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Old 10-10-2016, 06:03 PM   #1
wolf90
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Man . . .

This thing IS stealthy! It's been up for hours and no-one has noticed!

The latest concept for the Ninja has been posted in the "New Units" page.

First off, a tip of the hat to lokke on the forums; his concept of "spoofs" or ghosts influenced this design.

Steve has long wanted the Ninja to represent a variable ability unit, heavily modified via electronic warfare techniques to be a raider unit. As Steve has mentioned in OM and elsewhere, the Ninja has an electronics warfare suite unrivaled in the Ogre-verse. In a world heavily dependent upon on sensors, the Ninja exists to fool, trick, and otherwise blind these sensors. The Ninja is not a unit to go tread-to-tread with many other Ogres in a slugfest.

Also, the Ninja should be customizable to the mission. As Steve said on the previous Ninja thread, "I had the idea at the time that a few more special abilities might be appropriate, including some kind of "you don't see me at all" rule," but those Ninja rules never evolved. Steve recently called his proposed options a "Ninja Bag of Tricks". Not only should they be rare, but no two Ninja should be alike.

There is a lot to take in here, and some of the proposed abilities may not (will not) make it into the final design. But I'd like everyone to play with it, and see which of the abilities work well, and which don't. I know some of you who have seen it in pretest are not a fan; it IS a major departure from the past overly simplistic versions. But just as the Vulcan and Combat Engineering has received a major overhaul, so too has the Ninja.

This is not likely to be the final draft at all. But we do want you to try it, and let us know you're experiences, both positive and not, with the various options (hint: start simple!).

Enjoy. . .and come back and let us know how things go!

D.

PS - The various VP values are currently listed in factors of 5 to make adding things up easier in your head. But changing things to factors of 6 to match the various unit values is under strong consideration. Please feel free to weigh in either way.

D.
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:12 PM   #2
sir_pudding
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But... I only have the one Ninja in ODE.

I guess you only use it when the all the ghosts are revealed?
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:17 PM   #3
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Working on the logistics. Obviously, we have more in the pipeline!

That being said, any Ogre can be used on the board. It actually is advantageous to have them look different anyway.

But yes, multiple 3-D Ogres is preferable. For now I'd like to ask you to focus on the rules . . .

D.
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:23 PM   #4
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I can see using an 3 Ogres for the Ninja and ghosts, it gives me a use for all those 3-D Ogres I have.

A question on "ducklings", do the ducklings that are not under active control fire at half strength outside of overruns? I assume the duckling under active control fires at full strength.

I assume that the ducklings that are not under active control fire at half strength during overruns (ie they are treated as disabled units), and the one under active control fires at full strength.

The same question actually applies to Vulcan ducklings as well.
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Old 10-10-2016, 10:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
But... I only have the one Ninja in ODE.

I guess you only use it when the all the ghosts are revealed?
Mr. Ninja says:

"Look over there! A Mk VI!

Nothing to see here. Nope, nothin' here."

:)
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Old 10-11-2016, 03:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf90 View Post
The latest concept for the Ninja has been posted in the "New Units" page.
Looks interesting.

One thing I think is worth making explicit: presumably the Ninja can voluntarily dispel one of its own ghosts?
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:55 PM   #7
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2 things that I thought of before I ran out of time for now:

1) If a Ninja has 4 ducklings and enters an overrun and takes active control of 1 unit (dropping the other 3), can it reclaim the 4 units as ducklings after the overrun is over, or does it have to wait until the next turn? If it can reclaim them, what happens if it overruns again on the same turn? Can it pick a different active unit? Does it have to keep the same one?

2) Can Zombies (or any trick, for than matter) be taken more than once? If so, you should probably rephrase Zombies to say it adds 3 drone channels rather than gives a total of 4.

I'm sure I'll have more once I have time to read it all, but right now I have to get ready for Yom Kippur. See you all on the flip side!
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Old 10-12-2016, 05:50 PM   #8
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Oh. My. GOD!!!

I feel like I'm at the Best Buffet Ever but only have a half an hour for lunch! Where do I start? What do I choose? How much can I cram into my pie hole?

Yeah, this is somewhat of a departure from past units, but I think this will be fun. Especially if both sides have access to one. (I LIKE the idea of two ghosts dispelling each other, hee hee.

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Old 10-12-2016, 07:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Crowell View Post
A question on "ducklings", do the ducklings that are not under active control fire at half strength outside of overruns? I assume the duckling under active control fires at full strength.

I assume that the ducklings that are not under active control fire at half strength during overruns (ie they are treated as disabled units), and the one under active control fires at full strength.

The same question actually applies to Vulcan ducklings as well.
Yes, The Vulcan and Ninja have the option of leaving all ducklings under passive control, in which case they fight at half strength as long as they stay within a hex of the Ogre. Or, the Ogre can take active control of one duckling, using it at full strength with functionally unlimited range, and the other three become "disabled", until such a time as the Ogre takes passive or full control of the unit(s).

Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerBW View Post
One thing I think is worth making explicit: presumably the Ninja can voluntarily dispel one of its own ghosts?
Yes, it most certainly can, and yes, we should have made that explicit. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by offsides View Post
1) If a Ninja has 4 ducklings and enters an overrun and takes active control of 1 unit (dropping the other 3), can it reclaim the 4 units as ducklings after the overrun is over, or does it have to wait until the next turn? If it can reclaim them, what happens if it overruns again on the same turn? Can it pick a different active unit? Does it have to keep the same one?
Hmmm . . . This needs to be clarified. Using the rules as currently written, the Ninja declares at the beginning of the turn which (if any) is an active unit, and can switch at the beginning of every turn. But it also says it can take active control of one if a group of ducklings are in an overrun for the duration of the overrun.

I don't think these are exclusionary, but I agree it should be re-written. The Ogre can at most have one active unit during a turn. It can either A) choose one at the start of the turn, leaving the others as "disabled", or B) keep all as ducklings, activating one only during an overrun, and releasing it back as a duckling after the overrun has ended.

The key question is your follow-up regarding an additional overrun. I don't think an Ogre needs to keep using the same one in a different overrun, but it did not declare any unit as active for the turn. So I'd go with yes, it can activate a different unit in a subsequent overrun, but that unit still goes back to duckling status once that overrun is over, as no unit was declared "active" at the start of a turn.

Please feel free to comment on this proposed solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by offsides View Post
2) Can Zombies (or any trick, for than matter) be taken more than once? If so, you should probably rephrase Zombies to say it adds 3 drone channels rather than gives a total of 4.
Some tricks seem very reasonable to "double up" on; we even state it explicitly in Extra Arrows and Light Artillery Drones. But many others would probably be a bad idea. So now it comes down to which should we allow multiples of, and which should be "one-and-done".

In addition to Extra Arrows and Light Artillery Drones, I would add Caltrops, Troll, Extra Ghost and Smoke Cloud to the list of those that can be 'duplicated'. Each of the rest I think should probably stay as single tricks, but I'm willing to hear arguments otherwise.

That being said, I could hear an argument for dropping Zombies to an additional single drone channel per trick chosen and allowing multiples to be chosen, maybe at a cost of 3-5 VP per trick? Thoughts?

D.
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Old 10-14-2016, 01:48 AM   #10
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Ogre Ninja – Draft of 10-9-2016

Points: 150+

Of the many experimental cybertanks designed by the empires of the 21st century, certainly the best known was the Combine's Ninja. It was by far the most successful attempt at a "stealth" cybertank. How do you hide something the size of a small building? With lots of electronics. The Ninja traded offensive armament for speed, intelligence (almost all were self-aware), and defensive electronics and weaponry. Probably fewer than a hundred were built; they were expensive, and not cost-effective in a stand-up combat role. But as sneaky raiders or tactical recon units, they were unmatched. Legends built up around the Ninja.

The Ninja carried a main battery and 2 secondary batteries. It had a single missile rack and 4 internal missiles; 2 more missiles were mounted externally. It had 8 AP batteries. A Ninja starts with a move of 4 and 40 tread units.

A Ninja has state-of-the-art detection equipment, giving it advanced awareness of mines and other hidden units. Whenever a Ninja is about to enter a hex with a mine, or a hidden unit, the opposing player needs to acknowledge the presence of a mine (or hidden unit) within the hex. The Ninja may then choose to either not enter the hex and move elsewhere, or continue on into the hex. Additionally, if a Ninja voluntarily enters a mined hex, the mine goes off only on a roll of a 6, instead of the usual 5 or 6.

This is a situational rule, but it's a simple and really good one that compliments the NINJA.
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Through the use of the Ninja's drones and EW suite, it may create two ghosts of itself. A ghost is indistinguishable from the real thing outside of direct inspection. When the Ninja enters the map, it may split into three separate units, one being the actual Ninja and the other two being ghosts. Each unit may move independently, and if attacked at range, may appear to suffer damage. The owner of the Ninja should keep a record of "damage" to the ghosts as well as the real Ninja, until such a time as the ghost(s) is/are dispelled.

The primary method by which the opposition can determine whether any particular Ninja is real or not is by overrunning (or being overrun by) the Ninja. Under this circumstance a false Ninja disappears whereas an overrun attack proceeds if it is the real Ninja. Additionally, the real Ninja declares itself upon firing on a target. One exception to it revealing itself with firing is if all of the ghosts are within range of the target with the same weapon system. In that case, all of the Ninjas may appear to be firing on the target, and the real Ninja is not revealed.

If the Ninja has fewer than two ghosts created, it may create one or two as needed to bring it back up to two total ghosts if desired, provided that there are no enemy units within two hexes of the spawning Ninja at the start of its turn. Both/all of the Ninjas move out from the origin hex during the movement phase. Note one Ninja need not move at all (either a ghost or the real thing) as long as by the end of the turn, each Ninja occupies its own individual hex. At no time may the Ninja have more than two ghosts active. If one ghost is dissipated, the Ninja may create a new second ghost from either the true Ninja or the surviving ghost, subject to the two-hex rule as above for the spawning Ninja. A Ninja may spawn a total of six ghosts before needing to restock their drones.

As the ghost is in part comprised of a series of small drones, it does have the same detection capabilities of the real Ninja. This means the ghost may dispel an enemy ghost (note: two ghosts would dispel each other, in this circumstance!), suppress the spawning of a new ghost if within two hexes, detect mines or hidden units, dispel dummy counters, etc. Note: a ghost entering a hex with a mine or hidden unit is dispelled the same as the overrun detection described above.

I like the concept, but this seems too much to deal with in the game, especially the record keeping of the damage and dummy tokens. This is making the NINJA a more difficult target, but there are too many moving parts Imho.
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The Ninja has a single drone channel in the manner of a Vulcan. This drone-control channel could be used to communicate with the onboard computer systems of a regular armor unit. Those systems, unaided, will allow an armor unit to move intelligently over short distances, and to attack at half strength; that's why disabled units defend normally and attack at half strength while the crew recovers. With a Ninja in the loop, the combat unit may be controlled and function normally in the absence of a human crew.

If the Ninja is not trying to do any more with a controlled unit than keep it nearby and drive it along, it may have up to four units of any type in the drone control "channel." So a Ninja might be followed by up to 4 "ducklings," all within one hex of the Ninja. These ducklings may be any combination of armor units or vehicles.

In a combat situation, the "ducklings" fight at half strength. They must either stay within a hex of the Ninja or stop moving completely, in which case they are considered disabled. (Of course, if there is a live crew aboard, it can take over.)

In most surprise combat situations, a Ninja with ducklings would simply take full control of the most useful one and drop the others to fend for themselves as disabled units. The Ninja determines which duckling is under active control at the beginning of each turn. It can switch which one it controls each turn. If a group of ducklings is overrun, the Ninja can take active control of one of the units for the duration of the overrun; the remainder of the units should be treated as disabled.

FanMade idea ALRT: How about something simpler and more easily managed like you pay for how many friendly units you can remote control once they become Disabled by an attack and they then are considered normal units not suffering a Disable effect as long as they are within a certain range of the NINJA.
____________________________

The Ninja can self-destruct. Treat this as a cruise missile detonation. Note that the Ninja is intelligent and probably does not want to die.

:)
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The Ninja Bag of Tricks

As Ninjas were used for specific missions, they inherently have a large degree of customization. These specialized attributes are collectively known as a 'bag of tricks', each having their own VP value and spatial requirements. Every Ninja is capable of carrying two tricks without alteration to their weapons package. However, a Ninja may carry up to five total tricks by subtracting internal missiles. A Ninja may substitute two internal missiles for a third trick or replace the entire missile rack and internal missile load for three additional tricks (thereby totaling five). Some tricks are capable of being destroyed by external attacks or expended through use, whereas others are inherent abilities unique to that specific Ninja (see description).

Excellent using the load space this way. :)

Stealth LGEV. 2 tricks, 10 VP. The Ninja may carry a payload of a single specially "palletized", unmanned LGEV and launch it while the Ninja continues normal movement, if it's on the road or clear terrain. The LGEV moves one hex from the drop point on the turn it is dropped and has normal movement thereafter, being controlled by the Ninja. This unit doubles its attack strength in an overrun just like any other Ogre weapon system. The Stealth LGEV has its own EW suite, which provides it with some degree of protection from enemy units. Subtract 1 from the die roll of any attack made against this LGEV except by infantry in overruns. Additionally, units cannot combine fire against the Stealth LGEV unless they are attacking from an adjacent hex. Units farther away must take their shots individually.

So THIS is what happened to the original NINJA Rule...lol, with making it a separate auxiliary unit. This is really cool.
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Last edited by Tim Kauffman; 10-28-2016 at 08:12 PM.
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