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Squad level tactical movement idea.

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Louard
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Just looking for some feedback on a movement mechanic for a squad level tactical warfare game I've been mulling over.

Though the scale used doesn't really matter, I'm thinking something fairly personal, like 1 square = 2meters or so. And I mention squares, but this could be hexes too.

The idea is this: Each player commands a squad of, say, 4 or 6 elite soldiers. In isolation, a soldier can only more 1 square a turn, however as a squad, things get interesting.

If a solder is orthogonally adjacent to a squadmate, he can move to any square adjacent to his own, or his squadmate's current position. This effect could even be 'daisy chained' across multiple squad mates, so...
Say you have a squad of 4 and they are all lines up, the guy on the far right could effectively move 4 spaces to the left by moving to the free space after the last soldier.

I think this would allow interesting, flock like, squad movement but there are some things I'm having trouble working out.

How would I even word this in a rulebook? "You can move a solder to any space adjacent to a squad mate"?.. Well, no, that would allow you to teleport to the other side of the map! How about "You can move a soldier to any space adjacent to a squadmate who is currently adjacent to a suqadmate who is currently adjacent to.." etc etc? ^_^ So, you can see my issue here.

The other issue I'm wrestling with is that of leapfrogging. If I move the first guy 4 spaces to the end of the line, and then the next guy 4 spaces to the new end of the line etc, I end up moving that last guy pretty far. The thing is, I'm not sure if this is actually a problem, or just a neat byproduct of the movement system.

I'll understand if anyone cries 'TLDR" ^_^

CloudBuster
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I think it has potential....

Let's see about wording it for the rules, first. These are just ideas off the top of my head, so no worries if you hate these ideas.

Regarding your worry about being able to move a soldier across the map...what if you defined the term "squad mate" to mean "any soldiers occupying a space immediately adjacent to each other"? <--GAH! Nope...I already see a problem with that. Let's say you've got guys lined up like this: 123 By my definition soldiers 1 and 3 are not squad mates because they're not next to each other. Maybe you just say a squad mate is any soldier lined up next to any other soldier. As long as at least one soldier in the group is next to another soldier, he's considered a squad mate. Would that work? You could (and should) included a picture of some kind to illustrate this. So...now your soldiers across the board won't be considered squad mates because there's too much space in between. In fact, even one space separating soldiers is enough to remove them from the squad. <--although I don't know if I like that or not.

Wait! Okay...I just read your original post again. Each player is only controlling a 4 - 6 man squad anyway. So the idea of a movement bonus only comes when the guys are working closely together? Couldn't you just work that into the rules by saying, "Soldiers can only move one space at a time, unless they're working closely together (no unoccupied spaces separate the members of the squad). When soldiers are working closely together, a soldier can "...move to any square adjacent to his own, or his squadmate's current position. This effect could even be 'daisy chained' across multiple squad mates, so...
Say you have a squad of 4 and they are all lines up, the guy on the far right could effectively move 4 spaces to the left by moving to the free space after the last soldier."

Would that work?

You need a way to keep track of the soliders that have already moved. Hmmm...well...maybe that's not necessary with only 4 to 6 pieces. I could see arguments in my mind's eye, "You already moved that guy!"
"No I didn't. I moved THIS guy!" Seems to me that might be a problem when soldiers are close together, but maybe I'm wrong.

Your leapfrogging issue is something you'll just need to playtest. How big is the board? Perhaps there are limitations to the number of soldiers you can move in a turn? OR...maybe the board has barriers and other features that make leapfrogging difficult to accomplish? What about certain areas that would be perfect for leapfrogging, but it opens your soldiers up for attack because they're out in the open?

Have you given any thought to the pieces themselves? I wonder if there's a good way to distinguish a player's pieces from each other? So...you've got the standard colors for the players. Green, Red, White, Black, Yellow, Blue
Now within each color there are different colored helmets, or numbers on each piece to help everyone keep track of which piece has moved.

-CB-

Pastor_Mora
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What are you trying to accomplish here?

How are you explaining what your rule is meant to represent? Are your soldiers chained acrobats that move around leaping one over the other? ;)

I can see the mechanic making sense if you are trying to keep the squads formed and together (advancing in line) and… (nope, that’s pretty much it).

The idea of numbering the team elements sounds useful. Let’s say you have a Sargeant (3) a Corporal (2) and two Soldiers (1). The Sarge will be calling the shots here, so he gets to move first (and remain in the back). If you have a line, first you move the sarge (3) then (2) then (1) and the other (1). Moving in line, the formation will always be 1-1-2-3 from the front to the back. But retreating could be a mess (you could have a rule for a "fall back" move in inverse order without firing).

If you want to keep the squads together, you can use a “flag unit” (the sarge) centered action. Moving that unit every turn the normal number of movement points (say 4-5 hexes). After the flag has moved, you can rearrange the rest of the squad within 2 hexes of it. It wouldn’t mind whether a particular unit was in the back or in the front of the formation. You deploy and assemble in every move (“jumping from cover to cover” I don’t know how you call it in English). This is actually normal in the ground. The front guy usually finds a safe spot faster and remains there, covering the positioning of his mates. The guy in the back usually has to run the most, and ends positioning itself usually at the front.

In terms of rulebook, it’s simple:

“Move your flag unit the number of hexes indicated in it’s card, and then rearrange the rest of the squad within 2 hexes around it, in accessible spaces (you cannot position a unit inside a building because your flag is next to it’s wall!).”

Hope this helps anyway. Keep thinking!

Louard
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Trying to 'simulate' moving as a unit.

What I'm trying to get at is that soldiers moving as a unit are able to better cover their angles and so cover more ground (it's a little abstract, but I'm not going for simulation really).

Now, what CouldBuster said gave me the idea to define 'clumps' of friendly soldiers. I figure if I can gracefully define what constitutes a 'clump' (and a better word than clump) then I can simply say that you can move a soldier to any space adjacent to any other solder currently in the same clump.

CloudBuster
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Clumps...heh.

Well I still think that "Squad" is a good term, but perhaps that has an actual meaning (a certain number of soldiers) in real life? Don't know.

I wonder if certain "clumps" (for lack of a better word) get advantages/disadvantages depending on how big the clump is. For example...it seems to me that a clump of 2-4 soldiers might work better together than a clump of 5 - 10 soldiers or more. Bigger groups tend to get unwieldy, don't they? So perhaps you have a single soldier that can move 1 (or 2) spaces max. Groups of 2 to 4 soldiers get additional movement bonuses and groups of 5 or more start to get disadvantages to movement because of their size. However, bigger groups might get better defensive modifiers, or some such thing.

Your original post mentioned something about a player controlling 4 - 6 soldiers...is that still the plan, or can you get more soldiers during the course of the game?

-CB-

Louard
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A great suggestion

A great suggestion for sure, but getting a little outside the scope of the game idea.

I'm mostly considering this as a two player game (maybe 3 or four) where each player controls 4 soldiers. very personal scale, ya know?

And "Squad" is a good term, but I figured that would be the right word for all your soldiers. i.e. Your sniper is still part of your four man squad even if you've sent him out on his own to camp a rooftop. In this situation though, your sniper isn't adjacent to the 'clump' and so can't piggy back his movement on his squad mates.

CloudBuster
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Ah. Ok.

Yep. I went outside the scope.

Hmmm....not really related, but sorta: For the two player game, each player has 6 soldiers and for the 3 or four player game, each player has 4?

I'd say just keep your movement mechanic as it is for now. Contiguous soldiers get a movement bonus. Just explain it in words to see if the mechanic works at all. Try it out. If it works, THEN figure out the proper way to write it out in the rules.
-CB-

Louard
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Thanks for your feedback etc.

Nah, squad size is still undetermined so has nothing to do with player count yet.

I'm realizing I do really need to try it out before I start worrying about if it'll work or not ^_^... But that dang cart looks so nice ahead of the horse!

knobfer
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Why not explain it through a

Why not explain it through a simple diagram?

RacNRoll Gaming
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Here is my question

Here is my question though....(maybe I missed it)

Can this regrouping keep going infinitely?

(See the crude diagram below....X representing a vacated space)

A-B-C-D

then becomes

X-B-C-D-A

then becomes

X-X-C-D-A-B

then becomes

X-X-X-D-C-A-B

etc etc

Louard
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Not indefinitely

I plan on having each unit only 'activated' once per turn, so no, you couldn't keep doing forever ^_^. However, you could go one step farther than your diagram within one turn and end up with.

X-X-X-X-A-B-C-D

Jean Of mArc
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Cool Idea!

Man, actually, I'm really liking this idea the more I think about it. In some ways it doesn't make sense that the soliders are playing leap-frog, but I think most people can suspend their disbelief for the sake of a good game.

I was actually thinking, what if there was an advantage/disadvantage to having your units spread out, and then an ad/dis for having them all on one square/hex? Like, when they are spread out, you can do your leap-frog movement. But they are more powerful for attacks and such when they are all grouped up on one square? That would add a great deal of strategy to the game: moving on separate squares for more mobility, moving together as a group for more power. I dunno, just I thought.

I like it a lot though!!

RacNRoll Gaming
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Louard wrote:I plan on having

Louard wrote:
I plan on having each unit only 'activated' once per turn, so no, you couldn't keep doing forever ^_^. However, you could go one step farther than your diagram within one turn and end up with.

X-X-X-X-A-B-C-D

So basically you are talking about them moving in a formation but allowing them to regroup in that formation???

Or can the formation shape change as part of the movement?

(another crude diagram coming)

x-b-x
a-x-c
x-d-x

becomes

a-x-x-x
x-b-x-x
x-x-c-x
x-x-x-d

Louard
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Wow, great feedback!

To Jean:
I figured a built in disadvantage to sticking together would be making your squad vulnerable to splash damage attack like grenades.

To Rack-n-Roll:
Yes and no. The diagrams you show wouldn't be possible with what I'm currently pondering simply because of the use of diagonals, which I wouldn't, for the sake of this game, consider adjacent.

Thanks for all the great feedback everyone! I'll be checking in once in a while, but I essentially have to park this one as things are going to be getting pretty crazy both at work and with contracts. So thanks again.

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