean that this is a specific problem for a mass combat subsystem, but that it is a problem that every edition of D&D has had. You fight twelve enemies, and two of them are over-confident but cowardly Ogres, two of them are honorable and dedicated Hobgoblin Samurai, four of them are unbreaking skeletons, one is a Goblin necromancer of middling bravery, and three are Goblin spearmen who are only here because they are afraid of the necromancer. The morale systems of 1st and 2nd edition AD&D were unsatisfactory when handling something like that, which was bad because those are the best encounters. 3E, 4E, and 5E don't even fucking try.

Now obviously, when the forces are not 12 dudes in five flavors but five hundred dudes in thirty-one flavors, that becomes even harder.

A popular idea is to use the average morale value of the force, which is just barely possible when you have 12 opponents. You add up the morale values of all twelve dudes and divide by 12. That's not easy, but it's possible. When we are instead talking 587 enemy troops, that is not going to happen. Lots of people just can't do long division at all, and it's simply unreasonable to ask people to divide by three digit numbers.

On the other hand, you can approximate an average by having the basic morale impacting events like losing a round of combat or whatever to have a morale impact equal to your own side's Manpower. So our 587 dude army would get a fear factor of 587 when it got out maneuvered in the Skirmish phase.

-Frank
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chamomile wrote:

-Also, some means of generating a morale score would be good, and then that morale score is the thing that gets reduced by the enemy's total power in combat phases, with a rout phase at the end where we determine the actual casualties. Routs are where most of the casualties happen in real life, and that allows us to push casualty calculations into a phase where morale has already been decided and no longer needs to be tracked, so I see no reason to change that.


From personal experience, you want a system that lets a force fight for a bit, see that it's losing, and disengage without taking it in the shorts. G:MC has a system where you rack up casualties in 5% increments in each battle round, and the force that holds the field at the end of the battle halves their casualties (and can reduce them a little more or add a little more to the enemy).

The advantage to the G:MC system is that battles tend to very decisive: if your army has a significant edge, you can inflict 40+% casualties on the enemy before they break contact, and your force only has 10% casualties at end and the losing force is now completely outmatched. The disadvantage is that equally matched forces are in a win or die situation: if at the end of round 3, Force Blue has 40% casualties and Force Red has 50% casualties, if Force Red breaks contact, the final result is Force Blue takes 15-20% casualties and Force Red takes 50-65% casualties.

We've houseruled that so if you retreat while you have no more than 40% casualties, you still halve your casualties despite losing the field. This way, roughly equal forces can have probing attacks and fighting withdrawals without losing their entire armies.

But your system will need to address two situations: a roughly equal force attacks and withdraws without getting destroyed, and a significantly weaker force gets attacked and routs and is destroyed as a fighting force. You want your battles to be decisive enough that you don't have to keep setting up new battles to eliminate a force that is no longer much of a threat to your main army, because eliminating that kind of force over 2-3 battles is just tedious for the players who aren't into mass combat.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If a force wants to disengage, they need to be doing it before they start routing. Once your formation has broken in the melee, the time for an orderly retreat has passed. So, it needs to be possible to retreat during the skirmish and even during the shock phase, and such a retreat should lead to a "rout" phase that inflicts significantly fewer casualties than a regular rout phase, in that really all you're doing is calculating how many doods died in the casualty-light skirmish and maybe shock/melee phase, while the bulk of the casualties calculated during a rout phase happen during the actual rout.

Quote:
When we are instead talking 587 enemy troops, that is not going to happen.


That was true in the days of AD&D, but it's pretty easy now. In fact, the major impediment to using a morale-averaging system now is not the gigantic number you have to divide by at the end, but the amount of two- and three-digit numbers you have to add before you can divide. That said, I do think that impediment is enough to make the morale averaging option pretty unappealing, because while it's not a big ask to have people punch a single division problem into their smartphone, and it's not even a dealbreaker to have them punch in 31 numbers and add them all up, factoring in that they'll have to doublecheck their troop list to get their exact number and morale total every for each of those 31 flavors of mook and it could plausibly extend the mass combat by as much as five minutes. That sounds low, but when you're resolving a combat that the players aren't even participating in, it really sucks to have to spend five minutes punching digits into your smartphone to set things up, before you even get to the interesting part where armies actually fight each other - especially for the players for whom the army-fighting isn't all that interesting. Even in mass combats where you are getting involved and playing it out over the course of an entire session with lots of skirmish-level player actions to influence the course of the battle, a system where you don't have to spend 5 minutes waiting for the party accountant to tally up morale bonuses is superior to one where you do. All of this is exacerbated by the fact that we're already looking at some smartphone accounting when we tally up the total Skirmish, Shock, and Melee values for each side, so we've eaten up plenty of a hypothetical group's tolerance for this kind of thing already.

So, basically all of this to say that I agree that morale damage = manpower of side taking the hit is the superior option, but it's worth keeping in mind in general that if we ever find it useful to multiply or divide three- or four- or nine-digit numbers, the limiting factor is no longer the size of the numbers being multiplied or divided in one operation, but the number of operations that need to be completed, particularly if they have to be performed all in a row.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
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


Frank, again I have to point out that I already told you that I'm not interested in arguing over the merits of your own system, nor am I "pish-poshing" it. You're totally free to make your own battle system.

What I simply pointed out is that it is bizarre that you think that the DM should solitaire battles that the PCs aren't interested in. In this case you've switched to saying the DM should solitaire the start state. And that your system should be able to fulfill this requirement.

Almost no DM will be interested in doing that. If they want a "start state" for the campaign they'll either make one up (this is why the world-building responsibility lies with the DM) or they will use a campaign book like Forgotten Realms.

But hey, if you want to unnecessarily burden yourself with this requirement, that's your choice.

===

Also, that this has largely degenerated into a hilarious shouting match where Chamomile is trying to make me cater to his ever-changing whims that I don't care about should really show how little this entire exercise is about making actual usable designs.

It is impossible to design for people who don't actually want to play a game, and there is no point in doing so. That's why I stopped bothering to respond to his tantrum after I explained very simply that my proposal was far from a complete system to begin with; and I had no interest in completing it when I'm not about to use it myself anytime soon.

Because really, why design something that wouldn't be used? Stop arguing over something that's ultimately pointless please. They have very little to do with the points I actually shared.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Zinegata wrote:
What I simply pointed out is that it is bizarre that you think that the DM should solitaire battles that the PCs aren't interested in. In this case you've switched to saying the DM should solitaire the start state. And that your system should be able to fulfill this requirement.

Almost no DM will be interested in doing that. If they want a "start state" for the campaign they'll either make one up (this is why the world-building responsibility lies with the DM) or they will use a campaign book like Forgotten Realms.

But hey, if you want to unnecessarily burden yourself with this requirement, that's your choice.


If your system cannot model what happens if the players do not act, it cannot model the effects of the players' actions. Period.

That is simply necessarily true about cause and effect. You need a base state to affect for your actions to create meaningful change. To claim otherwise is really very strange. What possible philosophy of action could you have where you think it is possible to create meaningful change without defined starting points? What the fuck would that even look like?

-Frank
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