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How to have a "combat-mechanic" without requiring Attack/Defense stats???

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questccg
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Everyone of us has seen "countless" card games with stats for cards that are way too familiar with stats such as "Attack" and "Defense".

I'm not looking for other "terms" (like Power and Toughness, Firepower and Resistance, etc.) ... I'm looking for a NOVEL way to combat.

I have a "mathematical"-mechanic for computing scoring and I already have a Mana replacement dice-mechanic. Those two (2) mechanics are original and I have done some playtesting already. Also there is a "range"-mechanic which controls what "reach" a card may have to attack another card.

All that is NOVEL and good.

The trouble I am having is trying to figure out how to have a novel COMBAT mechanic that allows me to have fully tracked "Health" and some other way of figuring out "HOW Damage is to be assigned and distributed"?

Anyone have any ideas??? Please feel free to share your thoughts and ask any questions, in case I have not been sufficiently clear in my explanation.

questccg
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A combination of Mana + Stats...

Okay so initially I was going to TRACK "Health" of each card. This seemed like the way to go... But going over past iterations, I found one that used Mana/Stats in a different way.

Let me explain and then it may be more clear.

As explained the Resources for a game are determined by rolling standard 4d6s: 3 White and 1 Black.

Each dice can be "attached" to one resource. The resources of the game are:

  • Power = Physical Attacks inflicting material wounds.

  • Skill = Abilities involving subterfuge, secrecy and stealth.

  • Magic = Magical Powers that are used to cast Spells.

Now instead of using HEALTH which is another stat and could lead to too much direct damage (eg. 4 x 10 HP = 40 Damage against a unit that only has 30 Health) ... What if instead each unit could have some kind of COMBINATION of STATS.

For example: A Fighter has 3 Power and 2 Skill. If you ONLY use an opposing unit which is strong in POWER... You MAY be able to reduce the Fighter's Power to ZERO (0)... But he would still be ALIVE because of the 2 Skill!

This is so FREAKEN AWESOME... Because it means you need to COMBO with other units and some have spells while others have other types of direct attack. Or use an "Advanced Tactic" which deals some kind of OTHER damage.

Like for the Fighter, his "Advanced Tactic" could be "Frenzy": 1 Power + 1 Skill. So the Frenzy Tactic could be used AGAINST a Fighter... But still he could hold off and survive with 1 Skill remaining. So you would need to find another unit to do some "SKILL" Damage to defeat the Fighter.

Something like that... Like I said, sometimes it is worth it looking up older ideas, past iterations and older designs. You may not find the exact answer, but it may give you some inspiration! Or change your way of viewing the game.

For certain this is what I will be using... I just prototyped ONE (1) card and I am sure this is the BEST way to go. Cheers all!

Note #1: Figured I'd just give a 2nd sample: "Breath of Fire" (Red Dragon) has 6 Power and 4 Magic. He is one BAD-ASS to defeat. Not only is he MIGHTY (with 6 Power) ... He is also an Enchanted Creature with some serious Magic imbued inside of him (with 4 Magic). Plus he is Flying with a Range of "3" giving him more room to threaten the opposing units. This was just for FUN! Just to demonstrate what the game and some of it's card may look like...

questccg
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I also updated the "Score cards"

Previously the "Score card" used to track resources had Nine (9) checkboxes per resource (Power, Skill, and Magic). I felt this was a bit too limiting.

As such I revised the "Score card" and now the resource tracks have twelve (12) checkboxes. I know that a Standard Die can only hit SIX (6) AT MAX ... But there WILL be cards you can "exhaust" to earn BONUS resources. You can count on that!

Buff and stuff like that. It's really got me "excited" about this design because it is SO DIFFERENT from most "card games".

However all this is GREAT... But I still have some issues with the design. Some of the problems are:

  • "Handling turns": what is a turn and how many actions on a turn.

  • What is the protocol for damage: turn-related and retaliation(?)

  • Scoring the rounds: How many rounds will there be???

So I still have some work on this design and I need further thought as to how to handle each one of these issues.

X3M
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As soon as one wants RPS or

As soon as one wants RPS or different ammounts of power. You need stats.

Of course, you could reduce the stats to one given.
And it doesn't have to be a number.

Example: a game contains red, blue and yellow dice.
The card has an offensive of for example blue.

The player uses a blue die for the attack. And needs to roll a certain threshhold. Or higher than what the opponent defence with.

A die might look like this:
111116
222255
333444
I think you get the picture...
I forgot the correct values.

larienna
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Quote:How to have a

Quote:
How to have a "combat-mechanic" without requiring Attack/Defense stats???

That is an interesting question. There are various ways to do this, but not sure it will work for you game idea as most solutions should come from abstract strategy game.

Solution 1: Use rock-paper-scisor. Now it does not have to be a perfect 3 entity relationship. If can be a series of keywords that act like weakness, and a series of abilities that target those weakness. For example, in my MOM remake, a unit would have the "Wooden Weapon" "weakness". Then the spell "Warp Wood" target any unit with wooden weapons.

Solution 2: Quantity and proximity: Another solution is for example counting the number of adjacent units around a target. "Go" Somewhat work like this, where if you surround your ennemy with 4 units, it is removed. So each unit is worth 1 point. In another word, when you have not stats, it's that everybody have the same stat which can be any value you want.

let-off studios
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Designating Limited Resources

Is there a way for the player to choose how much they'll invest in a given combat?

  • X number of dice from an available pool.
  • X number of cards from a given hand/deck/etc.

Each player chooses in secret how much they want to invest from a pool, and they simultaneously reveal (or in the case of dice, they simultaneously throw). The remainder of the dice or cards from the pool are used for other game actions. Highest sum, or "best set," or something like that, wins.

The uncertainty of dice makes combat still somewhat unpredictable, though with something like X3M's suggestion above, upgrading or changing dice can improve your chances of out-performing your opponent. Cards can be more predictable, but you can also upgrade a card deck with stronger attack cards as the game goes on.

There is a consequence to having to replenish your hand, re-stock your pool of dice, or whatever method you use. Not necessarily a penalty, but the point is to avoid a dominant strategy of just piling all your resources into a single combat, at the opportunity cost leaves you vulnerable in other aspects of the game.

Is this method kind of like the card combat in Cosmic Encounter? Haven't played that in a long while, and my memory of it is foggy.

nswoll
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Dice tower

Watch the YouTube video "Top 10 ways to Fight in a game" by Dice Tower. Three different people talk about their favorite combat mechanics in games. A lot of fantastic ideas there.

larienna
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of course, bidding resources

of course, bidding resources like in dune, tiny epic kingdom is again another method. Microcosm as a variation by revealing cards with icons in your hand.

The idea is that the resource (cube, card, etc) has all a value of 1. It's the quantity that matters.

questccg
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Thank you for sharing

nswoll wrote:
Watch the YouTube video "Top 10 ways to Fight in a game" by Dice Tower.

Thank you for that resource. Was a very FAST 1 hour video! It just flew-by in no-time. It was very interesting. I can't say it was very inspirational because most combat mechanics that they talked about MOSTLY used DICE. And it seemed like "Custom Dice" was the favorite. But it was very interesting that Determinism got a vote too. So I'm going to be exploring MORE on determinism.

nswoll wrote:
Three different people talk about their favorite combat mechanics in games. A lot of fantastic ideas there.

Indeed Zee and Sam bring in a fresh look at this topic. Too bad Sam is no longer with "The Dice Tower".

questccg
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My real concern was...

If a "Combat" mechanic is TOO SUCCESSFUL, that would break the game's primary function and that is formulating a "mathematical equation". If you have four (4) cards played on Round #1 ... And then a "Combat Phase" for Round #2 ... I don't want all four (4) cards to be defeated... It avoids the purpose of the earlier round.

But if Round #2 generates a loss of ONE (1) card, well then Round #3 makes more sense in terms of "replacing" the lost card and playing an additional card to have a five (5) card "equation". And then Round #4 could be the 2nd Combat Phase ... If there are enough resources and cards left to battle with.

Lastly Round #5 is the final computation of the equation and determining the winner.

So during the "Battle Phases" I want there to be some STRATEGY in breaking the plans of the opponent... But at the same time, I don't want it to be the entire set of cards that get "defeated".

I don't want the game to have a EURO flavor where each player ONLY focuses on their goal/equation (this is kind of true) but at the same time there needs to be some "messing-around" with the opponent's plans too. But restricted and limited... not "over-powering"!

questccg
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Let me clarify a bit...

let-off studios wrote:
Is there a way for the player to choose how much they'll invest in a given combat?

  • X number of dice from an available pool.
  • X number of cards from a given hand/deck/etc.

This game has a very limited Deck Count = 12 cards. Dice are primarily used in determining the "resource" counts. But there could be abilities that do require 1d6 or 2d6...

Picture something closer to this:

  • You have X Power, Y Skill and Z Magic.
  • How you use those 3 Resources is up to you.

But you can only knock-out a LIMITED amount of cards and/or units based on these resources. And the attacks are preserved between rounds. So there is some tracking of "stats" also.

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