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Old 02-18-2019, 04:04 AM   #91
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Roleplaying experiences without a GM in Car Wars?

Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
an NPC vehicle is in position to shoot 3 vehicles from your convoy - the Tractor-trailer, the Security 7, or the Doublecharge.

"Will the biker shoot the Tractor-trailer rig?"
Flip a coin. Heads yes, tails no. Heads.
"Will the biker shoot at the tractor?" Heads.
"Will the biker pick a specific target?" Tails.

Ok, so he shoots the side armor of the tractor.

His buddy, with the same options:
"Same as his buddy?" tails.
"Rig?" Heads
"Tires?" Tails
"Hitch?" Heads.
Of course some of those questions might be more appropriately answered by a tactical analysis. For example if his chance to hit the side armour of the tractor is 9 then going for a specific target might be implausible. You might want to sway your random response accordingly.

You would probably be better assessing the tactical benefits using a effect tree.

Lets say we re talking about a bike with a 1d6 weapon as the attacker. A pretty common load-out (but not really ideal for truck hunting).

A 1d6 weapon to the side armour of a tractor is probably not even worth the ammunition expenditure (most tractor's will be able to take dozens of hits at that level before it even starts to worry them, it is isn't even likely to create a HS issue). If that is a bandits only credible target then he shouldn't even be attacking (but see below*). He should concentrate on improving his situation (which might mean firing to gain a sustained fire bonus - but I would assume he has been doing this from extreme range) or ducking out entirely.

An attack against a front tire from the side is probably going to be more effective. Now you need to assess the probability of that attack succeeding. Again if is implausible (to hit 9+ in my book) then he needs to concentrate on improving the situation or bailing out.

You can make simple morale checks based on any return fire he is receiving. Even a near miss might cause him to veer off (bikes are very vulnerable) and even a slight HS drop at highway speed can be terminal.

If the opponent is in a car he might be a more willing to take a few hits, he will also probably have better fire-power to bear.

Does this mean bikes will never attack a rig? No... but a straight stern chase probably isn't going to work very often (and thus isn't likely to become a standard tactic).

If they attack from the side, pouncing from an under or over pass for example, they could be at short range at the start of the encounter. Those tire shots then become credible. They might simply park up and lay down fire from a stationary gun platform. They can control the angles they get fired at far better this way and thus can improve their longevity to the point they may be able to nibble away enough to cause effective damage.

*Why are they attacking. If they are being paid to by a competitor as a form of economic warfare then exchanging $25 of MG ammo for $150 of armour repairs might be a good enough return that they can hit and run as nuisance attacks.

You need a random table of motivations more than a random table of tactical responses.
swordtart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2019, 08:28 AM   #92
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Chicagoland Area, Illinois
Default Re: Roleplaying experiences without a GM in Car Wars?

Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
You can make simple morale checks based on any return fire he is receiving.
And hope he's not a Russian and rolls snake-eyes and goes berserk!!!

[but that is a good idea to inclued morale]
kjamma4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 11:37 AM   #93
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Roleplaying experiences without a GM in Car Wars?

I generally played the solos (and therefore by definition GM-less) by "turning the board round" and looking at the tactical situation from the viewpoint of the "baddies".

Sometimes this is hampered by insufficient knowledge on what the attacker is trying to achieve (other than being a target for the players to knock down). Consider the following.

"As you drive past the on-ramp a stock Piranha swings out behind you at 11" range matching your speed. He begins firing immediately and will not engage in communication."

This is a common format for solo scenarios and it provides all the necessary tactical information to conduct the fight. What it doesn't provide is any indication of the WHY which would help you determine the non-player opponents actions in the ensuing fight.

If we had the additional information that (for example) "The Piranha driver has been paid $10,000 to stop at least one vehicle in the convoy (escort or cargo hauler)", we could more easily determine his actions in the fight.

For example his logical target will be the vehicle he thinks he can kill quickest (probably the tail-end Charlie). He will break off once he has mobility-killed one vehicle. We can probably assume that he was paid half in advance he will also probably break off once he has suffered $5,000 in damage. If he thinks he has a good chance of taking out his chosen target, he might hang in a little longer as he'd clearly rather make some profit by completing his objective, but he clearly won't want to make a loss. He also definitely won't fight to the death as even a full pay-off wouldn't cover cloning and vehicle replacement expenses.

In published solo's this very information is often available after the fact. Often the "you win the fight" paragraph will contain something like "You find photos of your vehicles on the drivers body and $5000 in cash. Clearly this was a mercenary hit."

This is probably an attempt to maintain suspense as to the attackers motives, but in reality it serves no useful purpose after the fact. Once the firing starts the fight is going to end one of two ways. Either the players win (in which case they get to read the paragraph) or the players lose and the game is over. Not knowing the motivation doesn't add any real suspense (as the players are responding to being fired at rather than the unknown motives of the opponent), the mystery is in who hired them and we still don't know that. Hiding the motive only makes interpreting the appropriate behavior of the opponent more difficult (or random).

I would suggest that when you set up your scenarios that you have a clear motivation established. Once that is in place, it is much easier to place yourself in the NPC position and take the most appropriate action to achieve their goal.
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