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A lot of Economic choices for wargames.

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X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013

I saw this forum topic about Economic System.
So I though, might as well post here all the thoughts that I once had. These are all in my manual. I only apply 1 resource. But there are many ways in obtaining this resource. Most of them are mission based. And most of them will be discarded since I discarded missions. All can be applied for my game, one way or another.

Just let me know what you think about these income ways.


Each player gets income according to the resources that are used. There are several ways of income depending on the game or mission.

Fixed money
Each player receives a fixed amount of money each round. This is considered to be a fair way.

A resource location has to be dominated by a player. Once another player has more forces in that location, the income switches to the new dominating player. An example would be cities, farms, villages or other resources like oil. If the resources allow it, it can be divided amongst the occupiers. This comes in handy for team games.

Resource nodes
Resource nodes give an amount of money every round, just like the Fixed money. These also can be build by sending a mobile source node to the resource location. Then it is the same as the way of Domination. But once the Resource node is destroyed, it doesn’t matter how much forces the player still has left. The income will be gone.

In-dependable Harvesters
They act like Resource nodes, but can run away if needed. They move to a resource location and stay there giving the player money every round as if it is Fixed money.

Refinery with moving Harvesters
A Refinery with Harvesters moving to and from a resource location. Once it has reached a resource location, the resources are in the Harvester and it can start the journey back home. Once the Refinery has been reached, it can start its journey again back to the resources. The player receives the money. The money that is being moved is indicated with a money card on the Harvester.

Range helps in picking up and dropping of resources. [Of course the Range is also influenced by the completely filled region rule. So when you have a Refinery with insufficient space around it, you can drop your resources of, 1 Range further.](this rule might be discarded for resource gatherers) Range is also influenced by the regions themselves, picking up through mountains and forests will be hard. So will the dropping of be. As soon as it fails, the resources drop in that region. (Will not be discarded)

The main down part of this income is that it needs Actions to be played. Picking up and dropping of resources does not cost an Action. However, the unit can do only 1 of the 2. When killed, the resources remain there where the Harvester was until someone picks it up.

Refinery with lined up Harvesters
The Harvesters take in positions in a thin line, where they can give the resources to each other. If 1 gets destroyed, the income simply stops to that point. From that point, the other resources will continue to be passed through. The Harvesters don’t have to be in the resource region for picking up. Nor at the Refinery itself for dropping off. But for a automatic pick up and drop off at the same time, 1 has to stand in the resource region. The money is indicated with a card on the Harvester.

[Range helps in picking up and dropping of resources. Of course the Range is also influenced by the completely filled region rule. So when you have a Refinery or squad Harvesters with insufficient space around it, you can drop your resources of, 1 Range further.] Range is also influenced by the regions themselves, picking up through mountains and forests will be hard. So will the dropping of be. As soon as it fails, the resources drop in that region.

Dropping of money is the same as giving money too that region/unit. Once again, if the Harvester is killed, the resources remain at that point until someone picks it up.

In some games, dead units might become Harvestable resources themselves. This will increase the need for destruction in those games.


In the following we see the Worker as an example for moving between a Refinery and a resource. And as another example for taking positions for automatic income.

Costs 75, Speed 2, Multiplier 1, Range 2, Provides 50 resources.
The Worker provides the player with resources. They can move to and from the resources. Once in Range, they simply drop off the resources. They also can receive resources this way. Only the movement cost an Action each round. They pick up and drop the resources automatically. 1 Worker moving between a Refinery at position 0 and a resource field at position 10, needs 6 rounds. It goes from position 2 to 4, to 6, to 8 and picks up, to 6, to 4, back to 2 and drops off. And the player then receives 50 resources. For 300 resources, the player needs 6 Workers, 6 rounds with 6 Actions.

Their Range also allows them to pass through the resource. They are then placed in a line with a distance of 2 between each Worker, the Refinery and the resource field. They have to be in Range with one and another. Once the line is completed between the resources and the Refinery. The player receives 50 resources automatically. There is no need for spending Actions any more. In the example, the player needs 5 Workers at position 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10. In only 4 rounds, the player receives his/her first 50 resources. Of course, this needs a little start up with the resources moving 1 Worker at a time each round. Once operational, for 300 resources, the player needs 5 Workers and 6 rounds, no Actions. You need to take into account, the region influences on projectiles. You can’t pass money through mountains.

In this example:
You have 6 Workers that move safely together in a group, costing Actions.
Or you have 5 Workers in a thin line, not costing Actions. Choose wisely.
Both give you a 300 credit in 6 rounds.

Resource fields are limited in what they can give each round. If enemy resource gatherers make use of the same resource field. Then the first player that round gets income first. This way, even income can be partly based on luck. Allies of course have a choice of equal sharing.

A resource field can eventually run out of resources. This is for “Doom” games where players bleed out in the end.


The Worker is one of the 3 resource gatherers in my game.
Any good?

Joined: 10/09/2013

There are probably more economic systems in games such as what you're talking about, BUT your explanation, while a bit wordy in some areas and getting a bit technical, is a good explanation of some of the different ways that game economies can be handled.

Joined: 08/28/2012

This was a neat breakdown. I've done a simplification iteration of a WIP recently, where I went from the equivalent of a Refinery with Moving Harvesters to In-dependable Harvesters, in my case, Peasants.

I'd originally designed the game to have the Peasant Units collect resources from a tile as an action / partial action, and have those resources placed with that unit (making them vulnerable to be captured). The Peasant would need to move back to the castle to drop off the resource before it could be used by the player. This became too much of a headache, requiring too much micromanaging on a turn by turn basis during early play tests, and didn't appear to add anything to the game except to the duration of turns.

For simplification, I changed it so each turn a Peasant remains in a tile, that resource is collected. Actions are either move into a new tile, or collect from the current tile. Additional resources are collected if infrastructure (roads) are built. I think this was a change for the better in the case of this game.

Joined: 10/09/2013
Burninating the Countryside...Burninating the Peasants!

My two favorite mechanics for using peasants is the one you mentioned, where the worker merely stays there and provide income (almost like a building), and the other is the build a bucket chain of workers. So when you connect a resource to your base, you get said resource. This doesn't mean you need workers, it could be just resources. It reminds me of roads/rails in Civilization V. They give you no gold/production bonuses until they are fully connected from the different cities to your capital.

The second option gives the game more of a supply line field. In the first option to reduce their resource gains, you must attack the harvest area. In the second option though, you can raid their "supply lines" and disrupt their production this way. Of course the second option requires a bit more defense of your production so there are tradeoffs.

Of course you could always send in this guy to burninate all their peasants! img

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Of course these are not all

Of course these are not all the ways for resource management.
Only those that I could think of that would work well in my board game. A copy paste from my manual.

But if you know more, please do tell me. I will add them to the list.

My choice back then was to use them all at least once for my missions.
For now, the most common used in my try outs are the ones where I build up a line of workers, on the safe side of the base. The other 2 resource gatherers are specialists in speed and being durable. Thus they go for the longer distances. Or the dangerous places. Kinda like having the economics of Warcraft/Starcraft combined with the economics from Dune/C&C. And after each trip, you can heal the fast and durable too. While the worker line ends up mostly dead once attacked. But they are cheap to replace and hard to get to.

1 system, 3 gatherers for 3 situations. Complexity due to simplicity.


Your thoughts about scavenging?

Here is mine:
Although, the scavenging part that I mentioned. I got from a game called Battlezone and Ogame. Where you kill an enemy unit, than scrap the remaining parts. Most common percentages are 20-30%. So your unit costed 400, then with a refund of 25%, the scraps are worth 100.

It actually makes me wonder if I should keep that one in.

This percentage depends on the balance of the game. The higher the risk of attacking, the higher the refund should be. If I where to do this. Not only do dead units remain on the field due to tracking. (Which allows for no rebuild until scavenged). The percentage should be somewhere at 40 - 60%. And now I ask you, is this not a bit to big? Or does it simply mean that my game is a bit too well balanced once each player has a balanced army?

Then again, I mostly test against myself. And I balance both armies against each other when I play. According to my math, and the type of weapons only, the exact percentage would end up at 55,56%. This is when both players are fighting in the middle!

So, if the refund is 50%. Would that not make players want to camp in their base? So that they simply can refund easily? Even if the enemy attacks, they only loose 50% and the other 50% temporary. Not only that, but the dead enemy can be scavenged easy as well. Thus resulting in the attacking player being dead, while the other scavenges the complete army back to life.

Maybe the square of the percentage has to be applied? Or only half of it should be refunded. 25% instead of 50% (or 27,78%-30,86% instead of 55,56%) [My game can only use the 20, 40, 60 and 80 in a fair way due to the fact that prices are multiplies of 5]
I already use 60% for cancelling production. And 60% for insufficient room production.
40% for failed production. And if I where to allow recycling, this would be 40% as well.
20% would be the only logical option for scavenging.

Your thoughts about scavenging?

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