Newbish n00b questions, MkII

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Re: Newbish n00b questions, MkII

Postby Voin » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:15 pm

stubby wrote:Like I said, pretty esoteric. These aren't aren't actual tactical effects that you're using a game mechanic to simulate. You started with the game mechanic, and these are vague rationalizations that you "could see" justifying it.

So again: what are the specific real-world effects that a command vehicle has, that you want to simulate with a game mechanic?


So between the SuperNatural Dice, the guns that don't need reloading (except a few that do), the magic fuel-less vehicles, the ludicrous amount of carnage that minifigs go through (and sometimes even survive), and stuff like energy shields, space marines, and triceratops with cannons on their backs, how much of BrikWars is grounded in "reality" exactly?

But I digress. I brought up command vehicles since they (or something similar, like flagships) are found in many overlapping nerd-doms (sci-fi, RTS games, etc). Then I recalled a fairly common effect from video games ( "People's Republic" of China Dirty Commies' Nationalism bonus in Command and Conquer [Except Not Really]: Generals", Rally bonus of Clone Officer in SWBF2, etc), and figured the two might be a reasonable fit.
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Re: Newbish n00b questions, MkII

Postby stubby » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:01 pm

Voin wrote:So between the SuperNatural Dice, the guns that don't need reloading (except a few that do), the magic fuel-less vehicles, the ludicrous amount of carnage that minifigs go through (and sometimes even survive), and stuff like energy shields, space marines, and triceratops with cannons on their backs, how much of BrikWars is grounded in "reality" exactly?

Hey, action movies are part of the real world too! But these are all good examples. Let's break them down.

SuperNatural Dice are a means of reaching an effect that you want to achieve. They're not there for inventing effects to match the SN dice.

Guns that don't need reloading and vehicles that don't need fuel aren't examples of adding game mechanics to simulate effects that aren't realistic. They're examples of NOT adding game mechanics. Running out of fuel and bullets may be realistic but it's not fun enough to justify adding mechanics.

Ludicrous carnage is the one realistic thing in the game, I don't think I need to explain how human history works but it's basically ludicrous carnage from one end to the other.

Voin wrote:But I digress. I brought up command vehicles since they (or something similar, like flagships) are found in many overlapping nerd-doms (sci-fi, RTS games, etc). Then I recalled a fairly common effect from video games ( "People's Republic" of China Dirty Commies' Nationalism bonus in Command and Conquer [Except Not Really]: Generals", Rally bonus of Clone Officer in SWBF2, etc), and figured the two might be a reasonable fit.

Right. So, a completely arbitrary and esoteric effect even in the games they're originally from.

Now when I say "real effect," what I mean is: What is happening within the world of the minifigs, that we're simulating through the use of dice and numbers?

It kills the fun super fast if you're just imposing numbers from overhead without any connection to what it actually means within the reality of the minifigures. I'm not saying that a command vehicle shouldn't have tactical benefits, otherwise we wouldn't have command vehicles in the real world. But we need to lay out what those benefits are before we start dropping down dice and numbers to give mechanical substance to the function of a command vehicle in-game.
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Re: Newbish n00b questions, MkII

Postby stubby » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:13 pm

Voin wrote:Besides, in BrikWars stats, there's no appreciable difference between a crossbow, a revolver, and a blaster-pistol. Though I suppose the difference could be made relevant with different types of energy shields that block matter or energy blasts, or the players could settle on a specific tek for setting flavor.

Stat-wise, there is no difference between blasters and revolvers.

While that's completely true, if someone at your table pretends they can't tell which is a blaster and which is a revolver, a sharp and decisive strike of your elbow to their nose will convince them to stop pretending they want to play BrikWars, and then they can go back to 40k where they belong. Hitting them across the face with a chair or table would be an acceptable follow-up in order to emphasize your opinion.
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Re: Newbish n00b questions, MkII

Postby Battlegrinder » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:51 pm

stubby wrote:Like I said, pretty esoteric. These aren't aren't actual tactical effects that you're using a game mechanic to simulate. You started with the game mechanic, and these are vague rationalizations that you "could see" justifying it.

So again: what are the specific real-world effects that a command vehicle has, that you want to simulate with a game mechanic?


One thing I've been toying with is a some kind of target painter or landing beacon to let me guide drop pods in and reduce the scatter or MissedBy roll they come in with. I haven't done much testing with it yet (mostly since both it and the pods are still under construction), but I have high hopes for it.

I've also considered having stuff like searchlights and radar units, to counter enemy stealth units, or something to negate the "firing out of range" penalty for nearby squads, but all of those ideas proved to be over-specialized or unbalanced (and its a bad idea to create OP stuff in a game where beating the tar out of your opponent is encouraged by the rules). The anti-stealth units where pretty balancedand have come in handy a few times, but stealth rules are so rarely used that I don't even bother bringing them along these days.
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Re: Newbish n00b questions, MkII

Postby stubby » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:06 pm

Battlegrinder wrote:
stubby wrote:what are the specific real-world effects that a command vehicle has, that you want to simulate with a game mechanic?

One thing I've been toying with is a some kind of target painter or landing beacon to let me guide drop pods in and reduce the scatter or MissedBy roll they come in with. I haven't done much testing with it yet (mostly since both it and the pods are still under construction), but I have high hopes for it.

I've also considered having stuff like searchlights and radar units, to counter enemy stealth units, or something to negate the "firing out of range" penalty for nearby squads, but all of those ideas proved to be over-specialized or unbalanced (and its a bad idea to create OP stuff in a game where beating the tar out of your opponent is encouraged by the rules). The anti-stealth units where pretty balancedand have come in handy a few times, but stealth rules are so rarely used that I don't even bother bringing them along these days.

These are already in the game as the Scout's Tracking ability. One of the ideas I've considered for command vehicles is just to let them use Tracking on any enemy unit in the field, once per turn, with no range limitation. Not sure if it feels right yet.
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Re: Newbish n00b questions, MkII

Postby stubby » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:31 pm

I have also in the past considered objects to give area Bless bonuses more directly: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=10665#p244506

But in this case it's specifically by making them inspirational objects, so that an inspirational bonus makes sense. I'm not convinced that a command vehicle actually inspires anybody.
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Re: Newbish n00b questions, MkII

Postby Battlegrinder » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:56 am

stubby wrote:
Battlegrinder wrote:
stubby wrote:what are the specific real-world effects that a command vehicle has, that you want to simulate with a game mechanic?

One thing I've been toying with is a some kind of target painter or landing beacon to let me guide drop pods in and reduce the scatter or MissedBy roll they come in with. I haven't done much testing with it yet (mostly since both it and the pods are still under construction), but I have high hopes for it.

I've also considered having stuff like searchlights and radar units, to counter enemy stealth units, or something to negate the "firing out of range" penalty for nearby squads, but all of those ideas proved to be over-specialized or unbalanced (and its a bad idea to create OP stuff in a game where beating the tar out of your opponent is encouraged by the rules). The anti-stealth units where pretty balancedand have come in handy a few times, but stealth rules are so rarely used that I don't even bother bringing them along these days.

These are already in the game as the Scout's Tracking ability. One of the ideas I've considered for command vehicles is just to let them use Tracking on any enemy unit in the field, once per turn, with no range limitation. Not sure if it feels right yet.



I was usually working on doing something either a little stronger or a little more specialized than what the scout could do (since otherwise, I could just use a scout). So far, I haven't been able to come up with anything better than whats already in the game, but I'm hoping my drop pod project will work out better. I'm shooting for something that will let a pod land on or near it's target 60 or 70 percent of the time, since any more proved to be a little OP and anything less wasn't worth the points.
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Re: Newbish n00b questions, MkII

Postby IVhorseman » Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:51 am

MOAR scouts. Tracking stacks!
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Re: Newbish n00b questions, MkII

Postby Voin » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:15 pm

stubby wrote:Hey, action movies are part of the real world too! But these are all good examples. Let's break them down.

SuperNatural Dice are a means of reaching an effect that you want to achieve. They're not there for inventing effects to match the SN dice.


So if the effect I want to achieve is an aura of inspirational awesomeness around a central "leader" unit, then sticking a radius on a bless seems to me like a simple way to emulate that. And if everyone around the table is fine with that (even putting it on their units), then what's the problem?

stubby wrote:Guns that don't need reloading and vehicles that don't need fuel aren't examples of adding game mechanics to simulate effects that aren't realistic. They're examples of NOT adding game mechanics. Running out of fuel and bullets may be realistic but it's not fun enough to justify adding mechanics.


Good point, no argument there.


stubby wrote:Ludicrous carnage is the one realistic thing in the game, I don't think I need to explain how human history works but it's basically ludicrous carnage from one end to the other.


Yes, yes it is (I'm a history buff myself), but naturally, BrikWars tends to accentuate this aspect into the gleefully overblown extremes - I do believe that is the spirit of the game, correct?

These are all very good points, btw. What I was getting at, however, was that it seems to me that part of the core concepts that BrikWars is based on was Acceptable Breaks From Reality, and a lot of Hand Waving to not get bogged down in unnecessary details on your way to awesomeness.

stubby wrote:Now when I say "real effect," what I mean is: What is happening within the world of the minifigs, that we're simulating through the use of dice and numbers?

It kills the fun super fast if you're just imposing numbers from overhead without any connection to what it actually means within the reality of the minifigures. I'm not saying that a command vehicle shouldn't have tactical benefits, otherwise we wouldn't have command vehicles in the real world. But we need to lay out what those benefits are before we start dropping down dice and numbers to give mechanical substance to the function of a command vehicle in-game.


Well, borrowing from your post you linked to...

stubby wrote:Rather than clog up Zahru's forum battle threads any more, here's a new brainstorming thread for "Leader" units.

The problem: everybody keeps using their Heroes to give speeches to give "inspiration" to other troops so that the troops can do all the combat while the Hero sits around doing nothing. This is super un-Heroic. But leadership and inspiration feats are something cool that I want to preserve elsewhere, probably in one or more units who are more suited for it. There are three things I want to look into for chapter 11:

    6. An Officer unit. This guy will be pretty common, not limited by Ego the way Heroes are; his job is to hand out those kinds of inspiration bonuses automatically. The current plan is that any Squad with at least one Officer will get a +1 die size Skill boost to everyone in the Squad automatically, up to 1d8. But this could be more varied - maybe they can choose between a +1 Skill size, a +2" Move, a +1 Momentum, etc. Maybe any Squad with an Officer gets an Instant Benny every turn, although those are better suited for individuals than for squads.

    7. A Leader unit. As opposed to Officers, this role will be exclusive - only one guy can be Leader at any time, although maybe there would be ways to pass on the role if a Leader is killed. His job would be to hand out the kinds of general inspiration bonuses that we're currently getting from Heroic Feats, available to anyone, not just his own squad. He would be able to grant inspiration to one action per turn, but there's no limit to how many units might participate in that one action; this makes a Leader's bonus most effective when applied to a bunch of people working together rather than an individual action. (Examples: Everybody fire on that entry hatch, everyone brace for impact, everyone double-time it to the latrines, etc.) I don't like idea of making a new class of Leadership Feats - it just sits wrong with me for some reason - but that might be an option; I would also look at granting Blessing-style rerolls.

    8. A Banner equipment item that serves to inspire nearby units, either within a certain range or within the squad that posesses it. Any inspiring symbol will do; holy relics, artifakt weapons, giant drums, whatever. These would be much more likely tied to specific bonuses - a trumpet of +1d6 attack damage, an icon of +1d6 Armor, a Leonidas's Mom of +1 Skill, etc. The bonuses are handy but, because it's an equipment item, it can be stolen and then you get the equivalent penalty when your enemies parade it around all desecrated or whatever.

So those are the very rough ideas I have on the table, but I'm looking for any thoughts anyone has for making these units feel unique and specialized for their roles, and not just like Heroes with a different paint job.


stubby wrote:I have also in the past considered objects to give area Bless bonuses more directly: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=10665#p244506

But in this case it's specifically by making them inspirational objects, so that an inspirational bonus makes sense. I'm not convinced that a command vehicle actually inspires anybody.


My thought was that in a similar way that an ancient civilization minifig might find the chariot that carries his peoples' sacred artifact inspiring (and fights harder around it), a more modern/sci-fi minifig may find the Mobile HQ with his faction's banner flying from it to be a motivating symbol of his people's dominance across BrikSpace.

I mean, the Brikiverse is basically kinda Valhalla-esque eternal battlefield in regard to anachronistic Tek levels, right? BrikWarriors just go at it regardless if one has a crossbow and the other has a blaster. Does not the Deadly Spaceman carry an old-timey sword because swords never go out of style for the liberating of thine enemies' insides through the fine art of sudden evisceration?

stubby wrote:Stat-wise, there is no difference between blasters and revolvers.

While that's completely true, if someone at your table pretends they can't tell which is a blaster and which is a revolver, a sharp and decisive strike of your elbow to their nose will convince them to stop pretending they want to play BrikWars, and then they can go back to 40k where they belong. Hitting them across the face with a chair or table would be an acceptable follow-up in order to emphasize your opinion.


If it pleases the court, may I present exhibit A:

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Spacemen with swords, Romans with motorbikes, tribals with rocket-launchers - looks pretty mixed in regards to Teknology to me.

stubby wrote:These are already in the game as the Scout's Tracking ability. One of the ideas I've considered for command vehicles is just to let them use Tracking on any enemy unit in the field, once per turn, with no range limitation. Not sure if it feels right yet.


IMHO, it sounds like a better function for recon or surveillance vehicles - radar vans, AWACS planes, battlemage wagons with crystal balls, spy satellites, surveillance drones, etc.
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Re: Newbish n00b questions, MkII

Postby Voin » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:29 pm

Battlegrinder wrote:One thing I've been toying with is a some kind of target painter or landing beacon to let me guide drop pods in and reduce the scatter or MissedBy roll they come in with. I haven't done much testing with it yet (mostly since both it and the pods are still under construction), but I have high hopes for it.

I've also considered having stuff like searchlights and radar units, to counter enemy stealth units, or something to negate the "firing out of range" penalty for nearby squads, but all of those ideas proved to be over-specialized or unbalanced (and its a bad idea to create OP stuff in a game where beating the tar out of your opponent is encouraged by the rules). The anti-stealth units where pretty balancedand have come in handy a few times, but stealth rules are so rarely used that I don't even bother bringing them along these days.


I actually came up with something not too long ago that seems to fit the bill of what you're looking for:

Targeting Beakon
Cost: Beakon Size (BS) CP; Bonus: BS to targeting.

Beakons may be artillery flares, magic dowsing crystals, infra-red flashers, sub-space quantum-pulse emitters, radios, or anything else that can send a signal to your forces across the battlefield. Drop these off from other units (from bombers or sneak them in via Scouts), fire them as projectiles, give them to your enemies as heartwarming "presents" during the X- mas/Hanukkah/Yule/Kwanzaa/Life Day cease-fire, etc. A deployed beakon lasts BSd4 rounds before burning out.

Similar to Explosive Size (XS), Beakon Size (BS) is measured by amount of briks in the beakon, not the size in inches.


Note: my beakons have not yet been extensively tested, so I'd be happy to hear how they work out (or not) for anyone that wishes to implement them.
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Re: Newbish n00b questions, MkII

Postby stubby » Sun Nov 24, 2013 1:31 am

Voin wrote:If it pleases the court, may I present exhibit A:

All right, I'm looking at the picture. Point to the weapon for which you can't tell if it fires bolts or bullets.
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Re: Newbish n00b questions, MkII

Postby stubby » Sun Nov 24, 2013 1:45 am

Voin wrote:My thought was that in a similar way that an ancient civilization minifig might find the chariot that carries his peoples' sacred artifact inspiring (and fights harder around it), a more modern/sci-fi minifig may find the Mobile HQ with his faction's banner flying from it to be a motivating symbol of his people's dominance across BrikSpace.

These are two examples where it's not the vehicle that's inspiring people, it's the artifact or the banner. And those I think are perfect for wargaming purposes, because they feed into all kinds of capture-the-flag shenanigans that offer way more interesting gameplay than commandeer-the-vehicle shenanigans. Especially if I make the rule that they're only inspiring to units with line-of-sight, so they have to be exposed and even more stealable.

The role of leaders in brikwars is still the subject of a lot of debate.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=5452&start=900#p262921

One thing I can say for sure is that I'm ruling out passive inspiration bonuses for any active unit, leader or hero, because leaders don't inspire by just standing around looking pretty. Inanimate (and stealable!) objects, sure. But if units are going to inspire then they have to inspire by actually doing something.

Voin wrote:What I was getting at, however, was that it seems to me that part of the core concepts that BrikWars is based on was Acceptable Breaks From Reality, and a lot of Hand Waving to not get bogged down in unnecessary details on your way to awesomeness.

That's right. I see it as an exchange rate: X amount of unique awesomeness justifies Y amount of unique detail. Something that's super awesome and different than anything already available earns the right to a lot more player attention than something that's only semi-awesome or similar to something available in a different unit. And something that doesn't add awesomeness to the game, or detracts from awesomeness, gets the hand-wave.

Which is why I'm trying to drill down and find what it is about a command vehicle that's unique exactly. If I didn't think there was potential, this would have been a much shorter conversation: "lol command vehicles are stupid, next question." I feel like a command vehicle has the potential to add something interesting and unique to the game, but I haven't heard or thought of anything that catches my attention yet.
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Re: Newbish n00b questions, MkII

Postby Voin » Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:56 am

stubby wrote:
Voin wrote:If it pleases the court, may I present exhibit A:

All right, I'm looking at the picture. Point to the weapon for which you can't tell if it fires bolts or bullets.


I wasn't saying there was no difference (and we're getting off topic). I was saying that there is a great amount of mixed tek. Why fire easily deflatable lasers at beamsword users when you could just as easily grab a crossbow or pistol? Unless of course the scenario calls for it and it's what the players decided ahead of time.
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Re: Newbish n00b questions, MkII

Postby Voin » Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:37 am

Well, different things work for different groups. No one's forcing you personally to play with command vehicles. Not every house rule is for everyone.

And it's not like I'm trying the get the concept canonized into the official rules.
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Re: Newbish n00b questions, MkII

Postby stubby » Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:47 am

Voin wrote:118. Why fire easily deflectable lasers at beamsword users when you could just as easily grab a crossbow or pistol? Unless of course the scenario calls for it and it's what the players decided ahead of time.

118. If you've built an army that uses lasers, then you'll fire lasers. If you've built an army that uses crossbows, then you'll fire crossbows. If you took a look at your opponent's army, see that he's using beamsabers, and swap in crossbows just to thwart his deflections... well that's kind of weird, but I guess there are players who'd do something like that.

I'm not super bothered by the possibility. Most people who are into bricks enough to wargame with them put a pretty high priority on making their army thematic and cool, and the possibility that an enemy might deflect some of their shots is not game-changing enough to justify compromising the cool theme they put together. Taking away those deflections isn't game-changing enough that it'll make a big difference even if they do go for crossbows instead. I see this as a non-issue. It makes a little bit of a difference, but not enough to justify focusing any particular attention on it.

To put it a different way: if you play BrikWars in order to win battles above all else, then of course you will never use blasters. If you play BrikWars in order to see cool stuff happen above all else, then you will use blasters specifically to see your beamsaber opponents parry them. It's a matter of taste really; either is fine with me.
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