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Combat mechanics

2 replies [Last post]
Joined: 12/31/2009

Hello, Im Mantas from Lithuania.

Happy New Year!!!

Im a newbie in whole board game creating world :) I decided to try to make my own war game and have an idea about a combat mechanics. Here's example:

Firstly i will describe a war unit, that is soldier.
War unit - Soldier:
3 hit points (health), Defence is 1 and he has few attacks - Low damage of 1, Medium damage of 3, High damage of 5 and critical hit of 9 damage points.

Secondly there is a combat dice with these values: 1. Miss, 2. Low damage, 3. Medium damage, 4. Medium damage, 5. High damage and 6. Critical damage.
And defence dice: Soldier can defend (kill one of enemy unit) only if he rolls 1.

So imagine, that Player1 with 3 soldiers is attacking Player2 with 5 soldiers.
1. Player1 rolls 3 combat dices and scores Low, Mid and Crit, that is 1+3+9=13 dmg points. At the same time, as Player1 rolls combat dices, Player2 rolls 5 defence dices and scores 4,5,2,1,6 (one success).
2. Player2's total health in this battle is 3x5=15 and total defence is 5x1=5. So Player1 did damage to Player2 of total 13-5=8. Player2's Health is reduced from 15 to 7 - 3 soldiers left.
3. Player2 rolled one "1" with dice, so Player1 is left with 2 soldiers.

Player1 decides to attack again or not. If Player1 decides to go away:), then the Player2 can decide to immediatly attack Player1 and the Combat is engaged again.

My question is: I'm afraid, that such a battle system (with war units health and attack range) will require quite a lot of simple math :) and it could be to hard, long, boring and not so entertaining. What do you think, is it too complex for a game or is it quite good idea?

MarkKreitler's picture
Joined: 11/12/2008

Hey Miketangos!

First off, welcome aboard! It's great to see new people a the site.

Second, in answer to your question, I'd say, "It depends." What kind of feel do you want in your game? "War Games" covers a lot of ground, from detailed simulations like Advanced Squad Leader through moderate abstractions (Memoir '44) to complete abstractions (Risk). The math tends to get more complex as the simulation becomes more accurate, ultimately requiring huge rulesets with detailed lookup tables. All of these games have an audience, though often it's not the same people playing each one.

So, some basic questions to consider:
1) How accurate do you want your combat simulation to be?
2) What is the scale of action of your game (you'll have to abstract *something* if you want to represent theater-wide conflicts, for example)?
3) What is your desired pace of play?

I will say this: the system you outlined above does suffer a bit from "too many numbers with too many different meanings." For example, if I roll a '1' on a defense, die, it indicates success. To find total defense, I take the number of defense successes and multiply by my defense rating. This requires players to process the numbers on the dice, then count the dice, then multiply times the defense rating.

One way to short-circuit this process and get other parts of the brain involved would be to use symbol or color dice instead of numerical dice. I'll use a color dice example, but symbols might work better (see Memoir '44 for an example).

Suppose you have 6-sided color dice with the following faces: black, red, green, yellow, blue, white. Black always indicates failure. White is always defense. The remaining colors indicate success for different unit types. For instance, an infantry unit may succeed only on white and no other color, while and armor unit may succeed on white, blue, and red. The success colors would appear on each unit counter for ease of reference.

On the defender's turn, he rolls the dice and separates out those with success colors, then multiplies these by his units' defense rating to compute his total defense.

Even though this is the exact same system, it feels less "mathy" because you've employed a different part of the brain in the initial steps.

Once again welcome! I hope you'll continue to update the site as you develop your system further.
Good luck!

Joined: 12/31/2009
Thank you for warm welcome

Thank you for warm welcome :)
And thank you for your advices, it helped me very much on generating ideas.
Your questions to consider helped me to shape overall game idea.
And your suggestion to get involved other parts of the brain healed my headache about to mathy battle system.

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