Sunday, September 23, 2012

Riot Squad Saturdays Sunday:
Scale Considerations Revisited

Photo: "Officer Calls Paddy Wagon for Disturber of the Peace" by Yoichi R. (Yoichi Robert) Okamoto
(for the EPA, now in the National Archives.)

Yes, I know this post is officially a day late. But if you think about it... it's actually 8 days late (since I missed last Saturday as well.) Regardless, let's turn our attention to where we left off... scale considerations.

THE COUNTERS (A Short Recap)
Recalling the post from 8/25, the counters were originally intended to represent an individual type. Then, as I thought about what the game was meant to simulate, it made more sense to let each counter represent a "unit" rather than an "individual" (per my 9/8 post). Which brings up my newest consideration...

Stacking hinges on 2 factors: 1) the map scale, and 2) finding a way to track unit "volume" should a unit lose individual "members." Let's say you're inside a building and dealing with a lone gunman situation. Scale and unit size for this type of simulation would suggest no stacking. However, on a city landscape, where the units could represent everything from paddy wagons to a dozen protestors/marchers, stacking should be allowable. Which brings me to a related consideration...

I strongly believe that the game will need to accommodate both of these very different scales of play: 1) the "smaller" man-to-man scale, and 2) the "larger" unit-to-unit scale. The two are obviously related, but it does help me focus on one type of interaction at at time. And since the name Riot Squad suggests the latter, this is where I will concentrate as I continue over the following weeks.

To be continued...


  1. I like what you're doing here but I have a question for you. Is there anything in the rules about one side (specifically the cops) NOT wanting to cause any fatalities? Riot police generally just want to control and disperse the crow but not cause any deaths, which can be a political nightmare. They have to apply just enough force to achieve their goals. The rioters may not want to cause any deaths except for the random and lone psycho who does want to take advantage of a riot. That could add a whole new level of headaches for each side. The police infiltrator trying to make things worse for the protesters. The deranged opportunist who uses the same gun as the police to kill people. Fun fun fun.

  2. I see those sorts of conditions being presented in the various scenario options for play. While I see two distinct sets of rules as noted above (man-to-man and unit-to-unit), there will be a variety of scenarios for each ruleset. For example, in man-to-man, you might have "lone gunman" and "gang war" scenarios. For unit-to-unit, you might have "quash revolution" (fatalities not an issue) and "control/disperse" (no fatalities, as you've noted above.) The rules would be the same for each type of play (e.g., order of play, resolution of interactions, etc.), though the actual interactions may differ, and the "conditions of victory" surely will differ.