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Optional and Campaign rules Ideas

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I think the games core rules need to be focused around individual skirmish battles. Ergo each fight is on its own terms with the focus of balance being for that single battle.  That is important because, by and large, the majority of games will be single battles; they will be tournaments and skirmishes and fights where nothing carries over into a further game (other than the win/loss of the match). 

Wargames take time to setup and play so most are going to get one maybe two games in a night; so a campaign system is going to be a not-typical setup for many players. Esp newer players where tactical thoughts for a longer term series of matches are going to be a bit tricky for them to get into when they will already have to learn how to just fight and win one battle.

 

An optional series of campaign rules is an ideal approach as it presents an extension to the core rules of the game and allows itself to be built on its own system. It might introduce something such as long term damage on ships for those crippled in a fight; a points system for buying new ships or upgrades; an escape mechanic being expanded upon beyond survived ship points for a score at the end of a match e tc..

 

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Yep, this has been discussed a few times. At the moment there is nothing official. However, you may want to search the forum for the past threads or utilize a non-game specific system or framework for running campaigns. But a word of advice, campaigns are and require a LOT of work and dedication. You can find a general framework on my blog if you're interested. 

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Thanks @StorminWolf for the good primer on campaign design.  

And to @Skyhawk for starting the thread. 

I think there are three goals:

1. A more compelling and varied single mission generation system than the 6 lackluster missions the 2.0 rulebook offered.  Malifaux’s three-dimensional random mission system: deployment, strategy and schemes ...is a inspiration. 

2. A worthwhile narrative campaign for 2+ players, for use with any faction and a variety of fleet sizes 

3. A set of optional rules to add variety and flavor to either of the above

 

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I'm in agreement with Stoobert here, @StorminWolf...that is a good intro for campaigns.  Gives some good food for thought.

A good campaign map that gives a sense of area lost or area controlled would be an important feature I think. 

How many players would be needed to have a feel for a galactic struggle?  I suspect that it may be necessary to have some kind of 'AI' to handle random player interactions. 

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Glad you liked it. If you have any questions lmk. In general, I think and from my experience campaigns work best if limited to a maximum of 8 players and minimum 4-5. That's my sweet spot between being able to handle everything and keeping single players from dominating the campaign early on. For fewer players or especially two. I'd suggest utilizing a decision tree based campaign. I.e. have a mission tree drawn up. basically, you always get 2+ missions to select from after a game > winner selects. This can also be visualized on a map, think of RTS games on the computer where you have to decide which area to invade next, like Starcraft or the C&C series.

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On 3/23/2018 at 3:19 PM, StorminWolf said:

For fewer players or especially two. I'd suggest utilizing a decision tree based campaign. I.e. have a mission tree drawn up. basically, you always get 2+ missions to select from after a game > winner selects.

I believe they have something similar to this in X-wing, except missions are chosen based off of who won.

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I have had an idea for a possible mission .  Rescue mission. A merchant fleet has been attacked by raiders and is now transmitting a distress signal across all bands. The two sides arrive to find the merchant fleet destroyed and must race each other to get to the survivors. There is a series of wrecks scattered throughout the battlefield that the players must search to find the survivors. Upon reaching a wreck the player rolls 1d6  . on a 4,5,6 you have rescued the crew and must attempt to get them to safety. On a roll of 3,2, or 1 you fail to find the crew and must continue  searching the wreck. For every crew rescued you score a point, for every crew taken of the map you score an extra point. 

This is just a basic idea. I know that there has been a lot of talk in the Casualties in Space thread about doing more than just shooting each other, this is based off that concept. Thoughts?

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The idea of an objective mission where you are required not just to capture and hold a specific point, but to escape with speed from that point with the ship that arrived is an interesting idea. In theory it could favour using a wider range of smaller ships over bringing fewer bigger ships; since smaller ships give you more chances to escape and secure more points.

It would probably require instant FTL rather than escaping to the table edge, so perhaps a turn after finding to activate and flee the table. You could mix it up too and have each turn you "search" generate another rescued person or run the chance of it (so roll the dice again) vs the extra point if you escape there and then into FTL.

Do you stay and risk saving another person; fighting the enemy or just up and run from the battle with what you've got. 

Map lay out would be critical to ensure that there's competition for the control/capture points. There could even just be the one point ( a mega ship or space base destroyed) so that there is some central terrain blocking direct fire, but so that to rescue you've got to get into close firing range of the enemy; or conversely the enemy can fire on your ships to knock them out. 

Might even experiment with a point lost per ship lost. 

 

FTL = Faster than Light

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@Skyhawk I'm already using your mission pack to plan out my campaign, I would love to feature this. Seems like quite the battle to win decidedly in 6 turns. 

I'm developing my campaign for 2 players because thats what I have access to, Relthoza vs RSN to control a space-born hive's desperate need for resources short term resources as a swarming urge begins. We've agreed to a 6 battle escalating engagements, I've done it by making a chart of the first battle, a simple border clash followed by an Escalating Engagement skirmish. From there the rest of the chart was done by rolling 2d6 and laying out missions at random depending on either side's victories, changed what I had to to create decent campaign ending battles, and wrote a loose narrative for each tree. That took a long time. 

I'd like to restrict Tier One vessels to Heavy Cruisers or Battlecruisers and run patrol fleets for the first two matches, add Battleships and Carriers into Battle Fleets for the games three and four, and finally allow Dreadnoughts in the final two matches at Grand Fleet level. Destroyers also wouldn't make an appearance until game four. Victories in match two and three will open up destroyers and dreadnoughts a match early respectively. This came out of a lot of brainstorming on how to make a convincing tech system over time that would allow resource planning and victories to give you a ship advantage the enemy didn't yet have. In the end we opted to see if this concept was worth expanding by just limiting it to victories for the first campaign. 

I'll be watching this thread like a hawk, @Overreadyour idea of a map is one I'd love to hear more about as you develop it, I'd love to do the same thing but kind of got overwhelmed trying to start figuring one out. If its alright I might copy your blueprint for the home table

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On 3/30/2018 at 10:58 AM, Overread said:

It would probably require instant FTL rather than escaping to the table edge, so perhaps a turn after finding to activate and flee the table. You could mix it up too and have each turn you "search" generate another rescued person or run the chance of it (so roll the dice again) vs the extra point if you escape there and then into FTL.

That single turn FTL sounds like a better alternative than trying to get of the board edge. And having the option to search for more survivors is also an interesting twist.

On 3/30/2018 at 10:58 AM, Overread said:

Map lay out would be critical to ensure that there's competition for the control/capture points. There could even just be the one point ( a mega ship or space base destroyed) so that there is some central terrain blocking direct fire, but so that to rescue you've got to get into close firing range of the enemy; or conversely the enemy can fire on your ships to knock them out

My thoughts were to have five wrecks. Two on each side and one in the middle. 

Thanks @Wolfgang Jannesen, do tell me how that mission works for you. If your looking for more mission Ideas @Kaptyn Krys  in the Forum that has a pdf with different missions. 

If you could post your campaign that would be great.

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Thing is two on each side would encourage people to bring multiple ships every time; so whichever faction could swarm the most would typically win. By having a single point you encourage far more combat to take place and start to weight the game toward one of choice - lots of weaker smaller ships or gamble it with a few bigger ships that hit hard enough to destroy/disable smaller ships before they can escape. 

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9 hours ago, Overread said:

Thing is two on each side would encourage people to bring multiple ships every time; so whichever faction could swarm the most would typically win. By having a single point you encourage far more combat to take place and start to weight the game toward one of choice - lots of weaker smaller ships or gamble it with a few bigger ships that hit hard enough to destroy/disable smaller ships before they can escape.

Good point, I never thought about that. You might be able to change the number of wrecks based on how big of a game you play. This might require some play testing. 

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I think such things have to be managed carefully. Most games are going to be standard and unless WC re-writes the points to a massive way (ergo dozens of ships and models) then most armies are only going to have so many points and thus only so much potential choice from the fleets on offer. Provided that WC makes diverse armies with viable choice then specific objectives will result in certain ships being more ideal than others.

 

Thing is if you've two different types of objective then both players might well build fleets that meet the needs for their objective, but which are poorly matched to their opposing players choice. Ergo you could end up making the game a really big choice of "Battle or objective chase" which could make or break the games at the army building level a bit too much. 

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@Overread completely agreed.  "Faction objectives" (if this ever happens) would be there to provide flavor and I hope they are neither auto-takes nor auto-wins. 

I humbly suggest looking to a system such as Malifaux for inspiration which has: random deployment, random public objective (called a 'Strategy'), and a 'pool' of 5 randomly drawn secret objectives (Schemes) for which each player chooses 2 at game start and records their choice in secret.     This produces a great deal of variety for every game of Malifaux, which is one of its strong points.

A similar, not exact, system can be developed for FSA.  A 'faction objective' could be always available as one of these secret objectives, but it is not inherently easier (perhaps it is even harder).  However faction objective is always available, therefore easier to plan for, or to choose alternatively if you don't like the randomly drawn objectives.   

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Good point @Overread, and I also agree with you @Stoobert. I am just trying to come up with ideas and see if they're practical  or not. 

I'll look up the Malifaux system as you suggested also. Personally I have been using Dropzone for some inspiration on objectives. Rescue Mission is based roughly based on Dropzone's intel mission. 

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I think “Rescue” would make an excellent public objective.  In addition two players could be scheming to achieve secretive secondary objectives during the Rescue.  These are good ideas everyone is sharing and they aren’t mutually exclusive, thanks @Skyhawk. I think it’s really good players are expressing their ideas, and most important their continued  interest in the game to WC.  

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Faction-specific Objectives can work well if each faction has an inherent playing style.  At the moment, I wouldn’t say this applies to all 24 Factions in 2.0, but WC has made it clear already they’re trimming that down to something more manageable.

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I'm also up for thinking more about a big multiplayer campaign system as well as more missions. I'd love to expand the Mission PDF I have floating around the forum as @Skyhawk kindly mentioned. (includes a rescue type mission Stoobert!) Ideally it would become a community effort. I'd did throw together a classic tree campaign using the mission in my pack too, though that's largely for 2 players building a narrative. 

I've been playing a fair bit of 30K recently and quite like the dice rolls for 1) random mission objectives and 2) random set up types. Something I'd also like to add to my pack for a sort of build your own mission tool box.  I actually quite like the mix the Horus Heresy has of "general throw down randomly generate missions" vs "narrative/special missions" vs "zone mortalis"

Kings of War has introduced a nice set of cards for determining:

  • Objectives, secret  objectives, in addition to the normal mission objectives. You draw 2 cards and choose 1. It might be select a unit of yours to survive the game, select the 3 most expensive enemy units to destroy
  • Conditions, earthquakes, storms, magical surges and the like. This could translate to FSA and is something I have considered but I feel might need a different game engine to work nicely. Imagine things like a solar storm, neutron sweep, fold space phenomena etc.
  • Strategy, draw 3 or so before the game,  generally little tricks, could be a free cheap magic item, a nerve check re-roll, a nerve buff etc. In a similarish vein to the current TACS but more 1-off buffs.

Me and my brothers did a 3 way KoW game a couple of weeks ago with a cental objective that when controlled gave us a strategy card and drew an new condition card for the table each turn. Worked quite nicely. 

Faction specific objectives I could get behind as well as more faction specific TACs. 

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