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Ridiculous reduction of materials

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X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013

(sorry for the grammar/spelling, not to be found on this pc)

Here's a new possible way:
Just having a limited ammount of pieces that indicate which unit it is.

Thus a set of pieces to indicate a basic infantry, or a basic tank, or a support tank, or a support infantry, or a "grenadier", "juggernaught", "hero". etc.
Simple symbols, no advanced pictures.

Bottom line, allowing players to have only around 12 different units in a game.

Now, to create more diversity. Each player will have a set of 12 cards, that indicate which piece is which unit. As example, one card indicates what kind of basic infantry unit you are using. With all the stats on it. (no need for a giant table for references)

The card set will be completely customable at the start of a game.

The game is everything you need.
The expansion is simply a set of cards.

Not doing anything evil here, ok?
The question: This idea... any good?

Joined: 01/17/2011
Multipurpose units

This is very similar to an idea I've been toying with recently for a miniatures game. Players would have only 1 type of infantry, 1 tank, 1 aircraft, etc. But each player can customise the special abilities of each of these unit types at the start of the game.

I think the method has real potential to reduce the number of components.

Joined: 04/30/2013
from my experience, it is

from my experience, it is best to mix symbol with text information like numbers, rather than use only symbols.

in several play tests of my own games, i notice people have difficulty remembering too many distinct symbols without any other referential information. up to 5 symbols is bearable, but 7 is pushing, and beyond that, will requires getting used to.

if you do have some system of getting the player used to the symbols you have, then you can go up 10-15 symbols, assuming all of them have to be used at some point in the game.

although i still advise to have less than 10 symbols. its troublesome for the player to remember, and troublesome for the creator to design.

you will have to clarify the part explaining your idea of using cards, i did not understand any part of that, or even if i think i did understand, i probably have the wrong idea of it.

Joined: 03/02/2014
He is saying that there is

He is saying that there is one level of indirection -- a classic software solution for a sparsely populated many-to-many mapping.

I think that kos has the right idea. If your cards on the field have a clear indication of which stats card to look at, then the idea works. However, if the cards on the field have just arbitrary symbols, and you have to do a mental translation that isn't "natural," then I think it doesn't work.

Is this clear? In other words, I see the card on the field as "my elite infantry unit" which I have a stats card for -- that works. However, if I see the card on the field as "Unit type apple" and I have to translate that mentally to "my elite infantry unit" and only then does it connect to a stats card -- that doesn't work.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
To clarify things.

To clarify things.


Short version:

Current version has;
2x2 cm pieces on the board.
Each piece has a picture of the unit.
Each unit has it's own set of pieces.
Statistics to be found in a table.

More units mean;
Bigger table with statistics.
More pieces, depending on the unit, a variable increase.
Devoted attention to the picture art on a piece.

"improved" version has;
2x2 cm pieces on the board.
Each piece has a symbol of the unit.
Each unit can be assigned to a symbol.
Statistics to be found on a card.

More units mean;
More cards, but only one per new unit.


TLDR version:

On the board, each unit is a little picture of that unit, 2x2 cm. Some are abundant (12-36), others are just a few (3-11). Another chip can contain the number 3 or more to indicate that one chip stands for several units.

As example, take a look at Advanced Squad Leader. My game looks a lot like that game.

To keep track of statistics:
Some games use a big table of contents.
Now I have such a table as well. An old version is on this forum, somewhere...
There it isss...

Each unit statistics is in that table, each statistic is used. No useless information in there (except for the group column)

However, trying to look something up in that table and pit it against another statistic from that same table will be some work if you don't know yet where to look.
Also making sure you are looking at the right row and column might be troublesome.

Not to mention, when I expand this table from 33 units in that table to ... many many more (like how MtG is expanded).

Another fact is that players start with only the rifle infantry, then get new units with each mission. Like how many RTS work.

Now that we are clear of that, the table is actually Huge! for beginners. While they start with rather, well, notching.
A way to change this is actually putting all the statistics of just 1 unit on a card. This card contains the information that you need. This card also makes it easier for players to compare information to another card.

A card leaves room open for extra special information. Like, it has a double bonus against a certain type.
A card also has more room for the picture.

The table can be discarded. And a player can gather the cards instead. Only using those that matter for a game.
You only need 1 card for the unit.

I hope this has clarified things.


Regarding to many statistics.

XP is rather useless lately. Useful for beginners, but the pro can deal with hero units easily.

I am thinking about discarding the XP. Even though it is cool to create hero units by training them. The bonus is not really worthwhile when you do start training them.

I mean, if you need to kill 3 rifle infantry, to get your own rifle infantry to increase 3 health. (effectively, the unit is 50% better)
I think about having bigger steps.
To spend a lot of XP on one unit at one time, some sort of training centre.

No more tracking XP/unit of XP/squad.

Don't worry about symbols, for each statistic; I have one.

DifferentName's picture
Joined: 09/08/2013
Cards are fun

I agree with Zag. So you intend to connect the units on the board to the card through symbols? This would require a tricky mental leap, having to regularly cross reference the symbols with the cards to figure out which unit is which, and probably isn't much better than the statistics sheet.

However, I love the idea of the cards. Like Kos said, you could have different classes of units, and cards to fit those specific classes. Standard infantry, elite infantry, small vehicle, tank, ect. This way when you see your standard and elite infantry, it's easy to remember what's what, and you can easily look to your cards to read the extra details.

I recommend even less than 12 cards at a time, but you seem to like more complex war games than I'm used to.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
If you agree with Kos, then

If you agree with Kos, then you agree with me.
Sorry if I explained things poorly, it's my weakness.


I am thinking of designing symbols for the several armor types.
And designing symbols for the several weapons.

Then simply combine the 2 into 1 piece.
Once done, I will post them here for others to judge.

It would be black/white though. While the deck with cards would have nice colored pictures.

DifferentName's picture
Joined: 09/08/2013

Oh, cool. I guess the symbols are meant as a helpful thing to show which class the units are. That makes sense. Being able to choose which cards to use to make my army sounds fun.

One game that comes to mind is Quarriors, which linked cards to dice to represent monsters and spells. So for example, there's a blob, with dice to represent blobs. Then there are a few cards to describe blobs of different strength, which gets randomly chosen, or left out completely.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Another reason

Another reason why I want to do this:
My friends have started designing their own units.

Making 1 card (printed and cutting paper)
Making 1 to 120 pieces (cutting thick cardboard, printing stickers and attach them)

Them wanting to make their own units is a dream come true for me.

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