Voin wrote:See, I'm not entirely sold on that, b/c some "off-map powers" may be close-in by nature (your aforementioned cavalry charges, vulcan cannon strafing run).
A cavalry charge isn't an off-map weapon, it's reinforcements. That one is easy to categorize. They enter the map, engage the enemy, and stick around.
A purely off-map weapon, like an orbital laser satellite, is also easy to categorize. It never enters the field; only the weapon effect needs to be considered.
The strafing or bombing run is the tricky one, because it's somewhere in between. You have this third class of strategic assets that enter the field, deliver attacks, and then immediately exit again (e.g., a strategic bomber traveling at jet speed) or destroy themselves in the course of the attack (e.g., a cruise missile). How much rules/building effort is the appropriate amount for an asset that's discarded the instant it's used? Once the battle is in motion, Brikwars is solely concerned with tactical play; strategic elements matter only in terms of their immediate tactical effects, and don't even exist otherwise.
If you build your strategic bomber with all its crewmen and gun turrets and shield generators etc., and you bring it onto the field for its attack run, and whichever subset of opponents happen to be in position with Actions unspent get their Response Actions to try and stop it, and then you immediately take the bomber off the field again... that's it. How disappointed are you that none of the effort you put into building had the chance to matter for more than that brief moment?
On the other hand, if I write the rules so that the bomber is slow and stays on the field and has to directly engage the enemy, how is that not just a standard reinforcement?
If this were a computer game, players wouldn't care about one-and-done assets, but in tabletop play there's got to be a payoff for building effort or else it's a big negative. It's a tricky balancing act, and I've been thinking of different ways to address it.
What I'm working with right now, subject to change, is cooking up a new generic Strategic Weapon class for purely off-map weapons, and treating anything that has a physical presence on the field as Reinforcements, whether they're units that stay on the battlefield and engage or attack-run units that are just doing flybys. Units that survive their flybys go back into the Reinforcement pool and can be summoned again as many times as needed; Commanders can use their turn bonuses to re-arm, re-equip, and maybe even repair them. There'll probably be a one-turn delay on re-summoning them, especially if they're getting re-armed etc.
I like this idea because giving units the ability to leave and return opens up some other possibilities, like calling in supply convoys or withdrawing damaged units for off-map repairs, with the danger that any units off-map are lost forever if all your Commanders are neutralized, and the limit that entering units have to come from a side of the map that you "own" and not within 5" of any enemy units
Voin wrote:So basically one of us (usually I) would have a battlefield set up in LeoCAD w/ all the units on it. I turn screenshare on in Skype so we can both see the battlefield. We're talking w/ each other in realtime, so he can tell me if he wants me to zoom in on a section of the battlefield.
Say in the name of sportsmanship, I give the other guy initiative.
Turn 1a: he instructs me on how to move his guys. If any attacks or other dicey actions are made, we roll either real dice or use a dice-roller program, & resolve the attacks. He can see over screenshare me rolling the e-dice & moving his units.
Turn 1b: I move my units, resolve dicey actions. Again, he can see in realtime over screenshare.
Turn 2: He instructs me how to move his units again, & so on
The issue is it bottlenecks b/c only one person can move units at a given time.
Ah, I see. Those are some tough bottlenecks.
If you could import/export models in an active scene, you can save out a separate file for the construction action, pass it to whomever's doing the constructing, pass the game file to whomever's doing the playing, and both work at the same time, importing the construction file back into the game file at the end of the turn. If you can't import/export, then I've got no suggestions. You might be stuck playing without Mechaniks.
Voin wrote:Also, while we want SPs to be ossum, I don't want them to be "instant killswitch", b/c that would be lame, cheap, & unfun for everyone (see: "nuklear option"). If my enemy does an artillery shelling, I expect some of my guys to hear the whistling shells & Bail for cover (whether that helps them or not is a different matter). Likewise, where's the fun in dropping a TacNuke if my Rad-Proof DethTruppers don't get to wade across the hellish landscape mopping up mutated survivors?
They'll be a weapon like any other, subject to the same costs and rules. Budget spent on a strategic weapon will come out of the budget you could have spent on regular forces or reinforcements, and the Attack roll will be against an appropriately high Use rating (probably equivalent to that of a Launcher large enough to cover the whole battlefield) and harsh visibility penalties (unless you've got a Scout Marking the target). In previous editions, strategic weapons had a giant Missed Shot multiplier, x4 or x5 if I remember right, so shots that missed, missed big, but I don't think I'll be going that extreme this time around. Most Strategic Weapon attacks will miss their target; the question will be by how much.
Voin wrote:Do scopes (officially) do anything, & are Alt damage effects allowed (i.e. incendiary, Armor-Piercing...aaand, that's about it, I think, for d6 or lower weapons)? Armor-piercing sniper is also quite a common trope, both in fiction & IRL.
Scopes are going to give a bonus to units who Aim, probably in the form of a d6 Blessing, at the cost of situational awareness (no Response Actions, no Close Combat Counters, treated as inanimate object for targeting). Alt-damage seems to be fine, but armor piercing isn't super useful for one-die ranged weapons, since there's no leftover damage to pierce with after the first d6 unless you're spending bennies or overskill to boost it.
Voin wrote:New question: can you have "multiple modes" for weapons in regards to the new custom weapons rules? Let's say I want a troop to have 3 different magazines of ammo for a combat-shotgun: regular buckshot (d8 blast), flechette (armor-piercing d6), & dragon's-breath (d4 flame) - are there any rules hoops to jump through, or can I just do that (obviously w/ the stipulation that I can only use one mode per turn)? Or if I have something like a Lucerne hammer & want to use the hammer end as regular damage & the pick side as AP?
In the past this has always been free, you just have to specify its multiple modes at creation. Depending on the setting, other players might want you to spend an Action to change loadout or something. Speed-loading a Mossberg would take more time and attention than flipping a toggle on a pulse rifle or reversing a hammer. Most of the time this is probably going to be more trouble than it's worth, so I'd save it for special cases and not just go around multi-moding everything for no reason.