Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
11 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: Calculating points values for characters & troops? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Brian Rayburn
United States
Gulfport
Mississippi
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You are the one designing the game. If you can't even figure out your own design, then we aren't going to be much use seeing as we don't know the formula you came up with to figure out point values.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Johnson
United Kingdom
Chesterfield
Derbyshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It is impossible to do this without knowing anything about the game. But as a general guide, first you need to establish some kind of a base standard, who would be something like an ordinary infantryman with spear and shield/musket/laser rifle or whetever and assign that type a nominal value. From that you should be able to assess other types against their relative value in the game and add or subtract from the cost of the base figure.

The value for the start point is up to you, but if you use a low number you may not be able to achieve a sufficient level of granularity but it has the benefit of simplicity.

Hope this helps.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sturv Tafvherd
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb

Assigning point values is extremely hard. It's not something that you will get by just using a formula; and it certainly won't be something you'll get by polling a forum given scant information.


You'll need to playtest things heavily. Perhaps the point values should be the very last thing you consider.


Kevin makes a good suggestion, and I'll build on it:

Rather than making a base standard (ie, "infantryman"), I'd suggest you construct two different squadrons.

Let's say squadron A has 8 infantrymen.

And squadron B has 6 infantrymen, plus 1 heavy gunner.


Now play squadron A against squadron B over and over and over. Fine tune the balance between the two squads until the results are pretty even. Once you balance A against B, you'll have a better idea of how the gunner stacks up against infantrymen.

Repeat the process with a different set.


After you've gone through several squads, you can start trying to figure out what the rough point values are for each squad, and then solve the matrix for individual point values.

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oliver Kiley
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The hardest part about this situation is that in actual game conditions the relative value of units can fluctuate dramatically depending on how they are used, what else is in the army composision, who you are playing against, etc... You can't break down those factors into variables for deriving point values.

That said, the advice given so far is good for a starting point, and you do need to have a starting point. As suggested, pick a standard or base unit type, assign some point value to it and then cost other units in relationship.

Do consider the following when making this first pass at setting points:

1) What are the "stat" differences between unit X and the base/reference unit? This may not be a easy arithmatic difference. Often it's just easier to use your gut feeling to assign a base point cost. Even if you develop some fancy althorithm, you'll need to deviate from it anyway through playtesting.

2) What is the relative flexibility of unit X compated to the base/reference unit? All other things being equal, faster deployment, movement, etc is going to make a unit more flexible and consequently should be worth more.

3) How specialized is the unit? Is it single purposed (i.e. Anti-Tank) or can the unit perform in a variety of roles? Again, more multi-purpose units, assuming constant effectiveness, ar going to be worth more.

4) Added value of special equipment or special rules.

5) Impact on other units. Does the unit increase the effectivenes (i.e. provide better leadership) to other units you are using? Such factors can increase the effectivness of the overall army and should be costed appropriately.

Good luck!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lizbeth
United Kingdom
banbury
oxfordshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
set up scenario, play test, decide whether it was balanced, adjust, set up scenario, playtest, adjust,

Rinse and repeat until you start to work out the relative value of units, assign everythign points values, then start playtesting again, using the points values as opposed to scenario play, try and abuse your own system with what looks like 'silly' set ups.

Rinse and repeat, again, and, again, until it all feels balanced.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Etkin
United States
Gloversville
New York
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
biddi biddi biddi
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Elizabeth Robson wrote:
set up scenario, play test, decide whether it was balanced, adjust, set up scenario, playtest, adjust,



And make sure you playtest with different players! If your system supports different types of tactical play, a player that excels in one type of style (say, using a bunch of grunts to swarm the opponent) vs. another (relying primarily on spells, hit and run, etc.), then you need to prove out how the values work against multiple player types.

As others have suggested, find your baseline with a "basic" troop type, then add or subtract from there. Scale it up and analyze different combinations of troops, environment, etc. Once you have that determined, start investigating how different play methods might impact your value system and find an average accordingly.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Mucchiello
United States
Edison
New Jersey
flag msg tools
designer
Set all troops to the same values. Just pick something. 3 is a nice number, perhaps it will work. Now make a stronger troop and give him a few 4s or even a 5. Play the game. This will tell you immediately how far off the number I've plucked out of thin air are. (And if they aren't way off I want a cut of the game That's a joke.) Now you can start you work as a designer and get the numbers to work. Whether you do that with arcane mathematics are consultations to arcane books on summoning Cthulhu is up to you. But figure what works for you and eventually the "right" numbers will eventually be found. When you reach that point. Play the game with other people and you will once again find out the numbers are off. Wash Rinse Repeat until the game actually works with real people.

Good luck.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
TS S. Fulk
Sweden
Örebro
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm going to throw in a monkey wrench and ask, "Are points even needed in your skirmish game?"

If your game is heavily scenario based, then you can probably skip the points and state which figures are for which side (maybe with a little flexibility).

I think with larger minis games, points are sort of needed to keep things relatively balanced, but for skirmish level games, I really don't care about balance as much as having a good scenario (one side could be totally out gunned) that works well (playtest to death).

But then, I'm not a WH player. Hell Dorado is the only game I've played with points from the start (Battletech added them later, but we didn't rely on them much).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Johnson
United Kingdom
Chesterfield
Derbyshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If the same person always designs the scenarios than you probably don't need points, but they are very useful as a start point so that players can design their own, or customise one from another game.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
TS S. Fulk
Sweden
Örebro
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
kevinj wrote:
If the same person always designs the scenarios than you probably don't need points, but they are very useful as a start point so that players can design their own, or customise one from another game.


Or you can have more general point values, like Tannhäuser does (troopers, heroes and epic heroes). So someone could design a scenario with the instructions: Choose 2 heroes and 3 troopers for the Undead and 1 epic hero and 2 troopers for the Drow.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charles F.
Germany
Berlin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Elizabeth Robson wrote:
set up scenario, play test, decide whether it was balanced, adjust, set up scenario, playtest, adjust


Rather, I'd say that a wargame designer will want to tweak and finetune those values until the game matches his interpretation of the historical strength of the sides involved. Though I guess this is also what you mean by "balance".

However, what values does one start off with? I think there is something to be said about going about this more methodically than simply assigning off-the-cuff values.

Some designers tailor their combat resolution outcomes (CRT or otherwise) to calculations made based on historical outcomes (casualty rates etc).

Similarly, one might collate statistics as to how the sides involved performed against another. This will allow you to arrive at a reasonably well-informed historical balance of forces assessment.

You may then modify those values based on whether you believe a side considerably over- or underperfomed in comparison to its general ability.

It has to be noted that often factors favouring or hampering a side are worth not conflating into individual unit values.

Some designs, for instance, will model logistical constraints separately whereas in others this is directly factored into command/combat/loss/movement values.

Whether a designer adopts a methodical approach or subscribes to the quick-and-dirty school of design may not lead to a significant difference in the end-product.

It really is more of a matter of a designer satisfying his own standards as to simulation design. How great a research effort are you going to make?

Some good wargame designs may based on merely one book whereas others are informed by a whole library of research. Doesn't mean that the former need be a poor simulation.
2 
 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.