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Combat: Hit, Miss or Kill

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Tbone's picture
Joined: 02/18/2013
Combat Example
Combat Scenario.png

I am a big fan of making games simple and elegant; streamline if you'd like to call it that. Although, I like to do it in a way where I can build the structure of a mechanic but can dress it up later. I'll show you what I mean...

The combat mechanic for my game Battle of the Monumentals (soon to be Monumental Resolution) at its core, is extremely simple - no counters, no health, just attack and defense. This is because the main focus of the game is more dependent on tactics, positioning and decision making. To help you get an idea of how the game is played, it is very similar to Summoner Wars and Chess. You move units, attack with them, and use abilities and such to change the tide of battle. Although, I assure you, it is very unique.

To get some background knowledge of the tiles/units, they will have many characteristics to make them unique. The only ones needed to explain for this example are the Attack Value, Defense Value and Mobility/Range.

Attack: This value is compared against the opposing unit's defense when in combat

Defense: This value is what determines if the unit is HIT, KILLED or if the opposing unit MISSES when compared to the attack value.

Mobility/Range: The reason these are together is because they are represented in the same area on the unit. The mobility of the unit is represented by blue or red arrows showing the player what direction the unit can move. The range is shown specifically by the red arrows, this is where the unit can attack.

Here are the basics for combat...

When a unit initiates a combat sequence by the player using an attack action, you must...

1) first, check to see if the unit is within range. If not, you may not attack the unit.
2) Then...

For the attacker (the one initiating the conflict)...

-If the attack value is greater than or equal to the opposing (defending) unit's defense, that unit is killed.

-If the attack value is lower than the opposing unit's defense, that unit is hit.

For the defender (the unit being attacked)...

---If the attacking unit is within range... Then...

-If the attack value is greater than or equal to the opposing (attacking) unit's defense, that unit is killed.

-If the attack value is lower than the opposing unit's defense, that unit is hit.

---If the attacking unit is not within range... Then...

-If the attack value is greater than or equal to the opposing unit's defense, that unit is hit.

-If the attack value is lower than the opposing unit's defense, the unit misses.

A combat scenario is above for reference...

Kill: removed from the field.
Hit: placed in the Hit Zone
Miss: nothing happens, no damage reaches the unit.


The reason I have to distinguish between the attacker being in range for the defender is because the defender does not need to check before the conflict if he is in range or not, the attacker does.

Now, here are some ideas to "dress" this up a bit with some abilities and attributes...


If you attack a unit outside of their range you gain "x" amount of attack/damage.


When dealt lethal damage (higher or equal to the defense), remove an armor token instead of dying. Instead you are hit.


When dealt any amount of damage exhaust your shield. You may recharge your shield using "x" amount of energy.

    Fatal Strike:

Any amount of damage dealt is lethal damage

    Last Stand:

If you deal insufficient damage/hit a unit you may deal the same amount of damage again.


Ignore retaliation damage (defender damage)


What do you think of this? Too simple? Just right? Too complicated? Let me know.

Also, feel free to suggest attributes!! I will add your name by them for credit.

JohnMichaelThomas's picture
Joined: 05/30/2015
I like it, but I question the disparity in out-of-range attacks

I think it's pretty reasonable (though I think you probably want to be more clear about whose range you're talking about in each section, since I was a little confused at first how the defender could attack at all if out of range, since I read the range as the attacker's range).

But the logical question is, if the defender can't initiate an attack against a target (because the target is out of range) how can the defender counter-attack the same target? In my (engineering) mind out of range seems like it should always be out of range, and if the attacker has better range than the defender then the defender is SOL.

It would make more sense to me if attackers are allowed to attack out-of-range targets, but reduce their potential damage to miss or hit (just like the defender counterattacking an out-of-range attacker in your example). In addition to making more logical sense (to me), that would also simplify the mechanics since attacks would be resolved the same way every time, regardless of who's attacking who.

The problem I see with that is that you probably don't want to allow unlimited range attacks. If it was me I'd probably deal with that by subtracting 1 (or more) from attack strength for each extra space beyond the range the target is (thus reducing the chance of getting a hit more the farther away the target is); but my games usually thrive on simple subtraction, and what would work well in my wheel house might be more complicated than you want.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Game name

I would call your game "Monumental Revolution"!

IDK to me it sounds like some awesome "video game"... And maybe you can play on that fact - to better market the game.

Just an idea. Keep up the good work.

P.S.: I did not read the entire thread - I just got to the title change and said "I have to tell him that Revolution is better than Resolution".

Tbone's picture
Joined: 02/18/2013


I totally get where you are coming from. I had thought about making it where the attacker could also attack "out of range" but never thought of a debuff to its actual attack... I will definitely need to playtest this...

The only concern I have is that it does scew with the tactics a bit. Knowing that every unit can attack in every direction takes away the uniqueness of each unit. Nonetheless, if it makes the game better I must comply! Thank you John!


I had already settle for Monumental Resolution, but after reviewing your case I definitely may reconsider. And it would even fit with the theme which is nice. Thank you!

wombat929's picture
Joined: 04/17/2015
Miss, Hit, Attack

Regarding the cards:

1 - using the same shape icon for attack and defense is a little confusing -- could these be differentiated by shape as well as color?

2. I know I haven't read the rules, but the red arcing arrow in your diagram is bewildering -- does the attack value of 1 compare to the tiny red 1 +3, or to the big grey 5 on the right side of the screen.

In your first image explaining the diagram, you might include an arrow to the cluster of circles on the left to indicate that these are used in other aspects of the game. A label like "not used in combat" might be helpful.

Last, I'd agree that my worry is that this process would be too slow. But given your quick hit/kill/miss dynamic, perhaps not.

Tbone's picture
Joined: 02/18/2013
Combat Distinction


The red arrow is simply there to show who is initiating the attack. In this case the Pebble.

The icon on the on the top left of each unit is the cost of the unit. It is not used in combat. The numbers being compared are the attack (red) and defense (blue) for each unit. Nothing else is used. I may need to blurr the other values.

I will agree though, especially for those who have a hard time distinguishing colors, a different shape is definitely needed. Thank you.

To be honest, I have tested this quite a bit. It is not as slow as you might think. Once you have played the combat action out a few times it becomes second nature. Now, saying this as a designer, I know, doesn't mean much, but I have had a few people try it and it seems to go very quickly. Turns don't last that long which I love.

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