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Army movement mechanic

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Lowlarh
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Joined: 04/17/2012

Greetings.

This is my first post on this forum. This is an excellent forum in which there really a lot of information that can help wannabe designer like me.

I need help with the mechanics of movement of armies

This mechanic is for 3-6 players wargame that is played on hex tiles. During movement phase armies move simultaneously. In every tile occupied by army movement token is placed. On the side facing down there is arrow, or blank space. When every army has its token they are turned face up at the same time.
If there is arrow on token, army moves in the direction that arrow is pointing (or it doesnt move if token is empty).
All units that have movement 2, after first movement phase play second, where they again can choose between moving or staying.
If someone wants to separate units in army, he makes two ( or more ) piles and place face down counter near every pile.

So i have 2 problems, first is about mechanic, and second is practical:
1.how to resolve combat when armies from 3 or more players enter the same tile at the same time?
2.Is it practical to use counters? If someone accidentaly rotates token while turning it, or if it drops from their hand what to do? Other players cant know what way arrow was pointing first time, so it can be abused to change direction after seeing enemy movement. Is there any better solution?

Sorry for the bad English, it is not my native language.

BlueRift
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Joined: 04/01/2012
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I like this mechanic. Just so you know, it will make for a slower but more contemplative strategy game. I don't think you will be able to use arrows when flipping them over. You could use two tokens, an arrow and a cover that gets removed but you still have the chance that players won't place the arrows right or bump them. I know of two games that successfully use a simultaneous attack system.

The first is "A Game of Thrones" which uses simultaneous movement with tokens. Players place these tokens face down and resolve them in turn order. The game doesn't have directions on the tokens, instead, players chose where they want to attack when they resolve the move. This could be an option for you but it means that players might change how they act based on what other players do which changes your system.

The other game is Diplomacy which uses a written system to resolve simultaneous combat. Players all write down their orders and they get resolved simultaneously. This would only work in your game if you have a coordinate system or named/numbered hexes where players can write down their moves.

If you want to preserve the pre-determined directions, you could use cardinal directions. Hex boards are aligned in 3 "flat to flat" rows. If you stack the flat side of the hexagons on top of each other, then the alignments go up and down, top right to bottom left and top left to bottom right. If you were to name these directions like that of a compass they would be: North-South, Northeast-Southwest, and Northwest-Southeast. That way players can put tokens labeled N, NW, SW, S, SE, NE. This will fix players into moving a given direction. Notice there's no plain east or west because the hexagons don't line up that way.

Lowlarh
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Joined: 04/17/2012
BlueRift wrote:I like this

BlueRift wrote:
I like this mechanic. Just so you know, it will make for a slower but more contemplative strategy game. I don't think you will be able to use arrows when flipping them over. You could use two tokens, an arrow and a cover that gets removed but you still have the chance that players won't place the arrows right or bump them. I know of two games that successfully use a simultaneous attack system.

I want to make game inspired by feel of twilight imperium (Ofc, game is not a clone, almost everything is changed ). With that game being on epic scale i think it is ok if movement is slower but give more strategy options. I really hate activation mechanics of TI, it is unintuitive,limiting, and complicated. I thought about two tokens solution, but it doesn solve the problem and makes board more crowded.

I thought before posting about Game of Thrones and Diplomacy solution but they doesnt fit my game. 1st solution is not simulteanous. As for second, this is a big game and i am afraid it would add too much complications and bookeeping.

BlueRift wrote:
If you want to preserve the pre-determined directions, you could use cardinal directions. Hex boards are aligned in 3 "flat to flat" rows. If you stack the flat side of the hexagons on top of each other, then the alignments go up and down, top right to bottom left and top left to bottom right. If you were to name these directions like that of a compass they would be: North-South, Northeast-Southwest, and Northwest-Southeast. That way players can put tokens labeled N, NW, SW, S, SE, NE. This will fix players into moving a given direction. Notice there's no plain east or west because the hexagons don't line up that way.

Before posting i was closest to this solution. It seems comlicated but i think i can solve it. I just made rough token design,but can find option to upload picture on forum. They have both labels of side and arrow pointing in direction (so N has arrow at 12 o'clock, NE 1:30, SE 4:30, S at 6 and so on).
Downside is that using this version i would need to produce 6 times more tokens....but it is ok.. tokens are not so expensive component.
I guess i'll use this solution and hope it will not be to complicated.

Ofcourse, if there is some beter idea... you have my attention :)

MarkKreitler
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Joined: 11/12/2008
Simple and cheap

Hey Lowlarh,

Star Fleet Battles solves the movement direction problem by placing a "compass" in the corner of 1 hex map. The compass is a simple ring of 6 hexes, labeled A-F. Players then use these absolute directions to denote the heading of their starships.

Rather than producing 6 times as many tokens, why not try letting players write the directions on an erasable surface? Have you tried getting cheap plastic poker chips and letting players write on them with black crayon or dry erase markers?

Lastly, about simultaneous combat: I played with a system awhile back that might give you some ideas. It assumes players get some number of combat dice in proportion to the number of attacking armies. Here's how it works:

1) All combatants roll their dice simultaneously.

2) Everyone discards 6s.

3) Players then pass their dice to the left as many times as the number on each die. Players skip themselves.

4) After all players have finished passing dice, players count up the dice they have been given and remove that many armies.

Example:

Suppose I attack a hex at the same time as players A and B. 'A' sits to my left. 'B' sits to A's left. I sit to B's left. I roll 5 attacking dice. I pass all my 1s to the left once, so they go to 'A'. I pass all my 2s to the left 2 times, so they go to B. My threes would pass left 3 times, so they would come back to me, but I skip myself and they go to 'A'. And so on.

If I rolled:

1
1
2
3
5

'A' would get 4 dice (1, 1, 3, 5) and 'B' would get 1 (the 2).

Of course, 'A' also gets dice from 'B', and I get dice from both 'A' and 'B'.

The "discard 6s" step is necessary to make this work for 2 players. Without it, 2-player conflicts become simple wars of attrition.

Don't know if any of that helps. Hope something does!

Mark

Avianfoo
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Joined: 01/31/2012
Compass

Aw. I was beaten to the punch. I was going to suggest a compass too. with directions 1 through 6. The direction your army moves is decided by a numbered token (1 though 6) that you play on the hex. Course that means many many tokens if you move many armies at once. But if you can use these tokens elsewhere in the game as well having say 30 tokens per player might be worth it.

As for a 3 way army attack: You could have "player order" decide which two armies fight it out first and then the last army to arrive mops up the victor. Another way is to have them all duke it out simultaneously which heavily depends on the conflict resolution system you are using.

PeerGynt
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Joined: 03/13/2012
Alternative to a compass

An alternative to having a compass on the map is to have each army token and the movement tokens printed with an indicator as to which way the token is facing.

In other words, there would now be a "front" or "forward" direction to each token. Then the movement tokens would be something like, move forward one space, move forward right, forward left, etc, to cover all six directions. This way the arrows can be clear and people couldn't change the direction after the fact.

A game with this sort of system, but not with simultaneous movement, was the old Babylon 5 Component Game System. All the units had different directions and when a starship was facing one direction or another it had more or less defense and weaponry to attack another ship.

For resolving combat, another option would be something like comparing power or damage totals and having different effects for each place. For example, with 3 players: The winning player totals 12, the second player totals 10, and the losing player totals 6. The second player loses the difference between his and the winners, so 2 armies; the loser loses the difference between his and the winners, so 6 armies.

One thing to consider is, at the end of the turn is it okay in your system for two opposing armies to occupy the same hex? Can a battle span more than one turn and allow armies to retreat?

Lowlarh
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Joined: 04/17/2012
I think I solve the problem

I think I solve the problem of 3 or more armies in the tile.
Each player can split his army into smaller groups. Once divided, the group can not be changed until one opposing group is destroyed.
The whole tile would thus be divided into several smaller battles, and when one finishes, the winner can be go  into another, or retreat from tile.
A player can split his army to be part of fight against player B, and part against C. If you win against the B (or B retreats), the remainder of these units may be involved in the fight against C.

In the case of 3 player we can have 3 smaller battles between AB, AC, BC. If the first battle (AB) wins player A, the remaining units must first help in the AC battle, and after they win that they can intervene in the BC battle.
If A and B want to attack C, they do not have to fight immediately, and they can fight or retreat when they defeat C

The rules are not as complicated as they seem.Because of the language barrier is difficult for me to explain them. The basis is that it does not affect combat - but only on the deployment of the armise before the battle/s
---
as for movement, ill need to playtest which would be easier for players to understand: using absolute directions with compass on the map, or relative ( based on position of their home-city). They would both have the same end result, but i juset need to see which method is easier for players to understand.
I will decide later if these directions will be represented by sides or numbers, it is more design thing then mechanics. Also ill try to see how to simplify all this.

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