Swarm Rules?

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Swarm Rules?

Postby Commander Evil » Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:38 am

Well, i was playing Halflife 2 the other day, and it gave me the idea of using swarms of Manhacks as a unit. But what would it count as? Keeping track of each unit's Individual health would be time-consuming and pointless due to their fragility, but the Squad rules seem to be less suited to swarms of small machines/creatures.

Any ideas for swarms of small things? I'm kinda braindead at the moment =\

Heres a picture of a manhack for those who haven't played the game.
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Postby Almighty Benny » Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:56 am

Treat the entire swarm like a single large unit whose "hit points" are represented by the members. The swarm rolls armor, damage, and skill as a single unit, but for every point of damage it suffers, a member is killed.

This doesn't make them particularly overpowered, and there's no reason to keep track of every member's stats, but they do take a long time to kill.
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Postby Sir Lancelot » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:02 pm

Your system sound pretty good Almighty Benny, but you could make some changes to it. First, swarms should be able to split into two separate swarms. They also should be able to have separate damage roles, but the attack hits every single swarm member. That way a revolver can take out the entire swarm in one shot. :lol:
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Postby Almighty Benny » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:28 pm

Great idea Lancelot, that would be awesome to have the swarm break up and surround the enemy!

I still don't think it makes sense to be able to kill a whole swarm with one shot of anything, unless it was a really small swarm or a really powerful shot. I probably did a bad job of explaining my system last time, and there's a chance that we're saying the same thing, but here goes:

Normally when an attack hits another unit, if the attacker wins the roll, the defender dies, and if the defender wins, nothing happens. With a swarm, you roll your attack against the swarm's collective armor (1d6 maybe) and if you win, you subtract the difference and your attack kills that many members of the swarm.

Example: Pegleg Pete the Pirate encounters a swarm of 10 angry hermit crabs guarding a treasure chest. He wins his skill roll and rolls a d6 to attack with his pistol. He rolls a 5 and the swarm rolls a 3, 5-3=2 so 2 hermit crabs are killed.
On their turn, the swarm attacks Pete with 1d6 but he survives.
He then gets annoyed and attacks with his cutlass. After another successful skill roll, Pete rolls a 9 with 2d6 and the crab swarm (ew) rolls a 3. 9-3=6 and so only 2 crabs remain of the original 10. The swarm is disbanded.

Which brings me to the next problem with swarms. In order to save yourself the trouble of attacking with each member, how do you determine how much damage a swarm does?

Proposed solution (the 666 rule):
A swarm cannot be composed of less than 6 units. For every 6 members after 6 add 1d6 to their combined attack. So a swarm of 6-11 units would do 1d6 damage, a swarm of 36-41 units would do 6d6 damage (not 66 for those of you reading aloud).
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Postby BrickMan333 » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:46 pm

I would count the swarm as one unit, and for every point of damage, then one member of the swarm is killed. As for the attack power, you could just have it stay the same every time, regardless of how many members of the swarm is left. Or, if you want it to get complicated... have their attack be 1D6 if there are 6 swarm members. For every member over 6 of them, add one to the roll. If there are less than 6 members, than subtract one from the roll for every member under six.

For example, lets say my wizard encounters a swarm of enchanted skulls. (Ten of them)Being the awesome hero he is, hed probably just cast a spell to kill them all with a giant fireball, but for the purpose of this example, lets just say he will hit them with his staff, killing them melee style. If he attacked them, and made his skill roll, and got a 10, they rolled defense and got a 4, and add four because there are 10 of them. My hero would kill two of them. They attack him, rolling 1D6+2 (Because there are eight of them.)
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Postby Sir Lancelot » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:55 pm

I don't know BrickMan333. Your idea about extra defense means that a swarm of fifteen hermit crabs gets 15+ defense, more than enough to take out even a hero. And hermit crab's are cheap, like only 3cp. Which means hero killing costs only 35cp, and you can use them against others units too. :wink:
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Postby BrickMan333 » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:57 pm

Hm... thats true also. But maybe if we had some sort of limit on how much bonus it could have... I don't know, I'd try to keep it simple.
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Postby Sir Lancelot » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:54 pm

6 squad minimum is pretty simple to me.
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Postby IVhorseman » Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:03 pm

dammit benny, you have a knack for coming up with simple rules to explain complex things.

my only question is on targeting. how would one differentiate the hitting of a swarm with a baseball bat when there are 46 as opposed to 6 of said creature? if there are more members of a swarm, i think it's fairly reasonable that it's easier to hit said swarm.

perhaps changing the size rating in a proportion to swarm members is in order? like they gain another inch of size for every 6 units again. aha! i'm loving this rule of six!

FUN FACT ABOUT THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST: you may remember that dominos once had the 5-5-5 deal, where you could get 3 medium pizzas for 5 bucks each. well, they upped the price on this deal now by one dollar, however it has not been advertised. somehow, i don't think "Try our new 666 deal!" is going to go over well.
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