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Mass Combat, and using the Wisdom of "The Other Game" (Warhammer Fantasy)


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#21 Sturn

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 07:08 AM

 

A company, typically 12 squads of 10-15 men, can be readily represented by 12 minion groups - essentially, "12 figures" in wargame speak.

 

 

 

Well, kinda in the rules as written. You aren't going to get any bonus for "attacks" in a 15 minion group vs. only a 6 minion group. The only advantage to a minion group with such numbers would be damage soak. Your 15 Stormtrooper group is equal to your 6 Stormtrooper group when rolling the attack dice. The game mechanics don't strictly support minion groups that large (no dice left to flip yellow), but I suppose you could do it.



#22 Chortles

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 12:03 PM

What Sturn said -- the only upside in RAW for more than six Minions to a group is being able to take more damage/lose more Minions without the group's skill rank(s) going down.


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Fans proceeded to immediately disregard his bull and have fun with the Empire and make believable characters left and right, and come up with sensible rationalizations east, west, north and south.

 


#23 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 01:21 PM

 

 

A company, typically 12 squads of 10-15 men, can be readily represented by 12 minion groups - essentially, "12 figures" in wargame speak.

 

 

 

Well, kinda in the rules as written. You aren't going to get any bonus for "attacks" in a 15 minion group vs. only a 6 minion group. The only advantage to a minion group with such numbers would be damage soak. Your 15 Stormtrooper group is equal to your 6 Stormtrooper group when rolling the attack dice. The game mechanics don't strictly support minion groups that large (no dice left to flip yellow), but I suppose you could do it.

 

 

I'm not following you here as far as upgrading dice. If you run out of dice to flip when you upgrade, you add a die.

 

I'm not aware of any RAW hard cap on dice use.


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#24 aramis

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 03:58 PM

 

 

 

A company, typically 12 squads of 10-15 men, can be readily represented by 12 minion groups - essentially, "12 figures" in wargame speak.

 

 

 

Well, kinda in the rules as written. You aren't going to get any bonus for "attacks" in a 15 minion group vs. only a 6 minion group. The only advantage to a minion group with such numbers would be damage soak. Your 15 Stormtrooper group is equal to your 6 Stormtrooper group when rolling the attack dice. The game mechanics don't strictly support minion groups that large (no dice left to flip yellow), but I suppose you could do it.

 

 

I'm not following you here as far as upgrading dice. If you run out of dice to flip when you upgrade, you add a die.

 

I'm not aware of any RAW hard cap on dice use.

 

Skills cap at 5. The wording is inexact, as I'm not looking at the book at the moment, but the skill level of a minion group is 1 less than the number of members, and skills don't actually upgrade attributes - you start with the lower of att or skill in yellow, make the difference up with greens.

 

If you ignore the skill cap, 15 minions would be 3Y+11G. Cumbersome (And 4 sets of dice)


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#25 HappyDaze

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 05:03 AM

Using Stim Application on a large group of minions can be pretty effective. They all benefit as a single entity, and a squad of eight stormtroopers with Agility 4, Ranged (Heavy) 5 and blaster rifles can be rather nasty even after taking 4 damage from the drugs.


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#26 Sturn

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 07:37 AM

 

I'm not following you here as far as upgrading dice. If you run out of dice to flip when you upgrade, you add a die.

 

I'm not aware of any RAW hard cap on dice use.

 

 

See pages 102 and 390.

 

Page 102 describes skill ranks up to 5. It describes ranks 1 and 2 as skilled, but a beginner. Ranks 3 and 4 are "professionals". Then, rank 5 is described as rarely obtained and such skilled people being known far and wide for such. It doesn't describe a skill rank 6 or beyond.

 

Page 390 describes Minions as having one skill rank below the current number in its group. So, a group of 6 provides the maximum group skill potential.

 

Thus, very large Minion groups (beyond 6) aren't going to benefit from offensive ability, but will still greatly benefit from defensive ability - more Soak and will not suffer offensive ability until there total number drops below 6.

 

Like I said, you could easily have Minion groups numbering 60 and not violate any rules. But, be aware that their offensive ability will not increase above that of a like group of 6, which could cause some realism issues. Ten groups of 6 Stormtroopers each are going to be much, much, much more powerful (10 attacks) then one group of 60 (1 attack of the same power as the smaller groups), even though they both represent 60 Stormtroopers.



#27 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 11:59 AM

 

 

I'm not following you here as far as upgrading dice. If you run out of dice to flip when you upgrade, you add a die.

 

I'm not aware of any RAW hard cap on dice use.

 

 

See pages 102 and 390.

 

Page 102 describes skill ranks up to 5. It describes ranks 1 and 2 as skilled, but a beginner. Ranks 3 and 4 are "professionals". Then, rank 5 is described as rarely obtained and such skilled people being known far and wide for such. It doesn't describe a skill rank 6 or beyond.

 

Page 390 describes Minions as having one skill rank below the current number in its group. So, a group of 6 provides the maximum group skill potential.

 

Thus, very large Minion groups (beyond 6) aren't going to benefit from offensive ability, but will still greatly benefit from defensive ability - more Soak and will not suffer offensive ability until there total number drops below 6.

 

Like I said, you could easily have Minion groups numbering 60 and not violate any rules. But, be aware that their offensive ability will not increase above that of a like group of 6, which could cause some realism issues. Ten groups of 6 Stormtroopers each are going to be much, much, much more powerful (10 attacks) then one group of 60 (1 attack of the same power as the smaller groups), even though they both represent 60 Stormtroopers.

 

 

It's not quite explicit either way as to how it should work and whether minion groups adhere to the limit individuals have. You have to connect two things that aren't clearly connected. One could easily assume it goes either way.

 

That said, you shouldn't be running minion groups that large anyway. WFRP capped groups at the number of players. I'm surprised they didn't have a cap in this game.


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#28 aramis

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 02:28 PM

It's not quite explicit either way as to how it should work and whether minion groups adhere to the limit individuals have. You have to connect two things that aren't clearly connected. One could easily assume it goes either way.
 
That said, you shouldn't be running minion groups that large anyway. WFRP capped groups at the number of players. I'm surprised they didn't have a cap in this game.

I'm not surprised by the lack of cap - for two reasons. (1) It allows more flexibility in threat assessment - a pair of skill 5 Ag 4 PC's can easily handle a pair of groups of 6 minions (Skill 5 att 3). (2) it would be ignored by many anyway.

 

One thing I've considered doing (as a house rule) for large minion groups is giving "linked" in place of additional dice for groups larger than 6 NPC's. Say, 7-9 is skill 5 linked 1, 10-12 is skill 6 linked 2, 13-15 is skill 7 linked 3... just to give more teeth to large minion groups.


Edited by aramis, 24 February 2014 - 02:28 PM.


#29 HappyDaze

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 04:47 PM



One thing I've considered doing (as a house rule) for large minion groups is giving "linked" in place of additional dice for groups larger than 6 NPC's. Say, 7-9 is skill 5 linked 1, 10-12 is skill 6 linked 2, 13-15 is skill 7 linked 3... just to give more teeth to large minion groups.

 

There's a published adventure where you fight two 5-man minion groups on speeder bikes. They use light repeating blasters mounted on the bikes. YYYG with Auto-Fire is pretty deadly.


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#30 aramis

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 05:31 PM

 



One thing I've considered doing (as a house rule) for large minion groups is giving "linked" in place of additional dice for groups larger than 6 NPC's. Say, 7-9 is skill 5 linked 1, 10-12 is skill 6 linked 2, 13-15 is skill 7 linked 3... just to give more teeth to large minion groups.

 

There's a published adventure where you fight two 5-man minion groups on speeder bikes. They use light repeating blasters mounted on the bikes. YYYG with Auto-Fire is pretty deadly.

 

Why do you think I chose linked, instead? AF can hit as many times as half your advantage. Linked is limited.

Allowing 7-9 a second hit seems pretty reasonable - since as two groups, it would nominally be 2 separate YYY, while my house rule would put it YYYGGG Linked 1 - cutting the odds of crits and lowering the overall number of hits while increasing the average damage slightly.  Perhaps it should be 7-10, 11-14, 15-18...

 

Still, it's a way to make it more reasonable to have large groups of minions.



#31 Oku

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 02:04 AM

My LGS has this on it's website. Estimated release date is in May. I wonder if those expanded rules will help running mass combats...

 

Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Game Master’s Kit

 

Blast deeper into the action of your Star Wars roleplaying campaign with the Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Game Master’s Kit.

The GM’s Kit includes a GM screen which provides a handy reference for a host of vital Game Master information. You’ll also find expanded rules for running military squads and squadrons, plus a complete adventure titled Dead in the Water, which challenges players to stand strong against the Empire, even after they’ve finished the adventure featured in the Core Rulebook.

• A helpful GM screen provides reference to a host of vital information 
• Includes expanded rules for running military squads and squadrons 
• Includes a complete Age of Rebellion adventure, Dead in the Water



#32 That Blasted Samophlange

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 04:59 AM

Someone posted that the Edge of the Empire hured gun book, dangerous covenants, has som mass combat rules on page 81 - so I bet they will be the same as in the gms guide.
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#33 KRKappel

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 02:00 AM

Someone posted that the Edge of the Empire hured gun book, dangerous covenants, has som mass combat rules on page 81 - so I bet they will be the same as in the gms guide.

 

I can tell you that I did not have access to a copy of Dangerous Covenants while writing the GM Kit. Also, mass combat rules and squad and squadron rules are not phrases I would consider wholly interchangeable.

Think of the minion rules, the Covenants rules, the GM Kit rules, and any potential future rules governing this sort of thing all as options for dealing with a large number of opponents, a large number of allies, or crowded battlefields in general. I think in most cases, any one set of the rules can get the job done, but if you have access to and learn all the different ones, you'll have the option of picking whatever you like best, or fits your group play style best, or whatever best suits that particular scenario.


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#34 Liloki

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 02:14 PM

I'm fairly confident we just got to see an early form of the Mass Combat rules that will be published in Onslaught at Arda I.

 

The Operation Shadowpoint expansion adventure for the AoR Beginner Box has mass combat rules starting on page 41 and a system specifically under the heading "Indirect Resolution (Abstract Method)" which explains it in brief with an entire table on page 42 dedicated to interpreting and using the check results.


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#35 Col. Orange

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:29 AM

Squad rules in GM Kit, mass combat in Onslaught at Arda I... anyone hazard a guess at how the Hired Gun

"Last One Standing" SA will interact with these?  (More the former than the latter - silly otherwise.)


Edited by Col. Orange, 07 July 2014 - 09:30 AM.

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#36 artteach

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 11:49 AM

I'm really liking this thread.  I'm coming up on my first large scale combat that will be run with ground units, units in the atmosphere of the planet, and space combat.  The 1 die per unit is a great idea.  

 

My thought is to use either Leadership as a cool initiative check (the leader reactions to something happening quickly) or Warfare as a Vigilance initiative check (The group deploys in an advantageous way).

 

After getting initiative I am thinking are doing a maneuver phase 1st  (I'm  using maps I like maps) using reverse of initiative (so slow guys must move first).  Then an action attack phase (like X-wing). Then a leadership/ reaction/ morale/ chaos phase where things happen the leaders did not plan on (like run away).

 

My thought with die used to represent units is to give them an offense and defense die per unit.  So they roll opposed offense vs. defense rolls to see if they damaged the other unit.  If you fail in an attack roll you actually take damage. The person attacking can choose to take out the offensive or defensive die of the units.  Advantages and threats can be spent to use boost to future rolls, cause critical unit damage, or buy additional movement.

 

The total damage then becomes the difficulty for the leader to keep members from breaking ranks, breaking down, or just getting lost and ineffective in the next turn. That morale/breakdown check will remove die that are set to the side.  The leader can get those die back by using advantages to rally routed units.

 

I'm getting very wargamey, but sometimes it is a good change of pace from narrative to get a little down and dirty.

 

Time to break out the excel and start making some charts.


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#37 Ransom

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:33 PM

I've said this elsewhere, but getting mass combat to have the right feel to it is my main goal with AoR. Of all of three iterations of the SWRPG product, this is the one that emphasizes "Wars" in "Star Wars." Characters should feel like they are influencing the outcomes of massive battles between Rebel and Imperial forces. They should make strategic choices using their available assets before the battles. They should be able to make dramatic before-the-battle speeches that boost and upgrade die rolls for the troops. They should be able to lead squads and squadrons into the heart of an assault on an enemy objective. They should be in a position to order tactical adjustments as the battle develops and feel as if those adjustments have had some outcome on the battle, even if it is playing out somewhere else. If they are playing out small-scale combats without a sense that they are influencing and interacting with the big picture, the game doesn't work as well as it could.

 

Some good ideas here. Keep them coming!


Edited by Ransom, 07 July 2014 - 09:34 PM.


#38 KRKappel

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 01:44 AM

I totally feel what you guys are saying. I would assume (though this is based on absolutely ZERO information that you all don't already have), that when it comes to this sort of thing, we got a piece of it in my AOR GM Kit, and there will be another piece in that Arda adventure (which has been strongly suggested in the web articles for it), and I'm also assuming another piece or two in the Tactician class book (I'm assuming there WILL be one, just like the rest of you, again, I have no insider info on that, and this is not confirmation of that. Just speculating along with you all).

I feel like mass combat is a tricky thing in any system, and FFG has chosen the path of giving GM's several tools to address mass combat with. GM's and player groups might have a fave mass combat rule set, or more likely, they might switch between the various options based on the needs of the adventure and whatever tells the story the best for that particular situation based on the needs of the GM. I think, once a few different sets of these types of rules are out to open up GM options, the game is really going to lend itself toward all sorts of scales of combat. And I think you're right, AOR is the place for the larger scales, for a more strategic RPG experience, when compared to Edge or the upcoming Force and Destiny.


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