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Group Based Combat
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Thread: Group Based Combat

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    Group Based Combat

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    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?

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    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/Rolepla...mbat-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.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmitchell View Post
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mulsiphix View Post
    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.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    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?

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mulsiphix View Post
    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...
    Au gibet noir, manchot aimable, dansent, dansent les paladins
    Les maigres paladins du diable les squelettes de Saladins.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boulet View Post
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by boulet View Post
    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.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    It's no fun watching the DM roll dice and tell you what is happening.
    Seriously

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    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


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    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?

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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