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Myth» Forums » General

Subject: How I reconcile the game's mechanics rss

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Jason Beighel
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I bought Myth a couple weeks ago and played a few games solo just to see how it all worked. It's a little awkward at first getting the rules to make sense. During those turns where you have no attack cards or when you kill a few enemies but they don't fight back, it's impossible to not think that either the game is broken or you're playing it wrong.

In most games I'll match the rules with some sort of narrative or cinematic intent which helps me visualize the actions and things make more sense, or at least then I can get over these hurdles.

What brought it into focus for me in Myth was the thought that in movies and stories warriors don't chip away at their opponents, killing them one wound at a time. Weapons clash repeatedly, then suddenly there's one decisive blow that kills one of the combatants. When I stopped thinking of hit points as death by a thousand paper cuts, and more of the warrior's focus as their mental resolve is worn down until they slip and leave that critical opening where that last hit point represents that single killing blow.

This can easily extend out to the other mechanics. When you draw no combat card, your hero is rattled by the combat and those movement cards are the fight or flight reflex jumping into flight mode; or perhaps it's not that the weapon wasn't available there just wasn't any chink in his opponents defenses to put it so you circle around looking for an opening.

When you kill a few crawlers but they don't strike back, their trying to circle up or form ranks to guard against the heroes. The AP in the Darkness meter is the enemies reaching some breaking point where they lash out through their paralysis from this sudden attack.

The start of a new tile when you take a loitering penalty while moving into position and the enemies are out of range so the Darkness meter doesn't fill, that's when the two opposing teams are on guard unsure of whats going on. Maybe the grubbers are watching to see what sort of foes they are up against, both sides are sizing each other up in a battle of wills to see who flinches first.

This doesn't at all clarify why the mechanics work the way they do, but it helps me to visualize what all the characters are doing. This helps me to overcome my confusion and frustration when the rules don't make sense.
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Kelly B
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I dunno. I always kind of imagined the heroes moving in 'bullet time.' Y'know, everything slows down when your adrenaline is super high and it takes a very long (in your perception) time for the enemy to even realize that you are there amongst them.
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Jason Beighel
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happycatmachine wrote:
I dunno. I always kind of imagined the heroes moving in 'bullet time.' Y'know, everything slows down when your adrenaline is super high and it takes a very long (in your perception) time for the enemy to even realize that you are there amongst them.


That's another interesting way of looking at it. What with magic being used a lot there certainly could be speed effects like that.
 
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Brian Torrens
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I always thought of it like this. Each hero phase is about three seconds of real time. Turns in which you don't draw any attack type cards merely represent moments of indecision. When you consider that in many rounds you may move a few spaces, make an attack or two it is quite feasable. This would also explain the monsters position. They aren't ignoring the heros, they just haven't had time to react yet.
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Jochen Wiesner
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Brian T wrote:
I always thought of it like this. Each hero phase is about three seconds of real time.


Which means they cut through a small group of enemies in about 6 to 12 seconds?

A skirmisher battle (or an PRG battle, for that issue) is an abstraction of a real battle. It abstracts in many aspects. Turns and order of initiative vs real time everything at once, attacks and parades, wounds and the effects of those. Personally, I don't think matching events happening in the board game systematically to possible real events goes in the right direction. One turn might simulate and abstract the equivalent of a few seconds, the next one the events of a whole minute. One attack might be a mighty blow against an opponent that was focused elsewhere, the next attack a flurry of blows of which only the last one connected and so on.

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David Ainsworth
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Myth is a cartoon. More specifically it's an exaggerated recollection of a battle in which, yeah, the heroes did some awesome things. I mean the whole theme of the game is these guys sat around a table in a tavern telling tall tales of their exploits. So trying to reconcile these things isn't going to leave an altogether satisfying conclusion, because it's not meant to represent "real battles" or reality at all.
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Dan Renwick
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It's ironic that they're called the Darkness when it's almost always the Heroes that attack first. Maybe the Heroes are the real villains.


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Paul Aceto
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Any MMORPG players here? I see Darkness as akin to aggro, something you carefully manage until you are ready to attack. If you approach a new room in a World of Warcraft dungeon, you don't just rush in (unless you have a guy named Jenkins in your party). You buff up, switch weapons and armor, redo your toolbar bar and get in position. That is what I see hand management and movement doing before you are ready to pop the AP up to 6.
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David Griffin
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It wasn't until real-time games that it was even possible for both sides to act at the same time, and that's his video games. So in a board game, it's usually the case that both sides have a turn and when one is acting the other is not. That's just a necessary abstraction. I don't see that as any stranger then Myth's darkness track.
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David Jackson
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I really don't see the system as any more odd than any other tactics/crawler game.

Sometimes a Hero may get to act more than once before the enemies do, sometimes the enemies may act twice before a particular hero does. At the end of the day it doesn't seem any more out of place than the "ok, we all go, then all of the enemies go" that you find in most board games.

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David Griffin
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Right, the only different thing here is that the darkness turn happens in irregular intervals instead of regular intervals.
 
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Kelly B
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carbon_dragon wrote:
Right, the only different thing here is that the darkness turn happens in irregular intervals instead of regular intervals.


And controlling that interval is part of the game here. That adds to the thought process a bit. Coolness.
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Jason Beighel
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CarelessOpossum wrote:
I really don't see the system as any more odd than any other tactics/crawler game.

Sometimes a Hero may get to act more than once before the enemies do, sometimes the enemies may act twice before a particular hero does. At the end of the day it doesn't seem any more out of place than the "ok, we all go, then all of the enemies go" that you find in most board games.


You're right, it's not really much more abstracted. For whatever weird reason I just need a way to explain mechanics in some sort of story terms. It helps me to work with the flow of the game, or to think up a ruling in an ambiguous situation.

Probably not useful to anyone but me, but thought it'd be an interesting read.
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Brian Torrens
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The_Crimson_King wrote:
Brian T wrote:
I always thought of it like this. Each hero phase is about three seconds of real time.


Which means they cut through a small group of enemies in about 6 to 12 seconds?



Have you ever watched a fencing match?

Of course this is very "Heroic" action. Conan wades through hordes of minions in seconds without breaking a sweat but combat against a tougher foe takes longer. Similarly in Myth, the Soldier may take out three or more minions in a single round, but that won't necessarily happen when he engages a captain. The point I was making is that if the OP is trying to "reconcile the game's mechanics", consider that each Hero Phase is most likely not very much time. Actions and reactions played happen in the blink of an eye and while this game is not a true combat simulation, I think it is a great way to handle initiative for combat actions and reactions when you are using an AI system to handle the monsters.

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Jochen Wiesner
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Brian T wrote:


Have you ever watched a fencing match?



Yes. But this isn't fencing. It's a skirmish between two groups of warriors who will most likely assess and evaulate the enemy, choose tactics and probe. The heroes' starting equipment doesn't look like it's really useful for mass mayhem either.
 
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David Griffin
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The_Crimson_King wrote:
Brian T wrote:


Have you ever watched a fencing match?



Yes. But this isn't fencing. It's a skirmish between two groups of warriors who will most likely assess and evaulate the enemy, choose tactics and probe. The heroes' starting equipment doesn't look like it's really useful for mass mayhem either.


I had a whole thread about that last point. Most people seem to find the whole fireplace poker thing endearing.
 
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