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  1. #11
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    Warriors and Conquerors-Cover

    Having taken a brief look at my old, dusty warcards I realized that there are an awful lot of interesting units portrayed by that system. Though I don't like the warcards themselves, the flavour of many of them is really interesting. Originally, the military unit level concept was really just about all there was--just levels, like fortifications/castles--but an effort to preserve the flavour of the warcards while replacing the actual cards themselves and the game mechanics that employed them led to the system of "special qualities" in the document above. The system could be played out without any special qualities at all, and it'd work perfectly well. It might be a bit boring, bit it'd do the trick.

    But who wants to play something vanilla when there are Knights of X around? There's a whole rock-paper-scissors element to strategic/tactical battles (that game becomes cavalry-pikes-archers in medieval war) that needs to be there to turn the slaughter of thousands of imaginary soldiers into something enjoyable for the gamer.... Units of particular knightly orders, varsk riders, Brecht Marines, goblin raiders, ogre shock troops. That stuff is just fun.

    In keeping with that effort, I've decided write up several of the unique or very rare warcards using this system, but I'm going to do it as part of another document that will be a supplement to W&C. A few months ago, I posted the cover for W&C just so folks could comment, but also to motivate myself to working on it. So, here's the cover to this supplement to the supplement, which will be coming to a message board at some unspecified time in the not too distant future....

    Gary
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birthright-L View Post
    Yeah, part of the problem is that a Stronghold
    (née Castle in the published rules) protects the
    province and its controlling regent`s holdings,
    while a Bastion (fortified holding) protects only
    that holding. From the POV of a game mechanic,
    these structures are comparable to
    holdings. They are even described specifically
    as holdings--at least, castles are. When
    holdings interact, they do so in a general way
    under the control of their regent. So the logic
    was that if a regent controls a Law(2) and a
    Guild(4) in a province, and constructs a
    Bastion(3) in that same province it should
    protect both holdings, just the way the province
    ruler, who likely controls a law holding in his
    province (but could have others) will have both
    the province itself and his holding(s) defended
    by a Stronghold. Presumably, the manifestation
    of his law holdings (or whatever else he has) are
    either in the stronghold itself or can easily take refuge there.

    I can see, and agree with, the idea as originally
    presented in the BR text. It`s just that as one
    sits down and starts to pen a set of game
    mechanics, one sometimes gets into the
    construction of the rules themselves rather than
    what they are really meant to portray, so I put
    it in that context for a while. I could make an
    argument justifying a regent using a Bastion(3)
    to defend both his Law(2) and Guild(4) in one
    province, but it seems more sensible that he`d
    have to construct more than one Bastion or a
    castle to combine the function that way.
    I went on to re-read the BR Fortify action and I see that the cost there for fortified holdings is 4 GB per level, while in your document bastions cost 5GB per level, not sure if it was intended.

    Quote Originally Posted by Birthright-L View Post
    I associated the range values A-G with terms like
    Archers, Bowmen, Crossbowmen, Darts, etc. because
    it was amusing to do so, but they`re really just
    supposed to be a "first to last" range rating,
    not necessarily actual bows. Technically, the
    Archers special quality could be used to portray
    a band of soldiers freakishly accurate with
    throwing daggers, or a unit made up of stone
    giants tossing rocks, or the inclusion of a few
    balista in a unit. I tried to disassociate the
    descriptors from the actual meaning of the range
    value in the descriptive text for each of
    them: "The archers special ability includes a
    wide range of missile weapons, but the standard
    is the longbow as employed by the most skillful
    soldier." But its probably inevitable that folks
    would make the connection more strongly than I
    had intended given the titles are so specific.
    I think I explained myself wrongly. For example, taking into account your dagger throwing soldiers: they may throw their daggers once, or twice, but as soon as they are dragged into melee they "lose" that quality.

    Also, if I have an army(10) with the qualities Skirmishers, Archers, and Cavalry, Heavy, I imagine an army with some ranged soldiers (archers, crossbowmen, whatever), some scouts/harassers and some knights (and the rest as normal infantry). But given the range rules, is like if I had a big mass of ranged soldiers as they all engage at range A. Is just like if the visual idea I get from the rules and the way the rules work were conflicting.

    Maybe is that I understood the special qualities wrong as in my head I think they refer to a part of the army, but instead they refer to all the army and that's my misunderstanding.

    Regards,

    Vicente

  3. #13
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    At 01:49 PM 9/25/2009, Vicente wrote:

    >I went on to re-read the BR Fortify action and I see that the cost
    >there for fortified holdings is 4 GB per level, while in your
    >document bastions cost 5GB per level, not sure if it was intended.

    You`re right. It should be 4GB/level. It`s 5GB per domain round if
    one wants to double the rate of construction.

    >...taking into account your dagger throwing soldiers: they may throw
    >their daggers once, or twice, but as soon as they are dragged into
    >melee they "lose" that quality.
    >
    >Also, if I have an army(10) with the qualities Skirmishers, Archers,
    >and Cavalry, Heavy, I imagine an army with some ranged soldiers
    >(archers, crossbowmen, whatever), some scouts/harassers and some
    >knights (and the rest as normal infantry). But given the range
    >rules, is like I had a big mass of ranged soldiers as they all
    >engage at range A. Is just like as the visual idea I get from the
    >rules and the way the rules work were conflicting.
    >
    >Maybe is that I understood the special qualities wrong as in my head
    >I think they refer to a part of the army, but instead they refer to
    >all the army and that`s my misunderstanding.

    Ah, OK. I see what you`re saying, and all I can say is this: you`re
    quite right... it is an odd game mechanic. Even as I wrote it I
    expected it would be the thing people most objected to, and as a game
    mechanic, I have to say that even as the author, I find it a little
    strange too....

    I`ll take your example a bit further. Let`s say, for instance, that
    someone raises up an army(7) and then purchases two special qualities
    for that unit: Archers and Beastriders. The Archers quality moves
    the attack value for the entire unit from Range G to Range A. The
    Beastriders quality give +3 to the attack value. The unit has Range
    A, Attack 10. So now we`ve apparently got a whole army equipped with
    longbows and riding elephants into battle, and maybe even the
    elephants are themselves shooting longbows, otherwise why does the +3
    their presence adds to the attack value of the unit occur along with
    the Range A provided by the Archers quality? Who knows, maybe the
    elephants are throwing the archers at the enemy.... Any number of
    goofy interpretations are possible.

    I would suggest that the way to look at this isn`t really that the
    special qualities represent a change to the actual equipment and
    training of all the soldiers. They get titles that are colour
    commentary, meant to give the system a Birthright context, but that`s
    just so we can use this system in this setting. It represents an
    abstract way of presenting the attack value of a group who contains
    soldiers with that kind of equipment and training. It`s the effect
    of spending a lot of effort training an army to attack at range. The
    attack value itself isn`t the effect of every soldier attacking once
    per combat round in a way that parallels the adventure level D&D
    combat system; it portrays the ebb and flow of battle in which mobs
    of soldiers clash with mobs of enemies. During that period, some
    soldiers fight desperately, while others can only observe. The
    system doesn`t proscribe the number of attacks, the actual damage
    dealt in terms of injuries/lives/equipment, or even the length of
    time that combat round takes place in. It`s surely something less
    than a day (a War Move takes a week...) but it could be hours of give
    and take. It needn`t even be a fixed time. Maybe one combat round
    takes half a day, the next only a few minutes.

    The point in such a system is that most of those things are what DMs
    and players should decide as they role-play.

    Now, a lot of folks might be uncomfortable with that level of
    abstraction, and I can sympathize with that POV. However, I would
    make the following argument: warcards are at least as abstract and
    much more arbitrary. What do the attack values of warcards
    represent? What is the length of time for a battle using
    warcards? How big is that battlemap? None of these things are
    proscribed in that system any more than they are in this system. The
    difference is that this system actually makes some sort of sense in
    relation to the rest of the BR domain rules, and instead of
    arbitrarily applying all the values to the warcards, this system
    includes the rules that were used that show how things like archers
    are being portrayed.

    Gary

  4. #14
    Senior Member Mirviriam's Avatar
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    On the bastion's how do you guys treat them? To reduce are the fortifications of the holding reduced by one level per unit? It just seems so unbalanced to treat them the same as province level fortifications.

    The idea of fortifications for province protecting anything more than law seemed a little off to me. I always was the of the mind that the fortification would hold the land from armies, the law just happened to also be the guy running the armies.
    Legacy of Kings: Member

  5. #15
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    At 12:27 AM 9/26/2009, Mirviriam wrote:

    >On the bastion`s how do you guys treat them? To reduce are the
    >fortifications of the holding reduced by one level per unit? It
    >just seems so unbalanced to treat them the same as province level
    >fortifications.

    As written, bastions are reduced by siege just like strongholds, 1
    measly level per domain turn. However, unlike strongholds bastions
    can be contested, making them fundamentally more vulnerable than strongholds.

    It might seem redundant to have both Contest and siege possible,
    since a contest action is going to be faster than a siege (assuming
    it is successful, that is) but I imagine it possible for an attacker
    to besiege a bastion while he`s also besieging a stronghold in the
    same province. Why not? So, that kind of note needed to be in there.

    >The idea of fortifications for province protecting anything more
    >than law seemed a little off to me. I always was the of the mind
    >that the fortification would hold the land from armies, the law just
    >happened to also be the guy running the armies.

    I think there`s a logic to how they were set up in the original rules
    that has to do with the nature of how these two structures would be
    constructed. What I call bastions would be hidden. They`d be the
    secret vaults under a holding`s physical manifestation, or some other
    methods meant to secure the holding from a military
    attack. Strongholds (castles) are, of course, much more
    obvious. That is, in fact, part of their function. If someone
    constructed a castle then he`d naturally make that the center of his
    activities. Legal proceeding would take place at the castle, of
    course, but if one also controlled a guild holding, isn`t it easy to
    imagine a regent saying things like, "Come up to the castle tomorrow
    and we`ll finalize that deal." Etc.

    Gary

  6. #16
    Member Noquar's Avatar
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    encouragement

    “Correction does much, but encouragement does more.”

    I like the work you have done and feel guilty I have am not in a position to contribute more myself. I am excited to see the final product.

    I have in my mind to make a consolidation with linked map of the wiki, but don't yet have time to take on the project. Physics is destroying my life.

    Good job...........and good luck

  7. #17
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Hi Geeman,

    It looks good, I like the abstract idea a bit - the army gets the missile bonus as it is trained to work together to bunch up foes to be attacked, block people from attacking the archers, etc, etc - works fine.

    But I like shiny special units too, so I'm somewhat torn.

    What I quite like is some limit on army size to stop a risk-style 'tower' war system, so generals are less able to control large armies if the army size exceeds a leadership value for example.

    Did I send you the excel sheets I did a while back on unit types? I've tried to attach it, apologies if it failed - does anyone know why we can't directly upload excel?
    Attached Files Attached Files

  8. #18
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    At 02:32 PM 9/26/2009, AndrewTall wrote:

    >Did I send you the excel sheets I did a while back on unit
    >types? I`ve tried to attach it, apologies if it failed - does
    >anyone know why we can`t directly upload excel?

    I don`t know why and Excel file can`t get uploaded... but I did get
    the file. Thanks. I`ll have a look.

    Gary

  9. #19
    Moo! Are you happy now? Arjan's Avatar
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    For example, an attacker
    with Range C and an attack value of +9 is going
    up against a unit with +11 defense. The attacker
    rolls a 15 while the defender gets a 4. The attack
    is 15+9=24 against a defense of 4+9=13. The
    attack surpasses the defense by 11, meaning the
    attack reduces the defender by 2 levels.
    shouldnt that be "against a defense of 4+11=15"?
    Te audire non possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.

  10. #20
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    At 10:15 AM 7/25/2010, Arjan wrote:

    >shouldnt that be "against a defense of 4+11=15"?

    Quite right.

    Gary

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