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New Dice Based Combat Mechanics?

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Hiko
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I'm working on a strategy game and I was wondering what other types of dice based combat systems there are besides the head to head "RISK" mechanic or the casualty system like in "Axis and Allies".

If anyone can suggest another direction to go or a variant an either of these two systems, please respond and help a brother out.

Thanks!

questccg
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Heroscape uses dice also

In another thread someone pointed me in the direction of Heroscape (3D game)... It uses CUSTOM d6s for battles and special attacks...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpyJSKtPmnE

You can skip to 4:50 in the video, where he explains battle some more... This may give you other ideas.

Best of luck with your game.

X3M
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If you still want to keep it

If you still want to keep it simple like Risk or AnA.
Yet you want different units?

What is the amount of dice that you want to use?
Here is a rough idea, but it takes a lot of dice if you have a lot of units.

I suggest having 2 types of units:
Small and Large
Then simply have them use weapons that are good against Small or Large. Some sort of bonus on a dice roll.
Each unit has only 1 dice to roll.

This bonus can be +1, +2 or whatever you think is best.
A bonus of 0 means a normal dice roll.
A bonus of +1 means a normal dice roll, then add 1 to the value.
The highest value wins. When it is a tie, it is up to you if they both die or both live.

An example would be:
Small units with a bonus of +1 to Large: Unit A
And Small units with a bonus of +2 to Small: Unit B

The A could roll 1,2,3,4,5,6 against Small or 2,3,4,5,6,7 against Large.
The B could roll 3,4,5,6,7,8 against Small or 1,2,3,4,5,6 against Large.

Well, they are both small, so it is 1,2,3,4,5,6 compared to 3,4,5,6,7,8.

Of course there could occur impossible situations if one unit has +6 or higher as a bonus.

Same idea, but then...
You could make a system that only uses dice rolls on the attacker. Then you add them up and you have to over come a certain health. If you have 6 units, while the enemy has 6 health each, you are certain that you can destroy one enemy. Which is more natural.

Both ways can be expanded just as much as you want. I vow for the second because it keeps the game going and is less complicated. Tell me what you think.

Kroz1776
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Some different systems

Dungeon run has a unique dice rolling system where each enemy has a certain number you must roll on a die to hit them. Thus you must roll above a 4 to hit certain enemies. The enemies have a certain number they have to roll to hit you. This is different though because some enemies may only hit on a 1, and others may hit you when they roll a 1, 3, and 6. To block hits, you must match a die that is either the same number or higher. So if an enemy can only hit on ones and rolls 6 dice. Sure he has a huge attack, but his hits will be blocked by any dice you have. This allows for some pretty cool customizing of attack powers.

Another system is super dungeon explorer where there are different colored dice with different power levels. So an item might give someone two blue dice for attack, or it might give one green die. Getting the single green die would be better than the two blue dice. This is another way that helps customize power levels. This system works by adding all the dice. So in risk if the attacker rolls a six and two fours and the defender rolls a six and a four, the attacker loses two armies, in super dungeon explorer, you'd add the pips together, so the attacker would actually win because he has 4 more total.

saiyanslayer
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Dungeon Fun!

Kroz1776 wrote:
Dungeon run has a unique dice rolling system where each enemy has a certain number you must roll on a die to hit them. Thus you must roll above a 4 to hit certain enemies. The enemies have a certain number they have to roll to hit you. This is different though because some enemies may only hit on a 1, and others may hit you when they roll a 1, 3, and 6. To block hits, you must match a die that is either the same number or higher. So if an enemy can only hit on ones and rolls 6 dice. Sure he has a huge attack, but his hits will be blocked by any dice you have. This allows for some pretty cool customizing of attack powers.

That's pretty interesting. You could add or alter this rules a bit, like adding coloured dice that deal more damage when they are successful (red dice deal 2 damage/hits)

Kroz1776
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:D

Yeah, it's a pretty awesome system in that it is still simple, yet allows for a much greater deal of micro-balancing. I mean in an rpg setting you can make it so that everyone hits on a 1 for base. Then the warrior equips a sword which allows him to hit on a 2 and a three as well. Then you add a shield which allows a 3 to block two hits instead of one. Then you have someone with a bow that now only hits on a 3, 4, and 5.

saiyanslayer
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D:

And while using 1 as a number you wanna roll, you could use d8s or d10s for monsters that have a harder time to hit, or d4s for accurate monsters. First time I've seen a system where smaller dice is a better option.

Kroz1776
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Not really

saiyanslayer wrote:
And while using 1 as a number you wanna roll, you could use d8s or d10s for monsters that have a harder time to hit, or d4s for accurate monsters. First time I've seen a system where smaller dice is a better option.

This really is only true if you use different sized dice. Needing a one to hit is actually worse if you only used d6 dice becuase it is easier to block because you can block a hit on a one with any die roll. Basically it's impossible to hit anyone if they roll more dice than you. If you do use d10s and d4s, ones are still bad results, it does mean you'll hit more often, but you'll still have a tough time getting those hits translated into wounds.

Hiko
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Sliding d6

I really like the comments you guys, thanks a bunch. While reading them I thought of a system of a "sliding six scale". I want to use a six sided die for ease of play and to keep production costs down.

Let me tell you about the game. It's a strategy game set in ancient Greece. So we are talking Hoplites and Phalanx. Attacking a Phalanx in the side or the rear was the most dangerous. Right now, I have the game played on a hex grid, and the pieces have a direction indicator to show which way the units are facing.

With this in mind, I was thinking about making each roll of the six sided die do something different. For example, these could be the base rolls if attacking from the front:

1 - Defender attacks back (roll of 1-2, attacker takes hit/casualty)
2 - Defender attacks back (roll of 1, attacker takes hit/casualty)
3 - No effect
4 - No effect
5 - Defender takes a Hit/casualty
6+ - Defender takes a Hit/casualty

These rolls can be augmented. If attacking from the side you can add 1 to the base rolls; and if attacking from the rear you could add 2 to the base rolls.

So by "out flanking" your enemy, the chances of them taking casualties goes up dramatically, and the chances of you taking a casualty goes down dramatically as well.

What do you guys think about that? If you have any critiques or see any potential problems please let me know.

Thanks

dabuel
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Memoir 44 has a quick and

Memoir 44 has a quick and nice combat system:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40TWQHhpCDs

Kroz1776
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Only one problem

There is only one problem, and this is the fact that there is no incentive to attack from the front. None, because it's a 50/50 chance of getting hit vs getting a hit in. In the end the Phalanx wasn't a very flexible formation and I don't know if I've ever heard of a story about a phalanx really outflanking anyone.

Putting that aside, this still makes it so that no one really wants to engage in frontal combat.

Hiko
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Revisions?

So I did some math on the system as it stands right now. There is a 1/12 chance that the attacker will take a casualty, 1/3 chance the defender will take a casualty, and a 7/12 chance that neither side will take a casualty when attacking from the front.

Do you think that this system could be amended so that it will be functional? If so, What do you think reasonable odds would be?

(You probably haven't heard of too many flanking actions in warfare between the Greek states because they knew the weakness of their system better than anyone, so they would deploy on ground that would cover their flanks. At Marathon the Greeks effectively outflanked the Persian army.)

Outflanking would be difficult to achieve, but it would be the holy grail of attacks.

Kroz1776
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How's it work again?

Hiko wrote:
So I did some math on the system as it stands right now. There is a 1/12 chance that the attacker will take a casualty, 1/3 chance the defender will take a casualty, and a 7/12 chance that neither side will take a casualty when attacking from the front.

I think you may need to re-explain your combat system because what I'm seeing is an even 1/3 chance for each result per die.

Hiko wrote:
(You probably haven't heard of too many flanking actions in warfare between the Greek states because they knew the weakness of their system better than anyone, so they would deploy on ground that would cover their flanks. At Marathon the Greeks effectively outflanked the Persian army.)

Outflanking would be difficult to achieve, but it would be the holy grail of attacks.

Exactly my point. And the flanking in Marathon happened after their flanks collapsed allowing the greeks to attack the center battle line's flanks. The battle was still very much a head on head fight. But yes a flanking attack would be the holy grail of attacks!

Hiko
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Hiko wrote: 1 - Defender

Hiko wrote:

1 - Defender attacks back (roll of 1-2, attacker takes hit/casualty)
2 - Defender attacks back (roll of 1, attacker takes hit/casualty)
3 - No effect
4 - No effect
5 - Defender takes a Hit/casualty
6+ - Defender takes a Hit/casualty

so on a 1 and 2, they are not guaranteed hits; these rolls then prompt the defender to make a "counter attack roll" which hits on a 1-2 or a 1 respectively. If no hit is achieved then there are no effects/casualties on either side.

So if my math is correct, then the odds are good that the attacker will hit, but it is more likely that there will be no effect, and there is still the possibility that the defender will cause a casualty.

outcome odds:
1/12=Attacker takes a casualty
7/12=No effect
4/12=Defender takes a casualty

[You would attack in a "RISK" like manner, one type of unit, but you would take casualties like in A&A.]

Do you think there could be better odds in a frontal attack (one that neither encourages nor discourages a frontal attack)?
If so, what would you recommend would be a good spread of odds for the tree potential outcomes?

Kroz1776
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I Can See Clearly Now the Rain is Gone

Ah! I see now. I didn't know what the gobbly gook in the paranthesis meant. Alright, sounds good actually...carry on!

Hiko
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Got it.

Thanks everyone so much for your input, especially you Kroz1776. PEACE!

questccg
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Better odds

Hiko wrote:
...outcome odds:
1/12=Attacker takes a casualty
7/12=No effect
4/12=Defender takes a casualty...

I'm not going to question the odds calculation - BUT I will question the resulting odds.

7 out of 12 attack have NO EFFECT? Are you crazy??? Player's will get frustrated that nothing ever happens in combat... I'm CERTAIN you will find this out by playtesting... But I am telling you upfront, those odds are NOT GOOD.

Your table should look something like this:

  • 3/12 = Attacker takes a casualty
  • 2/12 = Defender takes DOUBLE casualty
  • 1/12 = Defender is KILLED (Very unlikely - but can happen sometimes)
  • 4/12 = Defender takes a casualty
  • 2/12 = No effect

To recap: 3 out of 12 cause the Attacker to be damaged, 7 out of 12 cause the Defender to be damaged and 2 out of 12 cause *No effect*.

This table has some *excitement* because of the AUTO Kill (that could be a 12), 1 or 2 cause *No effect* which means a weak roll has no effect (REASONABLE), 3 to 5 cause the Attacker to be damaged (Still LOW rolls < 6) and 6 to 11 cause Defender damage...

Those odds are much better! Of course you are free to modify them to your liking.

Hiko
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I agree

I agree with you 100%. More than half the rolls resulting in nothing would doubtlessly slow the game down in pace and excitement. So this has to be changed. (Those were just preliminary figures to get things rolling.)

However, this needs to be balanced with the "sliding" mechanic, where certain situations will grant you a +1 or +2 bonus to your roll. This would slide the results up in the attacker's favor. (I'm also playing with the idea of situations that would penalize the attacker with a -1 modifier.) Working too many effects in would be tricky ... very tricky.

I like the idea of the double kill though. Maybe a natural six would prompt an additional roll where 1-3 would result in an additional casualty.

Thanks for giving me more things to think about.

questccg
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Better odds and balance

Hiko wrote:
However, this needs to be balanced with the "sliding" mechanic, where certain situations will grant you a +1 or +2 bonus to your roll.

I have had similar difficulties with my own combat mechanic. I use values 1 to 5 for Resistance (Defence) and Firepower (Offence). And a special ability that give +1 or +2 to either is okay... BUT when I have an ability like +3 Firewpower, that's a very potent special ability, if you know what I mean!

So it's hard to balance things out. That is why I am also abandoning the idea of having more RACES in my game. Originally I wanted to have four (4) races and I would have the three (3) other as EXPANSIONS. But then I realized, there wasn't many variables to alter... My special abilities are already squeezing the game to the limits (if I want the game to be balanced!)

And therefore my logical conclusion was that for *expansion*, I should create NEW scenarios/missions players could play. This makes the most sense for me because there is less in terms of balancing (as compared to a whole new race). I also found that new races would not be very creative if they resembled things like Star Trek's Ferengi or Klingon races (more into trade and gold, more aggressive, etc.)

X3M
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I don't really know how your

I don't really know how your game really works at this point. Sorry for going the wrong way with this post, if so.

Are your soldiers to be bought? Or do you get a fixed amount for each mission?
And are the fights 1 on 1? Or could 2 or more join the fight?

Suggestions:
- combined strength bonuses. 2 units are a bit weaker than usual, but combined they are at normal strength and with 3 they are a bit better. Great for lurking players into the need for flanking.
- secondary defences (toughen up durability). In other words, another dice roll for determining a hit.
- more then 1 weapon.

If the situations are limited. You could make tables to see every possible outcome for each attack versus each defence. This could give you a better view of the balance.

Hiko
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So the game is set in ancient

So the game is set in ancient Greece, and its like RISK and its like A&A, in other words it's a strategy game. You start as one of four different factions. Each territory has a certain resource value to it. You use the resources to buy combat units or "sacrifice" those resources to the gods to get their favor in the form of cards from a draw pile. The territories are connected by roads on land and sea. (sea routes are faster to travel on but controlling the seas do not give you resources like land territories do) The troops move along these roads during the movement phase. If two armies from opposing factions find themselves in the same territory at the end of the movement phase then they face off in the combat phase to determine who gets control of that territory.

There are only three units: Infantry, Ships, and Marines. You need ships to travel on sea routes and engage in naval combat. Marines make your ships better at naval combat, but they take up space that could be use for infantry. Infantry are used for land combat, and they alone can capture territories.

Territories are divided into Hexes. Troops have directional markers on them, so troops are always "facing" a direction. Your odds of destroying an enemy unit are better if you attack them from the side or from the rear.

I've been devising a simple dice mechanic that is quick to play and can easily adapt to the different attack situations. After much thought and discussion here is what I have:

Max of 3 units per hex

They all must face the same direction

You roll a die for each unit you are attacking with

A roll of 6 is an automatic casualty to the defender. (they loose a unit)

If the attacker rolls a 1-5 then the defending player rolls a die. If they beat the attacker's roll by rolling a higher number, they do NOT take a casualty. If they tie, they both take a casualty. If the defender's roll beats the attacker's roll by three or more, then the attacker takes a casualty.

I've done the math and, if correct, the probability for the four different outcomes of an attack are this:

Defender takes a casualty: 44.4% chance
Attacker takes a casualty: 16.6% chance
Both sides take a casualty: 13.8% chance
Neither side takes a casualty: 25% chance

The rolls are augmented when attacking from the side by adding 1 to the attacker's roll.

When attacking from the rear, the attacker adds 2 to his roll AND nobody wins ties.

I feel like this is probably not yet perfect, but it is getting close to being simple enough to grasp and play quickly, and it is a good approximation of warfare at that time.

If anybody thinks that the "outcomes" could have a better spread of chances, please let me know.

X3M
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How do you determine who the

How do you determine who the attacker is if both armies end up in the same hex?
Or did I miss something completely obvious? (I am good in missing the point)

Kroz1776
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Isn't that veird?

X3M wrote:
How do you determine who the attacker is if both armies end up in the same hex?
Or did I miss something completely obvious? (I am good in missing the point)

It's ok. You're from Holland.

Although I must repeat this question as well. (It must be my 1/8th dutch blood inside me)

Hiko
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OK. I guess that I didn't

OK. I guess that I didn't explain that very well.

In combat you move your units from one hex to another, but you can only attack in the direction that the unit is facing. You can turn your units in their own hex to which ever angle you want, but that counts as a move for your turn. Attacking involves moving your units in the direction they are facing into an adjoining hex occupied my enemy units. Then you roll to determine who gets the hex. If there are any enemy combatants left when the rolling is over then the defender keeps the hex, and the attacker has to try again later.

Kroz1776
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No Phases

Hiko wrote:
OK. I guess that I didn't explain that very well.

In combat you move your units from one hex to another, but you can only attack in the direction that the unit is facing. You can turn your units in their own hex to which ever angle you want, but that counts as a move for your turn. Attacking involves moving your units in the direction they are facing into an adjoining hex occupied my enemy units. Then you roll to determine who gets the hex. If there are any enemy combatants left when the rolling is over then the defender keeps the hex, and the attacker has to try again later.


I think the confusion was brought on by a line where you said after the movement phase is done, then combat happens, or something like that. Because of Euro games and phases, this led us to believe that everyone moves first. THEN when everyone is done moving, you start combat.

How you explained it now cleared up that question.

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