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'Resource' Variation

 
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cliffwiggs
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:00 am GMT    Post subject: 'Resource' Variation Reply with quote

At conventions I always like to keep track of what people who are just seeing this game for the first time think of it.

One theme that was new this year from Gencon is the 'you just roll dice'. i.e. the idea that the majority of your decision points happen during pre-construction and you have minimal non-obvious decision points during the game.

In Missile, your only decision point is to check if they have volley or cantrip or regenerate. If htey don't, you always attack.

In Melee, you check for cantrip or regenerate or counter AND decide if you want them to have the option to attack back. A little better, but usually you always attack.

In Melee Counter, you check for...., but you alway counter.

Magic is the only place where you get real decisions about what to do. One reason this might be is because there are more options (ie lots of spells).

Think of it this way. A magic roll generates a number of resources that you have many many options on how to spend. A missile and Melee roll also generate resources, but you only have one option on how to spend them.

We always try to simplify magic, but we never talk about making the other types of combat more complex.

So, other than direct saveable damage, what type of 'combat' might you be able to 'purchase' with your 'melee resources'? Flanking? Advance to the rear?

Brainstorming time here. Just as a variation at this time. Another way to think of the game
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DEEPBLUEB2
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:03 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Missile...
well there is sneak attack which has a decision in multiple players to choose which army is affects. Razz
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DialFforFunky
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:56 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some random musings as I like this direction of thought:

For missile, you could think of something like covering fire, which forces the opponent to keep his head down. This could be in the form of negative modifiers for maneuvers or actions, or even 'wall of thorns' or 'flash flood'-like effects. Another option is focus fire, which allow the army to target to a certain degree at a significant cost.
Both options are tricky though as penalties are not that fun to face against, and people love to use their special dice. Tricky, tricky...

As for melee, Plunder, perhaps? Where the army is rolling for melee results, but is not dealing any damage. I'm not exactly sure what the benefit should be though. Reroll on a terrain die? A certain number of auto-saves ore rerolls until the end of next turn? You could even think of a (very basic) system that lets you trade a number of results for the aforementioned effects. trick is to make it not too magic-like, though.

I once had an idea designed specifically for the Firewalkers, where they had the 'outflank' special ability that allowed them to convert a certain amount melee into missile, or vice versa. The limit would depend on the game size, 1 conversion per 9 or 12 health, for example. The idea was to create a use for all those dice that aren't fully focused on one single task.

Perhaps this could be a global thing, where you choose between a 'skirmish' melee attack that allows you to flank, or 'charge' melee attack (nod to the old days) which is the current mode of melee attack. As a global option, the choice to flank should have a cost/drawback, though, and I'm not quite sure what it should be.


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cliffwiggs
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:00 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim, that is tied to a specific die. I'm talking about a core change that anyone can do.

Dial,
So instead of choosing after you roll, your suggestion is to have multiple types of attacks prior to your rolling. Then you are just seeing how successful you were.

What people like about magic is the options, so if you took magic and said 'define your spell before you roll'. then I don't think they'd like it as much.

I have other ideas I want to mention here, but want to talk about this one piece a little before layering on more complications.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:33 pm GMT    Post subject: Brainstorming Reply with quote

Well, if the terrains are "close" enough to each other to cast magic and shoot at, then the terrain die could serve to indicate distance by "restricting" what actions you can do to each possible target.

What I mean by that is that the terrain die indicates the number of options you have: A terrain die at a missile face permits the use of magic and missile; a terrain die at a melee face allows all three types of actions.

And what I mean by "restrict" is what action(s) you can't do, so - to use the example with the terrain die at a melee face, the army can do all those actions. Some might call that a "combination roll", but I look at it as an "attack roll".

But, before you perform your "attack roll", you need to declare some goals:
1. The target army of any melee results;
2. The target army of any missile results;
3. The target and purpose of any magic (attack, defense/support).

The first two are relatively easy to adjudicate (unless you attempt to missile & melee the same target). The magic would need further re-defining: magic spells would have to be re-categorized as different types, such as "attack" spells and "defense/support" spells (and perhaps a third option, but I'll stop with just these two types for now).

Now the army can make its "attack roll". Any results applicable to the declared actions are counted and applied to each target. SAIs happen first, then magic, missile, and melee. The declared magic against a target should be easier to figure out, since only that category of spells can be used. It may, or may not, be effective (just like the other actions).

An army that's the target of a missile and melee attack has a 2-phase save roll, depending on which type of attack generates greater damage:
1. Missile damage > Melee damage: the target army rolls all dice and counts saves. If any missile damage is not saved against, the army satisfies those losses now. If the army saved against all missile damage, excess saves are lost. Now, the army saves against the lesser melee damage: the target army may roll X-health of dice to save with, where X equals the melee damage. Count as a normal save roll, and apply any excess damage not saved against.
2. Melee damage > missile damage: The target army saves against the lesser missile damage first: the target army may roll X-health of dice to save with, where X equals the melee damage. Count as a normal save roll, and apply any excess damage not saved against. Now, the army saves against the greater melee damage: the target army rolls all dice and performs a normal save roll versus melee, applying any damage not saved against.

Haven't practiced this, yet, but I had collected a number of these thoughts when I was working out a way to use Dragon Dice™ as a miniatures game.

For an even faster conclusion, have both sides declare their targets and roll all the dice involved. Skip the save rolls and use whatever saves each army rolled. Maneuvers indicate which army strikes first!
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cliffwiggs
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:35 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some interesting ideas.

one thing to be careful of is that very few dice save at 50% or better. So limited how many dice can roll to save is very damaging.

I was going to bring up the idea of allowing multiple types beyond what the terrain shows, but I was going to keep it at one action at a time, but allow for a bonus if you matched the action on the terrain (like ID's only count if action matches).

If you want to limit something, how about an 'upkeep' or 'over crowding' concept? One thing I've seen is that a larger army will always beat a smaller army, so it drives people to pool their army into a single large mass. How about a concept which allows this, but at a cost. Example, just before reserves (meaning you get a full turn of being overcrowded prior to taking the penalty). you roll the over crowded army (i.e. more than 'X' health), and units with an ID are 'fatigued' (can't roll with the army) until the end of your next turn. So you COULD keep all units in one big army, but at the risk of some of them always being unusable.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:12 am GMT    Post subject: Reserve army management Reply with quote

Perhaps a simple power balancing technique is to emphasize or empower the Reserves as its relative size changes.

For example, a Reserve army containing 50% of "alive" units magnifies or triggers a race-specific defensive trait (e.g., universally applied saves, triple defensive magic, enhanced promotability).

This enables players a means to apply critical thinking in-situ.
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DialFforFunky
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:12 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I'm beginning to see what the intention is: the introduction of a post-roll decision instead of exclusively pre-roll choices.

Now, before moving on, I think it is wise to mention that I'm not really convinced this is the way to go just yet. Deciding what you do after a roll is like playing and RPG and deciding what your action is after making a skill check for said skill. It barely makes sense, even for magic. Anything we come up with will have to be decently rooted in explanation for this to work.
Small note: SAI's also seem to often fit the bill for post-roll choices.

Still, I'm all for exploring possibilities and seeing how the system can be redefined.
The first thing that comes to mind for a post-roll choice is some sort of 'bartering system' that lets you trade rolled results for some sort effect, much like the magic system. Crudely speaking, you could have a system that allows an option like 'trade 3 missile results for one bullseye'. This would be the most magic-like system, but I'm not sure it fits as nicely for melee and missile.

Perhaps it is worth it to look for alternative 'bartering currency'. What resources does the player have to trade? I'm just going to list a bunch of things, not strictly as suggestions but rather as a brainstorm.
- Live units: can be killed for gain. First thing that comes to mind is Goblin Bombers. Alternatively, this concept can also be used for minor terrains that have already been brought to play.
- Dead units: can be buried for gain. Think of corpse throwers.
- Marches/actions: skipping a march to gain...? Like a doubling of efforts that leaves the army exhausted. Seems like a bad plan, as it encourages single-blob armies.
- Future maneuvers: Giving the opposition the freedom to change the terrain up or down unopposed in their turn in return for some direct benefit. Does introduce a bit of record-keeping, which this game generally isn't a huge fan of.
Just some wild thoughts.

One of the more tricky parts of this is how we can make a system like this mere more rewarding for the smaller 50% armies than the large 100% blob armies. What does a smaller army have to offer that a larger army does not? Clearly, raw quantity of results is not the answer. The only thing that such smaller armies offer is additional marches and influence on a second terrain die, so these seem like the most reasonable places to look for opportunities.

Ok, my brain has ran out of juice for now. Time to re-compose my thoughts, so more on this later.


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