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Designing Combat Into German Style Games Is Tricky

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Anonymous

One thing about strategy games is that they are supposed to reward skillful play. German games epitomize this. They are centered around sound decision-making skills and minimal luck. They also tend to allow for comebacks; that is, all players are involved until the end and it

Scurra
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Designing Combat Into German Style Games Is Tricky

I could only think of E&T too when I tried to think of a German-style game in which combat was part of the basic structure and yet remained fairly balanced. Samurai (which was a Knizia design from about the same time) also skillfully implements a "combat" system, albeit not overtly called that, in which you need to ensure that your tiles serve double-duty wherever possible, so that a loss in one town doesn

jwarrend
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Designing Combat Into German Style Games Is Tricky

I think you make a few interesting points. Can "German" concepts be integrated with "American" game concepts? First, you mention Axis&Allies and Risk as "wargames". Have you checked out Shogun/Samurai Swords, which is the better realization of both of these games? It has a lot of "German" elements; bidding for turn order, etc. Definitely a wargame, and definitely diplomacy is important (which I don

Anonymous
Designing Combat Into German Style Games Is Tricky

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[Shogun] has a lot of "German" elements; bidding for turn order, etc. Definitely a wargame, and definitely diplomacy is important (which I don

Anonymous
Designing Combat Into German Style Games Is Tricky

One other point. "Recovery elasticity" doesn

Anonymous
Designing Combat Into German Style Games Is Tricky

It sounds to me that the subject is entirely game balance. Not so much combat vs. non-combat.

I think that people like to have the option to win the game "their way". Whereas in a "wargame" everyone has the same mission at hand, be the best at killing opponents, diplomacy, brute force whatever the means.

Other games (german in particular) often focus on management. Manage your stuff the best, you win.

Now it seems that games often have a hard time to prove the case that combining a strategy of just fighting OR just management could win any game. Which seems inherant to any system to avoid a "best strategy", like the examples cited by others, 2 players attack and always seem to lose, so it

jwarrend
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Designing Combat Into German Style Games Is Tricky

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I have not played Shogun, but I would very much like to. I love sitting down to learn/play a new game.

It

Anonymous
Designing Combat Into German Style Games Is Tricky

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It sounds to me that the subject is entirely game balance. Not so much combat vs. non-combat.

You are correct, the major issue is, indeed, game balance; however, I am still focusing on combat as I believe it is one of the main culprits of degrading game balance and destroying "recovery elasticity."

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Hmm...it seems, then, that your main beef is not, as I thought, with the random nature of combat in otherwise incredibly player-control-oriented German designs, but rather, that combat sometimes unduly punishes the players who participate. But this isn

jwarrend
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Designing Combat Into German Style Games Is Tricky

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You are correct. Again, poor combat designs result in outcomes that do not always reward skillful play. I

Anonymous
Designing Combat Into German Style Games Is Tricky

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I

Scurra
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Designing Combat Into German Style Games Is Tricky

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06-05-2003 at 22:11, Mario wrote:
1. Taking into account the fundamentals present in German-style games, how might a designer devise a combat system that works well with--not against--those principles?

Well I must say I feel somewhat outclassed by the deep discussion you two have got into over this point, but I

Anonymous
Designing Combat Into German Style Games Is Tricky

Perhaps I can throw a different spin or perspective on your post, but I

jwarrend
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Designing Combat Into German Style Games Is Tricky

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None of my posts in this thread were meant to be argumentative.

I know. Did you think I was being? Sorry if you did; I

Anonymous
Designing Combat Into German Style Games Is Tricky

About elasticity: It seems to me the "come from behind win" is very much tied to the conditions for winning and how that is designed into the game, AND pacing.

Using Settlers as an example (cuz usually everyone has played this game), I

Anonymous
Designing Combat Into German Style Games Is Tricky

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In Risk for example it is entirely possible to be wiped out of the game, and ganged up on, but it is really a design flaw? Maybe in your eyes, but the point of the game is warfare, and in a limited context, simulation. If the entire UN united against a country, chances are no matter what generals that country had, it would ultimately be wiped out.

Mind4U2C, I don

zaiga
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Designing Combat Into German Style Games Is Tricky

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07-05-2003 at 08:33, jjacy1 wrote:
Using Settlers as an example (cuz usually everyone has played this game), I

Anonymous
Designing Combat Into German Style Games Is Tricky

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I sort of got the impression (and still sort of do) that you disqualify Serenissima and Mare Nostrum from being "true German games" because they contain elements you don

Anonymous
Designing Combat Into German Style Games Is Tricky

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About elasticity: It seems to me the "come from behind win" is very much tied to the conditions for winning and how that is designed into the game, AND pacing.

So in order to win in Settlers, it

zaiga
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Designing Combat Into German Style Games Is Tricky

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Another technique I gleen from this is to include a scoreboard or some other means of always showing the current rankings. (In Settlers, although there

hpox
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Designing Combat Into German Style Games Is Tricky

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Another point. I have never played Mare Nostrum, but from what I have read it is a "building" game. You win the game if you manage to build 4 wonders/and or heroes. This is problematic, because it means that the end of the game is the same as the victory condition (I explained this also in an earlier thread). This might also introduce a Kingmaker effect.

Indeed, there is a not so uncommon endgame case where two players can build the pyramids or their fourth wonders and another player choosing the build order. :-o

jwarrend
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Designing Combat Into German Style Games Is Tricky

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More good stuff. It

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