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"Spaceless" Movement - What is the best way to do this?

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bottercot
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So I'm wondering about whether not using spaces would be the best mechanic for my close quarters combat game. After debating over the usage of hexes or squares, I'm now wondering if I could just not have spaces. This would give me a huge freedom when working movement and environment.
The main problem is with the mechanic itself.
I really do not want a game where you're constantly measuring in inches around corners and such. That takes away significantly from the gameplay. What I need is a way to do spaceless movement without the need for precise measurement.
One mechanic I have seen comes from Star Wars: Legion. Although the main movement mechanic is still quite similar to ruler measuring and all that, I found the way they handle groups of units to be interesting. Instead of measuring movement for every figure, you only move the Commander. The rest are just placed in any formation within a certain radius, after movement. Is there a way to use this as the main mechanic for movement?
Are there other, cleaner methods of doing movement without spaces? All feedback and suggestions are highly welcome.

Juzek
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It may not be what you are

It may not be what you are going for, but I think a dexterity based movement would be hilarious in a serious game. I can just imagine characters falling off the flat earth (table) due to a poorly aimed flick.

You could even have the who-you-bump-in-to also be who-you-attack.

john smith
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Old Football games used to

Old Football games used to vibrate the table with a motor. The Miniature men were on stands that would slide around in a very messy and random fashion.

X3M
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Dots?

Can't you use dots and count the distance?
Movement and range are quantum now.
No need for squares or hexagons. Simply place dots on you map?

I personally need lines AND dots for my mechanic. But solely dots could be sufficient.

You can arange them in square or hexagon.

gxnpt
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pull string that retracts

With a limited number of characters, what about a base unit for the character figurines with a marked pull string (that will retract itself into the base) for simple distance measurement - would even make it simple to reduce max range if being bent around a corner.

Players would designate desired move but might come up short when move is implemented if the string won't reach ...........

Player states move and string is then pulled out to see if it reaches or if you stop short. Step not needed if obviously in max range.

Same principal would apply to a formation - just move the formation itself as if it was a single unit (designate a central unit) maintaining the same relative spacings unless some individuals are ordered differently (thus removing them from the formation) or some individuals are blocked by walls or other terrain and alter their formation position using a default reactive adjustment.

bottercot
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I mean, that would

I mean, that would essentially be the same as using spaces.
Although, I do admit that the use of dots could excuse right-angled walls or other problems with terrain.
My question, though, is more about the simplest and least fumbly way to do movement on a board without spaces.

bottercot
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In the case of my game, I am

In the case of my game, I am not using groups of figures as units at all. All figures are their own unit. The reason I used Legion as an example was because I was wondering whether their radius mechanic could work for a single figure as its main form of transport. The main problem I see is with close-quarters combat within buildings, where corners and thin walls may be problems.

X3M
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Ropes

If your corners are decent solid objects. Then you could use ropes to determine distances.
You could put clear distances on the ropes them selves.
Also, to go AROUND a corner, have the rope start on the side of an unit. And the unit also ends up there, with the rope on its side again.
I advice to have the rope longer than any possible movement distance. You can twirl the rope around your fingers, to make it more handy for short distances.

bottercot
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The time it takes

My main problem with so many games that use movement without spaces is the time it takes to do each movement. What I'm really looking for is the least fiddly and time-consuming way to do this. In other wargames, such as my favorite Memoir '44, it takes seconds to move a unit. You hardly have to think about it.
In wargames such as Warhammer and many others, you have to get out measuring tools and line everything up right.
In the case of using a rope, you would have to take the rope, bend it around the walls, and read the measurements on it to make sure you get it right.
In the end, I guess there isn't really an easy way to do movement without spaces. That may be the main reason for the existence of spaces in the first place; to simplify movement.
In the case of my game, maybe spaces are the best way to go, despite the trouble they cause with terrain.
I guess it's back to the drawing board for now.

X3M
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I feel yah

bottercot wrote:
My main problem with so many games that use movement without spaces is the time it takes to do each movement.

My main issue was the fairness in this regard. If it is a hassle to do, players might start feeling that things aren't going exactly as it should be.

I have noticed something in the warhammer games that I witnessed at my friends place. (They also used some of their own rules) What happened was that they mainly had infantry matches. But the places for the infantry where always cover locations. The whole map was designed this way. And it was very clear to see that a cover could only have 1, 2, 3 etc infantry pieces to hide behind. The cover locations where different in distance of each other. But the movement between the different cover locations was always a "can reach" or "cannot reach" kind of thing.

The range of the weapon rules simply followed up.

Can you do something with that? I know that there is not yet a solution to the "around the wall" problem. But the movement can be simple and fast this way. Right? Maybe work from there? No lines for hexagons or whatever, simply open, but simply no other way than move to an "open" or "cover" spot.

apeloverage
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In some games pieces/units

In some games pieces/units can move in a straight line until they hit a terrain feature.

gxnpt
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dots & hexes

just a concept thought but see http://thesingularitytrap.com/hidden/hexdots.png

Each "dot" is a board position and is the center of a hex (either red or black) which is overlapped by 4 hexes of the other color.

A single space move is to the center dot of any of the 6 adjacent or the 4 overlapping hexes (which is adjacent 6 dots of same color and 4 dots of other color).

It does create an optional half step changing dot color in the "sideways" direction.

bottercot
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@apeloverage The problem with

@apeloverage
The problem with this is that it makes the unit seem like a mindless block that just moves forward until it hits something. It doesn't really capture the maneuverability of living organisms. Thank you for the suggestion, though.
@gxnpt
This is interesting. A bit complicated to follow, though. I'm not sure if a player would be able to tell heads or tales out of a board like that. :/
@X3M
Interesting! I actually really like this kind of mechanic. The main concept is that some cover spots are so far away that trying to move to them would risk return fire from the enemy. It seems very organic and clean.
Perhaps there could be an option to try moving for a farther piece of cover, at the cost of possible return fire? It could work well as a risk/reward type mechanic.
I'm picturing a board set up kind of like Power grid, with lines going between spaces, and numbers on the lines indicating their distance. "1" distance lines could be moved into without risk. "2" distance lines would give the opponent the opportunity to fire at the moving unit.
The two players could take turns performing actions with their units. Units could choose to fire at enemy units, with the possibility to Suppress them (which would take away the target unit's action for the turn) or possibly Wound/Kill them.
Units could also choose to move. If the distance is greater than 1, the opponent could immediately use one of its units within range and/or line of sight to shoot at them. This would, of course, make it quite risky to try to move far distances.
I think I could really expand my options using this mechanic. Thanks for the suggestion!

ThinkBuildPlay
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One-Dimensional Space?

Does the game actually needs 2D space to be fun? How much would the game suffer if you just made it one-dimensional? If it is so close-quarters that combatants are frequently in hand-to-hand combat, or at least not shooting sniper rifles from hundreds of yards, then you may be introducing more complexity than you need.

If players just move fighters generically 'closer' or 'farther' from other fighters, then 1D is the way to go. You can still have interesting decision making by giving certain squares or positions some unique advantages. I sketched out my idea at the link below:

https://thinkbuildplay.com/2019/03/21/one-dimensional-movement/

The fighters only care about the distance between them. For the "in cover" squares, consider those squares at the same location as the squares above/below them, but just granting more defense in return for taking a turn to get in that cover.

In this case, just give weapons discrete ranges (2 square max range, for example). Heck, you can even have bunkers or buildings where players have a to-hit penalty anytime they are not inside the same bunker as their target. A sniper could get a to-hit and damage bonus anytime their target is greater than 3 squares away. Conversely, an assault specialist gets bonus damage when the target is adjacent.

Going this route does place a greater emphasis on mobility that you might want. If your assault specialist can close the gap faster than your opponent's sniper, then you'll have the advantage every time.

questccg
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What about something LIKE Pandemic???

My first thought was a board based like Pandemic. With lines connecting to different cities. What could be done is something like Movement Points, each line connecting two points of interest could have a Travel value.

Anyhow this is just an idea about how you can visualize another type of board.

Cheers!

Isegrim
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Did use a sort of abstracted

Did use a sort of abstracted spaceless distancrs in a duelling game. You might find something of it to use or get inspired of?!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rkb5yVEv-75Vg3E_ruvXPuL9t26agSb5saiR...

(Same as in another recent thread)

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