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Improving Combat Rules

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questccg
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Hi all,

Let me start by explaining what I have, then I can explain what I am looking for!

My cards have two (2) statistic: Firepower (Attack) and Resistance (Defence):

  • Crews (and Crew Rating) provide "Resistance"
  • Weapons (and Weapon Rating) provides "Firepower"

So far it's pretty simple, combat is resolved by comparing the Attacker's "Firepower" to the Defender's "Resistance". It's as simple as that... Both Firepower and Resistance are values between 1 and 5.

Now to explain what I am looking for...

I need a third (3rd) statistic that is somehow used in the resolution of combat.

Note: The game is a SPACE game (Starships, Crews, Weapons and Missions).

questccg
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Must be wondering why?

Well the reason for wanting a 3rd stat is to offset when player's have TOO POWERFUL a Starship.

For example: If you have a Crew Rating of 5, it takes a Weapon Rating of 5 to defeat it... The odds of having this card is 20% plus the odds getting it your hand must be added (which could be approximated to 5% - not good).

I was thinking IF somehow I could BALANCE this using a 3rd statistic... Not sure how, yet.

Currently (as per the sample card) I am using Bonuses or Penalties for each Starship. So each Starship has a *Special Ability* which could be a BONUS or PENALTY...

questccg
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Double-teaming

questccg wrote:
Well the reason for wanting a 3rd stat is to offset when player's have TOO POWERFUL a Starship.

It would be possible to DAMAGE a strong starship and then use a 2nd starship to inflict the *remaining* damage.... So I guess double-teaming would be a way to destroy too strong a starship...

Still I'd like to hear your ideas about the 3rd stat!

StagCutlery
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Fuel/Energy?

Fuel/Energy?

Corsaire
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Technology or tactics.

Technology or tactics. Depending on where you want the balance between equipment and people to feel. In either case, it isn't too hard imagine an expendable or permanent combat effect with flavor. Like decoy drone or rich tritanium for def or off respectively on the tech side. And thread the needle or focused fire on the tactics side.

questccg
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Bonuses and Penalties

Corsaire wrote:
Technology or tactics.

So are you thinking about BONUSES or PENALTIES??? Like something like "add +2 Firepower".

Is this what you mean? If yes, that is what I currently have (or will have). I used to have an "Enhancement" pile of 15 cards (which were "Instants"). Things like "Military Implants", "Hull Plating", etc.

But my playtesters just felt it was TOO much... So I asked if they prefer to see it as a *Special Ability* that each Starship could have (but different). They agreed, that would be better than to have "Enhancement" cards.

It also stems from the fact that there are 2 types of Starships: one for fighting/skirmishes and the other for missions. The players felt the extra pile ("Instants") was too much... They felt like they were "extra" cards - and that some could be useful... But didn't like the format ("Instants").

Corsaire
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I was thinking about a third

I was thinking about a third statistic for bonuses that could be used to balance the other two per your first post. And then I was speculating that they could be easily rationalized with flavor, whether as static or instant.

questccg
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Needs clarification

Corsaire wrote:
I was thinking about a third statistic for bonuses that could be used to balance the other two per your first post. And then I was speculating that they could be easily rationalized with flavor, whether as static or instant.

So how would this "3rd statistic for bonuses" work? Like a Bonus or Penalty, or is there another option? Is there a simple way to add a 3rd variable to combat? Perhaps that is a better question.

I understand that you can add flavour and make it static rather than instant... Because players seem to not want to have to deal with additional cards (like Instants).

But in truth, I don't know what you are implying...

Corsaire
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I think I misread your first

I think I misread your first post as meaning you were looking for a third statistic to use, whereas the emphasis seems more on the somehow rather than the type or name of the statistic. Sorry, I don't think I have a useful contribution on that front.

questccg
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Hmm...

I guess what I was implying is rather *HOW* to include a 3rd variable.

I'll invent a *dumb* example (for lack of anything better):

1-Firepower (Attack)
2-Resistance (Defence)
3-Speed (Some kind of Offset)

What I mean by the third variable is something that has to do with BALANCE. For example if a "Destroyer" class starship battles a "Utility" class starship (Biggest vs. Smallest), there is some kind of OFFSET that allows the weaker ship better odds to defending itself...

Maybe it is smaller so it is more manoeuvrable (so HIGH Speed) and the Destroyer is more of a WHALE and takes more time to target it's opponent...

Maybe this is not so *dumb* of an example... Need to think about it some more...

questccg
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Another option...

I was thinking about how to "control" the differences between the various sizes of starships. And I came to an interesting idea. So without any further delays, here it is:

  • A "Destroyer" should be fundamentally stronger than a "Utility" or "Scout" starship.
  • Each starship has a MAXIMUM points that can be configured (Firepower+Resistance).

Example #1: A "Destroyer" can have at most "9" config points. So it can have at most a "Crew Rating" of 5 (Resistance) with a "Weapon Rating" of 4 (Firepower) => 5+4 = 9 (Or vice versa)! Most powerful weapons with the strongest starship.

Example #2: A "Utility" can at most "5" config points. So it can have at most a "Crew Rating" of 3 (Resistance) with a "Weapon Rating" of 2 (Firepower) => 3+2 = 5! If it has a "Weapon Rating" of 4, it can have at most a "Crew Rating" of 1!...

Combining this with a *Special Ability* (Bonus or Penalty) might give a better BALANCE to the game.

I am re-working on other aspects of the game (besides combat)... So my mind is a little bit scattered. Hopefully when I re-read this in the morning, it will still sound as good as it does tonight! ;)

Note: I have a bunch of cool things to add to the game like *informal diplomacy*... more like rules of allowable treachery! Haha. And maybe a "Trader" role which allows you to bank up to 3 cards from your hand (instead of it being automatic).

questccg
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No "speed" variable for now...

I figure that the "Config. Point" total is a good way to give the more powerful starships better defence and offence. It's a nice way to *balance* the cards in the game.

Combined with a starship's *Special Ability*, that should allow players more options to help in their struggles against their opponents!

As I was saying in an earlier post - too many little details were not attractive to playtesters.

Corsaire
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Curious... When playtesting

Curious... When playtesting how do you know if your playtesters actually represent your target audience?

MikeyNg
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Energy/Fuel/Speed

What about some sort of energy/fuel/speed? This would determine how often the ship could attack. So a lumbering dreadnought would be tough to beat and would dish out the hurt, but it couldn't attack every turn. A quick corvette might be able to dish out more damage over x number of turns, but it better not get attacked.

questccg
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Already using ENERGY

I have decided to use *Energy* as a starship's Capacity. Each starship has a Capacity which follows this rule:

Energy Rating <= Crew Rating + Weapon Rating
Or
Capacity <= Resistance + Firepower

It's a simple formula and it does what I was missing: a way to balance out the starships into five (5) categories.

I am still *thinking* about using "counters" (d6s) for starship *special abilities*... It would mean that I would have two sets of dice: white ones for Missions and black ones for Battle.

In total that would mean 10 dice (regular d6s). I have reduced the deck by 16 cards and the box size will be smaller. Those two (2) differences should lower the manufacturing price... BUT - adding five (5) more dice should up the price... Dice are usually pretty cheap (especially the standard d6s).

Gimbal
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Already using ENERGY

I am late to the party, but perhaps you can consider the old war tank analogy; Firepower/Speed/armor.
It makes sense in many ways, but you seem happy with ENERGY so what am I doing suggesting anything ;-)

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