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Author Topic: Running a Non-GM Campaign?  (Read 2873 times)

TheOldGuy

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Running a Non-GM Campaign?
« on: 13 September 2012, 20:52:14 »
I'd like to run a 1v1 campaign with a friend.  Unfortunately, I can't find many resources to this effect.  Short of running linked "scenarios" from Strat Ops, every track seems to be targeted to a GM and a player(s).  We'd like to run a campaign with as little  GMing as possible beyond setting up the initial rules.  Does anyone have any ideas?

E. Icaza

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Re: Running a Non-GM Campaign?
« Reply #1 on: 13 September 2012, 21:01:42 »
Sword & Dragon can be run without a GM, so long as a few of the rules quirks are ironed out between the players in advance.  One player takes Davion and the other Kurita and you alternate tracks, with the "off" player playing the opposition force.
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TheOldGuy

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Re: Running a Non-GM Campaign?
« Reply #2 on: 13 September 2012, 23:50:06 »
Sword & Dragon can be run without a GM, so long as a few of the rules quirks are ironed out between the players in advance.  One player takes Davion and the other Kurita and you alternate tracks, with the "off" player playing the opposition force.

But you're not using your "own" force each time right?  That's what we're trying to avoid, because we could just run separate tracks from Era Reports or Hot Spots.  We're really looking for some framework to play a real 1v1 campaign on some level.

TS_Hawk

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Re: Running a Non-GM Campaign?
« Reply #3 on: 14 September 2012, 00:19:13 »
use the sword and the dragon as a guideline. i believe that what you are trying to do can be done. how though is the question.

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Beazle

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Re: Running a Non-GM Campaign?
« Reply #4 on: 14 September 2012, 04:55:28 »
I'd like to run a 1v1 campaign with a friend.  Unfortunately, I can't find many resources to this effect.  Short of running linked "scenarios" from Strat Ops, every track seems to be targeted to a GM and a player(s).  We'd like to run a campaign with as little  GMing as possible beyond setting up the initial rules.  Does anyone have any ideas?

What, exactly, do you mean by a campaign?

Are you talking about something like a planetary invasion with one player playing D and the other O?

If your looking for something much larger than just a few linked battles, your going to have a hard time.

One thing you might want to consider is actually running 2 campaigns.  You can each start up your own merc unit, using which ever rules you can get your hands on, and then take turns playing the randomly generated Op4.


megatrons2nd

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Re: Running a Non-GM Campaign?
« Reply #5 on: 14 September 2012, 08:08:50 »
Are you looking for a map campaign?  There are planetary maps here http://www.catalystdemos.com/Files/Files.asp?CID=1018 .  I planned on using one of them myself.  Essentially I set a time for "campaign" time, which for me is about 4 hour blocks, this is used for moving units on these maps, searching, resting, repairs, and many other non combat operations.  We would write our orders, and the time blocks used for each order.  We would then compare and if combat would/could occur as the units occupy the same location at the same time, we would go to "combat" time and use 1 minute turns to close/allow fighters to harass the unit as we close(we abstracted movement cost per low altitude hex for ground units).

Long story short, make a campaign map, write orders, compare, play, and have fun.
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Caturix

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Re: Running a Non-GM Campaign?
« Reply #6 on: 15 September 2012, 15:17:35 »
Older Scenarios Packs might be what you're looking for: They're giving you the maps, the special rules, the forces involved for each side, the objectives and rewards. No need for a GM.

Some of these are : Tales from the Black Widow, Rolling Thunder, Sorenson's Sabres, Snord's Irragulars, Fox's Teeth, the Gray Death Legion, ...
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Stormlion1

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Re: Running a Non-GM Campaign?
« Reply #7 on: 15 September 2012, 17:37:42 »
Or you could do a choose-your-own-adventure with branching trees for if one side wins or loses and/or obtains objectives. Have a third party make it up for you so no one feels if there being slighted.
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Nightsky

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Re: Running a Non-GM Campaign?
« Reply #8 on: 15 September 2012, 17:47:28 »
The Wars of Reaving campaign can be played with player vs player and forces/resources carrying over for both.

I think you could play Total Chaos tracks that way too, taking some concepts from WoR and just using TC tracks as a framework, altered to fit the players' fluff and forces. You and your opponent should thrash that out together so you're both happy with it, use dice rolls to decide stuff you can't agree on.

Matti

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Re: Running a Non-GM Campaign?
« Reply #9 on: 16 September 2012, 05:31:29 »
What, exactly, do you mean by a campaign?
I guess he means something like this.


Older Scenarios Packs might be what you're looking for: They're giving you the maps, the special rules, the forces involved for each side, the objectives and rewards. No need for a GM.

Some of these are : Tales from the Black Widow, Rolling Thunder, Sorenson's Sabres, Snord's Irragulars, Fox's Teeth, the Gray Death Legion, ...
I have Gray Death Legion. Scenarios, their special rules, and conventional forces don't seem to match with Total Warfare rules. How so climbing up one elevation will generate 2 points of heat? Game balance will be out of whack too.
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krazzyharry

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Re: Running a Non-GM Campaign?
« Reply #10 on: 17 September 2012, 09:51:55 »
We've been running the Total Chaos campaign and taking turns playing OPFOR with good results

TheOldGuy

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Re: Running a Non-GM Campaign?
« Reply #11 on: 18 September 2012, 01:15:48 »
Thanks for the responses.  We're going to use some regular maps for strategic movement (the planetary maps have hexes that are way to large to allow for actual strategic movement).  In essence, lances/stars will move together on the Strategic Map and then when battle is joined will be broken down into their constituent parts.  We will also use the order system from Strat Ops (pg.  48).  We'll also put down some objectives on the hex maps.

What seems silly to me is that there isn't any official Battletech product for players not seeking to have a major GM role.  MOST people I know play this way and its frustrating to have a ton of products that REQUIRE a GM/OpFor player.  The very fact that most people here suggest playing with a "GM" - and don't get me wrong I appreciate people trying to help - but it misses the point.

StoneRhino

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Re: Running a Non-GM Campaign?
« Reply #12 on: 18 September 2012, 02:10:12 »
It really depends on how you want to play the game. Years ago we just got tonnage and picked a map, randomized where the maps we selected went, and had a game of what is basically now "team deathmatch".

The older scenario packs, I mean early 90s type such as McCarrons Armored Calvary, are more along the lines of what you might want. I cannot tell if you want to design your own forces, or if you want premade forces on predetermined maps. The MAC book starts with a few fights and if the attacking player is able to win X amount of those fights, the campaign goes onto the next phase. That phase then has Y amount of fights and if the attacker wins enough they can switch to a different line of battles, if not they go to another line of fights. If the attacker wins enough of each of the fights to progress to the branch with the "good ending" for the attackers then they win. If not, then the defender can win by forcing them to run the 'bad ending" scenarios.

As for a large scale planetary assault, that scale of the game is supposed to be in the Interstellar Ops book which is coming out "who knows when"tm which is supposed to cover everrrrrything. Some of the older, but newer scenario packs such as "Operation Stilleto" have a way of running your own forces instead of something someone else designed.

Matti

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Re: Running a Non-GM Campaign?
« Reply #13 on: 18 September 2012, 14:04:02 »
Thanks for the responses.  We're going to use some regular maps for strategic movement (the planetary maps have hexes that are way to large to allow for actual strategic movement).  In essence, lances/stars will move together on the Strategic Map and then when battle is joined will be broken down into their constituent parts.
For strategic scale maps, will you use low altitude aerospace scale where 1 hex == 1 ground map sheet? How large or small are the forces on the strategic map? What about movement and initiative on the strategic map?
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TheOldGuy

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Re: Running a Non-GM Campaign?
« Reply #14 on: 20 September 2012, 18:46:17 »
The older scenario packs, I mean early 90s type such as McCarrons Armored Calvary...

I looked through a couple of the old scenario packs, obviously they're fairly outdated.  Maybe we'll be able to take some ideas/structure from them.

For strategic scale maps, will you use low altitude aerospace scale where 1 hex == 1 ground map sheet? How large or small are the forces on the strategic map? What about movement and initiative on the strategic map?

Yes, 1 hex = 1 ground map sheet.  The forces will be Lance/Star size.  We're currently looking at 4-6 maps, but really whatever size allows flanking movement and such. 

Movement's going to be restricted.  We're going to do either walking movement of the slowest mech in the lance or half walking movement rounded up.  Still finalizing how we give orders , but we'll do something that is simultaneous to avoid clumping (if I move Lance 1 first and you move your Lance 1 towards me, I'll then progressively bring all my other lances to the area and so will you.  Thus the game would largely devolve into clumps of lances roaming around).  Because we'll be using Strat Ops orders, we'll have to figure out how to initiate combat if two forces move next to/through each other.

Matti

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Re: Running a Non-GM Campaign?
« Reply #15 on: 21 September 2012, 13:46:46 »
Because we'll be using Strat Ops orders, we'll have to figure out how to initiate combat if two forces move next to/through each other.
When opposing forces are close enough ( = within firing range or going there), just lay out ground scale map sheets and start to play. Can use Rolling Maps rule from Tactical Operations.
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cavingjan

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Re: Running a Non-GM Campaign?
« Reply #16 on: 21 September 2012, 14:42:29 »
Opposing force simulateous campaigns are very tough to maintain balance over many sessions. One bad session unbalances things quickly and usually permanently. You need to work out a system to replenishing the loser of battles as not only did they lose material. Ut their opponent gained that material and then some. WoR has a system that can work but even there you will probably use the occasional third party to rebalance things.

nckestrel

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Re: Running a Non-GM Campaign?
« Reply #17 on: 21 September 2012, 14:43:26 »
Thanks for the responses.  We're going to use some regular maps for strategic movement (the planetary maps have hexes that are way to large to allow for actual strategic movement).  In essence, lances/stars will move together on the Strategic Map and then when battle is joined will be broken down into their constituent parts.  We will also use the order system from Strat Ops (pg.  48).  We'll also put down some objectives on the hex maps.

What seems silly to me is that there isn't any official Battletech product for players not seeking to have a major GM role.  MOST people I know play this way and its frustrating to have a ton of products that REQUIRE a GM/OpFor player.  The very fact that most people here suggest playing with a "GM" - and don't get me wrong I appreciate people trying to help - but it misses the point.

Because the same two forces bashing against each other more than once or twice...one side is losing and is going to withdraw (or be destroyed).  Or the battles are small proportions of a much larger force, in which case you get the same effect as having an OpFor, the forces have the same name but are different each time.  If this second is what you are going for, then the Total Chaos (use one of the systems) or Turning Points can work fine.  Make the entire regiment your force, the other side has their entire regiment, but each battle is only one lance for each. (or company).  The "OpFor is just the same regiment each time.
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Mohammed As`Zaman Bey

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Re: Running a Non-GM Campaign?
« Reply #18 on: 23 September 2012, 07:50:27 »
  The main thing to remember when participating in a GM-free campaign is that you have to keep it simple. The complicated, the more times there will be a need for a "GM's call" to be made.

  Another complication would be double-blind operations on a strategic level, although it may be simplified, such as plotted movement on the strategic map and each player declaring which hexes have active recon/spotters at specific times.
Example: At 10:00 Hours there are recon units on OpHex0001, 0203, 1005, etc., so if OPFOR units are present they might be spotted. If the units are able to commence combat you might have a meeting engagement. If the recon unit locates the OPFOR in prepared positions the scout could vector other units to attack them.
In one respect both sides are playing a version of "Battleship" with moving targets.

  If the rules are simple and all players understand and agree upon them then a GM-free game is entirely doable.

 

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