Some ideas to (hopefully) make battles more interesting

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Some ideas to (hopefully) make battles more interesting

Postby Craigallot » Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:54 am

Part of the reason I haven't been as enthusiastic about Brikwars lately as I'd like to be is because I feel my battles usually end up being less interesting than I initially hope. They're still fun, there's always some hilarity, but in the end it really just comes down to who has the most luck, most of the time, for the most part, rather than who plays well.

If you look at my units' stats, you'll notice that there are often slight differences between them. This is mostly because I want the stats to reflect what the unit looks like, for different weapon types to be balanced, and also changing the way certain units are used to create a bit of 'tactical depth'. I don't see much of that, though, and the different stats are mostly just a hassle to keep track of, and not something you can really expect players to keep track of either.

So I've been thinking about simplifying and standardizing all of the stats in the Encyclopedia Bragtanica, but also introducing a couple of new things to my 'house rules' which would add some tactical variety to battles. The main idea is creating a bigger focus on army tactics and a smaller focus on stats and characters by keeping units' stats mostly the same, but giving them certain abilities that can actively be used instead. This would make certain units good at performing certain tasks and hopefully create a bit of variety in how each faction is played. My current ideas are:

Shield wall: (certain) units that have shields may form a shield wall if their formation is at least 2 lines deep. Those in the second line may try to block attacks made on those in the first rank. However, every attack can only be blocked once. The weakness of the shield wall is that it moves slowly (-2" move speed for all units in the shield wall) and can't defend against flanking attacks.

Skirmish: if a unit with this ability is attacked in melee it may move away 2 inches. If the enemy still has enough movement to reach it after that, the skirmishing unit will still be attacked. Skirmishers may also move out of melee combat without being attacked or losing their action.

Flanking: a unit that's in a squad (as opposed to a unit that's in a 'loose' formation) cannot block, parry or counterattack if it is hit in the flank. The idea behind this is that you could attack a unit in shield wall formation head on just to fix them in place, and then hit them in the flank (or back) with a second unit. Of course, units have to charge in a straight line, so the opponent will usually see the flanking attempt coming. He'll be forced to either somehow intercept it, take the flanking attack or have his units break formation though, thus losing any formation and squad benefits if he wants to avoid being flanked.

Charge defense: a unit with charge defense that is braced (which I believe takes 2" of movement to do) can deny a charging unit their +1d6 charge damage. Likely this will be given to units with spears and shields. However they have to be in a squad that's at least two rows deep for it to work.

Expert charge defense: a unit with expert charge defense that is braced can deny a charging unit their +1d6 charge damage, and can also make an attack on the charging unit before it hits them (will likely be given to pikemen).

Armour: I've been thinking about how armour works, and I've never really been satisfied with it. Heroes and large units are too prone to just get focused down by a lot of ranged units. A static armour increase of 1, 2 or even 3 is almost meaningless as soon as you get hit by several units in melee as well. With exploding dice, they usually get taken out almost instantly. I know important units could (and should) probably be protected by redshirts, but I want to change something to the way armour works so heroes don't just hide among their men and spend all game getting pushed around (which isn't very heroic).

I know we have an armour system where every hit on an armoured unit is just counted separately, but that seems to make armour too strong. I know we could use dice rolls to determine armour, but this adds a bit too much of a random factor and also seems like a bit of a hassle if you have to do it every time, especially in squad battles. I don't own any special dice, either.

Instead of just increasing the armour rating, I would give most units a base 'durability' of 4. The armour would be a value that decreases the damage of every source by a certain amount. Armour would be rated from none (0 damage reduction), light (1), medium (2) and heavy (3).

Example:

A lightly armoured, unshielded pikeman with the base durability of 4 is shot by three archers for 1d6 damage, dealing 1, 3 and 5 damage respectively, for a total of 9 damage. There are three sources of damage, so damage is reduced by 3. The pikeman takes 6 damage and dies.

Armour-piercing weapons: to counter-act armour, some units could have armour-piercing weapons whose damage is not reduced by armour. The downside to these weapons would be higher UR and in case of ranged units, shorter range. This would add some tactical depth to a battle where the challenge is to get your armour piercing units onto the enemies' armoured units, or killing the enemies' armour-piercing units before they get to yours.

Training: units are trained to use the weapons they are equipped with. Therefore they won't feel comfortable about dropping them to pick up other weapons, and therefore won't do it (this is to avoid people just going 'lol my cheap swordsmen pick up the expensive armour-piercing weapons that my dead guys just dropped and kill your armoured hero, or 'my archers pick up halberds and brace just as you're about to charge them').

Thoughts?
Zahru II wrote:'HEROIC MEAL TIME DRUNK OFF THAT YE OLDE JACK DAGNALS. HATER PREPARED TO BE MASHED LIKE TATERS, CUZ WE DON'T F*** AROUND. Ah whaddup, dwarf SAWSE.'

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Re: Some ideas to (hopefully) make battles more interesting

Postby TheCraigfulOne » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:31 pm

I always liked the idea (yours I think) of giving all units of certain factions boosts.

Like all Immortal units having an extra armor point or all Soviet units having an immunity to taunting feats (just examples). They force the players to adjust their style based on what army they are using, and help make the armies a little more different.
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Re: Some ideas to (hopefully) make battles more interesting

Postby Kommander Ken » Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:13 pm

I like the shield wall and armor idea. Since I have a forum battle coming up very soon, I may test some of these out.  :wink:
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Re: Some ideas to (hopefully) make battles more interesting

Postby Craigallot » Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:09 am

Take pictures! :)
Zahru II wrote:'HEROIC MEAL TIME DRUNK OFF THAT YE OLDE JACK DAGNALS. HATER PREPARED TO BE MASHED LIKE TATERS, CUZ WE DON'T F*** AROUND. Ah whaddup, dwarf SAWSE.'

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