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Old 10-18-2016, 11:39 PM   #51
dwalend
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Default Re: Ninja Feedback Forum

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf90 View Post
Then came G.E.V., or Tier Two gaming with this system. Terrain, defensive modifiers, overrun rules, additional units (albeit strait-forward ones); this is a whole new level of complexity. Some players rejected much of it, especially the overrun rules. Others were ecstatic as they wanted "more" to the game. The new rules were more complex, but more realistic. Players could draw the line wherever they wanted, adopting the rules that fit their style of play the best.
The GEV rules aren't that much more complex. I think there's more interesting things to do via the GEV rules, and in "Tier Two plus" - HWTs, SHVYs, LGEVs, MkI and MkII, and PE ogres, and now rangers. The proposed Assault Packs explore Tier Two further, and I'm interested in more.

To my mind, CEs and vulcans should fit comfortably in "Tier Two plus" if they get the simplest viable rules. CEs and vulcans are essentially modifying terrain and helping friendly units by doing something other than shooting them. Modifying terrain certainly fits GEV.

I'd prefer a two-paragraph ninja can fit in Tier Two plus than a forth tier.

Quote:
But the Combat Engineering rules actually have many more game changing concerns than much of the Ninja rules, and yet have had very little push back (unfortunately).
We did see ~55 replies on two CE/vulcan threads in the middle of summer...

Aside from the menu of options, I think part of the discrepancy is that the CE/vulcan rules suggest scenarios directly. I'm not sure how the ninja fits, so I only see the down-side of the rules. Is it tactical EW stealth like rangers, or sneaky and vulnerable like contemporary stealth bombers? Is it just a better MkIV? The background story for smash-the-CP sounds perfect for a ninja's intro, so why shouldn't it smash a command post? Tell us a story about it that fills in a scenario.

Last edited by dwalend; 10-20-2016 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:41 AM   #52
Tim Kauffman
 
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Default Re: Ninja Feedback Forum

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Originally Posted by FJCestero View Post
My 'vision' was for something like one of those sub-munition dispensers the RAF used on its Tornadoes for runway denial. It's basically a missile bus handing out explosives as it flies along. Maneuver is important. If it can only go in a line then the graininess of the hex board vastly limits its utility.
This makes good sense. Ignore my comment about maybe it should be only in a straight line then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FJCestero View Post
Add up everything else, then add the percentage shown. Thus if you take a Ninja (150 VP) with say 60 VPs of extra,
plus the Belisarius Descartes package your total VP cost is 210 + 33.333% or 210 + 70 = 280 total.

AI's are cost multipliers, not additives.
Thanks! I hope the Combine Engineers are listening to this stuff, they have a Last War to win!
_____________________________________________

Quote:
Originally Posted by offsides View Post
Clearly, there is no clear better way of doing things.
See below...we are on to something here, it being so stealthy isn't helping much at all though...lol

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Originally Posted by selenite View Post
So, no, I'm not going to provide individual feedback on each "trick." My feedback is that having a huge menu of tricks breaks the game, or at least changes it to a new level that needs a new name.
I assume you meant changes it to a new level that needs a new game...

I may have hit my head very, very hard on just such a thing, a mini-game within the game for stealth technology that allows all players to be engaged and enjoy playing against each other using COMBINEs stealth technology:
________________________________

NINJA Daedalus Drones
________________________________

This represents the NINJAs electronic warfare being used on the nuclear battlefields of the Last War.

Daedalus Drones are small, robust and fast GAEV (Ground/Air Effect Vehicles) which the NINJA carries onboard.
This technology has a relationship with the GEV Aces units and it is extremely sophisticated and rare.
As such, moving at extreme low altitudes, they operate in a narrow window on the nuclear battlefields of the Last War and exploit this operational superiority.
This is how and why they ignore terrain.
The DDs variable defense value comes from the NINJA using them as a force multiplier of it's stealth technology.
The NINJA uses DDs as mobile stealth warfare power capacitor/emitters and can adjust it's stealth warfare power on the field with them.
They are mobile and mini extensions of the NINJA.

The NINJA is equipped with 7 Daedalus Drones. The cost for this is pending further field testing.

When deploying Daedalus Drones, choose from 1 of the 7 choices below:

Deployed in the same hex as NINJA = 7 Daedalus Drones each with a defense of 0
Deployed up to:
1 hex away = 6 Daedalus Drones each with a defense of 1
2 hex away = 5 Daedalus Drones each with a defense of 2
3 hex away = 4 Daedalus Drones each with a defense of 3
4 hex away = 3 Daedalus Drones each with a defense of 4
5 hex away = 2 Daedalus Drones each with a defense of 5
6 hex away = 1 Daedalus Drone with a defense of 6

For example, if you want 1 DD with a defense of 6, it can be deployed up to 6 hexes away from the NINJA.
If you want 6 DD with defenses of 1, they can be deployed up to 1 hex away from the NINJA.

The number of DDs also is how many may be stacked in the same hex.
For example, you can stack up to 3 DDs in a hex if you choose "4 hexes away = 3 Daedalus Drones"

DDs are not moved after being deployed. Their movement is represented at the end of each new turn when they are deployed.
Deployment may mean dispatching them from the NINJA onto the field or repositioning them on the field.

DDs are deployed at the end of the NINJAs turn.

DDs modify the NINJAs chance to move through a mined hex without taking damage at the rate of +1 per DD in the same hex as the NINJA when moving through it.

They cannot be targeted until deployed and they ignore terrain.

The enemy must destroy all actively deployed DDs which are closer to them than the NINJA,
or equal distance to the NINJA before they can attack the NINJA.

DDs in the same hex as the NINJA are considered closer to the enemy for all attacks including Overruns and Ram attacks, thus, all of the DDs must be destroyed in that hex and no other DDs nearer or at the same distance before such attacks as Overruns or Rams can be made against the NINJA.

Attacking a DD is done by either moving into the same hex as the DD to initiate Countermeasures, in which case this ends the moving units movement for that turn, and initiates an immediate attack on the DD, or by making a ranged attack.

When moving into the same hex as a DD the attacker makes single attacks against the DDs defense value. Either the DD is destroyed, or the attack misses and the DD and the attacker remain in the same hex.

Enemy units may move through hexes that contain DDs without it counting as an attack since DDs have no attack value and cannot make strength attacks.

If a enemy unit is already in the same hex as DDs at the beginning of their turn, they may move to Countermeasure, which reveals the DDs and allows them to be attacked because they have been detected, however their movement from the turn will end in the same hex.

DDs cannot be Combine Fired against and instead must be attacked individually.
Attacks at less than 1:2 odds are always 1:2 odds. Thus, there is always at least a 1:2 chance to attack a DD.
This dynamic is the same for the GEV Aces units because they share similar sophisticated technology.

DDs ignore Spillover Fire.

Only Xs effect a DD. Remove the Daedalus Drone Token from play as soon as it is Xed.

_____________________________________________

Here you can see for the first time, the NINJA with the designation "NIGHT STALKER" giving a field demonstration of the Daedalus Drone Technology:

https://youtu.be/4b-TbCiVfXg

Note that attack odds were not illustrated and all enemy attacks were assumed to have been successful and destroyed their Drone targets.
All 6 actively deployed Drones in this exercise were one hex away from the NINJA, and thus each had defenses of 1.
This was only one example of Drone deployment tactics the NINJA could use from turn to turn.

This will allow all players to be active participants when OGREs with stealth technology are being fielded on the nuclear battlefields of the Last War.
Players will be using their units together in challenging and interesting ways to leverage an advantage on the NINJA using different combinations of
movement and firing based on their own attack and range values, while the NINJA player does the same using it's Daedalus drones and NINJA native weapon systems.

One fascinating Combine simulation program Scenario "Shades Of Black" has two NINJAs engaging each other.

...maybe this explains the Descartes Revolution...the OGREs interaction with the simulated and real threat of the stealth technology being created,
ironically by the very same creators.

Of course we would need rules to use these sophisticated OGREs in the game. ;)
Some have suggested a simple -1 To-Be-Hit for OGREs equipped with Descartes Packages.
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:06 AM   #53
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Default Re: Ninja Feedback Forum

That sounds like the exact opposite of "make the rules as simple as possible." I read through them three times, and I'm still boggled. Everything about your drones requires special rules, which means I'd never use them.

To get back to what Wolf90 said, I don't want a fourth tier of rule complexity. I don't think it's needed! I think with clever application of existing rules, LADs, Vulcans, Combat Engineers, and the Ninja can be unique and interesting units without requiring all sorts of special cases.
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:42 AM   #54
Tim Kauffman
 
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Default Re: Ninja Feedback Forum

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColBosch View Post
That sounds like the exact opposite of "make the rules as simple as possible." I read through them three times, and I'm still boggled. Everything about your drones requires special rules, which means I'd never use them.

To get back to what Wolf90 said, I don't want a fourth tier of rule complexity. I don't think it's needed! I think with clever application of existing rules, LADs, Vulcans, Combat Engineers, and the Ninja can be unique and interesting units without requiring all sorts of special cases.
It went through some WIP moments being edited after being posted here...that may explain some of the static.

Crafting NINJA "Ghosts" that will allow all players to be equally engaged in the fight and enjoy it by necessity calls for rules that are more sophisticated. Combine stealth technology is special and has to have special rules, otherwise it isn't...special.

It's going to be a shame the potential of representing stealth technology in the game is coming down to not being anything more than some light-weight rule that doesn't add anything more interesting to game play than a positive or negative modifier to hit.

My entry does function as intended. Hopefully it will help in some way because it seems a lot of people like the idea of NINJA Drones/Ghosts but the issue has become, wanting something a bit more challenging for the person playing the NINJAs enemy because the NINJA gets a bag of fun tricks while they hold a bag of boredom. The only way to close that gap is something like I just proposed, make the actual battle-the game play between players more exciting and engaging. By doing what I did, the player attacking the NINJA has to stay engaged and try to out-wit the NINJA player by maneuvering and leveraging their units through the NINJAs stealth defenses, instead of just waiting around to see what a -1 to-hit the NINJA looks like. I actually managed to craft rules that allow a battle between a NINJA and conventional forces not be passive but instead actively engaging all players participating. That's what this needs, Imho.

Did you watch the video presentation? https://youtu.be/4b-TbCiVfXg You can really see how it plays...
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Old 10-19-2016, 09:48 AM   #55
offsides
 
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Default Re: Ninja Feedback Forum

More thinking about ghosts, and more ideas of why I don't like them:
  • Small drones aren't really going to get stuck in swamp the way an Ogre would. Having a ghost not roll for sticking would give it away, but having it get stuck would mean just wasting a ghost since the drones wouldn't actually be stuck, they'd just have to act like it.
  • Given the nature of Ogre weapons, the EMP and other EM warfare flaying around would mean that ghosts would probably have a hard time communicating with the Ninja (especially undetected) at more than a few hexes away, yet there's currently no limit on the distance between a Ninja and its ghosts. And unless the ghosts have an Ogre-level AI in them ($$$!), they're not going to act properly without that communications link.
  • As much as a ghost seems like a nice idea, I'm really beginning to think that they're a solution in search of a problem. Ogres aren't small, stealthy units - in fact, one of the Ogre's biggest weapons is the 'shock and awe' value of a huge, nuclear armed tank that has no humanity and it's coming to get you. The Ninja's 'stealth' wasn't so much that you don't know it's there than that you don't know enough to be able to counter it effectively. Ghosts do add to that ability a little, but it's just not feeling right to me - if you're going to spend that much resources (especially in the scarcities of the tail-end of the Last War) on something that looks like an Ogre, you're darn well gonna want it to BE an Ogre.
  • The Ninja plus ghosts also strikes me as an Ogre trying to be subtle. Let's be honest, Ogre's don't do subtle, nor should they really. Yes, there's varying degrees of subtlety, but the more I think about it the more I think it's a bit too far.
Since the Ninja is packed with ECM and other goodies to make it harder to pinpoint exactly where it is, how about the following instead:

A Ninja that has not been spotted in visual range has a 1-hex uncertainty radius around it. That is, until a defending unit gets in spotting range (see my previous post for one idea on that) you don't know exactly which hex it's actually in. Since hexes are 1.5km across, and being 'in' a hex doesn't represent any specific location, a Ninja's EW suite can actually make it look like it's in the middle of the hex (for example) when it's really right on the edge, and when it's spotted it can actually be/move just over the edge into the the next hex. This allows the Ninja to potentially be closer or farther away, depending on what the controlling player chooses and what's tactically better for it. As long as the Ninja is in visual range of the enemy, the uncertainty goes away, but if the Ninja can escape out of LOS it gets it back.

The only special rule related to this would be that if a Ninja moves into a swamp hex when its location is pinpointed, it would need to roll to see if it got stuck. Yes, this potentially gives the Ninja an extra MP for allowing it to move from clear terrain into non-clear terrain at no extra cost, but I'm OK with that. Alternately, reduce the Ninja's move by 1MP on its next turn (only) to account for it. Obviously, once a Ninja is immobilized, this is no longer a factor.

Offensive tricks, OTOH, aren't bothering me nearly as much, though I'm starting to feel like the menu's getting a bit too complicated. But I need to go through them all again and see what looks like it's the best of the best.
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:55 PM   #56
Dave Crowell
 
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Default Re: Ninja Feedback Forum

It's not so much that any individual trick is too complicated or adds too much to a "simple" game. It's that the whole menu taken together is overwhelming.

Some of the tricks seem more suited to a hunter/killer Ogre, some toa stealth/espionage Ogre, and some (like ducklings) I question for the Ninja entirely.

If everything in the proposal gets into the game, I don't see why a game player would want to choose any Ogre other than teh guessing game Ninja. I know what each other Ogre is capable of, and effective tactics against it. I have no idea what a Ninja is capable of until it does it.
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Old 10-19-2016, 08:46 PM   #57
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Default Re: Ninja Feedback Forum

I agree with those who think the Ninja rules are a little too much. Via the word count function in Microsoft Word:
  • Number of words in new Ninja rules = 3,488
  • Number of words in OGRE DE Section 7-Combat = 2,809

When your optional rules outweigh your standard combat rules, you're getting into Star Fleet Battles territory.
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Old 10-19-2016, 09:44 PM   #58
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Default Re: Ninja Feedback Forum

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Kauffman View Post
Then play the standard rules and let those who want to have fun also running all the other cool stuff that compliments the game choose those options.
That's what I plan on doing, or going with less lengthy optional rules. My Monopolis scenario, for example, uses some nonstandard units, but I try to keep the new rules down to a sentence or two. Makes it easier for new players to pick up the game.

Nothing wrong if anyone likes playing with more complex add-ons, but it's not for me. Like you said, as long as people are having fun.
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Old 10-20-2016, 01:26 AM   #59
Tim Kauffman
 
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Default Re: Ninja Feedback Forum

Sorry...I went off the rails with all this NINJA stuff...it's too complicated.
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Old 10-20-2016, 05:06 AM   #60
eltf177
 
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Default Re: Ninja Feedback Forum

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Originally Posted by Tim Kauffman View Post
Sorry...I went off the rails with all this NINJA stuff...it's too complicated.
It's more like there's just too much. Maybe just pick a handful of options and go with them...
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