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Gridding

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So, my group and I have been trying to figure out how we can play Star Wars with a grid. We found a way to do space fights with Armada pieces. But we don't know we can implement a grid for personal range bands. Any suggestions on how to do that? 

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A lot of people here will probably tell you to ditch the grid. Having played both with and without a grid, I would say gridless combat does make the game flow a bit more smoothly and better captures the cinematic feel the developers intended. However, it's not for everyone. When my group uses a grid, short range is up to four boxes, medium is up to 12, long is up to 20 and extreme is everything beyond.

Hope that helps.

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So, my group and I have been trying to figure out how we can play Star Wars with a grid. We found a way to do space fights with Armada pieces. But we don't know we can implement a grid for personal range bands. Any suggestions on how to do that? 

 

I also came up with basic Ranges based on the suggestions in the range bands.

 

I actually have 4 range sets ..

 

personal scale, Ground Vehicle scale, Atmosphere scale and space scale.

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I feel sorry for you that you're group want a grid. It's so much more comfortable sitting on the couch than around a big table! But best of luck.

 

Different groups have different ways of doing things. Being condescending isn't helpful to the OP. 

Edited by sonovabith

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I don't Use a Table grid.

 

I project the maps onto my 40 Inch LED TV using Maptools. 

 

And don't feel sorry, Just because you don't like maps Doesn't mean it that others don't. 

 

Everyone has their own Likes and dislikes. 

 

Me and My groups prefer a representation over misunderstandings of description. A scene can b describe perfectly and two people can get a different perspective in their minds of what is actually going on, and the GM can have a third. 

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I started to kick around the idea of using a grid, coming up with movement allowances, et cetera, but I've been way too busy to formulate and test anything. So, we've been using a grid, but instead of hard and fast, we've been winging it. "Yeah, you can move about that far" seems to work for most of the group.

 

And I agree with Snowdragon. There are some who just don't have good spatial sense, and no matter how detailed one gets, they will try to be in two places at once.

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I am not a huge fan of "vague" distances, as soon as you have the party splitting up it becomes hard to track.  When X moves towards Y has that changed their distance from Z?  That said, I personally wouldn't want to grid the game as it's not built for that kind of mechanic and I'd find it just as hard to be constantly trying to convert things across.  For simple encounters I just describe it but anything more complex than a corridor I tend to map out, at least roughly, and if there's any "unclearness" about the distance I tend to rule in favour of the players and not worry about it too much. 

 

That said I'm definitely sympathetic to someone who wants to grid it up. 

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IMO, this game does not usually do too well when you try to apply a grid process to the vague distance mechanisms it uses. IMO, the grid becomes a box that players (and GMs) tend to be unable to think outside of, and they end up not even trying all sorts of things that would work perfectly well in a more narrative style game like FFG’s SWRPG.

But I can understand the desire.

If you’re going to use a grid, you might think that a hex map would work better than square.

I would actually encourage you to stick with square, because then it’s easier to try removing the grid for one encounter, just to try it in a more narrative style.

IMO, the sooner you can graduate to not needing the grid anymore, the better.

But you have to do what works for you and your table, and if you need a grid right now, then that’s simply what you need to do, and no one should look down at you or be condescending towards you.

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BradKnowles,

 

Please do speak in a condescending manner that suggests some one might be incapable. 

I have done it both ways, I find using a Map Preferable.

 

Many games are "designed" to be usable without a Map. Almost nearly All are and capable of doing so. 

 

I do my Play By posts Mostly without maps, occasionally giving a Layout for reference.

 

But I find using maps Much more preferable. 

 

So it's Not a 'Have to', nor is it a learning curve to graduate from. 

 

Your own choice of words are Condescending as it Implies an inability or necessity and that one way is lesser than another.

Edited by SnowDragon

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BradKnowles,

 

Please do speak in a condescending manner that suggests some one might be incapable. 

I have done it both ways, I find using a Map Preferable.

I am not being condescending. The game is well-known for being specifically designed to be played without any kind of a grid, or using miniatures, or anything like that.

As I said:

IMO, this game does not usually do too well when you try to apply a grid process to the vague distance mechanisms it uses. IMO, the grid becomes a box that players (and GMs) tend to be unable to think outside of, and they end up not even trying all sorts of things that would work perfectly well in a more narrative style game like FFG’s SWRPG.

The grid becomes a box that is difficult or impossible to think outside of. This game is inherently designed to be a “Think outside the box” type of game. So, using a grid with this game is not entirely mutually incompatible, but is known to be … sub-optimal, at the least.

Stating that fact is not being condescending.

Thinking less of someone, that would be condescending. And I don’t think any less of anyone who chooses to use a grid with this game.

If they do that, then I do think they’ll create problems for themselves and they won’t be able to have as much fun as the game should otherwise allow, but if they have their reasons for doing that, then so be it.

And I don’t think any less of them if that is the path they choose.

I think they can stretch themselves and find they have more freedom and enjoyment with the game, if they can eliminate that part of the process, but they pays their money and they takes their chances.

When someone is going well out of their way to avoid any hint of being condescending, what would be really condescending is if someone else then comes in along behind them and say that is exactly what they’re doing — Pot, meet Kettle.

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Im not in a great mood at the moment (injured and in lots of pain, forums keep my mind off it :) ), so I'm sorry for sounding insincere.

The experience for me is of PC's being super creative on the fly, completely changing the environment around them, adding new elements ETC. All of those things are stifled when you have a map or even a drawing in front of you. If you have to imagine the map is different because of some triumph and despair rolls then you now are playing on an wrong map. Kind of defeats the purpose of having one.

I get the desire to have a grid, it makes things seem more grounded, mathematic, predictable. But for me that's the realm of electronic games and board games. The three axis dice system offers so much more when you get descriptive after you roll the dice that a map became a burden for our group. And from years of discussion on the SW and WFRP forums I'm aware that's the feeling a large number of groups have come to have.

In the end every group will find a way that works for them. And if a grid is what you're group needs to play then yes, best of luck finding a way to make that work.

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For a grid at personal range I would say 1 square is 3 meters x 3 meters

Engaged - adjacent squares                                                        (i.e. CC)

Short Range is up to 2 squares (6m) between characters          (i.e. CXXC)

Medium Range is up to 12 squares (36m) between characters  (i.e. CXXXXXXXXXXXXC)

Long Range is up to 22 squares (66m) between characters       (i.e. CXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXC)

Extreme Range is 23 or more square between characters is extreme range.

 

To help movement work with using a grid, I'd say that characters can move up to 10 squares as a maneuver (base movement of 30 meters), though moving from Engaged to Short would still be a maneuver as per the core rules.

 

You would need to change the amount of space a square represents for planetary scale and refigure the number of squares per range band or keep the bands where they are for simplicity. You may have to have several different scales you use, one for close - medium, one for short - long, and one for medium - extreme.

 

 

As for those who are just saying not to use a grid and not offering any constructive feedback, how about you actually offer to help the OP figure out how implement a grid. It is all well and good to express your thoughts or concerns about why you might not want to use a grid, but you could at least try to help the OP come up with a way to implement a grid in a manor that fits with the spirit of the game (or as close to it as using a grid can get). Just crapping on the idea doesn't help anyone.

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My group used maps, grids, and miniatures in our game that lasted about a year. As the GM, the group I ran really benefitted from having maps, grids, and miniatures. For us, it sped up combat since everyone could clearly see, at all times, what was happening, what was around them, set distances, etc. To each their own, but we're an example of a group that used maps, grids, and miniatures in this system and experienced amazing, memorable games that we still talk about to this day.

 

That said, our character range bands were longer than what has been mentioned in this thread. We used up to 5 squares for 'short' range, up to 6 to 15 squares for 'medium' range, and up to 16 to 25 squares for 'long' range. For movement, a character could move 6 squares per maneuver. This way, range bands and movement bands were identical and easy to remember. And these increments followed the distances of range bands on page 208 in the EotE core rulebook. Another trick we used was if two characters were 'engaged' then we overlapped their miniature bases on one another to help us remember.

 

Another way we sped up combat using grids was having 'medium' range being the maximum range in a given situation. For example, my group got into combat in a cantina and warehouse on two separate occasions. I basically said the cantina and warehouse wasn't big enough to have a long range inside of it. So, if characters weren't in short range then they were automatically in medium range. This made measuring and gauging distances a lot quicker and easier.  

 

Some people like 'theatre of the mind' and others prefer maps, grids, and miniatures. My group disliked vague distances and preferred maps, grids, and miniatures. Perhaps my next group will be different. However, as a GM I still use both. My group once got into a tussle inside a small store. Since the store was so small, I just said everyone was standing around in short range to everyone else (using our measurements that's a 30 sqft. space). 

 

For space combat, we used the miniatures from FFG's X-Wing miniatures game and a gridless outer space playing mat. Close range was anything within 5 inches (there's those same numbers again). We used 5 inches for 'close' range, 6 to 15 inches for 'short' range, and 16 to 25 inches for 'medium' range. For movement, a character could move 6 inches per maneuver. This way, range bands and movement bands were identical and easy to remember. And these increments followed the distances of planetary range bands on page 238 in the EotE core rulebook.

 

As for measuring, players used their lead pencils. It turns out that the lead pencils we were using were all the same and roughly six inches in length. Thus, every player had a convenient six inch measuring tool in their hands pretty much at all times anyway. We now could all use our lead pencils to measure combat both in character scale and planetary scale since we kept it simple and followed increments of six for both.   

 

In closing, I'd recommend a mix. I only busted out the large grid maps for big fights. Everything else, I either just said combat occurred in a small space (or at long range for our snipers) and used 'theatre of the mind', or did a combination but had medium range be the longest range. As long as you're having fun, you're doing it right.    

Edited by SemperSarge

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I wouldn't do grids because of the non-sequential-esque  nature of how ranges are handled, but I agree a map with tokens or minis can help PCs visualize an area and how to conduct themselves more clearly.

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For a grid at personal range I would say 1 square is 3 meters x 3 meters

Engaged - adjacent squares                                                        (i.e. CC)

Short Range is up to 2 squares (6m) between characters          (i.e. CXXC)

Medium Range is up to 12 squares (36m) between characters  (i.e. CXXXXXXXXXXXXC)

Long Range is up to 22 squares (66m) between characters       (i.e. CXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXC)

Extreme Range is 23 or more square between characters is extreme range.

 

To help movement work with using a grid, I'd say that characters can move up to 10 squares as a maneuver (base movement of 30 meters), though moving from Engaged to Short would still be a maneuver as per the core rules.

 

 

The problem with that break down is that moving from extreme to long range is 2 maneuvers, Moving from long to medium is 2 maneuvers,   then from medium to short is 1 and short to engaged is one. 

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I agree that the range band system is very "hand wavy". But a lot of this game is like that. As long as all the group know that, and use their discretion and best guesses, then I think it's fine.

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I'll try to describe a method we have used for big encounters, if it's confusing I'll try again! It provides a physical way to track range bands without trying to convert to a different unit of measure.

The method I have uses minis and stacked tokens (cheap plastic poker chips actually). What we do is each individual or group of minions gets a mini. Then we place a number of tokens between them that indicates the number of Maneuvers required to get between them. If your engaged then no token, short is 1, medium 2, long is 4, extreme would be 7 (rarely used). But this way you can have people strung out in a line, with branches coming off, but still see how close anyone is to another. It also indicates quickly how long it will take to get somewhere, and range is easy to calculate. I like it because it keeps the feeling of range being flexible or variable.

It's handy for "I'm in between an enemy and an Aly, at short from each of them, so they are at medium from each other."

There is no drawing involved, and if a visual is required it's just a piece of art to set the tone. I haven't used it much as most encounters are not big enough to need it, but the couple of times we have for really big stuff it has worked well.

If I'm being as clear as mud then I'll try with more examples.

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For a grid at personal range I would say 1 square is 3 meters x 3 meters

Engaged - adjacent squares                                                        (i.e. CC)

Short Range is up to 2 squares (6m) between characters          (i.e. CXXC)

Medium Range is up to 12 squares (36m) between characters  (i.e. CXXXXXXXXXXXXC)

Long Range is up to 22 squares (66m) between characters       (i.e. CXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXC)

Extreme Range is 23 or more square between characters is extreme range.

 

To help movement work with using a grid, I'd say that characters can move up to 10 squares as a maneuver (base movement of 30 meters), though moving from Engaged to Short would still be a maneuver as per the core rules.

 

 

The problem with that break down is that moving from extreme to long range is 2 maneuvers, Moving from long to medium is 2 maneuvers,   then from medium to short is 1 and short to engaged is one. 

 

 

Some change has to happen as the way the abstract range bands work by raw, there are points on a map where one step would technically be 2 maneuvers. Plus the maneuvers required don't always jive with the distance covered. This is fine for abstract, but does need some tweaking when going to a grid. You could add more spaces between ranges, but that doesn't fi well on a battle mat. Or you could lower the number of spaces a person can move to 5 (15m). Probably lowering the amount a character cna move would be the better fix to make it fit on a map.

 

Nextime also please to offer up some constructive feedback. If the breakdown is a problem, then be useful and try to offer up a solution.

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Just setting some default distances and using a ruler, tape measure, or a marked piece of string even, could be helpful.  You just position everything on a given map of choice then you can just measure from target to target for determining the range band.  It's kind of a step between absolutely no visual reference at all and a level of specifics.

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