Saturday, April 25, 2015
Book of War Command & Control 0.5
The above example is a unit of two Pike blocks (trained, with a Will of 3), Bravast Blackguards (Elite with will 4) and skirmishers. This group will roll four order dice when activated: 1 each for the infantry blocks and 1 for the Skirmishers. No group can have more units than the Will of its commander. Most of the time this will be 3-4.
At the start of the game, both players roll an opposed d6 roll using the will of the army commander. The highest success (ie equal or under their Will) wins and can choose to have the first or second activation. Players then take turns activating groups. The same player goes first for every turn of the game.
There are modifiers: Stress (though units can 'ignore' their ranks in stress) can be SPENT to lower Will by 1. Likewise, units get a +1 bonus to their Will when over 8" from the enemy. +2 if over 12" away. Units that cause Dread give a -1 penalty to units within 8" that move closer and a +1 bonus to units within 8" that move further away. Every unit in the group has to be within 8" of the commander or it gets a -1 penalty.
This system means that each group may well only get one or two orders. It may even seriously blunder and get none.
One reason for it to be there is that the player who is currently active may choose to try and hold on to the initiative. This may be done once for a maximum two activations in a row. Once the opponent has had a go, you could try it again. However, when you do there is a -1 penalty to your will for command tests so you will probably end up with few dice... unless you are a group of elite Will 4 troops.
Why the big change? We've done a few games now and I've witnessed the slow trickle of orders. Breaking things down into groups and effectively taking all the command tests at the frontend should naturally simplify decision making. The aim is to force players to strike a balance between simple orders, like marching everyone forward in a line, and complicated micro-positioning of individual units. The former will always work but is pretty in flexible, while the latter could pay off big time but is far from reliable.
I'll also add this simplifies the situation with 'Mindless' and 'Impetuous'. Mindless units will always make a group mindless move. Impetuous units will always have to make the one impetuous move, which could be a group impetuous move forwards, but can use any remaining orders as they choose.
What do people think?