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Wargame dice based mechanic

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Joined: 07/15/2009

I have a global domination style war game. I originally envisioned it as something very classical for combat resolution. Each unit type has an attack and a defense number and you rolled your target number on a D10. After much play testing and research I have a working fun game everyone who has played has enjoyed but I also have started thinking the combat mechanics may feel dated and unappealing to some people. So I have put thought into different styles of combat mechanics. I still feel dice are the way to go but am considering a custom dice system and would love real feedback on it.

The game comes with 3 dice styles
Damage - These dice produce "hits" ranging from 0 -3 and a bonus that can be a hit or a block
Block - These dice produce "blocks" ranging from 0-3 and a bonus that can be either a block or a hit
Bonus - These dice would produce 0-2 bonus effects that count as either a block or hit but have a greater chance to have a 0 result.

Each unit type will give a player the option to use 1 of at least 2 types every round of combat.
So an aggressive unit may allow 2damage dice or 1 bonus die while a defensive unit may allow 2 block die or 1 bonus die and a more balance unit may all 3 bonus dice or 1 of either block and damage.

Essentially players would roll against each other match blocks to damage then apply the excess to both sides.

Hopefully that is clear enough. Thoughts on this system and its viability are appreciated. In the interest of perspective for the application I want to use it for try applying it to Axis&Allies , a rules set many will be familiar with and much better than me trying to explain my own.

Joined: 07/08/2009
Some musings:

Would it be possible for you to break the numbers down so I (perhaps we!) can get a better feel for how these dice look and act? A d6 with 1,2,2,3, miss, bonus would be different to think about than a d10 with 1,2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, miss, bonus.

Is a defensive unit that is attacking rolling blocks to counteract the aggressive defenders' hits? Or, does a defensive unit only have the option to try for a hit with their bonus die if they are attacking? I think it's the first thing I said, but it wasn't entirely clear.

Um . . . so I am trying to apply this to axis and allies . . . I may be a little off, but here's a scenario in how I am imaging your system might work: Infantry have the option to roll 2 blocking dice or one damage die (or maybe one blocking or one bonus?). I've got ten of them sitting somewhere. Do I really have a choice about which dice to roll? If my opponent thinks he can win if I roll 20 defensive dice, is there any way he can lose If I chose to roll ten offensive dice? If I've been maneuvered into using my units in a suboptimal manner, the battle is probably already over. So, there might be an issue with players feeling like there's some illusion of choice at the point of battle, when really the choice was just which unit is the best to purchase.

When do players choose which dice to roll? if one player chooses first, it seems like it would be a simple (yet complicated (does that make sense? Your system is certainly more complicated than axis and allies)) matter for the second player to roll what they need to be the most effective. If on the other hand it's done somehow in secret, simultaneously, we get a situation where players can make an optimal choice (use the best abilities each unit has to offer) which will be . . . well . . . optimal. If all my best attacking units go for hits, and my defensive units go for blocks, and my opponent's attackers go for hits, while throwing all his defensive guys at a lesser chance to hit . . . I probably just killed more guys, assuming I entered a battle that was in my favor in the first place. (I'm having a hard time getting all my ideas down, this is raising so many questions! :)

Also, when would those bonus dies get chosen to be hits or blocks?

But, this brings up another thought: Is this system intuitive (to someone who gets probability in the first place, which isn't all that intuitive)? Can I figure out if I have good odds to win a battle? In axis and allies, quick punch/ count calculations are pretty easy. rarely am I surprised when I enter a big battle into a calculator. I am trying to imagine staring at your game, and trying to think of every possible combination of ways my opponent and I might chose to allocate our different dice. I'm not sure I'd like to be doing that once, much less for every battle, every turn. Simply asking the average person to figure out whether x amount of 25 percent chances is better than y amount of 50 percent chances adds a whole new level of strategy (assuming the choice is more than an illusion) to every decision. Adding levels of complexity can be good. They can also be bad. I am leaning towards 'bad' at this point, based off imagining an axis and allies scale game with a dice system such as you propose.

Anyway, that's what I thought about off the top of my head. I would love to see where this discussion goes!


Joined: 07/15/2009
Your probably dead on

I apologize for the lack of key information, I probably jumped the gun even posting it as I hadn't really dug deep myself into the idea. The die would be a d6 as you say figuring probability is already getting complicated enough with choices, more faces to a die would likely only be worse. However I think your right as I originally saw this I think I am just added complexity for no real value.

My idea was to give players the option to be more aggressive or conservative with their forces in a relatively easy system that does not bog down play. I should probably step back and rethink the whole thing. I am sure there are options for fast combat resolution that would fit I am just not seeing anything superior to the simple roll for a target number and remove right now.

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