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James McMurray
post Feb 1 2005, 03:41 PM
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How many people here use battlemats?

And of those people, how do you use the fog of war rules (observations as simple or complex actions)?

My group uses battlemats, and so far we've ignored the observation rules. But I'd like to incorporate them, and just don't know how to do it with all of the minis already on the table.
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Pthgar
post Feb 1 2005, 04:32 PM
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What the heck is a battlemat? We use hand drawn maps with little paper circles and stars to represent people.
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James McMurray
post Feb 1 2005, 04:37 PM
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In case your question was serious: a battle mat is a canvas sheet you can find at most gaming stores. Some have a square grid and others have a hex grid. You use the mat and miniatures to play out a combat. Use overhead markers to draw the different terrain, buildings, etc. The overhead markers wash off with water, and you're ready to do another scene.

With the stars, how do you know which runner can see which star without observing, and vice versa?
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Pthgar
post Feb 1 2005, 04:48 PM
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Is battlemat a brand name or generic?

I have two maps, one for the players and one for me (sometimes mine is just in my head). If there's an area that the runner's can't see clearly, I don't put down a marker. When they walk into the area I place the marker on the map.

Occasionally I get lazy and just put out all the markers. That's where the role-playing comes in. The players have to make their characters react as if they didn't know the bad guys were there.
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algcs
post Feb 1 2005, 04:49 PM
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We use a white board.
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James McMurray
post Feb 1 2005, 05:07 PM
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Battlemat is a generic name. Here's a few places to get one online. This was just a quick google search, so its almost gauranteed that a little shopping around will get you a cheaper deal.

http://shop.store.yahoo.com/gsonline/larchesbatw1.html

http://www.gameslore.co.uk/acatalog/Produc...s_Mats_168.html

http://www.scifigenre.com/itemDetail.aspx?...M&nItemID=18409
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James McMurray
post Feb 1 2005, 05:07 PM
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QUOTE (algcs)
We use a white board.

So how do you maintain the fog of war with the minis, circles, or whatever out on the board?
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tisoz
post Feb 1 2005, 05:10 PM
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When I used to use minis, I used the SR map pack and the maps from DMZ. I also used large pieces of cardboard from the boxes paper towel and TP are shipped in to draw some standard (like apartment, or restaurant) and recurring (bar) locations. Also drew some of the maps from the mods.

I used different colors for different types of theings like doors, windows, furniture, and plants. And different width of black markers for wall barrier rating approximations.
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tisoz
post Feb 1 2005, 05:12 PM
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QUOTE (James McMurray)
So how do you maintain the fog of war with the minis, circles, or whatever out on the board?

Cover parts of the map, put a marker in place of a mini until it is identified.
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Solstice
post Feb 1 2005, 05:22 PM
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what he's talking about is using the hexes or squares on a battlemat for distance and movement. He isn't talking about drawing out floorplans. Jeez, must be a new influx of RPG "newbs". :rotfl:

We use battlemats but we haven't used them for SR yet. It is much more critical to have them for AD&D because of the movement/combat system.
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James McMurray
post Feb 1 2005, 05:25 PM
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I'm not sure who the he is in that, but if its me, then yes, we do draw out the floor plans on them.
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Solstice
post Feb 1 2005, 05:27 PM
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well sure, but your not just using the battlemat as glorified cardboard. Your obviously using it because it's grided.
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tisoz
post Feb 1 2005, 05:43 PM
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The SR maps had asteric like things to mark distance. My, almost free, newbie-type cardboard had a scale in the corner, like modern road maps. Anyone wanting to know how far measured the distance with their pencil, gripped the pencil at the mark and compared it to the scale.
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algcs
post Feb 1 2005, 05:46 PM
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QUOTE (James McMurray)
QUOTE (algcs @ Feb 1 2005, 11:49 AM)
We use a white board.

So how do you maintain the fog of war with the minis, circles, or whatever out on the board?

We only draw it after you see it. And we tend to wing the distances and stuff when we draw it. If you start using player vs character knowledge then it is the GM's discression on what to do. We aren't playing Necromunda
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U_Fester
post Feb 1 2005, 05:53 PM
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QUOTE (algcs)
We only draw it after you see it. And we tend to wing the distances and stuff when we draw it. If you start using player vs character knowledge then it is the GM's discression on what to do.

I like using a whiteboard on the table because the players get a better idea what the area can look like. Only takes a minute to draw an alleyway, with buildings/doors and such as well as an intersection where cars are. We do use figurines and base the distant of the size of the figurines. This way movement is still limited to racial limits.
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Nikoli
post Feb 1 2005, 05:56 PM
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For a while I did printed battle maps, to standard figuring scale (1" = 5') then put down a faded gride on the map in 1 meter increments. then I would print them out at 100% and tape them together. Let me tell you, after doing 2 or three of those, I was sorely wanting for a plotter.
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Pthgar
post Feb 1 2005, 05:58 PM
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Well, I don't use Battlemats but when I draw out my maps I use graph paper, two sizes one for moving vehicle scale and one for normal "on foot" scale.

As for being a newb, well I've been playing various sytems (Traveller, White Wolf, Gurps, Earthdawn, and SR) for about 15 years, but I only played D&D once 17 years ago in middle school. Didn't care for it. So I guess I'm a newb.
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GrinderTheTroll
post Feb 1 2005, 05:59 PM
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We use a large (48"x108") mat too, and I've always been tempted to use a ruler and let players convert their movement to inches versus the 1m squares, but it's easy enough just using the pre-laid-out grid. Rulers do come in handy for diagonal runs or measuring long distances across our rather large playing surface at times.

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Pthgar
post Feb 1 2005, 06:00 PM
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We play on a glass top table that perfectly fits HeroClix maps. We've thought about using Clix maps and figures for SR, but then where would we roll all our dice. :)
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U_Fester
post Feb 1 2005, 06:01 PM
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Someone had posted in another thread about using the ones form Chessex Battle Mats. They are soft mats and can use water based markers on them for cleanup. Is a much better alternative than drawing out map grids.
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Pthgar
post Feb 1 2005, 06:04 PM
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I've found that maps are usefull but not truly crucial to SR. I have done runs without them. If I want to do a creepy-horror run I just hand out graph paper and let the team make their own map as I describe the setting they're moving through. Their own imagination fills in all the little details and makes it that much more scary.
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Pthgar
post Feb 1 2005, 06:09 PM
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Here is a cool little utility that I use to make different types of graph paper. It does hex, logarithmic, Bee-cell, even musical staffs.

Graph Paper
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The Grifter
post Feb 1 2005, 06:39 PM
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Hell, we always just used Fritos as the bad guys and different colored Gummi Bears as the PCs. Bad guy gets killed, eat the corresponding Frito. Saves confusion.
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hahnsoo
post Feb 1 2005, 06:39 PM
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We teleconference to play Shadowrun (three of our players, including myself, live apart from the rest of the group). We use TeamSpeak for talking and conversation and a proprietary Whiteboard software for drawing and manipulating graphics. It's a little more clunky than using an actual whiteboard or battlemat, but works for our purposes just fine.
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James McMurray
post Feb 1 2005, 07:11 PM
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I see a lot of people that use mats or something similar, but not a lot of responses on how to maintain the fog of war. How do those of you who use mats decide when to put a mini out for an enemy. What if some characters know they're there and others don't?

I know I can just rely on the players to keep IC and OOC knowledge seperate, and my group is pretty good at that. But I'm hoping to find a method that avoids that as much as possible.
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