Yesterday I spent the day with my son and was looking at playing VANGUARD with the new miniatures I’ve been working on. One of the key things that I’ve been trying to do with VANGUARD is to keep it simple, keep it modular and keep it consistent.
Have I succeeded? yes, for the most part. The damage system took a little bit of a right turn but within what I would call the game-net. It’s not introducing something wild or crazy or outside normal gaming conventions and therefore is relatively ‘instinctive’.
With my recent dalliance into 15mm sci-fi minis with the VANGUARD sculpts and more space ship battles it’s got me thinking more about the table-top, big space opera battles played out between the characters and the GM or even PvP.
Now it’s easy enough for a GM to fudge these ‘set’ picturesque battles and focus just on the players in their ship or their mech or whatever but I love all gaming, rpg and rts and I like giving the players authority over not only themselves but in certain instances whole armies and so the rules have been playing on my mind.
Breaking it down
One of the thoughts I had was using dice pools rather than the single die roll that most of the VANGUARD mechanics focus on. There are benefits and draw backs to this common gaming convention. First it means you can set a limit that can easily be identified on the face of the die roll and get a yes/no answer to success with little need for math getting in the way. But there is no real saving on time as you need to wait for the multiple die to stop rolling to need to consult all the dice in the roll and (IME) spent a few seconds double checking the results – just to be sure.
But the fact that VANGUARD has been built on D6s, that the statistics within the game typically range from 1-6 all lends itself rather nicely to D6 dice pools.
And so I was thinking you could keep the statistics as they are but to speed things up on a large scale situation roll die pools based on say Enemy+Soldier (attacking) with 4+ being a success – or alternatively roll the Soldier rating as the dice pool with any value less than the character’s Enemy rating being a success (1 always succeeds)
These alternatives are quick, easy and simple to understand, they move away from a simulationalist style game solidly into the gamist realm (but VANGUARD was always going to be that anyway).
But then I started contemplating whether such an alternative system could actually work for the rpg side of things as well?
So close to finishing the rules
So crazy to be contemplating changes? when things already work?
And yet what’s easier, what’s better for the game and more importantly what’s more fun?