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What are the impact of making unit health change the attack Strength?

4 replies [Last post]
larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008

There are many war games where the "health" of the unit will change for example the number of dices you roll. One game that does that is "wizard kings". The more health you lose, the weaker your attacks will be. The "Advance wars" video game or "Skirmish advance" board game implementation also does that.

Now I can see that it make sense thematically, but what are the impact on game play?

If wounded units have weaker offense, then they will not be used to attack. Therefore it should discourage the player to take the offensive.

If the game has many units, and unit stacking, it is not likely to have any impact.

But if the game has a low amount of units and no unit stacking, it could be more problematic and end up being hard to take offense. Or you will need to overrun your opponents with twice more units to secure a victory.

See any other pros and cons?

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011

You may also see an up-tick of "healer" units, as players strike-retreat-repair-return their front-line units.

Actually, off the top of my head, there are two strategies that come to mind regarding this kind of dynamic:

  • Balance between strikers and repair units, including an initial long-range bombardment as the kick-off for every pitched battle
  • The "zerg rush" where a player focuses on churning out as many low-level, affordable units as possible in an attempt to overwhelm their enemy.

So, I agree. If you don't enable a zerg rush in your game, then it's likely you'll encourage turtling - just as you predict - until a massive force is available for attack.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Something to consider

While your health grows weaker and so does your "attack" ... You can implement something to OFFSET this a bit: critical hits. With more odds of having "crits" (as they are known) this creates another channel to add depth of strategy to the game.

What I am suggesting, is as a player gets weaker in health and attack, they also become "STRONGER" in critical hits. You probably already know what a "crits" is... But for sake of completeness and for those reading who do not, "crits" are odds of doing a massive damage attack. As you get weaker (and more desperate to defeat your opponent), you INCREASE the odds (probability) of having a "critical hit". The idea is that fewer attacks from a high "crits" unit average out with stronger units that have not been attacked before.

The main difference is that it's all about PROBABILITY of a massive damage attack. It may be HIGHER but still not 100% certain. "Crits" are a neat way to make compatible the goal of becoming "weaker" but more dangerous as you do so.

Just my thoughts on the matter! Cheers.

Note #1: This can be implemented in a bunch of different ways. One way is to make a melee sword Vorpal. Vorpal means deadly force or decapitation. The "Crits" in this case is for the Vorpal sword to inflict deadly force or to chop off the opponent's head in ONE single blow. Again very dramatic... And interesting in terms of depth of strategy.

Note #2: The Vorpal effect (decapitation) is an AWESOME way of having a champion totally butchered and bloodened ... Obviously the combatant who has taken the most damage... To just in pure anger and fury swing his sword and in one mighty hit, slice off his opponent's head to win the battle! VERY KEWL...

Note #3: This is for the low amount of units and no stacking ... Where each "character" MATTERS (losing a unit is very important and dramatic when a "character" dies)...

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
it brings more balance

If you have the damage following the health. You get the best balance, possible in a wargame. After all, meat now follows the same damage path as fodder. Where meat has D = x * H
And fodder has D = x * n
With x being the same percentage for both.

However, as you stated. Healers will be more used.
The true fodder will still be dying.
While meat can be healed.
So meat > fodder with this mechanic.

I have chosen a different approach in my games.
Smaller army does indeed more damage.
Or... the smaller army is harder to hit.

Fhizban's picture
Joined: 01/11/2009
I was quite a fan of this

I was quite a fan of this mechanic in my earlier designs. It also add some realism and balancing to the game.

Nowadays im not that convinced anymore, simply because damage renders bigger (and therefore more expensive/valuable) units useless quite quickly.

We had a few test games a long while ago, where people refused to field big units (like Dragons etc.) after a while. Because after a few hits, those units lost their purpose (not being able to deal damage anymore).

Of course this all depends on the rules framework.

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