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Subject: PvP Combat game: Cards or Tiles? rss

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Mark Iradian
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I'm designing a game that can be best described as "Quake/Unreal Tournament in Tabletop" form.

The intentional idea is to have weapons with straight forward states and equipment cards that act as the game's "rule breakers" with each player fighting for survival. The closest comparison I can make is Wiz War except far less card reading and more dice. I feel very confident about the combat system itself as well as how the cards interact.

The only major issue I have with the game is making the arena for the players to fight in. Originally it was supposed to be grid based but then I realized it would be very boring and dry to do that.

My next solution is to have actual cards act out as the "location" and maps themselves. Easy to set up, break down, and explain to new players. For example, a 1 v 1 map would have 4 x 4 card grid with each
"space" representing a Location. These locations have a game rule for being on it or items to pick up. You can move up, down, left, and right but not diagonally. There are no "walls" or certain pathways.

My major issue with this is, while I think the Location effects add interesting dynamics by itself, but it makes movement seem rather mundane since there isn't a map layout being made unlike say the Dungeons and Dragons co-op games (ravenloft, wrath of whatever, etc)

I guess what I"m really saying is...I need an idea on how to make movement interesting in this game that doesn't bog down to a miniatures wargame. In fact, every player only controls ONE figure, not an army, and for some reason I keep harping back to Wiz War.

 
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Ed Sagritalo
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For me, I would go with tile based if I wanted to promote tactical decisions (i.e. LOS, cover, movement to cover,...). Cards as locations would be too abstract for me to feel like I was engaged in a tactical combat which doesn't seem to be your intention though it isn't clear that is the case.

Are you thinking that the cards need to be managed or used in combos to provide that "fighting" feel and combat decision making? Otherwise, it sounds like you might end up just tossing dice back and forth to determine the winner.
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Graham Muller
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Making movement interesting in this sort of game is a challenge
Especially in 2 players, how do you prevent a stale mate situation where both players don't want to give the initiative to the other player.

Thinking about Quake/Unreal Tournament you play in 2 parts:
1. Planned movement - I want to move into x area along y path
2. Reactionary - An opponent has appeared to my left, I swivel, strafe and lay covering fire.

So how would you emulate this in a board game.
planned movement lends itself to programmed movement, much like star wars: x-wing, you could include no movement to increase accuracy, sprint - no shooting, active dodging and planned shooting.

Players can choose their programmed movement then reveal at the same time.
For reactionary they could use actions to modify movement for specific penalties, accuracy, speed etc.

For the area, I don't know why but a carcassone type tile placement for the arena feels like it could work. With each contained area defining line of sight and game rules
 
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Mark Iradian
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RandomOne wrote:
For me, I would go with tile based if I wanted to promote tactical decisions (i.e. LOS, cover, movement to cover,...). Cards as locations would be too abstract for me to feel like I was engaged in a tactical combat which doesn't seem to be your intention though it isn't clear that is the case.

Are you thinking that the cards need to be managed or used in combos to provide that "fighting" feel and combat decision making? Otherwise, it sounds like you might end up just tossing dice back and forth to determine the winner.


The idea is you "pick up weapons and equipment" on which the cards represent. Equipment cards are one-time that tend to break the rules a bit, similar to playing spell cards in Wiz War. Weapons are persistent and are the only way to deal damage. They have their own stats like accuracy, damage, ammo, range, and their own little ability that makes them unique (e.g. Reroll 1s). Weapons and very few equipment cards use dice. I'm not going to lie and say the game isn't heavily dice based, since the intention is to make a game easy to teach and dive into with the similar vein as Heroscape.

 
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Mark Iradian
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gmuller wrote:
Making movement interesting in this sort of game is a challenge
Especially in 2 players, how do you prevent a stale mate situation where both players don't want to give the initiative to the other player.

Thinking about Quake/Unreal Tournament you play in 2 parts:
1. Planned movement - I want to move into x area along y path
2. Reactionary - An opponent has appeared to my left, I swivel, strafe and lay covering fire.

So how would you emulate this in a board game.
planned movement lends itself to programmed movement, much like star wars: x-wing, you could include no movement to increase accuracy, sprint - no shooting, active dodging and planned shooting.

Players can choose their programmed movement then reveal at the same time.
For reactionary they could use actions to modify movement for specific penalties, accuracy, speed etc.

For the area, I don't know why but a carcassone type tile placement for the arena feels like it could work. With each contained area defining line of sight and game rules


I literally want to do the last bit, it was my first intention about exploring the arena. The prototype's "location" is an abandoned military base (the arena itself is a game show, similar to...well anything else). However, the Caracassone style works because it's one tile you start out with, meanwhile my game is 6 spawn points for 6 players. I would have no idea if that would work.

I was thinking about programmable movement and I have a feeling I might go into that direction. Nothing complicated like Roborally but I haven't read the rules regarding Star Wars. Might need to check it out.
 
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Ed Sagritalo
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MarkyX wrote:
Weapons and very few equipment cards use dice. I'm not going to lie and say the game isn't heavily dice based, since the intention is to make a game easy to teach and dive into with the similar vein as Heroscape.


I don't mind dice chucking as I play a lot of miniatures games (not just board games with miniatures).

In regards to your OP, it is unclear to me whether you are asking the question Cards vs Tile to represent the same thing.

MarkyX wrote:

My next solution is to have actual cards act out as the "location" and maps themselves. Easy to set up, break down, and explain to new players. For example, a 1 v 1 map would have 4 x 4 card grid with each
"space" representing a Location. These locations have a game rule for being on it or items to pick up. You can move up, down, left, and right but not diagonally. There are no "walls" or certain pathways.


My answer was based on the assumption that actual cards played for locations describe the location and provide some specific rules applicable to the location but otherwise doesn't represent any tactical advantage. By that, I mean the location doesn't provide consideration for relative positioning or advantages given to a specific area in that location. I am assuming this as I am thinking the cards aren't bigger than the normal playing cards and thus wouldn't have spaces to move opponents around on. If they are much bigger than normal playing cards, then it starts to sound like you actually have tiles in "card" format.

Anyway, I get the idea of pick up weapons and equipment represented by cards which isn't unique. It is unclear to me what considerations are you focusing on when you are trying to decide Cards vs Tiles.
 
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Graham Muller
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MarkyX wrote:
gmuller wrote:
Making movement interesting in this sort of game is a challenge
Especially in 2 players, how do you prevent a stale mate situation where both players don't want to give the initiative to the other player.

Thinking about Quake/Unreal Tournament you play in 2 parts:
1. Planned movement - I want to move into x area along y path
2. Reactionary - An opponent has appeared to my left, I swivel, strafe and lay covering fire.

So how would you emulate this in a board game.
planned movement lends itself to programmed movement, much like star wars: x-wing, you could include no movement to increase accuracy, sprint - no shooting, active dodging and planned shooting.

Players can choose their programmed movement then reveal at the same time.
For reactionary they could use actions to modify movement for specific penalties, accuracy, speed etc.

For the area, I don't know why but a carcassone type tile placement for the arena feels like it could work. With each contained area defining line of sight and game rules


I literally want to do the last bit, it was my first intention about exploring the arena. The prototype's "location" is an abandoned military base (the arena itself is a game show, similar to...well anything else). However, the Caracassone style works because it's one tile you start out with, meanwhile my game is 6 spawn points for 6 players. I would have no idea if that would work.

I was thinking about programmable movement and I have a feeling I might go into that direction. Nothing complicated like Roborally but I haven't read the rules regarding Star Wars. Might need to check it out.


You could either setup the arena before hand and have tiles with the spawn points on them, players can then select their spawn points. Alternatively let players move to a location and draw a tile, place it if they can and if they can't draw another tile. After say 3 draws with no possible placement flip the tile and have it as a pillar or ruined section.

Interested to hear what you decide to do regarding programmable movement.
 
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Mark Iradian
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RandomOne wrote:
MarkyX wrote:
Weapons and very few equipment cards use dice. I'm not going to lie and say the game isn't heavily dice based, since the intention is to make a game easy to teach and dive into with the similar vein as Heroscape.


I don't mind dice chucking as I play a lot of miniatures games (not just board games with miniatures).

In regards to your OP, it is unclear to me whether you are asking the question Cards vs Tile to represent the same thing.

MarkyX wrote:

My next solution is to have actual cards act out as the "location" and maps themselves. Easy to set up, break down, and explain to new players. For example, a 1 v 1 map would have 4 x 4 card grid with each
"space" representing a Location. These locations have a game rule for being on it or items to pick up. You can move up, down, left, and right but not diagonally. There are no "walls" or certain pathways.


My answer was based on the assumption that actual cards played for locations describe the location and provide some specific rules applicable to the location but otherwise doesn't represent any tactical advantage. By that, I mean the location doesn't provide consideration for relative positioning or advantages given to a specific area in that location. I am assuming this as I am thinking the cards aren't bigger than the normal playing cards and thus wouldn't have spaces to move opponents around on. If they are much bigger than normal playing cards, then it starts to sound like you actually have tiles in "card" format.

Anyway, I get the idea of pick up weapons and equipment represented by cards which isn't unique. It is unclear to me what considerations are you focusing on when you are trying to decide Cards vs Tiles.


To keep it straightforward, the card size of the "Location" are the same as other cards. As I mentioned before, it's a grid that players move around in with no "walls" or anything like that. Each space either provides equipment/weapons or some ability to gain an advantage (e.g. reroll defensive dice, increase range by 1, increase damage by 1, etc).

What I meant by "cards" is the system I currently have vs a Tile system similar to Dungeon Run.
 
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Matt Lee
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Just wondering if you've looked at how Frag and Halo Interactive Strategy Game have gone about this previously? Both games have some interesting ideas and varying levels of success in replicating the FPS feel, but they are already out there and might give you some ideas how to refine your game.
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Mark Iradian
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klz_fc wrote:
Just wondering if you've looked at how Frag and Halo Interactive Strategy Game have gone about this previously? Both games have some interesting ideas and varying levels of success in replicating the FPS feel, but they are already out there and might give you some ideas how to refine your game.


Heard of Halo but not Frag. I did a quick glance at Frag and it seems it's more of a "metagame" then an actual FPS. Not a fan of rolling dice to see if you get weapons or "gadgets" although I see some similarities to what I have (e.g. the ammo system and using cards to rule break). Although math wise, FRAG is all over the place and movement is based on rolling several dice? Way too inconsistent for me.

Thank you for the suggestions though.
 
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Mark Iradian
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So I discovered Claustrophobia's tile system and from what I'm aiming for, that seems like the best one.

Icons to decipher abilities on what they do would be perfect, especially since I'm a big fan of Draken that uses a similar system.

My next question would be...how would I make a prototype of these type of tiles (or at least smaller ones?)
 
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