It is the job of the Combat Coordinator or CC to create the environment in
which the game is played and to guide and moderate the game
play. The CC is neutral and his/her only concern should be
to ensure realistic game play. Ideally you would play Phyrfight™
for some time before taking on the responsibility of Combat
Coordinator. But you may not have that luxury. Maybe Phyrfight™
is new to your group of friends and you just want to get them
interested in the game. If that is the case we suggest that
you start off with just 2 or 3 players and you keep the missions
simple. Its not rocket science but being a successful CC requires
preparation and being able to handle several lines of thought
at the same time. Give it a shot and if the players are having
fun and getting better, then you are doing a good job. You
can also contact someone on the message
board and see if they have any advice for a rookie CC.
The main thing it takes to be a CC is a good imagination and
the ability to think way outside the box, or as we like to
say around here, outside the circle. The more knowledge of
weapons, strategy, and tactics you have, the more realistically
you can control the opposing forces. And the more realistic
the game play and final outcome will be.
Teach: One of the primary roles
of the CC is to teach and mentor new players. Remember it
is not your job to get every body killed and show them how
stupid they are. In spite of the fact that they may be very
ignorant and foolish, your job is to create a mission for
them that is survivable given their current skill level. And
they should have fun too. Of course if they do too many foolish
things they will die. But after the mission is over you can
show them what they could have done differently to survive.
Then, in theory, they learn something even though they died
and will do better next time.
Create the map: We have provided a few
example maps. Your maps don't
have to be detailed unless you want them to be. You can work
on them for days or just crank one out 5 minutes before the
game, it doesn't really matter. All the really cool stuff
is happening inside everyone's head anyway. So you don't really
need a perfectly drawn map
Create and place the opposing forces and any neutrals:
You will need to put the enemy units and non-combatant
units throughout the map in any way you see fit. For example,
this may mean placing enemy units in positions to guard a
building, and non-combatants inside and around the same building.
You dont mark them on the map that the players see unless
that is part of their intel briefing. You just need to decide
where enemy units and non-combatant units will be and what
they will do.
Control the game: You must control the flow
of information in the game. If team members are physically
separated or have significantly different vantage points you
must make sure that you let only the team members that can
actually see what you are describing hear the description.
Have the other team member(s) lean away and cover his ears
or go get a drink, what every it takes to make sure he doesn't
get the advantage of the scene description. If the teammates
have radios and they think to relate what you have described,
that's okay. But if they forget to communicate they must suffer
the consequences. Shoot, Move, Communicate.
You will roll the dice for all enemy players.
It is a good idea to have a stop watch in order to force players
to make decisions in a timely manner. For example you start
the stop watch and then tell a player, you hear footsteps
coming toward you. You have 30 seconds, what do you do?
Make decisions for enemy and neutral players. (should occasionally
roll the dice to interject randomness to the actions of the
virtual players) Don't give all the virtual characters Delta
Operator skill levels. Most people in the real world have
little or no training.
Set the time of day and any meteorological conditions.
Set the parameters for a successful mission outcome.
The CC is neutral. Your job is to make the game play interesting,
realistic and fun. Ideally the players should learn something
about themselves, each other and their equipment each time
This is where Phyrfight™ is very different
from all other RPGs. Just like in the real world many things
can happen at the same time and it is the responsibility of
the CC to keep everything in sync or In Phase. Hence
the name Phase-based™ RPG. The CC can literally move
the game back and forth in time within a particular event
or series of events. For example, if your team is suddenly
ambushed, the team members would not just stand around and
twiddle their thumbs until it was their turn to do something.
Everyone would do something immediately, at the same time.
The CC moves the game back and forth, to and from that moment
in time in small increments until he has moved everybody forward
in time to some point where everything is in sync again.
Example of Phase-Based™ Play:
First the CC determines who has tactical advantage. This is
very important because if you do not have tactical advantage,
meaning you are not the first one to act in an engagement,
then you are handcuffed by reaction time and unable to do
anything for approxamatly one third of a second. That's 3
rounds of automatic weapons fire (in the game any way, in
real life it would vary considerably but for the purposes
of the game this works fine) or a single shot from a pistol,
rifle or shotgun. In other words without tactical advantage
you might start out the game, dead.
In this example lets say the team is moving down a street
at night when an ambusher opens up on you with an AK-47 from
across the street. You are player 1 of a 4 person team. The
CC has determined the skill level of this bushwhacker and
rolls the dice for him. Using the "Hit
Probability Matrix" the CC determines what he must
roll in order to hit you. He rolls the dice for each round
shot at you. You are lucky, all three rounds miss you. If
he had hit you then the CC would have rolled again for each
"hit" and used the "Damage
Chart" to determine where on your body you were hit.
Each area on the body corresponds to a number on the 20 sided
dice. Then for each hit you can look at the "Weapon
Damage Chart" to see how many hit points that caliber
weapon inflicts for each hit. Lose all your hit points and
you are dead. But as we said, you were lucky this time. The
CC says to you "what do you do now?" You reply that
you dive behind the parked car to your left. The CC explains
that the attacker follows you with the muzzle of the AK and
continues to spay lead. The ambusher did not shoot only three
rounds, he is using the rifle as a 7.62 x 39 mm hose. But
no one could react until those 3 rounds had been fired. The
car is a big old sedan and the bullets do not penetrate so
there is no need to roll the dice to see if you are hit, but
you are pinned down.
The game has moved forward in time to the point where your
initial phase is over. Now the CC moves back in time to the
same point that the ambusher opened fire on you and asks each
team member what they do at that moment in time. As players
become more experienced the CC may expect each player to act
on his own and not wait for the CC to ask what he is doing.
In other words if you do not interrupt the CC and say something
like " I drop to one knee and open fire" then he
may assume you are paralyzed with fear or indecision and just
do nothing. That would be bad. For beginners it is best to
prompt them. Once the phase is complete and time has been
re-synced and everyone has moved passed that moment in time,
it is too late to go back and relive that event. A player
may not say " But I wanted to throw a grenade."
The time to act was during that engagement phase. The players
must tell the CC what they want to do or they lose the opportunity
during that phase of combat.
If players are separated by distance it is very likely that
some players may not be locked into a combat phase while some
players are. The players not in combat are free to move at
will. The CC will have to determine how much time passes during
each part of the combat phase and tell the non phase-locked
players how much they can do or move in any given segment.
It will be the responsibility of all players to keep the CC
informed of their intentions. This sounds a lot more complicated
than it really is. Once you get the hang of the Phase-Based™
part, the game will move very fast and get quite exciting.
Kind of like, well.... combat.
Once everybody has had a chance to react, the first phase
of the combat is over. Hopefully all of your other team members
returned fire and saved your ass by killing this ambushing
bad man. If not, then the combat keeps moving forward in little
increments until the threat is neutralized, the danger is
over, or you are all dead. Tip: Don't get dead, that's a bad
thing. Unlike Unreal Tournament you don't get "respawned",
you get buried.
If one of the team members is killed, at the discretion of
the CC, he or she may re-enter the game as one of the CC controlled
players, such as a hostage or a neutral or pro freedom-fighter
civilian. It would not be fair to re-enter the game as a member
of the opposing force because you have knowledge of the mission
objectives that would make your moves unrealistic. Once the
deceased player re-enters as the virtual player/character,
the CC no longer controls that character and the killed team
member is free to do as he wishes. The CC will have to watch
his play carefully and be sure that the player's knowledge
of the mission objectives is not causing him to act improperly.
Sometimes it is just simpler to let the killed player sit
out the rest of the mission and observe.
The mission proceeds in this fashion until the objectives
are met or everyone is killed.
This is when you talk about what went wrong, what went right
and why. The CC should reveal all the information that the
team didn't discover during the mission and tell them what
they could have done differently. At this time the CC can
award experience points to those who deserve them. Sometimes
just surviving can earn points. After all that's what experience
means, they didn't get dead and they learned something that
can help them next time.