Daniel W
Australia
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So I'm working on a gaming project of my own. Call it a fantasy spin on Freedom in the Galaxy. However, I am a little dissatisfied with the combat resolution. I've looked over the advanced/2.0 variants as well as Down with the Empire, and the combat, for all it tries to add strategy, boils down to throwing a bigger pile of units at the other guy. Which is effective (I have the rules for Pax Romana, found after much Googling and BGGing, on hand as my current resolution mechanic) but a tad boring.

First question - Am I wrong? Are CRTs secretly the most amazing and tense thing ever and I'm just missing it? I know they're designed to be somewhat realistic, which I definitely appreciate.

Second question - Combat mechanic for this game. Here's my wishlist:
1) Quick enough to be resolved as part of a larger game
2) Allows player decisions beyond Attack and Retreat to affect results
3) Fantasy units (pegasus knights, dragons, wizards etc) that are interesting and varied and create strategic and tactical decisions (i.e. more than just a different picture on a strength number chit)
4) Terrain is a consideration

I have this crazy mental image of nine terrain cards laid in a square for center, left and right flanks, and a no man's land between the two armies, chits on the cards for maneuvering and positioning, but that might be a bit ambitious. Again, I could be very wrong. It certainly doesn't sound quick enough for what I need.

I look forward to the suggestions; thanks in advance!

May your dice never falter!
 
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A Wong
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It sounds like you are looking to take combat resolution from other games?

While other games are a good inspiration, it can often be better to hand-roll the combat mechanics. After all, that's part of the fun of designing your own game!

I'm not sure what 'CRT' stands for, but strategic combat is the bread and butter of a TON of games, and as varied as the stars in the sky.

There are also a ton of Video Games that can be used for inspiration ( Heroes of Might & Magic being one of my favourites, Ogre Battle being another).

My main combat game is Warmachine, but that might be more involved then you'd want. That's not to say it can't be used for inspiration.

How involved you want the combat to be really depends on how important combat is - and if you want it to be a 'minigame', or part of the main game as a whole.

If it's mostly a a world map, I'd just graft grid based combat onto the game. Terrain gives bonuses to defender or attacker, and some units get bonuses depending on where the battle happens.

Facing would be important for each army, and then you'd have:
Attack, Fortify, Retreat.

Each 'army', would be set up with 2 ranks (for ranged and combat units). If you are attacked from the back, your ranged are attacked first. If you are attacked from the side, you are attacked equally on both ranks, and front, only your front guys are attacked.

Since you have magic, units will have special effects as well.

9 square combat is probably overkill, unless you want combat to be the main part of the game.

Whatever you go with, or whatever you're thinking about, there is only 1 way to know whether it is good - Test it!!!

Testing is the only real way you will know whether or not something is good or bad.

But wait, you say, 'But I have few people willing to test it, and I'm afraid of scaring off the few people who will with a shoddy game!'

A key thing I wish I had figured out earlier, is that you can 'Dry Test' the rules by yourself.

PnP the basic components, and play the game against yourself. You will learn a TON by doing this. It will often not be very fun - but hey, you're designing a game! It's not all going to be fun! It will, however, be rewarding when you test your game and iron out those kinks and issues.

Good luck, and happy dice rolling!
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Marcel van der pol
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CarrotandStick wrote:
So I'm working on a gaming project of my own. Call it a fantasy spin on Freedom in the Galaxy. However, I am a little dissatisfied with the combat resolution. I've looked over the advanced/2.0 variants as well as Down with the Empire, and the combat, for all it tries to add strategy, boils down to throwing a bigger pile of units at the other guy. Which is effective (I have the rules for Pax Romana, found after much Googling and BGGing, on hand as my current resolution mechanic) but a tad boring.

First question - Am I wrong? Are CRTs secretly the most amazing and tense thing ever and I'm just missing it? I know they're designed to be somewhat realistic, which I definitely appreciate.

Second question - Combat mechanic for this game. Here's my wishlist:
1) Quick enough to be resolved as part of a larger game
2) Allows player decisions beyond Attack and Retreat to affect results
3) Fantasy units (pegasus knights, dragons, wizards etc) that are interesting and varied and create strategic and tactical decisions (i.e. more than just a different picture on a strength number chit)
4) Terrain is a consideration

I have this crazy mental image of nine terrain cards laid in a square for center, left and right flanks, and a no man's land between the two armies, chits on the cards for maneuvering and positioning, but that might be a bit ambitious. Again, I could be very wrong. It certainly doesn't sound quick enough for what I need.

I look forward to the suggestions; thanks in advance!

May your dice never falter!


A game you could look into for ideas is Starcraft: The Boardgame (FFG). The game features combat between units, and the combat mechanic is both thematic as well as tactical. Basically you "line up" units against enemy units (being aware that certain units perform poorly against certain other units; for example your Pegasus might perform quite nicely against a unit of Knights but poorly against Archers) and the player with the most units gets to "double tag" with his extra units on certain match-ups (that he chooses). There are now individual match-ups of units against each other. Match-ups are then resolved (in Starcraft using cards in your hand but you could use dice) and destroyed units removed. Next round of combat the units facing a "gap" (ie a unit that has been destroyed) get to choose which neighbor friendly unit to help.

This combat mechanic quite heavily focuses on which unit is effective against which other individual unit (in a rock, paper, scissors kind of way) but having more units at the battle is an advantage as you could cover a poor match-up with a good "backup" unit.

Also, most of the more expensive units have "special abilities" like Splash Damage (not only damage the unit you are fighting, but also enemy units neighboring that unit), Invisibility, Weapon type restrictions (can my weapon hit the Flying unit opposite me) etc. There are plenty of options here to play around with to make the combat interesting.

The combat resolution is still quite quick (unless you have a really HUGE number of units) and usually doesn't take more than a couple of minutes.


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Derek H
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Johannesburg
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aylwong wrote:
I'm not sure what 'CRT' stands for...

Ouch! Now I feel a grizzled old grognard. Oh, wait - you won't know what a grognard is either. shake
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Andrew H
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If you don't mind dice, an easier way to manage different units and terrain is to have several dice with different hit probabilities, and the players roll different dice depending upon the terrain. Risk Battlefield Rougue is on sale at some Targets for $12, and uses this, different units, and modular terrain, and might be worth looking at.
 
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Daniel W
Australia
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Thanks everyone for their advice! There's also an ongoing discussion in another thread (link below) where I got a few ideas that I think means I have almost exactly what I'm looking for. Going to generate some tokens and cards and test it myself, then post it on the Playtest forum for some further testing. =) Thanks again, and if you want to keep participating I'll keep going in the other thread!

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1203743/quick-strategic-medi...
 
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