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Old 07-01-2009, 05:19 AM   #1
vicky_molokh
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Default [Mass Combat] Estimating your Hero Units' TS?

Greetings, all!

GURPS Mass Combat mentions Here units having GM-assigned TS and other properties. Experienced MC GMs and playtesters: how do you figure out those numbers?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Estimating your Hero Units' TS?

I estimate relative power and compare it to units that are already statted out. How would the Hero fare against ten infantrymen with skill 12 and basic equipment?

If he'd slaughter them with awesome power in nealy all imaginable cases, he's got a much higher TS.

If he could kill them all given decent tactics, he's got a slightly higher TS.

If he'd need luck and smarts to win, but would probably manage to sting them and retreat, I figure it's about equal.

Cases where it's hard to see the Hero winning outright in a straight fight warrant a lower TS, but perhaps he has some special qualities.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:30 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Estimating your Hero Units' TS?

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I estimate relative power and compare it to units that are already statted out. How would the Hero fare against ten infantrymen with skill 12 and basic equipment?

If he'd slaughter them with awesome power in nealy all imaginable cases, he's got a much higher TS.

If he could kill them all given decent tactics, he's got a slightly higher TS.

If he'd need luck and smarts to win, but would probably manage to sting them and retreat, I figure it's about equal.

Cases where it's hard to see the Hero winning outright in a straight fight warrant a lower TS, but perhaps he has some special qualities.
The problem is we don't know the stats of troops making up a squad of a given TS/Quality.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Estimating your Hero Units' TS?

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Originally Posted by Molokh View Post
The problem is we don't know the stats of troops making up a squad of a given TS/Quality.
That's not universal. GMs decide what skill levels represent conscripts, professional soldiers, elite forces and what-have-you. You should know those values for your own games, no?
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Estimating your Hero Units' TS?

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Originally Posted by Bookman View Post
That's not universal. GMs decide what skill levels represent conscripts, professional soldiers, elite forces and what-have-you. You should know those values for your own games, no?
Sure, I can declare a certain level as 'elite' in the army, but then the level of 'elite' in my game world will not be the same as the 'Elite troop quality' in mass combat. Just like callous in my subjective understanding is not the same as Callous from a gamemech PoV, and selfish has nothing to do with Selfish.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Estimating your Hero Units' TS?

A 'basic' low-tech hero, capable of fighting ten normal men with similar equipment should probably have ST around 15-17, Skills around 18-20 and several combat related advantages (Combat Reflexes, High Pain Threshold, Luck and Weapon Master, for example). 'Good' quality heroes have a couple more points of ST, skills around 20-25 and even more advantages.

For a single high-tech rifleman to have a similar effect to a whole squad, he probably needs even higher skill levels (maybe in the 20-25 range for a basic hero) in combat skills and good levels of stealth, tactics, camouflage, et cetera, but can probably get away with fewer advantages and less ST.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:58 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Estimating your Hero Units' TS?

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Originally Posted by Molokh View Post
Greetings, all!

GURPS Mass Combat mentions Here units having GM-assigned TS and other properties. Experienced MC GMs and playtesters: how do you figure out those numbers?

Thanks in advance!
Probably the easist method you can utilize is that of "testing" the player characters against ten 50 point NPC fighters and see whether or not the player character can withstand them. If it is only a single warrior, I would not consider them likely able to withstand ten fifty point NPC warriors - not the way I would play them on the tabletop.

For example, this is what I'd use for the test. Cheaply armed and armored, the 27 pt fighters are not point optimized for fighting so much as that they have reasonable levels of skill for a group that has been around for a while (ie not neophyte fighters!). 10 of these should be able to put paid to any one single "non-powers" fighter (by that I mean non-spell casting, non-malediction/affliction type fighter) of TL 3 or so. One of the fighters should take "leadership" skills and bump up their tactics skills with the remaining unused 23 points left over. The rest? 5 with spear and shield, four with spears in a two handed grip. Leader stands behind his fighters with two handed grip on spear set for two hex reach. Spear and shield fighters use spears with one hex reach. Fighers all use defensive attacks except those who are manuevering to get behind the lone Player Character fighter. Once behind the fighter, they should use shield rush from behind, or even Spear Grapple/sweep from behind while the frontal fighters are using defensive attacks aimed for any weakly armored points on the player character. Otherwise, utilize leg sweeps with the spears, and use constant feints against the lone fighter. Those using the spears in 2 handed grips should be using attacks instead of feints. The trick here is to get the lone fighter off his feet and onto his back/stomach and then pile on - immobilizing their arms and legs. After that, removing a helm (if there is one) and placing a dagger at their throat should get them to surrender.


Name: NPC 27 point fighter (out of 50, 23 unspent points)
Race: Human

Attributes [0]
ST 10
DX 10
IQ 10
HT 10

HP 10
Will 10
Per 10
FP 10

Basic Lift 20
Damage 1d-2/1d

Basic Speed 5
Basic Move 5

Ground Move 5
Water Move 1

Social Background
TL: 3 [0]
Cultural Familiarities:
Languages:

Advantages [5]
Fit [5]

Perks [1]
Shield-Wall Training [1]

Disadvantages [-15]
Duty (To Lord) (9 or less (fairly often)) [-5]
Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents) [-10]

Skills [36]
Armed Grapple (spear) Tech/H - def+0 10 [0]
Brawling DX/E - DX+0 10 [1]
Feint (Spear) Tech/H - def+2 14 [3]
Shield (Shield) DX/E - DX+2 12 [4]
Shortsword DX/A - DX+2 12 [8]
Soldier/TL3 IQ/A - IQ+2 12 [8]
Spear DX/A - DX+2 12 [8]
Sweep (Spear) Tech/H - def+1 10 [2]
Tactics IQ/H - IQ-2 8 [1]
Thrown Weapon (Spear) DX/E - DX+0 10 [1]

Stats [0] Ads [5] Disads [-15] Quirks [0] Skills [36] = Total [27]

Hand Weapons
1 Dagger LC:4 $8 Wgt:.25
Dam:1d-3 imp Reach:C Parry:-1
1 Large Knife LC:4 $16 Wgt:1
swing Dam:1d-2 cut Reach:C,1 Parry:-1
thrust Dam:1d-2 imp Reach:C Parry:-1
1 Medium Shield LC:4 $60 Wgt:15
Dam:1d-2 cr Reach:1 Parry:No ST: Skill:DX-4, Shield-2, Shield (Shield) 1 Shortsword LC:4 $160 Wgt:2
swing Dam:1d cut Reach:1 Parry:0
thrust Dam:1d-2 imp Reach:1 Parry:0
1 Spear LC:4 $40 Wgt:4
one-handed thrust Dam:1d imp Reach:1* Parry:0
two-handed thrust Dam:1d+1 imp Reach:1,2* Parry:0


Armor & Possessions
1 Boots $80 Wgt:3 Location:feet
1 Heavy Leather Sleeves $50 Wgt:2 Location:arms
1 Leather Gloves $30 Wgt:0 Location:hands
1 Leather Helm $20 Wgt:.5 Location:skull, face
1 Leather Jacket $50 Wgt:4 Location:arms, torso
1 Leather Pants $40 Wgt:3 Location:legs, groin
1 Ordinary Clothes $60 Wgt:2 Location:
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Estimating your Hero Units' TS?

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Originally Posted by Molokh View Post
Sure, I can declare a certain level as 'elite' in the army, but then the level of 'elite' in my game world will not be the same as the 'Elite troop quality' in mass combat. Just like callous in my subjective understanding is not the same as Callous from a gamemech PoV, and selfish has nothing to do with Selfish.
I disagree with your analogy here. Those are not the same thing at all.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:04 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Estimating your Hero Units' TS?

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Originally Posted by Molokh View Post
The problem is we don't know the stats of troops making up a squad of a given TS/Quality.
Generally speaking, you should probably use a skill level of 12 for troops of any given "test" and use the equipment levels from the unit descriptions to determine how they are equipt.

The sample 27 point fighter I posted earlier might qualify as professional quality medium or heavy infantry depending on whether they fight in rank and file or whether they tend to fight in a loose organization and with less "discipline" (ie typical player characters who give little or not thought/consideration for fighting as a "Body" in formation.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:09 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Estimating your Hero Units' TS?

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Originally Posted by Molokh View Post
The problem is we don't know the stats of troops making up a squad of a given TS/Quality.
A professional soldier should have skill 12 in those skills he absolutely needs for his role. That looks like it would be Good quality in the Mass Combat rules. I guess an Average quality unit would have skill 10-12 in the same skills.
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