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Alternate combat systems

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ruy343
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Not to be critical, but on this forum there appears to be a perception that combat is to be resolved with numbered dice, as evidenced by the recent stream of people asking for help with dice-based combat games. While that's not a bad place to turn for combat systems, often they end up far too convoluted for the average (non-wargamer) player.

Of course, if wargamers are your target audience, then you can ignore this thread.

However, there is a wide variety of possible mechanics that you could use to simulate combat. I want to make this thread a place for people to share mechanics they've come up with, as well as mechanics that can be found in successful games. Here are some examples:

Game of Thrones gives each player 7 or so faction-specific cards that form a hand, each of which has a value that you add to your unit count to give your combat total (if it's a 3v1, the player with three units could still lose if the opponent uses their +4 card while they only used their +1). In that game, all units would route unless the winning player had swords on their combat card, which could be cancelled by towers on the defender's card. Once a card is used, you can't use it again until you play through your hand, so you have to choose carefully, and other players can watch what's been played to get an idea of what's coming.

In Elder Sign, to defeat a monster, you must roll certain symbols on their custom dice. You are allowed to re-roll as many times as you like by subtracting a dice form your dice pool, forming a push-your-luck style combat, since one dice result removes an extra dice from your available pool!

Sid Meier's Civilization (Not the Avalon Hill Civ that everyone raves about) introduces combat cards that are drawn and played in a strange RPS format. The attacker plays their first unit, and the defender in response can play a unit either in front of that unit (challenging it) or they can place it to the side starting a new "front". You each take turns playing units to attack each other until you run out of cards. Cards are sometimes damaged or removed, depending on the Rock-paper-scissors (with air trumping all), so you can reduce your opponent's combat score overall by removing their units, or play more units on other fronts to raise your own score if you can't defeat theirs. Heavily criticized, but if executed a bit differently (and not in a 4-hour game) it might work well.

What other unique combat systems have you seen in games?

X3M
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You are right, this is right

I am one of those war dice lovers. But I think this is because there are not much other styles in my neighbourhood. MtG left my town :(
Kinda happy that you are posting this.

---

Sid Meier's Civilization

Tried a same sort of mechanic for myself once. Derived form MtG. But your description sounds so familiar.

Somehow, this mechanic felt like a puzzle. In a sense of, how to put it together. But also during gameplay; knowing what is coming.
I know that I needed to add something to make it more of a guessing game. And those few things that where tried/trialled, didn't feel like re-playable to me.
Still, I got the rules it in my drawer for a future attempt.

ElKobold
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This is how combat works in my current project

Here is how combat works in my current project, which is a space 4X, aiming to be yet another TI3 killer :)

--------------------------------------------------------

So every player has this player board which has a list of ships on the bottom part. -

http://www.bgdf.com/image/4x-prototype-player-board-work-progress?size=_...

The roman number I-IV is "Hullsize" (hs).
Let's assume that player A attacks player B and they are both using the same race.

Player A attacks with 4 Explorers (hs I). Player B defends with an Armored Freighter (hs II).

First the attacking player A decides on the scale of the conflict (see diagram in the top-right corner).
Since his hs I ships are only good in skirmishes (see the hsI ship description), he chooses the scale to be a Skirmish.

Now the defending player chooses his reaction out of 3 possible options: Flee / Hold / Counter-attack.

- If defender chooses to flee, the combat ends, and all his ships retreat from the planet they are fighting for.

- If defender chooses to hold, the Attacker will roll the dice, but will be forced to flee, unless he destroys all the defender's ships with that roll.

- If defender chooses to counter-attack, he will roll the dice instead, but in this case, he will be forced to flee, unless he manages to destroy all the attacking ships.

Let's assume that player B decided to hold ground.

Players check their total firepower (each ship's firepower is determined by the number of stars on it's profile).

Player A outguns player B (Firepower 4 vs 3).

Based on the diagram player A then rolls 1 white and 1 black dice + another white dice for outgunning his opponent.

White dice have the following possible results: Ship destroyed / Ship damage / No effect.
While the black dice also have a "Return Fire" result which damages the rolling player's ships instead.

(When a ship gets damaged it's turned on it's side. If the damaged ship is damaged again, it is destroyed).

-----------------------------------------------------------

The main idea here is that there's always a compromise between gaining territory VS casualties taken.

Players have to use the right amount of the right type of ships in the right situation and predict the opponent's choices when choosing the scale of the conflict to achieve their goals.

There's risk VS reward in choosing the scale and deciding to hold or not. If you overestimate your forces, and select a massacre, you might get a planet, but loose half of your fleet in the process.

At the same time, this approach prevents snowballing, since player who is making gains territory-wise is also likely the one suffering the most casualties.

The use of firepower and set amount of dice makes stacks of doom pointless, since past certain point the extra ships bring you little benefit. You have to manage your logistics in such a way, as to have "just enough" to outgun your opponent.

Chordcommander
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My approach in a MOBA style

My approach in a MOBA style skirmisher:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akqRoSwaRjc

Squinshee
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My 2-player card game has

My 2-player card game has both players select an action from their hand simultaneously then reveal their chosen action. It follows a simple rock/paper/scissor system, with some rules for ties. It's not random though - your actions directly affect your opponent's board state, so trying to figure out what your opponent wants to do is key.

I really dislike dice combat systems because nothing feels worse than planning an attack for several turns only to have a bad roll. That to me is the opposite of fun. I wish more games found interesting choices for players to make with their dice rolls, rather than the rolls simply determining an outcome.

ElKobold
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Squinshee wrote:I really

Squinshee wrote:

I really dislike dice combat systems because nothing feels worse than planning an attack for several turns only to have a bad roll. That to me is the opposite of fun. I wish more games found interesting choices for players to make with their dice rolls, rather than the rolls simply determining an outcome.

I used to think the same way. But then I've watched Richard Garfield's panel on the subject of randomness and it gave me a different perspective. Fun fact: the combat system above is sort of a personal challenge to make an "ameritrashy" dice combat which I myself would enjoy. I think its my first game with dice :)

When implemented well, randomness( in the form of dice) has a number of benefits:
- light component-wise compared to a deck of cards
- less subjected to analysis-paralysis.
- allows players of different age/skill to play together more easily, compared to more deterministic games.
- a lot of people do enjoy the rolling process itself.
- it's usually faster to resolve.
- chance of failure and ones ability to minimise risk is very fitting for many themes. For example anything war-related.

And you can still have plenty of choice at the same time (see example above).
In the end, it all depends on the specific game. I wouldn't discard dice all together. Especially if you are a designer.

XSnaerSnareX
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My Mechanic

My mechanic features a variation of both skill rolls and factions. In one of the games I'm currently planning out (think Shadows over Camelot, but space), you'll choose a faction and a character, giving you different sets and amounts of dice you'll use. The enemies you fight will also use these type of dice normally. The dice are primarily broken into 2 sets, the Faction Dice, and the Skill Dice.

Faction Dice:
1,2 - Miss
3,4,5 - Hit
6 - Double Hit

Skill Dice:
1 - Automatic Miss
6 - Automatic Win

When in combat, the items you use, equipment you have, and character itself will determine how many of these dice you use when fighting an enemy. First you all roll faction dice, and the enemy's if any are needed. Any hits rolled are specified to one single character.

Next you roll the skill dice for both sides and then total up the values on each side. You score a damage for every enemy who's skill total is lower than yours, just as you gain a damage for every enemy's total that is higher.

Here's a scenario:
Jack rolls his 2 Faction Dice he gets, then Dwarf 1's 1 Faction Dice, and Dwarf 2's 1 Faction Dice. Jack rolls a 4 and a 5 scoring 2 hits, while Dwarf 1 rolls a 1 and Dwarf 2 rolls a 6 for a total of 2 hits on Jack who decides to put 1 hit on each Dwarf.

Next Jack rolls his 2 Skill Dice and the 2 enemy's 2 Skill Dice. Jack rolls a 4 and a 3 (total of 7), Dwarf 1 rolls a 2 and a 2 (4), and Dwarf 2 rolls a 6 and a 3 (9). Jack scores 1 hit on Dwarf 1 since his total is higher, however Dwarf 2's total is higher so Jack takes 1 hit as well. However, since Dwarf 2 rolled a 6, he would automatically win that skill roll regardless of the total. If both sides roll a 6/1, then enemies always win.

This system will probably incorporate different types of dice as well, but this is just my basic combat system so far. You'll get equipment that can bend the rules and enemies who make it more challenging just to stay alive.

Squinshee
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Chordcommander wrote:My

Chordcommander wrote:
My approach in a MOBA style skirmisher:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akqRoSwaRjc

Very cool.

X3M
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Squinshee

Squinshee wrote:
Chordcommander wrote:
My approach in a MOBA style skirmisher:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akqRoSwaRjc

Very cool.

Yes it is. I wonder how many times each choice is taken though. This is only through playtesting. But so very open that it is completely random by players. It's almost perfect.

Elkobold, can you please provide a link to what you have mentioned about randomness by Garfield. There is a bit too much to find with google at this point. And I rather see the exact thing that you are refering too.

ElKobold
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X3M wrote:it is completely

X3M wrote:
it is completely random by players.

Oh but it's not random. It's very much a conscious decision. I've played Chordcommander's game and it's pretty cool indeed.

X3M wrote:

Elkobold, can you please provide a link to what you have mentioned about randomness by Garfield. There is a bit too much to find with google at this point. And I rather see the exact thing that you are refering too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=av5Hf7uOu-o

Chordcommander
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It's hard to talk about how

It's hard to talk about how the system works without actually trying it out.

It offers some interesting choices that are difficult to get at first glance:

- attacker decides, how much risk/reward he wants to put in a specific attack.(attack 2x head for max damage with the risk, that the whole attack gets cancelled by enemy blocking head or attack body/head for some safe, unblockable damage)

- a lot of attacks let you decide if you want to inflict slows/stuns/displacements or damage. Depending on the overall state of the game (and some hidden info in terms of which actions your other heroes are going to perform) some effects can be gamechanging and attacker and defender may have different perceptions which is the "strongest" effect.

The first perception of players when I demo the game often is: "Combat is broken - I always block the zone with the most damage". After the first three attacks where their heroes constantly get double body or double leg attacks they start to change their strategy. It's a little like poker, you need to be unpredictable and surprise your opponent here and then, and that is actually the fun and tension of the system.

Combat feels almost like first person, even if there is some luck involved, as hitting or missing feels much more "up to you" than rolling dice. In the end, it was you who chose the card, so it's your fault if your hero gets that double head spear to the face ;)

X3M
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ElKobold wrote:X3M wrote:it

ElKobold wrote:
X3M wrote:
it is completely random by players.

Oh but it's not random. It's very much a conscious decision. I've played Chordcommander's game and it's pretty cool indeed.

True, it is ineed a conscious decision.
I was thinking statistically again (group of people). Then the illusion is randomness.

But yeah, since it is a bit like bluffing. I think my die trick here, would work perfectly to get the kids of track :D
Mhuhahaha.

Thanks for the link, will watch this weekend though.

Squinshee
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ElKobold wrote:Here is how

ElKobold wrote:
Here is how combat works in my current project, which is a space 4X, aiming to be yet another TI3 killer :)

I like your approach to dice combat. If I ever designed a game with dice combat, I'd make it so that the rolled dice are your available options for combat. That way, you have to improvise and optimize your strategy after the dice roll, which I think is interesting. Dice determine options, not outcomes.

Chordcommander wrote:
- attacker decides, how much risk/reward he wants to put in a specific attack.(attack 2x head for max damage with the risk, that the whole attack gets cancelled by enemy blocking head or attack body/head for some safe, unblockable damage)

Question: for the attacker, is the benefit of hitting the same body part twice greater than hitting two different body parts? To me, that doesn't seem to be the case - hitting the same body part twice doubles the effect. Assuming that your intention is that hitting each body part has proportionally balanced effects, the optimal strategy seems to be to spread out your attack since it increases your chances of successful hits. The risk seems to outweigh the reward (at first glance at least).

ElKobold
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Squinshee][quote=ElKobold

Squinshee wrote:

I like your approach to dice combat. If I ever designed a game with dice combat, I'd make it so that the rolled dice are your available options for combat. That way, you have to improvise and optimize your strategy after the dice roll, which I think is interesting. Dice determine options, not outcomes.

Yes, that's a "euro" approach to dice, like in Alien Frontiers. And personally, I prefer it as well.
But in this specific instance, I went for this "ameritrashy" feel deliberately, since there are two decision spots already which are normally missing in this kind of combat, and I couldn't afford to over-complicate it further.

That being said, the outcome only partially depends on the dice-roll. Since the actual "winner" is decided by the defender, player's choice is still predominant. Dice decide only the "price" of victory.

For example, if you have more than 7 ships, I have no way to dislodge you in a single attack, if you decide to take the casualties. Even if I go for a Massacre, no matter how well I roll.

Squinshee
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I like the different options

I like the different options you have in your game before combat. Having decisions afterwards would be over-complicating it.

Baarune
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Squinshee wrote: I really

Squinshee wrote:

I really dislike dice combat systems because nothing feels worse than planning an attack for several turns only to have a bad roll. That to me is the opposite of fun. I wish more games found interesting choices for players to make with their dice rolls, rather than the rolls simply determining an outcome.

In defence of dice based combat. (Im used to dnd rather than warhammerish games)
Randomness does bring in the chance that your well thought out plan fails. But it also brings in the chance for you to wipe out more enimies than you should have if you get lucky. This is a great feeling. And in a pvp game you always have to remember your bad luck is your opponents good luck.

radioactivemouse
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I've been working on...

I've been recently working on a card game and, while I'm typically against dice, I added dice.

Well, specifically FATE (or fudge) dice.

For those that don't know, fudge dice are six-sided dice that have 2 blanks, 2 plusses, and 2 minuses on the faces. Typically 4 are rolled, and I'm using it in a slightly different way than typical dice...more like the FATE system.

I'll probably explain it more in detail in a blog later...

In looking for "new" innovations, I've been searching for mechanics that not many people use, tweaking it, and bringing something new to the table.

"Non nova sed nove" is a Latin term for "Not new things, but in a new way". Like I said in another post, there are mechanics that I'm not fond of, but I'll use them if they fit the theme and is optimal for the game.

Rick L
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Awesome thread! I like to

Awesome thread! I like to have a mix of strategy and randomness in combat, with a greater weight on strategy. That was the basis for my combat mechanic - randomness from dice and various ways to work around that with cards and other elements.

I'm planning on posting more about my game soon, as soon as I'm done re-vamping the rulebook. But it's a steampunk style game of resource production & management, and Alchemy experiments, with occasional battles to try to slow each other down. Therefore, the battles don't win the game or give you any points towards winning - but it works well with the whole theme and is a fun way to buy more time if you're falling behind in your Alchemy experiments, which is how you win the game.

So, little by little players build a small deck of Strategy cards - some are for defense, some to strike, and some reinforcements that can be used either way.

When you want to attack someone, you initiate the battle with a strike card worth a certain amount of points to strike. For example, an "invasion" card gives 4 points. Attacker rolls a D20 and adds the result with the strike card. A defender rolls 2D8 to try to match the attacker's score - a tie or higher puts the defender on top. The defender can add any defense or reinforcement cards to beat the attacker's total. Example : defender plays "Ambush" for 3 points and "minefield" for 4 points.

With a D20, the attacker has an equal chance of rolling a "1" as he does a "20", or any other number. With 2D8, the defender can only roll up to 16 points, but statistically will more often roll 7, 8, or 9.

Using resources, players can build upgrades that allow a 3rd D8 for defense, which gives a chance to score up to 24 points, but still more likely to be around half that.

Players can also build strike and defense upgrades that add bonus points when either attacking or defending. So those bonuses are added to your roll, along with the extra points from the strategy cards.

The two battling players can keep adding cards to "up" their score - the attacker can add more strike cards or more reinforcement cards, while the defender adds defense or reinforcement cards, until someone is unable to top the other player's score, at which point the battle ends.

One of the upgrades in the game is a Time Machine, which is most useful in Alchemy experiments, but can also be used to re-roll your battle dice! You have limited uses of the Time Machine each turn, so you have to take that into consideration. Also, it's slightly more useful for defenders, as they can use it to re-roll some or all of their defense dice! So if you roll a 8-3-1, you can keep the "8" and re-roll the lower numbers. The attacker can re-roll the D20, but chances of getting higher are just as good as getting lower, unless you have a really low number.

Anyway, lots of cool ways to affect your score - most cards add points, but some make your opponent remove cards from play, and others add special tactics that allow you to have multiple targets.

The battles are all about eliminating workers & damaging resource facilities to slow a player's progress, and they've been working really well and are a fun part of the overall game, even though you could play an entire game without a single battle (never happened, but enough upgrades and strategy cards could intimidate opponents).

Not sure how this mechanic would work in a stand-alone mini-game - haven't tried it yet but with some tweaks it might be fun to try, but I kind of think it works better embedded in a larger game like this.

Squinshee
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Baarune wrote:In defence of

Baarune wrote:
In defence of dice based combat. (Im used to dnd rather than warhammerish games)

Randomness does bring in the chance that your well thought out plan fails. But it also brings in the chance for you to wipe out more enimies than you should have if you get lucky. This is a great feeling. And in a pvp game you always have to remember your bad luck is your opponents good luck.

This is certainly subjective because I don't like winning from a good roll. That's a feeling I avoid. I want to win because I outsmarted my opponent, not because of factors out of my control.

My game OverRealm is almost literally rock/paper/scissors with a board state that influences your choice of rock/paper/scissors. Very mindgamey and easy to jump into.

ElKobold
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Here's another one for you:

Attacker and defender has "total unit strength" based on combined strength of all units in the army. Units can be either damaged or undamaged. Damaged units have 0 unit strength.

The outcome of the attack is a combination of matching those "unit strengths" and dice rolling (the dice used has one blank side, 4 "unit damaged" and 1 "unit destroyed". Destroyed units are removed, damaged are turned on the side. If damaged unit is damaged again, it's destroyed).

There are two types of conflicts - "battles" and "raids".

If the attacker's unit strength is higher than defenders - it's a "Battle". If it's lower - it's a "Raid".

In a battle the attacker gets to roll 2 dice and defender gets to roll 3 (regardless of the number of units). Then defender retreats and the attacker "wins" and gets the territory.
In a raid the attacker rolls 1 dice and defender rolls nothing, but this time the attacker retreats.

So the basic idea is this:
The strategic outcome is mostly known and deterministic - larger army will most likely force the smaller army to retreat (but will probably suffer more losses) (the only exception is if one side is completely wiped-out).

The exact "cost" of the attack is unknown though and left to chance (to a degree).

The decision making lies on the attacker in the sense of how big a force to send. If it's small - it will slowly deal damage to the enemy, but won't win any territory. If it's larger, it will get the territory, but will suffer unknown losses while doing so.

It's super-fast to resolve, keeps some room for tactics, while allowing predictable outcomes to player actions.

pelle
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I have been hobby-researching

I have been hobby-researching very old games in the last few years (http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1195045/old-wargameskriegsspiels), and one that I have been looking at a lot in the last month or so has a very interesting unusual combat system. Published in 1819. The designer writes in the rules how he thinks you need to have randomness to represent real combat, but that he also wants the best strategy to win, so he limited randomness. Could have been written in 2016!

In his game you use sort of RPS to decide if one force is stronger than the other. However depending on terrain type different unit types or combinations of unit types can sometimes be stronger and sometimes be weaker than some other type. Light infantry for instance is stronger than regular infantry in the mountains, but not elsewhere. And if you have a combined force of both infantry and cavalry that is always going to be stronger than a force of equal size that consists of only one of the types. A bit complex, but I think the original rulebook had a table at the end spelling out all these things for easy reference.

You launch an attack on your turn, and you need to have a force at least equally strong to the defending. But then on the other player's turn they can choose to reinforce the combat from other nearby locations. If they bring the force up sufficiently they force the attacker to retreat. If not the defenders must retreat. A force that fails to retreat is eliminated.

Randomness only comes in if forces are exactly equally strong, and always at the option of the attacker. If the attacker attacks with a force that is exactly as strong as the defenders, and the battle is not reinforced, then the attacker can choose to rely on luck, a die-roll (or a coin flip). On a success the defender must retreat. On failure the attacker retreats AND one unit is eliminated. So there is some extra risk involved when trusting luck to win the battle.

However if the defender is outnumbered, but reinforces the combat so that the forces are equally strong, now the attacker again has to decide to push the attack with luck or to retreat. If they try to win by a die-roll in this case the losing side will have a unit eliminated in addition to retreating. So now there is extra risk on for both players, so the defender should think twice as well about getting into that situation.

I have only played it solitaire so far, and only twice, but it seems to create some very interesting situations. I am thinking about how to work this into a more modern game (and also working on getting some more scans of the original game so I can recreate it better).

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1643650/combat-rules

Arcuate
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Like the Battles vs Raids Idea

The system ElKobold describes sounds interesting... Some of that would apply well to my game. I already have a dichotomy between attacks that are primarily trying to inflict damage, and those that are aimed at taking territory, but is applies to Air Units only. The idea of a raid by Land Units has some appeal.

Are there other games with a similar system?

pelle
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There are many wargames that

There are many wargames that allows you to choose a level of attack (minor, major etc) and sometimes of defense (hold at all costs or fall back etc).

There are games (eg Paths of Glory, iirc) that use different tables for resolving combat depending on how many units are involved.

There were a few double-blind wargames made in (iirc) the 1980's where you declared an attempt to move into enemy-controlled areas, and then the other player said what was there, and then you got to decide if you were pushing the attack or just calling it a probe and moving back your unit.

So some similar ideas, but not represented the same way.

Arcuate
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Closely matched forces should have an uncertain outcome

When some people complain about randomness in wargames, they emphasize that good strategy should prevail, and luck should not predominate, which I agree with... But a purely deterministic system is unrealistic, and may introduce a form of "pseudo-luck" anyway.

If I have a force of 22, defending against a force of 23, should the attacker have the luxury of knowing that 23 is always superior to 22? Or should the outcome be closer to a coin toss? For me, a coin toss with a slight bias in favour of the 23 is appropriate.

If, in a purely deterministic game, it is known that 23 always beats 22, it could be argued that the attacking side is lucky to have just enough superiority to have a certain victory. The antecedents to the accumulation of 23 points of force on one side and 22 on the other might be deterministic in theory, but chaotic and unpredictable in practice, and therefore be indistinguishable from luck. And the amplification of that minor, "lucky" superiority, to a certain victory, is potentially more corrosive to strategic planning than other systems acknowledging that the forces are actually fairly balanced.

So, outside of abstract strategy games, some level of randomness in conflict resolution usually seems appropriate for wargames - from my perspective, anyway.

Of course, it depends on the game, and the randomness needs to be limited.

X3M
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Randomness, if applied

Randomness, if applied correctly. Helps in balancing a war game.
A yes/no game is deterministic.
Of course you need to watch out for determinism in the randomness of the dice. Or any other tool that you use.

I love turning 22 vs 23 into a coin toss. With the right mechanics, I think it is possible. (I got closer, but still searching) But one needs to have a keen eye for how randomness works in each different game.

radioactivemouse
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Randomness vs. Strategy.

This is the big question that's on every game designer's mind: How much strategy/luck should you put into a game?

It obviously varies between designers. Candy Land is purely luck based while a game like Chess is purely skill.

What you want to ask yourself is what you want your players to feel and how wide of an audience you want your game to reach.

Truth be told, the more luck involved, the wider the audience. New players will generally want a chance to win over the skilled player and luck is the perfect mechanic. More skill and you'll have many disappointed new players because the experienced players have already figured out the game.

How you translate luck and skill together is up to you; It's all perception. You want the player to think that their skill is going to win, but allow for luck elements to catch up if they fall behind. Too much luck and players will focus on the luck...too much skill and players will look for the luck.

Good luck.

X3M
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A possible answer

To get the right amount of luck and skill. Could possibly be achieved by applying it to a learning curve.

At first, a player doesn't have much options, and a battle is based entirely on luck. Later on, with more options open to players, the battle will be based on skill.

Another option would be that a game provides the players, choices of a lot of luck and less luck (determinism). While the rest of the game is based on skill that is balancing in between the options.

I am trying to get the best of these 2 mentioned above.

saluk
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It should be noted that the

It should be noted that the card methods like Game of Thrones or Civ are random of a kind, in that neither player knows what the other player is going to play. Some existing information can be used to infer it, but it is imperfect. Randomness in the game is a great way to offset the randomness of what the players bring to the experience. Games like chess are the equivalent in the strategy arena to games like Trviial Pursuit in the party game arena. If you don't bring the requisite knowledge from outside the game, you will likely have a terrible experience. And even skilled players get bored faster if they have difficulty finding challenging opponents.

Here's a few ideas I had reading your thread.

Trading blows: everybody in the fight draws lots. Whoever drew short loses a unit. Continue until contested region is no longer contested. It may be functionaly similar to different dice mechanisms, but resonates with similarly-able units trading blows.

You shots cant kill me I'm wearing a bullet proof vest! Well I have a bullet proof vest destroyer!: Your cards that you play, or are drawn during a fight, declare one side or the other to be the winner, according to various criteria. The army with the most of "x" units, the army with the strongest single unit, the army who is attacking from a mountain. If players are playing the cards, they can keep playing such cards that move the battle one way or the other until one player can't change the tide.

Hidden strengths: Unit strengths are hidden (with minis, they are under the base). You know that the soldier will have a strength from 1 to 3 but dont know that SPECIFIC soldier's strength. Strengths are revealed in a fight. You may lose the battle, but you will learn the strength of the units that killed you to be able to use that information later.

Last chance: Each player has a single combat card that does some action in the fight. "Bring one unit from a surrounding unit into the fight." "Kill one of the opposing units before carrying out combat". You can play it or not. Strategy is when to play your one card.

Tallest army wins: Dexterity mechanics in games are becoming popular. See Flick em Up, Dungeon Fighter, etc. In Tallest Army Wins, units are various sized wooden blocks. In a battle, both players have a time limit to build a tower out of the units in their army. Whichever army/tower is taller at the end of the time limit wins the fight. Units that are still touching the table at that time are lost to attrition.

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