Skip to Content

'Modern' games and dice combat

43 replies [Last post]
KAndrw
Offline
Joined: 08/20/2008

[I've also posed this topic at bgg - the more opinions, the merrier]

While I was in Essen, two of the guys from Czech Games Edition were kind enough to meet with me and listen to my pitch for my game, Scattered Fleet.

SF is card-based, with each player dealt 4 Location cards which are placed face-down on the table to create the play area, then dealt 8 Fleet cards for use in the game. The Fleet cards represent spaceships of various sizes, and each player can play one per turn. When a Fleet card is played, the ship or ships represented by the card come into play, and the ship models (cardboard rectangles mounted in plastic card stands) are put into play in the play area.

The ships have Battery and Armor tokens, and the player uses the Battery on his ships to move them around and engage in battle. Battle is resolved by rolling two dice against the attackers' Accuracy values, and comparing attack power (from all successful attacks) against the defender's Defense value.

The objective of the game is to score 30 points, through a combination of holding Locations and destroying adversaries. Each turn a player can reveal a face-down Location where he has a ship, potentially increasing the value of holding that Location - or setting off a trap.

In essence, it's a very light tactical wargame, using semi-randomised forces (at the end of each turn, a player can discard a Fleet card to draw a replacement, thus tuning his fleet as the game progresses).

Anyway - back to the pitch...

As soon as I mentioned dice combat, the CGE guys quickly lost interest. One of them explained his opposition to dice combat thusly (paraphrased):

"When modern games use randomness, they do it in the order; RANDOMNESS - ACTION - RESULT, never ACTION - RANDOMNESS - RESULT."

As an example, Settlers has random production, then the player actions, but there is no randomness between the player actions (spending resources) and results (stuff appearing). Agricola has random order of occupation, improvement and action cards, but no randomness between player actions and results.

As the counter-example, in Risk (and Scattered Fleet) you declare a combat, then roll the dice, then see the result.

So the issue I'm raising for discussion (finally!) is...

** Can random combat be a component of a 'modern' game? **

If it *can't*, does that mean that any wargame - where probabilistic combat is generally desired, in order to introduce risk to decisions - will tend to be considered 'non-modern'?

Is there still place in the modern market for games with non-modern mechanics? What if we instead call them 'classic' mechanics?

A.

Note - I'm not bagging the CGE guys' opinions - in fact, the meeting was extremely profitable for me, because I had never considered the concept of modern randomness they espoused. I'm immensely grateful that they took time out of a busy Essen day to meet me! I'm just not sure I share their commitment to the idea that action-randomness-result is something to be avoided.

apeloverage
Offline
Joined: 08/01/2008
KAndrw wrote:Is there still

KAndrw wrote:
Is there still place in the modern market for games with non-modern mechanics? What if we instead call them 'classic' mechanics?

They seem to sell Monopoly (and Risk) in most department stores - presumably someone's buying them.

I'd imagine that most casual buyers would be more interested in theme than mechanics anyway (and would buy games as gifts rather than for themselves).

dannorder
dannorder's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/20/2008
Narrow thinking

KAndrw wrote:
"When modern games use randomness, they do it in the order; RANDOMNESS - ACTION - RESULT, never ACTION - RANDOMNESS - RESULT."

That's just a particularly silly bias from some people who think that what they see most often in the games they admire must be better than other choices.

Having every declared action or choice always end up with the same results with no random element at play makes many sorts of games more predictable, boring and less entertaining. Anyone who makes a hard and fast declaration like that is simply being unimaginative and following the pack.

And that's only to be expected.

Game publishers -- like movie producers, art dealers, book publishers and so forth -- are going to be quirky about some issues and follow trends blindly regardless of whether they ultimately make a good end product or not. They're chasing a market and following a mindset. They don't ultimately care what might be better suited for a particular game, they care about fitting in. If you want to work with them you have to fit what they are looking for. It's just the business end of things. If you want to ignore them, then find a publisher or designer who isn't hung up on such silliness, or bypass them and do your own thing.

kodarr
Offline
Joined: 08/04/2008
Randomness

I think randomness can work but it needs to be a minor part of the game. If you have cards that would alter the fight dice it might not be as bad.
In a game I'm making monsters have random fight values you challenge the creature or get attacked the fight value shows up then you play cards to fight it. So you know your target value before you fight but you must attack or be confronted before knowing the value. So the randomness is second to the actual fight. Being fighting is done with cards it just varies how many cards you are willing to play to fight something exhausting your hand.

benshelmars
benshelmars's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/03/2008
Random Factors

Action itself can be random, for example; the combat system I use works as follows; Attacker's Combat Factors - Defender's combat Factors = Combat Factors Attacking, this number is referenced against a chart (that has predetermined outcomes) where a die is rolled to determine the result, however before the die is rolled both the Attacker and Defender can add Political Points (which represent everything from morale, leadership to efficiency) for or against the roll. So a player with overwhelming odds but terrible leadership could lose to a player who has outstanding leadership and morale. Probability is still present but the actions of the interaction between the player's choices can sway that probability either way.
War or combat by attrition alone is a pure numbers game and lacks (in my opinion) any adventure or risk.

J Monty
Offline
Joined: 10/16/2008
Random combat can definitely

Random combat can definitely be a component of a modern game. The action-randomness-result formula you mentioned reminds me of the term, "Fortune in the Middle", which is usually applied to role-playing games that use the exact same technique: declare your action, roll the dice, and determines the result.

As far as I know, that formula is alive and well in role-playing games, and I'd go so far as to say that it's the default method for a great number of games out there.

Besides, don't a number of Martin Wallace's games (Struggle of Empires, After the Flood, etc) use the very same random method mentioned above? I should think that his designs were considered modern.

adagio_burner
adagio_burner's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/30/2008
Actually I tend to avoid

Actually I tend to avoid the RANDOMNESS - ACTION - RESULT scheme. When it is used, players need to rethink their plans and choose the ACTION right after RANDOMNESS has been introduced. This usually means more downtime for other players and generally slows the game down.

Torrent
Torrent's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2008
I think they have a point,

I think they have a point, although it doesn't mean that randomness is dead in modern games. I do think however that the concept of making randomness before the action is a value that Eurogames have.

Imagine two systems:
A)
Declare attack, play a card with a number on it.
Roll dice, add to card.
Attack succeeds or fails.
Discard Card

B) Declare attack.
Roll dice.
Decide to play card or not, or even which card to play.
Attack suceeds or fails.
Discard card if played.

By changing the order, you have added a depth and a decision point to the combat. This is a more Euro Flavor, while the A system is somewhat more Ameri-leaning. It changes the feel.

Does any of this mean there is no room for pure random combat? Of course not, a lot of games still use it. They may however run the risk of getting labeled as Ameritrash, which may notbe so bad if that is the feel you want.

dannorder
dannorder's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/20/2008
Torrent wrote:By changing the

Torrent wrote:
By changing the order, you have added a depth and a decision point to the combat.

I'm not seeing how that adds any depth at all. I'm not trying to be difficult, I honestly just don't see it. You had depth and decision point before, just in a different order.

I think overall that wildly random things happening makes things too much like nothing you do really matters. Lack of randomness makes people focus like a laser beam on exploiting rules to their maximum advantage, and only the people who are most obsessive have any real chance of winning... which is fine for the obsessives, I guess, but not for anyone else. Some randomness is not only good but necessary for most board games. Where that randomness enters should be able to vary based upon the needs of the game design.

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
Again Randomness vs determinism

As I said on a old forum post, it's all a matter of balance. You need to place randomness at the right place. If randomness does not fit, there is always semi randomness mechanics (ex: dice on cards)

For battle, I think randomness is the best place because you make abstraction of all the details of the battle and everything that occurs on the battlefield with a simple die roll. Still, giving the player some power over the battle could reduce the impact of randomness. For example: having decisions to be done in battle or before battle. Players could be able to evaluate the outcome and put more or less ressource in the battle. These are decision which could influence the battle without telling you who is the winner.

On the other hand, it also depend on the type of game you are making. For example, in Vinci, there is no dice roll, you just pay a "price" to invade without losses a territory. But in this case, the objective is to make battle fast and not that much important to the flow of the game.

Also evaluate the time and effort that must be put in the action before making a roll. If a lot of effort is done and there is no way to influence the roll, then it's bad.

pelle
pelle's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/11/2008
larienna wrote:there is

larienna wrote:
there is always semi randomness mechanics (ex: dice on cards)

Dice on cards are just as random as dice, only more difficult to predict (calculating the odds of something is a pain, unless there are so many cards that it is for all practical purposes equivalent to real dice anyway). The exception were I think it works is when you have individual decks that are only used once (like in Ave Caesar).

As for decision then random or the other way around, I don't believe there is a difference other than in the mind of the designer/player. Either you get to react to the randomness of your turn or to the randomness created by your opponent. One doesn't involve less strategy than the other.

Torrent
Torrent's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2008
dannorder wrote:Torrent

dannorder wrote:
Torrent wrote:
By changing the order, you have added a depth and a decision point to the combat.

I'm not seeing how that adds any depth at all. I'm not trying to be difficult, I honestly just don't see it. You had depth and decision point before, just in a different order.

I think overall that wildly random things happening makes things too much like nothing you do really matters. Lack of randomness makes people focus like a laser beam on exploiting rules to their maximum advantage, and only the people who are most obsessive have any real chance of winning... which is fine for the obsessives, I guess, but not for anyone else. Some randomness is not only good but necessary for most board games. Where that randomness enters should be able to vary based upon the needs of the game design.

You are right this is a point of opinion and perception. I percieve that having the randomness before the decision as giving me more control. This to me comes across as a better (if not an additional) decision. I would rather see a group of dice that give me options as opposed to having a group of dice determine if what I decided works or not. It FEELS more like the dice dictating things than the other way round.

ReneWiersma
ReneWiersma's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2008
I can see where these guys

I can see where these guys from Czech games are coming from. Their remark shows that they have been thinking about game design a lot, which is a good thing. However, I believe that it is important to not get stuck in one level of thinking.

To illustrate what I mean:

Level 1 - beginning game designer: "Monopoly, Risk, Life, they all have dice! Dice are good! Must design a game with dice!"

Level 2 - designer logs on to BGG and BGDF for the first time and sees the light: "Puerto Rico, Euphrat & Tigris and all these "designer" games don't have no stinkin' dice. Dice are bad! Evil! No more utter randomness in my games!!!"

Level 3 - designer rediscovers the fun in some other games: "What a minute, some of these games with random elements are still a lot of fun. Settlers has dice, after all. Yspahan uses dice in a "modern" and clever way! Dice can be used after all, but only when used sparsely and then only in the randomness -> action -> result pattern!"

I know, because I have been through these stages myself.

These Czech guys are stuck in level 3, what they believe to be the"right" mindset for designing games. For a publisher of euro type of games, this is not a bad mindset to have. After all, their likely customers will have a similar taste.

That said, there's nothing wrong with using dice in the old-fashioned: action -> randomness -> result pattern. It all depends on what you are trying to achieve as a designer. Dice are just a tool to be used, sometimes it is the right tool when used in the right way. Don't get stuck in one level of thinking.

apeloverage
Offline
Joined: 08/01/2008
depends what you mean by 'modern games'

"When modern games use randomness, they do it in the order; RANDOMNESS - ACTION - RESULT, never ACTION - RANDOMNESS - RESULT."

If you define 'modern games' as "Eurogames", maybe - but every role-playing game, and I think games derived from them like miniatures games, still use 'roll to hit'.

So maybe you're pitching it to the wrong people. 'Spaceship combat' doesn't sound very Euro anyway!

Darkehorse
Darkehorse's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
Corsairs

Corsairs (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/840) is a 'modern game' that does this rather well. I will echo the sentiment that they are welcome to their opinion, but I wouldn't let that stop you. Honestly, you might have better luck marketing the game to an American company. The way I look at is as long as the game is fun, you'll find someone to publish it, dice or no dice. All it needs is some good word of mouth and it will sell.

-Darke

Desprez
Offline
Joined: 12/01/2008
How would you even switch

How would you even switch some games around?

If you've got ACTION-RANDOMNESS-RESULT implemented as such:
You have a bunch of soldiers. Your opponent has a bunch of soldiers. They can all decide to shoot at stuff. So, player one selects a soldiers to shoot at an enemy soldier. He rolls a die, results are compared and he either hits the enemy or not. Repeat until he doesn't have any more shots to take. Then player two does the same thing. When he is done all hit soldiers are eliminated.

How would that even work in a RANDOMNESS-ACTION-RESULT format?

Although, in the above example it seems more like ACTION-RANDOMNESS-ACTION-RANDOMNESS-ACTION-RANDOMNESS- [etc.] -RESULTS

ReneWiersma
ReneWiersma's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2008
Desprez wrote:How would that

Desprez wrote:
How would that even work in a RANDOMNESS-ACTION-RESULT format?

It doesn't. Not really, anyway, because you're approaching the problem from the wrong angle. You already established the action you want to do (shooting at other soldiers), or maybe that's the only action in the game. You need some phase before choosing the action...

However, suppose there are different actions a player may take. Say, you can
1) shoot with a unit at enemy units
2) gather resources
3) move a unit
4) buy a new unit
5) draw an action card

Now at the start of a round a number of dice are rolled. Players take turns picking a die and using that for one action of their choice. For some actions a lower number is better than a higher number, for other actions it is the other way around. Repeat this until all the dice in the pool have been picked.

For example, when you want hit a tank with one of you infantry units you need to pick a die with the number four (or higher) on it. A hit is automatic, no need for more randomness, just pick a high enough die. However, when you want to buy a new unit, a lower number is better, maybe because it allows you to buy better units, or at a discount.

This way, the dice somewhat vary which actions will be picked, making the game not completely deterministic. However, when a player chooses a particular die and action, the outcome will not be in doubt. This is a way to introduce RANDOMNESS -> ACTION -> RESULT in a combat game.

MatthewF
MatthewF's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/22/2008
I really don't get it

I really don't get all of this "roleplaying games do it" and "wargames do it" nonsense: sure they do, but Czech Games publishes neither of those, they produce eurogames, which are undoubtedly what they were talking about when they said "modern games." If you go to Harley Davidson and showed them your new truck prototype, don't be surprised when they lecture you about motorcycles having two wheels.

dannorder
dannorder's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/20/2008
MatthewF wrote: they produce

MatthewF wrote:
they produce eurogames, which are undoubtedly what they were talking about when they said "modern games."

Which is exactly the point. They don't understand that "modern game" (or, more importantly "enjoyable game") doesn't necessarily equal Eurogame.

So, yes, submit to a publisher that fits your designs, but don't assume one publisher's standards is what all publishers believe or what we as designers should necessarily be following. To follow your example, if we let Harley Davidson dictate the rules for all motor vehicle designs, then the world would be in pretty bad shape.

dnjkirk
dnjkirk's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/22/2008
American v. Euro alert!

Desprez wrote:
...
How would that even work in a RANDOMNESS-ACTION-RESULT format?

Although, in the above example it seems more like ACTION-RANDOMNESS-ACTION-RANDOMNESS-ACTION-RANDOMNESS- [etc.] -RESULTS


To add to what René said, How about a system in which you are dealt cards (randomness) which you use to activate units to fire, move, or take another type of action, (action) and then calculate the results based on the cards played (result). That's more what they mean.

So, to rephrase what they are talking about, the game they want is:
Pool of options limited by randomness - player takes the best possible actions - mainly predictable results.
Pool of options is standard - player decides which options he takes - slightly unpredictable results.

They believe there are more "agonizing choices" in the first example than in the second. I, for one, partially disagree. I believe that the first seems to have more agonizing choices, but a good wargame that uses action-randomness-result is more of a brain burner than a euro. You have to calculate your odds, prioritize, and if worst comes to worst, re-plan your attack. In a standard euro you just wait for the right combination of cards/tiles/blocks to take your action, and then you do it... and he who gets the best combinations at the right time wins. I'm being a bit simplistic, but quite frankly the two paradigms of American and European game have an equal amount to offer the player, and so I reject any statement that puts one over the other. They both work for their own reasons.

MatthewF
MatthewF's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/22/2008
dannorder wrote:So, yes,

dannorder wrote:
So, yes, submit to a publisher that fits your designs, but don't assume one publisher's standards is what all publishers believe or what we as designers should necessarily be following.

Certainly, agreed. I'm just trying to point out that in the OP, a eurogame publisher was brought a wargame (with an old school resolution system) and rejected it because it wasn't like a eurogame.

If you want to be published in the eurogame market, you absolutely do need to consider that the standard includes limited random determination, or a least randomness that you can reasonably mitigate. If you want to create an action-randomness-result game where the randomness has a big effect on the result, don't let the eurogame style stop you. Just don't go to a eurogame publisher and expect them to see it otherwise. Be prepared for Hans Im Gluck, Amigo Spiel, Alea, etc., to all turn you down immediately after hearing about the role of randomness in the game.

I'm reacting to some of the things said so far in the thread, like "they seem to sell Monopoly (and Risk) in most department stores" and "that's just a particularly silly bias from some people who think that what they see most often in the games they admire must be better than other choices" and the comments about roleplaying games doing it. Czech Games has a type of product to publish, and it would frankly be very foolish of them to consider publishing a traditional wargame (or something that resembles one) under their imprint because their soon-to-be-dissatisfied buyers will be expecting a eurogame. They've established marketing and a distribution channel based on that, and it would be bad business indeed (especially at their current size) to pollute their message and channel with something that will confuse buyers.

MatthewF
MatthewF's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/22/2008
pelle wrote:Dice on cards are

pelle wrote:
Dice on cards are just as random as dice, only more difficult to predict (calculating the odds of something is a pain, unless there are so many cards that it is for all practical purposes equivalent to real dice anyway).

No, dice on cards are significantly different than dice: the cards have a memory, even if you don't. If you go through a two-die card deck all the way, you absolutely will have six 7s, five 6s and 8s, four 5s and 9s, three 4s and 10s, two 3s and 11s, and one 2 and one 12. If you roll a pair of dice 36 times you could easily have no 7s, or eleven 7s, etc. That "deck memory" can make a huge difference in how a game plays out.

dannorder
dannorder's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/20/2008
Good grief

MatthewF wrote:
I'm reacting to some of the things said so far in the thread, like [...] "that's just a particularly silly bias from some people who think that what they see most often in the games they admire must be better than other choices"

I stand by that comment 100%. Yes, if you submit to a game company that is biased towards Eurogame styles, of course you should expect it the game to have to be a Eurogame if you want to get it published by them. But that's not the same as being a good game or a modern game or so forth. Companies are free to be biased. It's their money, they can spend it the way they see fit. But it's still a bias just the same, and one that other companies and game designers and people who play games don't have to buy into.

So, when you called my comment "nonsense," is it because you misread it and thought it said something other than what it did, or do you actually believe that all "modern games" are Eurogames and everything else is outdated?

Desprez
Offline
Joined: 12/01/2008
Anyone else think that the

Anyone else think that the dominance (or preference) between ACTION-RANDOMNESS-RESULT and RANDOMNESS-ACTION-RESULT might have some deep-seeded relation to differing cultural philosophies and/or worldviews?

MatthewF
MatthewF's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/22/2008
dannorder wrote:So, when you

dannorder wrote:
So, when you called my comment "nonsense," is it because you misread it and thought it said something other than what it did, or do you actually believe that all "modern games" are Eurogames and everything else is outdated?

In the context of his situation, yes, it was nonsense, in my opinion. I believe that from the Czech Games perspective, and from the limited English that the Czech Games guys speak, their use of "modern games" was perfectly sensible.

And no, of course I don't think that all modern games are eurogames. Nor do I even think that eurogames will stay the way they are currently for some infinite amount of time.

awakener76
Offline
Joined: 10/07/2008
Luck as an influence or a determiner

Quite possibly, it certainly changes the game dramatically. In ACTION RANDOMNESS RESULT you can in theory play the perfect game and get unlucky with the random results. It is far easier in this situation to blame the luck for a defeat (even if it was partially down to your own lack of ability when judging the odds).

With RANDOMNESS ACTION RESULT, whilst it's possible to lose because of the luck, you still have a chance to make the best of what you've got, to make optimise your moves despite the luck. With randomness in the middle it's too late, you've made your move and then the luck determines the rest. With the randomness first players are less likely to feel "screwed" by the game, yes bad luck has an effect, but the players will ultimately not feel as helpless.

Willi B
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
Before this turns....

Realize that regardless of anything each designer needs to know the company they are pitching. If you think the company acts rudely, don't work with them.

Each philosophy is modern enough to sell if done in a way that pleases. Rather than debate which is better, I choose to think of them like I think of all game mechanics... is it the best thing for the game?

Think what happens when songwriters are stuck. They write a song and its 4 chords that sound great. It was written on a guitar at a high tempo and the song felt like a hard rock hit. Then, nothing happens except the songwriter can't seem to make the song work. So, maybe that songwriter takes the tempo down, adds a string section, changes the key and turns the anthem into a ballad. If he made the best song with those 4 chords, wouldn't he be happiest?

Let the game dictate the mechanic... but make sure you know which company wants the game.

kungfugeek
kungfugeek's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/10/2008
Not only a matter of culture and philosphy,

but also of personal temperament. I think ARR is for risk-takers. You calculate your odds and choose which risk to take based what you think the risk-to-reward ratio is. If done right, an ARR game can reward both strategic thinking (in terms of safeguarding against bad rolls) and gutsy maneuvers (taking that long shot because the reward would be so worth it). It's pro-active. You are the one deciding when the dice get rolled and in what circumstances, the excitement peaks in the die rolls themselves.

RAR is more re-active. The dice are rolled as a function of the game mechanic, and the winner is the one who can best respond to the results. It's for survivors. It rewards adaptability and cleverness more than risk-taking or bravado. You aren't in control of when the dice get rolled, but you're in control of how you respond to them. The excitement for this type of game I don't think has the peaks and valleys of an ARR, but is spread out a little more evenly throughout the game. If it peaks, it would be at the point of choosing your action, after the dice have been rolled.

Yeah, I do think there's a reason Europeans (Germans in particular) have a more reactive/survivalist mentality, while Americans are more into taking risks.

Just my two cents...

Lucas.Castro
Lucas.Castro's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/22/2008
A Place for Randomness

For me, the issue with randomness is using it outside its place. And to me, its place is as a means to "spice up" (or add a spin to) an action.

Conversely, the wrong place for randomness is as a major (or worse, the ONLY) deciding factor for an action or its success. For instance, in a table-top wargame (e.g., Warhammer 40K), dice almost always COMPLETELY dictate success. You could horribly outmatch your opponent, but if all the dice give you are 1s and 2s, you are in trouble. Thus, in this case randomness DECIDES the game. Good play is simply a modifier for the dice rolls.

The even bigger issue is when a predominantly luck based game (e.g., Italian card games) poses as being a game where decisions matter. I quite playing Italian card games with my girlfriend's family because of the following example: her and I were on a team, against her sister and gramma. We played about as well as could be played with the cards we had, and lost horribly. The next round, I kept all my cards face-down and did not look at them once, playing the top card of my pile. We won that round by a landslide. The point being that the game was clearly decided by luck, but they wanted me to play it as if my decisions mattered.

[/RANT]

[EDIT: I am on the same page as Awakener76. Randomness should enhance actions, NOT decide them.]

So I say, if randomness fits then do NOT shy away from it.

In fact, this discussion has compelled me to re-evaluate my combat mechanic on one of my own designs. This game is a strategy board-wargame, and the audience for such games generally like dice. Mind you, the game has no objectives/points for killing opponents, so games are won through a solid focus on objectives. It just so happens that destroying opponents prevents them from thwarting your plans or getting in your way.

My current mechanic is that combat is a comparison of Attack versus Defence (note: Canadian spelling :-), with possible modifiers (and/or limits to how much damage can be done). Additionally, players may choose to play one of a handful of cards that can give them advantages (or penalties to their foes) such as causing the target to flee, or damage modifiers.

But you might not always use those cards (they are limited in number), especially in larger games. Also, I run the risk of having my audience think that this interaction is boring.

So now I am considering adding a combat value to the 12 special cards that each player has. These cards have all kinds of special abilities/effects, but adding a combat value forces players to choose between using these special tricks, or powering up their attacks.

In either case, the randomness is really uncertainty: you do not know what your opponent will play. But it just so happens that his cards have a "memory" as another user said. Yes, you can use your best cards right away, but that will give your opponent an advantage later, so you may save your better cards for crunch time.

Do others consider this a randomness mechanic (or at least a satisfying alternative)?

Gizensha
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
Surely by changing the order

Torrent wrote:
Imagine two systems:
A)
Declare attack, play a card with a number on it.
Roll dice, add to card.
Attack succeeds or fails.
Discard Card

B) Declare attack.
Roll dice.
Decide to play card or not, or even which card to play.
Attack suceeds or fails.
Discard card if played.

By changing the order, you have added a depth and a decision point to the combat. This is a more Euro Flavor, while the A system is somewhat more Ameri-leaning. It changes the feel.

Surely by changing the order all you've done is changed the type of decision rather than if there's a decision to be made? Option B is pure resource management, Option A (assuming you can still choose weather or not to play a card) is a combination between resource management and risk management decisions.

Yes, both options have a different feel to them, but I wouldn't have thought either is deeper than the other. (Neither would I assume that 'deeper' is always better, for that matter. If the focus of a game is on X, then lighter rules elsewhere can enhance that focus)

Phookadude
Offline
Joined: 11/03/2008
Abstract Vs Simulation

To me this all seems to boil down to whether a game is abstract or attempts to simulate a situation.
A-R-R is what simulation games use. You choose an action and you have a chance of that action succeeding.
Allot of more abstact games use R-A-R where the play is more important than the simulation (allthough this is by no means universal).
I actually disagree with the whole argument however, because taken over a course of turns A-R-R is R-A-R. In risk you adjust your strategy based upon the last battles rolls.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut