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Subject: RTS Boardgame Rough Concept rss

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Greg
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So, I've had this idea kicking around in my head for a week or two and I would like to start putting stuff on paper and testing out some ideas. First though, I wanted to get any thoughts on the idea.

I enjoy real-time games. Escape: The Curse of the Temple, Space Cadets: Dice Duel, Space Alert, etc. Additionally, when I was younger, I also enjoyed RTS video games, particularly the Command & Conquer series and eventually Rise of Nations and Homeworld.

Anyway, I've always wondered how this would carry over to the board game world. 2-4 players on a map, beginning the game with just one "settler" unit. They have to roll dice in real time to complete actions, to buy better and more dice, moving up a tech tree until they can start moving units out to destroy the other opponents' bases. I see a lot of design space here as to what tech can accomplish in manipulating the dice and affecting other players.

Of course, as with all real-time games, this would either have to be a shorter (< 20 minutes) game or have breaks as I don't know that people want to be furiously chucking dice for long periods of time. Additionally, asymmetric sides would be pretty cool.

Obviously, this is still in the very rough concept phase, but before I started doing the nuts and bolts of the thing, I wanted thoughts. Has this been done before? Either in a published game or in your own design attempts? Any pitfalls I should be aware of? This is mostly a fun, side project, but I would like to complete it, if I find that it works.

 
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Aaron Tubb
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s3kt0r wrote:

Of course, as with all real-time games, this would either have to be a shorter (< 20 minutes) game or have breaks as I don't know that people want to be furiously chucking dice for long periods of time.
Many games with real time elements avoid this by having phases or breaks.
For example, in XCOM the board game, each turn has a timed phase, followed by a resolution phase. The resolution phase isn't timed, and it is when all dice get rolled. Space Alert is similar in that you are timed for a furious 10 minutes or so, and then the timer is off while you resolve effects.
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Sam Collard
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It's not real time, but Ares Project is one of the better conversions I've seen of RTS to board game. It abstracts the spacial component, with the entire game breaking down to build order/army composition and some finer points of tactics. Might be worth a look as inspiration.

I think your biggest issue would probably be having combat that is manageable in real time, but doesn't amount to glorified Yahtzee/roll higher (which would largely render the rest of the game redundant).

Edit: I see the reply above has covered a similar point - my solution to the real time combat issue would be to resolve combat in a structured format, dropping back into real time after.
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David Turczi
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Problem with real time is that you cannot enforce complicated rules, as people don't have time to check each other, nor they have a computer doing it for them like in a VG. Let me know if you cracked it though
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Greg
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Aarontu wrote:
Many games with real time elements avoid this by having phases or breaks.

Cheshire Swift wrote:

I think your biggest issue would probably be having combat that is manageable in real time, but doesn't amount to glorified Yahtzee/roll higher (which would largely render the rest of the game redundant).

TDaver wrote:
Problem with real time is that you cannot enforce complicated rules, as people don't have time to check each other, nor they have a computer doing it for them like in a VG. Let me know if you cracked it though

Good points and this all has to be balanced, of course. I'm considering something along the lines of Space Cadets: Dice Duel. In that game, when a person finally wants to fire, they yell "Fire!" and the action stops to resolve things. I could see this happening in this game, also.

This would give everyone a breather and it would allow the combat to be more interesting than just high rolls, since it can be resolved slower than the rest of the game.

Just a random idea. In addition to rolling dice in real-time, you buy cards and build attack decks for your military units, in real time. I suppose, it could also be dice pools too. Once you enter the space of an opponent, the game pauses and you use that deck and/or dice pool to battle each other. Nothing too complicated though.

I suppose you'd have to make sure that the real-time portion is simple, and then you play out the more strategic portion of the game while it's paused, so to speak. You would then have to deal with the consequences of your frantic construction.

Hmmm. Thanks guys. This is helping to get the juices flowing.

 
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Steven Tu
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Space Cadet works like that because it's not competitive. So does Escape!. Anything competitive with complicated stuff opens itself up to abuse - checking each other while going in real real time is not only not fun, it's also game-breaking when you happen to run into people who convenient forget things to win, and you gotta account for that.

If you want to pursue this, I guess one important thing is clearly and easily visible lines of development, such that players can, at a glance, see whether an opponent "made a mistake" or whatever.

Played Galaxy Trucker, the real-time component of that is easy (limitations are also easy - one handed building) and there's time after to check everything, and checking is simple, so is fixing things (Just toss it).

Tough one.
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Matt Pierce
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My first thought was megagames, where groups of players represent countries and have to carry out diplomacy and subversion in real time. With that in mind, it seems like a game master would be a viable way to keep things competitive while still in real time, and this could also facilitate fog of war, with only the game master being able to see and manipulate the true map.

Also seconding the phase breaks idea. focus on building an army, then stop and take in what everyone else did and resolve what worked.
 
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