Just watched the movie (love it!) and was thinking about Duncan’s final scene against the Sardaukar. Was thinking how to represent that in the rules and it seemed like neither the duel nor the skirmish rules would do it justice. Skirmish doesn’t seem detailed enough given how skilled the combatants are and how important the scene is. By the same token, Duel seems too detailed. By my count, Duncan kills 10 Sarkaudkar before going down. It seems like trying to run 10 Duels (in groups of 2-3 at a time) would take too long. It also seems like it would be very difficult for a PC to take down 10 Sardaukar in a Dueling format due to the mechanics of the action economy. Looking at the example Sardaukar in the core rulebook, Duncan Idaho as statted would have a hard time taking down one Sardaukar, let alone 10 in a row. Granted, I know the devs have said we don’t yet have the tools to really create a Ginaz Swordmaster like Duncan Idaho, so I can imagine talent(s) that would give Duncan the edge he needs, and maybe that’s a missing link.
Wondering what people think? How would you run this? Is there a skirmish+ or duel- methodology? Something that might look like tactical movement from D&D where zones are individual squares on a battlemap? I’m imagining Duncan taking up one zone/square and then having x # of guarded zones/squares around him. A Sardaukar has to be adjacent to Duncan to use an asset (i.e. attack him), and can’t move into a guarded zone without a successful roll. Anyway, food for thought.
If I was setting this up I would run it as a skirmish. More than 2 (3 at a push) participants and duels struggle due to how closely focussed they are.
I agree that Duncan would be on par with a single Sarduakar if you read them purely as per the book and treat them as a Major NPC.
In this case however I would treat them as Minor NPCs so Duncan only needs 1 hit to take them down, while they will need at least 3 to eliminate Duncan, who can then attempt to resist defeat (see him just after they start using the laser) to continue the fight.
It also fits the style of the scene, where Duncan is highlighted but the Sarduakar are faceless.
For zones I would probably only have the one, but Sarduakar would enter it at a rate of X (2?) per turn. Given that one of Duncans abilities is to be able to go first he would eliminate the initial wave as they came in, but would start suffering a build up of threat as the battle continues.
Getting through all the ones you see him deal with in the film is unlikely, but you would get closer (and have less maths to wade through) than treating it as 10 duels or simultaneous conflicts.
That is my approach anyway. But I tend to avoid Duels as I don’t like focussing on a single character that much. Skirmish is as low as I really go.
Agreed: I saw it as a skirmish as well. I am handling most fighting as skirmish, Dueling is for Kanly.
All good points. I’m wondering if there would be a way to structure the zones such that movement, specifically subtle or bold, becomes relevant. Because, if it just becomes a series of attack rolls, where the Sardaukar step into the zone, Duncan kills them one by one until they manage to attrit him into defeat, the fight would be mechanically uninteresting. Granted, I recognize the game system isn’t built for super tactical combats. Still, it seems like this particular scene, which should be extra exciting, would be mechanically bland.
Had a few more thoughts about this. Trying to come up with ways to add more dynamism into the scene.
What about if you divided the scene into 5 zones (see below diagram). Duncan starts in zone 4 and the Sarduakar enter through zone 2 at a rate of X (3/4?) per turn.
Each time a Sarduakar is killed you add a corpse token into that zone which increases the difficulty of attacks by 1 per token. That encourages players to move into new zones to do their attacks.
You could also add additional traits into the various zones if you wanted to give each of them their own identity.
Oh, that’s really cool. I like that.