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[ERROR] No.15451107 [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

What are some mechanics you look for when deciding whether or not to play the latest minis game? What are some of your favorite mechanics from various games? What kind of mechanics would you like to see implemented in minis games and which ones thrown out completely?

I like Warmachine's concept of a central spellcaster powering different 'jacks in their army with a dice pool to give them a boost at different times.

I dig Infinity's turn structure that allows opposing players to be active during your turn, resulting in continuous participation at the game table. It reminded me of WH40K 2nd edition's "overwatch" which forced tactical sacrifices and careful movement.

>> No.15453809

>> No.15453829

I like unified resolution mechanics. It's difficult to do right, but if you can have a single set of rules that covers both infantry and vehicles, brilliant.

I like - almost to the point of requiring - suppression mechanics. Pinning and flanking are how every battle can be won, regardless of tech level from ancient to future.

I dislike IGOUGO, but not to the extent that it's a dealbreaker.

I dislike TLOS.

>> No.15453832

I think a system with victory points makes for an interesting game because it often forces players to develop more complex strategies than simply trying to powergame a force that can do one thing really well. Without a developed victory point system it seems like you end up playing the same melee, magic, or artillery fighting game over and over.

>> No.15453835

I dislike metagame. I want to win with legitimate tactics, not 'gamey' ones. And I tend to prefer games that really, really reward choice. I don't want to lose/win before the first turn happens. Less focus on list composition, more emphasis on tactics.

>> No.15453848

yeah i really dislike metagame and powergamers in general if thats what an opponent thinks miniature war gaming of any persuasion is about I always feel like saying why did you even buy minis and paint them up. you could have saved a whole lot of money if you just bought a rule book and army/faction book and just made a list and compared it to someone else's list.

>> No.15453855

>I dislike metagame

Agreed. Half the time, the metagame breaking threats seem to appear because the developers didn't test it rigorously enough (whether that's true or not I don't know). You'd think developers would at least think "Hmmm, what would happen if I took the maximum amount of X?" or something. Or hire some powergamers to playtest for them.

>> No.15453862

Large numbers + interesting factions = allmymoney.jpg for me, no matter the rules.

>> No.15453884

many times I think that the marketing cycle of games tends to create unnecessary metagaming because it seems like some systems that have been around for a while move the imaginary power button around. I can remember back in the mid 90's when if you were playing a game against an undead army in Warhammer you knew how to win before the game even started. You also knew exactly how the player who fielded that army was going to play. These also seemed to coincide when the new race books came out and the undead were way overpowered with magic compared to armies that had been around for a while like orcs or dwarves.

>> No.15453898


That's not age, that's GW, or more specifically, their terrible practise of having separate releases. It pretty much guarantees that some armies won't be balanced, and that some won't fit with present rules.

>> No.15453920

most powergaming/metagaming can be annihilated pretty easily though if the group of guys you play with can decide on a list of conditions for achieving victory points this goes for whatever game you happen to be playing. This is kind of an in house fix but the way our group worked this out was to have an agreed upon list before the game starts then after terrain is placed but before your already selected units are placed to take turns randomly rolling a d6 for what victory points to play for. then place units. It keeps any of the games we play really fresh and entertaining

>> No.15453941

Thats a fair point about GW it definitely seems that separate release structure cause lots of unbalanced play I just meant that it seems like the favor of the unbalancing always favors their new product and not their older material. I just always had the impression it was kind of a sneaky way to keep people buying new product instead of filling out an older army with a few new miniatures.

>> No.15454019

Unit quality stats rather than physical abilities is quite nice, also grades of things defined by dice type.

Turn systems that involve reactions and any system that isn't Igo (and do everything whilst you stand there and do practically nothing)/Ugo.

I also like randomness in the form of simulating friction. The oft quoted Clausewitz line of "Everything in war is very simple. But the simplest thing is difficult." should be key to anything trying to be more than a beer&pretzels game. And perhaps even in those, since one of the defining traits of the excellent game that is Bloodbowl is the amount of crazy shit that goes on that messes with the player's plans.

And most importantly, a game should be clear about what level of abstraction it is going for, as it can really jar and slow things down when a system starts mixing stuff from a skirmish level of detail such as individual targeting and cover into a game where you're meant to be fielding a company sized force or more.

>> No.15454180


Actually, the thing that bugs me about Bloodbowl is that the large amount of crazy shit that happens also has a good chance of ending your turn prematurely. It forces you to play overly cautiously, doing the safest moves first and then trying the crazy plans at the end, which is problematic because if it all goes wrong, you've got no chance to recover before your opponent can capitalise on the mistake. I'd much rather do the crazy plan first in a turn, then use the safer moves to capitalise or compensate, depending on how it goes.

That, and losing your turn because you fail to pick up the damn ball is ridiculous.

>> No.15454288


I also like the concept of victory points, assuming they aren't just rewarded upon killing the enemy. They give the player a solid goal to play toward instead of making the game drag on in a battle of attrition.

I'd like to see someone come up with a more interesting way to gain victory points than "kill enemy" and "capture this point" though. Or at least more interesting variations on it. Maybe something like "If your spy units sabotage 3 tanks without dieing you get +5 victory points." Little mini-goals to work towards.

>> No.15454316

>feel variety and costs are a drawback
>feel dice randomness isn't random enough
>wish VP could be collected ways other than annilation

malifaux people. Play malifaux. It's the perfect system.

>> No.15454343


I don't really care for a whole lot of "randomness" in my games. It sticks in my craw when I feel like I'm not in control of the outcome of my decisions, especially in a tactical game, which tends to have a slower pace.

>> No.15454361

There's always scenario based victory, where sides have appropriate victory conditions, occasionally achievable for both to a greater or lesser degree.

For example, professional soldiers raid an insurgent arms depot to destroy as much equipment as possible, they win if they destroy X amount of stuff. insurgents win if they protect any amount of stuff as well as causing notable casualties on the professionals (looks bad for them on the news, even if the objective is achieved). Both should be do-able despite uneven forces.

Thats the kind of thing I like, seeing objectives set and completed, rather than just set 'em up, knock 'em down games.

>> No.15454549

not the same guy as before, but malifaux has a cool way in countering this randomness by giving you a hand of cards to cheat fate with. basically replacing what you drew with one from your hand. And other resources that can change your "roll" like soulstones and such...really like the game

>> No.15454933

I checked out the Malifaux rulebook. I'm really digging the idea of the secret "scheme" objectives.
The idea of using cards instead of dice is interesting to me. You get some thrill of randomness while retaining a sense of choice.

I've often wondered about how to circumvent the "best build" syndrome of wargaming without sacrificing the ability to customize your army. A lot of the appeal to me is building an army to see what works, like a deck of cards.
In the best case scenario, players will constantly be reinventing their lists as counter-strategies are found for each new build. I also like the idea of equipping heroes with various weapons and whatnot to make it my "own."

>> No.15454959

The only real way to combat optimal lists is by making the game big enough and balanced enough that some agreeable number of good lists exist and it's intractably hard to find out which one is actually best.

>> No.15454968


Doesn't that risk overwhelming players with choices?

>> No.15454974

What actual, practical actions could be taken to marginalize the impact of metagame?

>> No.15455033


I'm not sure. Perhaps by skewing the Infantry, Artillery, and Cavalry relations:
Any units engaged with Infantry take losses when they attempt to disengage, but Infantry is slow moving and not maneuverable.
Artillery can not use ranged attacks when engaged, but can rain down arrows from afar when free.
Cavalry is highly maneuverable, but only causes significant losses to enemy units with a charge. While engaged, their melee actions are sub par.

>> No.15455061


...but of course the strategy then becomes "Move cavalry to engage artillery until infantry shows up to kill artillery." Unless there are other interesting reactions to keep this from happening. I suppose your infantry might try to block your opponent from doing the same to you, but how deep/satisfying for the tactics of such a scenario be? I usually like battle that involve a lot of movement instead of "I slap you, you slap me until one of us dies."

>> No.15455106

'big enough' is a pretty loose term. Theoretically you only need three different units for RPS: The wargame. If I had to design a game for some reason, I'd try to have at least three different unit types, with at least three options for each (Nested RPS: The wargame), for a bare minimum of nine possible guys to choose from (the actual number of list choices would still depend on how large an army is).

Unit type subdivision also makes the list building activity more modular, which also cuts down on choices. If I know I need at least one infantry, cavalry, and archer unit and there are three types of each I need to make 3 x 3 x 3 decisions, instead of the 9^3 ones I'd have to consider if there was no compelling reason to balance my list.

>> No.15455118


Are there any WEGO tabletop games out there? I don't know of any, but that'd be interesting.

>> No.15455128

Full Thrust has simultaneous turns, I believe. Assuming that's what you meant by WEGO.

>> No.15455146

I'm a huge Malifaux fan... However, that game has the worst case of Glass Cannon lists. Essentially your gaming experience will either be: horribly rolled, rolling over your enemy horribly or, rarely, an even match which ends up being a little boring.

>> No.15455174

I don't remember those.

>> No.15455189

Reinforcements and Assets.

AK47 Republic does a rather nifty thing in it's crazy level of randomness (appropriate for what it's subject is); There's a pre-battle buildup of events that see chunks of the player's forces relegated to the reserves for various reasons (decorating a guys house, getting wasted, lack of belief in the cause...) but with the player choosing what ends up in the reserves and no unit can be reduced below a minimum size. That keeps them still useable. Then reinforcements come on at various points throughout the game. Not all of them may arrive. There's also a bias as to how much is available depending on who the attacker or defender is and how badly/well they did in the pre-battle buildup.

Assets like artillery and air support, if available at all, also have to be called for. So all in all, a degree of uncertainty has to be present to cut down on metagame aspects, so that players cannot simply calculate the most effective options and just roll with that.

Attack/defense games also really help, since the players have to then concentrate more on achieving those objectives and not just force elimination. Keeping a force intact whilst maneuvering to take objectives should probably also be emphasized to counter the Pyrrhic Victory that seems to be the standard of many games, since throwing bodies at an objective until the end of an arbitrary turn limit is achieved seems to be an entirely reasonable option.

>> No.15455196


I see what you mean. Assuming a new player didn't believe the "n+1 is always better" philosophy when it comes to unit choice, the more interesting decisions would be made on the battlefield assuming there were interesting choices to make. "Kill my opponent" could be made much more interesting by changing it to "kill my opponent while he's in this specific zone." You would have to have units that could lure the enemy in and keep them in place, or alternatively have a reason for the enemy to be risking their necks in that zone.

Let's say that we do indeed have "only" nine units to choose from for our lists: 3 Infantry, 3 Cavalry, 3 Artillery. How would they stand out from each other besides flat statistics? It's not very interesting to say "It's cheaper to field him because he has less ATK/DEF than the other Infantry units." What really makes a unit interesting are the powers/behaviors associated with it.

What if the game does not revolve around "point buy" to field units? Instead, players determine how many units are allowed on the field at the start of battle. How would you differentiate the units so that they are tactically different from the other units of their own kind?

>> No.15455262


Except that's wrong. Cavalry shit all over Infantry in all cases except for massed spears. Even then, it's hardly a clean counter. I think you vastly underestimate the power of cavalry, the size of cavalry units were how wars were determined until the First World War.

>> No.15455362

I'm pretty sure he's actually right, cavalry are best on the charge, if the infantry hold, no matter what weaponry they have, the cavalry are in trouble. Unit Morale & Discipline > Most other variables. Terrain, weather, supplies, numbers, equipment and such are less important than the will to stand and fight in the first place.

>> No.15455370

Okay, so what's to keep a player from building an all-cavalry army?

>> No.15455387

Tactical necessity. Cavalry can't do everything required in a battle without supporting elements.

>> No.15455441

But from a game design standpoint, it makes sense. Otherwise, players will just load their armies with cavalry and run over everything.

>Roplange brigade

>> No.15455482

Each unit within a type can be specialized against the others. If a standard combat takes two turns to resolve the anti-artillery cavalry might sweep them in one, and the anti-cavalry infantry could hold for three on average. Or a unit could be faster but weaker, or better when attacking then when defending.

Alternatively, you can have a different set of roles on top of the original three. In Infinity for example, you need a lieutenant and (usually) a hacker, but that role can be filled by a basic unit, heavy infantry, scouts, giant robots, or whatever.

>> No.15455483

Same thing which prevented that irl; cost. It's expensive enough to feed, shelter and water dozens/hundreds of men, let alone dozens/hundreds of men with their horses.

>> No.15455526

Intriguing. Tell me more of this "alternative roles" system.

I guess you could represent cost by saying "In an army of 10 units, only 3 may be taken as cavalry" or something like that.

>> No.15455529

I'd like terrain to be a bigger focus, and allow players to spend points on modifying the terrain.

For instance, I could pay a certain points cost to dig trenches, and have entrenched positions set up on hills etc....

I could rig areas of the map with traps and such, allowing me to have a small army, which is also very effective, and rewards "JUST AS PLANNED"ness.

>> No.15455549

Meaningful choices being made in the movement portion, and the rest of the game supporting that through mechanics.

Movement has an inherent gameplay advantage: it's both visual and highly intuitive. Games which are complex in the movement phase have an inherent advantage in that they remain clear even as complexity rises, and in that they provide excellent visual feedback as to what is happening. In my experience, a good wargame is one that supports that well, like, say, warhammer 6th, any naval combat game, any space combat game based on naval tactics, and even d and d 4th:

games which are bad neglect this, and make movement overly simple, or rather just irrelevant.

>> No.15455555


Don't games already do that? I mean, in most "defense" scenarios, the defender gets to set up terrain to his advantage, right?

What if you could change terrain during the battle? Like divert a river, burn a forest, or cause a mountain to get up and move?

>> No.15455588

Some games like Blitzkrieg Commander for one allow a defending player to purchase various bits of useful fortifications, minefields, barbed wire and the like to assist them.

>> No.15455607


Balance. That's how you deal with the metagame: make your game acutally balanced. Usually, a metagame shift is simply a recognition that some unit is either too powerful not to take, or too shitty to use, and then people have to adapt to counter that and it sets off a chain reaction. If you have a good system which relies on mulitiple elements which operate better when combined (combined arms), it is highly resistant to the evolution of a metagame.

Just look at starcraft 2: terran. The thor supports the marine. The marine protects the tank until critical mass hits. The viking helps support the tank. The raven protects the viking.

Look at the metagame: terran standard play isn't really metagame specific: players make stylistic choices, but almost ALWAYS gravitate towards a composition that has remained the same throughout the evolution of the metagame: people make marines, tanks, and vikings, largely. Because the units need each other to support one another, you have an army which does not shift wildly because "the metagame says I should go mass hellion this week".

compare that to zerg. Mutalisks synergize badly with roaches. Roaches synergize badly with lings. hydralisks synergize badly with everything. Player strategies evolve and shift rapidly, as there is little incentive to develop a stable composition: the units are better alone in large numbers than combined into a team with small amounts of each.

For example, look

>> No.15455678

>For example, look
Your message got cut off. I'd actually be interested in your example.

The idea of units supporting other units within an army is basically a solid one. Good concept. But doesn't that mean that strategies will become stale because a player will basically be fielding the same units over and over again? If the metagame says "these units must be fielding or your army will lose" doesn't the fact that you have to field specific Terran units to cover each other conform to the metagame?

Can't think of a way around it except perhaps randomized units that all work well witch each other.

>> No.15455699


Nothing; it's why historically countries with lots of money and access to good horses (or mounted equivalents if the region as a whole could not access them) tended to win wars. Cavalry are pretty expensive, requiring about 10,000 bushels of oats and grass per horse, discounting the cost of a rider and training for both horse and rider.


You are completely retarded. The only thing cavalry couldn't do in ancient warfare was lay siege to a fortification, and only then because there's no point in having a zillion horses standing around doing nothing for anywhere from a few months to several years. Cavalry are the tanks of the ancient and classical and medieval world. What do we do with tanks? That's right, we mass the shit out of them and rip through enemy formations. Because in this case the formations are actually people, cavalry can be used alone to shit all over battles.


Not necessarily; Cavalry weren't really super good against other cavalry, mostly because it boiled down to guys on horses slashing each other.

>> No.15455779

>You are completely retarded. The only thing cavalry couldn't do in ancient warfare was lay siege to a fortification, and only then because there's no point in having a zillion horses standing around doing nothing for anywhere from a few months to several years. Cavalry are the tanks of the ancient and classical and medieval world. What do we do with tanks? That's right, we mass the shit out of them and rip through enemy formations. Because in this case the formations are actually people, cavalry can be used alone to shit all over battles.

Great work on presenting an argument there. Now actually go and study history instead of playing Total War games and assuming that they are accurate.

>> No.15455801


I generally jump around when creating my post. I could try to come up with a super deep second example, but that was almost certainly in reference to my starcraft analogy.

Yes, generally, the game will tend to gravitate towards people taking a lot of the same armies in a system with highly balanced units relying on combined arms: . that's the cost: in exchange for a game that plays well, the game tends to lack diversity: you could counter that by constantly releasing balanced choices and updates, but most developers simply aren't willing to put the work in to actually balance everything:

For example: wizards of the coast: I once heard, in the D and D podcast, them explain new powers as follows: "balancing is hard. When we release a new option, we want people to use it... so we tend to err on the side of overpowered just so that we can be sure that people will actually be able to use it".

Magic: "We deliberately make shitty stuff so people have the pleasure of not choosing it".

Warhammer: "we have no idea what we are doing: we don't even have any external playtesting any more because it was interfering with our marketing strategy"

Okay, I made one of those quotes up. But if you look at games which are no longer updated, few of them have a lot of diversity in playstyle. Go on to gamereplays.org, and watch twenty games of high level company of heroes, Wehrmacht versus Americans: you will see a LOT of consistency. But because the game is pretty balanced (unless you play Britain, lol), it doesn't wildly shift with the metagame, and good players tend to favor a wide variety of combined units... a good place to start is watching last sunday night fights, sandland versus Audemed, game 3 specifically that's combined arms, in a game that supports it. That's the standard of balance you would HOPE a wargame would aspire to.

>> No.15455814


Never played Total War. I know enough of military history to know that you massively downplay the force multiplying power of cavalry.

>> No.15455821


What if the game had modular board pieces that could easily be shifted around? The armies could be battling atop chunks of land which float on lava floes that drift and tumble around.

>> No.15455846

I think people overestimate the value of historical accuracy.

I just started playing world of tanks this week. It's a lot of fun, and a great idea, and very playable: but it's, unfortunately, "historically accurate".

It adds nothing to the game. You might think "yeah, this is what the t-26 tank was actually like, it's realistic". But what that actually means, is that no one TAKES the t-26 tank. If you go into a game, you notice the tanks that aren't total shit MASSIVELY dominate automated matchmaking: in a low tier game, you will usually see a full third of the tier 2 tanks being the bt-2, probably a quarter be the m2 light tank, and then the balance made up of panzer II's, Hotchkiss's, and some poor bastard stuck using panzerjager just so that he can unlock his marder.

It's historically accurate, and it adds NOTHING to the game, I suspect, for 90% plus of the people playing it. Even if you knew that the T-26 had really shitty armor historically, would you really be unable to overlook that if it meant that the t-26 you care so much about was good enough to actually use in a game, instead of a voluntary handicap?

I don't know if ancient cavalry were so good as to make infantry obsolete or not. I don't even care. I am just here to play fun games, and a balanced game is far more likely to be a fun game.

>> No.15455922


That's a really cool idea for games where the sides have fairly maneuverable units which can compensate.

It also is a lot cooler in cooperative games, where the movement can be both unpredictable and nonrandom. It's cool, but less interesting, to have a moving debris field n Battlefleet gothic: It's okay to have shit randomwalking across the table in a wargame, but it's less interesting as it seems less "real", as you have nonsensical results.

It's best in, say, D and D, where there can be a plan behind all the terrain movement: the ice is going to break up and drift apart in a sensible way, because someone planned it: but because the planner wasn't a player in a 2 player competitive game, it's not going to give him an unpredictably sized advantage that you can't compensate for.

>> No.15455926

And I know enough about history to know that cavalry alone was never viable due to all the various circumstances that reduce their effectiveness greatly. Even the Mongols used infantry and they are the classic cavalry specialists of history.

Because cavalry is a striking/maneuver element of a force that on it's own cannot hold ground, and is greatly limited by terrain. You are severely over-rating them by claiming that you need nothing else except for sieges.

>> No.15456358

Let's say that in addition to having infantry/cavalry/artillery you have the roles of medic/engineer/scout. Then for each unit type, there's a version that is a medic, engineer, or scout (So there's a scout cavalry, medic cavalry, and engineer cavalry. Which is silly, but it suffices for an example). If we need one of each type and one of each role we only have 3! different lists.

If we had an actual game with big boy numbers of different units, we might decide to give more role options to infantry to make the unit type more appealing, or not allow cavalry to be engineers because that would be a dominant unit choice, or whatever else is required to meet our balance goals.

>> No.15456944

I would love to see a system that works well with 0 randomness, No dice, no cards.

>not fundoca

Shaddap captcha.

>> No.15457099

Alas, irl, even the best trained soldier missed a shot every now and then...

>> No.15457496

Agreed, though I would also like to add a hex board instead of measuring. One of the things that has always bugged me was how dependent games were on dice, and memorizing how far so many inches are. Instead, the game should focus more on tactics and strategy.

It's not about individual bullets being fired, but about overall actions.

>> No.15458681

The WoW minis game does that.

>> No.15458726

>What Does a Good Minis Game Need?

Good minis

>> No.15460869

The ability to surprise an opponent with units or a maneuver that wasn't available or obvious in the early game. I.E. releasing Night Goblins hidden within your ranks to whirl around the battlefield

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