Ridley Bojangles
United States
Cape Elizabeth
Maine
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I've got a concept for a game that I am fleshing out. Think "streamlined Titan".

Anyway, I want my players to both engage in PvP combat, and combat with independent clans on the board. The combat will be somewhat simple but I feel it may be difficult to make a really challenging AI for it. Each skirmish will take place over 1 or more (probably less than 4) short rounds where troops are eliminated until a winner is determined.

So my current idea is to have the "player on the left" be the brains for the non-aligned troops when someone is fighting the AI.

The only pitfall I can think of is someone throwing the combat for strategic or alliance purposes. I don't think this is particularly likely to be a good strategy but it's something I should think about.

What do people think about this mechanism? Is it doomed to failure or have people had success with this? Any examples of well known games that use this successfully?
 
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Nat Levan
United States
Glenside
Pennsylvania
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Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game Does this for barbarian battles. Player to your left controls the barbarian horde when you settle a camp, using a separate pool of troops, so they still want to cause the most damage but aren't restricted by their own troops.
Alliances shouldn't be a problem, because the players should be separating the in-game alliances from their external motivations as a player. The opponent should only be playing for the neutral party, that way you can't hold it against the player. If the opponents don't play as hard as they can, I'd consider that cheating, and you can say so in the rules.
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Greg
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If you're worried about it being abused for alliances (And I can see how it could be) you could go with "The player that you last attacked (or the player on your left if you've not attacked anyone yet)"
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