# A simpler and easier way to work out some balances for combat games

25 replies [Last post]
X3M
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013

Balancing “damage – armor” mechanics.

A lot of games out there use armor as a subtraction from damage. While this sounds natural. It is a very hard method to balance when you know the math.

How much is this armor going to weight?
And how much will the damage going to weight?

The progress isn’t linear, but a complete system has to be observed. That means that 2 armor isn’t twice as good as 1 armor. It could be 3 times as good or only 20% better.

Step by step.

Simply think of the system first.
Put all the damages in a row and all the armor in a column. (Or the other way around, what you prefer).
Now calculate all the results.
If you have a minimum damage, apply this as well instead of the negative or zero.

Some weapons are used multiple times? Don’t put this in the table. Just don’t. Observe ONE projectile. So a 3 times 5 damage will be only a onetime 5 damage.

Now that your table is ready. You will have a list of how much damage each weapon will do. And how much damage each armor will take.
Add up all the damages that the weapons do. If you have 3 weapons, you will get 3 numbers. This is how much they weight. Damage weight is linear, you can simply apply these weights as factor. And if you have multiple projectiles for certain units. Simply multiply the weight with this factor.

Do the same for all the armor. Armor weight is tricky and you have 2 options which will probably result in the same.

Either use these weights for armor as a division on how much worth it is. If an armor weights 5, the cost for each health point will be divided by 5.
Or use it as a multiplication on health itself. Thus if an armor weights 5, health will be times 5.

Examples, only on request.

X3M
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
The one thing that I learned.

For those that use armor as a subtraction. And have used the above method for calculating weights. Might have discovered that the system shows illogical behavior towards the lightest and heaviest armor types.

Systems with only positive outputs and no minimum damages, will almost always result in having the lightest damage doing no damage against the heaviest armor. This is natural. But the RPS is shifted towards the heaviest damage being the middle man. This means, no one is going to use light weapons. And light armor is only going to be used as fodder, not as meat.

So the RPS is almost always broken. Even after trying to adjust your damages and armors.

IMHO subtracting armor is a No Go.

Use percentages or multiplications on damages instead. With this I mean, that you do away with armor being a subtraction. But you get armor and damage types as an attribute.

We aren’t there yet. You can fill in the table and see that you can still apply differences to the weapons and armor types.

With this, you can easily get light armor to be cheaper. But light weapons to be cheaper as well.

Examples, only on request.

let-off studios
Offline
Joined: 02/07/2011
Damage Soak, Armour Types

I think I understand what you're saying here. What you're describing made me think of the Palladium Role Playing System. Regarding combat in that system (if I recall correctly), you would throw 1d20, and anything above a 4 is a hit. There were additional modifiers that made things interesting, and not so incredibly lethal.

ARMOUR TYPE VS. DAMAGE TYPE
There are some armours that are less effective against certain types of damage. Earlier this year, I recall commenting on someone's blog entry or whatever about weapon type versus armour type in AD&D from back in the day. But the old-skool Marvel Super Heroes also had armours that would resist or nullify certain types of damage (like radiation damage, or kinetic/physical damage), and not be effective against others. Maybe something like this is worth considering?

SOAK
This is one thing I've not seen much at all, but I think it bears consideration in your case. There's a measure of armour resistance a tank has that an infantry unit can't come close to.

As an example, imagine two soldiers: one in a leather jerkin and one in a suit of steel plate mail. Both armours will not only protect against different types of damage differently (as in weapon versus armour type, above), but also, will protect the wearer from more damage in general. In other words, the armour itself "soaks up" damage so that the wearer doesn't even have to worry about the integrity of the armour and/or suffering damage. In terms of the Palladium system, these armours will absorb/soak a certain amount of damage, and only that which makes it through causes damage to the wearer.

There were other issues about durability and fatigue/deterioration based on how much damage the armour had to soak, either per hit or over successive hits. Soak would be reduced over time after several strikes until repairs could be made to restore the armour's integrity.

Not sure how far you want to go down the rabbit hole about this, particularly if it's not an option you wish to consider. Hope it's a useful digression.

X3M
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
Natural vs Syntetic

Well. I am starting to go pretty deep here. But it is all research in general. I have no other goal in mind.

I initially wanted to share some newfound knowledge. But I am also open to discussion.

I am curious about all the mechanics that people have come up with. Some are basic. Others are genious.

But have each of them considered a chance that there might be no rps at all in the system that they thought of.
That is what I learned with calculating the armor from damage subtraction mechanic.

Warcraft 2 is brilliant. It works the same way as simply subtracting armor from damage. And so does starcraft.

The difference is that warcraft 2 has also implemented a piercing damage. This is different per unit. And means that high armor can't defend against it. 6 basic minus 4 armor is 2 basic. 6 piercing is 6 piercing, period. That is a factor of 3 difference. In the 'target is armored' league.

Starcraft. As sad as it may sound. Relies on a damage table instead. Having the remaining damage being multiplied by a factor. 1 or 0.5 or 0.25 etc. This factor is a syntetic rps. Not a natural one.

Subtracting armor from damage is a natural one. That is why it interests me so much.

My "Projectile" has to begin with: A natural rps that is ridiculous strong already. And as most might recall. I added a syntetic one by simply telling players to add more damage when dealing with a certain type.

The natural rps was strong enough to create a factor of 6 slow down when the weapon or armor was a factor of 6 away in tiers. In other words. A factor of 6 against the armor league.

The armor subtraction has given me only a 50 percent slowdown. A mere factor of 1.5.
Which is only in the best of chosen situation.

This 1.5 works great in rts games with a lot of units. The survivor has like 1/3th of its army left. Especially with extra damage against certain targets. Hence was starcraft 2 born. But this is a combination between a weak natural rps and a strong syntetic one.

Overall. I am going to recheck several other games. Most are a combination of subtracting and a syntetic factor. But also the so called piercing damage. Whether by a simple number, a number different per unit or an overall percentage.
I am very interested to see AoE(2).

Just to see if it is natural or syntet8c.

X3M
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
let-off studios wrote: There

let-off studios wrote:

There were other issues about durability and fatigue/deterioration based on how much damage the armour had to soak, either per hit or over successive hits. Soak would be reduced over time after several strikes until repairs could be made to restore the armour's integrity.

I know of several systems that use the durability of armor and its effect on damage.
Most of them are hard to translate to boardgames.

One example is that the armor can be shredded like in Xcom.

Another example is that armor and health are both damaged. If armor is 100 percent. It takes 100 percent. If the armor is only 80 percent. 20 percent goes to health.
This can be done in 2 ways. Either armor always gets damaged by the weapon. Thus the total damage increases. Or the damage is completely divided. Keeping damage constant.
But health goes down either way.

***

There is also one that only looks at the total health. Used so far I think, in only one video game. Here the damage is reduced if the health is higher. Eg. An unit does 4 damage on 40 health. But against 80 health, it only does 2 damage. A weapon with 8 damage will do 8 damage against both health.
When the 80 health is lower to eg 60. The 4 damage will start putting more damage on the unit. It will go up to 3. And later 4.
Due to balancing. The weaker weapon will be weak at first. But once the target is damaged enough. The 4 damage will be stronger.

X3M
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
Artificial weight increase for armor

Still want to use armor as a subtraction?
Yet want a proper RPS?
That is possible.

Instead of calculating how much each armor is going to weight.
Simply tell the system how much each armor is weighting. As if the armor are types or attributes.
Eg. Light armor is 1, medium armor is 3 and heavy armor is 6.
Yet the subtraction might be 0, 6 and 12.

Now you make that same table of damage versus armor.
You calculate all the results or damage – armor.
But this time, you will multiply the results for the remaining damage times the armor weights.

What you get is a table that will show you how much weight each weapon will get.

With only 2 armor types. You could spot ratio's between the damage done to one or another. If you spot the same ratio's inverted, you got yourself a twin of damage. eg. 1:3 and 3:1. These twins when both used are perfectly balanced.

Examples only on request.

X3M
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
Make things simple for players

To keep things simple for designer and player. Simply tell the players how much damage will be done on each target. Starcraft 2 is such an example. And this method can have many benefits.

But keep in mind that for a board game, you need to have a clear difference in weapon effectiveness.
Artificial weight factors for armor are optional. But when used, the designer has to apply these to all possible damages, even if not shown.

Benefit 1.
Not only don’t players have to calculate. They can easily tell against which attribute the weapon is good.

Benefit 2.
An adjustment will only request changes in weight for that one unit.

Benefit 3.
Ratio’s are easily applied. There will be less chance on useless units.

Benefit 4.
Artificial weight factors for armor are optional.

There is a down side to this. As designer, you can’t tell yet if the system is balanced. For this, you need to plan ahead all the ratio’s that you want. And put them in a table to see if it is balanced.
What you don’t want to see is a weapon that is only 10% more effective in general by sacrificing effectiveness against one specific target. Because then you get the same situation as in the first posts.

Since most are dealing with designing board games. RPS needs to be stronger. So try to keep a ratio of 2 or more as the most extreme for each weapon. And also have a mirror ready to use.
Eg. A weapon has the ratio’s of 3,2,1. Another weapon needs to have 1,2,3. If you sum them up, you get 4 for each armor and 6 for each damage.
Eg2. A weapon has 6,3,2,1. It is wise to have other damages follow a total of 12 as ratio. Then it is optional for the designer if one mirror is applied. Or several different designs that balance things up.

In the second example. Don’t use several designs as average, treat each of them as independent when checking balance. This is because if you average several designs, players will only pick the best. By viewing them in dependably and balance them like that, chances are high that each design will have its personal use.

Examples only on request.

Experimental Designs
Offline
Joined: 04/20/2013
This may not be something

This may not be something you're looking for but I done a simplified formula of weapons being specialized for anti-armor and anti-personnel.

For starters I went with a basic "effectiveness" stat for all weapons that more or less abstracted factors such as the weapon crew/gunner experience and the weapon's accuracy. You roll this plus 2D6 versus another model's target value with modifiers included.

Then account certain factors such as vehicle armor or the survival level of infantry squads and subtract the overall effect from the first roll.

For example if your EFS is a 5 versus a target factor of 11 and you roll a 7 on 2D6 your overall effect is 1.

If the same weapon has an impact level of 4 and the target's armor is 2 then your overall effect is 3. Alternatively if the impact level is 4 versus an armor of 8 then your overall effect is -3 which is practically an ineffective attack.

Then you roll for damage thresholds. From the previous example if your effect is 3 and the model's damage threshold is 9 you roll 2D6 + 3 and if you roll equal to or above 9 then the model is disabled or destroyed.

X3M
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
You have given something good to talk about.

A simplified basic attack. With an extra against either personnel or armored units. Always is a good start.

This will also make it easy for players to discern the difference between the 2.

eg. A basic roll of 2, with an extra roll if facing eg. personnel. Is easy to grasp and easy to work with.

Since you are talking about dice rolls. Which are natural in board games. You need to know that when you add 1 more dice, the chances will go up differently than when the given dice amount. This will make balancing harder. And believe me when I say that you work with insane numbers here if you are using subtracting.

On the other hand, if you use numbers for attack and defence that are close together or even overlap. Then you might get a decent RPS system.

To make sure you know what chances each battle gives, use www.anydice.com to see the differences.

I could work out some example's with RPS like systems and dice if you like.

Or.

If you give much more detail on your rules. (here or a pm) I could check situations that can occur in your game. As long as these are 1 on 1 battle's. Things are simple enough for me to check.

X3M
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
Results suggest looping. (video RTS games only)

When you have a different amount of armor attributes than weapon attributes. The balance weight factors that you can get are correct. Even if the table suggest a "are you sure?".

You could put the new numbers in the same mill over and over again. But it will yield the same differences in weight factors for the weapons and armor. Almost always, weird numbers.

Once this looping reaches an equilibrium, you can compare the armor and damage weights to each other. And you can discover a difference between the 2 sets. If it isn't 1, the speed is different than what you would expect. And this number has something to do with the health/damage ratio.

It is a conjecture to get to this number.
And the usefulness of the number isn't that much.
I don't recommend this for board games. The results are way to low to have any meaning. But if any one out there makes RTS games on the scale of at least Total Annihilation, then it might prove a little push in the right direction.

X3M
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
RPS in other variables asside from armor

I have been requested to fill in the following subjects regarding effects on games (and their balancing methods if I have some):

- Speed and Distance.
- Guided projectiles.
- Terrain coverage.
- Terrain movement.

- Projectile speed (why I don't do guided projectiles).
- Reaction time.

Since I am short on time, I will address each of these subjects in this topic. Some of them can go deep.
But it is sure that each of these effects can have a (natural) RPS effect on the game.

X3M
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
Speed and Distance

Not many know that speed and distance is a complex subject when it comes to balancing.
It could also be read as Speed and Range. Or using range and distance together as well.

When using these value's in card games. Well, card games are often 1 dimensional. Some are 2d since you could move sideways etc.

Let's talk about the 1 dimensional version first. Because I have seen this struggle. And it is good to know how complicated it is.

Card games that use speed and range. They expect players to calculate the number of shots before the little skirmish ends. eg. A range of 8 is used and a speed of 2 is seen. That means 8/2=4 shots, right? Let's not forget the range of the target. If it has 4. You get 8-4=4 then 4/2=2. So, 2 shots in advance for one of the 2 cards.

[I removed the discussion of balancing that. And will jump to conclusions right away in this edit.]

Everyone can see that players will not be doing the above. And only recently, I can see that most designers don't do this either. And for good reasons.

One. The balancing is too difficult for 99,9%. Even I have yet to find an answer here.

Two. Instead of numbers, you can work with attributes. That saves us 99,9% of the trouble.

Use attributes. eg.
Speed: none/slow/medium/fast
Range: melee/short/medium/long
And you get your RPS simply written out like described in previous posts.

eg. Long range does 100% against speed none, 75% against slow, 50% against medium and 25% against fast.
For the other 3 range attributes, you do the same thing. As long as the total percentage per speed and per range reaches a well known total percentage. And the factoring creates nice round numbers. You are good to go.

***

What would work better with speed and range as numbers?
Simply assuming that cards don't do their death march towards each other.

Enter the realm of 2D

Now, card games that follow a grid. And board games that have a grid. These games benefit from range and speed effects in a different way. The game is forced to use these numbers now as physical properties. And skips the whole calculating part. Since players will be playing step by step now.

Attributes for speed and range are not needed, but could be added.

A death march, is only a tactical option now.
Pieces can move towards the enemy, away from it, and sideways.
Pieces also can shoot in any direction or any target to be precise.

And this proves that speed and range are truly 2D factors, not 1D.

The math is completely different too, for balancing that is. And it depends on other game mechanics as well.
Will there be an open field only?
Or will there be obstruction in movement and sight. Now having a weight factor to speed and range will depend on that. But also vice versa.
If you design the game with the factor being based on a 50/50 open/closed map. A more open map in vision will be beneficial to long ranged weapons. A more closed map in vision will be beneficial to fast moving pieces. If a lot of vision and movement is removed, you get a game where these slow moving melee units will be the best in the game.

eg.
A group of swordsmen could beat a MRLS in the canyons. But that same MRLS on a mountain could beat a dozen of groups of swordsmen.

tbh, you can't balance this with only looking at speed and range. But you can get close and start using designing rules for the game. More of this later.

X3M
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
One of the ways to balance speed and range

A lot of designers struggle with speed and range weight factors.
Given is that most don't know how the numbers exactly work.
It is unfortunate to say that this balance depends on your game mechanics. But also on your map layout.

But there is a basic formula to get to the balance factor that your speed and range should get.

Please keep in mind, this is for a 2D game. It doesn't work if speed and range are more or less an attribute. They have to be physical possible in the game.

There are reasons why just adding up or multiplication doesn't work. You have to do adding up AND multiplications. If you are curious, I can post the reasons.

I treat speed and range the same. If you want to know why, you can ask. So far, my own designs didn't complain. I also make use of a Ratio(X). We can use the following 2 formula's for balancing.

Weapon weight=D*(X+R)

Where D=Damage, X=Ratio, R=Range

Body weight=H*(X+S)/X

Where H=Health, X=Ratio, S=Speed

The total unit weight is Weapon plus Body.

On a side note:
-If you have a minimum range of 1, you can subtract 1 from all ranges.
-When you use dice for damage and your pieces don't use health. Pick 100% for health and D% for the average that you get with a dice roll.

To get the health/damage ratio.

Damage, Range, Health and Speed are a given. But how to get that Ratio? This is depending on your Health and Damage.

You have 2 options here.
-Either tell the game what the ratio will be.
-Or calculate this based on all the designs you have so far.

You add up all the health.
You add up all the damage.
You divide health by the damage.

The number you get is the ratio that your game currently uses. You might reconsider this ratio by changing it to a round number.
And it can also change if you apply changes to the designs themselves if you choose to change the game instead.

RPS test
Your RPS ratio can also be compared with the Health/Damage ratio, to see if your RPS is worthwhile enough for players to consider being useful.

If you divide your ratio by the RPS factor, and you get a clear difference in number of hits required to kill a piece. Then the RPS is worth it.

An example of RPS not being worth it would be as following:
The ratio is 3 and the RPS factor is 1,333. Dividing 3 by 1,333 gives 2,25. Combat is always rounded upwards in this regard. Thus it remains 3 shots. The +33% on the RPS is not sufficient in this example.

If you use synergy in the form of small support fire that overcomes that 0,25, that same RPS factor of 1,333 might still be useful.

***

Reverse engineering

When you reverse engineer the game. You will see that the best average units will follow this H/D ratio.
Anything different will change the balance in the game. eg. Your ratio might be 10 health per damage. You design an unit that has 15 health per damage. This would be a meat unit in the game. But it will also pull the average towards a higher health per damage. Making certain units act more like support units.

You have a choice now.
Either design a counter like only 5 health per damage. Or you accept the new ratio.

Since we want to apply a factor for increasing speed and range. It is the ratio that needs to remain constant once you have chosen what it should be.
So, from that point onwards, the game will constantly have counter designs.

Secondly, the weight calculation based only on health and damage, will increase the experience on having "too much" of certain units.

You see this in games like KKnD, where snipers are the best unit, while meant as support unit only.
Or Warcraft 2, where ogre's are the main battle force, while they are meant as meat shield.

***

You know, I think that who ever is interested in this. Should play around a bit with these 4 variables for now.

Topics remaining:

- Guided projectiles/Projectile speed (why I don't do guided projectiles)
- Reaction time.
- Terrain coverage.
- Terrain movement.

- Abstract Unit designs and their roles in the army.
Which I will be doing first. Just to show what else can be considered, when balancing a game.

Experimental Designs
Offline
Joined: 04/20/2013
https://gifs.ninja/wp-content
X3M
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
Ok. I'll delete the topic.

Ok. I'll delete the topic. Thought you where interested.

Jay103
Offline
Joined: 01/23/2018

He didn't say don't talk about it. He said your easy solution is sounding complicated.

X3M
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
Sorry. I typed that at my

Sorry. I typed that at my work.
Some of my co-workers really can get on my nerves. While I am supposed to be on a break.

If I could. I would have edited that "angry" post. But it seems I can't any more. Reading back, he didn't mean it negatively.

What I should have typed as answer is that I simplify there where I can. Removing all the complex back story. The story of how to get to the formula's.

The big problem of this topic is that it depends on the mechanics of each game. The formula's that I give, only work on a set of mechanics. We are going to miss out on them now.

***

I edited #0, #1, #5 and #6. By making them more abstract and simpler. No educational explanations. I hope these 4 are easier to understand now. If not, please ask.

The rest of the posts are yet to follow.

Experimental Designs
Offline
Joined: 04/20/2013
It wasn't mean to offend, it

It wasn't mean to offend, it was a funny way of saying to keep it simple.

Some of us here love the gratuitous mathematical expositions while others (like me) find it intimidating and difficult to grasp because I'm not mathematically inclined. I see a bunch of numbers my brain runs home to mama.

You're very talented in coming up with complex mechanics. If this was all for a programming language for a computer game, I can probably understand where the complexity comes from, but for a boardgame/tabletop?

I see a lot of what you post are in the form of a formula (like a math equation) and I find it difficult to translate it from a die roll or a table with corresponding numbers that apply. It makes giving feedback tricky on my part.

X3M
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
Experimental Designs wrote:It

Experimental Designs wrote:
It wasn't mean to offend, it was a funny way of saying to keep it simple.

Some of us here love the gratuitous mathematical expositions while others (like me) find it intimidating and difficult to grasp because I'm not mathematically inclined. I see a bunch of numbers my brain runs home to mama.

You're very talented in coming up with complex mechanics. If this was all for a programming language for a computer game, I can probably understand where the complexity comes from, but for a boardgame/tabletop?

I see a lot of what you post are in the form of a formula (like a math equation) and I find it difficult to translate it from a die roll or a table with corresponding numbers that apply. It makes giving feedback tricky on my part.

I'll keep it as simple as possible.
Balancing is all about getting the average numbers. I am pretty sure you can do that. Refraining from excel examples etc.

All the calculations that I always make. Players never see them. They only see the numbers 1 and 4 in the game. And the costs of 1 and 2 for these numbers.

I also planned to put in a tactical use list for all the possible units that a designer could make. I guess I should fix some other posts first. #12 is yet to be fixed. I think that is the one you had difficulties with.

If the posts that I edited this week. Are still to hard. Please let me know. Then I can pinpoint how deep I can get.

X3M
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
A short one about terrain in the game

I edited #12. But I feel that it might still be to much for some. Especially the math.

I removed most examples. And I removed ALL reasons on how I got to the formula's.

If anyone gets stuck on a specific part, pm me about it.

***

I can be short on terrain.
No formula's. Just a little talk on how I view terrain.

Terrain is the hardest thing to balance! Since terrain is very variable. You can never get a good balance if you have several different maps for the game.
There is always an unit design that will reign supreme on certain maps.
The same can be said if a race follows a certain main stream in unit design.

Instead of having a talk about strategies influenced by terrain. I rather talk about direct individual events that is influenced by terrain.

Terrain that block projectiles.
They can be moved around.

Terrain that block movement.
They can be shot over.

Terrain that blocks movement and projectiles. Here special designs come in like for example an artillery unit that still can shoot over or a hoover that can move over water.

The trick here is to either choose your factors or calculate the balance of your map.
Since we don't know how much different terrain you might use, it is easier to go for the factors instead. (I spend several month's to get my factors by watching my terrain and it is still weak to changes)

Movement

Let's consider each terrain type to have a grid square/hexagon.

Ok, in short: choose the factor for when an unit can move over water as well.
If movement is a factor of 1. Water might be 1,5.
The formula that I use to calculate weight, I use this factor of 1,5 on both 0 speed as any speed. Why? Units might stand still over water as well.

If you have units that jump over water and can stand only on ground. You get 2 new things to consider.
The minimum movement should be 2. Your starting point is ground. Your movement is through air. And your end point is ground again.
Start and end point have a factor of 1. Yet the 1,5 factor is used for the air.
I will let to your imagination how that works in formula form, but if interested, I will share.

If you have water like a river between two grid fields. The only thing that changes is the minimum movement. To reach the end point over that river, you still need that 1,5 for one movement.

***

I treat weapon projectile path's the same way as movement for units. So, you could apply the same theory. But the balance might be different, since weapons can shoot over more terrain types than units can move over.

An example, a tank can shoot over water. But not move over it.
A boat can shoot over land. But not move over it.

Experimental Designs
Offline
Joined: 04/20/2013
What scale is this on? If

What scale is this on?

If you're on a macro scale that you're moving entire divisions, I can see where you're coming from but if you're operating on a company or a platoon scale like Flames of War or Warhammer...this is overkill.

Just with terrain alone they can affect movement and concealment. Unless you go with true line of sight (which I despise) you'll have to do a lot of finagling on what counts as a blocking feature in the terrain and terrain that simply affects movement. Not saying this the entire case but you'll have people who will frankly try to BS their way of making their models behind a blade of grass but yet can see a tiny part of vehicle poking out from behind a rock and gets a free shot. Trust me, I think we've all played a game or two with "That Guy".

Then there's a more common sense approach which leaves less to interpretation by "That Guy" and less game breaky when disputed. There has to be a universal size system in which all models, game pieces and terrain alike are categorized. This includes a universal movement system based on the mode and what kind of basic terrain affects them. A more uniformed and universal system you have, the less there is to break by "That Guy" and leaves less up for debate. There is one tabletop game I will not name that uses a "true line of sight" and it gets bogged down because someone disagrees on what is hidden and what is seen.

This is only if you're doing a smaller company to platoon scale game. For division level game I think terrain should be predetermined based on the type of terrain and have a modifier applied when part of a division is moving through it and in combat.

For example if your armored division is moving through a mountainous terrain grid there should be heavy movement penalties along with moderate to heavy penalties in defense and attack.

Fording the same division would imply the same level of penalties since tanks and armored vehicles move slowly when trying to cross a shallow river and chances of getting bogged down which the division may have to forfeit movement that turn or something of equal detriment.

How you crunch those numbers is up to you. I'm not as familiar with that level games versus company and platoon scales.

And don't get me started on aircraft. That is a whole new kettle of fish there, my friend.

X3M
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
Analog or digital.

I understand the issue.

I talked from a digital perspective. But some here are analog oriented.
Grid is digital.
My unit sizes are also digital. I didn't adress the analog yet. I only adressed the terrain vision to terrain vision too. I didn't talk about size of units yet.
The warhammer terrain and unit sizes are analog. Then you get those discussions by "that guy". I understand the pain.

It is also true that the scale is for more then just one unit in my example. I didn't thought of analog games that others play where one unit each is considered.

Might I suggest to either put a number on the size of objects or give them attributes like small, medium and large.

That way, size and vision is digital again. Digital is mathematical assured.

***

As said before. It is hard to balance. Even these days, I have doubts about my own systems if I make a change or not. I mean. A boat has only 25 percent in weight compared to land vehicles ( no weapons added yet). This means that a boat can have 4 times more armor or health. Imagine now that one tank is stuck on an island. Yeah I certainly need to think that one over. The map rule of having 4 times more land that water excludes sea matches a lot. Which is a shame. I only have one 20 hex sea map at this moment. Maps with rivers have on average 5 hex water.

Airweapons have 160 percent compared to normal weapons in my game. For that number I divided 100 percent by the average vision for ground units.

Yes, the rules that I set up determine the looks of the planets that I play on.

X3M
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
homing in on effects

I kept movement and vision abstract as possible. Because many games use them as attributes. I on the other hand use other math. It doesn't matter what you use. All that matters is that you see both as a system. Where the 2 maximums kinda reach 0 and 100%.

If you design the attributes in such a way that you expect RPS mechanics. Then you might as well look back at the first posts where I talked about balancing them.

The scale of things doesn't even matter much here. It can be used on any scale.

***

Topics remaining:

- Guided projectiles/Projectile speed (why I don't do guided projectiles)
- Reaction time.

About these 2, I can be once again short.
For my game, only projectile speed worked as a round factor. But for other games, you might like to use attributes once again. If you work with numbers, things might get dizzy.

In space games, the projectile speeds could be as fast as ship speeds. But in other games, this isn't really realistic. So another way to treat this is having all projectiles a default speed in the rules.

As player you don't know the default speed. All you know is that you need a certain amount of dice for a certain distance and speed of the target. You can do this with tables if you like.

Then having homing capabilities or adjusted projectile speeds. You can simply change the position in that same table. If you are required to roll a 3 or less, for a hit because the target moves. A homing missile might add 1 or 2 to that number. Assuring the higher rolls to be certain. And lower rolls to become relatively much more efficient.

How to balance it, there are ways and things to consider. It is a lot of math. Simple math, but a tldr kind of math. It kind like works with the armor subtraction from damage. But we now have a minimum and maximum damage. It doesn't really add up to the game. But if you keep on adding small RPS effects. Then eventually if all effects are added up, you get one big one.

It is the small effects that I don't like. That is why I only use projectile speeds in my games. So that if there are 2 equal units, yet one has this advantage. The RPS is big enough to tell a difference.
I have chosen to not change 1 dice roll by adjusting the outcome. But to multiply this dice roll. This means that I can do 0, or 2 or higher. The how and why is math. So I leave that out. It has a disadvantage over simply adjusting one roll, but has as advantage the stronger RPS effect.

So, you can choose to either use homing projectiles or different projectile speeds. Homing projectiles are often making one roll better. And different projectile speeds will either remove or add rolls.

X3M
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
Tha last post (of this topic for now)

For now, this will be the last post in this topic. Math is my forte, and I use it to balance games. To distribute this knowledge to others, I can mostly only explain in abstract or too simple words. It doesn't always get the point across. If I try it in math, it is crystal clear to me, but not for others.

I had something planned regarding design classes. But not as in a class. But more of the unit/structure classes that any RTS or war game could posses. Given that the designer in question would design according to a set of balancing math rules.

Instead of explaining or such. I will for now, only give a list of classifications that I came across.

Meat
Support
Backbone
Fodder
Steamroller
The Slow Knife
Hit-n-Run
Hit-n-Run on Base only
Warp Speed
Minimum Range
Extreme Range
Walls
Defences
Defences that only function as Support
Offensive Defences
Transformers
A whole set of Harvesting methods (I posted (8?) methods once on the forum, but I have learned about more versions following the other classifications)

Most of them are already well known by any one. But if you are questioning one of them, let me know.

let-off studios
Offline
Joined: 02/07/2011
Similarities vs. Differences

X3M wrote:
Instead of explaining or such. I will for now, only give a list of classifications that I came across.
What would you say are the differences between these classifications?

• Meat vs. Fodder
• Steamroller vs. Slow Knife
X3M
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
let-off studios wrote:X3M

let-off studios wrote:
X3M wrote:
Instead of explaining or such. I will for now, only give a list of classifications that I came across.
What would you say are the differences between these classifications?

• Meat vs. Fodder
• Steamroller vs. Slow Knife

Meat vs Fodder
They both serve the same purpose of absorbing a great deal of damage. Before any other takes a hit.

The difference is that meat will live to tell the tale. While fodder often bites the dust in the process.

In RPS terms, low damage at a high firing rate wont do much against meat. And high damage at a low firing rate wont do much against fodder.

The term cannon fodder is used a lot. In those games, infantry take heavy cannon fire, so that any vehicle or tank can get out unharmed. The infantry often dies in the process.

Steamroller vs. Slow Knife
This one is tricky to explain.
A steam roller is a well balanced unit that is slow but certain to do damage. This is all thanks to their massive durability. These units still have some range to counter enemy range. They are relatively very effective against structures, since structures can't run away.

The same goes for the Slow Knife. A slow knife penetrates the shield. They function exactly the same as Steam Rollers, but have 2 advantages over one disadvantage.
They lack range and are often more or less melee units.
Since they lack range, they can either be cheaper, thus pumping resources into a stronger body. Then they can be the "meat" in the steam roller army.
Or they put the money into more fire power. Meaning that they can do massive damage to any structure that stands in their way.

I have often seen in games that the slow knife needs only a couple more seconds to move closer to a structure. But then safes time by destroying it at least twice as fast.

If you know that you have a slow knife, you might add some extra adjustments to it so it is extra effective with its weapon against targets it can catch. The Flame Tank of C&C3 is a prime example in this.

***

I forgot to add one classification. The Steamroller support. Can't edit the previous post. But I bet most people confuse support and steamroller support.

The steamroller support often can do a slow walk into the enemy base for a while as well. Then simply hit a target that is all the way in the back from a distance. These units almost never survive their trip. But at least they can get a job done.

The Juggernaught isn't simply a steam roller support. If used properly, it falls under the steamroller with extreme range. Just combining 2 extremes is what makes designing units fun.
Of course, they have extreme weaknesses as well if the game is properly designed.