Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for Helicopters (and other aircraft)

One problem posed by helicopters and jets is the issue of speed and travel. In endeavoring to build a system wherein you chart a walking insect, a jeep and a supersonic jet on the same scale, you end up with problems. So, I've decided that it's not one scale, but three... - There's the insect-level travel scale (ball-parking it at meters per hour). With a base of 3 for all creatures (+ your move rating), you can travel 3 meters per hour overland. - Then there's land vehicle travel scale (ball-parking at 10 meters per hour). With a base of 3 for all land vehicles (+ your travel rating), you can travel 30 meters per hour at a base (with no movement rating). - Finally, there's air vehicle scale (ball-parking at meters per second). With a base of 3 for all air vehicles, even a simple helicopter can cover 3 meters in 1 second; in a minute, a helicopter can traverse much of the distance of the entire campaign area. Really, this is not bad as a real-world analogy. If I want to walk to Florida from New York... it's going to be a while. I can drive there in a few days, or I can fly there in a few hours. There's really no comparing the scales, and putting them on the same fundamental grid is unreasonable. There is variety in the difference between driving a van vs. a sports car, but we are talking about a few hours' difference on a two-day drive. I can take different aircraft, and we're talking a few minutes' difference on a multi-hour flight. I can be in better shape, and I might take a few days off of my several month journey overland. Regardless, the scales are so vastly different that you can argue for deriving them in different ways. The thing this avoids is having the numbers scale in untenable ways... if an ant has a move of +2, then a jeep might have a +20, and a plane might have +200. The numbers are just out of control.