Combat System without dice

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Tbone
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Joined: 02/18/2013

I have been messing with the combat system lately in my game called Monumental Resolution (MonRes for short). The Predator Prey system to me is stale and boring at times (this type can kill this type can kill this type can kill this type etc.). So I have been trying new ways of allowing ALL cards the possibility of killing any other card, meaning you don't have to be in a specific group to kill a card. Balancing this is tricky...

Since a player can create his/her own deck he/she has the power to create a deck full of High health cards which most people want even if they cost a ton. So there needs to be a way to balance this. It would work like this...

Each card would be given an attack value and defense value. To kill a card your attack value must be above or equal to the enemy cards defense. Cards can attack more than once but with a price.

So a card with 1 attack could kill a card with 5 defense but will pay significantly more action points (Mentum Resources) than a card with a natural 5 attack.

The problem with this though is that abilities are not as useful.

Lets say you have a 3 attack and 2 defense card that has the ability to go under enemy cards comes across a 2 attack 3 defense card. If the ability costs more than the attack value obviously killing the card is the best choice. Even if the ability is LESS, players would be more apt to eliminate the card than go under it.

What this system does is significantly limits what kind of abilities are on cards. Not a fan of it.

Now what if the cost to attack was A LOT more. Maybe for every attack value you have to pay double that. A 2 attack actually costs 4 to attack.

The thing is, what kind of rule needs to be administered when attacking more than once? +2 to each attack cost? +3? It seems like a lost cause...

Suggestions?

RyanRay
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Joined: 03/27/2014
An exponential growth for the

An exponential growth for the cost to raise the Attack value on something might work well.

Ex: A card with an attack of 2 is fighting a card with a defense of 6.

Base 2 = 2+0
Base 3 = 2+1 at a cost of 1
Base 4 = 2+2 at a cost of 2
Base 5 = 2+3 at a cost of 4
Base 6 = 2+4 at a cost of 8
etc.

X3M
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Joined: 10/28/2013
What if...

What if you allow a player to merge cards into one?
Then discarding the lowest attack or lowest defence.

Example:
Card A has 1 attack / 1 defence, costs 2?
Card B has 1 attack / 1 defence, costs 2?
Card C has 2 attack / 2 defence, costs 4?

When Card A and B are combined. They cost the same as C. But the player can choose to have a
2 attack / 1 defence card or a
1 attack / 2 defence card.
And combining the 2 costs at least 1 action.

This also allows players to keep combining to get a really strong combination. However, it will start to cost a lot more then buying the real deal.

Tbone
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Joined: 02/18/2013
This seems extremely

This seems extremely complicated to me for some reason. That combat system doesn't fit too well with the mechanics. Cards aren't allowed on the same space (unless given the EMBRACE badge). Buy this could work for many other games and is very intriguing.

Exponential might work although I'm afraid abilities are still out of reach. There was an idea to gain points for activating cards and using abilities. So you would need to use abilities in order to gain enough points to attack. Still seems clunky and complicated.

X3M
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Joined: 10/28/2013
If you bring order in what

If you bring order in what one card might be possible to do. It gives us a clearer view.

Each card has:
- A cost of points
- Attack value
- Defence value
- Special ability(s)

Is this correct?

And if so:
- What is the maximum of points you have in mind for one card?
- How do you try to balance these points? Attack + Defence + Special Ability? Or instead of adding up, you multiply?
- The maximum of attack and defence on a card?
- What kind of special abilities are we talking about? Are there groups in this? Or is any special ability on its own?
- Where would you like to stack? Only attack and defence, or also the special abilities? In what ways is stacking possible at this point, only buying with points?

Experimental Designs
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Joined: 04/20/2013
Reminds me of Malifaux in a

Reminds me of Malifaux in a way.

Tbone
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Joined: 02/18/2013
Clarity

Here is the breakdown of the cards. These inherit the Predator Prey system Indicated by the Predator Prey rectangles beside the card artwork. The colors in the rectangles represent what cards it can kill and what cards can kill it.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/04l3n2duh59w9l8/Card%20Breakdown.docx?dl=0

X3M wrote:
What is the maximum of points you have in mind for one card?

Not quite sure actually... No higher than 12 I would presume average would be somewhere around 4-5. And points I'm assuming you mean cost of the card?

X3M wrote:
How do you try to balance these points? Attack + Defence + Special Ability? Or instead of adding up, you multiply?

There are other attributes to the card as shown above... So mobility, attack cost, mobility cost, resource value, special ability, the cards occurance in the deck/Predator Prey. If I were to replace the Pred. Prey. system with this attack/defence system that would also affect the cost. Also there are sometimes costs to the abilities as well.

X3M wrote:
The maximum of attack and defence on a card?

I would say max attack would be 4 and max defence 6-8

X3M wrote:
What kind of special abilities are we talking about? Are there groups in this? Or is any special ability on its own?

Many different kinds. From mobility abilities "Can move diagonally twice", to support abilities "Cards around radius are immune to cards with range"

X3M wrote:
Where would you like to stack? Only attack and defence, or also the special abilities? In what ways is stacking possible at this point, only buying with points?

I suspect that stacking means being able to do things more than once with an increased price? or literally stacking cards on top of each other? If the first just attacking. If you attack two times it will be a bigger price. This is difficult because abilities are still limited in some ways. If its the second cards can only be stacked if they have an orientation badge. All cards have the orientation to be alone on a space. If lets say a card has the orientation badge and can go under cards, this is a modification to its original orientation on any given space.

X3M
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Joined: 10/28/2013
Some suggestions regarding damage and attack costs

If you only pay for an attack when combining forces.
Then 2 different cards have each their own price.

1 card, no extra costs
2 cards; +1
3 cards; +3
4 cards; +6

Relatively speaking, 4 cards of 1 damage (=1 cost?) each will have a higher combination cost then 2 cards of 2 damage (=2 costs?) each.
Both have a payment of 4. But the extra costs for the first team is 10, while the second team is only 5.

The game will be more fun if you have +1 damage cards on the team that attacks. Then the 4 cards will have +4 damage = 8 damage, the 2 cards only +2 = 6 damage.

And if you have a card that supplies a team bonus, the extra costs are extra damage. Thus the first team gets +6, while the second team only gets +1. In that way the results are 10 damage and 5 damage, equal to the costs.

With the extra damage bonus of +1/card. It is 14 damage for a costs of 10 (1.4) and 7 damage of a costs of 5 (again 1.4). Even though one 1 damage card is weaker than one 2 damage card. They can achieve a better team bonus and lineair bonus.

Tbone
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Joined: 02/18/2013
Basics

Units have agility (number of actions able to preform on a turn.

Attacking Unit:
3 agility
2 attack cost
1 movement cost
3 defense cost

Resources player has: 12

Defending Unit:
2 agility
2 attack cost
3 movement cost
2 defense cost

Resources player has: 6

Sequence:

Attacking unit moves to an adjecent space in range of defending unit. Cost: 1, 11 left.

Attacking unit engages defending unit with an attack. Cost: 2, 9 left

-Pause-

At this moment the defending player must make a decision...

Defend, retaliate, or dodge.

These do not deplete the agility of the card.

Defend is the natural cost on the card an deflects the enemies attack, forcing the enemy card to either attack again or disengage, resulting in the defending player getting "hit" and brought back to its casting zone.

Retaliate is the defense cost plus the attack cost. This will result in the enemy unit choosing to defend the retaliation which will result in both cards getting "hit" or accept the kill and lose the card also causing the defending card to be "hit".

Dodge is the addition of the defense, attack and movement cost. This results in an automatic disengage and allows the defensive unit to move away from the attacking unit.

-Resume-

Defending unit defends. Cost: 2, 4 left

Attacking unit attacks again. Cost: 2, 7 left

Defending unit retaliates. Cost: 4, 0 left

Attacking unit accepts the attack due to the depletion of his agility points and dies with 7 resources left to spend on his turn. Defending unit is "hit" and brought back to its casting zone with no more resources left to defend with.

This allows for a very simplistic base and combat is resolved in a few seconds. Its strategic in that you want to conserve resources in order to defend in the enemies next turn but also want to use them in your own. Similar to mana in MTG. Instant spells can be casted on your enemies turn but you need to conserve mana in order to use it.

Thoughts?

X3M
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Joined: 10/28/2013
It is not entirely clear. The

It is not entirely clear. The attacking player has 3 agility? How come it can only do 2 things?

Further more, it sounds like a good mechanic in the first place.

But the units need a good design. I suspect that high agility with low costs in other departments, can constantly drain the opponent in resources.

Second but, but not sure about this one, if one player has more resources while both players fight with the exact same units. Than the lower resource player will constantly loose units. While the other player remains unaffected? The all or notching concept breaks the fun in a game.

Tbone
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Joined: 02/18/2013
Resource Management

The thing that balances this is that attacking costs agility points as well as resources while defending only costs the defense cost. If you have the resources you can defend as many times as need be. Eventually the attacking player will run out of agility and disengage.

Another thing. Typically aggressive players with a lot of resources tend to be lacking in other areas such as the amount of cards in your hand or actual active cards on the field. A great way to counter this is save all your resources for defending and shut the enemy down. Resone being you can easily retaliate and kill the enemy attacking unit without becoming vulnerable.

Dodging and retreating is expensive but it allows the defending card to control the battle.

Defending player has as much control as the attacking player but in different areas.

Defending player typically lacking in access resources (not always) from his previous turn but has more options of what to do to counter the enemy.

Attacking player should have access to most if not all of his resources but really has no control of the outcome.

Keep in mind even if you have more resources than the defending player you may not want to use it all because then you will have nothing to defend with your next turn. If you want to be aggressive you are going to be very vulnerable in the defending turn.

Give and take.

And for the above sequence the attack used one agility to move, one agility to engage or attack the unit, and his last agility point to attack after the first defense, depleting his agility to zero.

X3M
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Joined: 10/28/2013
Tbone wrote: And for the

Tbone wrote:

And for the above sequence the attack used one agility to move, one agility to engage or attack the unit, and his last agility point to attack after the first defense, depleting his agility to zero.

I understand now. At second glance, still an ok mechanic to me. This game sounds fun.

Tbone
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Joined: 02/18/2013
Multiple Cards in Combat

This mechanic also supports multiple unit battles, where the above scenario only covers a 1v1. Certain cards allow others to join them on the same space in a "group" or "squad". So in order to make a group you have to have a card that has the "Squad Leader" attribute. Something of that sort.

The game truly is fun. So much strategy with little luck (the card draw). Everything else is cognitive decisions. Its such a powerful system that you can literally add any theme and it can qualify. Soccer for example: move would be move, attack would be steal, and defense would be dribble/foot maneuver used to deflect a steal. It honestly is endless especially with the card design that I'm going for.

I am very excited. It took me five long years to get close to perfection.