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StarCraft: The Board Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Alternate combat system? rss

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Andrew Torrens
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
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So, it seems I'm not alone in that I'm not a big fan of the combat system... The combat cards just seem to make things too random/inconsistent for my taste.

I was wondering if there were some alternatives out there?
 
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Richard Sampson
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It's funny you say that. It's basically deck building + hand management, and IMO FAR less random/inconsistnat than the dice roll mechanisms most games use. The only way I could see to make it less random would be to just give units flat values, but then combat would be pretty boring.
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Tyler Nolto
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Saskatoon
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I agree with Richard Sampson.
 
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Mark Bauer
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for fixed values, just use the average value sheet that comes with the base game. You still need to play combat cards if you want to have the special abilities of units. And if you want to make that work differently... there have to be a lot of changes. You technically have to rip out the whole research mechanic too.
 
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Brad Miller
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The entire game is built around the combat system, and the deck building of said combat deck. If you don't like it, you should probably sell it and make some big money...
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Andrew Torrens
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Kitchener
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It's been a while since it's hit the table, and I'm trying to remember some of the specific complaints... I remember we had many battles where the resolution didn't seem to make much sense to us, and some instances where an overwhelming force would lose... Sorry I can't provide specific examples...

Personally I love the concept of the research, the order placement, the resource management and depletion... Just don't like the way combat seems to pan out much of the time. I'm thinking I'll have to play it again to provide more specific examples.

Thanks for the responses!
 
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Richard Sampson
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It sounds like maybe its not the cards but maybe the alignment of the units? I mean an "overwhelming force" should crush unless the attacker is doing something wrong as they get to set the skirmishes and should have a good idea of what is going to happen. Maybe the issue is more with unfamiliarity of the combat leading to poor decision making? You might also want to reread the combat rules just to make sure you were playing correctly.
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Calixtus Ashley Wee
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I too initially was put off by the combat mechanics, but I grew to appreciate it for what it is because the mechanics are fitting a representation of combat, and in the way it is formulated it is rather elegant, for it to see use in a game like StarCraft in the form as it stands is a good use of such innovative mechanics. If not, it will be used in another game.

I had initially thought of dabbling my creative hand in reworking this game, and because I was under the mistaken idea that Conquest Points don't accumulate, I thought up what I call Command Points that are basically your Conquest Points in accumulation, that can be used for certain "micromanagement" manoeuvres, by the spending of the points.

When I realised I had been playing wrongly, and you do indeed accumulate Conquest Points, I threw my idea away, as something that will only work in another entirely different game setting, and accepted there was a beauty in the current construction of the way the game is played. Instead, I sought to balance the current cards, especially those that were useless or too powerful, and even introduced new cards that work within the mechanic already established by the makers of the board game.
 
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Domenic
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I was confused by the design motive behind the combat system until I realized that the goal was to simulate an RTS. Units perform much better in combat when they are micro-managed, so having a matching card for your unit represents your attention being on that unit. Even on turns where you're only launching one attack, you're also building units and buildings and so on, so there's no way you're giving full attention to each and every unit in battle. Perhaps it would be an interesting variant to somehow increase (or decrease) a player's hand size to simulate players with different click rates.
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Stephen Schaefer
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I love card driven combat over dice (says the guy who has War of the Ring and Earth Reborn in his collection).

Plus, minor values on the cards are a way to at least be nominally competitive if an opponent catches you in an exposed position. Actually, for the Zerg, the minor values for many cards are as good or better than the values of the Zergling cards, so 'lings can be effective at nearly any time or place.
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Joshua Love
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I think the card system makes the game more manageable and less chaotic/random for the same reasons as stated above. But additionally a lot of the cards have special abilities that are attached with the specific units. Plus, it rewards players who focus their strategy/build, and makes the research a lot more manageable due to being able to just shuffle a couple more cards into your deck rather than referencing charts, matching results, re-rolling dice and so on.
I mean, you KNOW what you have in your hand, so you know half the information. Conversely with a dice system, you don't know your own results OR your opponents until you've begun combat.

Honestly, I think the combat system is one of the best in the biz. It is controlled, tight, deep, and makes for fun bluffing.
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