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Old 01-19-2019, 04:19 AM   #31
Chris Rice
 
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Default Re: Any kickstart on TFT horizon?

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Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
It all looks really great! I am so impressed by the follow-through on this emerging product line. Standing back and looking at it all, I feel like the biggest decision you've made is to double-down on the elements of TFT that make it a Game with a capital 'G'. 6 months ago I was pondering how the system would or should bridge the gap between the hex map on which tactical play is resolved and the depiction of dungeons or other spaces on more naturalistic maps. Your answer is emphatically to double down on the idea that the game is played in the very 'game-y' feeling hex map space. I really like this decision, as it means the materials of the game used at the table, the materials one prepares before play (dungeons) and the rules of play are all seamlessly integrated, and the physical components of the game are central to what you actually do at the table. Plus this choice makes TFT very distinctive, and provides a natural avenue for expanding the game (more 'stuff' to use at the table)
In the years I played TFT intensively I played with the system considerably more as "theatre of the mind" rather than with minis and maps. I found the simple 3d6 v attribute mechanic (modified by Talents) worked well for this style of play, as I didn't have to refer to the rules and could keep the game fast paced and immersive.

These days there are so many systems specifically designed for this style of play (Barbarains of Lemuria, Dungeon World etc) that I'd use one of those instead.

I agree with Lars that the focus on the "boardgame" side of TFT is a wise decision. These days, that is what makes TFT unique, not the fact that it is rules-lite. It can fill a gap between the many "Dungeon Crawl" games like Descent and the D&D Adventure games and RPGs, by providing a much fuller RPG experience than any of these games, but with all their tactical appeal.

Going further, as others have mentioned, if TFT could produce a clever system for random Dungeon generation with integrated monster/threat AI, we could be in for a huge success. Programmed adventures are fine, and fill the need for those who want to play solo, but they take time to produce and have limited replay value.

Get your thinking caps on guys!
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:38 AM   #32
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Any kickstart on TFT horizon?

I view TFT as bridging the gap between proper table top roleplaying games and skirmish miniatures war games. It works, completely as either/both. The only thing really missing is the ability to quickly and enjoyably resolve conflicts involving a dozen or more participants (i.e., a skirmish or coarser scale version of the rules for combat and other action). Metagaming tried to this with its Dragons of Underearth version of the game, but that is long dead (and wasn't that great to start with). I would love it if TFT eventually got its arms around this.
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:12 PM   #33
JLV
 
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Default Re: Any kickstart on TFT horizon?

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Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
I view TFT as bridging the gap between proper table top roleplaying games and skirmish miniatures war games. It works, completely as either/both. The only thing really missing is the ability to quickly and enjoyably resolve conflicts involving a dozen or more participants (i.e., a skirmish or coarser scale version of the rules for combat and other action). Metagaming tried to this with its Dragons of Underearth version of the game, but that is long dead (and wasn't that great to start with). I would love it if TFT eventually got its arms around this.
I totally agree! This has always been the one "weak point" of the system, and I sincerely hope that the crew at SJG will put their heads together and see what they can come up with -- preferably in the form of a new game with maps and counters! ;-)
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:00 PM   #34
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Any kickstart on TFT horizon?

This is a natural topic for a stand-alone but closely related game - sort of like the relationship between Ogre and Battlesuit (though I suppose working in reverse in this case). The trick with such projects is to make them actually work as an integrated whole, where a PC could be represented at either scale in some rational way. I would guess they are a year or two away from seriously considering anything like that, but it is interesting to speculate about!
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:44 PM   #35
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Default Re: Any kickstart on TFT horizon?

Wouldn't you need a system to consolidate all the fiddly combat bits from TFT into a firepower rating for use on a higher scale game?

Hint: If you're sending seven humans against a poisonous 7-headed hydra then you'd best ensure that they are serious combat wombats.
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Old 01-22-2019, 08:41 AM   #36
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Default Re: Any kickstart on TFT horizon?

There are a variety of ways this could be handled. I have a home-brew hex and chit combat system that is basically an adaptation of the Panzergrenadier system to the fantasy genre. The abstraction it requires is a translation of normal TFT abilities to scores for offense, defense and movement, and the introduction of a system of morale and chain of command (parts of which are ignored for PC's, who can decide for themselves whether or not they are scared)
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:43 AM   #37
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Default Re: Any kickstart on TFT horizon?

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Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
Wouldn't you need a system to consolidate all the fiddly combat bits from TFT into a firepower rating for use on a higher scale game?

Hint: If you're sending seven humans against a poisonous 7-headed hydra then you'd best ensure that they are serious combat wombats.
Personally, I'd say if you are talking about a 7v1 engagement, that doesn't even require any kind of "mass combat" variation. That's pretty much a standard Melee/Wizard combat right there. What I'm interested in is a battle on the scale of your typical medieval battle (say Shrewsbury, where about 14,000 men per side fought) THAT'S something that would require a set of mass combat rules.

I would also note that SJG has already done mass combat rules for GURPS, so I suspect that it wouldn't be too much of a reach for them to do something similar for TFT.
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Old 01-23-2019, 03:39 PM   #38
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Any kickstart on TFT horizon?

I would say some kind of alternative combat mechanics are needed once you have more than ~10-20 figures on the hex map. Beyond that, it is just too crazy to keep track of everything.

The main question all rpg's need to deal with for this issue is, do you create a proper 'game within a game' for resolving these larger conflicts (something as interesting and fun as dueling combat), or do you just slap an abstract resolution mechanic onto the game that gives you the answer to the question 'who won'. Lots of games have the latter, and I'd say none of them are interesting enough to be worth discussing. Of course D+D started with a proper game within a game in place - Chainmail remains a pretty good combat system for these purposes, and has enough overlap in terminology with D+D that you can kind of go back and forth between the two scales of play.
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Old 01-25-2019, 01:57 AM   #39
JLV
 
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Default Re: Any kickstart on TFT horizon?

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Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
I would say some kind of alternative combat mechanics are needed once you have more than ~10-20 figures on the hex map. Beyond that, it is just too crazy to keep track of everything.

The main question all rpg's need to deal with for this issue is, do you create a proper 'game within a game' for resolving these larger conflicts (something as interesting and fun as dueling combat), or do you just slap an abstract resolution mechanic onto the game that gives you the answer to the question 'who won'. Lots of games have the latter, and I'd say none of them are interesting enough to be worth discussing. Of course D+D started with a proper game within a game in place - Chainmail remains a pretty good combat system for these purposes, and has enough overlap in terminology with D+D that you can kind of go back and forth between the two scales of play.
From my little experience of other systems' mass combat versions (I rarely see them in action because most of the campaigns I've played in were at the micro level, not the macro), it seems like they generally use that abstract resolution mechanic way of solving the problem.

But given TFT's roots in a tactical combat game, it seems to me that it would be a perfect vehicle for a really clever and fun "mass combat" game (call it "grand tactical" if you like) as a stand-alone item that might even sell well on its own in the wargaming community!
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Old 01-25-2019, 02:00 AM   #40
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Default Re: Any kickstart on TFT horizon?

By the way, I quite agree that once you get past that roughly 10-20 figure limit, the management of the battle becomes too much for the average play group. That's clearly the point at which a mass combat system becomes very desirable!

(I apologize for having to reply twice, but I'm not able to edit my responses thanks to being "on notice.")
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