Monday, 8 August 2016

Bad Dog Rules 1




The above picture is a teaser of the Table of Contents for the Bad Dog draft rule-set that I'm working on.  Of course there's the small matter of all the text.  Whether or not I will complete writing the rules is dependent on a large number of variables, which when you boil them down are based on time and money considerations.

But, at least now I have resolved the scale of the game's actions, up to a platoon, the ground scale as 12 inches equals 100 yards, and the model size as 10/12mm or 1/144th scale.  The latter being quite easy as I've been a big fan of this scale for a number of years.  But the rules will also be able to use 6 and 15mm miniatures without any major concerns, and larger figures if one is prepared to do some scale conversions, and have a big enough playing area.
   

23 comments:

  1. Fascinating. As a person who has written fully functional miniatures games, it is very interesting to get a peek into someone else's process. I am very much a "stream of consciousness" writer and once I've collected enough notes and information (typically in an Excel spreadsheet) it all gets dumped out into Word document and made presentable. Self-publishing on lulu.com is free and a viable method to be sure. At least the only investment you'll have in it is your time and effort. Good luck!

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    1. As the author of OHMU War Machine, which crashed and burned, I would definitely want to avoid publishing another set of rules that cost real money.

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    2. I agree with Ski and RogerBW - lulu and wargamevault are the best option nowadays, unless you decide to release BD for free. And it would mean that I won't have to hunt a copy down again... ;-)

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    3. You hunted a copy of OHMU War Machine down. I'm impressed.

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    4. Well, some of your comments about it made me curious and I started collecting 'mecha' rule sets years ago, so...it resides now on the shelf between other little known rules like Wardogs and Iron Tyrants.

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    5. Well, I wrote OHMU 25 years ago and if I were do it again I wouldn't do it like that.

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    6. Nobody can write the same wargame twice, for it is not the same wargame and they are not the same person. Or something.

      I'll have to look through my copy again. As someone coming from Battletech what I mostly missed at the time was a unit design system, but I remember enjoying it apart from that.

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    7. I wasn't sure about including the design system back then, there were arguments for and against. Twenty-five years later, after struggling to cope with 1200+ mech designs in BattleTech, I'm more inclined to think we made the right choice.

      If you strip the background setting out, what you are left with is multiple different tanks, APC, combat armours and power armour suits that you can mix and match to suit any game you want to play. You will have to trust me when I say that all the designs are pretty much mini-maxed to be the best in their cost class.

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    8. Yeah, Roger now is inclined to agree with you that a design system isn't necessary.

      I think there are two things a design system can usefully do that "make up some stats" doesn't:

      ① It can tell you "this design is possible, that design isn't".

      ② If you have a points system, it can tell you how many points the unit is worth.

      (Noting that Battletech only did ① until they bodged on a series of points systems very late in the day, and quite a few games have points but no system for working out the cost of a new unit.)

      Now I feel able to make up, say, Harpoon stats for ahistorical warships and aircraft because I know a fair bit about the real ones, so I can work out what might have been done, and there's no question of points values. Battletech-playing Roger back in the day liked designing 'Mechs to see what the rules would allow, and to do a better job than the designers of the ones in the books; it was a competitive process with my fellow players, to come up with new designs and test them against each other.

      In the case of Bad Dog, if you have points at all I'd like to be able to rate my hypothetical variants and upgrades in terms of that points system, but if you don't then I'm happy just to make up some numbers that seem sensible in terms of what's already out there.

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    9. The problem with BT is not the DS, but that TPTB used it to churn out a metric ton of TROs. That said, as long as I can somehow eyeball the overall strength (either with points or simply some guidelines), I'm a happy camper.

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    10. Roger: I do agree the competitive aspect of designing mechs back in the day was a draw.

      Perhaps, if you like the Bad Dog rules and want to use them, we can work on a points and construction system together: so you get what you want.

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    11. Maybe, though it's a huge labour for relatively little reward: I don't believe in "balanced" battles as the default conflict anyway (generally at least one side thinks it has the superiority to let it win, or it wouldn't be there for the fight). So in my ideal wargame (and Chain of Command comes quite close to this) you have stock scenarios like:

      Side A has superiority, side B is defending an objective

      Side A has superiority, side B is trying to gather intel and get away rather than win the fight

      Side A thinks it has superiority, side B has secret reinforcements

      in other words a bit more tactical sophistication than "I have these forces, you have equal forces, we fight to the death until someone has no units left". If I wanted that I'd play chess.

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    12. I think you missed the point, because that's not what I was suggesting.

      Do you want a hand in having a set of rules that you can build things in?

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    13. Surely. Let's see what happens.

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  2. So figures only about twice the size that ground scale would make then? That's interesting - suggesting the camera is zooming in a bit on the combatants, rather than the wildly over-scale figures that many modern/futuristic games use. (I know, most players don't mind this.)

    Definitely looks promising. Available for playtesting. :)

    As for publication, if you don't want to make it a freebie, there's always wargamevault.com or similar.

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  3. I've done my fair share of rules twisting, tinkering and playing so I'll watch this with great interest Ashley! Are you planning to utilise a particular mechanism or style set? I think most Mecha rules thus far are either overly detailed and cumbersome or so bereft of detail for the sake of game play that the theme is somewhat lost

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  4. Teaser: think Star Wars: X-Wing as a mecha combat game.

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    1. That could be interesting. Do you mean in general terms of complexity/style or will you be adapting x-wing to this?

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    2. A bit of both: some mechanisms from X-Wing, and others from Chain of Command, but the emphasis being on being the commander/hero rather than the individual grunt.

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  5. Oohh... I think my GZG not-VOTOMS will be seeing some action when this baby comes out!
    Will you be posting news of their development here or on a seperate blog like your novel writing?

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    1. Here. I have too many blogs already that I can't maintain, keep up regular posts to, so here – keep watching the skies, blog, you know what I mean.

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