# How many battles?

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MarkD1733
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Joined: 07/05/2014

I am trying to structure my co-op such that it has a finite duration, in terms of number of battles. I was tinkering with using a set number of 4 rounds (labeled as years) each with 3 preset (but unknown) pitched battles and a handful of skirmishes/sieges. All in all, I came up with around 18 battles total. Now, being a co-op game, the battles shouldn't take much to resolve as they are dice rolls against some preset (but unknown) numbers. There is no back-and-forth combat. Each battle is resolved with a set of 4 dice rolls for the players only (again, co-op). Resolution of the dice combat takes about 3-5 minutes each combat. Estimating on the high-side, that would take about 60-80 minutes of time if all the battles had to be fought.

Since that first idea, I have realized that the territory is historically accurate as being divided into 3 regions. My idea is now to simply stick with 12 battles...9 pitched battles and 3 skirmishes/sieges, evenly distributed amongst the regions. Does that sound like enough?

Does 13 battles (of which a majority of 7 need to be won) sound like enough combat?

Gabe
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Joined: 09/11/2014
Based on that last sentence,

Based on that last sentence, does that mean the game could potentially end after 7 battles? (Assuming a great deal of luck/skill on the players' side.)

Also, I feel like it depends on what type of game you're going for. I personally prefer games that last less than an hour, so a game of 13 battles that lasted 30-45 minutes would be totally fine with me. However, if you're trying to make a game that appeals to more hardcore gamers who like longer games, you might want to add in some more battles or some extra objectives.

Perhaps you could add some side quests that are different every game.

And one final thought, how similar are these battles? A game could get a little samey if it's the same thing 13 (or 18) times in a row. And maybe that's the heart of the issue. If the battles are different with different strategies, options, objectives, and winning conditions, you could easily have 13 (or even less) and it feel like a satisfying game.

MarkD1733
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Joined: 07/05/2014
how similar are these battles? Good question

This is a good question. The battles are extremely similar, because there is no real strategy other than deploying forces and hoping the dice rolls are in your favor. At the heart of this game is the economics of war--a fragile economy at that--which goes in most cases unseen by war games. That being said, there is a mechanism I have such that each battle is different in terms of the challenge of the victory conditions...just not tactical in any way. The dice are customized so that it should not feel like just rolling numbers game. In addition, I tie VP to the outcome of the battles as well (it is co-op, but I am including a competitive side to it for now).

If that sounds like it could get "samey" as you said, feel free to call it out.

Gabe
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Joined: 09/11/2014
I like that you're taking a

I like that you're taking a different approach. The economics side of things opens up some interesting options. Do you deploy a large force that has a better chance of winning but costs a good bit more in resources, or do you deploy a more economical force and hope for good die rolls. It's almost a push your luck kind of feel.

If the battles aren't the main point of the game, it's not as big of a deal if they're similar. And like you said, the battles have different victory conditions which definitely helps keep them from being samey.

Have you thought about having heroes/leaders that have special abilities that affect both battles and economics? That's potentially another way of spicing things up.

MarkD1733
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Joined: 07/05/2014

Right now, the leaders do have special abilities, but only has far as the economics go. Basically, they are each responsible for developing one type of combat resource--infantry, cavalry, fortifications/engineering, etc. But, those combat resources require the same basic resources or manufactured supplies.

I could think more about their power in combat, but basically, being a leader, if they are in combat (meaning that they are physically located where the battle is taking place), they use special dice any way. Leaders may or may not be in the same battles which, again, can provide for a more "divide and conquer" strategic, going in together to use more dice, etc. I vary up the battle conditions (represented by numbers). A spy mechanism in the game potentially affords a preview or a gauging of the battle conditions. But the spy mechanism is also another resource that one leader develops, which needs resources as well.

MarkD1733
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Joined: 07/05/2014
Back yo brainstorming this...

So, after putting this on the shelf for a little bit, I really need to move the design along. That said, I want to work out the combat because I have simplified economics to a large degree (less accounting) and want to equilibrate the complexity of the combat mechanics. So, let's talk officers:

Originally, I had 1 die to be rolled for every officer (i.e., general) in the battle, up to 4 dice. Each die had something for each of the troops, and at least 1, maybe 2, "white flag" sides. The concept was that most effects would benefit the players and boost the respective troop (militia, infantry, or cavalry), but if all the officers rolled white flags, it was a surrender for that battle. However, I have decided to simply use officers as "re-rolls" in combat for the other troops. For every officer in the battle, you get one reroll of your choice (for now, reroll you choice of dice from one troop in the battle). However, doing this eliminates the "white flag" surrender mechanic, unless I keep dice involved. This isn't bad in my opinion, but it diminishes the simplicity I originally intended. The plus side is that the more generals you have, the more you need to pay them and then troops could desert and go loyalist.

I do like the concept of having notable generals in the battles and they provide boosts in various ways.

Any thoughts or ideas on the reroll mechanic, "white flag" mechanic, and Notable General cards? I look forward to the feedback.

X3M
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Joined: 10/28/2013
Welcome back

Perhaps combining the "re-roll" with the white flags?

I don't know how a normal roll looks like. But for the officers, you could use the same dice. Only replacing one or two of the outcomes with the white flag. A white flag is a very negative outcome. And perhapsrolling these dice should be a choice for the player.

How many dice are connected with the officer die roll?
And how do the other dice look like?

Removing white flags isn't that damaging to the game. As for what I have read. 1 white flag side die for 4 officers has a chance of only 1 out of 1296 to roll 4 white flags.
With 2 white flag sides it is still 1 out of 81. So, if you keep the white flags in, I suggest having 2 white flag sides per die.

MarkD1733
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Joined: 07/05/2014
Thanks for the last post X3M

I am considering the various suggestions you offered. Good insights. Thanks.

THwapp
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Joined: 09/12/2016
MarkD1733 wrote: The dice are

MarkD1733 wrote:
The dice are customized so that it should not feel like just rolling numbers game.

MarkD1733 wrote:
The battles are extremely similar, because there is no real strategy other than deploying forces and hoping the dice rolls are in your favor.

Not knowing the entire rolling mechanic, but going by your description are you just rolling dice to fulfill a criteria per battle. Is there a risk vs reward mechanic with rolling the dice in co-op mode. If you get a bad roll your partner could risk a die of theirs as insurance. For example, if your partner risked a die and it matched one your negative die rolls, you could re-roll or cancel/lessen the effect. Breaking up a pair could be a cool mechanic and it adds player interaction while you are rolling.

I hope this gets you get some creative juices flowing.

X3M
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Joined: 10/28/2013
MarkD1733 wrote:I am

MarkD1733 wrote:
I am considering the various suggestions you offered. Good insights. Thanks.

You're welcome.
Just let me know if it had either good or bad results.