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Subject: "Hit or Miss?" Adding more fun to a "miss". rss

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Brook Gentlestream
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Some of you Euro people may disagree with this basic principle, but in general I think I like it when bad things happen to my opponents in a board game. Not severely bad things, like I conquered their homeworld, but I think there's something somewhat emotionally satisfying in forcing someone to discard a card from their hand, or move their pawn all the way back to the start space, or pay you some amount of money.

Strangely, that emotional resonance isn't there when my opponent attempts to do something and misses, mechanically and thematically. You roll a die. You need a 5+, oh you rolled a 3. Oh well. Pass the dice, lose your turn.

It's just not as coo/fun as moving your opponents pawn back three spaces or making them draw a new hand of cards or something. There's something just not cool about missing - even your opponent doesn't get much satisfaction from it. Nothing about the word, the idea, and the mechanic inspires a sense of fun.

I noticed this while playing God Dice. In God Dice, you roll dice (and re-roll, Yahtzee style) to construct powerful attacks unique to your character. But if you try for something really cool, and fail, then you've "missed", inflicting no damage at all. It's your own fault. Your opponent SHOULD be laughing at you. But this is rarely the result when I am playing. I noticed people just get annoyed at missing or watching others miss - it's like we've all collectively wasted our time.

So what do you think?

If we were to take this basic idea of a game: "A game where players roll and re-roll sets of dice, keeping some and re-rolling others, in an attempt to match symbols to activate powerful attacks and abilities against each other or a neutral opponent", then how could we make "misses" more fun?

I'm also considering this for roleplaying games and for certain other similiar games as well, but I think this press-your-luck game works best for this discussion.
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Chris Ferejohn
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Something like: if you miss, the symbols on the dice are still important - perhaps they indicate what your weaknessess and strengths will be for the following turn (so you could theoretically spend a turn not trying to "hit", but trying to set yourself up/defend yourself for the next turn).
 
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Hans Otto
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In the XWing Miniature Game you have sth called Focus Fire (IIRC) When you miss your shots, you can use that ability to change some misses to hits
 
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William Bowers
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Must be the euro gamer in me, but I don't really have a problem when an attack on me fails.
 
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Chris Cisne
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Could it be perhaps that we're talkng about two different things?

The satisfying examples in the OP all stem where you have personally done something to your opponent - you've made a choice which has smacked them around a bit, and it's fun to see the result of that.

The dice examples on the other hand aren't a result of an action you've taken. Even if, say in a wargame, you take measres to ensure that when your opopnent attacks you the odds are in your favour, the feeling I get when they miss is one of relief - still fun, but not the same feeling as that visceral thrill, because I haven't basically 'outsmarted'/'got' them with my own immediate actions.

So I guess perhaps in the theoretical dicegame, certain symbols might allow you to store 'screw' points for your opponents' next turn, and certain symbols might mean that your opponent can use one 'screw' point (per each of these second type of symbols showing) to cancel one of your dice. This way, your opponent isn't missing, but rather they're left open for you to come round and lay down a dicey beating on them. Much more satisfying! cool

Note that for this to be genuinely satisfying, the 'screw' and 'vulnerable' symbols would have to appear 'doubled-up' on the same die faces as other symbols which had in-game effects. Otherwise it'd be bland. 'Screw' symbols for instance could appear on the same faces as weak abilities, and 'vulnerability' symbols could appear on the same faces as powerful abilities. So the better you roll, the more risk that your opponent could smack you around, and the worse you roll the more chances you'll have to whack your rival during their turn.
 
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Andrew Rowse
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Every time you fail, you get a token that can later be used to improve an attack? Failure is a great teacher...
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oi xio
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Maybe: every time you miss, you not just miss, but your opponent gets to choose the penalty? Maybe from different categories, depending on what he attempted?
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Greg
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I think that how a "miss" result infleunces a game depends upon how it was arrived at. If a player rolls to hit and misses they're unsatisfied by their miss and their opponent is unsatisfied because they don't feel like they had anything to do with what happened. I reckon that adding miss effects that have nothing to do with the opponent won't solve this.

On the other hand if a "miss" result comes from a competative roll the defending player seems more satisfied by it as a result. Somehow your opponent missing because your clever positioning got you +1 on your defence die feels different to your opponent missing because your clever positioning gave them -1 on their attack roll. Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie uses this pretty well.

That being said, the notion that a miss exposes you in some particular way next turn (say you take double damage from a certain type of attack determined by the miss result) might create excitement if your opponents turn follows quickly, as they would then immediately be trying to manover to best take advantage of the new situation. I reckon that the payoff would have to follow pretty quickly from the miss result for it to work though, if you had to fire another dozen units first it would probably feel too remote to be relevant.
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Scott
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x_equals_speed wrote:
Somehow your opponent missing because your clever positioning got you +1 on your defence die feels different to your opponent missing because your clever positioning gave them -1 on their attack roll. Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie uses this pretty well.

That being said, the notion that a miss exposes you in some particular way next turn (say you take double damage from a certain type of attack determined by the miss result) might create excitement if your opponents turn follows quickly, as they would then immediately be trying to manover to best take advantage of the new situation.
I really liked what you wrote Greg. I can see what you mean about the different feeling about penalties vs bonuses. Becoming vulnerable because I pushed my luck too far parallels being overwhelmed by a counter-attack when overextending an advance, it makes a lot of sense.
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Chris Hawkins
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King of Tokyo has fighting with dice at its core, though there are a couple of other things going on. What makes KoT interesting is that you can make use of results other than hits (claws), and at some points in the game, you may prefer energy or healing or victory points. Dice placement games like Alien Frontiers and Kingsburg allow you to do something with your dice, even when your rolls are less than ideal.
 
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Cornixt
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There are games where rolling 1s has a bad effect on you vs. all other misses doing nothing. So rerolling to try to get hits would sometimes backfire and you'll be worse off.
 
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Liz Spain
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I totally agree; I strongly believe that games should be designed so that losing is fun, too.

In this case, I'd put an option in the game so that, after a missed attack, the opponent has the option to counter-attack. The counter attack could consist of taking some dice from the opponent's next attack but have a higher likelihood of landing a blow.

That way, a missed attack results in a new decision for the opponent: "Do I weaken my next attack for the chance to get a quick blow in?" And a new moment of tension for the attacker who missed.

 
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West Chester
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Quote:
I think I like it when bad things happen to my opponents in a board game.

So what do you think?
I think you're a mean and petty person.

lol, jk.

Something I saw recently that I really liked was the victory conditions of Arkham Horror. Sure, it's a cooperative game, but there's also a winner. So, you want to come out ahead, but if you throw your teammates under the bus, everyone loses. Of course, AH leans far more to the side of co-op than competition, but if a game did that 50/50, it would be pretty cool.

Regarding your game, I'm not entirely sure what you're doing mechanically, but it sounds like a dice pool system. Perhaps players can save a certain number of failed dice that they can use to help/hinder opponents/neutrals later on?
 
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Tod Hostetler
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Take what you want from these:

In my game, certain Actions incur the chance of Retaliation. Retaliation occurs regardless of whether or not the original Action was successful. This gives 4 possibilities, all accountable to the stats of the players involved. Assassination, for example, has 4 possible outcomes:

- Assassin strikes and gets away clean
- Assassin strikes but is caught
- Assassin misses but gets away clean
- Assassin misses and is caught

Given that in my game, Tokens are expended for Actions, they can also be used to re-roll an Action or a defense roll against an Action. Using an Aggress Token to re-roll a defense against an Assassination will mean one less Aggress Token available to you during your Century... which may be a very high cost to pay, but you have to evaluate that cost vs the Assassination roll against you, your chances of beating that roll on a re-roll, and the player's evaluation of how badly that landed Assassinate will affect them.

Point is, if you can force the Defender to expend something valuable to them, and of limited resource, for a CHANCE of changing the outcome, that feels like good gameplay to me.
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James Hutchings
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You could have bad combinations that are similar to good ones.

For example 4 of a kind might be good, but 5 of a kind bad.
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RanDomino Nickelmaster
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There could be another stat which rarely matters but which has some deleterious effect if it gets low enough, and which is subtracted whenever attacked, whether the attack hits or misses.

I'm thinking of the "Stamina" stat in Eador: Masters of the Broken World- As long as the unit has more than 5, it's at full combat strength, and most things start with 10-20ish. But every time a unit make an attack or moves through rough terrain, it loses a point. Get under five and your damage output is halved. Stamina can be restored by a few points by resting for a turn, but that means neither moving nor attacking. If a unit gets to zero stamina, it MUST rest. Relevantly, whenever a unit is attacked in melee, it normally gets to make a retaliatory attack- which uses a point of stamina. So if you have a weak unit attack something it has no hope of damaging, much less killing, you still force it to spend a stamina point. If the battle has a huge strength disparity between sides, the fight is over so quickly that stamina rarely matters; but if it's more even and there are a lot of defensive/armored units, stamina can matter more.
 
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