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which dice mechanic would you prefer?

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MarkD1733
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After looking back at my last post, I think I talked myself into including a dice mechanic to determine victories, but only for the players' side of a combat. Now, in the game, there are 4 different combat resources, and each player controls one of them. Each of those resources has its own "rank" (relative strength) in the combat. That being said, which dice mechanic would you find more engaging?

1) Everyone rolls the same kind of dice (e.g., all d6), but each rank has its own unique d6 results; For example:
rank 1 die has 0,0,1,1,2,2
rank 2 die has 0,1,2,2,3,3
rank 3 die has 0,1,2,3,4,4
rank 4 die has 1,2,3,4,5,6 or maybe has special icons to represent a power or special tactic.

2) Each resource has its own polyhedral dice of the typical linear progression (e.g., rank 1=d4; rank 2=d6; rank 3 = d8; etc.). Results are not specialized or unique, just proportional to the number of sides.

In either case, the number of dice rolled is dependent on the number of resources deployed. Two units of rank 1 would let that player roll 2 dice (e.g., 2d4). Three units of rank 2 would let the player roll 3 dice (e.g., 3d6). Etc. I would expect there to be a maximum number of dice to be rolled per rank.

So, considering these two different "dice options," which would rather be rolling?

DifferentName
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Dice

I think the D6s feels more new and interesting, while multiple kinds of dice would just make people think of dungeons and dragons or something. If you can make custom D6's, I think people would like that the most.

let-off studios
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d6

I agree with DifferentName on this. From what we know, it seems to me that the only incentive for having different types of dice is if you need to determine damage from particular units. For example, if the Rank 3 units will do 2 points of damage while the Rank 1 units do 1 damage, there will need to be a way to tell the difference between the different dice you roll.

Of course, simply rolling for each resource separately could solve that problem. But I must admit it's sometimes very satisfying to roll a huge handful of dice. :)

So I suggest you go with custom d6 dice. Lots of ways to do this. If you use Kickstarter or something, upgrade via stretch goals from stickers to screenprinted to engraved...

RyanRay
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I like the first one. To be

I like the first one. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of regular polyhedrals in most cases because you could prep yourself to roll 2d8, 2d10, and a d12 and still get a really low outcome.

With uniquely-sided dice, you have the opportunity to help yourself get a little more control on the outcome.

I recently played a game of Pathfinder where I only had to roll a 4 so I prepped myself extra well by rolling 1d6 and 2d8. Guess what number they ALL landed on?

NomadArtisan
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How random do you want the

How random do you want the game to be, and who is your target audience?

Why not custom polyhedral dice like formula de?

I always enjoyed the feeling the bigger polyhedral dice give. I grab a bigger die and know it's better without having to read the sides.

MarkD1733
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on the subject of dice...

Thanks for great feedback. Some other feedback off this forum has also supported d6s over other polyhedrals AND icons over just numbers or pips. As I think about production value, the other thing is that d6s of the cubic variety store much more easily too. The thing with my game is that there really isn't combat in the die rolls such that damage is occurring or that the other side is being slowly eliminated. It is one roll of dice for each set of resources per battle...if they total up more points than the victory conditions, they win. However, there are a lot of battles, so there is still lots of rolling throughout the game.

Now, what do you think about an "officer" or "commander" rank having more than just a combat value? What if one result was reroll one of the other resource's die?

DifferentName
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Thoughts on rerolling

MarkD1733 wrote:
What if one result was reroll one of the other resource's die?

I like that when the player is making a decision about it. For example, some games have an ability you can use that lets you reroll a die, but it's limited to once per turn, or a card has to be spent to do it, so you get to choose when to use it based on how important the roll is, and how bad the roll was.

Quarriors has some dice with a reroll symbol on them, and it works well for that game because dice have a variety of effects, not just a number. This way you're making an interesting choice about what to reroll because it depends on what type of thing you want this turn that didn't get rolled.

If most of your dice are just numbers, instead of a variety of effects like Quarriors, one of the dice letting you reroll might not be as interesting, if you're not deciding when you get to use the reroll. There are definitely fun ways to use rerolling though. Maybe if you roll the reroll ability, you acquire a reroll token that can be spent at any time to reroll a die?

lewpuls
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Simplest

Don't know about me, but most players will prefer the simplest mechanic, hopefully one where they can figure out the probability. Innovation is highly overrated.

JewellGames
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I prefer the first option. I

I prefer the first option.

I would also make the rank easily identified by different ink colors and/or physical sizes.

MarkD1733
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your feedback is spurring ideas

So, here is what I am settling towards with my d6s, with the rank names:

RANK 1, Militia: 0,1,1,2,2,3 all for Militia

RANK 2, Infantry:
0,1,2,3,4 all for Infantry
CANNNON (which means Infantry can use the bonus of a cannon if they have one; CANNON bonus is 5)

RANK 3, Cavalry:
1 for Militia AND Cavalry
1 for Infantry AND Cavalry
1 for Militia AND Infantry AND Cavalry
2 for Cavalry
DEAD HORSE(take away one Cavalry die and add back 1 Infantry die...roll the Infantry die)
CHARGE!!! (Reroll any number of Cavalry dice, including the CHARGE result)

RANK 4, Officers:
Reroll 1 Militia die (optional)
Reroll 1 Infantry die (optional)
Reroll 1 Cavalry die (optional)
Double 1 Infantry die result
Double 1 Cavalry die Result
SURRENDER! (simply a dead die, but if all Officers' dice happen to roll SURRENDER! then they lose the battle)

Continuing the mechanic towards victory conditions...

The battle is won if the combined total of ranks 1, 2, and 3 beats the OVERALL BATTLE VICTORY CONDITION. In addition, if the individual Ranks beat their respective Victory Conditions, those players who "trained" those respective Ranks (Militia, Infantry, Cavalry) each get 1 VP (for now). In addition, the player(s) controlling the Officers involved get 1 VP for each "live" die (any die that does not show SURRENDER!). Each Player is an officer and can roll 1 die themselves if they are in the current Battle (i.e., on the location where the battle is taking place). Additional officers are neutral with respect to VP regardless of their dice results.

Thoughts? Comments? Doubts?

X3M
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So you have this high ranked

So you have this high ranked (high cost?) officer that actually can make the entire squad loose by rolling surrender? Why would I use officers then? The risk is to high.

I don't like that. Or I didn't understand that.

Masacroso
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DifferentName wrote:I think

DifferentName wrote:
I think the D6s feels more new and interesting, while multiple kinds of dice would just make people think of dungeons and dragons or something. If you can make custom D6's, I think people would like that the most.

Just a comment related to something like this. My perspective for a game is just the opposite: use the more standard and general materials, on dice, cards or whatever.

This is to try to generalize/universalize the game. When you use special resources to play a game it becomes way more difficult that this game will be known/played by more people but with you.

I understand the opposite approximation but in my mind are games as baduk, poker, chess and so on.

So from this point I would use 1 or 2 standard D6 and use the different probabilities for the condition of each player, e.g., the sum of the two dice is a easy arithmetic and is not so boring and, more important, is very useful to setup probabilities at any level because the distribution of frequencies is as a normal distribution.

So by example the more frequent number on the sum is the 7, going from 7 any other one the frequency/probability lowers. You can make the players think on a seven as an 0 or 1 and any difference from here is positive,i.e., taking a 10-> 3 points, taking a 3-> 4 points, etc...

Any other way simpler and surely better is just use number of dice to increase points of movement where in a dice some numbers represent a 0, 1 or 2 points... going from a minimum of 0 points to a max of 2*number of dice.

For a battle it depends in the number of battles for a standard game to know if rolling dice would make the game too random or not.

MarkD1733
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Officers dice powers

First, let me clarify that the officers would roll all their dice exactly once per battle, and they would roll last if the battle wasn't run outright by the rolls of the other ranks. The SURRENDER simply results in no effect--it doesn't do anything by itself for that officer and is no longer used for the battle. Consider it an "indecision" on the part of the officer or a status quo on the battle progress. However, if you have 3 officers in the mix and all three roll "SURRENDER," that would be a loss. But that is exactly the reason to have more than one officer deployed. On average, I expect 2-3 officers per battle, with a max of 4. If you work with 2 officer, then a SURRENDER situation is no worse than snake-eyes in craps--with a 1 in 36 odds, if my math is correct. The players are, themselves, officers able to influence the battles, so I am working out the battles such that players should have tough choices on where deploy themselves during the game as well as the generic officer resources.

Keep in mind that I have designed a balancing upside to the surrender--although the battle is lost, there are no further casualties (losses of resources from the other ranks). Those resources can go back into the resource pool.

Similar to rolling the "ouch" in the new King of New York, I thought the SURRENDER was the balance in the randomizing. I wanted a way to balance the other powers on their die roll, which are all strong benefits (IMO), some which are optional...i.e., they don't have to reroll another's die if it is a good die roll. Being able to reroll always seems like great advantage power. Similarly, doubling results is also a strong arithmetic power, IMO, for the numeric combat mechanic. But let me explain a bit more on the other mechanics I have in mind so you understand the full context of the officers.

The thought is that if you win the battle, there are "minimum" losses to each rank programmed in each battle. This is simply a win/lose mechanic, because, being part co-op, I wasn't trying to turn this dice mechanic into a game of RISK where you are choosing to continue to fight, per se, against the game. That being said, if you lose the battle, there are "greater" losses incurred. So it behooves the players to play to win as completely as possible, especially because any remaining troops can be moved to other battles.

Officers are produced through the game and can be deployed to battle locations, granting one officer die roll in that battle. I have worked the math such that it should require 2 officers minimum on average to influence the math toward victory, so I believe there is reason to deploy more than one officer per battle if possible. Also, the players are themselves officers and can choose to deploy themselves to a battle. While I believe they too should be able to positively affect a battle, I am uncertain if they should be subject to a die roll exactly like the "anonymous" officers from the resource pool. In your opinion, should they roll dice also?

So, does that help with understanding the mechanic(s) in mind? Does that change your opinion about the SURRENDER and overall dice mechanics mentioned (like more or dislike even more)?

Thanks for continuing this conversation.

MarkD1733
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balancing dice with theme

Masacroso wrote:

Just a comment related to something like this. My perspective for a game is just the opposite: use the more standard and general materials, on dice, cards or whatever.

This is to try to generalize/universalize the game. When you use special resources to play a game it becomes way more difficult...

I understand your point, but one consideration is theme. If you play King of Tokyo, you understand the other side of that equation. Not everything is intended to feel like poker or chess. And while you can translate pips to some other feature, action, etc, I think that players don't want to do more than simple math AND they do want the gameplay to immerse them. That being said, I think nonstandard dice have a way of doing both...provide the simple mechanics BUT with more immersive theme. Rolling standard dice will always feel like a game. Rolling claws and lightning bolts always feels like I am a kaiju monster!

Masacroso
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MarkD1733 wrote:Masacroso

MarkD1733 wrote:
Masacroso wrote:
Just a comment related to something like this. My perspective for a game is just the opposite: use the more standard and general materials, on dice, cards or whatever.

This is to try to generalize/universalize the game. When you use special resources to play a game it becomes way more difficult...

I understand your point, but one consideration is theme. If you play King of Tokyo, you understand the other side of that equation. Not everything is intended to feel like poker or chess. And while you can translate pips to some other feature, action, etc, I think that players don't want to do more than simple math AND they do want the gameplay to immerse them. That being said, I think nonstandard dice have a way of doing both...provide the simple mechanics BUT with more immersive theme. Rolling standard dice will always feel like a game. Rolling claws and lightning bolts always feels like I am a kaiju monster!

Yes I understand this point of view. Its true, it depends on the game, on what you want from a game... what you want to feel/experience.

I dont have the words to talk with more precision on english so I tried to express on a simple way but it dont shows exactly what I wanted to say.

I just tried to leave a perspective from what I might have done related to my own tastes and preferences that are maybe too linked to abstract strategy games. This is more close to what I wanted to say.

MarkD1733
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Agreed!

And I do agree with what you said too. Typical components are valid components! Most games still use them and you are right that familiarity and simplicity improve gameplay. As theme evolves, there probably is a point which one must decide if there is anything to be gained by going with nonstandard or specialty components. Similarly, can one condense the rules to the typical dice rolls and still maintain the theme? For many games, the answer is "yes"! And there is no reason to go beyond that.

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