Examples of Combat With and Without the Tactical Mat

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Do you use minis and a tactical?

Yes
36
15%
Yes
36
15%
Yes
36
15%
Yes
36
15%
No
6
2%
No
6
2%
No
6
2%
No
6
2%
Sometimes
20
8%
Sometimes
20
8%
Sometimes
20
8%
Sometimes
20
8%
 
Total votes: 248

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lordthrog
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#21 Postby lordthrog » Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:09 pm

INEEDARIDE wrote:
It also keeps the dumb@$$ player who does not understand that the group of robots he has a targeted for an area effect power, are surrounding the innocent bystanders, and he will be killing them all.


Woah, wait a minute... It KEEPS him from doing it? Situations like that seem to reaffirm the poor decisions of the dumb@$$ player in my group. :x


He says that if he'd had known the hostages were there, he wouldn't have done it. Personally, I still think he would have, anyway.
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Storn
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#22 Postby Storn » Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:58 pm

Cethegus wrote:In my Experience a Battlemat has one major Advantage. It helps clarify what the GM thinks the situation is like. Whenever verbal Descriptions are given, a group of six players will come up with six different visualisations in their respective minds.

So i agree that for small and quick scenes, setting it all up on a tac is not worth the effort. But the GM has to be specific and should assure that his players have all the information "before" the make their rolls. Its a bit frustrating if i think of a real cool move, just to be told something like :"Yeah! That would be a great Trick. Sadly the 3 Bad-guys in your path kill you while trying..." Though this surely can to some degree be very satisfactory for the GM. ;-)


If there is an error on my part, as GM, of communication, then I certainly rewind the clock a bit a replay that section of combat, within reason. Or if a player so misconstrues the situation and attempts something really out of character and simply strangely dumb, I'll stop the game and go "really?!?!?" Sometimes, the action is totally justified and unexpected because of roleplaying... a sudden flash of insight and YeS! They wanna try it! . Sometimes, the player simply didn't hear some vital tactical clue. And that can make a lot of differnce in reaction.

But trust has been built up among the players and gms of my groups. I know when someone isn't quite getting my drift on the situation... and they know that I'm not out to screw them, that dramatic editing can always happen with a Benny toss for a coolness factor, and generally ask good questions to clarifty the situation.
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stripestiger
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#23 Postby stripestiger » Mon Jun 25, 2007 12:30 am

I tried using tactical map a couple times in a rather experimental post apocalypse setting I made up. The world is in ruins after a large nuclear war, and the US is slowly rebuilding after 200 years, though divided into three alliances.

I used simple white cardboard and drew on it. Friend drew the grid over top of that. I used army men and a toy army vehicle at first..we found the vehicle too big, but the army men worked nice..so next we used dice along with the army men, or just drew where the vehicle was going.

Some complaints that it slowed the game down but I'm still new...and this group is rather traditionalist in not using minis and a map, never has...these are people who play 1st edition AD&D and the one old drunk guy declares 3rd 'for wimps'. So there can be a bit of resistance to new things.

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#24 Postby The Angle » Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:14 am

I'm with those who say, sometimes yes, sometimes no.

If it's an important fight that could alter the course of the adventure, then I'll almost always set it up with miniatures. If it's a quick fight thrown in chiefly for some two-fisted action that I fully expect the PCs to win in 5-10 minutes, then probably not. Likewise if it's a widely-spaced fight where individual maneuver isn't that important (beyond, are you visible or not?) and where the range isn't going to change much -- e.g., cowboys in the rocks exchanging shots with rustlers in the gully.

One quick point on gridded mats -- When I use miniatures, I usually set them up on a piece of felt with no grid and use popsicle sticks to measure movement. In those cases where I do have a grid, it's there only as an aid to judging distance. Figures don't need to be placed in any specific square -- they can be anywhere. Otherwise, it feels too much like a boardgame.

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#25 Postby dap6000 » Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:06 am

i love playing in free form combat games, but personally my GM-fu is inferior so i use a hell of a lot of minis and a mat. it just makes keeping track of everything easier. and among my players having the visual aids for things like possible cover seems to make them more likely to think and act tactically. it's hard to quantify a statement like that though.

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Enno
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#26 Postby Enno » Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:58 am

It depends on your type of playing: If you like it, use it. If you don't, don't...

In a "small brawl" of fisticuffs and friendly words a map is normally not needed because only the relative positions of the opponents are needed...

But if you want to use the rules with ALL tactical advantages/disadvantages a battlemap is a MUST. As said before: It eliminates any discussions of innocent bystanders, reach, ganging up, line of sight etc.

... And a (printed) battlemap could be a real eyecatcher.
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Little Indian #5
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#27 Postby Little Indian #5 » Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:39 am

We never use miniatures. I remember doing so in the distant past, but to my experience it slows the action down to much (more often than not to a complete halt). It's also very difficult to have a fitting miniature at hand at all times and the experience suffers greatly if you sue proxies. Besides, I play SW to roleplay and not to wargame. I can imagine playing a tabletop scenario using these rules, but I don't like mixing that too much with the roleplaying acpect.
That said, must admit I find a simplified battlemat (if you can call it thus) very helpful: I like doing a to-scale pencil sketch of thoce locations where combat is likely to take place. Then, the positions of players and NPCs can be marked with a pencil on the sketch. That way, there can be very little confusion about like of sight etc. You can also easily erase positions and mark new ones if somebody moves.
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#28 Postby The Angle » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:23 am

The next step is putting your graph paper map on a cork board and marking positions with colored pins ... and before you know it, you're using miniatures. :smile:

Steve
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#29 Postby Little Indian #5 » Thu Jun 28, 2007 2:27 pm

The Angle wrote:The next step is putting your graph paper map on a cork board and marking positions with colored pins ... and before you know it, you're using miniatures.


Never, miniatures are the work of the devil... :twisted:

Oooh, that's a nice avatar you're having.
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#30 Postby GreyGrendel » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:52 am

I've never been on to use miniatures for a RPG, but with Savage Worlds I certainly do. No actual minis per se, but figure flats and the amazing cardstock terrain and such from Worldworks.

I find it really does breathe live into things, makes tactical decisions easier and is very useful for area effect attacks and the like.


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