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Subject: Interesting/good combat mechanics? rss

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Johan Kristoffersson
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What games do you believe have interesting/good combat mechanics, and how do you resolve combat in those games?
 
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Under the paving stones, the beach
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Crossbows and Catapults.

You chuck stuff.
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No One
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Mechs vs. Minions

If you attack it, you defeat it. If it attacks you, it doesn't defeat you but instead complicates the game a bit more by screwing up your command line.

~V
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Krosmaster: Arena has very good combat. It's the most central aspect of the game. Each character has different ways to perform attacks.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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jokris wrote:
What games do you believe have interesting/good combat mechanics, and how do you resolve combat in those games?
Lawn Darts
And the combat sort of just resolves itself.
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No One
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Evolution

In order to allow your predator to attack, you must overcome its prey's revolving defenses. This includes the double-edged sword of body size. Prey body size deters smaller sized predators which can't attack them, and encourages large ones to attack once other defenses are breached: a predator gains an amount of food for each attack equal to the body size of its prey.

~V
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Brad Johnson
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I really like the overall concept in Dune where opponents simultaneously create secret battle plans and then compare and resolve them based on deterministic rules (no direct randomization involved). I think this gives players a great sense of feeling like they have some control over what happens in the combat, but the uncertainty of guessing and second-guessing what your opponent will do means you still can't always be sure of the results, and the tension is great!

You can also see some aspects of this kind of resolution in The Fury of Dracula and Empires in Arms, probably among many others.
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John Smith
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Doomtown Reloaded resolves gunfights by playing poker hands. Which I find quite thematic.
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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tempus42 wrote:
I really like the overall concept in Dune where opponents simultaneously create secret battle plans and then compare and resolve them based on deterministic rules (no direct randomization involved). I think this gives players a great sense of feeling like they have some control over what happens in the combat, but the uncertainty of guessing and second-guessing what your opponent will do means you still can't always be sure of the results, and the tension is great!

You can also see some aspects of this kind of resolution in The Fury of Dracula and Empires in Arms, probably among many others.


A Game of Thrones: The Board Game, Scythe, Blood Rage, and Rising Sun all use variants of this deterministic simultaneous bid combat system.
 
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Sam Lam I Am
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Shogun has an interesting mechanic where you throw your units (cubes) into a tower. The cubes that come out of the tower resolve that battle. If your cubes got stuck, they hopefully come out to help you in a future battle.






Edit: I like this system because one "roll" and the combat is resolved. Plus, if you get bad luck in one battle (your cubes get stuck), you should have better luck in a later battle (because those stuck cubes might tumble out later). The luck doesn't balance out perfectly, but it is a lot more balanced than just chucking dice.
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Mark Jackson
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Forbidden Stars has a pretty neat/unique combat system. you roll dice at the beginning of combat based on your units involved, and then play three rounds of simultaneous card selection to further add to or manipulate the symbols you rolled at the beginning and to trigger special effects. damage is assigned after each card round. if both sides still have units alive after 3 rounds you compare morale based on unrouted units and morale from dice or cards and whoever has more morale at wins.
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Oh you seekers of the new who run terrified from history into the clutches of an eternal life where no electric shaver can be built to last.
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    Nexus Ops is well worth a review.
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Greg
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I really enjoy the combat in Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan. You know exactly how much attack strength you generate in a given battle before you enter it, but you can only guess what your opponent can generate, though you can take a rough guess based upon the number of blocks there and what you have seen of it before. It creates a lot of tense moments because you can bluff your opponent with a giant army that you have no hope of fielding. It's a clever way to represent fog of war.
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CARL SKUTSCH
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Agricola, Sekigahara, Concordia, Innovation, COOKIE!!! (and Guinness)
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Ditto on Forbidden Stars and Sekigahara. Both have fun combat systems. In both you make real choices during combat.
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Jonathan Challis
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Conquest of the Empire (Wallace ruleset)
 
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Michael Sanches
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Sagrilarus wrote:

    Nexus Ops is well worth a review.


I agree the tension of Nexus Ops is good. There are a couple of other games that use a similar mechanism, like Fortress America (kill your less valuable unit or kill your unit that doesn't mess up combined arms.)

I like Avalon Hill's Napoleon's tactical combat (3 columns.)

I also like the tactical cards in the 3 Avalon Hill games: 1776/Caesar's Legions/Kriegspiel.

I also like Avalon Hill's Third Reich, both the land battles (tactical air/counter-air/interception) and naval battle (interception and counter interception, national modifiers, and land/air vs. naval losses.

Avalon Hill's Wooden Ships and Iron Men has a nice combat system.

And, of course, Cosmic Encounter's wild and woolly combat/negotiation system is unforgettable.

Diplomacy's combat system is so basic, it is actually elegant.
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Ah_Pook wrote:
Forbidden Stars has a pretty neat/unique combat system. you roll dice at the beginning of combat based on your units involved, and then play three rounds of simultaneous card selection to further add to or manipulate the symbols you rolled at the beginning and to trigger special effects. damage is assigned after each card round. if both sides still have units alive after 3 rounds you compare morale based on unrouted units and morale from dice or cards and whoever has more morale at wins.


You beat me to it. Great game if you can get it to the table. Also, sadly I think it is unsupported now that FFG and GW parted ways.
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Thomas M
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I always enjoyed Battletech. Various weapon options, random (but with some options to scale the impact), as well as movement. But most of all the hit and damage locations. It feels like you get the benefit of being armored and slowly grinded down. Mobility is offset by numbers and toughness. All-in-all, very balanced.

I also played both Warhammer and Warhammer 40k for many years (and many other GW games) and like the tacical elements of tabletop strategy in general.

If you can call it combat, Blood Bowl has some of my favorite combat mechanics too. Elements of unpredictability, epic moves, and a constant risk vs reward trade off.
Some of the same elements come into play in Kingdom Death: Monster.

On the other end of complexity. The way combat works in Small World is good too. Easy, simple, integral part of the gameplay.
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Adam Hostetler
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I like the Blood Rage system. Combination of combat strength based on the units you have participating in the battle plus a modifier selected from your hand of cards (which in turn were drafted at the beginning of the round).
 
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M Smith
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Tons of games have some really cool combat involved.
King of Tokyo with all versus one in city while he can attack all. Sounds OP but the one in the city can not heal normally.

The use of cards in Gloomhaven puts you under pressure as some will be sacrificed or changed round in mid combat . (Especially if the missus character scampers off to get loot with enemy in front ).

A love/hate combat was in Runebound (Second Edition) where it came round in an order of stages with melee, ranged and then magic. You had to either beef up the hero with items of get some allies to fill the slots in those stages.

Another +1 shout for Scythe and Forbidden Stars.
Cool post about a subject that can make or break a game.

 
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