Game Portal

A new method of military tactics


(Adam Hopkins) #1

One thing I’m really excited to introduce is this new system of regimented units that brings different attributes to the unit as a whole.

For example, one unit might be composed of two infantry regiments and some archers. That makeup decides it’s attack, siege, support, and defense strengths.

The problem that I’ve been wrestling with for years is how to adjudicate this? It really seems messy.

But finally, I think I have it. I’ll reveal some more as I flesh out the thought. In brief, as if you are reading this you probably already know, the tactical basis of this game has been based upon Diplomacy. We’ll, I think we’re going to take a huge break here by removing support. Yup, no more supports from one place to another. A unit can advance, move, or hold.

I have high hopes that this small change will really be a HUGE benefit to the game.


(Adam Hopkins) #2

Okay … This is how it will work.

Units are either: (a) an army, or (b) a fleet. They are made up of one or more regiments. (This part is not new to the rules, just a refreshed).

The makeup of regiments determines the attributes for a unit.

Set the stage

I am going to play this out by example. Here is the scenario.

Let’s imagine three units Unit A (2/1/2), Unit B (3/1/1), and unit C (2/1/1). They are each in Province A, Province B, and Province C, respectively.


What do those number mean?

Every unit will have three attributes.

Attack/Siege/Defend

There are two basic orders (and a few others that are irrelevant here) for each military unit. Advance and Hold.

When a unit is advancing, the Attack attribute is its strength if it is advancing to a province without a fortification. If there is a fortification, then it is the siege.

Whenever a unit holds, the applicable attribute will be Defend.

How will battles work?

All orders will be adjudicated contemporaneously. Players submit orders in secret, then they are locked and adjudicated together.

Adjudication will happen in stages.

Stage 1 - Identify common forces.

Realms will be able to identify other realms (whether in the same dynasty or not) as friendly. Two or more allied units can become a single fighting force if they direct their actions at the same target. So, if Units A and B are allied, and (1) they both advance to the same Province C, or (2) One of them holds while the other advances into that province, then they will effectively be a single fighting force operating together.

Stage 2 - Resolve border wars

What we are ultimately trying to do is get every unit into its intended province, and then resolve the battles. HOWEVER, what happens when units try to swap places?

In out scenario,

  • Unit A advances to Province B
  • Unit B advances to Province A

The fiction here is that these two units meet on the battlefield in the border region between the provinces. They prepare for war.

Since both units are advancing, we will use their attack attribute.

The battle is Unit A (2) v Unit B (3).

Unit B wins the border war and advances into Province A, while Unit A now needs to retreat.

Stage 3 - Resolve moves

Remember that I said there were some other orders that a military unit could make? Well, let’s go ahead and resolve those now.

Consider it done.

Stage 4 - Advance units

Every unit that was meant to advance will go ahead and do so. Yes, this will result in more than one unit occupying a province. But that is okay, because this is temporary.

With all unit where they are meant to be, we adjudicate each battlefield one by one. They are 100% independent of each other. Unlike in Diplomacy, you can not have a huge chain of bounced moves.

Remember how we grouped forces before? Well, now we simple add up the attributes of each force and determine which is the highest. If there are more than two forces in each battle, than each force must EQUALLY split its fighting strength among the other forces. Whichever force has the highest attributes at the end remains.

But how do you decide which military unit remains, and which one retreats?

After we decide who wins, we need to decide who remains.

  • First, if the fighting force had a unit that was HOLDING in that province, it will remain.
  • The others will either retreat to a previously designated province, or merge into the remaining unit. That is the player’s choice.
  • If both units ADVANCED into a province, then the unit to remain is decided in the following order:
    1. The unit who’s nobleman is higher ranking;
    • The unit who’s knight has a higher influence;
    • Random choice

What if both fighting forces in a battle have equal attributes?

If two or more fighting forces have the same strength, then the victor is decided by a random factor. This is the game’s simulation that sometimes things happen in war that are unexpected.

Let’s look at some examples

  • Unit A (2/1/2) advances to Province B
  • Unit B (3/1/1) holds in Province B

There is a battle between Unit A at 2 and Unit B at 1. Therefore, Unit A wins, and Unit B retreats.

Okay, that was simple. Let’s see the reverse.

  • Unit A (2/1/2) holds in Province A
  • Unit B (3/1/1) advances to Province A

The battle is now Unit A at 2 and Unit B at 3. This time Unit B wins, and Unit A retreats.

But what if Unit C and Unit A are allied?

  • Unit A (2/1/2) holds in Province A
  • Unit B (3/1/1) advances to Province A
  • Unit C (2/1/1) advances to Province A

In this scenario, because A and C are allied, they become a SINGLE fighting force. They fight with a strength of 4. The Unit A/C force is stronger than Unit B’s 3, and therefore Unit A and Unit C win. Because Unit A was already in Province A, it stays and Unit C retreats to its desired location. Afterwards, Unit B retreats in defeat.

But, what if Unit C and Unit A are not allied? In this scenario, there are effectively three fighting forces on the battlefield. Each of them will need to split their strength to determine the victor.

  • Unit A (2/1/2) holds in Province A
  • Unit B (3/1/1) advances to Province A
  • Unit C (2/1/1) advances to Province A

The battle is Unit A (2) v Unit B (3) v Unit C (2). Unit B wins because it has the highest strength. Each of Unit A and Unit C must retreat.


This is the basic premise. You can see that the situations could easily become more complex. But I think that this set of rules can easily handle all scenarios. I am working now on the engine for resolving battles. If I come up with any edge cases, we can see about how to resolve them.

I am pretty excited to see this in action.