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Maelstrom
02-12-2008, 07:24 AM
Building an Army

In order to build an army for a skirmish battle, you can create a number of units using the following rules.

At the beginning of the skirmish, it will be determined how much material, men, and training time each side has to build their army with, and then each side stays within those bounds.

The basic concept is that each unit has four characteristics that determine its equipment and skills:

Weapons - Any number of weapons
Defenses - Armor and/or Shield
Mount - Whether this unit is mounted or not, and which type of mount
Training - If time is spent training the unit rather than deploying them immediately, they get bonuses1) Weapons. They have the following characteristics:

Att+ - A bonus to attack rolls, representing armor piercing ability.
Damage - How much damage the weapon does per successful hit.
Bulk - How heavy and bulky the weapon is. Affects the movement rate of the unit.
Range - How many hexes of range the weapon has.
Cost - Cost of materials used to make the weapons for this unit.
Hands - How many hands this weapon uses. If it is 2 handed, no shield can be used. No other affect.

Weapon | Att+ | Dmg | Bulk | Range | Cost | Hands | Special
Club | 0 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 0 | 1 |
Short Sword | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 |
Long Sword | 3 | 3 | 2 | 1 | 3 | 1 |
Halberd | 3 | 4 | 4 | 1 | 3 | 2 | Cannot be used on horseback
Lance | 3 | 5 | 3 | 1 | 2 | 1 | Can only be used when charging on horseback
Spear | 2 | 2 | 3 | 1 | 2 | 1 | +2 damage when set for charge
Javelin | 2 | 3 | 1 | 5 | 1 | 1 | Single use weapon
Longbow | 1 | 2 | 2 | 10 | 2 | 2 |
Crossbow | 2 | 2 | 3 | 8 | 3 | 1 | Single use if using Large Shield


A single unit can have multiple weapons, but each adds to the bulk of the unit at all times. The first weapon listed for a unit is considered its primary weapon, and the one the unit will be wielding at the beginning of any skirmish.

2) Defenses.

Def+ - Bonus to defense.
Bulk - How heavy/bulky the defense is.
Cost - Cost in materials.

Armor | Def+ | Bulk | Cost |
Light | 1 | 2 | 1 |
Medium | 2 | 3 | 3 |
Heavy | 3 | 5 | 6 |
Small Shield | 1 | 2 | 2 |
Large Shield | 2 | 3 | 4 |




3) Mount

Spd+ - Bonus to the unit's speed.
Att+ - Penalty to attack from this mount (unless trained).
Bulk - Represents how much weight this horse can take before slowing down. Add this to the total bulk of the character to determine movement. Light Warhorses have a higher bulk rating indicating that they cannot bear as much weight as heavy warhorses.
Cost - Material cost for this horse.

Mount | Spd+ | Att+ | Bulk | Cost |
Heavy Warhorse | 2 | -1 | 0 | 5 |
Light Warhorse | 3 | -2 | 3 | 4 |


4) Training

Att+ - Bonus to Attack rolls this unit receives.
Def+ - Bonus to Defense rolls this unit receives.
Time - Time in turns that it takes to train this unit.

Training | Att+ | Def+ | Time | Special
Conscript | 0 | 0 | 0 |
Green | 1 | 0 | 1 |
Veteran | 1 | 1 | 3 |
Elite | 2 | 2 | - | Can only be attained through combat exp
Mounted Melee | - | - | 1 | +2 Att Melee on Horseback
Mounted Ranged | - | - | 2 | +2 Att Ranged on Horseback


Once all equipment and training has been assigned to a unit, calculate its speed according to its bulk, according to the following chart. Then add the horse bonus speed for the final value.



Bulk | Spd |
6 | 5 |
9 | 4 |
12 | 3 |
15 | 2 |


Please note: Some of these values have been changed since the initial posting as I've tried to balance weapons vs armor and remembered some more details. I removed the axe weapon as it seemed to have no strategic purpose as it was. Also increased the speed of the Heavy Warhorse so that those mounted units can move a faster than unmounted units.

Maelstrom
02-12-2008, 10:05 AM
Skirmish Battles

Making a challenge

To start a Play by Post Darkage Warlord Skirmish, send a challenge in the Challenges thread.

Specify that you have an open challenge
Set the number of men, amount of material, and time for training available to the two sides.
Declare the victory conditions. Last man standing? Set number of men killed? Hold? Up to you, more rules forthcoming.
The first person to accept the challenge then is your opponent.
Create a new post indicating that it is a skirmish battle between you and your opponent (list both names in the title)Of course games can be setup however the players want, but this is one way to keep things orderly.

Army Setup

Follow the unit creation rules above and the men/material/time numbers to create your army. Save this somewhere, but don't post it yet. Once both opponents have chosen their army, the units you have chosen are revealed simultaneously. For now, we can use the Hide BB tag to hide what units you have chosen to your opponent, until they've made their setup decisions. We could also have Mulsiphix or I as the independent judge, with each of you sending your army info and deployment positions (by PM or email), and then the judge reveals them to all.

Map Setup

A Map is chosen from the available maps (Mulsiphix has one ready and can work up more). The opposing armies will set up on opposite sides. The one that issued the challenge chooses the map, the one that accepted chooses which side to start on. Make sure to choose one of the short sides, to keep the maximum initial distance.

Deployment

Each side can deploy their units within 3 hexes of the edges of the battlefield. Deployment is double-blind... each opponent chooses where to place independently, and then the results are revealed simultaneously. See Army Setup above as to how that can be done.


The Battle

Turn Order

Movement Phase: The Challenger moves his/her units up to their maximum speed. Then the Challengee moves his/her units. At the end of each units' movement, they may face any direction chosen by their owner. Units with multiple weapons can also change which weapon they are using for this round's combat (at a penalty).
Ranged Attack Phase: The Challenger declares ranged attacks one at a time, and makes the appropriate combat rolls. Damage is recorded, but no casualties are removed at this time. Then the challengee declares ranged attacks.
Ranged Damage Phase: All units damaged during the Ranged Attack Phase now record any casulties.
Melee Attack Phase: Opposing units that are adjacent are marked as being in melee. Melee combat rolls are made for both sides, challenger first.
Melee Damage Phase: Damage from melee is recorded and casualties are removed.Movement

Each hex right now will take 2 movement points until we start working up terrain details to keep it simple. Expect this to be fleshed out later. Any units that which don't use their entire move allotment, and don't engage in combat, will get one extra movement point the next turn (which means units with a speed of 5 can move 2 hexes one round, then 3 the next).

Melee

Units are considered in melee if they are adjacent at the beginning of the Melee phase. Once a unit enters melee, they can only move if they rout or the enemy is destroyed.

Routing

During the Movement phase, a player may choose to have some of their units rout. One adjacent opposing unit (opponent's choice) gets a free attack roll, and damage is recorded immediately. Record that unit as routing (if it survives the free attack). Routed units must move towards their edge of the battlefield by the quickest path available, avoiding melee. At the end of the each movement phase, the owner can choose to try to rally routing units. Roll 2d6 for each unit... if it is 8 or more the routing unit is rallied and will act normally the next round. Routed units that rallied cannot attack during this round.

Charging

Any units that move into combat with an opposing unit not already in melee is considered charging for some of the weapon special characteristics.

Defensive Posture

A unit that isn't in melee can choose to forgo movement to enter a defensive posture. They get a bonus to defense, and are considered set for any charge that occurs against them.

Single Use Weapons

Some weapons specify they can only be used once. When used, mark this weapon as lost for this skirmish. They will return at the end of the skirmish. The unit that used the weapon will have to change weapons normally during their next move phase, and thus get the weapon change penalty.

Victory conditions

This is to be determined. They can range from holding a point to last man standing.

Maelstrom
02-12-2008, 10:23 PM
Attack Rolls

When a unit attacks, it determines the amount of damage done to the enemy by rolling 2d6. The number is determined as follows:

Preliminary attack number = 2d6 + Att - Def
Att = Attackers Attack value
Def = Defenders Defense value

Once the Preliminary attack number is determined, add any of the following modifiers that apply to get the final attack number:



Melee Modifiers | Att+ | Description
Flanking | +1 | See description below
Opponent Set | -1 | Charging against an opponent in Defensive posture
Opponent Routing | -1 |
Attacker set | +1 | Defender just charged
Changed weapons | -1 | Changed wielded weapon this round.

Ranged Modifiers | Att+ | Description
Long range | -1 | Firing more than half the range of a weapon
Opponent Set | -1 | Defender in Defensive Posture
Changed weapons | -1 | Changed wielded weapon this round.


Further descriptions:

Flanking: When an attacker attacks from the 3 hexes on the opposite side from its current facing.Now consult the following chart to determine the number of hits caused by the attacker upon the defender. Read along the top the number of men left in the unit, and then the final attack number along the left side.



Hit Chart
----------------------------------------------
| Number Men |
----------------------------------------------|
Roll | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 |
----------------------------------------------|
2- | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |
3 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 |
4 | 0 | 0 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 2 | 2 | 2 | 2 |
5 | 0 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 2 | 2 | 2 | 3 | 3 | 3 |
6 | 0 | 1 | 1 | 2 | 2 | 3 | 3 | 4 | 4 | 4 |
7 | 1 | 1 | 2 | 2 | 3 | 3 | 4 | 4 | 5 | 5 |
8 | 1 | 2 | 2 | 3 | 3 | 4 | 4 | 5 | 5 | 6 |
9 | 1 | 2 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 4 | 5 | 5 | 6 | 7 |
10 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 6 | 7 | 8 |
11 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 |
12+ | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 |
----------------------------------------------


Then damage is dealt to the opponent is Hits * Damage, where Damage is the amount of damage caused by the weapon the attacker is using.

All units start with 10 men. As they take damage, the number of men remaining will be reduced. Each soldier has 5 hp, so every 5 damage kills one soldier, reducing the strength of that unit.

Maelstrom
02-13-2008, 10:19 AM
Made some changes for weapons: Clarified that a unit can have multiple weapons, and added rules for wielding different weapons.

Also clarified single-use weapons.

The Wandering Bard
02-15-2008, 05:12 PM
WOw nicely done, sounds like a lot at first but the concept is great, and i look forward to my first attempt. I will be reading the rules over again.

Maelstrom
02-15-2008, 07:32 PM
Hopefully it becomes a little more clear as we actually get a couple skirmishes running. If you'd be willing to try it out, we could get a little game going.

Schmall
05-15-2008, 12:55 PM
Love the looks of this. Gonna have to give it a whirl to see how things work out

Maelstrom
05-16-2008, 06:01 AM
There hasn't been any real playtesting yet. Any feedback would be appreciated.

Schmall
05-16-2008, 10:47 AM
True, but have been pretty clear on the rules and wont be hard to whip up maps for stand alone skirmishes between me and my friend on a tabletop. We will keep you posted on what happens. I also have a tendancy of playing these games one on one against myself when really bored and want to get away from the rest of the world :cool:.

So ya, I will keep posting anything that comes up or if any inbalances are noticed. Looks like a great game and hours of fun in front of me :cool:

Schmall
05-20-2008, 10:36 AM
My friend and I swiftly found the importance of carrying Javelins on your melee units. Sure, may slow you down a bit for the archers, but definatly helps when you opponent doesnt roll well and you do with the Javs.

Thought, Javs have a bulk of 1 each. Should you deduct the bulk once that the Jav has been thrown and no longer on the unit? For some units it can make a difference in movement. We realized its one more thing to keep track of, but we wrote all stats for units with and without Javs so that we didnt have to recalculate mid-game.

Maelstrom
05-20-2008, 05:01 PM
Thought, Javs have a bulk of 1 each. Should you deduct the bulk once that the Jav has been thrown and no longer on the unit?

I considered that initially, but I think Javelins would be too powerful if you can recalculate your bulk after every use. It also does complicate things just a tad to change your movement speed every time.

I haven't been able to sufficiently playtest it though, so try it with and without the bulk being recalculated and tell me if the javelins are better or worse for it in relation to other unit builds.

How is the range on the javelins working out?

Schmall
05-21-2008, 10:14 AM
How is the range on the javelins working out?

I feel the range of 5 is balanced. If you want the extra range, then you need to spend extra on bulk and material to get the crossbow. I have only did one skirmish so far due to only seeing my friend on the weekends only, but will continue testing the game out. I have printed hex maps off the net so that i can use color pencils at work in order to make some basic terrian.

Terrain and movement thoughts. I have played other wargames before and some thoughts for you to mull over. Keep your cost of 2 movement per hex. This will be standerd since most area traversed will be open fields anyways. so that as a base..

Terrain Cost/hex
Open field 2
Road 1
Hill (up or down) 3 (2 if unit has mountian training)
Forest 3 (2 if unit has woodland training)
Swamp 4 (impassable for mounted units) (3 if swampland training)
Cliffs impassable

Havent had a chance to test really. Just throwing it out there. Also, the forest should provide cover vs ranged attacks. So Attackers gain a -1 ranged penalty vs those in forsest.

I added the movement bonuses for the training because I remember seeing you have that in your brainstorming thread on a different part of this site. Figured you like options that are not complicated, but had new elements. What fun to have you moutain trained, light horses rush up the hill in order to overpower the unprepared archers on top of the hill.

With hills and forest, may want to add in line of sight for ranged attacks. Cant have longbows shooting at units 10 hexes away with 2 hills between them without actually seeing what they are shooting at. Can add a penalty or have some scouting unit see them and thus provide a line of sight. Something to that effect. Some more for you to mull over with regards to terrain.

Oh, when you start thinking about campiagns, my friend and I considered using a risk board for test runs.

Maelstrom
05-22-2008, 04:35 AM
Terrain Cost/hex
Open field 2
Road 1
Hill (up or down) 3 (2 if unit has mountian training)
Forest 3 (2 if unit has woodland training)
Swamp 4 (impassable for mounted units) (3 if swampland training)
Cliffs impassable


That's pretty close to the rules I designed for movement when I first created this system years ago. 2 movement base is a good number because a change from 2 to 3 movement points is significant, but not as significant if everything was 1 movement before. The only difference was that I had two versions of forest: light and dense (4 points for dense).

Having roads be 1 works, but unless the map is urban in a major city with wide thouroughfares the road hexes will be rare (maybe one along the length of a map for a major highway).



Havent had a chance to test really. Just throwing it out there. Also, the forest should provide cover vs ranged attacks. So Attackers gain a -1 ranged penalty vs those in forsest.


This is reasonable. This would fit in the list of defender bonuses.



With hills and forest, may want to add in line of sight for ranged attacks.


To stick with the simple theme, I'd say that forest and hills block line of sight. Terrain that blocks line of sight works as follows:


You can fire from terrain that blocks LOS with no penalty.
You can fire into terrain that blocks LOS. The target will get a defensive bonus.
If any blocking terrain is between the units, they cannot attack each other.



Oh, when you start thinking about campiagns, my friend and I considered using a risk board for test runs.

Since you've shown some interest, I'll ressurect my old campaign rules in another thread soon, which add cities as sources of men and material, training times, overland movement and supply concerns. I also had rules for sieges, fortifications, and ships.

How long have skirmishes been taking you? What variables have you been using to create your armies (training, material, men)?

If you're interested, we can attempt some play by post on this site. It will be a little slow, but a smaller map and smaller armies probably is doable.

Schmall
05-22-2008, 06:02 PM
Since you've shown some interest, I'll ressurect my old campaign rules in another thread soon, which add cities as sources of men and material, training times, overland movement and supply concerns. I also had rules for sieges, fortifications, and ships.


I would love that really. The board I would be using would actually be from the Lord of the Rings Risk game. So cities would have been included. We where just gonna assign resource and unit production to each city and consider training turns as seasons. But looking forward to what ever you post :)

The LOS looks pretty straight forward.

Our first and only skirmish took about an hour and a half with 6 units. I used the .NET Army Builder program you posted and I like it. I think there is a bug, but I will have to double check when I get home (at work). I made a 6 unit army and we battled with perfectly equal armies just so we can get used to the rules. It was slow at first since i had to teach him the rules, but as we got used to the rules and charts, things sped as we went.

I love to play PbP sometime. First will have to get familiar with MapTool and screenshots. Once I have those figured out, things will be easy and fun.

Thought, if a unit armed with only longbows are forced into melee, do they suffer a penalty or at least give a bonus to the enemy since bows cant parry or used defensively in any fashion really. Used to D&D and other games with archers and melee dont mix to well....

Maelstrom
05-23-2008, 05:55 AM
I would love that really. The board I would be using would actually be from the Lord of the Rings Risk game. So cities would have been included. We where just gonna assign resource and unit production to each city and consider training turns as seasons. But looking forward to what ever you post :)

Sounds like a good interim plan. As far as how cities work, you assign material values to each city and how many men are available to recruit each turn. You can choose to equip them immediately or train them.


Our first and only skirmish took about an hour and a half with 6 units.

Not too bad. Any idea how many turns it lasted? 10? That'll be the limiting factor for PbP gaming.



I love to play PbP sometime. First will have to get familiar with MapTool and screenshots. Once I have those figured out, things will be easy and fun.

Personally, I don't think MapTool is necessary. We choose a map that we can refer to with grid positions like in the Maps post and just post where the units move to. I could then occasionaly create a screenshot so we can visualize what is going on.



Thought, if a unit armed with only longbows are forced into melee, do they suffer a penalty or at least give a bonus to the enemy since bows cant parry or used defensively in any fashion really.

You ought to arm your archers with some melee weapon for when they do get stuck in melee. If you're resource strapped, you can give them clubs, but I usually arm them with shortswords. As far as if they are attacked when they have their bows weilded, I think its enough of penalty that they won't get to fight back that turn.

Cecil
05-23-2008, 07:05 AM
I'm just jumping in on this thread, but would be interested in exploring the game more (although my time is a bit constrained).

What kind of maps do you need? How about tokens?

Schmall
05-23-2008, 10:20 AM
You ought to arm your archers with some melee weapon for when they do get stuck in melee. If you're resource strapped, you can give them clubs, but I usually arm them with shortswords. As far as if they are attacked when they have their bows weilded, I think its enough of penalty that they won't get to fight back that turn.


That I can agree with.

As for how many rounds the battle took, it took sometime. I came down to two Veteran, Heavy (armor and shield) spear going at it with my recruit longbows shooting from behind. We played to the last man. That last round took a while due to the lack of damage (only 2 per unit). Also due to the fact the spearmens' defense was greater and forced the attack rolls down. So what out for those.


As for cities. I just wanted to mention that it should be that the occupied will start with no materials and available units due to the city defending itself, unless the city was neutral to begin with (just gotta have one or two. Makes it a race to see who can get those free units first:lol:).

Maelstrom
05-23-2008, 08:01 PM
I'm just jumping in on this thread, but would be interested in exploring the game more (although my time is a bit constrained).

What kind of maps do you need? How about tokens?

Welcome Cecil... looks like you're just down the road from me.

This game is in its pretty early stages. If you want to try it all you need is a hex map, some paper, 6 sided dice, and pennies for pieces.

Or you can try out some play by post on this board, something I've been itching to do :).

Schmall,

Yeah, gotta fix the endgame. Probably need some kind of point system per unit, so if one is destroyed or reduced to near-ineffectiveness, the points add up, eventually having one player win. If you have suggestions on how to do that rule, let me know. It's no fun fighting to the last man.

Schmall
05-24-2008, 01:28 PM
In a campaign, it would be common for somone to flee in order to prevent complete destruction. Best to run and fight another day. Besides, even fleeing units should gain Exp towards being an elite.

Stand alone skirimshes dont always have to go down to the last man. You can also play king of the hill, capture the flag, and other mission based goals. A fun thought is in a three way battle and the goal is to wipe out the guy on your left.

Maelstrom
05-27-2008, 05:12 AM
All good ideas. I like the idea of King of the Hill. Now how would you score it? Whoever has the most men within three hexes of the "hill" gets a point each round? And 10 points win?

Or we could go the D&D Miniatures route and have victory areas that work the same as above, only the one side's victory area is usually on the other side of the map from the other side's victory area.

I like the idea of the 3 way battle. Sounds like a good way to do it. With hex grids its a lot easier to come up with a three player map, too.

Cecil
05-27-2008, 06:21 PM
If we can wait about a month or two I'll take a look at prepping some tokens to use for the game. By October I should also have several maps ready to go.

Schmall
05-28-2008, 07:50 AM
I work in a call center, and so long as I am taking my calls with high quality (which I do), I can do just about anything on my desk. So I printed about 2 dozen blank hex grids. From there I just simply used color pencils. Already have one huge map and two small ones with different styles in mind for each. I am going to glue the drawn boards to cardboard and then using packaging tape to seal and protect =)

A note on hills and maps. I am just simply coloring in the hexes due to the lack of artistic skills. So I am keeping it simple. Thus my hills/slopes are tan colored with a brown line along the hex border to indicate the summit of the hill/slope. This way I can effectively indicate where the top of the hill/slope is and this way you can also make those hills become craters instead if you want...

As for the scoring on King of the Hill, go with the same concept of Halo 2. Whoever is on the goal hill starts to accumalate points, even when contested. I suspect people using speedy light mounts to get there first for points and then have the slow moving, hard to kill, armored units come in to save ther day wit hthe archers raining down thier arrows. If you want to make it more interesting, make the points earned = to the number of men, not units. Thus a 6 man unit gains you 6 points. First to 50 to 100 wins. 50 for a fast game, 100 for those that have the time.

Cecil
05-28-2008, 08:32 AM
The King of the Hill scoring concept seems interesting, but I'm afraid the victory points would have to be based on the map/scenario as opposed to the game itself. Different maps would affect the accumulation of VPs differently.

It would be interesting to see how a unit/team fared across multiple maps/scenarios. We could run a series of games, where everyone keeps the same unit.

Schmall
05-28-2008, 10:10 AM
For the purpose of testing, my friend and I keep our armies perfectly equal so that we can see how the units actually fare. We keep coming down to the last man since we have played so mannnyyy games against each other and talk abou them afterwards, so we know each other's strategies pretty well.

As for different maps with different terrains, one of my small maps is a simple open field with lots of little hills. Makes things interesting with the archers and the lack of LOS. The other small map has a road representing a major trade route that has a cliff face looking down on it (slopes from both sides of the map leading up onto the cliff) and some forests for cover. Mostly open fields. The huge map is hard to explain. Guess I will just have to scan the maps in at the library sometime and just attach them so you guys can see. I will be sure to include a legend. What kind of file you guys perfer?? GIF, PIC, JIP, Adobe??

Cecil
05-30-2008, 08:37 PM
I am also interested in seeing how barding and 2-handed swords would work. I may try a few playtest battles after this weekend along those lines.

Maelstrom
05-31-2008, 04:05 AM
Guess I will just have to scan the maps in at the library sometime and just attach them so you guys can see. I will be sure to include a legend. What kind of file you guys perfer?? GIF, PIC, JIP, Adobe??
Very cool. When you upload them, I'd say the gif format would be best, due to its widespread use and ease of manipulation (for size, etc)
It may actually be easy for me to write a utility or add capability to the Army Builder. You would be able to design a map that you could then print or create an image of to play online. Look in the maps thread for something I mocked up using a hard-coded program. How does that sound?