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  1. #1
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    I figured I'd start a thread to focus on discussion on how complex the BR battle field system should be.

    So far really none of the poll results have forced a progression in either way but some things that will be coming up, specifically the role of magic, will force such a decision. We might as well make that up front.

    Historically (2nd ed) the BR combat system was a simple system and was designed to be readily resolved. Well readily as compared to the typical war game that is.

    As Doom pointed out when the infor on training and unit types was added to the BRCS-playtest is set into motion a level of complexity that really didn't exist in 2nd ed.

    There are currently several good products in publication that cover mass combat on a fairly detailed level. Cry Havoc, Fields of Blood, Minatures Handbook, Heroes of Combat, Warhammer, etc.

    Should we be recreating all ready existing products (which are in general 60-100 pages for their combat system) or keep things as simple as possible? We could put out an appendix or most likely a supplement with details for how to convert whatever system we come up with for use in these other systems. This would allow people to use whichever system they wanted without requiring the use of any one of them.
    Duane Eggert

  2. #2
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    That would probably be best...

    I know from experience that, should we head with this cute and beloved beast we call Birthright and make it something that will be used worldwide with as few tweaks as possible, we have to provide a groundwork; articles, adventures, and netbooks (such as which I am brewing) can be added on the site and allow for expansion on what is already "published" but that will have to wait for the "main" product.

  3. #3
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    I like to keep it simple, and point people to complex systems if they want it.

    I tried reading through the BRCS combat stuff, and was utterly confused. Strategic combat, tactical combat, checks for everything under the sun... I hate to criticize since I didn't put anything into this section, but I am totally confused. I'm all for adding a few points for various skills, feats, terrain, position, etc and rolling a die.

    If someone wants a really complicated system where it takes 4 hours to resolve 1 combat round, that's fine with me. Point them to it, or make it an optional rule.

  4. #4
    Heheh, as the target market will not likely be as interested in detailed battles that follow logical rules based on a mix of D&D rules and real medievel battles, it is likely that using the simple combat resolution system that I proposed before would be easiest. Just a few rolls and you have already gone through an entire battle.

    However, if we are making this system as a baseline for what really ought to be done, and how battles really ought to be resolved, then the more detailed version is better. Additionally, if we look at the way inwhich it was presented in the BRCS and then if we choose to follow that lead, we would put in the complex system and have the simple one as a brief example of a quick resolution system.

    I'd say that for many battles using the quick resolution system would work perfectly fine, however, for those big/important battles, ie those with other major players, and for those battles that are almost evenly matched, using the complex system would be the wisest course of action.

    One problem of using the quick resolution system, is that heros no long matter that much as it is based on GB value. I believe there was some discussion about that matter, but I don't think it was totally resolved. Along with it being more difficult to zoom in during the battle.

    Just my thoughts on the matter.
    "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
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    T'Char Azazel,

    Not quite what I was thinking of when I meant simple. I had meant to look beyound just the resolution of battle but to other things as well.

    I had already decided to include your "simple" resolution system as a variant for even quicker resolution with some mods for hero groups (I'll work that one out when I get there.)

    The BRCS-playtest battle system is fairly simple as it is (at least when compared to other more detailed ones that is).

    I don't think you could come up with a simpler (although not very realistic, well as far as magic itself is realistic) magic system for the battle field than the one already in the playtest.

    The things in the playtest that started to make it exponentially more complex was the "training" and unit "type" mods.

    If we try to work in more detail on the magic sytem it will easily start to become very much more complex.

    One of the other things that could add a great deal of complexity very fast and has been "talked" about is a system for awarding experience to units.

    Others that have the potential (as I see it at the moment) include: combat maneuvers (things related to facing and organization and how units can behave (e.g., equivalent of shield walls, etc.), movement, and equipment. It wouldn't take much to come up a list of other things that while making the system more "realistic" and "historically accurate" would greatly add to the level of detail involved in the game.
    Duane Eggert

  6. #6
    Cool, just wanted a clarification of what you meant by complex vs simple then. It seems like a more simplified version of Osprey's battle system then.

    Well, it maybe hard for him to cut his beautiful battle system to bare bones, but we can always ask him to try

    GL Osprey!! If you need some help bouncing off preliminary ideas, just give me a call.
    "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

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by tcharazazel@May 21 2005, 11:14 PM
    Cool, just wanted a clarification of what you meant by complex vs simple then. It seems like a more simplified version of Osprey's battle system then.

    Well, it maybe hard for him to cut his beautiful battle system to bare bones, but we can always ask him to try

    GL Osprey!! If you need some help bouncing off preliminary ideas, just give me a call.
    I was thinking we could do a hatchet job on his system, see if we could make him cry :P
    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.

  8. #8
    Heheh, Ok, so if we plan on including a complex version of the battle system and the simple version is going to be based on that, why not first work on the complex system and get is as accurate as we want it to be. Then we take out the main things we want from the complex system, generalize them and then we have the simple system.

    My reasoning for doing the complex system first is simply because we already have most of it done, while we don't have any for the simple system. Thus, as it is easier to get everyone to work on 1 project at a time, rather than multiple, we just focus on finishing the complex system, then we make the simple system.

    Does that seem reasonable?
    "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

  9. #9
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by tcharazazel@May 23 2005, 01:19 PM
    Heheh, Ok, so if we plan on including a complex version of the battle system and the simple version is going to be based on that, why not first work on the complex system and get is as accurate as we want it to be. Then we take out the main things we want from the complex system, generalize them and then we have the simple system.

    My reasoning for doing the complex system first is simply because we already have most of it done, while we don't have any for the simple system. Thus, as it is easier to get everyone to work on 1 project at a time, rather than multiple, we just focus on finishing the complex system, then we make the simple system.

    Does that seem reasonable?
    Not really and I didn't see any suggestion to include both a complex and simple version until your comment here. The Jew was being funny and sarcastic in his comment, note the reference to making Osprey cry. For one I don't think he would, nor would he take it personnally. IMO he would use his system if he thought it was "better" for his style of gaming and most likely try to get it into whatever supplement (if any) was posted for more complex and robust play.

    There are many things that contribute to being complex.

    There is the entire "formations" issue. This has been touched on by several people during postings. It has not been delved into but is most definitely a part of any "complex" system.

    There is the entire 'magic' issue. Again it has been touched on by posts but not a lot of "real" work has been done towards geting it down.

    There is the entire "training" concept. Again, some have touched on it but nothing concrete.

    There is the experience issue. Osprey posted a proposal (real preliminary if I recall his take on it at the time).

    So I don't think it is easier to "finish" something that has hardly been started only to gut it out to end up with a simplier version.

    I would instead start with the BRCS-playtest (and the polls of course) and instead of seeking to add more realism look to what can be taken out.

    Osprey's hero group concept doesn't really add any more complexity since it was designed to reduce complexity in the first place by having PCs act a part of a unit vice as individuals thereby reducing the detail involved in play and round resolution.

    One thing that remains "complex" but IMO is part of the inherent BR domain system is the maintenance costs of units. While this is more complex than the 2nd ed system it is the one part of the domain maintenance system that the players have direct control over theri costs. If they build assets (roads, shipyards, etc.) they pay additional costs in order to gain the benefit associated with the asset. The same applies to unit maintenance. Which is why IMO it doesn't add anything that is not already present in the system. That is to say that asset maintenance is fairly detailed and the unit maintenance just follows suit. We could look for ways to simplify the math (as some have suggested using tenths vice variable fractions based on months and quarters).

    So to sum up if we continue down the path to make things more complicated then we go all the way, any less is just lazy and won't stand up to any sort of scrutiny IMO. It is like being kind of pregnant.
    Duane Eggert

  10. #10
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    I prefer something simple... the simpler the better....

    Then, if people want to use a more complex system, make a new book about it or use one of the existing complex systems out there

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