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15 November 2014 @ 10:52 pm
Warlords of the Mushroom Kingdom combat testing  
I've been wanting to do this for a bit, and we had a day today without much of anything to do, so I asked softlykarou to roll up a couple characters and I'd put her against some generic bandits. So she made a raptok named Goji and an amanita archer named Amiyumi (Exalted stats here), statted them up in about half an hour while I filled out my mook sheet with the stats for a mycon bandit, noted that there were six of them (there were going to be three until I saw how powerful she was), and we set up the battlemap and went to town:

Using hexes, as G-d and wargaming grognards intended.

I went with the "move on every tick" interpretation of Exalted combat, which is also the way that Hackmaster works (count up and ticks are pretty similar, from what little I know), so I set up the battle wheel and let everyone move. Two bandits immediately started dashing toward Goji, and softlykarou waited until one got close, then she used the raptok's tongue grapple to pull one bandit in and bite him in half. It was overkill because I'm so used to our nWoD house rule where it's rolled attack vs. rolled defense that I forgot it was rolled attack + rolled damage here, leading to doing 14 levels of damage rather than 14 dice, but on future bandits I remembered. After killing him, one other bandit had closed and softlykarou didn't want to get caught in melee with all of them, so she wanted to escape. I don't think Exalted actually has any rules for Attacks of Opportunity and disengaging from melee, so I just called for her to roll Dexterity + Dodge vs. the bandit's Wits + Melee. She won, and led them on a merry chase around the edge of the map while Amiyumi fired occasionally with her bow.

Most of her arrows missed, though, and eventually she got tired of running around and just closed to melee, biting another bandit in half (rules-legal this time) and then things settled down into the usual close-range skirmish. There were four mycon on her, but I forgot to have them Coordinate Attacks--though admittedly, they were a disorganized group of bandits, so maybe that makes sense--so they mostly plinked away for ping damage and never took either of softlykarou's characters out of -0 Health Levels. When half of the bandits were dead, I had the remainder roll Valor. Two passed, but one didn't, and then when he turned to flee Goji bit him in half. I probably should have required some kind of roll to make the attack since there were two other bandits, there, but Goji bit a giant chunk out of the bandit's side and he slowly crawled away to bleed to death elsewhere.

After that, it was just mop up.

The only ones left are bandit 5, who's crawling away bleeding to death, and bandit 1, who's uninjured. Raptok bites are serious business.

What I learned is that if you're used to Initiative-based systems, Timing-based systems require a shift in thinking. I forgot to explain to softlykarou that Speed represents how long your action takes and so higher Speed is worse, so both Goji and Amiyumi had Speed 6 attacks (bite and bow, respectively). She mentioned afterwards that she might have given Amiyumi a faster weapon if she had known that was how the system worked. I also had a hard time keeping track of who was who at the beginning, though once everyone stopped moving and I didn't have to track per-tick movement anymore it was a lot easier. And really, even with a tick system using a battlemap isn't always useful. In a very enclosed space, or in a duel, or if no one has ranged weapons, then all that space isn't necessary.

I did demonstrate the way that ticks can be used, when one of the last two bandits' action came up three ticks before Goji's action, so he spent two ticks Aiming for a +2 bonus. He still missed his attack, but it was definitely a much better trade off than the usual "spend a turn aiming while everyone else does something" way of doing it. Ticks require a bit more mental space for me, but I used dice to keep track of who was who, matching the number next to the minifig to the numbers on the battlewheel I printed out. I think with the right mental shift, it would be a neat way of working on battles. The combat system with mortals is such that huge numbers of enemies is almost certain death, so there wouldn't be too many combatants in combat at the same time. And even if there are, as long as they aren't moving every tick, it should be fine. The whole combat with eight participants took about 45 minutes, which isn't so bad. Most of that was weighted towards the beginning when people were moving a lot, too. The last fifteen minutes are where four of the bandits got killed.

Speaking of lethality, I had softlykarou roll Medicine to stop Goji and Amiyumi's bleeding at the end of battle, and also checked for Wound Infection.

They both passed.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Abject Suffering podcast
marianlhmarianlh on November 16th, 2014 03:00 pm (UTC)
Looks cool! I've always been quite taken with Exalted's battlewheel concept.

And gee, those maps look familiar! ^_^
dorchadasdorchadas on November 16th, 2014 03:24 pm (UTC)
And gee, those maps look familiar! ^_^


The original Battletech and Citytech boxed sets are the two Battletech products I own, and probably why I like hexes so much. Though come to think of it, I'm not sure why they beat out Heroquest for mindshare...