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Brawling Fighting Game Combat

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 03/11/2017

Howdy Ya'll.

I've recently been working on a gang fighting game where you have a gang of four characters in a Bar/Park/Alley/Street fighting another players Gang of four characters for turf and prestige. Influenced by the 1979 Warriors Movie.

I have 3 different classes of Fighters; Heavy, Medium, Light. Representing their stature.
Its a simple rock, paper, scissors mechanic, where you have; (clockwise)


Each player gets a cardboard cutout with each characters
HP - (How much Damage they can take before being knocked out,
Power - (How Many D6 to roll When Fighting)
Move - How many squares they can move

When attacking, players roll head to head with their Power and tally up who got the most Fists. Most fists win the combat.

D6 are custom and have two symbols on them
1-2 = Blank
3-5 = 1 Fist (1 Hit)
6 = Fist and ! (Boosts your combo)

Now this is where I need help and keep flip flopping on mechanics and styles.

Each character has a card which has 4 Combos which detail;
-What currency you have to spend to use that combo
-The Damage it deals if you win the combat
-Details on if the move moves the target, tackles them, etc etc
- What ! do to boost your combo. e.g More Dmg, Make another attack.

1. At first I had it that the players have a deck of cards with 4 symbols on them and you play cards that have the correspond with the combos needed cost.
Tom draws his 5 cards and has 3 Squares, 1 Triangle, 1 Circle.
Tom can see that in order to execute the Haymaker combo, he must spend 1 Triangle, and 1 Circle card in his turn to do that move. Is it distracting from the board?

2. I've thought of having all the Symbols (Square, Triangle, Circle etc) engraved in custom dice and each player roll 8 currency dice, at the beginning of your turn and you then spend your dice in a similar way to the card system. Is it too many dice?

At this stage combat is face to face rolls, rolling as many Attack Dice as your Power Stat (Defending and Attack).
How the Rock, Paper, Scissors mechanic comes into play is;
if you are Attacking/Defending against a class you are Super Effective against then you add a SUPER DICE (SD) to the pool of attack dice.
if you are Attacking/Defending against a class you are Weak against then you add a WEAK DICE (WD) to the pool of attack dice.

1-2: Blank
3-6: Star
1-2: Blank
3-6: Skull )

If you roll a symbol on the SD, or WD then you check on your character card and see what the effect of the symbol does.
Rolling a Star on one character might mean you can re-roll any fails, Adds more to your roll.
Rolling a Skull might negate your dice etc

This was all to try and make it that the Heavy guys can roll heaps of Attack Dice, but find it really hard to hit the fast little guys. After playtesting the combat is seemed simple and effective, but just not very Exciting and Thrilling.
Each character has their own flavor play styles, which then also add towards how a particular Gang plays and their pros/cons.

My main goal in the game is to have the game come straight outta the box and be somewhat simple to play, and absolutely chaotic with people getting thrown and pushed everywhere (because the area to fight is quite small, hence making it a smaller game).
I'd also like the game to go for 20-30minutes MAX! Needs to be snappy and crazy, and over before you know it (like how I imagine these scenarios would play out in real life), but still be fun, tactical, and easy to teach/play.

Whats your take and advice?

Joined: 03/11/2017
Alternative Atk vs Def

I also toyed with the idea of instead of rolling as a defender, you have a number as a defence stat, which is how many Fists you need to roll in order to do damage. Or does it make players feel inanimate when being attacked?

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
Combat Options

There are a lot of interesting points to the game you've described above. Here's some feedback that may be useful.

STREAMLINE IT: If you're interested in creating a "snappy and crazy" game, then I recommend you stick with one fundamental mechanic. Either ditch the cards and keep the dice, or vice versa. In my own experience, any time a player switches between mechanics the game becomes longer. This doesn't mean it's a poorly-designed game, but if you're looking for a quick game then go with one of them and do it well.

Personally I tend to be more a fan of card games, but dice generally add a level of drama and unpredictability that may be attractive to some.

SIMULTANEOUS TURNS: I like the fact you're having the players roll dice at the same time. I recommend you keep this simultaneous aspect. If players need to roll dice, they all do it at the same time. If players need to reveal cards, they do it all at the same time. This keeps the drama and immersion high, cuts down on play time, and fits with the theme.

The notion of "opposed rolls" seems like it would be a nice fit. In other words, there's a contest between players, they both roll, and whoever does better wins that contest. You allude to this after your description of character attributes. I'd suggest you explore this a bit more and see what you can do within it. It would add usefulness to which fighters square off against one another, increase utility of moving and maneuvering to find a weaker target, and ratchet-up the tension as players face-off to win contests.

THEMATIC LINK: What makes the gangs in your game different from one another? The film you mention has loads of variety from one gang to the next. What makes the Warriors different from the Baseball Furies?

Use the answers to questions like these to make each team just a little bit different from one another. This can allow players to experiment with different play styles, team loadouts, and win strategies. On your part it requires more playtesting and balancing but the end result can be a more nuanced game that merits additional plays and more table time.

Hopefully these have been useful. Best of success on your game design! Put it on the table and test it out ASAP. :)

ONE LAST THING: a friend of mine and fellow designer came up with Tag Team late last year and it was successfully funded on Kickstarter. I suggest you have a look at it. It uses thematically-different teams, simultaneous reveals, the gang-fight theme, and an abbreviated play time. I think you can explore different directions than this, but it's worth a look.

ssm's picture
Joined: 04/06/2017
"This was all to try and make

"This was all to try and make it that the Heavy guys can roll heaps of Attack Dice, but find it really hard to hit the fast little guys. After playtesting the combat is seemed simple and effective, but just not very Exciting and Thrilling.
Each character has their own flavor play styles, which then also add towards how a particular Gang plays and their pros/cons."

I think the exciting and thrilling may be up to the player who is looking for a particular theme or setting.
If you changed it to a Bar Fight, with bikers, cowboys, hippies, etc, or professional wrestling, or special forces from around the world; or superheroes, or an alien arena free-for-all, do you think it would be more exciting for the end user?

Good movies, books, games, immerse us into the story because we 'feel' for the characters. I like the idea, but The Warriors is kind of nostalgic at this point, & gangs have changed dramatically since then.

Joined: 03/11/2017
Thanks for the replies! Great

Thanks for the replies!
Great tips.

I guess I'm trying to find the right balance of really simple combat but still be satisfying.

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