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Looking for a unit group dice combat mechanic

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larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008

I am trying to design a dice combat mechanic that I intend to reuse in at least 2 of my games plus the "starcraft lite" variant.

The idea is that the board is made of large hexes and you can place various types of units in them. Instead of having each unit occupy 1 hex, you place multiple units on the same hex and move them as a group.

For my modern war game, you currently have the following units:

Tank: Good at attacking ground vehicles
Artillery: Defensive unit that bombs vs ground vehicle
AA defense: counter air unit attacks
Recon: Average combat value and scout better the fog of war.
Helicopter: Good vs ground units, can scout
Infantry: Allow capturing targets, can attack infantry. scout a bit.
Bomber: Bombing ground vehicle.
Fighter: Intercept air unit and can target ground units and scouting.

Bomber and fighter moves differently than the others, else all units can move 1 hex per turn. Winning battles push units in opposing hexes.

I want to have a combat system that resolves the whole group together. I don't want duels between individual units. Now what I have designed so far looks like this:

A- Air battles: There is an air battle between fighters and bombers. Anti-air can also intercept ennemy planes.

B- scouting roll: each unit that has scouting abilities improve the scouting roll. This roll determine how good you are at finding the ennemy units. This is good especially for artillery and bombers who need to know where are your ennemy to attack.

C-Damage rolls: This roll is used to determine which unit dies. Some units will act before other. For example, defensive artilleries shoot first before ground vehicles can attack.

D-Tactical Roll: This roll is used to determine which side will keep control of the hex at the end of the battle. Since all battles last 1 round, you must determine a winner. Infantry are generally good at capturing hexes.

This is the ideas I have so far, but I don't know yet how will the dice roll work. So I am curretnly gathering comments and ideas.

Joined: 07/15/2009
Something I have thought

Something I have thought about but not used in that vein of thought is everything has a set of values.
Attack, Defense etc

You add all units attack and roll 1 die adding it to the total
Your opponent adds all units defense rolls 1 die
if the attack exceeds the defense total apply the excess as damage.
If the defense is greater no damage is applied.

This is reversed so all units attack and defense score is used in combat and casualties are removed after both players have rolled attack and defense for their units.

Apply total "control value" of each sides surviving troops the larger score maintains or gains control of the hex.

Joined: 07/08/2009
What . . .

. . . Happens to the losers? Do they just retreat? You said they get pushed, so that's what i took it to mean.

Have you ever played a game like that before?

It seems like that would result in pretty tedious battles going back and forth on the same area? I know when I was reading the designer journals of Viktory II, the guy said that was an issue.

Of course I'm not sure exactly what you have going on, but something to think about at least!


metzgerism's picture
Joined: 06/19/2009
Make a variant on Risk where

Make a variant on Risk where you screw with the way that dice decide combat outcomes, and that should help you visualize what you want to do a little bit.

Here's a variant on Risk that I came up with but am not using:

Player 1 with X units on Alaska attacks player 2 with Y units on the Northwest Territories.
Player 1 rolls X dice, and player 2 rolls Y dice. The player with the lower total loses one unit.
Player 2 may roll 1 die instead and retreat from the area to a territory they control (sacrificing that unit).

Use 6-sided dice, numbered 0-5 instead of 1-6.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
The idea of pushing is that

The idea of pushing is that after the casualties are dealth, a certain amount of unit will survive and retreat. So you don't kill need to kill all the units all the time to win. The idea of pushing the units creates no problem so far in my game (tested with an arbitrary battle system)

What I tried so far is that every uits adds a value in amount of dices to scouting, tactical and to unit type targetable.

First roll scouting: Roll X dice (total of units), TN determined by terrain.
Nb of success = nb of units you can reveal (which allows you to target them yourself on the damage roll.

2nd roll Damage ground vehicle: roll X dice (total of units), TN determined by unit type (each have a different defense level)
Each success kills a unit. Attacker can pickup revealed units, else the defender choose.

(optional: defending Artillery has first strike, and can only attack revealed units)

3rd roll Damage infantry: Roll X Dice, Tn= defense of the infantry.
Each success kill a unit.

4th roll Tactical roll: Roll X dice, Tn= Defense level of the target ( city or mountain raise TN for attacker). The player with the most success wins the hex.

The problem so far, there is way too much dice roll and steps to follow making it almost essential to place the units outside the board to resolve the battle.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
What I have realized is that

What I have realized is that since units have a rock paper relationships with each other, I need to make a units target other units to promote that relationship. But I can still roll all the dices at the same time (units mutually help each other).

So I thought that maybe, you roll 1 die for each unit and the number of dice you keep is equal to your scouting value. For each kept die, you match it with one of your unit and that unit target an enemy to kill it. Each unit will kill an enemy if rolling above a certain Number.

I will probably have to make sure I have groups of units, else in Starcraft lite, there is so much different units that I don't want to end up with a huge TN table for each unit.

So everything is done in 1 roll, but I just don't know with that system how to determine who wins the hex without killing all opposition.

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