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Strategy Points instead of Action Points

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X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013

We have a new idea.

Discarding Action Points.
And completely rely on Strategy Points.

Would it be any good?
What is your oppinion?


The difference would be in how the game will progress.

The Action Point method already has Strategy Points.
But you can only get Strategy Points through incomplete unit designs.
Example is an unit that costs 7.
Each area can hold up to 24 points.
So only 3 of these 7 are allowed.
That is 21, and thus we are missing 3 points.
These 3 are given to the player, every round. And are called Strategy Points.
When performing an action, 1 AP is used for that squad. The squad will only be 21/24 effective.
When the player has saved enough points.
One of the units with cost 7, will be able to do 2 actions that round. But you buy the extra AP for that.

With the AP removed. A player simy receives 24 SP. And spends 21 SP. Keeping 3 SP for the next round.

Players always can save up SP infinitely. But spending on the same unit works cumulative.

If I want to copy my AP system. 7 AP translate to 24x7 SP. Which is 168 SP.
I could round this to a nice 150, or just 100, or even 200.

Again, what do you guys think?
Would it be a good idea?
Or too complex?

I did get rid of the difference in SP income per player this way.
And I think AP will still be used in order to track activity.
But paying for an Action has become more complex for the players brains.

Example round with 4 squads:
100 - 24 = 76
76 - 21 = 55
55 - 17 = 38
38 - 20 = 18
Next round 100 added, 118 to spend.
118 - 24 - 21 - 17 - 20 = 36
The squad of 17 can spend another 34 for one extra action. 2 SP remain.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
It seems indeed complicated,

It seems indeed complicated, or I am just too tired.

What is the objective here:

Determine which unit can move?
Determine how many times it can act?

There are alternatives like:

Move all unit each turn.
Move X unit each turn.

Move all units have a snowballing effect, while the move X unit does not put the weakest player too much in a disadvantageous position.

Depending on the mechanic you use, you might need a way to keep track which unit moved.

Do you want to make it possible that all action points are spent on the same unit. Like in heroscape where you can put all action counter on the same unit. Again, the player with only 1 unit remaining, is not too much disadvantaged.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Weaker player has an advantage at first.

What I want to see is that players have like 10 squads. But only a few can perform an action.

If a squad is smaller. In the old version the action would be weaker for a same cost.
But I want to change this into, you pay for each unit in that squad, deal.

Also, if a squad is split into 2 new squads. One of them has to wait a turn if the other does an action. This also makes it weaker. But having less cost for an action would make thinks more balanced. And the weaker players have a better chance.

Of course, having one squad perform multiple times should be harder.
But if a squad is 7 times weaker, then performing 3 actions instead of 1 should be a must.

In a sense, a big enemy squad moves. And a smaller squad moves into range, then attacks twice.
With a bit of luck, they certainly refund themselves this way.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Oh! Your squads have

Oh! Your squads have different sizes, therefore the cost to activate each squad should be different.

A Quick comment is to keep your numbers small. If your squad size is determined by a stack of tokens, maybe the number of tokens is the cost to activate the stack.

In that case, rather make each unit token have the same activation cost, and only count the number of tokens, than summing up the cost number on each token. This is just an example of situation.

Consider that players will try to see all the possible unit permutation so they can do to spend all the points they have each turn. Else make them carry over the points to avoid trying to max out their spendings by computing every combination.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Yes, squads are different

SP where already taken to the next round.
I am looking into making squads even smaller and simpler.
Right now, I have unit value's AND squad value's, ranging between 4 and 24.

I hope to find a way to balance them and have value's like 1 to 6 or something.

Another positive effect for changing this. Happens to be the possible squad sizes.

In my prototype, we got 3600, 4800 and 6000. Where an unit that costs 700, would give players a maximum of 5, 6 and 8 units on the board. And SP for the last week system, 100, 600 and 400. (Shamefully, this was displayed on the USC)

In my public, we got 24 and 25. Where an unit that costs 7, would give players a maximum of 3 in both cases. And SP for the last week system, 3 and 4.

Now, for my public, we already tested 7 x 24 SP. And then 120 SP (5x 24).

Ok, so my goal should be, cutting into the unit value's even more. It would be ok, if the wooden fence is going to cost 1. But this is going to be hard for me.

Has the mechanic a chance you think?

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Did some talking

7 AP on 7 squads, often had like the value of only 5 squads.
Thus the SP value will be only 5 times that of a maximum possible squad. This will be a nice round number each round.

The biggest difference will be the SP gained per round.
In the original version, players got only a few SP for what that player would be missing out on. And only every few rounds, sufficient SP would be counted. In the public version, we are talking about singel and double digits.
However, spending AP on a squad that is weaker by combat results was not a good idea. Retreating them also cost 1 AP, which is similar to a full SP as if the squad was complete. Even 1 soldier all alone would cost 1 AP in the original.

That same soldier could be moved around by SP though.
This is an important fact.

SP mechanic only does sound much fairer and logical.
It is still 1 squad per turn (1 round can have multiple turns, depending on the AP or SP remaining)

I shall perform some more playtests.
But suggestions for improvement are always welcome.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Counting with a clock

It doesn't matter how much a maximum squad can be worth. But we just had a brilliant idea.
In order to count the SP. We thought of counting with a clock.

I am not sure how to describe it without a proper picture. So, picture a clock.

1 squad can have a maximum value of 12. So the wheel has 12 numbers on it. If 12 is used, the little arrow goes down by 1.
But if only 10 is used, the little arrow goes down by 1 and the big arrow goes up by 2.
This way, you can keep track of the ammount of SP per round.

Of course, if the SP per squad can be a maximum of 24, we have the wheel divided into 24 numbers.

If we for example get 5x 24, the big arrow remains. But the small arrow goes up by 5.

Then if for example the squad that does an action costs 17. Then the small arrow goes down by 1. But the big arrow goes up by 24-17=7.

Now, I call this brilliant.... but do you think a 12 year old would manage?

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
A mat

Or a card like in Tradewars. Works as well. :)

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
A mat

Or a card like in Tradewars. Works as well. :)

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Seems to work perfectly

But I also have reduced the costs of all the designs.
It looks like the walls are so cheap, they get below a cost of 1.
Since I only have a body. And there is no health value. I am forced to have 5 walls for the cost of 3.

Now I am not sure if I should include walls in the SP for a a sense, units should be able to take cover.
With action points, this happened automatically.
And with the few strategy points, it never happened.
So, a new thing to think about.

I think you place 5 walls in one group. No other choice. And they simply have 5 health.

But are 12 year olds smart enough to place 4 pins as if each is 1 armor?

Because 4 damage kills a 4 armor. But not 4 of 1 armor.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
New issue

While it doesn't matter if the player has 6 units of a value of 4 each. Or 3 units of a value of 8 each. Or 2 units with a value of 12 each.

It does matter when a unit has a value of 5. Because then only 4 or 5 are allowed. With 4, we got a -4 total value. With 5 we got a +1 value. This means that if I do not tackle this properly. Some players might have a much bigger army. Or by standard choices, have a more efficient army anyway.
After all, 2 actions in 1 round result in a cost that is 3 times that of 1 action in 1 round.

So, here is an idea:
Players can get just 1 more unit than is allowed.
This means that a cost of 3 means 9. But you can only command 8 at the same time.
Cost of 4 means 7 units, you can command only 6.
Cost of 5 means 5 units, you can command only 4.
But that one extra unit of 5 can be in another squad.
etc. etc. etc.

Now, each army will be having units that cost 2 or 3.
And perhaps, I should allow even more units that way.
If a maximum for the whole faction is limited as well.

I don't know if this is smart to do. Because players would need to count before a game starts. This will be a lot of down time.

I rather have stricter rules to deal with. Like for example, telling the players which units they are allowed to have. I suspect I really need to design a faction completely and decide for them. I can't have them design a faction themselves by selecting the units they want...

What do you think?
Any suggesitons on how to improve on this?

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Anyone have an idea?

Should I force design a faction in such a way. That players have no other choice?
Or is it possible to offer the players freedom in what units they want to add to their faction.
While maintaining the balance?

For example. If the total value should be 120. And a maximum is 24.
It might be possible that players have 2x10 + 2x10 + 4x5 + 4x5 + 4x5 as faction.
And 20 remains. Thus they could add another 2x10 or something like that.
While another faction has 24 for each unit type.

What if I make a table of suggestions?
It starts at 1x13. Remainder is 11...

Or allow 2x13 and the negative remainder is -2.
Some sort of squad that consists of units worth 2.
Some sort of squad that consists of units worth 3.
And simply subtract from this squad?

2x14 would mean -4.
2x15 would mean -6.
2x16 would mean -8.
2x17 would mean -10. etc.
Up to 2x23.

3x11 would mean -9.
3x10 would mean -6.
3x9 would mean -3.
4x7 would mean -4.
5x5 would mean -1.

But 5x5 with a 23 would balance out again...

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
The list

Well. Not sure if I really am going to have my designs follow the 24 plan. It looks like that a lot of numbers give synergy here. For example, a -4 can be exchanged with a +4.

This should be the list:
24 x 1; can be used for +1 or -1
12 x 2; can be used for +2 or -2
8 x 3; can be used for +3 or -3
6 x 4; can be used for +4 or -4
4 x 5 or 5 x 5; +4 or -1
4 x 6; can be used for +6 or -6
3 x 7 or 4 x 7; +3 or -4
3 x 8; can be used for +8 or -8
2 x 9 or 3 x 9; +6 or -3
2 x 10 or 3 x 10; +4 or -6
2 x 11 or 3 x 11; +2 or -9
2 x 12; can be used for +12 or -12
1 x 13 or 2 x 13; +11 or -2
1 x 14 or 2 x 14; +10 or -4
1 x 15 or 2 x 15; +9 or -6
1 x 16 or 2 x 16; +8 or -8
1 x 17 or 2 x 17; +7 or -10
1 x 18 or 2 x 18; +6 or -12
1 x 19 or 2 x 19; +5 or -14
1 x 20 or 2 x 20; +4 or -16
1 x 21 or 2 x 21; +3 or -18
1 x 22 or 2 x 22; +2 or -20
1 x 23 or 2 x 23; +1 or -22
1 x 24; can be used for +24 or -24

Playters should avoid doubling the second half of the list. Since the resource managment should have roughly only 1/3th of one maximum squad or biggest region.

Of course I can also reduce the value per squad or biggest region.
This can be 20, 18, 16, 15, 12 or even only 10.

For now, I have discovered a way to have the basic infantry cost only 2. And the RPG infantry cost only 3. My goal always has been to have only 6 of the basic infantry. But these will not have health tracking at all.
The basic tanks would cost 4. These have 4 health each. But only 3 is tracked by 2 pins.
So, if we have 6 infantry, then we have 3 tanks that are a maximum total of 9 pieces in total. But of course, only if they are all 3 damaged. This is practically hard if they stick together. Because I will only allow a frontline and support line in a battle.

A middle line seems to be to difficult for 12 year olds.

Anyway. A basic faction could have 6+4+4 soldiers, 4+3+3 vehicles and 3+2+2 tanks.
This brings me to a total of 31 unit pieces. And room for 24 damage pins.
That would be 55 "mobile" pieces.

Damage pins are shared between players.

Yeah, I should finish a faction design and share this in a new topic.

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