Campaigns

Supplement ideas, house rules, homemade stat cards, homebrew weapon types, and other cool variations

Moderators: Rev. Sylvanus, warman45

Campaigns

Postby thedanster7000 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:37 pm

Are there any written up systems for multi-battle campaigns, with taking land and raising troops and such? Or is there another free wargame these rules could be adapted from? Because incinerating your friend's general is much more satisfying when their love for him has been built up over several sieges and assaults.
User avatar
thedanster7000
Champion
Champion
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:53 pm
Location: The fires of Hell

Re: Campaigns

Postby Scribonius » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:02 pm

True.

You could probably crib ideas from the various Warhammer/AoS/Warhammer 40K/any other tabletop wargame(s) on the market.

Common types: Ladder Campaign, Story Campaign, Territorial Campaign.

Ladder: Set out a series of pre-planned events. If Side one wins, go to result A. If side two wins, go to result B, repeat.

Story: Design a series of battles based on a storyline that changes as you go.

Territorial: Make a map. Battle over each territory. Bring reinforcements in from adjacent territories, and so forth.
User avatar
Scribonius
Cannon Fodder
 
Posts: 338
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:29 pm
Location: Wandering through Mirial's Rock...

Re: Campaigns

Postby stubby » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:54 am

I've tried a bunch of ideas, and people have posted system proposals over the years, but I haven't seen anything pan out so far. This is something I'd love to see though, if anyone can figure out how to make it work.

If you'd asked me to design a campaign system a decade ago, it would have been all about map control and investing minifigs into scouting -> community loyalty -> CP harvesting -> infrastructure. If you'd asked me a few years ago it would have been about earning narration points for progress along character and plot arcs. If I was going to do it today it'd be about everything going wrong, all the time, and the reason to fight battles is to get to say how everything goes wrong because of them.
Natalya wrote:Wtf is going on in this thread?
User avatar
stubby
tl;dr: the rule of fudge is the entire rulebook
 
Posts: 5006
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:31 pm

Re: Campaigns

Postby stubby » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:29 pm

I've been thinking about this a lot more over the course of the last month or so, and I've had a couple of ideas.



My first thought is that a lot of traditional strategic campaign systems tie your performance in the current battle to the advantages and disadvantages you get in later battles. This is fine for a strategically-focused game, where the main gameplay and fun are in the strategic twists and turns. But BrikWars' main gameplay is tactically-focused, and imposing that type of strategic effect on the tactical game makes the tactical game less fun. Either you give advantages to the winner, and the snowball effect makes it hard to find a reason for the loser to keep playing, or you give advantages to the loser, and the rubberbanding makes victories meaningless or even undesirable.

So rule 1 is that whatever happens at the strategic level, it can't have a negative effect on the tactical game. It has to be positive or at least neutral. Ideally it makes the tactical objectives more interesting, more meaningful, more fun, and not just something dull like "player A gets 3 more units than player B in game 2."



My next thought was to incorporate rewards based on Unit Inch performance. It'd be best to base it on how many enemy Üs you destroyed, and put players' focus on mobilizing and dealing damage, but tracking who did which damage is a lot of overhead, especially when not all damage is measured in inches. Easier to compare your starting Ü to your final Ü once the battle is over to see how many you lost (or gained, if you managed to steal or generate more new units than your losses).

Whichever sides of the kill/death ratio you're measuring, the question then is what effects should come from it. I want to avoid punishing players for their losses, because that rewards a conservative style of play that I'd specifically like to discourage. One system would be to reward both kills and deaths with special Bennies, and then it's only the failure to engage that gets punished (or at least not rewarded). So kills (if tracked) would earn you Glory (or something), and deaths (if tracked) would earn you Sacrifice (or something), and each could be turned into Bennies. (You'd want to set up the system to grant a Glory Benny to balance every Sacrifice Benny, or else players could just wander out on the field and blow themselves up for maximum Sacrifice without ceding any Glory.)

If you didn't want to track it with Bennies, then a victory point slider is another option. There would be a trick to deciding the scale of the slider - is the war won at +100 Ü?  +1000 Ü?  - and another trick to making cool tactical bonuses as players get closer to winning or losing (it should get more exciting in both directions). One option here would be to let players add modifers from an ass of consequences for their victories and defeats as they move up and down the slider - "Desperate" or "Overstretched" or "Overconfident" etc. Setting up an ass of named consequences would be a little overspecific and precious for my taste, but it is an option.

So if there's a rule 2, it's that wins and losses should both be rewarded at the tactical level, regardless of their consequences at the narrative level.



My third thought was to avoid tracking anything at all. We had the Kanon system in BW2010 that never really caught on, but I'd like to preserve some of that flavor. Maybe less of the "yes, but" back-and-forth and more tolerance for contradictory stories. Regardless of winners or losers, if any, each player describes their own faction's story of their own heroism in the battle, and the consequences to themselves only - "our superior forces won an inevitable victory against the science-forsaken pagans, and now we have a beachhead established on their main continent" versus "our brave fighters showed that we aren't going down without a fight, and our heroic stand delayed the advance and inspired our allies to rise to our aid." Everybody's a hero in their own eyes, every faction has their own version of the "truth," and whether the consequences of victory or loss are negative or positive are entirely up to the narrative instincts of the individual players.

Like an RPG character, factions only level up and get more interesting with experience.



I really like ladder and tree campaigns, but they're not always flexible enough to accommodate BrikWars' style of completely changing plans and players and army compositions between one battle and the next, and objectives that get half-achieved or abandoned or completed in the most ass-backwards and upside-down interpretation. If I build a really cool castle or naval fleet or lizard man army or whatever halfway into a campaign, the campaign rules should be set up to allow me to toss them in immediately without having to check if they're allowed under the narrative confinements of some previous battle.

Territory campaigns have similar problems. Rather than limit armies to an existing map, I'd prefer a system that allows players to create the map as they go, and fill in details according to the needs of the narrative rather than fitting the narrative to the details. I don't need to know whether or not there's a swamp full of lizardmen until I come home with a sack full of chima crocs and realize I want to put them in battle.

So rule 3 would be that whatever consequences there are from battle to battle, they can create new options but they shouldn't be used to rule options out.


Anyway I haven't settled on a concrete direction yet, but these are the ideas I'm juggling around.
Natalya wrote:Wtf is going on in this thread?
User avatar
stubby
tl;dr: the rule of fudge is the entire rulebook
 
Posts: 5006
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:31 pm

Re: Campaigns

Postby AnnoyedZebra » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:23 am

I had ideas going round my head recently but they'd all be super boring and impractical and I can't really be arsed
Image Image
User avatar
AnnoyedZebra
Somebody make this Zebra's rank.
 
Posts: 883
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:46 am

Re: Campaigns

Postby stubby » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:10 pm

Thank you for your contribution
Natalya wrote:Wtf is going on in this thread?
User avatar
stubby
tl;dr: the rule of fudge is the entire rulebook
 
Posts: 5006
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:31 pm

Re: Campaigns

Postby Tzan » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:43 pm

Your thought process is very similar to mine when I was trying to figure out a way to make an online tactics style campaign system.
All the current online war games are a pile of Krap.

Making faction progress, but avoiding snowballs, keeping each battle competitive or if a player comes in over powered he is punished by a diminished reward.
Under powered is rewarded more. So now people see how low they can go. Under powered side gets more points per kill. They may lose the baseplate but gain more points.

The math is easier to do on a computer.
User avatar
Tzan
Has anyone ever used those holes before?
Has anyone ever used those holes before?
 
Posts: 4367
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:41 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Campaigns

Postby stubby » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:13 pm

If I bring in zero units, does it divide by zero and give me infinite points?
Natalya wrote:Wtf is going on in this thread?
User avatar
stubby
tl;dr: the rule of fudge is the entire rulebook
 
Posts: 5006
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:31 pm

Re: Campaigns

Postby Tzan » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:25 pm

Damn hackers!
This is why we can't have nice things.



:sbr:
I suppose if you have zero units you can't kill anything so just get zero points and lose the objective.
In computers its best to multiply by decimals so no dividing.
User avatar
Tzan
Has anyone ever used those holes before?
Has anyone ever used those holes before?
 
Posts: 4367
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:41 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Campaigns

Postby AZKAMAT » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:08 pm

A few years ago I experimented with campaign systems heavily. The best one I made used a physical map with hero minifigures on it representing the army groups they led. I.e. each one represented a designated portion of your whole collection/army.

The biggest problem it had was that if one army group got devastated with few casualties inflicted on its enemy, the parent faction would be fucked in the long term due to the disparity in total forces.

Reading Stubby's above thought dump gave me the idea to give infinitely respawning armies. Ones that respawn instantly to cut down on paperwork. Plus it gives a constant stream of intense battles where each side always has a chance to come back. I'd probably want some way to temporarily knock an army off the map to give an overwhelming victor an earned advantage on the strategic map.

What are you guys' thoughts? I don't think I understand the Glory/Sacrifice concepts.

Also, has a continuous campaign EVER been attempted, much less finished? Especially one that tracks data precisely on stuff like troops strengths. I've never seen one that wasn't story driven. Not knocking these (I have one on the drawing board now myself), I'm actually curious.
Check out mah BOL's of STIL! http://brikwars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=16612

Kant b'leev uh wun! Image
User avatar
AZKAMAT
Minifig
 
Posts: 239
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:44 pm
Location: SC, USA.

Re: Campaigns

Postby Omega Prime » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:59 pm

To solve the unit disparity issues, maybe add ways to earn unit inches or currency of some sort which people can use to buy more units, like completing objectives and killing things. That way, if they got completely devastated but completed all their objectives or something, then they could buy all their lost units back. Even better, being able to buy units on the fly in the midst of battle would be neat.
gotta love knitting needles. i can make you a scarf. i can make a hat. i can stab your eyes out. i can make mittens.

What was that middle part again?

i can make a hat
User avatar
Omega Prime
Cannon Fodder
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:47 pm
Location: Somewhere in space

Re: Campaigns

Postby stubby » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:03 pm

AZKAMAT wrote:A few years ago I experimented with campaign systems heavily. The best one I made used a physical map with hero minifigures on it representing the army groups they led. I.e. each one represented a designated portion of your whole collection/army.

I had a version of this, years ago, that was full of terrible ideas - I'm embarrassed to even bring it up. You had your army groups on the map, but you didn't have to decide what portion of the army was in them unless the enemy scouted them or they got into combat. And there were levels of scouting - they might know how large your army was but not what types of units, etc. And there was some big system for scouting out map sectors and winning hearts and minds and industrial output and fortification. It was a mess. Hopefully your ideas were cleaner than mine.

I think there's some possibilities for a strategic lego map, but right now I'm leaning towards keeping it as an optional extra rather than the main focus of strategic play - I feel like most BrikWars campaigns aren't going to focus on direct territorial conquest as much as character and story development.


AZKAMAT wrote:The biggest problem it had was that if one army group got devastated with few casualties inflicted on its enemy, the parent faction would be fucked in the long term due to the disparity in total forces.

Reading Stubby's above thought dump gave me the idea to give infinitely respawning armies. Ones that respawn instantly to cut down on paperwork. Plus it gives a constant stream of intense battles where each side always has a chance to come back. I'd probably want some way to temporarily knock an army off the map to give an overwhelming victor an earned advantage on the strategic map.

This got me thinking - it'd be nice if taking out a bunch of enemy units meant that they were weakened in a real way, but not in a way that would make the next battle unbalanced to the point of being unfun. Instead of infinitely respawning armies, it might be better to go with finitely respawning armies - your faction starts with (for instance) 500 unit inches of budget to draw on, and you can use at most (for instance) 50 in a single battle. Whenever you lose or gain unit inches, it draws on that 500 U" budget, but you're still fielding a much smaller number at a time until your faction budget drops so low that you can no longer match your opponents on the field. At which point you've been playing a long time and you're invested in your heroic last stand even if it's unbalanced.


AZKAMAT wrote:What are you guys' thoughts? I don't think I understand the Glory/Sacrifice concepts.

I haven't fleshed them out very much. But imagine a battle with three factions: A, B, and F. A beats the hell out of B, killing a bunch of B's units, while F turtles up in his bunker like a coward. I want to give A a bunch of bonuses for kicking butt, and I want to give B a bunch of bonuses for coming out and taking his licks and not being a yellow-bellied skunk like F. I don't have super clear ideas yet about what form those bonuses would take.

Since it's less work to track the number units lost after the end of the battle than to track the number of units killed while the battle is still going on, I might set it up so that each player calculates their unit inches lost, which is how much they Sacrificed in the battle, and then they can choose which of their enemies get credit for those kills, which becomes Glory for those enemies. Any Sacrifice given as Glory gives a bonus to both players; any Sacrifice not converted into Glory is wasted.

Meanwhile player F didn't take any casualties or score any kills so he doesn't get any bonuses at all.


AZKAMAT wrote:Also, has a continuous campaign EVER been attempted, much less finished? Especially one that tracks data precisely on stuff like troops strengths. I've never seen one that wasn't story driven. Not knocking these (I have one on the drawing board now myself), I'm actually curious.

We haven't really had a good enough system yet, or at least I haven't seen any. The story driven ones tend to be more satisfying than purely data-driven ones though, in my opinion, and that's going to be particularly true for a game like BrikWars where the focus is on individual minifigs. I like data-driven strategy, but I think story's always going to be the driver in a game like this.

Omega Prime wrote:To solve the unit disparity issues, maybe add ways to earn unit inches or currency of some sort which people can use to buy more units, like completing objectives and killing things. That way, if they got completely devastated but completed all their objectives or something, then they could buy all their lost units back. Even better, being able to buy units on the fly in the midst of battle would be neat.

We have this already, although it's a pretty recent addition - look at the Commander's Reinforcement abilities in BW2010 and BW2018: http://brikwars.com/rules/draft/11.htm#7

In BW2010 we had some rudimentary CP generation systems where units (particularly Workers) could "work" a resource and generate their own Skill Roll in CP during each strategic phase. BW2018 doesn't have CP anymore, so I can't go back to that system. It'll more likely get simplified, so that every Worker generates 1U" from working, and other minifigs have to make an Action Roll to see if they're able to work successfully.

There's a lot of ways we could go from there - for players to spend their U", they might have to have the right units or infrastructure in place. Maybe you need a number of Mechaniks to build tanks, and Engineers to build fortresses. Maybe you can't make knights until you secure a supply of horses. Everything has to tie back to tactical battle though - if your workers are working a resource, then you have to name the location so the enemy can attack it. If your mechaniks are building your tanks, you have to say where they're doing the work so the enemy can attack it. If you're securing a source of horses, you have to say where and how, so the enemy can attack the horses, or the suppliers, or the trade route.

If you're working with a map, then you point out the locations on the map, and then it becomes a positional game. If you're doing a story driven game, then players just declare they want to attack the named locations, and it becomes a story negotiation. Story negotiation can be tricky; it might just be a matter of players taking turns on who gets to decide the stakes of the next battle, or there might be some kind of bidding system tied to the Sacrifice and Glory idea from earlier. You might spend Glory to get more initiative in dictating where the next attack happens; you might spend Sacrifice to give yourself more infrastructure on defense.
Natalya wrote:Wtf is going on in this thread?
User avatar
stubby
tl;dr: the rule of fudge is the entire rulebook
 
Posts: 5006
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:31 pm

Re: Campaigns

Postby Omega Prime » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:41 pm

Stubby- I've been throwing around ideas that can make extended campaigns sort of civ-like in a way, like there's one bigger map with smaller maps, and on the smaller maps there are outposts that generate unit inches per turn, which can make units- but only in that outpost. Outposts could be taken over, etc. making a very dynamic territory map, though I haven't put enough thought into this to make good rules yet.
gotta love knitting needles. i can make you a scarf. i can make a hat. i can stab your eyes out. i can make mittens.

What was that middle part again?

i can make a hat
User avatar
Omega Prime
Cannon Fodder
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:47 pm
Location: Somewhere in space

Re: Campaigns

Postby stubby » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:36 am

Omega Prime wrote:Stubby- I've been throwing around ideas that can make extended campaigns sort of civ-like in a way,

It's less Civ and more Warlords, but that would totally work for that style of play. It runs into some of the issues I mentioned where it can lead to unfun battles at the tactical level though. There's a reason why Civ battles auto-resolve - do you want to go to the effort of building a battlefield setup and playing through the turns every time three Roman legions attack a lone scout?
Natalya wrote:Wtf is going on in this thread?
User avatar
stubby
tl;dr: the rule of fudge is the entire rulebook
 
Posts: 5006
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:31 pm

Re: Campaigns

Postby AZKAMAT » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:29 pm

Let me explain the system I had a bit more.

I didn't use a Lego map. I used a paper map that I had (crudely) drawn in MS Paint and printed for a physical copy. It was made up of spaces that were symmetrical, with the shape of the space determining what kind of battlefield it was/what type of territory it was. Generic, HQ, Fortress, or one that could build a strategic weapon etc. Lines connected each space to the others around it, representing where an army could move/attack to on its faction's turn (each army being able to move 1 space each turn barring a bonus). Each space also had several colored numbers on it, representing how many Victory and Economy Points each space generated per turn as well as its title designation (i.e. Space #16). Victory Points served as a tie-breaker win condition in case of stalemate (this never happened in practice), and Economy Points could be spent on building things in owned territory (Supply depots that let a limited number of armies in a certain range move/attack an extra time or square inches of mine fields, things like that). A fun concept, but I eventually found it not worth the trouble. The upcoming campaign I have planned is a single-player mega-faction defense simulation so I may bring it back up for that.

Spaces closer to the middle (and thus more contested) were more valuable. Earlier versions used the opposite reasoning and made for a camp-fest.

Unit composition of armies was tracked via Word Documents that players kept hidden from one another until deployment. So you might know that Hero A's army is on Space 11 but for all you know it could be a ghost force or have the majority of the enemy faction's entire army. Unit types were also color-coded and organized in the documents to help players quickly figure out what kind of force they had made in case they forgot. To make this easier, infantry were organized into squads and put into labeled baggies.

I think one thing I never ironed out was how to handle transferring units from one army to another.

One last aspect was that heroes had 2 positive abilities that they brought to the table as well as one negative ability. For example Cherrie Ecklen (dude from Brickingrad) buffed Tithe Infantry and SL2 fast vehicles but applied a MAJOR debuff to all friendly non-Tithe infantry because he didn't know how to use them.

I've still got all the files I made for the 2015 & 2016 summer campaigns if you'd like to look them over and see if there's anything you can use.

@Omega
I experimented heavily with purchasing units on the tactical level, borrowing from RTS games like C&C Generals, CoH and Wargame, but with no success. It always just distracted from the fighting and I tell ya, pausing the fight to sit and do accounting is a game killer in its own league.

One elephant in the room with these campaign systems is collection-size-disparity. I've never really thought of a good resolution for that issue.
Check out mah BOL's of STIL! http://brikwars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=16612

Kant b'leev uh wun! Image
User avatar
AZKAMAT
Minifig
 
Posts: 239
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:44 pm
Location: SC, USA.

Next

Return to Bonus Material

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests