Hey ChatGPT, Make Me Some Wargame Rules

An experiment in AI game design using some prompts into ChatGPT-3.5, circa October 2023.

Prompt: As a game designer working in the style of Osprey Games Rules, create a set of simple wargame rules for a tabletop minitatures game.

Creating a set of simple wargame rules for a tabletop miniatures game in the style of Osprey Games Rules involves focusing on accessibility, historical accuracy, and streamlined mechanics. Here’s a basic outline of such a ruleset:

Title: Osprey Miniatures Warfare: A Skirmish Game

Components Needed:

* Miniature figures representing historical units
* A playing surface (3’x3′ recommended)
* Six-sided dice (D6)
* Measuring tools (rulers or tape measures)
* Counters or tokens to track game effects

Game Setup:

1. Players each select a historical faction and gather the corresponding miniatures.
2. Place terrain pieces (e.g., trees, buildings, rocks) across the playing surface.
3. Decide on a mission or scenario, such as “Hold the Line,” “Rescue the Hostage,” or “Destroy the Enemy’s Camp.”
4. Deploy miniatures according to scenario rules, typically within a certain distance of each player’s table edge.

Game Turn:

1. Players take turns, starting with a dice roll to determine who goes first. The player with the highest roll chooses.

2. Each player’s turn consists of the following phases:
a. Activation Phase: Choose one unit to activate.
b. Movement Phase: Move the activated unit up to its maximum movement value.
c. Shooting Phase: If the unit is within range of an enemy, roll dice to resolve ranged combat.
d. Melee Phase: If the unit is in base-to-base contact with an enemy, roll dice to resolve close combat.
e. End of Turn: Resolve any end-of-turn effects or conditions.

3. Play alternates between players until all units have been activated.

Unit Stats:
Each unit is defined by a few key statistics:

* Movement: The maximum distance the unit can move in a single turn.
* Range: The effective range of their ranged attacks.
* Attack: The number of dice rolled when attacking in ranged or close combat.
* Defense: The number needed to successfully defend against an attack.
* Morale: Determines a unit’s ability to withstand morale checks.

Dice Mechanics:

* To hit or succeed at an action, players roll a D6 and must equal or exceed the target number.
* Rolling a ‘6’ is often a critical success or special effect, while a ‘1’ is typically a critical failure.

Combat Resolution:

* In ranged combat, the attacking player rolls a number of dice equal to their unit’s attack, and the defending player rolls a number of dice equal to their unit’s defense. Compare the results to determine hits and damage.
* In close combat, both players roll a number of dice equal to their unit’s attack, with the highest results dealing damage to the opponent.

Morale Checks:

After taking casualties, units may need to make a morale check. Roll a D6, and if the result is greater than or equal to the unit’s morale value, it passes the check. Otherwise, it may flee or become disordered.

Winning the Game:

The game typically ends when one player achieves the objectives set in the scenario, such as eliminating all enemy units, capturing a specific location, or achieving a particular goal.

These rules provide a basic framework for a tabletop miniatures wargame in the style of Osprey Games. Players can customize and expand upon this foundation to suit their preferred historical period or specific miniatures collection, as well as add more complexity or detail as desired.

Expand on how damage is determined by the dice rolls under Combat Resolution.

Certainly, let’s expand on how damage is determined by the dice rolls in the Combat Resolution of your tabletop miniatures wargame.

Combat Resolution – Determining Damage:

In your game, whether it’s ranged combat or close combat, the process for determining damage relies on rolling dice. The outcome of these dice rolls will determine the effectiveness of the attacks and the impact on the targeted units.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown:

1. Ranged Combat:
* The attacking player rolls a number of dice equal to their unit’s Attack value.
* The defending player rolls a number of dice equal to their unit’s Defense value.
* Each die roll is compared individually. For each die that equals or exceeds the target number, it’s considered a hit.
* The number of successful hits is then used to determine the damage inflicted on the defending unit.
* You can use a simple system like “1 hit equals 1 damage” or introduce more complexity by assigning damage values to different types of attacks (e.g., rifles do more damage than pistols).

2. Close Combat:
* In close combat, both the attacking and defending players roll a number of dice equal to their unit’s Attack value.
* Each player counts the number of dice rolls that equal or exceed the target number (often the unit’s Defense value).
* The player with the most successful hits inflicts damage on the opposing unit. You can use the difference between successful hits as the damage inflicted.
* For example, if the attacking player rolls 4 hits and the defending player rolls 2 hits, the attacking unit inflicts 2 damage.

3. Modifiers:
* You can introduce modifiers that affect the dice rolls, making combat more dynamic and strategic. These modifiers could be based on factors like cover, the unit’s experience level, the weapon used, or special unit abilities.
* For instance, being in cover might add a bonus to the unit’s Defense value, making it harder for the attacker to hit. An experienced unit might receive a bonus to their Attack or Defense rolls.

4. Critical Hits:
* Consider including critical hit mechanics for added excitement. For example, rolling a ‘6’ on the dice could result in a critical hit. Critical hits might deal extra damage or have special effects, like causing the enemy unit to become disordered or lose morale.

5. Damage Resolution:
* Determine how damage affects units. Units can have a set number of hit points (HP), and when the total damage taken equals or exceeds their HP, the unit is eliminated.
* Alternatively, you could use a more detailed system where units have different hit locations (e.g., head, torso, limbs). The dice rolls could determine where the damage is dealt, potentially affecting a unit’s abilities or mobility.

Remember that the level of complexity in determining damage should match the overall complexity of your game. Simplicity is often a key aspect of Osprey Games Rules, so consider the depth of detail you want in your combat system and how it fits into the overall experience of your miniatures wargame.