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Health systems for game units

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Anonymous

I am working on a game, but I don't know how to control the health system. I have basic, generic units, so health chips/tokens on a card wouldn't work. Each unit has a removable flag for showing which team it is on, but some units have a high amount of health so I can't have multiple flags on a unit. Does anyone have any ideas on what I could use?

Thanks in advance,
Scavenger

bluesea
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Health systems for game units

Is there enough space to turn the units on their sides? Can units with higher amounts of health have more flags? Maybe the number of flags represent the health. Or some pegs next to the flags.

It would help if you give more info about the units. What shape are they? From waht are they made?
thanks

John

Hedge-o-Matic
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Re: health systems for game units

Scavenger wrote:
...Each unit has a removable flag for showing which team it is on, but some units have a high amount of health so I can't have multiple flags on a unit...

Some questions:

Does the flag show player control, or health?

Why does this mean you can't have multiple flags on a unit? Or do you mean you can only have one flag pole on each unit? How about:

1.) Multiple flags on one flag-pole: Have one flag show player icon, while the one below it is color-coded to show health (like green/yellow/red).
2.) Have flag shape be an indicator of something: Rectangular/rectangular with triangular "bite" out of it/triangular.

Using just the color and shape indicatiors above you could show 9 states for a unit. If you added a fourth varient to each (black flag, rounded-end flag) you could show 16. Add white flags, and you can show 20 states, and so on. And that's per flag. If you have an upper and lower flag on a single pole, with just the basic three varients of color and shape you could show 81 distinct combinations of states.

Anonymous
Health systems for game units

The units are made out of cardboard and are all some sort of geometric shape. For example, a pyramid or a cube. They are around 1-2 inches in each demension. The flag pole comes out of the center. Most units only have room for one flag pole. Right now the flag only shows player control.

The colored flags would work well for the mobile units, but wouldn't work so well for the larger, stationary units (buildings). The largest building has 50 health.

Hedge-o-Matic
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Health systems for game units

Just a question, but have you made a mock-up of any of these pieces? At 1 inch square, for example, there's room for quite a bit. Two inch squares would ahve four times the surface area on top. If a 1" cube can have one flag, a 2" cube should be able to support four. I'm not saying you need to go the multiple-flag route, just that you might find a solution if you actually attempt to make these pieces. The potential for finding a solution directly is far higher if you have a piece in your hand.

Is this a minatures wargame, or something? A 2' square cube is pretty big.

In any case, I think that a modular solution is the way to go, unless you want 40 varieties of flag, each with a seperate digit, which would be stupid. Perhaps you could have the flags work like sleeves on the flagpole, allowing you to put up to three ribbon-banners on each pole. Each ribbon would have from one to five spots or squares. The bottom banner would represent units of 10 health. The middle would show units of 5 health, while the top would show individual units of health. Each flag ribbon would be identical, so able to be used on any unit, so you reuse them often.

If you color flags with one spot red, two or three spots yellow, and four or five spots green, you'd be able to tell your entire force's condition at a glance.

Hedge-o-Matic
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Health systems for game units

A response so good, I posted it twice!

Julius
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Health systems for game units

Just use different colors of flag to show ownership, and different numbers on them to show hit points remaining.

Red flag with the number 5 - Owned by Red Player, 5 hit points.
Blue flag with the number 3 - Owned by Blue Player, 3 hit points.

If ownership changes, just swap it for a different colored flag with the same number.

Or am I missing something?

lordpog
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Health systems for game units

How many units do you have?

Do most units only have 1 health?

You could put damage markers onto the units/next to them as they suffer damage.

Alternately they could start with markers equal to their health and remove them as they take hits.

P

Hedge-o-Matic
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Health systems for game units

Or ditch the "hit point" system entirely and just have each unit be hrder to destroy, but once a certain threshold is reached, it's removed. Simpler, more elegant, less work.

How is having 40 different flags, each with a different digit on them, any easier or better than having tokens siting on the table next to the unit? Answer: It's a lot more work, and that's all.

When the system in your head doesn't match the restrictions of real-world play, it's not worth it.

bluesea
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Health systems for game units

If they are cubes, can't each side be labeled with hit poits, and the top face shows the current state. Each cube can be the same color...and maybe there is no need for flags.

Sometimes to move forwad in design, we have to get rid of something that is holding us back. Maybe the flags are proving problematic. Does what I suggest above oversimplify things?

John

Julius
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Health systems for game units

Hedge-o-Matic wrote:
How is having 40 different flags, each with a different digit on them, any easier or better than having tokens siting on the table next to the unit?

Ever play 'Monopoly'? They've got this ingenious device that separates the money of different values from eachother. That way, when you need a 1, or a 5, or a 50, you don't have to sort through a pile of bills. I'd imagine you'd use something similar to keep flags of different values separate.

Personally, I hate, Hate, HATE, having to move a bunch of damage counters across the table when I move a unit. So, a stack of tokens next to my units would seem like more work.

Also, one flag with a number on it seems like a much better system than a flagpole with three stacked flags, with a pentary/trinary counting system.

TheReluctantGeneral
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Health systems for game units

How about having each unit being a stack of coloured chips of the same 2-D shape as the main piece. Then the main piece sits on top of its health stack, and the whole tower is moved as a single unit. The chip colours signify player ownership. Chips could come in say three denominations (different thicknesses for example).

This won't work if the towers become to high, or if there are too many such units in play, at which point stack management and lack of player dexterity starts to make things unplayable. With a limited number of units the height of the stack also provides a nice visual cue as to the state of forces on the board. This last point is a beef which I have always had with damage chits and counters - hard to parse at a glance.

I note however that your pieces have different shapes. If they differ in their base shape and dimesnions then this idea is probably no good.

Anonymous
Health systems for game units

Here are the parts used and some of the units:

Here are some buildings:

Here are some tanks:

And finally, here are the infantry:

The current flags denote the team they are on ('m not sure where I would put one for health). To give you an idea of size, the green flags are one square inch, not counting the toothpick.

Nando
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Health systems for game units

Instead of flags, use beads. Put the team-color bead on the bottom, and slide the health beads on and off the pole.

(The top of the pole makes a handle!)

Hedge-o-Matic
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Health systems for game units

Nando wrote:
Instead of flags, use beads. Put the team-color bead on the bottom, and slide the health beads on and off the pole.

(The top of the pole makes a handle!)

or get beads that don't slide by themselves, and can "stick" into place. Then you'd never need to remove the falg, and the beads would remain on the pole. Beads on top are points of health. Beads slid to the bottom are lost".

Of course, this still doesn't given you much room for range. Only about 5 beads would fit on a pole...

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