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Warfare, dice fest and special abilities

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larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008

I have been working for many years on a warfare system which would be fast to resolve and allow a variety of units and special abilities. I first thought of resolving it as duels of units, it made it easier to apply abilities between 2 units rather than battle field wide. But the targeting system (determine who fights who) seems to create many problems including slowing down the process.

I have been studying lately real-time battles found in turn-based strategy video games (sounds paradoxical). The 2 games that I have analyzed are "Romance of the 3 kingdoms 6" and "Ring of red". In these kind of games, the game fight by itself, players has limited control on the outcome of the battle. In R3K6, players gives order to his units which could include special actions like taunting, setting up fires, etc. In Ring of red, you can change your unit formation to activate/deactivate infantry ability, or you can decide to wait more or less to shoot (accuracy VS nb of shots).

For video game applications, I find it very interesting because combat are resolved in a few minutes, the pace of the battle is similar to a real battle, and you do not have do clicking frenzy, like in many real-time strategy, to command your units. I have been playing with these ideas for a video game idea of mine but now I am trying to see if I could transpose some of these ideas to board games.

My first idea is instead of having duels, I would make a large dice fest roll which would represent the real-time portion of the game where the game fight by itself. Then each unit and abilities would be allowed to be used during the rolling process to influence the results. I want the strategy to turn around "Where" and "When" should I use my ability.

Using an ability too soon or too late would have an impact on the results. So maybe there could be 3 roll sessions and players must decide in advance or after the roll when they should use their abilities. There might be various flanks that the player could target with their ability. Maybe players could roll separately for each flank.

I know that my description lacks of details because it's just an idea, but still, what do you think?

Does any other ideas comes to your mind?

I do not want real time mechanics like sand timers.

Grall Ritnos
Joined: 02/07/2011
Dice drafting for abilities

I think there are some fun possibilities here. One idea that came to my mind would be to have each unit (or group of units) contribute some number of dice (I'm assuming all d6's, but it could be any type of dice) to your total roll for abilities. Say, for example, that your army had units which let you roll a total of 7 dice. Each unit's ability could also then have certain values at which it was "turned on", or perhaps it could have different effects with different values. My thought would then be to roll all seven dice (while your opponent rolls his or her dice). After the roll, you then assign dice to the units based on how many dice they contributed. So, a tank that allows you to roll two dice must be assigned two dice after the roll. The strategy then becomes how to assign the dice. Perhaps the tank needs a 5 and 6 to fire its armor piercing shell, an infantry unit needs a 1 or a 6 to throw a grenade and a medic needs doubles to heal. After both players have assigned their dice, the results are revealed either one unit at a time, or in a batch (although batch would obviously limit what abilities you could choose). This brings in strategy in terms of both how dice are assigned, and what unit combinations support each other well, since optimal combinations would be able to find uses for more possibilities of dice rolls.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
I like the idea. You could

I like the idea. You could have something like a unit has a regular attack that requires a dice of 4+ to be placed on the unit to activate it, but the unit also have a stun ability that requires a 6+ die to be placed on the unit. So if 2 units needs a 6 to be activated and you only rolled one 6, then you must chose which ability you would use.

It also relatively fast to resolve considering that player manage their rolls on each side and then reveal their results. It also make sure that for example counter abilities does not always work (no dice has been assigned). Definitely a solution to consider, that could also be applied to many other dice fest mechanics. Thanks.

Cogentesque's picture
Joined: 08/17/2011
Great idea Grall, I like how

Great idea Grall, I like how its not simply "highest wins" in your idea.

If you had more than say 4/5 units, it would get very hard to remember all the different combinations of each (I'm thinking each "brand" of unit would have a little play card for it dictating its powers, what they do and the roll required) and could be quite overwelming to the Players as well: eg total roll of say 16 dice, and 10 characters to use- each one needing a certain combination of two different dice for each of their abilities (say they have two possible abilities each) ... i just tried to work the number of choices out, but my AS level maths is not up to scratch: Basically a shit load of choices. Too many to consider.

You could scale back the choices and simply: Any Infantry need "doubles" or "a single 6" to do either of their attacks respectively. Cavalry (tanks / horses etc) need "two 6's" and "sequentials" and Support need "1 and 6" and "2 and 5" and "3 and 4". Or simpler still: every unit needs "Doubles" to activate an action or "sequentials" to do a basic action (eg move). Lots of movement here to really refine down the dice choices: This would also be a very easy game to balance correctly as the chance for certain dice coming up would be very defined and if you wanted a super-power-game-winning-action to come up, just stick a "three 6's" onto it: sorted. Lot's of movement in this system, I really like it. You just need to couple some really cool unit powers with it.

Another idea to add: All normal dice are white, except say from a certain special general unit: he can add a special red dice that only has 1's and 2's on it. And another that has 5's and 6's. Or perhaps one can be blue and is blank (eg: any number you want like a wild card). Getting in to detail: The Generals special type of units he commands will obviously have their special abilities biassed towards the numbers that the general can provide easily. This way, it's important to have a general and important to keep him alive, obvsiously giving your opponent a good target to go after. "If I take 'General Hazard' his tank general, then he will lose his red 5/6 dice: making it a lot harder for his tanks to use there special "Heavy Ordinance" attack which requires three 6's." Then you could go on with a support general that provides certain dice say with only three numbers on (1 3 6) and a hero commander general that has dice with just 1 number.

There would be chance for LOADS of synergy between units, and heeps of other interesting options Eg: a counter-battery unit that lets a player remove 2 of an opponents dice before a roll or 1 dice after a roll before the opponent declares and perhaps a special "once in a game" action, that allows him to remove any dice after the opponent has "declared" his dice and chosen: thus (hopefully) nullifying a triple-6 roll. And of course a "spy" unit, that would swap any opponents dice for any of your dice (eg: if he works well on high numbers, you swap his red generals 5/6 dice for your blue generals 1/2 dice) And again, a super spy that perhaps could have a MinusD6 - somehow it would minus from a total value (defined by you, not your oppoenent). Again, another very volatile unit that would have 5 6's and 1 Skull'n'crossbones - killing it instantly.

I'm getting excited , just writing about this ! lol. I am going to keep a close eye on your game Larienna and I want you to keep going thinking ideas ok!

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Quick Comments

Quick comments, first special units canno die. Each army has a HP level and unit ability will reduce ennemy HP.

But, some special effects could neutralise a unit. There was up to now 5 special effects (adapted for the current system):

Death: extra death
Paralyse: deactivate dice
Control: Steal opponent`s dice
Persistant: Damage from time to time
Weakness: reduce the value of dice.

So it will be impoosible to kill unit types in particular, but you can use special abilities to neutralise them.

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