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Mulsiphix
01-27-2008, 04:00 AM
Does GURPS include rules for group based combat? In BattleTech when you have a group of mechs you can control them as a "lance". All damage and movement is generalized so they can work as a group. Does GURPS have something similar for this for large war-scale encounters or would using a third party wargaming system (BattleTech, Warhammer FRP/40K, VOR, etc...) be ideal?

fmitchell
01-27-2008, 12:03 PM
I remember some 3rd Edition supplements, like GURPS Japan, introduced a mass combat system. However, as I recall the combats were pretty abstract: who won and who lost (based on the skills of generals and numerical advantages), and what happened to the PCs in the battle. I even found a link to it: http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/Roleplayer/Roleplayer30/MassCombat-Land.html

Whether this system was ported to 4th Edition I don't know; I have most of the 4e books but haven't read through them all yet. Either way, I don't think it's what you're looking for.

Granted, I personally prefer such abstract mass combat systems, but that's just me. If I'm in a roleplaying session, I'd rather not jump out and play a wargame for an hour or more.

Mulsiphix
01-27-2008, 12:12 PM
Whether this system was ported to 4th Edition I don't know; I have most of the 4e books but haven't read through them all yet. Either way, I don't think it's what you're looking for.If it is possible to avoid using another wargaming system altogether then I prefer to do so. While an hour of wargaming might be ok for some settings I don't think it would fit in very well with the one I am trying to setup. I would like combat to be as RP as possible. Whether this is what I am looking for or not (will review the link in an hour or so) I am hoping it will be viable, even if only influential. Many thanks ;)

tesral
01-28-2008, 10:00 AM
If it is possible to avoid using another wargaming system altogether then I prefer to do so. While an hour of wargaming might be ok for some settings I don't think it would fit in very well with the one I am trying to setup. I would like combat to be as RP as possible. Whether this is what I am looking for or not (will review the link in an hour or so) I am hoping it will be viable, even if only influential. Many thanks ;)

My usual method for mass combat in an RPG setting is to tie the outcome to the fate of the PCs. I run a series of melees with each PC against opposing heroes, usually splitting them up to some degree, and running the battles around the table. How well they do, how seriously the are wounded, and so forth determines the battle outcome. If they crush the enemy with little resistance, so did the army. If they win but get their ass kicked, so does the army and so forth.

This makes the PCs the focus of the battle and saves "an hour of war gaming" as it was put. It is also really easy on the DM.

Mechanically you have to build your emery heroes to reflect the strength of the enemy army against the PC army. A basic layout of the battle and the units is also a good idea so you can "report the progress of the battle" as you go around the table. I like three to five combats per PC. More than this gets long. Save it for something like the Pellnor Fields and a climatic end of the world type deal.

I have tried an evening of war gaming. Not all my players are war gaming types., and while Ron has fun the rest are not enthusiastic. Ergo I have developed this method and it seem to satisfy the non-war gamer, and keep the war gamer happy.

Mulsiphix
01-28-2008, 10:51 AM
I have tried an evening of war gaming. Not all my players are war gaming types., and while Ron has fun the rest are not enthusiastic. Ergo I have developed this method and it seem to satisfy the non-war gamer, and keep the war gamer happy.I like this method. I'm all for wargaming and RP but I think such a setting should be reserved for those who signed up for wargaming and RP (hence BattleTech plus RP out of the cockpit). I was thinking that sometimes the PC's could take control of a nearby PC group for a battle. Temporarily reassign them different characters with very different abilities than their own. Not only would this be a cool "out of character" experience but if that group gets their butt kicked it can instill a sense of fear for "what is around the bend" so to speak. What do you guys think?

Drohem
01-28-2008, 01:21 PM
3e GURPS did have a mass combat system which was abstract. It was detailed enough to account for the many factors involved in a battle, but abstract enough to keep the die rolls few and simple.

We found it very useful it certains situations and senarios. It sped up game play and keep the campaign going foward without have to spend several sessions gaming a large-scale battle.

boulet
01-28-2008, 01:38 PM
I like this method. I'm all for wargaming and RP but I think such a setting should be reserved for those who signed up for wargaming and RP (hence BattleTech plus RP out of the cockpit). I was thinking that sometimes the PC's could take control of a nearby PC group for a battle. Temporarily reassign them different characters with very different abilities than their own. Not only would this be a cool "out of character" experience but if that group gets their butt kicked it can instill a sense of fear for "what is around the bend" so to speak. What do you guys think?

It's very coherent with your love story with Battletech. You would like a tactical wargame with roleplaying elements or a RPG with a strong army officer background :) I've never seen a system that had the ambition to make it work and focus the gameplay on it. That's strange considering for example that a D&D high-level fighter could naturally become a leader of bigger and bigger troops as he's gaining experience.

Tesral solution is seductive and efficient but it doesn't seem to encompass the leadership skills and strategy of the general and his captains, nor does it model the superior force in number, equipment...

Mulsiphix
01-28-2008, 03:11 PM
It's very coherent with your love story with Battletech. You would like a tactical wargame with roleplaying elements or a RPG with a strong army officer background :) I've never seen a system that had the ambition to make it work and focus the gameplay on it. That's strange considering for example that a D&D high-level fighter could naturally become a leader of bigger and bigger troops as he's gaining experience. A gamer after my own heart. I'm absolutely dying to do BattleTech with RP right now but I want to hone my skills as a DM first. Once I get some experience under my belt I think I'll be ready to create such a campaign. I've always wanted a rich BattleTech experience where you start off low and then work your way up the ranks. A world where you can salvage parts from enemy mechs, do strike force SWAT style combat using the BattleTroops system, and space travel using AeroTech and BattleSpace. Might even have characters recruited to a special unit, in the beginning of the game, because they were noticed for their awesome mech handling skills when they were fighting in the arena's described in Solaris VII. Soooo much goodness awaits :p

tesral
01-29-2008, 12:31 AM
Tesral solution is seductive and efficient but it doesn't seem to encompass the leadership skills and strategy of the general and his captains, nor does it model the superior force in number, equipment...


I seldom put the PCs in charge of the army. The average PC is an irregular type, not typically a general. As to force in numbers yes it does. You build the encouters to reflect the strength of the armies. The PCs are your constant. If fighting a greater foe, you make kick ass heroes for the other side. If the foe is weaker they get not so great heroes.

I have run the ocasioan Battlesystem game. I don't like Battlesystem, even if I do have a rule of my own in there. Battlesystem is too awkward and cumbersome.

I have to find a good mass combat rule system for medieval/fantasy settings.

GBVenkman
01-29-2008, 02:06 AM
I just give my Hero PC group 5 or 6 "marine" type NPCs to command; this allows the players to do larger scale operations that are more "hit and run" and space cowboy than large scale planetary battles.. (but for saga, they allow large capital ship combat with PCs at the helm).. But I think the renegade shock troop scenario is more interesting when RP is the game.

Mulsiphix
01-29-2008, 04:15 AM
Giving first person control of NPC's to the players, rather than having the players dictate the actions of said group through third party commands, would be ideal for me. Especially in situations where the PC's are to weak to take on an enemy or they are given a chance to play in "another PC's shoes" so to speak.

tesral
01-29-2008, 05:51 PM
Any time I have a small number of "troop" type of NPCs I plance them the hands of the players. I as DM have enough on my plate without rolling for the PC aligned NPCs as well.

Likewise when they find themselves in a ship to ship battle the Players take over firing the ship to ship weapons of the ship they are on. It's no fun watching the DM roll dice and tell you what is happening.

Mulsiphix
01-29-2008, 09:31 PM
It's no fun watching the DM roll dice and tell you what is happening.Seriously :cool:

Mulsiphix
01-30-2008, 09:39 AM
I came across a fan created mass combat system. I can't remember which site I got it from but I figured it was worth including here :)

http://aycu10.webshots.com/image/43409/2003692576077756613_rs.jpg

tesral
01-30-2008, 12:40 PM
I might use that for a battle that I want a random outcome, but the PCs are not involved with. There is no role-playing involved in the GM making a few rolls and declaring "Battle over, your side won, you earned great glory and died." If a GM pulled that on me I would find a different table.

It's good for genetrating battle results out of play, but not for at the table.

Oh and where are the charts to roll?

Drohem
01-30-2008, 12:59 PM
That is part of the official mass combat system for 3e GURPS. The mass combat system was in several 3e supplements. The most recent version of the mass combat system was in either Compendium I or II (I can't remember off the top of my head).

Mulsiphix
01-30-2008, 06:41 PM
It was included in Compendium II, pages 112 to 125 ;)

Drohem
02-21-2008, 05:05 PM
hehe..while looking for information in another thread, I found this weblink:

http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/Roleplayer/Roleplayer30/MassCombat-Land.html

This is the whole 3e GURPS Mass Combat system.

nijineko
02-23-2008, 05:30 AM
thanks for the links. =D

as for myself, i like to plan out exactly what happens in large scale battles from beginning to end. i happen to be one of those odd types who can generate all that in my head (but not always fast enough for at the table). so i've never used a mass-combat system. anyway. once i have the events worked out, i generate a timeline, and an outline decision tree of likely variations depending on the outcome of major crux points. this serves as my baseline for the events of the battle. then enter the pcs. as they make their choices, we play it out... then i only need a few moments to adjudicate how those choices affect the outcome of the battle, by comparing what they just caused to happen with my timeline and decision tree. repeat until the battle is over.

that way i can point to decisions that they made and tell them afterwards that if they had not done that, such-and-so would have happened instead. gives them a real sense of accomplishment, and a sense that they have altered destiny.

i had one game where the addition of 4 pc's prevented an outpost from being overwhelmed, in a rather spectacular fashion.

another game where the interference of 6 pcs drastically changed the events of a battle. (this castle was to be laid siege to, but they actually managed to decimate the leadership of the army doing the attacking. after a half-hearted attempt by the survivors to overwhelm them (which failed) the rest of the army gave up. the undead portion just kinda wandered around, since there was no one left to give orders.