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Old 10-10-2018, 10:05 AM   #1
bluekitsune13
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Default What would be the best way to stage a mass battle?

I've been attracted to the Fantasy Trip system for years. I've just now gotten back into it after hearing about the Kickstarter. I really want to use the system with my old Warhammer miniatures. I don't find the cardboard counters appealing. While I know you can have some really in depth small skirmishes, I was thinking about how you could really dial it up. I like the look of mass battle games like Warhammer, but I don't often like the rules. I'm kind of looking for something halfway between TFT and Warhammer.

If you were to create profiles for all the fighters in a game, upwards of 50 or so, then that would be a lot of record keeping. So it got me thinking... how can you keep TFT mechanics, but also have dozens more fighters in the game?

One thing I thought of was to include extra fighters as their own entity, separate from normal TFT fighters. They activate at the end of the round after all normal fighters, and don't follow normal rules for attacking and being attacked. To simplify things, perhaps they only have one wound each, so they are easy to kill.

Has anyone tried doing something like this before?
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:57 AM   #2
platimus
 
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Default Re: What would be the best way to stage a mass battle?

Interesting puzzle. I've never played Warhammer. I'm also not sure what you are proposing to handle the situation. I have thought about a similar situation in a game I was trying to create once upon a time though. Here's an idea...(you may have ruled this out already but throwing it out here in case you haven't)...

In terms of the battlemap and figures placed on the battlemap, everything is the same as normal TFT. In fact, the mechanics of attack, movement, etc. are the same as well...

Each Hero or Wizard on the map represents a squad of figures. You decide for yourself how many figures that actually is. The Hero is the leader of that squad. They do what he does. They all have the same basic characteristics as the Hero in terms of weapons/shields they are wielding and the skills for those weapons. You only need to create one profile (for the Hero) if using the Simple Version below. If you use the More Complex Version below, you'll need to create two profiles. One for the Hero and one to be shared by all figures under his command (same as Hero's stats but 1 or 2 points lower for each stat).

Simple Version
Each "Hero Squad" (HS) will have "Hit Points" (HP) equal to the Hero's ST times the number of figures under his command. When a HS attacks another HS, use the Hero's stats, etc. Each HS gets two attacks. One for the Hero and one for his squad. The damage inflicted by the Hero is doubled. The damage inflicted by the squad is normal. Deduct damage from the HS HP.

(More Complex Version coming in another post...)

Last edited by platimus; 10-10-2018 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:02 AM   #3
platimus
 
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Default Re: What would be the best way to stage a mass battle?

More Complex Version
Keep track of damage separately for each figure in the HS. Roll the Hero's attacks/damage separately. Roll each of the other figure's attacks/damage separately if you wish. If you don't want to do all of that rolling, roll one attack for all of the "underlings" and multiply the rolled damage by the number of "underlings" still alive. ***EDIT TO ADD*** Deduct Hero damage from Heroes first. Deduct "underling" damage from "underlings" first.

If the Hero dies, promote one of the squad members to "Hero Status" but he keeps his "underling" stats for the rest of the battle. If he survives, you can "upgrade" his stats/skills with the XP earned from the battle. Note that upgrading a Hero automatically upgrades his "underlings" as well. they will have the same skills as the Hero but their stats will always be 1 or 2 points lower.

Last edited by platimus; 10-10-2018 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:17 AM   #4
RVA_Grandpa
 
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Default Re: What would be the best way to stage a mass battle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by platimus View Post
Simple Version
Each "Hero Squad" (HS) will have "Hit Points" (HP) equal to the Hero's ST times the number of figures under his command. When a HS attacks another HS, use the Hero's stats, etc. Each HS gets two attacks. One for the Hero and one for his squad. The damage inflicted by the Hero is doubled. The damage inflicted by the squad is normal. Deduct damage from the HS HP.
I've never tried a mass battle, but I like this option.

It reminds me of days gone by when my friends and I played RISK and had "generals" for our armies as we attempted world conquest. Glorious!
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:39 AM   #5
platimus
 
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Default Re: What would be the best way to stage a mass battle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RVA_Grandpa View Post
I've never tried a mass battle, but I like this option.

It reminds me of days gone by when my friends and I played RISK and had "generals" for our armies as we attempted world conquest. Glorious!
Thanks! Myself? I'm more partial to the simplified version of the "More Complex Version" LOL I hope that made sense!

I played Risk but it was long ago. I don't remember having "generals". If ever play again, I'll think about adding it!

Last edited by platimus; 10-10-2018 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:59 AM   #6
platimus
 
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Default Re: What would be the best way to stage a mass battle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by platimus View Post
More Complex Version
Keep track of damage separately for each figure in the HS. Roll the Hero's attacks/damage separately. Roll each of the other figure's attacks/damage separately if you wish. If you don't want to do all of that rolling, roll one attack for all of the "underlings" and multiply the rolled damage by the number of "underlings" still alive. ***EDIT TO ADD*** Deduct Hero damage from Heroes first. Deduct "underling" damage from "underlings" first.

If the Hero dies, promote one of the squad members to "Hero Status" but he keeps his "underling" stats for the rest of the battle. If he survives, you can "upgrade" his stats/skills with the XP earned from the battle. Note that upgrading a Hero automatically upgrades his "underlings" as well. they will have the same skills as the Hero but their stats will always be 1 or 2 points lower.
I'm seeing lots of different ways to provide variation on this depending on how simple/complex one wants to make it and on how many figures will comprise a squad. I have no idea what number to pick for myself, so would love to hear what someone has in mind for the number of figures under a Hero's command...
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:02 PM   #7
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: What would be the best way to stage a mass battle?

The game needs a skirmish and/or mass combat system, analogous to the role Chainmail played for 1E AD+D. It could be done really well by approaching it as just another compatible table-top hex and chit board game, like Melee and Wizard (i.e., 20 small-format pages of rules). If I were doing it I would draw on the Panzer Grenadier series of games for ideas re. uniting, command and control, movement, actions, etc. It is a WW2 genre board game system that has nothing to do with TFT but has some core mechanics ideas that would work very well in a system designed to mesh with TFT.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:07 PM   #8
The Wyzard
 
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Default Re: What would be the best way to stage a mass battle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluekitsune13 View Post
To simplify things, perhaps they only have one wound each, so they are easy to kill.

Has anyone tried doing something like this before?
Tons of RPGs have stuff like this. Usually called "minions" or "mook rules" or the like.

What I might do is something like...
Mook figures have the same armor and weapon options as any other figure, have the same stats, and act on adjDX as normal.
They are removed from combat as though killed if they take even 1 point of damage that gets through their armor.
Any damage they deal to a non-mook figure is reduced to 1, if it is more than 1 after all other reductions (from armor, etc.) are made. This single point of damage can be doubled or tripled by critical hits.
Groups of up to six identical mooks can (and should) make a single attack if they are all within range of a single target, using the best adjDX of any of the mooks, with each additional mook granting +1 to the DX of the attacking figures.
(Example: If you have six mooks in leather armor with broadswords and they surround a PC, then the one in the PC's rear hex can make an attack with +5 to hit, in addition to the normal bonus for attacking from the rear. This is instead of rolling out six separate attacks.)

I'm not saying this is a *good idea.* It would make the game feel a lot different if the world is made up of scads of mooks who can be mowed down, and a relatively smaller number of serious "named" opponents who are much more dangerous and difficult to defeat. It also makes area-effect damage much more useful.
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:15 PM   #9
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: What would be the best way to stage a mass battle?

Personally, I think any skirmish or mass combat rules for TFT should maintain the game's overall power level, lethality and balance between PCs and other things. That is, I would never use a mass combat system that achieved rapid combat resolution by having NPCs or monsters be 'mooks', unless PC's with similar overall capabilities were also mooks.
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:26 PM   #10
Skarg
 
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Default Re: What would be the best way to stage a mass battle?

I've done giant battles in TFT & GURPS from time to time. I'm going to try to organize some ways I have done in in levels of simplification:


LEVEL ZERO - NO SIMPLIFICATION:
I have used the full TFT and GURPS rules, with individual details for every single person in the battle - all different stats, specific equipment and damage and so on. If you're new to the system, it would be overwhelming. For me, after years playing the games, I was able to keep track of it and enjoyed it, but it was still a lot to keep track of and it took a long time and players involved had a long time to wait before their PC had anything to do, though you can also let players choose what many/all of the NPCs on their own side do.

Tip: Organizing the troops into units that will likely stay together and/or have visual clues on their counter (e.g. their ID number is the same color) that they're in the same group and therefor all their stats are on the same condensed/organized sheet of paper makes looking up stats for someone easy.


LEVEL ONE - COOKIE CUTTER TROOPS:
If you decide that many of the troops can be handled as if they all had the same stats & equipment, that can cut out the part about needing to check the DX on spear orc #12, etc. That can speed things a lot but of course sacrifices having individuality.

If you care (like I tend to) about individuality, you can take the cookie cutter sheets as approximations, and if any clone troops become interesting or get attention during play by doing something or interacting with the PCs, then you can detail those troops as desired (i.e. I think it helps immersion and rationalization to have it that the clone sheets do not mean that the NPCs are really all identical - we're just agreeing to resolve the battle as if they were, especially when they are only fighting each other).


LEVEL TWO - FAST COMBAT AWAY FROM THE MAJOR CHARACTERS
I have devised various systems for resolving combat between troops that are being treated as fuzzy examples of a type.

A) One way I have had a lot of success with is to take the typical types and actually play out some fights between them, and record the results in terms of losses and how long it took. Then I put those in a table, with the result that I can roll one die on a table to get the result of action between those types of foes, in terms of who falls and how long that took. I sometimes pad the times a bit (especially in GURPS) to reflect that real fighters won't just attack non-stop, but will take time between clashes to look for an opening, etc.

B) Another way is to use a skirmish wargame/miniatures system for the low-detail figures fighting each other, but specify a cookie-cutter sheet for them for when they fight the more detailed characters, and play that out using TFT.

C) Another way is to use some wargame system or something like the GURPS Mass Combat rules and convert groups of the low-detail figures on the table to that system and use it to determine the results, and convert that back to TFT scale as a rate that casualties are occurring for those parts of the table.

For the PCs and notable/detailed characters and actions that are important/interesting, though, I use the full system, including any low-detail figures that fight detailed figures.


LEVEL THREE - GM ASSESSMENT AWAY FROM THE MAJOR CHARACTERS
Other TFT/GURPS GMs I have seen run large battles tend to do this, and I've done it though I prefer level 2. They play out the combat that involves PCs or interesting NPCs in detail using the full system, but the masses of other figures they just look at the map, think about how it is likely to unfold, roll some dice to see if anything exceptional seems to be happening, and move and fell a few NPCs here and there, without really looking much at stats or taking any notes about it.


MOOK METHOD:
As for "mook" rules where you give most people 1 hit point... I don't do that unless I want to make the detailed characters into superheroes, since that tends to have that sort of effect.

However I do roleplay NPC reactions to injury and danger, so I do have them often retreat, run away, and fall and not get up when wounded rather than fighting to the death.
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