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Choosing Your Victory

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Tbone
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I have been trucking along with my game Battle of the Monumentals and came across a divide within my thinking...

I have three different victory conditions right now all linked to what I call "Mindsets":

Destroyer:

Reduce the enemy's health to zero

Commander:

Gain 12 Points by killing enemy units (Each unit has a specific point value)

Redeemer:

Dominate the middle ground and use your "restore" action to establish 15 Remnants (one for each restore action).

... My only issue is balancing these victory conditions, making sure one is not too easy or too hard...

As it stands the Redeemer mindset is the easiest, mainly because you only have to keep complete control over the middle ground and use one of your actions on a turn to gain a Remnant. This is the conservative playstyle.

Reducing the enemy's health is pretty difficult because you have to get all the way into enemy territory to deal damage to your opponent. This is the aggressive playstyle.

Gaining points is also a choir as it forces you to play the most strategicly. Pressuring units, making sure you don't give the enemy any points by miss playing ect. This is Right in the middle of an aggressive playstyle and a conservative one.

****Ideas****

1) Allow the player to have all three victory conditions and wins when one is completed.

2) The above idea but two need to be completed (reducing the health to zero would always have to be last?).

3) All three need to be completed. (In a specific order).

4) Allow the player to pick which victory conditions he wants. Depending on how many he doesn't pick he will get a bonus. (If the player picks only the Redeemer and Commander VC he gains 6 energy and 4 tiles to start). The player would only have to accomplish one but having less options for victory will give you bonuses (because you are less flexible). Another example would be the player choosing only the Destroyer mindset, starting with 9 energy and 5 tiles to start (Limited options, bigger bonus)

5) The player can only pick one VC

What are your thoughts....?

questccg
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If balanced

Why don't you make it RANDOM?

Let's say there are nine (9) cards players can pick. Three (3) of each type of Victory Condition. At the beginning it may be hard to know what the player's VC is... But mid-way when a player starts playing a particular style, it will become more obvious.

Just an idea...

Tbone
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Good Thought.

I like where this is going. Although for each you would have a tracker so the enemy would know very early on in the game.

Noimage
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Input

I think the idea of randomizing is good but flawed. That still does not fix that some may be unbalanced so its relying on luck how easy the game will be for you to win. Also if someone dislikes a certain victory condition but are forced to play according to that condition it may ruin the fun and cause them not to want to come back to the game.

On the other hand, having unbalanced victory conditions available at all times is not a bad thing. If there is a specific way to win that is very easy a lot of player will fight over it and specifically try to prevent that win condition throughout the game. IF there is a way to prevent remnant building in your game it may be a good idea to consider this concept. Having multiple win conditions of varying speeds allows the game to end early if one player is doing way better than the other rather than drag it out and at the same time if both players are good they should be able to prevent each other from completing the other win conditions up until the hardest one (which i am assuming to reduce health to 0). All this does is creates tension throughout the game, highlighting the areas that result in victory.

Of your ideas above I like number four a lot because it lets people pick but makes gives them more of an advantage the harder they make it for themselves. It definitely adds a game defining moment at the start of the game.

This game seems really cool from what you described, I hope you succeed in your endeavors. Best of luck!!!

I hope this helps,
-Noimage

Tbone
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Number 4

This one is currently my top option... this because players can develop their personality within the game. Maybe they don't mind killing the enemy but still want to save and restore the planet/land - they would then choose the Destroyer and Redeemer Mindsets (Victory Conditions). This also sets up for theme decks where you are given a specific VC and an overall deck "feel". Or even players constructing a deck to perform better within a certain Mindset. Though my only concern is that if you have a Redeemer play against a Redeemer, the point value on the tile/unit becomes obsolete, which is one way I balance tiles. Should this be standardized making every kill just ONE point?

questccg
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Use chitz or scorepad

Tbone wrote:
...Should this be standardized making every kill just ONE point?

I wouldn't. Just use some chitz to keep score. Or a scorepad (this way everyone knows who is the leader).

So you have 2 options: 1> Nobody knows who is in the lead. 2> Everyone knows who is in the lead.

The options lead to very different in-game strategies. But both are valid.

Tbone
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I guess what I'm saying,

I guess what I'm saying, quest is when you kill a unit (specifically playing the Commander mindset) you would get a point towards the Commander's VC. The way it is now is every unit has it's own point value. So when killing "Digital Vampire" you would gain 3 points towards the Commander VC, but killing the "Blind Knoll" will give you 6 points.

Would standardizing each kill work best (former description) or keep each unit unique via points (latter description)?

questccg
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Love Ameritrash

Tbone wrote:
...Would standardizing each kill work best (former description) or keep each unit unique via points (latter description)?

I love Ameritrash games... So I'm always interested in games that include characters/roles in them that match with the game's theme or backstory! So having different "Commanders" with an ability and/or a penalty really resonate with me.

Take Small World (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RQ9iI3ORig) I like that races are complemented with a characteristic (2:15 - 4:40).

So what does that mean? Well I would suggest that one Commander have an ability like "Stealth" which means victory points are kept secret. Meanwhile all the other Commanders you know exactly how they are progressing in the game.

Tbone
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I have always wanted to get

I have always wanted to get that game but never got the finances to advance in that goal.

There actually are more than just "commanders". There are the three mindsets: Commander, Redeemer and Destroyer. But as I said - to use your idea - later in the game's development there will be "Mindset Characters" that allow you to have extra abilities. This is where the theme would catch on. Lord Ash could be a character(They are actually called Monumentals) that allows you to damage your own units for energy. With the ability... "Deal two damage to a friendly unit and gain two energy." Somewhere along those lines...

But for now, I am worried about the game flow. As of now, attacking the enemy opponent (reducing health) is almost none existent. I am currently experimenting with allowing the player to perform up to three actions instead of two. Although you may not do more than two actions of a given action type. This proved to bring more units into the game and thus creating more instances for units to die (which is needed to buff the Commander Mindset).

questccg
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Area control

Why not use Action points with custom d6s. You could have like 3 d6s with values 1-3 on each one. This means at best you get 9 APs and at worst you get 3 APs...

Do you have a board? Maybe controlling two (2) areas triggers a victory condition after "X" amount of turns...

This would ENCOURAGE combat and attacking the opponent's units - otherwise you lose the game! A pretty good reason to engage your opponent! If I do say so myself...

Update: Even IF you DON'T have a board. You can use special cards or chitz to identify three areas like a Factory or an Oil well, etc. You can even think up of pure Sci-Fi fantasy stuff like a Beacon, etc.

And you place them somewhere in the playing area (virtual board). When you do this, this will determine what players are in "control" of the board. EASY to control one (1) marker, HARDER to control two (2) markers...

Update 2: There could be rules to control like a ratio of "+2" units means you control that marker. So if your opponent has 1 unit at the marker, you need 3 units to be in control of it. Something like that...

Another marker could be a 2:1 ratio. So if you have 2 units, the opponent must have 4 units to control the marker. Ratio is HARDER that a +X... You can playtest this and see what works best. Just some rough ideas...

Tbone
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Simplicity

I have seen that a lot of your concepts rely quite a lot on luck. The reason there can't be too much of that is because the game is a lot like chess... There is a board, yes, and more information on the game can be found here...
==> http://www.bgdf.com/node/16051

Another thing is, players must manage their actions very carefully as later in the game you will have many options (move a unit one space, increase your energy by one etc.). So the random element for AP would leave the game almost TOO random because it relies so much on each individual action - this random factor actually takes away from this tension...

I like the idea of two different nodes... With the Redeemer I have it more like a King of the Hill type victory condition: you can only have your units within the Remnant area(Middle Ground) to score. If an enemy unit inhabits one of the Middle ground spaces you will not be able to score (gain a Renmant for an action). So this is the same concept and does feed off of defending it for points as well as inhabiting it to keep the enemy from scoring (if you are trying to stop them from attaining that victory condition).

Although... This is only one winning condition, there are three...

It is very interesting though... I'll give you an example...

Lets say you choose to have strictly a Redeemer mindset. You only have one VC and that is to gain 15 Remnants from the Middle Ground.

You are dueling a Commander/Destroyer. They can either win by killing a certain number of units with his units or deal lethal damage and reduce the enemy's health to zero.

Well, all the Redeemer wants to do is gain control of the Middle Ground as fast and as long as possible - defending it with everything he/she has. While the Commander/Destroyer has to be pretty aggressive by getting deep into enemy territory, but can also deal with attacking enemy units to win. So that player isn't going to play incredibly aggressive but CAN. Now... The Commander/Destroyer doesn't have to worry about his units dying and giving the enemy (Redeemer) points, but he does have to worry about keeping the Middle Ground out of the hands of the Redeemer... The Redeemer has two things to watch out for: It's Health and it's units.

Now this is just one example but this makes for a macro dependency withing the game - players have to attain victory but also prevent their enemy's from doing so. These mindsets are the core of the games flow (as all victory conditions really should be). Limiting your options (as the Redeemer did) will give you a bigger bonus in the beginning but it is harder to play because you are limited to one overall VC.

I hope this is making sense....

questccg
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A long, long time ago ... In a galaxy far, far away

I see that your board is a simple grid. Personally I remember you talking about how you wanted to design a RTS board game...

And as you spoke about those things, I thought you were going to go in the direction of miniatures - in that there was no REAL board only a fictitious one on the playing surface you played the game (table, desk, etc.)

Then when you wrote the thread "Position Modifiers Explained" (http://www.bgdf.com/image/position-modifiers-expained), I thought that this was a simple way of creating a formation with some simple battle rules that COULD allow something like an RTS board game take form.

And so I was excited in the fact that those two threads were about an RTS that could take shape. All that remained what a method to calculate distances between the RTS units which could be ranged in addition to melee combat units. I really thought you had a handle on the RTS genre.

But, not to be gloomy, I am still thinking about those elements and how they make for what could be the very first RTS. I had helped Jewel on his simultaneous dice rolling game - and I kept quiet about what I had figured out to be a "great way" of implementing REAL-TIME.

I want to take a moment to talk about that. In the event that this might spark interest in reviving the RTS project...

So each player has a set of custom d6s. And players are continually rolling dice to try to reach an objective. Let's say the objective is to "Move" a unit, well he must roll two (2) move symbols. Once one move is rolled, that symbol is locked and the player continues to roll the 2nd dice. What this does is create a timeline of rolls... And it's REAL-TIME. Of course there is a luck factor - but you could also "buy" by drafting dice with different probabilities...

Basically all this "rolling" custom d6s meant that the game is real-time until a player yells "STOP". When this happens, we take a breather from the real-time component because the REAL-TIME objective has occurred.

Say the objective is to MOVE and requires 2 dice to roll the movement symbol. Both players declare their objective and then real-time rolling kicks in and it's REAL REAL-TIME. If player #1 (who wanted to move) beats his opponent, he can decide which units is to be moved (perhaps formation moves should be possible - but require 3 dice instead of 2).

Once the move is done, BOTH player declare their objective. Player #2 can keep the same objective as previously or may elect to try a new objective. And then Player #1 declares his next objective and then the REAL-TIME aspect kicks in and players start rolling dice (REAL-TIME)!

I like the dice drafting idea - both players could earn points to be able to buy dice for a "real-time round" that have different odds.

Anyhow - this is my take on what I expected a RTS board game to be.

And I had hoped that the various discussions about it (from various mechanics to positions, etc) were for the RTS board game... Anyhow I like this... I would maybe want to pursue it in terms of design. Personally it's worth my time - since I think it's a NEW concept and it's something that I would spend further time "exploring"!

Cheers!

Tbone
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Shame!!

I apologize for disappointing you quest... I decided, since I am young to the designing world, that coming up with a ground breaking RTS title just was to high a pedestal. So I went back to something I was more comfortable with. Once I get some finished games under my belt the Position Modifier is my go-to for a good stable mechanic to build the game on (with some polishing of course).

Your dice theory is interesting... I never really got into dice but that might be something I would look into. Different dice for different actions. Roll until you get what you want. Real Time is difficult to achieve but I like where this is going.

Thanks quest.

questccg
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No worries...

I understand... That's why I also have games "on the backburner" so to speak. I think about them every now and then - but I focus on my other games first.

Right now I am waiting for the Florida group to report their findings on "Tradewars - Homeworld" and see what they have to say about the game. Joe is supposed to get back to me about that.

He's bugging me to think about having a crowdfunding campaign. Which is okay - but there are things that I need to learn (such as Amazon.com fulfillment). Basically Amazon can handle the warehousing and shipping of individual rewards. Which is fantastic seeing that I needed some help with this aspect of the crowdfunding campaign since I am in Canada. It's very costly to ship product from Canada to the USA. The reverse is not true: it's actually rather cheap to ship from the USA to Canada.

And so there are things that need clarification like how much is it going to cost, what is the price for delivering wordwide, etc.

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