Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Hmmm, Some lost noodlings.

These were some notes that have just stayed as a draft for a very long time... published August 28th

I'm a big fan of narrative in games, and correspondingly not so much of the plot being 'You Guys are over here, Those Guys are over there, you turn up and fight'.

So, as a change from my usual mental noodling about campaigns, I've been thinking of 'mission' based games. These could be something simple like seizing a strongpoint, or something more complicated like collecting loot counters.

This is why I found the page with the 'Big List of RPG Plots' that I posted a few days ago. I was looking for inspiration for narratives to apply to games.

My idea is to try to accommodate the idea of special missions as random determinants of action in a game, representing orders from High Command as to what the purpose of the battle is. Might work, might not, but I feel it'll be fun to give it a go.

As I thought about the various possible missions, I realised that they came in two types. Some are 'army' missions, and represent the overall strategy of the battle. These would include missions to stop the enemy from overrunning positions and things like that - missions that the whole force must co-operate on to achieve.

Others are 'unit' missions, that could be accomplished by a small part of the overall force. A unit could be tasked with taking and occupying a strongpoint, while at the same time another unit could be looking for loot counters, for instance.

The two aren't mutually exclusive, missions that you could apply to a unit could also I suppose be army missions too - such taking out the enemy leader by any means necessary - but they might be a bit limited.

Anyway, I'm trying to put together a list of potential missions, to be used as 'plot drivers' in games. I'm thinking that each player could have a single 'army' mission, representing the overall strategic goal, and several 'unit' missions, representing certain battlefield conditions that need to be met.

Say, for example, the army's mission is to break through the enemy's trenches (deployment zone, defensive cordon, whatever); the 'unit' missions are to take the highest ground on the table, to disable the enemy leader, and to collect loot counters. These unit missions would be distributed among the units that the player thought most likely to be able to fulfill them.

Anyway - on with a list of potential missions that could be applied to armies, or units from those armies.

Army Missions

Break On Through
The mission is to rupture the enemy's line; the army's commander, and at least one unit at more than 50% strength, must be in the enemy deployment zone (or advanced off the enemy's side of the table?) at the end of the game.

Hold the Line
The opposite of the scenario above: the army must prevent the enemy from exiting the table via the player's own deployment zone, or alternatively deny the enemy a foothold in the player's depolyment zone.


and there my list ends. I will come back to this at some later point.

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