Movement, measurements, minis, maps, oh my...

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Movement, measurements, minis, maps, oh my...

#1 Postby DarkStar » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:08 am

Movement in Savage Worlds is supposed to be easy. I started off using maps with grids, because that's what I'm used to. I am still new to the system and have never played any war games. So I know that all characters have a Pace in inches, I consider one field in our grid to be 1'' or 2 meters (or yards for Yankees ;) ). But the way we move the tokens is that if you have a Pace of 5 you move your PC by 5 fields on the grid (wherever you like as long as you don't pass a field occupied by an enemy nor any obstacles like walls, houses, etc.). I think this should be simpler. A hex grid is a minor improvement over a square grid but we still have to count the fields. I read recently that in SW we are supposed to use a ruler (so we are doing it wrong!) - sounds good if you go straight and there is no obstacle in your path. Consider the below image:


Say the dwarf wants to move south west and the black circle is an obstacle. The yellow ruler shows where the 10 meter (5'') range is, that's how far he could move if there was no obstacle. But if he has to go around the obstacle, he can only move 5 fields, it's impossible to get to the field pointed by the arrow. My question is - how do you calculate the paths around obstacles? Do we have to take the ruler and measure every turn? That doesn't sound like Fun nor like Fast (but we may get Furious after some time of doing it).

I don't think the rulebook says anything about that, it just tells you about the pace, minis and inches.

What am I doing wrong and what I should do instead?

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#2 Postby Clint » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:47 am

If you are using a gridded map, just count the number of spaces the character would actually move through (avoiding any obstacles or going through them as Difficult Ground if possible).

Some folks do use "rulers," but they tend to use flexible ones (sometimes called "tape measures"), so they can just bend them around obstacles and the like.

It's not "wrong" to use a map though, just different.
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#3 Postby Virgobrown72 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:50 am

Seems a little over thought...
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#4 Postby DarkStar » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:21 pm

Clint wrote:If you are using a gridded map, just count the number of spaces the character would actually move through (avoiding any obstacles or going through them as Difficult Ground if possible).

We count right now, but if there's an obstacle, the character has to go around (counting each field). I don't like the counting part, we are playing this online at Roll20 and I don't get to see the movement, the map's updated when the player finishes his move, I can't follow everything. Sure, that's a drawback of using a certain tool rather than the system. I think I may give an abstract movement system a try, such as this one. When I played pen & paper RPGs (Warhammer, Cyberpunk) with a local group we never even tried having maps. :) That's something I picked up while playing online.

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#5 Postby Jordan Peacock » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:56 pm

I use a flexible tape measure for my tabletop games most of the time, and I'm pretty fast and loose with the exact measurements, especially when I've got an entire horde of zombies to move each round.

My rule of thumb is to err toward the players, especially since I'm the one actually moving the miniatures across the table. If a monster is moving up to a hero and is JUST SHY by half an inch of reaching the hero, then that's just the way it goes. ("Oh, how LUCKY!") If, on the other hand, I can see that a hero is JUST SHY of reaching the monster with a charge, I'll just go ahead and put him right up into base contact.

I can see the advantage of a grid for speeding up movement, but when I'm playing, I'm alternating between printed map sheets, open tables with bits of terrain, 3D platforms, and even scenes set up at entirely different scales (Micro Machines for road wars and space battles, or plasticard ships for Pirates RPG naval battles) at times. If I was restricted to have a grid imprinted on everything I use (and at the same scale!) it would greatly reduce my options.

The exception is with space battles (mostly for Slipstream these days). I've got a large board I've marked up with a hex grid for handling rocketship combat, and I've found it to greatly speed things up when I can just hop the ships from hex to hex, and have highly-abstracted "space obstacles" (debris field, etc.) that aren't strictly solid barriers (i.e., a Piloting check is called for when passing through a "debris field" -- not an automatic collision). The "terrain" doesn't really change much here, so one "starry field" background does the job for me (and I etched and painted this onto a sturdy, thick piece of styrene I got at a surplus store, so it has lasted me for over a decade).


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#6 Postby SavageGamerGirl » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:00 pm

Six-inch lengths of twine or string also work, as you can lay them out on the table and bend them easily around obstacles and such.
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