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Subject: Zombie Nation: Opinions Needed rss

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Mark Manning
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Hey guys, hoping to get a bit of direct feedback here on an ongoing design project of mine.

Quite a while back now, I was playing the online game "The Last Stand" and was really taken on the mix of action, resource management and risk which came across in the first game.

So much so in fact, that I started drafting out how you would go about making a board game based upon the same premise.

I'm not going to go into too much detail about the overall games mechanics but I have a question related to weapons and how I intend to implement them.

I'm a big fan of "one-roll does all" in games; I didn't want to push combat towards the GW model of "To-Hit, To Wound". With this in mind, I decided to have a situation where each weapon is attributed a number of special-valued dice which players use to figure out range and damage.

For clarity, here are the four dice types and values I have in mind:

Power Dice (Red) - 4,4,5,6,Miss,Clip
Mixed Dice (Green) - Clip,1,2,2,3,Miss
Ranged Dice (Blue) - 1,2,2,2,3,3
Edge Dice (White) - 1,1,1,5,6,Clip

Let's take a standard hand-gun; not too powerful therefore the weapon would likely have one Green and one Blue dice attributed to it. The player chooses a target and rolls the two appropriate dice.

Now, here's were I'm not quite sure how to balance the next stage out - The intention is that every value of the target's armor the player attributes to damage equals one wound to the target (I.E: if the target has an AC of 2, you would need Two points of Damage to deal One Wound, Four points of Damage to deal Two Wounds).

Now, the two choices are that the player would take his total value rolled and distribute the points to range and damage (which allows for greater control of shots and less likely to result in miss shots) or the player declares some dice to range and others for damage (Which could result in wasted points but would make for much greater levels of tension).

For a point of clarity, the term "Clip" means that when this value is rolled the character shooting loses one ammo clip - they can never lose more then one clip in any single shot. Also, as is obvious in the term, should a value of "Miss" occur, the shot is off target regardless of other values - though some weapons (Flamers, etc) will have alternate rulings in this regard.

Here's an example - The character chooses to shoot a Classical Zombie (AC 2, 1 Wound) which is presently two squares away from him. Since it's early on in the game, he only has a basic handgun and therefore rolls 1 Green and 1 Blue dice. If I allow the player to total the points together and then spread them out across the range and damage, it is possible for the player to kill the Zombie with a single shot (Green:3, Blue:3, total: 6, Two points to range, four to damage) where as, if the player must distribute dice across range and damage the best he could deal is one damage.

I suppose my question here is; should I lock the rules to one of these rule set (And if so, suggestions would be appreciated) or should I add both rules into the game and allow the player to choose which one they wish to follow?
 
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Matthew Kloth
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You should look at the weapon dice mechanic in Doom.
 
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Mike Kollross
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To avoid the whole mag vs clip debate I would refer to it as ammo. The term "clip" is used wrong in popular media.

Google clip versus mag to get an idea.

 
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Mark Manning
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MusedFable wrote:
You should look at the weapon dice mechanic in Doom.


Actually, that's where some of the concept for this system came from but I didn't want to hole-hearted rip-off the mechanic.

Mike Kollroos wrote:
To avoid the whole mag vs clip debate I would refer to it as ammo. The term "clip" is used wrong in popular media.

Google clip versus mag to get an idea.


Good idea, I'll do that.
 
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James Webb
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I'd probably go for the option that allows the player to distribute the roll as they see fit.

You could also offer the player the option of attributing dice to range or damage, but because of the random nature of this you'd need to add some sort of incentive for the player to pick this over the "roll and allocate" method. Maybe, if the player picks this method, a roll of a certain number could be an instant kill regardless of AC and wounds?

It's probably not my place to be suggesting new mechanics, but if you're trying for a cinematic experience with tension why not go the whole hog and offer the player "Tension Points" or something each time they go for the "allocate dice to range/damage" method. Then these "Tension Points" could be cashed in for some sort of bonus/es at various stages during the game.
 
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Mark Manning
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Now that's a great concept - I might work off of that - Thanks Revgiblet; I'll make sure to credit you in the Foreword of the rulebook if I do.
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James Webb
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Luthervamplord wrote:
Now that's a great concept - I might work off of that - Thanks Revgiblet; I'll make sure to credit you in the Foreword of the rulebook if I do.


I'm glad you like it. You're most welcome to run with it. Risk/Reward mechanics can make for great gaming as long as they're balanced properly.
 
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