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Dice Battle Mechanic

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Nix_
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I've been studying all of the different battle mechanics that are out there, and there are a lot, but I think I came up with one that hasn't been tried.

During a game players aquire varying amounts ands types of dice. When a conflict begins the apposing sides roll all of there dice (kept seperate from each other by different colors). The highest rolled die on each side is then matched up, then the second, and so on until one of the sides has all of their dice matched up. Any matched up dice that have a lower value than their counterpart are removed from the conflict (with ties both dice stay). The reamaining dice are then rolled again, and the process repeated until only one side has reamaining dice (the leftover dice can be used as a scoring mechanism).

The mechanic can be made more complex by adding modifiers such as rerolling a number of dice, or adding to the value of a die. The victor in a conflict is usually the side with the most dice, and the side who did the best in the first round of the conflict. The only thing I dislike about the mechanic is the sheer number of dice needed (about 15 for each side by games end), but it is fun to be rolling so many different sided dice including the all powerfull d30.

simons
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When I first read it, it

When I first read it, it sounded like just a rip-off of Risk, although the more I think about it, the different types of dice could put a very interesting twist on it.

Have you tested it? Does it stay fair, or do the d30s make things unfair?

Nix_
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It's important to note that

It's important to note that one of the main things, besides different kinds of dice, that set this mechanic apart from Risk is that it is played in multiple rounds. Each die acts as your remaining life and troops, and the mechanic doesn't end until a player has all of their dice eliminated.

I have tested it. The higher sided dice do have the ability to allow a player to dominate, but it only takes one bad roll, and something like a d30 can be eliminated. It creates an interesting choice when players have to decide between 3 d10 or a d30. The 3 d10s will have a higher probablity of a good roll and act as 3 seperate units of life, but the d30 has a much higher potential roll.

CronosVirus00
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I like the idea that a player

I like the idea that a player can use and choose different kind of dices during a fight.

You can give a "maximum" score to each player, like as 60, and player has to choose if use 2d30 or, for example, d30 + 3d10 as you say or 10d60.
Or, in other way, players have to roll one kind of dice (ex. d30) and they can choose others dices, as they want...

Traz
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great minds and all that...

Back in 1999 I created a dice game similar to this, which I named DICE-OFF! I sold a couple dozen copies and offered it to a couple of companies [Cardinal was the most promising - almost broke through there], but no banana.

The concept was simple - I was stunned nobody had ever thought of it before. I simply did WAR [the old card game we all play when we're growing up] with poly dice. Each player starts with 25 dice and off you go.

The twist I threw in was making the '1' pip on each die a 'TRUMP' if you will. That way the D4 is actually the most powerful of all because it will roll a 1 more often. The D20 is no slouch.... you get the idea.

I don't know if that helps any, but the idea of having a 'trump' pip on each die could probably help.

Just sayin'.

Nix_
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Thats a great idea! I hadn't

Thats a great idea! I hadn't thought of using a max point system like that. It would allow for a lot more flexibility, and might eliminate some of the time it takes for players to gather their dice.

GamesOnTheBrain
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For what little it's worth, I

For what little it's worth, I ran computerized tests on such a mechanic (but with all d6's, not different kinds) several years ago and was surprised to discover that having even 1 more die than a competitor was a HUGE statistical advantage. I also found that armies were often wiped out in slaughters (even when using the same number of dice) rather than having close battles where each side take a similar number of hits.

Unfortunately, I no longer have the data, but I just thought you'd want to know.

hoywolf
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A > B > C

The dice dont have to alway represent a numerical value. You have three different type of dice sets, and each dice can have like 3 rock symbols, 1 paper, 1 scissor, and 1 blank (wild). And similar ones for paper and scissor. You can then have this type of interaction with a set of dice beating another set (statically) but you can still have a set of dice win against another. So if you have the 5 rock dice, and you opponent has 2 paper dice, it can still mean that the rock dice will lose even if it has more.

This is a good theme if you have something like a war game, where you have anti-tank units, anti-air, and anti-infantry units. I dont know all the numbers behinds this, but i hope this can spark some ideas.

Nix_
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GamesOnTheBrain, my own

GamesOnTheBrain, my own results from playtesting show similar results. You wouldn't want thsi mechanic in a game where battles usually do turn out even, and the price for obtaining even one more die needs to be quite high. Also I have put some card effects into the game to buffer out some of these weak points to help a player get back into a battle.

I first used the mechanic in a religously themed game, where battles are raged against temptation, and it made since for a player to easily overcome the temptation, or fall deep into its depths.

Most recently I have been working on a game where the mechanic is implemented in combat between two superheroes. Each result is like an attack, and I think it also makes since here to have the hero either be wounded badly or to block the attack.

RanDomino
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I just came up with a similar

I just came up with a similar idea (originally posted on BGG)

Hey, so there were a lot of discussions here about a year ago about what the perfect RPG-lite Boardgame would be like; which of the current crop was best; how specific mechanics interacted to make such a game, and so on. I've been working on such a game off-and-on for a few years, when inspiration strikes, which has resulted in a "study," Dungeon Derby, and mountains of insane, rambling notes. Last I left off with the idea of a game in which a party of heroes was questing to defend a kingdom from hordes of invading monsters, gaining abilities, looting, and raiding dungeons. Now I see someone's making Defenders of the Realm. Which is cool, and I don't see how I could conceivably be not buying it. But I'm going to soldier on because I'm not sure it's exactly what I want; specifically, the combat looks shallow.

I've been caught trying to come up with a combat mechanic that would have some tactical depth (without getting into grid-based minis), be quick, and allow an AI-run mobs to be distinct and require some thinking to beat. I was extremely impressed by the mechanic in Delve the Dice Game: The Party rolls dice en bloc and, with a single roll, deals and receives damage at once. Awesome. Well I said I'd probably steal the idea, and just today I think I had the epiphany required to make a functional mechanic.

The Party rolls Combat Dice which result in "Hits" and "Blocks". The Monsters roll theirs, with each side's Blocks canceling out the other's Hits, and with excess Hits turning into Wounds, which can be reduced by Armor but otherwise stick around. So, if the Party rolls 7 Hits and 3 Blocks, and the Mobs roll 4 Hits and 4 Blocks, then the Party would have one Wound to deal with and the Mobs would have three. Wounds would then be assigned evenly to the player characters, probably with some abilities allowing PCs to "Tank" by taking extra wounds (sparing the weaker characters); Mobs would be assigned wounds in order of an "Aggro" stat (i.e. if there's 3 wounds to assign, and an Aggro 3 Demon and an Aggro 2 Cultist, then the Demon takes two hits and the Cultist takes one.).

Tactics would happen in two ways:

First, Five types of Combat Dice: 'Aggressive', 'Balanced', 'Defensive', 'Ranged', and 'Magic'. The first three would have different amounts of Hits and Blocks; for example, the Aggressive die might have three Hits, one Block, one "Two Hits", and one blank; the Balanced might have three Hits and three Blocks (I'm going with 6-siders just because this will be a free Print-and-Play and I figure custom d6's are easiest to make). So even though the Aggressive die has a blank, it averages more Hits. Ranged and Magic dice would have "Ranged" and "Magic" results instead of Hits. I'm not sure what Ranged and Magic results would do, but
What Combat Dice you roll is determined by your items and abilities. Thus a Wizard would be expected to roll lots of Magic dice and not so many of the others- but give that Wizard a giant-ass enchanted two-handed battleaxe, and suddenly he's chopping mobs in half like he's been doing it his whole life.

Second, players can spend their rolls to use abilities instead of counting them as Hits or Blocks. For example, there might be an ability called "Stunning Blow" that costs three Hits and says, "Prevent target monster from contributing Combat Dice next Monster Attack Phase. You may set that monster's Aggro to 1 this turn". If the party's Fighter has that ability, and he rolls four Hits, he could either contribute all of them, or only contribute 1 but take the biggest baddie out of the picture for a turn. But if he only rolls 2 Hits, the ability can't be used at all. "Ranged" and "Magic" results would be used for Archery-themed special abilities and for spells, respectively, giving four 'resources' for ability costs. There could even be an ability that triggers off rolling a blank; why not?

Thanks, Delve! XOXOXO
(Game design is like a science, we all build on each others' ideas. If you want to make money, people really only pay for the bits and chrome anyway.)

So I was just wondering what people think about this mechanic, if they had any suggestions, and if there were any games using a similar mechanic.

MPT
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Dice Battle Mechanic

I first came across your mechanic in a wargame magazine called 'The Nugget' (a 'fanzine' like magazine produced in England, which is now available online).

The system was called SCRUD ... Simple Combat Resolution Using Dice ... and it is mentioned in this document here ... http://www.wargamedevelopments.org/Wargame%20Developments%20Handbook.pdf

However, that system only used d6s so it is interesting to see the idea expanded.

champagne (not verified)
Do we find communication

Do we find communication important? The biggest mistakes people make when bringing their vehicle to an auto mechanic is deficiencies in communication. If you can communicate with your mechanic you will get a lot further with car repairs. What is meant by communicating is straightforward; give particulars and ask questions. If you bring an automobile to a mechanic and you also don't know what is going on, it just is driving funny, a mechanic has nowhere really to begin. They might believe that since you said it was 'driving' humorous it has something to do with steering. However, if you go in and tell them that at speeds higher than, say 40 mph, it starts to shake; they have a much better idea of the place to start.

dabuel
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...and this is exactly how it

...and this is exactly how it looks statistically. I have worked on a similar mechanic and was not satisfied since "even casulaties/tie" results were to most unlikely while total annihilation of one of the sides were the most likely. We solved this by making a non-intuitive twist: match the highest die with the lowest of your enemy and so on (which also means that you enemy will match his highest die with your lowest). All of a sudden, the maxima of the probabilitiy-curve was on "even casualties/tie" while annihilation where quite unlikely.
Test this!

dabuel
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champagne wrote:Do we find

champagne wrote:
Do we find communication important? The biggest mistakes people make when bringing their vehicle to an auto mechanic is deficiencies in communication. If you can communicate with your mechanic you will get a lot further with car repairs. What is meant by communicating is straightforward; give particulars and ask questions. If you bring an automobile to a mechanic and you also don't know what is going on, it just is driving funny, a mechanic has nowhere really to begin. They might believe that since you said it was 'driving' humorous it has something to do with steering. However, if you go in and tell them that at speeds higher than, say 40 mph, it starts to shake; they have a much better idea of the place to start.

you look pretty good for a bot

SiddGames
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Button Men

The game Button Men, by James Ernest, is based on a similar system. A set of 4 or 5 dice represents a fighter; small dice are "skillful" and big dice are "powerful." Both fighters roll their dice; most 1s go first, break ties by next higher value, etc.

Players take turns capturing dice. There are two capture methods: power attack and skill attack. A power attack is just any 1 die capturing 1 opposing die with equal or lower result showing. A skill attack is 2+ dice capturing 1 die whose result equals their total value. In either case, you reroll all dice used to make a capture.

I am intrigued by the idea of using this/similar methods to define the strength of military units. Going back and forth capturing would help alleviate the lop-sidedness / snowball effect of the method you guys are seeing, I think. Your method of matching dice up in a Risk-like fashion gives players no decisions during battle -- all the decisions are made before the battle when you assemble your units. Adding a decision back to the battle (via rules rather than an additional component such as battle cards) would be a good direction to try.

dabuel
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RanDomino wrote:First, Five

RanDomino wrote:
First, Five types of Combat Dice: 'Aggressive', 'Balanced', 'Defensive', 'Ranged', and 'Magic'. The first three would have different amounts of Hits and Blocks; for example, the Aggressive die might have three Hits, one Block, one "Two Hits", and one blank; the Balanced might have three Hits and three Blocks.

..just be careful with the outcome. If two parties face off and both sides would be using the same number of "balanced dice", the only possible outcomes would be that the exact same amount of damage are being made to both sides.
To avoid this, you need to add blank faces on the dice.

Otherwise, an interesting idea.

unicornucopia
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dabuel wrote:champagne

dabuel wrote:
champagne wrote:
Do we find communication important? The biggest mistakes people make when bringing their vehicle to an auto mechanic is deficiencies in communication. If you can communicate with your mechanic you will get a lot further with car repairs. What is meant by communicating is straightforward; give particulars and ask questions. If you bring an automobile to a mechanic and you also don't know what is going on, it just is driving funny, a mechanic has nowhere really to begin. They might believe that since you said it was 'driving' humorous it has something to do with steering. However, if you go in and tell them that at speeds higher than, say 40 mph, it starts to shake; they have a much better idea of the place to start.

you look pretty good for a bot

BWAH HA!

Riggeotto
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CronosVirus00 wrote:I like

CronosVirus00 wrote:
I like the idea that a player can use and choose different kind of dices during a fight.

You can give a "maximum" score to each player, like as 60, and player has to choose if use 2d30 or, for example, d30 + 3d10 as you say or 10d60.
Or, in other way, players have to roll one kind of dice (ex. d30) and they can choose others dices, as they want...

After this reading this I was intrigued enough to test the probabilities in an excel spreadsheet. i.e. 3x d10's vs 1d30. Interestingly the advantage seemed to be held by whomever wins on draw. And rolling many, many low sided die vs one large die (1 -> sum of the maximums of smaller dice) will approach 1 / e. ~36.8% with respect to the larger dice winning. That is with the assumption that ties are won by the smaller die. Its real easy to test the situation of many 1 large die (say d60) vs 60 "1" sided dice. A "1" sided die will always roll 1, so it'd beat a d60 only when the d60 rolls 1. Under the above rules, the 1 sided die would have 60 "lives" though. So the d60 wins with probability 59/60. (Any roll greater 1.) But it needs to win 60 times against the many smaller dice. The probability of this is (59/60)^60 ~ 36.5%

Now if you test this with ties going to the larger dice, it skews in favor of larger die. Even with 2 d15 and 1 d30, d30 still win nearly 60% of the time.

The last situation I briefly tested. If you take a tie to be a reroll, a larger number of higher sided dice will still have an edge over more dice with a lesser range. It will just be less so than the case where it ties go to the larger sided die. Which makes sense.

I figured I'd share this little bit of information with anyone who might consider using any of the mechanics listed in this thread.

patrick stevens
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Yes I did this with my

Yes I did this with my advanced axis and allies many times and agree that even 1 extra die makes a tremendous difference. Also d-6 was the standard though.

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