MrKinister
 member, 118 posts
Sun 14 Mar 2021
at 18:35
Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
You can also get a free account at Roll20.net. You can then upload the map, and other images, and also your PC and NPC tokens. Then you can take a screen shot of it all and crop it using your local image editor program. Then drop that image in your free cloud storage account, and link to it here.

Presto. =)
Wiglaf
 member, 816 posts
Sun 14 Mar 2021
at 18:42
Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
Another method would be to use your own miniatures, map or terrain like you normally would. Take a picture of it, upload the picture to a photo-hosting site, then share it in your game. This way you don't have to have as much technological know-how, you'd get to show off your minis and terrain, but you would probably have to leave each encounter set up on your table for a few weeks while the encounter is played out.
GreenTongue
 member, 942 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Sun 14 Mar 2021
at 19:02
Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
I have Tabletop Simulator but am concerned about how well each player trying to make moves would work.
I have found that any level of frustration can be enough to have players stop posting.

Have you had luck avoiding that?

(If only Roll20 was persistent.)
engine
 member, 823 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Sun 14 Mar 2021
at 19:23
Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
In reply to GreenTongue (msg # 1):

I've seen games have great success with using a shared Google Doc with images of the map and tokens on it.
pawndream
 member, 186 posts
Sun 14 Mar 2021
at 19:55
Re: Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
GreenTongue:
Is the need to move the players and opponents around to specific map locations too difficult for this type of game to work in this format?

If it has been done how? or how would you do it?


I used to run 4e D&D on RPoL about 12 years ago. It was a lot of work, but definitely doable. I built my maps in PowerPoint, with a labeled grid (letters on one axis, numbers on the other axis), and this is how we communicated where everyone was moving.

I updated the map every combat round based on the PCs and NPCs actions. I would post this map to the game thread for visual reference. Again, just a lot of work, but doable. I ran (and completed) three 4e campaigns using this method.

Interestly, I ended up going back to theater of the mind combat using simpler rules systems after completing the third 4e campaign. To me, gridded combat wasn't really worth the effort in PbP...not that I didn't enjoy those campaigns...just too much work!

:)
engine
 member, 824 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Sun 14 Mar 2021
at 20:08
Re: Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
In reply to pawndream (msg # 7):

I don't use maps anymore either. I do still run 4th Edition D&D here, though.
liblarva
 member, 689 posts
Sun 14 Mar 2021
at 20:14
Re: Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
GreenTongue:
I have found that any level of frustration can be enough to have players stop posting.

Have you had luck avoiding that?


Players will disappear on you. Thereís literally nothing you can do to prevent it. Run your game the way you think is best. Be fair. Communicate with your players. Admit when you make mistakes or something goes wrong. Ask for input from your players. But in the end, if youíre the DM, itís your call. Even if it were possible to be perfect, players would still drop out. Some players will be frustrated no matter what you do. Do the best you can and keep moving forward.

I think simpler systems and theater of the mind or zones or abstract positioning work best for PbP games. Precise maps and 5í squares are simple to do at the table but a pain for PbP. Be up front with your players and the ones who enjoy what youíre doing will keep showing up.

This message was last edited by the user at 20:16, Sun 14 Mar.

DBCowboy
 member, 50 posts
 Played rpgs since about
 '81 (D&D Basic ed)
Sun 14 Mar 2021
at 20:21
Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
I had good luck with the approach MrKinister describes.  Maps created on Roll20 including numbered hexes (or squares, your preference) helped players indicate their movement.

I think allowing players to login to make their moves on Roll20 and post everything else here could also work.
nauthiz
 subscriber, 712 posts
Sun 14 Mar 2021
at 21:53
Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
Unless you're springing the map stuff on players as a surprise (generally I'm a believer that the logistics of a game should be presented by the GM as part of the information available when you're doing an RTJ for the game, or hashed out while the game is starting up) you can't stop a player that decides to flake out, but you can maybe reduce the chance by eliminating obstacles.

I've been in games where both the GM maintained map method was used, as well as the "here's a site with a map, everyone move your stuff" method was used, and both can work.

Once you decide which method you're using, make sure your map is easy to read.  It can be tempting to want a nice geographically big map, but I've had a few occasions where stuff was jut too zoomed out and not at a high enough resolution to easily read.

Label the map.  Again, some things might be obvious, but if a thing is important, label it directly, or stick a symbol on it and include a legend/key.  It'll just make things easier rather than having to jump between the text and the map to match things up.

Coordinate your grids.  Use a grid/hex/etc, even if the game system doesn't call for one.  Unless players are moving their own tokens, it's easier to have them post that they're moving to C3 and then attacking enemy Y, then to have them post "I move to attack enemy Y" and it turns out they wanted to be left/right/behind said enemy.

Clarity and communication generally wins the day, and will maybe help people have fun and stay frustration free, which might reduce the chance of them flaking out on you by some percentage.
truemane
 member, 2153 posts
 Firing magic missles at
 the darkness!
Mon 15 Mar 2021
at 01:36
Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
Currently I use Google Sheets and just import backgrounds and tokens. And I post the link at the end of my battle post, and people move their own tokens around. I don't play games where there's a huge need for tactical minutiae, but this method works really well for me.
MrKinister
 member, 119 posts
Mon 15 Mar 2021
at 01:44
Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
That's quite fine a setup. I know other GMs who do that and it works fine for them.
praguepride
 member, 1772 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Mon 15 Mar 2021
at 20:12
Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
I ran a pretty successful Necromunda game. We got through several rounds/several months before things fell apart.

Overall as long as you have a map making tool like Maptools and can tweak the rules a little bit where appropriate it is entirely feasible to do a miniatures skirmish game.

The downside is it puts a LOT of work on people to actually update the map and keep the game moving. Either you need players to be able to update their own maps (via a shared space like google docs or roll20) or you need a super active mapmaker who can keep things flowing.

While it was going through it was great!
GreenTongue
 member, 943 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Mon 15 Mar 2021
at 23:57
Re: Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
praguepride:
While it was going through it was great!


This is what I expect. Also, the effort wearing everyone down till the game ends from exhaustion.

I hoped there was a better way I just hadn't though of.
praguepride
 member, 1773 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Wed 17 Mar 2021
at 21:25
Re: Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
There are other sites that have virtual table tops that would allow for easier, movement and display. RPOL is great from a GM controlled experience but it kind of stumbles in "GM-less" spaces where you would want to be able to have everyone playing the ability to update maps and stuff.
GreenTongue
 member, 945 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Thu 18 Mar 2021
at 17:07
Re: Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
Persistent tables are hard to find.
There are many "live" ones but asynchronous play, like you have here, is part of the draw.
MrKinister
 member, 120 posts
Thu 18 Mar 2021
at 19:48
Re: Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
I stand by Roll20 as a persistent table.

When I used to use it to run maps here on RPoL, it was possible to create a game on Roll20, invite the players of this site to join there, and then the map would be available anytime they logged into Roll20. We only used it for mapping, so they could take a look at the map anytime they wanted and move their tokens around. It was always available for anyone.

There was a small bit of prep work that needed to be done so things remained honest: the tokens had to be prepared and dropped on the table by the owner of the game (GM), then appropriate permissions had to be granted to each player account so they could only move their own tokens. It was a bit of a front-loaded work system, but it paid off once it was all setup. And the tokens, once appropriately managed, would retain their settings and could be reused freely.

The only downside for me was that we would lose history of the battle afterwards, as there was no way to keep track of the token positions during moving rounds other than take screenshots of the map as each action was taking place. I can capture a large map easily on graphics software, mapping software, or anything I may be using at the time, but with Roll20 it was a bit harder on larger maps, since you had to shrink the field quite a lot in order to get it to fit into the screen real estate. The larger the map, the smaller the visible details as you had to zoom out far get the whole thing in. But that may be just my problem.

They also have dynamic lighting, colored lighting, multiple vision/sight ranges, and other token markers that make a GM's job easy in large, busy battles.

You could, of course, also use something like Photoshop or GIMP, to manage your tokens and map action, but there is something nice about having the players be able to log in, see the map, and move exactly where they want to.

Your mileage may vary, of course.
GreenTongue
 member, 946 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Thu 18 Mar 2021
at 20:00
Re: Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
I have a feeling that this sort of thing, what you describe, is cutting into the usage of RPoL.

While here you have an accurate log of every recorded action, a more graphical interface is certainly attractive.
DBCowboy
 member, 52 posts
 Played rpgs since about
 '81 (D&D Basic ed)
Thu 18 Mar 2021
at 20:21
Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
MrKinister:
The only downside for me was that we would lose history of the battle afterwards, as there was no way to keep track of the token positions during moving rounds other than take screenshots of the map as each action was taking place.


This was actually a benefit of simply taking a snapshot of the map on Roll20 each turn and adding it to the action post here on RPol.  We could always look back in the thread here and confirm prior positions.  I just did it when new round started, not after each individual player or NPC moved.  It was work but manageable and really helped everyone understand the layout and distances for games that need that
MrKinister
 member, 121 posts
Thu 18 Mar 2021
at 21:27
Re: Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
GreenTongue:
I have a feeling that this sort of thing, what you describe, is cutting into the usage of RPoL.

While here you have an accurate log of every recorded action, a more graphical interface is certainly attractive.

I thought so as well, and it was a consideration for me. Hence, the agreement was that all gaming was to actually happen here on RPoL, where RPGs were concerned. The only time anything happened at the Roll20 maps was when tokens needed to be moved. It's worked ok so far.

But that would be quite different for a skirmish game where the gaming is the token movement.
praguepride
 member, 1775 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Fri 19 Mar 2021
at 13:25
Re: Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
For my Necromunda game we did snapshots. The "mapper" would update via maptools or whatnot, take a screenshot and then post it to Imgur or something and then drop it in the thread.

That way you could see the game progress turn over turn but again, this is a lot of work.
GreenTongue
 member, 947 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Fri 19 Mar 2021
at 17:22
Re: Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
I don't mind the work so much as the loss of players after having done it.
Jewwk of Shuu
 member, 17 posts
 "I cast: Pro: Sandwich"
 GM: "But WHY?!"
Sat 20 Mar 2021
at 14:24
Re: Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
I'll start with a caveat: I don't play miniature based games.

But I ran into something I thought might help with miniature movement style games.

A free site called Dungeon Map Doodler is a pretty solid map-making tool. Maps can have multiple, fully toggle-able layers, and customized "stamps" can be uploaded to act as the miniatures.

Like other online tools, you can save as an image for upload to imgBB or whatevs.

Unlike other (free, useful) online map tools I've found, this site allows free offline work thru a chrome extension.

The kicker is you can save the map file (separate from the final image) for later editing: so each set of miniature movements is as simple as loading the saved map on their site, moving each "stamp" with a click and drag. Resave map, re-DL image file, and voila!

It's VERY simple to move the miniatures without hassle or screwing other map elements up.

The UI is simple and intuitive.

May not be a perfect solution, but not needing to login or join while still using a powerful online map generation tool may appeal greatly to some.

Hope someone finds this useful! :)

Edit: It's key to note that this process allows for each "game state" to be saved as a map file vs. as a snapshot image, which seems more elegant and useful (not to mention less work).

I'm not 100% sure linking to off-site stuff is allowed, so apologies to mods if this isn't kosher:

 https://dungeonmapdoodler.com/draw/

This message was last edited by the user at 14:26, Sat 20 Mar.

GreenTongue
 member, 948 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Sat 20 Mar 2021
at 16:11
Re: Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
Looks interesting.
evileeyore
 member, 472 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined August 2015
Sun 21 Mar 2021
at 01:59
Re: Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
Jewwk of Shuu:
https://dungeonmapdoodler.com/draw/

On, noice.  I like that it has layers that work intuitively.
MrKinister
 member, 124 posts
Sun 21 Mar 2021
at 02:33
Re: Miniature Movement in Skirmish Type Games Too Difficult?
There is also this pretty cool mapping tool. Like the doodler, with slightly different details. Both are ok.

https://probabletrain.itch.io/dungeon-scrawl