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Action Points revised

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X3M
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I decided to edit this whole topic.

When we play our hobby game. We use Action Points (AP) to determine how and where our pieces act.

The AP are placed on these pieces. And are cumulative in nature.
Meaning that if an action costs 1 AP. The next time this piece uses another action, the costs are also increased by 1 AP.

While I want to get rid of the fact that we place AP on the pieces.
I can't seem to get rid of the cumulative costs, without harming the balance of the game.

By removing cumulative costs. Everyone will be using melee pieces only until these perish.
7 melee squads was clumsy. Players needed ranged as well.
But using 1 melee squad 7 times, comes in very handy.

X3M
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On second thought...

I don't think I can improve this at all...?

NomadArtisan
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The original mage knight

The original mage knight miniatures game had a cool system for managing actions.
You could only activate a certain number of units each turn.
If a unit acted two turns in a row, it suffered an exertion penalty (1 damage) and couldn’t act on your next turn.

questccg
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Just some other ideas...

X3M wrote:
I don't think I can improve this at all...?

What about "Grouping" units together? Like Platoons?? So if one Platoon has 5 soldiers, you only need one (1) set of tokens for all 5 soldiers...!

The basic idea is to facilitate management of units in the game. So the idea would be that groups are used handle multiple units... This way LESS "Action Point" Tokens in the field of play.

larienna
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If everybody are using melee,

If everybody are using melee, it's because they judge they are more efficient than the range units. So maybe that is the element to balance.

There are other simple mechanism that works:

Hero Scape: move X units, the same unit can act multiple times. (makes the losing player with less units still competitive)

Move only 3 units. Must pick the best 3 units for the turn.

Battle Master: Draw or play a card that tells you which units can move this turn.

Battle Lore: Split the battle field in section and card tell you how many units in each section you can activate.

X3M
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NomadArtisan wrote:The

NomadArtisan wrote:
The original mage knight miniatures game had a cool system for managing actions.
You could only activate a certain number of units each turn.
If a unit acted two turns in a row, it suffered an exertion penalty (1 damage) and couldn’t act on your next turn.

I like this penalty. I got something similar in the works.
However, it still requires for tracking on the board with 7 AP.

questccg wrote:
X3M wrote:
I don't think I can improve this at all...?

What about "Grouping" units together? Like Platoons?? So if one Platoon has 5 soldiers, you only need one (1) set of tokens for all 5 soldiers...!

The basic idea is to facilitate management of units in the game. So the idea would be that groups are used handle multiple units... This way LESS "Action Point" Tokens in the field of play.

Dear Kristopher,
I got squads as well. Squads can have any type of unit for several times. They all act the same with 1 or several AP on them. Had them for years actually :D

larienna wrote:
If everybody are using melee, it's because they judge they are more efficient than the range units. So maybe that is the element to balance.

There are other simple mechanism that works:

Hero Scape: move X units, the same unit can act multiple times. (makes the losing player with less units still competitive)

Move only 3 units. Must pick the best 3 units for the turn.

Battle Master: Draw or play a card that tells you which units can move this turn.

Battle Lore: Split the battle field in section and card tell you how many units in each section you can activate.


This is the crux to the problem.

Melee is 100% effective in damage. Every extra range, reduces the damage by dividing by a factor of 0.6+0.3*Range. Meaning that a range of 2 is already only 50% effectiveness.

In RTS games, when approaching ranged units. You already take damage.
Also, ranged units in combination with melee units will have an army that has effectiveness like: 100% + 67% + 50% = 217%. Melee would normally cost more AP to fire more often. Having 200% with 3 AP, thus less than 1 AP with the mix of 0, 1 and 2 range.
But with melee units being active all the time, you get 300% with just 3 AP.

Hero scape
I got something similar at the moment. Players are allowed to use 1 squad, several times.
Of course, it has a cumulative cost. But I am trying to find a way to get rid of it.

Allowing to have only 3 squads, that is an idea. This would mean, one action for 1 squad. No matter the costs.
The plus side is, the costs don't have to be cumulative any more. It is already happening now as well, with the spare some players. The down side would be that I still have tracking mechanics on the board.

Battle masters is a no-go for me. This takes away all freedom.

Battle lore looks like cutting up the problem??? idk. But a dilution sometimes makes more problems tbh.

***

This brings me to a point. Where I think: "could I have made this part, perfect already?".

questccg
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Think Heroscape

X3M wrote:
...I got squads as well. Squads can have any type of unit for several times. They all act the same with 1 or several AP on them. Had them for years actually :D

Well you can FORCE a player to deploy ONLY "Squads". A "Squad" has "X" Configuration Points (CPs) and if you deploy a Squad of 100 points, your opponent can then ALSO deploy a 100 point Squad. This is like in Heroscape where each player can choose his units but to a fixed maximum. Could maybe work for your game, I'm not sure...

X3M
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We have squads limited in

We have squads limited in size to a region.
An order is send to a region. There they act, kinda deal.

Depending on the sizes of units and buildings. A squad can be 1 to 36 pieces. Think Risk here.

Squads can also split up or come together.
Players can mix any type of unit.

larienna
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Quote:Melee is 100% effective

Quote:
Melee is 100% effective in damage. Every extra range, reduces the damage by dividing by a factor of 0.6+0.3*Range. Meaning that a range of 2 is already only 50% effectiveness.

I wonder if such distribution is necessary in a board game. In a video game, I understand that the range unit is constantly shooting until the enemy comes into melee range. So it requires such progression.

But in board games, units move a fixed number of space. So it basically warp or jump around the map. So there is no need to dwarf the range unit so much. Weakening it a bit, or reducing chance to hit but not changing damage is an idea to compensate the range attack.

X3M
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Range can be very powerful

It is a relative number. Derived from the health:damage ratio. And takes in account for higher placed units as well.

Ranged units where very favoured in the game. Where the range factor was of equal weight to the speed factor.
However, as experience grew. We discovered that range was even more powerful than we imagined. Henceforth the 0.6+0.3*R, it used to be 0.6+0.2*R.

That said. We did a couple of play tests without the need of tracking AP on the board itself. The play will develop different now. Players tend to get melee units out and move as much as possible to the front. It seems to be a "lazy" thing.
Sure, someone like me still has some long ranged weapons on a high position. To damage incoming attackers. But the choice can easily be made to using melee as well.

I guess, I need to stick with tracking on the board. This made it necessary to have a mixed army. And in RTS, all different kind of weapons will be firing at the same time any way.

I think, the whole situations can be best compared with Warcraft 3 combat. Where 90% of the ground army is mostly melee. Even the hero's...
Yet, the version that I prefer is more of Warcraft 2, where support units certainly have more use, especially the archers. Just by the fact that they fight as well and there are plenty of choke points to create.

X3M
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There is a history of

There is a history of experimenting and adjusting weight factors.
If I try a lower weight factor for range. These units can get super powerful, very fast as well.
The balance that I achieved is based on multiple squads being able to do only 1 thing at a time each round.

So, I need to look in this direction.

The big question would be. Should I simply limit each unit to 1 action only then?
This would remove the concept of assault. Unless I make a rule that pieces can do a "double move" or "double attack".

This brings me to the idea of having the assault being weaker instead.

So, a piece can either move or attack.
If it wants to do both, the movement should be less.
The attack has always been less already.

What about a roll to determine how effective the movement is?
Units with a speed of 1, should still be able to do that movement of 1. So, if they attempt an assault, they might fail instead?

Faster units simply have this test for every step.
So, how about a 5/6th roll for every speed they own?
An unit that needs to move 3 places for an assault would be having much better chances with a higher movement speed. Right?

This will also help me with longer ranged units doing an assault. In order to shorten distance, so the attack is more effective. If they fail, they can still go with a lesser successful attempt.

I kinda like where this is going. Still I need to think about it.
But if successful. I could reduce the tracking to a point and tell. Where each player has like only 1 action every round.

X3M
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Revising the question

Is there a way to track activity on the board, without adding additional pieces to the game?

Think of a game where each player has like 50 pieces.
Of which roughly 2 to 7 will perform an action every round.

X3M
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I can't cut into this one anymore

So that means, the AP system as how we use it will stay.

Multiple AP is used in several ways:
- Combination tactics (roughly 20 choices).
- Longer cool down weapons.
- Charging weapons.

The end :)

larienna
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Quote:Is there a way to track

Quote:
Is there a way to track activity on the board, without adding additional pieces to the game?

Moving more than 3 units in a Board game and remember who moved can be problematic indeed.

You can either
1. Restrain the nb of units moved per turn
2. Tap units moved 90 degree or diagonally.
3. Flip units (if you don't already use the flip side)
4. Move a category of units: ex: move all air units, or all helicopter units.

X3M
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Thanks, I guess I have a black out of some sorts

larienna wrote:
2. Tap units moved 90 degree or diagonally.

I guess this one would be the only way.
Meanwhile using AP, to pay the price on the side.

I need a work around for when a squad is only partly attacking. Perhaps discard that action. The AP was often placed under those pieces that did the action.

If a part splits of, this is easy, where they land... then they are turned sideways.

The prices could still be cumulative as well. But only for the "combination" actions. So a move and attack in one, will cost 3 AP. It is however worthwhile in several situations.

Edit:
Charging weapons will still need the AP to be tracked. But these weapons are hardly used as simple combat units. Think super weapons instead.

larienna
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It's just my point of view,

It's just my point of view, but every time you post about your game, it seems over complicated and not very convenient to play.

You know that in board game design, you must cut out the fat to make it playable. That means trying to focus on the experience you want with the fewest rules and components possible.

I you are making a video game, that's OK, as the computer will do all the computation. But if you are making a board game, try to ask your self what is the goal of implementing certain rules. If it does lead to a certain experience you are looking for, ask yourself if that experience could be supplied in another simpler way (less rules and components).

X3M
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¯\_(ツ)_/¯

larienna wrote:
It's just my point of view, but every time you post about your game, it seems over complicated and not very convenient to play.

Cutting here and there. Trying to make it easier.
It is still fun to play. But only for those who are smart enough.

My biggest problem is all the handling.
I tried to build it up from scratch in the past. But many aspects where still needed. It was a messy way to work. It didn't work that way. I am kinda grinding it smaller now, which proves to be better for us.

Also, we rarely get to testing these days. It is a down side of having a lot of work instead of play in your life. Not that I am complaining, which gives the impression I have trouble in general. Every time when I work on a subject, I post any way. Even if I already got a solution.

larienna wrote:
I you are making a video game, that's OK, as the computer will do all the computation. But if you are making a board game, try to ask your self what is the goal of implementing certain rules. If it does lead to a certain experience you are looking for, ask yourself if that experience could be supplied in another simpler way (less rules and components).
I wished it was a computer game. But I don't have time to learn to make a RTS. Also, I am still cutting down. Not adding rules. I am removing them by replacing them with simpler rules. Or simply discarding the whole package.

The whole board also had an overhaul. I make use of 1 type of obstruction points.
I even use them now for higher altitude. 1 system. Not multiple systems.

The movement is a different story. But that too, has been reduced from 7 to 2.

Also, no more borders.

I feel that I rarely post here tbh.

larienna
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Quote:Also, we rarely get to

Quote:
Also, we rarely get to testing these days. It is a down side of having a lot of work instead of play in your life.

One thing I tried with my stock market game is digital playtesting. I managed to have the perfect game for that. I just simulates hundreds of game outcome in a few seconds and dress up stats. It makes it easier to make design decisions afterwards.

I wish all games I designed where like this.

X3M
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One of our guys

Always managed to get me a simulator for a certain situation. Where I altered one parameter every time. And a 1000 times, that particular battle was played. I can't ask him any more for that.
Either way, it allowed me to make huge leaps back then.

***

By the way, if allowing one action or combination of actions are allowed per squad.

AND we remove charging (which is a hassle).

Then we can get rid of the explanation of each combination too. We simply can tell the players how to combine and what matters when they do that.

So an assault and run remains possible.
And having an assault is also possible. The assault however allows another squad to perform an assault.

***

The next set of rules are used (which discard the old rules):
- Actions can only be performed by 1 region.
- The region can only perform 1 action.
- When performing an action, the pieces are exhausted (up side down).
- 1 action is either movement or attacking or a combination of these 2.
- The cost in AP is based on the number of movement and attacks. 1 part costs 1, 2 parts cost 3, 3 parts cost 6(this was 7).
- A combination of 2 will provide a penalty.
- A combination of 3 will provide 2 penalties.
- Special actions can be unit based, like healing, massive fire, or shielding. These have their own rules. But the main form will be; pay additional AP for activation.
- Paying AP means putting the AP back into the AP box. (This was previously on the table)

With this, I can save myself like 4 pages of rules.
Do the AP make any sense like this?
Of course, I still need to explain the penalty.

lewpuls
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AP cost rises

I didn't notice it in the comments: if a second and later action by the same asset in the same turn costs more than the previous action, players have to decide whether it's worth it. E.g. 1AP for first action, 2 AP for second, 3AP for third, etc.

ceethreepio
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X3M wrote:larienna wrote:It's

X3M wrote:
larienna wrote:
It's just my point of view, but every time you post about your game, it seems over complicated and not very convenient to play.

Cutting here and there. Trying to make it easier.
It is still fun to play. But only for those who are smart enough.

Eeek! I'm not sure "Requires high player intelligence" is a requirement you can stick on a box?

X3M
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lewpuls wrote:I didn't notice

lewpuls wrote:
I didn't notice it in the comments: if a second and later action by the same asset in the same turn costs more than the previous action, players have to decide whether it's worth it. E.g. 1AP for first action, 2 AP for second, 3AP for third, etc.

Yes they do. But it is for each squad. I sometimes call it marathon exhaustion. It balances the game in such a way that a good choice of RPS. Isn't that powerful.

The build up in my game is actually 1 AP, but you repay all the previous paid AP.
Maybe if I switch to +1 AP for the second action and +2 AP for the third. It could be remembered by the players.
Which is actually a great help and not so different for most actions.

If however a squad is allowed to do only one action per round. This whole mechanic/effect can be forgotten.

ceethreepio wrote:
Eeek! I'm not sure "Requires high player intelligence" is a requirement you can stick on a box?

Henceforth the purge.
Perhaps it looks like it is taking a long time. Because it actually is. I have so little time these last few years.
I have a job that is sucking up all my time.

larienna
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Quote: E.g. 1AP for first

Quote:
E.g. 1AP for first action, 2 AP for second, 3AP for third, etc.

I understand the design goal here, the problem is the implementation for a board game. In a video game, I would say it's not an issue. In a board game, it's a pain to keep track.

It depends first on the number of units and the components of the game. If you played for example Hero Scape, it could work because players has between 3-5 unit and each of them has a large card to put tokens on it.

Recently, we've been discussing the same issue with W1815 where there seem to be dominant strategies by using the same unit repetitively over and over again. One suggestion I had was preventing players from activating the same unit twice in a row. In this case, there only thing I needed to record is which unit was used last turn.

X3M
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larienna wrote:One suggestion

larienna wrote:
One suggestion I had was preventing players from activating the same unit twice in a row. In this case, there only thing I needed to record is which unit was used last turn.

Somewhere in this topic. I opted the same solution.
Keeping track of 1, 2 or 3 AP still requires tracking with chips in case of, too many players present.

So, I placed some new rules above. And the squad in question is simply turned 180 degrees.

The multiple actions in one are reduced in effectivety by penalties.
Move=Move
Attack=100% Attack
Move + Attack=Penalty * 100% Attack
Move + Attack + Move=Penalty * Penalty * 100% Attack
Intercept=Attack on Move=Penalty * 100% Attack
etc.

A penalty is based on attack distance and movement speed.
Shortest counts for the one doing the attack.
The most extreme case is when someone is doing a drive by shooting, while the opponent retreats in reaction.
A double move, and opponents movement counts as 3 penalties for both players.
The drive by costs 6 or 7 AP.
The retreat only 3 AP.

larienna
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A similar idea I used in my

A similar idea I used in my adventure game, if that you rolled 3 action dice several time. Then if there was an action you desperetely wanted which was not rolled, you could use 2 actions to do any action you want.

You could use a similar mechanism. You activate 3 units per turn. If you want to activate a unit already used, you must spend 2 activation to activate it.

X3M
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So, either 3, or just 1

So, either 3, or just 1 that does 2 things?

That is a possibility.
Although, the players do enjoy their freedom in using AP for reactions.

larienna
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Reaction is tricky. I have

Reaction is tricky. I have when having to set aside points for raction you are not even sure of using.

One idea, a bit like "Epic Card Game" and "Rune Age" is that players get as many action point as reaction too. Or reaction is a separate pool.

For example, 3 action points and 2 reaction points.

questccg
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Just an idea

larienna wrote:
Reaction is tricky... players get as many action point as reaction too...

My idea would be to categorize the Actions into Offensive and Defensive. Next when a Player uses Offensive Actions, the opponent receive Defensive Actions (maybe a 1:1 ratio).

Like If I attack with three (3) Marines (shooting), that uses 3 Offensive Actions. Now the opponent gets 3 Defensive Actions and he can for example do some form of "Buffing", "Fortify" or use Shields to protect himself (given that he gets the same amount of points).

Something similar to this...

larienna
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You could consider non-combat

You could consider non-combat movement as a defensive action.

X3M
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Here is the old list, without the details of 4 pages

Please take note, these are names. The missing details explain how the action is performed.

Action:
- Rest
- Transform
- Maintenance
- Move
- Split up
- Attack
- Haste
- Assault
- Drive by shooting
- Rush

Re-action by targeted players:
- Cover
- Hide
- Transform
- Maintenance
- Intercept
- Dodge
- Return fire
- Lure
- Run!
- Retreat

Re-action by tertiary players:
- Rest
- Transform
- Maintenance
- Intercept
- Distract
- Run!

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