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Stealth movement in a miniatures combat board game?

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Splinter B
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Joined: 10/10/2013

As stated my board game is a miniatures combat game where players select teams of different character classes and battle it out. The gameplay is pretty deep, but at the same time quick and light and easy to understand.

Of course each class has their specialty. I have one character class that is, for all intents and purposes, essentially shinobi or ninja. They specialize in speed, stealth and surprise attacks. But I can't figure out a good stealth movement idea that works. General movement works like this: Each character on the team gets a speed value and can move that many spaces. Basic, easy, quick.

At first I was thinking of using something like tokens. When a "ninja" goes stealthy, the ninja-player removes the miniature and replaces with 3 black Stealth Tokens and moves each token as if it were the miniature. This adds strategy for the "ninja" player as he can use the false tokens to lure other players in to a deadly trap once a player makes an attack on a fake. Something like that. It doesn't have to be 3 tokens.

But it really doesn't make sense. Especially with my line of site rules, which are pretty grounded and mostly "realistic". Where ever your miniature faces, that's where your character faces. You have 180-degree vision and can see as far as the end of the map as long as there are no obstructions. Obviously there was no "ninja" there, so why would a character just attack at the air? But in a way, it CAN make sense if the "ninjas" stay out of the line of sight and stick to the shadows? I don't know.

There's not really any fantasy or sci-fi elements in this game. So a "ninja" can't cast an invisibility spell on himself or activate a cloaking device. So his stealth movement has to feel organic. Maybe stealth mode can only be entered once you're out of sight?

Hoping others can help me on this one. Thanks!

larienna
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Not sure if it can be applied

Not sure if it can be applied to your game, but for a ninja game of mine I was thinking that the player can see the location of his ennemy but he cannot simply move the guards where the ninja is located because certain restrictions prevent him to do so.

For example, the ninja might need to fail a roll near a guard to give a chance to the player to rotate the guard facing the right direction to hinder the ninja player. It's just a coincidence that the guard chosen the right direction.

The the global idea would be to give player restrictions, but the fact both player's know it's location is to perform some actions that could be justified as coincidence.

Not sure if it's usable in your game since both players can have ninjas, but you could get something out of the coicidence idea.

Splinter B
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Joined: 10/10/2013
Well only one player can have

Well only one player can have a team of "ninja". Each team is a different "thing", if you will. So that might work.

Essentially like rolling a spot check or something like that.

Hmm... Something to consider.

Thanks!

Anyone else? :)

CS
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Joined: 10/10/2013
Hmm...

Perhaps there is a way for the player using the ninja to secretly document where his ninja will appear on the following round, and when it comes time for the ninja's next turn, the player reveals the document and moves the ninja there? It would also make sense that a ninja could only hide in areas that allowed it (obstacles, shadows, etc).

Perhaps the player could document that, for instance, in three turns his ninja will appear in a certain location within his movement range. The player leaves his ninja in place, and then three turns later the player reveals the document and moves his ninja to that location? This would simulate the ninja looking at a situation, coming up with a plan, and executing it.

This could be an advantage and a disadvantage, because the game could change dramatically over the course of three turns. Perhaps at the end of the three turns, the ninja would have the option to moving as documented, or of aborting his stealthy attempt and returning to where he started (in essence losing three turns)?

Maybe part of the answer would also be that in order to remain hidden, the ninja would have to move much more slowly than normal?

CS

Splinter B
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Joined: 10/10/2013
I thought about having some

I thought about having some hidden movement documentation, like Letters from Whitechapel or something, but dumped that pretty quickly because:

1) It doesn't really fit in to this game. That puts the primary focus on strategy, slowing the fun brisk pace of the action down.

2) The way the board is set up and the amount of spaces and zones wouldn't be pratical to keep up with and still keep the speed of play up.

But, then again, my only frame of reference for hidden movement games are Fury of Dracula and Letters from Whitechapel.

And I kind of want to keep the "ninja" lean and fast and stealthy. Each team requires a different style of play. So I'm not sure how I feel about the slower movement.

TwentyPercent
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Joined: 12/25/2012
Stealth Mechanics

Hey Splinter

One option for stealth in a tactical board game is to simply make the ninja's, while "stealthed", untargetable.

This is how I utilize sneaking in my board game. Obviously, the other player will know where the characters are, but they simply cannot target them with spells, abilities, or attacks. However, if the stealthed player happens to be in an AoE effect, they are affected as normal. For me, this was simply the easiest method to employ stealth while making it effortless and easy to understand.

This may not work exactly the same way, in your game, though (depending on your game mechanics). Possibly stealth makes them untargetable to certain abilities. Anyways, I hope this helps spark some ideas for you.

Good luck,

Kroz1776
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Joined: 10/09/2013
Sneaky Ninja Dodge Jump ATTACK! ('O')/)

TwentyPercent wrote:
Hey Splinter

One option for stealth in a tactical board game is to simply make the ninja's, while "stealthed", untargetable.

This is how I utilize sneaking in my board game. Obviously, the other player will know where the characters are, but they simply cannot target them with spells, abilities, or attacks. However, if the stealthed player happens to be in an AoE effect, they are affected as normal. For me, this was simply the easiest method to employ stealth while making it effortless and easy to understand.

This may not work exactly the same way, in your game, though (depending on your game mechanics). Possibly stealth makes them untargetable to certain abilities. Anyways, I hope this helps spark some ideas for you.

Good luck,

You can also to make it so that if the player tries to move adjacent to Mr. Sneaky Ninja, you can give the ninja the ability to either move so many spaces to avoid the engagement, OR give him some sort of attack that activates when someone moves next to him. This is in addition to what was written by TwentyPercent.

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
It reminds me of an idea for

It reminds me of an idea for a war game I posted. Instead of having a fog of war, you needed to spot units by moving adjacent to it before another unit could attack it. You could use a similar mechanic where you need to spot the ninja first and then act on them.

saiyanslayer
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Joined: 10/08/2013
larienna wrote:Not sure if it

larienna wrote:
Not sure if it can be applied to your game, but for a ninja game of mine I was thinking that the player can see the location of his ennemy but he cannot simply move the guards where the ninja is located because certain restrictions prevent him to do so.

For example, the ninja might need to fail a roll near a guard to give a chance to the player to rotate the guard facing the right direction to hinder the ninja player. It's just a coincidence that the guard chosen the right direction.

The the global idea would be to give player restrictions, but the fact both player's know it's location is to perform some actions that could be justified as coincidence.

Not sure if it's usable in your game since both players can have ninjas, but you could get something out of the coicidence idea.

Interesting idea for a game. One player sends guards out at posts and even sets up patrols, but cannot actually control them. More like program them. The ninja has to avoid the guards. Guards act like NPCS, maybe can be represented by tokens placed face-down and only revealed when the ninja player is in sight of one.
Ninja player and guard player use their resources to influence the guards to find or avoid the ninja(s).

baberahamlincoln
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Joined: 08/28/2012
Stealth

An idea I've had would be using something that is effectively a "margin of error" with a stealth character. Once a character goes into stealth mode, their token remains in place (or can only be moved at half speed or something like that). This token does not represent the actual location of the character, but instead represents a hunch of where the character "could" be. The stealth character can then appear anywhere within a certain range of that token at a later time, the range determined by the number of turns the stealth character was in stealth mode (perhaps 1/2 movement speed in range per turn in stealth). Kind of like they went into stealth mode, moved slowly while remaining concealed, then appeared somewhere else. The opposing player doesn't know exactly where they went, but they have an idea of where he might possibly be. When revealing the stealth character, the player doing so needs to count out the movement that the stealth character took while they were in stealth mode in a legal way (accounting for walls, obstacles, barriers, hazards, etc).

Other characters might have the ability to spot stealth characters, forcing the player to reveal a stealth character earlier than intended, or in a more limited range from the current location of the stealth character token, or not allowing the stealth character to appear within x number of squares of that character (can't be snuck up on).

X3M
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I don't know if it

I don't know if it helps.
Assuming you are talking about some sort of heroscape situation.

If you only have like 1 or 2 "hero's" that are stealth. You could use cover blocks to hide the miniature. A little black box over the miniature aaaaaand its gone!
And simply place these cover blocks around the area where the ninja moved from. Depending on how much stealth you want, you can add cover blocks.

Only you know where it is.

If a ninja moves 1 space, and you want players to know it moved. The minimum would be 2 cover blocks.A 50% chance it is under the one chosen. A maximum is 6 or a 16,7% chance that the right one is chosen.
If you want players to keep guessing if the ninja moved at all? You get a maximum of 7.

Of course you could add a movement of 2 spaces. This would need a complete maximum of 1+6+12=19 cover blocks.

If you limit your ninja in cover blocks. You could put the blocks at possible locations on the map. Any speed is possible. And you can level up your ninja hero.

If you use tokens, than any token could be the real ninja. In that case, your ninja has created shadow clones. Any clone could become the real one and attack.

I don't know the answer if you plan this on a lot of units.

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