Author Topic: LETS TALK GAMING  (Read 1272 times)

Offline Jr_Boyd

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LETS TALK GAMING
« on: May 03, 2016, 07:02:11 PM »
As all gamers I have played several games. Some I love, like and hate. As any good gamer I also have made several house rules for Chronopia as well as others. I would like to invite everyone to partake in a idea session. I want to list an element of a table top game like "INITIATIVE or DEPLOYMENT" and I would like anyone and everyone to list there favorite method for gaming with that convention and why.

Any takers? I will start it and after 3 days I will post a new game aspect.

Offline Jr_Boyd

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Re: LETS TALK GAMING
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2016, 07:06:36 PM »
First up...

MAGIC

I think magic is a cool part of fantasy gaming. It is a force multiplier and rounds out several armies with deficits that they may have. I have seen many ways to handle magic - Dice pools, target roles, spell cards. I think I like dice rolls with target rolls to achieve effects. It adds chance for success and failure, so you can have very game changing spells but they may or may not work.

Offline DARNIZHAAN

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Re: LETS TALK GAMING
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2016, 08:37:54 AM »
IDENTITY

It's important for factions to have distinct identities and approaches to wargaming, like the Stygian eschewing missile weapons for the most part.  One faction shouldn't be so like another that they are effectively interchangeable because that would be less interesting.

Offline Buzzu

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Re: LETS TALK GAMING
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2016, 03:36:11 AM »
I quote Darnizhaan. I completely agree with the idea of a different and well defined identity and background for every army.
At the same time, I really DON't like identities of single pieces (I mean personalities). I think a piece that could die in a game should not have a name unless you like to give it one. I played games with personalities, but one of the things I like most of Chronopia is that you have no names (apart from Count Ellithrion).

Expanding this concept, I really don't like exagerated army points distances between the pieces. I played games with pieces of 5 A.P. and pieces of 500. Nonsense. Chronopia works with puppets of 5 A.P. and war chariots worth less than 140. But single pieces are close in price and mostly (with something that could grow better, of course) well balanced.

Last but not least: free movement. I really can't stand bases moving more pieces in a single block.

Offline Pueblic

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Re: LETS TALK GAMING
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2016, 01:39:48 PM »
CHARGE AND CHARGE ADVANTAGE

Charging is one of the most important mechanics in wargames with miniatures. In addition to starting the fight it can give several advantages to the assaulting unit. Personally, I prefer games that encourage aggression, in which the charge is an opportunity to utterly crush the enemy. This, combined with rules that provide a high kill rate while in melee, gives the feeling of being in the middle of a brutal death exchange.

Offline Pueblic

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Re: LETS TALK GAMING
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2016, 11:59:38 AM »
Clarification: the above opinion is a dramatization. I'm not a berzerker.

Offline Horned Owl

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Re: LETS TALK GAMING
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2016, 09:01:55 AM »
Okay, here´s my two cents´ worth.

First of all, those are the rules points that endeared Chronopia to me in the first place: integrated turn sequence (players take turns to move their respective units), skirmish formations,  and the wait / countercharge complex.


INTEGRATED TURN SEQUENCE

As anyone who has played “that other game” might be aware, it is kind of unnerving  to wait a whole half-turn while your opponent moves all their pieces, especially if they are the endlessly deliberating type. It´s also the peak of frustration watching their troops decimating your own line for a whole half-turn without being able to do anything about it. Of course, after that, the shoe is on the other foot, but that´s hardly compensation.

Taking turns activating and moving units allows you to react to enemy moves. Games are smoother and more satisfying.


SKIRMISH FORMATIONS

I´ve never adapted well to games where your troops move in blocks. Part of this is personal preference, but I feel that this kind of movement, especially the turning procedure, slows down the game and makes the units terribly unwieldy. In most situations, it means that troops have no choice but to move straight at the enemy in whatever formation the player arranged them in at the start of the game, eliminating all but a few tactical options – unless you´ve got special flying or teleporting troops.

While this is the way battles were fought in the Middle Ages (without even the basic commodity of griffon-mounted generals), I don´t feel that it makes for an overly exciting game. The looser movement of warbands of Chronopia means more fun can be had reacting to the enemy´s moves (there it is again) and outflanking him.


WAIT AND COUNTERCHARGE

This is the jewel in Chronopia´s crown. Being able to place one´s troops on Wait orders eliminates a key issue I had with many other games. Charging models get a bonus in close combat, so it is crucially important that it´s your own troops doing the charging. Since the turn sequence, by necessity, introduces an artificial order of activation, only one side can charge, and it´s largely a function of happenstance (or nitpicky positioning) which side gets to do it. Being able to countercharge means the impact of losing the charge roulette can be diminished by proper tactics.
This mechanism also feels more natural, as in a real battle, both sides would be streaming towards each other (where one side isn´t waiting for the other with braced spears, that is).


GIVING ORDERS

Leader figures being able to activate other units a second or third time. A tactical tool that rewards good planning, and which gives you greater control on the battlefield if used correctly. Also means heroes aren´t distinguished by their prowess in single combat but by their ability to motivate their men and get the best out of them. Definitely a favourite.

I would love a kind of "signal unit" with tall banners that accompanies a leader figure and lets it issue orders / activate units anywhere within line of sight; without the unit, the leader can only use his own voice and is limited to a few inches range. Similarly an army banner could be used by the leader to use his rally ability anywhere within line of sight of the banner.


SPECIAL TACTICAL ABILITIES

I like having options. There, I said it. There´s a lot of special abilities that provide the player with tactical choices about how to use their troops. Do I hide my Wolf Clan scouts and let them infiltrate towards the enemy, or do I move them quicker in plain sight? Do I let my Iron Guard form the shield wall early in the game? Is it worthwhile to put my Obsidian Guardsman on Berserk now? When is the best time to start my Keeper ballooning into his Totem form, knowing he´ll only have two turns to wreak havoc on the enemy line?

Not every ability has to be a fantasy feature. Most Napoleonic or Marlburian-era games let you choose to put your troops into square (to repel cavalry attacks, but moving slowly and vulnerable to fire), column (stiffening a charge, facilitating forward momentum, but again vulnerable to fire), line (allowing the soldiers to fire devastating volleys, but vulnerable to cavalry attack and column charges), or skirmish formation (presenting a difficult target for fire, but very vulnerable to charges and cavalry). You´ll notice that it´s basically a game of rock, paper and scissors that can be broken up by the skillful use of combined arms – threatening a unit with cavalry to put them into square, then pouring fire into them was a favourite tactic of Bonaparte´s, which he used to great effect at Quatre Bras. Having similar mechanisms in Chronopia would make the game more tactical yet.

Formations need a certain number of men to function; once your unit is down to, say, four warriors, it would revert automatically to skirmish formation.

Shock troops might be able to form a wedge to crack open an enemy square or column. Formations might also include the “horde” for savage and unruly troops. Packed more tightly than a skirmish formation, its main usefulness lies in the fact that in the press of bodies it´s hard for a warrior to determine whether the enemy arrows are killing enough of his comrades to make him worried, and that the guys in the back are pushing him forward even if he does start worrying. It´s terribly vulnerable to almost any other regular formation, but soldiers in it will only start to take morale tests once they´re down to a certain number and the thinning of the ranks becomes notable.

You´d also have the option to present shields and hunker down (not moving at all, but getting a bonus against arrows), or present spears (the old-but-wonderful Brace ability)?


MORALE

Here´s where Chronopia failed to introduce any innovations. Basically, your troops take casualties, and then test whether their nerve breaks and they flee. A unit that has fled may rally, and afterwards is none the worse for wear, ready to charge into the maw of Hell again.

There´s precious few games that handle this stuff otherwise. If you think about it, though, morale is more of a sliding scale. At the start of a battle, troops are fresh and motivated. As they clash with the enemy and become decimated, they slowly get more tired and afraid. Every comrade lost, every fearsome monster they confront reduces their morale until it breaks. Rallying may raise their spirits a bit, but it should better be a truly rousing speech to restore full morale.

I like the idea of “levels of confidence” presented in the DIRTSIDE and STARGRUNT II rules, where troops start at CONFIDENT and progress through STEADY, SHAKEN, BROKEN and ROUTED. I think low morale should also affect combat ability, with a shaken unit less able to put up a stiff fight than a confident unit fresh to the battle.
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Offline joshuaslater

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Re: LETS TALK GAMING
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2016, 11:02:42 AM »
Double blind deployment is one of my favorite bits from Chronopia.  Not knowing where your opponent's archers will be makes for nail biting games.   :)
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