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Determining the Win Condition

7 replies [Last post]
Joined: 08/04/2009

Hey, everyone. I'm having trouble thinking of different ways to end a game based on battlefield combat. For the sake of simplicity, assume the game is a traditional war in a medival setting, complete with knights, calvary, catapults, and of course the occasional dragon.This would be a multiplayer game where each player is a general, commanding their forces like any good general would do.

The game is based around building your army and engaging in combat many times over the course of the game. I dislike the idea of having "life" like in traditional trading card game conflict.

Knowing life isn't used (the reduction of an opponent's score to zero), what additional victory conditions would be appropriate for a war setting?

A friend had the idea of warring over territory and whoever controls the most territory at the end of the game wins. But if a reduction of a score to zero isn't used as the battle win condition, what else could be?

Joined: 10/12/2013
Multiple ideas come to

Multiple ideas come to mind:

-Time limit, whether IRL or in game turns;
-Number of combat encounters, whether total or per player (e.g. when one player finishes their 6th battle);
-Conquest of a particular location;
-Conquest of the last neutral location, if they exist;
-X amount of troops are dead;
-CTF-style: getting an item an bringing it back to your capital;
-Holding location X for Y amount of turns;
-Asymmetrical goals: maybe each team has their own victory condition;
-Opposed to losing life, you could gain VPs through various means, up to a certain amount.

Hopefully there's an idea in there that makes sense in your game.

Joined: 12/27/2014
I think jvallerand has

I think jvallerand has provided a great list, but I wanted to chime in:

Regardless of what other condition you choose, I would recommend putting a time limit on there with a determining of winner based on some other criteria. This prevents the game from lasting forever. Players can always ignore the game end if they like, but it always sucks to have to "call it" because we've been playing for 8 hours and there's no end in sight.

DifferentName's picture
Joined: 09/08/2013
Multiple Paths

Multiple paths to victory is often fun. Maybe consider what the armies are fighting over, and how a real battle would end. Maybe there's some kind of key location that needs to be defended or taken, or an opposing leader that you're trying to kill. There could also be morale that causes troops to retreat when it gets too low. Maybe this feels too much like life as a rating that drops to 0 and makes you lose, but could be used in more interesting ways thematically. Like overall morale dropping as soldiers are defeated, but also dropping or raising through other methods, like being outnumbered or achieving side goals.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
It is important to keep in

It is important to keep in mind how many players/teams you allow in your game.

If you only have 2 teams. Than the game has more progress in general. But with 3 teams, you have a chance for an impasse. In that case, I suggest having asymetric goals. Or a goal to race to. Like reaching a certain number of troops.

Joined: 08/04/2009
Thanks for all of the

Thanks for all of the replies! Really appreciate the feedback.

Having spent a lot of time playing deck building games and drafting trading card games, I've really developed a love for the non-traditional approaches (not simply drawing cards) of acquiring cards. I'd very much like to build a non-traditional approach like one of the previously mentioned methods into this game. The problem I see is that 1) There are already one hundred deck builders out there and 2) Using the units/allies/troops to generate income and/or generate battlefield presence could be quite clunky. Hmm...

Any experience with something like this?

Joined: 08/04/2009
This is actually an idea I

This is actually an idea I had a year ago for a deck building game (although the method of acquiring cards cound change). If anyone would like to check it out and provide feedback, that would be greatly appreciated! :)

I was thinking the turn sequence could work like this:

1. Initiative
2. Action
3. Combat
4. Discard
5. Draw

#1 Initiative phase determines who will begin both the Action and Combat phases. The player with Initiative will start each of these rounds.

During #2, the Action phase, you could play Allies, Tactics, and Relics from your hand into play. The player with Initiative begins this. Your area of the table is set up in four different zones: deck, discard, active, and spent. Tactics that aren't Continuous would enter in the spent zone. All other cards enter into the active zone, As Relics are Continuous and Allies are always placed active. These card types provide you with a currency to purchase cards with. At the end of your Action phase, discard any remaining cards from your hand and in your spent zone. At this time, you should only control Relics, Tactics that are Continuous, and Allies.

Play is then passed to the left, allowing each player to play their hands in their own Action phases. Once all players are out of cards and have completed this phase, we move on to the next phase.

#3 Combat phase is going to be a phase where all players will take turns having a combat, just like the Action phase where each player got a chance to play out their cards. Combat will begin with the player with Initiative. I should mention here that Allies have a star called Damage which is used to inflict damage to other players and Allies. This player may attack with his Allies one at a time at any player. For example: I control 3 Allies and I'm playing against 3 opponents. I could attack Ally #1 into Player 1, Ally #2 into Player 2, etc. Each Ally can only attack once. Once it attacks, it moves back into the spent zone, meaning it can no longer take any actions for the turn. To keep players feeling "in the game" and always included, I like the idea of players being able to defend against an Ally attack by choosing an Ally to defend with. Allies can only defend in the active zone, so Allies in the spent zone cannot be used to defend with. Defending does not move them to the spent zone.

Once all players have had a combat phase, we move to phase #4, discard. Everything in play that isn't a Continuous Tactic or Relic is discarded.

The last phase is Draw. Each player draws 5 cards (not up to five).

Praxis's picture
Joined: 11/21/2014
Point system?

This is really interesting topic, as I'm considering the same question for my light tactical sci-fi game.

Point scoring (victory points) is a fun mechanic if implemented well. If these are played openly, then players can use it to determine how far ahead they are. It can also provide a nice urgency during the game, as the other players try to close the gap on leading players.

Perhaps a mix of open and secret mission objectives that provide points would work well. The combination of the two inherently provides multiple paths to victory.

Just a few off the top of my head:

Assassinating a particular hero character
Finishing the battle with a certain amount of troops
Capturing a certain resource or location
Drawing the enemy to a particular location
Winning the battle before a certain number of turns
Drawing the battle out a certain number of turns
Hoarding resources/re-enforcements (if they are in the game)

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