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Subject: Skirmish dice game combat (preference?) rss

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Mark Iradian
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Currently designing (in alpha stages, still in "Excel Spreadsheet" step) a skirmish game.

I have two simple systems that I'm thinking of using, but I don't know which one is better. It uses six-sided die

- Roll for attack, beat a defense number (say 4 or 5+). Each success is an automatic wound

- Roll for attack, defender rolls for defense. Each "unblocked" attack is damage. Identical to Heroscape. A success is 3+, regardless of attack or defender.

Reason why I bring this up is the game allows you to switch the "stance" of your fighter so you can be more defensive (so +5 to damage or 5 dice to defend with) at the cost of other stats and I'm trying to figure out which one sounds more fun and balanced for the player.
 
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Evan Mitchell
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I would say it depends what kind of effect you're going for. With the former you're sacrificing variance for stability, and it's probably going to be easier for you to balance. The latter can add more excitement, giving players the feel that they've rolled a weak attack or a critical hit.

In the game I'm designing now, combat has players roll their dice, and the difference in amount rolled is how much damage the losing player takes. Some players roll with 2d6, others 1d6+1d8, etc. depending on their power-ups. The variance can be large, but my game is set up to account for this in its other mechanics, e.g. cards to play that affect the battle steps. Combat also is not directly related to my game's win objective, and if yours is, it might be better to go the former route; that way the number to beat is always clear and consistent, and players can better plan around those odds.
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B C Z
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MarkyX wrote:
Currently designing (in alpha stages, still in "Excel Spreadsheet" step) a skirmish game.

I have two simple systems that I'm thinking of using, but I don't know which one is better. It uses six-sided die

- Roll for attack, beat a defense number (say 4 or 5+). Each success is an automatic wound

- Roll for attack, defender rolls for defense. Each "unblocked" attack is damage. Identical to Heroscape. A success is 3+, regardless of attack or defender.

Reason why I bring this up is the game allows you to switch the "stance" of your fighter so you can be more defensive (so +5 to damage or 5 dice to defend with) at the cost of other stats and I'm trying to figure out which one sounds more fun and balanced for the player.


I'm going to be honest - neither sounds enthralling because both involve one (or worse: two) die rolls per interaction.

Is "switch to a different stance" the only player choice, except maybe position or movement?

 
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Mark Iradian
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Movement and positioning is still important.
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Quentin N.
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I think I got the problem that BCZ pointed.

Right now, your combat system seems a bit simple. It works for easy and fast games, or for exemple for strategic wargames. Your game must have a solid strategic depth with placement/movement/anything else if you want it to be interesting with such a combat system. Plus the problem with that kind of mechanic is that it gives little to no room to bonuses, as a +1 will drastically increase the chance of one side. That's why it is not generally used for skirmish games (that simulate a lot of details) and why heroscape uses a lot of dices.
 
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Mark Iradian
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Mimolette wrote:
I think I got the problem that BCZ pointed.

Right now, your combat system seems a bit simple. It works for easy and fast games, or for exemple for strategic wargames. Your game must have a solid strategic depth with placement/movement/anything else if you want it to be interesting with such a combat system. Plus the problem with that kind of mechanic is that it gives little to no room to bonuses, as a +1 will drastically increase the chance of one side. That's why it is not generally used for skirmish games (that simulate a lot of details) and why heroscape uses a lot of dices.


Maybe there is some miscommunication on my part.

I view skirmish games as games with small number of miniatures like Heroscape or Krosmaster Arena

This is nothing like Warhammer or a typical historical wargame.

My audience would be players who enjoy Krosmaster and Heroscape.

 
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MarkyX wrote:
My audience would be players who enjoy Krosmaster and Heroscape.


What do you offer that Krosmaster or Heroscape do not?
How are you different?
What interesting decisions are you presenting the players with?
How likely is a good plan spoiled by bad dice?
How often does that happen?
Is it satisfying when the dice dictate if you succeed or fail?
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Quentin N.
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MarkyX wrote:
Mimolette wrote:
I think I got the problem that BCZ pointed.

Right now, your combat system seems a bit simple. It works for easy and fast games, or for exemple for strategic wargames. Your game must have a solid strategic depth with placement/movement/anything else if you want it to be interesting with such a combat system. Plus the problem with that kind of mechanic is that it gives little to no room to bonuses, as a +1 will drastically increase the chance of one side. That's why it is not generally used for skirmish games (that simulate a lot of details) and why heroscape uses a lot of dices.


Maybe there is some miscommunication on my part.

I view skirmish games as games with small number of miniatures like Heroscape or Krosmaster Arena

This is nothing like Warhammer or a typical historical wargame.

My audience would be players who enjoy Krosmaster and Heroscape.



I actually understood what you meant clearly
This kind of dice mechanic is often used in wargames (miniatures and chits games), while not so often in skirmish games, because:

-skirmish games have time and will to simulate more details. That's probably a big difference with WG, SK games let the player picture a story, not a battle landscape. That way, simulating an assumably central element (combat) with only 2 dices in a throw and read manner when you have for exemple 5 characters might feel light.

-these combat system variants are often very random (which is fine if you do a lot of throws, as the more you do the closer to the average). But SK games, with less figures, use less dice throws, and that way would be driven by chance.

-with only two dices to apply modifiers on, and the slightest change being 18% (d6) you have little room for details. Which is opposed to the spirit of a SK game.


 
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