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(TFT) TFT wargame ideas 2

  I posted some time ago some musings on the length 
of combat in TFT and in ancient battles.  A quick
summary: Many ancient battles lasted HOURS where as
if played out in TFT 3/4 or more of the battle's 
fighters would be down and dead in the first minute 
of the battle (once the two sides came in contact).

  I think what is happening here is

1) Armor stops more damage so people have to hack
at each other for a while before they get a good

2) Exhaustion.  People slow down, hit less hard &
generally stop to catch their breath.  In TFT 
people go at 100% energy forever.

3) Crowding.  In some battles the mass of people
were jammed together so closely, that it was hard
to get a good swing.

4) Intensity of combat.  I think that a lot of 
fights had a lot of poking and shoving with out
the all out attacks so beloved by Hollywood.  In
other words,  I suspect that a fair number of 
real battles had the enemy a few feet away from
each other with not much fighting, waiting for the
other guy to commit himself.  

  Changes to TFT rules to help this:
  I rather like that TFT fights are quick and 
deadly.  Basically, if combat took twice as long, 
it would only slow down the game with the same 
NPC's & monsters dying.  Even tho it might be 
more realistic, I think that there should no 
changes here.

  As for exhaustion, saying that someone who was
below half fatigue (fST) did a point less damage.
Anyone at 3 fST or less (permanent negatives due
to fatigue and damage) do 2 points less damage.
This would be more realistic.  Any thoughts on if
this rule is worth the complexity?

  Crowding:  Don't want to go there.  Better 
shield rush rules would help to represent the 
shoving matches that were part of some battles.

  Intensity of combat.  No new rules needed.  If 
the PC's want to spend a few turns doing 2 hex
pokes / yelling at enemy, then let them.

  The games "Rise and Fall of Third Reich" &
"Europe Engulfed" both have ways to modify the
intensity of combat.  (In 3rd Reich you can do
regular or attrition attacks.  In EE you have
regular, assault and various extra attacks done
with the special actions.

  In the TFT game I would like to use this idea.
People can do attrition attacks which represent
people keeping their heads down and using magic
and archery sniping to try to wear away the enemy.  
A regular attack has everyone run out and go into 
very intense combat.


  Another thing that slows down real combat is
movement.  Large groups of people move significantly
slower than small groups or individuals.  So if an
individual with no armor could move 10 hexes per
turn large groups would likely move a couple points
slower even if none of them have armor.  This idea
was used in Lords of the Underearth (LotU) and I
would keep it.


  Something that is very important to TFT is 
magic and using fST by wizards to power their 
spells.  "Advanced Squad Leader" (ASL) used 
"Counter Exhausted" counters to show that you have 
used a troop hard and it can't do many things when 
it is exhausted.  In ASL there only one level of
exhaustion.  However if we are going to add a
modifying counter to show exhaustion, we could 
have it be double sided.  This would give us 3
states: full fST, 1/2 fST, and Exhausted.  If we
wanted to have two different counters we would
get 5 states.  Units can take wait or attrition
attacks and build up their fST so wizards would
NOT be able to use magic every turn of the battle.

  I was thinking about having individual wizards,
but I think the smallest units in the game should
be squads of 5 or so people.  Basically a powerful
leader counter includes the leader AND his body
guards.  A wizard squad includes the wizard AND a
few apprentices & maybe a guard or two.

  Let us say that NO large units have wizards.  
All militarily significant wizards are in special
squads.  (A low fatigue starting wizard that does 
not have powerful spells could be factored into
the company.)  That simplification would reduce 
the number of variations of basic companies.  Most 
PC adventuring parties would get a special counter 
because they have a powerful wizard.

  Most units could largely ignore fatigue but
wizard squads would have the exhaustion counters.
I don't mind a few units having to have special
counters to maintain their state.  If they don't
do anything for a few turns the wizard and 
apprentices would shed the exhaustion counters.
(This would suggest a time scale of 15 minutes or
30 minutes which is likely too long.  More levels
of exhaustion counters would make the time scale
smaller which is one reason why I am tempted to
add a few levels of exhaustion counters.)

  This helps with another problem: the size of the
numbers needed to put the attack values on the 
counters.  In LotU, we had units with combat values
of 70!  (Most wargames have the most powerful units
have attack ST of 15 or less, and the smallest ones
have attack ST of 1 or 2.   If the numbers get 
bigger it becomes a pain to add them / manipulate

  If we say that the smallest units are squads or
adventuring parties then they can be given the
1 attack ST and a company 10 times larger get a 10 
attack ST and things work nicer.


  A problem with putting squads and companies 
together is that when they are stacked, when does 
the squad take damage?  The defender would prefer
to put damage on the the generic fighters.  Where
as the attacker wants to KILL THE WIZARDS!  Some
special rules will be needed.  Wizard Kings (WK)
does a nice job of handling this.  (Basically 
the units with the most steps take damage first 
so you need grunts to protect your expensive

  Or right on the Combat Results Table (if we are
using one) we could say who gets to decide on 
damage placement.


  Next post on this game, I plan to discuss scale 
some more.  Out of time for now. 

  Regards, Rick.
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