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Subject: Cthulhu Wars - The Skirmish (CWTS) rss

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Stefano Gandolfo
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Hoping this is the right place to start such a thread, I propose here a community project aimed at creating a ruleset for a skirmish wargame game based on the CW miniatures.

I think the miniatures which come with CW are truly amazing and it'd be a pity not to increase even further their value creating a completely different game to complement CW.
Having huge mthos and a game to play with them is great, but having two games is even better!

I hope Sandy has nothing against me using this thread for such a purpose. Please let me know if there's any issue.

This will be a completely free and community driven project, but of course there will be a form of supervision aimed at producing one solid ruleset available in digital (pdf) format.
I'll soon investigate on the best open license suitable for the project, maybe it'll be Creative Commons but honestly I have to make some research first (any hint is welcome).

I know there already are some Cthulhu themed miniature game rulesets, but I want to make it clear here that the aim of this project won't be to just gather some hints on how to play a skirmish game with CW minis, but to produce a complete ruleset to play with them.

Of course I'll first investigate the existing systems, they might have good ideas to take inspiration from ot they might have some mechanics which could be used as a whole (provided their licensing permits it).

I think the best approach would be to first focus on base rules and details about the minis of the 4 factions which come with the base game, leaving all the other minis to a second phase of the project.

The combat rules will of course be completely different from CW rules, but it'd be possible to take inspiration from CW's factions spellbooks.

I'd prefere to keep this a "Mythos war on the destroyed earth" game, avoiding to introduce human factions where not necessary.
Also, I'd like to limit it as much as possible to CW minis.
I'd like to avoid limiting the gameplay to a game of dices with just melee and ranged attacks and to avoid limiting the supernatural powers to just ranged attacks with a "magical" attribute. I want to see true occult powers.
Gates might have a major role in the game too, placing them when setting up the board and using them to gather power or summon other creatures during the game.

The key factor, as with most miniature wargaames, will be a free placement of the miniatures, as opposed to a movement grid. Thus a ruler will be needed. And dices, of course. I'd like to use the same of CW, with a ruleset which suits CW custom dices.

Ok, enough for the introduction of the project, I want to read your replies!
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Stephen G Roy
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Now that that's out of the way, I have not been able to locate non-Euclidean dice, but these are close:



Or were you thinking of standard dice?
 
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Stefano Gandolfo
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I'm sorry, maybe that's because I'm new to this forum, but I have difficulties understanding the message behind your sarcasm, if there was any. No pun intended.

(yes, I know what non-Euclidean solid is)
 
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Rev. Dr. O'Grady
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They're certainly non-Platonic solids.
 
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Stephen G Roy
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No sarcasm intended. Using elliptical dice would be nice.
Most skirmish games I have played generally stick to one type of dice, usually d6 or d20. Sometimes d10, but not often.
 
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Stefano Gandolfo
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Well, that's indeed an interesting original idea.
Should the goal be to create a game box, that'd be easier to include in the design. But I'd like to avoid forcing the purchase of specific game components. It could be suggested as an optional plus in the manual.

But I also have to say that there's a good reason why game dices are mostly euclidean: the roll much easier. Those non-euclidean dice probably require a vertical launch to generate a random enough result and I see this as a problem in a miniatures game, the risk to hit a miniature would be higher.

On the rules topic, someone in the KS comments suggested to give a look at Strange Aeons, a Mythos themed miniatures skirmish game (http://strange-aeons.ca/). I'm reading it right now, but from a first look it seems centered around the humans v.s. mythos concept.
Indeed mechanics like mental sanity are cool in miniature games, but I'll have to find mechanics more suitable for a mythos v.s. mythos game.
 
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Michael Nunez
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Hey

So this thing is really happening I agree with your thought on dice. Keepit simple and easy. D6 does seem to be the best option. So u r reviewing Strange Aeons...does it hold some interesting ideas in your opinion?
 
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Stephen G Roy
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Sorry, back to dice. Use the dice from Cthulhu Wars, or something else?
 
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Not Guilty
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I really like the idea to make a skirmish rule set for CW. I think to concentrate on the basic faction in the game is the best way to begin with.
So here are some ideas I have in mind:
1) I would stand with the 6D. This is maybe a bit old fashioned but they are the best dices when you may have some terrain on the table. The idea to use the dices from the box would be great. Would look better with custom dices.
2) The gates have to be implanted in the game play. I think it necessary that the game comes along with the whole ritual thing. So maybe cultists are not able to attack at all, they only can summon new creatures. Therefor they need the gates which are well placed over the whole terrain.
3) What’s the main goal? “Last creature standing” or something like “Summon the great old one”?
The creature thing reminds me a lot to the Tyranid faction of 40K. Maybe the Rulebook could be a good influence (not to mean copy it) to the factions.
 
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zebra Matt
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I think the best way to ensure it remains a unique mythos wargaming experience would be to Barry heavily from the standard CW rules - unit abilities, summoning requirements, spellbooks, etc. - and then necessarily introduce radical change - leave out the faction power mechanic entirely in favour of more traditional unit-based action points or similar, assign an army building system, introduce deeper combat, new victory conditions, and so on.

In my eyes, it should feel as if you've taken one or two key engagements from a standard game of CW and elaborated the battles normally solved with a couple of rolls of the dice into epic battles describing the specific tactics of the elements in play.
 
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Michael Nunez
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All,

I think Matt has the right idea, in terms of theme. If the idea is
to translate CW skirmish directly from CW the board game then it is a "must"that we keep some key elements from CWBG- gates, great example. The cultists will b vulnerable unless armor or a protective aura is built into the cultist profile. Early game this won't b an issue but
as the progresses the cultist will b at risk from minion attacks
zombie So D6 will b our dice of choice..so basic miniature profile ( mv,
A, W, AC-actions, AR- Armor and/or D- defense)
 
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Stefano Gandolfo
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All your suggestions seem to be on the right track
I'll prepare soon a first draft of the basic rules!
 
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James Myers
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Song of Blades and Heroes or the upcoming Of Gods And Mortals already handle this pretty well, just add stats.
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Michael Nunez
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@ James,

1) Are the game mechanics based on D6 ? (I will google, but you seem familiar with)

2) I think the idea is to create CWSG (Cthulhu Wars Skirmish Game)from the CWBG (Cthulhu Wars Board Game). I am not 100% on this, but the fundamental idea is to build "this" from the ground up. Of course all of us have been exposed to a whole bunch of miniature tabletop wargame mechanics. What specific aspects of Song of Blades and Heroes, or Of Gods And Mortals do you think deserve "strong" consideration ?

3) I sincerely hope that "the approach" will be one which considers the overall mythos which means we should look at the factions as detailed from the CWBG - Cthulhu / Crawling Chaos/ Black Goat/ Yellow Sign, develop their tabletop abilities as defined from there...and maybe consider what we know from the mythos stories.

4) One thing which I would like to see addressed is the "Bird's Eye View" advantage... intell (where is the enemy, how strong is the enemy in a given AOO, Area Of Operations, etc..)is something that a "army/force" can't have complete knowledge of.. I am talking about the "fog of war". Also from what little I know of the CWBG rules victory is not directly achieved by slaughtering your enemy (I think Mr. Petersen even states that)so we will have to be clever in how look at victory conditions.
 
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Stefano Gandolfo
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Thank you James, I'll look into them too.
I want to base the game on a mix of normsl d6 (which are included in all CW boxes) and of special CW d6 (if one doesn't own them, it's easy to use normal d6 as a replacement).

Yes, the idea is to build ithe ruleset from the ground up.

I think the goal of the game should be more complex than just "kill them all". I'd like to have different winning conditions. I'm unsure how to achieve this. Possible solutions:
A) Define a number of scenarios and let the players choose one before setting up the game. Possible scenarios are "conquer x gates", "kill all the cultists", "conquer the artifact and keep it x turns", and so on.
B) Create goal cards, which are picked randomly (1 for each player) and kept secrect for the whoke game. The faction of choice (the one predominant in the "army") might have an impact on the possible goals (say some goals are neutral and some are faction soecific)

I think I prefere the B option because like Sandy Iìm a big fan of asymmetrical gameplay.
 
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Michael Nunez
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@ All,

I do think Lagoon's idea of goal cards has some merit...differing motivations for each faction would create a degree of ambiguity which could generate "uncertainty"= "fog of war". Example: Cthulhu is attempting to grab "x" number of spell books and Yellow Sign has to secure/control two objectives in a given scenario which unknown to either player contains some of the spell books which Cthulhu needs...if I am following Stebia's idea correctly the idea is to create competing interest, which do not require the total destruction of the opposing player.

I am wondering if a "device" or "mechanic" would using D6 rolls would be needed to generate these random faction goals? A goal card is selected, each player then rolls a D6, or 2D6 to find out what goal each will have to achieve in order to win- "A goal generator" that way things don't become static.
 
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Stephen G Roy
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Two mechanics I really am bothered by are Morale, where a model that still has fight left in it runs screaming off the board (D&D Miniatures)and the ability to Cower, losing Morale instead of taking damage (Dungeon Command).
 
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Michael Nunez
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@ Roy,

I am familiar with the fustrating "morale test"...I know in CWBG creatures/minions can suffer from "pain" which can result in the minion retreating away from the source of the "pain". In terms of combat results this does make sense to me... I am not sure how cultist react- they r grossly aware of the dark cosmic truths, so the typical morale check would have to be adjusted here. What would you recommend?
 
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Jon Dennis
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Monsters could have influence and cultists could have loyalty. I would definitely avoid using the actual GOOs, they are way to powerful. Try looking at Malifaux for objectives a lot more interesting than kill-the-other-guy.
 
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Sandy Petersen
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But the Great Old Ones are Really Cool, so it seems a skirmish game should incorporate them on some level.
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Stefano Gandolfo
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I agree with Sandy, GOOs are cool and they deserve a role in this skirmish game.
I think human units such as the cultists should have a swillpower stat do check for sanity checks. They are dark cultists, ok, but they still are human. Loosing sanity will force them to roll on a insanity chart to suffer various types of meental consequences: loose a turn, run away, attack mates and so on.
monsters and GOOs won't have sanity, I'll think of something different for them.
 
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Gavin Meakings
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L4g00n wrote:

On the rules topic, someone in the KS comments suggested to give a look at Strange Aeons, a Mythos themed miniatures skirmish game (http://strange-aeons.ca/). I'm reading it right now, but from a first look it seems centered around the humans v.s. mythos concept.
The creator of Strange Aeons has been working on a Mythos vs Mythos game as well, the beta rule set is available here -

http://strange-aeons.ca/doc/Kulten_Beta.pdf
 
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Michael Nunez
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@ Gavin

Hello. I am glad to more folks participating in this discussion. This must
b the second time that someone has mentioned, Strange Aeons. What specific aspect of these rules do u think deserve consideration? Please remember the idea here is not to just "borrow" rules; will we reinvent the wheel..to a certain extent, but if part of our mission here is to create something which is relatively unique and is close in theme to CWBG. I am sure Strange Aeons is a good set of rules, but it might b wiser to narrow the scope- what game mechanics from SA might present possible solutions which means this "group" must attempt a solution first. Dont tell me the answer to that word prolem but please show me the method
 
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James Myers
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mikenunez wrote:
@ James,

1) Are the game mechanics based on D6 ? (I will google, but you seem familiar with)

2) I think the idea is to create CWSG (Cthulhu Wars Skirmish Game)from the CWBG (Cthulhu Wars Board Game). I am not 100% on this, but the fundamental idea is to build "this" from the ground up. Of course all of us have been exposed to a whole bunch of miniature tabletop wargame mechanics. What specific aspects of Song of Blades and Heroes, or Of Gods And Mortals do you think deserve "strong" consideration ?

3) I sincerely hope that "the approach" will be one which considers the overall mythos which means we should look at the factions as detailed from the CWBG - Cthulhu / Crawling Chaos/ Black Goat/ Yellow Sign, develop their tabletop abilities as defined from there...and maybe consider what we know from the mythos stories.

4) One thing which I would like to see addressed is the "Bird's Eye View" advantage... intell (where is the enemy, how strong is the enemy in a given AOO, Area Of Operations, etc..)is something that a "army/force" can't have complete knowledge of.. I am talking about the "fog of war". Also from what little I know of the CWBG rules victory is not directly achieved by slaughtering your enemy (I think Mr. Petersen even states that)so we will have to be clever in how look at victory conditions.
1) Yep, SBH is only D6's. Of Gods And Mortals is only d6's I believe, and it is worked out for a group of mortals, heroes or monsters, and a deity clash against another deity and their retinue. (This might already sound familiar, yeah? ) Giant downside: Of Gods and Mortals isn't due out until October.

Combat is 1d6 vs. 1d6, with modifiers. It's similar to Hordes of the Things. Doubling a combat roll inflicts a kill, that sort of business.

2) I'd say Of Gods and Mortals should be strongly considered because it's from a great designer of skirmish games that is already built around this exact concept -- using models you already own to stat up armies based on three different types of units -- mortal worshippers, monsters, and gods -- the three types straight out of Cthulhu wars. (I'm not sure if the game would usually presuppose more than six cultists, though. It realistically might!)

4) SBH and Of Gods and Mortals do not do have concealed information -- or, well, it is exceedingly rare (the lycanthrope rule is the only instance I can recall -- one of your models is secretly a werewolf.)

There's currently a community project for statting up the miniatures from the Reaper Bones line for SBH that I believe is about half done, the designer is involved and working on a few special rules for the line as well.
 
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zebra Matt
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Generally in mythos games I like the sanity mechanics but it will almost certainly be somewhat sidelined here: only cultists are particularly susceptible, and frankly they're stretching the definition of sane to begin with...
 
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