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Re: Heroes and Characters in StarGrunt/Dirtside

From: Jonathan white <jw4@b...>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 08:54:28 +0000
Subject: Re: Heroes and Characters in StarGrunt/Dirtside

At 16:27 23/02/98 -0800, you wrote:
>	I'm currently unsatisfied with the StarGrunt rules regarding
>and I've been wanting to improve on them.  So I went back and reread
>Chipman's OutWorlders site and Put these idead together.
>	As Donald says Characters are those strange people that the gods
>smiled upon and to which most grunts will find difficult to kill.  They
>also accomplish extra-ordinary tasks that the regular grunt would not
>of  trying.
No disrespect, but isn't this over-complicating things a little (as well
straying a little too far into Evil Empire territory for my liking)?
Stargrunt II is a *squad* based game - based on groups of troops in
general. Commander figures already have significant abilities compared
standard grunts; anyone who doesn't appreciate the 'activate another
action isn't reading the book properly. Plus it's completely against
military doctrine to have command figures roaming about the battlefield
willy nilly. As to having 'flavour' characters that's all very well, but
there's no reason the should be bulletproof any more than joe grunt.
*if* you want to have character figures, there are simpler ways to
implement it than this almost RPG level of characterisation- I mean
*secondary characteristics??*. Warzone (another of my fave games)
implements it by having special abilities that may be purchased for
such as being a crackshot (probably only useful for a sniper unit in SG)
having good luck. Even *if* you want to have characters, why have a
that needs you to do any math (even simple math)?
>	I reccomend that both sides be allowed to expend up to 10% of
their total
>points on characters.	This can obviously be shifted around for certain
>scenarios or national characteristics.
Hmm.. That's the other thing I dislike, spending limits. The games that
have imposed these (WH40K and Warzone) do it BECAUSE characters are
fundamentally unbalancing to the game. I don't think SGII really needs
that. In fact, I've just shown SGII to a friend who used to work for GW
he says it's the best 25mm system he's ever seen, partly because it
have the 'one game for grunts and one for characters' system.

>	I would apreciate any feedback.
Let me say I can find nothing wrong with your system (other than perhaps
it's a little bit number heavy). However in general I question whether
adding extended character rules to SGII benefits the system more than it
degrades it. And it still doesn't bypass the problem all these systems
have, in that characters vunerability always outways their points value.
Killing characters is one of the best tactics in every game that has
for reducing your opponent forces points value by miminum effort. In
case, Characters become 'fire magnets' which means you have to make them
illogically tough or they just aren't worth bothering with. Eventually
system consistency goes to hastings in a handcart. I don't want SGII to
follow that path, with superduper characters wandering the battlefiled
attracting all the enemy fire, while the poor grunt cowers in a foxhole
hoping one of the ubermarines doesn't spot him. 

"Reality never lives up to all that it used to be.."
	Beth Orton 'Best bit'
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