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"How to simulate Precognition ability in sci-fi?" Topic

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Umpapa18 Sep 2012 4:00 p.m. PST

In my never ending voyage for new tactical solutions for alien platoon:
TMP link

I have found out about WH40K Silver Skull Marine Order, which has some interesting ablity of Precognition.Some clerics could predict future, and could plan the battle accordingly.
I dunno how GW had simulated this in their rules. Maybe some of You knows?

Anyway – how could we represent Precognition mechanically – I mean race or faction with precognition ability?

Especially in platoon+ level systems (squads as basic unit)?

How found example of such solution int this thread:
TMP link

[q]To simulate it's use, when the Spear is on the game table, the opponent has to tell the Spear wielder what he plans to do. The Spear player may then move. Then the non Spear player must move just as he has narrated, regardless of the consequences. The Spear does not have any weakness, the weilder is the weak link in the chain. For example assume Indiana Jones has the Spear. His opponent knows about his snake phobia, and hurls snakes at Indy. The Indy player would have to take morale, cool, stress or whatever tests your rules call for. If he fails the test, the non Spear player can move that turn without narrating it. There may also be astrological times when the Spearholder is out of touch with the Spear. Gathering horoscope data on the Spear wielder could make another game.[/q]

Maybe ability to rewind (three times per game) last round/last ten minutes of real play? Like in the film "Next":

Maybe the ability to know in advance outcome of some "rolls" or tests, f.ex. at the start of the round Precognited player draws chits with numbers for every unit and secretly allocate those chits to all units, instead of rolling.

In systems with unitcard-drawing initiative order (like IABSM, Band of Brothers or optional Gruntz) such player would be able to look at whole deck of cards at the start of round.

What do You think?

PJ Parent Inactive Member18 Sep 2012 4:20 p.m. PST

I think in some game systems you could choose to move first or second depending on what works best for you.

Eli Arndt Inactive Member18 Sep 2012 4:22 p.m. PST

A lot of times these powers take the form of pre-game deployment changes or moves after the initial setup of the battle.

If you ar using hidden elements, you may want to allow your precogs the ability to peak and X number of the markers, notes, etc.

Re-rolls for combat rolls are another way, indicating the precog was able to provide insights into the battles.


Pedrobear Inactive Member18 Sep 2012 5:17 p.m. PST

Allow player to see the result of dice-rolls before deciding whether he will shoot/move/enter melee.

Covert Walrus18 Sep 2012 5:23 p.m. PST

In the board(ish)game COSMIC ENCOUNTER, the power of precognition works in several ways, delpending on the development of the race using it: One species gets to see the opponent's move before they make it, while another basically forces the opposition to make a given move if they can, based on their resources, and if they can't make that move the precognitive player has to take a chance on what move they choose, but knows what the options are.

Personal logo Jlundberg Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2012 6:03 p.m. PST

Easiest if the game mechanics allow a unit to go through all the phases rather than, everyone moves, then everyone shoots.
I like the idea of seeing how shooting dice might work out before commiting to a move.
For example.
Squad with precog, is under cover and wants to take up a position to shoot. They roll ten dice needing 5-6, and miss every shot. The squad elects to move to a different spot and not fire since they know they will suck. Or there is a large tank, that they have a slight chance to destroy. If they don't bag the tank, it will obliterate them.
A reroll is simplest, but kind of boring. I would do precog so that they can't just try the same thing in a different way. If they precog melee and decide against it, they cannot melee. If they precg shooting, they cannot shoot for their second option.

skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2012 6:08 p.m. PST

Pre-roll events during the scenario that the aliens could take advantage of.

1. the enemy unit has a supply column that could be attacked before the scenario so it's units are less effective.

2. Setting ambushes along enemy routes that their HQ just changed.

3. Finding a hidden HQ or attacking a Field Marshal that was doing a suprise visit.

Precog does not have to be tactically instantaneous.

Dragon Gunner18 Sep 2012 7:28 p.m. PST

I would only allow it one turn in advance of a planned course of action to reveal ambushes, enemy movement etc… Then I would allow one reroll for any failed to hit or save.

McWong7318 Sep 2012 7:36 p.m. PST

Just be careful not to create too good a unit for your game. The post deployment shuffle is good, as would be allowing them to re-roll saving throws etc. Preventing ambushes etc could be too powerful an ability as regards game/scenario balance.

ordinarybass19 Sep 2012 7:38 a.m. PST

As far as the Silver skulls where…

"Some clerics could predict future, and could plan the battle accordingly."


"will only take to the field when the Prognosticators receive indicate that the outcome of the combat will be favourable for the Chapter. "

…I don't think you're looking at an ability that would be used during the battle. Rather it should be something that affects deployment. Most likely it would be simulated by one or more of the following:

-Silver skulls player get's a positive modifier to the roll to see which player chooses whether to set up first or second.
-Silver Skulls players can roll to sieze the initiative on a roll of 5 or 6 rather than just 6 (as described on page 122).

I realize that you are looking for ideas for your own game, but with most battles representing such a small slice of time, prognostication is probably still best used as a rule that affects deployment or beginning turn sequence rather than an effect during gameplay. This is especially true if keeping the pace of the game relatively fluid and forward-moving is a priority.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2012 9:00 a.m. PST

Before the turn, have you and your opponent make a long series of die olls. Record them.
Then, you get to decide in what order you use them.

Oh, sure, it's not at all practical, but the whole idea of"Precognition" is silly to begin with anyway. grin

Lion in the Stars19 Sep 2012 9:50 a.m. PST

Well, Warmachine has some models with 'precognition', they get to decide whether or not to add a die to rolls after the roll has been made. It's pretty nasty.

I'd simply allow re-rolls of some variety.

billthecat19 Sep 2012 10:41 a.m. PST

I knew you were going to ask this question.

altfritz19 Sep 2012 2:21 p.m. PST

Allow the player to roll x number of dice before the game and write down the results. Allow him to substitute these results for dice rolled during the game when he chooses – for his rolls or his opponents. When substituted cross the die result off the list.

Zephyr119 Sep 2012 2:54 p.m. PST

Best way would be to draw modifier cards in your current turn, then play them in your next turn (such as "+2 to 3rd shooting attack", or "+4 inches of movement for one character".) That way, the player knows the 'precognition', but has the option to use the 'information' (or not.)

Gear Pilot19 Sep 2012 6:00 p.m. PST

OFM said "…but the whole idea of"Precognition" is silly to begin with anyway"

I knew you were going to say that. ;)

Dagnabit billthecat beat me to it…

Pedrobear Inactive Member19 Sep 2012 11:07 p.m. PST

In a game with card activation you allow the player to see which 3 cards are going to be drawn next.

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