Signaling and Zone of Control

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jedavis
Patreon SupporterPlayer's Companion BackerDomains At War BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara Backer
Joined: 2012-03-08 01:21
Signaling and Zone of Control

Signaling is one of those proficiencies that just doesn't ever see play. I'm considering allowing commanders with Signaling to increase their Zone of Control in Domains at War by 1 hex. The proficiency to compare this to for balance purposes is probably Leadership, which provides half a hex of ZoC increase (on average), but also provides an extra henchman / vassal slot. Thoughts?

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

You're right that Signaling is under-utilized.

What about a "Signaler" specialist. Armies that have a Signaler specialist attached to each unit and to the unit's commander increase the zone of control by 1.

 

jedavis
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Joined: 2012-03-08 01:21

I get the simulationist concern that just having one guy who knows how to signal isn't very useful, but at the same time I've honestly already mostly stopped keeping track of low-skill specialists for units, instead just assuming they're there and rolling their wages into monthly operating costs. Given there are only 38 general proficiencies, and each 0th-level man of young age and average intelligence has four of them (and they can't be duplicates), the probability that a 120-man mercenary company will have no guys who know Signaling is very small. Cutting a few corners (assuming a uniform distribution of general proficiencies), the probability that any one mercenary won't know signaling is 37 choose 4 over 38 choose 4, which simplifies to 34 / 38, about 90%, but since there are 120 in the company, the probability that at least one of the 120 will have it is 1 - (34/38) ^ 120, which is 99.9998% - so there are roughly two in a million companies without a signaler (and the average company has closer to 12 signalers - even if your culture has 3-4 different flavors of military signals, like the naval flags vs cavalry trumpets example in the book, you probably have a guy who knows the flavor that you need). Even a platoon has a 96% chance to have a guy who already knows signaling. Even assuming that each mercenary has some proficiency that they can use to earn a civilian living (labor, craft, profession, perform) and thereby limiting ourselves to three potentially-signaling general proficiencies per mercenary, it's still 99.995% that a company has at least one signaler (92% for a platoon).

So... yeah. Things I'm not going to lose sleep over. Master engineers and smiths and sages, with three or four of the same proficiency stacked up through age or Int? Sure, those guys are rare. But a one-layer general proficiency seems likely to be pretty common to me.

I look forward to your spreadsheet of general proficiency distribution within the Auran Empire's population d:

koewn
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Joined: 2012-07-17 20:11

I'd started to come under the assumption that, like baseball, knowing common signaling is part of being able to play the game; drilled into you during your training, whenever that happened; including the ability to adapt to a different method, if you're a merc.

If a given Signaling methodology is equatable to a Language proficiency, I'd want it to do a bit more, though no idea what. Off the top of my head, allowing a unit(s) to be given complex instructions so that they can completely leave a ZOC for a number of rounds and still act? Too much probably?

Sounds like a neat idea for a spell (Phantasmal Officer?)...which means it ought to be able to be reversed into a proficiency.

(edit): Also, another vote for developing the distribution of general proficiencies. ;)

 

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

Jedavis - Thanks for that thoughtful analysis! In light of your analysis, I think your rule makes good sense.

To give an analogy, any Tech CEO will have software developers working for him, but a Tech CEO who is himself an expert developer (like Gates, Jobs, etc.) is better poised to lead the company. Likewise, any Commander will have Signalers who manage his communications within his group, but if he is himself a Signaler he is able to be that much fast-acting and capable.

I would say, however, that the benefit doesn't apply to Irregular Troops.

jedavis
Patreon SupporterPlayer's Companion BackerDomains At War BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara Backer
Joined: 2012-03-08 01:21

> To give an analogy, any Tech CEO will have software developers working for him, but a Tech CEO who is himself an expert developer (like Gates, Jobs, etc.) is better poised to lead the company. Likewise, any Commander will have Signalers who manage his communications within his group, but if he is himself a Signaler he is able to be that much fast-acting and capable.

Right; you don't need a translator, and the OODA loop is tighter.

> I would say, however, that the benefit doesn't apply to Irregular Troops.

b'awww, so the orcish war-horns are just for noise and fun?... I'm probably OK with that, really.