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Ken on Cape

How easy is it to adapt the combat to a battlemat?

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Siranui said:


Tarkand said:


Now, I suppose it really doesn't matter if all that matters to you is to roll dices and have the DM describe the result to you. If you don't care much for combat and rather focus on the narrative (And there is NOTHING wrong with that, do not take this as an insult). However... one has to wonder why you even bother with combat and choose to play a game that is so combat focused as Deathwatch if that is the case - they are plenty of games out there were combat is an afterthought, and not a main selling point after all. Don't get me wrong here, I love myself some game of Changeling or Call of Cthulu or what not, where combat is so unimportant most people don't even bother remembering the combat rule... but when I play Deathwatch, it's because I want to kick ass - and I find the narrative method wholly unsastisfying.



Because I don't like battlemaps, I hate combat?

Then why would I be playing Deathwatch.

I wargame. That's where I get my kicks moving little minis around. Deathwatch is an RPG. I don't want to be wargaming during it. Actual combat is not a situation where you can tell if you can reach cover before getting shot, or you can count every foe and gauge their position. You cannot work out nice little fire arcs. I don't like battlemaps because they make combat in games dull. Far from not liking battlemaps because they're about combat, I don't like battlemaps because they are about playing a board game, rahter than visceral combat.

Furthermore, the whole of DW combat is very clearly streamlined and abstracted to the point where it doesn't even work well with minis. A Mag 30 horad isn't a huddle of people; it's more usually something like a group of people spread out shooting out of every window along the street. That doesn't translate well to battlemaps. Why force it. DW is about high action. High action RPGs are not about battlemaps. Pick up Feng Shui sometime and see what they say about maps. Would you call that a non-combat game?

Narrative combat is far my satisfying in my mind. Would you rather move a mini two squares roll some dice and take figures off and let someone else take a turn, or would you rather tell the GM and for hime to say "You step out of cover, autogun bullets whipping parts you, and whining off the ceramite of your armour. Your targeting reticule locks on to the heavy weapon team, scrambling to reload their rocket laucher. One quick burst of bolter fire causes an explosion of flesh, blood and bone, and -that quadrant now clear of hostiles, you drop to one knee, steady your aim and brave the retalitory fire as you sight up on your next target"

My way is much more 'about combat' that yours, I feel. Playing Space Crusade was always pretty dull. After waiting 20 years for this RPG, why would I waste the experience on recreating Space Crusade?




First, I never said you hated combat. I'm not going to argue a point I never made.

Second, I would think that Space Marine with around a century of combat experience would be pretty aware of their capability and extremely experienced in firefights... gauging if you can or can't make it to a bit of rubble to get cover before the counter shots  and other such things seems like something they could do in their sleep. If any game lends itself well 'in character' to the bird's eyes view(reprenseting tactical awareness/acuity) and exact measurements of a battlemat, it's this one. This isn't a game of Delta Green where you guys are fresh out of boot camp and scared out of their mind, odds are in any given battle, the Kill-Team are the scariest and deadliest mofos involved.

Third, While I'm pretty sure we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one...

I'm pretty **** puzzled as to why you assume that there's no description or 'roleplay' because we use a battlemap. My players frequently describe their actions in similar ways to what you've just said... and then move a mini. Same way when I'm moving the bad guys. The last battle they had with CSM was filled with trash talk and bravado and gory kills.

It's just a puzzling reaction... do you suddenly feel compelled to clam up and not say anything as if you were playing chess when the battlemap rolls out? If that's the case, I can see your point and it certainly makes a good case as to why you don't like it - but I'll assure you that this compulsion isn't one shared by everyone.

So yeah... I'd rather have cool description of what's happening, people calling out their moves and getting into it... and then on top of that, actually know what the hell is going on and adding the fun of tactics to it. I personally don't feel that this: Player -  'I shoot him' /roll dices DM - 'He dies', is combat. It doesn't matter how flowery your description of the action is - that's all there is to it. If battlemap turn combat into a 'board game', than the narrative methods turns combat into a slot machine. gui%C3%B1o.gif

There is no tactic (which I suppose is what I should have said earlier) which is what I adequate to combat. So no... I don't think your way is more about combat than mine... yours is more about telling a story. I personally use other games than DW when I feel like going full on storyteller.

I will grant you however, that Hordes do not work well with maps. When dealing with hordes, half the time, we use a very simple map, just to give rough idea or even go full on narrative against those (And considering you can't even dodge/parry hordes attack, the feeling of slot machine-ness is even stronger here, suffice to say Hordes battles are not very popular with us)... but the Battlemat works just well for Elites and Master fights.


And Brand, we played Exalted and Aberrant and used maps... one of my Aberrant game had fights that took places over continents, with people flying, teleporting, phasing through walls, throwing each other through warp gates and all around acting like the angry gods they were (Quantum 6+ game get crazy). Exalted's stunt based system is a lot more engaging when you decide to do stunts off/on/with terrain that everybody understand the same way. Erasing a white board/chessex battlemat takes all of 10 seconds really.



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I'm sure some combats would work with maps, but when you've got a fight going in and out of a tree (lots of branches in different directions on multiple levels) or inside a manse full of moving pillars, wheels, and cogs you'll spend more time constantly drawing and erasing the changing landscape than is worth it.

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For indoors combats, I use a wet-erase board with a grid of 1" squares for convienience. For outdoors combats, though, I use a wargame-style set-up of actual terrain pieces and no grid, measuring distances with a tape measure- I find this feels a lot more 'epic' than using a grid, and, as a  Necromunda player once upon a time, I had plenty of terrian pieces built that were collecting dust (this was actually one of the main reasons why I was looking foward to the WH40KRP line- an excuse to bust out my old terrain!). I initially used the recommended scale of 1" = 1 meter, but that made it too easy for the action to spill off of the table, so I switched to 1/2" = 1 meter, which works pretty well. I suppose 1cm = 1 meter would work, too...

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