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Thread: Reflections on the Battle

  1. #1
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    Reflections on the Battle

    Please pardon my jumping in at this point - perhaps too early as you've not quite finished.

    I've been following the battle and it certainly has been a lengthy engagement (well done Merlin for staying the course). My question is a general one: Now that it's over what was the overall impression of how Battle System worked? I wonder if any tweaks or suggestions might come out of this play test. I'm still yet to GM it myself so I'm keen to take onboard any suggestions that might help.

    Please start a thread in the Battle Forum if you'd rather do the debrief there, while you finish off.

    thanks
    Andy

  2. #2

    Re: Round Six

    My thoughts are for the most part good. The system flows, each round the players do have choices. Remembering every detail is hard (notice how often we forgot something), but the overall system is not. The only point I have concern over is plunder. The rules say no plunder is gained in an inconclusive battle. Yet, it is possible to reach the enemy camp and have the battle stop before you cause the battle to end by the modifiers caused by being there. In strict interpretation, 2 times 0 is still 0.

    Bob

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    Re: Round Six

    Someone mentioned to me a concern that it was charge-withdraw-charge, and that the other choices were simply no choice compared to that cycle.

    I'm a few weeks away from playing the battle of Lindsey with Octa and Eosa so I'm trying to get as clued up as much as possible beforehand.

  4. #4
    Tychus
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    Re: Round Six

    I think there is an illusion of choice, but there really aren't very many actual decisions to make. Charge-withdraw-charge is so much better than any other choice that it's really no choice at all once you grok the system. The exception is once you've pushed deep enough into enemy territory that the UI drops, then you may just want to stay there and advance. The rest of the options are so situational as to be irrelevant. I think if there were some other choices that might result in different outcomes (larger changes in intensity, status changes (ie disorder) to the enemy, etc), some of them might become more attractive. Also, extended battle rounds seem so dangerous that my players are afraid of choosing to try them.

    I've run 4? Battles now - we just finished St Alban's yesterday - and the other important bit is that it's harder to stick to the script when you use the BoB. I'm looking forward to the Anarchy phase where the outcomes can vary a lot more.

  5. #5

    Re: Round Six

    [quote author=Tychus link=topic=941.msg8554#msg8554 date=1286909796]
    Also, extended battle rounds seem so dangerous that my players are afraid of choosing to try them.
    [/quote]
    There are indeed more dangerous as many times you fight more than one while rescuing or trying to take someone ransom. But, given the right circumstances...
    I've run 4? Battles now - we just finished St Alban's yesterday - and the other important bit is that it's harder to stick to the script when you use the BoB. I'm looking forward to the Anarchy phase where the outcomes can vary a lot more.
    I've scripted the other two units (left, center, right) that the players aren't in. It saves time and you can give a better overall description of how the battle is going.

    I agree, the Anarchy phase is more open, but then how many battles are the PCs involved in? That depends on the type of campaign the gamemaster is running.

    Bob

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    Re: Round Six

    [quote author=Tychus link=topic=941.msg8554#msg8554 date=1286909796]
    I think there is an illusion of choice, but there really aren't very many actual decisions to make. Charge-withdraw-charge is so much better than any other choice that it's really no choice at all once you grok the system. The exception is once you've pushed deep enough into enemy territory that the UI drops, then you may just want to stay there and advance. The rest of the options are so situational as to be irrelevant. I think if there were some other choices that might result in different outcomes (larger changes in intensity, status changes (ie disorder) to the enemy, etc), some of them might become more attractive. Also, extended battle rounds seem so dangerous that my players are afraid of choosing to try them.
    [/quote]

    Would you say it is better than the original Battle System which it replaced? I know Greg always says play the system before you start tweaking, but now that so many people have I wonder if there is any desire to create a version 2, one which perhaps allows for the options you describe?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Greg Stafford's Avatar
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    Re: Round Six

    [quote author=Sir Pramalot link=topic=968.msg8556#msg8556 date=1286914110]
    [quote author=Tychus link=topic=941.msg8554#msg8554 date=1286909796]
    I think there is an illusion of choice, but there really aren't very many actual decisions to make.
    [/quote][/quote]

    I have found that there are many choices to be made, mostly while trying to get out of a disadvantageous position.

    Charge-withdraw-charge is so much better than any other choice that it's really no choice at all once you grok the system.
    Three points:
    1. Yes, of course Charge-withdraw-charge is the best option. The system was designed that way, based on my understanding of historical options.
    2. C-W-C really works well IF you get disengaged.
    3. The Withdraw Bonus has been reduced to +5, not +10, which I found was just too much. This changes the overwhelming value of the C-W-C and makes the other options more viable.

    The exception is once you've pushed deep enough into enemy territory that the UI drops, then you may just want to stay there and advance. The rest of the options are so situational as to be irrelevant. I think if there were some other choices that might result in different outcomes (larger changes in intensity, status changes (ie disorder) to the enemy, etc), some of them might become more attractive.
    Let us know what you find.

    Also, extended battle rounds seem so dangerous that my players are afraid of choosing to try them.
    Yep, rightly so.

    Would you say it is better than the original Battle System which it replaced?
    Better than the original Battle? Please, if anyone prefers the old system, let me know!

    I know Greg always says play the system before you start tweaking, but now that so many people have I wonder if there is any desire to create a version 2, one which perhaps allows for the options you describe?
    In fact, a version 2 is all done and at the publisher's. (I should have some news on publication schedule soon.)
    It does contain some significant changes (+5 to Withdraw, for instance), but not many as radical as you suggest.
    I look forward to whatever tweaks or changes are proposed.

    -- Greg Stafford
    Game Designer

  8. #8
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    Re: Reflections on the Battle


    In fact, a version 2 is all done and at the publisher's. (I should have some news on publication schedule soon.)
    It does contain some significant changes (+5 to Withdraw, for instance), but not many as radical as you suggest.
    I look forward to whatever tweaks or changes are proposed.
    Whoa! I missed this. How long before it comes out? Any chance before Jan 30th, my next game date?

  9. #9
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    Re: Reflections on the Battle

    My next session is January 16th but likely I have no battle to do. Running 487.

    Can't wait to grab a copy of this.
    My Great Pendragon Campaign Blog
    http://nealsgpc.wordpress.com

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