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Action point system for fleets

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larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008

I have decided to work again on my pacific world war 2 game and I had an idea that I really like for managing your fleet.

Each fleet will have a number of action points (10). Action points can be used to move to an adjacent hex, Attack bases or fleet in the same hex, or land troop in the same hex.

I like this mechanic because it allows a fleet to land troops in different bases during it's movement and the player can chose how many turns he want to bombard a base. Does he want to make many quick landings or few strong landings.

The problem is the timing behind the management of fleet versus fleet, because enemy fleets moves too but not at the same time.

Right now, the player who has initiative move all his fleet, then the player that lost initiative move all is fleet. The process is repeated a second time so that the fleet can get back home and then the turn ends.

To have a realistic simulation, I would need that each fleet perform 1 action point at a time, instead of doing all the actions of the same fleet. But with hidden fleet movement this is hard to do. Even with open movement, it is very annoying to manage.

One idea I had to patch things up is that a fleet cannot be target twice, because it will probably move during it's turn, so it artificially create a situation where you would have intercepted a fleet on passage and attacked it.

I am looking for suggestion or similar mechanics that could make fleet movement by action points better. One idea I had is to subdivide the 10 action point into something smaller like 2x5 or 3x3, etc.

Any other Ideas?

Ding
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Joined: 04/19/2011
Plan, perform, react.

Have you considered having each player plan their moves for their fleets in secret [either on a note sheet or through cards piled in a sequence] then take turns revealing a single move command, resolving when there is additional conflict. Depending on the conflict these could halt the actions of those particular fleets for that round, mimicking the time taken to resolve the conflict.

Each fleet could have its own set of cards from which it could pick its allowed number of actions from, the problem being the number of cards you might need (especially if they have ten actions). You could need 10 of every possible move (6 directions on a hex grid, stay still, bomb, drop troops) approximately 100 for each fleet. That'd be a lot of cards. However if you dropped the number of actions possible, players could react to a changing field of play as well as having less cards to manage. Or you could limit the amount of times they can perform a certain action, that would reduce cards.

The other issue might be how time consuming it is organizing and playing through the cards one at a time.

stevebarkeruk
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Joined: 07/26/2008
You could use a time tracking

You could use a time tracking system as in Thebes or Red November where, instead of having 10 action points per turn, a player takes an action of x time units (equivalent to action points in your current system). The other player can then take 1 or more actions until they've used the same or more action points. Then the first player acts again. So you can do a big action (5 points) but then your opponent could potentially do five 1 point actions before you get to act again.

hughducker
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Joined: 04/04/2011
I don't know what your board

I don't know what your board looks like but perhaps your issue is this:

"To have a realistic simulation, I would need that each fleet perform 1 action point at a time, instead of doing all the actions of the same fleet. But with hidden fleet movement this is hard to do. Even with open movement, it is very annoying to manage."

If its a WWII simulation then perhaps you shouldn't worry about individual hex movement, but overall orders. As fleets were given orders to go to a location and undertake a task, rather than move through specific locations to get there. If it is guesswork as to what your opponent is doing then you can give general orders for the 10 action points and don't need to detail each individual move. You just have it in the rules that the ships have to take the shortest route to their destination.

E.g. If you give the fleets orders like "Go to Island X and deliver troops then return to port Y" with enemy ships having orders of "Intercept any ships nearby to [specific hex]" then you can play out the orders hex by hex, but don't have to worry about 10 individual orders of moving hex 1 to hex 2, then hex 2 to hex 3.

Would that work for your game?

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Reply to your comments

Note: I am answering 2 threads at the same time. (BGDF and BGG)

Here is a few additional details. First a picture is worth a thousand words, here is the last mini playtest picture:

http://bgd.lariennalibrary.com/uploads/Mainsite/GameIdea/GameIdea2010032...

For more picture and game description, you can look at it's page:

http://bgd.lariennalibrary.com/index.php?n=GameIdea.GameIdea201003230835AM

Each fleet is composed of a set of cards where a card is a group of ships according to it's functionality

Support (CV + CVL)
Assault (BB + CA)
Defense (CL + DD)

Cards are turned up side down when damaged (side ways in the picture above)

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One problem that I have with fleet VS fleet could be explained by the following example.

Let say fleet US1 is located at midway, then fleet JP1 attacks midway, a fight occurs between both fleet. Then if the US players send fleet US2 to midway to fight the fleet JP1. Another fight occur between both fleet.

The problem with the example above is that each ship in the fleet of JP1 will have fought twice during the turn, while fleet US1 and US2 would only have fought once. So it indirectly double the attack strength of fleet JP1.

This is a problem because the engagements only last one round to reflect the idea that only a portions of the ships got sunk during each battle.

So my idea would have been that engagement on happens at the end, when all the fleets has moved. Which will lead to 1 engagement per turn after the fleets have moved out. Else, I could split the turn as 2x5, so 4 steps per turn, and have engagement at the end of the 3 first steps, because at the end 4th step all fleets must be back at a friendly base.

Splitting the turn gives more flexibility and allows players to react to attacks but makes the management a bit more complex. Since there is hidden movement, it might be required to note the location of a fleet between turns on a sheet of paper if the fleet end it's movement on a sea hex for example. Right now, there is a card for every location on the map, and you place the fleet card under the location.

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I have looked at comments from both threads and here is my answers.

Quote:
Have you considered having each player plan their moves for their fleets in secret [either on a note sheet or through cards piled in a sequence] then take turns revealing a single move command, resolving when there is additional conflict.

The problem is that the map is big and has a lot of hex. So it would not be very convenient to note every move, especially with cards. Else, I must need pen and paper to resolve it. Resolving 1 action at a time would be very slow to do, this is why I am searching for alternatives.

Quote:
You could use a time tracking system as in Thebes or Red November where, instead of having 10 action points per turn, a player takes an action of x time units (equivalent to action points in your current system). The other player can then take 1 or more actions until they've used the same or more action points.

The problem is that I don't give 10 action points to each player, but rather 10 action point to each fleet of each player. Action point summarize the movement speed and fuel available to a fleet.

Quote:
If its a WWII simulation then perhaps you shouldn't worry about individual hex movement, but overall orders. As fleets were given orders to go to a location and undertake a task, rather than move through specific locations to get there.

That was my primary idea. Since in the pacific war, the pattern for most battle (like Guadalcanal and Midway) seems to move out, fight, and get back to base to patch things up. In my game, each turn is 3 month and it makes sense that the whole process could take 3 month. The problem with this pattern is that each fleet would be able to capture 1 base per turn.

This is a problem for historic recreation. The Japanese conquered the whole Indonesia in 2 months. That's over 15 bases in 2 months according to my map. So it must be possible to recreate this feat in the most optimal situation.

So my idea of action points for each fleet fit pretty well, you could move from one base to another and make multiple landing and attacks. My game is inspired on the PTO 2 video game where you did that kind of things, capture multiple bases in the same month.

So maybe I could resolve all non fleet battle this way and at then end of the step, all fleet battles are resolved. If fleets cross each other, there might be some opportunity for air strikes, but that is all.

Quote:
Each card would be marked with a variable number of command points.

Each card would have a space for a flag.

If the USA flag (for example) appears during and Axis turn the Allied player gets bonus commands... perhaps two. If the Japanese flag appears during an Axis turn the IJN gets two extra commands to use right now. Most cards would have have a blank flag space: nobody gets a bonus.

I like the idea, reminds me of twilight struggle, but like I said above, the action points are for each fleet. I want each fleet to perform it's full movement before the player change fleet, else I would need to keep track of the action points available for each fleet every turn. That is somewhat annoying to manage.

Quote:
One of my critiques of the WizKids clix game (and actually, most of their other miniature games) is the usage of IGO-UGO. Having all the units of one side have complete initiative advantage over the other is rather overwhelming.

Right now, I do not mind if one player gets complete initiative above the other. Each player will have in average 3 fleet each, which will probably attack different targets. Initiative in my game reflect intelligence and preparation. There is always a side that start the hostilities before the other side. I don't think it will be so much overwhelming.

Quote:
IGO-UGO

What is IGO-UGO?

Thanks for the idea so far.

Pastor_Mora
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Joined: 01/05/2010
Ok with just 3 fleets

IGO - UGO stands for "I go, you go", meaning a player will perform all his actions, and then the other player will perform all of his (like in Chess). This traditional concept was redone by new Simultaneous Action Selection and Variable Turn Order mechanics. But you know this. :)

The Thebes time track was the first thing I thought of also; using a time counter for each fleet. But was afraid that many players with many fleets would make it unfeasible. But you are saying each player will have just 3 fleets, so it's doable. It only requires the time track around the board, some time tokens with a symbol matching the fleet tokens in the board, and a player mat with the time cost (spaces in the time track) of each action, for example:

+1 - Area Patrol
+2 - Shore Party
+3 - Naval Bombardment
+4 - Naval Engagement
+5 - Full Scale Landing
+6 - Change Area of Operations

Time token (fleet) going last in the time track always takes its turn. Players arriving in the same space in the time track put their tokens one above the other, and actions are resolved top to bottom or the other way around (your choice). You can have a space in the player mat to place a third fleet token (matching the one in the time track and the other in the board) next to the action the fleet is performing. Pretty simple really, just 3 identical tokens per fleet.

Keep thinking!

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Indeed that is an interesting

Indeed that is an interesting simple mechanic. Still the way it is currently going on, all action cost 1 point and will either consist in move or attack. I think it's best to fusion actions together. So for example, attack would be Air strike, bombard and optionally landing.

sloan_man
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Joined: 04/26/2011
Command Counters?

Could you replace the action points with "Command Counters" a la Game of Thrones? If each player was allowed to place 10 commands anywhere on their fleet face down, they could reveal them simultaneously and then complete their movement, attacks and other actions at the same time. This kind of steps on the coat-tails of the "Secret Deployment" suggestion earlier. The great thing about counters is they visually describe the action so you don't have to make a note for every ship in your giant fleet.

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
I tried to make some pictures

I tried to make some pictures to illustrate the 2x5 system. In the system below, each fleet receives 5 action point twice for the first half of the turn rather than 10 points.

Then at then end of all movement, all fleets that shares the same sea zone must engage in naval battles.

With this method, it should give the players more counter attack opportunity. It also allow to have 3 naval battles per fleet per turn, rather than 1 naval battle.

Here are the pictures, explanations are on the pictures:

http://bgd.lariennalibrary.com/uploads/Mainsite/GameIdea/GameIdea2010032...

http://bgd.lariennalibrary.com/uploads/Mainsite/GameIdea/GameIdea2010032...

Hope people like it!

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