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Subject: Edge of the World rss

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Gomeril Gnak
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Military commanders have an interest to stay in their area of operations. First, because orders, second, because they know about their flanks even less than about what is ahead and if they were ordered to push, the space ahead was supposed a weak spot.
Not so for armchair generals playing wargames. The edge of the world is your friend. Nothing safer than the map edge or, as I am designing a SF miniatures wargame, the edge of the table.
My solution to this are off-map units, who trace a line of sight from the map edge (and at which you can't shoot back) making the edge of the world a dangerous place. My question is, how dangerous:
Do the players buy those ghost units at the flank as part of their army list?
Should those units mirror units on their force list (e.g. cheapest infantry squad)?
Should I provide a list where random flank units can be rolled for as targets present themselves?
And I am of course hoping for clever suggestions I didn't even think of...
 
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JPotter
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Gomeril wrote:
... for armchair generals playing wargames. The edge of the world is your friend. Nothing safer than the map edge ...


Not if the terrain or map is modular. Hit the edge? add another tile, shift if needed, party on. The rout never ends!

Gomeril wrote:
... off-map units...
Do the players buy those ghost units at the flank as part of their army list?


I should think so, but it might depend on how balanced your "off map" units are. If they prove to be just plain OP in practice, then absolutely yes, and their costs should reflect their power.

If not listed, how are the players limited as far as number of these units? Or are they given X number of them free?


Gomeril wrote:
Should those units mirror units on their force list (e.g. cheapest infantry squad?


I wouldn't think so, but again depends how powerful the off map guys are compared to the on map guys. Off-map version of any unit should reflect difference from on-map version in cost.

If I have 5 off-map guys, and 1 enemy wanders into range of the edge, can all 5 of them take a shot?

Does your game involve air, orbital, or artillery strikes originating off-map?
 
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Oblivion Doll
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The "edge of the world" needs to present some kind of risk. The reason a lot of wargames give to not stick too close is that being forced to fall back can push you out of the area, and into "game over" territory. Units that flee the battlefield in this way are often treated as "dead".

Having off-map units that fire into the battlefield if you get too close to the edge is a solution some videogames use for players who push outside the edges of the game map. Not so common in boardgames, but you could easily just have a shooting phase for out-of-field attackers who can fire into the areas near the edge of the map if you stay close to the boundary for too long. Personally, I think there should be a boundary limit defined in the encounter, where you can go to a certain point, but going further gives a *RISK* (not certain) of being fired on. If you make the risk relatively high, it'll discourage people from playing too hard on the flanks, but if you make it too high, it'll just clump everything into the middle and players will treat the board as being smaller than it really is.
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Gomeril Gnak
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aesthetocyst wrote:
Gomeril wrote:
... for armchair generals playing wargames. The edge of the world is your friend. Nothing safer than the map edge ...


Not if the terrain or map is modular. Hit the edge? add another tile, shift if needed, party on. The rout never ends!


As this is a tabletop, not a board game, this not an option. Not enough tables

aesthetocyst wrote:

If not listed, how are the players limited as far as number of these units? Or are they given X number of them free?


I thought of giving each player a unit on either flank. Or one with antitank and one with antipersonnel capabilities.

aesthetocyst wrote:

Gomeril wrote:
Should those units mirror units on their force list (e.g. cheapest infantry squad?


I wouldn't think so, but again depends how powerful the off map guys are compared to the on map guys. Off-map version of any unit should reflect difference from on-map version in cost.


As the off-map units are supposed to be flanking units, the should be as powerful als the on map guys. What makes them powerful is their invulnerability.

aesthetocyst wrote:

If I have 5 off-map guys, and 1 enemy wanders into range of the edge, can all 5 of them take a shot?


Till now I intended to limit them to one unit with one shot on either flank.

aesthetocyst wrote:

Does your game involve air, orbital, or artillery strikes originating off-map?

Not outside scenarios. To quote from the introduction of the rules:
"Fighting planetside is easy, if you have a worlddestroyer class battleship in orbit. For orbital bombardment, press one, for a orbital drop regiment press two, for shuttles to transport the POW's press three."
The scale of the game is a company sized special force. The only scenario involving orbital strikes I have written so far uses the call of orbital bombardment to effectively end the game.
 
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Gomeril Gnak
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obliviondoll wrote:
The "edge of the world" needs to present some kind of risk. The reason a lot of wargames give to not stick too close is that being forced to fall back can push you out of the area, and into "game over" territory. Units that flee the battlefield in this way are often treated as "dead".

Having off-map units that fire into the battlefield if you get too close to the edge is a solution some videogames use for players who push outside the edges of the game map. Not so common in boardgames, but you could easily just have a shooting phase for out-of-field attackers who can fire into the areas near the edge of the map if you stay close to the boundary for too long. Personally, I think there should be a boundary limit defined in the encounter, where you can go to a certain point, but going further gives a *RISK* (not certain) of being fired on. If you make the risk relatively high, it'll discourage people from playing too hard on the flanks, but if you make it too high, it'll just clump everything into the middle and players will treat the board as being smaller than it really is.


Avoid clumping in the middle, that's a valuable thought. Fire lanes will be limited as there should be plenty of blocking terrain, as without this terrain the game would degenerate into two rounds of some kind of Rommel in the desert. The risk is calculable as you only have to fear flanking fire in the table half of your enemy - in your half all flanking fire is friendly .
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Mus Rattus
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When a Bloodbowl player is pushed off the pitch, the end up in the crowd.
Not a good place to be, seeing as the average Bloodbowl fan is only moderately less murderous in their intentions than the average Bloodbowl player. The player pushed off won't be seen again until the next play.

Other reasons why going off the edge of the map may be a bad thing:
-Out of command: units that flee off the board may as well be lost, for all the good they're doing you. Even when they go in the right direction, advancing further than intended can cause a commander great difficulty.
Maybe they can re-appear later, possibly sustaining damage, but any units off the map at the end of the game could be treated as casualties
-Morale: it doesn't inspire confidence to see your comrades go careening away from the objective. At best, it may cause some confusion ("Were we supposed to go over there?"). Units moving off the board may inflict morale penalties on their allies that remain.

For your suggestion of enemy units lurking off-board, I'd recommend that be set as part of a scenario. For example, an attack-defend scenario might have the sides of the board belong to the defender, and any attacking units that go off are at hazard.

Anyways, those are my thoughts.
 
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