Wednesday, 21 May 2014

A d8? What!!!

Combat in Venture Fair

I have been applying my brain to work issues recently (honest Boss) so it has been a pleasant change to redeploy the gray cells back onto Venture Fair, my developing Montrose game.

I find that, in all my projects, even quite simple problems can slow me down. For example, having progressed my Tannenberg game really quickly, the hold up is about drawing convincing rail lines on my draft map. In Venture Fair, the issue is how to resolve combat. 

My conceptual model for the game is Stephen Simpson's '45 game series which uses an unusual opposed die roll. One player, the attacker, rolls a d6, the defender a d8. Deduct the d6 roll from the d8 roll, if minus the defender takes a hit.

Doing the maths, a d6/d8 roll will produce 1 of 56 outcomes. 15 of these outcomes are in the attacker's favour (26% ish). The equivalent to hit number on a single d6 roll is somewhere between a 5 and 6. Each point on a d6 being around 17%.

A benefit from this is that modifiers in the d6/d8 model have a smaller impact than those for a single d6 or, indeed, 2d6 model.

I have given quite a lot of thought to various approaches including the DBA type calculation. A problem I have with DBA is that my brain finds it difficult to cope with the results (if less than but more than half and elephants are attacked by spears before breakfast...).

Even though I have a d8 I can't say I have ever used it in anger. However, I'm beginning to like the d6/d8 concept but I just can't do the mental maths. Taking one score from another may require taking off socks. Is there anyway I can simplify things? 

Well yes. I pulled together a spreadsheet to look at the results distribution and realised I had actually developed a combat results table. This means that using a comparison of total scores (die roll plus modifiers) I could get an easy to read matrix.

OK, and even more simple? Well lets make all modifiers positive. No horrible subtraction, just adding.

Do we need lots of modifiers? No, a few and even then why have loads of tactical advantage modifiers when perhaps only one might do. So, depending on the circumstances, there will either be an advantage or not. Therefore, a small number of binary modifiers.

That's great, I just have to make it work in practice!

Oh, and this arrived in the post today. A first glance, very nice, just right for playing over the bank holiday weekend.

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