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Battle suggestions?

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Tbone
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Joined: 02/18/2013

How does one create a strategic atmosphere that is fun and challenging in a "unit vs. unit" type scenario? I am making an RTS type board game and the mechanics for attacking and defending (using the dice to show hit or miss). But I don't want chance to be a significant factor. I want a way for each player to immers themselves in a challenging battle that will be something they will look forward to when playing the game and that will reap a lot of different tactics and attacking/defending styles. Help?

ninjaneer
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Boil it Down and synergize

I've been wondering the same thing as I develop my own game; a way to promote tactical decisions and make it more than just random chance or a sum of its parts. The best I've found is to boil the game down to its absolute core mechanics, and then identify ways to affect them. For a basic tactical combat game, players can:

  • Buy/create units
  • Move units across terrain
  • Attack enemy units within range of their own
  • Gather resources

From this, you find ways to screw with those mechanics, for better or worse:

  • Certain units become more expensive
  • Certain units become less expensive
  • Certain units move more easily across certain terrain
  • Certain units cannot move across certain terrain
  • etc.

You've probably done some of this already in your basic design, but go through again and make a massive comprehensive list. Then figure out ways to achieve these screws and make them play off each other. For example, maybe you can upgrade your vehicles to have better tires/treads, which lets them move through new terrain types. Maybe you need to purchase an Recon unit which increases the attack range of all friendly units within X spaces of it.

From there, you can select mechanic screws that play well in multiple situations, creating strategic choices. Hope this helped.

Tbone
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Joined: 02/18/2013
Thanks!

I have done most of these things! Thank you for the resurgence, I think I'm on the right track.

silasmolino
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Joined: 02/01/2013
Resource Limitations

If you provide a resource limitation (ie. cannot have a larger army than your resource output is capable of maintaining) it forces players to chose how to spend their time/money: Do I get a big army as fast as possible and attack immediately, or do I turtle, build up my resource output to build a bigger army later and attack?

Establishing cost/benefit calculations into the game and makign sure they are balanced make the funnest games.

Tbone
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I think I may have

I incorporated a decision making element where on each card they pick up on their turn have six options (economy, resources, research, moves, attack/defense, and Lab points). Is this enough?

Michael Leo White
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Joined: 03/21/2013
You need dice for action and probability for control.

You need dice for action and probability for control.

Your question to yourself is “What are the odds that the attacker will hit or miss” next question is “What percentage of the target is not covered by the defender?

How to determine this can be incorporated in your cards.

Below is a standard set of multiple sided dice and their numbering. You use these to assign the proper odds of winning.(Ex. If the attacker cards give him a 2 to 1 chance of hitting the target then you might give him a 12 sided dice and the defender would toss a six sided dice.) Both armies have a chance of winning the fight because of the randomness of dice but in the long run the attacker has the advantage if the odds stay the same.

With surprise attacks you only need to throw the dice once. With battles or one-to-one combat you may want to go best of 3 or 5 with a penalty clause for loser of each round.

The 2-10 sided dice are good for successes and failures. (Ex. You want to distract the enemy but you only have a 50-50 chance of succeeding. You would roll these two dice and if your roll is >than fifty the distraction is successful. Note: Predetermine the reward for succeeding and the penalty for failing.

Wish you the Best

No. of Sides on dice 4 6 8 10 10 12 20 (2)-10*
Numbering 1 to 4 1 to 6 1 to 8 0 to 9 00,10,20…90 1 to 12 1 to 20

* 0 to 99 is accomplished by making a 0 00 roll =0. If you want 1 to 100 then make the 0 00 roll = 100

hotsoup
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Joined: 08/28/2009
One simple way to control

One simple way to control chance without having to do any math is have special dice for your game. Some oriented more towards attack, some to defense, etc. Different units use different dice, or perhaps players can pick them based on the situation. You can alter how much of a factor chance is by how much the dice are weighted in one direction or another.

Another option is to use battle cards instead of dice. Players have a limited number of cards with different +stats on them. They have strategically plan out which card during a battle. You could simulate low morale or panic by forcing that player to play with less cards in his hand, giving him less options and control.

ninjaneer
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Rock-Paper-Scissors advanced

Something that might be interesting is to mimic what the Transformers Battle Card game did. It's basically a glorified rock-paper-scissors mechanic, but each choice has a damage amount and a power associated with it. If the player wins, they deal the damage and the power triggers, but winning ONLY depends on the rock-paper-scissors relation. This way players must decide if their opponent is going to make their choice on the damage amount or the power that is activated. Similarly, you could give each player a set of Action cards where each one is trumped by 1 or 2 others (depending how many there are). You could use terrain or unit abilities to boost them further. When one player attacks another, both choose an Action card, reveal them at the same time, and resolve the effects.

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