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StarCraft: The Board Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Any way to add "Oomph" to the combat mechanics? rss

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Calixtus Ashley Wee
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I will just start off by saying I dont find it satisfying to win battles in Starcraft...there seems to be a lack of that magic "oomph" you get when you overwhelm the enemy with your zerglings as such. I have heard complains from other people too, about them not liking the combat system too much, while appreciating the other qualities of the board game. I have thought of something rather complicated but might work, and that is to fiddle around with the mechanics of the frontline troops. I cant go into greater detail than that, and I am hoping someone could give me ideas on what you think would best aid in refining the combat card mechanics.
 
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James Reynolds
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Dice? I went there...

No but seriously, if you have any suggestions put them out there. Maybe they can be refined to be less complex?
 
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Ian Mahoney
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A few ideas...
What is it exactly that you dislike about the mechanic? I'm not sure what you mean by oomph. Personally, I quite like the mechanic, but I have an interest in designing/tweaking game mechanics. What this combat system does well is give you a strong idea of what you're getting into before each attack. When I attack someone, I can almost always predict the worst possible outcome. If I can make the worst possible outcome still be a victory, then it's an attack worth making.

Are you looking for more uncertainty? Dice could give you that, but I tend to find dice rather unsatisfying myself. You could try resolving each skirmish before choosing cards for the next one, rather than choosing them all at the start. That way you might get a feel of the progress of the battle and it would matter more who decides what order the skirmishes get resolved in (I think it's the attacker..? It doesn't come up that often).

If the problem has to do with front VS rear line units, you could try making the combats longer to involve all units more directly. For example: you could resolve one combat with rear-line units as usual, then have another combat where the rear-line units need to move forward to take over for front-line units that died. If into more 'all or nothing' style of combat you could continue this until one side is completely wiped out, meaning that no-one ever retreats. Or, you could make retreating optional. That way it might feel more like you pulled back when you were overwhelmed, rather than just falling back because the battle was over and the rules said so.

Anyways, just some thoughts. Let me know if I'm on the right track.
 
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Calixtus Ashley Wee
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Yes you are on the right track! I meant tweaking the mechanics. Some of what you said seems useful, so I will give due consideration. I will post what I think on a later date, because I am busy with the Spring Festival for the moment. Thanks again for contributing to this thread. Basically, I find the combat system a little bland...I think that's the word to use. You don't get the feel that you are destroying something big and bad, or maybe it has to do with the fact that my younger brother remarked, "Boring...", after I simulated a card battle with him...it might have impressed upon me more than it should, because my younger brother just isn't the type to play board games in the first place. Actually, this combat card system has its strong points, and is quite flavourful...if we could make it even more exciting, it will be great.
 
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Brian M
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We just tried a small variant that added a dash of excitement to combat.

hen a battle starts, assign frontline and support units as normal, but do not decide on skirmishes.

The attacker and defender each take turns choosing one of their frontline units to skirmish against one frontline unit of the opponent. This skirmish proceeds normally.

Each frontline unit may only be chosen by its controller once per combat, but may be chosen more than once by the opponent.

Conduct a number of skirmishes equal to the number of frontline units on one side.

If a side has no frontline units left, their turn to choose passes and the opponent gets the choice instead.

Example:
A Terran Battlecruiser and Siege Tank supported by 2 marines attack a Zerg base with a Scourge, Ultralisk and Hydralisk.

The attack assigns one marine as a support unit to the Ultralisk.

The marine, being the attacker, picks a skirmish first, and has the Battlecruiser strike against the Ultralisk. Cards are played, and the Cruiser kills the Ultralisk.

The Zerg now gets to choose, and has the Scourge skirmish against the Battlecruiser. Cards are played, but the Cruiser kills the Scourge before it can use its special attack.

The marine player might like to use the Cruiser again, but cannot since she already picked it for a skirmish once. Lacking a good siege tank card, she sends the Marine against the Hydralisk, which fails to kill it.

Three skirmishes have been fought, equal to the number of starting frontline units, so the battle is over.
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