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"How do handle weather in your games?" Topic


24 Posts

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02 Feb 2019 6:01 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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687 hits since 22 Jun 2016
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

peterx Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2016 7:38 a.m. PST

This topic was discussed 4 years ago, but it is worth discussing again, I think. Weather is a part of a soldier's life and many battles. How do handle the weather aspect of battles? Dice, cards, gamemaster's choice or another method?

olicana22 Jun 2016 8:11 a.m. PST

I play indoors.

Martin Rapier22 Jun 2016 8:14 a.m. PST

Scenario briefing.

'weather' mainly exists in wargames to inconvenience the players through restricted visibility and/or mobility.

Things like early morning fog may have a random element, but if we know it was pouring with rain during the battle of X, then it pours with rain.

For some sorts of campaigns where the weather is absolutely critical (e.g. anything involving paratroops or airpower) may involve a fixed element and a random element. Not much point in making the weather random for Market Garden and then finding all the planes are socked in on Day 1….

Dynaman878922 Jun 2016 8:19 a.m. PST

> Not much point in making the weather random for Market Garden and then finding all the planes are socked in on Day 1….

But after day one randomizing it is fine. Depending on how "random" you want it of course, and VC should change based on really bad or really good weather.

As for how I handle weather in general, whatever the game/scenario states is fine with me.

JLA10522 Jun 2016 9:17 a.m. PST

I game indoors.

JLA10522 Jun 2016 9:17 a.m. PST

Olicana beat me to it!

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Jun 2016 10:19 a.m. PST

I use a Markov chain model for weather with varying effects.

A Markov chain is a set of "states" linked by transitions with have a relative probability of happening (including the possibility of some probability of transition to the current state). This creates current weather with whatever effects it has and players know there is a certain probability that the weather will change to one of the other close states (which are ostensibly gradual changes). The weather shifts in a reasonably logical manner, with the ability to predict weather effects getting lower the further in the future you try to predict.

I did (what I think is) a really simple but robust weather system for a set of sci fi scenarios,A Season in Hel using a bifurcated stacked deck as a surrogate for a Markov map.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2016 10:31 a.m. PST

Mostly through effects on the campaign (like units starving to death in the winter when they are are on the wrong side of a cut-off supply line)

peterx Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2016 11:12 a.m. PST

We have used it to recreate the fog effects in a Battle of the Bulge game. The fog in this particular battle had rolling fog interfering with US airborne troops and the attacking German forces ability to see each other. So, we have both sides roll dice, and we add the dice together to show the vision range for "clear shots". In the heavy fog range, we subtract -1 or -2 for shots at longer range.

Rich Bliss22 Jun 2016 11:28 a.m. PST

When I include it, I create a schedule, seen only by me, to determine effects. I never use random rolls since Imcan't account for play balance impact with them.

Bill Rosser22 Jun 2016 11:36 a.m. PST

In Pre-dreadnought and WWI naval gaming for rough weather I reduce the secondary batteries to 1/2 effect if they aren't in turrets.

Oberlindes Sol LIC22 Jun 2016 11:47 a.m. PST

I mostly run games set in the Traveller universe.

Striker, which is the miniatures combat rules set for Traveller, provides extensive rules for the effects on spotting of night, weather, smoke, and chaff, as well as extensive rules regarding equipment to overcome those effects, such as light amplification, image enhancement, radar, and radar. At reasonably high tech levels, the equipment completely overcomes those effects.

Striker also provides terrain effects rules. Mud and soft ground may be caused by weather. Grav vehicles, of course, ignore mud and soft ground. Infantry may possibly be affected, and that is about the only time weather affects a battle in one of my games.

Traveller provides that high winds can affect grav vehicles. Striker does not address this issue (I'm not sure there is even a rule for wind effects on airplanes and helicopters). I think that an armored grav vehicle's combination of density and power will overcome any wind effects.

The foregoing discussion assumes combat on a more-or-less Earthlike world. Those are the worlds most worth fighting over. If I were going to set a game on a very different kind of world, I would add weather effects. They would serve to convey some of the unearthliness of the planet.

TGerritsen Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2016 11:52 a.m. PST

I tried to simulate rain by pouring a water can over the players and miniatures during a game once. For some reason they really weren't very supportive of the historical realism I was trying to bring to the table.

Ok, I didn't really do that. Typically I use it to restrict movement, visibility and to interject random events (such as lightning or gales) depending on the subject. I think weather is often VERY MUCH overlooked in naval games. Visibility and accuracy are very much affected with the ship is rocking about in a storm where visibility is restricted to a few miles when you are at the top of a wave (and completely when at the bottom), especially in the North Sea.

Personal logo John the Greater Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2016 1:48 p.m. PST

We usually ignore weather, unless we are doing a historic re-fight where weather played a significant role.

I do have a pretty simple chart for weather rolls when we decide to use it, rolling 2d6 and checking a chart that goes from 2 (fog) to 12 (storm) and we re-roll once every few turns to move up, down or stay the same on the chart. It works OK.

Doug MSC Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2016 1:51 p.m. PST

I once simulated an earthquake by shaking the War game table. Many troops fell over and some fell off the table and broke. The broken ones were considered dead and the ones that fell had to be hospitalized! Just kidding. Never figured in weather into my games. Just push around toy soldiers.

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2016 2:56 p.m. PST

Do you mean rules wise or modeling weather? With rules it's up to scenario and your rules. But if your writing your own then, do some research and adjust your scenarios accordingly.

14Bore22 Jun 2016 4:55 p.m. PST

My outbuilding is weather tight, could have heating in winter if I want.

Bandolier Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2016 6:29 p.m. PST

I usually ignore weather. If both sides are armed similarly and fight the same way then it usually cancels out. Most of the time it's just a visibility modifier if we're playing a historical refight.

J Womack 9422 Jun 2016 7:24 p.m. PST

Don't usually consider it except for wind in age of sail games.

Martin Rapier22 Jun 2016 11:12 p.m. PST

But after day one randomizing it is fine. Depending on how "random" you want it of course, and VC should change based on really bad or really good weather."

Absolutely, as it is essentially a way of randomising the arrival of the airborne reinforcements and supplies.

Weather isn't "random" either, but a series of state changes dependent on the previous conditions, so for something like MG the current weather roll is modified by the previous days weather.

As noted above, in some periods (age of sail) weather is crucial to victory or defeat.

Old Wolfman23 Jun 2016 7:27 a.m. PST

In my Aerodrome group,one of our crew came up with some scenarios involving winds aloft,rolling clouds,fog,nighttime . For playing with wind,he came up with die rolls to determine wind direction and speed,as well as stuff for the players to keep track of that so they can plot their manuevers accordingly,such as if you have a headwind,your machine may be capable of certain special moves,while others are prohibited,same for if you have a tailwind,or if it's at your 4,5,2 or 1 position relative to the wind direction.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Jun 2016 9:51 a.m. PST

Weather isn't "random" either, but a series of state changes dependent on the previous conditions, so for something like MG the current weather roll is modified by the previous days weather.

That's why I prefer using a Markov map.

USAFpilot23 Jun 2016 3:08 p.m. PST

Ignore it. There are a multitude of variables in real life. In a game I like to limit the amount of variables to a manageable quantity. I find it fun to think about different unit types, terrain, and command and control. That's plenty to think about without having to worry about the weather too.

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