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(TFT) Re: TFT Wargame

  Very true, but too many optional rules
don't help that much if the cool part of
the game can be found in them.  If you
NEED the optional rules, then they are
not really optional.

Absolutely! A game that's only cool if my people are in it is not cool.

  Having said this, I rather LIKE games
that have a few teaching scenarios where
you can have fun while learning subsets
of the rules.

Programmed Introduction, or whatever it's called, is the hallmark of good design, and is an *enormous* draw for me. Agreed again.

  I like the idea of having several categories
of magic.  But how to show this on a small
cardboard counter?

No idea. I was actually thinking of (but didn't say so) a card or sheet off the side of the board for each unit that needs special treatment. "Air War" was sort of the epitome of this, each unit almost had its own game board off to the side.

*Standard* units would either not need an off-board sheet, or would have a standard sheet which covered their standard values, maybe one sheet for several different "standard" units (Goblin/warg cavalry, dwarven infantry, elven archers, etc.)

  Also military abilities should be mentioned.
Moral, Intelligence, Training, Organization,
Initiative (in the leaders), Quality of NCO's,
Quality of Leaders, Communications, Ranged
Weapon's Fire, Armor, Size of Unit, etc.

True enough, but some of that might be condensed down to a smaller number of attributes. I think part of the challenge for this game is to pick a set that

a) Is likely to vary somewhat
b) Has definite impact on combat,
c) contains elements the player characters can impact, for a party unit.
d) is small enough to be manageable with some easy reference - either on the counter, or on say a single-page player information card.

Come to think, player information card with a few blank lines, on which the players can pencil in party unit attributes, might work pretty well.

  I feel nervous about any rule that needs an
extra counter for every counter...

Yeah. Blocks are good for that. This also may work well if the units are divided between wizardly and non-magic (and stacked for combined-forces). Wizards either suffer fatigue damage only (and this is the parameter their blocks represent) or are eliminated completely (ouch). Non-magic units suffer injury, and take longer to heal, but no fatigue.

   Are you saying 10 people / counter?

Just a suggestion. More is OK, but eventually as you point out, the units get big enough that player fighters are lost in the noise. Player wizards might always be important, particularly with the fighter/wizard divide.

  The thing is that there is a increase in
complexity as the unit size shrinks.  The
WWII division level games were often quite
simple as one division can do pretty much
what ever another division can do.

Yup. Well, Ogre/GEV found a good balance. Not a lot of units, admittedly.

  I think that if you want to have most
counters deal with 10 people, you would be
better playing out a part of the battle that
the PC group is individually involved in.  I
was seeing this game as one where most counters
represented from 40 to 70 men.  That would
allow the GM to handle battles which are too
big to comfortably handle on the Melee level.

I guess one other trickly balance in this game is going to be cinematic ("heroes" have a major impact) vs. realistic (numbers, technology, and leadership are about all there is).

  In my grade 1 or 2 class we had some of these
rods, but I do not recall ever seeing a 2*2*1

Probably doesn't exist, though you could (ka-CHING) make them with 2*1*1 and glue...

  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).

Not sure I agree with this. It takes a couple of conditions to be met - good armor, one side is defending a lot, and several ranks deep on both sides - but Melee battles can draw out over several minutes. Combine that with the time taken for maneuvering units into *just* the right position (which is what accounted for most of the duration of ancient battles) and I think the rules can already produce reasonable realism.

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

Gotta put in a good word for "fine plate" here. That, a large shield, and a 32-point attacker is gonna slow down *any* battle. Put magic in the mix and it might slow down even more.

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

Right, and some rule to slow this down would be good. 1 fST/ attack, or maybe 1 fST/ minute of battle, seems reasonable.

  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.

Makes some sense.

  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.


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

Yeah, and it could depend on one or more of the attributes.

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

Arg, I hate cliffhangers. ;-)
					- Mark
					Cell Phone:	210-379-4635
			                office:		210-522-6025
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