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Subject: Tactical video games into a board game rss

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Jeff Baker
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After seeing the forum thread pertaining to the custom-made Zelda game board, I started thinking of some of my favorite video games also making a transition into a board game.

What would be a good boardgame to use as a basis to transition Shining Force, Ogre Tactics, or Final Fantasy Tactics into a boardgame?
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Anthony Reynolds
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This game-

Super Dungeon Explore
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James Hutchings
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JefferyB wrote:
What would be a good boardgame to use as a basis to transition Shining Force, Ogre Tactics, or Final Fantasy Tactics into a boardgame?


Aren't those games descended from Dungeons & Dragons?
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Ian Toltz
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apeloverage wrote:
JefferyB wrote:
What would be a good boardgame to use as a basis to transition Shining Force, Ogre Tactics, or Final Fantasy Tactics into a boardgame?


Aren't those games descended from Dungeons & Dragons?


o_0

I mean, sure, but what game isn't? I'd say that tactical RPGs owe more to Chess than D&D.
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One Armed Bandit
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Asmor wrote:
apeloverage wrote:
JefferyB wrote:
What would be a good boardgame to use as a basis to transition Shining Force, Ogre Tactics, or Final Fantasy Tactics into a boardgame?


Aren't those games descended from Dungeons & Dragons?


o_0

I mean, sure, but what game isn't? I'd say that tactical RPGs owe more to Chess than D&D.


You haven't played D&D with grid+minis... like they were when D&D was first created (as a variant of minis wargames)

All grid based tactics games are ultimately derived from D&D. The main factor is that they add a much higher level of detailed statistics and math for calculations than a tabletop game could manage.

This is the main reason they're not tabletop games
 
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Jake Staines
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palmerkun wrote:

All grid based tactics games are ultimately derived from D&D. The main factor is that they add a much higher level of detailed statistics and math for calculations than a tabletop game could manage.


I would debate "ultimately derived from D&D" specifically, as wargaming has been around a lot longer than D&D has - with miniatures or counters; freeform, hex grids or square grids. Back in the early 80s when such games first started appearing, it was infeasible to have freeform movement and they chose the same square-grid abstraction that D&D did - which is simply easier to program than the more-common hex grids! I don't think there's anything that grid-based tactical videogames inherited specifically from D&D to suggest that they necessarily evolved through D&D rather than just sharing games like Kriegspiel and Little Wars (and Chess!) as common ancestors.


However, I would definitely agree that the calculations required to run one as a direct conversion would be far too complex and time-consuming for your average boardgamer! I'd also question the necessity to start with a videogame as a base, when there are a number of tabletop tactical skirmish games around, which sometimes use grids, sometimes freeform movement, and have much simpler and quicker to play mechanics.
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The classes used in Final Fantasy etc seem to be more or less the ones in 1st edition AD&D (albeit they do different things - eg the 'rogue' fights rather than stealing things).

3rd edition D&D seems to be similar to Final Fantasy Tactics in that it's a detailed combat game based on D&D.
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Jake Staines
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apeloverage wrote:
The classes used in Final Fantasy etc seem to be more or less the ones in 1st edition AD&D (albeit they do different things - eg the 'rogue' fights rather than stealing things).


Oh, I wouldn't dispute that some turn-based tactical video games are based on D&D - there are undoubtedly some. But there are a hell of a lot of turn-based tactical videogames - even those which fall into the "Tactical RPG" bucket - which bear little to no resemblance to D&D. The Front Mission games, for a T-RPG example.
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James Hutchings
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The roll-to-hit / damage from hit points mechanic seems to have started with D&D (even though it was partly taken from a wargame about ships, everyone else seems to have got it from D&D rather than from that game). I think wargames used to mostly use cross-reference combat values to find odds, then roll on the table for those odds.
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Ian Toltz
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palmerkun wrote:
Asmor wrote:
apeloverage wrote:
JefferyB wrote:
What would be a good boardgame to use as a basis to transition Shining Force, Ogre Tactics, or Final Fantasy Tactics into a boardgame?


Aren't those games descended from Dungeons & Dragons?


o_0

I mean, sure, but what game isn't? I'd say that tactical RPGs owe more to Chess than D&D.


You haven't played D&D with grid+minis... like they were when D&D was first created (as a variant of minis wargames)


I have, actually. I've been playing D&D since 3rd edition, which came out in 2000, IIRC. It's my understanding that prior to 3rd edition, D&D did not place much emphasis on a grid for combat, and such rules, if they were available, were optional.

I was also under the impression that Chainmail was not based on a grid, but on measuring distances (a la Warhammer).
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Byron Campbell
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I'll throw in my two cents to say that the games the OP is specifically referencing are clearly derived from D&D, though not the grid-based tactical portion of them. That's because they're all descendents of JRPGs like Dragon Quest, which in turn were strongly influenced by D&D. Whether they derived the grid-based combat from D&D or some other tactical tabletop game is open to dispute.

As a video gamer, I can understand the OP's motivation. I'm a game design novice, so many of my WIP board games are something along the lines of "Take a mechanic that works in video games, figure out why it works, and see if it can translate into a board game." He'll definitely need to simplify certain aspects of the game, but I don't think there's any good reason to abandon the project just because other tactical combat games already exist. Theme is important!
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Jeff Baker
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My original post was to just inquire on some good boardgames to use as a stepping stone to use as a means to generate a boardgame based on Shining Force or Final Fantasy Tactics. Sorry to cause a D&D/Chainmail origination argument.

There are obviously a lot of grid-based boardgames out there involving small army units and tactical gameplay. Super Dungeon Explore is a great example. Isn't Dust Tactics and Tannhauser along the same lines as well? So combining RPG elements with a tactical/grid gameplay, are there other examples out there?

It would be neat to involve Shining Force's combat scene close-up during attack phases. For example; movement is a top-down view grid while moving units. But during the attack, you move your character card to a separate battle zone along with your target's character card, each showing a close up profile picture. Something like that.
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Jake Staines
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JefferyB wrote:

So combining RPG elements with a tactical/grid gameplay, are there other examples out there?


I think the important question to answer first is "what RPG elements do you want to include, and why?". If you simply want to use an RPG-like combat resolution, have optional equipment and so on, then yes, there are plenty of games to draw mechanical inspiration from[1], and yes, it's a perfectly plausible goal. If you want to include stuff like character progression from one game to another, I'd suggest that you're probably trying to put too many eggs in one basket; an engaging tactical skirmish boardgame will probably take a whole session to play out, so character progression would be from session to session... at which point I would question what the dividing line is between a boardgame with RPG elements and an RPG with a grid-based combat system (like recent editions of D&D!).

(Personally - speaking as a fan of T-RPGs like Tactics Ogre - I would be tempted to concentrate on an engaging tactical battle game, and leave session-to-session stuff to optional campaign rules or house ruling. Because personally, the tactical battle part is the part of those videogames I find fun, and the endless equipment-juggling, skill-tree-exploring and so on is the bit I find a bit tedious.)

JefferyB wrote:

It would be neat to involve Shining Force's combat scene close-up during attack phases.


To be honest, I'm a little sceptical about making this a game mechanic, per se - what does the game gain from it? In a videogame the answer is simple: visual spectacle; the battle sprites in Shining Force were higher-resolution and had simple animations for the attacks, while the grid sprites were low-res and very basic. In a boardgame, you're already going to be looking at your character card and their character card to pick off the stats you need to fight, is there any benefit from positioning them particularly on the table?


Perhaps if you really wanted to emulate that part of Shining Force, you could come up with a combat system which revolves around positional data on the sides of the cards themselves, so you literally have to line the two cards up and compare scores/see contact points/whatever to resolve the combat?



[1] I would start by looking at dungeon-crawlers: Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game, Descent: Journeys in the Dark, Claustrophobia and so on; also check out games like Space Hulk, Doom: The Boardgame, Gears of War: The Board Game, maybe. Or return to the ones everyone should have played already, HeroQuest and Space Crusade. ;-)
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John "Omega" Williams
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JefferyB wrote:
After seeing the forum thread pertaining to the custom-made Zelda game board, I started thinking of some of my favorite video games also making a transition into a board game.

What would be a good boardgame to use as a basis to transition Shining Force, Ogre Tactics, or Final Fantasy Tactics into a boardgame?


Warhammer, Warhammer Quest, Mighty Kingdoms, Warhammer RPG (original) and many others.

Warhammer has the closest feel on the tactical side. But is far removed in the unit side. Youd have to heavily adapt to get something close.

One problem is that in FF & Ogre Tactics theres a pretty broad range of options for classes, abilities and equipment. Most wargames tent to wisely stick to more defined units with the occasional options as the more complex you get, the more bookkeeping gets involved. Some players love that, some dont.

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