Home Forums General Game Design Scenario generation but different?

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  • #168770
    Spurious
    Participant

    I’ve been playing with some game ideas that’ve been rattling around the inside of my head for years in various forms but this one in particular I think might be interesting, and it’d help if anyone could point me at other examples of this out there to at least see what others have done, as I’ve not encountered it myself.

    A pre-battle game, or a condensed campaign system to give context to a typical fight. Not just randomly rolling up a few objectives, terrain bits and weather, but that with an actual game system with a competitive element between the players to try and represent the many problems of getting forces into battle, attempts to out-manoeuvre their foe and all that fun stuff that gets glossed over in favour of just getting the toys on the table, even in a typical campaign system.

    I suspect the easiest method of this is to have a neutral party as an umpire, and just run a matrix game but with a tabletop battle resulting. Honestly though I have trouble getting even one person to play against consistently let alone two 😛 So that option is out.

    Another option that seemed obvious to me was a card game; with the back-and forth provided by playing events like weather and the other side potentially having counter cards like accurate forecasts or weather control wizards to play. Troops getting lost and being moved into reserve countered by a local guides card that could instead be played to confer some other advantage if not used as a counter. That kind of thing. I’d imagine rather than a single deck to draw a hand from it’d be separated out into piles for weather, morale, supplies and the like with players drawing an arbitrary amount from each based on whatever might be relevant.

    Charts of course are another option and AK-47 Republic’s pre-game comes close to this but mostly revolves around the soldiers involved and doesn’t really do anything to define the battlefield and objectives. Charts could basically do the same as cards in random generation but instead with dice rolls. Of course there is the seemingly widespread aversion to charts, but I’ve found wargamers tend to be ok with charts as long as they’re interesting/fun, like Blood Bowl’s many random things it inflicts upon teams.

    I’ve been playing with the charts one as a design for now, mostly because results could be turned into cards if required so it’s a good foundation, and with the competitive element being  that each player has an amount of tokens they can use to influence/counter results (bonus to the roll to hope it leans better, uses an army/character ability to counter the downsides) and bad events are typically inflicted on the other player. To add a degree of caution, leftover tokens can be spent once the armies are at the table to do things like gain extra deployment space, speed up reserves arriving, stuff like that. Though working out the numbers for balancing this is being a bit of a pickle as you might imagine. To the point that might well be a hinderance and I should just let it generate uneven scenarios, as long as they’re not too uneven.

     

    #168771
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Hmmm
    I can see the pack of cards idea being interesting. But I’d go for just one pack, perhaps with each suit having a different effect.

    Hearts  are terrain

    Diamonds supplies

    Clubs weather

    Spades the troops.

     

    All these will interact on each other. So you play a good supply card which will boost your troops combat abilities. So I drop a terrain card (dirt roads) and a club (pouring rain) onto you and all of a sudden supplies and all movement are slowed drastically. But not just your movement, mine as well, so I better be really happy with my position before playing that combination 🙂

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #168777
    Mike Headden
    Participant

    I rather like the rules for pre-battle shenanigans on the Sumer to Sargon site (https://sumer2sargon.wordpress.com/category/rules/). The Bloody Barons Sumerian Wars is based on Peter Pig’s Bloody Barons rules but includes a Sumerian themed pre-battle sequence.

    “The Palace Treasury
    Instead of purses in Bloody Barons, the Patesi (ruler) of a city spends silver rings on securing pre battle advantage in a similar manner. Each army has 70 rings to spend on the following areas.

    Total number of rings (dice) must equal 70.

    Event Title                                                     Number of rings (dice) allotted to the event

    1. The Attacker                                              10-25 (with normal –1 for higher bidder)
    2. Men of Tongues: spies                              1-9
    3. Bazahatum: provosts and police             1-9
    4. The Temple                                                  1-9
    5. Scouting                                                        1-9
    6. The Palace                                                    1-9
    7. Loyalty                                                          1-9
    8. Weather                                                        1-9
    9. Route of March                                            1-9
    10. Strong Leadership                                     1-9
    11. Quest for the Nam.Lu.Gal                        1-9

    Total Number of rings (dice) must equal 70

    Roll for each ring spent on an Event. Every 5-6 on a D6 is a success. Check the net number of success on the table below.”

    There are 100 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who can work from incomplete data

    #168781
    Tony S
    Participant

    Field of Battle 3 has an appendix called Season of Battle, which is a campaign system.  Although not terribly surprisingly it is designed for FoB, the designer feels it’s generic enough that you could adapt it for other tabletop rules, and originally it was intended as a separate booklet, but the author decided to include it with the FoB rules.

    It has an area movement map, minimal paperwork and uses cards to generate the battles.  The cards are Battle (as in force a tabletop battle), Move, Operational Initative (gain battlefield advantage), Plan & Prepare (Organize & Refit), Supply and Weather.   There are various modifiers and opposed die rolling.

    I’ll add the caveat that I’ve never played it, but just have read through it a few times.  It seems rather intriguing.

    One interesting point is that armies will be of similar size (although some units might not be immediately deployed but will randomly arrive later as reinforcements) but rather there might be a disparity in army morale points, which would make one army more brittle than the other.  During playtesting it seems the designer noted that smaller armies had more limited tactical options, and led to one sided scenarios, which isn’t too fun.  And I would add that you then get to use all of your carefully painted toys, which is always nice!

    https://www.piquetwargames.com/product-page/field-of-battle-3rd-edition-1

     

     

     

    #168792
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    You might want to take a look at my card-driven narrative wargame experiments: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/2022/01/card-driven-narrative-wargaming-2.html

    It’s not exactly what you are aiming at, but I was inspired very much by games such as The Quiet Year. Players don’t play a specific army, but all players together have very specific missions (for both sides). A deck of cards runs the scenario, and dialogue between the players define the course of the battle.

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/

    #168809
    Tony S
    Participant

    Just having players cooperatively name terrain features is rather clever Phil.  We used to sometimes play ACW using Black Powder, and I would print out a variety of labels to name ridges, and villages and suchlike, so that players could order “the 7th Texas to advance boldly past Straw Wood and step smartly into line along the McTavish Pike”.

    But by making players all participate in the scenario building, you create a great immersive social experience.   It’s such a simple approach, but so easy to implement.   I’ve got a WW1 battle scheduled next week; I think I’m going to suggest that to my opponent.  Thanks Phil!

    I did remember something similar from Nordic Weasel.  It’s Warstory, a set of procedural tables that generate a battle.  Can’t offer an opinion on it, as I don’t own it, but maybe I’ll pick it up.

    https://www.wargamevault.com/m/product/167937

    #168813
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    If you want I can send you the latest version of the cards I used. They have been updated and balanced a bit since my last playtest.

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/

    #168815
    Tony S
    Participant

    That’s a very kind offer that I wouldn’t mind taking you up on.

    My email is tonystapells19.  And it’s on the gmail.com platform.

    Thanks!  Far easier than me enlarging the photos and re-creating them.

    #168826
    Andrew Beasley
    Participant

    Just seen the FoB cards https://www.piquetwargames.com/product-page/season-of-battle-campaign-card-deck and they look very nice but complex if you are limited in terrain.

    The Joy of Wargaming used a simple set of cards for the terrain (starting here) based on The Solo Wargaming Guide (Amazon Smile none affiliate link) that worked well for the actual table layout.

    #168840
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    Just having players cooperatively name terrain features is rather clever Phil. We used to sometimes play ACW using Black Powder, and I would print out a variety of labels to name ridges, and villages and suchlike, so that players could order “the 7th Texas to advance boldly past Straw Wood and step smartly into line along the McTavish Pike”. But by making players all participate in the scenario building, you create a great immersive social experience. It’s such a simple approach, but so easy to implement. I’ve got a WW1 battle scheduled next week; I think I’m going to suggest that to my opponent. Thanks Phil! I did remember something similar from Nordic Weasel. It’s Warstory, a set of procedural tables that generate a battle. Can’t offer an opinion on it, as I don’t own it, but maybe I’ll pick it up. https://www.wargamevault.com/m/product/167937

    Yes, my game was inspired by discussion-like game (either using matrix-arguments, or free kriegsspiel, …), but try to streamline them a bit more into an actual game, with missions for each player etc.

    I’m very much interested in any wargame designs that take the player away from the classic position identification of “I command my army and you command your army and the battle is the competition.” Rather, I see the battle as the backdrop against which players try to achieve objectives, from either side. A player is not a CinC, but takes the role of an individual unit commander, a war photographer, a cartographer, etc…

     

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/

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