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"Come at me, bro ..." Topic


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Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Mar 2022 7:29 a.m. PST

The RPG poll has hit a couple of my fave milieux – Conan and Elric. I like these for RPGs, and also for the table top in wargames.

That said, it takes good design work to build wargame scenarios that include an unkillable, unrelenting power figure and keep it enjoyable (by which I mean every turn, players are making decisions that make a difference in the outcome). The point of these characters is to dominate the narrative, but they could easily dominate the play, as well.

Do you play wargames with such an unstoppable unit?

I do. It's a lot of work to get a playable scenario for this put together, but it is a lot of fun when you do.

JMcCarroll12 Mar 2022 8:39 a.m. PST

Aragon in GW LotR was like that. As a evil opponent you had to chip away at his fate pts until you could hurt him. Tactic was to throw two orcs at him to tie him up for the turn.

Prince Rupert of the Rhine12 Mar 2022 8:48 a.m. PST

Pretty much every version of Warhammer fantasy battle from 4th edition onwards was dominated by, magic weapon wielding, magic armour protected, mounted on a beast of death, killer heroes. So much so people coined the phrase herohammer.

To be honest it could still be a lot of fun but the games become about who could use their killer heroes to the best effect. The rest of both armies were just speed bumps.

advocate12 Mar 2022 3:08 p.m. PST

Wasn't there a game in the "Nine Princes in Amber" milieu in which characters were ranked in there skills relative to one another, so for each ability one was always going to win? The trick was to manoeuvre the conflict to the area where you were superior. Never played it, but I imagined it going something like 'I attack with my superior swordsmanship'. 'I escape using my superior speed, then cleverly entangle you in the curtain' or whatever. As I say, I never even read the rules…

advocate12 Mar 2022 3:10 p.m. PST

Ogre comes to mind as well. Or the Germans in any boardgames of Barbarossa.

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2022 5:10 p.m. PST

So who would win a fight between Conan and Elric?

I designed a few multi-player DBA campaigns so that players couldn't be knocked out of the game. Each nation had a core territory and base army (about half-size) that could never be lost, and the contested territories provided extra troops. This essentially makes each nation impossible to kill and sets up a dynamic where the little guys gang up on the big guys, churning through endless cycles of alliance and treachery until everyone is too tired to play anymore.

- Ix

dilettante Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2022 8:35 p.m. PST

Advocate- Yes, that was the gist of that part of the rules for Amber. Another strategy was to not be near that relative.
;^))

Zephyr112 Mar 2022 9:43 p.m. PST

" The point of these characters is to dominate the narrative, but they could easily dominate the play, as well."

That's when you go Sun Tzu on them. ;-)

Strike where they are not, destroy their army, and leave them standing alone (oh, and throw some expendable troops at them to keep them busy, like above… ;-)

Stryderg13 Mar 2022 6:32 a.m. PST

Another option is to no have them on the board until much later in the game.

Friends of Conan have been ambushed by Picts. <Play the game> Can Conan arrive in time to rescue them?!?!

Conan has been trapped by Stygian priests, can his friends rescue him?!?!

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2022 6:57 p.m. PST

Or another way:

The undefeatable entity is a non-player entity that switches from player's control to another based on the course of play. It has it's own personality, so there are some things it will do and other's it will not, but if the player is trying to do a thing that the undefeatable entity is good at, then recruiting the entity becomes a natural objective.

---

I had an idea to run an "Edward Bruce in Ireland" campaign this way; players would all be Irish kings, but the large and powerful armies of Scots (under Edward Bruce) or the Anglo-Irish Justiciar would be pawns to be recruited by players, for a price (dividing territorial gains between the player and Scot/Justiciar).

This would work just as well in local border lord conflicts on the Anglo-Scottish border, and probably also in many eras in Wales.

---

There's no reason this wouldn't work in a skirmish or mass-skirmish game context too. An effectively-immortal Hero™ who can defeat whole groups single-handedly is a good ally to recruit, but should come at a steep enough price to leave the player interested in parting ways later.

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