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Subject: Resolving war in an abstract resource game rss

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Nikolaj Wendt
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I am having problems coming up with a cool, fast, intuitive and yet interesting way to resolve wars in the game I am currently working on.

It is a euro game with cards and action pawns (as so many other games).
Players gather resources every turn that can be spent on various things. Amongst others, a Warfare score. All resources and warfare are represented with a number on a track.

Current system:
1.Starting values - Find the Warfare value of the attacking and the defending player.
2.Bonuses - Add bonuses for army types developed (i might trash this one)
3.Event cards - Attacking player chooses to play an event card or pass. Then the defending player chooses to play an event card or pass. If either player plays a card, the opponent gets a chance to play a card again. When both players have passed, go to Casulaties.
4.Casualties - Casualties are resolved by reducing a player’s Warfare. Each player inflicts casualties on the opponent equal to 20% of their own Warfare score, rounded up. Warfare can never go below 1.

Who ever has the highest warfare score at the end wins the war and gets spoils etc.

What I dont like about this:
- percentages suck (I did add a splash icon with a 1 in the 1-5 fields on the Warfare track, and a 2 in the 6-10 fields, which made it easier to see what the casualties will be, but still...)
- I need a lot of event cards available to the players in order to introduce any sort of randomness or secretness to it, meaning that currently people only attack when they are certain they can win
- it feels a bit boring...


I would like there to be small skirmishes already from the early game, so it should be something that encourages people to attack and see if they can win a small victory and get some resources. It also has to be easy and fast to figure out.


Anyone have any suggestions or any links to games that resolve abstract battles in an awesome way?
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Ron Glass
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While I am not a big fan of this type system, the real issue is the net effect of the "warfare". If its an abstract military game, then your warfare needs a major ramp up.

If game victory determination is from the overall score of resources, developments (assumes developements use resources), and/or progressions then the warfare needs to be a bigger negative. Every warfare event should not only reduce the warfare track (expended soldiers and military hardware) but should also involve a reduction in resources AND a reduction in the ability to gather resources...loser suffering more than the winner. And again this assumes that your ability to gather resources increases as the game progresses, as well as the resources that you have on hand. And if you have insufficient resources to meet your "warfare event" cost, do the mechanics allow for the cashing in of developments or progressions (at less than full cost, of course) to pay the required warfare costs?

Just some thoughts and good luck.

Ron
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Sturv Tafvherd
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puslemus wrote:
Anyone have any suggestions or any links to games that resolve abstract battles in an awesome way?


Age of Mythology: The Boardgame
-- it is currently the only game I own that has a "Civilization" resource gathering and city-building aspect combined with a unit-by-unit battle system.



edit ...
I just remembered ... I designed this game earlier this year
(QPnP Entry) Mice 'n' Men : Winter 1584 (A colonization/survival game for 1 player (2 player optional); 60-90 mins)
And it does have an "abstract resource" gathering of sorts, combined with city-building, and also some kind of "battle" system.
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Nikolaj Wendt
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ronglass wrote:
While I am not a big fan of this type system, the real issue is the net effect of the "warfare". If its an abstract military game, then your warfare needs a major ramp up.

If game victory determination is from the overall score of resources, developments (assumes developements use resources), and/or progressions then the warfare needs to be a bigger negative. Every warfare event should not only reduce the warfare track (expended soldiers and military hardware) but should also involve a reduction in resources AND a reduction in the ability to gather resources...loser suffering more than the winner. And again this assumes that your ability to gather resources increases as the game progresses, as well as the resources that you have on hand. And if you have insufficient resources to meet your "warfare event" cost, do the mechanics allow for the cashing in of developments or progressions (at less than full cost, of course) to pay the required warfare costs?

Just some thoughts and good luck.

Ron


The "spoils of war" currently consist of the winner stealing resources from the loser. the amount stolen increases as the players progress through the various ages (it is a civ game).

If you win by a large amount you also get the ability to temporarily affect the loser by disabling one of his technologies (technologies produce resources each turn). You currently cannot permanently reduce the loser's income, but it might be a good idea.

To encourage attacks, you actually currently dont lose any resources if you are the attacker. Only if you are the defender. Both parties lose Warfare of course.
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Nikolaj Wendt
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Stormtower wrote:

Age of Mythology: The Boardgame
-- it is currently the only game I own that has a "Civilization" resource gathering and city-building aspect combined with a unit-by-unit battle system.



edit ...
I just remembered ... I designed this game earlier this year
(QPnP Entry) Mice 'n' Men : Winter 1584 (A colonization/survival game for 1 player (2 player optional); 60-90 mins)
And it does have an "abstract resource" gathering of sorts, combined with city-building, and also some kind of "battle" system.

I have not played those two, but read up on both. I think they entail a lot more than what I was hoping to be able to do here.

I am looking for a way to make a battle system, that is almost as simple as "My warfare score is 27, yours is 19, so I win by 8!", interesting and fun.
I currently have event cards that adds or removes warfare scores temporarily (players buy them elsewhere in the game) but was wondering if there are other cool elements to add. I would like to avoid dice if possible, since there are no dice used in any other part of the game.
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sunday silence
United States
Maryland
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puslemus wrote:


I am looking for a way to make a battle system, that is almost as simple as "My warfare score is 27, yours is 19, so I win by 8!", interesting and fun.
I currently have event cards that adds or removes warfare scores temporarily (players buy them elsewhere in the game) but was wondering if there are other cool elements to add. I would like to avoid dice if possible, since there are no dice used in any other part of the game.


Hey I am pretty much in the same position as this guy. It is like a civ-lite game and the battle system needs to be secondary to the economics.

I did appreciate the other links to the Age of Mythology et al. which I had not really studied before. Of course that system is sort of odd because although it is doing civ building, it also has a more robust military system, which leads a to sort of contradiction because you do have to spend some effort into building monsters and hoplites and such...

Anyhow, I am looking for a simple battle mechanic to add to my civ game so I guess I will try to contribute as well as I can.

I am leaning in the direction of a bidding system sort of like Fist of Dragonstones or something (these analogies may be lost on people who don't know the game). Basically both players will be bidding blindly on the battle. So I am looking at a number of bidding systems such as Augsburg 1520 to name one. The roll to hit system in Age of Myth. would slow this game down too much.

One thing I am thinking hard on is the casualties. I dont think it can simply be the difference between Att/defender or something like that (e.g. 27-19 quoted by the OP). I think the casaulties might vary depending on perhaps the ratio, e..g if you can achieve a 2:1 ratio the attacker gets a more favorable casualty ratio. A 1:1 attack might produce lots of casaulties on both sides.

I have not really found it a problem with both sides losing troops. In some games I guess there is concern that players will simply avoid battle and concentrate on the trade, religion, etc. But in my game they are sort of forced to expand into territories. And winning a battle results in change of territory so it is more or less a zero sum deal so both sides have something to play for. THe only question is how many troops you can afford to pay into the battle.

But the other issue is making the battle a little more robust with perhaps cards that create tactical interactions. Obviously we've seen these systems before. A flank attack versus a frontal attack might produce a certain casaulty level. But the use of cards has also generated a whole slew of questions:

1) do the players play one card at a time, or can they just bid a whole slew of cards?

2) Do you bid like 20 soldiers in one go, or can you bid several rounds of sokdiers in bidding?

3) do the players play cards simultaneously or take turns? It actually makes a great deal of difference. SOrt of surprising to me, I didnt think this would take a lot of effort but it has. One of the issues is trying to figure out who is the attacker/defender; if you initiate the battle but are outnumbered are you still the attacker? What if you play something like "refuse flank?" Does that make you a defender?

So that is kind of where I am stuck. Any suggestions on bidding systems, or simply battle systems would be nice. Just hoping to keep the discussion going.

Thanks.

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Paulo Augusto
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puslemus wrote:
[...] a cool, fast, intuitive and yet interesting way to resolve wars [...]

I am developing a Civilization game and, in it, i too am having troubles getting a combat resolution mechanic that i find to be perfect or near perfect. In fact, it has been the most dificult thing to solve until now.

I'm still searching for *the* solution.
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sunday silence
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PauloAugusto wrote:
puslemus wrote:
[...] a cool, fast, intuitive and yet interesting way to resolve wars [...]

I am developing a Civilization game and, in it, i too am having troubles getting a combat resolution mechanic that i find to be perfect or near perfect. In fact, it has been the most dificult thing to solve until now.

I'm still searching for *the* solution.


can you elaborate on this a little and tell us what ideas have you tried. OR what ideas are you thinking of?

Are you leaning toward cards or dice? Something else.

How do players interact? turn by turn? simultaneous? play cards w/o turns?
 
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Paulo Augusto
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Combat mechanic - Civ game
http://www.bgdf.com/node/5693
PauloAugusto wrote:
What do you think would be the best mechanic for resolving combats in a civilization game and what do you think of my mechanic ideas?

### Requirements for the combat resolution system ###
# Scales to stronger units.
There will be several levels of units (ex: sword and shield, Phalanxs, Knights, Musketeers, Rifles and Artileries, Tanks, Rambos, Robocops, Deathstars .. joking a little)
# Fighting shouldn't be always deadly.
At least around half the units in each side should survive as a standard. (in real life, almost everytime the armies lost not all that many soldiers and were merely routed, only to reorganize the next day or week or month or never)
# Always a chance.
Both sides should have almost always a chance of winning the fight, either successfully killing oponents of not, being the chance directly proportional to the difference in strength of the armies.
# Simple and quick.
The resolution must be simple and quick. The players must not have to put great mental effort to resolve the conflicts (their minds have already too much, in a civ game).

And then i present some of the ways my combat system used to work, why they don't work, which new ways i'm thinking of having.

Also, about cards vs dice, i started with dice, i used cards, now i don't know. Cards and dice have quite some differences in them, for sure.

What are your personal requirements for your own "civ-lite" game? What kinds of units. How many units fighing at the same time as a general rule? Et cetera?
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Derek H
South Africa
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sundaysilence wrote:
But the use of cards has also generated a whole slew of questions:

1) do the players play one card at a time, or can they just bid a whole slew of cards?

2) Do you bid like 20 soldiers in one go, or can you bid several rounds of sokdiers in bidding?

3) do the players play cards simultaneously or take turns?

This is starting to sound a little like the battle system in Dune; simultaneous blind bidding of card + troops + leader. Add value of troop strength and leader value - with the twist that cards may kill leaders or even blow-up everyone in sight! Its pretty quick and surprisingly tense.
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sunday silence
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Hey thanks for the tip about Dune,I am going to check that one out.SOme recent games/mechanics I have been looking at:

Augsburg 1520; for the bidding.

Varg bid (sp?). This is based on the dectet deck concept and has some sort of bidding.

Hi SOciety, again for bidding.

Crude. This is a game for oil and I was studying the market mechanics.

Caladea. A roll to hit game so maybe no.

Farlander. Sort of like Risk I guess.

Biblios. This has an interesting system for victory pts.; there is bidding and as well hand management I guess.

THanks for the ideas, every little idea helps...
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