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Using strategy cards to simulate a battlefield

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larienna
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I made a thread last time that in movies and video games, warfare battles seems very interesting because there are a series of details and strategies that each side can use or take advantage of. I might have found a mechanic that could do the job without the need to add a battle field detailed battle on the side. My goal is to simulate a tactical battle field without having one.

Each player would have access to a certain number of strategy cards which are either acquired randomly or determined by some elements of the game. Here are the elements that can gives you strategy cards:

Terrain: These contains natural defense like mountain, rivers, passes, etc. that the player can take advatage of. It could be possible to fix the cards you get in each area of the board so that all battles on the same hex always have the same terrain cards. Which would create through the game some historical content ( Yep invading that hex was very hard)

Heroes/Commander: Commanders can bring new strategy cards according to their commanding ability. Again, maybe the cards aquired are fixed by the hero's abilities.

Traps: You could have previously setup traps on the field which could be triggered in the battles to come.

Formations: Maybe all formations are available by default, you try to take a formation that is best for the battle to come.

There might be other elements.

All the non-random strategy cards, like terrain, will be known by your opponent before the battles. But other strategy cards would be hidden. Before rollling the dice, each player will select a certain amount of strategy cards. I don't know how much, maybe one of each type. Then player reveal and roll the dices.

The strategy cards would give bonus/mallus or/and would power up/down the abilities of certain units or/and would nullify the abilities of certain units.

I don't want to have too much Mindgames, so probably the abilities will not depend much of what the other player used as cards, but rather by what is the army composition of the ennemy. For example, if the ennemy has a lot of archers, you might use some strategy card that gives you better protection vs archer without considering your opponent's strategy card.

Arvin
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At Last some Fresh Ideas...

larienna wrote:

warfare battles seems very interesting because there are a series of details and strategies that each side can use or take advantage of. I might have found a mechanic that could do the job without the need to add a battle field detailed battle on the side. My goal is to simulate a tactical battle field without having one.

Creating a tactical battle simulation without a battlefield is tough...
I have been thinking mechanics like that for some time now, but still no luck... (I'm creating a Tactical & Strategic Game)
I still cannot find the mechanic that suites my needs...(I have plenty of Ideas)

larienna wrote:

Each player would have access to a certain number of strategy cards which are either acquired randomly or determined by some elements of the game. Here are the elements that can gives you strategy cards:

Terrain
Heroes/Commander
Traps
Formations

There might be other elements.

All the non-random strategy cards, like terrain, will be known by your opponent before the battles. But other strategy cards would be hidden. Before rollling the dice, each player will select a certain amount of strategy cards. I don't know how much, maybe one of each type. Then player reveal and roll the dices.

The strategy cards would give bonus/mallus or/and would power up/down the abilities of certain units or/and would nullify the abilities of certain units.

Maybe this is the one I'm looking for...(Well not exactly this one but maybe it will inspire me)
My game works also sort of like a Hex based map but it has no terrain feature,
I want to Reduce dice rolling and make it Card Driven...
Commanders,Traps,Formations are in there (almost the same concept) but I think I'm still missing something.(Still don't know what it is...)

larienna wrote:

I don't want to have too much Mindgames, so probably the abilities will not depend much of what the other player used as cards, but rather by what is the army composition of the ennemy. For example, if the ennemy has a lot of archers, you might use some strategy card that gives you better protection vs archer without considering your opponent's strategy card.

Thinking time kills my game, that is why I'm looking for New Ideas...
My game does not have unit types only the No. of units. (Which makes it a lot easier)
The type of units are on the Cards. (Which has different attributes)

Can you Explain more how your mechanics work? (If you don't mind)
Maybe we can share Ideas...

larienna
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In my game each hex is an

In my game each hex is an area of the world map. There is no units on the board, only army markers and city. When a player use an army marker to invade an area, we "detail" the battle more by bringing in play the units the player has in his army. So on the world map, it's pretty abstract and during battle, it is more detailed.

But again, I don't want to do side battles. I had a formula which allows me to resolve the whole battle in 1 roll. It use the following system: roll A dice, keep all dice <=B and add C to each die kept. The total value determine the winner. It might also be possible to win without killing the enemy army. Abilities and technologies will influence these variables.

Now, I found that it was a bit bland to just roll, and check who is the winner, but I don't want side battles to make the game too long. So if I could have strategy cards that influence the variables above or add/negate unit abilities, it could give a feeling that you are actually running a real war.

I also like the fact that you can have an memory of a fight in a certain area or against a certain heroes which has a combination of card harder to defeat.

I also realized that terrain cards will only be used by the defender. The attacker rarely take advantage of the battlefield. So either I give the cards in the player's hand, or the attacker choose which terrain cards he is going to attack. ex: Will he risk attacking the cliff or will he risk passing in the valley.

Arvin
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Exactly!

larienna wrote:
In my game each hex is an area of the world map. There is no units on the board, only army markers and city. When a player use an army marker to invade an area, we "detail" the battle more by bringing in play the units the player has in his army. So on the world map, it's pretty abstract and during battle, it is more detailed.

Exactly! that was what i was going for... but I'm still working on the Map thing (It's tile-based, for re-playability), It's quite boring to look at map with only markers though. (That was one of my problems)

larienna wrote:
It use the following system: roll A dice, keep all dice <=B and add C to each die kept. The total value determine the winner.

Can you please explain this more? I can't seem to get it..."keep all dice <=B and add C to each die kept"

larienna wrote:
It might also be possible to win without killing the enemy army. Abilities and technologies will influence these variables.

Nice Idea...I'm going to try that.

Suggestion: What if you conduct battles this way: The point is not how much armies you have or the abilities and technologies but it is based on How efficient are you at Damaging or Destroying the other side.
(It's all about Efficiency in Battle...)

larienna wrote:
Now, I found that it was a bit bland to just roll, and check who is the winner, but I don't want side battles to make the game too long. So if I could have strategy cards that influence the variables above or add/negate unit abilities, it could give a feeling that you are actually running a real war.

In my game there are Tactical Cards & Strategic Cards...because it gets boring if you only use dice for combat results (I use it for special circumstances, like a draw)
Tactical Cards- Used in Battles of the two sides.
Strategic Cards- Used in Marker Manipulation on the board but can affect the Battle Itself.

Suggestion:
What if you don't just get the "feeling that you are actually running a real war"
but also give the "feeling that battles are important in a war, each and every one of it"

larienna wrote:
I also like the fact that you can have an memory of a fight in a certain area or against a certain heroes which has a combination of card harder to defeat.

Also I Nice Idea... That was my aim, Players could remember battles (Special ones)
(I'm still at the part at creating a battle simulation, but I'm going to use Commanders to affect the Fight)
Suggestion: What if you could add an Special Events, these can affect both sides)

larienna wrote:
I also realized that terrain cards will only be used by the defender. The attacker rarely take advantage of the battlefield. So either I give the cards in the player's hand, or the attacker choose which terrain cards he is going to attack. ex: Will he risk attacking the cliff or will he risk passing in the valley.

I get it... your game is based on being defensive.
My game is based on being aggressive...there's not much choice but to conquer areas as efficiently as possible, not as many as possible.

larienna
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Replys to your comments

Quote:
(It's tile-based, for re-playability)

I use chunk of hexes to make sure that there is a modular board without the board being too fragile like in settlers of catan.

Quote:
Can you please explain this more? I can't seem to get it..."keep all dice <=B and add C to each die kept"

This is my special combat system that I intend to use in many game.

  • Roll A dices: Ex: you roll 4 dice. Let say you roll 2,3,4,5.
  • Keep dices <= B: If B was a value of 3, you would keep 2 Dice: 2 and 3.
  • Add C to each die kept: Let say, your C value is +3, it means that each die gets +3, so 2 becomes 5, and 3 becomes 6.

The sum of the dices is 11. Each player rolls and the highest value wins.

Quote:
The point is not how much armies you have or the abilities and technologies but it is based on How efficient are you at Damaging or Destroying the other side.

Effectively, in my system, if one of your unit has a certain ability, you get the bonus. It does not matter how much unit have this ability. So the more variety of units you have, the more ability you will get and the more powerfull you will be.

Still I intend to give a size to all my armies for 2 reason. When fighting a large army, if you do not roll high enough, you win but the enemy army is not destroyed. Second, if you have more soldier than your enemy, you somewhat get a tactical advantage so you will gain some bonus to the dice roll.

Quote:
Strategic Cards- Used in Marker Manipulation on the board but can affect the Battle Itself.

I Like the idea, but my hexes are very large, right now, I expect the equator of the world map to be 20 hex long. So there is not much strategy you can do on a map that large, you invade an area or not.

Quote:
Suggestion: What if you could add an Special Events, these can affect both sides

If I use the card system explained above, probably a few random cards are going to get drawn randomly and these will be special event.

Quote:
I get it... your game is based on being defensive.

Not necessarily, it's just not only a war game, it also a development game. So war is useful, but you don't fight all the time. Since I want players to easily punch through the enemy, there will have to be may ways to break defenses.

Arvin
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Questions...

larienna wrote:
I use chunk of hexes to make sure that there is a modular board without the board being too fragile like in settlers of catan.

Yep.. too much tiles are troublesome...

Suggestion: What if you put another board under the tiles, so that the tiles won't move.
Thetiles can be changed but the General shape of the board cannot be moved..

larienna wrote:

This is my special combat system that I intend to use in many game.

- Roll A dices: Ex: you roll 4 dice. Let say you roll 2,3,4,5.
- Keep dices <= B: If B was a value of 3, you would keep 2 Dice: 2 and 3.
- Add C to each die kept: Let say, your C value is +3, it means that each die gets +3, so 2 becomes 5, and 3 becomes 6.

The sum of the dices is 11. Each player rolls and the highest value wins.

Now I get it... Hey I think I could modify that so that I can use it in my game. (Nice!)
I'm going to turn it to Card Mechanics.(Oh yeah...)

larienna wrote:

Effectively, in my system, if one of your unit has a certain ability, you get the bonus. It does not matter how much unit have this ability. So the more variety of units you have, the more ability you will get and the more powerfull you will be.

Still I intend to give a size to all my armies for 2 reason. When fighting a large army, if you do not roll high enough, you win but the enemy army is not destroyed. Second, if you have more soldier than your enemy, you somewhat get a tactical advantage so you will gain some bonus to the dice roll.

Got it... (Efficiency is the best)

larienna wrote:

Quote:
Strategic Cards- Used in Marker Manipulation on the board but can affect the Battle Itself.

I Like the idea, but my hexes are very large, right now, I expect the equator of the world map to be 20 hex long. So there is not much strategy you can do on a map that large, you invade an area or not.

I'm Glad you liked it... I liked that one too.

Questions:
What's the setting of your game? (I can't picture it out)
You said there is some type of development in your game... Can you explain it more?

larienna
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I am making 2 games at once.

I am making 2 games at once. They are both my remake attempts of "Master of orion" and "master of magic" video games. One takes place in space, and one take space in a fantasy world. These are 4X games which looks much like civilizations video game.

I have been designing these games for quite some time. I have been refining the concepts of the game since then. I am trying to create a game system that would work for both games so that what works great in one game could be used in the other game. For example, the production system and the combat system would be much alike. The fantasy game would have 2 production system, the second one used for rmagic management. Diplomacy and espionage would also works the same way considering that there is little difference given by the theme.

If I ever get published, it might even be possible to publish both games in the same box since some components could be shared by both games. That could be awesome.

You can have some pictures of my prototypes here:

http://ariel.minilab.bdeb.qc.ca/~ericp/cgi-bin/boardgame/index.php?n=Mai...

Look under "Spellcraft" and "Orion" to see the 2 games I am talking about. You have pictures of the map for both games.

Arvin
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Nice...

Now I get it...

Having two games with the same mechanic is useful...
Now I get what your talking about... The game I'm creating is like Orion, but instead of large tiles like that I use smaller ones, but they are grouped into territories (Sectors) which can be changed every time.

You have nice prototypes. :)

larienna
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In order to have a bit of

In order to have a bit of exploration without having a board "a la" settler of catan, I make each player start on his part of the galaxy which has a group of hex he can explore and colonize. When he reaches the limit of his area, now his tile gets connected to the tile of another player. These tiles will stay connected until the end of the game. It creates some sort of semi-random map without having hundreds of hexes to cut.

For the fantasy game, I intend to use triangles and diamonds to play on an isocahedral map. Everybody will start on a diamond and the diamonds will eventually connect to each other as the players expands.

So it seems you are working on a Orion game too. Normally, I should make the orion game first because it should be more simple that the fantasy game. But for some reason, the ideas comes in better with the fantasy game.

Do you have a certain focus in your game? Even if we are both making an orion game, we can both have different focus.

It's hard to tell what is the focus of my game. I think My goal would be to make a game that reproduce the same feeling power and superiority. This is one of the reason I insisted to have a world map, and not a part of the world. This is why in Orion there is a huge technology difference between the first techs and the last tech. So I wanted to keep this idea of "grandeur" that MOO and MOM has.

This is also why it brought many complications so far to make the game work because MOO/MOM have many information that could not be place in the board game. Simplifying the whole colony development to Lvl 1 or Lvl 2 colonies is indeed a massive simplification.

Anyways, I am always open to share mechanics or ideas if you want.

Arvin
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I have an Idea...

I have a neat way of making "Sectors in Space" using tiles and it can still have territories... but unfortunately I cannot show it to you yet.
I'm still in the process of creating it...(Right in the middle of it)

This is how it works, you have "Sectors" that have multiple spaces in it... (Just like in Risk, the way you Continents and territories)
but unlike Risk in which the continents are permanent... This one has Movable Sectors (or Continents in Risk terms).
These Sectors can be attached to each other. (that solves my Replayability Problem)
But my system is Unbalanced but for me it works. I'll show it to you someday.

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