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Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery» Forums » Variants

Subject: Simple rule against kiting rss

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Nushura
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Hei all,

I love the game, but I think that the current fighting system is a bit dry. The best way to fight is by kiting your opponent, which does not seem a very heroic fight.

The modified initiative rule helps paliate the effect. However, even with this rule the kiter can get to attack twice for every attack he/she receives. And that is assuming that initiative in the crucial time is lost.

In order to avoid this we thought of the "Breaking Contact" rule. Essentially it says, if you are adjacent and you run away, your opponent gets a free strike at you. This has to be adjusted for the trident, so in general it would be whenever gladiator A moves out of the range of gladiator B, then gladiator B can make a free attack to gladiator A. This happens once gladiator A has finished his movement.

Basically it allows you to still kite but at a slightly higher price: it is probably still worth (since you can probably get to strike twice afterwards), but reduces the strength of the kiting strategy.

The fact that the attack takes place after the movement has finished, is simply to avoid the issue on "how many dice can A move if he is injured and loses speed dice?"
 
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Jorgen Peddersen
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I think the variant dice is still enough on its own, but this certainly could work. I would also suggest allowing a shifting mechanic with this, though. That is, a combatant can spend their entire move to move one space and not invoke the counter-attack from the opponent. This allows a low-dice defender to move away after their attack, which is an important strategic decision.
 
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Nushura
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Clipper wrote:
a combatant can spend their entire move to move one space and not invoke the counter-attack from the opponent. This allows a low-dice defender to move away after their attack, which is an important strategic decision.


The 1-step away only places us again in the kiting situation. Assume we are within range: you hit and move away 1 step. Next turn, if you win initiative you will move back in and attack. So it is the same as not being there. If I go first, I will place myself away from you so that you cannot reach me, and now we are back to kiting position.

You can move, but you won't reach me. Run away, and I will chase you the same number of cells. At some point you will run out of cells and I will win initiative. Then I will make you go first (nothing good to do), then I move in and strike. Following turn is the only time where you have a chance to return the blow but ONLY if you win initiative. If you lose I will strike and run away from you.

Indeed the initiative rule gives more chances to the kited to win initiative, but even in that situation I do not see that the exchange of blows wil be 1 for 1. My idea of the change does not freely allow the other to run away, hence making kiting harder.
 
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Brain Less
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I was thinking to implement a similar rule. When someone moves away, the other gladiator gets a free attack, but the speed is used for defense.
 
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Pedro Sequeira
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I just see the kitting method as some sort of dodging, not as in "now i will run 3 hexes away, which looking at the size of the arena seems like 30 meters away"

But the rule for the when you move away I can get an attack but I can't move afterwards seems good. I will gve it a try
 
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Jason Miceli
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Nushura wrote:
Hei all,

I love the game, but I think that the current fighting system is a bit dry. The best way to fight is by kiting your opponent, which does not seem a very heroic fight.

The modified initiative rule helps paliate the effect. However, even with this rule the kiter can get to attack twice for every attack he/she receives. And that is assuming that initiative in the crucial time is lost.

In order to avoid this we thought of the "Breaking Contact" rule. Essentially it says, if you are adjacent and you run away, your opponent gets a free strike at you. This has to be adjusted for the trident, so in general it would be whenever gladiator A moves out of the range of gladiator B, then gladiator B can make a free attack to gladiator A. This happens once gladiator A has finished his movement.

Basically it allows you to still kite but at a slightly higher price: it is probably still worth (since you can probably get to strike twice afterwards), but reduces the strength of the kiting strategy.

The fact that the attack takes place after the movement has finished, is simply to avoid the issue on "how many dice can A move if he is injured and loses speed dice?"


What "modified init rule"? Was there an official update I don't know about?
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Michael Taylor
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Nushura wrote:
The best way to fight is by kiting your opponent, which does not seem a very heroic fight.


What is "kiting"?
 
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Pedro Sequeira
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modified init rule is deciding initiative based on highest blue dice.

If theokoles rolls 5-3 and spartacus roles 4-4-4-2 theokoles wins because of the 5


kiting is the tactic of moving in and out of combat range in a way that only the "kiters" lands attacks while the opponent can't do anything.

note that this only really matters in the beginning, where spartacus for instance can get 3 attacks on theokoles before theokoles can respond, after that kiting doesn't work, unless the gladiator being "kited" is reduced to 1 spd dice
 
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Jason Miceli
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Songok wrote:
modified init rule is deciding initiative based on highest blue dice.

If theokoles rolls 5-3 and spartacus roles 4-4-4-2 theokoles wins because of the 5



Cool - is this an official rule, or just a house rule?
 
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Nushura
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jasonmiceli wrote:
Cool - is this an official rule, or just a house rule?


It is not official, but it has been "widely accepted" as a better idea (see several threads in the variants section). What it does is increase the chances for the one with fewer speed to choose initiative order.

Note that the kiting strategy (i.e, allowing me to attack you without giving you a response attack) is highly likely to work, provided that I have at least 1 more dice in speed than you do (as opposed to what Jose says).

The idea is the following. Imagine you move 3 slots, and I move 4. First we start far, so we spend 1-2 turns getting closer. I just have to make sure that we end up 5 spaces away. Since I have higher chances of winning initiative you will see it is quite easy. Note that in this position you cannot move and hit me, but I can do so

This is the basic lock position: if I win initiative I let you go first. If you stay in place or come closer to me, then I will be able to attack without retaliation. Likewise, if you run away I only need to chase you the same number of spots, and we end up in the same position. If you win initiative and ask me to go first I simply do not move in hopes of winning initiative next turn.

Now we get to the second turn: if I win initiative, I will go first, hit and run away. You cannot chase me enough to hit me, so I get a second strike while you haven't had time to attack me. And I just need to go back into the lock position.

Indeed, the perfect case is if I win both initiatives. In the first one I can simply stall. Even if you win the second turn (crucial one), you will get to hit me once for every two strikes that I make. What is worse, I will have attacked first, so you lose dice before your attack
 
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Pedro Sequeira
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Nushura, the way you say it makes it seem like it can go on forever, which is not true unless you reduce opponent to 1 spd, which isn't likely to happen unless you have ball and chains
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Michael Taylor
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Songok wrote:
kiting is the tactic of moving in and out of combat range in a way that only the "kiters" lands attacks while the opponent can't do anything.


Why isn't that just good tactics? I can think of several ways to beat that with the existing rules...

 
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Pedro Sequeira
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I didn't say it wasn't a good tactic. Quite the opposite, it's probably the ONLY tactic in a 1vs1 match
 
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Nushura
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Songok wrote:
Nushura, the way you say it makes it seem like it can go on forever, which is not true unless you reduce opponent to 1 spd, which isn't likely to happen unless you have ball and chains


It is not going to go on forever: the idea is that either he gives away territory or you get to strike (and he doesn't). Since the arena space is limited there will be a time in which he cannot run away from you.

If you do not believe me you can search for several strategy threads that discuss this...or try it at home. Even with a few bad initiative rolls you will see that you get to strike much more often than your opponent.
 
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Pedro Sequeira
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I did some tests with theokoles vs spartacus (aka 2spd vs 4spd) and my conclusion was that if the theokoles players played well, and the spartacus players always won initiative, as long as theokoles doesn't reduce his spd to 1 dice the attacks should be like this:

pretend the spot for 1st gladiator is hex A, and spot for 2nd gladiator is hex G, and the hexes in between are B, C, D, E and F

1st round:
Theokoles moves from G to E
Spartacus moves from A to D (middle of the arena) and attacks

2nd round:
Spartacus goes 1st, attacks and moves back to A
Theokoles moves to C

3rd round:
Now Spartacus will never again be able to be more than 3 hexes away frm theokoles, the required to be able to do another round of kiting, simply because the arena is not big enough (Theokoles should be moving in the ring around the middle hex)

If Spartacus doesn't engage the match will last forever and no one will attack. The best thing for Spartacus is to move in and attack on 3rd round, in which Theokoles will get to finally attack and then move away (towards the center)

So, Spartacus takes the first 3 attacks of the match, and that is really powerfull, but after that it will be 1 attack each until the match ends, starting with theokoles. unless theokoles reduces his spd to 1, in which case he won't be able to answer any attacks unless he manages to win initiative.
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Nushura
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Songok wrote:

1st round:
Theokoles moves from G to E
Spartacus moves from A to D (middle of the arena) and attacks

2nd round:
Spartacus goes 1st, attacks and moves back to A
Theokoles moves to C

3rd round:
[...]

So, Spartacus takes the first 3 attacks of the match, and that is really powerful.

Right now the opponent already took 2 hits. If he lost no dice in speed, his attack or defense must have been reduced, right?

In any case, round 3 I let him go first. He has to come to me and thus leave the circle. Then I strike back and run away.

Round 4: I let him go first. He can run away (good for me), try to reach me (he doesn't. again, good for me), or go to mid field (best situation for him). In either case, I have reach enough to strike without retaliation.

We are now at 3 strikes versus 1.

Round 5: I strike and run away. If he wants to strike he has to follow me towards the side (and leave the middle ring). I strike and run away towards the center.

4 strikes versus 2, but now we are again in the situation that I am in reach and he isn't...so we are back to Round 1.


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Pedro Sequeira
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Wow, you are right!

With 4spd vs 2spd there are spots where you can get away if the opponent is close to you (won't work with 4vs3 though)

So, by letting him get the 3rd strike of the game you can go one more round of kitting (or you can choose to get the 3rd yourself but then the kiting will stop for a bit)

But unless I did something wrong the hit order should be something like this:

2x Spartacus / 1x Theokoles / 3x S / 1x T /3x S /1x T and like this forever (until spd dices change


Now, with a 4spd vs 3 spd the best I could think of is that the 4spd gets the first 2 strikes, but after that it is going to be 1 for one until something changes, starting with the 3spd hiting


Now, with a 5spd vs a 3spd the same thing happens as 4vs2.

So I guess the tactic works as long as there are 2 or more diference in spd ^^

The only extra is with 2spd vs 1 spd where the 2spd should be able to do something similar with only 1 dice advantage

 
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Willem Goethals
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We ran into the kiting issue (which is actually "ok", but it devalues some gladiators and puts too great emphasis on the speed stat) so we resolved it quite smoothly:

if you win initiative, you can choose to go first and second as usual, except if you are within range and could make an attack - then you have to.

Basically it boils down to this: if you can take an attack, you have to go for it. Same deal if you're second - if you can make an attack, you have to.

It also gets rid of issues of gladiators moving away one square instead of fighting if their dominus wants to lose (for example during a primus).

Nice and easy - and it feels far more characterful too.
 
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Pedro Sequeira
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I am not sure if that rule solves the problem.

If you look at the tactic nushura posted he is following your rule all the time, but he is still kiting you.

Personally I never had an issue with kiting..

And this rule can actually force you to make really bad decisions, for instance in a primus. Imagine there are 4 gladiators with 4 speed (A and B on team 1, and C on team 2) and 1 with 2 speed (on team 2)

Gladiator C may not want to get in range and attack even if he is able, simply because then he might be in the middle of A and B, while D is far away to do anything because he is slower. I think it would be a perfectly acceptable tactic for team 2 to play it a bit slower so gladiator D has a chance to catch up


I saw a rule somewhere about a gladiator being allowed a "disengaging" strike if someone was in range and moved away. Not sure if it had a penalty on the dices or something like that, but it might help against kiting issues. But again, I will say that I never had an issue with it, even if it is a bit annoying to be moving around with theokoles and hitting less than I would like.. but that is why he is the only with 5 atk and 5 def

And the blue dice variant makes spd a lot less powerful anyway. Today I kept losing initiative while having more dices than my op.
 
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Willem Goethals
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Actually in the example he gives, Theokeles should never move within the range of Spartacus (since he doesn't have to). Spartacus on the other hand, only needs to attack if he can. So if he's at 5, he closes to 4 or 3, while Theokeles stays put. After that, the moment Spartacus gains initiative again, he needs to attack.

He attacks, regardless of results Theokeles gets to make an attack, and then moves away 1 or 2 so that Spartacus cannot kite away.

Next turn, Spartacus gets to attack if he wins init (so does theokeles) and cannot choose to let the other go first if he's within range.

I agree that in a Primus a team should be able to decide who of the 2 gladiators goes first, even if one of them is within range and the other isn't.

I agree that the dice method works ... but 4 vs 2 will still allow for a mostly kiting match, which just gets dull. My method above does take away a bit of player agency.
 
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Pedro Sequeira
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I think I have read somewhere about a rule for a "disengaging strike", something like this:

If someone was within striking range of you, but they decide to move away (usually after attacking eheh) you can forfeit your other round actions to make a strike at a penalty (something like roll all dices but 1)

This prevents a bit of the kitting scenario (but it is still good to do it I guess) without forcing you to make decisions, which is particularly bad in case of a primus
 
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Nushura
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Songok wrote:
I am not sure if that rule solves the problem.

If you look at the tactic nushura posted he is following your rule all the time, but he is still kiting you.

Well, all kiting ideas rely on getting close to you, striking and leaving before you can strike. If at each of those situations you get an attack back, the thing becomes balanced.

Without any kind of

Songok wrote:

And the blue dice variant makes spd a lot less powerful anyway. Today I kept losing initiative while having more dices than my op.

Sorry, but you must have crappy rolling. In any case, as said above, you only need to win initiative in one round every three! The rest, if you lose initiative you simply stall for another round until you win initiative. And in the long term I will win more rolls than lose

Songok wrote:

And this rule can actually force you to make really bad decisions, for instance in a primes.[...]

Remember this thread was started before the expansion came out, so it does not take into account primus. I never had a problem with kiting in Primus. Have you?
 
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Pedro Sequeira
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I just said that this: "if you win initiative, you can choose to go first and second as usual, except if you are within range and could make an attack - then you have to."

Doesn't really prevent kitting.. or maybe i'm reading it wrong.


And to be honest I never had issues with kiting, even in 1vs1. I usually play with a bunch of house rules, but the only I use during combat on 1vs1 is the blue dice variant.

And about kiting in the primus, I believe under some ciscunstances it is just as powerful. When you close the range with A to strike C, but then I can strike A with C while moving far enough so B can't attack me is really powerful.


To be honest all the stalling and just moving (which isn't the same as kitting in my opinion) happens to me a lot more while fighting a primus. If I ever have to come up with a rule to make combats faster and with less running it will probably be for a primus


Damn.. someone should make a battle simulator for us to try some stuff online


 
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Łukasz Maliński
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The Kitting is the part of the tactics in this game so I am not sure that we should eliminate it. However it might be more interesting if we add some risk to using this tactics and certain penalty for exploiting it. I propose the following:

"Whenever a Gladiator is able to perform an attack in the turn of Combat (he is in range and have a move), and he lose or forfeit this opportunity, he gains a Rage Counter (Rage of the Crowd)." This don't mean that he has to attack immediately when he has a chance. He can give away initiative and move second but this move has to end with attack. If he give away his first move an lose the chance to attack this turn he gains a Rage Counter. If he has a first move and has no chance for attack, there will be no penalty for him.

After the battle, but before gaining Favor from victory, the Rage of the Crowd is resolved. The Host rolls a dice for the both the Defeated Gladiator and Victorious one separately. Then adds the number of favor tokens which those Gladiators already have (max 3 for champion) to each roll result and compare it to number of Rage Counters they gained in this Combat. If the result is lower than number of Rage Counters the Crowd is Mad at this Gladiator. Otherwise nothing happens.

If the Crowd is Mad at the Defeated Gladiator he lose one of his favor tokens. If He don’t have one, the Crowd demands his death and the Host has to "thumb down" or he will lose 1 influence.
If the Crowd is Mad at the Victorious Gladiator he just don’t get favor token from this victory. Moreover, if he is a Champion he loses this title (loses one favor token). The Champion cannot afford the Rage of The Crowd.

Of course we can propose a more severe penalties for making the Crowd Mad. For example the Host has to kill the Defeated Gladiator regardless of number of favor tokens he has (the host do not lose influence this way). Victorious Gladiator however not only don’t gain favor but also lose one and if he has no favor at this point he become excluded from the games for some time (injured). Imagine that the Crowd is Mad and tosses some heavy objects at him. In result he get the injury from some erring stone. Those more severe penalies might be applied if the "roll + favor" result is 2 times lower than number of Rage Counters.

It might be a little complicated but it not forbids Kitting. It just makes it more risky. If You use it wisely the risk is not severe but if You exploit it (You gain a lot of Rage counters) there might be a consequences. Also I think that now the Underdog gains some new options. If he is forced to move first and cannot attack he can run away an force his opponent to gain Rage Counter.

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Łukasz Maliński
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Songok wrote:


Damn.. someone should make a battle simulator for us to try some stuff online




I thought about it but it is not so simple. There are decision to be made during the combat so the simulator should also include some fighting heuristics.
 
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