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Striker Play Balance solution (long)


Striker has always been in need of some system for determining a balanced fight. So, with great modesty, here is my attempt at a point system.

This system can be used by a referee pre-planned battle or as an On-the-fly, quick game make-up for a night's battle. As always, no system is perfect, and play-testing will reveal some unseen tricks - but, hey, that's war for you....

Determine how many players you are going to have. Each player will get so many points to spend on troops, equipment, etc.

First, slap some terrain on the table. Have fun designing an interesting map with your miniature terrain. Try to make some interesting terrain-caused tactical decisions for ALL the players. Now, one side will usually be already occupying the terrain (as is war). When this happens, he is the Defender and 2nd player, as per Striker. Everyone get together and talk about what it would take to defend this terrain and to attack it (don't reveal too much of your tactics - just see if the current terrain is fun to attack and fun to defend.)

Now, to determine the size of your defending force:

---- Defender Point determination: There are a few key elements to determine the point value [Examples in brackets]:

NOTE: these are just baselines to determine an average cost. The actual quality, equipment, tech level and troop size will be made up of these points by each player when he gets to spend his points. You'll find that as one element increases, another is forced to decrease....

- 'Tech Level'- Average is ~10. Keep in mind that higher Equipment Quality will need, usually, need a higher tech level to spend all those extra points. This Tech is a base, and can be modified by givng or recieving points, later, during the spending of the points..[We'll go with the average- Tech Level 10]

- 'Troop Size'- a rough idea of how many units a player wants to control. Multiply this amount by 4 to determine amount of soldiers. [A good average is sixteen units (a platoon) per player, so we'll say 76 soldiers]

- 'Defending Troop Quality'- this will give you an average cost in points per soldier (cost multiplier in paranthesis): Militia (12.4), Conscript (17.5), Long Service (23), Picked (30.5). [I like have some modest control over my men, so I choose 'Long Service' for the average troop quality for the Defender...the Points are (23 x 76)=1748.]

- 'Equipment Quality'- a rough idea as to what level the equipment is (multiplier per soldier in paranthesis):
LIGHT (.5): Usually an average rifle per soldier.
MODERATE (1): Usually a good rifle per soldier.
HEAVY (2): A good rifle and some simple armor per soldier.
EXTRA-HEAVY (20): A great rifle and some Combat armor per soldier.
MEGA (200): Battle Dress and such, or a LOT of equipment per soldier.
[We'll go for having the troops have a chance for survival when hit and give them some light armor - we'll go for HEAVY...Equipment Quality points will be (76 x 2)=152.]

- 'Vehicles'- Determine if you want some vehicles and what type and how many. Using the above 'Equipment Quality' numers, multiply (the value in Equipment Quality paranthesis) by (the number of vehicles you might want to see on the defneders side) by ( 50 ). [Let's give him 3 vehicles of HEAVY quality - 3 x 2 x 50 = 300]

- Add the Equipment Quality points to the Average Per Man Cost points ( but NOT the Vehicles points, yet!) and you have your point totals for the defender. [152 + 1748 = 1900, - and we'll round up to a nice 2000 points ]

- Multiply this by 1/2 the number of players present [Let's say we have 5 players...that's 2.5 x 2000 = 5000.]

- Add the Vehicle points to the current total. [ 5000 + 300 = 5300 ]

- That's the defending sides points, folks.

The group should also determine how many days the defender has been in the postion while not under fire, which will help him determine the possibilties of defense engineering, as per Striker Book 2, Rule 55. If he is been 'under fire' for a number of days, as well, just take those 'under fire' days and multiply by .25 and add to the 'not under fire' days. Man hours may be determined by, roughly, 17 hours per day. (Eh- whatever - we'll say two days, before enemy troops began bugging the defenders and then four more days before the battle about to be played - total of three days time and, thus, 54 man-hours.]


Now, the Fun part: Get the players on to two sides (die roll, by height, closest birthday, greatest number of functioning original teeth....whatever). Each side look at the map and think about the Defenders points. The sides will now secretly write down how many points that your side would need to have a even chance (not an overwhelming chance!) to successfully attack the defending terrain and points. The highest bidding side will have to defend against their own bid! This seems odd, but think about the strageies behind this and it will make sense. It is a timed-tested and GREAT way to do it.


Now the REALLY FUN part: spending the points!

Each player will, for free, get one Elite soldier to use as his troops commander. In large player sides, there should be some determination as to Chain-of-command (highest die-roll), but with everyone getting one Elite, and battles being as they are, no REAL controversy, usually, will happen during the battle, allowing each player to command his units by himself....however, loss of command units WILL shift troops around.

Players within a side should now determine how the points are spread out between them, taking into account some shared resources like engineering, artillery, etc. This can be a little contentious, but a rough battle plan will usually develop as a result.

'Tech Level'- Each player can determine his own Tech Level as, often, troops of mixed types were found in battles (Mercs, Colonial, Imperial, etc.). This costs 10% of the player's points for every Tech Level increase and giving a player 10% more points for every Tech Level decrease.

'Troop Size'- Each player will determine how many men he wants to control. These men will be oraganized into troops as per Striker, Book 1, Rule 6. The amount of many is a key factor in the cost of the remain two elements: Troop Quality and Equipment Cost, and will be adjusted as the player determines these two elements.

'Troop Quality'- Determine your quality: Militia, Conscript, Long-service, or Picked. The amount of each morale rating (Recruit, Regular, Veteran, and Elite) and the actual overall cost of your soldiers will be determined by what quality you choose and how many soldiers you want in your force: (if the force is not evenly divisible into percentages, each player will distribute the excess as close to the ratings numbers as possible)
Use the chart in Striker, Book 1, Rule 5 to determine morale ratings of your troops. The overall cost in points will be a quality multiplier times your number of soldiers: Militia: x12.4, Conscript: x17.5, Long Service: x23, Picked: x30.5.

'Equipment Cost'- buy equipment and vehicles and such at a cost of 1 point per 1000 Cr. Keep track of fractions. Remember to buy those radios, map boxes, grenades, etc....don't spend ALL your points on a Laser-grav tank! Hopefully, you have a some vehicles handy or some quick calculating players (or a spreadsheet --- I AM working on that!)

NOTE: besides the total points given to each player and the amount of time the Engineering rules (Book2, Rule 55), there are no other rulings, except those immediatly above, as to HOW to spend the points...the defender does NOT have to go by the baselines used to determine the defender's points. A player with 2000 points may buy many lightly equipped, low-tech troops or a few heavily equipped, average tech troops, a few low-tech tanks, one or two high-tech vehicles, or a VERY few Battle Dress, Tech-15 guys.


Have the sides determine set-up, code-word orders, etc.

Have fun, and be aware - this is Traveller combat...you NEVER know what some mercenaries might bring to the battle!

Sounds great...but where do I get the Striker rules?
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Gatsby:
Striker has always been in need of some system for determining a balanced fight. So, with great modesty, here is my attempt at a point system.

[Rest snipped for brevity.]

High and low TLs allowed for a battle should be capped by the ref: Striker is a game where if there's too much difference in tech the numbers difference really won't matter much. Personally, I wouldn't generally allow deviations of more than 1-2 TLs from the base TL in general. Alternatively, make deviations cost/return more: 10% CUMULATIVE per TL difference - ie, 1 TL difference, +-10%; 2 TL difference +- 30%; 3TL difference +-60%; etc.

Special weapons, such as nukes, meson guns, etc, should also be explicitly allowed or disallowed by the ref (the Imperial Army/Marines that I had set up for my Traveller games issued .1 kT nuke-tipped missiles to every infantryman, they were the infantry's only effective defence against grav tanks with enough armor to shrug off anything else the PBI's could carry).

Any restrictions on operations imposed by off-board command/situation should also be specified (flying above NOE exposes grav vehicles to ortillery fire, for instance).

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rerednaw:
Sounds great...but where do I get the Striker rules?

Wait for Far Future to reprint FFE005 (Games), which should have been out in May.