Animal Faction Discussion

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Should Animals have a Queen Mother?

Poll ended at Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:00 pm

Yes
5
29%
No
12
71%
 
Total votes: 17

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Chief
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Re: Animal Faction Discussion

Postby Chief » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:20 am

cymruvoodoo wrote:I think the comments about a hive structure being inappropriate for the animals is pretty fair. The salvagers already have a hive thing locked down and honestly it's a little predictable. I would like to see the animal faction be the non-faction, the way you can play the ever-present danger of life on post-apoc DP earth - They can have special animals which through contact with humanity and age become characterful enough to have stories written about them. See examples from fishermen about old and clever fish, from hunters about canny bobcats, ancient alligators, and stubborn mountain sheep who know just how to keep their distance and still get what they want. This means that the faction can have plenty of places where people can get into the background, can get attached to leader-figure types, or what have you. However, players can have a great excuse to collect a second or third faction because the animals have a reason to fight any skirmish group of any other faction out there. It's a dangerous place! Earth is a struggle to survive without the machinery of civilisation keeping the wild things at bay.

I think that the best idea is to have a non-faction because we get to avoid BS like "mind control" or co-operative parasites or anything that just feels too forced for the setting and at the same time we get to have something which is pretty unique in terms of skirmish wargames - a way to show how lethal the world itself can be. We don't need another faction that all works together. We need a faction that fill in other gaps.

This is exactly what I'd like to see from the animal faction.
It's simple, it's elegant, and it would be unique to Dark Potential.

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Re: Animal Faction Discussion

Postby saltinerunner45 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:14 am

cymruvoodoo wrote:how lethal the world itself can be.

i feel this sums up the animal faction to a "T". but assuming we go the the non-faction idea, why are the animals fighting. i mean i guess it could be just for food, but why not hunt mostly human animals then? do the animals feel threatened by the other factions, are they territorial creatures and feel were trespassing, do "alphas" (possibly just squad leaders) feel the need to prove themselves and take down scavengers/humans/x'lanthos to prove it?
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Re: Animal Faction Discussion

Postby cymruvoodoo » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:53 am

saltinerunner45 wrote:
cymruvoodoo wrote:how lethal the world itself can be.

i feel this sums up the animal faction to a "T". but assuming we go the the non-faction idea, why are the animals fighting. i mean i guess it could be just for food, but why not hunt mostly human animals then? do the animals feel threatened by the other factions, are they territorial creatures and feel were trespassing, do "alphas" (possibly just squad leaders) feel the need to prove themselves and take down scavengers/humans/x'lanthos to prove it?


Well, in point of fact, the animals are fighting for a variety of reasons and the reason can change each time. In that respect a proper fauna-based non-faction has as much flexibility in terms of being able to say why they're there as any of the other factions, the reasons are just a bit different. That, I think, is good - if every faction has the same reason for fighting it can get a skosh boring.

So, here's a quick list:

Territoriality - the animals are local to the area and their opponents have ventured in for reasons of their own. While different species will not be operating in a coherent military structure, they also don't need to in order to all be present and a threat. Check nature programming on your local TV channels of choice and you'll see hyenas not attacking lions but still moving in to take their kills if there are more hyenas than lions. There are many different sorts of birds which enjoy symbiotic or parasitic relationships with not only other birds (egg stealing for food, leaving eggs behind for other birds to hatch) but also with other types of animals (rhinoceroses, alligators, etc.) and yet they do not operate in classically described military formations. They are just an ecosystem full of territorial opportunists.

Food - The hunter species in the Animal list is on the prowl for food and sees the locals as an easy target. Scavenger species naturally follow the hunt since they'll get second dibs on whatever the hunters bring down. It could be a short-ranged hunting expedition outside of territory or the first step in the establishment of new territory by a group or groups of animals who have been forced from their old territory by overpopulation or in-fighting among dominant males of the species.

Hunters Become The Hunted - A particularly old/clever/special example of an animal species otherwise known as a special character in game terms arranges to turn the tables on a scrounging party and with eerily supernatural co-ordination stalks those foolish enough to venture into the wilderness. Yes, it's a little iffy in terms of realism but at the same time the idea of the exceptional beast is a classic feature of storytelling and the best thing to do in this situation is simply not explain what everyone is working together. Leave a faint aura of mystery and the player will fill in the gaps there in the best way for him or her.


I would also suggest that no matter how other factions are organized in terms of what you can take in what proportions, we should look at a different arrangement for the Animal faction: Hunters, Scavengers, and Oddballs. Hunter species are aggressive, likely pack animals or at least tolerate a slightly dense population, and can be bought as an elite "core" of your force, preferably all from the same species but I won't insist on it. Scavenger species will form the bulk of the force in terms of numbers, operate in packs or flocks, and can be chosen from multiple species since all manner of scavengers will come after whatever the hunters bring down. Finally, the oddballs are those lone threats or strange things particularly unique to the DP earth setting and can be taken in limited numbers as a way to add gameplay flavor to your force. This way we have a robust and yet ecosystem-sensible way to handle having everything from packs of wolves, prides of lions, flocks of vultures, to lone enormous pythons, ancient alligators, swarms of spiders, and even mutated examples of all of the above or extraterrestrial animal species escaped from X'lanthos control.

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Re: Animal Faction Discussion

Postby Sabet » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:58 am

Im liking your idea - especially the oddballs :D
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Re: Animal Faction Discussion

Postby TyraelsWrath » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:03 am

I really like the Ideas you have, this is how an animal faction really would work. Even if they were taken from a different planet, animals adapt to their surroundings.
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Re: Animal Faction Discussion

Postby irishwargamer » Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:45 pm

TyraelsWrath wrote:I really like the Ideas you have, this is how an animal faction really would work. Even if they were taken from a different planet, animals adapt to their surroundings.

that could bbe a problem, if the alien animals were superior they would take all the food from the native animals and the native animals would die for being to specialized and unable to adapt to this new threat. Happend on earth before whole speices have gone extinct because of it

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Re: Animal Faction Discussion

Postby saltinerunner45 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:02 pm

irishwargamer wrote:
TyraelsWrath wrote:I really like the Ideas you have, this is how an animal faction really would work. Even if they were taken from a different planet, animals adapt to their surroundings.

that could bbe a problem, if the alien animals were superior they would take all the food from the native animals and the native animals would die for being to specialized and unable to adapt to this new threat. Happend on earth before whole speices have gone extinct because of it


i dont think this would be to much of a problem. as far as i can tell the alien animals were not really wild until the virus struck, and such a huge increase in vegetation, this would allow earths natural ecosystem to balance out with the introduction of new species. i mean even if the alien animals are very territorial, there is enough territory that earths animals could survive. at least those are my thoughts.
saltine runner thanks you for reading this post, and is sorry for his ramblings.
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Re: Animal Faction Discussion

Postby cymruvoodoo » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:06 pm

irishwargamer wrote:
TyraelsWrath wrote:I really like the Ideas you have, this is how an animal faction really would work. Even if they were taken from a different planet, animals adapt to their surroundings.

that could bbe a problem, if the alien animals were superior they would take all the food from the native animals and the native animals would die for being to specialized and unable to adapt to this new threat. Happend on earth before whole speices have gone extinct because of it


You know, I don't see that as being a problem. If the grey wolf is extinct because an alien species managed to compete successfully with it, well... that's not a bad thing. The introduction of the asian carp, of the nutria, of what have you, only really threatens one or two species since the ecosystem remains fairly specialized. Basically, we could just have alien species slotted in wherever coolness and background mandated they be placed and go from there.

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Re: Animal Faction Discussion

Postby LepperGod » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:08 am

Animals need a reason to fight and they need the ability to fight.

in a wargame where the main factions are hunter gatherers or even ancient farmers with basic weapons the animals, somehow driven to fight, would have a small chance. but even so, they would eventually lose out to the ingenuity and tool making potential of humans.

in dp, the animals are facing humans with exo suits and guns, powerful hand to hand combat weapons, armoured vehicles and humans with special powers. Animals (as animals) will lose every time.

Animals require a reason to expand and they need the means to do it.

a parasite that infects a species and takes an amount of control of that species makes for a unique alternative to the usual hive mind type species.

each species can work towards the goal of the parasite that controls them in some way or another and perhaps can rely on pheromones for direction.

each species can be adapted (its science fiction) to fit different rolls, within the group. this allows for increased likelihood of success for the animal that controls them.

they species can spread genetic material between each other allowing a variety of appearances and function...to be continued
...

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Re: Animal Faction Discussion

Postby TyraelsWrath » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:31 am

The only this is, there is already a hive mind like faction. They are looking for each to be unique. Don't forget were just trying to figure out a tad bit, we have not even gone into what that animals look like or what they do. Also look at a goose if you go nears its nest it attacks. That's the only reason it needs to be violent. Territory could play a huge part in this faction.
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Re: Animal Faction Discussion

Postby SheiTuIdea » Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:18 am

I definitely enjoy the concept of Hunters - Scavengers - Oddballs.

Are you implying that the Hunters are the HQ & Elite, the Scavengers are Troops, and the Oddballs are vehicle/other-equivalents, sort of?

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Re: Animal Faction Discussion

Postby cymruvoodoo » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:47 am

As for the animals needing a reason to fight, humans are easy prey. Reclaimers do have exoskeletal sealed suits and there is fancy tech out there, but the more I learn (and I'm still new around here, I'll be the first to admit) the more I see that in fact, the hardscrabble world of Dark Potential Earth does not have large groups, any kind of organized civilization (aside from the Corporation, and even they aren't large enough to matter in more than the area they control) or any kind of capability for co-ordinated action.

The earth has gone wild. It is the age of discovery all over again, when the pathways through the dark places were more than your life was worth to take alone or after dark and humans huddle up together where they think the rest of the world cannot reach them. There could be localized hunts, bounties placed on marauding bobcats, wolves, or what have you, but from what I'm seeing there just aren't enough people left to do anything serious about putting a dent in the wilderness. Yes, there is some advanced technology bouncing around the earth and yes, some factions will have more than others but I do not think this invalidates the fact that we don't have to have the animals be subverted, mutated, or in possession of human personality and intelligence. Frankly, animal intelligence will do - animals are fairly clever, the world is a big place, and there just aren't that many people.

As for the tripartite division, don't think of it as being a command structure, it's meant to be an actual simplification of an ecosystem's patterns, where hunter/predator species take the initiative, scavenger species are semi-reactive and follow the hunters, and those species whose members do not co-operate or even operate in groups (birds may not co-operate, but they still flock outside of raptors) march to the beat of their own drum - they're opportunist enough to get in on the action, though.

If anything, think of it as being Scavengers = Core, Hunters = Special, Oddball = Rare. To flesh it out even more, the scavengers chosen for any given army might have lots of variety, say a squad of hyenas and a squad of alien vulture-things, while the hunters would be three to five solo examples of the same species, say lions or wolves, and the oddballs would be that terrifying alien chimera-thing, or an enormous python, or what have you. Since right now "command" points are slightly misnamed in terms of what they end up doing, I don't see any problem saying that both Hunters and Oddballs could carry the command ability. It simply represents game-changing models at its core and that would fit for there to be an alpha hunter or just an oddball at all.

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Re: Animal Faction Discussion

Postby saltinerunner45 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:17 am

LepperGod wrote:in dp, the animals are facing humans with exo suits and guns, powerful hand to hand combat weapons, armoured vehicles and humans with special powers. Animals (as animals) will lose every time.


but were not talking earth animals, were talking aliens. look at the bugs from starship troopers, or the zerg or the tyranids. they have all evolved (granted the last two were manipulated evolutions) into perfect killers, into what they needed to to survive. the saying 'what dosent kill you only makes you stronger' may as well be the catch phrase for evolution.
saltine runner thanks you for reading this post, and is sorry for his ramblings.
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Re: Animal Faction Discussion

Postby LepperGod » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:08 pm

First and foremost animals are survivors they will rarey do anything that would endanger themselves needlessly. animals work in an ecosystem but itis a slow and monotonous process. this is a science fiction wargame and not the discovery channel.

There is a good reason that most games use a hive mind structurre and thaT is because humans find it strange and menacing.

Let me try to put my ideas into your hunter scavengsr oddballs trifecta.

the parasite.will be exactly that. an animal no more thought than how to eat and procreate and survive. to do this the animal has developed a way to control other creatures. the other ceatures become the hunter scavengers and oddballs.

now stop.

my idea has little to do wirh a hive mind and work more off of

this it relies on other creatures to gather for it and protect it[/size][/size]
...

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Re: Animal Faction Discussion

Postby Chief » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:27 pm

... except we already have a hive mind (see salvagers).

What kind of animal doesn't feel threatened by intrutions into its territory anyways?


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