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Quick and painless card based Battle Mechanic

4 replies [Last post]
Dr. Metropolis
Joined: 09/08/2008

Ideally, I'd like to design a system where individual units can be customized with special ability cards and/or upgraded cards.

That is, perhaps I could train a certain unit and now they have a stronger attack. Also different unit types (say, infantry archery, and cavalry) should have different behaviors. But if possible, I'd like to avoid creating a totally different deck for each unit type. This is because, in the final version of the game, I want each player to play as a different kingdom with differing skills and weaknesses. Each of these kingdom will have their own decks and I don't want do deal with a bunch of sub-decks for each deck.

The game takes place on a large board and units engage in combat when they get into range with one another.

Combat isn't the primary focus of the game, so I'd like the combat to be resolved quickly. I don't want to use dice if possible. I'd like to employ strategy and positioning of units to determine the outcome. (That is, if one army can flank another, or split another army's lines they'd have the upper hand). The uncertainty would come from not knowing the cards in your opponents' hands.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
It's not easy to make a

It's not easy to make a battle system especially when you want to have a lot of variety or special abilities. You need to have a combat system that has enough elements in it to makes sure it can be modified by the special abilities.

I am also trying to find a combat system for one of my game where each race has different units you can produce and where you can summon various creatures with special abilities.

To make the combat interesting, it need to be more than just get a +1 on your combat roll because you creature breath fire. So I am still brain storming on it.

jasongreeno's picture
Joined: 07/31/2008
re: painless combat mechanic

This is definitely a sleep deprived answer...but here it is:

I'm thinking of non-number conditions that fluctuate based on your card play.

What if the card you play to attack also has a negative effect such as revealing your location (making it easier to target your unit?). There would be three levels of cover: HIDDEN, SPOTTED, and EXPOSED. HIDDEN units are safe from most attacks. SPOTTED units are vulnerable to things like sniper fire and EXPOSED units are easily eliminated (but also are causing the most damage).

Attacking would normally make your units SPOTTED (if they were HIDDEN) or EXPOSED (if they were SPOTTED).

Card: Hail of Bullets
Attack: Remove up to three EXPOSED units.
Effect: The unit using this card is considered EXPOSED.

Card: Heavy Terrain
Effect: Target Unit is considered HIDDEN.

Card: Flanked
Attack: If you control two or more territories that are adjacent to an opponent's territory you may remove one of his units in that territory.

Card: Cut Off Supplies
Effect: Target opponent may only play 1 card until the end of the turn.

GrimFinger's picture
Joined: 08/06/2008
Dr. Metropolis wrote:Ideally,

Dr. Metropolis wrote:
Ideally, I'd like to design a system where individual units can be customized with special ability cards and/or upgraded cards.

Well, I don't know exactly what you are after, nor what you prefer, but you could incorporate color schemes to help distinguish between unit types, with upgrades or special abilities linked via color schemes.

Here is an example of a possible unit type card:

And here's an example of a way to associate particular special abilities to color schemes:

GrimFinger's picture
Joined: 08/06/2008
One thing that I just now

One thing that I just now thought of would be to use a paper clip to attach an upgrade/special ability to a base unit card.

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