More play observations

  • 2 Replies
More play observations
« on: February 22, 2013, 01:14:26 AM »
Two Characters

Two characters is annoying.  Sean has picked up a second Commando, and we can never tell which one of him is talking or acting, we keep getting mixed up.  At one point he missed something in GM's description and accidentally narrated his two characters into the same micro-situation (sweeping a barber shop), something he'd been trying to avoid.

In discussion, it seems that in base AW, because of the slightly breezier, more plot-centric pacing, two characters are easier to keep apart. The analogy's not great, but this feels more like having two mouse pointers.

Challenges by Playbook

We're having trouble integrating snipers into a busy WWII battlefield.  There's not much time to maneuver, so their vantage points (particularly in villages, where LOS is really obscured) expire quickly as the grunts move forward a block.  Our snipers are winding up with a slightly vague position on the battlefield, drilling mooks one at a time, which is a bit anticlimactic.

One option is just to treat them like soldiers with specialized rifles, able to make hyper-accurate shots, but otherwise running along with the other guys.

The better realization seems to be that we need to mix up the time scales. Break up the action into scenes (we tend to play moment by moment, moving block by block) so that the sniper has a chance to do some forays, get into trouble, report back, etc.

We have a different but similar feeling problem with medics.  I really think that medics need wounded PCs to work on.  For a few sessions, Stephen (GM) was doing more detailed tracking of our NPC platoon members, and they started becoming a sort of 'unit hit points'.  Tim's medic was busy fixing red-shirted ensigns, but this isn't especially dramatic.

I wonder if the lethality is just .. low?  Of five regular players, we've had two Go Home, and a third (my guy) is nearly ready to do so, and no fatalities yet.

My gut tells me that Go Home should be less common than death.

Re: More play observations
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2013, 10:36:23 AM »
Do play with the time scale. Even if you're going moment by moment, the fighting ends or goes stalemate. Forces get scattered or exhausted and must be reorganized.

For a sniper in urban territory, I think that will always be a challenge. That can be helped by varying the terrain (a park, a church tower, open country, etc.). Also, it can be helped if your advance is blunted or turned, so that fixed position offers more play.

Taking damage is something that's under review and I think it's heading toward a more lethal environment. It's the system, in part. Is your GM exposing your characters to fire enough? Speaking in 2.1 terms... when bullets fly by, are you taking incidental? When an enemy stares down their sights at you, are you taking direct? When you walk into the meat grinder, do you take concentrated?

Re: More play observations
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2013, 02:25:46 AM »
Thanks, Michael! Your feedback is great.

As Paul says, we're messing with hits/damage quite a bit. More lethality is definitely what we want.