Skirmish Game Design - An Ongoing, Open Discussion - 3-12-24 AI for Enemy Abilities & Powers

I like the idea of it. I wanted to fluff it up in ORB by combining things like a settlement and a water still into a gang hideout, but there wasn’t a mechanic for it. I think I just wanted to make models for it, honestly.

But I think you run the risk of making it too video gamey like we had discussed a few pages back (I think that was in this thread?)
 
I would say the key is presentation. My mind imagines a 1 page settlement roster, with tick boxes
Yep.

One of the major downfalls of the necro Outcast settlements system is that it did not have a nice flowchart.

Base/basic buildings, then more advanced structures that are unlocked with whatever requirements.
 
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I'd recommend picking up the main Last Days: Zombie Apocalypse book and the Seasons expansion for comparison; it hits a lot of similar notes, but doesn't have faction bonuses or a defined trading mechanic, nor does it have generic settlers to run the base.
I took your advice and took a look at it. Very similar in nature to what I am considering. I might expand on a few things and simplify others but at least it's possible to see what someone else has done.


On another front, I'm wondering what you guys think about vertical movement in a skirmish game. I suppose Mordheim and Necromunda both serve as classic examples of what I am talking about.

Strictly from a players perspective, does the idea add interest to the gaming experience? Perhaps it is more effective to use in specific scenarios? What do you think?
 
For your game, I would avoid a lot of tall buildings. My main con is that tall buildings in a dense map separates the fighting to melee on the street level and shooting to the very top, simply because it gets too clumsy to stick my hand in all the small spaces.

I can certainly picture games that have it built into the mechanics, but generally 1 to 2 floors above street level, with a small firing nest maximum. You could say like the 95 Necromunda terrain
 
@Biggle_Bear I tend to agree. I think if I were to implement such a thing I would need to think about expanding the play surface to 3x3.

What about in general, do you particularly enjoy that about any game? I'm really more curious than anything else. I've heard many talk about the joys of multi-level Mordheim.
 
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On another front, I'm wondering what you guys think about vertical movement in a skirmish game. I suppose Mordheim and Necromunda both serve as classic examples of what I am talking about.

Strictly from a players perspective, does the idea add interest to the gaming experience? Perhaps it is more effective to use in specific scenarios? What do you think?
Verticality adds interest, no doubt. The amount of verticality that works depends on the setting.

For most settings, I'd say no more than two floors above ground, and only in certain circumstances (maybe a watchtower or church tower), otherwise keep it to one floor above ground (most buildings that would stay standing wouldn't necessarily be very tall).

You could have taller buildings, but not have those floors necessarily accessible; you could have special rules/equipment for climbing up buildings to inaccessible areas.

Variation in levels allows for overcoming line of sight obstacles and allowing for alternative means of traversing the table, while also potentially exposing you to ranged fire as there is potentially less cover.

I never like high-up terrain in setup zones, nor do I like people being able to set up on a level above ground from the get-go - too many snipers and heavy weapons automatically just placed for covering the entire board before even starting. I used to think that in Necromunda only vents allowed for deployment above ground level anywhere, until I started playing and found everyone placing all their high terrain within their deployment zones.

You could have a terrain system that set out a number of terrain pieces for a given board size and game type, and assign each terrain piece a value based on height and size; then, players could have a point-based buy system (as they do with gangs in any other system) to be able to place terrain pieces, with a cost modifier if that piece is placed in their deployment zone or in their opponent's deployment zone (scatter= 0.5x cost, then #x cost where cost is the number of storeys, or some derivative thereof); you could also make it cheaper to place in the centre of the board in a similar manner.
 
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I think @Ardavion has a valid point about set ups. I think crews should arrive together then split up, with snipers/long range attackers having to get to their vantage points. Or you could mix it up with scenario specific deployments. Maybe the group arrives on an upper floor, and the sniper stays behind while everyone else descends into the battle zon.
 
Hey folks I have another topic rattling around in my brain lately...campaigns and scenarios.

I have toyed with the idea of creating a semi-generic system of adventures/scenarios that would allow the player to place them in the geographical location of their choice. There would be a series of pre-scripted scenarios in an adventure but prior to playing through it, the player would assign each of the scenarios to specific cities or locations in their locale, whether it be here in the States, or anywhere else.

Does that sound overly ambitious? Too crunchy? Any thoughts, one way or the other on this?
 
I think what you’re looking at is more scenario vs. setting. Scenarios should be setting agnostic, but may be flavored to fit into the setting. For example a scavengers type scenario would still be anscavengers scenario no matter where it takes place. Setting would flavor it to the setting: is it radioactive ruins of Detroit or a floating cargo vessel on the Great Lakes?

Campaigns are totally setting specific, which in turn flavors the scenarios fought in the campaign. Does the campaign take place in the glittering lights of NeoSeattle, or the raging dust bowl that was once Las Vegas?
 
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My personal opinion would be to decide on and develop a specific setting for the game, and you could include some suggestions about how it could be tweeted to fit into other areas of the world. The world gets a general overview, but you really develop the area you want things to happen in. Then you include a couple loose idea paragraphs about other possibilities that exist on the same world.

I hope that makes sense… not just to my tired brain…
 
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ORB did it with their campaign. Necromunda got the overview, Hive Primus was the more developed setting, then players developed their corner of Hove Primus into specific campaigns. Games I ran took place in Black Ridge. GW games had Dust Falls. YakTribe has been developing Fury’s Rest. And now Sump City and Guilder’s Ford have podcasts about their Hive Primus locations. And there’s the new fan supplement “Sump Hulk” that’s out too.
 
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The way you describe it, I imagine several tree campaigns. Campaign 1 happens in settlement 1, campaign 2 in settlement 2, 3 in 3.

But campaign 4 is a turf war between settlements 1 and 3, that is adjusted to how campaign 1 and 3 turned out, or maybe where the players had drawn them on the map.

That way the player may make their own map, fictional or based upon a chosen actual place, and use that to name and place settlements 1, 2 and 3.
 
If that's right, I could picture it working. Might need a clever system to manage it, or simplify it (perhaps focusing on the mechanical benefits rather than narrative for stringing campaigns together). It could allows the player to affect the macro setting, and choose sides, Fist Full Of Dollars style.
 
I've returned with another design question for you fine folks. This time, it's about procedurally generated scenarios. These are scenarios that are randomly thrown together using dice rolls and some tables of different options.

My question is about a "defend" scenario. Does the idea of a defend scenario need to be clarified by determining what you are defending? Does it matter if you are defending a building, or a person, or an item you found? In all of these, you would basically be in a specific area, defending whatever that area has in it. I'm wondering if it's worth adding that clarifying element to make the scenario more enjoyable for the player. Perhaps it adds to the narrative of that random scenario?

What do you think? Any other thoughts on procedural scenarios in general?
 
Would it differ? IE. a d3 roll for which of those it is? so a stat'ed fighter who is being protected (capture/assaisinate?), then a loot chest to be stolen...or an area (couple of key points) that need to be held?

Otherwise, if its the same and no difference then a bit of blurb is plenty in the scenario description
 
I've returned with another design question for you fine folks. This time, it's about procedurally generated scenarios. These are scenarios that are randomly thrown together using dice rolls and some tables of different options.

My question is about a "defend" scenario. Does the idea of a defend scenario need to be clarified by determining what you are defending? Does it matter if you are defending a building, or a person, or an item you found? In all of these, you would basically be in a specific area, defending whatever that area has in it. I'm wondering if it's worth adding that clarifying element to make the scenario more enjoyable for the player. Perhaps it adds to the narrative of that random scenario?

What do you think? Any other thoughts on procedural scenarios in general?
What you're defending would have an impact on game mechanics, I think.

Defending a person, who can, unless specified in the rules, move around and defend themselves, is a bit different to defending an object that maybe can't move without assistance, maybe can't defend itself in some capacity, and both are different to a building.

You'd possibly end up with a "qualities" table to show how mobile/self-defensive the entity to be defended is (maybe turning the "building" into a "vehicle", for example).

Procedural scenarios are good, it keeps things a bit more dynamic.
 
Again it depends on the game. If it makes a mechanical difference then yes it matters what it is you are defending. Mechanically speaking it is different to defend a fortified compound as opposed to defending a vulnerable comrade from taking a single hit.

And if the game is story orientated then it matters as far as the rewards of success. Does the comrade recover and join you or is the treasure chest added to your crew's income?

as to the procedurally generated scenarios, I like them, as long as the lore is rich and immersive.
 
Defending different things may have different requirements - defending a building for instance. You can't remove the bulding, but the victory condition could be no enemy models within/on it at a set point. You could have an assassination target, who can move around, but can't defend themselves. A heavy item that needs to be dragged off the table but can only move a set distance per turn. Or the classic bit of equipment that can't be removed, and has to be saved from damage.

Specifying what general kind of item you're defending adds flavour and the option of other fun mechanics.