Skip to Content

Conflict Resolution Mechanics

10 replies [Last post]
Joined: 10/27/2008

Hello all~

I am designing a card game, and am trying to decide on conflict resolution.

I do not want the standard MtG "compare numbers, the highest wins", but I am looking for something that isn't exceptionally luck based.

I also do not want "you roll a pool of dice equal to the power number of the creature, with certain numbers equaling hits."
This is very luck based, so I don't like it much either.

I want a way to make harder to acquire creatures stronger than easier to acquire creatures in a consistent fashion.

So, would it be feasible to have each creature use tokens as it's health/power?

For example, Lana's creature has 3 tokens on it, so can withstand and attack up to three. An attack of four would kill it, while an attack of two would reduce it to a one token monster?

Or would the excessive use of tokens get in the way?

(Keeping in mind that the resources for the game are also marked by tokens moving on and off of other cards on the board?)

Are there any other thoughts on conflict resolution for card games?

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Instead of putting health on

Instead of putting health on the cards.
Put the damage on the cards.
No damage, no tokens. Saves you tokens and handling of the cards.

What is the theme you have in mind?
The difference in strenght for your creatures?
Any thoughts on RPS mechanics?

Joined: 10/27/2008
That could work, though I

That could work, though I wonder if it would be as easy to visually see where your creature is as far as strength/health?

The theme is Lights vs. Shadows. The world is slowly being engulfed by shadows and so heroes of the light have come forward.
Each player has a shadow pool and a light pool from which to draw for different actions, and the first to exhaust the other's shadow pool wins. The kick is that the shadow pool can always be replenished from your light pool, so in effect you have to either paralyse the resource transfer or deplete both pools at once.

I'm thinking somewhere on the 1-10 scale for creature power, perhaps 1-8 (with most falling in the 2-5 realm).

I don't think RPS would work well here, as there are (as of yet) only Light creatures and Shadow creatures, so both are weak to each other and strong against each other. I could consider a third type of creature, if I could fit it in the theme.

facecheekwall's picture
Joined: 04/11/2014
Stratego Mechanic

Perhaps you can use the number-based attacking that Stratego uses.

Power 10 defeats 9 and less.
Power 9 defeats 8 and less.
Power 8 defeates 7 and less.
And so on...

Stratego also had a particular # (say, Power 4) that could only destroy Power 10 characters. That way, Power 10 wasn't completely invincible.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
facecheekwall wrote:Power 10

First, I suggest having 6 health instead of 3.
3 will be going a bit to fast for the next mechanic. But technically speaking, each creature will have the damage/health ratio on 3.

With only 2 types, you can have a RPS system. It reminds me of only Infantry and Tanks.

Light weapons defeat Dark creatures.
Dark weapons defeat Light creatures.
This effect by a factor of ..., but even that can vary. I suggest to keep an average with whole numbers. Back to that later.

Now, Light creatures can carry either a Light weapon or a Dark weapon.
And Dark creatures can carry either a Light weapon or a Dark weapon.

There for you have 4 different types.

You could say, a Light weapon does 1 damage against Light creatures. But does 3 damage against Dark creatures. That is an average of 2 damage. Although it needs to shoot 6 times on a Light creature, only 2 times is needed on a Dark creature. The cost of this weapon is 1 Light.

Weapon suggestions:
a cost of 1 Light;
a cost of 2 Light;
2 x 1-3
a cost of 3 Light;
2 x 1-5
3 x 1-3
4 x 1-2
a cost of 1 Dark;

Light Creature suggestions:
a cost of 1 Light;
6 Health
a cost of 2 Light;
12 Health

You could have additional "magic" like damage reduction by 1. Thus all the 1 become 0 and are rendered ineffective. The multiple weapons are very weak to this.
Damage increaser is very strong in return to multiple weapons.

Well, I have given an idea. But I am not sure about the multiple weapons. Are you planning on expanding the game? If so, you need something better then what I just posted.

Joined: 10/27/2008
I'm not sure I like the

I'm not sure I like the Stratego option, since it boils down to mainly what number is higher... But thank you!

I am planning on expanding the game, if at all possible. I enjoy expandable games.
I could see a rare few creatures carrying a weapon of the opposite type, but not enough to warrant basing the system upon it.

Perhaps, (returning to dice for a minute) different powered creatures could roll different sized dice? Then, on average, a power d4 creature will lose to a d8 creature, which would averagely lose to a d10 creature?
Or would the excess of dice be a bad choice? Theoretically you'd only need one of each type used in the game...

Joined: 07/03/2013
Something I've been toying with...

What if you had dice that determined your ability to hit, but you have the chance to affect your ability to hit by various factors.

For example, a creature has "armor" 5, meaning that an attack roll of 5 would be required to hit it. A creature that rolls 4-sided dice, even if they get a lot of dice (rolling each as independent attacks), has no chance of hitting it.

However, if a D4-creature gets some sort of bonus they can roll a 6-sided dice. A double-bonus (this allows stacking) lets them roll an 8-sided dice! Set a cap at 10s or so, and make sure that most armor is hittable, and it could totally work. In fact, I have a spreadsheet that calculates this all for you, depending on an attacker's roll and the armors you set, and even taking into account the probability of getting hit if you have more than one attack directed at you. Let me know if you want to check it out.

Granted, this means that luck still plays a factor, but it means that you get to mess with the probabilities of hitting, and you'll play strategically to get bonuses, because it's the key to landing hits with even the tiniest of creatures.

How do you get bonuses? You could allow for two attacking creatures to get a bonus for attacking together (perhaps specific to the creature). Consider flanking. Consider attacking at range, and if the target is our of range, rolling a lower dice as a penalty. Creature has a "weakness spell" on it? lower the dice (I call it "D-down"-ing).

I played with this for my large-scale strategy game a while back, but it didn't quite work out with what I was doing, so I changed it. I like to play with the idea now and again though, because I think it's a good one.

In my case, however, i was making a game similar to Risk with special ships that hit harder or confer other bonuses. I changed my idea to make any "capital ship" roll d8s while regular ones rolled d6s, and set the "hit" bar at 5. casualties were taken from the opponent's army according to their choice, but if you rolled a natural 8 on an 8-sided dice from one of your ships, you got to choose what died, and that was pretty cool.

Hope I helped...

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Another idea

You could design something similar to the combat mechanics used by my game "Tradewars - Homeworld".

Instead of using pure stats, I use ONE (1) dice roll known as the "Initiative" roll. The attacking player chooses the entire set up (meaning what he is attacking and with what starships). But nothing happens unless the attacking player WINS the initiative roll. That means he must roll HIGHER than his opponent (42% of the time - almost 50%).

There is also a "downside" which can occur 16% of the time: identical rolls means that the opponent has correctly predicted the attack, and then the opposing player has his own fun and decides which starships will attack the attacking player... And there is nothing that the attacking player can do to stop that attack! :P

This combat mechanic has proved to be FUN because it uses stats and some chance. It also adds an element of RISK. Being overly aggressive and attacking on each turn - could be devastating if the opponent is given a chance to "counter-attack"!

Maybe you could derive something from this combat mechanic. I am using it in my game - but perhaps you can think up of another way to use both dice and stats in a way that seems intuitive and doesn't involve too much luck.

Best of luck with your game!

Note: Aside from rolling dice, my combat mechanic uses comparative stats (like Magic: the Gathering). So sometimes an opponent does not have enough "Firepower" to destroy his opponent (because the opponent has higher "Resistance"). As I mentioned the Initiative dice roll is good about 42% of the time - but it has happened that a player has had a seriously difficult time rolling that dice... It would feel closer to about 20% of the time (or lower!)

The other thing I wanted to point out is this: when a "counter-attack" occurs, only the attacking players starships may be attacked (with whatever forces his opponent has). So making combos can be a dangerous thing even if sometimes it's the only way to defeat a very strong opposing starship.

tuism's picture
Joined: 01/14/2013
Rune Age does combat by

Rune Age does combat by playing cards from hand. Star Wars does combat (edge battle) by blind playing cards from hand - which means if you play your trump and the opponent plays a chump, you've effectively wasted it. So it makes combat interesting - do you all-in or do you not?

Doomtown makes players play a hand of poker with their cards, which also has poker symbols in addition to their normal abilities, which is damn cool. So cards from the rest of the deck could be a resource for conflict too.

Otherwise I don't like dice either, and it seems like alternatives like attack/life with life tracking (tokens) is a decent way to go, if a bit fidgety. I've recently tried something like that and... so many tokens.

schattentanz's picture
Joined: 02/18/2014
It all depends


whether or not counters are too much depends on the actual numbers you are going to use:

If each player has got 2 or 3 creatures with 3-4 strength on the table, you will have about 10 counters on the table, which is ok.

If each player has got 100 creatures on the table, even 1 or 2 counters per creature are too much.

So you want to use cards?
What about using a system of pitting certain maneuver cards versus each other.
Each Player gets the same set of maneuver cards.
Depending on the strength of a creature, each player selects a number of those maneuver cards.
Each maneuver the attacker did select AND the defender did not select causes 1 wound at the defending creature. Additionally, each undefended maneuver could give the attacker another bonus, such as moving on after the attack, causing additional damage in consecutive turns and whatelse ..

Kind regards,

Joined: 10/27/2008
Thanks for all the replies!

It certainly sounds interesting, but I think too complicated for this specific game. However I think I may play with initiative rolls in the future, now :)

That Doomtown game sounds really cool- I had to look it up. I'm not sure it fits, but I certainly like it!

I think you've hit the nail on the head. With the few cards I think will be in play at a time, and the mid-level number of tokens (1-8) I don't think it would be too too many (but I love playing with tokens, so I'm biased).
However yopu reminded me of a mechanic I've been trying to use, the action(or maneuvre) deck. I love the idea of action options being determined at random, if not the actions themselves.
I think you've hit on something I really want to use, even if I'm not entirely sure how yet. Thank you!

Syndicate content

forum | by Dr. Radut