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Second thoughts on the new system

Played AV with Brian today with the "new" system suggested by bgdf and bgg. The verdict: Booooooring. It works, I'll give it that. But hitting 9+ or 10+ was tedious. Sure, you'd get a hit or two, but most of the time it was complete misses. You felt like you were accomplishing nothing. No one wants that. It wasn't engaging. I was bored and I'm the damn creator!

Next game we play, I'm planning on using the "Dice Negation" mechanic or the Armor opposed roll mechanic. Players want to feel like they're accomplishing something by dealing damage... even if the damage is negated. X-wing is an excellent example. With the inclusion of the Coin system (which I haven't been playing with), the Armored opposed roll mechanic seems similar.

I am now convinced that single roll outcomes for attack are dumb and out of the question. Who cares about "opposed rolls take too long" if you're having fun and the game is engaging? I sure don't when I'm shooting down X-wings.


I'm not sure how the

I'm not sure how the mechanics you've listed work, so I can't say a lot about them.

How about making it so the misses have a value. When two warriors face each other there can be times where they attack cautiously, sounding out their opponent and registering their actions to find gaps in their defense.

A miss could lead to an increase in knowledge regarding an opponent. It could reveal information if any stats are hidden or the misses could contribute to a rising secondary value that grants a bonus to hit.

The players could also throw in deliberate feints - attacks intended to miss. The opponent wouldnt know the intention was to miss, this would be token marked by the attacker before hitting and revealed after. In this case even a successfull hit roll would result in a miss. However, it would grant a larger bonus to the secondary value.

You could even have a range of secondary modifiers to dice roles. Attack options designed to throw an opponent off balance (lowers defense), discover weakness (bonus to hit roll), raise own defense, lower attack damage to gain a hit roll bonus and so on.

If you could come up with 6 you could have an attack event dice - 6 sided - that the players roll with their normal attack dice. The rolled result of the attack event dice would signify the attack option used. This dice would be rolled secretly and revealed after the attack diece roll for an interesting surprise.

Wargamers might not like the random element this would introduce. However, if the characters has stats in line with the event action dice that could be modified - or they could influence the dice result through skills or abilities. This would tone down the random element by introducing tactics.

Alternatively the nearer a player is to hitting the other player could have a registered effect on the other players stamina. If the attacker misses, but they are only one pip away from hitting, the defender has to move quickly to avoid (loosing 3 battle fatigue/stamina points). Two pips away looses 2, 3 pips away looses 1.

As their battle fatigue increases their ability to defend would be reduced, making it easier to hit them. Players could reduce their battle fatigue by opting not to attack when they have a chance to.

Success rate

I agree that a 20% success rate is not enough to keep most players engaged.

I have a game where players make opposed rolls. In the early playtests the attacker scored a hit if he "wins by 2", because statistically this produced the casualty rate that I was aiming for. Just like in your playtest, the players got bored because most combats produced no result. I had to change the success rate (and rebalance other parts of the game to suit) for the practical reason of keeping players engaged.


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blog | by Dr. Radut