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.

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