Sep 8, 2013

MetaWarGame First Draft Rules

Large-scale faction war game, inspired by Slow War, taking place in the background of my campaign world. Here is my first draft of the rules, subject to change.

Each faction's ability to act is determined by the size of its Following (Fol). This encompasses the number of followers a faction has, as well as the resources available to it.

Factions take turns in order of Speed (Spd).

The other attributes of a faction are measured in dice. A faction with an average ability rolls 1d8 for a stat. The weakest stat is 1d4 and the strongest 1d12. The attributes are:

Might (Mgt) The military power of a faction.

Recon (Rec) The efficacy of covert units such as spies and code breakers who can bring in information.

Resourcefulness (Res) The quality of scientific/magical intelligences within a faction, in order to invent new technologies and strategies.

Reputation (Rep) The diplomatic face of a faction; how it is seen by the public.

Each day, the following options are available to players:

Move: Units may move 4 hexes (24 miles) each day. For each day of travel without rest at a base, the troops suffer a 1 point penalty to any combats they encounter.

Attack: Here's the first use of the core mechanic: Multiply the Following you have assigned to a combat by your faction's Might. The opponent also does this. If one army is in a base, that base's Fortification (detailed below) is subtracted from the roll of the army which is not in a base.
The winner of a military conflict loses 1/4 of the following spent in the attack; the loser loses 3/4 of spent following. The same goes for the Fortification score of any base involved.
Summary: Fol x Mgt (- Fort) vs. Fol x Mgt

Spy: Fol x Rec vs Fol x Fort. The defending Fol score is that of the Following present at the location where the spy is investigating. Spying may instead cover an area, requiring 1 Fol per observed hex. Finding specific information takes travel times plus 1d4 days.

Research: A faction may attempt to research new strategies and technologies. Choose the area (Might, Recon, Resourcefulness, Reputation) that you wish to research and allocate Fol. That following is occupied for Res/Fol x1d4 days in research. When research is complete, that faction receives a counter for Res x Fol/10 points to be added to a roll of that attribute at any time.

Recruit: Gain Fol x Rep/20 points of Fol

Build Base: Occupy a number of Fol for 1d10 days to build a base. The base has that number of Fol for Fortification (Fort). You may fortify an existing base this same way in 1d6 days.
If all a factions bases are destroyed, the faction loses half of its Following (after losses for battles, etc.)

This is how most actions will be resolved. Ask me if you want to do something not stated here. For instance if you wanted to attempt to move troops in secret:
Roll Rec and add as many points as you want to the roll. The number of points will be subtracted from combat rolls with that force (you are shrinking your army to try to not be noticed). The Rec number will be subtracted from Spying rolls to observe your movements.

Following is distributed among your bases. If you need more Fol in an area, you must move them at the normal rates. Followings in different locations being counted as one for purposes of a roll take 4x as long to accomplish a task.

I think that's everything. Please comment with questions, recommendations, critiques, etc. I expect to revise this.


  1. Are the attributes already determined by you? Also, I feel there should be some differences in recruitment, as it's harder for someone to be recruited into the Hexenshard than say the Adventurer's guild

  2. Also, in the case for the Adventurers Gu., Excplorer's co., and Diebenstadt- they're not ones to rely only on research or combat. There should be a system for the contracts they complete. For instance, we could use Following (how many members to spare) and resourcefulness (actual skill for the most part) in whether a particular group of thieves succeeds in a burglary or in a smuggling job with the hobbits of the Half-hill resistance. Same goes for the treks the explorers or adventurers take part in. Unless that's not a component you wish us to have control of, instead happening on such a small scale, it's not our problem.

  3. Good start.

    My only question is if creativity can have a big impact on the game. For example, your rules work fine for two forces on an open plain clashing. What about an ambush in the woods? Or innovative battle techniques? These are specific tactics that the player would plan for the situation. I hope that the game will play more realistic than a game like Risk. This may be a unique problem for me, since I'm playing rebels and therefore need to be innovative. Empire forces can probably just point and shoot. You can text me about it later.

  4. Also, I still think it would be fun if we had avatars. I understand that we are controlling the faction as a whole, but role playing will become a big part of the game if our plans are attached to characters.

  5. Each factions stats will be different. I will send them to you individually so that they are secret from each other.
    Will: yes, I will grant bonuses for surprise attacks and such tactics. I'll work on detailing that.
    Pedro: The idea is that Recon determines thieving-type actions, Might fighting-type, Res intellectual-type and so on, so yes, certain factions will have an advantage in certain areas. Underground groups have lower Reputation, it will be harder to recruit.

  6. I really like Will's idea of possibly having a character that is important to our faction. I think it could give it a really neat extra dimension and could give the factions and their followers personalities and make dealing with other factions more personable.
    I do have a question about the Research section. After a faction completes their research are they only able to use the roll boost once, and then their stats return to normal? I was wondering, lets say a faction conducts research and develops a weapon (or tactic). Would they be able to use this weapon once (one roll boost), or could they use the weapon and maintain the advantage (roll boost) until the other faction determines a successful way to counteract that weapon?
    It looks really great so far. I'm super excited!

  7. The original idea was that research would add a one-time boost, since otherwise research would quickly tilt everything out of proportion and break the game.
    I do like the idea of counter-research, however. Possibly that other factions aware of (through spies or through encountering the invention in battle) have to accumulate the same amount of research to cancel out that bonus against themselves. This does get to keeping track of many things, though.
    Several factions already have leaders. I could give the rest leaders and have each one specialize in an area (Mgt, Res, Rep, Rec). Maybe a leader assigned to help/support a certain project grants a bonus? But there must also be a risk, such as the possibility of losing a military battle. Finding and integrating a new leader would take time and your actions (if you can still act) would all incur a penalty for that time.