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Tactical Positioning


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#1 Nabikasu

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 01:22 AM

 I love the abstract nature of EotE.  I think it allows for great narrative and roleplay.  However, I know for a fact that my players simply will not like the abstract movement system.  They like tactical positioning, and tactical grids, and a map to help visualize the experience.  We actually tried it with the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay game and they did not like it at all.  The touted benefit of 'not having to worry about the grid and placement on it' was actually a reverse for them--they kept asking 'okay, so I'm in close range?  And medium range from this guy?  And long range from this guy?  And these three guys are engaged?'

In short, gridded systems actually aren't really something people (at least my players!) find hard to deal with, as it just, flat out shows where everyone is.  Now, I know you can houserule this stuff, and if FFG doesn't make rules for it, I probably will end up doing so.  That said, however…

Please, FFG?  Make some optional tactical rules? :(  Emphasis on optional; really.  I mean, it might give more page count to the book, but it can't be that much!



#2 Oldcoot59

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 02:31 PM

Nabikasu said:

 I love the abstract nature of EotE.  I think it allows for great narrative and roleplay.  However, I know for a fact that my players simply will not like the abstract movement system.  They like tactical positioning, and tactical grids, and a map to help visualize the experience.  We actually tried it with the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay game and they did not like it at all.  The touted benefit of 'not having to worry about the grid and placement on it' was actually a reverse for them--they kept asking 'okay, so I'm in close range?  And medium range from this guy?  And long range from this guy?  And these three guys are engaged?'

In short, gridded systems actually aren't really something people (at least my players!) find hard to deal with, as it just, flat out shows where everyone is.  Now, I know you can houserule this stuff, and if FFG doesn't make rules for it, I probably will end up doing so.  That said, however…

Please, FFG?  Make some optional tactical rules? :(  Emphasis on optional; really.  I mean, it might give more page count to the book, but it can't be that much!

Seconded!

Even something as simple as Savage Worlds, where you can plop down minis on any unlined/ungridded surface. I and most of the people I game with really appreciate the clarity of tactical layout, not only for positioning, but it encourages the use of maps, props, and other visual aids. It definitely shouldn't be as rigid or detailed as D&D (any version!) or anything.



#3 Stacie_GmrGrl

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 03:35 PM

I third the request for an added optional tactical aspect to combat. I for one like using miniatures.



#4 MrBaldwin

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 12:32 PM

I also think this would be very nice.  For that matter, some people like to have a better idea of how far away something is other than close, medium, and long.  Some people want more detail than that, and it wouldn't be difficult to include.



#5 MilesD37

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 01:21 PM

i just got my book today was thinking the exact same thing (though this post would fit better in the game mechanics subgroup)

 

if they do not, i'm going to use the basic SAGA edition rules governing positioning/movement…  abstract is nice for describing most actions and movement, but relative positioning is great for a game with alot of combat like this.

 

My group used to play old and new World of Darkness games about 6-7 years ago, and we did a very similar house ruling like this for movement and positioning, and it worked out very well



#6 BrashFink

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 01:52 PM

Some optional ones should be pretty simple to throw in anyway. Look at the stuff in the Open Source D6 or old WEG.If you really want one, just start using what you know best. Really any of them will work if they have ranges. Flanking? Add Blue Boost to a roll. (etc).

I for one threw all this stuff out recently with all my players. Turns go faster, people are not mulling over where they can move, discussing where to go, upset because they cannot position themselves…. on and on. We never had any of this stuff back in the 80s when we played. we would sometimes draw out crude maps and use die to loosely represent locations. I would rather just play a boardgame. That is just me though, of course :D

However… if you are really interested in throwing it out, tell your players you want to attempt a more story oriented way to play. That is how I presented it to my players. Once told this way there all started saying "this might be good to not worry about all this placement stuff." After we were done, they loved it. (this was using D6 WEG SW). Combat was faster and people did not feel they were sitting around forever for their turn.

Just my 2 cents.

 



#7 Northman

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 02:19 PM

While I'll reserve any final thoughts until I've actually tested the range system, I might agree or partially agree to this.

Both abstract and detailed systems have their merits. Making combat be less about moving pieces and more about hard action and fast paced narrative is all well and good, but being able to pinpoint more precise positions should not be underestimated. I've played a lot both with and without miniatures and/or grids in the past, and either method usually works quite well if you only let it. Miniatures adds a rather precise tactical element, a grid map offers a decent overview while totally abstract (often) shifts combat towards the more narrative and leaves a lot of details up to GM and players alike.

However, I don't think I've ever played through an "abstract" combat scene without getting confused. There's often a running argument about "that confusion matches the chaos your character is experiencing," but I don't buy that - after all, my character sees the scene in full detail while I'm left with my interpretation of what the GM tells me. Most often than not, a lot of time is spent backtracking, asking questions and re-checking positions (and from time to time the "just draw us a rough map).

Whether this has to do with game systems, the groups I've played with or something else, I don't know. I will, as said, reserve my final thoughts until I've had time to play a little, but my initial thoughts are divided: Fast flowing, narrative driven combat sounds nice, but I'm afraid the lack of detail might be more double-edged than not.



#8 CharlieBananas

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 08:21 PM

BrashFink said:

Some optional ones should be pretty simple to throw in anyway. Look at the stuff in the Open Source D6 or old WEG.If you really want one, just start using what you know best. Really any of them will work if they have ranges. Flanking? Add Blue Boost to a roll. (etc).

I for one threw all this stuff out recently with all my players. Turns go faster, people are not mulling over where they can move, discussing where to go, upset because they cannot position themselves…. on and on. We never had any of this stuff back in the 80s when we played. we would sometimes draw out crude maps and use die to loosely represent locations. I would rather just play a boardgame. That is just me though, of course :D

However… if you are really interested in throwing it out, tell your players you want to attempt a more story oriented way to play. That is how I presented it to my players. Once told this way there all started saying "this might be good to not worry about all this placement stuff." After we were done, they loved it. (this was using D6 WEG SW). Combat was faster and people did not feel they were sitting around forever for their turn.

Just my 2 cents.

 

 

This sums up my experience with WFRP 3e, I found that rather than becoming less tactical they became more so, but in a more cinematic way. While I’m in no way against optional grid rules (as long as they don’t remove something else from the game) I wouldn’t use them as they slow the game down and seem (for my group) to reduce creativity, and I really don’t want to go back to, “I move here and hit him, do I get flanking?” when I’ve had “I run up the corridor as fast as my legs will carry me, grab the hanging tapestry and run up the wall and land behind him to strike at his unprotected back!”.

The main problem is keeping track of it in your head, (I have a group of seven players and if I use multiple groups of enemies it can get a bit hectic) so I will use mini’s or markers and I have an idea for range rulers that I’m going to work on once I’ve finished putting my dice together.

All the best
Mike
 



#9 Callidon

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 08:36 PM

You can still use maps and general positioning with this movement system.  It just comes down to clearly defining range bands for a set peice or encounter.  I don't use minis in WFRP3 but we use coins to mark where an individual is in the encounter space so that we can have that talk about cover, line of sight, etc.  You just have to be clear what constitutes range for that scenario.

If we are going to have a blaster fight in my house, I'd just hand wave it to "my house is close range"  if you want medium you'll have to go stand in the street or in my neighbor's driveway.  Then we can just go with it.  You can look at my house's floor plan and move your penny around to get a clear shot at me, or rush me and start stabbing at me with your vibrosword.  Or take up a position at a corner to gain some cover.  No worrying about how many feet or meters of movement you ate up by standing, kneeling, turning a corner, etc.  We can simply use maneuvers to move from engaged to close range  and back…and commence blasterama.

Obviously the above fire-fight at Jesse's house is an easy example, but just because movement is abstract, doesn't mean you are required to have 100% theater of the mind with no visual aids combat.  At least doodle on a sheet of graph paper


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#10 BrashFink

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 04:17 AM

Callidon said:

You can still use maps and general positioning with this movement system.  It just comes down to clearly defining range bands for a set peice or encounter.

Yes. A lot of our playing is online. In D6 I had the "Lock to the square" turned off, and just hand range listed in Meters. They can move where ever they want, paying no attention to the squares at all. For EotE

Also, I might make a semi transparent range finder for online that you can turn on and off and position around the character, to give a rough feel for where they can shoot, move, etc. It really depends on how much more difficult picturing things is via online play. It may not matter at all.



#11 Jegergryte

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 05:42 AM

Right. So a question concerning range.

As I have understood range is abstract, which I take to mean that it is divided into range categories. What I wonder is if these range categories have some sort of guidelines in relation for "actual range", ie meters.

I guess this could easily be based on the WEG or D20 sources, but this could also be easily included in the book without taking too much space (I assume). Unless this entails reworking too much some of the workings of range and combat (modifiers). Since I don't have the book yet I haven't seen how different weapons are treated and if range as such is a uniform notion… which could become a problem I guess, if one were to insert range in meters within these categories. I don't know, hence my question

While I like the more "abstract" combat systems of WEG and other games, I also have a strong dislike to some of them, like OCR d20 SWRPG with the whole weird starship "map" … the idea is good (perhaps - if you're being nice), but that wotc invention tied the whole abstract space combat to a single piece of A4 (or letter size) paper. A pile of refuse in my book.


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#12 Inksplat

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 06:30 AM

Jegergryte said:

Right. So a question concerning range.

As I have understood range is abstract, which I take to mean that it is divided into range categories. What I wonder is if these range categories have some sort of guidelines in relation for "actual range", ie meters.

I guess this could easily be based on the WEG or D20 sources, but this could also be easily included in the book without taking too much space (I assume). Unless this entails reworking too much some of the workings of range and combat (modifiers). Since I don't have the book yet I haven't seen how different weapons are treated and if range as such is a uniform notion… which could become a problem I guess, if one were to insert range in meters within these categories. I don't know, hence my question

While I like the more "abstract" combat systems of WEG and other games, I also have a strong dislike to some of them, like OCR d20 SWRPG with the whole weird starship "map" … the idea is good (perhaps - if you're being nice), but that wotc invention tied the whole abstract space combat to a single piece of A4 (or letter size) paper. A pile of refuse in my book.

It is in the book.

Engaged = Close enough to touch

Close Range = Up to a few meters.

Medium Range = Up to a few dozen meters.

Long Range = Further than several dozen meters.

Extreme Range = Outside of shouting distance. The domain of snipers and artillery.



#13 GoblynByte

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 07:27 AM

The abstract positioning worked pretty well for me, but I did have some players state that they would have liked to see the minis on the table. Having miniatures is pretty helpful when you're dealing with firefights because positional relationships is important. That being said, using an abstract system frees you up from needing to commit to certain limitations of physical miniatures.

On my way home last night I started wondering about a simple piece of paper with 5 rows drawn on it. Markers could be placed in each row to represent the range band they're in from one character who is established as the baseline.  Then you could easily track changes by moving people about the rows. It sounded good in my head but the more I thought about it the more I could see some issues with it. I then thought of a round target and using it the same way, but again I started thinking about issues with that method.

In the end, just placing minis on the table and using some sort of rough measuring technique… say… your hand. Less than one hand away is close, more than one hand but less than three is medium, and more than three but less than five is long (five or more is extreme). Obviously at this scale one "hand" equals one maneuver. Then with minis on the table (and various bits and bobs around to represent obstacles and terrain features) you just lay your hand over the action to judge range from one mini to the next.  Keep in mind that a single hand might be too short, but seeing as how it is all abstracted anyway, relative scale is more important than actual distance and using a small measuring standard will keep it all on the table.






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