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Old 06-29-2012, 06:58 AM   #1
shawnhcorey
 
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Default Zone Combat

Zone combat is a simplification of combat. Combatants are placed in a zone. All those in the same zone can engage in melee. Ranged weapons and spells can fire into adjacent zones. For example, a crossbow can shoot into 1 adjacent zones, a pistol into up to 2. The designation of zones is flexible, depending on the circumstances.

I'm thinking of trying zone combat for PbP, to speed things up. Has anyone tried this with GURPS? If so, could you relate your experiences?
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: Zone Combat

Simply say the range, it simplifies the things, if the warriors are fighting somewhere and the archer is 30y away, say 30y away, otherwise, everyone will think something different, someone will think 20y, someone 50y, someone 5y.
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: Zone Combat

I've never tried it with GURPS, but I came up with something similar for a system I made a while ago, and it worked out pretty well (other parts of the system didn't as much, but that piece was good).

The way I handled it was non-concrete zones. So for instance a zone could be "on the left side of the courtyard" or "behind the truck", and could change as things progressed. That way there's no "border" to a zone, and you don't need to set up zones beforehand. It's just a description of a general area that contains combatants.
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: Zone Combat

I tried playing with abstract ranges as well. but in the end it broke down because GURPS has such short and specific turns. In some game systems where a turn is 6-10 seconds and you can both move and do other things, then it's perfectly fine. But I feel that in GURPS it doesn't work very well due to how turns work and especially how ranged combat work.

I'm not saying you can't make it work, just that in my experience GURPS doesn't lend itself easily to anything where stuff (such as range) is subjective and abstract.
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: Zone Combat

GURPS Action 2: Exploits has a system of simplified range you could check out.
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:43 AM   #6
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Default Re: Zone Combat

Sorry but I luv my battlemap...

In low fantasy a lot of what I might be working at any particular time will be based on "I have a 2-hex step so I can do x,y, and z and still do a normal attack" or "If I move there then bad guy 1 and 2 can only attack me if they do a half move and all out" or "I am a light armored fencer move 8...that guy in plate would be a very tough prospect...but since he is move 4..."

With Guns a little less so...but then I want a battlemap to know where my cover is...and who is in line of sight and needed to be serviced right now...before he shoots me.

Sounds interesting tho...let us know how it goes.
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:54 AM   #7
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Default Re: Zone Combat

I don't really see the point: you still need to track range to handle moving between zones and shooting between them. What I usually do is use a mental sketch map, and track the different distances between groups on paper. Usually there is one group which I can treat as fixed while the one or two others move closer to or further from it.

Battle maps have their uses, but they take time to plan, give an unrealistic field of view, and are poorly adapted to large or complex environments. So I use them mostly for fights in a small, simple environment like a building.
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: Zone Combat

Sounds like the "bands" system from the original (1977) Traveller.

Works okay if: all combat is ranged, terrain is effectively non-existant, turns are reasonably long. All things that are likey to be false in any combat that is worth rolling out.

If you are trying to speed things up, what I would do for a PBP game is have the players write up "how I fight". Then get a statement of a general approach to a combat, and only give a report on what happened.
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: Zone Combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Haze View Post
If you are trying to speed things up, what I would do for a PBP game is have the players write up "how I fight". Then get a statement of a general approach to a combat, and only give a report on what happened.
This sounds interesting. Do you know anything on the web or any game that might be an example?
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:28 PM   #10
Dorin Thorha
 
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Default Re: Zone Combat

Purple Haze's suggestions can work well, but I think your idea has merit as well. I wouldn't break it down by physical zones, but by groupings of combatants. That is, don't worry about the details of where everyone is placed, just say "Orc #1, Orc #2, Bash McFighter, and Stabby McThief are all engaged in melee in front of the door. Wizzy Wizard and Hawkeye the Scout are together 12 yards behind the melee."

Then just let anyone in the melee hit anyone else, use the 12-yard figure as the range for all bowshots and spells, and if anyone wants to move from one group to another you say it takes 2 turns for the Move 6 Orcs, 3 turns for the Move 5 Wizard, and 4 turns for the heavily armored Move 3 Fighter.
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