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Anunnaki

Battleboard Scale and Grid

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A discussion on battleboard scales and grid, for those who use them in their game (either with physical miniatures or proxies on the game table, or via virtual tabletop, a la Roll20, Map Tools, or Fantasygrounds, with digital tokens).

Currently, I've been favoring two scales: 1.5m and 3m hexes/squares. 1.5m equates to 5 feet, which makes using existing published battle maps very simple. I use this for situations where the use of tactics and positioning is important, usually for building and cave system encounters. 3m is my preferred scale for outdoor encounters, where missiles and ranged spells tend to be more effective, or when mounted movement comes into play.

Where possible I use hexes for movement. Hand-drawn maps are simple enough to draw on hexes and using VTT (virtual tabletop) maps without grids means I can overlay hexes and size as I want. Hexes also means there is a clear delineation for where front and rear facings are in play. While the RQ2/RQG rules don't have a lot of "tactical" modifiers compared to RQ3, I like to give a positional bonus to those who manage to out-flank their opposition.

Squares work fine, even with the challenge of diagonal movement (do you ignore the diagonals and treat movement the same as moving forward or backward, or do you treat every second diagonal square moved as two squares -- the latter is more complication, but is more true to movement distances). Personally, I work with the former, but both have their merits. I favor the use of square grids only when I have a particular map that I can only get in a gridded format, like the Pathfinder and D&D battle-mats. However, squares are a lot easier to work with when drawing out square or rectangular village buildings and the like, so they have their place.

Equating the 1.5m and 3m scales into movement keeps things simple for my players. At the 1.5m scale, a half move is up to their Movement Rate (usually 8 for humans) and up to double (usually 16 for humans) for a full move. At the 3m scale, a half move is up to half their Movement Rate (4 for humans) and up to their Movement Rate (8 for humans) for a full move.

For tactical purposes, facing changes can be made freely, but where the character is facing at the end of movement determines their front facing.

Anyways, that's how I handle things on my RuneQuest battleboards. How do you handle scale and grids in your games? Do you use a battleboard? Theater of the mind? Ruled measurements? What advice do you have for other RuneQuest gamers?

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I use 1” = 5’

each MOV equates to 2”/10’

i use a whiteboard and we are pretty loose with movement; we’re all also Warhammer 40k players and so are used to using rulers. 

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I was a miniature wargamer before RPGs were published, and it definitely had an impact.  Currently we are using 2m= 1", so all distances are easy, just divide book number  by 2 and done.  I have never liked grids or hexes, there is always something that comes up that should be do able. only the grid wont let it happen.

 

but each group needs to do what works for them.

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Hexes > Squares any day.

18 hours ago, Anunnaki said:

 

Currently, I've been favoring two scales: 1.5m and 3m hexes/squares. 1.5m equates to 5 feet, which makes using existing published battle maps very simple. I use this for situations where the use of tactics and positioning is important, usually for building and cave system encounters. 3m is my preferred scale for outdoor encounters, where missiles and ranged spells tend to be more effective, or when mounted movement comes into play.

Equating the 1.5m and 3m scales into movement keeps things simple for my players. At the 1.5m scale, a half move is up to their Movement Rate (usually 8 for humans) and up to double (usually 16 for humans) for a full move. At the 3m scale, a half move is up to half their Movement Rate (4 for humans) and up to their Movement Rate (8 for humans) for a full move.

For tactical purposes, facing changes can be made freely, but where the character is facing at the end of movement determines their front facing.

Dude I really dig that...I was using 1 hex = 1 yd for CoC, but I never even thought to have a sliding scale based on need like you described (especially with firearms for my Darker Trails Campaign). 

I am going to see how that works in my Roll20 games!

 

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I use the indoor default of 1" equals 1 Meter.   One Meter is 39" which is very close to the 36" that a Yard occupies so conversions can be a rough 1-to-1 between them.  In addition, we use minis and if you look at the average human, they are, on average, about 20" across the shoulders with only minor (one or two inches) variations.  The average person also likes to have at least 6"  up to 12" of space around them in order to move freely during their daily activities.  This translates into a single Human-sized creature comfortably occupying a 1 Meter/1" square on our battleboard.

For outdoor/large scales, I just pick the appropriate scale in Meters and KNOW that one human can move comfortably in 1 Meter. 

Edited by olskool
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IMHO facing only really works for army units. I picture a melée between two individuals as a constant dance here and there, where facing can change up to 360° in a single action (that is, unless terrain forbids that, as in a narrow corridor). In a gunfight though, facing could also work.

Edited by Runeblogger

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33 minutes ago, Runeblogger said:

IMHO facing only really works for army units. I picture a melée between two individuals as a constant dance here and there, where facing can change up to 360° in a single action (that is, unless terrain forbids that, as in a narrow corridor). In a gunfight though, facing could also work.

Many melee encounters involve more than two individuals, not all of whom are 100% aware of the location of all the other individuals, and can be approached from a blind side. In order for that to be represented, facing has to have some sort of representation.

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Using 25mm figures, I've marked in black felt pen on white string 40mm increments for 3m movement, allows for running diagonally and around corners.

How long is a piece of string you might ask, 320mm for a Human and 480 for a horse.

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On 7 de febrero de 2019 at 10:48 PM, womble said:

Many melee encounters involve more than two individuals, not all of whom are 100% aware of the location of all the other individuals, and can be approached from a blind side. In order for that to be represented, facing has to have some sort of representation.

I would ask for Perception rolls in this case.

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I typically try to use 1 pace (meter/yard) squares or hexes, but have used other scales depending on what maps I wanted to use (many come with a 1.5m/5ft or 10 foot grid) or the distances involved in the encounter. I've used 10m and 25m grids when I had to run a firefight at distance, or had fast moving vehicles (a fighter jet can cross a conventional scale battlemat in well under one round).

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On 2/7/2019 at 9:48 PM, womble said:

Many melee encounters involve more than two individuals, not all of whom are 100% aware of the location of all the other individuals, and can be approached from a blind side. In order for that to be represented, facing has to have some sort of representation.

I just rule that people look around, even in combat. The fact that I am to someone's side doesn't mean that they robotically look ahead and do not see me. However, sure, you can sneak up behind someone, but that is what comrades are for, to warn you that someone is behind you.

Facing is important when checking if you get a +10 for attacking from the side, or a +20 for attacking from behind, but that's about it.

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2 hours ago, soltakss said:

I just rule that people look around, even in combat. The fact that I am to someone's side doesn't mean that they robotically look ahead and do not see me. However, sure, you can sneak up behind someone, but that is what comrades are for, to warn you that someone is behind you.

Facing is important when checking if you get a +10 for attacking from the side, or a +20 for attacking from behind, but that's about it.

Thus facing IS a part of the combat (where is your side? where is your back?) but I too agree that basically nobody in a combat is taken totally unawares barring invisibility, etc.  I generally don't implement fog of war Ie someone 'trying to attack from the back' is still shown as a figure on the battlemat, so the target ostensibly knows they're there but the attacker gets the +20% bonus of course.

Attacking from behind also means your victim can neither parry nor dodge, which is pretty MASSIVELY significant.  Anyone attacking from behind (if smart) will try to attack with both left and right hands in any way possible because the target does lack the ability to defend.

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Yeah, I never considered the attacking from behind bonus to be because the target was unaware (that would be an undefended attack), but because of the advantageous positioning. The attacker has a good look at a side not covered by a weapon or shield; the defender would have to turn or twist to parry, and even then there is a good chance that part of the attack will happen on a "blindspot".  

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Am I missing the modifiers for attacking from the side and rear in RQG? Could someone please point me to the page number on which they are listed?

My understanding of the RQG rules is that there are no rules for facing except for shield walls.

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5 hours ago, soltakss said:

I just rule that people look around, even in combat. The fact that I am to someone's side doesn't mean that they robotically look ahead and do not see me. However, sure, you can sneak up behind someone, but that is what comrades are for, to warn you that someone is behind you.

Facing is important when checking if you get a +10 for attacking from the side, or a +20 for attacking from behind, but that's about it.

You've not been in many fights. People try and look around, but if you're actually fighting someone, you really don't have very much time spare to be checking what's around you. Me, I've been in lots of fights, most of them as a melee fighter, and I've got pretty good situational awareness, but that's 30-odd years of experience. I see unengaged  people getting flanked all the time, even when I'm yelling my head off to make the poor saps aware.

Battle is probably a better skill to use to represent whether a fighter 'feels' when they're getting ganged up on/surrounded.

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15 minutes ago, womble said:

You've not been in many fights.

Nor have I cast a spell, flown a starship or faced down a vampire. So what?

These are rules, for a game. Nothing more, nothing less.

If you want to make things very complex, then fair enough. I want my combats to be a lot simpler than that.

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Unnecessary speculation on people's real world experience in fights or otherwise is not appropriate to this topic. We are discussing a fantasy game.

Please keep your posts on-topic. Thank you.

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28 minutes ago, Anunnaki said:

Unnecessary speculation on people's real world experience in fights or otherwise is not appropriate to this topic. We are discussing a fantasy game.

Please keep your posts on-topic. Thank you.

Hold it! Why doesn't real world experience matter? Yes it is a game, but it is a game that generally grounded in how things work in the real world. Otherwise what difference does it make it spears do impaling or crushing damage, or if a PC can lift three tons or not? Why even bother with positioning at all if it is just a fantasy game? 

You asked how other people handle scale and battlemaps, and cited that you use  1.5m and 3m hexes/squares "for situations where the use of tactics and positioning are important." Surely being unaware of someone is tactically important, and having someone behind you would be "positionally important" as well. So if these things can indeed happen in battle or not would certainly be "on-topic."  This is RQ, not Tunnels & Trolls (where positioning doesn't matter).

Edited by Atgxtg

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/sigh It was in response to people calling out other people's real life experience in fights as opposed to actually citing their own experience in fights. How do "you" know how much real life experience "I" have had in fights?

So, not related to using "your own experiences" in the game. By all means, apply your experiences to the game and explain how you utilize that to improve you and your gamers' experience in RuneQuest.

Edited by Anunnaki

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Y'all do know that the roots of the combat system for RQ are based in SCAdian heavy-armoured stick-fighting, yes?

Apologies for pinging someone else's apparent lack of experience when they're making assertions as to what combat ought to be like.

The remainder stands as my experience at every level of combat beyond the formal one-on-one duel: people can be and regularly are  blindsided in combat on flat open fields because they see one threat or target, fixate on it and miss the other danger that is developing just out of their field of vision.

Not that it matters much what combat 'ought' to be like any more, since the resolution system has skewed, I consider, quite a long way from its simulationist roots (see movement, strike ranks and instakill crits), so do "what the story demands" by all means. I'd encourage everyone to try and use all the tools available, though.

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