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Subject: Has a system like this been used before? rss

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Ian Toltz
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Hey all. I had a thought in the shower this morning about a simple system for dice-based combat, but it occurred to me that it might have already been used by some game out there. In particular, I figure if anything had used it, probably a war game had.

I also have approximately zero knowledge in this realm, so I figured I'd ask here.

The gist of it is that combat would use the full set of common polyhedral dice (although maybe not a d20). Units would roll a particular die, based on the size of the weapon they're using (bigger weapons = bigger die), would have an armor value, and would have a skill value.

If the die roll is greater than or equal to the target's armor value, but less than or equal to the unit's skill value, it's a hit; otherwise it's a miss.

So for example, infantry might roll a d6, have 1 armor, and a skill of 3. 1 armor is essentially meaningless, so any other unit attacking them would hit as long as they rolled under their skill (typically a 50/50 shot). A light tank might roll a d10, have 3 armor, and a skill of 5. So if the infantry attacked the tank, they'd need to roll exactly a 3. A heavy tank might have 4 armor, and be immune to those infantry.

So anyone know of any games already using a system like this?
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Björn Hansson
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I think Bitter Victory Family uses a system somewhat similar to that.
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Ian Toltz
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I wasn't able to find much info on the system, but from a review as far as I can tell the way that system works is you're always rolling a d6, and depending on whether you're using heavy or light weapons you hit a 5-6 or 6, respectively.

If that's accurate, it's sufficiently different from my system that I wouldn't consider this a match.

Thanks for pointing it out!
 
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Björn Hansson
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Asmor wrote:
I wasn't able to find much info on the system, but from a review as far as I can tell the way that system works is you're always rolling a d6, and depending on whether you're using heavy or light weapons you hit a 5-6 or 6, respectively.

If that's accurate, it's sufficiently different from my system that I wouldn't consider this a match.

Thanks for pointing it out!


"a combat system that rates units for how many dice they get to roll on their behalf, as well as what kind of dice"

But I haven't played it so I'm no expert.
 
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Bill Eldard
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I'm not aware of an existing system like that, but it has potential. I could see this working well as a simple miniatures mechanic.
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Warren Bruhn
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The miniatures rules system Savage Worlds has different die sizes ranging from d4 to d12 for ability. Also, the main characters roll an additional d6, and take whichever roll is better. If the highest number on the die is rolled, then the die is rolled again and more numbers are added to the result.

Defense is based on a die rolled by the other player, also in a range of d4 through d12. So this is an opposed die rolling system which keeps both players involved in the combat.

Played a version of the Piquet miniatures system for the 18th Century that also used a range of die sizes from d4 through d12, with opposed defense die rolls in the same range. Savage Worlds is for individual figures representing individual people, but Piquet is for much larger units, usually infantry battalions, artillery batteries, or cavalry regiments.

Systems of opposed die rolls in the range of d4 through d12 for attack and defense ratings have produced reasonable results in my experience.

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Björn Hansson
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I guess the same could be said for the roleplaying game Earthdawn, but that's a whole different ballpark.
 
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Ian Toltz
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You know Savage Worlds is an RPG, right? o_0

Thanks for the info on the Piquet system.
 
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Darren Webber
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Yes.

But it is so long ago I cannot remember what it was called.

I had a similar system that I developed in the early eighties, but shelved it when I picked up a set of A4 (letter) sized professional rules that seemed to be a carbon copy of what I had spent a few months developing!

Very firefight centric - and the other thing that was distinctive at the time (that I can remember now) was the fact that you only measured the moves of your squad or team leaders, and your troops just hung around them unless pinned/surpressed.

Closest to it currently is Force on Force - but that has opposed rolls.
 
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Bill Eldard
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Warren Bruhn wrote:
The miniatures rules system Savage Worlds has different die sizes ranging from d4 to d12 for ability. Also, the main characters roll an additional d6, and take whichever roll is better. If the highest number on the die is rolled, then the die is rolled again and more numbers are added to the result.

Defense is based on a die rolled by the other player, also in a range of d4 through d12. So this is an opposed die rolling system which keeps both players involved in the combat.


My earliest recollection of the application of unit type-specific dice for combat in a wargame is the old MB Gamemaster series Fortress America back around 1986, but it was only offense and not defense. Units rolle d4, d6, or d10 dice depending on their type.
 
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a somewhat simpler version is used in Nemo's War.

Works pretty well to, cause you can easiliy add DRM's to make to roll more likely to be succesfull, without to much hassle.

Cheers, Haring
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James Lowry
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Asmor wrote:
You know Savage Worlds is an RPG, right? o_0

Thanks for the info on the Piquet system.

The blub describes it as both an RPG and a miniatures game.

The closest I've got is for my half-finished design, JumpWar (which is my evolution of Metagaming's WarpWar). Everything uses the same numbers to hit, but the type of die used depends on relative speed ratings (I only use d6, d8, and d10).
 
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Ian Wakeham
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Not quite the same, but Where There Is Discord: War in the South Atlantic uses various dice for combat and other actions: d4, d6, d8, d10 and d12. Basically a different die is rolled depending on the aircraft, ship or submarine searching, attacking or being attacked, with success usually resulting from rolling a 1. So modifiers and CRTs are essentially replaced by the use of different dice.
 
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Martin Gallo
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I think the TSR Battlesystem miniatures rules used something similar.

One issue (already hinted at) with your system is that the unit rolling the attack should be using its die and skill vs. the target's armor. As described a unit rolling a d12 vs. the infantry skill of 3 is at a huge disadvantage relative to a unit attacking with a d4.

Another issue is that there is no provision for inflicting multiple hits from an attack so the tactic becomes massing as many cheap units as possible and overrunning the other guys. Effective but lacking in nuance.

You have the seeds of a great idea though.

Note for others - Savage Worlds has at its roots the Deadlands miniatures game Great Rail Wars. The Savage Worlds rules can also easily be used for miniatures battles at the skirmish level.
 
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Ian Toltz
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martimer wrote:
One issue (already hinted at) with your system is that the unit rolling the attack should be using its die and skill vs. the target's armor. As described a unit rolling a d12 vs. the infantry skill of 3 is at a huge disadvantage relative to a unit attacking with a d4.


Sorry if I didn't explain properly, but that's how it works. The roll has to be in the range of [target's armor] - [attacker's skill]. So a d12 with 6 skill would hit infantry with 1 armor half the time (on a 1-6).

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Another issue is that there is no provision for inflicting multiple hits from an attack so the tactic becomes massing as many cheap units as possible and overrunning the other guys. Effective but lacking in nuance.


This was a basic example just to get the idea of the mechanic. In actual play, infantry would tend to roll lots of little dice, and heavier weaponry would roll fewer larger dice, but have more armor.

So plain infantry and tanks would actually both be quite ineffective against each other. The infantry would only hit with 1/6 of the time if the tank's armor is 3, and would never hit against something with armor 4. On the flipside, the tank hits pretty easily, but it still only inflicts one hit against the infantry.

But then the idea is that you could specialize your infantry, such as giving them flame throwers that let them roll lots of d4s that hit on 2 (effective anti-personnel), or you could give them a rocket launcher that rolls a single d8 or d10.

Quote:
You have the seeds of a great idea though.


Thanks!
 
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The original Fortress America used 3 dice: a d6; a d8; & a d10, of which certain units were given an appropriate 'one' selected from those to "Attack" with, that also included a "range to roll" within. The newer edition used *Symbols* now of which are inferior since you can not adjust nor modify them too handily for where there isn't anything provided as thus, as with a BLANK die-face on any of that. Whereas a numeric RANGE can be increased or decreased in some easily concocted manner affecting such, then, how are you to conduct this in a similar 'effect' through those other *Symbols* instead?
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Abaddon uses different dice depending on who is firing, and both the attacker and defender roll based on their unit type. Armor is also factored into the number of hits it takes to kill a unit.
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Ethan McKinney
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Asmor wrote:
martimer wrote:
One issue (already hinted at) with your system is that the unit rolling the attack should be using its die and skill vs. the target's armor. As described a unit rolling a d12 vs. the infantry skill of 3 is at a huge disadvantage relative to a unit attacking with a d4.


Sorry if I didn't explain properly, but that's how it works. The roll has to be in the range of [target's armor] - [attacker's skill]. So a d12 with 6 skill would hit infantry with 1 armor half the time (on a 1-6).


You explained it properly, but the objection is correct. The system is unlikely to work.

We know two things: higher armor is better, and higher skill is better.

Suppose that the target has armor 3 and the attacker has skill 3. The only result that yields a hit is a 3. If the attacker rolls a d12, there's an 8.3% chance of a hit. If the attacker rolls a d4, there's a 25% chance of a hit! But bigger dice are supposed to be better, aren't they?

Work through some more examples and you'll find no shortage of anomalies.
 
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elbmc1969 wrote:
Asmor wrote:
martimer wrote:
One issue (already hinted at) with your system is that the unit rolling the attack should be using its die and skill vs. the target's armor. As described a unit rolling a d12 vs. the infantry skill of 3 is at a huge disadvantage relative to a unit attacking with a d4.


Sorry if I didn't explain properly, but that's how it works. The roll has to be in the range of [target's armor] - [attacker's skill]. So a d12 with 6 skill would hit infantry with 1 armor half the time (on a 1-6).


You explained it properly, but the objection is correct. The system is unlikely to work.

We know two things: higher armor is better, and higher skill is better.

Suppose that the target has armor 3 and the attacker has skill 3. The only result that yields a hit is a 3. If the attacker rolls a d12, there's an 8.3% chance of a hit. If the attacker rolls a d4, there's a 25% chance of a hit! But bigger dice are supposed to be better, aren't they?

Work through some more examples and you'll find no shortage of anomalies.


You're assuming that there could *be* an example of someone rolling a d12 with a 3 skill. As I stated in my original post, against 1 armor, you'll usually have a 50/50 chance of hitting. I realize I didn't outright state it, but the obvious implication is that usually the skill of a unit will be half the size of the die it's rolling.

I haven't done any rigorous math to prove it, but I'm pretty sure that with a skill of half the die size, you will never have better chances of hitting anyone with a smaller die.

The only real thing to be careful of is that a +1 on a d4 is much better than a +1 on a d12, but that's easily taken into account in design.
 
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Kevin Smith
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Asmor wrote:
Hey all. I had a thought in the shower this morning about a simple system for dice-based combat, but it occurred to me that it might have already been used by some game out there. In particular, I figure if anything had used it, probably a war game had.
I also have approximately zero knowledge in this realm, so I figured I'd ask here.
The gist of it is that combat would use the full set of common polyhedral dice (although maybe not a d20). Units would roll a particular die, based on the size of the weapon they're using (bigger weapons = bigger die), would have an armor value, and would have a skill value.
If the die roll is greater than or equal to the target's armor value, but less than or equal to the unit's skill value, it's a hit; otherwise it's a miss.
So for example, infantry might roll a d6, have 1 armor, and a skill of 3. 1 armor is essentially meaningless, so any other unit attacking them would hit as long as they rolled under their skill (typically a 50/50 shot). A light tank might roll a d10, have 3 armor, and a skill of 5. So if the infantry attacked the tank, they'd need to roll exactly a 3. A heavy tank might have 4 armor, and be immune to those infantry.
So anyone know of any games already using a system like this?

As has already been discussed, there are numerous board and miniatures games that use polyhedrals. Of the few I'm familiar with, none of them use a mechanic that's close to yours. My suggestion would be to keep at it, and maybe start crunching some numbers to get a feel for the effectiveness of the different die types, skill and armor values. I've dinked around with polyhedrals also, and think they offer a lot when designing games.

Kevin
 
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Asmor wrote:
Sorry if I didn't explain properly, but that's how it works. The roll has to be in the range of [target's armor] - [attacker's skill]. So a d12 with 6 skill would hit infantry with 1 armor half the time (on a 1-6).


In this system, what would be the benefit of having a d12 over a d6, d8, or d10? Ideally, wouldn't you want a die that is no larger than your skill?

Having more powerful weapons always being less accurate might sound like a good idea, but I'm not seeing how that ties into how weapon accuracy should work (guidance systems and operator skill).
 
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Fortress America and Dungeons & Dragons: Conquest of Nerath Board Game use something similar to what you have described.
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Force on Force
assigns all units a troop quality (TQ) and corresponding die type. So your basic unit is a D6 and then through the grades of D8, D10 and D12. To accomplish virtually anything (fire or defense) you need to roll a 4 or lower.

So a squad of SAS rolls one D12 for each figure against an untrained mob who roll one D6 for each figure. Each SAS die >= 4 is a hit, unless matched by one of the mob's D6's. (Obviously they can't match anything higher than a 6)

So, SAS roll 3, 5, 7, 12
Mob rolls 2,5,5,6

The SAS have three possible hits (5,7,12) and the mob is able to match one of them (they match the 5, with any of their 5,5,6) but ca't match the other two rolls so take two hits.

VERY clean system!
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Without the rules to hand, The Kaiser's Pirates uses something similar. The ships vary by the number of dice and the stronger ships are weighted to the dice that are more likely to reach higher numbers (d10 vs d4 say). Enemy ships have a minimum to-hit value based on a defense die.

It's a pretty simple system and seems to get most of what you are exploring.
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Stargrunt II (and presumably its predecessor) uses polyhedrals for attack and defense rolls. The attack dice are weapon related, while the defense dice are a combination of armor and cover. It does the same for vehicles, although they're usually slightly off the infantry scale and are almost always rated in multiple d12.
 
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