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Why in War Games/RTS, certain units are "use(-)less"

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larienna
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Have you thought about

Have you thought about combined attacks.

In NES conflict I had this situation where I used let say a SAM to attack a fighter but he survives with 2 out of 15 HP. So then I attack that fighter again with a supply truck that has a simple machine gun in hope finishing off the unit.

I also exxperiences this in Dai Senryaku where units have 10 HP, I could use 2 units with strong matching weapon to attempt destroying it. But if it survives, the weak useless unit could come in and try finishing it.

In board games, you would need to implement a kind of support system, where adjacent units can help other units to attack. Hill 218 or Ogre 218 card game use that mechanism.

Zone of control can also make those units annoying by preventing ennemy units to pass through. They act like pawns.

X3M
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I did! That is a good comment!

larienna wrote:
Have you thought about combined attacks.

In NES conflict I had this situation where I used let say a SAM to attack a fighter but he survives with 2 out of 15 HP. So then I attack that fighter again with a supply truck that has a simple machine gun in hope finishing off the unit.

I also exxperiences this in Dai Senryaku where units have 10 HP, I could use 2 units with strong matching weapon to attempt destroying it. But if it survives, the weak useless unit could come in and try finishing it.

In board games, you would need to implement a kind of support system, where adjacent units can help other units to attack. Hill 218 or Ogre 218 card game use that mechanism.

Zone of control can also make those units annoying by preventing ennemy units to pass through. They act like pawns.

As strange as it sounds. I even got forced to do so in certain missions that I created. Since your opponents might be something heavy, with fodder. It was better to have a weaker cannon with "super" weak rifle's. This to be dealing with fodder opponents as well.

1 and 49 is still effective against 100.
9 and 16 is still effective against 25 and 100.
2*9 and 64 is still effective against 81.
etc.

I intensely researched the possibilities with 9 and 16 against 25. The results are fun. And are implemented in some missions that I designed.
The same happened with 1 and 49 on a bigger scale.

***

Sadly enough. Zone control requires fast units in my game. There is no fog. So... slow, cheap units. Ah, right, transport and dropping them of.

It would be in uni-sing though. No fast and/or armored transport. And they can't do that for me.

larienna
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In the war game idea I talked

In the war game idea I talked in the recent months, I decided to abstract transportation, by making moving out of cities give you access to transportation to certain units for a turn.

X3M
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larienna wrote:In the war

larienna wrote:
In the war game idea I talked in the recent months, I decided to abstract transportation, by making moving out of cities give you access to transportation to certain units for a turn.

Like a road adding movement to the units?
I can't recall what you decided for.

larienna
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If you are or move to a city,

If you are or move to a city, you get a free helicopter,truck or plane transportations. Which can make infantry very mobile in the presence of cities, but mostly used for defensive purpose. Or capture purpose.

For example, an infantry unit has a movement of 2 and helicopter movement has a movement of 5. You can move 2 space into a city, then move up to 5 space by air.

But now that each player would start with 40% of their cities under their control, like explained in the other thread, it will reduce the number of capture required in a game.

X3M
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I still like the fact

That you brought up synergy.

While that little damage is of use. I find it important to see the difference between compensating synergy and bonus synergy

Yeah, making these words up. I don't know if there are official terms for them. But I guess this is how I explain things.

Compensating Synergy
I am very familiar with this concept. The balance that one seeks is 100% or just a bit above this 100% to make sure that the opponent is easily to be defeated.
The 1 + 49 against a 100 is one of those examples. While against a tier 10 armor. A tier 8 cannon works better than a tier 7 cannon with a rifle. Why would a player choose for the latter?

Bonus Synergy
My board game uses the concept of overkill. A tier 8 cannon simply does the same damage as a rifle on infantry. After all, 1 bullet or one cannon blast, and the soldier is dead. Only the 5 health per armor might throw things off. But the bottom line is that more damage than armor means death in real life.
The cannon blast is wasted on that soldier. The tier 7 tank is still alive if not targeted. That means that this tank can shoot twice. This is the bonus synergy. It effectively increases the higher tier weapons by letting them survive longer.

***

Due to mechanics. It is needed for players to have at least 7 rifle infantry to protect one tier 7 tank. And only 1 infantry is truly going to bite the dust at the total of 7.

If I don't want this mechanic. I have to look at the focus/sniping for balance. Because micro is now removed from the game.

Spotting the weakness and chaos are both situations that only ask for attention in RTS games. I rather look at the board game only. Where chaos doesn't exist. And spotting the weakness is a bonus strategy.

There where 2 formula's that I had for focus/sniping. But only the one for "any" design counts.

damage points(%)=%health*%damage*(n^2+n)*0.5
AND
damage points(%)=%health*%damage

While the n can be a constant. It will change once I think of a new balance formula.

The one that I currently use:
100%(cost)=%health+%damage

I have placed a lot of mechanics and rules around this one to make the board game balanced:
- Bonus rule; a high n is close to equal to n=1.
- Cover; size is of concern here and the higher size protects a lower size.
- Event Cards that change the positions in an army; will become obsolete once cover is removed.

These 3 mechanics can be removed after fixing the balancer formula. That is if, their use might disrupt things afterwards. So each has to be carefully examined.

The Event Cards are going to be a waste, once I find the right balance formula fitting the focus/sniping.

***

My goal for next time.

100%(cost)=%health+%damage
Has to change such that:
damage points(%)=%health*%damage
Shows better balance.

In other words. I will be working on the Compensating Synergy.

Of course 0 damage units should still cost something. But not 50% compared to medium units as for now.

john smith
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IN Historical Wargaming there

IN Historical Wargaming there are unbalanced units as that the way it was. The fun was in finding an opponents weakness and using your strength to exploit it. In world war two games, Germans had big bad Tigers and lots of players whined endlessly about them. But a good Wargame had the balance in realism. The Tigers could be out numbered or their lack of maneuverability be exploited. Allies also had Air Power that Germans could not match. BUT the Krauts were bristling with Mobile Anti Aircraft. It was a thrust and parry type of thing. When wargames got watered down for "simplicity" it was really about newcomers that did not have knowledge of tactics and did not want to gain that knowledge. So Wargames became cartoonish or checkers with tanks. Not fun at all IMO.

Another Example was Minis games of Star Wars, well before Fantasy Flight. I played minis with Star Wars models. Rebels always seemed outmatched. But the fun to accomplish a heroic victory in the face of seemingly overwhelming might. Big bad Star Destroyer could pound little rebel Corvettes to dust. But a skilled X-wing attack might get through its defenses and knock out the Shiled Generator. If it was an At-At "that armor is to strong for blasters" go for the legs.

X3M
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Good points

john smith wrote:
But a good Wargame had the balance in realism. The Tigers could be out numbered or their lack of maneuverability be exploited. Allies also had Air Power that Germans could not match. BUT the Krauts were bristling with Mobile Anti Aircraft. It was a thrust and parry type of thing. When wargames got watered down for "simplicity" it was really about newcomers that did not have knowledge of tactics and did not want to gain that knowledge.

This is some important history on the development of wargames. I see the same tendency on my game these last 2 years. Even though I want to simplify. There is always something "realistic" that is going to be sacrificed.

However, I think you will agree with me that infantry protecting a tank by being cannon fodder. Is very unrealistic in real life, right?

***

I did not sit still and did do some research on removing "wrong type of cover" mechanics.
I discovered new things. But am unsure if it has any meaning sharing that knowledge.

All I will share for now is that adjusting stats in order to get a better balance will not work with calculating a score by A*D.

john smith
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Yes,infantry spot for tanks

Yes,infantry spot for tanks as its very hard to see out of tanks. Even with modern Battle sights observation can be difficult especially when enemy infantry are well concealed and near you. Your vision blocks are to see out towards potential targets, seeing downward around the position of the tank is impossible unless you open the hatch expose yourself to fire. Infantry will work with tanks to compensate for this. Tanks of course have more firepower and greater range the can engage can neutralize heavy weapons that can shred infantry at a distance. This is the nutshell concept of Combined Arms. But to answer more directly, no, this is not achieved by Infantry by absorbing fire or being cannon fodder.

The challenge of older wargames was to employ better tactics then the opponent. I think allot of the demand for "simpler" comes from exaggerated claims of play length and the fact that the only way to gain experience in the game was to get beaten and learn from the defeat. Both were turn offs to newcomers. As old guys like me left, demand for other types of games came along leading to things like Memoir 44.

john smith
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X3M wrote:All I will share

X3M wrote:
All I will share for now is that adjusting stats in order to get a better balance will not work with calculating a score by A*D.

The reason most wargames use a A/D and not a A*D system is they are trying to display the magnitude of Attack combat Power verses Defender Combat Power. Common military maximum is that defense is the stronger form of combat and that it requires a combat force at least 3 times that of the Defender to achieve a positive result. That's why Most wargame combat CRT have a Ratio system if there is an aggregate unit system. In fact of you look at "Operations Analysis," the term Military apply to simulation or wargames used for training an planning purposes, they all use these schemes as well because all combat analysis is examining the proportions of power between the two combatants in aggregate systems.

If you are looking at individual weapon systems like Tank vs tank for example, then the accuracy and lethality versus the targets ability to survive. Basic questions being what are the chances(percentage chance) to hit the target? How likely is a hit to destroy it (percentage chance.) And the dreaded and often complained about modifiers are the easy way to adjust for varying combat conditions. IE:hitting a target with a Bow and Arrow in wind is more difficult then in calm. So the chance to hit is decreased if the battlefield is windy. Simple stuff.

X3M
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Clarifications.

The A*D is where A is the armor in terms of durability. In other words. They die, but later. In the survival time, they do D, or damage if you will. The total damage an unit does in combat in one on one matches would be A*D.

I can't really place that A/D that you described for determining effectiveness in combat. However, the relative durability compared to costs is indirectly visible in this from my point of view.

Where A=D, the costs efficiency on armor would be 1, or 100%. A wall would be a simple infinite efficiency. Then again, I call it indirectly visible. A comparing to D is a much better option. Where A:D as ratio is something that I use a lot.

The ratio's that I have found from my research that are very fitting to RTS games (and my board game). This is how I view things game-wise:

1:1 is the best type of unit. For direct combat.

1:"100" would be the best type of unit to use against unprotected spots.

2:3 and 3:2 are close to the 90% efficiency border. Which means that they are actually still balanced enough in a long run.

1:3 is a support unit that is still at 75% efficiency in direct combat. And lets just say it is 75% effective to use against unprotected spots. Which is 50% more than our 1:1 unit.

3:5 If we look at an average effectiveness for both direct combat AND support roles. This is the guy.

"100":0 3:1 and 5:3 are not mentioned in the above. Because they don't have the efficiency for one of the 2 active roles. Either you use them as walls. Or you use them as something annoying.

***

Wind?
I do have that :D.
Some hexagons are "weathery" regions. Rain, snow, wind, all there.

***

I wished that spotting would be the way for my board game. But it resembles RTS a bit too much. But I do have a version where tanks have weaker armor and more range compared to infantry. This automatically puts them more in the back. And are worse against infantry, once the opponent is closer by.

The mechanic that I use for optimal game play simply uses infantry as little meat walls. Enough, and the tank is protected. Something like this:
https://i.imgur.com/0OiZGvg.png

But once the number of infantry is insufficient. The rest is automatically protected by the tank instead.

It is something unrealistic. I know.

john smith
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Now that I see your picture.

Now that I see your picture. I see you were talking about Historical Tank Riders. Russians used these more then others in World War Two but if you look at pictures you often see Americans and Germans also doing this but almsot never into battle just as Transport. Whereas Russians would ride into Combat and jump off the tank to assault positions. This was a Death Warrant. Infantry riding on tank is more exposed then at any other time and of course in real life flesh and bone has no added defensive bonus at all. The Shermmans and their sandbags did not really offer any bonus to direct Anti Tank weapons. They were ad hoc ideas by Tankers that had gotten word about the German Anti Tank superiority. If you look hard enough you will see US Tankers even used Logs on the tank to bolster armor. Also not very effective, but the Americans were desperate and it gave crewmen a sense of security albeit a false one. The German Schurzen was designed specifically to defeat HEAT type rounds of Bazooka, PIAT, Panzerfaust manpacked weapons. Schurzen had no real effect on a solid AP shot from a AT gun or tank.

AS far as A and D I mistook it for Attack vs Defense. Even in many wargames made today use the "odds ratio". Units are given a Combat Power Number, or in other cases one power for attack and one for defense. The Attacker score is divided by the defenders and the result produces a ratio. CRT is consulted. But I now recall you already looked into CRT's from posts in the past.

I find spotting to be a key element in tactical wargames as it builds tension and gives some level of incomplete information. The best way to do it is to have an umpire. Umpire's were used more often prior to the proliferation of the PC, they and had the duties a computer AI would have today.

X3M
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Umpire

Because games have to be short and fast these days. "fog of war" is hardly an option. Also the use of an Umpire. Depending on the game mechanics, an Umpire might get bored really quickly too. Not only that, but the work that an Umpire has to do might be very chaotic as well. It feels as work for most games.

I trialled my game on the use of an Umpire. I think I crossed 99% of the options. But evaluated the use of an Umpire as a No Go for my game. Too much down time. And as I said before, players want a short fast game these days.

larienna
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I managed the issue with fog

I managed the issue with fog of war using spotting mechanism.

You need another unit already adjacent to your target in order to spot it, so that other units can attack that target afterwards.

Else artilleries cannot be used, or other units get severe penalties on blind attacks.

Scouting units can spot units in a larger radius.

The issue I had in my game is that with move 3 units restrictions, some actions must be spent on spoting. So I made spoting optional except for artillery, for other units there is a 50% chance that if you do a blind attack, you will not find your target.

john smith
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Yeah this is the part of

Yeah this is the part of board gaming that perplexes me. Its evident that most market to a group that clearly would be more satisfied with a Video game. Why dont people just buy one of those???

Role Playing has a Judge/GM how do those games survive?

First Rule in Fow of war. Dont worry about cheaters. If you suspect or confirm you are beating cheated don't play with that opponent anymore.

Now with that out of the way. There are different levels of this. The least satisfying is just require a shooter to spot the target before attack. The pieces are all on the board and you know where and what they are but you use spotting to pretend a shooter cant see them on the field of battle. The simplest but not really anything other then an added step IMO.

Next are dummy counters or pieces placed in all conceivable hiding spots. This adds some caution has it you dont know of its real or not. But in reality this is just hunt and peck as scouts move around just to turn over the dummys and get them out of the way.

Then There is the Generic counter that turns into a real one through spotting. IN other words you know its there but not what it is. Pretty much the same as above.

Next is secret ambushes where units in hiding potions are recorded and not reveled until the ambush is launched or some spotting finds them. This is kind of interesting

There is the more "complex" version of recording the positions of all units until spotted in which they are placed on the board. All Phones have a notepad and you all you gotta do is talk or type.

Next is the Gizmo approach. Lots of people like this and ironically they are super old and yet very effective. Divide your playing surface into "sectors" or number all terrain that is potential for hiding. Then use Matchboxes or other container with corresponding numbers. Any units hiding in terrain are placed in the container with that number. When the are is successfully spotted, the player revels whats in the box.

I played miniatures and did FoW Easy without a judge. I would make copies of a map of the table for each turn per player. Each player got these, a plastic overlay, and dry erase marker. Unit potions were noted each turn and the maps placed in envelopes. If there were discrepancies the appropriate map for the turn was pulled out and checked.

Leopard II a Japanese Wargame from the mid 80's used a version of this. BGG has many examples of Fog of War implications in games that worked to various degrees.

It makes a much more interesting and tense game. Its not as hard as many make it out to be and is well worth the added effort to players that truly desire it.

larienna
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Ask yourself if FOW is really

Ask yourself if FOW is really the core mechanics of the game. IF yes, focus on it. Else abstract it.

For example, in a WW2 pacific game idea I had, FOG war was the core mechanics of the game: Predict where your opponent will attack, where will you position your fleet for offense and defense, how will you use intelligence to help you reveal a part of the secret etc.

I had the idea of using face down cards to associate and area with a fleet.

X3M
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Let's not forget about the Stratego approach

This was by far the best method that fitted my game.

-Pieces where upside down until seen by other units.
-Or they attacked.

There where some loopholes in this that created strategy.

-If a piece was within vision, or even close to the enemy. The enemy could choose not to scout this piece. Simply by the fact that it didn't want to show its own piece where it would scout with. Of course, cheap scout pieces where the way to go.
-Movement could be used to give the illusion that the unit was slow. There where super fast units in the game that could jump up to 9 places. But those too moved like 3 or 4.
-The 2 above combined would result in funny events where the piece suddenly went 9 placed ahead by not being scouted.

The amount of pieces created down time by this approach. Even though there was a maximum of 7 squads that would move in a round. Each player had to check their own pieces for picking the right one.
Also, only with an Umpire, this would have gone fair for sure.
Having Stratego like pieces doesn't work with 3 or more players. The pieces had to lay up side down.

larienna
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Columbia block games are good

Columbia block games are good for Fog of war.

In my case, fliping units was used to record damage so I could not use that method for FOW.

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