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Ways to win a Army style boardgame?

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Anonymous

I'm looking for different ways to win an army style boardgame, so that it will help me make my own unique idea. Please help. Thanks.

Drew

hpox
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Ways to win a Army style boardgame?

Do you mean victory conditions and such?

Controlling a certain number of territories / power centre.
Controlling a certain territory for a certain amount of time.
Having reached a certain level in Technologies.
Maybe the good old annihilation of your opponent(s).

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Ways to win a Army style boardgame?

Drew,

I think you've inadvertently hit on a broader and more interesting topic, which I've been thinking about lately, and it relates to defining goals for the players to be pursuing. I think this is far more challenging than it at first appears. I think most of us can straightforwardly come up with mechanics. To use you example, perhaps each player is given some armies, and they move via [insert movement rule] and they fight via [insert combat resolution rule], but what exactly are they moving and fighting for in the first place? What are players trying to accomplish?

In German style board games, which are more my speed than wargames, there is a somewhat easy "cop out", called "victory points". Various and sundry actions or configurations are rewarded with "victory points", and players try to accumulate the most. This somewhat provides an answer to the question "what are players trying to do" -- they're trying to accumulate victory points! But it's not a completely satisfying answer; do the VPs relate to some aspect of the theme? In some cases, yes. In the game Princes of Florence, players are princes (surprise surprise) trying to attract skilled artists and thinkers to their villas, and victory points are primarily earned by producing works of high quality. In the highly touted Puerto Rico, players are colonizing Puerto Rico and shipping goods back to Europe. the connection there is a bit more tenuous; shipping goods earns VP, as does completing buildings, but the presence of 2 mechanisms, while great from a gameplay standpoint, gets more confusing from a theme standpoint. Is shipping 2 corn equivalent to building a hospice in real life?

Bottom line is that coming up with a clever goal for players to pursue is probably as important or more important than coming up with good game mechanics, because it's the area where you have the most room to differentiate your game from others. Obviously, many wargames are about conquering territory. But other schemes are possible; perhaps accomplishing some specific goal is what brings victory -- "hold 2 bridges for 5 turns". Or perhaps your game could be a variant of "capture the flag" -- "acquire 3 of the other players' prized treasures and return them to your capital". The new Axis and Allies has a dual-goal structure -- acquire X IPCs worth of territories, or occupy Y "victory cities". (the latter is kind of like the victory condition of Diplomacy, which you win by holding 18 "supply centers.")

No doubt many other schemes can be envisioned; checking a wargame site like grognard.com will give you far more info than you can possibly process. The answer to your question depends quite a bit on the scope of your game (is it a single battle of the Civil War? Or an extended campaign, such as Tank Warfare in Africa during WWII? Or a major conquest of large scope, such as Alexander's conquest of much of the known world?), and defining this will give you a much better target to focus on in terms of a goal that makes sense thematically. Beyond that, try to do something creative with the goals you give the players and your players will appreciate the originality in your game!

Good luck

Jeff

Anonymous
Ways to win a Army style boardgame?

How about the win coming by your army's becoming completely "invisible" to your opponent?

Anonymous
Ways to win a Army style boardgame?

This is one of the reasons I like making abstract games. No one questions the way a piece moves unless it is contrary to the rest of the game.

A long time ago I worked on a "war game" that took place in L.A. during the Zoot Suit Riots. It had some really interesting mechanics involving the control of another players pieces and a unique way of recruiting new units. Any way the goal of the game was the court case involving the Mexican teenagers how the street fights ended (the body count on each side) would influence the court. So the player who one was the player who influenced the court in the direction they wanted. It was only a two player game. Having an off the battle field win condition allowed me to use some really interesting game mechanics. While still giving the game a really good flavor.

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