Uniting the Editions - things needed for the the 4e experience in D&D Next

In the wake of Pedantic's interesting question "4th Edition - what is it really?" on RPG.net I decided to collate that thread into a single document with most of the reasons many of us favour 4e and on which 5e appears to simply not be delivering at present. And I'd like some help and advice as to anything I've missed.

(This is a work in progress with a master copy in Gdocs - feel free to comment there - and I've already run it past rpg.net and enworld)

The design goal of D&D Next is to ensure that anyone can play their favoured version of D&D in D&D Next. So far for 4e players (WoTC’s only current customer base), this appears to be a miserable failure. A failure that is not helped by a regular apparent refusal of the D&D Next development team to acknowledge the way 4th edition worked starting with Monte Cook’s “Passive Perception” and most recently with Tom LaPille claiming that the Reaction action is a new thing when it is exactly the same as the 4e Immediate Reaction action, thus giving the impression that he either doesn’t know the rules of 4e or doesn’t care about them. I’m not sure which would be worse - either indicates that the D&D Next team doesn’t care about their only current customer base joining in with D&D Next. And a significant proportion of us have game loyalty rather than brand loyalty and so will not leave 4th to return to earlier, and in our opinion, worse editions of the game.

So here are a list of things 4e does that are, I believe, integral to the experience of playing 4e, and that D&D next appears to have avoided. I shall tackle each in turn, illustrating how each is a part of 4E, and then how it fails to materialise in the current drafts of D&D Next.


  • Balance - Power

  • Balance - Flexibility

  • Clear design and purpose

  • Clarity and Cohesion

  • Teamwork and tactics baked in to the system

  • Options and Variety in play

  • Ease of Play

  • Ease of DMing

  • Monster Design and Tactics



Balance - Power

Power balance is a huge thing in 4e but there are fundamentally two rules that need to be kept to for a system to be sufficiently balanced.


  • Each class needs to be the best at something

  • What each class is best at should come up regularly and not be made irrelevant


Part 1 means that if we have a class called “fighter” then that class must be the best at fighting. It should not be possible to switch them out for a cleric without anyone noticing much of a difference. 2e and even post-Unearthed Arcana 1e understood this; fighters gained Weapon Specialisation making them extremely lethal. In 4e there are very few classes (Seeker and Binder) that come to mind that are supernumeraries. And I don't have to look over the PCs character sheets before setting the challenges.

Part 2 means that being “best at climbing and jumping” probably isn’t worth bothering with if the wizard can cast fly (that said, “Wire-fu master” effectively means the same thing and the 4e Monk is an extremely nice class). More to the point, being ‘best at mundane hiding’ is somewhat pointless if the wizard can cast invisibility and has a vast array of other spells.

In the D&D Next Playtest we can already see the fighter having problems with power balance. The Warpriest with one casting of Crusader’s Strike and equalising stats, weapons, and themes, hits about as hard as the fighter. And is within one Healing Word of the fighter’s hit points. This means to put things very simply the Fighter is not best there is at what he does. He’s merely a rival for it - and a very clear design goal for the War Domain was to be as good at fighting as the fighter.

Balance - Flexibility

Balancing flexibility essentially means that every PC should be able to contribute something to almost every scene but no PC should be able to dominate all scenes. We don’t get the “Decker Problem” from Cyberpunk 2020 where when the Decker/Netrunner is hacking no one else is doing anything. This is a massive worry with Vancian casting when the Wizard can reset his spells from day to day - and hardly a worry at all with AEDU design.

Fundamentally this is hard to balance with primary spellcasters when you have different resource allocation rates. But it seems to barely have been tried in D&D Next. When the wizard gains spells he gains things like Charm Person, and the clerics things like Command and Silence. The fighter gains … nothing. They just gain the ability to Kill More Stuff. (The Rogue at least gains night vision which is a good start).

Clear Design and Purpose

How is everything meant to fit together? 4e is pretty obvious normally if you have the right kind of mind. Aspects like roles and power sources show you clearly what a class is meant to do - that said, aspects and power sources aren’t the only way to do it. A one or two sentence tag and then building everything around that would suffice. For the 4e Monk it would be “Wire-fu martial arts master.” For the fighter it would be “Warrior fast and skilled enough to exploit even the smallest openings”.

When there’s no central theme but merely a grab bag of abilities, the class normally fails. Good examples here are of both the 1e and 3.X monks, both of which fundamentally did not work as they didn’t know what they wanted to do (the 3.X monks being especially bad as the multiple attacks and the fast movement couldn’t work together). And then there was the failing by being too strong of the 3.5 Druid.

D&D Next does not appear to have this level of clarity. Mike Mearls himself has said they are not sure what to do with the fighter - and they are working on the idea of a second theme. The Guardian theme doesn’t focus on the how at all, to the point that both the Guardian feats use the same form of action and therefore can not be used together.

Teamwork and Tactics baked in to the system

In 4e the team is stronger than the group as individuals. Defenders can do much more damage if they have allies. Leaders, especially Warlords, revolve around teamwork, and controllers are masters of setting people up for someone else to bash - but can rarely win a fight on their own. The combat portion of the game is one of teamwork; the only people who don’t directly both empower and rely on others are strikers. And the skill challenge rules when used narratively encourage teamwork in a way simple skill checks don’t - each member should be working out how to bring what they are best at to assist in the task.

In D&D Next, there seems to be precisely one ability made explicitely to assist your allies - the Guardian’s Shield Block. Also there is one spell in the preview (Battle Psalm) that buffs the whole party. Beyond that, literally every other ability a character has is ‘selfish’. Teamwork, especially focus fire, may happen. But you aren’t encouraged to play a group of people who can bring more out of each other than they would bring to the party themselves. The fighter does his thing (bashing) as the wizard does his. And so far there’s no group skill challenge mechanic to encourage players to work together that way.

Options and Variety in Play

In 4e every character has a minimum of two at will attacks and one encounter power - and these can be fairly distinct. If you don’t want options you can stay in Poised Assault stance, or play an Elemental Sorceror whose combat choices are either “I burn him” or “I burn them”. But if you do, they can be as different as Direct the Strike from Brash Assault, or Storm Pillar from Freezing Burst. (For example see this fight montage using just at will powers).

This is compounded by 4e’s plethora of forced movement powers. A pit trap is not just an obstacle, it’s something to throw people in. A burning building is not just an obnoxious area to fight, but provides many ways to maneuver and make things hot for the enemy. And fighting on a narrow bridge, you are going to be trying to push each other off as you attack them. The environment really matters as something you don’t just walk around.

In D&D Next, the fighter just hits people. The rogue just stabs them (no exploiting Acrobat’s Trick and Acrobatics to show off with ‘Death From Above’ as in my example). One cleric mostly bashes enemies, the other mostly radiant lances them. Same old, same old. This is, quite frankly, tedious after 4th edition - and given the number of enemies in the Caves of Chaos, it’s grindy.

Ease of Play

With the single exception of Rituals, literally everything you need to play a 4e PC is on the character sheet other than a set list of conditions. Other than consulting the various Monster Manuals, I don’t think my 4e group has looked up a rule in play in the past year.

D&D Next returns to a long spell list, with the spells not on the character sheet. This can, of course, be fixed for the PCs with appropriate software. But will cause a lot of trouble for the DM with short statblocks.

Ease of DMing

Most of the time when DMing getting a good answer now is worth much more than the right answer later. Out of combat the Skill Challenge DCs provide an excellent rule of thumb for good DCs to use that will not break immersion and allow the game to continue without interruption. In combat I joke that I need three things to run a fight that’s interesting in its own right. 1: Interesting monsters, which the later monsters provide in spades. 2: A narrative hook for the fight (if there wasn’t one I wouldn’t be running a fight). 3: An interactive terrain feature or two - which in the case of 4e can be a simple pit or sheer hill to push monsters and/or PCs over, or a couple of patches of ice on the ground, or anything really.

D&D Next doesn’t give me quite such good generic guidelines (this can easily be fixed). The monsters are just plain dull so far - with the idea of giving all the interesting abilities to the ultra-tough leaders making taking out guards a snooze-fest, and almost every fight revolve round tactics of either “kill the leader” or “ignore the leader and defeat in detail” - neither being half as interesting as 4e. Without regular forced movement I need the interactive terrain to be active in its own right to be memorable and pivotal - a much harder proposition. Which means that the only part of interesting combats from 4e D&D Next hasn’t crippled is the narrative hook for the fight. The one that isn’t dependent on the rules.

Monster Design and Tactics

Monsters in 4e (at least in the later monster books) are distinctive and interesting. Kobolds and goblins, despite being physically quite similar, behave extremely differently just based on the statblocks. Goblins are sneaky ambushers who hide lots. Kobolds are slippery but often brave bastards who slide past all but the most skilled PCs and who have craftsmen (tunnellers) who still fight as opposed to all being brigands. And to win a 4e fight decisively, the thing to do is to prevent the monsters playing their game. It’s to melee the archers, to prevent the kobolds sliding past you, to keep the battle line at range, attack the lurkers when they appear, making sure you don’t get flanked by skirmishers, etc. A combat in 4e is therefore something to be solved as much as something to be powered through - with the enemy doing their combined best to break these solutions and solve the PCs strengths.

Monster statblocks in D&D Next generally appear to be ‘Small sack of hp’ (kobolds, rats), ‘Medium sack of hp’ (goblins), ‘Big sack of hp although smaller than a 1st level PC’ (orcs, hobgoblins), ‘Big beefy grunt’ (ogre), ‘Leader’. There’s almost no sense of solving the monsters strengths and making them play to their weaknesses (other than a ray of frost kite of a big monster). It’s all about powering through the enemy - you can’t neutralise the Kobolds advantage except by killing them, there’s no way to prevent Orcs from charging, or even the Hook Horror doing its thing. So D&D Next combat is a lot less interactive and just boils down to “kill them before they kill you” rather than "outsmart them to kill them more easily".
Hey,

I'm going to be moving this to D&D Next General Discussion since that's a better home for it,

Thanks,

Monica
I ran into some Teamworks and Tactics issues with 4E.

First of all, since I play with experienced gamers, it is very difficult for them to accept team play.  They are so used to being a group of individuals that the group for the most part is playing group solitaire.  I don't think any edition of any game should be so extremely focused on teamwork that it leaves behind the group of individuals.

Second, the amount of tactics in 4E is relatively poor, as in every other edition.  Nobody is collecting intel prior to a combat, nobody can call in support, nobody is talking about the hand signals the characters use to communicate silently.  Moving pewter minis and rolling dice has never been tactical, and I maintain that to be the truth as much for Warhammer as I do for all editions of D&D.

I acknowledge that some players do want gridded combat, and that to them gridded combat is more tactical.  I do not want to take away what other players want.  I like the idea of a team, even if I have no other players willing to implement it.  For the most part in theory I am with you.  I just feel D&D has had major issues ever bringing these theories to reality.
A well written post.  You've described things abstractly enough that it's hard to disagree on most things.  I do see some things I imagine I'll disagree with if I saw your implementation.  The key here though as it relates to 5e is that we don't have any character creation nor really sufficient data to compare powers spells etc...  So keep your powder dry and perhaps you'll soon have something appropriate to shoot at.

 

My Blog which includes my Hobby Award Winning articles.

Second, the amount of tactics in 4E is relatively poor, as in every other edition.  Nobody is collecting intel prior to a combat, nobody can call in support, nobody is talking about the hand signals the characters use to communicate silently.



Actually my group did several of those things. Add that to the tactical combat that is going on and you have quite a fair bit of tactical play.

Moving pewter minis and rolling dice has never been tactical, and I maintain that to be the truth as much for Warhammer as I do for all editions of D&D.



That is actually true. The tactical part is thinking about when, where and why you do things and trying to make your every move as effective or worthwhile as is adequade to the situation. There is plenty of tactics going on, just not in the singular part of either moving a miniature from one point to another or rolling some funny-shaped dice.

All in all, I'd say you missed your mark by an extensive degree. 4E is very tactical. You might not have made use of the tactical possibilities it offers, but that does not mean there are no tactics.

Should be an easy distinction, actually.

These things can be done with DM adjudication, sure.  4E still does not lend itself to tactical combat.  Just because you can do it in 4E does not mean 4E was designed well for it, or even designed for it at all.  Anyone can house rule.  That doesn't make the game you are house ruling any better.
Second, the amount of tactics in 4E is relatively poor, as in every other edition.  Nobody is collecting intel prior to a combat, nobody can call in support, nobody is talking about the hand signals the characters use to communicate silently.



Actually my group did several of those things. Add that to the tactical combat that is going on and you have quite a fair bit of tactical play.

Moving pewter minis and rolling dice has never been tactical, and I maintain that to be the truth as much for Warhammer as I do for all editions of D&D.



That is actually true. The tactical part is thinking about when, where and why you do things and trying to make your every move as effective or worthwhile as is adequade to the situation. There is plenty of tactics going on, just not in the singular part of either moving a miniature from one point to another or rolling some funny-shaped dice.

All in all, I'd say you missed your mark by an extensive degree. 4E is very tactical. You might not have made use of the tactical possibilities it offers, but that does not mean there are no tactics.

Should be an easy distinction, actually.

These things can be done with DM adjudication, sure.  4E still does not lend itself to tactical combat.  Just because you can do it in 4E does not mean 4E was designed well for it, or even designed for it at all.  Anyone can house rule.  That doesn't make the game you are house ruling any better.

Actually, at least in comparison to 3.5, I found 4e did really well with tactical combat, both the planning (collecting intel, calling in support, communicating nonverbally) and the in-combat stuff (choice of what power to use/how to use it, in a given situation). The in-combat stuff is very baked into the rules, but the planning stuff, in my experience, thrived because it wasn't really codified. I always found myself impressed with the way my players would come up with planning stuff. In fact I was so impressed, I stopped giving mechanical enhancement items (+X Sword of Y), and switched over to inherant bonuses. That way I could give stuff like "phosphoresent Chalk" and the like, to see how they used them. None of it needed to be given rules, and may have even suffered if the rules were set in place for planning and the like, because then it would have become yet another skill-check or the like. 

I am currently raising funds to run for President in 2016. Too many administrations have overlooked the international menace, that is Carmen Sandiego. I shall devote any and all necessary military resources to bring her to justice.

These things can be done with DM adjudication, sure.  4E still does not lend itself to tactical combat.  Just because you can do it in 4E does not mean 4E was designed well for it, or even designed for it at all.  Anyone can house rule.  That doesn't make the game you are house ruling any better.



Bwuh?

Truly bewildering.

4E lends itself very well to tactical combat. What it takes, though, is admittedly a DM whom is interested in more than '10 foot wide hallway battles'. Why, I'd say 4E lends itself most of all current RPG's for tactical combat.

Also where do you get the absurd notion about houseruling? This wasn't even part of the discussion as of yet, I'd say. Certainly not in my posting.

Sigh.

Care to elaborate on your position with real arguments and not stuff like "moving miniatures is not tactics!", please? I'd like to actually wholly destroy your argument here. Humor me, my good man, and give me real arguments why 4E does not lend itself to tactical combat, as per your statement?

You do realize there are entire underground modules in 4E?  4E advocates fighting in a 10 foot hallway on numerous occasions.

As Avric pointed out, those things are not possible with the rules.  Those parts aren't codified.  Anyone who wants to add them has to make things up off the cuff.  Which is fine, since it happens at virtually every table.  But it is not an inherent strength of a game system to leave vast swaths of tactical/strategic orientation to the DM's imagination.

I'm not sure how "Moving minis is not tactics" is not a real argument.  But if you really need the pedanticism, here it is.

Tactics can be defined as "conceptual actions implemented as one or more specific tasks" or "the art or science of disposing military or naval forces for battle and maneuvering them in battle."  Neither one lends itself to D&D.  Combat often occurs in ways that prevent the party from starting with a conceptual action.  Rarely is any party deployed.  In fact most often the monsters have a greater concept of their actions and superior deployment techniques.  Calling D&D an art or science is, well, just don't go there.

Honestly, I think all of your bullets are really good points.

The downside to this post is by bringing up the "editions" this is likely to spiral off topic =(


  • Balance - Power

  • Balance - Flexibility

  • Clear design and purpose

  • Clarity and Cohesion

  • Teamwork and tactics baked in to the system

  • Options and Variety in play

  • Ease of Play

  • Ease of DMing

  • Monster Design and Tactics



Are all really important things that will need to be in/improved for the system to kick some ass.  I really need to crash, but I'll try to comment back tommorrow with some thoughts.
Please collect and update the DND Next Community Wiki Page with your ideas and suggestions!
Take a look at my clarified ability scores And also my Houserules relevent to DNDNext
Ah, so you entirely dismiss the whole tactical combat set-up, with all kinds of tactical decision-making and the like because there are no rules for hand-signs? Is that about the gist of it?

No, because there are no rules for tactical deployment, gathering intel, or the development of a clear military objective due to lack of intel.
Now you're just cherry picking to try and prove me wrong.

Ah, so you entirely dismiss the whole tactical combat set-up, with all kinds of tactical decision-making and the like because there are no rules for hand-signs? Is that about the gist of it?



Arguing with some of these folks is just a bad idea- you can talk until you are blue in the face but you will never get anywhere

And yes I know that a) some of them probably feel the same way about me and b) I should probably heed my own words but y'know I'm just not too bright at times
 
Wow, shots at both me personally and all of prescriptive language now.  Along with the third person Kierkegaardian negation, I am going to have to ask if you have read the post on Respect and Edition Wars.

"Belittling or harassing others or their ideas is not acceptable anywhere in the forums, but that is doubly so for these playtest forums. It's not about which edition is better. It's not about which edition is winning. It's not about the various champions for each edition getting in the last word. It's about making the next iteration of D&D the best it can be for all of us."

I am here to make DDN the best game it can be.  Not to make it the game I want to.  Not to puff up my ego.  Not to be anybody else's ego whipping boy.  Not to be mentioned in passing in a thread I am actively in.  If that is what others want to do, I request they read the aforementioned thread and decide if this forum really is for them.
First off, to the OP, excellent list.  I'll try to come up with any additions or critiques in the near future (after sleep, that ever present enemy of productivity).

For now, I'll skip the pointless (and off-topic) argument about 4e being tactical or not (it is) and various arguments over semantics and the definitions of tactics (confusing tactics and strategy) and just say: 5e needs what the OP says it needs; some of it is absolutely necessary in the core (like balance), and some might work as modular rules (tactics?), but it is definitely needed if WotC hopes to build the edition they claim they want.

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan

Yes. Everything in that list is exactly what I'd want to see.

Some minor critiques:



Balance - Flexibility

...

Fundamentally this is hard to balance with primary spellcasters when you have different resource allocation rates. But it seems to barely have been tried in D&D Next. When the wizard gains spells he gains things like Charm Person, and the clerics things like Command and Silence. The fighter gains … nothing. They just gain the ability to Kill More Stuff. (The Rogue at least gains night vision which is a good start).



 To be honest, we don't have a clear idea on how spellcasters learn new spells beyond gaining several at level-up. If they worked just like 3.5, where Divine spellcasters prepared from a huge pool of spells and Wizards could acquire new spells from scrolls and spellbooks, then sure, their flexibility would be a huge concern. If they instead work only as written currently, in that casters learn about 3 spells per character level and that's it, it probably wouldn't be too problematic; that's 60 different spells learned at most, which I'm pretty sure is a number possible by dedicated 4E Mages, and that didn't create a balance.

 IMO the casters' current flexibility isn't a problem; it's that the Fighters and Rogues aren't flexible enough. 



Clear Design and Purpose


...

Monster Design and Tactics



Eh, it's still a bit too early to judge. Certainly, the latter has been addressed by the devs before.

Chakra is clearly confusing tactics and strategy.  Strategy is the long term deployment, intelligence, logistics and planning of a military campaign.  Tactics are the desicions made on the battlefield to outmanuver the opponent and overpower their forces.  D&D is not nor has it ever been overly strategic.  That being said 4e is fantasticly tactical.  Other editions have been viable games for tactical play but 4e is the first to really hit the nail on the head.

Here is a good example of what I am talking about.

Real Time Strategy (RTS) games are games of strategy where you build a base, gather information then compose and deploy forces in an attempt to overcome an enemy doing the same.  This is srategy, you are doing a lot of big planning about how your campaign is going to go (so long as you don't zerg rush in the first 3 minutes) and you are doing very little tacticaly beyond basic deployment of troops (unless you have Korean level APM)

Turn Based Tactical (TBT) games on the other hand are predominantly tactical, you are concerned with moving troops on a map to take advantage of terrain and their inherent abilities in order to directly overcome enemy forces.  You do very little information gathering and your deployment is simple at best, you do get chances to outfit your troops in most games but this is usualy a very simple process of climbing the gear and stats ladder.  

I hope this clears a few things up for you Chakra
Chakra is clearly confusing tactics and strategy.  Strategy is the long term deployment, intelligence, logistics and planning of a military campaign.  Tactics are the desicions made on the battlefield to outmanuver the opponent and overpower their forces.  [...]

I hope this clears a few things up for you Chakra

Very well written. And I am glad I did not follow my initial instinct and try to write a response to Chakra. Yours is perfect.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Well, from the perspective of a player who left due to the last edition, here's a review of where I find agreement and where I do not.


  • Each class needs to be the best at something

  • What each class is best at should come up regularly and not be made irrelevant



Agreed.  If a class is not best at something (and in the case of something like the bard, best would be defined as 'best utility') there is not much point in having it be its own class.  And if that thing at which it is good at never comes up, thats not very fun.  It isn't a fun game if you put a lot of points into your diplomatic skills and the GM is the type to never let you have an RP out for any potential situations for example.  In Pathfinder, as another example, the nerfing of traps and of ability loss/Save or Die affects triggering off those traps made the rogue worthless.

That said, wizards should not be stripped of their 'real magic' in order to make everyone else good.  Mages should be able to go invisible or fly.  Magic is supposed to offer functional utility in situations where those types of powers would be useful.  The rogue is still best at the surgical strike and the trap removal.  The cleric at healing damage and conditions.  The fighter at absorbing damage.
 

Balancing flexibility essentially means that every PC should be able to contribute something to almost every scene but no PC should be able to dominate all scenes. 



I do not agree with this goal.  It is artificial to say that all PCs should be able to contribute to every scene.  If the PCs are talking to the king trying to get him to loan his soldiers to their noble cause, the rogue doing good juggling should not equate to the noble Paladins impassioned diplomatic arguments for militaristic fidelity and a call to arms.

     
Clear Design and Purpose


 
 Class gives you a breakdown of their clear game design and purpose, but it doesn't need to pigeon hole or define in terms of things like "striker" or "leader".  That is allowing class to supercede the individual's character design goals.

  
Teamwork and Tactics baked in to the system



 Requiring such a thing is yet again artificial.  The value of teamwork and tactics should be self-evident.  We focus fire on an enemy rather than spreading our damage so he is removed from combat faster.  I cast haste on the group losing my single attack but granting three to four teammates an additional one and thus profiting the group.  That is fine.  But artificially forcing triggers to increase output is just so hacked.

  
Options and Variety in Play



I am generally in favor of some options, but the AEDU slowed combat to the point of unenjoyable because there were too many actions that needed to be addressed.  Giving some basic combat options like parry, charge, and power attack are sufficient to keep combat quick and still exciting.

  
 
Ease of Play


 
This is a good goal.  Being able to confine most information to a char sheet is a good thing generally, and reducing the amount of accouting is a positive.  However, the danger is that once again spells will be reduced for its sake.  One of the biggest complaints with the latter day version of the game is that magic was indirectly eliminated.
  
Without regular forced movement I need the interactive terrain to be active in its own right to be memorable and pivotal - a much harder proposition. Which means that the only part of interesting combats from 4e D&D Next hasn’t crippled is the narrative hook for the fight. The one that isn’t dependent on the rules.



Forced movement is the other big complaint with the recent version of the game.  It is so gimmicky and gamist to include such a plethora of it in character abilities and then couple it with abuse of something like a pit trap or lava flow.  A trip attack, the occasional "gust of wind" spell, etc is not problematic but the whole 'push/pull/slide' mechanic turns the game into a minis sim.
 
Monster Design and Tactics


 
A fair point here, but the playtest was mostly just vanilla creatures.  As they are fleshed out, the means of engaging them will become more relevent.

I'd trade it all for a little more! Grognard? Is that French for awesome?

Ah, so you entirely dismiss the whole tactical combat set-up, with all kinds of tactical decision-making and the like because there are no rules for hand-signs? Is that about the gist of it?

No, because there are no rules for tactical deployment, gathering intel, or the development of a clear military objective due to lack of intel.
Now you're just cherry picking to try and prove me wrong.




Personally, I think you mean more stratigic htan tactical.  Combat as war more than combat as sport.

4e is quite tactical, but it is less stratigic. 

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

These things can be done with DM adjudication, sure.  4E still does not lend itself to tactical combat.  Just because you can do it in 4E does not mean 4E was designed well for it, or even designed for it at all.  Anyone can house rule.  That doesn't make the game you are house ruling any better.



I would argue that tactics shouldn't be something that is expressed overly in the system. While some players may like that (and there could be supplements for such things) I really enjoyed discovering tactical funsies on my own.

Two examples:

We had a fun combo where I would lay down ice traps, the monk would shove a group of enemies around so they landed in them- granting them cold resistance 5 which our druid would capitalize on with his chill wind ability.  This was not something the game said we should do, but we discovered the combo by trial and error and now we like to use it as our signature move.


A monster attacks our group and we're floored by the amount of damage we keep taking.  I make knowledge checks midcombat to find out what my character knows (and tell the other characters) about the monster's capabilities.  This often draws the attention of the monster if it speaks common, but now we are all better able to deal with the monster and can capitalize on the information in whatever way works for our characters.


These are both usable in any edition of dnd.  I can see the argument that they should be front and center in the rules, or that they should be things you discover as you play- as we enjoyed discovering them.

I think what would be best is to have the books speak to the concept of joining the community and sharing your experiences and asking how you can tactify your group (if you want to add it to your group) but allow players to not be overloaded by what may feel like "forced" tactical concepts.

what do you think of that?
Please collect and update the DND Next Community Wiki Page with your ideas and suggestions!
Take a look at my clarified ability scores And also my Houserules relevent to DNDNext
Bravo, Neonchameleon, I think you did a good summary of the concepts that really made 4E interesting for those who liked it. There are many ways to build rules around these concepts, and I am quite sure the designers could find a way to follow these conceptual guidelines while making a pleasant game for everyone.

At diversionArchitect : your first example shows that having "tactical tricks" for characters ( spells, maneuvers, etc) does not limit the ability of players to find innovative tactics. Powers, terrain features, maneuvers,etc, can be combined by a given team in new and interesting ways. That's a great part of the interest of 4E for me : you can improvize /imagie /create tactics, and you have more tools for it, because each characters has special tricks giving new tactical opportunity.
Remember Tunnel Seventeen !
At diversionArchitect : your first example shows that having "tactical tricks" for characters ( spells, maneuvers, etc) does not limit the ability of players to find innovative tactics. Powers, terrain features, maneuvers,etc, can be combined by a given team in new and interesting ways. That's a great part of the interest of 4E for me : you can improvize /imagie /create tactics, and you have more tools for it, because each characters has special tricks giving new tactical opportunity.



The only worry is that suggestions might end up making it feel like characters need to have roles- I'm all for open suggestions like:
you'll want to use this knock around ability on enemies near hazardous terrain to maximize its effectiveness.  Your alllies may be able to provide hazardous terrain as well!



To quote more game-y practices, I don't want it to feel like
-I hope someone in my party has X ability or my ability Y won't be nearly as fun.

I'd like to see tactical things presented in a non-specific way so you can still discover the fun interactions unique to characters and not require that every team have a "fire area attack" in order to play with abilities that combo with it.  If that makes sense. 
Please collect and update the DND Next Community Wiki Page with your ideas and suggestions!
Take a look at my clarified ability scores And also my Houserules relevent to DNDNext
I like the post. It gives a great shot of what peopole see as 4th edition spots and strong points. And makes me understand that 4th edition is not designed to be a game I like. Here is why:


  • Balance - Power


Hot hopic for many people. I just do not care about game balance. For me an rpg is a story told in a world that emulates some real world stuff with the addition of fantastic elements. And in such a world there is no greater force that makes everyone equal. People can be weaker, or stronger and choiches in life are utterly unequal. I like the idea that low level spellcaster are weaker than other character but once they manadge to master the arcane (or divine) powers they become stronger than everyone. So I never had any trouble with umbalanced games. But that's just my opinion.


  • Balance - Flexibility


That's another think I do not care, and in roleplay I even prefer the opposite. Some classes, like rogues and rangers, require to be flexible to survive, they can find in every sort of situation along their life so they always need a trick in theire sleeves to survive. A barbarian instead, or a paladin even more needs lessflexibility. Barbarians must learn a way to survive in the wilds, but allmost any other problem will be solved with "I crush!". A paladin is even more devoted to a one way phylosophy, so flexibility is even less required.

So as much as I agree that no one must dominate every momoent of the game, some character are forced by their own chiuches to be more flexible, so to be at home in more situations.


Can dn next make both of us happy? I belive it is possible. If modular design is just as promised, or even a little less, they can include every balancing powers and even some umbalanced one, maybe with a little advice that an experienced dm is more suited to handle the situation, and I can remove the ones that makes little sense for me, where you can ignore the more umbalanced ones.
I do hope we will get to this kind of situation, we only have to wait and see. 


  • Clear design and purpose


Here again we just cannot say what is going to happend. But this is a part where I agree, even if what I want clear is the class concept. What the class is going to do in game depends only on that. Themes can be just a goodway of delivering a more precise purpose to a class without limiting the possible concepts playable.
As for fighter and other class, again, the way is still long. Be patient. 


  • Teamwork and tactics baked in to the system


Teamwork is all for good. And I hope as much as you to see it, even in rules. Provided the rules does not limit my possibilities to improvise and come with new ideas.
As for tactics, it's just another part of the game I do not care. I can live well enought with the simple playtest combat rules. And developers stated many times that a module with tactical combat rules is going to be present in the base game.


  • Options and Variety in play


Another point wee agree, but we want in different ways. I do not like that all classes worked mechanicaly the same as they did in early 4th edition. That's not the sort of variety I want. I love options, I love subsets of rules, I love different mechanics for every classes or even for the same class.


  • Ease of Play


I agree, but I belive this happend in every edition and will keep on


  • Ease of DMing


Since it looks like I'm one of the few that had little problmes dming 3rd edition I don't think I can speak here.


  • Monster Design and Tactics


Well monster design in next is just at bare bones, if not evel less. Developers wrote a lot about monster design after playtest started so I belive we are going to see loat of changes. As for me, I just want a good fluff and mechanics that allow me to use it. As I said I?m not much interest in combat since it never had an important part in my games and I get bored when I have to fight too much.


So we want different things in our game. Will next make both of us happy? If the modular game work as intended yes. That's my hope. 
Chakra is clearly confusing tactics and strategy.  Strategy is the long term deployment, intelligence, logistics and planning of a military campaign.  Tactics are the desicions made on the battlefield to outmanuver the opponent and overpower their forces.  D&D is not nor has it ever been overly strategic.  That being said 4e is fantasticly tactical.  Other editions have been viable games for tactical play but 4e is the first to really hit the nail on the head.

Here is a good example of what I am talking about.

Real Time Strategy (RTS) games are games of strategy where you build a base, gather information then compose and deploy forces in an attempt to overcome an enemy doing the same.  This is srategy, you are doing a lot of big planning about how your campaign is going to go (so long as you don't zerg rush in the first 3 minutes) and you are doing very little tacticaly beyond basic deployment of troops (unless you have Korean level APM)

Turn Based Tactical (TBT) games on the other hand are predominantly tactical, you are concerned with moving troops on a map to take advantage of terrain and their inherent abilities in order to directly overcome enemy forces.  You do very little information gathering and your deployment is simple at best, you do get chances to outfit your troops in most games but this is usualy a very simple process of climbing the gear and stats ladder.  

I hope this clears a few things up for you Chakra

By most definitions of the term, the first part of tactics is strategy.  It is the lack of the strategic aspects in D&D that lead me to object to it being called tactical.  I have no problem admitting that.  It proves my point for me.
As a Civ and DoW fan, thank you.
i just have to say...it's terrible storytelling when you have a group of protagonist, and 1 of them is completly useless, and the rest are made completly redundant by the overpowered 1 or 2 mary/gary stu on the group...
By most definitions of the term, the first part of tactics is strategy.  It is the lack of the strategic aspects in D&D that lead me to object to it being called tactical.  I have no problem admitting that.  It proves my point for me.
As a Civ and DoW fan, thank you.



Please commence making sense.

Strategy is not tactics, and tactics is not strategy. Saying DnD is not tactical because it is not strategic is a non sequitur. And vague, apparently logically inconsistent generalizations unsupported by any argumentation do not prove your point.   

 

"What is the sort of thing that I do care about is a failure to seriously evaluate what does and doesn't work in favor of a sort of cargo cult posturing. And yes, it's painful to read design notes columns that are all just "So D&D 3.5 sort of had these problems. We know people have some issues with them. What a puzzler! But we think we have a solution in the form of X", where X is sort of a half-baked version of an idea that 4e executed perfectly well and which worked fine." - Lesp

 By most definitions of the term, the first part of tactics is strategy.  It is the lack of the strategic aspects in D&D that lead me to object to it being called tactical.  I have no problem admitting that.  It proves my point for me.
As a Civ and DoW fan, thank you.



Strategy: the science or art of combining and employing the means of war in planning and directing largemilitary movements and operations.

Tactics: the art or science of disposing military or naval forces for battle and maneuveringthem in battle.

The overlap you are talking about doesn't exist, these are two seperate things.  Certainly there is overlap just not the overlap you are infering.  Both are used in the same context and to be a good military leader you need both.  However the absence of one does not mean the absence of the other.

What you are saying is the equivilant of saying that if I am using a brush and paints on a canvass to create images I am not painting.  Because Painting is a part of art and seeing as I am not dancing, singing and acting as I paint I am not doing all of art and therefore cannot be doing any part of art thusly I am not painting.  Tis a silly thing. 

D&D 4e is very tactical, you manuver your forces and utilize their abilities to gain advantage and overcome opposing forces.  That is a tactical persuit, this is an undeniable objective fact based on the common defenition of the term.

However perhaps I should just give up. your cup is full, I cannot teach you.
By most definitions of the term, the first part of tactics is strategy.  It is the lack of the strategic aspects in D&D that lead me to object to it being called tactical.  I have no problem admitting that.  It proves my point for me.
As a Civ and DoW fan, thank you.



Please commence making sense.

Strategy is not tactics, and tactics is not strategy. Saying DnD is not tactical because it is not strategic is a non sequitur. And vague, apparently logically inconsistent generalizations unsupported by any argumentation do not prove your point.   

Okay then.  Back to the dictionary.

Strategy.  The science or art of combining and employing the means of war in planning and directing large military movements and operations.

Tactics.  The art or science of disposing military or naval forces for battle and maneuvering them in battle.

Wow.  Look pretty similar to me.  But you know, that is rarely enough for people around here.  let's go to the Greek.

Taktikos.  The matters of arrangement.

Strategia.  Generalship.

By the dictionary, D&D doesn't have a lot of tactics in it.  After all, it is a General who arranges his troops.

Now in common modern military descriptive parlance, tactics are broken up into strategy, tactics, and ops.  I'd argue D&D is all ops, and almost nothing else.

But you know, feel free to disagree with the dictionary and the Greeks.  Realize though that Greek was likely a prescriptive rather than descriptive language.  Most languages in antiquity were.
Okay then.  Back to the dictionary.

Strategy.  The science or art of combining and employing the means of war in planning and directing large military movements and operations.

Tactics.  The art or science of disposing military or naval forces for battle and maneuvering them in battle.

Wow.  Look pretty similar to me. 



Only if you have entirely misunderstood the concept of scale and the difference between a battle and a war.



But you know, that is rarely enough for people around here.  let's go to the Greek.

Taktikos.  The matters of arrangement.

Strategia.  Generalship.

By the dictionary, D&D doesn't have a lot of tactics in it.  After all, it is a General who arranges his troops.




No, in small unit tactics it is often the troops that arrange themselves. And if they are taking cover, using terrain, developing fighting techniques (powers, if you will), then they are using tactics.
     

Now in common modern military descriptive parlance, tactics are broken up into strategy, tactics, and ops.  I'd argue D&D is all ops, and almost nothing else.




Then modern military descriptive parlance does not make sense. You can't have your general category also be a subset of that category. Tactics can't be divided into something else AND tactics itself. That makes no sense.    

Furthermore, D&D is not ops. It is a small-unit tactical simulation.    

 

"What is the sort of thing that I do care about is a failure to seriously evaluate what does and doesn't work in favor of a sort of cargo cult posturing. And yes, it's painful to read design notes columns that are all just "So D&D 3.5 sort of had these problems. We know people have some issues with them. What a puzzler! But we think we have a solution in the form of X", where X is sort of a half-baked version of an idea that 4e executed perfectly well and which worked fine." - Lesp

Okay then.  Back to the dictionary.

Strategy.  The science or art of combining and employing the means of war in planning and directing large military movements and operations.

Tactics.  The art or science of disposing military or naval forces for battle and maneuvering them in battle.

Wow.  Look pretty similar to me. 



Only if you have entirely misunderstood the concept of scale and the difference between a battle and a war.



But you know, that is rarely enough for people around here.  let's go to the Greek.

Taktikos.  The matters of arrangement.

Strategia.  Generalship.

By the dictionary, D&D doesn't have a lot of tactics in it.  After all, it is a General who arranges his troops.




No, in small unit tactics it is often the troops that arrange themselves. And if they are taking cover, using terrain, developing fighting techniques (powers, if you will), then they are using tactics.
     

Now in common modern military descriptive parlance, tactics are broken up into strategy, tactics, and ops.  I'd argue D&D is all ops, and almost nothing else.




Then modern military descriptive parlance does not make sense. You can't have your general category also be a subset of that category. Tactics can't be divided into something else AND tactics itself. That makes no sense.    

Furthermore, D&D is not ops. It is a small-unit tactical simulation.

It says battle, not a battle.  As in combat, regardless of scale or theatre.  But you already knew that.

The troops arrange themselves?  They talked to the C-40 pilot to arrange transport, appropriated all of their own gear, decided on their own LZ, and chose the nature of the engagement?  Wow.

Yes, modern military parlance makes no sense.  Thank you for agreeing with me.

Okay then.  Back to the dictionary.

Strategy.  The science or art of combining and employing the means of war in planning and directing large military movements and operations.

Tactics.  The art or science of disposing military or naval forces for battle and maneuvering them in battle.

Wow.  Look pretty similar to me.



I am starting to think your reading comp might be a little on the low side.  

Tactics are for battle they exist in manuvering and utilizing forces to ovecome enemy forces in battles

Strategy is for large military movements (A.K.A war) a series of battles, intelegence gathering and and troop movements that is organized with overarching objectives beyond simple victory on the field of battle.
might want to read this:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tactic_(method)

The terms tactic and strategy are often confused: tactics are the actual means used to gain an objective, while strategy is the overall campaign plan, which may involve complex operational patterns, activity, and decision-making that lead to tactical execution. The United States Department of Defense Dictionary of Military Terms[1] defines the tactical level as








...The level of war at which battles and engagements are planned and executed to accomplish military objectives assigned to tactical units or task forces. Activities at this level focus on the ordered arrangement and maneuver of combat elements in relation to each other and to the enemy to achieve combat objectives.

If, for example, the overall goal is to win a war against another country, one strategy might be to undermine the other nation's ability to wage war by preemptively annihilating their military forces. The tactics involved might describe specific actions taken in specific locations, like surprise attacks on military facilities, missile attacks on offensive weapon stockpiles, and the specific techniques involved in accomplishing such objectives."

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

might want to read this:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tactic_(method)

The terms tactic and strategy are often confused: tactics are the actual means used to gain an objective, while strategy is the overall campaign plan, which may involve complex operational patterns, activity, and decision-making that lead to tactical execution. The United States Department of Defense Dictionary of Military Terms[1] defines the tactical level as








...The level of war at which battles and engagements are planned and executed to accomplish military objectives assigned to tactical units or task forces. Activities at this level focus on the ordered arrangement and maneuver of combat elements in relation to each other and to the enemy to achieve combat objectives.

If, for example, the overall goal is to win a war against another country, one strategy might be to undermine the other nation's ability to wage war by preemptively annihilating their military forces. The tactics involved might describe specific actions taken in specific locations, like surprise attacks on military facilities, missile attacks on offensive weapon stockpiles, and the specific techniques involved in accomplishing such objectives."


We already mentioned that modern military tactics redefines the terms.  You know, in posts 30, 31, and 32.

might want to read this:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tactic_(method)

The terms tactic and strategy are often confused: tactics are the actual means used to gain an objective, while strategy is the overall campaign plan, which may involve complex operational patterns, activity, and decision-making that lead to tactical execution. The United States Department of Defense Dictionary of Military Terms[1] defines the tactical level as








...The level of war at which battles and engagements are planned and executed to accomplish military objectives assigned to tactical units or task forces. Activities at this level focus on the ordered arrangement and maneuver of combat elements in relation to each other and to the enemy to achieve combat objectives.

If, for example, the overall goal is to win a war against another country, one strategy might be to undermine the other nation's ability to wage war by preemptively annihilating their military forces. The tactics involved might describe specific actions taken in specific locations, like surprise attacks on military facilities, missile attacks on offensive weapon stockpiles, and the specific techniques involved in accomplishing such objectives."


We already mentioned that modern military tactics redefines the terms.  You know, in posts 30, 31, and 32.




dEfinately dont see anything in those posts that seem to define tactical vs stratigic.

Either way, you are quite wrong, 4e is quite tactical, it lacks in stratigic play but it abounds in tactics. 

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

might want to read this:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tactic_(method)

The terms tactic and strategy are often confused: tactics are the actual means used to gain an objective, while strategy is the overall campaign plan, which may involve complex operational patterns, activity, and decision-making that lead to tactical execution. The United States Department of Defense Dictionary of Military Terms[1] defines the tactical level as








...The level of war at which battles and engagements are planned and executed to accomplish military objectives assigned to tactical units or task forces. Activities at this level focus on the ordered arrangement and maneuver of combat elements in relation to each other and to the enemy to achieve combat objectives.

If, for example, the overall goal is to win a war against another country, one strategy might be to undermine the other nation's ability to wage war by preemptively annihilating their military forces. The tactics involved might describe specific actions taken in specific locations, like surprise attacks on military facilities, missile attacks on offensive weapon stockpiles, and the specific techniques involved in accomplishing such objectives."


We already mentioned that modern military tactics redefines the terms.  You know, in posts 30, 31, and 32.




dEfinately dont see anything in those posts that seem to define tactical vs stratigic.

Either way, you are quite wrong, 4e is quite tactical, it lacks in stratigic play but it abounds in tactics. 

They don't define the terms.  I never said they did.  I said they talk about how the modern military has coopted these terms.  You'll have to go back to the previous page for the definitions.
They don't define the terms.  I never said they did.  I said they talk about how the modern military has coopted these terms.  You'll have to go back to the previous page for the definitions.



did you edit?  I could have sword it said pages 6, 7 and 8...

 

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

i think one should also bring up the concept of "scope"

a character in 4th ed starts off as effectively a well-trained elite. should he get in combat can take a few blows, has a few aces up his sleeve and is skilled enough in things relating to the "adventuring" profession.

but as the game progresses, the overall scope of his challenges progress upwards also.

the barred, wooden doors our hero encountered at level one splinter apart with ease when he's level 10 and the iron doors of level 10 fear him enough to open themselves when he's level 20, fearing he might just rip them out off their hinges and toss them aside like trash.

the same goblins that terrorized his village and nearly killed him in his early career moved two provinces away when they heard whispers that he's coming back from his adventures, as they no longer pose even the slightest threat to him.

a character in 4th ed might only have had a mechanical illusion of getting better, his target "to hit" number never really fluctuating if he kept up with his bonuses, but the scope of the things that could challenge him did very well go up.

my biggest worry about 5th ed is that the characters shown, they never seems to get better, they just seem to get more stuff.
3rd ed SRD, character sheets, errata & free modules 4th ed test drive - modules, starter rules, premade characters and character builder & character sheet, errata Free maps and portraits, dice, printable graph paper, campaign managing website, image manipulation program + token maker & zone markers

"All right, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD! I DON'T WANT YOUR **** LEMONS! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE?! DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER! Make life RUE the day it thought it could give CAVE JOHNSON LEMONS! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'M THE MAN WHO'S GONNA BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that's gonna BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" -Cave Johnson, Portal 2

The troops arrange themselves?  They talked to the C-40 pilot to arrange transport, appropriated all of their own gear, decided on their own LZ, and chose the nature of the engagement?  Wow.



Allocation and deployment of resources (troops, equipment, ect.) is perview of strategy, therefore handled by officers.

What Hurin meant is that once the troops were on the ground they moved themselves into position and made desicions on their own about who they targeted with their fire, where they moved to and how they utilized special gear like grenades, RPGs, ect.  Of course the CO in charge gave them orders to do some of these things but probably didn't babysit each of them in every choice. This is tactics, admitidly small scale modern tactics but tactics none the less.  Also small scale modern tactics (ones that take into account heavy weaponry and armored vehicles) are probably a good analogue to how a party of adventurers would handle their tactics. 
They don't define the terms.  I never said they did.  I said they talk about how the modern military has coopted these terms.  You'll have to go back to the previous page for the definitions.



did you edit?  I could have sword it said pages 6, 7 and 8...

I did, sorry.  The posting phase renumbers the most 10 recent posts, which screwed me up.  Mea Culpa.

The troops arrange themselves?  They talked to the C-40 pilot to arrange transport, appropriated all of their own gear, decided on their own LZ, and chose the nature of the engagement?  Wow.



Allocation and deployment of resources (troops, equipment, ect.) is perview of strategy, therefore handled by officers.

What Hurin meant is that once the troops were on the ground they moved themselves into position and made desicions on their own about who they targeted with their fire, where they moved to and how they utilized special gear like grenades, RPGs, ect.  Of course the CO in charge gave them orders to do some of these things but probably didn't babysit each of them in every choice. This is tactics, admitidly small scale modern tactics but tactics none the less.  Also small scale modern tactics (ones that take into account heavy weaponry and armored vehicles) are probably a good analogue to how a party of adventurers would handle their tactics. 

Outside of direct engagement, there is a lot of babysitting in a modern military.
I have to disagree that a D&D party is analagous to a single unit group.  A D&D party has no command structure, so they must do the work of the CO and General themselves.  The closest unit structure that is analagous to is deep embedded Spec Ops.  I'd have to call that an exception that proves the rule and my point.
Outside of direct engagement, there is a lot of babysitting in a modern military.
I have to disagree that a D&D party is analagous to a single unit group.  A D&D party has no command structure, so they must do the work of the CO and General themselves.  The closest unit structure that is analagous to is deep embedded Spec Ops.  I'd have to call that an exception that proves the rule and my point.



I have to disagree, most games I have run or have played in the party is under someone.  weather it's a patron or another kind of employer or a general, etc...

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

  Outside of direct engagement, there is a lot of babysitting in a modern military.
I have to disagree that a D&D party is analagous to a single unit group.  A D&D party has no command structure, so they must do the work of the CO and General themselves.  The closest unit structure that is analagous to is deep embedded Spec Ops.  I'd have to call that an exception that proves the rule and my point.



So the individuals in the group are deciding their own tactics. There are still tactics then, by definition, right? 

Is a DnD character deciding to take cover? He is using tactics. Is the Wizard choosing to use a power to push a monster into a pit? He is using tactics. Is one character knocking another down so that others can do more damage? They are using tactics. 

Please explain how these tactics do not exist in your world?

 

"What is the sort of thing that I do care about is a failure to seriously evaluate what does and doesn't work in favor of a sort of cargo cult posturing. And yes, it's painful to read design notes columns that are all just "So D&D 3.5 sort of had these problems. We know people have some issues with them. What a puzzler! But we think we have a solution in the form of X", where X is sort of a half-baked version of an idea that 4e executed perfectly well and which worked fine." - Lesp

  Outside of direct engagement, there is a lot of babysitting in a modern military.
I have to disagree that a D&D party is analagous to a single unit group.  A D&D party has no command structure, so they must do the work of the CO and General themselves.  The closest unit structure that is analagous to is deep embedded Spec Ops.  I'd have to call that an exception that proves the rule and my point.



So the individuals in the group are deciding their own tactics. There are still tactics then, by definition, right? 

Is a DnD character deciding to take cover? He is using tactics. Is the Wizard choosing to use a power to push a monster into a pit? He is using tactics. Is one character knocking another down so that others can do more damage? They are using tactics. 

Please explain how these tactics do not exist in your world?

Those aren't tactics.  Militarily, that is the operations level.  Byt the dictionary, that is only maneuvering, not disposing.  Or to borrow the verbiage from the definition of strategy, it is only employing the means of war.  There is no planning or directing.
Note where the "and"s are in the definition as well as the "or"s.
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