Daravi Border Weekend

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Temi
Posts: 377
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:22 pm

Tue Oct 20, 2020 9:18 pm

Posted in game, but it was suggested that these rules might be easier to digest here on the forums, so reposting them here.

Event is scheduled for the weekend of November 13th through 15th.

Synopsis:
We are planning to hold a weekend-long border conflict by gathering players
ICly at a command camp in Farin, where they will RP out deciding orders to
give to the assembled troops. These can be either PCs or new NPCs, and we
have come up with rules to decide how to resolve the results of the orders.
The group can decide how many troops to travel, scout, defend, attack,
besiege or blockade and where they should do it. Orders will be submitted
into a google-doc by a few trusted leads, with up to one order per troop per
hour slot, and can be submitted in advance if desired. Each player will also
get their own unit to command by personal board. Then, staff will process
the results after that time slot has occurred and tell the player group what
happened or what they learned, hopefully leading to more roleplay and heated
discussions over what to do next and what those wily Daravi are up to. Based
on the results at the end, we will decide the new situation with the Daravi
Border going forwards.

Detailed Rules:
Two weeks before the event, players can nominate their characters to attend or create new NPC characters with roles that make sense for being present at Farin strategic planning. They can transition them to permanent characters afterwards if they are not guild roles. They can additionally volunteer if they would like to be a lead - regular characters or NPCs, but NPC leads are required to be honest pro-Lithmorrans.

One week before the event, staff will publish the list of proposed leads. If the Seneschal, Earl Marshall, or Justiciar want to be a lead, they will automatically be approved (players can oust them if they disapprove). Staff will hold a private vote with yes/no/abstain for each other potential lead, and at least the top three will be selected. If there are more than three without many nos (by staff judgement compared to overall voting), they can optionally allow more.

Once it's time for the event, staff will transfer all those who self-nominated to the command camp area. All those participating can wander the area and RP amongst one another. The leads will have edit permissions on a spreadsheet to submit moves, and everyone will be able to view it. The spreadsheet is organized by time, and leads can submit moves for any time in the future, and then once the time has happened, staff will action the move and lock the time. Certain times will be blocked out as breaks. Moves can still be submitted for these times, but they won't be processed until after that whole time block, so staff can sleep or attend to other things.

The whole border map is divided into a grid (A-G by 1-10). Armies, scouts, medics, horses, provisions, weapons and armoring will all have locations on the grid. The Daravi will also have these things with positions on the grid, that will be unknown to the players except through their actions.

A move can be:

Travel - move any army, medic or scout to a grid square +/- 1 in either or both directions. So an army in A10 can move to A9, B10 or B9 in one turn. For each unit of horse, one unit of army, medic or scout can double its speed, moving up to +/- 2 in either or both directions. Horses, provisions, weapons and armor can move along with any armor, medic or scout movements. The number of horses, provisions, weapons or armor accompanying those movements can exceed the count of units and move at the same pace, but only provide benefit up to the number of units. If 10 army units have only 5 horse units, only 5 of the army units can move 2 squares. The other 5 can only move the usual 1 square. Or all 10 units can remain together and move only the 1 square.

Scout - scout units can scout in the grid square that they are currently in. First, there is a 1d100 roll for survival. A roll above 90 and the scout perishes in the desert. If there is an enemy army present, a roll above 75 and the scout is caught by the enemy. Second, if the scout has survived, there is a second 1d100 roll for what they find. If the roll is under 10 and no enemy army units are present, the scout is certain there are no armies there and can report the existence of movements through the area in the last round and the direction. If the roll is under 25, any enemy scouts are sighted. If the roll is under the number of enemy army units, the scout finds the full strength of the enemy. If the roll is under double the number of enemy army units, the scout finds some of the enemy units. Roll a third 1d100 for the percent of the troops found.

Defend - army units can move into defensive positions in the grid square that they are currently in. This allows their numbers to count for 1.5x in a battle where they are attacked. This bonus lasts until they make another move - if they travel or move to attack, besiege or blockade, the bonus no longer applies. (ie the last thing in the history for those units must be the defend)

Attack - army units can attack in the grid square that they are currently in. This kicks off a battle if there are any enemy army units present. If there are not any enemy army units present, the armies are informed that there are not.

Besiege - army units can start a siege in the grid square they are currently in. While under siege, non-scout enemy units cannot travel. The siege lasts until the sieging unit takes another action or is attacked. For each turn that the siege is in place that it is not attacked, deduct 1 unit of provisions from the enemy for each unit they have in that grid square of army or medics. Sum all of these units for which there was not a unit of provisions to deduct and divide that number by 2, and roll 1d(that result) and that number of units perishes from starvation in the siege.

Blockade - army units can start a blockade in the grid square they are currently in. While the grid square is blockaded, army units cannot travel anywhere except back to the last square they travelled from. The blockade remains in effect while the blockading army units remain present and does not take another action. Attacking the blockade does not remove it like attacking a siege does, unless the enemy is defeated and flees.

When battle is enacted, count the total power of each side. Power is the number of army units present in that grid square. Each army unit that can be paired with its own armor unit counts for an additional 0.25 units, and the same for an additional 0.25 units for for weapon units, representing better weaponry (all troops are armed with something). Defending units which are defending from attack count for an additional 0.5 each. Add the power of each army to 1d(that power). The army with the greater sum wins. Subtract the loser's sum from the winner's. Roll 1d(that difference), and the loser loses that number of troops, minus any medic units that are present in the same grid square. The winner also takes casualties of 1d(the loser's losses), minus their own medic units. The loser then flees to the last grid square they had been in (or the most opposite square from the one the enemy has previously been in, if the loser has not moved. If the loser has more losses than there are troops without armor, weapons or horses, the overlap will be captured by the winner.

Orders are given by the leads, one order per set of troops, by entering it at a time in the future. For example, if it is before 1:00 PM, and a lead wants to move some troops from the Cort Pass to Istho Village and attack the Daravi there, they might put at 1:00 PM in the D2 Column "10 Troops, 5 armor, 1 medic travel to E2", at 2:00 PM in the E2 Column "10 Troops, 5 armor, 1 medic travel to F1", at 3:00 PM in the F1 Column "10 Troops, 5 armor, 1 medic attack". Staff will reply after each time with any results for all moves.

Players will also each receive 1 unit of a chosen type at the command camp. This should be of the type that makes the most sense for their character. Leads will just add their units to the totals and command them as normal, but non-lead players will have their unit labeled with their name and they can command it by personal board. Staff will copy these orders in for players. Private player units will be visibly tracked on the shared orders, but they will receive private results if they are not part of actions taken by shared units.

FAQ:

What do players do in the command camp?
They can roleplay life in a war camp. Given regular updates of new information, they should play out the discussions of strategy and information sharing, and decide what new orders to give. If players are present in the command camp, they should RP being there, and their unit can be receiving orders. If they are not online, they can either be at the command camp or with their unit, enacting things themselves. We will overlook any weird time warps if players wish to claim personal involvement and travel back to camp to RP again, but they shouldn't just pop back and forth constantly.

What if I want to participate, but it doesn't make sense for my character?
We are giving players the option to create new NPC characters that make more sense to be present and involved. We are also willing to overlook some misfits for players that wish their characters to join as volunteer recruits.

Can my NPC be a noble?
NPCs can be representatives sent by nobles who are not currently played, but we are not adding new noble canon to support this event. Player nobles can of course participate as themselves.

What if an order is not possible as given (e.g. due to a siege or blockade?)
If an order is not possible, the stack of orders will be shifted down one round, and that first order will be tried again in the next round (and the next, until it succeeds, or the orders are changed).

What if I want to support the Daravi?
For simplification, all players will be playing on the Lithmorran side, and staff will not support communication or extra knowledge between the Daravi and players, and there will be no friendly fire. NPC leads are required to be supportive of Lithmorran interests, but any other player, regular character or NPC, can attempt deceit and bad advice, and provide misinformation from their own private unit.

What if no order is given for a unit at any given time?
It will remain in its last state and take no additional actions until such a time as it is given orders again. It's not expected that every unit or every time will necessarily have orders.

What if player orders and Daravi actions both happen at the same time?
Player actions will all be enacted before Daravi actions. So if players attack in a grid square and Daravi are scheduled to travel from that grid square at the same time, the attack will happen before the Daravi movements.

How are Daravi actions decided?
Staff will determine the rough Daravi strategy ahead of time and will maintain that strategy within the bounds of their own scout and battle results. Staff orders will be recorded before evaluating player orders to maintain fairness.

What affect will this have on things going forwards?
This is a somewhat gamey mechanism, but the actions represented are the ones that are actually happening IC, assumed to be happening on a realistic scale. If the Daravi gain a foothold or are repelled, that will be the IC state with which further actions move forwards.

Can my character die?
Players will generally be at a command camp, rather than out on the battlefield, so we are not assuming any risk of death by the event mechanisms, unless a player would requests that their character die. The command camp area will be IC with normal rules and consequences, however.

Geras
Posts: 978
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:50 pm

Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:48 am

This looks awesome.

Temi
Posts: 377
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:22 pm

Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:00 pm

Thanks everyone for participating! Curious to hear what people think went well and didn't, for planning future events. I think medics worked a little too well - not nearly enough dying! And the numbers of supplies and the impact of besiege didn't feel well balanced.

For RP, it seemed to me like there was enough to do and RP about and people had fun in the camp area, but I wasn't actually on the ground much to see how it really felt. How did it feel among those there? Did everyone have the opportunity to be as involved as they wanted? Did having the option of your own personal units feel like it involved you more, if you weren't a lead?

mystry
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:08 am

Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:32 pm

I can't offer an opinion about the player led units, since I played a lead, but I can give a bit of feedback about a few things.

1. Medics - Medics were definitely incredibly strong, and I was able to almost entirely mitigate attacks even from overwhelming forces just by having enough medics. None of the Daravi units except the last one had any of their own as well, or so it seemed, which led to an almost stalemate in the last battle going back and forth with the medics just preventing casualties on both sides.

2. Sieges and Supplies - I definitely took deliberate pains to avoid anyone on the Lithmorran side getting sieged. It was more beneficial to order an attack that you knew would lose rather than let a siege happen, because A. supplies never regenerated, and B. the medics would halt casualties anyway. In the future, I would suggest that:
A. Places under siege cannot be joined by outside units unless the siege is broken. They can occupy the same square, but anyone moving in afterwards is OUTSIDE the sieged spot, including supplies.
B. Supplies regularly replenish at the base camp, and must be ferried to where they are needed.

3. In the camp area, the VAST majority of my time was focused on filling out the order sheet. I didn't mind doing this, but it definitely mean that my character could not RP with anyone outside 'strategic decision time', and even then I had to rush that and sometimes just go ahead and go over the other leads heads to get orders in on time. I would suggest that, in the future, orders be given in 2 to 4 hours block, rather than 1 hour. For the majority of the campaign, I simply could not make blanket orders for long periods of time unless it was one of the time frames that the staff was offline for, because half of all strategy is responding and changing the plan when the enemy does something unexpected.

4. I feel like the event took a sudden difficulty spike at the very end. Logically speaking, there certainly is a climax to the whole campaign, no argument there, but the 180 unit Daravi army simply appeared out of nowhere. I don't know if they actually moved through the map and we simply never spotted them because of bad luck with scouts, or if they used magic to be unseen, or if staff just spawned them in there, but I definitely was expecting more advance warning, hence all the tricks I and the other leads utilized to get the reinforcements there on time. We know an assault was coming (though not where), but we only knew that because one player was smart enough to try and interrogate a prisoner. If we hadn't thought to do that, we probably would have been sunk. It definitely had a 'set up to fail' feeling to it, like we were expected to lose Latago. I have no idea if that was intentional or not, but it felt that way with the sudden appearance of the huge army. It certainly was exciting though!

5 Scouts - Scouts proved to be almost entirely useless because of how stringent their rolls were to spot anything. I think we actually spotted enemies only three times during the whole event, despite using nearly all of them and slowly losing them due to them dying or getting lost. Most of the battles were because the Daravi went to where they knew they'd find us, and attacked, and we would win. In the future, I would suggest removing their chances of dying to the desert, and generously increase their chances of finding enemies.

Now, all that being said!!! It was still a very enjoyable event and I loved being mean and surly to everyone! So thank you for putting it on. :)

Temi
Posts: 377
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:22 pm

Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:55 pm

Everything there makes sense on the whole!
mystry wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:32 pm
4. I feel like the event took a sudden difficulty spike at the very end. Logically speaking, there certainly is a climax to the whole campaign, no argument there, but the 180 unit Daravi army simply appeared out of nowhere. I don't know if they actually moved through the map and we simply never spotted them because of bad luck with scouts, or if they used magic to be unseen, or if staff just spawned them in there, but I definitely was expecting more advance warning, hence all the tricks I and the other leads utilized to get the reinforcements there on time. We know an assault was coming (though not where), but we only knew that because one player was smart enough to try and interrogate a prisoner. If we hadn't thought to do that, we probably would have been sunk. It definitely had a 'set up to fail' feeling to it, like we were expected to lose Latago. I have no idea if that was intentional or not, but it felt that way with the sudden appearance of the huge army. It certainly was exciting though!

Actually, I was a bit surprised you guys never found them before! I had a 'rule' that the Daravi had scouts keeping an eye out around their camp, and if they detected a scout, they would move away from it, but scouts are not super reliable, as you noted, so I figured they would miss more scouts than they caught. They were there the whole time, though, and moved twice based on the Lithmorran scouts. It was designed to bring things to a head at the end if you hadn't already found them, and provide a challenge, but not an insurmountable one.

If you're curious, I wrote the Daravi strategy before bringing you guys in:

Code: Select all

Daravi Plans

- small skirmishes aimed primarily at Persela - D8, one each at D1, D5
- if skirmishes blockaded attack the blockade
- send scouts up and down the border, scouting each room as they go
- majority of forces wait in F4 in defensive position
- medics, armor, weapons stay with the majority of forces
- scouts in F3, E3, E4, E5, F5 scout each time keeping an eye out for scouts
- if scouts sight scouts or armies greater than their number, move in the opposite direction
- reestablish defensive position
- reposition scouts around new location
- half-way through the second day, send a small force to besiege D5 until they are attacked
- at the start of the last day, send scouts to D1 and D5
- send the majority of troops (+ supplies) to the one that has less troops sighted
- besiege the location for 3 turns
- attack the location
- if win, blockade the passes
- if lose, defend fled location, send a small number of troops to D5 and besiege there, wait one turn, and then move back in to attack again

Sparkles
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:52 pm

Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:23 am

3. In the camp area, the VAST majority of my time was focused on filling out the order sheet. I didn't mind doing this, but it definitely mean that my character could not RP with anyone outside 'strategic decision time',
Scheduled breaks or 'shifts' might also leave some breaks for RP time. (Or people could volunteer to be the lead for certain 'shifts' just some ideas.)

phoenixdoll
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:32 am
Discord Handle: pd#1102

Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:06 am

I really enjoyed attending the event, I found it fun. I did find that because of the structure of the event, everyone kinda wanted to just stay in the command tent. I found being in control of a scouting unit, when I didn't have the benefit (due to timezones) of communicating with the leads all the time so-so. I wasn't very good at counting out my actions, and somehow I ended up sending my unit to the wrong places. I think if I was participating in this kind of event again, I would simply ask if I could hand over control of my unit to one of the player leads since I was taking orders from them anyway and submitting that via pboard.

I don't feel like I achieved anything/offered anything to the player leads in tactical assistance except getting stuck in a sandstorm --- though that did lead to some really interesting and fun rp. Scouting didn't turn up much for us.

I would be interested in an event which is longer than 3 days, with more time between when the orders have to be submitted -- I struggled to get orders in for just one unit, so I don't think I could have coped as a lead. I really enjoyed RPing in a war camp, and I wouldn't mind more opportunities to do that.

Kitty
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:29 pm
Discord Handle: Kitty#2410

Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:12 pm

I admit, I tried multiple times to get people to RP outside of the tent. People just... didn't really want to leave. And for good reason! Leaving meant missing something. And missing something would mean maybe not winning.

I think the rules finally settled in after a while, and I started to understand them better, but... it was far too fast. Even inside the tent, rarely RP because there was explaining and editing of spreadsheet.

The weekend was enjoyable, but I do think that both the players and the staff had a hard time keeping up, and that there was a lot less RP than I would have liked. How to fix it? I am not sure, really.
help policy triggers, help policy non-consensual, help sandwich

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LANS
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:20 pm

Wed Nov 18, 2020 4:21 pm

Kitty and mystry dish out some good points. Here are mine.

1-With no hierarchy and a common pool of soldiers, I felt I mattered very little in there. It was fun, quite a bit, but overall it seemed like little would have changed if I hadn't attended at all.
2-Things moved a little too fast. I had to constantly try to catch up with events and RP definitely took a back seat. Only after the event ended I realised Vincent had organised a shady gambling table in the mess hall, for example.
3-I didn't even try to understand the excel Orders sheet. I just left that to others.
4-Fort squares have no coded importance: they are just painted, named squares. They should offer some defensive bonus!
5-Scouts feld underpowered indeed. Perhaps they should always succeed, or have a better chance at it.

Overall it was fun, tense at times, and I did feel the trepidation of "hot damn, we're about to lose Farin again!" at the end.

phoenixdoll
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:32 am
Discord Handle: pd#1102

Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:18 pm

LANS wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 4:21 pm
2-Things moved a little too fast. I had to constantly try to catch up with events and RP definitely took a back seat. Only after the event ended I realised Vincent had organised a shady gambling table in the mess hall, for example.
Also I hid bottles of alcohol all over the camp, and the soldier's tent was full of drugs. Which.. was what I was doing when I poisoned myself. xD More time for me to get people in on being shady or to get busted would've been nice.

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