Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Solo ECW Siege Campaign - Progress on the framework

Whatever I did leading up to Tuesday evening seems to have unlocked the creative juices. Earlier on Wednesday evening I put together my first version of an Events Table. I've listed out most of the types of events that I want to affect the campaign. I have given some thought to what impact events would have on the two sides Resolve and I started to think about what are the odds of the events happening.

I decided to break events down into two types. Events related to the immediate siege are and that each side could dice for each turn (week) and events that occur elsewhere, or everywhere in the case of weather. This is not the final version, but I feel it is a massive step forward into getting a game on. Even as I write this, more things that I should address occur to me.  I don't intend to button everything down before I start either. The beauty of solo gaming is the greater freedom to make it up as you go along. Which is why I use the term "framework" rather than "rules". There will be a judicious amount of 'winging it'.

Events that occur in the immediate siege area are set-out for both sides being the 'Absent Opponent'. If I decide to play one side, I will not dice for that side's events, but I will use some form of rationing system for the actions desired. My initial thought is to expend Resolve Points to 'buy' say the digging of saps, mines or trenches, on the basis that more work wears dow the soldiers' will, but I haven't fully thought this through yet.

Events Table for the immediate siege area


Events Table for the wider area

More work in-progress on the Events Table

Once siegework construction begins, it will progress at a certain rate each week depending on how many foot bases are available. When the siege force reaches a (yet to be specified) size the Place is effectively 'Beleaguered' and the increased difficulty of obtaining fresh supplies begins to reduce the Garrison's Resolve by a set amount each week. Events outside the area could mean that some of the Besieger's force is called away elsewhere and weaken the encirclement and therefore stop the regular attrition to the Garrison. I still need to flesh out what happens with general bombardments, breaching fire and springing a mine.

One other facet of the Events Table to note is that the odds will change depending on the character of the relevant commander. Aggressive Governors, for example, are more likely to produce sorties increasing the chances of strengthening resolve. I decided to even things up a little by giving Passive Governors a slight advantage when it comes to things like ensuring the food and water is safe as they're not running around the place encouraging chaps to take the battle to the enemy.

'Resolve' by the way is my proxy measure for whether one side or the other gives up first. I intend to adopt a simple sliding scale and once one side reaches zero, its resolve has collapsed and loses the game. So circumstances can increase a force's Resolve, so it is not a one-way street. To some extent I'm assuming that any headcount wastage (death, disease, desertion) is rolled-up into Resolve. A crude formula might be Willpower + Manpower = Resolve. Beyond counting the number of bases available for certain purposes, I will not be maintaining a log of army strengths, nor of the amounts of food, ammunition or any other supplies.

So, it's still very much a work-in-progress, but I'm more confident of making a workable game. My Resolve has moved up a few notches.

8 comments:

  1. Great ideas and loads of colour added by these events.

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    1. Thanks. I need to get the balance right to ensure it’s not all colour and no substance. That’s the tricky part.

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  2. A great start and your creative juices have certainly been flowing.

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    1. Ha ha! Yeah. Now I need to put it back in the box and get something done. 😁

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  3. Bloody hell you’ve put some thought into this. Very original, top marks sir. I shall watch this with great interest. I know Max Foy has done a lot of unpublished work on something similar, but this is the first time I’ve seen such a detailed attempt to model it in the flesh so to speak.

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    1. There are a lot of ideas. Whether or not I can make it all hang together into a playable campaign is another matter. I’ve got a feeling it’ll be like one of Caractacus Potts’ flying contraptions. I’ve certainly piled the pressure on myself now.

      I need to find the right balance between gamer determined actions and events generated by chance.

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  4. Your certainly making progress! I hope it all hangs together!
    Best Iain

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