View Full Version : Saga Mass Combat

Inquisitor Tremayne
10-30-2010, 09:28 PM
Has anyone used any of the mass combat rules from saga yet? If so, how were the results?

I am planning far ahead and looking to do a space mass combat.

11-02-2010, 05:47 AM
I have. At least for me, as has been the case with any kind of mass combat system introduced to RPGs meant for control of an individual character, things got bogged down, more so than when running a combat with just the PCs facing a few BGs. Ultimately, I ended up falling back on my default, running a cinematic combat scene, in which I would switch between description (adjusted for player interjection - be it an adjustment they would make to tactics, followed by a roll to see how well they relayed there instructions to their minions, followers, units, and what not) and having some focus directly on the actions of the players themselves, which can be tricky, when two or three characters are involved in a space battle, while two or three characters are invovled with planetside battles...either on foot, in vehicles, or both, and the remaining Jedi/Force-User facing down something that stretches there capabilities.

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-03-2010, 08:38 AM
How were things bogged down? What specifically was the hold up?

11-03-2010, 02:07 PM
A lot of it has to do with the extra book keeping that is involved...vehicles as terrain or 'unit advantage' - Vehicle Contingent for when vehicle are part of a unit; keeping ranges straight with character scale weapons of unit with weapons emplacements, vehicle weapons (if used); Unit attrition which can lead to multiple units disbanding mid battle and then having the remnants band together as a single unit that could be much different than any of original units from which the 'new' unit is comprised; PCs fulfilling roles within the units themselves, not a huge hurdle when they're in the same unit as it is much like having fill roles on a freighter, however, when they are in different units it can be a headache depending on the role filled; also, if each player controls a single unit, it's not too bad until disband/band together into one unit occurs, then figuring out roles...real issue with player controlled units is when 2 or more units are controlled by each player.

Combat in Saga, while much streamlined from previous editions, still gets slow for me with PCs and individual BGs, usually taking the batter part of 3 hours real-time to run a battle that only covers 7 to 10 rounds in game time...longer if it becomes a frustratingly annoying tactical encounter whereby it becomes very much like a chess match with the player's getting overly analytical trying to figure out specific tactics to use against BGs, what their objective is, who the BG that is giving orders, or what have you. Mass Battle rules immediately fall into the chess match scenario, even more so when I play the opposing 'Commander' as actually having a brain.

I apologize if my answer comes across as being somewhat emphatic, I have never been able to reconcile the d20 overly detailed combat rules.

11-03-2010, 08:08 PM
I'd like to add that my group has 7 regulars, with an 8th that shows up occassionally.

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-05-2010, 10:00 AM
It would seem that if each player can learn the rules for disbanding and banding together it would allow for the GM to focus on other stuff instead. Otherwise it doesn't sound that overly complicated to me. But then again I tend to run incredibly tactical games on large expansive maps.

11-07-2010, 05:33 PM
The detailed, crunchy nature of d20 games is a major stink for me...flanking/not flanking, 2 meter step, withdraw action, fight defensively, totally defensive, cover or concealment, damage threshold, vehicle rules, character rules, mass combat rules...it's a MORE IS MORE set-up which is way too much for me. However, I digress. Back on point, if you run tactically oriented combats, then the mass combat rules will enhance your combats as they are written. They do well to quantify things at that scale.