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 Post subject: A new TROS Combat Sim..
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:53 pm 
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Hi everyone,

I have no idea where else to post this. Please move the thread if appropriate.

Who am I?

Well, I've been lurking trosforums.com for quite a while. I got interested in TROS back in 2005 when I was looking for a more realistic combat system for RPGing. At that time, I was out to write my own set of rules, but after I read the Quickstart rules, I knew I had found what I was looking for.
It took me another 2 years to get all the rulebooks together, but finally I own MRB, TFOB and OBAM (really hard to get these days...).

I never actually played TROS with a group so far. Although I am a long-time RPG fanatic, these days I can't seem to get a group together (new town, moved in with my GF and everything...).

Why do I tell you all this?

Well, since I so desperately wanted to play TROS (especially lob off heads with the Combat System), I played around with the old Combat Simulator a lot, but got bored rather quickly. Another few months passed, and I read a thread on trosforums about Nullflux and Brain L. thinking about a rewrite of the combat sim, but no news of this since March 07.

Since I am in the IT business and presume to know some Java, sometime last year I decided to program a combat sim myself. These last few days have seen a lot of work on the thing, and i'd say it's about 40% complete. I got the basic mechanics in, got the blueprints for weapons and armor which (probably) only need to be filled with all the different pieces, and the last two days saw me reworking the entire core "process of a round"-code modelled after this really nice detailed list I found on trosforums the other day. And before you ask, I haven't started on the GUI, so it's all random AI fighting so far, nothing to click, only stuff to read.

What do I want?

First I'd like to hear if there still is public interest in something like this. I think I could also do with some professional help, meaning someone with good Java knowledge to review and/or refactor the code, or help me complete it.

Whaddya all think?

Greets from Germany,
Yeshom


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 Post subject: Re: A new TROS Combat Sim..
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 2:06 am 
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There is plenty of interest in this.

I have a friend who's a Java coder by profession. I can get him to look over the code if you like.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: A new TROS Combat Sim..
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:53 am 
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I can't help with anything pertaining to computers - all I can do is to wait breathlessly until a new combat simulator is released! :)

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 Post subject: Re: A new TROS Combat Sim..
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:19 am 
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Great :) At least my work shall not be in vain.

To get me started, you could help me with some rules questions. I can't seem to find answers to them on the forums.

1) Attacker declares some offensive maneuver, defender some defensive. We go into a contested roll. Does the attacker still win the roll if both he and the defender roll zero successes? Can he still cause a wound, although his MOS is zero?

2) Defender has no defense (he is spent, red/red, whatever). Is it still a contested roll like in 1), or can the attacker actually fail the attack roll and not cause a wound?

3) Here is an excerpt from the Detailed Combat Round description I found on trosforums:

Quote:
3.4. Defenseless attack.
3.4.1. Aggressor declares.
3.4.2. Roll the aggressor's attack.
3.4.3. Resolve damage and determine maneuver effects.
3.4.4. First exchange: The aggressor retains initiative. Second exchange: If
the aggressor succeeds, he retains initiative; otherwise, the victim takes
initiative.


I am unsure about 3.4.4, second exchange. What does "if aggressor succeeds" mean? Does this imply that it is possible to fail an attack roll (see 2) )? I can't seem to find any rules basis for this, and the old CombatSim handles this differently.

4) Can someone feint on a red/red? Would it be wise, or can the option be ignored altogether? Shouldn't he by common sense lose the contest for initiative if he feints?


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 Post subject: Re: A new TROS Combat Sim..
PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:34 pm 
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Yeshom wrote:
1) Attacker declares some offensive maneuver, defender some defensive. We go into a contested roll. Does the attacker still win the roll if both he and the defender roll zero successes? Can he still cause a wound, although his MOS is zero?

Ties don't result in a wound and aggressor retains the initiative (he can follow it up with another attack). See the first paragraph of core book p.77.

Yeshom wrote:
2) Defender has no defense (he is spent, red/red, whatever). Is it still a contested roll like in 1), or can the attacker actually fail the attack roll and not cause a wound?

I think if the attacker rolls 0 successes while the defender had no dice in the first place, it is considered a tie (see above).

Yeshom wrote:
I am unsure about 3.4.4, second exchange. What does "if aggressor succeeds" mean? Does this imply that it is possible to fail an attack roll (see 2) )? I can't seem to find any rules basis for this, and the old CombatSim handles this differently.

If the attack connects, aggressor retains initiative. If the attack is deflected, the roles reverse and the defender can launch an attack next exchange (taking the role of an aggressor).

That means: regardless if attack caused a wound or not, whoever has a Margin of Success, assumes the role of aggressor next round. Ties favour the aggressor (as stated above).

I'd also reference you to read p. 63 Companion, but you don't own that. Basically, keep in mind that if an opponent launches an extremely weak attack, defending against isn't the only tactic -- one might ignore the attack and launch an attack themselves (which lands after the opponent's blow (unless he also steals initiative, which might be stolen back)). The chance of Feint and lucky dice roll is there, but it could be done.

Who holds initiative after that? Well, beats me, but I think new initiative is thrown. :)

Also, check out this thread: http://www.trosforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=1549

Yeshom wrote:
4) Can someone feint on a red/red? Would it be wise, or can the option be ignored altogether? Shouldn't he by common sense lose the contest for initiative if he feints?

I'll leave that someone to answer who has more practical TROS combat experience than I have.

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 Post subject: Re: A new TROS Combat Sim..
PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:16 pm 
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Thanks for the input, higgins. Fortunately, that's exactly how I implemented it so far, so no need for huge changes to the code :)

I got some more questions, but I need to look thru my notes to find them first. When you try to cast something as complex as TROS Combat into rigid code, you find lots and lots of issues that are not 100% defined by the rulebook.

One question off the top of my head:
TFOB p.39 states that you should apply range penalties for initiative checks. The exact wording is:

Quote:
When opponents with weapons of differing length both strike at the same time, the longer of the two weapons is more likely to strike first. When rolling reflex to determine whose blow lands first [..] apply range penalties to the relevant die pools.


The question is, does this mean that the longer weapon should get the bonus even if the opponent with the shorter weapon has closed range? Usually, after closing range, the longer weapon gets penalized, and I'd say I stick to the second sentence and apply the same bonus/penalty I'd apply for a standard attack roll.

Right?

Btw, concerning the Combat Sim itself: I've made faster progress in some areas than I expected. Weapon range, knockdown and red/red initiative were all a lot easier to implement than I feared (which probably means my software designs skills are a lot more solid than I believe :) ).
Since I have all the basics in (I think), I will go for a GUI next. If things go well, there might be something to show after the easter holidays...


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 Post subject: Re: A new TROS Combat Sim..
PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:09 pm 
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Yeshom wrote:
I'd say I stick to the second sentence and apply the same bonus/penalty I'd apply for a standard attack roll.

That's exactly what it says, the first sentence just explains the reason for the rule. Red/red only occurs after a pause, which means shorter weapon is always penalised, since combatants are apart. No bonuses are gained from the range, I think, only penalties.

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 Post subject: Re: A new TROS Combat Sim..
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:01 pm 
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Hi all,

quick status update and some more rules questions!

I've made some decent progress over the last days. The core code is running stable, I got Bash, Cut, Thrust, Parry, Dodge, Block, Partial E., Full E. and Duck'n'Weave implemented. Here's a screenshot of the GUI (did I mention I hate GUI design?):

Attachment:
File comment: Screenshot from the new Combat Simulator.
TROSBattleSim.jpg
TROSBattleSim.jpg [ 115.95 KiB | Viewed 5771 times ]


[Mod Edit: Image inserted into post]

Oh yeah, and I got this, erm, "AI" which you can fight. It picks maneuvers, target zones and dice allocations by random numbers. Really smart. Before this thing is worthy to be released for testing, I should implement a way for you to create and equip your own characters. I'll think I'll do that next.
I've done some testing with network compatibility, e.g. being able to play over the net, but that is far from being finished.

I also got some more rules questions for you:

-Swinging attacks are obviously aimed at either the left or right side. What about Thrusts? Where do shields protect? Does a small shield protect against Thrusts made to the chest?

- what happens if a combatant has some CP left, but not enough to buy any maneuver (he' gets range penalties for example)?

- what use is the "buy initiative for 2 CP" option on a partial evasion? I thought that after a successful defense, the Defender automatically gets initiative? Or does this only count for blocks and parries, but not for evasions?


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 Post subject: Re: A new TROS Combat Sim..
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 8:28 pm 
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Not all of the CP needs spending in a round, but any that isn't is wasted, so if the combatant still has some CP, but not enough to use, he doesn't get to spend it.

A defender automatically gains initiative on a shield/weapon defense (block, parry, counter, disarm et al), partial evasion where the the attacker either completely fails (0 successes) or fumbles and duck & weave.

That help?


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 Post subject: Re: A new TROS Combat Sim..
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 9:08 pm 
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The help is honestly appreciated, but at the moment I am even more confused.

Hector wrote:
Not all of the CP needs spending in a round, but any that isn't is wasted, so if the combatant still has some CP, but not enough to use, he doesn't get to spend it.


So that means he doesn't get to pick a maneuver? In case of being on defense, this probably means he can't defend against any attack thrown against him. What if he's on offense? Does the round end? Does initiative switch to the other combatant?


Hector wrote:
A defender automatically gains initiative on a shield/weapon defense (block, parry, counter, disarm et al), partial evasion where the the attacker either completely fails (0 successes) or fumbles and duck & weave.


Hmm. What happens if both roll 0 successes? Ties go to the attacker (MRB p.77). I previously asked this:

Yeshom wrote:
1) Attacker declares some offensive maneuver, defender some defensive. We go into a contested roll. Does the attacker still win the roll if both he and the defender roll zero successes? Can he still cause a wound, although his MOS is zero?


So an attacker CAN fail his attack roll?
And also, if I gain initiative on a successful partial evasion automatically, why would I want to spend 2 CP to buy it?! I think I'm missing something here.

These last few days have made two things very clear to me:
1) I absolutely lack practical experience in the day-to-day use of the TROS combat rules
2) Many, many things in the TROS rulebooks are not worded precisely enough, at least not precisely enough to be transferred into algorithm without a lot of ambiguities. Either that, or I'm just plain stupid and a nitpicker.
Help me out guys :)


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 Post subject: Re: A new TROS Combat Sim..
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 10:03 pm 
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Yes, an attacker can fail his attack roll: if he gets no successes, he fails. In a tie, initiative stays with the attacker, but the attack doesn't hit (unless the description for the manoeuvre says otherwise.

If a combatant has no dice in his combat pool, he doesn't get to pick a manoeuvre. If he is the attacker, initiative is handed over. If he is the defender, he doesn't get to defend.

If both failed their rolls (ie got no successes) I'd say the initiative would stay with the attacker, but to be honest I've never actually seen that happen.


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 Post subject: Re: A new TROS Combat Sim..
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:20 pm 
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Thanks mate, those are the answers I was looking for. Tomorrow I'll check if I implemented all those things correctly.


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 Post subject: Re: A new TROS Combat Sim..
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 3:09 am 
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Glad I could help; I'm looking forward to the finished product.


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 Post subject: Re: A new TROS Combat Sim..
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:33 pm 
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Looking at the screenshot. "Using 4 dice + 2 dice for Stance. Total cost is 5 dice." That probably means you're using the target zone modifiers (-1 cost)? Any way to torn this option off in the interface? :)

And how come he recieved a wound with a MoS 0?

I also noticed that defence manouvers are grayed out for the aggressor. Are the attack manouvers also greyed out for the defender? They shouldn't be, as defender can attack in lieu of his defence. :)

And I've got an idea... though I'm not sure how easy it would be to implement. What if the character sheets were .txt files and there was an option to save/record wounds? If someone wanted to use the simulator in his game, txt format would make the sheet easier to edit (if the character has healed between the sessions). Just load the wounded sheet to get the combat going.

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- Lord Petyr Baelish, A Game of Thrones


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 Post subject: Re: A new TROS Combat Sim..
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:53 am 
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Yeshom wrote:
And also, if I gain initiative on a successful partial evasion automatically, why would I want to spend 2 CP to buy it?! I think I'm missing something here.


The way I understand it, if you partial evade you do not get initiative UNLESS you pay the 2 dice, which is probably because dodging allows the defender to keep all (or most) of his foreward momentum.

Yeshom wrote:
So that means he doesn't get to pick a maneuver? In case of being on defense, this probably means he can't defend against any attack thrown against him. What if he's on offense? Does the round end? Does initiative switch to the other combatant?


From what I know, an attacker has the options of yeilding initiative to the defender, or breaking off combat entirely. In this case, either one is viable for continuing the combat. If initiative is yielded and the new attacker ALSO cannot attack, then his only option should be to break off the combat, and initiative is re-thrown.

Also, are you planning to implement GIfts/Flaws into the Sim? If a character is raging or has accuracy, that should be taken into account. It would also be interesting to see prize plays implemented as an option.

Mounted combat would be

On the GUI: Looks good so far, I would suggest putting some basic DON'Ts" into the random AI to make it plausible. Maybe code a few tricks into its sleeve like attacking previously wounded areas. Also, I would put a couple tabs into the manuevers area, like attacks/defends/terrain rolls/others to keep it organized when you start filling in the rest of the CR+TFOB manuvers.

Final suggestion: A starting range of some sort that the attackers have to close would be nice, so if the combatants have crossbows they can take their shots before drawing swords. That could also allow for hazards to be put in relation to the combatants, like a sudden drop-off 20m behind fighter a or a wall 50m behind fighter b. I'm fairly sure the rules for the back-and-forth of combat are in TFOB, and they read something like A pushes back B 1m for every die in his MOS, unless he uses terrain dice to push.

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