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Subject: Resolving Ties in Combat Games rss

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Patrick Terry
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Hello All,

First post laugh. I am designing a war game where the goal is to basically capture the flag and return it to you base (just more thematic). Multiple players can be involved in a battle at once with the winner taking control of the flag.

The combat system is similar to games like Blood Rage or Cosmic Encounter in that players have figures with set point values that are then modified by secret battle card. However, I am having trouble coming up with a tie resolution that is both satisfying and simple and am looking for ideas...Defender wins dies not work because two attackers may actually tie for the win... everyone loses doesn't really work because then what happens to the flag?

If anyone has suggestions or has played a game that has implemented a resolution that might work, please let me know!
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Rob Harper
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It depends on what you are trying to incentivise.

If I was doing this, I might want to encourage players to attack and make the game more dynamic. In that case I would probably try having the attacker win in the case of a tie, and if there were more than one attacker tieing (regardless of what the defender's score is), then the defender wins. That should encourage attacks, and could result in some interesting mind games when there are multiple attackers.

Have you tried playtesting this or are you currently theorycrafting? If the latter, I would encourage you to just make a guess at something that might work, and get it to the table. You'll probably learn more from playing than thinking and discussing.

Good luck with your game!
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A M
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I'm not terribly familiar with the combat systems you mention, but if I'm correct in understanding you:

- The base units have a point value (as you say);
- The battle cards add to that point value (I think).

If that's the case, I'd award the tie to the player with the highest value battle card. To me, that represents the most significant investment in the combat, so it should be the tiebreaker.
 
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Patrick Terry
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polyobsessive wrote:
It depends on what you are trying to incentivise.

If I was doing this, I might want to encourage players to attack and make the game more dynamic. In that case I would probably try having the attacker win in the case of a tie, and if there were more than one attacker tieing (regardless of what the defender's score is), then the defender wins. That should encourage attacks, and could result in some interesting mind games when there are multiple attackers.

Have you tried playtesting this or are you currently theorycrafting? If the latter, I would encourage you to just make a guess at something that might work, and get it to the table. You'll probably learn more from playing than thinking and discussing.

Good luck with your game!


Yes! This is an excellent suggestion! I am playtesting solo right now and my prototype is actually quite engaging! It's built around a mechanic where non-combat units link hexes together, allowing combat units to move between them. Really looking forward to working out small kinks like the one here and getting it in front of an audience soon
 
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Ken Bush
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murjani1 wrote:
I'm not terribly familiar with the combat systems you mention, but if I'm correct in understanding you:

- The base units have a point value (as you say);
- The battle cards add to that point value (I think).

If that's the case, I'd award the tie to the player with the highest value battle card. To me, that represents the most significant investment in the combat, so it should be the tiebreaker.

Think I would do the opposite. Most unit value wins. Cards are hidden and more frequently “luck of the draw”.
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Patrick Terry
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Ken and A M, thank you both for the suggestions!
 
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A M
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klbush wrote:
murjani1 wrote:
I'm not terribly familiar with the combat systems you mention, but if I'm correct in understanding you:

- The base units have a point value (as you say);
- The battle cards add to that point value (I think).

If that's the case, I'd award the tie to the player with the highest value battle card. To me, that represents the most significant investment in the combat, so it should be the tiebreaker.

Think I would do the opposite. Most unit value wins. Cards are hidden and more frequently “luck of the draw”.


That's interesting. I think it's different ways of rewarding player commitment. You're rewarding the player for having the foresight to have the powerful unit on the board. I'm rewarding the player who values the combat encounter the most (i.e., is "going for the gusto").

I am also operating on the presumption that the card is played from the hand, thus adding a measure of tactics. If it were a blind draw, I would probably agree with you.
 
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Rob Harper
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murjani1 wrote:
I am also operating on the presumption that the card is played from the hand, thus adding a measure of tactics. If it were a blind draw, I would probably agree with you.


If everyone is starting with the same hand of cards (for example, everyone has the numbers 1 to 10 once each -- or whatever suits the scales you have in the game) there could be even more tactical decision, plus trying to keep track of what cards other players have used so far...
 
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Ken Bush
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murjani1 wrote:

I am also operating on the presumption that the card is played from the hand, thus adding a measure of tactics. If it were a blind draw, I would probably agree with you.

Don't know how the cards were come by, but in many games they are DRAWN at random into your hand, everyone potentially gets different cards. If this is the case, then I think you should use the unit size to eliminate "lucky" draws winning the battle. If everyone starts with the same set of cards, then you could use largest card, but then you'd likely have to have a secondary tie breaker too.
 
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Patrick Terry
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To clarify, deck is 40 cards. Players open draft 6 cards. Cards can be drawn from remaining deck through worker placement, so drawing is random but you're more likely to have stronger cards if your commit your workers to drawing.
 
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A M
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klbush wrote:
murjani1 wrote:

I am also operating on the presumption that the card is played from the hand, thus adding a measure of tactics. If it were a blind draw, I would probably agree with you.

Don't know how the cards were come by, but in many games they are DRAWN at random into your hand, everyone potentially gets different cards. If this is the case, then I think you should use the unit size to eliminate "lucky" draws winning the battle. If everyone starts with the same set of cards, then you could use largest card, but then you'd likely have to have a secondary tie breaker too.


I guess that's not really that much of a concern for me, at least over the course of a full game (and especially if cards are open draft, see above). On average, each player will get a potentially-sharp-but-still-normal distribution of cards, and allocating those resources strategically seems like a decent enough thing to reward. But I do get where you're coming from.
 
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A M
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Pterry0404 wrote:
To clarify, deck is 40 cards. Players open draft 6 cards. Cards can be drawn from remaining deck through worker placement, so drawing is random but you're more likely to have stronger cards if your commit your workers to drawing.


With those added elements, I'd commit even more to having the card be the tiebreaker. But there are lots of good options listed here.
 
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Challie Coppel
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I believe in blood rage everyone loses, just leave the flag open. alternatively, just have everyone play another card.
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Johannes Hihn
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You could add a second value, something like Initiative or Wits, to each of the combat cards. That value should be higher if the battle value is lower and the other way around I guess. If you make all those Initiative values unique there wont be any ties (in Initiative) and it adds an interesting decision when playing and drafting the cards. And in case of a tie in battle strength the highest Initiative breaks the tie.
 
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wayne mathias
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Suggestion:

2 player tie - both sides suffer damage and fight again/continues

3+ player with tie for win - losers lose, tied winners as in a 2 player tie

Treat a 3-way tie as a 2-way tie.

Damage suffered by tied forces could be a fixed # of units/points or a % of of them.

 
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