Skip to Content

Military phase on Empire building game::: Any thoughts or feedback would be really appreciated

8 replies [Last post]
Morgothrond
Morgothrond's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/03/2012

First I must offer an apology if my English is not very good. XD

Now,

I've been outlining a boardgame lately. It has several elements from games i like, I felt like taking some features from games i love and create what i like best: empire building. SO I figured i would end up with a game i really really like to play

It has elements from the age of empires video game in that you build structures in your city and develop a tech tree.

It has a Dungeon Lords similar mechanic in that each player has his own board that represents his city and that you send your ambassadors to the central market board to obtain and sell resources.

It has a similar feel to the civilizations video games in which you can win by culture, economy, science or military.

And it also has a military phase, of course. I wanted to keep this simple but engaging, and also appealing for players to take that road regardless of risks.

If you guys don't mind, I'd really appreciate thoughts, FB, or suggestions on this part of the game.

Turns in the military phase are decided based on the economy so far, the player with the most gold, decides who starts the military phase. It all takes place on a Central board known as "The battlefield".

The battlefield is a square grid, no need for hexagons cause front or rear arcs are not important. There are six areas on the edges of the battlefield that are the "Deploying areas" for all players. Here is where they place their military units. These deploying areas have a standard number of spaces by default, but players can increase their own deploying areas or diminish the other player's by several means.

There is also an area on the center of the battlefield that is considered to be "no man's land" or the piece of territory that is in dispute. The spaces are divided for "conquerors" and "attackers"

Once the phase starts:
1.- The first player chooses to either try to conquer no man's land or pass.

2.- If they choose to conquer, the conquerors take up to all of their military units from the deploying area in to the center squares marked for conquerors. He can choose how many units to take.

3.- The player on the left of the conquerors then chooses to either attack the conquerors or pass. If they become attackers, then they take units from the deploying area and in to the spaces marked for attackers in the center of the battlefield, and places them one by one in front of the conqueror's units. Then combat is resolved unit by unit from left to right.

4.- TO resolve combat between units, both the attacker and the conqueror roll 1 six sided die. The highest result wins. Ties are won by the conquerors.

5.- There are five types of military units, and an "attacker" player has to be careful in considering in front of what conqueror unit to place their own units based on the type of unit:

- Soldiers:
Gain +2 to the die roll when facing archers

- Archers:
Gain +2 when facing cavalry.

- Cavalry:
Gain +2 when facing soldiers.

- Catapults:
Gain +3 when facing soldiers, archars and cavalry.

- Spies:
Gain +4 when facing catapults, but is defeated against anything
else.

Note: Spies are not a military unit per se, and can be used for other purposes in each player's city boards, but can be deployed directly to the center of the board from the city, thus adding a surprise element.

At the end of the first combat, the next player to the left of the conqueror chooses to become an attacker.

then the conqueror player might choose to withdraw with whatever units are left if any, or to reinforce the center of the board.

Then combat is resolved again.

At the end of the combats:

If the conqueror player was not attacked, he wins by default and recieves a heavy economic tribute not from players but from "the bank" And also gets to increase his deployment area on the battle field and his construction area on his city.

If the conqueror player was attacked: He gains a heavy tribute (gold, wood, citizens) from any defeated players. Or, he looses resources (gold, wood, military units) due to the "attacker" players he lost to ransacking the conqueror's military camp.

It is note worthy that gold and other resources are very hard to produce.

----------------------

Well, i am on the fence now as to a couple of things:

Is this comba system appealing?

Are the rewards appealing? (There is also a heavy VP's reward for military prowess in the game, but it is not the only road to win)

Are the losses, specially resources, too heavy that they might depress a player early on? (there might be a battle as soon as the third turn of every player. Barely enough time to create 3 military units.)

any thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks for reading!

I will be posting different mechanics of the game as I clear them up in my head and start working on the full rule set

Daydream_Nat
Offline
Joined: 04/04/2012
Idea feedback

Your combat system sounds very luck based. I think it would be depressing if you built a good strategy and your opponent blows it away with just the right dice roll.

Also a improtant question is, how can a conqueror win?
Do you need Victory points, resources, or buildings in your city?

Is there a way for players to interact in the economic phase?
Is battle against eachother the only way to get resources and to grow your city? because when, i think the game would be decided in the first round when the first winner of the battle is decided. Because he becomes the most resources from his opponents. He can build up a even bigger army than before and the opponents cant even build an army like bevore. How would the other players be possible to optain his strengh without big luck with the dice?

Is it possible that two players who battle against eachother get a draw? Do they get also resources?

Is it woth to battle against a player when you get resources also by not attacking?

When exactly is a player declared as defeated? Means a battle of two players a fight till no units left? And could another Player get a ally in combat?

How exactly looks the battle? Are the units moving like chessfigures and do they have any special abilities besides the effectiveness against particular units?

There appearing many questions for me. I hope i thought in the right directions and that this questions can help you to setup your game to a playable status. I also liked games like civ or aoe but there are already borgames of them. How much do you like your game to be alike them and in which aspekts? Or do you just liked the theme?

Your english was just good i understood everything, mine is also not the best but i hope good enough to understand eachother!
I hope to hear about your game soon again! :)

rtwombly
Offline
Joined: 01/17/2009
Thematic reason for combat

Excellent questions from Daydream_Nat. In addition, I'd ask what your combat is modelling thematically. It sounds like, in addition to being primarily luck based, whom you are able to fight depends on who else at the table wants to fight. As you mentioned, a fight only happens if player A deploys units into the field and player B (or C, or D) also deploys units. If you have exactly one player who wants to take the military path, the game will get very boring for them, even if they are taking tribute from the bank. That's not the way military conflict works. If a Roman Legion shows up in Greece, the Greeks can't say, "Sorry, not today. We're more interested in culture. Take some wood from the imaginary forest on your way home."

There's no sense in letting the player decide not to fight. That's like them deciding not to play. Let your attackers decide whom to attack, and let victory be determined by advanced preparation, sound tactics, and maybe a little luck.

Morgothrond
Morgothrond's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/03/2012
Daydream_Nat wrote:Your

Daydream_Nat wrote:
Your combat system sounds very luck based. I think it would be depressing if you built a good strategy and your opponent blows it away with just the right dice roll.

Also a improtant question is, how can a conqueror win?
Do you need Victory points, resources, or buildings in your city?

Is there a way for players to interact in the economic phase?
Is battle against eachother the only way to get resources and to grow your city? because when, i think the game would be decided in the first round when the first winner of the battle is decided. Because he becomes the most resources from his opponents. He can build up a even bigger army than before and the opponents cant even build an army like bevore. How would the other players be possible to optain his strengh without big luck with the dice?

Is it possible that two players who battle against eachother get a draw? Do they get also resources?

Is it woth to battle against a player when you get resources also by not attacking?

When exactly is a player declared as defeated? Means a battle of two players a fight till no units left? And could another Player get a ally in combat?

How exactly looks the battle? Are the units moving like chessfigures and do they have any special abilities besides the effectiveness against particular units?

There appearing many questions for me. I hope i thought in the right directions and that this questions can help you to setup your game to a playable status. I also liked games like civ or aoe but there are already borgames of them. How much do you like your game to be alike them and in which aspekts? Or do you just liked the theme?

Your english was just good i understood everything, mine is also not the best but i hope good enough to understand eachother!
I hope to hear about your game soon again! :)

Excellent feedback, thanks!

"Your combat system sounds very luck based."

Since the military part of the game is just a small part of it all, I first thought of doing a "rock - scissors - paper" kind of thing. Like Archers defeat cavalry, soldiers defeat archers and cavalry defeats soldiers. no die roll at all; I added the die roll with advantages to include a little luck. But maybe it is too much. Now I am thinking on getting rid of it.

"Also a improtant question is, how can a conqueror win?
Do you need Victory points, resources, or buildings in your city?"

The game as a whole is won by VP's yes. Them point come from resources, buildings you have constructed as well as their type (science, culture, etc) and military points come from both units recruited and victories achieved.

To achieve a victory the "conqueror" needs to
a) not be challenged by other players when he wants to take neutral land during the military phase sort of described above

or

b) defeat any attackers that challenge the conqueror in the neutral ground.

This is why the conqueror gains resources from a sort of "bank" cause he is conquering neutral lands for himself and no one is stopping him.

"Is there a way for players to interact in the economic phase?"

Yes, there is interaction in at least three other phases that deal with economy.

"Is battle against eachother the only way to get resources and to grow your city?"

Nope military phase is there to:

a) gain Moree resources and probably get ahead of the curve.

b) allow players that do not build culture or science to actually win the game by just having military scores.

c) gain favor from the gods cause of blood spilled (but i did not cover this rule in the explanation above, since it is an idea: blood spilled pleases the gods and increases production)

I also included the military phase because a player might become a leader very early on if he focuses on culture for example. The military slaps down a possible runaway player.

"He can build up a even bigger army than before..."

Deploying space is limited. At first every one starts out the same. If you match up a soldier against a catapult, then well that wa a bad choice. If you match an archer vs. cavalry then it is a good choice and you might win. Though i am thinking on getting rid of the dice.

Also, units get recruited on select buildings. So a civil or science player might actually construct better units.

"Is it possible that two players who battle against eachother get a draw?"

No, all draws are won by the conqueror.

This is being incredibly helpful and i DO appreciate the time you guys took to address this idea.

What do you think with the answers provided?

Morgothrond
Morgothrond's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/03/2012
rtwombly wrote:Excellent

rtwombly wrote:
Excellent questions from Daydream_Nat. In addition, I'd ask what your combat is modelling thematically. It sounds like, in addition to being primarily luck based, whom you are able to fight depends on who else at the table wants to fight. As you mentioned, a fight only happens if player A deploys units into the field and player B (or C, or D) also deploys units. If you have exactly one player who wants to take the military path, the game will get very boring for them, even if they are taking tribute from the bank. That's not the way military conflict works. If a Roman Legion shows up in Greece, the Greeks can't say, "Sorry, not today. We're more interested in culture. Take some wood from the imaginary forest on your way home."

There's no sense in letting the player decide not to fight. That's like them deciding not to play. Let your attackers decide whom to attack, and let victory be determined by advanced preparation, sound tactics, and maybe a little luck.

This is a very good point. Haven't thought of it like this. I had the idea that was being conquered in the center of the battlefield was neutral unclaimed land, not actually part of some one else's civilization. This way, with all other phaes and paths to victory the game will have, a player might very well choose to stay out of the expansionist player's path and still win. Actually with better odds. But i haven't thought if it being boring to some players. Maybe Ill emphasize the sacrificial aspect of it, so the economic players gain blood for the gods and increase production. But this part is still an idea.

Thanks for making me see that!!

rtwombly
Offline
Joined: 01/17/2009
military is as big a part as player's make it

One difficulty you'll likely face when going to playtest is that players may not play as you have intended. If your players decide that military is the most important part for THEM, their enjoyment of the game will be entirely decided by the strength or weakness of the combat system.

Ultimately, you have to design the whole game. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

I'd like to hear more about the rest of the game. A typical Euro solution for the military component of an empire builder is to make military essentially an auction, where the player who has spent the most money (or whatever) on military by the time it becomes relevant wins. 7 Wonders does this explicitly. Through the Ages does it with the addition of Tactic cards that reward developing certain branches of the military tree. The reason this works is because the choices in phases leading up to a military conflict are made significant by that conflict. Players feel rewarded for making good choices, or can trace their failure back to poor choices. Note that this doesn't rule out some element of luck, but that luck must still allow choice to be the driving factor.

Does your economic phase allow the player enough control that the military phase is a logical conclusion to that phase?

For the record, I'm not a great fan of paper-rock-scissors systems. Have you studied combat systems in other games? I found Lost Battles and Here I Stand particularly interesting, though Lost Battles is very much a maneuver game, where combat doesn't make sense without a map.

Morgothrond
Morgothrond's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/03/2012
Thanks Wombly!son

Cool comments man.

I would definitely think about what you said.

I love 7 wonders!! I am very tempted to do a sort of "Who has more shields" thing for my game as well. I mean, as you say, many of my gaming group are really warmongers, so i think the military road will appeal to them the most.

As to your Q:
"Does your economic phase allow the player enough control that the military phase is a logical conclusion to that phase?"

I'm not sure what you mean here. Im pretty new to all these game jargon, but lemme see...
During the economic phase, players have total control on what they build, and the military step is definitely impacted by what they decide to invest on during production and construction steps.

I will very gladly post the entire ruleset as soon as I have it outlined. Right now I just wanted to get the military part cleared out.

I do like rock sicsors paper mechanics, cause they keep it simple. XD, though the auction thing looks good.
What i am not thrilled about are the dice.

Daydream_Nat
Offline
Joined: 04/04/2012
Examples

Now the whole thing gets more imaginable. You just wrote so much about the military phase and so less abot the economic phase that I thought the game is based on this battlefield board you mentioned. As i read this thing about more or less dices in battle i just thought on games like risk where every battle is mostly dice luck but with a rock scissor paper system this sounds way more tactical.

Luck components arent bad! For exapmple if you roll dice for special abilities you gain from your researches, buildings, gods, culture or whatever and make a 50/50% chance for sucsess or less for stronger abilities would also add a thrill.

I just wantet to say that to much luck would kill a stategy game, because where is the sense in building a good stategy anainst a opponent that dosent have a clue what he does and just win a battle by getting the right dice results. But thats also a matter of how advanced you will do this battlefield tactics.

There are also mechanics such as supplies for an army.
For instance: If you just get supplies by a good working economy this would prevent players from just going one direction. Making things dependable from eachother is a way to request a player to think of his next turn. Maybe he haves the options, between getting more supplies for a bigger army to own more of the neutral fields for the lordship of the battlefield so he gets Vp's in the military arc, or to invest his resouces in research that may give him a discount on buildings for Vp's.

But there are many ways to solve this. I hope i could make some useful examples! :)

Morgothrond
Morgothrond's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/03/2012
Dependency

I really liked your thoughts on making dependable Arcs, and your examples were great.

I appreciate the thoughts.

Syndicate content


forum | about seo