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Random production system: Making it fair and strategic

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larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008

For a new game of mine, I have a simple war game idea where people rush to the center. Players spawn units and heroes that will try to control the center. Now if the spawning of units is fixed, it means that the forces on the battlefield will be symmetric and it could lead to dominant strategies. Here is a picture of the last prototype.

http://bgd.lariennalibrary.com/uploads/Mainsite/GameIdea/GameIdea-DarkTo...

My idea was to use a random production system, so that the forces are different from a player to another. But that leads to a different problem where a lucky player will have more or better troops than an unlucky player. This is the thing I want to avoid.

So an idea of mine was that each turn, your production consist in rolling 5 dices which the following face configuration:

2x Unit
2x Hero
2x Choose

Each unit you roll spawn a unit on the board. Each hero you get gives you points to hire a hero. If you do not have enough points they carry over the next turn. Each "choose" face allows you to use this face for units or heroes.

With a system like this, there are no losses. So a player cannot be unlucky and have a weaker army. If they have weaker units, they will have stronger heroes. If they have weaker heroes, they will have more units. So it kind of counter balance itself and it will create various army configurations. I'll just have to make sure that one is not more valuable than the other.

What do you think?

Do you know other games that used a good random production system?

ruy343
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Joined: 07/03/2013
Thoughts, as usual

My only concern would arise when a player ends up saving a lot of points for a particular type, but has to spend them on something they didn't want to. However, it would promote a variety of build strategies, which you'd have to balance out to ensure that they were, in fact, equal.

You might also consider having the "you choose" ones be able to affect upgrades or something as well. Additionally, locations that players hold to generate victory points would be good because it would force a player to spread out, and a stronger, dominant player wouldn't be able to hold all of the points too easily... unless they truly dominate the other players...

I do sense that because the game is limited in its speed, there might be a runaway leader problem, but perhaps it could be countered by heroes with abilities that come into play when they're surrounded or that affect multiple targets or something. Now, a player that's behind has a strategy available to them that the dominant player can't enact (because losing player doesn't have as many units). It might not turn the tides, but it could at least let the losing player have a bit more fun trying to line it up.

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Quote:I like it. The only

Quote:
I like it. The only drawback I can see is if heroes cost a lot of points, such that one round's worth of hero points is never enough to buy a hero. I assume that heroes are only, say, three times as valuable as a standard unit, so rolling three H dice will let me buy one, that works.

Heroes offer the option to attack which a unit group cannot do. The stronger the hero, the stronger his attacks and the higher his cost to summon him.

Quote:
You might also allow for a stable of heroes available for hiring, where some are cheaper and less powerful. That way, one is less likely to be forced to carry over his hero points -- he can buy a cheaper hero right now, if he wants to.

Heroes are currently rated 2-3-5-8. Since players rolls only 5 dice, it means that the level 8 hero will require accumulating success. So yes, players could go for a cheap 2 or 3 hero, or accumulate success and troops to get a better hero later.

Quote:
another thing to watch out for is 'running out' of units or heroes. If i have been saving (maybe due to bad luck) up points for the last 3 turns, and you happen to snag the last hero before I do, that would suck.

Each players has their own 4 heroes. It is possible to run out of heroes if you lose them all, but I might have a prisoner exchange mechanic to get an hero back. Else if you lost all your heroes, the game should be about to end.

Because of this, I had another dice configuration idea:

3 unit
2 choose
1 hero

This time, there is a potential of 5 units and 3 heroes per roll. Units cannot be accumulated, but hero can. If all heroes are out, you can still accumulate points incase you get one back. But you will only be forced 1/6th of the time where you will not be able to change it as a unit.

Quote:
My only concern would arise when a player ends up saving a lot of points for a particular type, but has to spend them on something they didn't want to. However, it would promote a variety of build strategies, which you'd have to balance out to ensure that they were, in fact, equal.

Only hero points can be accumulated, the units are placed on the field immediately. The reason for the accumulation is to allow getting a level 8 hero with 5 dice. One of the faction will roll 8 Dice as it's special ability.

Quote:
I do sense that because the game is limited in its speed, there might be a runaway leader problem,

I somewhat found a solution to this. I knew that rush for the center would lead to run away leader syndrome. So each faction has a nemesis that can be moved by any players. A nemesis can only attack the matching faction and it wins all the time forcing the player to retreat. So the first player to reach the center is much likely to fight his nemesis first forcing him to find alternate ways to reach the center and giving time for the other players to block his path.

Up to now, the dynamic seems very interesting. Thanks for the feedback.

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