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Subject: Fleet Battles: Roll and Damage rss

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Eric Pietrocupo
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I am working on a ww2 pacific war game and want a standard mechanics for resolving all kinds of attack. In general, the way battles are resolved is that each player place their ship in various parts of their battle board that represent the weaponry used (gun, torpedoes, etc). The the combat is resolved 1 weapon at a time in a specific order.

Now I have 2 possible way to resolve the damage and I am not sure which one could be simpler or more elegant to play. For example, lets resolve the gun weapon with the following ships.

1 Battleship(BB) - Strength of 8 each
2 Heavy Cruiser (CA) - Strength of 4 each
3 Light Cruiser (CL) - Strength of 2 each

The target number for a die to hit is 4+ (technology can reduce it to 3+)

Method A

- Roll 1 die for each ship.
- For each ship that hit, sum up it's strength.
- Each slice of 5 points will damage an enemy unit.

For example, if 1 ship of each type hit, then the total strength is 8+4+2 = 16. 16/5 = 3 rest 1. So the opponent get 3 damage.

Method B

- Sum up all the ship strength
- Roll 1 die for each slice of 5 points
- Each hit will inflict a damage on an enemy unit.

For example, the fleet above will have a strength of 8+4+4+2+2+2= 22. The player will roll 4 dice, if he rolls 3 hit, he makes 3 damage.

Average rolls (optional)

If there is more than 4+ dice to roll, it could be possible to make an average roll with 2 dice. For example, instead of rolling 6 dice, you roll 2 dice where each hit makes 50% of the dice hit. So with 6 dice, 1 hit = 3 damage, 2 hit= 6 damage. That optional rolling method would not be possible with method A.

Excess points

What ever the rolling methods, excess points are always carried over the next roll. So excess points are never lost unless it's the last attack.

Pro and cons
I am trying to see the pro and cons of both method.

- Method B gives an optional average roll for large forces without requiring additional dice.
- Method B seems easier to calculate.
- Method A would require the player to keep track of units that hit and would not be able to roll all units has the same time since they are mostly different.
- During the placement phase, it could take more time to assign ship with method B since players will want to round up their numbers. Still, since the excess points are used by other weapons, it might incite players not to calculate too much.

Do you have any other pro and cons?

Is there a method you prefer over the other?

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One Armed Bandit
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None of the above.

Don't use division and remainders in game design. The mental math is a pain to do and will slow it down enough that people won't play. This is hands down the biggest complaint about Frag and probably the only reason it's not far more popular.

You also end up with silliness where 2 battleships (16) are equally powerful to 2 battleships and a light cruiser (18)... Or where 8 light cruisers (16, 3 slices) are 50% more powerful than 7 (14, 2 slices)... and that 5, 6 and 7 cruisers are all equal strength.
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Eric Pietrocupo
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Quote:
5, 6 and 7 cruisers are all equal strength.


This is what the remainder is for. Since there are many attacks it will going to be used.

Quote:
Don't use division and remainders in game design. The mental math is a pain to do and will slow it down enough that people won't play.


The divider is always 5 so it's not that hard to calculate. I am not sure but I think D&D miniature also managed damage in multiples of 5.

But I'll still keep your comment in mind.
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One Armed Bandit
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DDM did damage in 5s, but there was never any DIVISION.
All addition and subtraction. Everything was a multiple of 5. Everything.

Seriously, this is your biggest problem, more than anything.

Get rid of the division. Get rid of the remainders.

The majority of players will regard the game as unplayable if you keep them in. I swear it on my lucky d20.

If you really don't believe me, go to General Gaming and put up a poll.

"Would you play a game that required you to do division to calculate combat strength, and keep track of the remainders?"
 
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Eric Pietrocupo
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I can agree that division could be unattractive. I'll might post a topic about it.

But I would currently not be able to remove division without removing details from the game that I do not necessarily want to remove. Change, maybe, but not remove.

So I'll have to find another way to manage this. I made some play test yesterday and it worked well.

I'll still give it some thoughts.
 
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Christopher Halbower
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larienna wrote:



For example, if 1 ship of each type hit, then the total strength is 8+4+2 = 16. 16/5 = 3 rest 1. So the opponent get 3 damage.


8+4+2 = 14. I am confused. Is this a typo?
 
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Eric Pietrocupo
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yes it is. I don't know what's wrong with me and simple additions. I even said for my starcraft variant that 2+3+4 = 12.
 
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Andrew Rowse
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I posted in the division thread, but this is probably more relevant here:

Quote:
1 Battleship(BB) - Strength of 8 each
2 Heavy Cruiser (CA) - Strength of 4 each
3 Light Cruiser (CL) - Strength of 2 each

The target number for a die to hit is 4+ (technology can reduce it to 3+)

...

- Roll 1 die for each slice of 5 points


With 0.5 ( 0.66 if upgraded) chance of a hit for each die, over some arbitrarily long period you would expect each ship to deal the following damage:

BB - 8/5 * 0.5 = 0.8 damage per round (1.1 when upgraded)
CA - 4/5 * 0.5 = 0.4 damage per round (0.5 when upgraded)
CL - 2/5 * 0.5 = 0.2 damage per round (0.3 when upgraded)

Why not take a leaf out of Eclipse's book, have three different coloured dice, and roll one die for each ship in the combat:

BB - Red D10s, hit on 3+ (always hits when upgraded, or 2+ for balance)
CA - Orange D10s, hit on 7+ (6+)
CL - Yellow D10s, hit on 9+ (8+)

This will give you the same average damage per round, and still let you roll lots of dice at once. It will also allow your ships to be upgraded separately, if that would be a good feature.
 
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Eric Pietrocupo
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The problem is that there is more than 3 type of ships / weaponry. And the same type of ship has different stats for the japanese, american and England.
 
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Eric Pietrocupo
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I am giving some thoughts to not keeping the remainder of the division.

There is a situation where ship can have gun and torpedo attacks. The gun attack has the advantage of choosing the target while torpedo attack are chosen by the defender. So in theory, gun is better than torpedoes.

If the gun value is lower than the torpedo value, then there is no problem. You can have a stronger strength without choosing your target(torpedo) or a weaker strength but choosing your target (gun)

But if a ship happens to have more gun than torpedo strength, then this is screwed, because there is no reason to use torpedoes anymore.

Unless there is no division remainder. In that case, even with stronger gun, a player will only assign it to gun if the total will exceed a multiple of 5. So if the ship have a gun strength of 4, it needs to be combined with another ship, else it will be useless.

Players might have to give more thought in their ship assignment and expect strength drop from casualties. It might require more time, but it will add a bit more strategy.

Second, it naturally solve another of my problem. A player will not be able to spread his fleet too much because if he send too few ships to a destination, the strength of his ships will be so weak that they will not be able to attack at all if they cannot make a sum stronger than 5.

 
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