Help Me Brainstorm Categories of Battle Map Encounters

edited March 2012 in Story Games
(Note: this is cross-posted on the Paizo forums here.)

I would like to create adventures for each of the Paizo Flip-Mats that I own. They are pretty maps!

Please help me brainstorm categories of battle mat encounters!

I'll start with five examples. What have I missed?

1. The Simple Skirmish

The PCs start near one edge of the map. Their opponent(s) start somewhere else on the map. Roll initiative.

2. Fortify and Defend

The PCs have time to plan and set up defenses on the map. Then their opponents arrive, usually from a predictable side of the map.

3. Ambush!

The PCs are minding their own business when opponent(s) attack! This time the opponent(s) have had a chance to fortify or otherwise arrange the initial combat parameters to their own advantage.

4. Non-Combat Tactical Help

Some danger is spreading: fire, flood, poison gas, etc. The PCs must run about providing help while remaining wary about the threat's positioning.

5. Resource Use Puzzle

Similar to an ambush but without combat (at least initially). The PCs arrive with the map arranged to favor the opponent(s). They must use skills, strength, and cleverness to accomplish some goal--often despite recognizing that they are entering a trap. Perhaps they must rescue someone, find something, deliver something, eavesdrop on someone, etc. Often there is a sense of urgency, either that time will run out for them to do their job or that the opponent(s) might be arriving at any moment.


  • --A Chase: PCs have some number of turns of movement before the pursuer enters a map edge.
    --A Pursuit: This time the PCs are doing the chasing.
    --A Caravan: PCs are attacking a moving, perhaps linear target (wagon train, rail, etc)
    --Boarding action! Using the ship maps.
    --Meeting Engagement: (Like simple skirmish but with hidden movement).
    --Recon: PCs' mission is to discover something without being detected, requiring getting to a certain point on the map or a certain vantage point and observing the target for some number of turns. If detected go to a chase or skirmish.
    --Withdrawal: PCs must exit the map within a certain window of time but also prevent the enemy from exiting the map along the same edge.
    --A Hunt: PCs must flush out, chase, and defeat some wild animal, escaped fugitive, or whatever...
  • Based on my time in Team Fortress 2:
    • Escort: Transport the MacGuffin from Point A to Point B while under attack. Make it heavy, fragile, or prone to panic according to taste.
    • Capture The Flag: Much like the flip of Fortify/Defend, but the goal is to have unmolested time at the objective.
  • A couple more:
    Raid: Get to a location on the map destroy what's there, gather information, etc. And get out. (Probably much like wombleton's Capture the Flag but the PCs must also get out!)
    Hostage Crisis: Get in fast or stealthily and rescue the hostages.
  • Lots of good ideas. Thanks!
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