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Zones - How do you guys use these things?

posted Jul 24, 2017 05:01:05 by J-pSpore
Hey all, I had a question about using zones in combat.

I can follow the rules about them pretty solidly up to a certain point. I get that they encompass a discrete battlefield feature (a rock, a broken down shuttle, etc.). I get that movement is defined by how many zones you travel, and weapon ranges are defined similarly.

It's that last bit, however, that I am stuck on. The way I'm reading things, zones can be any size - there could be three zones on one side of a city block, meaning that firing a phaser down a city block would be calculated at extreme range. But in another scenario, three zones could also encompass a quarter mile of a river, meaning those phasers that could barely shoot down the street are now shooting much farther with the same accuracy.

My question is this: how do you guys set up zones such that it keeps the flavor of their use, but still makes real distances meaningful?

Does this even make sense what I'm asking here?

Edit: does anyone know of a good tutorial or youtube video that would help explain how to use zones?
[Last edited Jul 24, 2017 05:08:10]
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3 replies
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PatricHenson said Jul 24, 2017 05:16:38
The idea is that visibility has far more to do with accuracy than actual distance. One important consideration, though, is that hand weapons don't have specific ranges, just ship weapons. However, grenades have a maximum range of medium-and this is one of the things I think the Gamemastering section could've had a bit more detail on-but I think in the case of several small, difficult-to-traverse zones between someone is trying to lob a grenade that you could (probably should) play with that to make it a bit more realistic.
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Shran said Jul 24, 2017 05:49:51
For me, zones can have variable sizes depending on the terrain. In an urban setting, zones are smaller. There could be one zone as a dark alleyway and another zone near a car and so on. In a wasteland, one zone is the area immediately around the shuttle, another zone is a large block to the north, another to the south, east, west.

My general rule is that zones should encompass terrain features so that players can easily remember them and use them naturally. E.g. a player says: "I'm running covering behind the car." This makes the car one zone because it's easy to remember and comes naturally when describing it.

Real distances or even consistent shapes are less of a concern for me.

I come from Savage Worlds where the battlefield was always described as a grid, and players could move 6 squares each round. Zones are far more narrative (which I prefer), and the narrative should always take precedent.
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TimKellogg said Apr 12, 2018 19:36:25
I don't know if you ever got an answer that satisfied you, but Modiphius will include a tactical ground combat system in the coming Operations Division manual.
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