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archon007

Anyone using tactical maps?

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I know the game uses abstract combat like FATE does. Our group likes maps we just like the visuals, plus I own couple hundred dollars of Star Wars miniatures and tertian that is cool to use.

In FATE we have used optional personal zone rules

http://www.deadlyfredly.com/2011/02/hack-use-fates-zones-with-4e/

Just wondering if anyone is using maps and what rules are you using for ranges and movement?

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My players wanted me to use a tactical map after the first few sessions, so what I decided upon was short range was up to 30m away.  So, on my map, I used a scale of 1 sq = 10m.  So, anything within 3 squares of you is short range.  Since you can move from short to medium in one maneuver I decided that the base movement rate is 4 squares and that medium range begins at 4 squares.   Since it takes two maneuvers to go from medium to long I decided long started at 12 squares, and since it takes 2 to go from long to extreme, extreme started at 20 squares.  I also decided, in keeping with the rules as written, that if a character moved to a square just behind cover, he had to spend a maneuver and put his figure on the square with the cover to show that he was in cover (since it takes a maneuver to take cover).

 

We only had one fight with it and it seemed to work well without really slowing anything down, and I am sure most people won't like it (especially since it opens up other issues, like in your Weapon Ranges thread), but it made my players happy.  I am planning on getting something I can draw on without a grid though so I can actually run with the rules as written (my players can't see a grid or hexes without wanting to use it :P)

Edited by IceBear

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Just wondering if anyone is using maps and what rules are you using for ranges and movement?

 

I occasionaly do - not every combat, but key ones where I know the players will most likely fight (or somewhere important). Then I'll sketch something out on my dry/erase map and bring the minis.

 

As for range, I just eyeball it. "Eh, that's probably medum range. You want to move closer? That's probably about here" and so on. Hard and fast measures? Not really - just fast and loose here.

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we occasionally have maps and minis for context and eye candy but I'm not mucking things up with additional rulesets. my group has a good sense of what the range bands are and they quickly ask if a particular range is in question. very abstract but functional with little flow interruption. it's mostly just so we have a reason to pull out all of those old minis :) rules as written.

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If you try to get tactical with a 28mm scale map ... you will highlight the abstract nature of this system's combat.  That can either be a plus or a minus.  But rest assured, you will end up staring at the distance from one model to the next and the things you can do and the things you can't do with the system will slide left of center.

 

That being said, I personally use maps for relative placement.  We move our markers/minis/food around the battle-mat more like pieces on a strategy war room table.  We'll pick up Arte Vandalay, the importer exporter smuggler and set him down over here this round, and then pick him up and set him down over there next round, or set a cheeto in front of him for the cover he found, etc.  There is no counting boxes, hexes, line of sight measurements (they either are or aren't), or the snapping sounds of a metric tape measurer.

 

For me, maps help keep the scene straight in my head.  So when a modifier result of Threat, Advantage, Triumph or Despair comes up I can quickly build an application based on what we're all looking at, and the players don't feel like they are being arbitrarily gimped, or inadequately rewarded.  We can visually see and agree that Stevedave is probably going to get caught in the bad-times explosion of Mr. Vandalay's badly hurled grenade.

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Yeah, that's my eventual plan - to do away with the grid.  Right now it bothers my players if I draw a map and on that map 5 squares is medium range and on the next map 8 squares is.  Such picky players :P  No grid, then I can just do what you guys do and pray they don't go - Wait, last time 5 inches was medium range! :P

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Yeah, that's my eventual plan - to do away with the grid.  Right now it bothers my players if I draw a map and on that map 5 squares is medium range and on the next map 8 squares is.  Such picky players :P  No grid, then I can just do what you guys do and pray they don't go - Wait, last time 5 inches was medium range! :P

Just tell them "Inches only matter to carpenters, architects and prostitutes.  You are in range of my MkII Death Star and I will be detonating your Mon Cal cruiser...nowish"

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I do it all the time, and in fact I make all my maps at the standard 5' squares. Here's a set of distances I like to use (reposted from somewhere else:

 

  • ≤1 tile: engaged
  • ≤5 tiles: short
  • ≤15 tiles: medium
  • ≤30 tiles: long

The movement rules work well with this too, and I usually give about 7 as the maximum distance someone can move with a maneuver. This way it works out that it takes two maneuvers to go from short range to long range, no matter how far "into" short range you are.

 

For space, distances are a little less well-defined (although I use a grid here too). Based off of games like X-Wing/TIE Fighter, I treat squares as about half a kilometer (and in doing so, largely ignore the distances FFG uses), because this largely matches up with weapons ranges in that game:

  • ≤1 = Close
  • ≤3 = Short
  • ≤7 = Medium
  • ≤15 = Long

Regardless of how you flavor the square size, this works pretty well for ship movement (and I just use "Speed" as allowable movement distance, in squares).

 

I like specificity, and this has worked well for me in the past. Like Callidon says above, though, the importance with a tactical map is relative placement more than anything else. In a pinch, if I think something will be more interesting, I'll let specific distances go and treat the borders between range bands as flexible.

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My group uses a wet-erase game mat with 1" squares, but we largely ignore the squares. We use the mat to sketch out battlefields and describe distances between things. It's just a visual reference, really.

 

What my co-GM said. Not much more to add, other than for space combat we're experimenting with using the X-Wing game's range marker to estimate ship combat ranges.

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yes, I got a nice chessex battlemat and markers I use to help with scale.  SOme people have a hard time visualizing. Then I went and spent some money on a bunch of WotC mini's.  Quite enjoyable and easy to use.  Even able to pre-draw some of the encounters.  Still keep it abstract otherwise.

 

Working on some better space combat rules.  But have not had a real need to use them

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Thanks for the responses. I don't want to add rules or even make it tactical, we enjoy the visuals. And personally, with hundreds of dollars of Star Wars minis and terrain I just feel I "have" to use them. Plus it looks cool.

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