View Poll Results: Should we have an exp system for units?

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  • 1. Yes

    24 63.16%
  • 2. No

    10 26.32%
  • 3. Other (please explain in detail)

    3 7.89%
  • 4. Abstain

    1 2.63%
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Thread: Exp for units

  1. #1
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Let's vote on this one. We've discussed it some.

    Basically I'm looking for a choice on whether we should pursue having a system for measuring exp of units. The BRCS-playtest has Green through Veteran.

    If we decide to have one then we can work on how much detail it will have and then how to handle it.

    It should be noted that a system to measure exp will have more detail and complexity than a system that ignores it.

    If a system for having experience for units is kept it can be designed with varying amounts of detail - that is some system have more detail (and hence complexity) than others.

    Let's just take one step at time for now though.

    Without getting into the details of how to do it, should we have a system that accounts for exp of units?
    Duane Eggert

  2. #2
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    I voted yes, with reservations. I think green-standard-veteran are good. I do have problems with the current costs, and I am very much opposed to a complex system such a Osprey has proposed.
    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.

  3. #3
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by The Jew@May 30 2005, 12:59 PM
    I voted yes, with reservations. I think green-standard-veteran are good. I do have problems with the current costs, and I am very much opposed to a complex system such a Osprey has proposed.
    Unfortuneately any system that uses green-standard-veteran or anything similar will end up being complex. Osprey's is a greatly simplified version of how to handle it.

    I have a different method in mind but it would be more detailed than his, even though it would be no more complex than the system used for character advancement. (Which is complex in itself). I just don't want to get into a discussion of which system to use when all I want right now is to decide should we have a system at all.

    Regardless, any system used is an additional layer of complexity that did not exist in 2nd ed.

    People need to keep that in mind. The trade off for a more realistic (real world) system that accounts for experience level of troops is a system that has another layer to how it is handled. No way around that - it is something else that needs to be kept track of and hence more bookkeeping, etc.
    Duane Eggert

  4. #4
    Member Bokey's Avatar
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    I don't think any further complication is necessary. We are trying to make a simple system, and rules like these make it more complex, so I voted no. If we are talking something really simple; like green unit survives 5 battles becomes standard, survives 5 more battles, becomes advanced; then I could live with that.

    Even that would require additional work on the part of the DM as far as book-keeping. The last thing a BR DM needs is additional paperwork to keep track of!
    Kill 'em all, let the God's sort them out!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    I think if folks push too hard for a "simple" system, they may regret the grossly unrealistic results...in my experience, over-simplified systems lead to extreme frustrations and/or dissatisfaction with the results.

    In my experience, super-simple systems almost always create exploitable loopholes which become standard practice (like stacking an entire defensive army in that one terrain square in the 2e war card system) - most complex/detailed rules evolve in playtesting as a means to erase loopholes and restore game balance. 3.5 D&D is easily the most balanced and flexible version of D&D made, but it is also undeniably the most complex and detailed version to date. All those rules are there for a reason other than the joy of rule-mongering (blieve it or not). :P

    One of the great advantages of detail and realism is that it actually can help create better roleplaying because there's less abstraction involved. If I'm playing a battlefield commander and using a realistically viable strategy (say, a pincer movement with flanking cavalry), it's really frustrating when it doesn't work because the rules are just too "dumb" to recognize the advantages of that sort of strategy.

    Unit experience, I think, should be included because it's such a critical element of real warfare - some level of simulation helps bring home the importance of units becoming 'blooded' and hardened in the crucible of war. I think it adds a big 'cool' factor to watch your favorite units get stronger and tougher as they keep surviving and kicking butt in one battle after another. Just like a good PC or long-time lieutenant, this sort of detail enriches the flavor of a domain-level campaign in distinct BR spirit. It isn't just the regent PC that is important - as a regent, it is those who follow him that also define the regetn as ruler. Signature units, hard veterans who've been with their lord from the beginning (or even through generations of rulers), are a great flavor element that would be sad to drop for the sake of super-simplicity.

  6. #6
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    That added realism in the battle field is something I generally agree with and have supported. An extra couple pages of rules are worth it for a significantly better battle experience. The paperwork and time needed to keep track of each unit's experience and track each unit progress throughout the battle is not worth it, for the BRCS. A super-simple system of, units that perform spectacularly in a battle can become veterans is simple, but still allows for the special units to stand out and progress. There will be no additional work, and the DM can decide what spectacular means, with maybe a few guidelines provided.
    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.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Thomas_Percy's Avatar
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    I like the system with green-veterans-etc.
    IMHO it can (should) be connected with soldiers' levels*.

    The system without troops advancement is easy, yes, but I remember when many years ago I played Ghoere domain. I lost all my army many many times, simply attacking random neighbour for fun and terror. It was possible because new recruited troops were the same as that old which I lost.[B]

    ------------------------------------------------------

    * I think alll the concept of NPC classes, especially warriors, and of 1-level "veterans" is weird. Who and why choose to be a warrior if he can be a fighter? The advancement at 2, 3, 4 level needs a few XP, so why soldiers can't compete this XP to advance?

  8. #8
    I propose something else entirely: a system of "combat readiness" which removes most of the complexity involved in dealing out experience points, but tends to make bookkeeping a bit more tedious. Simply, every unit may be paid extra each turn in order to receive a combat boost during that turn, and all subsequent turns in which they keep getting paid that ammount. Note, however, that the regent cannot increase their payment (which really goes into jousts, training, better equipment and the like, rather than actual wages) by more than a certain ammount of GBs each turn (typically a fraction of a gold bar, like, say 1/4 GB for a unit with an upkeep cost of 1), so it takes several turns (a full year of military service, in fact) to reach a unit's maximum potential. Irregulars might make an exception - these could be trained as guerrilas with more ease, allowing their "combat readiness" to be increased to its maximum level in one turn. Also, units that survive after a battle in which they've actively fought - that is, engaged another unit, or (for those who prefer simpler rules) merely left the reserves at some point during combat - may gain an extra bit of "combat readiness" that turn, for every such battle they went through. That "combat readiness" must still be paid for, though. Also, when it becomes impossible for the regent to pay his troops, or when he simply refuses to support their "combat readiness", it falls down to the ammount that the regent can still pay, and has to be increased slowly all over again - the regent can't just bring them back to full power the next turn. Some units might, eventually, survive so many battles and become so memorable that the GM decides to give them a permanent readiness bonus... Though I think I can cover that in a different set of rules.

    What all this means is that creating armies on the spot will prove far less effective than taking the time to train units and prepare them as reserves. A regent can no longer muster fully-trained, powerful units to replace those he just lost, as his recruits will lack the training to face an enemy army. It also means one has to keep his finances in order - lose that extra combat readiness and you might just lose the war. This pretty much means that landed PCs become more attached to their guilders.

    If you want to get complex, you could say that the ammount of GBs added to a unit's combat readiness depends on the level of the regent's law holdings in a province. Not having any military institutions means you can only add 1/12 GB each turn (or somesuch), while every level of law holdings you possess allows you to add another 1/12.

    You could also arrange it that a regent may increment "combat readiness" beyond the value of the unit's standard upkeep cost, so that, after 10 years of training or a year of intense combat, the overpowered unit could be transformed into something else - a special unit type, such as the ones Chris used in his defunct PBeM. Such units might include contingents of Erbannien rangers, the legionnares of the Imperial City and other such elite groups, and would, from that point on, include their prior "combat readiness" into their upkeep cost, treating all the bonuses they gained up to that point as though they were inherent to it.

    Finally, there's also a way to provide experience for your units without involving the actual troops. It involves the use of captains, which can be attached to units similar to heroes, and provide a small bonus to morale and such, depending on their levels of experience. However, these experienced captains would be relatively few in number, and could align themselves exclusively to units of a single type - archers, light cavalry, knights and the like. While offering a flexible solution, this would be more complicated overall than anything that's been described so far.

    When it comes down to trained vs. plain units, though, I do believe experience should be included in some form. It doesn't really matter which, as long as the game can distinguish between well-trained, hardened troops and those that have barely been mustered.

  9. #9
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Normally I would close this poll. But since the site went down for a period (and I am going on vacation next week) - I'll leave it up (along with the poll on heroes group, until I get back.

    This one is looking like it will be too close to call. I hate to say it but that lends itself into the use of variants. Which, IMO would work in the folowing manner.

    The default )despite whether or not it is the leading vote getter) would be no exp category or effects, with the variant included those rules.

    My logic on this one is that it is much easier to add on things then to remove them. So the no-exp style can be used directly with the units listed while the variant would allow things to be added (much like the present version allows adding them regardless of the starting unit).
    Duane Eggert

  10. #10
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Now that the boards are back. Let's see how stable Arjan can make them before we make formal decisions.

    I want to leave the polls open for a good week of continous service before closing them.

    There are currently 2 polls open so it shouldn't be too bad.

    If things get out of whack I may just redo the polls to get things back in line.
    Duane Eggert

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