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Design proces of the game "Projectile"

This time, I decided to type away my idea's in a little blog.
It is kinda from scratch as I type. Although, there is a design path that I follow.

Seeing as how this game, should one day be public.
If I ever get that far (life isn't easy and forgiving when growing older)

The rules should be as simple as possible.

This is regarding a wargame. Which I like to call Projectile, for now.
The name has been used before. But at least, it regards projectiles when looking at the mechanics.

Goal in the game
A player needs to defeat its opponent through combat.
A player wins when all opponents are defeated or give up.

The map
Is a hexagon field.
Terrain can be either land or water.
Higher ground is a possibility.
To go from water to land requires a beach hexagon. And is also considered to be an altitude difference of 1.
To go from low to high ground requires a ramp hexagon.

Firing upwards costs 1 range for each altitude difference, and 1 penalty.
Firing up and down is not possible unless you use an artillery type.
Vision is determined by looking at the shortest path between 2 regions.
Obstruction will reduce space for ground units/structures. If the space is nog 36, then the number will be given on the hexagon.
Obstruction will reduce vision for ground units/structures. This will be given in a number of penalties.

Players turnorder in a round
Players pick a number from a bag. (1 to number of players)
This is their turn order for that round.
Each player can do 7 (re-)actions each round. Thus receives 7 Action Points (AP)
When a player is in turn, it has to perform an action. Or the AP is lost.
Between each action, the player has to wait for other players to perform their action.
Re-actions are performed when the player in turn performs an action.
Players don't have to perform a re-action, this is a choice.
When a player is out of actions, it has to wait till the next round.

Each units/structure can perform only 1 action and then is exhausted.
If exhausted units/structures want to perform another (re-)action, it will cost 2 AP.

After the combat round follows a build round.
The same order is used.
Then each player picks an Event Card.

The maximum number of Event Cards that a player may hold is 7.
Players may spend an Event Card at the sacrifice of other Event Cards of the same cost. Anytime, anywhere.

A squad
A squad is a selected group of units and/or structures on one region (1 hexagon). 1 Squad cannot be part of multiple regions.
Not all units/structures have to be part of a squad.
Those excluded can be a placebo squad of their own. They too can still be targeted as if they are a separate squad.

A squad will consist of 1 group of units/structures in front and 1 group of units/structures in the back.

The player in turn chooses 1 squad to either attack or move.
All other players may react by either attacking or moving with 1 squad.
Some units can do both movement and attack (150% costs).
Some Event Cards allow both movement and attack.
If the player wants to do both without the right units or Event Cards, then this will cost 3 AP (1 + 2 exhausted). And an exhausted squad would even need 4 AP (2x2 exhausted).

Penalties
A penalty is a 5/6th roll for each projectile to keep a hit.
2 penalties equal a 4/6th roll.
4 penalties equal a 3/6th roll.
6 penalties equal a 2/6th roll.
10 penalties equal a 1/6th roll.

Penalties occur when one squad fires at a moving squad.
The number of penalties equal the lowest comparison between the shortest distance of range and the chosen distance of movement.
Example: Player A shoots at moving player B. The movement distance is 3, the shortest range is 2. The number of penalties will be 2.
Player B could decide to move through another path if this will increase the shortest range.

Movement
A player moves a squad from one to another location.
Each part of the path needs to be checked if there is sufficient room.
Only allied and enemy units, or objects on the board can reduce the space.
The path can be as long as the maxium movement of an unit allows.

Attacking
When attacking, the position is important in case of moving AND attacking.
If 2 squads attack each other, they go simoultainiously. Despite the location of attacking from.

In case of 2 squads firing at each other. The bigger squad will receive 2 penalties. These penalties will be applied until the next turn. (This rule because a squad size may differ during 1 turn.)

The order of attacking within the squads can differ.
First the penalties are rolled for all projectiles.

The shortest ranges go first. Starting at 0 range.
Each range has a resolution before going to the next range.
The players now roll the projectiles for a hit/miss by accuracy.
And lastly a hit/miss by 2/6th (or a penalty equal to 6)

With each resolution, the attacking player may choose an unit/structure in the front group to take the damage. If the front group is smaller than the back group, damage may be applied to the backgroup until it is smaller than the front group again.

Example:
Player A has 3 hits of damage 1 each. Player B has 3 infantry in the front group and 2 infantry in the back group.
The front group looses 2 infantry. The back group is now big enough for being targeted. Player A can now choose any infantry of B to take damage.

If the range is insufficient
If the attacking location contains less or equal space than where the target is located. The attacking player may add 1 range to the units/structures that don't have sufficient range.
(this to give 0 ranged units and buildings a function)

Example:
Player A attacks from a distance of range 3, with units that have range 2.
Player A has less space than player B.
Player A will have its 2 ranged units now have 3 range for that action for that turn.

Unit/Structure statistics

Command Points:
Command Points are considered the cost and size of units and structures.
Size is used to determine movement posibilities, group size and remaining space.
No more than 36 command points may be placed on a region.
It is possible that a player is forced to build multiple units/structures when choosing to build those.

Number:
This is the maximum allowed of pieces of this unit/structure on the map for 1 player.

Strategy Points:
Some units/structures supply the player with Strategy Points.
These can be used to allow any units/structures to perform an exhaust free (re-)action.

Armor:
Armor can be either 1, 2 or 4.
In cases of when 2 and 4 take damage. Damage points are added to that piece.
Once all armor is destroyed, the piece is removed from the board.

Speed:
This is how fast an unit can move on the board.

Damage:
This is how much damage each projectile does.
Damages can be 1, 2 or 4.
If 2 or 4 damage is applied to an Armor that is less.
Then excess damage is lost.

Accuracy:
This is an extra roll to determine if the projectile can hit.

Multiplier:
This is how many projectiles an unit/structure can fire.

Range:
This is the distance at how far an unit/structure can fire.

Other:
Other abilities can be anything special.
One example would be that the unit can perform an movement AND attack in just 1 action.
Another could be that it can fire at air or is airborne.
Another could be that it can move over water, or over water and land.
Another could be that it has the artillery ability.

Units/Structures
Now the fun begins. I will start with the 3 walls. And something that can hide behind the smallest wall.

Sandbags:
6 = Command Points (You build 4 of 1.5 each, they act as one group)
6 = Number
0 = Strategy Points
1 = Armor (for each part)
0 = Speed
0 = Damage
0 = Accuracy
0 = Multiplier
0 = Range
Other: You build 4 sandbag walls of 1.5 each. They act as one big barricade. This barricade is durable because it will receive 1 damage from each projectile. 4 damage is simply reduced to 1.

Fence:
9 = Command Points (You build 4 of 2.25 each, they act as one group)
4 = Number
0 = Strategy Points
2 = Armor (for each part)
0 = Speed
0 = Damage
0 = Accuracy
0 = Multiplier
0 = Range
Other: You build 4 fences of 2.25 each. They act as one big barricade. This barricade is durable because it will receive a maximum of 2 damage from each projectile. 4 damage is simply reduced to 2.

Concrete Wall:
3 = Command Points
12 = Number
0 = Strategy Points
4 = Armor
0 = Speed
0 = Damage
0 = Accuracy
0 = Multiplier
0 = Range

Sentry gun:
3 = Command Points
12 = Number
0 = Strategy Points
1 = Armor
0 = Speed
1 = Damage
3 = Accuracy
1 = Multiplier
2 = Range

Future units/structures:
You name it. Dirt Bike still planned for mr. Questccg.
Barbed wire and mines will be added.
anything "mad-max" and decayed modern can be added (example: an old Abraham is possible)
But I will apply a "every next design beats the previous one" principle.

Comments

If I'm not artillery, I can

If I'm not artillery, I can fire straight, but not down? So the "high ground advantage" is only that lower artillery takes a penalty to try to hit me?

Normal weapons can fire in a

Normal weapons can fire in a straight line.
Horizontal, up OR down.

Artillery weapons can fire with an arc.
Thus up AND down.

High ground advantage is that the one shooting at you gets 2 types of penalties.
An extra roll.
Range is reduced by 1.

Example.
The attacker stands at height 0.
The region in between is 2 high.
The target behind is at 1 height.

Only arc/artillery weapons can shoot at the target.
The difference of 1 height also gives the 2 types of penalties.

If the target shoots back.
It too has to be an arc/artillery weapon.
But since the other side is at equal or lower ground. No penalties are added.

Normal weapons in that

Normal weapons in that example can only fire from the 0 to the 2 or vice versa.
And from the 1 to the 2 or vice versa.

In case of 0 to 2.
There is a range reduction of 2.
And 2 penalty rolls of 5/6th. Which can be 1 of 4/6th.

The bigger army

Can't edit the original rules.

The bigger army will receive 4 penalties (not 2) of 5/6th (1 penalty of 3/6th).

Still only when both sides fire.
Of course the defending army is forced to return fire. Only to reduce incomming hits by 50%.

Ah.. I was confused by the

Ah.. I was confused by the (technically precise and correct) statement

Quote:
Firing up and down is not possible unless you use an artillery type.

I would emphasis the AND there :) Maybe "both up and down at once"

Agreed

Jay103 wrote:
Ah.. I was confused by the (technically precise and correct) statement

Quote:
Firing up and down is not possible unless you use an artillery type.

I would emphasis the AND there :) Maybe "both up and down at once"

The original hobby game tells about this in great detail. But "AND" says so much more than "and".

Would it be better to just explain the difference between straight and arc?
I feel that this way, players know there are only 2 versions.

***

Air units
(To keep it simple, no special AA weapons)

These are always at the ground when not used.
When used, they will be able to do both attack and move. Their movement will be high. Range is optional.
They will also be able to cross water AND ridges.
This way, they can easily avoid enemy units.
And even hide behind hills that only arc can fire over.
However, all units can fire at air units, when in range.

This means that arc weapons are better AA weaponry. Despite being more expensive.

Weights for movement AND placement
0.5 water
1.0 ground and ramps
0.5 ridges

0.5 Ships and shipyard
1.0 Land and all other structures
1.5 Hoover and Crawlers (land with ridges)
2.0 Air (3.0 for movement and 1.5 for attack)

Building phase and Resources
The map contains control points.
Players need to contain the biggest force on such control point in order to receive resources from that control point.

Resources have to be spend right away in the building phase, or are lost.
Resources can be saved up in the base in silo's. If destroyed, the resources are lost.

I got some time now again (short though)

Ok. So to make things as easy as possible for designing the units and buildings. First a designer needs to make the choice of:
- Implementing all possibilities.
- Only design what you need for a closed game.

For this blog, I choose the latter.

Sure I can post like 10 different variations of the same rifle man. But it would make no sense to have these choices. If players don't even feel the differences.

But what would be my start point?
In a previous blog, I had the Sentry gun posted. So we need something that is weak against it. But also something that is strong against it.
But in the same time, those 2 units should have an interaction as well. Wheter it is synergy or a RPS effect.

The R in RPS would be:

Sentry gun:
3 = Command Points
12 = Number
0 = Strategy Points
1 = Armor
0 = Speed
1 = Damage
3 = Accuracy
1 = Multiplier
2 = Range

The P would be something that can easily outrange this Sentry gun. And is mobile. The types of damage and armor should still be the same.

Sniper:
9 = Command Points
4 = Number
0 = Strategy Points
1 = Armor
1 = Speed
1 = Damage
4 = Accuracy
2 = Multiplier
5 = Range

And we need the S. Which is relatively weaker than the Sentry gun, because it is just a bit more expensive. Even still by a small margin.

Rifleman:
4 = Command Points
9 = Number
0 = Strategy Points
1 = Armor
1 = Speed
1 = Damage
4 = Accuracy
1 = Multiplier
2 = Range

If...

If you have been following this. You might have noticed that the Strategy points are still 0.

I might as well scrap it. And only add as a special property when needed. All other variables have changed.

As symbols on the pieces. We have 2 major ones.
The armor and the damage.
For these 2, a symbol is just as good.

Armor will be a shield in 3 different colours.
Pink for the infantry.
Blue for the light armored, which is 2.
Yellow for the heavy armored, which is 4.

Damage will be a projectile symbol.
A bullet rain with a fire aura in pink.
Several small explosions in blue.
One big explosion in yellow.

The colours match the effectivness.

Inside these symbols, a number would be displayed.
This will be the speed on the armor symbol.
And of course the range on the weapon symbol.

Seeing as how a projectile symbol is a bit hard to recognise. It will be a bit bigger. Not only to hold the range, but also the accuracy.

Now only the multiplier is left. This one will be placed in front of the projectile symbol when it os different than the usual 1.

The number can be derived from a list.
Which immediately could serve to tell players about Strategy points.
The cost will be placed in a different corner of the piece. Which sometimes is a 2 digit number.

Printing 2 sides of a piece will allow me to reduce the usage of damage points.
1 armor is dead any way.
2 armor will be turned upside down.
4 armor will have a damage counter, then turned upside down for yet another damage counter.

The fence is an exception. And perhaps should be removed or changed.

Have I mentioned?

That the rifleman and the sniper is actually closely balanced?

Practical balance and skill comes in play.

No one approaches snipers on a hill. Well Dûh!
The riflemen rather approach from a blind spot, despite the slow movement speed.

The insufficient range will also come into play.
If the range is insufficient
If the attacking location contains less or equal space than where the target is located. The attacking player may add 1 range to the units/structures that don't have sufficient range.
(this to give 0 ranged units and buildings a function)

Oooofff, I made a mistake here.
It reads better when I say:
If the attacking squad doesn't fit in the target location.
The attacking player may add 1 range to the units/structures that don't have sufficient range.

Seeing as how a Sniper squad is maxed. The riflemen need only 2 steps. Which means they get a little bit more killing time at the beginning while they are still relatively big.

And lastly.
Something to help them get closer would be something with more armor. Yet other statistics can remain the same, roughly.

Trooper:
6 = Command Points
6 = Number
2 = Armor
1 = Speed
1 = Damage
6 = Accuracy
1 = Multiplier
2 = Range

Of course, we need something that can fight these Troopers on "equal" grounds. tbc...

Time to create a couple of choices

the trooper needs a weakness. But one that is on equal grounds. Just like how the rifleman and sniper are on almost equal grounds at first glance.
The design process asks for tricks though...

Grenadier:
7 = Command Points
5 = Number
1 = Armor
2 = Speed
2 = Damage
4 = Accuracy
2 = Multiplier
1 = Range
1 = Strategy Points

This design, if used by the player. Will be adding 1 SP each round to a pool. Once enough points are gathered. These can be used to let an unit/structure do one more action. An exhausted piece will need twice the ammount.

An alternate version that uses a grenade launcher could be added. The statistics will not differ that much.

Grenade Launcher Infantry:
7 = Command Points
5 = Number
1 = Armor
2 = Speed
2 = Damage
6 = Accuracy
1 = Multiplier
2 = Range
1 = Strategy Points

So, I have 2 options for infantry with grenades. Thematic, the 1 ranged grenadier would be best. And could deal with tanks as well. But the launcher option fits better for synergy.

Just like how riflemen and troopers have a synergy in certain situations. So will the grenadiers have one with the riflemen.

Several RPS are closed now. With or without synergy. Let's add a new option to deal with infantry. One to deal with those pesky Snipers in particular. That would be the Dirt Bike.

Dirt Bike:
9 = Command Points
4 = Number
2 = Armor
5 = Speed
1 = Damage
4 = Accuracy
2 = Multiplier
1 = Range

It kinda looks like the same statistics like the Sniper. Except for the armor. This is 2. And thus more durable. The grenadier will be a bit on equal grounds. Although I need to calculate the exact result on averages. And lets not forget. Lets not forget that the number, 5 grenadiers or 4 dirt bikes, is an important variable in balance.

The Dirt Bike, needs target practise

But then again, is a very fast unit that could easily avoid everything harmfull.

I did some testing on how well it would fair against other units. Not giving the exact data. But let's just say that from all the names units above.

Only Snipers will fall victim.

I guess I need to design rocket infantry in such a way, that these are ineffective against dirt bikes.

Rocket Infantry:
8 = Command Points
4 = Number
1 = Armor
1 = Speed
4 = Damage
4 = Accuracy
1 = Multiplier
4 = Range
4 = Strategy Points

These Rocket Infantry are currently a design that can't win against any of the above. Although, they can destory a concrete wall with one hit.

And besides of the sniper, they can outrange the sentry gun as well.

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blog | by Dr. Radut