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  1. #1
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Here is a summary of the polls for Chapter 6 (Armies and Warfare)) so far. I’ve put them together so people can see how they fit when read with the idea of putting the chapter together.

    These polls have a clear majority winner (at least 2 times as many as the next closest result).

    What size map should be used for the battlefield itself?

    1. 3 rows by 5 columns with a row of reserves in the back. (The same as the BRRB (pg 68) and BRCS-playtest (pg 126). [ 1 ] [11.11%]

    2. No set limit. Use a grid map with the total battlefield area defined by the DM based on the circumstances. (no set reserve area) [ 8 ] [88.89%]

    3. Other - please be as specific as possible [ 0 ] [0.00%]

    4. Abstain [ 0 ] [0.00%]

    Total Votes: 9

    (Winner – No set limit. Use grid map with the total battlefield defined by the DM)


    What should be the approx. size of a battle unit (i.e., troop)?

    1. Approx 200 individuals (the 2nd ed standard) [ 15 ] [83.33%]

    2. Approx 100 individuals [ 2 ] [11.11%]

    3. Approx 20 individuals [ 1 ] [5.56%]

    4. Other - please specify [ 0 ] [0.00%]

    5. Abstain [ 0 ] [0.00%]

    Total Votes: 18

    (Winner – Approximately 200 individuals)


    How long should a battle round last in BR?

    1. 5 minutes [ 2 ] [18.18%]

    2. 10 minutes [ 9 ] [81.82%]

    3. Abstain [ 0 ] [0.00%]

    Total Votes: 11

    (Winner – 10 minutes)


    What should the size of a Battle Grid be?

    1. 100 ft by 100 ft [ 6 ] [54.55%]

    2. 200 ft by 200 ft [ 3 ] [27.27%]

    3. 300 ft by 300 ft [ 2 ] [18.18%]

    4. Abstain [ 0 ] [0.00%]

    Total Votes: 11

    (Winner – 100 ft by 100 ft)


    The following polls have no clear winner and should be revisited with the above in mind.

    Should units be allowed to stack?

    1. No [ 7 ] [38.89%]

    2. Yes – no limit/restriction [ 0 ] [0.00%]

    3. Yes - but there is a limit (basis TBD, e.g., an absolute maximum or based on unit type/muster cost) [ 2 ] [11.11%]

    4. Yes – but only units with a hero in them (no limit) [ 0 ] [0.00%]

    5. Yes – Limited by ranks in Warcraft skill (specifics TBD, e.g. 1 unit for every 5 ranks, etc.) [ 4 ] [22.22%]

    6. Yes – Commander makes a Warcraft check whenever attempting to stack units [ 2 ] [11.11%]

    7. Other – please specify [ 2 ] [11.11%]

    8. Abstain [ 1 ] [5.56%]

    No stacking is the majority opinion, but there are several different versions of yes, but. . . that when added up makes things a lot closer.

    We need to discuss this one some more


    What types of magic should be used in Birthright?

    1. 3 tiered system -standard (PHB)/battle level/realm level. (Battle magic is different – either separate spells or metamagic std ones {TBD}. Realm and unmodified std spells have no effect on Battlefield) [ 8 ] [47.06%]

    2. 3 tiered system -standard (PHB)/battle level/realm level. (Similar to the 2nd ed system with std, realm and special battle spells affecting battle) [ 9 ] [52.94%]

    3. Abstain [ 0 ] [0.00%]
    Total Votes: 17



    I'm closing this poll.

    Here are the results, pretty much inconclusive.


    what do you require to make clinker built ships?

    A shipyard? [ 2 ] [22.22%]

    A port? [ 2 ] [22.22%]

    Nothing? [ 1 ] [11.11%]

    A province of a certain size? [ 3 ] [33.33%]

    Other? [ 1 ] [11.11%]

    Total Votes: 9
    Duane Eggert

  2. #2
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Now when putting together what has been decided so far a clearer picture of how things interrelate should be starting to form or at least how they should interrelate. At least that is my hope.

    2 topics that weren't clearly decided before should be revisited now with the picture starting to be filled in.

    The concept of stacking units is one.

    With the unit size being approximately 200 members and the battle square size of 100 ft by 100 ft - should units be allowed to stack? If so what is the limit? If so what kind of mechanism should we use?


    The other one that comes out is the use of standard (unmodified) magic on the battlefield.

    With the battle round lasting approximately 10 minutes, the unit size being 200 members and the battle grid size being 100 ft by 100 ft what should we do? I have brought up repeatedly the fact if the battle round is measured in minutes then a casting time of 6 seconds (standard action) just doesn't mesh. This does not remove the option of zooming in to cover PC actions in a more limited area (than the entire battlefield) and covering things in combat rounds and unless someone brings it up for discussion it is not my intention to remove that option from the BRCS.

    IMO the direction Osprey has been going with "beefing" up the hero group bonuses to an associated unit is the means of getting away from the individual character level play when handling "battles". Thanks for the effort it is indeed worth it.

    So this is the discussion thread for overall issues concerning armies and warfare and how they interrelate. Let the typing begin. . .. .
    Duane Eggert

  3. #3
    With the unit size being approximately 200 members and the battle square size of 100 ft by 100 ft - should units be allowed to stack? If so what is the limit? If so what kind of mechanism should we use?
    I voted no before and with the closing of those polls, I stand with that decision with this new info. It certainly doesn't seem logical to keep stacking looking at the statistics we've sanctioned.

    Though I believe a unit would be able to pass through another unit, at the cost of an extra move point.

    The other one that comes out is the use of standard (unmodified) magic on the battlefield.
    That would need quite a bit of discussion, judging from the poll.

    With the battle round lasting approximately 10 minutes, the unit size being 200 members and the battle grid size being 100 ft by 100 ft what should we do?
    First, I'd like to say I voted for 10 min, mainly because I agree with the idea that medieval battles took quite a while and a large part of it was keeping the lines intact while trying to break the enemies. Now, after playing out a few battles using Osprey's battle system (with him DMin of course), I found that most battles only lasted about 5-10 rounds at most. So, a round of 10 min makes sense with that range of rounds as it means battles last about 1-2 hrs. Now, my concepts of military strategy differ from midieval and I prefer more blitz tactics, so the rounds maybe a bit low, however, even an avg of 10 rounds per battle for hvy inf would make sense.

    Now, it's definitely a puzzle that I wish I had my books out here in Miami to solve, for even at 1/2 speed, 15', they would take about 7 turns to get there less than 1 min, or even 1/3 speed, 10', they would take 10 turns or 1 min. Now, if we add 1 min for order relay and 1 min for troops responding it's still just 3 min, then add an extra 1 min to ready for attack or charge ect so were at 4 min.

    So, it may be good to refresh in people's minds why 10 min makes the most sense, aside from the length of typical medieval battles taking so long. Regarding this factor, as the battle grid is now indefinite size, the DM can determine how long the battle will take by making the battle grid bigger instead...

    just posting some ideas to help get it started
    "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

  4. #4
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by tcharazazel@May 5 2005, 01:46 AM

    Now, it's definitely a puzzle that I wish I had my books out here in Miami to solve, for even at 1/2 speed, 15', they would take about 7 turns to get there less than 1 min, or even 1/3 speed, 10', they would take 10 turns or 1 min. Now, if we add 1 min for order relay and 1 min for troops responding it's still just 3 min, then add an extra 1 min to ready for attack or charge ect so were at 4 min.

    So, it may be good to refresh in people's minds why 10 min makes the most sense, aside from the length of typical medieval battles taking so long. Regarding this factor, as the battle grid is now indefinite size, the DM can determine how long the battle will take by making the battle grid bigger instead...

    just posting some ideas to help get it started
    Actually the grid size is 100 ft by 100 ft. It is the map size that is flexible, that is the number of actual grids on the field of battle (or thenumber of squares on the map). This is an important distinction to make.
    Duane Eggert

  5. #5
    Member Bokey's Avatar
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    With the unit size being approximately 200 members and the battle square size of 100 ft by 100 ft - should units be allowed to stack? If so what is the limit? If so what kind of mechanism should we use?
    My thought is NO, units should not be allowed to stack, given the current decisions made by the "council" of voters. Here is why:
    In standard rules a person takes up a 5' by 5' space. If the battle field is 100' by 100', and we divide by 5 to account for the amount of space each individual occupies, that means that there are room for 20X20 or 400 people. That would be 2 units, or one per side.

    You could also use this logic to determine the number of knights that would make up a unit. A horse takes up a 10' X 10' area. That would only allow enough room for 50 horses in a standard knight/calvery unit, assuming you had to share the space with the enemy unit at full strength.

    This would mean that no units could move through the engaged space (which is good), but it would also mean that no additional units should be able to engage after the battle had been joined (which I think would be bad). Basically, a 2nd unit would have to wait until the first unit was routed or destroyed before being able to join battle. :blink: I would also argue that two friendly units could occupy the same square, or one could move through another because you could pack them in tighter in a formation in an area where a fight hadn't broken out.

    This is why I voted for the larger battle-grid (I think), or maybe I voted for smaller unit size; I am almost positive I considered this in the past.
    Kill 'em all, let the God's sort them out!!

  6. #6
    Member Bokey's Avatar
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    Hey,
    I am now an advanced member! When do I recieve my free t-shirt?

    Anyway, a couple of additional thoughts...

    Another option:
    We chose to allow adjacent units to engage, much like adjacent PC characters can do now. That way, you could be engaged by 4-8 units (depending on whether you allowed unit to engage at a diagonal). You could also stack 2 (according to the spacial rules quoted in my previous post) friendly units in a battle-square if units are allowed to engage enemy adjacent units.

    Other thoughts:
    I don't have the playtest readily available in front of me (I am supposed to be working), but if we change the way units engage, we would have to modify archer ranges and maybe even re-evaluate movement rates. Maybe an added benefit of the charge action could be that they can move through a unit if there is available space on the other side? Just brainstorming here... probably shouldn't be included in this thread.
    Kill 'em all, let the God's sort them out!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    QUOTE
    With the unit size being approximately 200 members and the battle square size of 100 ft by 100 ft - should units be allowed to stack? If so what is the limit? If so what kind of mechanism should we use?

    I voted no before and with the closing of those polls, I stand with that decision with this new info. It certainly doesn't seem logical to keep stacking looking at the statistics we've sanctioned.

    Though I believe a unit would be able to pass through another unit, at the cost of an extra move point.
    Exactly my opinion, too. The grid sqaures are basically big enough to comfortably fit one unit for fighting space, and allow another unit to squeeze through with some difficulty (i.e., hampered movement = extra move cost). Not enough space to stack up for fighting room, though. Saying "no stacking" is a lot simpler and will more closely resemble the 3.5 combat system anyways.

    Irdeggman, if you like, run another poll, but I can almost guarantee "No Stacking" will win by a landslide now that we've determined the grid size to be 100' square.

    You could also use this logic to determine the number of knights that would make up a unit. A horse takes up a 10' X 10' area. That would only allow enough room for 50 horses in a standard knight/calvery unit, assuming you had to share the space with the enemy unit at full strength. - Bokey
    A couple of things re. cavalry:
    1st: Ignoring the standardized D&D templates for a moment (which use big bipedal humanoids like giants as the basis for large creature space, not long quadrupeds like horses), a horse and rider really only takes up about a 5'x10' square (roughly). Given that, a cavalry unit could easily contain 100 horsemen and still have ample fighting space and room for another unit to squeeze through it.

    2nd: If units don't stack, then engaged units would remain adjacent on the map. While engaged, they would of course be intermixing, but the point is that you don't need to have space for an enemy unit to mingle within your own unit's grid square.

    Another option:
    We chose to allow adjacent units to engage, much like adjacent PC characters can do now. That way, you could be engaged by 4-8 units (depending on whether you allowed unit to engage at a diagonal). You could also stack 2 (according to the spacial rules quoted in my previous post) friendly units in a battle-square if units are allowed to engage enemy adjacent units.
    If you don't allow 2 engaged units to occupy the same square in the first place, then multiple engagements are pretty easy to figure out - they're pretty similar to adventure scale combat.

    Also, I would emphasize that while friendly units should be able to march through one another with some extra movement cost, I think this should not be allowed through units engaged in melee. They're too busy fighting for their lives to be able to "make way" for friendlies.

    I don't have the playtest readily available in front of me (I am supposed to be working), but if we change the way units engage, we would have to modify archer ranges and maybe even re-evaluate movement rates.
    I don't know if you ever checked out my battlesystem, but that's exactly what I ended up doing: I doubled base movement rates for tactical speed (giving a range of 2-10 squares of movement per turn), and extended archer ranges to match the PHB levels, with a limiter based on the missile unit's actual skills. Basically, 1" (100&#39 base range, -2 missile per additional inch (square); maximum effective range @ +0 missile. While the unit could fire their bows at longer ranges, they would be so inaccurate that they would be incapable of inflicting a full "hit" of damage on an enemy unit. Thus more elite archer units (ex.: Veteran Light Archers, +Missile @ +8 missile) can fire further and more accurately than regulars...as could those assisted by heroes.

    Maybe an added benefit of the charge action could be that they can move through a unit if there is available space on the other side? Just brainstorming here... probably shouldn't be included in this thread.
    Realistic, yes (been playing Total War, maybe?). Probably too complex for a simpler kind of battlesystem. KISS this! :P

    Osprey

  8. #8
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    Simply put, I totally agree with Tcharazazel and Osprey.

  9. #9
    Ok, as stacking is pretty much covered, lets move on to the 2nd topic: Magic on the Battle Field.

    I voted for use of all three types during a battle. My reasoning being that it defies all logic for casters to be able to only cast "battle spells" during battle when many spells, ie fireball and mass cure light wounds ect, would make sense to use during battle. Not to mention the fact that several realm spells, ie mass destruction and cure unit can be used during battle.

    Now, to use regular spells during combat if the wizard is following orders, presumably the general's, it doesn't make sense that the caster would need the battle caster feat as these are spells the caster would be able to cast normally. Why? Because the caster doesn't really need to know about the strategy involved in which units would be best to attack. (Side note, as wizards are supposed to be very intelligent, they would likely be able to figure this out themselves, however, as all clerics and sorcerer types aren't its easiest to just lump all casters together as not being good at strategy and warcraft)

    Now, if the caster wanted to cast battle or realm magic during battle, then the caster would need to have the battle caster feat. Additionally, if the caster wished to make new battle or realm spells to be cast during battle then the caster would need to have the battle caster feat.

    As I would prefer to see all three types of spells being used, the question arises for what exactly constitutes as battle magic? I see battle magic as essentially being regular spells that have been metamagically enhanced and are created for large scale combat, ie use extend and widen spell, and instead of raising the caster level up as much as normal have their durations increased to be about 10 minutes total (1 battle round). They may also be the combination of various spells together, ie fireball and ice storm. How ever the spell is created is up to the DM and the players, as far as I am concerned, we can offer a couple of suggestions, ie following the standard methods of spell creation or quest for such spells, but ultimately it should reside with the DM.

    Now, this is my basic take on Magic on the Battle Field, so what does everyone else think about 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

  10. #10
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    The absolute problem with using standard spells "as written" (that means no modifications, time support casters, etc. - it is possible to come up with a unit hit equivalent or unit saving throw equivalent but that doesn't really constitute a 'change to a spell just a conversion, like say going from english units to metric ones they mean the same thing only using different terms) is the time period involved.

    The battle round is 10 minutes the casting time for almost all spells is 6 seconds. A wizard can cast 100 fireballs in the time it takes a unit to resolve one action.

    If the scene is "zoomed in" around the caster (and other PCs for that matter) to resolve things on a combat round scale things work out better, but that is not what we are talking about we are talking about things on the battlefield scale.

    I tried to go over the various mass combat books out there (Cry Havoc, Fields of Blood and now the Heroes of the Battlefield) and one thing that seems to come out of them is that all combat is based on 6 second rounds. They all have standard spells working in pretty much the standard scales but things are done in 6 second rounds. A common theme to each is also the battle caster equivalent feat, a feat that allows access to battlefield magic which is different than standard magic.

    The scales of "units" are generally:

    Cry Havoc - 20
    Fields of Blood - 100
    Heroes - anywhere from 20 - 300+

    I don't have the Minatures Handbook and Heroes seems to almost require reference to it since it doesn't really have a mass combat system in it just some vague things to look at when putting together units. :angry: It does leave the impression that things revolve around the squad level (closer to 20 member units). Although it sets the battle square size at 200 ft by 200 ft using a standard 1 in square size mat. It does have some interesting info on siege engines and the like though.

    The more I read things the more I'm convinced that we should be focusing on a really simple system vice writing a system that duplicates the detaisl of any of the already published ones. If we put out an appendix with unit conversions to those other systems then people can use as much detail as they wish with minimaleffort on our part. When the BRCS was first put together none of those other products existed so there was no d20 mass combat system out there to use now there are several.
    Duane Eggert

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