Saturday, September 8, 2012

Riot Squad Saturday: Scale Considerations

Photo of "Anti Media Spree demo in Kreuzberg" by Libertinus Yomango.

As I was contemplating next steps for my ongoing Saturday posts regarding the development of the Riot Squad "wargame", I started giving consideration to how large of an area should be represented by the map-board. And, as a related considerations, the scale of each hex and the number of individuals represented by each counter (unit).

Though my original intention was to use the "man-to-man" scale that Welbo and I have been developing for Starmasters & The System:Expanded (see my "Samurai in Space" post), it began to make more sense to me that each counter represent a "unit" of more than one individual; this would allow for direct interaction of those (people) units with "larger" (non-people) units like SWAT vans and paddy wagons. It would also allow Welbo and I to start testing our design thoughts for scaling up the Starmasters/The System:Expanded man-to-man rules for larger scale interactions.

Without getting into too much detail, Starmasters/The System:Expanded use "effect scales" which allow d6s to be rolled providing various result strengths (weak to strong). Bonuses and penalties for damage are not given in absolute numbers; rather, they are given in shifts "up" or "down" to the attack's effect scale (thereby strengthening or weakening, respectively, the result of the roll, without changing the number of dice to be rolled). Weapons and magic spells, for example, are rated with these effect scales; certain types of armor or magical resistances cause effect scale shifts, modifying the resulting damage rolls.

In Riot Squad, my thoughts are to rank "units" (groups of individuals) with an effect scale, rather than a simple "combat number" (see my "Counters" post from 8/25/12). Then, each unit would be tracked on a separate tracking sheet, similar to the manner in which units are tracked in Battlesystem. Where the number of dice rolled = the number of individuals in the unit, and the effect scale would be determined by the unit. This would actually allow a large "individual" unit (like a SWAT van) to interact directly with a "multiple" unit counter (like a group of protestors). For example, a unit representing 5 peaceful protestors might roll 5d6 on effect scale A, and a single police fan unit might roll 1d6 on effect scale M. This would also allow crowds to grow to overwhelming numbers without having to track hundreds of counters on each turn.

TO BE CONTINUED... next Saturday.

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