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Detection and spotting mechanics

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Experimental Designs
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This may not be as elegant as other ideas so if this appears to be clunky then I do apologize since I am in the process of looking for a new team of testers.

The idea is a reoccurring theme in the game to take away the omnipotent player syndrome due to the fact you can physically see where your opponents models on the board. Similar how in a classic RTS you have to maneuver models through the “fog of war” there needs to be visual contact with an enemy model before it can be shot at.

Every model has its own predetermined detection range and profile. Models such as infantry have a detection range of 18” and have a profile of 1. For every point of profile means you can be seen an extra 6” away. This means infantry can potentially spot other infantry out in the open at 24” total. A profile of 0 means it is out of sight or behind some sort of cover. Anytime a model is behind cover it reduces its default profile down by 1 point which this makes infantry very elusive since they can easily attain a 0 profile. Something large like a vehicle does not benefit from cover as much but can reduce their silhouette in a hull-down position.
Profile 1 = 6”
Profile 2 = 12”
Profile 3 = 18”
Profile 4 = 24”
And so on…

Now going on there are two versions to this next part. This is what I call the dice pool spotting mechanic.

--Version 1--

Whenever a defending model is declared within detection range of an attacking model the player with the defending model may only measure detection range from their model to the attacking model to see if the attacker has exposed itself.

That being said if there are models within the detection range of another model the attacker now gets to roll its scouting skill to spot them. The scouting skill determines how many D6s are rolled and depending on the visibility agreed upon the game’s setup (daytime, nighttime or reduced for weather) under normal visibility a success is 4+ barring some modifiers such as enhanced optics on recon models.

Normal daytime visibility: 4+
Reduced daytime visibility: 5+
Normal nighttime visibility: 6+
Reduced nighttime visibility: 6+ (enhanced optics only)

The defender does the same in attempt to get more successes than the attacker if both models are within each others' detection range.

The amount of successes is then added to a pool which can determine the amount of models spotted in detection range or to offset the targeted model’s stealth. So if a model rolls 3 successes it can either spot 3 models within detection range with stealth of 1 or less or it can focus these successes to spot one model with stealth of 3.

Successes are also factored towards the model's initiative. If a success can be spared towards initiative, one success adds one point towards the model's initiative so it has a chance to act first before the defender does. The more successes a model has in scouting the more it can do which makes recon models essential since they have a high scouting skill with more chances of successes.

This version sticks to the 2D6 routine found in the rest of the game but more arithmetic intensive than the dice pool variation of version 1.

--Version 2--

Whenever a defending model is declared within detection range of an attacking model the player with the defending model may only measure detection range from their model to the attacking model to see if the attacker has exposed itself.

That being said if there are models within the detection range of another model both attacker and defender roll 2D6 plus their initiative. The attacker factors in its scouting skill while the defender factors in its stealth rating with visibility modifiers. The overall scores must be greater than the other.

Normal daytime visibility: No modifiers
Reduced daytime visibility: +1 stealth
Normal nighttime visibility: +2 stealth
Reduced nighttime visibility: +4 stealth

If the overall score is equal then fall back to who has the highest base initiative and if the same then highest initiative without factoring in stealth and scouting. If there is no other way to break the tie then the models attack each other at the same time and resolve combat accordingly.

On the attacker's end its total initiative and scouting plus 2D6 accounts towards all models within its detection range by stealth. So if for example its overall total is a 16 it can spot three stealth 4 models or five stealth 3 models with +1 bonus towards initiative. The defender must elect one of its models within detection range if applicable at this point to factor in its roll that be greater than the attacker's overall. If not then the attacker makes the first attack.

I'll stop there before I go on information overload.

X3M
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The fact that it sounds

The fact that it sounds logical to me is a good sign.
I prefer version 1 after reading.
But perhaps the wording is indeed a bit too clunky.
How would you explain this version 1 in a manual?

Instead of profile, perhaps "size" would be a better naming and give a better understanding. After all, a bigger size is visible at a longer distance and can't really hide. So I do like the idea.

Experimental Designs
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X3M wrote:The fact that it

X3M wrote:
The fact that it sounds logical to me is a good sign.
I prefer version 1 after reading.
But perhaps the wording is indeed a bit too clunky.
How would you explain this version 1 in a manual?

Instead of profile, perhaps "size" would be a better naming and give a better understanding. After all, a bigger size is visible at a longer distance and can't really hide. So I do like the idea.

Profile and size are generally the same thing but you make a good case. The reason I went with profile is for an overly ambitious reason if this game ever gets off the ground I wanted to make a space variant with ships but instead of profile a ship will go by a signature instead.

My wording is clunky which is why I am here. The more feedback the better.

The only thing I do not like about version 1 --which is the dice pool idea-- is that you roll a handful of die instead of 2D6. Some people might balk at this for not being consistent.

X3M
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It helps to set up some data

It helps to set up some data results before hand. Compare the results. Before making the big decision.

Experimental Designs
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Data Results? Could you

Data Results?

Could you elaborate?

X3M
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The chances that you have a

The chances that you have a detection or not. For every size and every number of dice(vision).

By the looks of it, the 2 version are different.

Experimental Designs
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X3M wrote:The chances that

X3M wrote:
The chances that you have a detection or not. For every size and every number of dice(vision).

By the looks of it, the 2 version are different.

The reasons behind version 2 was a bit out of my way for the sake of consistency so that you're not rolling a different type of dice mechanic for each a result.

As it stands you're rolling 2D6 to equal to or below a score for morale checks, missile lock-ons and countermeasures then you're rolling the same 2D6 to equal to exceed a score to hit, damage and steal the initiative.

Now there is an additional mechanic to roll a handful of D6 for detection and damage localities.

X3M
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Gona play a bit with formula's

Perhaps it gives you idea's.

Line of Sight (Si)
Profile (P)
Distance (Di)

When I see Si as a linear effect. Thus the vision is lowest at the longest distance. Then things standing closer are visible more. Just the same as in nature. Distance 5 is visible 5 times less.

2 Options for formula's:
P x Si / Di = C1 (Chance of spotting and targeting).
P + Si - Di = C2

With a minimum profile of 1, every unit can be seen at the maximum distance based on the line of sight.
Bigger units are seen at a further distance than the line of sight.

Even though C1 is more logical. It is C2 that can be used for games.

Now, with this we can choose:

Using 1 D6, where you need to roll C2 or less. This for every possible target. But with this mechanic, you can say, select a target. And see first if it can be spotted. If not, the player can move on to the next possible target. With this, a big group of units within distance, almost always has one that is spotted. But you reduce the rolls within the first spotting.
You also have the effect of knowing for sure that an unit cannot be spotted. Or one is breathing right in your face effect. I am sure any soldier would spot that :).

OR

Using indeed a number of dice that equals C2. But the question is, should each die have 1/6th of a chance? or 2/6th? etc. For each possibility, there should be made a table of results. Since there are 3 factors already, this could be a bit of a time consuming job.
But afterwards, you know what chance to use.
A positive thing is that units that are standing really close still don't have to be spotted. But that sounds illogical.

And let's not forget, you want to use terrain and weather to modify the line of sight as well.

X3M
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Ignore my last post.

Ignore my last post. Sometimes I read something, but completely understood wrong.

I was thinking of re-reading your very first post and look at all the possibilities. But you are using more variables than I first thought. Right? Not only that, was looking at things differently in my own mind. While we where thinking the exact same thing at certain points.

Please allow me to summarise your thoughts first, so that I know for certain that I got it right. Before I try to map out the worth of any combination.

*****

You start with detection range.
You add the profile number of the target.
You subtract a certain cover.
Which is obviously what I said in the previous post. -.-

*****

Then version 1:
With the 3 variables combined, you say yes or no if there will be a chance for detection.

---> Apparently you do this for multiple targets?
Your opponent may only see if the targets can look back at the same unit.

A new variable comes in: Scouting skill: how many dice the unit may roll.
Depending on the weather and type of detection, yes or no (no chances are 50%, 33% or 17%).
Defender does the same if the attacker is within detection range.

The number of successes are points, to be divided amongst possible targets. The more stealth an unit has, the more points are needed.

The same points are added to initiative.

*****

Version 2
(What makes a tldr post is double stuff)

Quote:

With the 3 variables combined, you say yes or no if there will be a chance for detection.

---> Apparently you do this for multiple targets?
Your opponent may only see if the targets can look back at the same unit.

Then both players roll 2D6 and add their initiative.
Attackers also adds scouting skill.
Defender also adds stealth rating. And adds visibility modifiers (+1, +2 or +4).

*****

With version 2 you have a lot of tie possibilities. Which should be avoided or immediately accepted if you ask me.

Quote:

On the attacker's end its total initiative and scouting plus 2D6 accounts towards all models within its detection range by stealth. So if for example its overall total is a 16 it can spot three stealth 4 models or five stealth 3 models with +1 bonus towards initiative. The defender must elect one of its models within detection range if applicable at this point to factor in its roll that be greater than the attacker's overall. If not then the attacker makes the first attack.

You lost me there actually.

Experimental Designs
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X3M wrote:Ignore my last

X3M wrote:
Ignore my last post. Sometimes I read something, but completely understood wrong.

I was thinking of re-reading your very first post and look at all the possibilities. But you are using more variables than I first thought. Right? Not only that, was looking at things differently in my own mind. While we where thinking the exact same thing at certain points.

Please allow me to summarise your thoughts first, so that I know for certain that I got it right. Before I try to map out the worth of any combination.

*****

You start with detection range.
You add the profile number of the target.
You subtract a certain cover.
Which is obviously what I said in the previous post. -.-

*****

Then version 1:
With the 3 variables combined, you say yes or no if there will be a chance for detection.

---> Apparently you do this for multiple targets?
Your opponent may only see if the targets can look back at the same unit.

A new variable comes in: Scouting skill: how many dice the unit may roll.
Depending on the weather and type of detection, yes or no (no chances are 50%, 33% or 17%).
Defender does the same if the attacker is within detection range.

The number of successes are points, to be divided amongst possible targets. The more stealth an unit has, the more points are needed.

The same points are added to initiative.

*****

Version 2
(What makes a tldr post is double stuff)

Quote:

With the 3 variables combined, you say yes or no if there will be a chance for detection.

---> Apparently you do this for multiple targets?
Your opponent may only see if the targets can look back at the same unit.

Then both players roll 2D6 and add their initiative.
Attackers also adds scouting skill.
Defender also adds stealth rating. And adds visibility modifiers (+1, +2 or +4).

*****

With version 2 you have a lot of tie possibilities. Which should be avoided or immediately accepted if you ask me.

Quote:

On the attacker's end its total initiative and scouting plus 2D6 accounts towards all models within its detection range by stealth. So if for example its overall total is a 16 it can spot three stealth 4 models or five stealth 3 models with +1 bonus towards initiative. The defender must elect one of its models within detection range if applicable at this point to factor in its roll that be greater than the attacker's overall. If not then the attacker makes the first attack.

You lost me there actually.

That post you wanted us to ignore is much like my ADD moments. Welcome to my world because I can't halfway understand myself at times.

Anyway!

What you summarized about version 1 above is accurate. Version 2, I have no idea why I even bothered.

Logically if you can see them they can see you. However if you're in better concealment than the other guy chances are you can see him but can't see you or if he does it'll be too late.

This encourages the use of reconnaissance units because they're better at spotting things than the average frontline unit.

I'm going back to the drawing board after typing this entry to see if I can clear up a few things.

X3M
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Well,If you are clear about

Well,
If you are clear about the variables that are going to be used. You can simply try out different approaches with them. And perhaps find a way to leave one or two out of the equations.

DR - Detection Range
Pr - Profile
Co - Cover
SS - Scouting Skill
SC - Sky Conditions (day/night, clear/rain/fog, etc.)
St - Stealth
In - Initiative

V - Visible --> 1 or higher is a detection of that unit.

Because for players to consider 7 variable, only to see who shoots first and if they shoot. Is a bit too much?

I do agree in how you approach with the first 3:
V = +DR +Pr -Co

But perhaps Stealth can be used in the same way. By simply taking that one into the Profile. So stealthy units simply are covering themselves up. If you are planning on using something like infra-red vision (One of the scouting skills, but having simple binocular will do too). Then you can keep stealth separate in the equation. Let's assume you want that. In that case, stealth is discarded as soon as someone with infra-red is watching. They still might have good cover with using a tree or something.
V = +DR +Pr -Co "-St"

Ok, what else can be simplified? How about weather conditions etc. This falls under detection range? It simply gets shorter. Or it falls under stealth, that one simply gets higher. But if treated separately, you have another variable that can be discarded. Some have night vision, and infra-red can see through fog.
V = +DR +Pr -Co "-St" "-SC"

Now for the last one, initiative. The highest V has it. If both V are equal, than simply have a simultaneous fight. And there are absolutely no dice involved in this one.
This is an example of a simple formula where all the variables are used. But you can combine some to make the formula simpler. But it would mean you are going to leave things out of your game.
You can also say that some variables are increased with a die or 2.
Or that some variables aren't added, but multiply something. And some variables aren't subtracted, but divide something.

So how about it?
(I can take no for an answer, its my job ;) )

Experimental Designs
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The original visibility

The original visibility mechanics written up (some six years ago now) were pretty simple. You roll your model's scouting value plus 2D6 to equal to or exceed the opposing stealth value plus whatever cover they're in of the target model. It was simple but left out a lot of variables that made some situations illogical.

Oh yeah a 60-ton main battle tank somehow conveniently snuck pass the infantry platoon six feet away with only a few bushes in the way. (Really)

So I started to toy with the variables and researched scenarios in history on how reconnaissance actually works. This brought in the conditions, initiative, profile and detection ranges to bring less randomness and more logic to the scenario and it occurred to me I just mired myself into a mess.

Infra-red right now as it stands for balancing purposes is considered enhanced optics that can spot through smoke screens with some minor penalties versus normal optics that can't spot anything through a smoke screen. Enhanced optics have minor to no penalties for most nighttime conditions.

As for conditions I had to keep things relatively simple. Conditions that merely reduced the visual range were things like fog, snow, haze, rainfall and dust storms had simple visual range penalties. Other conditions such as blizzards, extreme heat, sandstorms, heavy rain and ash fall can cause problems such as mechanical issues, stress tests for infantry and whatnot. I almost went overboard on those. (I can elaborate on my so-called solution to that on another subject)

So right now I want to focus on visual ranges and initiative.

I think the formula will make sense if I put it this way...

V = DR + target's Pr modified by cover if applicable and + or - SC if also applicable.

In = Your model's In + SS to equal or exceed target's In + St. The highest wins and spots the other and gets to act first.

I'm not mathematical so you probably need to bring it down to a 5th grade level for me. (I know, I suck)

X3M
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No, you aren't stupid. You

No, you aren't stupid. You are responding in a way that I understand :D. Which is possible completely blablabla to others.

You are treating V and In as 2 different game key's. Which can be done. It will be your choice.

While I have In added for increasing V. and V is the new In in that situation.
The reason why I did that is because there can be no In when there is no V. Of course you can treat them separately, but then your mechanic requires 2 separated tests instead of 1. And each test requires to calculate.

Your model has a V1 and the targeted model has a V2.
If V>0, the opponent is visible. (You could apply V>-1 if you want to use 0 as an edge)
And if V1>V2, V1 has the initiative.
If V1

Experimental Designs
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It's not meant for two

It's not meant for two separate tests. Urg...I hate not having the ability to explain things clearly.

When you activate the model and you measure from your model to the enemy model and if the ruler indicates the targeted enemy model is within your model's visual range plus the profile of the enemy model.

Let's say the model you've activated normally has a visual range of 18" and the enemy model you declared to be a target of opportunity is a profile of 2 and it is out in the open with no cover. That gives you a 12" bump to your overall visual range to your 18" so in the grand scheme of things your model can see this enemy model up to 30" without cover. You do this when you measure not when you're about to test to see if your model can spot this enemy model.

Does this clarify this boondoggle a little? (I think I need to resign)

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Yes, this clears things

Yes, this clears things up.
But in a sense, this is a test on its own?
You test at which range the model is visible.

Then in the second test, you spot the model.

If I compare to range, you test if an unit is in range. Then you look at the map if there is anything that could stop the projectiles. The range is the first test, the walls are the second test. There is no need to do the second test when the first one fails.

***

Before we continue. Perhaps we need to copy nature for a bigger part than we already did. But it requires multiplications and dividing. Not adding and subtracting. After all, putting infinity in a test shows the weaknesses of a test.
http://i.imgur.com/NnfBLZg.png

With my proposed formula, infinite vision allows to see everything, even if an unit is behind the planet. Or simply behind in the dark like in that picture. You only see 2 dots on team A, while team B is hiding completely in the dark. If a dot is bigger than the shadow, it can be seen.

So, there should be not one or 2 tests, but 3 tests?
I don't know if you are interested in multiplication math for your game. If not, I can't help any further then dividing the tests into discrete yes/no facts for copying reality.
However, if you allow the players to use a calculator. You might apply a copy of the formulas that physicists use.

Experimental Designs
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My head is about to

My head is about to explode.

This isn't rocket science. All you do is measure, that's not really a test or a die roll.

Think simple. You're talking about multiplication and division for heaven's sake. This is a game, not math class.

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