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Rex: Final Days of an Empire» Forums » Rules

Subject: Combat dial...trying to wrap my head around it. rss

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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Played our first game of this over the weekend, and while we enjoyed it the combat dial left us shaking our heads.

We ran into this situation:
Side A had 15 troops sitting in a city.
He was attacked by Side B with 10 troops.

They committed leaders/cards as normal.

Side A committed 5 troops to the battle plus his leader.
Side B committed 9 troops to the battle, plus the leader and ended up winning.

So by the rules this means Side A loses ALL of his men simply because he's the loser and didnt commit as many troops to the fight even though he's got 10 guys sitting in reserve.

Whats the idea behind that? One guy and a leader goes around the entire city mopping up the rest of the opposing army? It seems greatly abstracted but doesnt make sense from a tactical stand point.

Im just looking to understand the spirit or idea behind it.
 
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Scott Lewis
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Basically, you are betting how many troops you are willing to sacrifice in order to win the battle. The more you have in the area, the more you can dial, but the higher the dial, the more that die. The loser will lose everything no matter what, though, so having a major number advantage doesn't guarantee you anything.

I think a lot of it is game balance and to prevent turtling; even with a large force, you can't just dial low and expect to win. I'm sure all sorts of thematic explanations could be made, but one perhaps is that's how many troops you have ready to fight; you don't want to send EVERYONE into the front line as combat is deadly, and even against a weak opponent they could be killed by mines/bombs/etc. But if you don't send enough in, the other side could storm in while they aren't prepared and kill them all before they ever get to pick their weapons back up.

From a game-mechanic tactical standpoint, it (to me at least) forces interesting decisions. Bid too much, and you will win, but with drastically reduced forces. Try to ride the edge too closely and you may end up losing everything if the opponent out-edges you.
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Alex Martinez
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It's an abstraction. Don't think of it as "committing" units to the battle. Think of it as how hard you're willing to fight on that particular front.

I look at it like this.

The armies are meeting on the battlefield. The one that fights the hardest wins. The side that only fought with a few of its forces loses, and then its remaining forces are mopped up by the victors.

Another way to think of it is that there might be a lot of "invisible" battles going on around the planet, and that if you can't hold the front of an important battle, i.e. the one the players are actually participating in, then your troops are scattered and forced to regroup. To get them back, you buy them, but really, this could just as easily represent rallying troops in disarray.

Either way, trying to apply "logic" to the process is a waste of time. It's a game mechanism that simply replaces random dice roll with a bluff mechanism. It's no more realistic or unrealistic than most mechanism every game shares.

After all, in almost every game, players take turns, which basically amounts to armies camping down while their opponents move around the board. From a "realistic" sense, it doesn't actually work like that. It's just an abstraction we accept in the name of convenience. It's only when the abstraction is unique that we get puzzled by it.
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Sellersburg
Indiana
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"Old does not mean dead! New does not mean best! No hard feelings I'm tired of being right about everything I've said! Yours does not mean mine! Kill does not mean die! We are not your kind! No excuses I CHALLENGE YOU TO ALL OUT FUCKING LIFE!"
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Now it makes sense! Thanks gents, we enjoyed it, just were having trouble with that part from a 'makes sense' stand point. We had fun though and it'll be hitting the table again.
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