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Which Combat Mechanic to use?

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TheCommodore's picture
Joined: 03/08/2012

Hey all, I'm adding some finishing touches to a game design I've been working on before I throw it up for review and prototyping. As a little background it is a miniatures battle game that brings in aspects of a card game through use of spell cards that players play via mana tokens that they accumulate on their champion units. I've been on the fence about what sort of combat mechanic to use between the minis, the two I have been debating between are a hits and blocks mechanic in which the attacking player rolls a # of 6-sided dice equal to the attacking unit's attack value and the defending player rolls a number of dice equal to the defending unit's defense value. On the attack (red) dice a 4 or higher counts as a hit while on the blue dice a 5 or higher counts as a block. Players match hits with blocks and any excess hits count as wounds on the defending unit. In the other mechanic the attacking player rolls a number of 10-sided dice equal to the attacking unit's attack value. In order to score a hit on a single die the attacking player must roll a number equal to or greater than the defending unit's defense value. In both cases a unit is destroyed once it receives a number of wounds equal to its life value. Which of these mechanics sounds better, or more efficient? Also, if anyone knows any other mechanics that would work in this sort of a game feel free to post it I'm open to new ideas!

Crensh3000ad's picture
Joined: 03/06/2012
Hello there, my 2 cents from

Hello there,

my 2 cents from someone who dislikes a lot of dice use in games and overly complicated combat procedures in general :

-adding 1d6 to a unit stats gives you a completely random result (cavemen defeating an AEGIS cruiser :-)

-adding several 1d6s to a unit stat gives a more balanced, stabilized result - remember the bell curve - 2d6 would possibly result in something like 6-8, 3d6 would give something around 9-12, etc. I like the idea of a somewhat controlled battle result but with a tiny random element which can occur in exceptional situations - not unlike those classic FUDGE dice. On the other hand, lots of dice can bring any game down to picking and comparing numbers, simiilar to older editions of the Shadowrun RPG which imply gazillions of d6.

Combat should be performed quickly, on an intuitive base - in my eyes, there should be not much counting and comparing dice numbers. Would it be an option to perform not opposed dice rolls but rather go up against a target number (the unit's defense) ? Thus, only an attacker would have to use dice, quickening the whole procedure.

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