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2 player wargame progression over time

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larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008

In 2 player games where you have elimitation, each player needs to remain in a position where they think they could still win even when losing, else the losing player will simply abandon.

In some tactical war games I player, players get more powerful over time and then the result of mid-game battle will advantage a player over another. And if that advantage is not rapidly reversed, it has a snow balling effect and the winning player cannot lose anymore.

Now what I want to do, is avoiding that the losing player has no possible way to retaliate during the last half of the game, so I was thinking of various mechanics to keep the losing player in the game. Here are a few decisions I made so far:

- Each player can only move 3 units per turn, so having a lot of units just give you a better choice of units, but not necessarily stronger attack capabilities.

- Players can produce units, and skip unit production to increase their production level if they control the right amount of cities. Production level increases the quality of units. Now I was thinking that once a level is reached, it cannot be dropped when the opposing player conquer cities. I could also make the level independent to what you control on the map. It would create the same syndrome as magic the gathering, that near the end game, you have plenty of mana to pull out strong creatures. It also allow easier retaliation near the end of the game

- I setup 3 objectives where 1 or 2 of the 3 objectives must be fulfilled to win. Making it harder to stall the game by defending a single. The 3 objectives are:

. Capture opposing factory: Prevent the enemy player to produce units.
. Destroy opposing leader unit: Reduce nb of movements per turn by 1
. Capture opposing command center: Prevent the use of command cards.

So losing one of the 3 objectives would hinder the player, making the game end faster. Having 3 objectives to defend makes it harder to cover all flanks, and might end the game sooner especially if only 1 objective must be fulfilled.

Do you have any other suggestions to keep the losing player in the game, or make the game end faster when a player is in a winning position.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Events that harm bigger

Events that harm bigger players. More.

Deseases might be an option. Or radioactive weapons. Etc.

You wont use it when you are the bigger player. Some sort of double edge sword. Especially handy when a city got isolated.

lewpuls's picture
Joined: 04/04/2009
Is it a problem?

For two players, how much do you need to worry about this? If one resigns, that's that. Yes, it's a problem in games for more than two.

However, moderns often quit when the going gets tough, when they get "uncomfortable", and I'll suppose you're wanting to encourage them to keep playing rather than quit.

Actions Points (however expressed, a simple version is 3 AP, and it costs 1AP to move a unit) certainly limit how much the stronger force can leverage its numerical advantage against the weaker. There are other ways to do it. See my vid Action Points, Worker Placement, Committed Intent Compared

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Quote:For two players, how

For two players, how much do you need to worry about this? If one resigns, that's that. Yes, it's a problem in games for more than two.

Well, the problem with multiplayer game is that the positive experience of the winner is constrained by the negative experience of the loser.

A winning player for example, would like to experience capturing an opposing head quarters, but the losing player always surrender before it happens, so the winning player never has a chance to experience capturing an head quarter.

While the losing players surrenders because he is having a bad experience and think he had not chances to win.

But if the losing player could be in position of thinking he has a chance to win, he would continue to play, not hindering the experience of the winning player. That is a bit what I try to achieve.

When I play against a video game AI, the AI does not care about losing, but an human does.

Also, the idea that the losing player could come back in the game, keeps the winning player on his toes.

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
Tipping Point?

Not sure if it fits within your theme, but maybe when one player attains one of the victory conditions, then a "doomsday timer" of some sort is triggered. Then, the player in the lead has a certain amount of time/number of rounds/turns to attain a second objective or (choose one of the following outcomes):
- they lose control of their previously-earned objective
- their opponent wins the identical objective
- their opponent wins the game
- the game ends in a draw

Or if their opponent wins their first objective before the player in the lead wins their second objective, then their opponent wins the game (although I see ways to game this particular system, so it's not the wisest option).

The general idea here is that once a player makes a lunge for victory, they have a time limit in which to firmly grasp it by taking a second objective, or the opportunity is lost and/or they suffer a setback.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
I like your idea. I could

I like your idea. I could think of a form of retreat. When one objective is completed, the players attempt to retreat off the map certain key units to end in a draw.

It could also be optional, like the losing player either try to continue fighting back if he thinks he have a chance, else with one objective down he has the option to retreat.

Now factory and head quarters are not mobile units, but you could retreat like personnel and engineers or scientist, putting 2 weak defenseless units on the board that you need to escort to safety.

Doing so would also make you lose their benefits. If your factory engineers are retreating, you cannot produce units anymore.

I'll give it some thoughts, as it could create interesting situations.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Rushed "Production Queue"

I think the idea of having your army wiped-out mid-way through a game could be possible... However I think having a "Rush" Production Queue could make it that a player who loses his army mid-way in a game ... is still in the game until the very end.

So let me explain some of my thoughts and then get into more detail about the "Rush" Production Queue.

So the first step is slowly advancing your army closer and closer to the opponent's base. This is like those MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) genre games where you get closer and closer to your opponent's base.

The idea is pretty simple (and I think very elegant). Basically each unit that gets destroyed gives you "BUILD POINTS" (BPs). BPs are granted and allow the units that you are producing (In a Barrack or a Plant, etc.) to be ACCELERATED and INSTANTLY produced.

Generally speaking it's a PERCENTAGE (%) of BPs from the actual production time/costs. And it can vary from one unit to another. So it you kill a Marine, you get 5 BPs. If you kill a Tank, you get 25 BPs. And those BPs depending on what you are building, like maybe 5 marines or 50 Production Units, could mean that when 2 TANKS are destroyed, you get 50 BPs and can INSTANTLY produce your 5 marines...

These are just some "abstract" examples... You of course need to like the "Rush" Production Queue concept and then you can work out all of the "Build Points" each unit can grant. Like I said it's NOT 100% and it's not like you'll get to REBUILD an "as powerful" army of units... But the war isn't over until your opponent reaches your base.

So with the "Rush" Production Queue, you can be ready for another battle quicker. Even if it may be your last stand (so to speak).

Depending on how you "configure" your BPs for each unit that is part of your game, that can vary how quickly you can "rebuild" an army to counter the one that you just battled.

And ANOTHER important FACT is that EVEN if you LOST that mid-way battle. The odds are that you DID SOME DAMAGE and defeated some of your opponent's units. The "Rush" Production Queue ensures that you have a QUICK army to battle with in the event the opponent moves forwards with his REMAINING army units... But more than likely the idea is that BPs will be enough to build an army that can HOLD-OFF his remaining units.

And if he decides to wait for reinforcements, well your army also can benefit from EXTRA TIME to 1> Build up your "Rush" Production Crew 2> Build up more forces during the WAIT...

This is definitely a mechanic that can help to even up the odds and make for more battles to be fought before the war is won...


Note #1: I forgot to mention that ONLY the "losing" player of a battle is awarded any BPs... The Victor is forced to WAIT for reinforcements or to press forwards and try to defeat the opponent with whatever units he has left...

Note #2: This mechanic works well as the game moves on too... Let's say Player #1 WON the mid-way battle and Player #2 LOST. Player #1 continues forwards with his remaining army and Player #2 benefits from the "Rush" Production Queue... Player #1 reaches Player #2 base with only a few units and is WIPED OUT by Player #2 (this time the winner)... Player #1 NOW can benefit from the "Rush" Production Queue ... but he is RESET back to his own base... Giving Player #2 time to rebuild his own army and continue the battle...

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Just another quick thought

Maybe any/all units defeated should be ADDED to "both" player's "Rush" Production Queue..? I mean if this means producing units quicker and amassing an army faster, then why can't BOTH sides do this to various degrees?

Just a quick thought on the matter!

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Well one thing I want is

Well one thing I want is still the game to end. Adding too much units to the game prevents that

I like the idea of retaliation. Advance war does it with the special powers of the commanding officers. I am not sure I want to go this route, as it requires testing special abilities.

Still, there could be a form of reinforcement track. Allowing you to bring a second units in play. The idea would be to wait for a stronger unit, or request a weaker unit now. The unit would appear on the reatreating point, so farther in the back.

I could also allow accessing units you cannot produce if you wait long enough.


Else the latest idea for regular production is that you produce 1 unit for your factory level per turn. Each city you control gives you resource points you accumulate. Then on a turn, if you have the right nb of points, you can spend a turn upgrading your factory to the next level instead of producing a unit. Levels are never lost, so players can retaliate with stronger units for the rest of the game.

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