Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Notes on Open Warfare System: The Headache

Open Warfare System is an open rp game system designed to run warfare games that would fairly capture logistics and strength of armies from the Ancient Eras to Pre-Gunpowder engagements. Its meant to be modular where certain elements can be layered on to any other game system, be played as stand alone, and modular level of complexity (for logistically complex campaigns where the problem solving ability difficulty is in hardcore mode).

Rewatching the video  I'm reminded one of the main challenges of running games: the headache - the bean counting aka bureaucracy

Avoiding Cash; Overhead instead
It began with forsaking "Cash" system and used the Tenant Household Taxes or tenant households (th) to keep track of upkeep. Particularly the ratio of TH ratio for each unit of soldier. Then giving algorithms/formulas for the deviations - modifiers for mounted vs cavalry, specialists etc...

As maintaining a petty cash fund for one's minor expenses would highlight that cash is bit of a head ache, then magnify it by 100x and by the number of teams you'd have to track and maintain to pay them in cash. Then we stumble on the accounting nightmare it would be to track the expenses of army logistics. Our company is manufacturing and logistics that has about 500 people, 50 are accountants (ISO 9001).

Administration and its Context
Without skilled bureaucrats this system would collapse, and in times of war and catastrophe administrators would be salvaged and reorganized into the new "leadership". There are stories of greek slaves serving this role, more as literate clergy was found useful filling this role despite conflict of interests, and the need for literate yeomen that can be retained to perform this role. Extra Credit's special on Suleiman the Magnificent  shows that the ability of an administrator surpasses even religious differences.

China with its bureaucracy comes to light: its much easier to have Administrators, Tenants, Land, Assets, and Slaves rewarded than a steady supply of cash. Granting temporary rights is so much easier and less headache than deciding what to do with your cash in a cash poor economy.

Tools in Open Warfare (currently on hiatus and gathering notes)

  • I did the total costs of operations. basically running overhead. 
    • its not just assigning an arbitrary number, but finding multiple sources for the ratios and trying to guess for a median that would be workable. 
    • Some "Raiding bands" are subsistence fighters, they have a fairly low upkeep but diminished capabilities and organization. Their subsistence status is temporary and there are rules in how long they can sustain themselves and what they do to do so (context what it means to have a Raiding Band "Camped" in an area). 
      • Traits for diminished organization and training will be noted, and influence their capabilities. 
  • Thinking in Workstreams. 
    • Modifiers for not having the right set up (penalties that affect time, cost, and quality)
    • Then the off chance of minor miracles of project accomplishment lolz.
    • I bundled in Administration in that, and made for significant but not overpowered effects for good administration. No miracles but less headache. So having a good staff of administrators means less head ache (head ache is an organizational distraction penalty in resources and strategy).
  • A simple mnemonic system in the organizational statblocks that can be applied in any game system. (Its nothing amazing, its a short hand of writing about organizations anyone would coe up with if you take the time to do it a lot and would note to avoid "drama")
    • This is used to simplify organization so you can slowly (modularly) add more complexity and detail as needed. 
    • It works by simply having a set of benchmarks, tools, and with randomizers create break offs or zoom ins of various sub teams within a much larger team.
  • Giving the workflow, and designing various workflows of how to run such games in a space poor cafe with a small group who wants to run an engaging warfare campaign.
    • This is where I scoped how much a GM can prepare at the minimum and focused on Framing Techniques to do MORE with less. 

  Short Animation Demonstrates The Superb Organization Of The Ancient Roman Army
Designed and Produced by Blair Harrower at ISO.

Edit. I'll need to make an Anki deck about my Open Warfare. 

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