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My battle system (Help needed)

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Canyoncl
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So I am making a 4X space game, everything is going smoothly except for one thing: The battle system. It is the biggest unbalance in the game right now.
so how it works as of this moment is this:

First you have your attack level, which you can upgrade, so if your attack level is 5 (the highest) your fighter ships hit on 5-1 on a D6. So when invading a location you send as many ships as you want to the battle. Then you roll 2 D6 and you times the # of hits rolled by the # of ships. The problem with this is if you have 5 ships and the opponent has 1 if you roll one hit the ship dies no matter what just by virtue of the system. This is sorta thematic in that the ship was caught off guard and was swarmed but I would like to give the little ship a chance. If a full combat round (both sides get to attack like this in one round: Initiative player, Defender, Initiative player, Defender (The initiative player is the player who attacks first but how that is decided I don't think is important right now considering its not random)

The pros and cons I see:

Pros: Not a lot of dice rolling, very quick (at least in tests) to see who won and who lost.

Cons: Very unbalanced a ton of ships can be destroyed quickly with a turn of luck, One game 5 pirates took out 5 Svarks (an alien race) without losing one ship which makes no thematic sense.

The help I need is a battle system that is both balanced and quick. Help needed.

Thank you for your help

-Canyoncl

DrFro
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I think the issue here may

I think the issue here may lie in the fact that you are using a multiplier to determine your outcome. If I am interpreting your system correctly, then "one hit = everyone hits," correct? Or - if you have five ships, and you roll one hit, then you have five hits. Conversely, if you have 20 ships, but miss with both dice, then you have zero hits. So, even if you have a large number of ships, bad dice rolls could tilt the odds quite rapidly if you are unable to land a single hit.

The traditional solution here would be to have each ship roll independently, increasing the odds that some of your ships will hit (while decreasing the odds that all of them would hit). More rolls = more stable odds. The downside to this is that this will slow your game down, which you have stated you do not want.

Another possible solution would be to simply get rid of the multiplier altogether so that one hit is only one hit, and two hits is two hits. This would be fewer die rolls than having each ship rolling independently, and would prevent one side of five ships from being obliterated in one round. The advantage of having multiple ships would be to soak up damage. Another alternative would be to scale the number of dice that you get to roll depending on the number of ships - i.e. for 1-3 ships you roll one die, for 4-6 ships you roll two, etc. This way, a large fleet would still have an offensive advantage.

Regardless of the solution, I believe more dice rolls have to be included in your battle resolution if your goal is balance - again, more dice rolls = more stable odds. Removing the multiplier (or minimizing) would also help.

Hope this helps - I'm a huge fan of 4x games, so I'm eager to see what you come up with!

Mzum
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Alternate Mechanics

It seems like you might have to add more complicated mechanics. DrFro stated the problem eloquently.

Is it necessary to resolve an entire battle? Could you simply have each player run 1 combat round, and then 'pause' the battle (to be continued the following turn). This allows you to use a more complicated mechanics, while minimizing downtime if there are more than 2 players.

Canyoncl
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Thanks!

Thanks for the help! I am doing more battle testing and I think having every ship roll one die then having only 1 battle round every turn will keep the complexity to a minimum.

Beggarking
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What's the goal/objective of

What's the goal/objective of combat? Sounds like you have:

Quick
Balanced (balanced how)?
Less rolling
Random sometimes (little guy can win sometimes)

Example: you could eliminate dice altogether and just resolve by number of units and attack level. If you had cards or other hidden elements, there could be a type of card that allows a special maneuver for the little guy that occasionally a player would have and could play. This would meet the objectives, but not sure if it would work for your game.

What part the combat plays in the game would steer how I would want the mechanics to play out. If it was core/frequent or a primary strategy for victory I'd want deeper mechanics. If it was one of 12 things that a player may choose to do I would super-simplify it.

Anyway, just some thoughts around it. Cheers!

Canyoncl
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Battle system V3

Usually the objective of combat is to destroy other players locations/ships, because if you take out their military they can't destroy you, if you take out their workers they get no income, take out their colony's they lose the VP associated with that colony. Right now the current battle system is:

Count # of attackers; roll one die per attacker (Plus special ability's/benefits); count # of hits (based on weapons level); defender rolls one die per hit; check # of successes (based on shields level); for every unblocked hit the defender must destroy one ship(one hit (Defender) cancels out one hit (Attacker)); The defender then becomes the attacker and gets one free battle round. Then either player can spend resources (based on # of ships) to either gain an additional battle round or retreat, if neither player decides to retreat or attack again then if no ship was destroyed (on either side) then one ship on each side is immediately destroyed and the "battle" ends and its the next players turn.

On the next players turn (Any side that participated in the battle) then they can continue the battle (one battle round per turn is free, can spend one metal resource per ship for an extra battle round, this counts for groups of ships not an entire player.)

This is much more complicated then the original battle system but it is far better.

X3M
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Quote:then if no ship was

Quote:
then if no ship was destroyed (on either side) then one ship on each side is immediately destroyed

The most expensive one?

Is it really nescessary to apply this rule?
I understand if you allow shields of 6. But it makes no sense?

Also please note, that going from a shield of 4 to 5, would mean the chance to block a hit, actually doubles.
Unless I understood your mechanic wrong.

Do you have limits for your weapons and shields?
Do some ships fire multiple times in one attack?

Canyoncl
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X3M wrote:Quote:then if no

X3M wrote:
Quote:
then if no ship was destroyed (on either side) then one ship on each side is immediately destroyed

The most expensive one?

Is it really nescessary to apply this rule?
I understand if you allow shields of 6. But it makes no sense?

Also please note, that going from a shield of 4 to 5, would mean the chance to block a hit, actually doubles.
Unless I understood your mechanic wrong.

Do you have limits for your weapons and shields?
Do some ships fire multiple times in one attack?

Players choice on which ship is destroyed, but considering warships have more than one health (3) then I suppose taking out one health would be allowed, but more than likely it will be a fighter on each side.

I applied the rule because sometimes no ships will be destroyed and the battle will just go on again the next turn, this usually happens with really high shields so it just keeps on going seemingly forever so this just makes sure SOMETHING happens during the battle, if I find it annoying I will get rid of it.

And shields of six are NOT allowed, warships can have an attack of 6 but their shields at the highest shield level is a 3 so if they attack last they are at a big disadvantage, AND their attack is attributed to their health so if they are damaged they lose attack power.

And can you show me statistics for 4 to 5 doubling cause if that is the case I will have to make the upgrade cost steeper. Weapon and shield limits depend on the ship chosen. Warships and some stations (some stations cannot attack) can attack multiple times.

X3M
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Well, 4 or 5 shield is not

Well, 4 or 5 shield is not possible if the maximum that you allow is 3 according to your last post. 6 is understandable just as much as 7 or higher. Because they can't be rolled at all.

If the mechanics are:
-rolling the shield or less for blocking a possible hit.
And.
-rolling the weapon or less for placing a possible hit.

Important to know is that the worth of a shield (or in other words the average durability of 1 health) is depending on the possible hits. Not the blocking of a possible hit. The difference in an invert.

For your attack power however, this remains just lineair.

I think it is better understandable if I simply give the factors for how common a hit would be.

1 possible hit on a shield:
6/6 (no shield)
6/5
6/4
6/3 (shield = 3 = highest allowed)
6/2
6/1 (shield = 5)

Thus 1 health is actually worth: 1 - 1,2 - 1,5 - 2 - (3) - (6)

1 possible hit with a weapon:
1/6
2/6
3/6
4/6
5/6
6/6

Thus 1 damage is actually worth: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6

If the attack (chance) drops when a ship looses health, this is a good thing.
When the chance is 50% for the highest shields (=3) then the rule in question is rather obsolete. Since the strongest shield would simply double the durability of a ship.
The chance in >missing< such a ship is
50% with 1 die
25% with 2 dice
12,5% with 3 dice
6,25% with 4 dice
It halves with every extra ship.
I don't know on how many ships or weapons you are planning to let the player have.

PS, what is the maximum health that you allow on your ship?
What is the maximum number of ships?
And what is the maximum number of "rockets"/"lasers" possible on your ship?

PS2, this mechanic is also used in my wargame under the names, accuracy and durability/agility.

Garwyx
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Why not have ships fight 1 vs

Why not have ships fight 1 vs 1? Say player 1 attacks with 5 ships and player 2 defends with 1 ship. Then the first ship of player 1 attacks the one ship of player 2 and if the prior wins that settles it. But if player 2 wins the battle continues to ship 2 of the first player. In principle the second player has a chance of winning but it's not very big.
I don't know how many ships players can get, but if players end up with 20 ships each this will be a lot of dice rolling...

Another suggestion is changing the die type based on fleet size. So for instance a fleet of 1-5 ships uses D4, 6-10 ships use D6, etc. Then a single roll determines which player wins but larger fleets have an advantage.

Canyoncl
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X3M wrote:Well, 4 or 5 shield

X3M wrote:
Well, 4 or 5 shield is not possible if the maximum that you allow is 3 according to your last post. 6 is understandable just as much as 7 or higher. Because they can't be rolled at all.

The highest shield level allowed depends on your ship, no ship can have 6 shield though (So the highest possible is 5, although I am not sure if any ships will have this high a shield value)

X3M wrote:

If the mechanics are:
-rolling the shield or less for blocking a possible hit.
And.
-rolling the weapon or less for placing a possible hit.

Important to know is that the worth of a shield (or in other words the average durability of 1 health) is depending on the possible hits. Not the blocking of a possible hit. The difference in an invert.

For your attack power however, this remains just lineair.

I think it is better understandable if I simply give the factors for how common a hit would be.

1 possible hit on a shield:
6/6 (no shield)
6/5
6/4
6/3 (shield = 3 = highest allowed)
6/2
6/1 (shield = 5)

Thus 1 health is actually worth: 1 - 1,2 - 1,5 - 2 - (3) - (6)


I still don't understand this very well. Sorry.
X3M wrote:

1 possible hit with a weapon:
1/6
2/6
3/6
4/6
5/6
6/6

Thus 1 damage is actually worth: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6

If the attack (chance) drops when a ship looses health, this is a good thing.
When the chance is 50% for the highest shields (=3) then the rule in question is rather obsolete. Since the strongest shield would simply double the durability of a ship.
The chance in >missing< such a ship is
50% with 1 die
25% with 2 dice
12,5% with 3 dice
6,25% with 4 dice
It halves with every extra ship.
I don't know on how many ships or weapons you are planning to let the player have.

The player can have as many ships as they can buy (Via resources) preferably not much, I have NPC races that will hopefully keep the players reserves low and the fact that spending all your resources on fighters and warships is not the only strategy that can win with (Although it is a viable strategy albeit not the best one).
X3M wrote:

PS, what is the maximum health that you allow on your ship?
What is the maximum number of ships?
And what is the maximum number of "rockets"/"lasers" possible on your ship?

1: Most ships have 1 health. warships have 3, one of the player races abilities give all their ships +1 health. The very high (cost) stations and super warships can have up to 10.

2:Already answered this.

3: most ships roll 1 die (warships/ stations/ planet buster rolls one die per health), and I am thinking of having a weapons tech tree (buy lasers VS plasma or something, to give either extra dice or burn through health or something but not sure.)

X3M wrote:

PS2, this mechanic is also used in my wargame under the names, accuracy and durability/agility.

Thats cool!

X3M
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As many ships as you want.

As many ships as you want. That is good.
And I like the sound of this particular game.

Knowing how your shield, health and damage works.
Is important to know how strong your ship actually is.
This only for balance reasons though.

Quote:

It saves some play testing. Not all, but most of the combat.

As one last example, I am going to fight 2 ships in 2 different little skirmishes.
On each, I start with possible 6 hits (lasers), maximum accuracy. Thus only the shields are a factor now.

Ship A has 5 shield and only 3 health.
Ship B has 3 shield but 5 health.

On ship A, only 1 laser goes through. But since the ship has 3 health, this has to happen 3 times. The durability is 3.
On ship B, 3 lasers get through. But with 5 health, it will only take 2 rounds. The durability is 2.

Thus while health and shield together is 8, the durability is different. Ship A is 50% more durable in this case.

Since the number of hits are decided by randomness, you need to take the average durability.
Ship A has a durability of 6/health. (6/(6-5))
Ship B has a durability of 2/health. (6/(6-3))
Ship A is 3 times stronger for each health.

The true worth when facing 1 laser are:
Ship A; 18
Ship B; 10
The 6 lasers are worth only 6 in this example, if the health/damage ratio equals 1.

I understand if you still don't understand. In that case how about you simply design your ships and give me the statistics. Since that particular combat mechanic looks a lot like some of my mechanics. It is easy for me to calculate the balances. I could calculate for you how strong each ship is.
This would include weapon bonusses etc.

The factor of the shields:
Shield = 0; Cost factor = 1
Shield = 1; Cost factor = 1,2
Shield = 2; Cost factor = 1,5
Shield = 3; Cost factor = 2
Shield = 4; Cost factor = 3
Shield = 5; Cost factor = 6
Shield = 6; Cost factor = infinite

***

Another question.
How to determine which ship is targeted first?
Is it the attackers choice?
Is it the defenders choice?
With the right mechanic, you could be able to make "meat" ships and "support" ships. For this you could for example allow some ships to select a target. And other ships do not have that ability.

Canyoncl
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X3M wrote:As many ships as

X3M wrote:
As many ships as you want. That is good.
And I like the sound of this particular game.

Knowing how your shield, health and damage works.
Is important to know how strong your ship actually is.
This only for balance reasons though.

Quote:

It saves some play testing. Not all, but most of the combat.

As one last example, I am going to fight 2 ships in 2 different little skirmishes.
On each, I start with possible 6 hits (lasers), maximum accuracy. Thus only the shields are a factor now.

Ship A has 5 shield and only 3 health.
Ship B has 3 shield but 5 health.

On ship A, only 1 laser goes through. But since the ship has 3 health, this has to happen 3 times. The durability is 3.
On ship B, 3 lasers get through. But with 5 health, it will only take 2 rounds. The durability is 2.

Thus while health and shield together is 8, the durability is different. Ship A is 50% more durable in this case.

Since the number of hits are decided by randomness, you need to take the average durability.
Ship A has a durability of 6/health. (6/(6-5))
Ship B has a durability of 2/health. (6/(6-3))
Ship A is 3 times stronger for each health.

The true worth when facing 1 laser are:
Ship A; 18
Ship B; 10
The 6 lasers are worth only 6 in this example, if the health/damage ratio equals 1.

I understand if you still don't understand. In that case how about you simply design your ships and give me the statistics. Since that particular combat mechanic looks a lot like some of my mechanics. It is easy for me to calculate the balances. I could calculate for you how strong each ship is.
This would include weapon bonusses etc.

The factor of the shields:
Shield = 0; Cost factor = 1
Shield = 1; Cost factor = 1,2
Shield = 2; Cost factor = 1,5
Shield = 3; Cost factor = 2
Shield = 4; Cost factor = 3
Shield = 5; Cost factor = 6
Shield = 6; Cost factor = infinite

***


X3M wrote:

Another question.
How to determine which ship is targeted first?

Attackers choice on which ship is targeted first, But in my game its more of groups of ships. (fighters, workers, explorers, warships, etc)
X3M wrote:

Is it the attackers choice?
Is it the defenders choice?
With the right mechanic, you could be able to make "meat" ships and "support" ships. For this you could for example allow some ships to select a target. And other ships do not have that ability.

Interesting Idea

Because you pretty much asked here is the current game document with all the ship stats and leveling costs: Also when you see this: (X/X) the first x is the cost in metal (a resource) The second is the cost in plasma (a resource) If you see: (X/X/X) the first two x's are the same but the third one means it needs to be on a planet with the right infrastructural points to allow it to be built.

https://docs.google.com/a/alpinesd.org/document/d/1KBEcv_6_yTFU87Qnc5BO1...

larienna
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I did not read the whole

I did not read the whole thread, but I worked a lot on ship fighting, and I wanted to avoid the fighter padding that soak hits syndrome that was in Twilight imperium. Here are a few random ideas that passes to my mind.

- Smaller ship could have an higher initiative and attack in priority to larget ships.

- You could could target ships before rolling. To avoid tiny ship to destroy large one, I used the system where larger ship roll more dice. But you need X hit to destroy a ship. So if you need 3 hit to destroy a ship, but your ship only rolls 2 dice, it cannot possibly destroy it.

- In an axis and allies system where defender choses casualties, you could make a split between capital ships and other ships. If there are more capital ships than other ships, a capital ship must be chosen as the target by the defender.

- In my ww2 pacific game, there are various type of weaponry for each ship type: Cannon, Torpedoes, bomb, etc. Each weapon attack in a specific priority order. Some weapons like cannons allow the attacker to chose target while other weapons like torpedoes allow the defender to assign hits.

- If you need different unique ship design, one solution I used is sum up the strength of all ships and each slice of 5 points makes you roll a die which can score a hit.

Canyoncl
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larienna wrote:I did not read

larienna wrote:
I did not read the whole thread, but I worked a lot on ship fighting, and I wanted to avoid the fighter padding that soak hits syndrome that was in Twilight imperium. Here are a few random ideas that passes to my mind.

- Smaller ship could have an higher initiative and attack in priority to larget ships.


I like this idea, I will have to do tests to see if this will work and be intuitive.
larienna wrote:

- You could could target ships before rolling. To avoid tiny ship to destroy large one, I used the system where larger ship roll more dice. But you need X hit to destroy a ship. So if you need 3 hit to destroy a ship, but your ship only rolls 2 dice, it cannot possibly destroy it.

Larger ships have more health but less defense so it is not hard to take out say a warship if you have a high weapons value, but taking out anything heavier than a warship is very difficult with basic fighters.
larienna wrote:

- In an axis and allies system where defender chooses casualties, you could make a split between capital ships and other ships. If there are more capital ships than other ships, a capital ship must be chosen as the target by the defender.

I like this, Give the defender choice but restrict the choice a little bit.
larienna wrote:

- In my ww2 pacific game, there are various type of weaponry for each ship type: Cannon, Torpedoes, bomb, etc. Each weapon attack in a specific priority order. Some weapons like cannons allow the attacker to chose target while other weapons like torpedoes allow the defender to assign hits.

Right now there are no differentiating weapons but I am thinking of adding 2 or 3 weapon and shield types (Laser weapons, ballistic weapons, plasma weapons, electromagnetic shields, armored shields (IE more health), and others.)
larienna wrote:

- If you need different unique ship design, one solution I used is sum up the strength of all ships and each slice of 5 points makes you roll a die which can score a hit.

The way I am doing it is what someone mentioned above each ship gets to roll a die.

X3M
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You might want to try using

You might want to try using agility AND shield.
Whereas some weapons can ignore agility and some ignore shield.

Examples:
Rapid fire is a normal weapon (both agility and shield provide a die roll for blocking a hit)
Laser ignores agility (no agility die roll)
Cannon ignores shield (no shield die roll)
Rail gun ignores agility and shield (no roll at all)

Of course;
Rapid fire, plenty of rolls
Laser, depends on strength
Cannon, mostly just 1 or 2 rolls
Rail gun, the strongest laser there is.

Canyoncl
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Final version (As of this point)

So here is my final battle system pretty much.

Battle round:
-Declare invasion, Pay plasma resource to move fighters

-Defender MAY use sensors technology to gain initiative, If successful then defender is the "attacker"

--If defender is successful attacker may use cloaking to try to regain initiative.

-Defender MAY immediately retreat but must pay plasma cost to retreat

-Defender MAY use cloaking technology to cause the battle round to not count (The invaders and defenders don't attack each other, The battle round is skipped)

-The player with initiative is the "attacker"

-(attacker) declares targeted ship group (Fighters, Warships, Workers, ETC)

-Collect/roll dice (attacker) (1 die per fighter, 1 die per health on warship, 1 die per carrier, 1 die per any remaining attacking ship)

--Count results (equal to or less than weapon value, Different for every ship and weapon technology)

-Defender rolls dice (one die per hit)

--Count results (equal to or less than shield value, Different for every ship and shield technology)

-Compare results, 1 shield hit cancels one weapon hit.

--Take hits, Starts with "targeted" ship group, Who take 1 damage per un-cancelled hit, Any leftover damage goes to a group of the defenders choice.

---The Defender becomes the Attacker and gets one free battle round

-After the defenders battle round then:

--The attacker or the defender may pay for an additional battle round (This gives the other group an additional battle round for free) Costs 1 metal per ship.

-Either side may retreat (Pay 1 plasma per ship that is retreating)

-If no side decides to retreat/pay for an extra battle round AND no ships were destroyed one ship on each side is destroyed. Battle will be continued next turn.

What do you guys (and girls) think? I am really thankful for the discussion and help. You people are amazing!

X3M
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Sorry for the late

Sorry for the late reaction.

The sequence looks logical. But have you tested it?

The fact that battle continieus on unless you retreat is a good choice.

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