Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1
    Osprey wrote:

    The simple system should be so simple as to not require any wargaming at all. It should simply be resolved easily with one or a few d20 rolls, modified by whatever factors are relevant. Mainly these would be unit quality (best measured in GB muster value IMO), unit quantity, terrain, weather (maybe), the skill of each army's commander, and any misc. factors, such as magic, Battlewise, Courage (Great), and DM-assigned circumstantial modifiers.
    I was thinking about this a little bit also, cause it can be very useful for non wargamers and DMs, when they want to run NPC battles.

    I agree that muster cost is a good base, and just use the total muster cost of the army with some simple modifiers for defenders vs attackers regarding terrain, fortifications, blood abilities, active realm magic and then add that total/10 to a Warcraft check made by opposing commanders to determine the outcome of the battle. A commander can only lead 10 + 1 per +5 Lead modifier, number of units.

    1st, Do we all like that general concept for a Quick and Dirty battle?

    As I have none of my BR stuff here, I likely will forget a few things. Only Defenders will use the Terrain or Fortification modifiers.

    Terrain:


    Mountain x2
    Hills x1.5
    Forest x1.25
    Others x1

    Fortifications: These don't stack with Terrain.

    Attacker has no artillery

    Province fort x2
    Holding x1.5

    Attacker has artillery

    Province fort x1.5
    Holding x1.25

    Both Defender and Attacker can add these to their total

    Blood Abilities: battle related

    Great +20
    Major +10
    Minor +5

    Realm Magic: Can be lots of effects here so really up to DM but an easy way maybe to add spell level x 2 per unit effected, so a lvl 2 spell effecting 3 units would add 12.

    If there are allied forces there must be one commander and the others add a +2 to the check.

    Any special DM assigned modifiers.

    We then take this total and devide it by 10 and add it to the warcraft check rounding to the nearest integer.

    Quick run through:

    1st, we determine the muster cost of the army, lets say they are both 100 GB.

    2nd, we determine the defenders modified muster cost by first applying the multipliers. So, if he is defending his castle and the attacker has artilery he would be at +15 now and the attacker is at +10.

    3rd, we add the blood abilities of each commander if any. The attacker has great courage so hes now at +11.

    4th, we add any relevant realm spells, the attacker has a lvl 2 spell active on 4 units so hes now at +13.

    5th, we now roll the Warcraft check to see how each fare and the defender has a
    +15 to his role while the attacker has a +13 to his.

    Determining results after the Warcraft roll:

    Armies will have a collective health = number of hits and any damage taken is dispersed amongst the units as the commander sees fit.

    If the winner wins by =<5 it is a close victory. Both sides take casualties, each opposing unit does d4-1 points of damage.

    If the winner wins by 6-10 it is a victory. Loser takes d4 per winner unit, and winner takes d2 per looser unit.

    If the winner wins by 11-20 it is a clear victory. Looser takes d4+1 per winner unit, and winner takes 1 hit per looser unit.

    If the winner wins by 21+ it is a sluaghter/route. Looser takes d6 per winner unit and the winner doesnt take any damage.

    All remaining troops of the looser are considered to be captured or routed, up to DM and situation (ie in the above example if the defender looses as he cant run he is captured but if the defender wins the attacker can run) to determine.

    The looser&#39;s command unit is considered to be destroyed always so the looser must make the battlefield check to see if they survive or not.

    The winners command unit is considered to be surviving always, but it can take hits up to its last one. If there are no other units to take the hits recieved, those excess hits are disregarded.


    Keep in mind this is very Q&D, and I just came up with it right now, but I figure its as good a place to start as any. What do y&#39;all think?
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

    "Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum." --Vegetius

    "Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war." --Homer

  2. #2
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Posts
    3,946
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Alright,

    First this is not a very simple system. There are a lot of variables in here - the more variables the more complexity.

    Reducing things to a single die roll is not necessarily the same as having a simple and easy to resolve system. Especially if the process to get to the die roll is so complex as to require a separate pad of paper to write down all of the modifiers.

    I am all for a simple system. But when I say simple I mean less detailed and fairly quick to resolve. The actual number of die rolls may or may not be an issue and can always be adjudicated by the DM anyway.

    The things that would make a system simplier would be:

    Reduce the effects of magic on the battlefield (less things to calculate) - for example instead of figuring out what the effects of each individual spell would be a quick and dirty effect system would work. +1/-1 damage, attack, AC, save, etec style would be easier and IMO the battlemagic feat system of the BRCS-playtest simplified this about as far as it could be done.

    Reduce the amount of options available during combat. For example no facing, everything happens on the side&#39;s turn in the initiative order. No separate charge, missile, move, spell phases/subphases.

    Going with muster costs for keeping track of units&#39; costs is one way to streamline the system. Another would be to reduce the variables that units are capable of having - that is to reduce the training options presented. A unit is what it is, at most it can get more experience and get better at its function but can&#39;t cross functions. No marine, no scout, etc. stype of training. A unit is a marine unit or a scout unit.

    One roll to determine initiative for the battle. While not real accurate and it does give a decided advantage to the winner of the initiative roll it will make the system simplier and that is why I put it down.

    There are others but these are the ones that immediately come to mind.
    Duane Eggert

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    california
    Posts
    317
    Downloads
    2
    Uploads
    0
    How is the above system not simple Duane. A base number modified by three variables (terrain, magic and blood abilities) and added to single die roll. This takes acount of only the most basic factors and could be resolved in a couple of minutes. Certainly mucy simpler and less time consuming then the system you proposed, not that yours is bad in either of those apects.
    Build a man a fire and he will be warm for a night. Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

  4. #4
    Um, irdeggman did you read the proposed system?

    All you have to do is figure out each armies base cost (which they should know already as they paid for em) then apply the simple modifiers terrain or fortification, blood abilities and magic, and then make an opposed Warcraft check. The winner wins the battle.

    A fight between two 10 unit armies is decided in a matter of minutes.

    How much simpler do you want it?
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

    "Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum." --Vegetius

    "Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war." --Homer

  5. #5
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Posts
    3,946
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Sorry, you are both right it is simple. I&#39;ll claim that age thing.

    But it does break down at times. For instance a group of knights versus a group of pike will win almost all of the time due to the difference in muster costs (knights - 6 GB, pike - 2 GB) when in fact we know the exact opposite should be true. So a player would load up his army with expensive units while in order to maximuize his chance of winning.

    Well at least it is a starting point.
    Duane Eggert

  6. #6
    This system, while beautifully simple overall, has one shortcoming that stands out - unless you ignore the different unit types completely (which would make fortification and terrain modifiers less realistic, as well as cutting out a great deal of flexibility from the game), you still have to decide which units end up taking damage. Will it be the cavalry, the infantry or the siege engineers? The DM might like to have a choice in things, but rather than force him to look up the hit point values of each unit, there&#39;s a more convenient system to be used.

    You could do the following, I suppose: Rank units according to their muster costs, in reverse order, and with the commander always taking the first rank; assume no battle will ever involve more than 20 units on each side. Then, quickly roll one d20 for every 1d4 units involved in the battle, rounding up, with a "bonus" to the winner equal to the difference of the warcraft roll. When the roll equals the rank of a unit on either side, kill that unit. If the roll "lands" on a unit that&#39;s already been killed, kill the first still-living unit below it (or, otherwise, above it). As a result, a small skirmish will typically lead to fewer casualities than a large battle. Note that the same roll applies to both armies, so a 1 (which kills the commander unit of the losing army) would also kill the 4th most expensive unit of the winning army, if that army won the warcraft roll by 3. Remember, the commander always takes first rank, being considered the most expensive unit for this purpose. However, a roll of 3 (killing a unit of knights within the losing army) might inflict no kills on the winning army at all, if that army features no more than 6 units. This promotes the use of small, highly professional armies, which suffer few casualities compared to hordes of light footsoldiers.

    A commander can only lead 10 + 1 per +5 Lead modifier, number of units.
    By the way, I&#39;m not particularly fond of this rule, because it assumes any commander can lead a 10-unit army and have it perform basic functions on the battlefield, which seems a bit of a stretch. I suppose you could have it that large armies led around by incompetent leaders get a malus, namely an incremental -1 to their collective "attack bonus" for every unit beyond the character&#39;s leadership score. Goblin units might contribute an additional -1 each, perhaps with each goblin unit being treated as two individual units for the purpose of cacluating leadership scores. The same thing would happen for the undead, irregulars, gnolls and other unruly creatures. The result is that the average leader (level 4 leadership skill) can bring in an army of 4 units (400 men) to the field without penality, but going beyond this results in -1, -3 and finally -6 to the overall score. Fairly soon (around 7 units), it becomes pointless to enlist new men, as the bonus they contribute to the army as a whole (say, a +4) will be outclassed by the penality of leading too many units (the 8th unit will, in fact, tax the army with a big -10, -4 in addition to the previous maluses).

    This would make the game a bit more complex, but more smooth and realistic on the side.

  7. #7
    irdeggman wrote:

    But it does break down at times. For instance a group of knights versus a group of pike will win almost all of the time due to the difference in muster costs (knights - 6 GB, pike - 2 GB) when in fact we know the exact opposite should be true. So a player would load up his army with expensive units while in order to maximuize his chance of winning.
    Ok, I see you are still fixated on the concept of units, well really in this battle resolutions system the units and their special abilities don&#39;t matter. They might as well be all knights. It is just the muster cost of the unit and the number of hits it can take before dying. True this is abstract and not detailed or realistic, it doesn&#39;t require a map even, however, it is quick and dirty, which is the point. If you want a middle ground system, then just apply the set up rules on an individual unit basis, instead of an army basis. I&#39;ll work on that later today and post it.


    Demonizer wrote:

    unless you ignore the different unit types completely (which would make fortification and terrain modifiers less realistic, as well as cutting out a great deal of flexibility from the game), you still have to decide which units end up taking damage.
    Considering this is very Quick and Dirty fexibility and unit types don&#39;t really matter here. If you want to include those details use the complex version or the soon to be worked on unit version of this. Now, I do mention that:

    Armies will have a collective health = number of hits and any damage taken is dispersed amongst the units as the commander sees fit.
    Thus the commander has to keep track of three things for hir units, the muster cost, move (for domain troop movement) and hits. The commander has to determine which units take the hits. There is no need to roll this as a commander would likely shift a line as a unit becomes wounded and allow for other fresh units to fill the gap.

    You propose an interesting system, however, it soon becomes more complex, and as the purpose was to remove all of that, I just decided to let the army commander make the tough decisions on who lives and who dies, which typically is the case. Have to sacrafice some to win the battle.

    A commander can only lead 10 + 1 per +5 Lead modifier, number of units.

    By the way, I&#39;m not particularly fond of this rule, because it assumes any commander can lead a 10-unit army and have it perform basic functions on the battlefield, which seems a bit of a stretch.
    I just used the complex version method to create an easy way to set army limits. Actually, unless you are talking about pesant uprisings, an army will have some degree of buracracy built into it, thus allowing for runners or riders to deliver messages from the commander to the unit leaders, certain levels of authority ect as it is a very hirachical system. Thus, any commander can lead an army of 10 units (2,000 men) because really the army only needs the commander to inform it where to go and whom to attack, however, it takes a skilled commander to be able to lead an army of more than 10 units.

    If you want to implement some DM rulings for no lead skill or for high lead skill than that&#39;s fine, but in a Q&D system they are accounted for as being DM assigned modifiers. In the more complex system Osprey proposed, these issues are expressed as larger armies have penalties to initiative. As there is no initiative in the proposed Q&D system, there is no need to implement the penalty.

    However, if you want an easier method then just put in that armies below a certain size 5 units gain a bonus +10 while armies with 6-10 units have none and armies with 11+ units take a penalty -10. This bonus would be applied to the base score like the Blood Abilities. Very simple then.


    One thing I did notice I forgot to mention was that in the result of a tie the defender is the winner.
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

    "Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum." --Vegetius

    "Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war." --Homer

  8. #8
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Ashland, NH
    Posts
    1,377
    Downloads
    6
    Uploads
    0
    A commander can only lead 10 + 1 per +5 Lead modifier, number of units.
    This is a tricky issue. What my battlesystem proposed is that this is the maximum number of units that can be commanded on the field at one time, not the maximum army size. Any commander can have any number of units in the reserves, meaning there is no maximum army size. Reserve units can play a more minimal role in a battle, but only rarely is it a decisive one. Most battles are decided by the starting forces and how they fare.

    What if any units beyond the command limit count for only 1/2 their muster value in GB? That might be a good abstraction of their battle value.

  9. #9
    This is a tricky issue. What my battlesystem proposed is that this is the maximum number of units that can be commanded on the field at one time, not the maximum army size. Any commander can have any number of units in the reserves, meaning there is no maximum army size. Reserve units can play a more minimal role in a battle, but only rarely is it a decisive one. Most battles are decided by the starting forces and how they fare.

    What if any units beyond the command limit count for only 1/2 their muster value in GB? That might be a good abstraction of their battle value.
    Well... saying they have only 1/2 value isnt acurate either as they will eventually enter the field also at full strength and be viable units, it would be better to just do away with the entire limit on army size then.

    I was putting a limit on army size so as to keep it easier to manage for everybody, else we may end up with huge armies that will still be cumbersome to keep track of even in this very Q&D system. In the huge army case, it would be best to just use an Excel sheet and let it do all the calcs to give you the WC mod. Real simple then.


    Hmm, actually, we can keep the 10 +1 per 5 Lead mod and just do seperate rolls for each. In effect consdering each as seperate battles for simplicity.

    If a commander decides to use wounded units instead of new fresh ones, then they would use that percent difference from full army health to add another modifier to their WC mod.

    If =<20% of full health -10 to WC mod
    If 21-40% of full health -8 to WC mod
    If 41-60% of full health -6 to WC mod
    If 61-80% of full health -2 to WC mod
    If 81-99% of full health -1 to WC mod

    Example calc: 10 units all have max 2 hits. 5 are at 1 hit so 10/20 is 50% thus the WC mod - 6 = new WC mod.

    This way, it would generally be in the commanders best interest to use fresh units instead of nearly dead ones, which makes sense.
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

    "Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum." --Vegetius

    "Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war." --Homer

  10. #10
    I think your system could potentially replace the standard warcard-based variant, at least in PBEMs and other games where going through each battle in turn would be too time-consuming. In fact, as soon as I&#39;m done designing Hemedorim: Total War, I&#39;ll try to intergrate your rules into a pseudo-Birthright campaign of my own.

    Here&#39;s a proposed set of additions to your system, which might hopefully provide a decent middle ground for those who like their battles quick, dirty and complex as well.

    -You can have each unit of pikemen lower the enemy army&#39;s attack bonus by 1, but have the total malus be no greater than the total attack bonuses of its cavalry troops. In effect, pikemen act to reduce the power of knights and other units on horseback.
    -Fortifications and terrain increase the effectiveness of all ranged units by 1, providing a total bonus up to the actual fortification level plus the "terrain level" (the terrain defensive bonus, which should probably be a "+something" rather than a multiplier, I think). Siege equipment drops both a fortifcation&#39;s natural bonus and its bonus to the archers, lowering them by a number equal to its muster value. Note that this makes archers more powerful on both sides, as they should be when fighting in mountainous regions.
    -Apply regional/racial bonuses, like +1 for each dwarven unit in mountainous regions, at the DM&#39;s discretion. The general trend would be that each unit can contribute with only +1, or by reducing the enemy army&#39;s effectiveness by -1, in addition to its own muster cost bonus. I quite like it, and it makes things seem less arbitrary about costs and combat values - instead of "recruiting units", you&#39;re essentially buying more combat power, which can be inserted freely and removed from any army.

    With a bit of effort, I might design a new system in which all units receive their own set of abilities, each costing a certain number of abstract GBs which cannot exceed the unit&#39;s muster value. This system wouldn&#39;t be applied as easily in standard Birthright, but has its advantages when making custom units. Suppose a unit of ordinary pikemen would cost 2 GBs, and be entitled to the "anti-cavalry" ability (which happened to cost 2 GBs). To create a pikeman unit that had the "dwarven" ability as well (assuming the ability required 2 GBs), the regent would have to add in two extra gold bars to the cost. The resulting unit would get +2 to its attack bonus as well as whatever perks stem from its dwarven lineage. While it doesn&#39;t account for some fairly odd sets of traits (like dwarven heavy cavalry with anti-cavalry abilities and massive missile weapons), and tends to encourage high-end units, the DM could reasonably work around this.

    However, if you want an easier method then just put in that armies below a certain size 5 units gain a bonus +10 while armies with 6-10 units have none and armies with 11+ units take a penalty -10. This bonus would be applied to the base score like the Blood Abilities. Very simple then.
    It&#39;s equally simple to cheat in this system and bring in 9-unit armies, because 10- or 11-unit armies get a serious penality, more than a few soldiers can account for. I&#39;m assuming, of course, that this system gets applied in PCvsPC or PCvsNPC battles, where the participants are more inclined to cheat. This is why I favor "fluid" and "continous" systems: they ensure you can&#39;t manipulate the numbers too much and get inappropriately favorable bonuses as a result.

    What if any units beyond the command limit count for only 1/2 their muster value in GB? That might be a good abstraction of their battle value.
    This would have some fairly interesting effects if the commanders got to choose which units were affected. Assuming both high-end and low-end units populate an army, those with the most wretched muster cost will be selected for the penality. This might be fairly realistic, as elite soldiers tend to be more disciplined, but still... Herding 5 units of irregulars into an already large army will still give a significant bonus to its strength, as halving an irregular&#39;s recruitment cost won&#39;t cause as great a tragedy as splitting that of a knight or elite infantry unit. So the effects of shoddy leadership won&#39;t really be that serious, unless the whole army consists of high-end units.

    I&#39;ll end by noting that the battle resolution system I proposed involves less hassle than having to read the hit point values of various units, then determine which of them get killed or wounded. The "one roll, one kill" mechanism would take far less time to work through than anything that considered the units&#39; actual hit points.
    It&#39;s also less realistic, on the other hand.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
BIRTHRIGHT, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, D&D, the BIRTHRIGHT logo, and the D&D logo are trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and are used by permission. ©2002-2010 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.