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Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Revamping Combat using miniatures rss

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Brian Lemler
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Hi all! I've been playing Civilization and Wisdom and Warfare for about 10 months now, and love the game! Have played Civ on the PC since the mid-90s as well.

I know this may not be very popular on this site, but I'm working to make some house rules and miniatures for replacing the combat system, to allow for 1 unit per square combat using dice. Does anyone have experience with doing this?

Was thinking of making a combat system with 3 units types (Infantry, Artillery, and Mounted), and 4 era's (Ancient, Medieval, Industrial, Modern), just as in the base game. Each unit type in each era would have a unique miniature (with some Civ's even having a culture-specific miniature).

The combat would be dice-based, with the era of the model corresponding to the number of dice rolled. Ancient unit = 1 die, Medieval = 2 dice, and so on. Highest roll wins combat, very simple. With some modifiers to the rules for rock/paper/scissors, and the Biology/Mathematics/etc combat bonuses, as well. And some limiting stacking granted (up to 4 units per square) by the current "Stacking" techs in the game.

The aim would be to give the game more of an intuitive feel (ie, Civ for the computer) and remove the abstraction from combat.

Thoughts?
 
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From the scarce information provided, I don't see how exactly this system would work. Some question that came to my mind would be:

1. Highest roll wins vs some modifiers to the rules for rock/paper/scissors? That doesn't seem to work together, either one hits first and then the highest rolls might not matter any more (if the hit unit is killed) or the order of hitting doesn't matter and just the dice rolls decide.

2. If the number of dice is determining the strength of units, what is determining the health points? Also dice rolls? Is each attack dealing one damage or killing an opposing unit immediately?

3. I also don't fully understand these two bits relate to each other:
Quote:
to allow for 1 unit per square combat using dice

Quote:
some limiting stacking granted (up to 4 units per square)

Does 'square' in the first bit mean front and in the second map square?

4. How would f.e. Metalworking work in this setup? Adding 3 dice for the unit, +3 to one of the dice rolls, +3 spread between all the dice rolls or +3 to each of the dice rolls?

Overall, basing on the details written here, I don't see how this system is superior/more intuitive/less abstract than the one in the game.
 
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Brian Lemler
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redox wrote:
From the scarce information provided, I don't see how exactly this system would work. Some question that came to my mind would be:

1. Highest roll wins vs some modifiers to the rules for rock/paper/scissors? That doesn't seem to work together, either one hits first and then the highest rolls might not matter any more (if the hit unit is killed) or the order of hitting doesn't matter and just the dice rolls decide.

Yes, I should have elaborated.. Technically I removed the rock/paper/scissor relationship, as for us it made it time-consuming to set up our fronts (if you played the default combat with cards). The only rock/paper/scissor relationship that I am keeping is the Infantry(spear) > Mounted(horse) relationship, since this has been a mainstay in the computer games.

Each unit instead has their own unique strategic powers, The infantry power is an extra die in combat vs mounted units (Rock>Paper). So a level 1 Infantry (Spear) usually gets 1 die in combat, but versus any mounted unit, receives 2 dice. Level 2 infantry (pikeman/swordsman) receives 2 die normally, 3 vs mounted.

The power for a mounted unit is 2 extra movement points and a mounted unit automatically wins tie rolls vs non-mounted units.

The power for an artillery unit is 1 extra die in attacking cities, but in the field it receives 1 less die than normal. (Making it tactically imperative to protect your artillery in movement to cities).

Example: Catapult (level 2) receives 3 dice for attacking cities, but only 1 die in field battles or city defense. Cannon (level 3) would be 4 dice vs cities, but 2 in the field.

The exception to the artillery power is that level 1 Artillery (archers) do not receive an offensive city-attacking bonus. But archers do receive an extra die for DEFENDING cities and do not have a penalty for field battles. So archers are 1 die in the field but 2 dice for defending cities. This makes Archers an early defensive unit, in line with how they are mostly used in the Civ computer games.

Quote:
2. If the number of dice is determining the strength of units, what is determining the health points? Also dice rolls? Is each attack dealing one damage or killing an opposing unit immediately?


Initially, the number of dice rolled for each unit was going to be both a strength and health indicator. So I was going to use the wound markers to slowly wound units until 0 health from their initial health through multiple rolls. However, I think I've decided not to use health/wound markers at all. Now, the initial roll resolves combat immediately and units kill instantly. The only exception is that ties still go to the defense, and if two mounted units are in combat and have a tie roll, then both units survive combat (withdraw from combat).

Quote:
3. I also don't fully understand these two bits relate to each other:
to allow for 1 unit per square combat using dice and some limiting stacking granted (up to 4 units per square)

Does 'square' in the first bit mean front and in the second map square?


No, should have explained further. In both instances, I mean the small map squares.

At the outset of the game, everyone is only able to have 1 unit per square. The current stacking Techs after Masonry (Printing Press, Biology, and Replaceable Parts) would add 1 additional unit to your stack.

I edited the techs so that the level 1 stacking tech adds nothing since players can have 1 unit/sq from the outset. The level 2 stacking tech grants 2 unit/sq, and so on until Replaceable Parts grants a max stack of 4 units/sq.

The combat mechanic for a stack attack is to roll the number of dice for the strongest unit in your stack, take the highest roll, and add a bonus equal to the number of units in your stack. So a stack of 2 units, add 2 to whatever your highest die roll. The disadvantage is in a loss, you lose all your units in one fell swoop. Additionally, I think it would be simpler to not allow mixed stacks of unit types (a stack must be all infantry, all mounted, etc).

Quote:
4. How would f.e. Metalworking work in this setup? Adding 3 dice for the unit, +3 to one of the dice rolls, +3 spread between all the dice rolls or +3 to each of the dice rolls?


All the level 1 and 2 Iron-resource bonuses such as Metalworking would grant 1 extra die in a normal roll. Biology bonus would be 1 extra die with no resource required. Ballistics would be 2 die bonus but require Iron as printed.

Each of the bonuses could only be used once during a single turn, but could be used in different individual battles during the turn if you had more than 1 bonus available.

Quote:
Overall, basing on the details written here, I don't see how this system is superior/more intuitive/less abstract than the one in the game.


I agree it was a challenge but I feel like removes the abstraction of the playing cards. It removes the luck of drawing unit cards from your hand (albeit replaced by the luck of the roll). It represents your units on a physical part of the map rather than abstracting individual units into a Flag Army. I felt one of the weaknesses of the Flag Army/Unit Cards is effectively your units can be anywhere on the map from turn to turn.

Instead, a player has to decide rather to commit his physical units on the map to offense or defense (near his capital). It also removes the awkward scenario of winning a battle with no unit cards in your hand.

Thanks for the response, I am still working out some of the mechanics and haven't had a chance to play a full game using them.

Perhaps later I'll post a summary of my variant combat rules and some pics of the units I've decided on. Some units are civ/region specific such as Asian units for the Asian civs. In most cases, though, I've used the generic miniature figures from the old Eagle Civ game.
 
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Redox
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mcdoffer wrote:
The power for an artillery unit is 1 extra die in attacking cities, but in the field it receives 1 less die than normal. (Making it tactically imperative to protect your artillery in movement to cities).

Example: Catapult (level 2) receives 3 dice for attacking cities, but only 1 die in field battles or city defense. Cannon (level 3) would be 4 dice vs cities, but 2 in the field.


I don't understand when in that case "normal" condition is. Artillery unit gets +1 die for attacking the city, but -1 die in the field. Isn't it equivalent to +2 modifier when attacking the city and for archers +1 when defending the city?

mcdoffer wrote:
Now, the initial roll resolves combat immediately and units kill instantly.


So with lucky (or unlucky), yet statistically possible rolls level 1 unit rolling 6 kills instantly level 4 unit with lower rolls on all 4 dice?

And actually the same applies for Your stacking concept:
mcdoffer wrote:
The combat mechanic for a stack attack is to roll the number of dice for the strongest unit in your stack, take the highest roll, and add a bonus equal to the number of units in your stack. So a stack of 2 units, add 2 to whatever your highest die roll. The disadvantage is in a loss, you lose all your units in one fell swoop.


mcdoffer wrote:
I agree it was a challenge but I feel like removes the abstraction of the playing cards. It removes the luck of drawing unit cards from your hand (albeit replaced by the luck of the roll).


Resolving battles by rolling the dice is of course less abstract?

Personally I think that instead of making the battles more intuitive and simple the changes You propose add another level of complexity to already complex game.
Instead of moving the whole army, the units will move individually (although with some stacking possible), but I'm assuming the number of units won't be restricted to 6 in total, like it is for armies now? It might stretch the movement phase, especially towards the end of the game.
Since the outcome of the battles will be randomly decided, it strips some strategy from them: drawing the unit cards to form Your battle hand allows You to see what You have on Your hand before the battle and plan how to best utilize the units and the bonuses from the tech cards. Roll result can't be predicted, although of course rolling more dice means statistically higher chances of victory. Which is why I find this point a bit weird:
mcdoffer wrote:
The combat mechanic for a stack attack is to roll the number of dice for the strongest unit in your stack, take the highest roll, and add a bonus equal to the number of units in your stack. So a stack of 2 units, add 2 to whatever your highest die roll.

Wouldn't it be better to simply roll the number of dice equal to the sum of the dice coming from each unit? Or even better, resolve the battles on unit vs unit scale like it is original game mechanics? Also if stack of 2 units gets +2 to the roll result, does a single unit get +1 modifier?

mcdoffer wrote:
I felt one of the weaknesses of the Flag Army/Unit Cards is effectively your units can be anywhere on the map from turn to turn.

But since all of the units that You have are the same level, I think it doesn't really matter. If this is a concern You could rather think of assigning the units to the armies. This way the units can't be on one end of the board in one turn just to fight on another one in the next turn.
 
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