Skip to Content

Activation Points

I don't mean Activation Points as in "locations you activate".
I mean "Points you spend to Activate". Read on.......

Originally, my game wasn't supposed to be just "I activate 1 model, you activate 1 model." On top of that, you have Activation Points. If you want to move this model, it costs 1 activation point. Shoot? 1 AP. Use an ability? 1-3 AP. And so on. In this sense, the game worked a lot like the board game "Cadwallon: City of Thieves". Too many models and not enough Activation Points. This requires you to budget

not only the points of units you bring to battle, but the very actions you give them. Give all your points to 1 model, and sure, he'll beat some face, but you leave all your other models in the dust where they can't support him. Now that I think about it, I should call them "Time Allocation Points" or something of that nature.

Thematically, it works out to basically, "Your character is performing lavish movement, attacks, and incredible abilities on the battlefield. His teammates are standing there in awe of his actions and/or calling out orders for the following time frame of combat." Eventually these "incredible actions" turned into "Glory Points" which I mentioned in my previous posts. I felt that players would be bogged down from keeping track of Activation Points and which models had already activated (seeing as it is still a 1 model activation turn).

Do you think I should implement this again?
Will it be too much to track?
Will Glory have to be cut out completely or come back as a character ability?
Save this for another wargame? (Which I have just sitting there, not being worked on)

Comments

I'm actually just jumping

I'm actually just jumping into this blog now, so maybe I've missed something important from previous posts, but as a fellow wargame designer, here are my thoughts:

-Do you think I should implement this again?
I've thought about a system like this in one of my own games. As far as I can tell, here are the benefits and problems:
-Some people might say it is unrealistic to have one person doing everything.
-If you can make 1 character do everything, it will tend to promote armies with fewer, tougher, characters, and make mob armies more difficult to play.
-It does allow for a negative feedback, since as your characters get killed, the survivors tend to become more powerful. This will give some benefit to the player who is losing. I have found few other devices that can promote this in a wargame.
-It is more complicated than everyone getting to act. Complicated can be beneficial to a point, though if you give a player too many decisions it can slow the game down.
There might be others, this is what I can think of now.

-Will it be too much to track?
Probably not, at least not if a) the number of APs (or TAPs) is not huge, and b) there is some easy way to implement it (such as plastic chits), then I don't think it would be difficult. Especially if every time you make an action, you remove that many AP chits, and can reassign them in previous turns. That said, I don't know what the magic number is for too many chits, but I think more than 4 might become problematic. This is something you'd need to figure out during playtesting.

Two games that you might look into: Heroscape and Warmachines. In Heroscape, each turn you get 3 actions, and can spend them on any of your characters. So, for example, I could spend all 3 actions moving my squad of orcs (they would thus move and attack 3 times), or I could move my dragon, my orcs, and my goblins. In Warmachines, each warcaster gets a certain number of power points, which he can assign at the start of the turn. During a turn, a player can move all of their characters, however, by using the power tokens, you can give characters an extra boost (either a stronger attack, or a new ability).

As to whether or not you should use it, I might ask, how does it fit into the theme of your game? Is it that your general can give a limited number of orders each turn? If this is more of a skirmish game, then why would certain party members do much more than others?

Hope that helps!

Simon

simons wrote:-It does allow

simons wrote:
-It does allow for a negative feedback, since as your characters get killed, the survivors tend to become more powerful. This will give some benefit to the player who is losing. I have found few other devices that can promote this in a wargame.

I never thought of that! That's great!

simons wrote:
-Some people might say it is unrealistic to have one person doing everything.
-If you can make 1 character do everything, it will tend to promote armies with fewer, tougher, characters, and make mob armies more difficult to play.

Though you now have more TAP to spread around, you have less options with few units. I start with 3 really strong units vs an opponent's 7 meh units. (I'm thinking of having 10 TAP per turn.) If he loses a unit, no problem. If I lose a unit, that's 1/3 of my army and only 2 attack actions per turn.

simons wrote:
-It is more complicated than everyone getting to act. Complicated can be beneficial to a point, though if you give a player too many decisions it can slow the game down.

I'm hoping that the low model count counteracts this.

simons wrote:
-Will it be too much to track?
Probably not, at least not if a) the number of APs (or TAPs) is not huge, and b) there is some easy way to implement it (such as plastic chits), then I don't think it would be difficult. Especially if every time you make an action, you remove that many AP chits, and can reassign them in previous turns. That said, I don't know what the magic number is for too many chits, but I think more than 4 might become problematic. This is something you'd need to figure out during playtesting.

Actually, TAP is a pool the player holds. A player pays the TAP cost for a model by spending it from his pool and placing it next to the model. This way, when your pool is gone, you know how much you've spent and on whom.

simons wrote:
As to whether or not you should use it, I might ask, how does it fit into the theme of your game? Is it that your general can give a limited number of orders each turn? If this is more of a skirmish game, then why would certain party members do much more than others?

No generals. All solos. Certain party members do more simply because it's more tactically advantageous. If one teammate is pinned down behind a wall, why have him act? A teammate bringing up the rear can get to a more advantageous spot, lay down cover fire or throw smoke, etc. That's the idea anyway.

um no

this is my first post on these forums but i have been reading a few blogs on here and thought id offer my opinions.

so i read all your posts

me n my roomy decided to use actual math (something you seem to be avoiding) to generate the same probailities your useing for your (wtf) 3-dice system.

conclusion ? use a D-20. and

stop rolling dice to generate probilities. your percents are all wrong. your d-6 example made me cringe

other than that it sounds fun that your tryin to make a full game n all that. i have to be honest though you may wanna check out the million other systems. i dont c u doin anything new with your system. looks like some numbers and some theme. all thats gonna get you is yet another wargame rule set. if your just makein this to play with your friends then it sounds fun but if your makein it 2 sell it you may want to start over

here is what i mean dude http://www.miniaturewargaming.com/ like a million games on thier and thier all free and some even have artwork. im not tryin to be a downer but it doesnt seem like you gave this much thought before starting

and

if you want some advice or something let me know. i have alot of experience with wargames (5 years). if you wanna get new players you ahve to make it cheap (so poor people like me can play!). and youd have to make it something new. thier is already plenty of systems with great art and lots of fun numbers out thier that dont require me to do some random math with a handful of odds n ends dice to make it work.

Rephrasing...

Evil ColSanders wrote:

Though you now have more TAP to spread around, you have less options with few units. I start with 3 really strong units vs an opponent's 7 meh units. (I'm thinking of having 10 TAP per turn.) If he loses a unit, no problem. If I lose a unit, that's 1/3 of my army and only 2 attack actions per turn.

I guess the point I tried to make is this: in the situation you just described, you would get to make 10 actions using really good characters, while your opponent would make 10 actions using really meh characters. This allows you to get a lot more out of having a really big character than in a game like Warhammer, where it is one character=one action.

That said, you do make a point about versatility and damage from loss. I can't remember how Heroscape fixed it, I think it was just that moderate jumps in strength resulted in large jumps in cost. The other way was that movement was a very important part of the game, and because of this, it could sometimes be very beneficial to have units in two places at once (something you couldn't do with just one super monster).

And I guess there are two ways you could fix this. First would be make a limit on how many of each action can be used per turn (i.e. my giant can't make 10 move actions). Second could be make big monsters require more to TAPs to perform the same action. So, if I want my goblin to run forward, that costs 1 TAP. If I want my cannon-wielding giant to run forward, that costs 2 or 3 TAP. The system you have sounds really interesting, and could definitely lend itself to some interesting variants.

Simon

Oh boy, HERE we go.....

Ghiest wrote:
me n my roomy decided to use actual math (something you seem to be avoiding) to generate the same probailities your useing for your (wtf) 3-dice system.
conclusion ? use a D-20. and stop rolling dice to generate probilities. your percents are all wrong. your d-6 example made me cringe

Wow. If you were trying to be helpful, you certainly insulted me thoroughly before doing so.

Ghiest wrote:
other than that it sounds fun that your tryin to make a full game n all that. i have to be honest though you may wanna check out the million other systems. i dont c u doin anything new with your system. looks like some numbers and some theme. all thats gonna get you is yet another wargame rule set. if your just makein this to play with your friends then it sounds fun but if your makein it 2 sell it you may want to start over

Wait. Check out the other million systems (and essentially copy them) because my system brings nothing new? I, for one, have never seen anything like it. I think that constitutes as new.

Ghiest wrote:
here is what i mean dude http://www.miniaturewargaming.com/ like a million games on thier and thier all free and some even have artwork. im not tryin to be a downer but it doesnt seem like you gave this much thought before starting

Thanks for the link. I wouldn't mind using artwork. If you have read my blogs as you'd have seen that I have given this plenty of thought. I'm fleshing out the ideas in this blog and bouncing them off of other members of this site.

Ghiest wrote:
if you want some advice or something let me know. i have alot of experience with wargames (5 years). if you wanna get new players you ahve to make it cheap (so poor people like me can play!). and youd have to make it something new. thier is already plenty of systems with great art and lots of fun numbers out thier that dont require me to do some random math with a handful of odds n ends dice to make it work.

I..... I have no words. I've played so many boardgames and have knowledge of many different wargames and skirmish games. (Working in a hobby store certainly helps)

Thanks, Simon! Clearing things up.

simons wrote:
I guess the point I tried to make is this: in the situation you just described, you would get to make 10 actions using really good characters, while your opponent would make 10 actions using really meh characters. This allows you to get a lot more out of having a really big character than in a game like Warhammer, where it is one character=one action.

That said, you do make a point about versatility and damage from loss. I can't remember how Heroscape fixed it, I think it was just that moderate jumps in strength resulted in large jumps in cost. The other way was that movement was a very important part of the game, and because of this, it could sometimes be very beneficial to have units in two places at once (something you couldn't do with just one super monster).

And I guess there are two ways you could fix this. First would be make a limit on how many of each action can be used per turn (i.e. my giant can't make 10 move actions). Second could be make big monsters require more to TAPs to perform the same action. So, if I want my goblin to run forward, that costs 1 TAP. If I want my cannon-wielding giant to run forward, that costs 2 or 3 TAP. The system you have sounds really interesting, and could definitely lend itself to some interesting variants.

Shoot! I guess I should have mentioned, in the TAP system, you are still only allowed 1 movement and 1 attack. I suppose you could buy another attack for 2 TAP after the initial attack. Charging (bleh (haha)) costs an additional 1 TAP when moving. I think for larger characters, movement would cost 2-3 TAP. I hadn't really thought of larger characters when I first thought this up. I hope this clears things up.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Syndicate content


blog | by Dr. Radut