Armies of Arcana questions and thoughts

Zinkala
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Post by Zinkala » Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:34 am

Any idea when the v1.3 will be available? I've been randomly scanning through the forums and seen mentions of it several times.

The grouping is very important for our uses as moving 100 tokens one at a time would be a pain. It's bad enough on the table top. I'm considering doing up figures of various sizes units in different formations for now. If I have a bunch of the standard ones I can swap them out for the players if need be.

For AoE or other templates, are there any that can be rotated like rotating the units? I'm thinking as a guide for LOS. The AoE templates are hard wired to work of the base facings and for now I'll be ignoring the bases.

Is there any way to quickly mark a point on the map? I'm thinking in terms of judging for movement. I can set the range finder to show in a scale that works for me and judge for shooting. I'm thinking of using it for movement as well. But when I check how far a unit or group can move I lose track of how far while selecting the unit. If I could drop some sort of pin at the edge of movement range it would help. I'm playing around with hexes and grids to see what I can do but eventually it would be nice to be able to do this more free form.

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Post by heruca » Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:44 am

Try deploying a Map Pin (with the Objects deployment panel).

I'll see if I can make object AoEs have an option to rotate automatically along with "facing" changes.

For pointing at places on the map, I could include some sort of "pointing hand" icon. You could keep it hidden or on the Sideboard when you don't need it. Eventually there will be an actual program function for pointing at an area, but this workaround may suffice for now.

Grouping and group selection is coming, don't worry.
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Post by heruca » Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:45 am

Zinkala wrote:Any idea when the v1.3 will be available?
The way things have been going lately, I'd have to guess early April.
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Post by Zinkala » Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:57 pm

That's fairly soon. But then I don't know when 1.2 became available. I've been playing the demo games against myself just to get a feel for how the player sees things. I'm still tinkering with other things in my spare time. I'm working on a few tokens with bases attached and some wargaming terrain. Once I finish them I'll try playing an actual battle.

For other games the possibility of multiple AoEs attached to one figure could be useful. For example if it's an armoured combat game the tanks may have fixed forward firing weapons and a turret that can target something else.

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Post by Zinkala » Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:07 pm

Another thing I was thinking of was a "move to" function. If you had a unit selected you could send it to the spot you were looking at instead of dragging or walking it over. Be helpful for set up and possibly other situations.

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Post by heruca » Wed May 21, 2008 11:40 am

I just updated the free sample adventure to work with the latest BRPG release. I suggest you try it out to get an idea of how AoA scenarios could be laid out and distributed.

Also, what do you think of the new token rotation features added in recent versions of BRPG? Or the new colored halo options?
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Post by Zinkala » Thu May 22, 2008 1:03 am

Heruca, I haven't had a chance to dowload the latest version yet. May is always a bad month for me with no spare time. Tomorrow I have business in the city and I'm planning on downloading a bunch of things while I have access to cable internet. Once I get things downloaded I'll try to spend some time working on AoA BRPG. There's a few people interested in trying it out with me now.

We've been working our butts off trying to get our new rulebook read to publish. It's finally gone to the printers and should be ready for sale in a few weeks. Now that I have access to the latest rules and various reference sheets I'll be able to work them into the battle scenarios. If the grouping and rotation has been fixed now I think we are good to start playing some games.

I could still use a lot more tokens for various things but I think I have enough to proxy things for a battle. If nothing else I can use the halos to distinguish things.

I honestly haven't forgotten about this project, just had to move it way down on my priority list lately. I think I mentioned to you earlier that I was working hard on it in the winter because I knew I wouldn't have much time in the spring.

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Post by heruca » Thu May 22, 2008 1:15 am

No problem.

Just so you know, there are no grouping commands yet.
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Post by Zinkala » Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:25 pm

Hi Heruca. Thought I'd give you a quick update. Things have been busy and not much time to fool around with BFRPG. I'm going on vacation Monday and taking along my laptop. If it's a relaxing vacation I'll have time to continue doing some things. If not, well I should have time in July. The current version looks pretty good but I haven't had time to test everything yet.

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Post by heruca » Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:34 pm

I was thinking that v1.3's token-swapping capability might be a neat way to handle formations of units until a more formal formation feature is in place.
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Post by Zinkala » Sat Jun 07, 2008 10:09 pm

I was considering gluing tokens together to make standard unit sizes in photoshop. Then the GM could put entire units and formations on the board and they would act as a single token in BFRPG. As you take caualties you'd need to swap out units for smaller ones. Not ideal but it's one way to do it.

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Post by heruca » Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:28 pm

That's sort of what I mean. The difference is that, rather than manually swapping out units, you simply swap the token that represents the unit.
Say you have a "formation" of 8 elves, represented by a single piece of art that is 8 individual elf units pieced together in Photoshop or the like. When you take a casualty on that "formation", you simply tap a hotkey and instantly the unit's token art is swapped out for another token showing 7 elves remaining. Just keep tapping the hotkey until you've taken the necessary number of casualties.
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Post by Zinkala » Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:52 am

That does sound pretty good. Real quick to handle casualties. We'd need a pretty good sized library of tokens to handle all the possible formations and different numbers for each unit. The hotkey could work both ways for adding models to units that were increased due to spells too.

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Post by heruca » Mon Aug 04, 2008 12:27 pm

v1.3 is now available, so you can try out the new token-swapping and unit data tracking features when you have the time.

Does AoA use turn phases (e.g., Spell-casting Phase, Movement Phase, Attack Phase, Record-Keeping Phase)? If so, there's now support for that as well. 8)
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Post by Zinkala » Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:31 pm

Oh man, has it ever been a long time since I checked on things here. Summer doesn't leave me much time for sitting at the computer. Things are starting to wind down now so I may get back to work on this soon. I haven't even installed the last version of BRPG that I downloaded, 1.2e.
You're already up to 1.3! Good to see somebody's been working :)
I'll download 1.3 as soon as I can.

AoA does have seperate phases like you mentioned. Everybody moves, then everybody casts spells, shoots, etc.

I know a few people are waiting to see what we can do with BRPG but noone's offered to give me a hand adapting it to AoA. September I'll be doing some more travelling and I'm running a bunch of demo games for AoA in a couple of cities. Right now I need to get off my butt and finish preparing for that. Getting involved in an official way has turned into a lot of work for me. But most of it has been interesting.

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Post by heruca » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:19 pm

Zinkala wrote:Oh man, has it ever been a long time since I checked on things here.
Welcome back. :)
Zinkala wrote:I'll download 1.3 as soon as I can.
If you're short on time, I suggest you wait a week or two and get v1.3a, instead.
Zinkala wrote:AoA does have seperate phases like you mentioned. Everybody moves, then everybody casts spells, shoots, etc.
You're gonna like v1.3a, then.
Zinkala wrote:I know a few people are waiting to see what we can do with BRPG but noone's offered to give me a hand adapting it to AoA.
Once v1.3a is out, I may see about creating some short videos, one of which would showcase the tabletop minis capability of BRPG. That should generate some interest, I think.
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Post by Zinkala » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:47 pm

I'll probably wait for a bit then before starting in on the project again. Most of the work I think would be adaptable for any version. I'm wanting to adapt the reference materials so that it can be pulled up while in BRPG and still need to work on tokens and terrain objects.

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Post by Zinkala » Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:29 pm

When I said I'd wait a bit to start working on this again I didn't expect it to be 6+ months :? I've just downloaded the latest version 1.4e and a pile of tokens from FUM. My licenses don't work for some reason now but I plan on buying a GM license soon. You aren't getting effort enough out of me that I should get it for nothing.

Last year I was running BRPG over LAN with my desktop and laptop for testing. Now for some reason I can't get them to connect. Computers say that my cable is disconnected even though I can hook either computer to a high speed connection with no problems :roll: :?:

I need some time to get back up to speed on using BRPG and learning the new features. I've figured out how to get the various print resources imported but it seems my page size is too long and the library window cuts off a bit at the bottom. I still need to do up some objects to use for terrain and check out how the unit grouping functions work. There's a couple of people wanting to try things with me now so it's a good time to get back at it.

I'd like to use BRPG for setting up a map campaign someday as well using large hexes with objects and tokens to represent the resources and armies on the map. That should be easy enough as I don't need to worry about anything other than proper graphics.

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Post by heruca » Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:35 pm

There's a new artpack for BRPG in the works that should be of interest to tabletop wargamers. It will contain over 100 tokens depicting various medieval soldiers and leaders, both mounted and dismounted.
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Post by Zinkala » Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:15 pm

That sounds good. One thing there seems to be a real lack of is mounted tokens. Not so important in an RPG I guess but pretty important to us. Lots of monsters floating around to use.

I just bought a GM client and e-mailed you the challenge code. I have to finish off my 2008 income taxes right away and I'm doing demos for AoA at a game convention soon. But hopefully I can put in a little time each day to get things sorted out. If the latest version works well for forming units I think I'm set. Just need to sit down and work on a few things.

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Post by Zinkala » Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:58 am

A quick update and some comments and questions.

How do I use the turn sequencer properly? Can I set it up so that units must make an action, even if that is just to say no action in the phases they use? Say in the movement each unit must be checked off before moving to the next phase. In AoA players roll for initiative and the high roll gets to choose whether to act first or second. Once they choose the player that acts first does the appropriate action for that phase with all of his units then the second player does the same. Effects are resolved after both players have acted, ex both players shoot then all casualties are removed to represent simultaneous actions.

Area of effect cones. I was considering using these as a range finder but hit a couple problems. 1 if I use my modified tokens for multiple model units the cone only goes from the center and not the edges. The cone always starts pointing to the right no matter the facing of the unit. Or do I need to align the hex facing with the unit facing when the unit is placed? How are the LOS and terrain features working now? Would it be possible to have an object set as blocking LOS? Is it possible to have a ruler that you can measure between two points without being centered on a unit?

The range finder is great but it would be nice if I could mark a spot at the proper range to show movement. If theres no distinguishing terrain feature or grid its easy to lose track of the proper distance when you move the unit.

I found out that I can move my reference sheets around inside of the library window to see all of the information. I still want to convert some army lists and the spell explanations to graphics format and put them in the library. Ive worked out labeling for all the various things that can be placed on a unit (wounds, spells and morale effects).

Im still working on learning how the dice macros work. It would be nice to have all the macros attached to the units but there are a lot of variables, number of attacks/model, number of hits during a phase, armour saves modified by strength. Probably easier to just plug in the appropriate number of dice for each roll and do the modifiers in my head same as I would on the table top.

I had spell templates made up but seem to have lost them even though I thought Id backed up my work. That shouldnt take long to redo though. Im working on making tokens for various formations and think I may need to colour in the proper base sizes for the game. Its important to know where the edges are for us. Im also going to make templates for various types of terrain that can be placed during set up. Ill add in notes on what effect they have in game (difficult terrain, block LOS, etc). All in all I think Im fairly close to being able to try out a small battle.

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Post by Omnidon » Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:54 am

Zinkala wrote:The range finder is great but it would be nice if I could mark a spot at the proper range to show movement. If theres no distinguishing terrain feature or grid its easy to lose track of the proper distance when you move the unit.
Actually, a "Move selected unit here" option in the context menu might work well for that, though I agree that a faster and more convenient way to place markers would be nice.

Another possibility is to have an optional line and distance indicator when actually dragging a unit (likely as part of the approved movement system).

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Post by heruca » Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:36 am

Zinkala wrote:Area of effect cones. I was considering using these as a range finder but hit a couple problems. 1 if I use my modified tokens for multiple model units the cone only goes from the center and not the edges.
Try copying the "AoE Overlays" folder into your "Objects" folder. That should allow you to place the AoE you need as an Object in BRPG, so that you can move and rotate it independently of the unit.
Zinkala wrote:The cone always starts pointing to the right no matter the facing of the unit. Or do I need to align the hex facing with the unit facing when the unit is placed?
When placing a figure, the figure should be rotated to face due right in the Unit Settings panel.

You then have a choice of the AoE following the unit's facing automatically, or you can see the AoE's facing manually.
Zinkala wrote:How are the LOS and terrain features working now? Would it be possible to have an object set as blocking LOS?
There is no LOS in BRPG.
Zinkala wrote:Is it possible to have a ruler that you can measure between two points without being centered on a unit?
I've been meaning to add that.
Zinkala wrote:Im still working on learning how the dice macros work. It would be nice to have all the macros attached to the units but there are a lot of variables, number of attacks/model, number of hits during a phase, armour saves modified by strength. Probably easier to just plug in the appropriate number of dice for each roll and do the modifiers in my head same as I would on the table top.
The nice thing about dice macros is that you can make last-minute adjustments to them just prior to rolling the macro. So, for example, a 5d6 macro where each die succeeds on a 5 or better can easily be changed (due to situational modifiers) to a 3d6 macro where each die succeeds on a 4 or better.
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Post by heruca » Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:43 am

As for the Turn Sequencer, it sounds like you may not need to list each individual unit, but just the players' names. If the player who wins initiative wants to let the other player go first, adjust the init score to be lower than the other player's init score. You may need to reverse this process once the current phase ends.
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Post by Zinkala » Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:34 pm

Omnidon wrote:Actually, a "Move selected unit here" option in the context menu might work well for that, though I agree that a faster and more convenient way to place markers would be nice.

Another possibility is to have an optional line and distance indicator when actually dragging a unit (likely as part of the approved movement system).
Either of those would be nice. Approved movement would be great too, where you can set the movement range of units and players can't cheat by moving further. But we still need to work in terrain effects to movement as well. For now a lot of these "automatic" options aren't necessary.
heruca wrote:Try copying the "AoE Overlays" folder into your "Objects" folder. That should allow you to place the AoE you need as an Object in BRPG, so that you can move and rotate it independently of the unit.
I'll try that out. With the range finder working it's not really needed but it could help for determining things like firing arcs. Or I can make something similar for the different widths of units now that I know how.
heruca wrote:There is no LOS in BRPG.
That's not a big negative for me as in most tabletop games you see everything anyway. Still it would be interesting playing games where you didn't know how the enemy was deployed until you spotted them.

With the turn sequencer is there any way to take a step back, say for example if you hit it by accident?

I need to get my graphics made and try out a battle but I'm thinking that BRPG is pretty close to handling things almost as well as a normal table top game. The only big thing I see right now is how to create and assemble units and allowing them to pivot on corners as well as rotate in the middle.

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