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Idea for a combat mechanic

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linoleumblownaparte
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Joined: 02/24/2010

In this game, each player would represent a faction with special powers. Each player would have a unique hand of Combat Cards. These cards would have a strength number from 1-6. Each player would also start the game with some Influence Tokens, say 5 per player.

When one faction attacks another, both players would pick a Combat Card to play. Then each player adds how many Influence Tokens he has, and the player with the higher total wins (attacker wins ties). The winner, however, now gives one Influence Token to the loser.

Once you play a card you can't use it again until you've used all your cards, similar to LOTR:Confrontation, A Game Of Thrones, etc.

As an example: let's say the Atreides have their 3, 4, and 5 cards remaining and have 5 influence. They attack the Harkonnen who only have their 3 and 4 cards, and have 6 influence. Atreides picks 4 (total strength 9), Harkonnen picks 3 (total strength 9). As the attacker, Atreides win the tie. He also cedes 1 influence token to Harkonnen, who now has 7. This is bad news for the Fremen, who have a mere 4 influence, and against whom Harkonnen unleashes several successful attacks on his turn.

genericm
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Joined: 08/11/2009
Consider

If each time the winner gives the loser an influence token it might encourage players to 'turtle'. You would need to reward the winner also.

So your just making the leader tokens from dune into a hand of cards, and the units into influence.

Are the combat cards public? Knowing only on half of the information would introduce a "mind games" element

Btw: nice name...

linoleumblownaparte
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Joined: 02/24/2010
genericm wrote:If each time

genericm wrote:
If each time the winner gives the loser an influence token it might encourage players to 'turtle'. You would need to reward the winner also.

So your just making the leader tokens from dune into a hand of cards, and the units into influence.

Are the combat cards public? Knowing only on half of the information would introduce a "mind games" element

Btw: nice name...

Well the winner is rewarded by taking territory from the loser, and scoring territories is how you win the game... But territories have different values, so each player has to think, "Is this territory worth using one of my best cards, or I should I use a throwaway card?"

Like LOTR:The Confrontation, everyone's cards would be public (until the two dueling players secretly select their cards) so there is an element of tactics there as well.

Pastor_Mora
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Joined: 01/05/2010
I love poker

Have the players use influence as betting. Make them put their influence one at a time, as many times as required. Kind of like poker, but the other way around.

For example, if you see your opponent placing a card (face down) with a single influence chip over it, you "know" you have sh... incoming! You need to put a heavy weight to counter that! and some extra chips to back him up!

But what if he only placed a chicken globlin and you just missed your heavy weight and half your chips for it? Or worst, can he pile up 10 chips on his goblin then, to make him "The Blood Demon Goblin of the 9th Hell"?

Great idea. Keep thinking!

simons
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Joined: 12/28/2008
Simple way of doing it, but I

Simple way of doing it, but I think I like it. You definitely do a good job of establishing a negative feedback for winning too much. And I think that, at least on paper, it sounds like you do a good enough job of rewarding winning battles.

One question: if I need more influence tokens, can I just attack you, put down a 1 card, lose, and then take one of your tokens? Could that become problematic?

Ok, actually two: Why do attackers win ties? Doesn't that make the game a tad unstable? Or is that what you want?

Also, it might be problematic if people can count cards. Have you considered something like each player drawing them randomly from a deck (so that you don't know if you opponent got the 10 or not)?

linoleumblownaparte
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Joined: 02/24/2010
simons wrote: One question:

simons wrote:

One question: if I need more influence tokens, can I just attack you, put down a 1 card, lose, and then take one of your tokens? Could that become problematic?

You should definitely do this if you think the territory being contested is worthless. If your opponent doesn't have that information, you can maneuver him into a Pyrrhic victory - you throw away your lowest card and gain 1 Influence. He spends a high card and gains a worthless territory.

You can deliberately lose as many battles as you can, to gain lots of Influence, but

1. You'll HAVE to spend Influence to gain/hold high-scoring territories if you want to win.

2. If you stay at high Influence, you will have no choice but to win battles so you'll become "easy pickings" for players looking to convert their lowest cards into Influence.

Rather than aiming to have high or low Influence, it's more about judging in each battle whether the territory in question is worth "investing" (spending a high card, lose 1 Influence) or whether you want the "consolation prize" (gain 1 Influence).

Quote:
Ok, actually two: Why do attackers win ties? Doesn't that make the game a tad unstable? Or is that what you want?

I'll reconsider this.

Quote:
Also, it might be problematic if people can count cards. Have you considered something like each player drawing them randomly from a deck (so that you don't know if you opponent got the 10 or not)?

I like the card-counting aspect, at least in the 2 player LOTR:The Confrontation which is one of my favorite games. As long as the cards are PUBLIC before the players pick them up and pick one.

I dunno how it'll work out in multiplayer... gotta playtest it.

linoleumblownaparte
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Joined: 02/24/2010
Simplifying

So I was thinking of a way to simplify this. If everyone has different hands of cards with different numbers, then you can't tell what cards I have left to play, JUST by looking at my discard pile.

To cut down on the mindgames aspect, everyone will have a STANDARD set of six cards. One to five, and one "Special" card (more on this in a moment).

http://i42.tinypic.com/o8w6d2.jpg

Everyone will also have a Role card. The game will proceed in three Eras, and there will be different Roles available to play in each Era (a little like History Of The World).

Role cards will look like this:

http://i39.tinypic.com/2u4oqr7.jpg

At the top is the Role (Crusader) and what Eras it's available in (only Era 1).

In the middle is a Global Power, a special ability that applies all the time. The Crusader can attack Cities in the Near-East without needing an adjacent City to attack from.

At the bottom is the Special Power. This is the ability that comes into play when you play your "Special" card. The Crusader's Special is "Pillage," with a measly Strength of 2, but if you win you will GAIN an Influence instead of losing one.

So, the predictability will come from everyone having the same hand of cards. The variety and flavor will come from each player having a global power and having one special card.

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