Re: Brave New Olympia

Brian C. Hobbs (chroma!
Wed, 12 Aug 92 03:48:40 -0400

Rich writes in regards to giving armies "abilities":

>Not even those, in the system I proposed. You could, through great
>expense or effort, put together a band of soldiers to stack with you
>in battle. But they would quickly be disbanded after the battle, or
>they would cause trouble.

I agree that it's hard to do and will more than likely cause trouble, but the
opportunity should be there to 1) recruit these types of people and 2) hire
rabble instead and try to train them to the same level. Also, it causes the
player to keep a tight rein over his forces, which I think is more realistic.

>Just as undead soldiers will appear and fight for a mage in the current
>system. You can't make them study or equip them with fine weapons.

I think that undead being this way is very fair; undead in this genre are
considered to be mindless. Not so with your basic Olympian farmer.

>This is not a direct design choice; this is a consquence of these
>mechanics. If you have a rule that says "you cannot directly order
>your armies, they only stack with you" then things like "teach them
>pigsticking" and "give them weapons" don't really work, since they
>can't be ordered to do these things.

Scott and Carl have already replied to this better than I can. I guess that I
think that the "mass group" should be toned down to a more manageable level,
but I don't want to see "mass groups" or "hiring factors" become formless to
the point that everybody's "mass groups" are all the same except for the skill
they were hired for, or that all "mass group" are the same for everyone. At
this point, it would seem that (in battle at least, discounting heroic
characters) the side with the most "mass groups" wins.

>If you want them to do such things, then you're really ordering them
>about, and you don't just want to play a few powerful characters, you
>want to play the men in your army as well.

As a leader of these men, I should be able to give them some amount of basic
direction, other than ATTACK 879 and BUILD galley. Especially if, for example,
I wanted to take the warlord route and kept standing armies that could kick
butt, or I wanted to be totally into the shipbuilding business. How would
these armies/shipwrights be different than an army/shipwright newly made? The
current proposal would not give any advantage to this; only more problems.

>Or, you could say that elite army units hang out in the town square
>waiting to be hired. But then I will add code so that they go around
>pillaging provinces and roughing up the locals if they don't have
>anything else to do, because that is what armies that don't have anyone
>to fight do if they aren't disbanded.

I understand that there would be probably more objections to this type of
mechanic in the game than approvals, but I like it. It's realistic. I'd
either hire them or stay out of the way, as normal people would do in such a
situation. Does this detract from the game?

>If the development of the men is "minor", can you do without it? Is
>it crucial to the game design? Or will the fact that big armies are
>uninteresting just cause you to look for expression in other areas of
>the game? Perhaps equiping and training combat troops is an important
>part of the game that we don't want to lose; but it's hard to have

I love detail, and ways of expressing it. If the other areas of the game
became more rich in detail (i.e. Skill and Spell development, nifty things to
quest/fight for, territorial control, etc...) I wouldn't mind losing
development of the masses. I'd still like to have it, but I can see why it
isn't a priority.


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