Sunday, April 20, 2014

How would you? Hidden Movement orders and XCOM Style mission generation.

Hi everyone,

So, as things ebb and flow I've decided to do a supplement add-on to the Gruntz rules to emulate the small-scale skirmish gaming i'd like to do .

I'd like to have both players issuing orders at the same time, and then revealing them with initiative and skill taking part to modify these orders.

I'd also like a mission system that can be a bit random, but also interesting.  A fun part of the game rather than just the start.

I'd like to hear any suggestions you folks have.

What would you guys like to see?



  1. You could use tokens for order. Place them facedown to issue orders, they get revealed in initiative order.

    You might allow more skilled forces to place extra orders, and when they are activated they get to choose which of the orders are used.

    More elite/skilled units might have an option about when to activate before/after the less experienced. It might be too brutal to have both options. A card driven activation would probably be better (as I believe is already included as an option in the rules). I think they flexibility of choosing option for more elite units would nicely represent their advantages to adapt to changing conditions faster than compared to plodding raw recruits.

  2. For the missions I can recommend the mechanic used in the Eden game (from Taban miniatures). Here you get to choose mission cards before the game. Making it a different game every time.

  3. Have you had a look at the X-Wing miniatures game? I think the English rules are free to download...

    Anyway, both players program all their ship simultaneously by placing what comes down to a counter with the choosen manoeuvre next to each ship. During the activation phase, orders are revealed and executed by piloting skill order going from the worst pilots to the best (i.e. the best pilots move last) without rgeards for the sides they're on. During the combat phase, ships fire at each others by order of reversed piloting skills (i.e. the best pilots fire first).

    In X-Wing the orders only cover the movement part, and uses very strict templates that'd be ill suited with a ground forces game. But replaces the manoeuvres with a set of order à la Epic (advance = move + fire; assault = charge + fight, march = 2 x move + fire with malus, hold = no move + fire with bonus, etc.), have both player place one face down next to each manoeuvering unit, reveal them and execute the move part by order of troop quality (worst troop first), then execute the fire part by reversed order of troop quality (best troop first) and you might have something.

    You'll have to consider what leeway is given to the execution of an order? E.g. can the move part of an order be a 0" move, i.e. allowing a player to cancel the move part of an issued order? Or is there a minimal move? What happens when a unit with a fire order has not target? What happen when a assaulting unit can't reach her target? And so on...

    Reacting to Daveb's comment I'd stear clear of the double order from wich to choose from mechanic. It might be very realistic (I'm always worry of that word when talking about "science fiction" and "games") but it might also basicaly break down your orders system. The player already has some leeway in how to execute a given order (I assume the order is something like "move then fire", not "move 3 inches south-south-east then fire at unit X" wich might be a bit too much record keeping) and the number of option for orders should be limited (let's say half a dozen); in most situation, a couple of those options makes no sense at all; so the choice is made between 3 or 4 orders some of which are slight variants of each other ("move and fire" or "move a bit faster and fire a bit worse"). By allowing a player/unit the choice between two orders, you'd basicaly negate the challenge of selecting an order. You might as well go for a "elite units don't have to select an order and do whatever strikes their fancy". But wouldn't that make them a bit too powerfull?

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  5. I was thinking of the original GW epic/adeptus titanicus type orders. There was advance, maneuver/charge, evade, first fire, and some other stuff. I'd imagine that the orders would be stuff like: don't move & gain benefit to fire, don't fire and gain benefit to defense, move and fire, move and move, recover casualties/unpin/etc.

    I can appreciate the idea that elites might benefit from too many options if the orders are already quite permissive. You might allow elites to swap to similar orders instead? Maybe they can change from order B to order A or C. You could have a circle of orders showing the relation between them, and they can switch to a 'neighbouring' order? This would help limit just how much they can change orders/cover their bases.

    One question, I suppose, is whether resolution is simultaneous or not. Once orders are issued, are things resolved at the same time, or do you move/fire one unit (or side) in an alternative (or random) way. Can a model that is 'killed' return fire that turn for full effect? If it's non simultaneous you could have the elites benefit in when they activate. Perhaps they move later, but fire earlier? (assuming you do all moves and then fires). I think this is getting a bit away from the gruntz rules though.
    My read on this is you want to create some friction for the commander and help remove some of the 100 foot omniscient general phenomena.

  6. Have a look at Two Hour Wargames' Chain Reaction rules - solo orientated ;)


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