Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: Attack/Defense/Health Mechanic - Lacking? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Sean Cramer
United States
Ohio
flag msg tools
In the game I'm developing (its nearing completion) I still feel underwhelmed by the attacking mechanism in the game. The game is comparable to a TCG in its playstyle but is more like an LCG as everyone has the ability to get the same cards. As opposed to their being one field where players place their Characters and Life Forms for attack, there are 9 different places (planets to be exact - and whichever player is the first to control all of them wins). The player whose turn it is decides in which areas and with which Characters and Life Forms hes going to attack. He also chooses which of his rival's Characters and Life Forms to attack. Each Character and Life Form has an Attack, Defense, and Health value. To figure out how much damage is done to a Character or Life Form's Health you subtract that Character or Life Form's Defense value from the attacking Character or Life Form's Attack value. The remaining number is then subtracted from the Character or Life Form's Health. Once their Health reaches 0, that Character or Life Form is killed and the card goes in the discard pile. The Defense value"resets" and is always the same even if that Character or Life Form has previously been attacked. For awhile I really liked how this worked but now I feel a little underwhelmed and can't help but feel like their is a better mechanic for attacking. What are your thoughts? Suggestions? Am I just being overly critical?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Arias
United States
Sanford
FLORIDA
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Lots of games have the "attack, defense, health" model, but many of them are random (dice, card symbols or numbers from hand, etc.) instead of just using static numbers on a card (I think 12 Realms has something like this).

You may also need something conditional or situational to differentiate the units, otherwise it becomes a dry play to the formula, my hi vs. your lo. Some game effects that mess with that, like +1 if encircling or if defender or in terrain type x or ... (Pixel Tactics does this with card position).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sean Cramer
United States
Ohio
flag msg tools
Thank you for the quick feedback James! We thought about dice rolling to mix it up a little bit. The idea was for your attack value to be how many dice you roll, and their defense value to be how many dice the defender rolls. This way, you still have an advantage with a higher number, but you aren't guaranteed to do any damage to them. We still might decide to go with this, the only problem is that the game currently takes about 2 hours to play the way it is. Adding dice rolling to each attack throughout the duration of those 2 hours may considerably add more time to the game.

I like the conditional and situational ideas. There are 9 planets in the game, and a Life Form type for each planet (example: Volcanic). There are Atmosphere cards that you can play for a planet which basically gives those types of Life Forms more of an advantage (example: +2 attack). However, I do like the idea of having other effects where say a Volcanic Life Form is in play on the Volcano planet, they get +1 Defense or something of that nature.

Thank you again for the feedback! I greatly appreciate it!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Cook
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Try to get more player agency in there, give the players interesting choices to make during combat Or make it so cards can combo in interesting ways, let the players be brilliant.

These are kinda vague, but I don't know enough about your game to give any more concrete examples.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adrian Pillai
France
Paris
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
It's also important to ask this first, are you underwhelmed by the mechlanic because of overexposure to it? How do others feel about it?

If ok it's not that (or just that), then ask yourself and others what you wish you could do in an attack, both as the aggressor and the defender. That will help formulate a better answer in the long run.

I have an idea or two perhaps, but I'm not sure if it'll be in line with your expectation. Do you wish the game to have more tactical weight in decisions. Or do you prefer the cut and thrust of instant reaction? What do you feel you want to happen in an attack defense cycle?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
patrick mullen
United States
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Attack/Defense/Health is as solid a base mechanism as any. It keeps showing up because it's tried and true.

Your problem may not be in the attacking mechanism but with other aspects of the game. Consider this:

When you think of a typical TCG, the tactics don't come into play when you have one card vs another card, but when both players have an array of cards that all apply their effects in subtly different ways. This allows for an interesting decision space in navigating those effects to push for your side to have the better outcome.

You have 9 different planets to fight on. I don't know what your other mechanisms are like, but it's possible that all of that space is spreading out your cards such that there is no room to create interesting interactions. If the game were a dudes on a map game with spaces and movement, those tactics may come about in positioning your units, while the individual combat between units 1 on 1 may be kept simple.

If you want to keep space spread out this wide, you may need to make the combat between 2 cards more interesting somehow. Dice are one way, but then you have increased the overall randomness of the game which may not be what you want. You can add uncertainty without dice, such as a power card that you play facedown on your units.

Another idea would be to not have attacks happen immediately but at some time in the future. So the first bit is about positioning until someone triggers all of the attacks. This would give you time to build up more forces on the planets to allow those richer interactions to emerge.

Of course you'll still need some more on the cards than just the base variables in order to prompt those interactions.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.