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Action System P2: Action less system

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larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008

This thread is a part of 2 thread which talks about a different aspect of the same subject.

Most civiliaztion/space conquest games use action based system. Even if it has an euro flavor, I have to agree that it is somewhat elegant. Still, action systems do have some flaws. For the example below, let say there is 3 type of action for a game: growth, build and mobilise.

  • Some action could become stronger that other. So it is important that all actions are balanced.
  • Some action could become obsolete. For example, the growth action might become obsolete when the world/galaxy is fully colonised.
  • Some actions could be taken multiple times, which could unbalance the game. (But still, multiple action could be restricted in some games).

So I was trying to see if the same results could be achieved with a non action based system. For example, each "Action" would simply be a different step or phase of the turn order. For example, I could say that players resolve their turn in that order:

Growth - Build - Mobilise

Every player need to pass through each step. In that case, if a step is obsolete, the player simply skip it. If an actions is unbalanced, it does not matter because that action cannot be replaced by a stronger action.

But the main drawback is that every players does the same thing. It's like if you were playing a chess game where both player needed to play the same piece on the same turn. You might end up in a situation where both player has a symetric deployment.

An idea to solve this problem would be to give the player many ways to resolve each step. For example, growing can be achieved in different ways or offer multiple options. In that case, even if both players do the same action, it will not give the same results. The geographical situation of the player could also change how the actions are going the be executed.

The second solution could be to use an hydrid system. For example, you could have different fields of action "Civilisation", "Military", "Politics" which each contains various small actions. For example, civilisation could allow you to grow your empire or develop new structures. Each field would receive a certain number of points that could be split as the player want. If a player has 5 point in civ he could do 4 growth + 1 develop in the begenning of the game, but near the middle, he could do 2 growth + 3 develop instead.

Do you know any other game that use non-action point system for civilization/space conquest like game?

Do you prefer playing with an action system or not?

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
One thing I have realised is

One thing I have realised is that an action less system makes it easier to add stuff to the game with expansion without disturbing the basic game.

For example, let say I want to add "Wonders" to the game. If I add an action called "build wonder" it means that if the player use this action, there are other actions that will be used less often. So it changes the core of the game.

Without action, you simply add things that the player must manage, but you do not split the actions. If it cost resources, you might need to split resources, but if each action has resources of it's own, then adding more stuff to manage to the system does not thin the resources distribution.

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