I’d say yes and no; the conflict is as much a narrative as the events outside of a conflict. In a fight conflict, you could narrate the actions being simultaneous. In our fight with the turtle, I treated Johannes archery as though he were firing throughout the conflict–not just one arrow, but several in aimed shots. Therefore I narrated the defense by the turtle also as ongoing–each arrow fired in may have hit or miss, but overall, the turtle pulled back its head and lowered its shell to defend most of the time.
Sloan’s player narrated waiting for an opportune moment to slide in using Johannes’ archery as cover fire. When Tam saw that the maneuver placed him in a dangerous position, he made his move in to help Sloan get loose.
The entire narrative was very collaborative between all the players and myself. We used the dice as indications of how successful or unsuccessful a ploy turned out, but overall, the skirmish was very fast and the mice were driven off quite quickly.
In our case of negotiation, we were again using collaborative storytelling, but treated it as a lengthy negotiation period. Personally, I imagined it as a thirty minute discussion which began and ended with talk about the basket and grain, but much of the middle was economics and politics and sharing drinks together.
Last night, the patrol faced down a fox and chased it beyond the scent border. The fox acted alone and the patrol split into two teams. Although the fox did not have to share actions with a second member of his team, that didn’t give him much advantage. Although I didn’t talk about how long it took, they travelled over a great distance during their chase and it would have likley taken at least an entire day if not a few days.
When multiple mice work on a team, each member of that team will get to mark pass or fail for at least one skill or ability during the conflict. So, the mice working as a team may not get to take as many actions individually, but they will get to each practice something that will help them in the future.
The narrative determines how fluid the actions are more than the order. A player could easily narrate an Attack action as a leaping charge from a ledge downward into a terrifying assault from overhead as a single action; however, they could also describe the actions working more like steps of a greater scene, telling of beginning a Maneuver in action 1 which leads the mouse up a small ledge to Gain Position while the teammate takes advantage by pushing in against the opponent with a Defend, then completing the round with action 3: Attack from above.
We’ve used both during our sessions. I notice that with larger teams, the wait between a single mouse taking an action increases; thus, it is better they narrate their action being a complete scene unto itself rather than part of a scene that will conclude when they next take an action. This can be helped by splitting patrols into teams where the teams can also act together.
In the chase against the fox, a team of three mice and a team of two mice worked sometimes independently and sometimes merely aiding one another throughout the conflict. One of the challenges in that case was the fox had one disposition score, but had to direct actions against two unique disposition scores. Even though he might have bested one team, the second team may defeat the fox. Then multiple compromises would have been in order.
Don’t allow multiple teams until you feel comfortable with the conflict system. That is another reason that small patrols of 2-4 work quite alright.
As well, the ‘lone figure’ can accomplish much, but also must take the brunt of the defeat alone. He wouldn’t probably gain more than two skill tests either, depending on the skills appropriate to the conflict. So, he won’t gain more ground than working as a member of a team. He also can’t produce quite the same disposition score.