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War Game win conditions

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bbblackwell
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The logical win condition for a war game would seem to be taking over the entire map, and/or eliminating all other players. But as in Risk, you could easily run into the problem of one player getting eliminated early and having to wait 2 hours for the other players to wrap it up. It's also common for the outcome to be obvious halfway through, making the game a pointless exercise for everyone.

A timer could be imposed, with a certain number of rounds ending the game and the player with the most territories or victory points winning the game, but I find this unsatisfying from a thematic perspective.

It's a new genre for me, as I haven't played very many of these games, but I would imagine this issue has been addressed many times over and some viable solutions have been devised.

I'd be interested to hear others' ideas and experiences about how to handle war games in a satisfying way, and how to keep everyone in the game until the end.

Thanks!

X3M
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Assasinate a certain

Assassinate a certain target.
And if the game allows it, even being outnumbered could still win the day.

This works best with having to save up item cards. Until you have a chance in beating the target.

Until that time, you can duke it out in an old fashioned way.

McTeddy
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It depends on the aim of the

It depends on the aim of the wargame. Most traditional wargames are attempting to simulate a specific scenario and the objectives are chosen to match.

The other thing thats common are VICTORY POINTS that are gained by differently by both armies.

For example in a Stalingrad based wargame:

- The german players gain X VP for taking key locations and 1 point for killing key units

- The Russian Player gains 1VP at the start of the turn and 1 point for killing key units. (Because they are on the defensive and only seek to hold out and let the winter do its thing)

The winning player is either the first to 10 or the player with the higher score at the end of 10 rounds.

The reasoning here is that the objectives can encourage the players to think like the historical army.

Even in a fictional setting, it can encourage the orkish player to rampage, the elvish player to hide in the forests, the dwarves to mine, and so on.

radioactivemouse
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Multiple win conditions?

Why does a war game have to have 1 victory condition?

There are many games...even war games, that have multiple winning conditions. It gives more depth in a game that otherwise would be one-dimensional (not that one-dimensional is bad).

See games like 7 Wonders: Duel, Legend of the 5 Rings Card Game, even classics like chess. It forces the player to plan resources carefully and gives a losing player a chance if one strategy is dominated by the opponent.

bbblackwell
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World dominance!

The game I'm contemplating is a power vacuum where 6 factions are fighting for control of a region where the previously-established power has been removed. The aim is to establish yourself as the new, unquestionable power.

I figured this would work out sort of like Risk, where you take over the whole map... but of course, this need not be the case. Dominance doesn't have to mean martial victory over every region. Most historical wars have ended long before this goal was ever achieved.

fgeo
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For this particular game

For this particular game description, I would consider ending the game once a player becomes strong enough to dominate over other players.

To determine that, you must first find a way to assess the "strength" of a player. An easy way would be to define "strength" as the number of regions controlled, but you can consider other metrics too (e.g., armies controlled, objectives, resources, or a combination of the above).

Then, determine what "strong enough" means. I would consider a condition like: "if the strength of a player is larger than the combined strength of any two other players". But you could also consider other conditions (e.g., achieving a predefined strength threshold). Another interesting alternative would be a condition that combines timing with strength, e.g., the sum of a player's strength and turns elapsed exceeds X; this has the additional advantage that it would prevent close games from dragging too long.

Finally, another idea you could consider (that I saw in action in a game I playtested recently) is to formalize the notion of alliances and define victory conditions for alliances. Since you have 6 factions, alliances will emerge anyway, so having explicit rules for alliances might be useful. In this case, you may have "winning player pairs".

Gabe
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A war game with multiple

A war game with multiple paths to victory is the way to go.

I briefly worked on a game that had players vying over different aspects of "world dominance."

War
Technology
Financial
Cultural

If a player ever reached the upper limit of any single aspect, he won the game.

Players also had secret objective cards that would give them points, and there were common objectives all players had access to as well.

The game would end after a certain number of objectives were completed if a player hadn't achieved dominance yet.

Just some thoughts.

saluk
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Game of Thrones gives the

Game of Thrones gives the victory once a player controls 7 castles. Points are a tried and true method (see the very successful memoir 44 and other command and colors games). Cry Havoc and Blood Rage both use points, and let even weak players continually recruit more units to hopefully get back into the fray and try to come out on top. (I especially like Cry Havoc's gems system that alters the value of each region over time)

I would look into some of the older and newer area control and warfare games since you are entering a new genre. Both for inspiration and to avoid reinventing the wheel :)

For your specific game, since there is a power vacuum, what if you have different factions whose loyalty you are attempting to earn? Each faction may respect doing well in a different part of the game, conquest, leadership, religion, etc. The game ends when a player has enough factions under their sway. (with 3 factions, maybe the first to earn loyalty from 2 of them?). Throwing in a time limit may also be a good idea (thematically, if all of the new powers are too weak by year 5, or whenever, the old power has had enough time to recooperate and comes back in to reclaim their territory)

let-off studios
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Check out Scythe

bbblackwell wrote:
The game I'm contemplating is a power vacuum where 6 factions are fighting for control of a region where the previously-established power has been removed. The aim is to establish yourself as the new, unquestionable power.
I recommend you have a look at Scythe:

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/169786/scythe

It seems quite similar to what you've described above. Plus it has multiple paths to victory while using a VP system.

Please don't mistake this as an endorsement of the game itself, but it's a good example of what it sounds like you're seeking.

Gabe
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let-off studios

let-off studios wrote:
bbblackwell wrote:
The game I'm contemplating is a power vacuum where 6 factions are fighting for control of a region where the previously-established power has been removed. The aim is to establish yourself as the new, unquestionable power.
I recommend you have a look at Scythe:

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/169786/scythe

It seems quite similar to what you've described above. Plus it has multiple paths to victory while using a VP system.

Please don't mistake this as an endorsement of the game itself, but it's a good example of what it sounds like you're seeking.

I couldn't agree more. Except, please take THIS comment as an endorsement. It's probably the best game of the year.

pelle
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Even the Risk version I grew

Even the Risk version I grew up with (Swedish edition, mid 80's) had cards with secret missions that you used to decide victory. I think "conquer all of the map" remained as an optional rule you could use, but we never tried that.

Looking at wargames there is a huge variety of victory conditions, as already mentioned in this thread. I don't think I ever played or owned a game that forced a player to conquer all of the map to win. That seems like a sure way to make the end-game just go on and on way after everyone already knows who is going to win anyway? I remember playing single-player computer games where I had to conquer the entire map to win and the the last few hours just mopping up and taking over the last remaining parts of the map was never any fun at all, and in a game for multiple players it must be even worse (especially for the ones being mopped up).

gxnpt
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6 factions fighting for control of a region and win conditions

In this way your game is very much like my game.

see http://thesingularitytrap.com/ to look over the game itself

but the win conditions in particular for mine are

Winning

Controlling 25 or more of the 37 planets at the beginning of 3 successive turns is a win for a single player.

Factions:

A winning faction may consist of 2 or 3 players in a 6 player game and 2 players in a 4 or 5 player game.

A faction is formed by declaration at the beginning of a turn where the faction holds 25 or more planets.

A faction must meet alliance requirements and hold 25 or more planets at the beginning of the following 2 turns to win.

A faction dissolves if required alliances are missing or the faction holds 24 or fewer planets at the beginning of a turn.

A 2 player faction consists of 2 players allied with each other and may be declared by either member.

A standard 3 player faction (with all members allied with all other members) may be declared by any member.

An empire faction is formed with a dominant player and 2 allies even if those allies are not allied with each other.
--- Only the dominant player may declare the empire and must control at least 13 planets by them self.
----- Empires additionally dissolve if a turn begins with 2 members not mutually allied and the dominant member below 13 planets.

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