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Old April 18th, 2018, 02:50 AM
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Default Book 4 Narrative Combat

I was contemplating @bjjones37's example that he posted in THIS THREAD.

How would I run that type of game?

Striker came to me, of course. But, Striker is so involved. I'm sure you could run it without minis and terrain and such. I think I could run Striker without using any maps--just describing the action in the player's mind.

But, with Striker, there's so much to know. The Ref had better know his stuff in terms of Striker, or I think he risks a boring game session.



Book 4: Mercenary.

Another thought was Book 4's abstract system decribed in that book's Battles chapter.

To be honest, I've never given that section of the Traveller rules a lot of love. Yeah, I've skimmed it, years and years and multiple moons ago. But, I barely remember it--knowing that it is fairly quick and abstract.

I read it again tonight.

Ya know. Using these rules could make for a damn interesting session or two of Traveller, on a large combat scale, and it wouldn't take much prep. The rules are nothing--a page or three--compared to Striker's three books of rules.

It could be done. And, I think it could be quite fun.





HOW I SEE IT.

What I'm thinking is that you use the abstract Book 4 rules as you would a narrative combat game. It's just the Ref, describing what happens to the players. No minis. No maps. Just cool description and imagination.

The only person that needs to know the combat rules in Book 4 is the Ref. Any dice rolls, he'll make behind his screen. The results inform him of his description to the players.

So, in that scenario example that I link above, there's a Lieutenant commanding officer leading a platoon of about 40 men down a road. I picture heavy foliage on the right flank in my mind's eye.

In a game, I describe this--probably from the PC LT character's point of view.

On the left, is less dense forest and shrubs--and it's not too far to the coast.



In the example, the VC has set up an ambush from the forest. Well, just for grins, I rolled using the Book 4 charts, and I ended up with a single VC sniper taking pop shots at a single squad.

It's obvious to me that there's a squad far out on the far right flank, close to the treeline.







SWITCHING FROM MACRO TO MICRO.

Here, I hand the players the four soldiers in the squad. I would have had this prepared knowing that something like this might be possible (as it could have been different--there could have been a VC element out there making an attack against the players' platoon.

But, that's not the case, so as we game, we can take the time to go in and actually see what happens on that right flank with those four soldiers and the single VC sniper.

Here, I go into regular Traveller combat mode, and we play out the encounter. The players play the four solders in the squad, and I'll play the VC sniper as an enemy.

Once we're done with that little encounter, we switch back to Macro mode, using again the Book 4 rules.

I've never done tis kind of think with Traveler, but I do think it would be fun--the switching back and forth--switching scales, so to speak.
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Old April 18th, 2018, 03:11 AM
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Well I would agree with the know Striker aspect before trying to run it and steep learning curve/not roleplayers' cup of tea aspects.

BUT.

Just a couple thoughts.

Striker is unusual for most mini rules as it introduced an aspect of role playing- as the unit leader you have to decide what he is doing when to rally, convey orders, make sure orders are followed, and gather intel to make decisions.

It's as much a leadership/time discipline game as shooting.

So if you look at it that way and play it, can be just as engrossing from a character perspective as the more abstract game.

The other part is scale to your players' interests. If they are interested in running the big battle or detailed fire team battle, Striker it is. If they are good with standard equipment or at least minimalist infantry/support LBB4 gear, LBB4 abstract it is.

Finally I've never played Traveller ship combat, Striker or Harpoon with minis, always on graph paper, usually with a ref. The graph paper helps with tracking on range bearing and closing effects, without incurring the expense or trouble of setting up a table battlefield. Not as pretty, but just as effective for roleplaying battle decisions.
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Old April 18th, 2018, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supplement Four View Post
SWITCHING FROM MACRO TO MICRO.

Here, I hand the players the four soldiers in the squad. I would have had this prepared knowing that something like this might be possible (as it could have been different--there could have been a VC element out there making an attack against the players' platoon.

But, that's not the case, so as we game, we can take the time to go in and actually see what happens on that right flank with those four soldiers and the single VC sniper.

Here, I go into regular Traveller combat mode, and we play out the encounter. The players play the four solders in the squad, and I'll play the VC sniper as an enemy.

Once we're done with that little encounter, we switch back to Macro mode, using again the Book 4 rules.

I've never done tis kind of think with Traveler, but I do think it would be fun--the switching back and forth--switching scales, so to speak.
Have you ever read the rules for Pendragon RPG?

On its battle rules there are some examples of just this, by alloring to go from the players (kinght) point of view, and their individual fights, but also taking an eye o nthe general battle situation, that may modify (and in some cases be modified by) player's actions...
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Old April 18th, 2018, 08:20 AM
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You don't have to use the entire Striker rule set, for a few characters you just need the basic attack resolution system.

Since you don't need any tables it's much simpler and quicker than the basic LBB1 system. Just have the players write down the basic weapon characteristics and it is all you need.

The same system easily extends to shooting at vehicles.
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Old April 18th, 2018, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilemall View Post
So if you look at it that way and play it, can be just as engrossing from a character perspective as the more abstract game.
Oh, I agree. I've always been attracted to Striker. I'm a huge Hammer's Slammers fan, and I see that in the game. I've always wanted to run it, but I never have.

I was just trying to say that it's not something a Ref can pick up, read today, and run tomorrow. There's a lot to those rules.

If I played Striker, I'd want to start off slow, with a small unit scenario, and then have bigger scenarios with more aspects to the combat as I get more experienced with the rules (add vehicles, add artillery, etc).





Quote:
Finally I've never played Traveller ship combat, Striker or Harpoon with minis, always on graph paper, usually with a ref.
Yeah, I think I'd run it that way, with the Ref making notes on graph paper, narrating the combat to the players.





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Originally Posted by McPerth View Post
Have you ever read the rules for Pendragon RPG?
I haven't.

Sounds cool, though.

I've played this way in other RPGs. There's a D6 Star Wars scenario I ran where Tusken Raiders are attacking a small town out in the wastes of Tatooine, trying to get at their water.

For the large battle scenes, I rolled abstract dice to get a generally idea of how the battle was going. There was a PC on a watch tower, and I'd skew the information about the battle through his point of view. That PC would relay the info to the other PCs on the ground via comm. How the battle went with the abstract rolls informed me for specific encounters with the PCs. The PC could come over a dune and run into three villagers holding off 10 Sandpeople. Or, if the abstract dice rolls went differently, maybe the defenders were already decimated--so that the PCs find bodies and evidence that the Raiders have moved on.







Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherDilbert View Post
You don't have to use the entire Striker rule set, for a few characters you just need the basic attack resolution system.
That's true.

But, the abstract system in Book 4 ain't bad. It's a very easy system the Ref can learn quickly and use to narrate large battles.
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Old April 18th, 2018, 01:40 PM
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Have you thought about taking one of the boardgames and adapting it to small/medium military engagements?
The ground combat rules in Imperium, FFW, I:E can be retasked to resolve this level of combat.
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Old April 18th, 2018, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
Have you thought about taking one of the boardgames and adapting it to small/medium military engagements?
The ground combat rules in Imperium, FFW, I:E can be retasked to resolve this level of combat.
I haven't actually read them. I own FFW and Dark Nebula. Never read or played either.

I should remedy that.
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Old April 18th, 2018, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supplement Four View Post
I haven't.

Sounds cool, though.
King Arthur Pendragon is one of the most interesting and compelling RPGs ever written.

If you get a chance, it is really worth checking out.
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Old April 18th, 2018, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
I've never done tis kind of think with Traveler, but I do think it would be fun--the switching back and forth--switching scales, so to speak.
since it's narrative, you could run a scenario here on the boards.
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Old April 19th, 2018, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creativehum View Post
Sidebar:



King Arthur Pendragon is one of the most interesting and compelling RPGs ever written.

If you get a chance, it is really worth checking out.
Continuing the sidebar:

Seconded. I especially endorse the Great Pendragon Campaign. That campaign structure has a lot to recommend it on a number of levels, from the one year campaign turn to the ebb and flow of life at court.
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