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Duel Botz — Complete overhaul in order to focus the design

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been reviewing "Duel Botz", a game that came to me within 24 hours time. It came very quick and I should have known that there would be challenges to this design.

The goal of this design was to use Polyhedral dice to track various aspects of your robots. While this sounds noble and interesting... The reality is that it's going to take more time to firm up this design.

Why? Because dice as stats is BORING!!! Even rolling the dice just is not good enough for what I hope to achieve.

For now let's leave this as the introduction to the game marking this the first time that I openly discuss this design.

Cheers all... more to report soon enough.


Bucket Full-O-Dice and adding some kind of TENSION

Method #1:

My thoughts about this Design were that if you had a "2" on the D4 indicator. this would mean that you may roll 2D4s and compare a value against a Weapon's To-Hit value. This was ONE approach but it gets very UNWEILDING to roll 6D4s for example considering there are more dice (D6, D8, D10 and D12). I don't want to have to ROLL more times for each of these dice and well it doesn't make much sense to roll 25 Dice per turn (at maximum).

I get the feeling that I'm slowly transforming into @X3M! Hahahaha...

So I DON'T WANT Bucket Full-O-Dice to ruin this design... I know it will simply NOT work!

Conclusion #1: Infeasible and undesirable.

Method #2:

One of the alternatives is a BONUS system. So if I have "+2" on my D4 ... When I roll 1D4, I get a result from "1" to "4" PLUS the Bonus of "+2" meaning the values go from "3" to "6". Now there could be a Push-Your-Luck component such as IF the 1D4 goes ABOVE (">") 4 (so "5" or "6"), that dice gets PROMOTED to the 1D6... And then you roll 1D6 + BONUS could be "+2" and the 1D6 goes above (">") 6 (so "7" or "8") that dice gets PROMOTED to a 1D8...

This means that while you MAY not have a "D6" for your current Robot ... By PYL you can EARN one (1). Something like that.

It's a bit TRICKY ... But it adds some TENSION in the ROLLS as you can EARN dice which you don't have for your current Robot.

Conclusion #2: Interesting because it has a PYL mechanic. TBD if this is a feasible mechanic or not.

Method #3:

So far I've only come up with THREE (3) Methods of using the POLYHEDRAL dice. This version favors a "BONUS" system without PYL only affecting each dice vs. the weapon being used.

The principle is that you ROLL FIRST and then with the energy you determine WHAT you will use to ATTACK your opponent.

So if you ROLL 1D4 +2 = "3" to "6" in values. Then you compare with the weapons that you have available. If D4 = "Rate of Fire" and you get a value of "2" this means a TOTAL of "4" and you compare this "4" to the value of each weapon given the VALUE you must BEAT (">").

If I have "4" and the Rate of Fire = "2", that means this Weapon could fire TWICE (2x) for that specific TURN. This type of COMBO-ing and dynamic attacking could be more EXCITING... But it's a bit complicated and so it's harder to COMPREHEND what will Fire and HOW MANY(?) times.

Conclusion #3: This is in between Method #1 and #2. It uses LESS dice and it can allow for some interesting Battle Tactics. But is it the BEST choice? ATM I can not say for sure if it is!

Need some input regarding the STATS of the game

I know I explained a bit about the POLYHEDRAL dice above... As they pertain to STATS of the game. Let me list what I currently HAVE and then see if anyone has any additional ideas:

D4> Rate of Fire

Determines how many times a weapon may fire per turn. The amount required to Fire ONCE (or tuples of) is the value of the D4 on the weapon's card. So if the Robot the player is using has a "2" and the weapon has a "2" too this means that the roll = "4" and the Rate of Fire would be "2x". Meaning that a weapon would FIRE TWICE and deal 2x the Damage.

D6> Damage Dealt

Determines how much Damage that may be done. It varies between "1" and "6" Damage. But it could vary with the Rate of Fire which would be a MULTIPLIER for the attack on that turn.

D8> Firepower Rating

Each weapon has a Firepower Rating. That determines if the 1D8 roll is HIGH enough to use any given Weapon. So if your Weapon requires a "6" and you roll a "3" + "0 Bonus" means that you CANNOT use that weapon on that turn. In a way it is a way to allow all WEAPONS to have a purpose. This means that weapons which deal less DAMAGE and can be used multiple times per turn (2x or 3x Rate of Fire for example...) giving them purpose to deal damage even when it may be a lesser amount.

D10> Maximum Damage

This is a CAP on the limit on how much Damage may be dealt on any given TURN. It varies between "0" to "9". This is a counter-balance to the Damage Dealt in combination with the Rate of Fire. So if you have "5" Damage and a "2x" multiplier (Rate of Fire), you could deal 10 Damage on a TURN. This D10 means that whatever you ROLL (1D10) is the cap... So the most you can DEAL is 9 Damage... And if it's a "5" means only 5 Damage AT MOST on that turn.

D12> Heat Level

In the opposition of the other dice, you want this value to be a LOW as possible because it indicates how much the HEAT LEVEL will go up after an ATTACK. So from the 2x 5 Damage with Max of "5 + 4" (9) meaning that you will inflict 9 Damage for "6 + 4" (10) HEAT. That means firing twice would deal 9 Damage and COST 10 HEAT. This is real neat as it helps you figure out IF it is a worthwhile time to attack or to wait another turn with better odds.


So these are my STATS ... Do any seem redundant? Or would you have other uses for these Dice?? I you have any input or comments, please feel free to respond and many thanks for any feedback, comments, reactions, suggestions or ideas that you may want to contribute.


Note #1: I know it seems like there are several ways to contain an ATTACK and that's specifically what I wanted. I don't want one cheap-ass Robot to deal 250 Damage on one turn... This is a sort of BALANCE which gives PURPOSE to "weaker" weapons. So you kinda have to do your OWN "balancing" to ensure that a Robot can almost always fire per turn to not waste any turns not attacking the opponent.

All STATs seem good... Except...

The D12 used for Heat Level is a self-fulling prophecy! It's much TOO RANDOM. If you roll a "12" you probably won't want to attack that round since the amount of heat is too high. And if you roll a "1" you're for sure attacking. All values are equally likely and therefore there isn't much decision making... It's all up to LUCK and/or Chance and this is really not good.

So I will think about this some more.

The "BONUS" which turns into a "PENALTY" here ... So if your Robot has a "5" this means that your minimum value is "+5 HEAT". Which in it and itself is not too bad.

But the 1D12 ROLL is the real issue: it would infer that a "+5 HEAT" be "+6" to "+17 HEAT"... That's way too high and it's much too variable. This all loses its logic because of the RANDOMNESS of the 1D12 dice roll.

Therefore there needs to be some kind of BALANCE that is to be established. How(?) I'm not sure about that ATM. It seems like it is less likely that IF I stick with 100% Chance then it's much to SWINGY. I know I can probably use a 12 x 12 Lookup Table (much like what @X3M was working on...) to generate a HEAT level. I don't like this since I don't want ANY player aids.

I'll let it be for the moment... And see what may come!

I've been playtesting the rolling of the POLYs and ...

Well I must admit to ROLLING all FIVE (5) of the POLYs used in Combat make for a COOL roll of dice. It's sorta like Yahtzee where you roll and TRY to connect with pairs and such.

Rolling ALL FIVE (5) polys at the same time "feels" GOOD!

It's more engaging that rolling only 1D4 or 1D6... All of them together is COOL!

I've still got to work on the STATs ... But ATM that's neither HERE-nor-THERE.

Will let the ideas that I've got on my mind REST and see what I may have as an ALTERNATIVE. Why? Because there are some issues with BONUSES and so forth. And they AFFECT the outcome of the 1D12...

I'm going to update a previous comment

To talk about some of the conclusions that I have come up with to RESOLVE the problems surrounding the D12 dice.

questccg wrote:
D12> Heat Level

In the opposition of the other dice, you want this value to be a LOW as possible because it indicates how much the HEAT LEVEL will go up after an ATTACK. So from the 2x 5 Damage with Max of "5 + 4" (9) meaning that you will inflict 9 Damage for "6 + 4" (10) HEAT. That means firing twice would deal 9 Damage and COST 10 HEAT. This is real neat as it helps you figure out IF it is a worthwhile time to attack or to wait another turn with better odds.

D12> Heat/Coolant Factors

In the opposition of the other dice, you want this value to be a LOW as possible because it indicates how much the HEAT LEVEL will go up after an ATTACK. So from the 2x 5 Damage with Max of "5 + 4" (9) meaning that you will inflict 9 Damage for "1D12 - Efficiency Penalty" which could be "6 - 4" = 2 HEAT. That means firing twice would deal 9 Damage and COST 2 HEAT. This is much improved as it helps you figure out IF it is a worthwhile time to attack or to wait another turn with better odds and it generally speaks to reducing the impact of the 1D12.

Something along those lines makes much better sense and makes for an IMPROVED end-result when it comes to analyzing the outcome of the 1D12 randomness.

How it works is two-fold:

#1> First you roll 1D12 to get a "cooling" Factor and subtract the Efficiency Penalty which is from "1 to 9". The higher the value to worst it is... Because you get:

Cooling Factor (1D12) - Efficiency Penalty (1 to 9).

And that gives you the "Cooling Efficiency".

#2> Then you check the Weapon Heat Factor and get following formula:

Heat Factor - "Cooling Efficiency" = Delta to Heat Level

If the value is NEGATIVE, it is zero (0) otherwise the Delta is added to the Heat Level and compared to ensure that the Robot has NOT overheated because of a very risky or dangerous attack. Sometimes it may be worthwhile dealing a lot of Damage to defeat an opposing Robot and in return suffer from "overheating" and lose a turn or so to reach a lower Heat Level.

See ... I'm starting to post like @X3M!

The whole "You have a Cooling Factor and you need to subtract the Efficiency Penalty"... Sounds so much like whenever I read a post by @X3M ... I am always reminded that he wants attacks to have some kind of accuracy and some fail while others succeed.

I didn't need "accuracy" but I wanted some kind of "success factor" and so the conclusion is that I needed to INVERT the 1D12 and make if the Cooling Factor, next I change the Boost to a Penalty and therefore I subtract that Cooling Efficiency from the Cooling Factor to lower the value of the 1D12 Roll.

Lastly I take the Heat Factor on the weapon and subtract the result from the previous "1D12 - Cooling Efficiency" to get the Delta which if Positive (>0), then we add this to the Heat Level to see the cost of the attack in terms of actual Heat for the Robot.

And so it may sound a bit like @X3M's "accuracy" concept and since I am ONLY rolling 5 Dice once per turn (and all different POLYs), the comparison is an great way to compare results and assess the situation.

Cheers all!

I've tested it and it seems to work well... but

There is one important issue to consider. That is the fact that if you have a "NEGATIVE" Cooling Efficiency, you should use that value and add it to the Heat Factor.

Why? Because it will result in a double negative which in turn is a positive and therefore applicable to the Delta which becomes increased by the negative result.

This is good (or bad for the player) in practice because it results in a positive delta and therefore an increase in Heat Level... (in the end...)


Outdated information... but I am still working on this design...

A lot of changes pending the last revisions because of factors that obviously related to some very cool and interesting ideas. Will need to wait until the afternoon for more relevant information. Please be on the lookout foe this content.


Some updates to keep everyone better informed

Okay ... So at first the STATs that were zero ("0") would be unavailable dice. That was the first idea. The second version was that it meant that there would be no BONUS so each dice could have a bonus and zero ("0") meant none. The current version (3rd) is that the STATs that have a NON-ZERO value (>"0") are the ACTUAL VALUE. Dice with zero ("0") mean that you ROLL that given dice for that STAT.

I'm still working on tying everything together. There are a few lingering issues that I need to think about. But for the most part, I'm happy with Version #3 because it means rolling less dice and you can have more predictable outcomes.

And so this is one update to the STATs which I am HAPPY with since this makes the game more PLAYABLE and it adds a bit of TENSION since players are normally rolling like 2 to 3 dice per turn...

Some additional changes...

I've decided to post some additional information regarding the STATs and their updates. Without further ado, let's get to them:

#1> D4 = Weapon Class.

Why I did this is because I felt like the "flexibility" of the D6 would be better for the "Rate of Fire". It just opens things up and "4" Classes is enough IMHO.

#2> D6 = Rate of Fire.

So this opens up the Rate to 1x, 2x, 3x and 6x. Obviously we'll have to see how this affects the game ... But I'm usually TOO CONSERVATIVE with what I THINK may break my games and usually I realize that my concerns are not at all relevant.

This means that for the time being... D6 will be the Rate of Fire.

#3> D8 = Damage Dice.

ATM I am still thinking about this D8 Dice. Not sure what I should do with how to DEAL "damage" and how the Weapon's should affect a ROLL or even a VALUE. This is something for me to think about some more and see what IDEAs I may get for this dice.

#4> D10 = Maximum Damage.

There was some back-and-forth with this dice... Why? Well I figured that for one ("#1") rolling this dice allows from 0 to 9 maximum DMG. And if the weapon stands for a BONUS of "+1" to "+3" means that the dice could go from "1" to "12"... Which seems not too bad considering that the "Armor Points" are at most "20" which would mean two (2) Turn for ultra strong robots.

This dice I am also comfortable with how it stands... Feels right and does not require any refinement, I think it's as good as it gets!

#5> D12 = Coolant Factor.

The D12 is also changed. With the whole zero ("0") is a dice roll, I realized that there are only two (2) values:

A> Coolant Factor for the Robot.

B> Heat Factor for the Weapon.

The idea that I have ATM is "Heat Factor - Coolant Factor" > 0 = Heat Level increment. I'm not sure about the D12 dice roll just yet: "Should it be the Heat Factor or only the Coolant Factor?" IDK. Again some more thoughts on HOW this should operate with the various STATs.


Well that covers all the things that have been CHANGED or are IN-FLUX or need more THINKING. I have a day-off tomorrow ... Which is great (since it's a Sunday... and I don't need to go to any parties tomorrow...) and that means some quiet time to contemplate these STATs and maybe see if there can be any more NOVEL use of the dice and how they mix together with their corresponding weapons.

Keep you all posted tomorrow and just before "Christmas" ... I even found time to go to COSTCO with Family which was nice. Plus we had lunch together and that was nice too (my treat)!

In any event I will be thinking about how to improve the "questions" and/or issues that have yet to be cemented and finalized (at least for now anyhow)!


Note #1: It's always EASY to do the SAME thing for each dice and that's kinda what I want to AVOID. I want each dice to his/her own personality and that the dice rolling feels like it's something that you can understand and feel for the dice rolls you are looking for and those you are trying to avoid (darn crappy dice roll!)

A lot of changes TBH...

I won't document all of the changes except to say there are a lot of them. So all of the dice have changed (even if similar they are different), this came when trying to see what could be done with the dice...

Right now my biggest issue has to do with the fundamentals of the game. Why/how???

I know firmly that each Deck contains six (6) Botz. The remaining Deck, I am going with a Cyberpunk sort of theme. My real concern is to make the game FUN. But the problem lies in the fact that I can't just have six (6) cards and that's it...

Just won't work.

So I'm leaning towards a Deck of 54 cards:

Six (6) Botz, 2 assets per bot (+12) and that leaves me 36 cards.

It's good... But it leaved some room for designing more cards than necessary.

Furthermore only one (1) of each cards may be present in a Deck. This is a bit like the MtG Commander play mode.

Why this is COOL is because it makes all cards have VALUE and that is important because the game format is a TCG: TRADING Card Game. So unless you dump a lot of money into the game... the rest is all about trading for configuration of your choice in exchange for the cards aiding your opponent's Deck (or Botz).

I'll leave it at that for now.


I just uploaded six (6) cards to TGC...

Well I've managed to upload a total of six (6) cards to "The Game Crafter" tonight after working on them this afternoon. The Botz that I managed to design look pretty decent... That was the easy part.

The hard part you ask???

Designing the assets for them. Hah!

Anyhow, one thing at a time. I still have more designing to do. Once I complete all eighteen (18) LITE Botz, will move on to the next category and maybe order some samples from TGC.

Cheers all!

At lot has happened with this DESIGN...

I've been a bit negligent explaining WHAT(?) is happened with "Duel Botz". So I guess the FIRST (1st) MAJOR change is a NAME CHANGE. That's right the design is no longer call "Duel Botz" it is now "Battle Botz". I had "Dual Dice" as a product and found that there was too much "Dueling" going on to name this game a similar name which could be mistaken.

So now it's "Battle Botz". That's the first change.

Next I had the idea of having a FOCAL Robot as your DUEL Bot as the focus during the game and having a reserve of three (3) other Robots which could provide assistance depending on the outcome of the dice rolls and what happens in the game.

That is NO LONGER TRUE. Instead, I am streamlining the game to FIVE (5) "Battle Botz" per pack (Which I will handle myself and sell locally) and instead of a Front Line and Reserves, I will now FOCUS on having FIVE (5) "Battle Botz" each one on top of another. This will be the METHOD of play:

  • You STACK five (5) "Battle Botz" one on top of another showing the ABILITY that each Robot yields.

  • This means that the FIRST (1st) Robot is the hardest to beat because it has an entire stack to defend it. Gradually as Robots get defeated, the goal is to defeat all FIVE (5) Robots one after another in the STACK.

  • There are going to be no EXTRA cards. The GOAL here is to keep the game tight and focus on the TCG aspect of the game. You don't COLLECT cards, you trade them for the improvement of YOUR Stack.

This solves a lot of issues when it comes to troublesome ART that requires too much thought and cannot be generated easily. And the goal is to make the game TIGHTER and more complete with the LEAST amount of EXTRAS (Cards, dice, parts, etc.) This is important because this will be a rather "inexpensive" game to get into given that the GOAL of the game is something STRATEGIC, FAST PACED, DRAMATIC and MEMORABLE.

Right now there are ONLY eighteen (18) cards to the Deck. And while I had the idea that there would be 54 cards (A Normal Deck)... And I think I will WORK towards that TOTAL of Robots. One Deck seems like a REASONABLE amount given that I will need to figure out how to DISTRIBUTE the FIVE (5) CARDS per pack.

I have 54 - 18 - 13 = 23 Robots to create and generate given some more ideas. That's still in the cards (Pun intended! Haha!) I think a Deck of 54 cards will be sufficient for variability.

So all these CHANGES make a lot of sense. I want something STREAMLINED and TIGHT to play. What FIVE (5) Robots you use and how you use them is YOUR business and is part of the STRATEGIC thinking that goes into building your "Combat Stack".

There is a HUGE potential here and the DRAMATIC aspect is how TIGHT combat will be and the rolls that succeed of FAIL... The MEMORAL aspect is all about those lucky rolls and the right TIMING making the game balanced but FUN to personalize. That's also VERY important: personalization and customization.

The PROBLEM of the DESIGN has been REDUCED and I NOW have a FOCUS...

All you get is FIVE (5) Robots and when you start losing will you be able to catch-up or are you simply a goner... Haha! Downward spiral or Resilient reactiveness?! Which will you be?

This is something that this DESIGN needed. And it's VERY different than all my other DESIGNS. The FAST PACE is that you want to keep moving and attacking and ensure that nobody can harm you or defeat you. I LIKE IT, IT's DIFFERENT!

I'm very pleased that I got to sit down tonight and REFLECT a bit into what is needed to REVIVE this "abandoned" design... Well not abandoned, just low priority and I think it should be the OPPOSITE: this should be one of those TIGHT games that makes a BOOM when played!

If you have any comments, feedback, questions, ideas, suggestions, etc. Feel free to reply to this thread and I'll do my best to respond. I don't design in a vacuum but often I work ON-MY-OWN. It would be nice if someone had some kind of input or something to offer in terms of advice.

The more and more I see it, this is going to be the 3rd Lowest Hanging Fruit Design that is being designed by myself and has potential to be released SOON!


What seems like the BEST approach

So I am thinking about this being the 2nd Product/Game that gets sold locally. It doesn't need to be a hit just have a small volume of players who like the feel of the game and don't mind playing a few rounds.

Like I said, there needs to be some crucial elements to the design:

  • STRATEGIC: this will come from building your stack of robots OFF-LINE.

  • FAST PACED: this is the fact that no robot will stick around FOREVER. I will be sure to ensure that each Robot will have a weakness and can be disposed of more or less easily depending on the Robots in your Stack.

  • DRAMATIC: I want the game to have a TIGHT "feel" not this TOO QUICK pace with whatever your Deck shows you. No it's strategic Stack vs. Stack.

  • MEMORABLE: this is KEY. The games need to be FUN, AGGRAVATING and TIGHT. This will make the game accessible to all kinds of players with a SIMPLE ruleset.

The competitive aspect of the game will encourage players to REPLAY more than one match-up and play consecutive games one after another because of the ACTUAL play-style and it coming all together...

I want this to be a microscopic game which is SUPER interesting to PLAY! That's my goal with this design. It's not going to be a Print-aNd-Play (PNP) but it will be relatively small with a Database of 54 Robots.

We shall see. I will start working on this soon enough.


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