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1 hit is a dead super unit?

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X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013

As some of you might recall, I talked about a super fast war game where units still have some health.

I have been re-working on a health free version. Meaning, no health tracking. I got tired of that peg stuff etc. Just simple pieces. (I honestly see this as the only legit way to ever get a game like this going more publicly)

All you see on the board are pieces of units like in Risk or A&A.
Combat is entirely dice now.

That said, to keep my RPS running, I thought of the following mechanic:

Default Accuracy
All weapons start with a default accuracy of 4/6th.
If a player is outnumbered, I have this bonus rule that will make sure that some weapons are a sure hit by removing this default accuracy.

The bonus rule still has to be tested, if it is sufficient enough.

The 4 classes
4 weapons and 4 armor types; from low to high:
(I might change things, like replacing Troopers but I am thinking Dune(2) here)

Secondary Roll
Rifles have the following hit chances on set targets:
3/6th on Troopers
2/6th on Vehicles
1/6th on Tanks

Grenades have the following hit chances on set targets:
4/6th on Vehicles
2/6th on Tanks

Rockets have the following hit chances on set targets:
3/6th on Tanks

All other combinations are a sure hit if accuracy was already a hit.

The secondary rolls are rolled twice!! Meaning, that 1/6th is going to be 1/36th. And including the default accuracy roll we get 1/54th. Just one Rifle, the weakest weapon, has only 1/54th chance on killing a tank.

A&A rules
When combat occurs. Players will set up before hand which unit order the victims will be. Meaning that an infantry unit placed in front can protect a tank.

Army sizes
With this RPS in mind. For every tank, there will be 6 infantry. If I keep it to 6 points per hexagon, the game is as small as possible. But tanks will have no fodder protection. So I am going to go with 12 points.
2 tanks or 4 vehicles or 6 troopers or 12 infantry.

One Rifle Infantry has as said before, 1/54th chance on killing a tank. That is 1,85%.
6 gives 10,61%. 12 gives 20,09% for 1 and 2% for 2 dead tanks.
20% still feels like a lottery. Only by several rounds, this number goes up.

Number of Dice
Leaving math asside. It seems that roughly 8 dice on average are needed per combat.

A higher number would be, 12 Rifle Infantry require 12 dice.
But I know of designs that need 15, 18 or even 30.
Players will be rolling sets of 5 or 6 dice, until they are done.

Piece designs
I have 2 options again. 3D or 2D
3D are simple 3D pieces, you need to clearly understand what the piece looks like and what statistics go with them.

I have only 6 statistics now:
- Price
- Armor attribute
- Damage attribute
- Number of combat dice
- Speed
- Range

I would hate it to put them in a manual.

2D pieces. They open the option to have 2 health per piece. Meaning that a piece could be flipped over. I don't see the point in changing stats for a damaged unit.

If I keep them one sided. One side would look like the picture of an unit. Then in the 4 corners the armor attribute, damage attribute including the number of combat dice, speed and range. The price, well, I don't know, the bottom?

The attributes could be nice symbols.
If I manage to keep myself in check, even speed and range might become symbols. But numbers would do just as fine.


Putting other problems aside from now.

If you feel that this is a bit to strong in certain events. Or that 4 types is too much. Then I can cut back more. I also have the 1, 2 and 4 set out there to recycle. Not just this 1, 2, 3 and 6 set.

Can it be even simpler? I am looking for opinions.

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
Medallion Unit Tokens

I like the idea of having circles or squares of chipboard. It would be simple enough for you to develop legible icons that can be placed around the edges, with distinctive unit artwork in the middle.

I also like this kind of token because it allows for your concept of wounded/damaged units. I do agree that it's not necessarily worth the complexity of variable ability scores for healthy vs. wounded units, but it may be worth considering while playtesting.

Even if only one statistic is adjusted with wounded units that might make a significant, worthwhile change to how the game plays out in the long run. My first suggestion for this would be your Armour statistic. The unit is still effective in combat and mobility, but will be even easier to destroy once damaged. The player has the interesting choice of pushing their offensive at the risk of losing the unit, or retreating and regrouping for a likely stronger sortie a couple rounds later.

Additionally, by allowing damaged units to still survive, it invites the potential of repairing/healing these units before they've left the battlefield. This might drag out game length and/or encourage players to "turtle" and be very cautious, but you can invite other reasons to speed games along. Time/round limits, scheduled deployment, or other victory conditions can light a fire under players to more hastily act instead of waiting until they've amassed a large fighting force.

Finally, using these types of unit tokens allows for quick sorting, arrangement, cleanup, and modding/adding of expansions. They also happen to be more durable and easier to flip repeatedly than cards in most cases.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
What about this idea?

What if I simply make one side a 1 unit.
And the other side is 2 units?

That way I can cut the number of pieces in half.
The total of pieces will not be cut in half but by 1/3th or so. It is that per hexagon; the pile will be cut in half.

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
One-Shot Kills

This doesn't exactly address your concerns about one-shot kills on uber-units.

Maybe have one-shot kills on most units (which would facilitate the 1 unit on one side, 2 units on the other), while enormous tanks and other massive combat units have a healthy and wounded side to their tokens?

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
The goal of this game is no

The goal of this game is no active health tracking.

In a previous attempt WITH health tracking. I had 6 out of 16 situations where health was subtracted from the unit.
The whole tracking of health is a hassle in that game. Seeing as how I have armies of more. I think it is better to have more pieces. So that losing 1 tank isn't that bad.

More so. What if I remove the highest tier?
I could go back to having only 1, 2 and 3 as tiers.
I could even change it into 1, 2 and 4.
But the catch here is that I could increase the number of "heavy" units.

I already got some interesting idea's concerning 1, 2 and 4 again.

How does this sound?
All accuracy rolls are 3/6th.

Thus a rifle to hit a tank has to have 5 success full rolls. (1/32th = 3%)
Against a vehicle only 3.
And against an infantry unit only 1.

The weapons would be very simple now. You need a number of rolls against the next tier. Starting from low to high.
Small weaponry: 1-3-5
Explosives: 1-1-3
Tank shells: 1-1-1

kevnburg's picture
Joined: 05/02/2014
What if the tank didn't die?

What if the tank didn't die? Instead, it could return to the spawn area, get pushed back, get replaced by smaller units (e.g. armored transport), or some other "whenever this unit is hit" effect that isn't quite death. Alternatively - terrifying on death triggers like explosions.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
This has potential.

kevnburg wrote:
get replaced by smaller units (e.g. armored transport)

I never looked into crew getting out of a destroyed vehicle. I am going to brainstorm here a bit.


While I will not do transports in this game. Replacement by smaller units should be possible.
In that case, I could take a look at what weapon made the kill.
If it is a simple rifle, then a low number is subtracted from the weight of the tank. And that much infantry units can get out. If a big explosion was used, a smaller number of infantry units will get out.

I don't see yet, how to balance this. Maybe increasing the costs of a tank by 50%(?) by the worth of infantry that might get out.

The infantry don't help yet with the tank to fight. They are a forced choice after the death of the tank. The "health" though in form of infantry pieces will be added back into the game.

A variable called crew would be added. And that sounds like creeping the game again. If possible, I don't want to put statistics into a manual. Nor on tables or USC.

A board and unit pieces is all that I aim for. So the above idea is not worth it.

So, maybe a fixed percentage of an unit? But not just vehicles and tanks. Infantry as well. I am thinking infantry corpses as walls here.

Every time when a kill occurs. The value of the target is somewhat halved. Then players could choose initially what they want to get out of the vehicles. A wall of a destroyed vehicle? Or infantry? Maybe both?

I think that I could only use value's now of 2 to a power. Just to make things going fair. When reaching a value of 1, it is over. This 1, I am thinking about having it added back to the money pile of the player. Just to keep things fair for the lowest tier of units.
Either that, or reducing all prices with 1 for a first purchase.

The game board filled with corpses and destroyed vehicles. Is that been done before?

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
The game got really weird.

Not going into detail. But I tried having smaller units pop up from the bigger ones.
The game balance is now far away.

I first tried from the biggest to the smallest in various steps. But I had several steps that increased the imbalance each.

The second try was only a one time event with a lot of infantry swarming the map or extra "walls". But I did not have a solution yet for the expensive infantry becoming the same corpse.

Perhaps I should include the costs of their second step anyway.


On a side note. More and more of my friends told me that having some health tracking on tanks would be much fairer than an instant kill.

But any form of health tracking is bad in general. Having to flip over a 2D piece for 2 health sounds reasonable now. But the bigger units should have more health in comparison.


One last solution was offered to me.
Having multiple pieces for the rarer units.

If there are 12 infantry on 6 pieces. And only 2 tanks. Why not have for each tank, 3 pieces that have the health ranging from 1 to 6?

I let that one sink in for a while.

What you get is searching through the pile of pieces (if not sorted). And find several pieces that look alike. But you need the one with the right health value.

That will not work!


Right now, all I can think about is allowing health. Having 2 health for infantry, only 4 for vehicles and 6 or 8 for tanks.

Having 2D pieces.
One side is low health, the other side is high health.
Then include clips for the vehicles and tanks. Since each side will show multiple health values.

What I need to exclude from these pieces are the armor types. This because I almost always link armor to health. Players should be able to tell from the health value's, how much armor the unit has. Right?

I am going to work on this last one for a while.

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