The Regiment Alpha Playtest Kit 1.0

  • 40 Replies
  • 22092 Views
Re: The Regiment Alpha Playtest Kit 1.0
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2012, 11:37:06 PM »
Mortar, Light (4-harm far messy indirect 2-crew setup)
Mortar, Heavy (5-harm ex messy indirect 3-crew setup)

Shame on me for missing these :(

Re: The Regiment Alpha Playtest Kit 1.0
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2012, 01:44:22 PM »
John, how do you feel about online playtests?  
I know some folks don't like their IP spread all over the internets, and other people like being able to watch a game in progress.  I've been excited about Regiment, and I think it would make a great one-shot.


Heh Danny, what timeline are you, I'd love to play an online game?

Re: The Regiment Alpha Playtest Kit 1.0
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2012, 04:06:57 PM »
Elements of Warfare sheet:

Make a Battle Plan
"...spend your hold 1-for-1 to highlight an opportuity opportunity..."

-------------

Bond moves, difference between Medic and Elements of Warfare sheet:

"When you see a fellow soldier go down in battle...  mark xp."

"When you see a fellow soldier go down in battle...  take +1bond with them."

I think +1 bond is correct, but I'm open to keeping the xp version.

Re: The Regiment Alpha Playtest Kit 1.0
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2012, 06:25:26 AM »
Make a Battle Plan seems fun.  I wonder how it plays out!  I assume everyone in the unit will Help, and so the 3 holds will be the norm.

From the wording, it sounds to me like the roller gets to invent what the opportunities are.  In this case, when I rolled to Help, I think I'd be lobbying for an opportunity that suits my character's strengths (or my idea of what's fun), so I'd be getting that +1.

I dunno if that's good, bad, or neither in your book; just thought I'd highlight what sounds like an interesting dynamic.

It also sounds like the roller gets to invent the map.  Is this correct?  If not, you might want to repeat the "ask the GM" language that appears in the Assess move.

Re: The Regiment Alpha Playtest Kit 1.0
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2012, 10:49:01 AM »
Make a Battle Plan seems fun.  I wonder how it plays out!  I assume everyone in the unit will Help, and so the 3 holds will be the norm.

From the couple playtests I’ve run, usually the officer or the sniper make the move, since they have high tactics.

Helping is not as common as it might seem. First and foremost, you have to have some way to help (not saying that’s an issue here). Second, helping or interfering is not a guaranteed success. Like AW, there’s a chance that you expose yourself to “danger” and there’s always a chance you’ll miss and make things worse. It’s that chance to screw things up, I think, that acts as a deterrent. I think that is particularly true when you do have an officer or a sniper make the move, where they have  a pretty good shot at succeeding to begin with.

From the wording, it sounds to me like the roller gets to invent what the opportunities are.  In this case, when I rolled to Help, I think I'd be lobbying for an opportunity that suits my character's strengths (or my idea of what's fun), so I'd be getting that +1.

The person making the “Make a Battle Plan” move makes the call as to what the opportunities are. That said, the way a character helps is by bringing some new insight or important information to light. So, as the helping player, you could slant that information or insight toward your interests if you choose to. If the information or insight you bring to the table is juicy, good odds that the player making the battle plan will jump on it.

It also sounds like the roller gets to invent the map.  Is this correct?  If not, you might want to repeat the "ask the GM" language that appears in the Assess move.

The big picture map, in theory, should already be there. It’s the GM’s job to paint a picture of the world and one of the ways we suggest doing that is by drawing maps. Of course, the part where we say that hasn’t been released yet, shame on us ;). So, good question.

What this move is getting at is that you either sketch out your own map or overlay one that already exists on the table with your plan. The move allows you to add new details – opportunities – to the world that the GM’s already described* for you while at the same time, describing to the GM and the other players how you intend to carry out the plan.

Example from one of my play tests: GM has an area map on the table and the players just got their orders. The officer orders the sniper team to set up an overwatch position above the objective. The sniper makes a battle plan and hits on a 10+, getting 3 hold. Looking at the GM’s map, the sniper sees that there is a fair amount of ground to cover and a ridge near the objective, so the sniper spends the hold to 1) establish that there’s a ravine they can use to conceal their infiltration 2) there’s a good snipers nest on the ridge that overlooks the objective and 3) the sniper knows the range to the objective (for the doped scope move). The sniper follows through by making the infiltration engagement move and gets to the vantage point undetected.

*As in AW, the players are always empowered to ask the GM for clarification or extra detail about the world around them. So your suggestion about adding the “Assess” move already applies in general. The “Assess” move itself is intended to allow players to gain new or special insight into the world, rather than simply a better understanding of the world their characters are already enmeshed in. That said, “Assessing the Situation” is a great prelude to “Making a Battle Plan,” so if you’re looking for that edge, assess, then plan.

Re: The Regiment Alpha Playtest Kit 1.0
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2012, 04:50:49 PM »
Thanks, Paul.  I dig the general idea, just wanted to get clear on the procedure and division of authorities.  So, let me see if I get it:

- I can ask the GM what I see at any time, and after a successful Make Battle Plan roll is no different. 
- I can also attempt to Assess at any time.
- The GM can draw a map whenever they want, and I can draw a map whenever I want.
- Rolling well on Make Battle Plan allows me to add opportunities onto my knowledge of the area.  I do not ask the GM what these opportunities are; I simply respect the fiction by not contradicting what's already been established*.
- Someone ought to add these opportunities onto some sort of map.

Correct?  If so, I wonder if the wording on the Battle Moves sheet could make any of that more explicit?  If not, probably not a big deal.  But more clarity and less reasoning-thru-at-the-table is always nice in my book.

*This means that, the more that area facts are established, the more constraints I have, thus perhaps more inspiration.  Cool.  However, it also means that, the less that area facts are established, the more I get to make up whatever I want.  I could easily imagine approaching an area with vague details, instantly rolling Make Battle Plan, then inventing much of the area, and only THEN rolling Assess, so the GM is constrained by MY established content. 

Maybe a bug, maybe a feature, I dunno; just throwin' it out there.

Re: The Regiment Alpha Playtest Kit 1.0
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2012, 04:53:40 PM »
To me, it seems fictionally weird to have a sniper giving orders; I hope that any Battle Plan that comes from a sniper is roleplayed as a suggestion to the CO, and the CO then says, "Good ideas, sniper.  Alright, men, that'll be our battle plan!" 

If you wind up writing examples of moves in action, that might make for a good example.  Y'know, just to help groups avoid that awkward situation of, "Do what I say if you want the +1!"

Re: The Regiment Alpha Playtest Kit 1.0
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2012, 06:49:10 PM »
Thanks for the gut-check on those moves, David. You can be sure that we are writing full-length guides for each of them, with examples, mistakes & corrections, the whole nine yards -- and this kind of first-blush response helps us a lot.

I think your breakdown is close to the way we do it in practice. Technically, though, only one person is in charge of what's actually present in the fictional landscape, and that's the GM. A player can't invent anything into being, including when they make a battle plan. They can certainly strongly suggest the possibility of something, but the GM ratifies it before it's "real."

Re: the sniper making a plan: that is something that will be dealt with by the game group and the characters themselves in the fiction. It's a fruitful area of the game -- "who's really in charge here?" -- that has never failed to be explored through play so far. I'm certainly not going to mandate how an NCO and Officer must roleplay when this move comes up. That would be spoiling the fun.

(Note, too, that making a battle plan does not mention "giving orders" at all. You're highlighting opportunities and advantages which give the bonuses when they're exploited, not specific courses of action.)
« Last Edit: March 07, 2012, 07:00:36 PM by John Harper »

Re: The Regiment Alpha Playtest Kit 1.0
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2012, 09:41:57 PM »
To me, it seems fictionally weird to have a sniper giving orders; I hope that any Battle Plan that comes from a sniper is roleplayed as a suggestion to the CO, and the CO then says, "Good ideas, sniper.  Alright, men, that'll be our battle plan!"

In this particular scenario, the sniper was the sniper team leader and, acting on the officer's orders, made the move on behalf of the sniper team. The officer also made the move; but, for the remainder of the platoon, which was off doing something completely different. The sniper was given the vague order of "provide overwatch" and left to figure out how to accomplish that objective.

Re: The Regiment Alpha Playtest Kit 1.0
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2012, 01:03:14 AM »
Paul, cool.  I'm not surprised at all that sometimes it works out just fine.

John, as for leaving it to the group, I hear ya; that is fun to see what folks will come up with.

The one thing I'd try to avoid is the point where the mechanical incentives ("We want the +1!") are fighting the players' instincts for roleplaying their characters ("You don't get to tell me what the plan is!").

As a player, I am the guy who will simply object in the process of playing my character, and the +1 can go to hell.  But stick me in a group with folks who really value their mechanical resources, and there could be friction.

If you'd rather not make that your business, I wouldn't blame you!  Just bringing it up in case you do feel like addressing it.

only one person is in charge of what's actually present in the fictional landscape, and that's the GM. A player can't invent anything into being, including when they make a battle plan.

That is exactly what I would want, is consistent with every game I played for my first 15 years of roleplaying, and makes total sense.  And yet, I didn't feel safe assuming it here.  Perhaps there's a good reason for that, or perhaps it's because I've only played AW with story-gamers.  I dunno.  My only suggestion would be that you consider driving the "ONLY the GM EVER authors the landscape" m.o. home quite strongly (mnemonics, repetition, multiple references, etc.).

Re: The Regiment Alpha Playtest Kit 1.0
« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2012, 02:54:53 AM »
The one thing I'd try to avoid is the point where the mechanical incentives ("We want the +1!") are fighting the players' instincts for roleplaying their characters ("You don't get to tell me what the plan is!").

As a player, I am the guy who will simply object in the process of playing my character, and the +1 can go to hell.  But stick me in a group with folks who really value their mechanical resources, and there could be friction.

As long as that friction is in the fiction, that's war movie gold!

Re: The Regiment Alpha Playtest Kit 1.0
« Reply #26 on: March 08, 2012, 10:17:53 AM »
The one thing I'd try to avoid is the point where the mechanical incentives ("We want the +1!") are fighting the players' instincts for roleplaying their characters ("You don't get to tell me what the plan is!")

David, your point is valid and we share your concern. It is our goal to tune the mechanics to suit their purpose, which is to facilitate roleplaying and to that end, we will look carefully at advantage boost cycles, such as +1 forward/+1 ongoing moves, very carefully. You are right to point out that this sort move is inherently unstable and must be damped or constrained.

In the case of the assist/interfere move, I believe the incentive for +1 advantage is adequately tempered by both the chance of failure (mechanical safeguard) and that the character must have a credible means to assist in a way that causes the significant advantage, GM's discretion (GM/fictional safeguard). The assist/interfere move is very similar to the AW move so it's fair to say that we didn't blaze any new ground here. AW's establishment of this move class and it's demonstrated track record lend confidence.

Re: The Regiment Alpha Playtest Kit 1.0
« Reply #27 on: March 08, 2012, 01:07:30 PM »
I played a guy with Explosives Expert at GPNW.  I gave the feedback that some kind of mechanical benefit on a 10+ might be nice, especially as you 1) first have to roll that and 2) are expending gear.

I created a distraction and things blowed up real good but my pinned down buddies didn't really get any mechanically substantive relief from the distraction I'd created...

Thoughts? Is that all best covered by Beta GM guidance or might some kind of +1 forward or similar be appropriate?

Re: The Regiment Alpha Playtest Kit 1.0
« Reply #28 on: March 09, 2012, 12:40:36 AM »
Sounds like y'all are on top of it.  Excellent!

Re: helping, the two problems I had in AW were:

1) The social nuances of saying, as MC, "Um, okay, good job justifying how you could possibly contribute to this attempt, but do you really think that would make a difference?  I mean, really?"  Perhaps there's no fix to this.  Or perhaps an easily-referenced rule that specifies "significant difference, GM's discretion" would help.  I dunno.

2) The "move" where you roll a stat instead of your Hx to help.  The guy who had that stat highlighted totally went to town on this in a way that didn't thrill me.

Re: The Regiment Alpha Playtest Kit 1.0
« Reply #29 on: March 09, 2012, 03:02:39 AM »
If you're not happy with the justification for helping you can totally make that call (1), IMO. Do you feel there's a social pressure not to stifle player input in this case?

Why was (2) a problem, David?

I've seen someone else complain the helping (in this case in Dungeon World) is too powerful, but I don't see it myself.

Is it a problem with a mismatch between your idea of the fiction and what the player is trying to do?