Sunday, January 15, 2017

Mass Combat: Battle Experience and Cadres

Precis: Some house rules for GURPS Mass Combat, dealing with improving the quality of your troops through battle experience and merging existing experienced units with new hires to improve their experience.

GURPS Mass Combat is a reasonably comprehensive set of rules for running large scale battles in GURPS. It has rules for different types of troops with different levels of training and equipment, for raising new units and maintaining existing ones, and for fighting all different types of battles. One thing that is mostly missing are rules for improving the quality of existing troops as they gain battlefield experience.

There are two references to improving units: on 12, under Improvements, "The GM may allow troops to improve in quality... if events justify it," and on p 14, under Disbanding Elements, "For flavor, an element may be converted rather than disbanded." There's no real guidance for deciding when troops should improve in quality, and so I'm writing some house rules for New Dawn to provide some guidance.

Battlefield Experience

Each time a unit survives a battlefield, it gains 1 experience. It then loses 1 experience if it took more than 40% casualties, half its experience (round the remaining experience down) if it took more than 50% casualties, and all its experience if took more than 75% casualties.

A unit can be retrained to lock in its experience and improve its troop quality by 1 step after earning 2 experience. Retraining takes one week per $10K of the difference in the raise costs of the improved troop and the unimproved troop. Units with more experience are cheaper to retrain: each extra point of experience reduces the cost by 20%, to a minimum of 0. The retraining time is based on the adjust cost, but can't be reduced below the lower of four weeks or the normal time to raise the unit. A unit cannot move or fight in any battles while it is being retrained, and if it moves or fights in a battle, an entire week of training needs to be redone.

A very experienced unit can improve its quality by multiple steps at once instead of reducing the cost of training. It takes 8 experience to raise the quality by two steps or 15 to raise it by three.

Instructors, Cadres, and Replacement Troops

Troop quality is determined by training and culture and all new troops are raised at the appropriate quality level. If an army has created higher quality troops through battlefield experience, it may not be able to raise fresh units of the same quality to act as replacements. Adding lesser quality troops to a high quality unit generally lowers the quality of the high quality unit, but there are ways to get around it.

In general, if a unit gets has its size increased by more than 10% and the new troops are of a lower quality than the unit, the unit's quality drops to the average of the two quality levels: adding Average reinforcements to an Elite unit turns the entire unit into a Good unit. Any battle experience is lost.


A unit can absorb more reinforcements if it is given time to absorb them and train them to the unit's standards. A unit can take up to 60% of its size in lower quality reinforcements without losing quality (and indeed, raising the quality of the reinforcements) by taking four weeks to train with them. This training is expensive (pay the cost to raise the quality of the reinforcements normally) but is an easy way to quickly produce a high quality armor. The high quality unit loses all its battle experience and can't absorb any more reinforcements without losing quality until it has gained at least one battle experience.

Units acting as cadres and absorbing reinforcements cannot move or fight in any battles and must repeat the full week of training if they do move or fight in a battle. The reinforcements are keep their lower quality until the training with the cadre unit is complete.


A high quality unit can be used as instructors to improve the quality of newly raised troops. Each element assigned to act as an instructor can train ten elements to its quality. Raising new elements with instructors has the normal cost of raising a new element of the appropriate quality. Instructors don't save money, they just allow veteran units to raise better units than a nation's normal training programs.

Elements acting as instructors cannot move or fight in any battles and must repeat the full week of training if they do move or fight in a battle. Elements in the process of being raised do not exist for mass combat purposes until their training is complete.


This is pretty straightforward and is really just a set of guidelines for things that Mass Combat allows with GM permission. The biggest departure from Mass Combat is clarifying that you can't just raise high quality replacements unless you could have raised those replacements normally.

Friday, January 13, 2017

New Dawn Session 1

Precis: In the first session of the New Dawn campaign, the PCs ambushed an orc patrol, recruited a small army, and had an overwhelming victory in their first Mass Battles combat.

Cast of Characters

  • +Uhuk of the Guard's Hloomawl, a minotaur princeling and mighty warrior.
  • +Eric Schmidt's Nesta Bowen, a human master spy with a grudge against the orcs.
  • +Eric Schmidt's Trahaern ab Owen, a human master strategist.
  • +Eilmyn Davidson's Michael Jones, a Squallite archer.
  • +Eilmyn Davidson's Skyler Therris, a human reprobate, warrior, and general.
  • +Kevin Smyth's Aisling Mhic Muiris, a Nymph ambassador from the Fae court.
  • +Kevin Smyth's Ariana Rees, a human blacksmith and minor saint.
  • Kiara Schmidt's Greex "Wrongway", a cowardly kobold spymaster.
  • Kiara Schmidt's Nayla, a supernaturally skilled archer.
  • Finbar Gullvan, the old man of the Resistance 
Kevin recapped this session, too, for a view from a player's side.

Orcish Introductions

One of my favorite video games is Shadows of Mordor. You spend a lot of time fighting common orcs in that game, but at times a orcish captain will join the fray. When you start fighting the captain, there's a sudden cut-scene where the captain taunts you while all the orcs chant his name, and you might see a list of some of the awful and dangerous deeds he's done. I don't have the video or audio skills to do that, but one of things I'm doing with New Dawn is introducing each orcish leader with a little tagline. If the PCs have done any research on him, I'll probably tell them more about the leader but so far it hasn't come up.

I will almost certainly regret doing this, as coming up with the taglines is hard, but so far it amuses me. Each orc and his tagline will follow the header for the battle that he's in.

An Ambush

Sir Brolo - "Greatness comes from humble beginnings"
I like to start my games with an action scene, to get things going immediately. In this case, the Resistance of Engenstut County - essentially the PCs plus some NPC spear-throwers - were ambushing a patrol of orcs. The ambush had many purposes: acquire some metal weapons and armor instead of stone and leather; demonstrate to the countryside that the Resistance had what it took to defeat orcs; commit a provocation that would encourage the orcs to leave their stronghold. The Resistance were set up on either side of a steep-sided path through two hills, with the intention of attacking the orcs when their mounted leader made it into a bend in the pass. The orcs were on a routine patrol that they weren't taking seriously, with almost none of them wearing their helmets and the infantry not wearing their arm armor or gauntlets. This turned out to be significant.

The PCs' forces were strung out on either side of the path, and not set up super well. They had a nice ambush with their better archers covering the bend, but the melee fighters were set up too far up the pass. They had some of their melee fighters close to the mouth of the pass, but ironically those fighters were too close to the action and easy to spot.

As it turned out, the ambush almost failed when the orc leader spotted Aisling. People tensed up, but trusted the nymph to talk her way out of it, which she did. She Fast-Talked the orcs with a story about a bunch of kobolds attacking her and claimed the kobolds were just around the bend. The orcs formed up, but foolishly neglected to put on their helmets (overconfidence was a crippling disadvantage for the orcs) and charged up the pass. It was possibly something of a net loss for the PCs, since though the orcs were still surprised by the subsequent ambush, they were much less surprised and responded quicker.

At any rate, as the orc knight made it around the bend, Nayla put an arrow in his face. Even with HP 17 and HT 12, he still took a major wound and fell off his horse, unconscious. The rest of the orcs were surprised by this turn of events (IQ 9 and no Combat Reflexes) and things just degenerated for them from there. Ariana and Aisling slipped to the back of the orcish column and began clobbering the goblin wolf-rider archers from behind while Nesta, Traeharn, Hloomawl, Skyler, and Greex frantically repositioned themselves closer to the orcish infantry. Michael got off some shots of varying effectiveness: I think he nailed one orc in the face, but another shot mostly bowed off a DR7 steel breastplate. Nayla was much more effective, using her Guided Shot and Scattershot imbuments to telling effect: her first blast of shrapnel got a lucky cripple on one of the orc infantry's hands, effectively taking him out of the fight, and she put a shot into one of the wolves' face at 30 yards, dropping him and preventing the goblins from fleeing the fight.

Arianna caught a lot of attention from the orcs for a bit: a wolf jumped her but she blocked and retreated, then a goblin just missed her with a bow, and finally she took a crossbow bolt that penetrated her shield and heavy leather gloves to stick into her arm. She survived and continued to lay about on the orcs, but even a couple of hard hits to the face weren't always enough to knock the orcs down.

Back at the front of the column, Hloomawl closed the distance with a horn slam. The orc in question blocked with his shield, but Hloomawl penetrated the shield and the unarmored arm, knocking him down. Hloomawl's horns also got stuck, leading to the amusing image of 9' minotaur, bent over double at the waist, muttering, "Don't worry, I got this," as he tried to unstick himself. Immediately behind him, Skyler ran up and threw a hand axe into the back of an orc's skull, dropping him and rendering the orcs' attempts to fight back to back futile.

On the next round, Hloomawl freed his horns by trying to wrench the orc's arm off. He did a pretty good job, but not quite enough to cripple the orc. The PCs were quite impressed with the hardiness of the orcs. Skyler stepped forward and brained the orc with his barbed wire bat, Lucille.
Skyler and Hloomawl beat down the orcish infantry as Arianna and Aisling cut
off their retreat and Nayla, Michael, and the generic Resistance force rain down missiles.

The combat pretty much petered out at this point, with the surviving goblins surrendering. Two of the orcs were still conscious, but both were wounded and on their backs with Skyler, Hloomawl, and Arianna closing in while Michael and Nayla provided covering fire.


At this point, the PCs split into two groups. Hloomawl, Traehern, Skyler, Aisling, and Greex went off to recruit an army, while the other PCs went off to do something else. The logic was that whoever did the recruiting would also have to fight in the first battle, so the PCs stacked that team with their best leaders and persuaders.

My mechanic for recruiting was pretty simple: it took 3 hours to give a rousing speech in a village square, and success on a contest of Public Speaking versus average peasant Will resulted in 1 + MoS elements of levy medium infantry showing up. Anyone could use an Influence skill to give a complementary bonus, or people could work the crowd with an Influence skill and recruit 1 element of levy medium infantry +1 per 2 MoS. I mostly set it up that way because Aisling's Public Speaking skill is unreal and if the only option had been to perform complementary work with her, it would have been the Aisling and her backup band show. As it was, each of the PCs got their own chance to recruit: Greex rallied some kobolds, Skyler won some drinking contests, Hloomawl convinced people they could stand behind him and watch him kill orcs, and Trahaern made some appeals to patriotism. Aisling actually gave a reasonably ineffective speech (she's Intolerant of loggers, and the village of Trones is a logging community) but an ineffective speech by a nymph is still a massive success. Within a few hours, the PCs had recruited most of the people they could in Trones. I offered to let them go at it again, at -4 on all rolls, but they chose to move to another village and try again. Rolls were even better there, and since it was a smaller village, they recruited everyone they could ("except for the Mayor, the bitter drunk, and three guys that absolutely needed to stay behind to run businesses" as we eventually decided).

That was the first day after the battle. They could have spent another day recruiting, but they decided to spend it organizing their forces since they had 30 elements of Medium Infantry (with Poor equipment and Poor quality). I told them they could set up as much of their forces as they liked as Light Infantry (again, Poor/Poor) or a quarter of them as Pikemen in the form of a bunch of guys holding sharpened tree branches (Poor/Inferior quality). They had could have 1 Unit of Poor/Poor Bowmen using some of the captured orc weapons and the Resistance stockpile. As a houserule, I'd already said that a PC attached to an element could raise the troop quality for a single battle with a Leadership roll. Aisling took charge of the Resistance's lone light artillery (dubbed "Finbar's Folly" but it actually turned out pretty useful), Skyler led the Bowmen element, and Hloomawl had a bodyguard of Pikemen. Greex didn't have any Leadership skills and Trahaern was too busy commanding the overall battle. They had 7 elements of Pikemen, 8 or so elements of Light Infantry, and a mass of Medium Infantry.

The Battle of Trones

Captain Hugrash - "He's bad, and he's an ass, but is he a bad-ass?" 
Lieutenant Bruurt - "A calm head can still be lost in a disasater"

On the morning of the third day, some of the Resistance scouts put the heads of the orc patrol up on stakes in view of the orc stronghold. Captain Hugrash ordered his troops to armor up and prepared to sally forth to crush the insolent humans.

I had something of a personality in mind for Hugrash. He's a minor orc commander of an inferior regiment that was left behind to guard the countryside when the rest of the orcish forces left to fight the battle at the capitol. He's arrogant and not particularly skilled (Intelligence Analysis-8, Tactics-11, Leadership-12, Overconfidence 9 or less, no useful mass combat Perks or Advantages). His forces, generally a collection of Average troops with Good equipment, were penalized by being in Low Supply for reasons of economy and had half the TS they normally would.

Trones campaign theater, showing the
titular village, the orc stronghold, the town
of Harbuck, and the orc fortress of Swartun.

This was everyone's first experience with GURPS Mass Combat, and justifying my purchase of Mass Combat is the point of the campaign, so we went through the whole deal. First step was the Reconnaissance Contest. The PC's had a 2:1 edge in Recon Strength (mostly through overwhelming numbers) and had friendly locals. Kiara rolled for Greex and succeeded by 12. Hugrash, on the other hand, had unfriendly locals and wasn't taking basic route security options, so he was rolling at -6 and failed by 5 or so. Long story short, the Resistance trivially ambushed the orcs.

In the rest of the campaign, each PC commander will have their own fronts and there will be multiple mass combats going on at once, but for the first one, I just wanted to get through the rules with as little confusion as possible. Trahaern took command, and put his Gifted Commander: Slow and Steady advantage to best use by ordering a Deliberate Attack. The orcs, ambushed, were forced to Rally. The humans had a troop strength advantage, but the orcs had better class specials: the human pikes and artillery neutralized or countered their cavalry and (magic) artillery, but they still had more archers for a Fire bonus and mages for C3I bonus. Numbers and skill triumph over confusion, and the Resistance won the first round by 15 or so, inflicting 35% casualties on the orcs and gaining a superior position.

In the second round, Trahaern moved for a double envelopment (an Indirect Attack to take some advantage of his Gifted Commander: Cunning Commander advantage, though it conflicts some with being Slow and Sure) while the orcs went for a general attack. Trahaern gambled big, but won big with something like +17 on the initial contest and double that after his Indirect Attack, for another 40% casualties and more position bonuses. Captain Hugrash had taken injuries in the first round (Misfortunes of War are likely if you risk big and lose big) which had been described as Hloomawl getting close enough to beat on him a bit in a Significant Action. Hugrash took injuries again this round, as Skyler beat him unconscious in another Significant Action.

Orcish Lieutenant Bruurt stepped up, but the orcish position was untenable. He correctly predicted that Trahaern was going to order an All-Out Attack, and surprised Trahaern by ordering a Full Retreat, but Bruurt's net success by 1 was not sufficient to keep the orcs from being overrun by the humans who succeeded by 12 or so. Trahaern's roll was pretty bad this round, but +8 in positional bonuses and no casualties will make up for some bad rolls. The orcs took another 30% casualties, accumulating at 110%, and were wiped out.

We did some of the post battle accounting and ended the session on a high note. 55 of the orcs were killed on the field of battle, with another 34 successfully fleeing. Most of those survivors would be killed by Resistance sympathizers among the peasantry, but a handful (mostly goblin wolf-riders and a knight or two) would survive the 40 mile journey to the orc fortress of Swartun. Meanwhile, the Resistance got $240,000 in loot, including a couple of suits of Fine plate harness from the orcish officers.

Review of Play

So this session started out a little slow. 5 players, most with 2 PCs, a horde of allied NPCs that the GM had to run, and a mass of enemies makes for a long battle. That was somewhat helped by a lot of the orcs being stunned, either from surprise or via damage, and not doing much. I was a little sad about that: I wanted an orc or two to recover and rampage through the PC's lines, demonstrating just how dangerous an orc was. Ariana took some hits, but there was never anything really impressive. Still, the awful endurance of the orcs who sometimes took multiple hits to the face without stopping did impress the PCs.

All in all, the starting ambush took two and half hours to play through. That didn't leave much time for the recruitment and mass combat, but it did come in just under the clock so no harm dead. I had an optional encounter in my notes, where the orcs would send out a second patrol and the PCs would ambush it again, but this time with they'd have their captured orcish metal weapons and armor. I didn't run that, because the initial ambush was such a success that there wouldn't have been much contrast in the second, and because it would have taken up too much time. Oh, well.

As another minor note on tactics, I expected the PCs to station Hloomawl much closer to the mouth of the pass, and have him enter the fight by jumping off the hillside and landing on an orc's shoulders. It would have been amazing, and I actually looked up the rules for it. But Uhuk wasn't feeling so well and didn't think of that.

The recruiting section went well. I was surprised that the PC's stopped early, but they were right that they had sufficient forces.

The battle actually went very smoothly. There were a few rules look-ups and a couple of minor mishaps (Trahaern ordered a Deliberate Defense on the first round, which isn't legal for ambushers, but it wouldn't have made a difference in the outcome) but things mostly went pretty well. I'm going to need to experiment more with maptools to see if I can make tracking some things easier, as there was a little confusion about modifiers at various points. Still, it went well, and it was a massive victory for the PCs at the very end of the session, so things ended on a high note.

Much like I anticipated yesterday, the PCs are already becoming pretty potent. They have a lot of money and a fair amount of high quality armor. Skyler potentially has a magic weapon. Common orcs are still going to be a threat, but if everyone has DR7 or DR8 armor then fights are going to have a differnt quality than if only one side is wearing DR2 leather.

What Next?

The Resistance has a lot of things to do, and hopefully people will decide what do to do over email. They'd probably do best to continue the current military campaign with their current forces, and try to overrun the the undersupplied and spread out Orc garrison companies while they can. Sooner or later the orcs are going to start retraining for war and consolidating their forces. The orcs can theoretically field over 10,000 troops in Hanist alone, so a force of 300 militia is not going to cut it. The PCs will need to balance liberating the countryside with recruiting new troops and sending old troops back to re-equipped and retrained with looted weapons.

That's on the Mass Combat side. This game is also supposed to involve some delving and diplomacy. Currently, there's not a lot of good options for that, but I'll try to think of something and present it. Delving may not show up until the fourth or fifth session, though.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Dawn: Anticipation

Precis: I'm starting my new mass battles fantasy game tonight and reflecting on some decisions and campaign features while I wait.

I'm running the first session of New Dawn tonight. As usual, I'm excited about the start of a new game but can't do much about it until the game actually starts. So I'll post some thoughts about it.

Zero to Hero in 1.4 seconds

I don't normally like Zero to Hero style games. They're an RPG convention, for reasons good and bad, but I prefer starting with more experienced heroes that are comparatively static. On the player side, I like playing the character I want to play at the start of the game, not having to wait for several sessions for the character to grow into my desired concept. On the GM side, static characters from the start of the game make it easier to plot challenges since the character abilities don't change. Similarly, record keeping is easier because the characters don't change much.

New Dawn is a Zero to Hero game. But it's a Zero to Hero game with a turbo-supercharger and nitrous oxide. The first fight of the first session pits the PCs wearing leather armor and wielding stone weapons against an orc patrol in heavy plate armor with good steel weapons. I expect it will be a brutal fight, and only the facts that the PCs have advantage in numbers and skill and set up an ambush will allow them to triumph. But after that first fight, the PCs will have heavy plate armor and good steel weapons. Within short order - hopefully at the end of the first session or the second at the latest - they'll be lords of a collection of little villages. And by the third or fourth session, they'll start getting fine weapons and armor as they become the lords of county and collecting the tax income from 30000 people. It's a very fast ramp up.

Your Money Is Meaningless

One of the odd consequences of a military game is that money is somewhat meaningless on a personal scale. The cost of outfitting a single squad of standard Medium Infantry - the backbone of the armies - is $30K, which normally in Dungeon Fantasy is the kind of money you find at the end of a fairly successful delve. The PCs can expect to outfit hundreds, if not thousands, of Medium Infantry squads over the course of the game. One less Medium Infantry squad isn't going to effect the outcome of the mid-game battles, but it's enough money to give a single PC some very high quality gear. Similarly, the cost of buying a single war elephant is $400K, which buys a full set of very high end armor. It wouldn't be unreasonable for the PCs to get forty war elephants (Hannibal had that many during the Punic Wars), or to get 30 or so and have everyone wearing the best armor money can buy.

As part of the game is supposed to include Dungeon Fantasy style delving, this is going to be a weird dynamic. The vast wealth from totally looting a typical dungeon isn't enough to buy a the horses and armor for a squadron of heavy cavalry, and delving isn't as profitable as sitting around for a couple of months and letting the tax money roll in. There might be other reasons to delve, such as finding lost forgotten magics or acquiring military units that can't be found any other way, but money isn't a motivator.

I could come up with some kind of complicated rule that limited how much tax money the PCs could spend on themselves, but I'd rather embrace the dynamic. It's part of the Zero to Hero in 1.4 seconds concept: the PCs aren't going to spend much time grubbing for gear.

Troupe Style Play

I originally wanted to have a single character per player, but my players ganged up on me and decided they wanted two characters apiece. That way, everyone could get the role they wanted, even with a lot of overlap in roles. Each player can only have one active character at a time, in general, though that rule is going to be relaxed at times.

Another element of troupe style play is bit parts for players. I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this, but there are going times when one or two PCs are the focus of the action and rather than leave all the other players with nothing to do, they're going to get bit parts. The most obvious instance of this will be Detailed Actions in the Mass Combat minigame, when a single PC gets to fight a little melee with the assistance of his bodyguards or whatever, but I expect I'll do the same when one of the spies needs to infiltrate a castle and non-stealthy PCs need to be left behind. People without characters appropriate for infiltration will get to play some sneaky bit parts. Who knows? If a bit part gets enough screen time, it might become a low point value PC permanently.

Disadvantages That Bite

Another thing that's come up while preparing for the game is that there a lot of disadvantages that are normally free points but that, in the context of a military game, are much more likely to hurt. Several people took Pacifism: Cannot Harm Innocents, which in my Dungeon Fantasy games is normally such a weak disadvantage that it should really be a quirk. It just doesn't come up much. In a military game, it has teeth: you have to avoid collateral damage, it's hard to besiege a town (starving innocent town folk is definitely forbidden), and even starting a war with a neutral party in order to get access to a needed resource isn't allowed. I like the change, but I was surprised by the number of PCs that took Pacifism: Cannot Harm Innocents and I'm curious how it will work out in play. Soldier's Code of Honor, another disadvantage that several PCs, has similar restrictions.

A Multinational Approach

I swear I didn't suggest this or really do much to encourage it, but as it worked out, the PCs come from a multitude of races and nations that, while generally agreeing to defeat the evil Empire, have their own agendas. This obviously sets up some plot hooks down the road and meshes with some of my hidden plans, but wasn't planned by me. Currently, the group includes a fae, some humans, a kobold, a minotaur, and a squallite (a kind of wood-elf thing), with possibly one more race in +Uhuk of the Guard's second character.

I'm somewhat surprised that the "normal" non-human races aren't present. There aren't any dwarves, elves, or halflings, though minotaur, fae, and kobold are all conceptually similar. That might just be a side effect of the kind of people I game with. It simplified some things for me, though, in terms of long term campaign planning.

Cast of Characters

The full list of characters is on the wiki, but here's a quick summary:
Hloomawl: +Uhuk of the Guard's minotaur champion/herald.
Nesta: +Eric Schmidt's human spymaster/thief.
Trahaern: +Eric Schmidt's human general/trapper.
Michael: +Eilmyn Davidson's squallite scout.
Skyler: +Eilmyn Davidson's human champion/war captain.
Aisling: +Kevin Smyth's fae nymph ambassador/war captain.
Ariana: +Kevin Smyth's human priest.
Greex: Kiara's kobold spymaster/thief.
Nayla: Kiara's human imbued scout.

Greex was original one of Kevin's concepts, but Kiara liked the idea and took the character. Uhuk is supposedly making a sorcerer but I haven't seen anything yet.

It's a pretty good mix. I'm a little sad that there are two spymaster/thief characters, but it's a reasonable combination so I can't really blame people. I also wish there were more spellcaster types, but neither Divine Favor nor Sorcery are particularly effective with only 50 points to start so I can't blame people for skipping those roles.

I'm excited, and really looking forward to tonight's session.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Enchantment Through Deeds

So the New Dawn campaign starts Thursday. It's going to have a couple of new players, and that accidentally exposed some issues with GURPS Enchantment that bothered me.

The Benefits and Problems of Named Possessions

GURPS Fantasy came up with the idea of Named Possessions: for the cost of a Perk, one of your PC's Signature Items could freely earn enchantments as the PC earned CP. In a long-running campaign, this is an amazing perk: 50 CP is worth 750 energy points of enchantments, which is 2-3 decent enchantments. Conceptually, it's neat that as your PC grows from zero to hero, his favorite weapon or armor grows with him.

Named Possessions have a lot of problems. First off, the equipment needs to be Fine and Signature Gear, which means it's easier to have Named Hand Axes ($500 and 1 CP for Signature Gear in most Fantasy games) than Named Two-Handed Swords ($3600 and 10 CP for Signature Gear in most Fantasy games) and nearly impossible to have Named armor (because Fine armor starts at $2000 and goes up quickly). Second, a PC gets the most benefit from having a Named Possession at the game - if a new player starts to admire a more experienced player's Named Possession 10 sessions in and buys the Perk then, the new player's Named Possession has 375 energy at the time the experienced player's has 3750. Finally, Named Possessions discourage upgrading your weapon: if you have 3000 energy of free enchantment's on your named Balanced Longbow, then getting a Fine Balanced Elven Composite Bow as a reward from the Faerie princess might be a step backwards because you lose all those enchantments.

On balance, Named Possessions are probably more trouble than they're worth. But the concept is neat, doubly so because it means that a non-magical fighting type can get a powerful magical weapon without having to be nice to a wizard so the wizard will enchant it for him. I like the idea that non-magical fighter types can get by without wizards, so I want to preserve that concept. The following rules try to preserve the good parts of Named Possessions and reduce the bad parts.

Enchantment Through Deeds

Each PC has several pools of Deed Points that normally start at 0 (in a high power game, the GM might start them at some other level). Deed Points stay with a PC and can be applied as CP to buy Advantages, Perks, and Skills for specific pieces of equipment. After Deed Points have been applied to a specific piece of equipment, they stay with that equipment but are still available (subject to some restrictions) for applying to other pieces of equipment.

Deed Pools

Normally, a PC has three Deed Pools: Weapons, Armor, and Miscellaneous.

Earning Deed Points

There are lots of ways to earn Deed Points. The general rule is to do stuff, and then to do awesome stuff on top of that:
  • A PC earns 3 Deed Points (1 Weapon, 1 Armor, and one that can be applied to any pool) for every significant fight they're in.
  • A PC earns Deed Points for doing significant non-combat activities (sneaking into a fortress to open the gates, negotiating an alliance with the minotaurs, finding the Lost Orb of Phantasma). The GM will specify the amount and which pools the Deed Points apply to.
  • A PC earns a Weapon Deed Point for defeating a foe in a memorable manner (massive damage, an arrow to the eye, a really impressive critical hit, picking up the foe and throwing them out a window).
  • A PC earns a Deed Point for surviving an impressive set of attacks (Actively Defending against 4 or more skilled foes in a single turn, dodging multitple lows from a giant that can disable the PC in a single hit)
  • In Mass Combat, a PC earns a Deed point for being involved in the battle, and another for any Significant Actions by the PC. If the Significant Actions don't break into a Detailed Action, the PC earns another 3 Deed Points.

Spending Deed Points

Deed Points can be spent to enhance equipment, including the PC's body, by buying Advantages, Perks, and Skills. Once spent, Deed Points cannot be changed.
  • Weapon Deed Points can be spent freely between the PC's equipment and the PC's body.
  • No more half the Deed Points in the Armor and Miscellaneous pools can be spent on the PC's body.

No Advantage, Perk, or Skill comes into effect until the PC has spent at least 10 Deed Points on that piece of equipment. Weapon, Armor, and Miscellaneous Deed Points applied to the body count separately for activation purposes.

Each Deed Point buys 1 CP worth of Advantages, Perks, or Skills.
  • Extra skill for equipment costs a flat 4 points per level of bonus and only applies when using that piece of equipment.
  • Imbuement skills can be bought for the item, and in addition to the Imbuement advantage, the individual Imbuement skills cost 4 points for level 12 and 4 points for each additional level. Item Imbuement's are always independent of the user's abilities, though the user has to pay the Fatigue costs unless the item has an Energy Reserve.

Changing Equipment

The first time a piece of Deeded Equipment is passed on to someone else (voluntarily or involuntarily), it immediately loses 10 Deed Points worth of enhancements. If that leaves it with less than 10 Deed Points, it no longer has any active Enhancements. Killing the owned of a Deeded item does not strip the item of existing Deed Points, beyond losing the usual 10. If the original owner of a Deeded Item recovers it, it immediately recovers the lost 10 Deed Points and the owner may spend any additional earned Deed Points on it.

If a PC picks up a new piece of equipment, they may immediately use any active Deed enhancements. After earning another 5 Deed Points with that piece of equipment, the PC may spend their full Deed pool on the new equipment.

Example: John has 20 Deed Points in his sword. He fights the Sanguine Count, who has 45 Deed Points in its spear. John claims the spear as his new weapon and can use its 35 Deed Points, and gives his sword to his squire, who can use its 10 Deed Points. After John earns 5 more Deed Points with the spear, he can spend all 25 of his Weapon Deed points on it. If after earning another 10 Deed Points with the spear, he loses it to a rust monster and has to start again with an ax, he'll have to earn 5 more Deed Points before enhancing the ax with his 40 Weapon Deed points. If his squire dies and he gets his original sword back, the sword goes back to having 20 Deed Points and John can spend another 20 Deed Points on it (he has earned 20 Weapon Deed Points since giving up the Sword).

Upgrading Equipment

Upgrading equipment (by making it Balanced, Fine, or whatever) does not change the amount of Deed Points in the equipment. Armor with Deed Points can be upgraded piecemeal, as long as at least 55% of the armor coverage stays the same and 5 Armor Deed Points are earned and applied between upgrades.

Example: John's career starts with him wearing a mail shirt, leather pants, and a pot helm. After earning 10 Armor Deed Points, his armor is magical. John replaces the leather pants with plate greaves. The enhancement stays. After earning 5 more Armor Deed Points, John replaces the pot helm with an Orichalcum helm and the enchantment stays. He then also replaces the mail shirt with plate harness, but since that changes more than 45% of the coverage, the enchantment moves with the shirt and his new plate harness is not enhanced (and the mail shirt loses 10 Deed Points and also becomes unenhanced). If John then earns another 10 Armor Deed Points, he can spend all 20 Armor Deed Points on his plate harness.

Sample Items

  • Bracers of Force (12 Deed Points) - These DR 6 metal arm guards project a minor forcefield, protecting the wearer from harm. DR +2 (Force Field +20%) [12]. 7 lbs. 
  • Hammer of the Forge God (50 Deed Points) - This minor artifact destroys inanimate objects and makes the wielder a better smith. Smithing Talent +4 [20], Crushing Innate Attack 20 (Melee Reach 1 No Parry Follow-up -30%; Accessibility: Inanimate Objects Only -40) [30]. Treat as a Fine Mace in melee combat. 5 lbs.
  • Ever-Distant Bow (36 Deed Points) - This bow shoots at long distances incredibly well, though it can be very fatiguing to use. Imbue 2 (2 skills only -60%) [8], Imbuement Talent 2 [10], Guided Weapon (Bow)-14 [4], Far-Shot (Bow)-14 [4], Energy Reserve 4 [12].


I've tried to make this system as simple as possible, but I'm not sure I've succeeded. My concerns are:
  • Record keeping for keeping track of the Deed Points available to the PC and the Deed Points invested in an item (especially for items that have had multiple owners). Hopefully limited the new owner charge to a 1 time deal will minimize this.
  • Keeping track of when PCs earn Deed Points. It's mostly Rule of Cool plus some simple static guidelines, so hopefully everyone will keep track, but I suspect people will forget. I don't have a good solution for this.
  • Whining about whether something counts as Cool enough to earn a Deed point is potentially a problem. My theory is it that it has to be memorable: it's not enough to get a critical hit, it's got to be a critical hit to the head that takes someone out or something like that
  • Favoritism towards certain builds. Hulking warriors and eagle-eyed elf scouts are much more likely to get one shot kills than weedy kobold thieves. To some extent, the requirement that actions be memorable will mitigate against this: the elf's 3rd eyeshot in the same fight isn't memorable, while the one time the thief backstabbed that guy to the neck is memorable. 
  • Power level: things could get out of hand quick, with everyone earning 10+ Deed Points per session and getting new and wonderful items regularly while handing off reasonably potent stuff to their allies. If it looks like people are trying to game the system to an unreasonable extent by changing to identical equipment to power it up and pass it on to allies, then I'll have to take steps but I hope/expect it won't be a problem.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Better Fantasy Armor / Easier Armor Design: Better Coverage Table

As part of some work for another project, I went back and looked at the armor coverage table from Better Fantasy Armor. And then I compared it to some other coverage tables, including the "Rule of 9s" that estimates skin surface area for medical patients: (9% in the head, 9% in each arm, 18% in each leg, and the remaining 36% in the torso). Here's what I got:

LocationRule of 9Low-TechBFA

There's a couple of noticeable points here. First, there's some room for fudging in all of these tables, depending on where exactly you drawn the line: do the feet or the legs cover the ankle bones? Are the shoulders part of the arm or the torso? Second, the Low-Tech table matches the Rule of 9 fairly well if you add the extremities to the limbs and assume the Rule of 9 includes the neck in the torso but Low-Tech includes it in the head. Third, it should be immediately obvious that the amount of material required to cover a person's hands is a lot less than the amount required to cover their feet. Finally, the BFA table has way too much coverage in the arms and hands and not quite enough in the head and neck. The legs and feet are a little off, but not too bad.

With all that in mind, I'm proposing the following table for the next revision of Better Fantasy Armor and Easier Armor Design:

LocationCost/WeightHit LocationNotesComments
Head12%3-5, 17-18

  Skull(6%)3-4Forehead and back of the head to the nape of the neck
Front of the face only. Sublocations are 0.5% each.

Arms16%8, 12
  Shoulders(4%)8, 12*Roll 1d; on a 1-2 this location is hit
  Upper Arms(4%)8, 12*Roll 1d; on a 3 this location is hit
  Elbows(4%)8, 12*Roll 1d; on a 4 this location is hit
  Forearms(4%)8, 12*Roll 1d; on a 5-6 this location is hit
Torso36%9-11Vitals are hit on a 1 on a d6
  Chest(12%)9Vitals are hit on a 1 on a d6Bottom of the neck to the end of the sternum
  Abdomen(12%)10Vitals are hit on a 1 on a d6Basically the stomach, from the bottom of the chest to the waistline
  Pelvis(12%)11Vitals are hit on a 1 on a d6Waistline down the top of the legs
Legs28%6-7. 13-14
  Thighs(12%)6-7. 13-14*Roll 1d; on a 1-3 this location is hit
  Knees(4%)6-7. 13-14*Roll 1d; on a 4 this location is hit
  Sins(4%)6-7. 13-14*Roll 1d; on a 5-6 this location is hit

It's a pretty minor tweak, but it brings the coverage amounts more in line with both the rule of 9 and Low-Tech.

There are a bunch of things I like about this new table:
  • Everything that has a front and back and a left side and right side is divisible by 4, so if you only want armor on your front right shin, its 1% and not some weird number like 1.125%.
  • The torso divides nicely into three sections of equal size, and the % coverage for each section is divisible by 2, so it's easy to calculate armor with "weak rear". And at least to me, the coverage for each section is pretty clear.
  • Hands are now reasonably small.
  • Feet are also small, but reasonably larger than the hands. 
I'd a little sad that arm coverage is a little wonky, since a d6 doesn't divide evenly into quarters. That could be resolved by rolling 3d instead and if it really bothers you, you could do that or roll a d4 instead.

Unfortunately, revising the GCA files is a pain up the tail, so it's going to be a while before this table goes into the GDF files. I should probably let people comment on it, anyway.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Gathering Intelligence in GURPS Mass Combat

The role of intelligence chief in GURPS Mass Combat is pretty boring: you roll the dice in the reconnaissance contest, which can have meaningful effects in the battle, but you don't make any decisions. It would be better if the intelligence chief could actually go out and gather intelligence: who is the enemy commander? what are his goals? how many troops does he have? what strategies does he favor in battle? how good a commander is he? There are the kinds of questions that influence strategy.

Fortunately, GURPS already has a fairly robust system for gathering clues and making deductions from them: it's the Investigation system in Monster Hunters: the Mission. It's not a 100% match for a fantasy mass combat game like New Dawn, but I think the concept can be modified to fit. And the concept of having the intelligence chief gather intelligence in a fantasy game can be generalized for all Mass Combat games.

Gathering Intelligence

An intelligence chief creates intelligence by making deductions from data. Deductions answer questions like the size of the enemy force, the skill of the enemy commander, the objective of the enemy operations, and the like. Deductions are earned by successful skill rolls against Intelligence Analysis, usually heavily penalized. Those penalties can be minimized by gathering data. Data is gathered through investigating sources, such as reading history or interrogating prisoners. When the intelligence chief feels he has enough data, he can attempt a deduction. Repeated attempts are possible, but are penalized, so it helps to gather more data between attempts.

Data and Sources

Each piece of data removes a -1 penalty on the deduction roll. Data can be gathered from a variety of sources, usually through a skill roll. Repeated attempts at the same source are at a cumulative -4. The intelligence chief doesn't have to gather all the data himself: he can use data gathered by other people at no bonus or penalty.


Military history can provide information about a famous commander's abilities, preferred strategies, and skills. Roll Research or History with a bonus or penalty for the fame or obscurity of the commander. Gain a bonus for a better library. Earn one piece of data for success and another piece for every two points of MoS.

If the enemy commander or any of his known troops are supernatural, then Hidden Lore, Occultism, Theology, and Thaumotology can be used to gather data about the abilities of the commander or the qualities of the troops. Gain a bonus or penalty for the fame or obscurity of the subject, but Occultism halves bonuses and doubles penalties. Earn one piece of data for success and another piece for every two points of MoS.

In a high-tech game, Computer Operation and Computer Hacking can be used as complementary skills on any research attempt. Success on Computer Operation gives a +1 on the research roll. Computer Hacking can be used to access secure data bases for better information: for every -2 penalty taken on the Computer Hacking roll, gain a +1 bonus of the research roll.


Interrogating witnesses and enemy prisoners is the best way to gain data, but it can be very difficult.

Interrogating a friendly or neutral witness can give data about type and number of enemy troops that the witness has seen. Roll versus Interrogation, with Detect Lies and Diplomacy as complementary skills. Earn one piece of data for success and another piece for every two points of MoS. Repeated interrogations of eyewitnesses of the same force are at a non-cumulative -4.

Interrogating a prisoner is more difficult but more valuable. Rank 0-2 prisoners can provide data about the type and number of enemy troops and the enemy commander's goals. Higher rank prisoners also provide that data but can also provide data about any other topic. Roll contest of Interrogation versus the prisoner's Will, with Detect Lies, Intimidation, and Psychology (Applied) as complementary skills. Earn one piece of data for success, a bonus piece for the prisoner's rank, and another piece for every point of MoS. Interrogating multiple members of the same unit are at a non-cumulative -4.

Special Abilities

Various advantages, spells, prayers can be used to gather data. The possibilities are pretty wide. Successful use of any any provides one appropriate piece of data per 5 points of ability cost. Unresisted abilities that have a success roll gain another piece of data on success and another piece per two points of MoS. Contest abilities gather another piece of data on success and another per point of MoS. The types of data depend on the ability used, but are generally pretty far-ranging.

Examples: Mina uses her Channeling ability to contact the spirit of a general defeated by the enemy commander. She rolls Will, at +2 for her auto-trance ability, and gets complementary bonuses for Detect Lies and Diplomacy. She'll earn three pieces of data on success (2 for Channeling being worth 10 points and one for the success) and another for every two points of MoS, and can gather data on the enemy leader's abilities and preferred strategies. If she'd used her Mind Probe ability instead, it would have been a contest of Interrogation versus Will and she'd have earned 5 pieces of data on success and one more per point of MoS.

Anyone who has data can think about it to gather further inferences. This is a Meditation roll at -5, with a +1 bonus per piece of data already available. Gain one additional piece of data on success. This can only be done once per question.

Intelligence Coups

Intelligence coups are unpredictable events that provide significant data, such as capturing an enemy courier with orders from the capital or stealing a paymaster's logbook. Coups are always reconnaissance adventures (Mass Combat 30) and produce 10 pieces of data to answer an appropriate question. Coups provide a lot of data, but are still subject to analysis and can be misinterpreted.

Questions and Deductions

At any time, the intelligence chief can analyze the data and attempt a deduction to answer one of the following questions. Each question is penalized, and each piece of data relevant to the question removes a point of penalty. On success, the GM answers the question exactly. On failure, the GM provides an incorrect answer as determined by the question. Repeated deductions are at -2, and failures always give the previous result, except critical failures give a new result.

Complementary Skills
Answer on Success
Range on Failure
What are commander's personal special abilities?-5Occultism, Psychology (Applied)Any Gifted Commander advantages, any advantages or disadvantages with a power modifier, any racial template advantages or disadvantages1d random Gifted Commander or racial templates, capped by MoF
How skilled is the enemy commander?-10StrategyEnemy commander's strategy skillEnemy commander's strategy skill +/- 2d capped by MoF
What is the enemy commander's preferred battle strategy?-10StrategyEnemy commander's preferred strategyA similar strategy is MoF if 5 or less, or a random strategy
What is the enemy commander's objective?-10Psychology (Applied), StrategyEnemy commander's objectiveA similar objective if MoF is 5 or less, or a random objective
How skilled is the enemy commander?-10Psychology (Applied), StrategyEnemy commander's strategy skillEnemy commander's strategy skill +/- 2d capped by MoF
How many troops and of what types are in the enemy force?-6AdministrationList of element types and countList of element types and counts, with each count +/- 2d*10%, capped by MoF
What is the quality of the enemy force?-8AdministrationList of enemy elements and their equipment and troop qualityList of enemy elements, with gear and troop quality increased or decreased by up to one level per 3 MoF

Critical success on any deduction generates 3 pieces of data that can be applied to answer any one question as the intelligence chief manages to deduce additional information from the answer.


My initial inspiration for this was Glen Cook's Black Company books. At the start of the books, the Black Company is hired on by an evil empire and finds themselves engaged in feuds among the mysterious sorcerers known as the Taken. The Company doesn't even know the names, much less the abilities of the Taken or their armies at the start of the story, and that air of intrigue is something I want to reproduce in New Dawn.

As I thought about it more, I realized that the intelligence chief is a boring role. The solution is to let the intelligence chief actually gather intelligence, using the traditional methods of research and interrogation. I should probably add a section for high-tech signals intelligence, but honestly that's both complicated and outside my immediate needs so I'm not going to.

As I said, I started with the Investigation framework for Monster Hunters. One significant change I made was turning deductions from something that happened every time someone found a clue (as happens in Monster Hunters) to something that only happened when the intelligence chief decided to attempt a deduction. My limited experience with Monsters Hunters was that a deduction per PC per clue meant that the power of iterative rolling allowed the PCs to deduce even very complicated puzzles through the sheer luck of someone critically succeeded. With 6 PCs, it only took 4-5 clues for someone to critically succeed, which meant puzzles could be solved during the first investigative scene. Shifting that deduction - with penalties for retrying, which means repeated attempts rarely give better results - to a decision on the PC's part should hopefully improve play.

The assumption is that the intelligence chief will generally fail his analysis, but hopefully with a small margin of failure and nearly correct results. I think this is an easier approach than Monster Hunter's requiring large margins of success to fully deduce information.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Multifront Battles in GURPS Mass Combat

My experience in running games is that if you have some kind of battle mini-game in which multiple people are on the same side but only one player gets to make significant choices, then the players who don't get to make choices are going to find it very boring. The example that sticks in my mind is a Star Wars game I ran when multiple PCs jumped into a single large starfighter: one PC was the pilot, and got to maneuver the ship and fire weapons, and other PCs were secondary gunners, the damage control engineer, and the the guy who ran the shields. The pilot had a reasonably degree of fun maneuvering the ship, dodging enemy fire, and shooting enemy fighters. The secondary gunner had some fun shooting enemy fighters. The engineer and the shield operator, even though they nominally had decisions to make and got to roll the dice every turn, became bored very quickly.

I bring this up because I'm thinking about running a GURPS game about Mass Combat. In GURPS Mass Combat, there's normally one commander who decides the strategy and rolls the dice, and any other PCs can choose the amount of risk they want to take for significant action that might affect the battle but otherwise aren't making big decisions. My expectation is that for the players who are interested in Mass Combat at all, that the only fun position will be the commander and choosing risk and attempting significant actions will be at best a sad consolation prize. The way to keep everyone interested is to split a single battle with a single commander on each size into multiple fronts, one per PC commander. That way, everyone gets to make important decisions.

Mass Combat has some rules for running three-sided battles and subordinate commands (Mass Combat p40-41). Ironically, they advise merging multiple allied sides into a single unified command, so I'm going to disregard that advice and come up with my own house rules.
It's the historical solution, really.

Multifront Commands

These rules apply when multiple PC commanders are attached to the same force that is campaigning as one unit. These rules obviously don't apply if the PCs are each commander a force that is campaigning separately, as obviously those forces are going to encounter different enemy forces at different times with different reconnaissance contests.

A force with multiple PC commanders has to have a single overall commander and intelligence chief during reconnaissance operations. It only splits into multiple fronts when the battle is joined. After that, each front is a separate battle for purposes of calculating troop strength and class superiority, defense bonuses, positional bonuses, casualties, and the like.

Dividing Forces at the Start

Before the first round of combat, the PCs need to split their forces into individual fronts and assign a commander PC to each front. They can do this however they want: equal split of all forces, assign one player all the cavalry and split the rest, give one player all the units of the same race in a multi-racial force, whatever. The only restrictions are that each PC needs to have enough units to be interesting: preferably at least 10 units. Players need to work out the details among themselves, with the overall commander having final say aside from a GM veto in the unlikely event that people are being jerks.

The GM also needs to divide the enemy force as he sees fit, based on the personality of the overall enemy commander. One enemy commander can be assigned to multiple fronts, or subordinate commanders can be created and assigned, as appropriate. In general, each front should have a proportional share of the total enemy force relative to the share of the PCs' forces in the front, but the GM can make decisions as he sees fit: he can assign all the Marine troops to the river crossing in one front and all the cavalry to another front, if that's an appropriate decision for the NPC commander.

The side that lost the reconnaissance contest divides their troops first, and the side that won responds to that division based on the initial intelligence for the battle type (Mass Combat 30). In the case of a tie, the players split their forces first but can reassign entire fronts after the GM has split his forces.

Fighting the Battles

Each front is its own separate battle, and the decisions in one front have no effect in another front. It's possible for a PC commander to win an overwhelming victory and wrack up +8 in PB on one front while an allied commander is slowly losing ground in another front.

One exception to this rule is the length of the battle round, which is determined by the total size of the smaller force involved, not the smallest force in any given front. So if the smaller force is 1500 elements, then each battle round is 2 hours, even if the smallest force in a front is only 5 elements.

Transferring Troops and Collapsed Fronts

After any round of battle, troops can be transferred between fronts freely. Troops get the PB of the front they move into and calculate casualties as the worse of the front they left and the front they're moving into. Calculate TS and class superiority normally based on the new troops in the front.

A front is collapsed if it has taken 100% casualties, or has won or tied after choosing the Fighting Retreat strategy, or has completed a Full Retreat strategy. An enemy with a collapsed front MUST reinforce with fresh troops, since there's still a PC that needs to fight. The reinforcing troops calculate casualties and PB normally, to a maximum of -50% casualties for the reinforcements and +5 PB for the other side. A PC with a collapsed front can either get reinforcements, using the above rules, or sit out the rest of the battle in which case any enemy troops in his former front can be moved to other fronts. This doesn't apply if all fronts on a side are in collapse at the end of the same round: the battle is over and the pursuit can possibly begin.

Note that it is legitimate to have multiple fronts Retreat while one front remains fighting a rear guard action to hold up pursuit. This is generally pretty rough on the troops fighting the rear guard.


Any commander on any front may start a Parley, but the Parley only occurs if all commanders on all fronts agree to it. If a Parley attempt fails, only the commander who started the Parley takes the penalized Defense strategy, not all commanders on his side.


In a multifront siege, some fronts may be involved in Deliberate Attacks against Deliberate Defenses (called "siegework") while other fronts may choose different strategies (called "activity"). Split each siegework battle round into 6 segmented battle rounds during which activity can take place. Only roll for the siegework battle strategies at the end of the 6 segmented rounds, and only if the forces involved in the front performed siegework for at least 4 of the 6 segments. If a front did activity for three or more segments, treat any segments that were intended to be siegework as though the attacker had chosen the Attack strategy and the defender the Defense strategy and resolve them all at once after the six battle round.

Example: Rachel, Derick, and Will are PC commanders besieging the Ebon Citadel. Rachel and her opponent choose Deliberate Attack and Deliberate Defense, each, for all 6 segments. Derick starts by performing an Indirect Attack into his opponent's Deliberate Defense on the first segment, then tries a Deliberate Attack against his opponent's Mobile Defense on the second segment, and then both switch to Deliberate Attacks and Defenses for the last four segments. Will chooses Deliberate Attack for all six segments, and his opponents chooses Deliberate Defense for the first three segments, but then chooses to Raid for the last three segments. Derick's Indirect Attack versus a Deliberate Defense is resolved immediately, followed by his Deliberate Attack versus his opponent's Mobile Defense, followed by a single Deliberate Attack versus a Deliberate Defense at the same time that Rachel's Deliberate Attack versus a Deliberate Defense is resolved. Will separately resolves three Attacks against three Defenses and then three Deliberate Attacks against three Raids because his troops were not able to spend enough time making Deliberate Attacks.