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Using CRT to simulate multiple die rolls.

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larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008

I just stumbled on a weird mechanic idea. The concept is to use a CRT (combat resolution table) to resolve multiple dice roll by rolling only 1 die.

For example, I wanted to use this for a unit vs unit combat resolution. Let say that I am attacking with Lizard riders which has the following abilities:


In a D&D like system, I would have to make various rolls, to check it I hit, what is the amount of damage I do and if the enemy resist my poison or not.

Since I want something that resolve fast, I had this idea. Look at the table below

Die Roll----1---2---3---4---5---6
Attack-----2---4---6---8--10--12 Dmg
Charge----------------10--14--18 Dmg
Poison--------------2---3---4---5 Level

The resolution is simple, you roll a die and it determine the strength of each attack type. Some attack types will only occur if you roll more than X value. For example, you need to roll 4+ to benefit from Charge.

Now let way you roll 5. You either do an attack at 10 dmg or a charge at 14 dmg. In this case you take the strongest value. But some units could have special abilities that negate charges (ex: pikemen: negate charge). In this case you take the other attack type. If the damage is higher than your opponent's toughness, it dies.

If your enemy survives, it also receives a level 4 poisonous attack. Your attack level must be higher than the resist level of your enemy. If it does, your enemy get's poisoned.

As you can see, it's like making many rolls with only 1 die roll.

Problems so far:

Since the higher the better, if you roll 6 and do 12 dmg with the most basic attack. Will there be an advantage to have a poison attack since the enemy will die? Or, does special abilities should use a different range of values or a different die so that you could actually have a chance to use your poison ability? Else the only situation it can be used is if your unit cannot possibly kill the enemy, at least it will poison it.

Variability of the table: An advantage and disadvantage. There are various way to build a table. Here are the parameters:

- Value range: The minimum and maximum value of the attack. Both can be high/low or 1 low and 1 high. (ex: 2-12, or 8-12)
- Die range: The minimum and maximum die value for the attack to take effect. Will the attack take effect if you roll 2-6 or 4-6.
- Incrementation pattern: How fast does the value increments. Ex: fast at the beginning, slow at the end. Stable at the beginning, fast at the end, etc.

The advantage is that it creates a lot of variety and you get more chance of not having 2 units alike. The disadvantage is that it is harder to build up the table.

Speed: The primary objective was to speed up the resolution process, but does CRT are a fast or a slow resolution method? At first glance, I think they are slow.

That's it up to now. Any comments?

Jean Of mArc
Jean Of mArc's picture
Joined: 04/21/2010
At First Glance

At first glance I both think that the CRT is good, but also a bit unbalanced. I like that the entire outcome can be resolved so quickly (although some would argue that having to look things up on a table isn't quick). I particularly like that whole idea of taking the best of the 2 values, but there could be effects that force you to take the lesser of the two.

However, balance in the die rolls is a bit of an issue for me... for example, you either roll high, which means that your attack is high AND your poison is high, or you roll low and your attack is low and your poison is low... There are no opportunities for times where you can say "Well, I didn't deal much damage, but at least I poisoned him good!" Which, to me, makes things feel a bit unbalanced: it is always very strong, very mediocre, or very weak in all categories.

What if, for the example above, you rolled one die for attack/charge, and one for poison? That way you could still have the "best of the 2" mechanism for the attack, but poison is completely separate? They could either be of different colours (so attack is red and green is poison, determined before-hand, for example) or they could be the same die, and then you choose which is which AFTER they have rolled.

I think that this defeats the purpose of your one-die-only mechanism though. The only other suggestion that comes to mind if you really want to keep that component is a modifier card that can increase the die result if played by the attacking player, or decrease it if played by the defending player. However, this modifier only affects one stat. For example, in this case, if I rolled a 4, then normally I would "Charge" for 10 and "Poison" at level 3. However, if I played a +2 card, then I can increase my charge damage to 18, OR increase my poison level to 5. So let's say that I choose increase charge damage to 18, and the opponent plays -2 which decreases the poison roll by two, rendering it ineffective.

Anyway, these are my immediate ideas... let us know what you're thinking!

ronnyay's picture
Joined: 08/20/2008

I scanned through the idea and here is my two cents:

For the worry about whether the poison attach will be unnecessary, I suggest you will introduce a "peak value" to the table so that the unit deals 8 damage no matter you roll a 4, 5 or 6.

For the question of whether referring to a CRT is fast method or not, I think it is okay for a card game with their own CRT printed on each unit card. But for wargames, I suggest using one kind of CRT for each race like lizard may have poison check and elf tends to roll better for magic attack etc etc

Nice idea indeed :)

Pastor_Mora's picture
Joined: 01/05/2010
Uses of CRT

If you ever played a classic wargame, you know CRTs are not quick, but they are necesary. Mainly because they average combat between multiple units into a single cathegory. That is faster that rolling initiative for (say) five units against five others, and then deal damage individually one by one. So, CRTs are FAST as lightning, but for some pretty specific uses. The drawback is, that you almost never speed up CRTs, because they are "unmemorizable" (is this english?) so you always have to check them.

I think your example can be dealt by having the creature card with the dice rolled and different modifiers on their different attacks. For example

Combat (normal): 2d6 damage
Charge (special): 4*(1d6-2) damage
Poison (magic): 1d6-1 damage (continuous)

Have the player choose it's attack type before he rolls the dice. I think showing too many info on your units (having all the possible results in a CRT) will drive players to stall the game while reading and analyzing each CRT every time.

Consider that you only need a d10 dice to mix a lot of more combinations in a simple way, while your CRTs will enlarge greatly if you do so.

On a separate note, I don't like attacks that cause no damage. Using a d10, this is another example without null attacks:

Combat (normal): 2d10 damage = average 11
Charge (special): 2*1d10 damage = more chances of critical hits (20) and critical misses (2)
Poison (magic): "1d5" damage = 1d10/2 rounded up

Keep thinking!

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
I had the idea of have 2 dice

I had the idea of have 2 dice rolled of different colors. Since they are rolled at the same time, it is not too bad.

The first die would represent any form of damageable attacks.

The 2nd die would represent any from of save-able attacks (ex: save or get poison, petrified, etc)

Which mean in this case, if would only be useless to have poison and petrify besides that poison level could be higher so easier to work.


One thing I did not say is that I wanted the die roll to represent tactical success of the battle. The highest roll gives you tactical success, and then you check if unit type dies. If I roll 2 dice, I could always use the sum of both dice for tactical victory, it would give better results combination.

The paragraph above also implies that it is a contested roll.


I cannot use various dice rolls for different attacks since all attacks are applied not only one of the attack.


Another idea I had is to make the construction of the CRT more easily, maybe I should only use a low range of values, like from 1 to 5, so that there are less configuration possibilities.


Sometimes, there could be a situation where you do not look at the complete CRT. For example, if I petrify you unit (instant kill) on a 5+, I first look at the save die, if it is 5+, your unit dies. Then I look at the total value of the roll to know who has tactical victory.

pelle's picture
Joined: 08/11/2008
Pastor_Mora wrote:The

Pastor_Mora wrote:
The drawback is, that you almost never speed up CRTs, because they are "unmemorizable" (is this english?) so you always have to check them.

I see your point, but would like to add that I have seen several Advanced Squad Leader that have memorized the Infantry Fire Table (or at least the most commonly used columns of it). I guess other wargames that people tend to play over and over again also have many players that have memorized the CRT. Also even after playing only for a few turns of a new game you usually remember some key facts (like "on the 2:1 column I need to roll better than 3 to have any effect at all"). It is also not that uncommon to have a CRT that is mostly symmetric in some way, so that once you have figured out the pattern you can pretty much play the game without looking at the table.

What can slow a traditional CRT down is odds calculation. But not all CRTs use odds (the one suggested by the OP is one example), and with experienced players odds isn't much of a problem either. Depends on your audience.

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