Darkness Rising - Rules (v2.0)

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Re: Darkness Rising - Rules (v2.0)

Postby WaterMonkey314 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:05 pm

Nnelg, how would the sides compare in terms of UP? I haven't been following the discussion too closely, so I don't know how expensive sappers are to pop relative to zed archers.

(For increased hilarity, maybe we should make sappers worth like .01 UP each? :P )
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Re: Darkness Rising - Rules (v2.0)

Postby Nnelg » Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:34 pm

Well, the example I just gave was 80 UP of Sappers being massacred by 16 UP of Zed Garrison Archers... So, yeah it's pretty bad.
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Re: Darkness Rising - Rules (v2.0)

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:21 pm

If you're giving me 80 UP...

24 Zed Archers (7 Combat) vs 10 Level 2 Heavy Warriors (who spend all points in Def, plus purchase Well-Protected) = 5 + 7 + 6 + 3 = 21 Defense, 18 Hits.
Each warrior has damage wards, so +16 hits. Crypsis the warriors so they're invisible until they reach the wall.
Archers have to coordinate, so they're doing 3 shots of 7 + 21 + 3 (mighty blow) + 7 (ave.) = 38 - 21 = 17 damage x3 each round, less if you stack a lot of Lesser Boosts on them.

If they manage to concentrate fire (which they can't due to squad rules), they can drop 1 of these warriors each round, but odds are they won't drop any for at least 3 or 4 rounds.
Meanwhile, the heavies are dealing 12 SP each round, since only 6 warriors can hit the wall. A Level 1 wall falls in 5 rounds. You might lose 1 or 2 warriors during that time.
Warriors are now through, and can start dropping archers at the rate of 5+/turn. It's over pretty quickly after that.

Sappers aren't the only ones that can use mining picks. Any melee unit can. Sappers are supposed to be cheap throw-away units. (Maybe I should rename them to Miners?) The picks are fine the way they are - they're not supposed to be able to go through a wall quickly. 5 rounds to go through a level 1 wall with nothing but picks seems appropriate to me, because if you're trying to go through the wall instead of the gate, it should take much longer. If they go through the gate, this same setup gets through the gate in 3 turns, and probably hasn't lost a man.

6 units with picks can drop a Level 5 gate in 7 rounds, on average. Three rams can drop a level 5 gate in 3 rounds.

A level 1 city only produces 200 shumckers. That's 40 UP of units. If they build nothing but Zed Garrison Archers, they could have 40, but then the city is not actually contributing anything to the side. Dis City (formerly Sunshine Dale) was a Level 2 protected by 14 of Archers, plus Wandereus and Junetta.

Level 1 cities should probably be easily taken. But if I balance the siege picks so that sappers, the one of the weakest units introduced into the game, can take down the walls, the real units will have no problems whatsoever.
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Re: Darkness Rising - Rules (v2.0)

Postby WhirdCheese » Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:49 pm

Blackbeard volenteers to lead any attacks of 21 defense heavy warriors! As that's kind of his build...
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Re: Darkness Rising - Rules (v2.0)

Postby WaterMonkey314 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:02 am

MarbitChow wrote:If you're giving me 80 UP...

24 Zed Archers (7 Combat) vs 10 Level 2 Heavy Warriors (who spend all points in Def, plus purchase Well-Protected) = 5 + 7 + 6 + 3 = 21 Defense, 18 Hits.
Each warrior has damage wards, so +16 hits. Crypsis the warriors so they're invisible until they reach the wall.
Archers have to coordinate, so they're doing 3 shots of 7 + 21 + 3 (mighty blow) + 7 (ave.) = 38 - 21 = 17 damage x3 each round, less if you stack a lot of Lesser Boosts on them.

If they manage to concentrate fire (which they can't due to squad rules), they can drop 1 of these warriors each round, but odds are they won't drop any for at least 3 or 4 rounds.
Meanwhile, the heavies are dealing 12 SP each round, since only 6 warriors can hit the wall. A Level 1 wall falls in 5 rounds. You might lose 1 or 2 warriors during that time.
Warriors are now through, and can start dropping archers at the rate of 5+/turn. It's over pretty quickly after that.

Sappers aren't the only ones that can use mining picks. Any melee unit can. Sappers are supposed to be cheap throw-away units. (Maybe I should rename them to Miners?) The picks are fine the way they are - they're not supposed to be able to go through a wall quickly. 5 rounds to go through a level 1 wall with nothing but picks seems appropriate to me, because if you're trying to go through the wall instead of the gate, it should take much longer. If they go through the gate, this same setup gets through the gate in 3 turns, and probably hasn't lost a man.

6 units with picks can drop a Level 5 gate in 7 rounds, on average. Three rams can drop a level 5 gate in 3 rounds.

A level 1 city only produces 200 shumckers. That's 40 UP of units. If they build nothing but Zed Garrison Archers, they could have 40, but then the city is not actually contributing anything to the side. Dis City (formerly Sunshine Dale) was a Level 2 protected by 14 of Archers, plus Wandereus and Junetta.

Level 1 cities should probably be easily taken. But if I balance the siege picks so that sappers, the one of the weakest units introduced into the game, can take down the walls, the real units will have no problems whatsoever.


I don't think it's appropriate to assume as a base state that the heavies would be warded (what if the side didn't have a Healomancer?).

That then makes it such that only 18 hits or more of damage on a Warrior brings him down - with the random variation from 2d6, that would happen about 42% of the time. Across 3 shots per round, the attackers would take no losses only 20% of the time. 42% of the time they'd lose 1; 30% they'd lose 2. (assuming binomial distribution with loss 42% of the time).

Across 15 shots? 82% chance at least 5 go down. (And this is assuming 15 independent shots with 42% chance of survival - so this is a lower bound for the probability since wounded units will fall easier). Also, with this level of losses, the wall will take longer to come down and so the archers will have more shots to take.
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Re: Darkness Rising - Rules (v2.0)

Postby ETheBoyce » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:17 am

Well Marbit also forgot to include and Combat Modifiers for the Warriors which would boost their survivability a bit more.

Edit: Actually I'm not sure where he's getting the +21 from since only 5 units can be adjacent to any particular archer on a section of the wall AND have LOS to units on the ground
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Re: Darkness Rising - Rules (v2.0)

Postby Nnelg » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:16 am

MarbitChow wrote:5 rounds to go through a level 1 wall with nothing but picks seems appropriate to me, because if you're trying to go through the wall instead of the gate, it should take much longer.

If it were a Level Two or Three I might agree with you. Because if it takes 5 rounds to go through a Level One, Level 3 will take 10 rounds. And that's just way too long.

The fact of the matter is that if siege is properly balanced for Level 3, then Level 1 will be practically no obstacle at all (which is how it works in the comic, anyways). If you try to balance a Level 1, then Level 3+ becomes insurmountable.

And though I agree that it should take longer to get through the walls than though the gate, I think it should still be possible. (Up through Level 3, at least.)


MarbitChow wrote:Level 1 cities should probably be easily taken. But if I balance the siege picks so that sappers, the one of the weakest units introduced into the game, can take down the walls, the real units will have no problems whatsoever.

Hm, I see your point... But still, if you don't then Sappers will be a complete waste of UP, since they die more than 4 times as fast as regular units. Perhaps if you allowed the "Mining" special to make picks do more damage? Or better yet, remove picks as an item, and instead allow units with the "Mining" special to deal damage to walls.

Give Sappers the following stat line:
[2 Combat, 3 Defense, 8 Hits, 9 Move] (Assault, Mining, Demo Man) {0.5 UP}

Add the following skills:
Demo Man: Unit may deal 1d6 SP damage to adjacent structures as an attack. (0.5 AP. Requires Heavy and Level 4, OR Mining.)
Wallcrusher: Unit may deal an additional 1d6 (for a total of 2d6) damage to adjacent structures. (0.5 AP. Requires Demo Man.)

Exploding units deal half their explosion damage as SP damage to all adjacent structures.

Rams are the only way for most regular units to deal siege damage. Rams deal 3d6 damage.
No more than one Ram may attack a given structure in one Round. Units who are operating a Ram may not themselves attack.

Walls should have 25*(Level + 1) SP. This means Sappers will take 3-4 rounds (after getting to the wall) for a level 2... Suffering casualties equal to 3-5 times the number of defending archers in the process. (Not to mention the casualties suffered from enemy infantry who sally from the breach...)

That seems balanced enough. Unless the enemy has no infantry at all, there will be infantry waiting. The casualty rate from a level 2 is already high enough, so for a level 3

Gates should have 20*(Level) SP. This means for a level 3 it should take 6-7 rounds for a Ram to break through. For a level 4, it will take 8-9 (and will have to be done twice, once for the main gate and once for the garrison). Higher-level Gates are inset in gatehouses with arrow slits at ground level (facing inwards, so they only provide LOS to units immediately in front of the gate).

Ranged siege weapons must be unlimbered before firing. Heavy Ballistae deal 1d6 SP, and may fire every round. Catapults deal 3d6 SP, but can only fire every other round. Heavy Ballistae targeted at units is treated as a Fire action with a Combat value of 18. Catapults may make a Fire attack with a Combat value of 36, or may launch a firepot to deal 1d6 damaged unreduced by defence to all units in a 3x3 area. Ranged siege weapons may not target gates. No more than two ranged siege weapons may fire upon the same structure in one round.

All siege weapons provide a cover bonus for the

Ok, I think that's it. Balanced enough for you? Sappers will still take a while to get through even the weakest walls, and suffer plenty of casualties doing so. Ranged siege weapon's damage is now more comparable to Rams, and are just as likely to be shooting at the units on top of a wall than the wall itself.


I still think it's too slow, though. Because no matter how many SP a wall has, Assault Towers will "breach" it the second they make contact. If it isn't possible to break down a wall or gate in a comparable time, then nothing but Assault Towers will ever be used.
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Re: Darkness Rising - Rules (v2.0)

Postby WaterMonkey314 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:44 am

As another option, what if we introduced a "Shed" unit that popped with Sappers and offered some amount of cover? (I'm imagining something like the Covered Ram but with 0 inherent damage.)
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Re: Darkness Rising - Rules (v2.0)

Postby Nnelg » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:52 am

Still wouldn't matter much. The problem isn't that there isn't enough cover for advancing units, it's that they take 6-8 times as long to "breach" the wall as the best method. So far, I still see no reason not to go with only assault towers and nothing else.
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Re: Darkness Rising - Rules (v2.0)

Postby MarbitChow » Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:28 am

You keep trying to balance the worst units and worst method of breaching a structure against the most secure defense. Picks aren't intended for sappers taking down walls. They're intended for well-defended units taking down gates in a fast-moving army.

I'm not attempting balance the siege on its own. I'm attempting to factor in all possible combinations. As ETheBoyce pointed out, my off-the-cuff calculations for a customized level 2 Tenebris assault squad was actually too generous to the defenders, and that was with NO PC intervention on the field at all.

Other than the Ballista/Catapult argument instantly knocking down gates, I'm not convinced that there's anything fundamentally wrong with siege in the current state. Let's use it in a scenario or two and see how it actually plays out.
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Re: Darkness Rising - Rules (v2.0)

Postby MarbitChow » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:43 am

Changed Dollamancy blasters so that they have a set base combat rating. This will make a bit more effective when a dollamancer uses them, but prevents abuse by combat-optimized builds (*cough*William*cough*). Damage can still be modified by Leadership, Inspiration, etc.
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Re: Darkness Rising - Rules (v2.0)

Postby Nnelg » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:01 pm

MarbitChow wrote:I'm not attempting balance the siege on its own. I'm attempting to factor in all possible combinations.

If you're considering "All Possible Combinations", you should try to consider when the defenders are the ones with the customized squads. Extra stuff like wards and buffs are hypothetically available to both sides. If one side has them, but not the other, then it's effectively the same as having a bigger army.

That's why I'm trying balance just conventional siege warfare, with no magic. The theory is that if the system is balanced when neither side has any force multipliers, then it will still be balanced after both sides apply those they have.


MarbitChow wrote:As ETheBoyce pointed out, my off-the-cuff calculations for a customized level 2 Tenebris assault squad was actually too generous to the defenders, and that was with NO PC intervention on the field at all.

Actually, I think you were unfair to the defenders. Zed Archers against warded level 2 heavies? That's no contest, there. If those archers were also level 2s the story would be very different, methinks.

Also, you assume the attackers will get into melee with the archers as soon as they breach the wall. Well, given that it takes 5 rounds to do so, I can guarantee you that there will be defending melee units waiting for them. The best melee units in the City, probably. They'll have no problem dealing with the weakened heavies. And while the melee units are doing that, the archers get to keep on shooting at the rest of the army.


MarbitChow wrote:Other than the Ballista/Catapult argument instantly knocking down gates, I'm not convinced that there's anything fundamentally wrong with siege in the current state. Let's use it in a scenario or two and see how it actually plays out.

Ok, you can use siege like that if you want. We (the PCs) certainly won't be doing so.
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Re: Darkness Rising - Rules (v2.0)

Postby Nnelg » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:05 pm

Hm... Can we at least have Siege Weapons' Overland Move upgraded to a 6? With a 4, there's no way we'll be able to attack before Turn 20... Assuming we left immediately.


EDIT:
Oh, and a set number as to how far from the walls archers can shoot?

EDIT2:
Wait, never mind; I saw that you gave one (24) in the main thread.

I'd like to say that I think this is a bit too much. I liked the one you did for Dis City (18) better.

EDIT3:
Oh, never mind again. You gave archers 18 range, and ranged siege 24. That's seems ok to me.
Last edited by Nnelg on Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Darkness Rising - Rules (v2.0)

Postby MarbitChow » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:08 pm

Nnelg wrote:Actually, I think you were unfair to the defenders. Zed Archers against warded level 2 heavies? That's no contest, there. If those archers were also level 2s the story would be very different, methinks.
...
Also, you assume the attackers will get into melee with the archers as soon as they breach the wall. Well, given that it takes 5 rounds to do so, I can guarantee you that there will be defending melee units waiting for them. The best melee units in the City, probably. They'll have no problem dealing with the weakened heavies. And while the melee units are doing that, the archers get to keep on shooting at the rest of the army.

Sunshine Dale (now Dis City) had 14 archers, 1 commander, and 1 healer defending a Level 2 city. Level 1 cities produce 200 shmuckers / turn, which means they can support 40 UP of units, but if they do so, they're not actually adding anything to the side. For cities that were, 10 turns ago, considered safe, having a standing garrison worth more than 20 UP is unrealistic.

You're overestimating the amount of real resources that can be brought to bear for most cities. For reference, according to the upkeep, Dis City as a Level 3 already has a higher upkeep based on units stationed there than it's producing each turn. That's realistic for a city that's central to an expanding effort, but not realistic for cities that were far from the assumed front line (until a hostile side popped up in the elves' back door).
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Re: Darkness Rising - Rules (v2.0)

Postby Nnelg » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:12 pm

MarbitChow wrote:For cities that were, 10 turns ago, considered safe, having a standing garrison worth more than 20 UP is unrealistic.

You're overestimating the amount of real resources that can be brought to bear for most cities. For reference, according to the upkeep, Dis City as a Level 3 already has a higher upkeep based on units stationed there than it's producing each turn. That's realistic for a city that's central to an expanding effort, but not realistic for cities that were far from the assumed front line (until a hostile side popped up in the elves' back door).

I wasn't assuming that the city would be defended by nothing but a standing garrison. Standing garrisons are not much more than glorified speed bumps.

Because if a standing garrison can give a real army a run for its money... How is anyone ever going to take a city defended by a real army?
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Re: Darkness Rising - Rules (v2.0)

Postby Nnelg » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:23 pm

A few additional questions, then...

How long does Baffle last?

Can I use Glamour to veil Siege Equipment as units and vice-versa? (Jack did it in-comic...)

What would it cost to get some Turnamancy scrolls to speed up our siege so that it doesn't take 10+ Turns to get anywhere?

What is the maximum range of spellcasting?
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Re: Darkness Rising - Rules (v2.0)

Postby ETheBoyce » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:32 pm

With Catapults and Ballistae, y'know like I've been saying. I dunno why you seem so determined to go all Holy Grail on the Walls, but it'll be about as effective as it should be, meaning not very. Walls are much much stronger than the gate and probably shouldn't ever be targeted by anything, further Siege weapons have SP not Hits meaning normal attacks won't do any damage to them so the archers will be forced to attack the units manning them, which means we can either try and defend them or zerg rush them with Zed units just firing/reloading and then dying. I don't presume to know why Nnelg thinks using siege weapons to destroy the structural weakpoint in a city's defenses is a bad thing, but I think it to be an optimal strategy and use of force rather than trying to Pick our way past a Wall
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Re: Darkness Rising - Rules (v2.0)

Postby MarbitChow » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:34 pm

Nnelg wrote:A few additional questions, then...

How long does Baffle last?

Can I use Glamour to veil Siege Equipment as units and vice-versa? (Jack did it in-comic...)

What would it cost to get some Turnamancy scrolls to speed up our siege so that it doesn't take 10+ Turns to get anywhere?

What is the maximum range of spellcasting?

Baffle: I'm assuming it lasts until the end of the combat or the caster dispels it.
Glamour cannot veil structures. That requires Facade. (Jack used foolamancy in the comic; I'm assuming that, as a high-level caster, he has access to all the spells we've defined.)
Turnamancy scrolls will be 1000 shmuckers / unit you want to speed up (I'm assuming duration of 10 turns for the spell).

Spellcasting will probably remain RLOS - if you're in the same hex and you can see it, you can cast on it.
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Re: Darkness Rising - Rules (v2.0)

Postby MarbitChow » Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:42 pm

Renamed Sapper to Miner, specified that they are Gobwin units, added Gobwin Artisan.
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Re: Darkness Rising - Rules (v2.0)

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:18 pm

MarbitChow wrote:Note: Fire attacks cannot target individual members of a Squad unless that member is not adjacent to any other member of the squad; the actual squad member hit is determined by the GM. Also, Squads and enemy units that are adjacent to an allied unit cannot be targeted by a Fire attack at all.


Oi, what the fuck? Who thought this was a good idea and why?
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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