The upcoming battle! THE RED DAWN RISES!

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Golux

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The upcoming battle! THE RED DAWN RISES!
« on: September 09, 2014, 03:25:23 AM »
For my AW:DA session this week there is going to be war.  Here is what I see is coming and I'm not sure what to do.

There will be at least 4 war parties.

Due to racial tensions I do not see this going away. (Racism is a very prominent theme in our game.)

War party 1 will be lead by the Keep Leige.

War party 2 will be lead by the Sardian Troll-killer. 

War party 3 will be lead by the Roain Horselord/Dragon Herald.

War party 4 will be the baddies lead by Lord Emory.  The other three are possibly allied and all PC's.


War party 1 will fight from the stronghold.

War party 2 will PROBABLY fight from the stronghold but might go do something crazy. They are also pretty downtrodden by war party 1's people so they MIGHT change sides mid battle.

War party 3's father is in war party 4 and has summoned his son to change sides and fight along side his father.

So... I'm going to stress test the battle rules. 

What should I do with forces that join together?

What should I do if they decide to defect?

I have a few days till the game so I'm open to ideas.

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lumpley

  • 1291
Re: The upcoming battle! THE RED DAWN RISES!
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2014, 11:22:27 AM »
Cool!

When forces join together, create them as a single war-company under one leader, for purposes of the coming battle. When a force defects, subtract it from its war company. Subtract its number and you might therefore change the company's stats.

Don't allow forces to change sides between the attack and coming under attack. Once the attacker rolls dice, the sides are set for that entire exchange.

If forces change sides after an exchange, you'll have to recalculate the forces for sure, so go ahead and count the fallen then too.

Make sense?

I can't wait to hear how this goes!

-Vincent

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Golux

  • 23
Re: The upcoming battle! THE RED DAWN RISES!
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2014, 02:57:10 AM »
So the battle is over and we've counted our fallen.  Here's how it went.  (Skip to the end if you just want issues and questions.)

Initially the Sardian and the Keep Leige took their forces and prepared for the attack. The army marching from Emory approached the stronghold and the Keep Leige took this opportunity to Harrass the enemy.  The archers who (as previously established by the stronghold) took position in their archer overlook.  The battle had begun! So we rolled leap into action + war and succeeded (7).  The Keep Leige chose startle and scatter the enemy and inflict harm. The Emory army took 1 harm and was scattered.  In play we didn't know what to do so I ruled that they had to spend the next action regrouping.  So... they harrassed again. They had a +2 on their war so failure is fairly rare.  With the ruling I made about scatter it was simply an unbeatable strategy to just shoot them again and again and again.  To make things more interesting while the enemy was regrouping there was a charge while they were scattered and both sides bloodied each other pretty good.  During the battle players rolled to see what they did as they fought in the company.  The Keep leige chose to strike at an individual trying to kill the King of Emory.  During defense I chose to keep him safe.  After this exchange I called for them to count their fallen... not sure I did this right... or enough.

Both sides retreated to lick their wounds and a siege begun.  After the battle one of the Sardian warriors reported to the Sardian Troll-killer that he was attacked by friendly fire maliciously during the battle.  The Keep liege had chosen Foreign Allies in her belongings and household side of her sheet so she had sent letters requesting aid and a new people were created for these foreign allies. I hinted that the players could call for a season change and one was called after a small amount of role play and secret message passing. 

The Roiden Dragon Herald had ridden to join his father but because he rolled a 7 on his muster roll was late joining the battle.  The player joined the Emory army and waited in siege.

The season passed and players made moves to prepare for whats coming or ask for the blessings of their people.  Some abysmal failures and fun questions later the season passed.

At the beginning of the next season reinforcements arrived for both sides and the Sardians had made their escape from the castle no longer wanting to fight for those that would gladly kill them during battle.

The Sardian Troll-killer went to the Sardians fighting on the other side and met clandestinely with them.  He won them over by telling them the story of what had happened to his people in the Rosewood stronghold.  He then mustered them as soldiers of his own.  The Sardian only made up a small portion of the fighting force of the Emory.  The new combined Sardian force (45 strong now) watied on the beach and sent letters to both armies with assurances that the sardian force (which would certainly tip the scales in favor of one or the other) would fight for the Army which would guarantee them lands of their own with their own governance.  The Rosewood stronghold offered them lands in the event of a victory and the Sardian agreed.  (I wasn't there for this... the reason they agreed to fight was that they would be meeting the Rosewood Allies coming from the east by sea and to fight with them in a flank thus not exposing them to fighting with the Rosewood whom the Sardian would not trust.

At this time the Dragon-Herald tried to Speak Truth to the crowd and almost succeeded in Turning the Roiden forces from fighting with the Emory kingdom.  The failure resulted in his father challenging him to single combat for the right to lead the Roiden people.  The single combat was brutal but satisfying and a relatively unscathed Dragon-herald took the life of his father.     The Roiden people split, half to take their previous leader to be buried in the lands of his forebears and the other half followed the Dragon-Herald. As this happened the attack upon the besieging army begun. The now greatly diminished army of Emory was pretty soundly smashed by the Rosewood attack.  The Keep Liege of Rosewood went to fight the King of Emory in single Combat.  This combat was interesting in that the King of Emory won position but took so much harm that he would only seek to live through this.  He ran from the battlefield but was chased down by the Sardian Troll-killer.

Epilogue:  Everyone got their own kingdoms and the next season passed with many players forming their own strongholds with their own people.

Most of our players now have either SOME stronghold or lead a large group of people.  Next session is going to see how multiple kingdom/lands interact with this system.  I plan on using multiple MC's and allowing players not playing to run threats for each other.  We'll see how THAT works.


Ok.... fluff aside here are the issues we had for this Battle and play in general.

1. The startle/scatter option for an army just needs to be defined.  I didn't want to make that a worthless option (because it sounds like a cool thing to do) but I think I overdid it making them have to regroup after.  What I probably should have done was say they were then out of range and couldn't be shot again.  Damn... that would have been better.  Other ideas are welcome as well.

2. Players got excited about outfitting their war parties.  I suppose this is what the armory is for, but some troops should bring their own equipment shouldn't they?  I kinda gave them what made sense, but I feel like a little rules guidance would have been appropriate.  I ruled that when you muster warriors they come with their appropriate gear for what they are known for.  We didn't do anything with the armory.  Players agreed to wait for rules on what we can do to outfit say... a less warrior-esque fighting force.

3. The special options for war companies.  We found where archers come from (They are known for their archery) and where cavalry comes from (They are known for their cavarly.)  At least that's where we gave that bonus from.  If the people had it then their armies could use it.  If this was supposed to come from armory we didn't use that.  We thought if they were known for their archery they would have bows and if they were known for their cavalry they would have horses.  Shield Wall on the other hand did not have any source.  I didn't let anyone take it because surely just HAVING a shield does not train one to be part of a shield wall. 

4.  Players wanted more agency during the battle if just to be able to add flavor.  Right now the fighting in company has little effect and players were disappointed in their agency in the battle if they weren't the commander.  I promised myself I wouldn't do this but we would like to see something like this.

When you fight in company, roll Strong. On a hit choose one:

*You may create a notable with the GM.  You engage them in single combat.
*You successfully defended the ____ from the attacking force.
*You fought long and hard and many fell before your blade.

On a 7-9 Choose 1:

*You are at your war-leader’s side. (Otherwise, you are cut off, alone.)
*You are unhurt. (Otherwise, you suffer the same harm as the company.)


Something like this.  Players wanted more to be able to say happened in the battle on success and single combats are awesome.

5. We do need one balance issue addressed. Our Dragon-Herald can't roll anything above a 5.  Please fix.

6. We tried to incorporate things that came off the Household and belongings sheet.  The Keep Leige chose foreign allies for the household but this is not the same as a RIGHT to call for them.  I like rights because denying them allows for a lot of fun Shakespearean dialogue but I didn't know how to address this.  I ended up having them come because that was more interesting than not.  (And unbeknownst to her she's gonna pay for it later.)  On the whole we agreed that a lot of the things on the H&B sheet was inappropriate for many of the playbooks.  The peasant beauty taking the foreign allies or an armory for example.  We wanted individualized H&B sheets for each book.  More work for you I know... but... we WANT them...

7.  Just a note.  We used ALL basic moves many times except Undertake Great Labor.  It always seems like leap into action was more appropriate.

There you go!  It was a blast and we're gonna stress test multiple GM's next week.

Re: The upcoming battle! THE RED DAWN RISES!
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2014, 05:02:12 PM »
Bout the Shield wall thing, I do a fair amount of recreation fighting and it's really easy to join a shield wall. Give a guy who's been fighting for two days a shield, tell him to take a basic guard, stand there and push the other guys when contact happens. Yes a highly trained unit will make a much more effective shield wall, but that's covered already in the harm considerations. Basically as long as the people have similar style shields and have been shown the basic way to stand so their guards over lap, it's pretty easy.


This comes from SCA so it's not real combat but probably as close as you're gonna get nowadays
There is some things after life. It's called death.
-Ringo

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Golux

  • 23
Re: The upcoming battle! THE RED DAWN RISES!
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2014, 01:02:10 AM »
Bout the Shield wall thing, I do a fair amount of recreation fighting and it's really easy to join a shield wall. Give a guy who's been fighting for two days a shield, tell him to take a basic guard, stand there and push the other guys when contact happens. Yes a highly trained unit will make a much more effective shield wall, but that's covered already in the harm considerations. Basically as long as the people have similar style shields and have been shown the basic way to stand so their guards over lap, it's pretty easy.


This comes from SCA so it's not real combat but probably as close as you're gonna get nowadays

While this may be true, there is something to be said for troops trained in combat versus a dude who just got handed a shield.  Discipline and training count for a lot.  If it's just something anyone with a shield can do that's fine, but the special moves are not clear as to what requirements they may have to use. 

The only thing that makes it unclear is that the people have, "They are known for their archery."  There is a similar statement for cavalry.  You cant just give a peasant a horse and expect him to all of a sudden BE cavalry.  If it's going to give you a special move option it's got to be more than just, "Give a dude a horse/shield."

If it's not, that's cool too. Just looking for clarification.

Re: The upcoming battle! THE RED DAWN RISES!
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2014, 10:16:54 AM »

While this may be true, there is something to be said for troops trained in combat versus a dude who just got handed a shield.  Discipline and training count for a lot.  If it's just something anyone with a shield can do that's fine, but the special moves are not clear as to what requirements they may have to use. 

The only thing that makes it unclear is that the people have, "They are known for their archery."  There is a similar statement for cavalry.  You cant just give a peasant a horse and expect him to all of a sudden BE cavalry.  If it's going to give you a special move option it's got to be more than just, "Give a dude a horse/shield."

If it's not, that's cool too. Just looking for clarification.

So don't have the sheet infront of me but I thought I remember something along the lines of, if your trained for it. Training for a shield wall takes all of 15 minutes if a person knows how to use a shield, and maybe a few hours if they don't.

As you say though, there is something to be said for troops trained in combat versus someone just given a shield. A group of professional soldiers will have a much better shield wall than a bunch of sometime raiding farmers. However that's already covered under the considerations for harm. A more well trained unit gets +1 harm and armor.
There is some things after life. It's called death.
-Ringo

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Golux

  • 23
Re: The upcoming battle! THE RED DAWN RISES!
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2014, 12:51:20 AM »
So don't have the sheet infront of me but I thought I remember something along the lines of, if your trained for it. Training for a shield wall takes all of 15 minutes if a person knows how to use a shield, and maybe a few hours if they don't.

As you say though, there is something to be said for troops trained in combat versus someone just given a shield. A group of professional soldiers will have a much better shield wall than a bunch of sometime raiding farmers. However that's already covered under the considerations for harm. A more well trained unit gets +1 harm and armor.

I found the passage you're talking about.  It's on the people sheet that is different from all the other people sheets.  It just says:

Shield Wall: shields, special training.
Defense option: If you defend yourself well,
you gain +2 Armor instead of +1.

Above that it just says circle all represented.

I don't know if this is just, 'check what feels right to you," or if there is some kind of rule.