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Compressing Mechanics

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larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008

I did not really know how I should call this, I decided to call it mechanic compression.

It has been mostly inspired by the death angel card game combat mechanic. The original game was a space dungeon crawler. So you needed to move and roll for attack and defense for each monster on the board. In the card game, they have "compressed" all these dice rolls into one roll: if you roll 1 die < than the number of monster, you die.

In the end, it has a similar effect and avoid a lot of dice roll. I was thinking that this kind of compression could be applied elsewhere. I had an idea lately for my pacific ww2 game. Here is an example:

When you move or attack with a fleet in an enemy area, you must make a detection check and if you fail it, you get air striked by the enemy base. This add up a lot of rolling to do. A compression that could be made is that each time you had a chance to get air striked, instead of doing all the rolling, you simply increase the air strike threat level. When all the movement is done, you make 1 detection roll, and if you fail, you get air striked according to it's level.

People might say that it's too harsh to get all or nothing, so I thought of maybe using 2 detection roll, if you only fail 1 roll, you get air striked by half the threath round down.

Same thing could be done for submarines. For each sub you cross, you increase you submarine threat level and check at the end if you get attacked.

Another form of mechanic compression could be the law of average: If a unit hits on 5+ on 1D6, 1/3 chance to hit, then in average 3 unit will make 1 hit. So instead of rolling, each 3 units kill 1 unit.

Have you seen other kinds of compression mechanics?

Have you seen mechanics similar to the threat level I explained above?

pelle's picture
Joined: 08/11/2008
Compressing mechanics sounds

Compressing mechanics sounds like an ok expression to me.

I have started two threads on bgg on somewhat related topics, a few years ago.

Volume of Fire:

This is about not having to roll for individual attacks, rather just sum up all of the fire going into a specific location and then roll once for each unit there.

Delayed Combat Effects:

This is taking it a step further, not rolling immediately for damage, only placing a "possible losses" marker on affected units. Sometime later, like when trying to move into close combat, or when being the target of an enemy recon mission, you resolve what actual damage might have been done to the unit. In addition to saving a lot of time die rolling I like this for simulating battles where you do not quite know for sure how well your own units are doing. That battalion you think have pushed through far into enemy territory might just be a single surviving platoon, but neither player will know until the damages have been resolved.

A risk with compressing, that I can see in your recon examples, and in my volume of fire example, is that you lose some chrome. It can be fun tracking the effects of specific units (firing or reconing). Also it can add to the strategy of the game. ASL for instance (and several other tactical wargames) are largely built around having to decide when and with what you want to fire at enemy units moving, so if this is compressed to be averaged somehow the game will be more random.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
I really like both idea. Not

I really like both idea. Not much time to elaborate.

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