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Combat mechanics — Revision 2

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questccg
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Okay ... since this is going to be about "Combat" mechanics... Let me explain what I had in mind BEFORE and what I am thinking about NOW. And you can all share with me your thoughts.

1. White vs. Black (Good vs. Evil)

So originally the battles were to be a random draw of either White or Black tokens (Wooden Cubes). If was somewhat simple, you place your White cubes into a bag and the opponent places his Black cubes into the same bag... Then you draw a winner from the bag and continue for three (3) waves.

Pros: Simple and Effective

Cons: No longer an option if I want both players to use both White and Black cards... So I have to come up with another solution.

2. Two (2) bags (Both players lose)

This is my current idea. You place all your cubes into each player's bag. Then both players draw one cube from each bag. Both players discard that cube... So basically you draw two (2) losers from the bags. You do this once for one (1) wave or each attack.

Pros: Still Simple and Effective

Cons: Requires two (2) bags and players always lose a token.

So instead of favoring one player over the other (Victory/loss) BOTH players would evenly lose one (1) token during the course of an attack. There are no winners, just casualties of war... (So to speak).

What do you think about these two (2) mechanics??? One is a traditional random draw to determine a winner, the other is two (2) random draws to determine two losers...

I know Option #2 seems rather controversial. And so I'd like to know what other designers think about this!

questccg
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Another option

The following mechanic might be more middle of the road:

3. One bag, 10 tokens, 5 each

Each player chooses 5 tokens and place them all in one (1) bag. Next draw three (3) tokens from the bag (3 out of 10).

If the token is unique in color, only that token gets removed.

If both players played that color, two (2) tokens are removed.

What this does is setup a unique paradigm: black and white are almost mutually exclusive. This means that the odds that an opponent play the opposing color less frequent.

It also means that you might want to vary your cards in play...

More to think about!

gxnpt
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dark vs light

Use 2 dark colors / shades and 2 light colors/shades for 4 total colors. Or use 2 solids and 2 patterned(stripes?) for same designate the owner effect.

This would restore the original combat method - but increase number of components.

X3M
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Multiple different tokens

Multiple different tokens reminds me of the magic hats game that I once worked on.

If it is just one bag. It might be doable.

But I don't think it is an answer here.

questccg
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Only need two types of colors

gxnpt wrote:
Use 2 dark colors / shades and 2 light colors/shades for 4 total colors.

Well originally I was thinking of using Pastel Cube colors for the "Light" side and use the Normal Cube colors for the "Shadow" side.

But I don't like that. I wanted all the SAME type of cubes not different colors/shades for each side.

And it's just cost prohibitive to have both... I wanted to keep costs LOW... Custom Pastel Cubes would be possible since everything is PANTONE colors and therefore it could be "possible", just not something that I "want" to do.

The "Combat" mechanic is still under "review". I'm actively thinking about how I can make it INTERESTING and "functional" too...

Do you have any other suggestions @gxnpt???

questccg
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Something else to think about...

Originally (a while back ago), you would COMPARE both combat cards (Champions vs. Creatures).

So If my Champion had 6 Attack and your Creature had 5 Defense, that would means that ONE (6 - 5 = +1) extra "White" cube would be ADDED to make more favorable odds of drawing a "White" cube and therefore winning the combat round that turn.

This doesn't preclude WEAKER "Champions" from attacking the SAME Creature. For example a "Champion" with 3 Attack vs. a Creature with 5 Defense means that (3 - 5 = -2) two (2) extra "Black" cubes would be ADDED to make the combat more favorable of drawing a "Black" cube and also winning the combat round too!

I'm still thinking about that method — because it makes a lot of SENSE.

I want to see if I can implement something SIMILAR with the same color of cubes (mixed colors for ALL sides) and come up with some kind a mechanic that works WELL for this type of COMBAT.

Any thoughts? (I'm going to think about it too...)

questccg
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I think I'm making a CHANGE

I've decided that the "Light" side cannot play "Black" cards. Meaning that they cannot play the opposing faction "core" color. Likewise the "Shadow" side cannot play "White" cards either.

This means that both "White" and "Black" are UNIQUE colors for each side.

That's a start...

I'm thinking about drawing three (3) from twelve (12) "resources".

Three (3) are "FREE" resources and the other three (3) are chosen by each player (from their respective side). This is done by "secretly" placing one token on top of each card.

So if the winning draws are: White-Black-White. It means that Black #1 loses, White #2 loses and Black #3 loses (the inverse)... And it can use all of the probabilities as before (bonus tokens — as mentioned before)!

I'll think about it some more... This seems much more realistic now.

questccg
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The other alternative

Is using "Brown" and "Mauve" cubes for each side (Instead of White and Black)... This could restore the possibility of using those colors "in play" but also allow for the other two colors to be used for combat.

Of course this is reasonable... But makes it that the game will need to have "custom" cubes (color coordinated with "Brown" and "Mauve")...

Considering this choice of colors could be better suited to "Combat" and allow both sides to have opposite colors (at a price).

OR

I could use "acrylic" Ice Cubes for drawing/combat and keep the other elements using Wooden Cubes... This is another alternative. I think I like it better... Placing "Clear" vs. "Smoke" as the two opposites!

FrankM
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One bag to rule them all

I like the idea of have a "Player One Color" and a "Player Two Color" rather than actual black and white, which allows for players using unusual cards... but this means that damage is collective on the side. There's no way to single out a specific card to take the hit.

You could have N cubes for each side labeled 1 thru N, then some blank ones, and bring in the idea of hitting a specific card (each card is assigned a specific number, probably just from position on the table). Bonus cubes would be the blank ones, which have some way of determining the card hit (heuristics, random, owner chooses, opponent chooses).

Not sure exactly how the combat works, but this would permit the idea of only putting certain cards at risk. For example, in the initial round each player drops in two numbered cubes plus the bonus/blank ones. Each wave they drop in two more (fight is getting more chaotic, more things can go wrong), backfilling with blank cubes if they run out of cards.

The nice thing about two colors is you can add a third color for truly unusual events, like involuntarily ending the fight.

questccg
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Let me explain

FrankM wrote:
Not sure exactly how the combat works, but...

Let me explain with an example.

Example:

Player #1 decides that he is going to Attack Player #2.

He uses his "Winged Stallion" which is at Level 3. That means he places three (3) "White" tokens into the grey bag. He decides he is going to attack Player #2 "Goblin Warrior" which is at Level 1. That means Player #2 places one (1) "Black" token into the grey bag.

Now we add "fillers", three (3) for each side and each player places three (3) tokens on top of the cards in play (each side). Each token has a unique value going from one (1) to three (3).

Let's say Player #1 put "#1: Token" on his "Ceremonial Dagger" (+1 Atk and +1 Dfs) and the other two "#2 and #3: Tokens" on his "Champion".

Now Player #2 puts "#1: Token" on his "Goblin" and puts "#2 and #3: Tokens" on his "Underling".

The "Winged Stallion" has +2 Atk +1 Atk = +3 Atk and the "Goblin Warrior" has +1 Dfs. So we add +2 "White" tokens to the bag.

The totals are: "White" = 8 and "Black" = 4 (2:1)

Next the attacking player draws THREE (3) Cubes from the bag.

Let's say the draw was: White-White-Black

This means "Black's #1 token" loses one (1): this means the Goblin loses 1 health (Level). Since he only has ONE (1) HP, he is defeated.

Next "Black's #2 token" loses one (1): this means that the "Underling" also loses one health (Level). So let's assume he is now a Level 1 (-1 from Level 2)

And lastly "White's #3 token" loses (1): his "Winged Stallion" drop one (1) Level too: so now he is Level 2 (-1 from Level 3)

So ultimately the "White" side was more victorious, in that they managed to defeat the opposing "Creature" and do some damage to the "Shadow" player's Engine.

At the same time, Player #1 saw his "Winged Stallion" drop by one Level too. So it wasn't a PERFECT battle — both sides saw losses.


I know it seems a bit "convoluted" but it's really neat how bonuses play and how tokens are placed on certain cards "secretly" and combat is odds-based (probabilities of success/failure).

gxnpt
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pattern to distinguish

Pattern vs no pattern to distinguish the sides but it looks like you have already abandoned idea of both using identical units so you have lost the need to duplicate with a "whose is it" marking.

FrankM
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So order counts?

So order counts in how the cubes are drawn? That's the only way I can see the black cube hitting the attacker's #3.

I read the original post backward, in that drawing your own color was bad. Turns out you want as many of your own color in there as you can manage (cost-benefit analysis aside for acquiring those cubes).

I still think that having a small number of nonbinary cubes would allow interesting effects.

- A highly skilled creature can "call a shot" on a particular opponent card. A cube of color X is added to the bag, and a bull's-eye of color X is added to the targeted card. (now, when does this "called shot" occur, before or after tokens are placed?)

- A benign power could add a cube of color Y that takes effect if that cube is drawn (healing, ending the fight, giving a big bonus for next wave, etc.)

- A challenging environment could add neutral cubes that simply have no effect. (fighting in dense fog, on shifting ground, etc.)

As neat as I think these could be, they probably work best if they are novel. The overwhelming fraction of draws should be black and white.

questccg
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You are correct

The turn-order counts... Adds some "variability" in that you cannot exactly predict or predetermine what cards will be affected. It's randomized by the drawing of cubes from the bag ... and there will be two (2) distinct colors in that bag: one for each player.

The thing I wanted to preserve the most, was that you "computed" your Attack versus the opponent's Defense. This element was very important because it gives you "odds" of success/failure.

If you are the "Light" side you can use "Equipment" to improve your odds too. Otherwise if you are the "Shadow" side, you can use "Treasures" to also counter-balance the "Light" side's attack and boost your defenses.

I think it's going to "work".

I also think that I am going to use "White"/"Black" WINKS. They are easier to manipulate and less expensive too. You draw winks in the correct order and then determine winners/losers to see what cards are affected.

No more do I need to worry about:

  • What "tokens"/cube have been inserted
  • No worries because there are only two colors
  • Keeps card stats as part of the mechanic

We'll see if it needs additional "refining"...

Fri
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Engine building/Simplfied Combat/How to arrive at scoring phase

So here is idea to simplify combat and also bring the game to a conclusion.

There is one bag for both players. It could be seeded with some number of either neutral cubes or not. During the engine building phase and possibly the combat phase players add cubes of their color to this bag via card effects, card abilities and maybe by just playing them.

When the conquest phase starts players can attack each other cards. Each card would have a two numeric stats base strength and variable strength. (There's a better name for this but bear with me.) Cards have to attack an opponent's card. The card with the higher total strength (base strength + variable strength) wins. The losing card is removed from play. In case of a tie both cards are removed from play. Base strength is its face value. Variable strength indicates the number of cubes (or winks) to pull from the bag. The number of cubes you pull that match your is color the value variable strength for this attack. The same is done for the defending player card.

The game can end in two ways. If all of the characters on one side are eliminated they lose. If the bag runs out of cubes this indicates a lack of will to keep fighting, in this case victory points are counted.

Feel free to disregard, use or improve upon.

questccg
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Hmm... Need to think about this

Fri wrote:
So here is idea to simplify combat and also bring the game to a conclusion... Feel free to disregard, use or improve upon.

I am thinking about your concept... The only problem that I see is this:

  • Each player will TRY to build decks of a SINGLE color.

Because that is advantageous during the combat phase... Having two (2) colors in the bag is the easiest way to construct the "contents" of the bag to be the "most favorable". That's what I can see as a potential flaw.

Just trying to see if there are any other issues. See if you have to draw a specific color to help "win", the idea is to have as MUCH of that color as possible. However your opponent will NOT want to use the SAME color because that will help his/her opponent too. So if the bag was either RED or BLUE and Player #1 would want to draw RED, Player #2 would want to draw BLUE... The odds may be variable.

But do you see the potential "seed" problem/issue???

Fri
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Only white and black cubes

I left a key detail out. The white player would add white cubes the black player would add black cubes. White cubes are matches for the white player characters. Black cubes a matches for the black player characters. Maybe there is a third neutral color. No other colors are used.

Thanks for considering the idea.

FrankM
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Wink, wink

The only problem I see with this set-up, regardless of whether you use cubes or winks or whatever, is dumping out all the pieces after the combat and sorting them again. Probably not a big deal especially if there are only black and white pieces, but still a non-fun-adding step.

The only way to avoid that step is to contrive the fight so that ALL of the pieces get drawn out, which ruins the probabilistic nature of the mechanic, so this is a case where the cure is worse than the disease.

The only real point of this comment is to short-circuit anyone who might think, "Hey, wouldn't this be better if he used marbles?"

questccg
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Not really a problem

FrankM wrote:
The only problem I see with this set-up, regardless of whether you use cubes or winks or whatever, is dumping out all the pieces after the combat and sorting them again...

To be real honest with you, there are 20 White and 20 Black Winks. Emptying the grey bad from under 20 Winks is a simple step ... and the Winks don't need to be in order or sorted by color, players just choose their color and put their Winks into the bag.

So there's not really any difficulty with because it's all rather organic and not "extra steps" which take away from the game.

Originally I was going to use the "Wooden Cubes" on the cards and put those into the grey bag. But then it would become a challenge to know what cubes to put back and then whole "putting" back cubes would be another step which would not be fun either.

With the Winks, it's quick and easy. And no real need for managing them either (sorting, piles, etc.)

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