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Scale of time and space in warfare ( Large scale battle over a long period of time)

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larienna
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This question would be for a 4x turn based strategy video game.

I have been meditating on the time consumed each turn and the space covered by the battle map.

There will be 2 maps, the strategic map and the area map for war.


The strategic map is very simple: a 6x12 hex map that covers the whole world. Half the hex are land and water. Which creates 36 space the player can build their civilisation on.

example map

On each of those hexes, a war can occur. Now considering the amount of hex on the world, the world map hexes covers a lot of land. On that scale, USA would be made of 1 or 2 hexes.

A game turn takes 1 year


For the area map I was thinking something similar to Romance of the 3 kingdoms 2 (R3K2)

R3K2 battlemap

or something like wizard king

Wizard King map

Wizard kings seems to make more sense due to the scale of the map.


Anyway, R3K2 has interesting combat resolution where you can move around, try to surround your ennemy, lure them into trap, send the field on fire, etc. Which means that combats are made of small skirmishes and maneuvering until one side wins.

Now the problem is that in R3K2, battles last 1 month which makes such maneuvering logical. But it my game, the time scale will be 1 year. Which means that each combat turn will be something like 1 week. But in 1 week, a lot of things can happen. In fact entire army unit can be decimated within a week. So it cannot be a game of maneuvering and skirmishes.

So how can you possibly resolve large scale battle over a long period of time?

It's possible that when 2 units meet on the battle map, one of them will emmerge victorious immediately. Some soldiers might survive, but they will lose any position they were defending. As for the maneuvering, it will be more a matter of beign in range or not in range of your ennemy to engage him. You will probably need to move from city to city, not sure if you could hold on in the field indefinitely. So it's more a game of connection where you should which army should fight who.

I am not sure if there are any games that deals with battles of that scale. I know that "field commander Napoleon" as 3 different scale of map (europe as whole beign the 1st scale). I could get inspiration from there.

X3M
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I think you could still have

I think you could still have combat resolution of a year time. But cut it into 12 smaller pieces. Where some battles need only like 3, 4 or whatever, amount of subturns.
Maybe have something alongside the rolls, to help players make a choice for each subturn. Like for example, a part of the army splits of and needs 1 turn to move to a better position.

larienna
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Then the tactical strategy on

Then the tactical strategy on the map will be to determine who is in range to fight who. Who is in range to support, etc. Then when 2 army engage each other, they go to the troop muncher below

Then I was thinking is using a system like the GURPS RPG. Both sides sum up all their factors ( troop types, ratio, terrain, morale, etc) then make 1 roll and decides the results. The results indicates winners, casualties on each side and some other variables.

Now the question is: would the tactical movement on a map still be required and interesting. What values does it add? Because I could already put all the soldiers on the map in the troop muncher.

questccg
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I like your "troop muncher" ... Sounds cool!

If you can make everything rely on a couple "standard" d6s ... That might be real cool. One roll sounds GREAT, provided it can capture the essence of the battle. But I think it would be BEST to have 2 ROLLS: one for each SIDE!

Maybe like I suggested 2 or 3 "standard" dice which decide "what happens". And each player rolls his/her own dice (so that it doesn't seem "biased"). Each player rolling the dice means that both player rely on their own "luck" (so to speak, some people think dice rolling is a "skill"!)

It's better because it would "feel" less "luck"-based. If ONE (1) Player rolls for BOTH, a good roll could seem like "it's just a lucky roll". Having both players roll mitigates this a bit (IMHO).

To answer the question: "Do what you feel is right for the game."

Personally, I would use The Game Crafter's Invader Mat (Just one):

Which is only ONE (1) Tile... And you could limit the amount of "armies" (or units) to THREE (3). You could have like "a few" of these Tiles and randomly choose one as your positions... And use the Muncher to compute the end result given the dice and the units/terrain.

IDK ... I just thought that the INVADER Mat would be cool. As a single terrain tile without the need of re-configuring the game time combat occurs. Could be as simple as:

  1. Randomly select one (1) Invader Mat

  2. Place units in the Mat according to player's preferences and available space.

  3. Roll the d6s to resolve the battle given terrain modifiers and relative positions.

This is just an IDEA. I realize it may be more "complicated" to IMPLEMENT. But the concept may be worthwhile looking into... (Maybe or maybe not)!

Note #1: The idea is that given the positioning and placement of units on the "invader mat" plus the dice rolls, you can compute the end-result... Like say a tile BETWEEN two opposing units is a Mountain. This is normally impassable by land-based units. If both are land-based, this results in a 0 bias. But if one of the units is air-based, the bias can be +1 or +2. And then you roll the dice and compute the result. Suppose it's air vs. land, land rolls a 3 and air rolls a 2. Normally this would mean that the LAND unit would win... by 1 (affecting the survivor count). But since it's an AIR unit, +2 gets added and the AIR unit wins 4 to 3 (by 1 as well).

Something along those lines... Just so you get the idea.

And I am convinced (with this example) you DON'T need "custom" d6s. Just regular ones (faces 1 through 6) and have rules defining terrain and such in relation to the units in combat.

Note #2: Perhaps you could match the number of d6s to that of the number of "unit" in play per player. Like if you have THREE (3) "units" you can roll 3d6s. Then each player decides how to use the dice... Both sides see the RESULT of the dice rolls, but the selection of which die to use with which "unit" is associated with which die is SECRET (until it's time to reveal). That adds a bit of luck and out-thinking (or some good old guess work)...!

These are just ideas... Feel free to adapt or ignore them if they don't suit your direction in designing the game!

larienna
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I have been thinking more, if

I have been thinking more, if there is no maneuvering, it's only a matter of matching which unit with whom.

I had the idea once to use W1815 mechanism (no movement warfare), the problem is that the targeting in W1815 is in the design of the unit cards. Which means in my case it does not work.

I thought of using something similar to your invader mat, a small hex map, where at the "start" of the war, units are placed one the map 1 player at a time. Then the connection between the units determine the targetability and as units fall new connections are created.

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I'll see if I could scavenge a large scale map and test some army movement on them. There could be something in there. I am thinking that maybe you can be plotting or trying to get certain elements in place before attacking to get the most bonus on your side. A bit like the battle of red cliff where each side waiting for months before fighting. I'll have to see if the scale can be fun. Maybe you'll have to consider regaining morale and supplies between fight. Rallying dispersed troops.

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Another sub idea is that there could be multiple rolls made one after another. Allowing to see the impact of your army in battle. This is important to get feedback to make sure you made the right army composition choices. Maybe the only options during the resolution is to remain in battle or retreat. It allows a form of small skirmish and progression, but there is no maneuvering between skirmishes.

X3M
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What if you give your

What if you give your different units, different rankings in where they are placed on the battlefield?

For example, I use a front line, middle line and backline when combat occurs. Both sides hit the front line first, then go to the middle line, and eventually, the back line perishes. My players are free in this. But you can make it simple by forcing the position of units to a line. Tank/All round/Support.

With other factors, like Event Cards. Players can attack the middle line and back line at a earlier time. Often chipping away, the higher damages that those units have.

In short. Can your units have something like a position rank for in the battle? And is there a way to simulate a flanking or way around manoeuvrer, based on resources that a player owns?

larienna
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True, if battles are to be

True, if battles are to be automated, a bit like Ogre Battle, units could be pre-positioned and battle results would be influenced by those formations.

X3M
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Maybe like this?

A fog of war in the form of a plate between the players.

You don't see what your opponent is scheming for that battle. Once both sides are don positioning, the plate is removed and the combat is to be resolved.

This requires an extra playfield. I don't know if this would suit your game.

larienna
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it's for a video game so

it's for a video game so hidden information is possible.

Else using columbia blocks like in Wizard Kings is also a way to keep information hidden.

questccg
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Warlords!

larienna wrote:
True, if battles are to be automated, a bit like Ogre Battle, units could be pre-positioned and battle results would be influenced by those formations.

One of the EARLY PC Games (I believe circa 1990) was Warlords:

https://youtu.be/U3kheGeE9xQ

This game was a lot of FUN back in the day. Battles are done using opponents from one side versus the other. No terrain, no positioning, etc.

Ogre Battle is ALSO an "excellent" example of computed battle results but was on the SNES. I also played this one when visiting friends. But I did not have a Super Nintendo so I did not get "much practice" with this game.

Warlords is probably the predecessor of "Ogre Battle"... A simpler version of the turn-based feudal type game...

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