Tuesday, December 13, 2011

WTNW Skirmisher Question

I was just talking with my friend about skirmish games and rank and file games. The WTNW Saving the World Just Before Tea is shaping up to be a game in which one can run units or simply play a few individuals on a table but it is kind of at a crossroad and to continue forth I need some input.

The Pulp Alley game I wrote with David Phipps back three + years ago was more of what people consider 'skirmish games' but what I am wanting to do with this is to write a game that uses 1:1 scale and is playable similarly to 40k or Warmachine. Right now there are three rolls. Roll to hit, roll to save, roll to wound and each step figures modifiers for different elements.

For instance, before rolling to wound a target with armor, an attacker calculates their adjusted weapon strength score based on its armor penetration value compared to the target's armor value and when rolling to save a unit calculates the effects of terrain. This can all become very cumbersome to calculate but each degree of realism adds an extra element to the game.

What are your thoughts on skirmish gaming? What would you like to see in a WTNW skirmisher game? Do you want 1:1 with only a handful of guys forming a league or troop or would you rather have a game that uses 10-12 man units? Your suggestions are welcome and are appreciated.

6 comments:

  1. I'd say try to keep it at that crossroads as far as possible. Maybe the game could be presented as two tiers, each adding extra mechanics or modifying the existing. The basic tier of rules could be used for units, the next tier up with a handful of individuals having a wider range of possible actions. If you wanted to fold RPG rules into this ruleset too, even a light version of the RPG, a third tier could add in a GM and more options.

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  2. @Porky - Doing that right would ensure that production costs would be higher than the other books so far. A book that large could run as much as $40-$50 US but the pdf would be substantially cheaper. It is a very interesting idea. I would also add the Quick Play rules for the rank and file to the book maybe make it a compendium of sorts with the options you discussed above being foremost - Unit Tactics, Skirmish, Mano a Mano, Large Battles - what do you think?

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  3. That's a good point about print cost - I was thinking pdf only. It would depend on what you think the market will take where the current book sales are coming from. Putting the Quick Play in would be a brilliant idea, and even better if there was a natural progression from that through towards the RPG end. It would open every door to the reader, whatever their gaming background, and could lead to movement into the rank and file system, and of course encourage sales of the sourcebooks, especially Airships for the air combat rules.

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  4. @Porky - Earlier today I was speaking with my artist and we went over some ideas. I have this idea to include the rich history from WTNW in the skirmish variant of the game but I also want to make it more personal. I was thinking that a really neat idea might be to have the history like it is in the main book but to follow it up with "letters from the front" from soldiers and generals in the battles. I think then too I would include some personal accounts of exploration for the "league" based mano a mano game to give it that personal feeling. Whacha think?

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  5. I think it's an excellent idea. It could even be just snippets, postcards, burnt or torn fragments, scribbled messages from the general lost by couriers etc. That would maximise the number you could get in and the variety of voices.

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  6. @Porky- Thanks. I might have a few fans write some letters to put in there VSF style. I have a few in mind myself from General Dexter Von Todd and other iconic characters in the book.

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