Saturday, May 30, 2020

Injury Report

The writing of the rules are on hold. I was mid post about wizardry and I gashed my right middle finger open to the knuckle bone. I will finish the post when I am healed in a couple weeks. In the mean time, here is my hand.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Building a Game...Orders and Order of Battle

My construction of my own battle game continues. I am working out various mechanics to accomplish what I want and during all this and I have been reviewing and considering various regiments and heroes that will be taking the field.

I want heroes to have special rules that will let them influence the battle but not become the deciding factor, so no "hero hammer" so to speak. At the same time I want there to be some aspect to the game that reflects their command without writing orders in secret (I like that but many people don't). I settled on a system where regiments and monsters will have "impetus" which means they will move towards the nearest visible enemy regiment and engage in combat. Some regiments will not have impetus because of their nature and training, such as archers, which would not move to engage but instead fire on the closest.

If the player wants to have a regiment do something different during the beginning of the game turn they have to have a hero that can give commands do so. All heroes with the exception of a few will be able to give commands to a single regiment, effectively marching with that regiment and directing their actions. The mechanics would be simple; the player indicates which hero is giving orders to which regiment then rolls 2d6 on their Willpower (the hero's) and if successful they mark them ordered. An ordered unit can be moved how ever the player wishes and can make the following order choices, given at the time of the order's issues:
  • March: the regiment can move two full moves towards the front, it may wheel or shift but always forward. This cannot result in engagement in melee. 
  • At The Double: the regiments moves three full moves in a forward direction, it may not shift or wheel. This cannot result in engagement in melee. 
  • Back Step: the regiment moves one full move directly backwards.
  • Charge: the regiment moves directly towards an enemy of the player's choice and can make up to two full moves to engage. If they fail to reach they will only move one full move but must still move towards the foe. 
  • Change Formation: there are a handful of formation the regiments can adopt that grant them various benefits and some regiments will have bonus rules if they are in a certain formation. The standard formation is block (rank and file). 
Regarding the Order of Battle I have pretty much decided on the defending forces of Madison Hill. A rag tag collection of trained soldiers, brave heroes, and forest spirits pit themselves against a vile army of ghouls and skeletons raised from their graves by a dark necromancer allied with an occultist and his demonic thralls and beast men body guards. I'll outline the defenders here as I'm still thinking about the attackers final organization.

Baron Uther Dragonbane: lord of the province where Madison Hill stands and protector of the people. He is general of the army and rides to battle wielding the heirloom battle axe "Dragonbane" which his family is named after.

Sir Christian Dragonbane: son of Uther and rider of the mythic Pegasus Sir Christian is a tried knight of battle and a leader among men.

Megrim of Harret House: a wizard of some renown that has made his way to Madison Hill to pit his powers against the dread necromancer. He has little concern for defending the village but is personally affronted by the misuse of magic.

Irok Stonegrim: a dwarf from the mountains of Purple Peaks and a priest of the gods he has marched to Madison Hill to pit his faith against the dead. Failing to gather a band of dwarfs who continue their practice of isolation he has come alone but has been welcomed by the defenders as a sign that the gods are with them.

Men-At-Arms and Archers: over fifty men of Uther's banner have joined him in the defense of the village. they are primarily halberdiers with some long bowmen ready to stand beside their liege lord. Sturdy soldiers and veterans of other battles.

Knights: nearly 20 knights both errant untried and noble veterans have flocked from their holdings to defend the village. Having sworn oaths to the Baron they keep those oaths and come with their retainers ready to charge into the dead.

Pilgrims of the Lost Knight: pilgrims from the monastery of the Lost Knight they bear the reliquary of a long forgotten questing knight. Carrying his remains into battle so that he may find glory and fulfill  his quest. Only the most fanatic of the pilgrims take to the field the others standing back to protect the peasants in their homes or support the medicine practitioners.

From the Dark Wood comes unexpected allies though. Long has Baron Dragonbane maintained a ban on hunting or timbering in the ancient Dark Wood. He upheld a mysterious document of peace and oath of alliance passed down from father to son for ten generations. He did not believe in the spirits of the wood but he would not be the Dragonbane to break any promise signed by his ancestors. On the eve of battle from the wood came marching fantastical creatures made of branch and trunk coming to uphold their oaths from hundreds of years ago.

Spiteleaf: a dryad spirit sorceress in command of the spirits that were roused to defend the village. She is mysterious and powerful but trustworthy pledging her forces to destroy the threat of the walking dead.

Dryads: a band of nearly twenty forest spirits have forged themselves physical bodies of trunk and branch. A man and a half tall they are strong and fierce having no fear of death but a blood thirsty hatred of dark magic. These spirits would see the oath held that Dragonbane's family had kept solemn.

Greatbaugh: an ancient spirit of great power that has bound an ancient tree to his will and created a mighty treant for war from it. Now he marches in defense of Madison Hill and has no more purpose in his mind that smashing as many of the enemy to pieces as he can.



Friday, May 1, 2020

Building a Battle...Invoking the Gods

As I continue to build the game I have the opportunity to explore an aspect of fantasy gaming I have always had an affinity for; the divine. I am a spiritual person myself and I have no problem with other's religious or spiritual or lack of spiritual beliefs. These are important to us, they can be moral compasses or comforts, and I will not deride another man's beliefs. I will add the caveat that they should end where another's begins, I do not force mine on others. The preamble out of the way I play cleric's in Dungeons and Dragons almost exclusively and their ability to call forth the power of the gods is just really cool in my mind. I want the cleric-like heroes of my game to be able to something similar but on a war level rather than a dungeon room level. I also want it to be slightly unreliable as in fantasy writing the gods can be fickle being less than omniscient and all-powerful.

How I have decided to do this is simple but I feel will be fun still. A hero with some tie to the gods will generate a random amount of favor each turn which can be spent to invoke miracles through prayer. Praying requires all their focus and even then the player will need to make a willpower roll to succeed invoking the miracles. This means if a divine hero is in battle, restricted in some way, or unable to focus they won't be able to invoke. Also the favor can be stored from turn to turn to reach more powerful miracles. All the miracles I write up will be available to any hero with divine access and some will have very high scores and may not be reachable until later in the battle, some will be easily accessible quickly.
Cannot find source, sorry, if you know tell me.

A couple of examples:

Prayer of healing- 3 favor - heroes or monsters remove 1d3 damage markers or regiments make an immediate rally check if they are not disrupted or broken.

Banish Evil- 2 favor per applicable target - all undead, demons, or possessed regiments/heroes (friend or foe) within 4" of the invoker must make a willpower check, if failed they suffer 1d6 damage and fall back 2 moves from the invoker. If their willpower check is double sixes (a critical failure) then the regiment is blasted to dust and removed from the battle. This cannot be used on limited numbers, all within range must be figured into the invocation.

Blessing- 6 favor - any one hero anywhere on the battle field but within sight of the invoker becomes blessed for the remainder of the battle; they may re-roll 1's for armor saves and attack rolls.

Obviously some fidgeting will need to be done. Some costs may be too high, some miracles too strong, etc. I have to play it out some to see but I'm also not looking to create balance. I believe my standard, which everyone should have, while constructing this battle regarding magic and such is that nothing should be a "always use" ability. Also not everything should always have an effective use, such as Banish Evil above: very good against some things and useless against others. 

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Building a Game: Missile Fire Effects

Continuing my new hobby of designing a battle I've been reading up on middle ages archery. It is an unusual bag of historical information. Some sources imply it is only moderately effective while others reference battles like Agincourt and show how terrible it is. Being mindful that my game is fantasy and meant to be fun I've decided to go with a mechanic that combines aspects of ratio to dice roll and normal hits to create something that affects tactics and order but still kills models. Maybe not the best of both worlds, I need to play it a little bit to see.

To perform missile fire of any form be it a body of archers, a magic spell, or a catapult the player controlling the attacking regiment figures it's fire power score. This will almost always be it's Vigor score multiplied by the models. Obvious spells will have their own fire power score or maybe a catapult's missile is much higher than the weapon's Vigor. (In fact I plan that war machines have no vigor and are just destroyed if engaged) Then this is compared with the Vigor of the target generating a ratio of 3 to 1 (in favor) to 1 to 3 (out of favor) for the attacking regiment. Then the player will roll a single d6 and reference  table (below).

The possible results are a number of hits (d3, d6, or 2d6), Disrupted (Di), Fall Back (Fa), and Retreat (Ret). The effects of these are:

  • d3/d6/2d6 indicate a number of damage applied, no armor saves are taken.
  • Disrupted is as normal indicating the regiment cannot receive orders the following turn should they fail a Courage roll.
  • Fall Back is as normal indicating the regiment makes one move directly away from the attack including change in facing should a Courage roll be failed.
  • Retreat is as normal indicating the regiment makes 3 moves directly away from the attacker and becomes Disrupted should they fail a Courage roll. 
Disrupted, Fall Back, and Retreat will be blended into melees as well as magic or other effects. The table below shows that a very unfavorable ratio makes it nearly impossible to have much effect while a relatively small regiment that is targeted will take significant damage from a good roll. Also it is evident that a roll of 1 or 2 is always ineffective. Ranges are not taken into account beyond a minimum range for any particular missile weapon as detailed by the regiment's unit card. As i'm looking at a 1 to 1 ratio for models to soldiers it seemed absurd to apply any range as a general rule. Longbows had a historical range of 180 meters (little less than 600 feet) and as my planned 6x4 table with a 1 inch is 1 meter ration means  they could fire over two full tables. 

Okay, enough blather, here is the table...

Die Roll
3 to 1
2 to 1
1 to 1
1 to 2
1 to 3
1 or 2
NE
NE
NE
NE
NE
3
D6
Di
D3
-
NE
NE
NE
4
D6
Fa
D6
Di
D3
-
NE
NE
5
2D6
Ret
D6
Fa
D6
Di
D3
-
NE
6
2D6
Ret
2D6
Ret
2D6
Fa
D6
Di
D6
Di
By way of simple example say a body of 20 longbow archers fire on a body of 30 spear men. Both regiments have a Vigor of 1 per model so it is 20 to 30 (.66 or 1 to 1). The player rolls a d6 and scores a 4 this would result in 1 to 3 damage to the target. A score of 5 would do possibly double (D6) but also requires the target to make a Courage test or they would be unable to receive orders later. 

If you've ready this far I commend you. This is effectively a personal journal where I am working out my own "game". If you have feedback I am always open to it. 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Designing a Battle..the First Steps

I have been playing war games for about 25 years give or take. I am also a lover of the older rules, the older games, and in general of things a little more "crunchy" as is often said. I love reading old war games books, meaning books about war games, not just rules (I read those too).

Long story short I have decided to build a war game. This isn't to say write my own war games rules, there are enough good pieces out there to make an amalgam that serves my purposes. I mean plan a battle, raise the regiments and heroes, and write a collection of rules for them. I have been wanting to do this for a long time now and I am hoping that by creating this journal of my progress it will see it come to fruition.

The story of the battle is that a small road stop hamlet named Madison Hill is in the path of a rampaging army of undead and demons under the power of an ancient Liche and the Baron over the lands has decided to make his stand in defense of Madison Hill. I have some model buildings I would like to finish to represent Madison Hill; a black smith, a couple of burned out farm houses, a cool watch tower, you get the idea. I also have a selection of models I'd like to organize and get cleaned up to use for the regiments and heroes of the battle.

The rules will be roughly written, not overly specific, and built form pieces of Warhammer Fantasy Battles (all editions) and rules from other sources I believe will give the feel that I want. I desire there to be a 1 to 1 model ratio but still have effects like demoralization and disruption. Also I want models to be removed and also returned from rallying as can be found in some of Neil Thomas' rules. I don't want regiments to just winnow away over a turn or two but I also don't want the game to become bogged down pointlessly. I want heroes to have an effect that is more about moral of the soldiers than being really good at fighting by themselves although they can do that too. I also want an order system in place that requires planning in advance for an effectively simultaneous turn, not a Side A Side B game turn.

The first place I have started is in deciding what numbers are important, and I came up with these items and why they are valuable.

  1. MOVE: obvious one here but I plan to have the rules use "moves" as in a regiment charging can make up to three moves, or triple their move score, to reach the foe. 
  2. Combat: a simple but effective way to reflect the melee ability of the regiments and heroes as measured in a simple d6+ score. I plan that only the most amazing fighters have a 3+, the average soldier a 5+. But all attacks can score a "critical hit" on a 6 meaning they do an immediate unpreventable damage along with a further hit.
  3. Strength and Toughness: two scores that directly interact. To determine if a hit causes an injury the scores are compared. This will result in an easier or harder score on a d6 to cause injury. 
  4. Vigor: reflecting the enduring power of the regiment and hero to hold fast in the face of injury or foul fortune. Also reflects their ferocity of battle. A standard soldier would have a vigor of 1 meaning it generates 1 attack dice and 1 damage removes it. 
  5. Willpower and Courage: again a pair of scores given a 2d6 or lower tolerance. One for resisting negative supernatural effects the other for morale. 
  6. Armor: a generic but effective d6+ score to defend against hits. 
A couple of notes regarding these. First the effects of missile fire will be resolved differently. While I do not have it completely worked out yet I do have an understanding in my mind that it will take the form of totaling dice scores and referencing a table for effect. I feel this is both more simulation accurate to a fantasy battle format and prevents silly things like a single archer doing anything of worth. Second the order of hits, damage, and saves is not the common format. Hits will be scored, THEN saves will be taken, those not saved are rolled as injury rolls to inflict damage. It is possible a fighter gets beyond his enemy's defenses only to land a weak glancing injury that his more vigorous foe shrugs off. A small change to be sure but I believe a telling on when we put dice to it. Third the strength vs. toughness mechanic was one I debated internally. While I value quick resolution and it would have been easy to disregard this and just use a hit vs. save mechanic what I came down on was that a giant should be harder to hurt than a footman. The only other way to do with was give the giant a huge number of hits and as I wanted to tie this to vigor it seemed like I was just passing one mechanic into another. This format allows me to have variety with the magic and combat instead of just ever higher hit points. 

There will be no points in place for this game. I have no interest in balance beyond that which I see in the building of the armies and the game itself. I do plan to restrict heroes to no more than 1 per body of soldiers and cavalry. I'll likely do the same restriction to large monsters (which we must have) and any kind of siege weapons I feel are appropriate. 

That is the start. I am busy writing up regiment cards and when those are done I will provide them for your feedback and snarky comments (the best kind of comments). As I also feel any blog post lacking photographic attempts fails to explore all potential allow me to provide you with this...
...this is "Arijog the Hunter" a custom knight for 40k. He is a freebalde who hunts the biggest monsters and daemons he can find and mounts trophies on his knight. He is a little crazy, but that is how I like them :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Motivation of Isolation

...a blog post in only photos...




I do hope you all are staying safe, well, and cared for. 

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Mitchell B-25J

The bomber was done nearly on time, the day after my set date so that would have been this past Monday. It has taken me this long to get a photo taken as I've been very busy and the photo isn't even that good. It is enough though to verify my completed project and i'm pleased with that.

I had some small difficulties in completing it and even in posting this picture which wants to load vertical instead of horizontal regardless of what I try. In it's completion even it fell and broke several of the guns creating a damaged final product.

Well, these things happen.

Next project with a due date of Sunday the 23rd is a set of Atalan Jackals from Games Workshop for my friend's Genestealer Cults army. See you in seven days or so!

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