Wednesday, February 17, 2010

GURPS Mass Combat Made Easier and What is the Entity of a State?

GURPS mass combat is a bit hard to take all in. at once There is a limitation of examples because of the word count limit. So what I did is: I made a fairly easy step by step method for me to prepare a Military Campaign Game.

Thanks to Google Docs, I can easily host the it here without having to wory about the incompatibilities of Open Office and Blogger (which is the reason why my format is weird).

This is another of my "If I'm going to make it easier for me, then I should be able to make it easier for everyone" hobbies, within my GMing hobby. Having a method in preparing a game, makes life easier and allows me to completely forget about it when other priorities come up and come back to it after.

What is a the Entity of a State?
In the proccess of developing the method discussed above I hit on a formula by which I can calculate the economic size of a given entity. The formula can be found in the link above. It is remarkably robust and usable with S. John Ross's Medieval Demographics made easy.

An "Entity" is an accounting term that best describes nations, peoples, and states (basically assets) that are not entirely inclusive within the resources of its ruler but still controlled by him or her.

This is another interesting perspective I learned in accounting that is useful in looking at the world and being able to describe it. Accounting after all is a language of business (and in this case: economics). Entities are in that vague division between Possession but not part of one's possession. In GURPS, it is best to represent the a ruler's influence over such through the Patron advantage (B72, Ultra Powerful Organization 20cp).

Kingdoms and Empires are held together by its Rulers. One can say, it is the ruler's duty to the "State" to adjudicate, preside, and devote time to the handling of its affairs. The state can be a bureaucratic machine, like those of empires, or it can be a host of powerful peers, like in a feudal kingdom, republic, or democracy. In return, the ruler has access to its resources: its armies, artisans, and merchant fleets. Occasions where the "frequency of appearance" roll kicks in means there is trouble and the Ruler is needed to fix it.

Rulers have their own wealth, separate from the entities of the state. Typically they are at least powerful patrons by themselves (B72 Patron: Powerful Individual, 10cp). The GURPS "multi-millionaire" which holds Status 5, is already a powerful Baron. Don't let the titles get you confused Counts, Earls, Marquis, Duke and the other titles are merely grades between levels of wealth. GURPS wealth starts taking huge leaps after Status 4, by differences of 1000% (10x). Within the 100x to 10,000x there are many gradients of power which become more tangible because of the Mass Combat System. I prefer generalizing these increments using the Range Combat pattern of 50% increments: 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 15 etc...

The Mass Combat system basically allows a differences of 50% resources equate to 50% more hired goons. When the rule of thumb to overpower an enemy decisively is to have 3:1 their number, smaller increments gain more notice.

A ruler worth 500cp might have: (i'm not using disadvantage points)
  • Patron (Ultra Powerful Organization; free to take anything he wants +100%) 40cp
  • Allied Peers or Vassals (6-10 men of very high point value: 10cp x 6) 60cp
  • Lesser Vassals (6-10 men of extraordinary point value: 5cp x 8) 40cp
  • Elite Retainers (51-100 men elite point value: 3 x 12) 36cp
  • Wealth: Multi Millionaire 2 (x10,000 times average starting assets) and Status 6 (+4 status 20cp) 120cp
  • 296cp (204 left for the character and other advantages)


Unknown said...

I tried to understand, but i dont get it. Your examples are totaly unclear. Where did you get some of the numbers?

Unknown said...

As i can understand the empire has 70M people @ TL3. This gives 300k wealth mod. So 300K*1K(starting wealth)*0,2(20% of starting wealth)=60M. this is my standing army.

Now the baron. 70K people at TL3. gives x30k, so standing army=6M, but where did you get those 60M he saved??

justin aquino said...

Thanks for your input, I've improved on the previous document.

I corrected the Empire.
15M Population
TL 3 (6th Century)
x180,000 rounded to x200,000

The Baron
1.5M 114
TL 2.1 (11th Century)
x28,505 rounded to x30,000

Thanks for pointing out the mistakes. I mixed up the empire's math with the Baron's.

$60M is your treasury reserves.

I would ignore the cost to raise and use maintenance cost to determine the starting army if none of the units are "better" than Average quality.

This is because the growth and replacement of troops tend to be very continuous and regular, that rarely there is one instance that can be said they were formed.

If you want better quality troops (good or elite), generate them separately using the $60M. I recommend re-allocating some of your annual income to "convert" already existing related units (you make Good heavy cavalry by converting heavy cavalry).

Basic - Average H.Cavalry $200k to Good - Good H. Cavalry +$300k.
or To Good - Elite +5$00k

thanks again for the input.

Unknown said...

Better, but not quite there. I have an idea. Make a google doc (or just add a spreadsheet to existing calculator) describing the steps to create those examples you made. so there wont be any room for mistake, and other will se exactly what numbers represent what.

Unknown said...

Like this.

justin aquino said...

Thanks again Krzysztof,

Here is the the Calc (Excel) Sheet. Strangely Google Docs don't accept Calc Sheets and when I uploaded this one, the D function was not lost.

There are a few points I'm still working on, but they are not that important in Mass Combat. Its more of civilization building.

The other details helps explain why certain Entity's allocate their resources as follows:

Tribute: Some "fiefs" are taxed by a lord's overlord, typically and no more than 30% income.

Administration: The more allocated to this, the more quickly changes in the organization responds. This is greasing the engine of an organization and the mechanism that makes it do things.

Infrastructure: Roads, Aqueducts, Fountains, Baths, Public Buildings, and most importantly Walls.
More infrastructure = more defense, trade (roads, markets), more population (sewers, inner roads, fountains, aqueduct),

Growth: is a "resource" allocation representing not-over taxing a population. When growth is at 0% population goes down and unrest ferments. Typically 10% growth is stable but very slow (Equal to the disposable income of TL2). More growth means, over the course of a few years the population will grow.

Armed force. Self explanatory
Projects. Etc...
Since there is no separation of Church and State: religious monuments count as Public Works.

More details to come, i'm still in the middle of writing Building a Civic entity article

justin aquino said...

Hi Krzysztof
I've uploaded the new versions in the latest post and on the "stuff i made" section. The links in this section are broken having refiled and uploaded them all.