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Programmed Enemy Action List

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RyanRay
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Joined: 03/27/2014

Hi All,

I'm working on a co-op game where players battle foes represented on cards. The mechanic I'm trying to implement is a bit of "programming" on the cards themselves that determines the foe's action as opposed to just the one usual action, or a die-based action.

Player's go through the actions from top to bottom until they reach an action with the appropriate conditions to activate.

EXAMPLES
-----------------------

NIGHT SPORE
-Kamikaze: If Night Spore has 3 or less HP, Night Spore attacks with 3d6 Poison and immediately dies.
-Gas Cloud: If Hero does not have the Nightvision ability, Night Spore attacks with 1d6+2 Poison.
-Tackle: 1d6 Melee.

LODE SHARK
-Ravage: If Hero does not have the Swim or Fly ability, Lode Shark attacks with 2d6 Melee.
-Swift Motion: If Hero has the Swim ability, Lode Shark attacks with 1d4 Melee.
-Dying Blow: If Lode Shark is defeated by a Melee attack, take 1d4-2 Melee damage.

RED HAWK
-Sky Strike: If Red Hawk's speed is higher than the Hero's speed, Red Hawk attacks with 2d4 Melee.
-Napalm: Attack with 1d4+1 Fire.

SCYTHE
-Night Slash: Always attacks first regardless of speed. Use this attack only on Scythe's first turn. 2d4+2 Melee & Shadow.
-Maul: 1d6 Shadow, +1 if Hero does not have Nightvision.
--------------------------------

I got the idea from researching how video game foes determine which action they use. Does anyone know of similar "pre-programmed" enemy actions in existing board games?

McTeddy
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I know I've heard of

I know I've heard of something similar before but I'm not sure where.

I think it may have been the D&D adventure games. It was a simplified version.
- If there is an adjacent hero, stab for 1d6.
- If there is a hero with three steps, charge for 2d6.
- Otherwise, move 3 steps towards the closest hero.

I keep thinking Gears of war had a simple version of it too. But I don't remember for sure.

larienna
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Quote:I think it may have

Quote:
I think it may have been the D&D adventure games. It was a simplified version.

Same for me, check the D&D baord games, they seem to have made an awesome system.

Basically, either you use conditions, or randomness or a combination of both.

RyanRay
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Is there a specific title or

Is there a specific title or BGG link you can suggest to me? I've never played any of the D&D board games.

Zag24
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Joined: 03/02/2014
It seems clear to me

This seems like a good approach to giving the monsters a bit more personality and even intelligent behavior. I could see:

If goblin is alone and has an escape route, it runs away and meets up with d3-1 identical goblins in the next room.
If goblin is alone and has no escape route, it begs for mercy. Hero can auto-kill but loses one karma point. (or whatever)
If multiple goblins in the room, they will attack the nearest hero for 1d6 each.

McTeddy
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While I don't have links to

While I don't have links to the games or instructions there are a few playthroughs on youtube.

"BlackBeltGaming" because he's done multiple runs of Gears of War and a few of the D&D Adventure Games.

"WatchItPlayed" did a single playthrough of one D&D game... Wraith of Ashardalon I think.

RyanRay
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Zag24 wrote:This seems like a

Zag24 wrote:
This seems like a good approach to giving the monsters a bit more personality and even intelligent behavior. I could see:

If goblin is alone and has an escape route, it runs away and meets up with d3-1 identical goblins in the next room.
If goblin is alone and has no escape route, it begs for mercy. Hero can auto-kill but loses one karma point. (or whatever)
If multiple goblins in the room, they will attack the nearest hero for 1d6 each.

It wouldn't be quite that complex, although there are plans for monsters to potentially flee battles.

Long story short, I'm making a light 2-player co-op dungeon crawl where the dungeon is laid out via face-down Monster/Obstacle cards on top of Loot cards, which forms the shape of the dungeon. There are 8 different Heroes to choose from, each of which will make the adventure a little different depending on the cards you encounter.

I just wanted to give the enemy cards more of a fighting chance, which would then ideally entice more strategy from the players.

pelle
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Fields of Fire has an enemy

Fields of Fire has an enemy action table sort of like that, but also with some randomness thrown in to make the enemies a bit less predictable.

I think in the final game you need to make the text a lot shorter because there are just too many words to get through to find the important parts. The extra chrome from the non-functional words might be fun the first two times, but after that (until you memorize all the tables) they will just be distracting. Try to distill each enemy type actions into a tiny table. Or maybe just highlight the important words in each description.

RyanRay
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Yes, there will DEFINITELY be

Yes, there will DEFINITELY be some symbology to help with the text mass. I spelled stuff out pretty distinctly here for ease of initial clarification.

I checked out Fields of Fire's BGG page but I don't see any programmed actions on cards or boards. Is it perhaps just in the rulebook?

devaloki
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RyanRay,I'm actually doing

RyanRay,
I'm actually doing the same thing with my game too...
You may want to look into Castle Ravenloft and Wrath of Ashardalon with how they handle it.
I also thought for my game to have it so that combat rounds are divided into A and B ones, and the enemies do different things on each round corresponding to which one it is. For more advanced enemies, they could have a random table you roll you roll on with a d6 to see what they do.
And bosses could have round A, B, and C as well so they have more strong of an AI.

With regard to the table, you could have it so it's something like:
d6 roll for a Hollow soldier:
1: they do nothing
2-4: weak attack
5-6: strong attack

You could even have it so that a player could have a stat, attribute, action, or ability that allows them to roll 2d6 and choose one of the results for the enemy to do .

devaloki
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Also, if you want to keep it

Also, if you want to keep it real simple you could just do things like how they handled in enemies in old choose your adventure gamebooks

X3M
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Keeping things simple will

Keeping things simple will make your game too predictable. Players will use this predictability to their advantage.

Best would be to know several solutions to the problem that a player could make.

Then let a dice decide what solution is used by the AI.
But every option should be a valid solution!

RyanRay
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I haven't thought about

I haven't thought about die-based actions much, but perhaps it would allow for more enemy possibilities?

Here's an AI script similar to what I'm looking to produce-
http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Helletic_Hojo

To give some more context, the 2 players would have different abilities and strengths which would give incentive to avoid or pursue certain enemies depending on your hero. I'm trying to make it so that every enemy is statistically beatable by any hero, but certain match-ups would be practically suicide.

There are a LOT of rules and info missing here. Perhaps I'll post the current rulebook some time if anyone's interested. I've tested it with myself a few times and it's been going pretty well.

devaloki
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RyanRay wrote:I haven't

RyanRay wrote:
I haven't thought about die-based actions much, but perhaps it would allow for more enemy possibilities?

Here's an AI script similar to what I'm looking to produce-
http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Helletic_Hojo

To give some more context, the 2 players would have different abilities and strengths which would give incentive to avoid or pursue certain enemies depending on your hero. I'm trying to make it so that every enemy is statistically beatable by any hero, but certain match-ups would be practically suicide.

There are a LOT of rules and info missing here. Perhaps I'll post the current rulebook some time if anyone's interested. I've tested it with myself a few times and it's been going pretty well.

Read the rules for the game "Serpent's Tongue" , the solo rules in that game have enemies that have complex AI in it. It may be too complex for your game or you may like it. You can certainly take inspiration from it either way. It uses a system where the enemy acts differently depending on the state the players are in etc and also uses a bag that you draw colored counters from that determines what they do. So you can predict what they might do depending on what the bag currently consists of with the remaining counters

RyanRay
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devaloki wrote:Read the rules

devaloki wrote:
Read the rules for the game "Serpent's Tongue" , the solo rules in that game have enemies that have complex AI in it. It may be too complex for your game or you may like it.

Yes! This is the closest thing I've seen yet to what I'm designing. As you said, this is definitely more complex than what I'm looking for, but is a good place for inspiration.

How long does a battle take in this game? It looks like a single card might take 3-4 minutes alone to battle.

devaloki
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When I had the game it took

When I had the game it took about 15 minutes to half an hour. But keep in mind that a battle against a single enemy in the game represents an entire "encounter" (game) within the system.
Glad I could help!

RyanRay
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Ah, that makes more sense. My

Ah, that makes more sense. My design has at least 20-30 encounters per game right now so I've gotta keep each one to about a minute or less, ideally.

devaloki
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Let me know of any ideas you

Let me know of any ideas you come up with, I'm doing something similar too (you can see what the game's about in my other posts). In short, you adventure around a board and encounter enemies and fight them as in turn based console rpgs.
I think have the enemy have an AI table based upon d6 roll is good and perhaps different round actions/ai would be good as well. Having a bag draw for more advanced AI like in Serpent's Tongue would be something neat to implement as well.

pelle
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RyanRay wrote:Yes, there will

RyanRay wrote:
Yes, there will DEFINITELY be some symbology to help with the text mass. I spelled stuff out pretty distinctly here for ease of initial clarification.

I checked out Fields of Fire's BGG page but I don't see any programmed actions on cards or boards. Is it perhaps just in the rulebook?

No, it is on some sheet(s) of tables that comes with the games, but it looks like those are not included in all the material available for download on the game home page (http://www.gmtgames.com/p-322-fields-of-fire-2nd-edition.aspx). The rulebook is there, explaining how the enemy action system works though if you are interested.

pelle
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devaloki wrote:Also, if you

devaloki wrote:
Also, if you want to keep it real simple you could just do things like how they handled in enemies in old choose your adventure gamebooks

How was that? I don't know about the CYOA series in particular, but for gamebooks in general you were just given the stats of an enemy and rolled dice until the battle was over.

Two exceptions:
- In the Way of The Tiger and Virtual Reality series the battles were played out as part of the sections of the book, so you were given options what type of attack to do, then you go to a new section and learn how well that worked, then pick a new action etc. I'm sure a few other books did that as well, but it isn't very applicable to boardgames I think.

- Blood Sword (about to be reprinted) had the small tactical maps that you played mini-boardgames on to resolve battles. Those books actually did have a simple enemy action system, but (iirc) very predictable enemies that would always just follow some simple rule like move towards closest player character and attack or something like that.

Ambush! deserves a mention in this thread (because I mention it in almost every thread anyway :) ). In Ambush! at the start of each rould you roll a d10 to get the Enemy Action Number (or whatever it was called) and then you (normally) use that number to look up on each enemy card what action they will take. There are photos on bgg showing examples of what the cards look like (eg http://boardgamegeek.com/image/112249/ambush?size=large). As is seen the cards actually have a small table and it is not only the action number ("DIE" column on the cards) that is used to decide what that enemy will do, you also pick a column based on what condition (from 1 to 6) the game is currently in (or one of the letters used if that enemy has been put in a special reacion). The result of that small table is just a three-digit number, because you have a paragraph booklet (like a gamebook/CYOA) that you then use to actually learn what the enemy does. Some instructions can be quite complex, redirect you to other paragraphs, have you roll more dice etc, so it can take a lot of time, but it is a very powerful system.

devaloki
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Well, you are right that most

Well, you are right that most gamebooks simply consist of swinging back and forth at the enemy , rather than enemies have AI per se.
I only suggested them just in case OP decides to forego using an advanced AI system but still wants a battle type of system.
There's a new series of gamebooks out that had quite a fun battle system in them, DestinyQuest it's called, I'd recommend checking it out sometime

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